For the sake of
(a Letter to The European Parliament)
I witness every day the desperation of the people and the tension between them, as I observe daily, the dark cynicism of the elite, and their lack of kindness. The attack on our free society by the collectivists has pushed the elites to protect themselves and in the process change the system so that the people can't ask for protection and justice. The elite can be in denial of their rejection of their responsibilities, but the yellow jacket movement is a reality - What can be done?
Not far away from my home, in the city of Offenburg, there is a wall on which has been written for many years "More love". I shake my head each time I read the slogan and I have thought to write a slogan of my own on that same wall: "more solutions". As society is shaped, we are unable to offer any kind of solution to any problem. We have lost our way, the way of civilization.
After writing my propositions for the letter it occurred to me that some information that I used is not related to the letter, but based on more general philosophical and political views I have, thus I thought that a bit of clarity might be of some use to you.
My rational fellows, keep trying to follow the path of reason and dialogue to convince the collectivists that a mutual understanding could help to build a better society and a better life for each. They felt to understand the true nature of the war of ideas that is going on - it's asymmetrical. An asymmetrical war happens when one camp cannot win the war. It adopts a strategy that will at least allow its people to survive while still fighting. Asymmetry in strategy, objective, and means. In the warfare between rationalists and irrationalists, the classical strategy is to use reason and they have been defeated. The irrationalists have decided to go underground to hide their true actions, which is to get power. On the surface, they throw us constant stupid ideas whose sole purpose is to let us spend our time in constant argument with no hope to achieve anything. And boys, did they win big with that strategy. We are losing not only because their underground strategy allows them to always be several moves ahead, but they are also playing the game at another level. They are playing at a concept level and let us play to a detailed level, wasting our time in endless quarrels that will always be far away from their precious ideology. They have already all the answers to anything you can say and do, and simultaneously without you noticing it, they rebuild the society to fit their specific needs in which you have no place.
Time for a case study, education will do. The collectivists have advocated for a child-centered education for the last 100 years in opposition to a common core knowledge focusing on facts and concepts. When they tell you that we should allow the children to develop their imagination, they don't care about your view on the matter, nor the well-being of the children. What they are up to, is to take away the time devoted to the learning of knowledge. When I was 12, our female school teacher, ask us to create words based on other words. The time devoted to the exercise was 30 minutes. I remember inventing the word 'tetraradar' a blending of tetrahedron and radar. That's what the collectivist means by developing the imagination of the children. We have lost 30 minutes of creating words instead of learning words that would have been useful. In case you haven't been told, you can't teach people how to create, to become a creative person, or simply more creative. Those who truly create, the Bach, the Einstein, the Picasso,... are working constantly they are obsessed with creating something. Why didn't they try to teach us the obsession of creation? Not to mention that most highly creative people are experts in their field, based on a large amount of knowledge.
Behind this example, is the ideology of child-centered pedagogy (note), which is to allow the child to develop its abilities (book 'Emile' from Rousseau). Here is another example. When I was 13/14 years old, we had physics lessons and some were dedicated to experiments. We had to look at an experiment, and the teacher asked us, what we thought was going on. Let me explain to you how stupid it is. Just before I went to university, I started to learn, by myself as much as possible about science history. Anyone who dives into that history will be struck by the fact that most discoveries are not the result of good luck, but the hardworking of the smartest persons of our civilization, and that for decades if not centuries. Expecting that teenagers will have any clue of what is happening, even a glimpse, is just crazy. Just teach them history, the math behind the discoveries, and the experiments, but don't expect them to have the deep and complex reasoning that is required to understand what that knowledge is all about. Make sure they learn by heart even if they don't understand now, because if you don't and expect they will naturally understand complex concepts, what you will end up with, is a young woman who looks at you desperately, because she doesn't understand what you are asking, she doesn't know what an even number is. At the gym, even numbers are for lockers on the ground, and therefore easy to access. I will never forget the face of that young woman. I have many times encountered illiterate people in mathematics and science, but in that case, I saw that she knew she should have known what even meant, and she was ashamed of herself for knowing it. I will never forget that face, as I will never forget what those teachers have done to several generations of children from our civilization.
In the chapter on dehumanization, I wrote a part called 'The useless people', in which I explained that with modern technologies and A.I, not yet invented, most people would have nothing to do because they will be unfit for most jobs. They will just be paid to satisfy their basic needs. (06/2021 - During the pandemic many western countries have had a taste of it with the concept of "essential workers". How did you like it? Imagine it applied to 90% of the population for all their life).
The way it is sold to the authorities and the people is to state that it is a solution to the problem of inequality. It's not! It belongs to the asymmetrical war. The proof of it is that all the experiments that will be conducted (it has started), will fail (except in an authoritarian system) and those who advocate for it will never stop promoting their project. The reason being is that it has nothing to do with inequality, but the mechanization and management of the world by artificial intelligence.
Universal income is part of a dehumanization process and must be defeated. If you take the angle of inequality, no matter how smart your arguments are, you'll lose. You need to attack the techno-utopia behind it and in the long run, the risk of mass genocide.
They dislike the human species, don't want to evolve, and have absolutely no grand project for humankind. They are, by any measure, the least acceptable persons on earth to lead the future of humanity.
The asymmetrical war is worse than you think. You're desperately trying to engage in a dialogue because you value what our civilization has achieved and for the love of the people who live in it. They don't. If they can't get what they want they are ready to put down the whole edifice.
Note: In practice, what opposes the child-centered pedagogy is the common core, because it is knowledge-centered and not skill-oriented (that's what you do when you don't want the 'kill' the so-called natural knowledge of a child), and it acknowledges the universality of knowledge and not that it is bound to each individual's experience or culture. I'm aware that the common core is fought by people who do not advocate for the child-centered pedagogy, like Christians. I do understand their concern, but the real enemy is the child-centered pedagogy because it follows ideologies (ghost in the machine, blank slate...) that oppose freedom of speech, individualism, and reason, and on the whole, that does not allow a suitable civilization. I also want to get rid of a misunderstanding. Common core does not mean that cultural and local specificity are not taught, they are a necessary complement to the identity of each individual and precisely where he/she lives. But 2+2 = 4 and we must not only teach it but teach that we agree on it.
Galileo gave us the scientific method which consists to validate our thinking by using an external point of reference like an experiment. The best explanation for the method was given by Richard Feynman during one of its public classes "How do we look for a new law. First, we guessed... don't laugh, it's very true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, then we compare those computation results to nature to see if it works. If it disagrees with the experiment it's wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't matter how beautiful your guess is or even how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it's wrong".
In more modern terms, the scientific method is about handing over something you don't control (like an experiment) which will decide the validity of your thinking, and this excludes discussing with other humans for validation. But before that, you need to have adopted the "scientific thinking" which is to acknowledge that you know very little compared to what you don't know and this leads to accepting that you might be wrong because of all the things you don't know. You are not and will never be an almighty God who knows all and this makes all the difference in our relation to knowledge, toward those who don't have it, and how we use it. It impacts the social organization of our society (note). According to Karl Popper we own that discovery to Socrates, I quote "The wisdom he (Socrates) meant was of a different kind (note: wisdom does not equal to the most learned man for Socrates). It was simply the realization: how little do I know! Those who did not know this, he taught, knew nothing at all. This is the true scientific spirit. Some people still think, as Plato did ... that Socrates' agnostic attitude must be explained by the lack of success of the science of his day. But this only shows that they do not understand this spirit and that they are still possessed by a pre-Socratic magical attitude toward science, and towards the scientist, whom they consider as a somewhat glorified shaman, as wise, learned, initiated. They judge him by the amount of knowledge in his possession, instead of taking, with Socrates, his awareness of what he does not know as a measure of his scientific level as well as of his intellectual honesty."
The physicist Richard Feynman was interested in people believing in blatantly false things. E.S.P for one which he tested himself, but also the field of social science for which he was very critical because he had serious doubt regarding their reasoning methodology. He noted a pattern, about their thinking he called Cargo Cult Science. The term takes its name from an analogy he gave during a speech to explain it. During the Second World War, a tribe in the pacific saw the coming of troops to build a small airport and from it they got goods. When the war was over, the troops disassembled the airport and went back home. To get goods again, the tribe build an airport that looked like the real one down to the smallest details, but no plane ever landed. Social science and literature departments in general copy-cat what physics and math departments do, but it's empty and an illusion of knowledge. No plane lands at the social science airport. This was excellently demonstrated by the physicist Alan Sokal in 1986 (see Sokal hoax). He published a social science article without any meaning by imitating the writing (the words, the concept, and the articulation of thoughts) used by physicists. The paper was a hoax obviously, but it was accepted after being peer-reviewed and then printed in a social science journal. This was repeated in 2019 by Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay, and Helen Pluckrose. They wrote several 'fake' papers which were accepted in a social science paper (see Grievance studies scandal). They proved once again that social sciences do not have the tools to assess their knowledge nor that they can learn from their mistakes. Their thinking is not connected to reality and by its practice it is anti-civilization.
There are two questions. A) Why are they imitating? B) Why can't they see that what they produce cannot work? The second question 'B' is answered by the lack of a feedback loop with reality. As a reasoning method to justify their thinking they use essentialism. They are trapped by the language because it is their only source of knowledge. We owe essentialism to Aristotle and Plato, at least its formal description and use because I believe that it is a natural mechanism and that language as useful as it is, traps and cuts us from reality. Regarding the first question 'A', Karl Popper's insight on Socrates explains the Cargo Cult Pattern. The people of the tribes don't know what they don't know. They think that the knowledge they have is all the knowledge that there is. When you do not follow Socrates' wisdom you don't need to get more knowledge, which happens to be the one you don't know. Therefore when someone comes with the knowledge that you don't know, build things and make them produce something, the only action open to you is to imitate them and their knowledge. An imitation of scientific thinking is not the same as scientific thinking itself as advocated by Socrates. What the tribe failed to do while noticing that no plane land, is to make the assumption that their knowledge was incomplete. It would have been the first step to take. We may find an excuse for that pacific tribe, but for western intellectuals and academics, there is none. So what stops them from properly using scientific thinking instead of imitating it? Personal honesty, or the lack thereof in that case according to Richard Feynman. From a Karl Popper perspective, it's essentialism, but intellectual dishonesty is part of essentialism use. However, my intention here is to focus on Socrates' thinking to explain the situation.
The Science fiction author and biologist Isaac Asimov wrote in 1957 a novel called 'Profession' (You can find it in: Isaac Asimov, the complete stories vol 1). In the future people are taught a profession by having their brain programmed by a machine. The choice of the profession depends on interviews you have while little and your brain pattern. However, a very small number of people are not fit for any implantations and therefore can't have a profession. They are moved to one of the houses for the feeble-minded and this is kept secret by the government. The hero will have to go to one of these houses but he will rebel and discover the truth. The houses are in fact 'Institutes of Higher Studies', and are dedicated to people with independent thoughts. Back to Socrates and Plato. The educational program of Plato indirectly selects people, no matter how smart they are, that will accept the knowledge that is given to them, they will not be critical nor rebel against the system. This is the production of an elite that conforms. Such an elite wide open the door to an authoritarian regime. Reciprocally, those who work to have an authoritarian regime will seek to have an educational model based on Plato's ideas. There is a connection with essentialism for which the language, the words are all the knowledge that there is. With Plato, the knowledge you have is all the knowledge that is needed. Essentialism drives the way our elite is formatted. We need to move to a Socratic model which implies teaching scientific thinking, accepting to be potentially wrong, using reason-based teaching and reasoning, a feedback loop with reality, and therefore that there is a reality outside our own internal conception of the world as essentialism favors it. When our philosophers and intellectuals gave up on defining what truth is and finally that everything goes, they abandon the quest for knowledge and follow the Platonic method of becoming wise. The only knowledge that is left is your emotional knowledge and to tell stories. In that world, the stronger one has the right story. The tribe is now your world and reality has ceased to exist.
