PTT rises to Instapundit’s

challenge.

So Hunter Biden is going to be interviewed by Fox News, and his handlers are trying to prepare him for tough questions. “When they ask you about the crack pipe, act all indignant. Be like, how dare you? It’s my private business! Addiction is an illness, not a sin, etc.” After days of rehearsing, the interview is finally on. First question: “Would you like to comment on the incident where you masturbated during a zoom call?” Hunter: “You totally got the wrong guy, man! I’m the guy with the crack pipe!”

Update. Instalanche!

Bari Weiss almost gets it

We made an exception to the PTT MLK full stop rule, and continued reading Bari Weiss’s piece, even past this:

The founding documents were not evil to the core but “magnificent,” as Martin Luther King Jr. put it …

In many ways, she suffers from a political schizophrenia similar to Scott Aaronson. She cogently articulates the problem (American Left’s rabid anti-Semitism) and illustrates it with plenty of vivid examples. She has no illusions about Joe Biden: “Did you hear that the Biden campaign apologized to Linda Sarsour after initially disavowing her?” “In the event of a Biden victory, it is hard to imagine [anti-Semitism] meeting resistance.” But again, like Aaronson, Trump Derangement Syndrome makes an obligatory appearance.

Weiss’s piece has the effect of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater without pointing to an exit door. The election is less than 20 days away. No candidate is ever perfect, and we all know everything that’s wrong with Trump. Of the two candidates, is there one whose victory might be better for Jews — at least the type A ones? And if so, wouldn’t it be useful to point this out?

The word war appears multiple times in Bari’s piece, which ends with “We should never be shocked that any ideology that makes war on these true and eternal values will inevitably make war on us.” We agree with her, but wonder how seriously she takes her own words.

History vindicates Ahmari,

repudiates David French. Too early to tell, you say? Ordinarily, we’d agree — but the pace of history has been accelerating so rapidly in recent months, that the AhmariFrench debate from over a year ago already feels ancient. So here is Ahmari sounding the alarm about twitter censoring NYPost reporting critical of Joe Biden. French’s reponse? I can see why you’re upset, but hey — at least twitter is letting you sound the alarm on twitter!! By comparison, Glenn Greenwald comes across as the epitome of integrity and acumen — and that’s saying something. We’re beginning to miss the old lefties; how long before Chomsky sounds more sane than French?

We don’t often toot our own horn on here, but our commentary from a year ago has held up well:

The notion of persuading the other side in rational debate is what makes Western civilization superior to the various shit-holes. PSA to French and his cronies: In order to have a debate, you need a working mic. When the other side resorts to cutting you off (say, by getting you kicked off of facebook, twitter, and youtube), you’ve lost the debate before it even got started. It doesn’t matter how persuasive your arguments are if no-one is allowed to hear them.

Political schizophrenia

We don’t want to keep picking on Aaronson (we’ve been trying to swear off scottology for 4 years now) — it’s just that he’s such a perfect example of this “almost getting it but not quite” phenomenon we’re going to dub political schizophrenia. Case in point: Here is Scott quite reasonably bemoaning the destruction of the Thomas Jefferson High School. Horrified by any inequality of outcome, he quaintly wonders why affirmative action won’t pacify the mob. Ha, that is so 2017. In Current Year, #shutdownstem is the cri de guerre, and you are being made to care.

What’s funny is how in a post cogently deploring the result of hard-Left tactics, Scott compulsively attacks “right-wing groups” and Trump. Seriously, you can blame Trump for a lot of things, but the elimination of objective testing admission criteria is entirely on the wokesters. And Scott will probably tell you with a straight face that STEM will fare better under Biden Harris than under Trump, because reasons (most likely “immigration”, since picking fruit and building bridges are Jobs American’s Won’t Do).

Finally, a challenge to the multitudes of loyal PTT readers. That Emerson quote notwithstanding, we actually believe that consistency is something positive to strive for in one’s reasoning. No human is likely to achieve perfect consistency (and even if you have, good luck proving it!). Still, we pride ourselves on being more consistent than most. Yes, we can hear you there, from the back row, jeering something about how 80% of the men think they’re above-average drivers; hear us out. This blog has been consistently pro-gun, pro-abortion, pro-nationalist, immigration-restrictionist, race-realist, freedom-of-association absolutist, and generally libertarian whenever that doesn’t contradict the rest. If there are any glaring political schizophrenias we’re guilty of, we’d love to hear about them in the comments. (Delighted though we are when disgruntled readers call us “goon”, “vermin”, “fucking stupid” and “incredibly racist”, we prefer the kind of feedback we can intelligently respond to — which we’re grateful to occasionally receive as well.)

