Trolling done right III


See I and II in the series.


The Weekly Standard

is rumored to be moribund, which elicits some well-deserved (and cogently presented) schadenfreude from Ace — do read it.  NR Mastodons, take note: “The basic problem is that NeverTrumpism is a niche market even within the political class”.

When Bill Kristol (effectively) went to bat for Hillary, he perfectly exemplified the controlled opposition “conservative” so aptly dissected in Anton’s famous Flight 93 essay: “Your job is to show up and lose, but you are a necessary part of the show and you do get paid.”

There is a scene in the film Hannibal where a man high on drugs cuts off his face and feeds it to the dog. “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time,” he reminisces years later. Here at PTT we love logic. We understand logic and know how to deploy it. But if logic is telling you to cut off your face and feed it to the dog (i.e., vote for Hillary), you might want to re-examine your premises before reaching for that glass shard.

Routine crimestop

Scott Alexander of the excellent slatestarcodex has made an appearance here previously. He’s an intelligent and thoughtful man, not afraid to wade into controversy — up to a point. Every now and then his inquiries ineluctably bring him to the edge of forbidden topics, and his strategy is to punt, rather lamely. Case in point:

(it doesn’t help that this theory [ed: of r/k selection] is distantly related to an earlier theory proposed by Canadian psychologist John Rushton, who added that black people are racially predisposed to fast strategies and Asians to slow strategies, with white people somewhere in the middle. Del Giudice mentions Rushton just enough that nobody can accuse him of deliberately covering up his existence, then hastily moves on.)

Alexander is reviewing Del Giudice’s book, and, taking a cue from the author, he too hastily moves on. Which is too bad, because an inquiring reader might want to know: Has Rushton’s theory been empirically disproven? Is it a true thing or a false thing?

Rushing to accuse Alexander of dishonesty or cowardice would be too simplistic. He admirably avoided the opportunity to point and sputter (“Pseudo-scientific racism! Thoughtcrime! Let’s get him fired go piss on his grave!”) Nor is his unwillingness to engage this subject head-on necessarily due to a faint heart. As Sam Harris found out the hard way, once you touch this third rail, you cannot easily let it go: it will hold you in its thrall long past your own point of interest, distracting you from other important projects. So perhaps Alexander’s crimestop is a wise choice after all.

Seriously, what’s Pachter’s

angle here? Is this all just about virtue-signaling? His virtue level is already at Aleph-naught, and the only way for him to reach the next transfinite cardinal is to go for the “greater seal”.

Does Pachter not realize that the warlock hunt will ultimately hurt women? In the comments to his post, Yuval Peres meekly objects that a lot of his fruitful “collaborations [with women] took place in two-person lunches and dinners”. And now he’s being publicly humiliated and forced to proclaim that

A senior researcher should not approach a junior researcher with an invitation that may be viewed as intimate or personal unless such an invitation was issued in the past by this specific junior to that specific senior. The point being that even if the senior researcher has no intimate/personal intentions, such intentions may be read by the junior researcher, placing the junior in an awkward situation and possibly causing them great distress.

No more inviting female colleagues to lunch or dinner, I guess! Looks like the Mike Pence rule is the smart way to go, folks — and of course the jackals will try to get you for that too, so be subtle about it. Here is a thumb-sucker for you, Lior: “Why In The World Would Men Stop Mentoring Women Post #MeToo?

“Jewish” neurotic self-loathing

David Cole makes an astute observation. He opens with an episode of the familiarly infuriating variety

I thought about that a few weeks ago, when I was unfortunate enough to encounter an L.A. Times op-ed about the mass shooting of Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month. The author, Rob Eshman, former publisher and editor of L.A.’s Jewish Journal, found a silver lining in the massacre of nearly a dozen elderly Jews. “The Tree of Life Synagogue victims died so that refugees could live,” Eshman declared. Those Jews died so that Honduran and other Third World immigrants could flood the U.S. illegally. “The Jews gunned down in the Tree of Life Synagogue died for a cause. Whether they knew it or not.”

before generalizing to a big-picture claim:

Strategize, overthink, overintellectualize. It’s all so very Jewish. When white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine black worshippers in Charleston in 2015, black spokespeople and religious leaders responded with anger toward whitey. “Crush whitey, never forgive whitey, fight whitey.” It was a brutal response to a brutal act, but damned if it wasn’t honest. Blacks were killed, blacks saw the crime as a black tragedy, and blacks wanted vengeance. Jews can’t be that straightforward. We seek advantage through our dead. We make our dead your problem. The meaning we find in our deceased we find as a courtesy to you, to help you, to change your societies for the “better.” At a memorial service for his parents, the son of two of the Pittsburgh shooting victims urged the mourners to use his parents’ murder to “promote a positive outcome and meaning for society.” Not for Jews, but for society. We’re not thinking of ourselves, we’re thinking of you. Would any writer for The Root or Very Smart Brothas be so generous, so “internationalist,” in their grief? Of course not. “Niggaz was killed, and now we gotta do something to help niggaz. Fuck the rest of y’all.”

In doing so, he misses a larger point — though he should know better. Who is this collective Jewish “we” that he is taking it upon himself to speak for? It sounds a lot like the Group B Jews defined here, but a wordly, self-aware man like Cole must surely be aware of the Group A kind. As we argued at length here and elsewhere, the two groups are in a fundamental, existential conflict — and it’s the A’s who have more of a legitimate claim on Jewish authenticity (not to mention that time and demographics are on their side).