What teaching should we develop? It starts with the use of reason as a feedback loop with reality which is also something that is external to us. It is important because we have no control over it. The speed at which an object falls on the ground is independent of what we think of the object or the fall. We can distort the result, not the fall itself and since we all share the same reality someone can come and check the measurements. The scientific method comes next in the teaching as a manual for the use of the feedback loop and then the scientific thinking asking to acknowledge that you might be wrong and therefore don't own the truth. There are truths but we're not the source of all knowledge just a bearer. Despite all our efforts, it will not be enough because an important element is missing which is the character of the bearer of knowledge. We need warriors of knowledge, people who value knowledge more than their life. Even if we take I.Q into consideration a still large number of people can be educated at a high level and that's good news. However, when threatened which will inevitably happen when the collectivists show up, they will fold. Fortunately, some will not, there will not shut up and be ready to sacrifice themselves for the truth. This is a pattern that has been constantly observed for the last two thousand years and even if you're not Christian, Jesus expresses that behavior. The fight for the truth is more important than me. That ability to sacrifice yourself for knowledge is directly connected to Socrates' teaching. In order to accept that you might not know everything, that you might be wrong, you need to be ready to sacrifice your own certainty and be challenged. That could be used to define intellectual honesty - ready to sacrifice your own certainty. It doesn't mean that only people with that kind of personality must be taught, but they have to be the guardian of knowledge of our civilization. I call them the Erudite. Those people do not have a function but a role in our society, which makes them unique.
Note: We can observe the result of non-Socratic thinking (or pre-Socratic which essentially means pre-civilization and tribal primitive thinking) in our actual society, promoted by the collectivists. For the last past years, many of us have witnessed daily two forms of It. The first is often called cognitive dissonance which consists of statements that are in full contradiction with reality - ex: there is no difference in behavior between men and women. The second is the inability to define things - What is hate-speech? What is a woman? No wonder planes can't fly with collectivists.
In 2009, the buzzword in the USA was healthcare or Obamacare. Back at that time, I was clearly on the side of national healthcare as we have in France. Here is a personal example of its usefulness. My wife and I were about to make a road trip on Quebec's roads, but then I had a health issue. Without French healthcare, the cost of all the examinations I had to go through would have had canceled our road-trip project. It was not as serious as expected, and we enjoyed three marvelous weeks in Canada. My example still stands, but people must be aware of a deeply hidden consequence of state healthcare. It might be corrected but even if it's the case, I fear that it will cost too much, and the solution might be simply to stop the state healthcare and go for local, non-state, help. I believe state healthcare is a good but dead-end idea. It has all the appearance of a fine concept to help people, but in the end, it decreases significantly the quality of healthcare. How come?
The term 'medical loop' I will use describes a system in which the patient is no more the focus but the system itself. The evaluation of the quality of service shifts from the resolution of the patient's problem to the efficiency of the system to treat everyone. Healthcare is considered optimum if everyone is in the system, not if the doctors have found the solution to your problem. Being in the system means you will be cured. The patient enters a medical loop, in which it will travel from one specialist to another until it gets better. In many mild cases, people are just fed up going to the doctor and despite their problem not being solved, they drop out of the medical loop, while the system congratulates itself on the patient's healing.
When a state is in charge of the healthcare system, by the theoretical definition it defends the people. However, it is also a system, which is so powerful that the other actors have no other choice to become systems themselves. In the end, the doctor system, the insurance system (private), the lawyers, and the state, speak together. Systems care only about systems. When the state takes over healthcare, all other systems are subordinate to it because as a state, it makes laws to which all other systems are bound. It also has control over the money, like taxes. The other systems will fight for their lives, and the patients will be sacrificed. There is another reason, which is mechanical. Any system tends to optimize itself and as a rule starts to be unable to take all the particularities of individuals who constitute the system, aka the patients. Doctors see no more a patient but an 'agent' that needs to fit into the system. The return of information from the patient to the doctor will no more be relevant, only the feedback between systems.
The quality and effectiveness of the healthcare system will slowly decrease. The skills and level of knowledge of practitioners will follow the same trend. They are trapped in a feedback loop as I have explained in the chapter 'Thinking in systems', the drift to low performance produced by the evaluation based on previous performances. The real evaluation which is given by the patient's health status is no more taken into consideration, only the evaluation of the system by the number of patients it can handle.
There are also side effects. The first is accountability. The second is trust. If the patient stops being the point of reference by which the medical workers evaluate the quality of their work, to whom are they accountable? The answer is, to the system and themselves. The system doesn't care much about what they do to the patient if the system still runs, and they will certainly not accuse themselves of any wrongdoing. The result is no accountability, whatsoever. The second side effect is that trust between doctors and patients is damaged. Doctors know full well about the consequences of a trust issue with patients, regarding the diagnosis and treatment. It is simple. To treat the patient you need to make the right diagnostic and to be able to do that you need reliable information from patients, which is possible only if trust exists. Moreover, most doctors, in a bizarre way, think that they still help people, while, in reality, they are only helping themselves. By 'bizarre way', I mean, they twisted reality to avoid facing what is happening and what they are taking part in. They prefer to protect themselves by surrendering to their new master, which leads to psychological and sometimes physical mistreatments of patients if the patient rebel against the medical loop. An unsatisfied patient is not someone whose health is not going better, but an aggressive person which the system needs to take care of, it follows the criminalization of any opposition to the medical loop.
A quote from Sir Roger Scruton, a true Gentleman, and scholar: "Beauty matters. It is not just a subjective thing but a universal need of human beings. If we ignore this need, we find ourselves in a spiritual desert."
When we look at any work of Michael Angelo, we see beauty and this is shared by most people around the world. The same can be said for the great pyramid of Giza. Why is that? What triggers people to see the beauty in those works? Two words answer excellence and transcendence.
Excellence is to aim for the greatest competencies, there is to get in a field. Transcendence is to raise yourself above any expectation to achieve a work, a convergence of competencies, and will. The pyramids of Giza are beautiful because the engineer raised themselves above any other before them while mastering the art of architecture as never seen before. It inspires not only respect and admiration, but a call to follow their path. When you look at the paintings of the Sistine chapel, we clothe ourselves with the beauty that has been created, and we are proud to wear the greatness of our species and the choice to build a civilization. Beauty is a civilizing force.
The search for beauty is the quest to find the divine in this world and to embrace it. It is an act of spirituality and communion even if you don't believe in God. The quest of the divine gives us purpose. The relation with the ancients is intellectual rigor, which produces a state of mind that will allow you to achieve excellence, transcendence, and to have a systematic approach to knowledge. Without it, there won't be any beauty in this world, and the quest for the divine, for something greater than us, would be meaningless, as our life. Beauty is a civilizing force, its absence a sign of degeneration.
Beauty is not restricted to art, but it is commonly understood and expected for art to be beautiful, even if that's not what we have today. Why should be there beauty in Art? Because it is a witness of excellence, of great realization, of conquest with the sense of a victory over impossible odds, about the common people and their life, about events that shape our society and culture, about great people who have become role models. What beauty does mean for art? The quality of the execution and the idealization of the model, or scene so that most people can identify. They also have to have grace and details.
I will try to answer a very important question about manipulation because often it remains undetected and even a sanity check won't help. How can smart and honest people become agents for an ideology, without knowing it? The general answer is a careful selection of knowledge to which they have been constantly exposed and allow to guide conclusion, result, and decision to a specific path with a veneer of rational cohesion. People who are the victim of it, believe honestly that not only they are rational but coherent. This is not the first time I make that statement, and it is based on the hypothesis that the method by restriction of information is achievable and efficient. Time for me to prove it.
Starting in the 1980s, research has been conducted about how knowledge is processed. We have significant results now, and they have been replicated. E.D Hirsch, Jr. in his book, "Why knowledge matters", mentions several studies. Teun van Disk, Walter Kintsch (1983), "Much of the information needed to understand a text is not provided by the information expressed in the text itself but must be drawn from the language user's knowledge of the person, objects, states of affairs, or events the discourse is about". He quotes other studies: The Recht-Leslie study (1998), the Schneider et al. study (1999) which adds that I.Q plays no significant role, only knowledge known before the reading of a text, the Arya et al. study (2011). One must observe that the blank-slate/postmodernism type education which focuses on skills instead of knowledge, was imposed as soon as the early 1970s, without any proper researches. We didn't have the tools and the method to conduct them at that time. It's no more the case today, and the results show they were wrong. They ignore the result and they still continue on that line, despite the dramatic decrease of competencies. This tells us that it was all ideological from the beginning like Lysenkoism was.
What these researches show, is that knowledge is paramount. But there is something more and that's my point. The knowledge, you have, shapes the way you understand new knowledge. Smart and determined teachers can orientate education so that new knowledge, to which their students are exposed, will be positively or negatively understood in line with a specific ideology. The hypermnesia of the Nazis, the rejection of the scientific method, the criminalization of the theory of evolution,... to add to the manipulation, a superficial veneer of coherency is given to the meager knowledge they have, which exonerate them to seek out or take into consideration any new information. They believe they are rational, and some even scientific in their method, therefore the others become irrational and unscientific, like the climate 'deniers'. The chapter of 'The fallen heroes' gives examples of how our culture is used to shape minds.
Some people seek the truth and others seek to be the truth. One is an adventure to discover the breathtaking marvels of the universe and ourselves. The other is the castle of fear, which has to be built to protect one from any existential threats because they know.
At some point in my life, I needed answers to difficult questions and no one around me had any answers (I spare you the story of years of false flags, lies, stupidity, and manipulation I have to go through to reach that statement). Luckily, I was working on a project that led me to the English world and more precisely to the skeptic community (around 2003), which doesn't really exist in France (I was the only French in Berlin in 2011 for the international skeptic conference). In 2008, I decided to enhance my English to be able to read books recommended by the community, without the use of a dictionary. The community has heroes like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, James Randi (who is one of the founding fathers of the modern skeptic community) ... and of course Karl Sagan. Most skeptics have a strong attachment to science and Carl Sagan. He became famous with a TV-show in the 1980s, called 'Cosmos: a personal voyage'. The show became the most influential show that had ever existed with over 500 million people watching it. Many teenagers were influenced to make a career in science. However, like a well-known apple, the sweet sugary taste of the skeptic community was poisoned. Not because something was added to it, but because something was taken from it. The betrayal of their heroes was not about what they said but what they failed to say and still are.
Lysenkoism: Pseudo-scientific theory that opposes the theory of evolution, lasted more than 30 years, involving more than 1 billion people, and was connected to two large-scale famines in the 20th. That's a hell of a story for a counter-scientific religion-like movement. Skeptics could learn a lot by studying it, but they don't. Most are not even aware of its existence.
Dualism, also known as Ghost in the machine. It's the underlying mechanism to most mumbo-jumbo practice: Astrology, medium, pseudo-medicine, named it... they all, somehow, requires that the mind has some sort of feature that has nothing to do with biology. This is the primary target of the skeptics, and they know nothing about the ghost in the machine as an ideology.
The Noble savage: Civilization/society corrupts man is one of the main thesis of Rousseau's philosophy. Since science is at the heart of our modern civilization, there is obviously a serious issue to propose that ideology. It is one of the few core concepts of our modern education system and all the environmental movements. Is there any person on this planet that does not consider those two fields as important? Apparently, the skeptics don't.
Essentialism: It opposes formalism, which is the method used by science. When you support science, you support the scientific method, and one question should come as obvious to you. How do the people who oppose science build their reasoning? All the great intellectuals who support Marxism, all the great philosophers who have produced post-modernism do not have random thoughts. They must have a method. What is it? Would the skeptics not want to know about it?
Post-modernism: They reject reason, truth, reality, the scientific method, knowledge, and everything that allows a coherent organization and exploitation of thoughts. Try to say that to a skeptic: "Those who enter the skeptic community, should leave all hopes for reason, truth and reality", they will rebel. Therefore, wouldn't the post-modernists be a priority target, for the Skeptic community, rather than some poor guy with his dowser stick?
No need to add more missing topics, I believe I made my point. To top it off, you are told to never blend politics and science. Here is the truth - the whole scientific method and science, in general, are a political project, because the structure, the organization, and the decisions we take are based on those two. They have shaped our civilization since the beginning and long before we give them a clear definition. This should be the starting point of the skeptic community: who are my enemies? It appears that all of the topics that are carefully avoided have political implications and point always to the same side of the political spectrum, the left. They don't want you to know about the very ideologies that drive them.