PTT twitter potpourri

Bo Winegard — last seen here getting booted from academia for liking a Sailer tweet — has been quite active in tweetosphere. (We have trouble comprehending how someone with a dayjob can possibly tweet so much, but perhaps tweeting is part of his dayjob.) Not one to shy away from flamewars or rabbit-holes, Winegard regularly engages random internet woke dudes (RIWD). Here is a typical recent exchange, conveniently summarized by PTT:

RIWD: Affirmative action is not racist, it is ridiculous to even suggest that it is so.

Bo: Isn’t discriminating by race, by definition, racist?

RIWD: No, the definition of racism includes power differentials.

Bo: So you saying “I hate all whites” isn’t racist?

RIWD: Exactly, because black people have less power than white people.

Bo: Let me get this straight: you have less power than I do, and hence you have the power to insult me and my race pretty much without limit, while I have no power to retaliate, on pain of losing my livelihood (and possibly being physically harmed)?

RIWD: You’re catching on, honkey.

——–

While we’re here, let’s examine another specimen of pure privilege. A Harvard professor tweeted this:

There are many reasons why it’s inappropriate to invite Charles Murray to speak in a data science course.

One is that he wrote a book titled “the bell curve” whose main thesis is that a certain distribution is not a bell curve but a mixture of Gaussians.

The tweet got 8 retweets and 62 likes — and none of his 1510 followers thought to challenge him on this most basic point: But is it a true thing? What a privilege it is to be able to speak one’s mind without any fear of repercussions from one’s employer or peers! What a joy to live a life free of crimestop!..

We congratulate Prof. Hairer

for winning the Breakthrough prize — a well-deserved award, by all accounts. The linked article quotes Hairer as saying, “In mathematics, if you obtain a result then that is it. It’s the universality of mathematics, you discover absolute truths.” The “Harvard-trained data scientist” and his simpering enablers will disagree, of course — but history records men of rare talent and substantive contribution like Hairer, rather than the millions of empty attention whores. It is a basic (if unfair) fact of the human condition that extreme talent is infuriatingly unevenly distributed among the population. The talentless will always resent their more talented peers; what form this resentment ends up taking depends on the power balance. As the talentless gain power, sycophancy gives way to cancelation, until eventually they go full Harrison Bergeron. It was ever thus: Beckmann’s delightful book ends with “the Heisels of Cleveland are more numerous than the Archimedēs of Syracuse” [link added]. But Beckmann lived in happier times.

Diversity training session:

white people are inhuman demons (more here). I tried a video search with the keywords “ashleigh shackelford white people are born into not being human” and found a lot of broken links, with videos taken down and youtube accounts suspended. Merely quoting someone — even someone “legitimate”, whom the woke left isn’t going after per se — can get you cancelled. Presumably, the people who would hound me out of existence for retweeting are fully on board with its obscene content. That boot stomping on your face doesn’t need logic or consistency.

Update: We knew we’d recognized this Ashleigh Shackelford character from somewhere. She’d made a brief appearance in this post, running pretty much the same gig she is now — but be warned, she’s wearing even less. (We’d warn the reader that the link is NSFW, but these days, who knows what is safe for work, so use your judgment.)

Cambodia

From John Derbyshire’s review (2000) of David Chandler’s book describing the horrors of Khmer Rouge:

Yes, even the interrogators and torturers were miserable. As in Stalin’s terror, they frequently ended up as prisoners themselves. Insufficient enthusiasm for the work was, of course, counter-revolutionary. “We were all spying on each other,” one of them later reported. Staying alive was a high-wire act, at the peril of sudden unpredictable gusts of wind. There were no guidelines; the party line was liable to change at any moment; what was correct yesterday would get you killed today.

Fortunately, that was a long time ago and couldn’t possibly be relevant to anything happening today.

2+2 wars explained

Cathy Young — though lacking Cathy “mathbabe” O’Neil’s math credentials — takes a decent stab at explaining the 2+2 twitter flamewar, still going strong. Allow PTT condense it to the bare minimum for you: It’s all about the power. Dovlatov had noted that while the Soviet regime had no reservations about bringing down its iron fist on dissidents, what provoked particular butthurt was attempting to go on as though it weren’t there: “The Soviet government is a touchy lady. It is bad for the one who offends her. But it is much worse for the one who ignores her”.

2+2=5 is about power in the classic, banal, Orwellian sense. Those who followed the wave of retractions (and even pre-tractions!) could see where this was going, but somehow hope had lingered that integer arithmetic would remain safe. Not content with taking over the math organizations, the jackbooted goons had to go after math itself. In this regard, the present-day woke mob is more totalitarian and less pragmatic than their Soviet predecessors, who were content to leave mathematics (if not individual mathematicians) alone.

Much of the 2+2=5 power grab is being driven by a “Harvard-trained data analyst“, whose contribution to mathematical knowledge is exactly zero. To say that he plays the race card would be an understatement on the level of “that pimp can be an abusive boyfriend”. To see him humored and feted by prominent mathematicians is more than disheartening. And he’s not even the worst actor, by far.

Update. Instalanche!!