Regarding post-modernism, the 'Sokal hoax' (1996), was proof that the academics were aware of a serious problem in the literature department. Richard Dawkins, like all other skeptic academics, knew about it because he is quoted in the edition I have of "Fashionable nonsense: Postmodern intellectuals' abuse of science" which is a follow-up of the hoax, while never focusing its attention on it as a skeptic or an atheist. There is a second reason: as a rule, academics never attack academics. You might think that it's group behavior, and you will be right, but there is more to it. Smart and highly educated people refuse to believe that people like them not only can state absurdities but crazy things treating the whole civilization. They refuse to believe because they may be that person. In fact, their belief in their superiority (they can't imagine being wrong) is what makes them an easy target for mind manipulation. What a disgrace. It's not only a problem of self-esteem but of social status which they refuse to undermine by criticizing their colleagues or should I say 'brother in arms'. Here is the big secret: people know about all of this, and they tolerate the behavior because the elite has a utility for them. If that utility fades away, it creates an imbalance that sooner or later will need to correct itself, as history has taught us. Read about the French revolution or the Cultural Revolution in China, they were bloody, but they also break the intellectual elite. The academics need to evolve in their understanding of their role in society, or we will lose them and this cannot be allowed if we want the autonomous individuals to be the center of society's project and not the collective.
2001, a space odyssey is a 1968 movie, a commercial success, a symbol for several generations born before and after, but also a very well-done propaganda and (re)education tool. The movie lets the public think that it praises civilization by showing the conquest of space, but the ideology behind it says otherwise. The discrepancy between the apparent and the hidden message explains why people are left in confusion after watching the movie. What does the movie say, truly?
The movie starts by showing our ancestors in their environment, 4 million years ago. One day as they wake up they found a black monolith where they live, and they touch it. Shortly after, one of them discovers that using a long bone he could punch things with more energy. They start to kill animals around and then members of other tribes. At that moment the music of 'Thus spoke Zarathustra' by Richard Strauss, is played and the movie jumps to the year 1999, we are in space. Before I start explaining, the new generations born after 1990 need to know something. I was born a few years before the movie and all my life I have seen people having endless discussions about the meaning of the movie without making any progress. Even now, in 2020, the explanations you will find will leave you astray in a dense and obscure forest of words, without meanings.
Here we go for the explanation. The monolith teaches our ancestors to use tools, not for the killing but to build a civilization that's why we jump directly to the year 1999. By definition, the monolith represents the ideology called the blank slate, which states that what we are taught and the experiences with have in life define us. That ideology, while widely shared, is erroneous because we know today that a large part of what we are made of is a genetic programming, but there is still a part of us, and this is important, that is adaptable. This is the debate 'Nature vs Nurture'. The answer is not binary, all nature or all nurture, we are programmed (nature) and programmable (nurture) and it is not 50/50 but more 70/30 (it depends on what part of us you refer to). Those who defend the blank slate ideology reject the theory of evolution but more importantly consider that only the nurture answer is the right one, and that's what the monolith represents. The blank slate ideology is embraced by the irrationalists, they reject reason as a means to understand the world, and collectivists are irrationalists. The choice of music is perfectly in line with that explanation. Composed by Richard, Strauss, it refers to the work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche 'Thus spoke Zarathustra'. At the beginning of the letter I mention Julien Benda, who reminded us of the words of Zarathustra "Be hard, be pitiless, and in this way dominate". Nietzsche as a philosopher is considered to be an irrationalist, he opposes reason. He is part of the counter-enlightenment movement mostly represented by German philosophers (Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger to quote a few). The blank slate is a denial of human nature. The word of Zarathustra and therefore Nietzsche's philosophy is the philosophy of will of power, not of knowledge of the world and ourselves, and our existence is only defined by that. Two visions of society oppose each other since the beginning of our civilization and started with the war 400 B.C between Sparta (the warriors), and Athens (The merchants). To associate the monolith with the blank has a conclusion. Civilization was taught to us and means that civilization, our actual civilization is not the natural course for human evolution. We are not meant to be civilized, but to live in primitive tribes. This is in perfect tune with another ideology, the Noble Savage that state that human are good naturally and it is the society that corrupt us, make us bad. The French philosopher J.J Rousseau introduced that concept in the 18th century, and today collectivists follow that ideology.
The end of the movie is in two steps. The first is when the super-computer HAL-9000 is deactivated. To understand what it means you need to know what HAL-9000 represents symbolically. Some have made a parallel with Frankenstein's monster and that's the correct answer. Marie Shelley was one of the romantics that started to be politized to impose their ideology, the noble savage. Frankenstein is an ideological statement. They betrayed the people because they hid behind works of fiction their propaganda. Hal-9000 is the monster that civilization products whether it is on purpose or not, like Frankenstein's creation. The deactivation of HAL-9000 is a statement that we should do the same with civilization. At the beginning of the movie, when our ancestors are taught civilization, they become immediately murderous and full of rage, the rage to kill, and to destroy. That's the message of the noble savage, humans in nature are peaceful, but when we become civilized we become monsters, we are Frankenstein. Again we know that it is not true, the Chimps go to war and they don't need tools to kill each other, nor civilization to make them bad. Humans are not noble and peaceful and they don't need civilization to become killers. Like the blank slate, the noble savage ideology is in denial of human nature. The second step, after the deactivation of HAL-9000, is considered the part of the movie that is the most nebulous. To navigate through the second part of the movie's end you need to keep in main what the movie is all about, civilization. We see the main character aging, what he represents as a symbol is civilization itself, and more precisely a dying civilization. This explains what the baby in the womb represents, a new civilization and it's about to come to life. What civilization? The film ends with the music of 'Thus spoke Zarathustra' and this links us to Nietzsche again. What he proposes as a solution for humankind is the 'übermensch', a man who defines his own values, morals, and goal, but as Jordan Peterson explains you can't define yourself, create yourself. We always come back to the denial of human nature and as Steven Pinker explains in his book 'The blank slate', in modern times that denial is supported by three ideologies, the blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine. Karl Popper expresses it more broadly and most deeply, the confusion between natural and man-made laws with the consequence that you believe to control the elements that compose the universe and yourself. You don't need to walk far away to reach the belief that you can create human beings as they should be and the civilization that goes with it. (note Dec 04, 2020: This is basically the project of the great reset).
Several generations have been betrayed by their heroes from movies and Tv-shows. The iconic Star-trek in the 1960s shows the opposition of emotions - which is represented by the human crew of the spaceship Enterprise- and reason - represented by a Vulcan named Spock. The aim is to show that without emotions, one cannot function properly and the adventure of Spock is to discover his part of humanity (His mother is human). What do they think about reason? They hate it, as Captain Kirk says, "I hate to use the word, but logically..." (episode: The devil in the dark). The separation of reason and emotions is absurd. We are creatures of both, but it's fully in line with the romantics and the post-modernists message, to deny and oppose it.
Another example. Their understanding of the theory of evolution is flawed but again in a very particular way. As Spock put it in 'the cloud minder' episode: "They're all the same species. Those who live on Stratos and those who live below, all originated on the planet. Their physical and mental evolution must be similar. That is basic biological law." No, Mr. Spock, it's not. By his statement, Spock rejects the theory of evolution. Maybe he made an error? Well, errors are random but when it goes always in the same direction, they are the result of an action, a plan, and a way to understand the world. Most people think like Spock and not Darwin and there is a perfect valid psychological explanation for it. None of us like to think that within our species, there are such variations that they might impact our ability to live together (that's why he said their evolution must be the same). The error of Spock is that the environment is the master key to understand evolution. While this is true for every planet in our universe and accounts for variations among species, it's also true for continents and islands which implies variations within a species, that's what we call sub-types or more commonly races. The betrayal is worse than you think. For the anti-Darwinists, if there are differences, they must be the result of an external force and therefore, there must be a culprit. For example, if they are differences in I.Q between groups of the same species and it doesn't come from a poisonous gaze like in that start-trek episode (The cloud minder), then it must be the doing of a group over another group, who maintains some sort of intellectual slavery. According to them, evolution within a species must be understood as the pressure of the social construction of the society for the benefit of one group over another. Not only do they lie, but they push for an ideology that opposes the theory of evolution. That strategy applied on a large scale was already present with Lysenkoism, and we can trace it back at least to the mid-19th century.
The whole star trek franchise is based on the hate of reason, science, and industrialization. The follow-up, in the 1980s replaced the Vulcan with an android, called data, as the science officer. If you use reason you have to be a robot which is what Karl Popper explained when he described how irrationalists perceive rationalists as "Pursuing soulless and largely mechanical activities". Then came The Borg, as a mechanical race, a threat to the whole galaxy. Of course, the ultimate goal of that android is to become human by experiencing emotions, not rationality (making calculations does not allow you to experience rationality. It is the confrontation with the reality, of the world our brain produces, from the information collected by our senses, and by using a feedback loop we call reason). Behind that will, is the concept of being able to become whatever you want. No, you can't, nor can a Klingon become an android or a human. The Klingons will still hear 'the call of the warrior' (Klingons are described as a warrior species). The reality is that the irrationalists are the ones who can't imagine having emotions by simply being rational, thinking logically, or using science to solve problems. They describe everything that is linked to reason and logic as cold-hearted. Many have observed that irrationalists can't joke, and it's somehow puzzling. Jokes not only imply free speech but often imply some sort of irrational and/or unexpected turn of events. For the irrationalists, it's their daily life.
Science fiction as a genre is more targeted because it attracts people who have an interest in science. It's a well-designed snare for rationalists. The issue is that most of its public is male, like in STEM. The Tv-show 'The X-file' was designed to enlarge its audience to females, without being specific to it. Each episode is a development of the irrationalist view over our society, based on a set of ideologies: blank slate, ghost in the machine, post-modernism... For example, a few episodes are dedicated to monsters who need to feed on humans. It is always explained that they do what they have to do to survive, they are not monsters. If we see them as such it is because of the biases of our civilization. This is in line with Michel Foucault's view on crazy people inside our society. A very influential post-modernist largely influenced himself by the philosophers Nietzsche and Heidegger who were no friends to rationality.
Karl Popper explains how irrationalists see the world. I quote "Man, he holds, is more than a rational animal, and also less. To see that he is less, we need only to consider how small is the number of men who are capable of argument; this is why, according to the irrationalists, the majority of men will always have to be tackled by an appeal to their emotions and passions rather than an appeal to their reason." I beg to differ with the irrationalists and everything that defines me is built on that assumption; most men are capable of reason. So did Karl Popper. If I'm not mistaken, we should find, in Star-Trek, the idea that within a species, some cannot have access to upper reasoning function. Movie 'The undiscovered country', after the arrival of the Klingon delegation, we can hear, "You know, only top-of-the-line models can even talk...". That text comes from a specific ideology, the one Popper was talking about, because from an evolutionary point of view, all members of a species will achieve the basic functions of their species. Speech is among those basic functions as do the ability to reason. There will be differences in their capacity to perform those functions, but not in their existence.
When you take all the ideas that define the irrationalists' view on human nature, you can read the implicit assumption that a group of people has to lead the rest by their emotions like animals. The power struggle, expressed by the post-modernists, is about to decide which group will lead the herd. As Karl Popper demonstrated, this was already included in Hegel's Philosophy and even sooner in Plato's philosophy. The European civilization has endorsed the legacy that opposes that vision and to my knowledge, no other civilization has done so. All men are born equal (not in their ability, but their right to explore them as they see fit to do it), and they are capable of self-determination. It is our mission to make sure that all can have opportunities to develop to the best of their abilities.
Note: No wonder they hate game theory, which is based on the hypothesis that on average, men act rationally, following their personal interests. Worse, Game theory can work only if people act as autonomous individuals, not part of a collective.
The revolutions of the 18th century have brought universal and basic rights to individuals. It was necessary because they were legitimate needs to have more. However, in the 1960s political groups were eager to sell rights, everything was about rights to the point that it became a central political argument that eclipsed all others. What about responsibilities? We can't live a life without any responsibilities. Responsibilities toward yourself, the people dear to you, and more broadly to society. What are, precisely, the differences between Rights and responsibilities?
Rights are what you ask for, what should be given to you by society, but these don't tell you what to do when you wake up in the morning. Responsibility is what you have to do for yourself and the other people around you, these tell you to wake up in the morning, because if you don't the world will fall apart. Nothing is indefinitely given. But shouldn't we have rights? Of course, what you need are rights allowing you to take your responsibilities on your own, to manage your life. When you have them, then time to go to work, take your responsibilities, and build a life for you, your family, and civilization that will ensure that those values have a future. The future is not a right and happens only if we take the responsibility to have one.
There is no reasoning that can touch their souls. Their mind is gone, an empty shell programmed to respond to specific stimuli, usually words but also behaviors. They are trained to recognize the smallest difference in behavior, which will indicate that you're not part of the collective. How do you recognize the ideologically possessed? They are predictable because they live in a frozen world that can never change and even less improves its rules. Their goal, like ant soldiers, is to chase and put down any being who does not think the same way. The importance they give to emotions equals only their ability to shut them down when fighting their enemies with the aim to wipe them out.
They will constantly expose you to tiny aggressions and there is no way to get some justice. Even if you could, there are so many of them that you can't respond to all without drowning psychologically. The consequence is that step by step you will accept them. When those who work to establish a totalitarian system will come to you and ask you to do tiny things for them, you will do it, even if it takes away your humanity. It is a subtle strategy of harassment whose function is to reprogram people to willingly abandon their will to defend their rights to be an individual.
The difficulty to understand the power of the collective is the absence of a central organization that tells people who should be aggressed and how with a remarkable constancy. That's how it happens. People who have given up on their individualism and personal responsibilities can't help themselves. They need to convert individualists to collectivism and all the mumbo-jumbo that goes with it. For example, and that's an experience that most science lovers will recognize when invited to a party, and you're known to be the rationalist or scientist of the group, there is always one, at least, who will come to you in the hope to prove you that science can't explain everything and convert you to some mumbo-jumbo theory. Nobody tells them to do that, there is no textbook about it but there is a clear pattern of behavior. Like ants, collectivists are animated by a few patterns that they systematically apply. It produces a perfect illusion of coordination, while there is none.
The definition is straightforward. A beta-male is not an alpha-male. The common agreement of what defines an alpha male is taken right from the animal realm, a male that wins the competition against other males (that's how the collectivists see us, and more particularly as primates - violent, dangerously stupid, and raping females all day long, which is not really what describes the life of any primates but that's not their problem). In the modern human realm, it will be smart, hardworking... everything that helps to have social and/or financial success. Success attracts females, and just in case you were not sure, female success does not attract men, on the contrary, no symmetry. That definition faces a serious problem. Amongst the elite, most so-called alpha males are acting like beta males especially when it comes to their interaction with the elite women. Those women manipulate men of the elite to get resources and social status, but more importantly, they are the vector by which the primitive tribe is kept alive. One thing is sure they are no alpha-females. I will come back to that question later.
Success is not the primary parameter for alpha-male, but to understand what it is, we need to go back in time. Competition among males is not only a gene selector but also a competition of competencies the tribe needs for its survival. The alpha-male brings peace and order to the tribe so that the hierarchy works fine, the hunting is good and the distribution of food is equal. He's a caretaker for the tribe. However, caretaking under the primitive and the civilized aren't the same. At a society level, it is best expressed by the warrior and the merchant spirit. For the primitive, the caretaking must have a direct interest for the caretaker and he redistributes the gain as he wishes. The chain of relations and competencies works by corruption and fear and not by trust and association of individual interest. He has no understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit, he just can't. This is not new, and remains us of the conflict between Athens and Sparta, between the British and German ways to build an empire, between convert and colonize. There is a feminine spirit in primitive caretaking. I feel, I act therefore I am, instead of I think therefore I am. The former implies that you understand the world through your senses. When you act you feel. I will help/act if I can feel the return of that help directly and I redistribute the gain I get by helping you, as I see fit. The civilized caretaker helps people to help themselves so that they will do the same and in the process build a network inside which the caretaker is a hub and will have a benefice in return but not necessarily from whom he helped directly. The delayed reward for the civilized caretaker can be very delayed and very complex.
Among all the characteristics that distinguish both caretakers and social organizations, one is the ability to say 'no' to women. As the dominant male, he will have a lot of solicitation for resources and social status in exchange for sex for heirs. However, those solicitations can harm the tribe's well-being and functioning. If that is the case, the caretaker must have the ability to stand in front of the female to tell her no. Nowadays, the 'no' is perceived as the symbol of the oppression of women by men, by forbidding their emancipation. There is no emancipation because you can't emancipate from your nature, this applies to both women and men.
There is a discrepancy between how women understand the world and themselves on one side, and how it should be run to work, and how they really behave on the other side. To survive in a world with such a discrepancy, women's nature relies on self-deception. We are equipped to detect and counter self-deception because it's dangerous for our survival. Two mechanisms help us, self-awareness (ability to know yourself), and self-reflection (ability to analyze your actions). We all are subject to that discrepancy, but women far more than men, and they lack severely both awareness and self-reflection. Another way to see the issue is that women are cut from reality and it impacts too often their ability to make the right decisions. This is commonly expressed by stating that women are irrational and contradictory. Thanks to the Internet, scientists have access to women's behaviors on a large scale. The results accumulated confirm what we empirically know about their nature. The data also shows that women are intuitively aware of that part of their nature and show a remarkable preference for men able to tell them 'no' and stand in front of them, rather than men who say 'yes' to their wishes. Women used the word confidence to describe those men. They are also overwhelmingly willing to let the man take decisions. Confident men protect them, not only from the world but from themselves and their self-deception. What happens to men who say 'yes, happens to a society, they become trapped inside the fantasy of a 15 years girl and chaos follows. What you just learn is good news, women are aware of their weakness inside a civilization, and they are smart enough to find ways to use men to help them, but not to fetish them. This means not only that we should allow men to be men, but we should encourage them to be the best men.
Ayn Rand would say that men are women's non-Kantian logic. She explains that Kant separated reason from reality, the consequence was to create a space in our understanding of the world in which concepts and thinking will grow to become much later what we know today as existentialism and post-modernism. She's not alone on that line. A non-Kantian logic (my choice of words) is therefore a logic that keeps reason and reality connected. Men provide women that link which grants them to navigate into this world with minimal troubles. Another way to explain it is to say that women need to borrow the "map of reality" of men. The map is our understanding of the world. The level of discrepancy between the "map of reality" and the reality determines our ability to survive. The "map of reality" of men has a far lower discrepancy than that of women. Nature has given men that better ability. When we say that men are interested in things, that's a consequence of that programming by nature. Also, reason helps to reduce even more that discrepancy. Reason is a feedback loop with reality. Women use emotions to read the outside world because they focus more on social relations.
What if women did not use men to get a connection to reality? Let's do it. There was a project to invite 30 women to be alone on an island for a few weeks but with all the modern comfort. The project was advertised and a woman influencer on YouTube made a presentation that is now famous. She had a guest, and during the first minutes of her presentation of the project, the guest remains silent, but then turn to her host and said "Do you imagine thirty of us on that island!" The host paused and after a long silence answered "You're right". Both never explained what they thought, but we all knew what it was. Women, without the presence of any men, can't organize themselves as a functioning group. Nature designed men them for that role. Another example. There was an experience, some kind of 'island survivor contest' with two teams, one composed only of women and the other of men. After a few days, the weather became unfriendly and the women camp a mess. A day later they call the men for help and what impressed me was that not only did they do well to survive but had a security margin to help the women (by the way, men are programmed to protect women and that's part of what defines a man). In conclusion one of the women admitted "It sucks that we need men". It's not funny because it means that those women do not recognize or accept their nature nor the nature of men. When a problem happens in our society and women have to deal with the natural differences in ability, they will regard the relation men/women as a cost/advantage relation, and use sex as a currency to get from men what they want/need and only that. No cooperation, no symbiosis, no building of a better world, nothing in common. If those women had the power they would use tyranny as an expedient. The whole is shrouded by the belief that women have higher moral ground. We cannot accept the degradation of women's morality by the actions of an elite that takes no liability nor acknowledge any, but put all is evilness on the people they vow to enslave. (text written in 2018).
The problem is that the more prone to self-deception the easier you can be deceived by others. This has been successfully used by the elite beta-female (alpha-female accept their nature, elite or not), selling their way of life to all women. Their product is the idea that all women can have it all, being a woman, a mother, and doing things men do, without having to bargain with them. In the process, women have lost track of who they are, their role in society. This is the origin of the women's liberation movement. The role of being a caretaker by men has been devalued, by the lie that women don't need it. When that happens, men start to change their sexual strategy, in particular those who are not the most awesome. Instead of trying to show caretaker characteristics, they sideline with women by showing constant agreement. Those men are not trustful, their friendly attitude toward women's movement is a lure like the beautiful color of the birds of paradise. By a feedback loop mechanism and generation after generation, the increase of beta males has become a plague. Another lie, another mechanism for creating beta-male is that women can raise their children alone and single motherhood has increased drastically with the disastrous effect on children particularly boys, producing beta-male by the ton. Too many mothers see the nature of their boys as an illness. That classical masculinity is now considered toxic is just a confirmation of the reality of my statement. The result is that the beta-male minority became a majority and then a plague with the consequence that the society is no more amendable. Being an alpha-male can only be taught by the example, not in a book, and only alpha-male build civilization. When something goes wrong in society women do not react, they are too agreeable even with tyrants.
How bad is it? The level of self-deception is extremely high right now. Do you have heard the expression 'SIMP'? Well, all our beta-males are SIMPs and they will do anything to serve women in a submissive position asking nothing in return. There was a study about women and bad boys. Women are attracted to bad boys but they also know that that kind of relationship end badly, therefore they know those bad boys are not good material for their children. Women always expressed their desire to find a 'good man' for their children and that's what should happen, but here is what the study says. During their ovulation women start to seek bad boys more often to have a child from them. How comes? Hormonal pressures change their brain so that they analyze the bad boys as a good man, they lure themselves without having any knowledge of it. That's how bad the self-deception of women can be. The SIMP can't help themselves and they will be supporters to the bitter end. Beta-male are a plague because they reinforce women thinking that they are deities and this will accelerate the collapse of civilization.
I asked myself that question 15 years ago and the answer is obvious when you have it which took me a few years. It appears that the beta-male plague is resolved by providing an answer to the collapse of civilization. Let's start with what is not the solution.
When our society is working badly, we all want to denounce it and some do. Before the Internet we wrote letters, articles, and books, even making a newspaper. We want to denounce the issues and get support from people so that they will be corrected. Superficially that solution works because you can always win at least one battle, and we felicitate our self of the change we have brought as if everything was fixed. They're not, we just tend to overestimate the impact our wins have on society. One of the reasons why we put more hope in our actions than we should is that we blind our self to one truth, a huge one. Structural issues of a society or a civilization cannot be patched because they are linked to the premises on which it is built.
Therefore, we only need to define a new society. I did that at the beginning. I wrote a draft for a new constitution, very different from what we have today and then I realize it was pointless. No matter how brilliant your solution will be, people will not understand your idea the way you see their work. Where you see coherency they will see problems. In the end, the only way to solve structural issues is to build a new society and show people how it works. They need to visualize how things can work differently, and only then they might adopt that new society.
The solution to the beta-male is to put them at work for what males are designed to do. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we can save most beta-male. We will reach some to get them to become again builders of civilization, but what is more important is to put men at work again. Men are of alpha-male material when they do what they are designed to do, and we have forgotten that. They are the caretakers and the walls that separate us from the primitives.
To put men to work has two meanings. One is literal, to put men at work again and an image comes to my mind. A man digging a hole to build the foundations of a house. The second meaning is about concepts. To take the same example, to build those foundations you will need concepts like stability and humidity. Themselves link to or are linked by other concepts like aging. To know what digging means or for the concept of what humidity means is not enough, you need to know more than what a dictionary can tell you. When women observe a bunch of men around a muscle car, or building a lodge cabin, or playing with RC model planes, they see children playing together. They're not, they practice concepts and play with them to understand their interconnections. Men are vital to civilization because it is built on concepts that produce a coherent system that survives from one generation to another generation.
It was Robert Heinlein who said, "Men test ideas and women test men" (if my memory is correct). He was a preeminent science-fiction writer during the golden age (1950-1960). Today we would say, men are interested in things and women in people because that's the result of many scientific studies run for the last 50 years. The first thing that shows Robert Heinlein's quotation is that our society knew what differs between men and women before scientific studies confirm it, the second thing is to connect things to concepts and ideas, and then mean to ideas.
The philosopher Ayn Rand wrote "There is a fundamental conviction which some people will never acquire ... and a few holds to the end of their days - The conviction that ideas matter... (meaning) that knowledge matters, that truth matters, that one's mind matters. Its consequence is the inability to believe in the power or the triumph of evil ... One feels that this injustice, or terror, or falsehood ... is the exception in life, not the rule ... The dedication to ideas leads, in practice, to almost involuntary goodwill toward men ... It leads to the attitude, in individual encounters, of treating men as rational beings, on the unstated premise that a man is innocent until proved guilty, that he is not evil until he has proved himself to be, evil...". From "The inexplicable personal alchemy", January 1969.
When Ayn Rand wrote those lines the use of the noun men was to be understood as all human beings, today the same text can be applied also to men as the male of our species. The ostracism toward men is ostracism toward ideas and a part of the society tries to convince us that both don't matter anymore, but I disagree. Men matter because ideas matter. Let's men go to work, not only to build a civilization and be the caretaker of humankind but also a rampart against the darkness as they always have been.
MGTOW is short for Men Going Their Own Way, a social movement composed of men who have decided to not care anymore about what women want, do, or say. The first reason for the existence of MGTOW is to protect themselves from women and society which overwhelmingly advantages women to the expense of men. They are also very critical about the nature of women in which the worst part is pushed forward and supported by society. Besides the dangerousness of women in our actual society, and if we put the sex activity aside, MGTOW finds women uninteresting, a waste of time and energy, and they are fed up with women's manipulation game. There are plenty of books, websites, and channels on the internet which talk about the movement to make up your own mind. Even if you do not agree it's an important social phenomenon despite mainstream media barely talking about it.
While I support their activities - like trying to communicate the real nature of women with modern knowledge as opposed to the 'Hollywood' vision which elevates them as deities - and the reason for its existence, I do not support the movement because they have no civilization project. The MGTOW cannot exist indefinitely because it's a reaction to something wrong - society's attitude toward men - that needs to be corrected. I have had the opportunity to discuss that matter with MGTOW members and they agree with the lack of a society/civilization project, but they answer me that they had to do something. Again, I agree but they should do more, and if they do not it's because there is something about their movement that they do not understand. Let see what it is.
There is a small group of women who defends men's rights from a law perspective but also a human perspective. Too often, nowadays, men are not even considered as human beings, allowing mistreatment by a wide range of women and the justice system shows its unwillingness to help. In 2016, a well-known MGTOW YouTuber made a video labeling those women 'White Knights' and called the MGTOW to be skeptical of their true intentions. One of these 'White Knights', the anti-feminist Janice Flamengo, a woman and now-retired professor of the University of Ottawa, didn't appreciate the treatment and answered the video. I admire the work of Janice Flamengo in analyzing the feminist movement from a historical, theoretical, and influential point of view. She clearly merits to be defended but in that particular case, she misses the point, but so does the whole MGTOW community. I believe that the men of MGTOW try unconsciously, to answer the call of the tribe in search of the group dynamic that men create when among themselves without any women. It follows that the MGTOW YouTuber's complaint was not about the work of those women but that they were women amongst men, while they desperately seek to return to the path of masculinity, to the alpha male as a caretaker and builder of civilization. In the movie 'Gandhi', a priest follows Gandhi and there is a great friendship between the two men, but at some point, Gandhi had to ask him to go away. The priest did nothing wrong he was just an English priest, and the independence of India could only be done by Indians. What's the solution for those white knight women? Asking them to leave would be counter-productive, but they should at least push for the creation of international structures managed by men to help men directly. Education, law protection, and job searching will be a start. To help men to help themselves, with zero presence of women. When there is a conference, men and women should be separated. If you love men for being men you will understand.
The new beta-male and MGTOW, which seem to originate from different planets, have a common characteristic, they're both the result of a push for a gynocentric society in the occidental world. Despite some success, MGTOW cannot win without a project. The gynocentric society that many elites are advocating for is just a consequence of a bigger aim, the return of the primitive tribe through collectivism. The states replace the males as caretakers and builders. MGTOW should go after that project. The future of women is in their trust in men and certainly not to marry themselves, a trend right now, nor to marry the state.
The archetype of the women, who give birth to humanity, places the feminine spirit at the heart of civilization. The theory of evolution forbids that archetype to have any validity. Some people advocate that women are the future of humankind, and it doesn't take much of an imagination to understand that those won't support evolution. Women are not the source of the creation of the world. According to evolution, they're just a tool, among others.
This calls for another archetype, the father. This archetype is often linked to order and opposes another archetype, chaos, which is associated with female characteristics. The father figure is to repel the archetype of the women as the womb of humanity, by cutting the umbilical cordon of the feminine spirit and making civilization happen. Males are not the all-mighty of the story, just a tool that drives them to become caretakers.
Archetypes are a symbolic representation of a general idea shared by a large number of people and encapsulate into a story. They exist to express an unconscious collective belief. The idea of a woman-oriented society, being the cradle of humankind, and on the other hand, the father figure who build civilization, are very old. A collective-centered group emphasis the women's womb archetype, while an individual-centered group follows the father archetype.
Females have in charge to produce offspring and feed them. Males to produce a civilization and feed the tribe. That's the contract. An implicit assumption of that contract is that females are biologically programmed to want as many kids as possible to ensure the future of the group. This expresses the obligation of result. But let's imagine that their desire to have kids doesn't ensure the future of the group. Since we exist as a species, it means that we follow an E.S.S for reproduction (note). If women are not the main variable to ensure the survival of our species, what is it? Have men a role? Regarding what's happening in our occidental world, it's a question that requires an answer. Immigration is not the solution to that specific question because human beings are not socially constructed. It's an evolutionary question.
Caution: I do have my doubts about the concept of archetypes because they leave too much room for interpretation. However, it's an interesting tool that we should investigate further - the idea that we humans have some sort of common representation of the world, due to brain patterns.
Note: An E.S.S is a set of mechanisms, we call strategy, a population follows to survive. Reproduction is such a strategy. The strategy is the result of adaptations, generation after generation, hence the use evolutionary, of rules and mechanisms to become stable. Stable means more efficient than any other and resilient from attacks of other strategies. It is important to be stable to ensure the survival of the population. Reproduction is such a strategy. E.S.S are the result of natural processes involving randomness and a large number of generations to acquire the necessary stability
Comment 11/2021: I have continued my work on that question and found a way to resume it. Women are gene selectors and men are genes propagators. It is the combination of these two mechanisms that produce the E.S.S for reproduction. The right number of offspring is in the hand of men, not women. This has far-reaching consequences on the social order of society. Another aspect is that if eggs were important for small group living very simply. Large populations owe their survival not in the protection of the eggs, but in the infrastructures that civilization provides.
Regarding education, I have focused my intervention on knowledge, however, reason being the lighthouse of the human mind, education is also about developing the use of that faculty. In many regards, it is more important than knowledge. I have already explained two important things about reason, a) that it is the mean by which a feedback loop is produced between our mind and reality, or between the internal world that our brain produces and the outside world with which we interact, and b) the fact that reason needs to be developed because it's not hardwired like emotions. However, there is something crucial that has to be taught alongside reason, knowledge, scientific thinking (Socrates) and scientific method and the philosopher Ayn Rand has explained it marvelously.
I quote: "But the crucial question here is, how does a man acquire knowledge? That process is not automatic, men do not automatically, by instinct, know to learn, they do not know automatically what is true or false, they do not know how to validate their conclusions and their judgment, how to make their conclusions consonant with the facts of reality. In other words, the ability to acquire knowledge, to reason, to think, is not innate and automatic. Man is born only with the capacity to think and to learn but he has to discover how to use that capacity he has to discover the law of logic, the rules by which he can validate his knowledge and determine what is true and what is false. That is the primary purpose of education. Education has to give a man certain fundamental facts known, before him, so that he does not have to start from scratches like a savage in the jungle and education has to give him the advantage of all the knowledge, at least the essential knowledge acquired by mankind before him, but above all education has to give him the knowledge of how to use his mind, how to acquire knowledge, how to carry it further. When a man leaves the university, he should know two things, the essentials in the particular field in which he is majoring and above all the ability to discover further knowledge. He should have been taught how to use his mind, how to think, how to pursue rational researches and I must add that that is precisely the point on which modern education has failed dismally. Today's education is achieving the exact opposite, not only it does not provide man with basic facts but it is devised almost as if it were on purpose, it is devised to stop, to negate, to restrict, to paralyze man's thinking ability... the entire anti-rational, anti-logical trend of today's philosophy and philosophy of education is devised to paralyze a man's mind." Ayn Rand, 1964 radio interview, Columbia University.
We always add to knowledge the necessity to teach critical thinking by the use of reason. This is an error and Ayn Rand corrected us when she explains that people need to learn how to validate their knowledge, in other words, how do you know that one information is right or wrong and how do you proceed to make that decision. The focus on critical thinking (as the focus of all thinking) bears the mark of the post-modernists, and more generally the collectivists/irrationalists, war on knowledge. They tell us, how dare you say that such or such an idea is true or false? As she explains, people are taught so that their minds will be paralyzed in their ability to make such a statement. The limit of criticism is when it reduces our ability to make judgments and we need to make judgments to acquire and produce knowledge and those judgments are reason-based and not emotion-based. Emotions don't provide knowledge because they do not need to be validated by reality. Ayn Rand's position can be linked to Socrates' ideas about knowledge. One must accept that he knows nothing compared to what he knows. It follows that since you don't know everything you might be wrong. To accept that reality allows you to make judgments, however, if you know everything that there is to know you can't be wrong, and to be sure of that you better never make any judgment.
Note: I haven't used much Ayn Rand's work because my work hardly integrates into the objectivism philosophy she developed. Nonetheless, there are obvious overlapping and they are very important. The use of reason as the mean by which we civilized our self, the goal of education, and the disastrous influence of Plato, Kant, Goethe, Rousseau, Hegel, Foucault... most of the German and French philosophy as an anti-enlightenment movement. I have great respect for that woman for she taught us many things, which are useful to see clearly, to see through the darkness that surrenders us in that 21st century.
Caution: French use the expression 'laisser-faire' to point to an educative method, while the English world, which borrows the expression from the French, uses it for economics and is written 'Laissez-faire'. The general translation would be 'let things go or unravel naturally' with the idea that an intervention might produce a worse outcome. In education 'Laisser-faire' is left-leaning (Rousseau's teaching), and in economics 'laissez-faire' is right-leaning (free market). Verb Laisser -> infinitive, laissez -> imperative.
In the 1970s and 1980s, France is under the spell of Françoise Dolto, a psychoanalyst whose aim is to revolutionize the place of the child in the family by changing the way we educate him/her. She's the epitome of the 'laisser-faire' education and defines herself as the adult who stands up for children. It is Rousseau at his best hidden behind psychoanalytic jargon. To let the child express its natural tendencies leads inexorably to the doctrine of 'laisser-faire'.
We can't let that happen, because for any child there are too many possibilities to understand their first experiences in the world, they need guidance. Let me ask you a few rhetorical questions: Do you think a child can find by himself/herself what means being honest, telling the truth, being humble, using reason, complimenting others, sharing, valuing hierarchy... not to mention their consequences like how it impacts the way we interact with others. If you allow children to escape partially that 'slavery' of the mind that of the first years of education and discipline, you undermine the whole project of becoming a free individual that has the resource to join a community willingly, take responsibility, and defend his ideas even against a mob.
There is a catch with the 'laisser-faire' which is why you should not focus on it. It is only a consequence of the doctrine of 'you should not impose, as an individual, your will on someone else'. They oppose discipline because they do not want to be reminded that, they themselves lack discipline, personal discipline. Discipline goes along with a set of values, which they lack too. Free individuals need a set of values, which constitute the base of a moral code, in order to be able to interact with other individuals in the best way possible. The collectivists don't need one, their interactions are regulated by the states. That's how Dolto, her followers, and in general all who advocate for the 'laisser-faire' doctrine get away with the accusation of depriving children of the necessary rules and guidance and making them less able to function in a civilized society. They never said, children should do whatever they want, but they never insist on the importance of the tyranny note) needed to discipline the mind, because that is precisely what they oppose. Their real objective is to undermine the discipline and moral code needed by each of us to function properly. We now know the result, they become narcissistic and tyrannical adults who see no issues to transform the society into a totalitarian state and a gigantesque Gulag. Well done Dolto.
Note: There is a need for a strong and clear hierarchy between the teacher and the children because there is a battle in their minds between their cognitive functions and their instincts. They will try to escape that battle and without that "tyranny", there is little hope that the battle will be won. Also, there is a strong difference between boys and girls in regard to the level of tyranny needed. Boys must be separate from girls.
At the introduction of the chapter 'The Dehumanization process: Essentialism'. I quote several authors among which Bret Weinstein, a former professor of evolutionary biology. However, there is a part of the story that makes him say the words below that I haven't talked about and from which there is a lesson to learn.
"This is a breakdown of the basic logic of civilization, and it's spreading ... and it actually does jeopardize the ability of civilization to continue to function...it has gotten to this point because we let it fester. These ideas were wrong when they first took hold in the academy ... these ideas are so toxic ... that civilization will come apart, so we have to fight this." - Bret Weinstein (excerpt from the video interview released by Mike Nayna: The hunted individual, part three).
Bret Weinstein describes himself as being on the left of the political spectrum. Everything started for him, when one day, students began to manifest outside his classroom to stop him to teach (a video was recorded and it's public material). He realized that not only there was no way to reason them, but the administration and his colleagues were not on his side. Any hope he had to continue to teach at the university ended when he was chased by a group of students on the campus. He resigned after that incident. The story goes viral, but many in the general public were not sorry for him, arguing that he deserved it because the evergreen project can only lead to the outcome he faced, the loss of civilization. I do understand the logic of those people, but I also know the feeling to be chased and realizing that nobody will help you whatever happens. You're on your own and it's as if civilization has ceased to exist, no support whatsoever. However, what is most important is not seen by both sides. There is a flaw in the evergreen project, in all the evergreen projects all around the world. My issue with Bret Weinstein is that he is unwilling to face that his deepest political believes fuel that flaw, more than that it is to accept the ideas of patterns. I'm not here to throw one more stone but to propose a solution to all the educational projects that create places like the evergreen college. I agree with people like Bret Weinstein, we need those places, but we also need to solve the flaw.
If you have read the letter you have learned that the poverty of the concepts conveyed by a right-left representation of our societies does not allow us to solve the problems we face today. My thesis is that we need to go back to the root issue of our civilization which is existential. We do not build a civilization for a hobby, or to have more comfort but because it is an imperative. We need civilization to function properly. Civilization is the byproduct of our need to control the production of our brain, which involves reason as a feedback loop with reality. That control has to be acquired through education. However some have more difficulties than others, which impacts their ability to fit the educational system, hence the existence of projects to offer a place for those who experience them. Please take note that we are not talking about students with intellectual or psychiatric issues, but students that do not fit the educational mold usually proposed to them. The flaw is to think that the solution is to reduce the demand for these students to discipline their minds. They need to learn to have more control not less but the way we teach them that control must differ from classical teaching, on that we agree. Control means to learn and develop two mechanisms I will describe, but above all, it's a personal choice. Do they want to think rationally or irrationally? Do you want your brain to mature or to have the one of a child? If they want to be dominated by their emotions then there is nothing to teach. The whole project implies educating their reward system. Just to make things clear, before I go further - We know the kind of objections to such a project "You want to educate robots", no and to take an example the delayed gratification, for many tasks, requires some education and has nothing to do with being a robot. The general idea behind that request is that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. People who forced others to be helped, help themselves to be righteous, and forgot about the dignity of human beings to be autonomous.
Back to the two mechanisms. The first is to develop the use of reason as a feedback loop with reality each time they produce an idea and this must become natural. The second is to develop their reward system so that the use of reason will be rewarded over emotions. Of course, we all have to go through that education but we must design specific courses to help those who do not fit the mold to develop those two mechanisms according to their personality. A reminder of why we need to be rational. If we let emotions drive our brain, and because of its power, we become the most destructive force on this planet. The ideology of the noble savage is a lie, a fable just to allow the irrationalists to not control their brain. Another reason is the need for reliable knowledge. Emotional knowledge is not reliable and cannot be passed on to the next generation. Civilization is built on reliable knowledge.
The question we have to answer is why is there a flaw at all? Incidentally, it will explain why Weinstein's colleague turned against him. As unique as the evergreen college was (the university might still be there but the project is dead), there are many similar projects around the western world. Most share a common characteristic that is hidden. Those places are not created to help the students that don't fit the mold, but a place in which the control of the brain's production is not a priority. Those projects are in fact, a gathering of adults who favor irrationality/instincts, and feel themselves at odd with a reason-based society. They will enroll students not to help them to become more rational but to state that irrationality is a thing. What happens to the evergreen college is by design, not by some random event that nobody saw coming, and the same happens to regular high-schools and universities all around the western world from London, Berlin, Sidney, Boston, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Rome... back to Evergreen. The whole is amplified by a student-centered pedagogy inspired by J.J Rousseau and the romantic movement which is to let students discover their own and natural strengths. This is easily concealed to the population because by definition those places exist to develop a personalized pedagogy. But a personalized pedagogy is not a student-centered pedagogy. The hiding of the project is in the confusion of the meaning of a personalized pedagogy. The fundamental difference is that one is teacher-led teaching, and the other is that students independently learn what they need to know. It is said that teacher-led destroys the natural abilities of the student and is associated with indoctrination, while the second allows the development of the student's personality. We can also add that the former is knowledge-oriented, while the latter is skills-oriented (Book: Seven Myths about education by Daisy Christodoulou). While that pedagogy was enforced in Europe in the 1970s and extended to children's education with the famous 'Laissez-faire' (let the child do what he/she feels the need to do) there was no scientific ground for it. We have now the data and as E.D Hirsch has shown, to give direction and guidance allow children to become independent adults. Reciprocally the more independent during his childhood, the more dependent during his adulthood. That dependence opens the door for real indoctrination. An emotion-based indoctrination can be achieved in a few weeks. Why do you think our world is led by child-minded people? Do you believe it's by accident? Regarding the debate of knowledge vs skills, we are now able to demonstrate that skills thrive on knowledge, therefore knowledge must be the focal point of education. We can redo the explanation using reason. Reason as a feedback loop mechanism between the brain and reality allows us to control what is right or wrong, true or not (Ayn Rand and Socrates must have said something similar long before me). It is a necessary mechanism to make your thoughts and to test ideas. However, that mechanism is not naturally developed and needs the education to function. Without guidance, you can't develop it and the consequence is to rely on emotions to know what's true or not. Since emotions cannot help, you will have to rely on the group and be dependent. In that regard not teaching children and students to develop and use reason is indoctrination, since if you do nothing you do make a choice, the choice of letting emotions be the mechanism that tells you what to think. That flaw explains why Bret Weinstein was chased (literally) on its own campus by a mob, and why his colleague turns against him. Those are not victims, they are actively participating in not teaching the use of reason and by that process let their emotions drive their actions which lead to the creation of a tribal collective.
Bret Weinstein explains that what happened is based on bad ideas and we failed to stand against them from the beginning. I agree but there have been scholars to tell us that something was wrong and to point to it. Karl Popper, Ayn Rand, and F.A Hayek have pointed to the rejection of reason, individualism, truth, and freedom and the danger of collectivism in the form of tribalism. They were not the first Schopenhauer, Mises, Benda to name a few. When you look at some of the videos taken in 2018 and 2019 at the evergreen college, tribalism and the loss of reason are what come to mind. Civilization needs the values I just mentioned and when we agree on that reality then it becomes obvious that we need to enforce it. (The society is based on axioms that define it and cannot be changed. Any change to those axioms implies a new society) We don't have much luxury here. Liberty is not the liberty to have all the liberties, and similarly to have a functioning brain for civilization. We can't allow the brain to fail to mature to favor cognition over instincts. Beyond the necessary set of values required to build a civilization, this opens the conversation about patterns of thinking and behaviors. 'Pattern' means that there are ideas and behaviors that are connected, working with each other. You cannot focus on a few, the ones you like and expect to make the whole civilization work. You have to take the whole bag, it's a matter of coherency, not of like or dislike. The importance of coherence is linked to the resiliency of the values system we choose as the foundation of our society. This is a flaw that we all have, we tend to cherry-pick the ideas and behaviors that we want to pass on but by doing so, generation after generation, the message loses its coherency until bad ideas come back without facing resistance. That's not all. Not only do we have to take the whole bag, but we also have to explicitly reject the bag of bad ideas. Relativism for one is in that bag, and we can add the blank slate ideology followed by the ghost in the machine and the noble savage, class struggles, etc. Those ideas are rather destructive or used as Trojan horses against civilization. Of course, we need to agree on what will be in both bags, but we need those bags badly. Everyone will know that everyone knows what is in one bag must be systematically enforced, taught, passed on... and what is in the other bag rejected. Period.
Comment 11/2021: The biggest taboo of the intellectual elites is that deep inside they believe in social engineering, and they are the engineers. Depending on the person that belief is more or less prevalent, but it is there. While they hide it and even lie to themselves, you can detect it regarding some of their position on topics like the role of men and women in society. They reject the idea that men and women have to have different roles. To impose the equality of men and women is social engineering because it rejects natural laws.
We don't think in terms of pattern and when we see a bad idea, we felt to consider that they also work in pattern and to envision the serious consequences that that idea might have if it takes root in our society. It will call for other bad ideas. I do not doubt that long before everything went south at the evergreen college someone like Bret Weinstein has seen behaviors and heard conversations from his colleagues that have turned on a red light but he has not reacted. We need to be clear-minded and honest about taking the bag of civilization instead of the one which leads to bloodthirsty tribalism. You need to tell people what to do and how to think especially during their young age because civilization needs constant work, it doesn't come free. While we all have the capability to reason, without the proper education it's useless and even then we have to keep going a mental discipline, personal honesty, and sometimes some courage and sacrifices. For the last decade, I can't count the number of times I have heard "It's no use, sir. I gave up saying something a long time ago". How many times have you thought it's useless to intervene? Too many times I will bed. People have started to witness the results and they don't like it. Be brave, stand up. Civilization demands it!
Two decades ago I had the opportunity to have several conversations with someone with which I had strong disagreements about the world and what knowledge represents. Involuntarily, he helped me to understand something crucial, most concepts are the result of very simple ideas that people hold true as if they were a fundamental force of the universe, but they rarely appear in any conversation. The first is contained in the sentence "The more I know, the less I know". It is a figure of style to express that we need to be humble and acknowledge that they are still many things that we don't know. However, it was not the way he understood and used that sentence. For him, it expresses the idea that knowledge is infinite, with the consequence that chasing knowledge in the hope to catch some truths is idiotic. It follows that science for example, as a project to get more knowledge is wrong. It also follows that you can't make any judgments, because you know nothing when you compare to the infinite unknown knowledge. On what ground could you judge one culture over another? My position on that question can be resume by "We know more than there is left to know". Of course, we don't know how much knowledge we don't know but it means that it might be infinite, but not that we can't make judgments with the knowledge we already have. You don't know all the knowledge in the universe to build a house so that it will be useful. That story is not about knowledge per se, but the perception that some people have toward infinity related to some concept, like knowledge.
The second was about history. For him, history follows cycles. Already at that time, I knew that it was not the answer to the question of what is history. He was very upset that I oppose the concept of cycles to describe history. Most people hold that idea for true and it comes from applying the concept of the cycle of life (death, born, death, born,...) to civilization. The symbol of a cycle is a circle. I try to convince him that it could be a sinusoid, but he was reluctant to the idea (he knew what a sinusoid was). The symbol I would use to describe my understanding of history is a straight line. Now imagine someone who believes very hard, often unconsciously, that the cycle of life and death, is the key to accepting our place in the universe, suddenly learn that another theory exists, evolution. With evolution what was before will always differ from what will become. It's a straight line, you never go back always forward, and by that and it opposes the circle. Also, the circle expresses the immutability of life, everything that was will come again in what has to become. In that circumstance not only is the knowledge of the past irrelevant but what happened before does not shape what will become. This is not the case with evolution and it reveals a practical and important difference. With evolution, the straight line, knowledge matter, knowledge about our nature, about the world, and history. We will take that knowledge to build a better society, to make it evolve. We don't know the future. With the circle and the cycle of life, the future is inscribed in the cycle. We have a destiny.
This linked us to the historicism of Plato so dear to Marx and Hegel, that they are laws inscribed in history. And those laws justify the engineering of society. The knowledge is at the service of the law of history. That's why they want to erase the existence of those who existed before and their past. That's why there are genocide and books are burned, even if today we used more sophisticated methods. You just have to take control of a library and then slowly make books disappear. If someone is not happy, it doesn't matter because you're in charge.
There is no future in that society. It will disappear and a new will rise without most of the knowledge of the previous one, no continuity of the human civilization, that's why it's not a civilization. Above all what they miss is a common project, which will lead to another project, and another. They have only the law of history to guide them and they don't exist, it is just a fable to distract the people while they move up nearer to the power. Our next project for all humankind is known and it's space, not Marxism or collectivism. My understanding is to build first a society resilient to the challenge of space and in the process sort out the mess of our societies, the whole is based on the autonomous individual, self-ordering system, localism, and an identity. The symbol of our future is a straight line, not a circle that leads to nowhere except to our own perdition.
There is a holy place called Mont Sainte-Odile near the city of Strasbourg, France. The place is very old first used by the Celts who build a wall around the mountain now called the Pagan Wall, then the Romans who build a road, and then the Christian who build a convent during the 7th. It was destroyed in the middle age and rebuilt during the 17th which is what you can see today. All around the convent, there is a beautiful forest and many ruins of middle age castles (within a 10km/7 miles radius. Altitude: 760m/2500ft).
For the last 10 years, something started to appear in the forest in large numbers, cairns. Cairns used to be indications for travelers, but those piles of stones are the expression of the Zen philosophy with a religious aspect. The piles express the search for the perfect equilibrium, the Yin and Yang. All Christian symbols, outside the convent, have been removed and paganism has made its return. There is a pagan pray at the foot of the stairs leading up to the convent, and a 'path of wonders' that is nothing more than a path of initiation to the Gods of the forest (animals). I've been told that people go there because it is a place of 'energies'. Part of me feels very sad when I go training in that forest.
If we sum up, the Mont Sainte-Odile has become a place for Christian, Celt, and Zen beliefs. How did we come to this? The need to get answers, to find a light that will guide us for the future that is always dark to our eyes. The necessity to map the world, to know what to do, or at least to have some guidance, even mere illusion seems to satisfy our brain. Knowledge has defeated the Celts and Roman beliefs. Christianity was built to answer questions according to new understandings of the world. But Christianity has been defeated by modern knowledge, at least partially, the material world. However, instead of looking to enhance their beliefs, people fall back to old beliefs, with the consequence to reject several thousand years of progress. They have lost their identity, not only as an individual, who they are but also as belonging to a group, what they are aiming for.
Let's go back to the perfect balance that expresses those piles of stones in the forest. It's a deep belief for those who erect them and one of the main tools they use to explain most aspects of life, but the perfect balance cannot help you to understand, even less to accept, the result of the question Nature vs Nurture. Not only it is not a black and white answer - 100% nature or 100% nurture, but the Nature part and the Nurture part are not even. To add to the difficulty that part that represents nature and nurture is not constant, it varies depending on many parameters. And of course, the nature of the nature part is not the same as the Nurture part. What you have from nature stays all your life with you while the nurture part dissolves when the years go by. How do you want to handle such a complex answer with the perfect balance? You can't! Unfortunately, I'm not finished because if we go deeper then I belong to a group of people who see beauty in the modern answer to the question Nature vs Nurture, while the other group finds beauty in the perfect balance and ugliness in the modern answer. The difference of view between those two groups is not a matter of knowledge, but how they perceive that knowledge and I know no way to bridge them, I mean how to change their view on what beauty is. Now we face the same question that comes back again and again - Why should we change their mind? To reject knowledge is the consequence of the return to old beliefs. The belief that primitive tribes are peaceful and live in happiness as Rousseau hypothesized. That's not true, we can't go back we need to move forward, that's is our mortal lot, and we need knowledge to do so better knowledge, and better ways to use it. Cannot go back is not only about knowledge but the way we answer questions. Those who want to believe that the answer to the question of nature vs nurture is nurture, believe that those who do not agree with them answer nature all the ways, but that is not the case. Not only the answers provided by modern knowledge have changed, but the nature of those answers too. They rely on another kind of reasoning. For the primitive men, the civilized man is a monster because he can't understand the nature of the answers given by the civilized men.
In the movie 'The thing from another world' (1951), a group of scientists and military discover a being from another planet. The opposing views between the scientists and the military represent exactly how many people feel. While the creature has proven to be dangerous and with an invasion plan, the scientists want to study it. The movie pictured them as willing to take the risk to destroy humanity to get some knowledge, by letting the creature survive. This caricature of the scientists' view says it all, knowledge can destroy humanity. One thing is sure, in that movie or reality, those who reject modern knowledge and the process of its acquisition never explain what they want (a working concept), how the society should be run. However the civilized man knows the answer, barbarian to the extreme, but they never want to face that future, a future without knowledge, knowledge of the world but also about our self. The primitive man just exists and feels. He doesn't think, he acts. He has no past and no future, only the present (carpe diem). He defines himself by opposing what his enemies are, allowing him to always have an enemy to manufacture. He confuses laws of nature and man-made laws. The acquisition of knowledge is a painful process for the individual and society. The civilized man embraces the coming changes, the primitive sees motives to fight back and return to older ways of life, which he presents as modern as opposed to the actuals. Between the primitive and civilized men, it is not a fight of ideas, but what it means to be human, and in the end, only one can survive.
If you believe that you can think because you can speak, then no. If you believe that you can think because you can quote any authors that ever existed, and have such a large vocabulary that even dictionaries are jealous of you, then no. If you believe that an association of words that make you feel good is thinking, then no. So what does it take to think?
Firstly, you have to acknowledge that you can be wrong, but it's a live experience and you won't be sure you can do it until you have faced it. You won't be sure because there is a price to pay to acknowledge to be wrong, and you won't know if you have what it takes to pay that price until you have faced it.
Secondly, you have to have a point of reference on which you have no power, no control and that is reliable. For the young, it's their parents and then their teachers. By itself this explains why child-centered education is wrong, a child does not know how to correct himself, nor can take the responsibility for the price to pay for being wrong. It also explains why the young need to learn mental discipline and respect for authority. When you become an adult, your reference point becomes reality and that reality cannot be limited to the people you know but the universe. The people who refuse to have a point of reference call themselves the open-minded, and the other the absolutist, because of the unicity of the point of reference, in a sense it is absolute, but so is nature. They're, in fact, the "close-minded" people because their point of reference will be internally defined by the language, itself shaped by their emotions. When they say that you're not open-minded, they mean not open-minded to their feelings.
Thirdly, You have to train your reward system to favor reason-based decisions over emotion-based decisions to be able psychologically to control the flow of negative emotions, because not all decisions are easy to take, nor easy to deal with, nor easy to face when they failed.
Fourthly, you have to accept universalism. It opposes relativism, in the sense that there are truths in the world we all share. Not the world we create, but the world that was here before us and in which we live. Universalism vs relativism is linked to the question of natural laws vs man-made laws and that's what makes the difference between the closed and open society, the primitive and civilized man.
Regarding the reference point and the definition of an open or closed society. If you have an external point of reference for your thinking and truths then you are functioning in an open society with the meaning of being open to the world outside that society and don't fear being corrupted by outside ideas. If you don't have an external point of reference then your point of reference is the other individuals of your group. This means that you're functioning is a closed society and outside ideas are dangerous because they can corrupt the truth of functioning of the society which represents a life and death situation for its members. The reasoning is as follows. If there is no external point of reference used as common ground then you can't discover the truth of the group/society by yourself, you need to be initiated by members of that group. That's how the people of the critical theory, post-modernism, women studies, and many modern ideologies recruit. There is no demonstration of their truth, you have to accept their basic premises. If you do not, you're a denier of their truth. This explains the quasi-religious functioning of collectivism in general, but also, to some degree, the difference with the great religions. A God can serve as an external point of reference, but of course, it depends on how you interpret God's message.
The question of equality is a fallacy. I learned it from the philosopher Jamie Whyte by reading his book, Crimes against logic. As an example, he gives the question of homosexuality. If someone starts by saying that homosexuality is unnatural, and you answer that it is, in fact, natural, you already have lost the debate. The fallacy is that homosexuality has nothing to do with being natural or not. When you answer to such a fallacy by taking the opposing side, you just accept the premises of your opponent. The question of equality of sex makes the implicit assumption that we are the product of social construction. If you start from the theory of evolution, the question has no meaning, differences in biology are written by evolution you don't discuss their existence. The question between men and women is then how to optimize the cooperation to have a good and useful life.
Jordan Peterson gives a very unfortunate example of what happens when you fall into the trap described by Jamie Whyte. He was one of the people who auditioned for the Canadian bill C-16 that has been passed since, which implies that sexuality is a social construct. Peterson reminds us that the Canadian conservative party has answered to claim the natural cause of homosexuality by stating that it was a social construct. Finally, that position was adopted against the will of the conservative, who brutally lost their argument. What went wrong? The conservative adopted the counter position of homosexuals to defend the norm of heterosexuality, but they had no arguments on their own. The problem is that homosexuals as a group will adopt any position that allows them to have the political leverage to gain power for their group within the society. When the argument was flipped from natural to socially construct to pass the bill in their favor, the conservatives lose the debate for there was no more one. The question of homosexuality is simple. Do they recognize that heterosexuality (note 1) is the norm and therefore the society should be organized for them? If yes, then we go for a social contract (note 2). If no, then there is no discussion to have because it's a denial of human nature (note 3). Sometimes it happens that the premises of a discussion are so bad that to impose to have one will lead to a bad conclusion. Compromises even in politics have their limits. Morality: Do not make yours the counter-argument of your adversary, because he will then control the debate. Make an argument of your own.
Note 1: To put the heterosexual as a treat conceals two others. Men who refuse to control their sexuality and become predators of their own sex. While men have been designed to have a great sexual appetite, they have to control it to make civilization happen (part of the controlled behaviors of civilized people). Another threat is by the elite which pushes for non-heterosexual behavior to limit the reproduction capability of the herd. Don't take my word for it. "In Sparta, ... it led ... to a conscious effort to arrest all change by measures that included the control of population increase through the institution of infanticide, birth control, and homosexuality". Plato and Aristotle supported those politics (see 'Republic' and 'Laws' for Plato and the book 'Politics' for Aristotle. Karl Popper, The open society and its enemies, note 7 to chapter ten.
Note 2: From a society's point of view. The persecution of homosexual does not work and create unhealthy social pressure if not generate a taboo. The medicalization is stupid. The alienation of the homosexual produces considerable damage. A social contract is the best way to deal with cohabitation we just have to do it smartly without lies and deception.
Note 3: To assert that they are in denial of nature doesn't help the conversation, for they do not know what are nature and reality. They believe that facts are what is validated by positive emotions, they then gather to validate that emotion/fact which becomes the de facto reality. That's what they believe reality is - the consensus of the collective emotionally driven. They have no knowledge of reality because they have no feedback loop with it and that is due to our teachers, the school system, and also many parents.
During the 17th century, a debate erupted regarding the Greek/Roman model. Should we emancipate from their model? One side, the ancients, stated that we couldn't outperform what the Greek and Roman civilizations had achieved, and we should continue to follow the same path. The other side, the moderns, argue that our knowledge had increased to the point that we knew better, and it was about time to move away from their model. The moderns win, but that's not the end of the story. (Note: I agree with the modern in the sense that civilization is a dynamic structure. Each time you want to keep things, as they are, you will go backward).
While the moderns were unified behind the idea to cut loose from the ancients, they had quite different reasons to do it. It produced two lines of culture that shaped the European civilization for the next 400 years. One line wanted to escape the rules to produce new and better rules. New mathematics, new physics, and as a whole, the scientific revolution was the result of that line. The other line was about to free themselves from rules, any rule, but the true nature of that rejection was their problem with civilization. This was later, more clearly articulated by J.J Rousseau during the 18th century and even more by the Post-modernists in the 20th century. Their message is - civilization is bad and everything that helps to produce one is bad too, which includes reason, truth, reality, etc. All those concepts need to follow rules
The debate between the ancients and the moderns did not end with the victory of the moderns, even if it looks that way. It took the form of the enlightenment and counter-enlightenment movements, and it's still running because our species has not yet fully answered the question - is the path of our species, the path of civilization or to return to a more primitive way? I personally believe in the civilization path, but we might not have much of a choice.
The message of the Greeks and Romans is intellectual rigor. To have some rules (a set of values and concepts to follow) and to discipline your mind. It starts by being able to choose what will have the right to access the reward system of our brain. The race to get access to our reward system is always won by emotions, until you make room for reason. Our education must reflect that necessity. When you succeed, when reason gets access to the reward system, new mechanisms will be offered to you. For example, differed gratification which is extremely useful for complex and long-lasting tasks.
Now, I have the tool to explain what it means to control your emotions. It is to be able to restrict the access of your emotion to your reward system so that they can't take over your decision process when you have a decision to make.
The only question left, is civilization a by-product of evolution to give us the tools to sort out the mess of information we receive, in order for our species to have a stable strategy? We might not have much choice then to build a civilization if we want to exist, and we don't have many choices about how to do it.
15 years ago, when I started to be interested in those questions, I thought naively that the more intelligent you were the better you could understand the great mysteries of this universe, solve problems, enhance society and the life of people. Since, I've seen very smart people stating, and defending unrealistic ideas (to stay polite) and willing to put them into laws and in the end to require everyone to think the same way. Clearly, being very smart does not help to avoid finding yourself astray in dark wood. This is a very relevant question when it comes to deciding who can enter the university because they educate people who will get access to places where they will have the power to enforce politics. Being smart should remind one of the top criteria, but no matter how many criteria we will add to check one's abilities, any person can take a bad direction. There are ideologies and concepts that we know today to be objectively and demonstrably wrong but are still believed to be right by many. We have made a grave mistake which is to believe that we could allow erroneous ideas to have the same rank as any other ideas. Erroneous ideas are incompatible with a civilization based on truth which is a necessity because of the existence, unicity, and immutability of reality. We should not delete them but we can't allow the people, and in particular the elite to hold them. I make the assumption that intellectual rigor is part of what is missing. We also need to answer another question which is the function of academics. We don't need people who are only bags of knowledge, but key keepers of our civilization, who we can trust to transmit the knowledge, and the intellectual rigor needed to keep our civilization alive. It means that we have to define what our civilization is and that the academics explicitly accept that mission and be part of it. In other words, they have to be able to fight back in case of an attack on the conceptual frontiers that define our society.
I will show at the same time the intellectual rigor of the ancient, their lack of and how the moderns solve it. At least some of the modern, the civilized ones, because the primitives are still struggling to understand that the solution is right under their nose. Zeno of Elea was a philosopher (490-430 BC), who created several paradoxes to make his point against a school of thought he disagreed with. It happens that he created what we called today "proof by contradiction" (reductio ad absurdum), which impacted not only the Greek philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) but as a whole the occidental philosophy. Those paradoxes became famous because they have a mathematical component that had to wait two thousand years until we got the right tools to decide on their validity. I pick up the dichotomy paradox.
To move from point A to point B, you first have to move half the way. From the halfway, that separates you from point B you have to move half away again, which is a quarter of to whole distance. And Zeno of Elea to repeat that reasoning: 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + ... he concluded that one will never reach his destination. It's absurd of course. You just have to walk to move from any point A to any point B to prove it, but the absurdity of the conclusion is precisely the contradiction he's trying to get. If there is a contradiction then the reasoning doesn't hold.
Here is the refutation of the paradox. The succession of numbers like 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + ... is what we call a series, and the most important question, about series, is to know if it converges or diverges. In that particular case, it converges to one. However, back at Zeno of Elea's time, all summations of the number were considered to produce big numbers, and therefore, all series diverged. Now we have to solve the infinite summation of small quantities. The summation produces the number 0.9999... to which you can always add the smallest number you can imagine. In modern mathematics, a number equal to 0.999... is equal to 1. Limits, in mathematics, teach us precisely that. The Greeks had several conceptual difficulties, and it took the cultural revolution of the moderns to get over, at least part of the moderns, those who enact the scientific revolution, not the romantics.
Zeno of Elea's paradoxes were paradoxes back at the time, but not anymore, now that we have calculus. To my despair, some highly educated people are still discussing at length those pseudo-paradoxes, because they do not want to use calculus for what they believe to be a metaphysical problem (what does reality means). They just want to use words and build reasoning around those words. Intellectual rigor can happen only if you use a rigorous method (which was the case for Zeno of Elea) and data to back up your point (Which was not the case for Zeno of Elea). It might happen that some problems will not fit such an approach. In that case, we need to explicitly accept the weakness of our point, and act accordingly to it. (ex: if you have a hypothesis regarding a phenomenon that occurs in the universe only one time every hundred thousand years, then it might take some time to test it. Meanwhile, you can't state that you're right).
To acknowledge and to stick to the scientific method is a necessary first step for intellectual rigor. Now, what happens if you're told that 2+2=5, and you have to teach it to your students? If you don't have a global philosophy of the world that allows you to analyze any statement, and actions as good or evil, real or not, chances are high that you accept and not fight back. Without a reference point, you are prey for those who have one and want to abuse you. Without a reference point, what can stop you to be driven by your instincts and abused by them, therefore abused by yourself?
Many academics who are on the front line, fighting for civilization, tell us that they receive constant support from their colleagues, but also a list of excuses for not fighting back in their universities and schools (I will lose my job. I have a family...). What those people are saying is that they accept to lose their freedom and/or that their kids will have to live in an uncivilized society which they have helped to happen. We all understand the tragedy that might happen if one loses his/her job, and we acknowledge the reality of it, but they are nonetheless a disgrace. None of them is working to build an organization to back up academics that fight back and will be punished for doing so. It means that having a philosophy is not just a list of values, rules, or beliefs but also a commitment to sacrifice yourself if that philosophy is sapped.
It is of the utmost importance that reason-based thinking gets access to the reward system. The goal is not to have positive feelings about the process, even if it is part of it, but to be able to fight negative emotions (conflict, fear ...) in order to defend the result of reason-based thinking. The importance of reason for intellectual rigor is linked to the cohesion that reason-based thinking brings. Intellectual rigor would not survive the day without coherent thought and knowledge.
Intellectual rigor opposes cognitive dissonance. While the expression has a specific meaning in psychology, the cognitive dissonance that we can witness among academics, and in general, among the elite is of another nature. That cognitive dissonance has a particular pattern. They set a conclusion and then provide any reasoning that is consistent with it, without any respect for logic, knowledge, truth, or reality. The pattern also points to the kind of conclusion they will produce. They are always built on ideologies or concepts like - the blank slate, Ghost in the machine, Rousseau's thesis on education, irrationalism, relativism, essentialism, collectivism, romanticism, and the rejection of - the scientific method, third party verification, falsification, reproducibility, proof, the theory of evolution, individualism...
I'm more aware of this today than a decade ago, and sadly I read regularly mathematicians, computer scientists, physicists... who abruptly depart from intellectual rigor to promote one of the ideologies mentioned above.
Psychologists are reluctant to study ideologies and religions through the lens of dysfunctionality. I do understand their concern, but there is a significant difference between religions in general and those ideologies. Religions exist to help us to make sense of our lives and to live together. It doesn't mean that they can't lead to cognitive dissonance, but that's not their purpose. That's not the case for those ideologies and there is nothing to stop them from becoming totally evil, and it systematically happens, as the 20th century teaches us. We might not have a solution to cognitive dissonance, but we definitely need reliable tools to detect it.
However, there is a tiny problem with that program. Psychologists and social scientists are among the first to fall for that cognitive dissonance. Launching a study program will face severe opposition, but finding the researchers will be even more difficult, but it must be done.
Since the 1960s, many critics of the European civilization have pointed out that it was not the first to discover some of the great inventions of humankind. It's not entirely wrong but you have to be cautious with that statement because most of those critics are driven by their ideology and not by knowledge. Ideologies that mostly oppose civilization. One of the famous examples of manipulation is done by Michel Foucault itself when he praised the taxonomy of the Chinese in his book "The order of things". As Keith Windschuttle explains in his book 'The killing of history'. Foucault had that knowledge from what appears to be a poem from an Argentinian writer and since then nobody was able to provide original documents to that Chinese taxonomy. Let's put aside these manipulations, we have inventions that were made by several civilizations and societies independently. That's the case for Pascal's triangle. We also have inventions that were transmitted from one civilization to another which is the case of paper coming from China. All of this is true, so what makes the European civilization so powerful?
What is never mentioned, is the systematic approach to knowledge used by the European which was started, at least by the Greeks, contrary to an ad hoc method. That systemic approach and rigorous thinking is the father of the scientific method and the industrial revolution. On a practical side, it produces two mechanisms which are collection and classification of knowledge.
We, the Europeans, have made an error in believing that that approach was natural and other cultures could adopt it. It's not that simple. Even the idea of democracy is not that obvious for other cultures. It means that our way of living is based on some cultural elements that need to be adopted in order to make the whole system work. Even in our own countries, some reject that culture. Ask the Marxists and the post-modernists.
There is something very wrong with how A.I. is promoted. There is a dark place in here and those who try hard to sell you their project, are hiding something. Most of you have no clue what A.I. is, and I'm aware of it, but your lack of knowledge is used against you. Even if you had that knowledge you lack the experience. What does the experience tell us? We need more time with A.I. to evaluate what it can or cannot do and its impact on our society, even if it takes several generations. Here are two rules that should help you:
In case of doubt, to help must always be chosen first. Replacement and control have to be understood in a very broad meaning. It might stop many actual and future projects, but better that way.
I have two arguments to present to you about how A.I. is not necessarily welcome in a free and open society design for individuals and reason. As a science and tech person, I'm completely in favor to develop A.I, but it should be done in the spirit to be an assistant for individuals to enhance their lives. To my knowledge, no project takes that direction.
The first argument is humanistic. People need to have purposes and responsibilities and the A.I. as developed right now takes that away from them. The safety argument, or that it will allow you to have more time, has validity, but it is very limited particularly when compared to purposes and responsibilities.
The second argument is technical. That we develop intelligent algorithms is one thing, A.I. is another one. The main idea behind A.I. is its ability to cope with new situations autonomously, which requires self-organization of some sort with a feedback loop that will change the A.I. algorithms and if necessary, add some. Here come troubles and it's related to chaos theory. Chaos theory has nothing to do with chaos, don't go mumbo-jumbo on that. It is about unpredictable patterns that happen after several iterations of a system that is at the beginning perfectly predictable. You may have heard of the butterfly effect which is about a very small perturbation at the start of a system (we say initial condition in mathematic) that can have large consequences and by large, you have to read unpredictable. Each iteration of an A.I. system (change in its algorithms) can produce a butterfly effect. We don't know if we can produce an A.I. system that will not start to produce unpredictable patterns and therefore, a stable system, and by stable, you need to understand that will not hurt human beings or civilization.
My whole take on that matter is that we have to deal first with people who don't care about what it means to be a human being, and second that they think like 19th-century people were thinking. With the mechanical revolution in the 17th century, the thinking was that everything is analytical, and all analytical systems are predictable. What we know today is that some systems are analytical but not all and amongst them, some are predictable.
If it can help you, think about A.I. like the weather forecast. They might tell that the sun will shine in three weeks, and it might happen sometimes, but nobody can be sure of that. Am I right? Well, let me make a prediction. When the number of dead by unpredictable A.I. and I called it, a faulty algorithm, they will tell you that A.I. kills fewer people than individuals. It might be true, but that's not the question. Nobody wants to be in such a safe place where you have nothing to care about, nor yourself nor the others. If you do you're as a faulty human being as the A.I. that serves you.
In his book: How not to be wrong, the mathematician, Jordan Ellenberg explains, "It's easy to make arithmetic mistakes ... and sometimes that leads to ... a ridiculous result", "If a student arrives at -4 grams (minus four) result and writes - I screw up somewhere - I give them half credit", "Understanding whether the result makes sense requires a guiding human hand".
No A.I. will ever be able to always know if a result makes sense or not, because we, the human beings, cannot even agree amongst us on what makes sense, that's why we have political parties, philosophical debates, etc. Since we are creatures with biological constraints, there will be cases in which an A.I. would be correct in the absolute, but not for a human being. What's good for us will never be a certainty for an A.I.
What would be worrisome, is that a part of humanity has the conviction to know the truth and to program an A.I. to get the correct answers according to their belief and impose it on the rest of humanity by using the very same A.I. as proof of their view.