Monday, 25 April 2016

Cold Wind and the Chastity Blues

Recently for reasons that don’t matter, I came up with a definition of depressed: imagine that someone gave you £10,000, and you couldn’t think of anything you could buy that would improve the quality of your life. Here are some answers a regular person might think of:

A luxury two-week holiday
Replacing your old second-hand car with a later model second-hand car
A few trips to, uh, masseurs whose, um, publicity material you’ve seen online
A blow-out catered supper for all your friends and acquaintances
A bunch of city breaks throughout the year
Re-stocking your wardrobe
Upgrading your hi-fi and media kit
A really good leather sofa and armchair
Replace all the mattresses in your house
Get the bathroom or kitchen refreshed
Pay down your debts

You know. Lots of things. All of which are reasonably attainable and don’t involve fantasies involving Mica Arganarez.

Any excuse for a picture of Mica.

Some of them I’ve done already. The point is, I realised that if I did some of these, it wouldn’t make me feel any better about my life or myself. And I can’t tell you how much I still look at my three-year-old kitchen and pat myself on the back for it. I appreciate material stuff. I am after all a Taurus.

But right now? Nada. And not because I am super-spiritual right now.

Some of it is the Chastity Blues (celibacy is not being married, chastity is not getting laid) . Extended chastity is not like long-term sobriety: it’s easy not to take the first drink. Staying chaste requires the same lack of effort (don’t buy booze, don’t approach women) to maintain, but I’ve found that long-term chastity puts my soul under a constant tension that every now and then breaks one of the its fibres.That’s when I feel the hurt, and think that some intimate contact would be a tremendous relief and wash me through with Good Hormones. But of course, when I’m feeling the hurt, I wouldn’t go near an opportunity, because it would mean too much, and be too painful if it failed.

No-one with plastic and metal wires in their mouths can feel relaxed and at ease. I’ve cut back on the range of food I eat and while I still taste it, the act of eating is not itself a pleasure. That’s a lot to miss. It’s been un-naturally cold in the UK this year and I just haven’t wanted to leave the front door if I can avoid it. And us ascetic types get tired of the friction of just seeing and hearing the rest of the human race.

It’s called “functioning depression”. I get up and go to work. I eat and exercise. I don’t mope. I keep myself, my clothes and my quarters clean. I pay my bills and generally take care of my affairs. But I don’t do anything that results in me feeling relaxed, happy, satisfied, and generally at one and ease with the world. However temporarily. Because I can’t think of anything that might that wouldn’t basically be drugs (sex, booze, holidays, chocolate).

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Expert Beginners - Ouch!

I follow Erik Dietrich's Daed Tech blog , as should anyone interested in programming and software. He has a couple of posts about the awful effects of Expert Beginners which made me wince.

I was that man.


Fortunately it was only ever in small companies, and mostly in my head. No careers or customer applications were damaged by my stupidity, neither were budgets blown or deadlines missed.

I’ve since become a modest journeyman with no pretensions of expertise.

But still…. Ouch.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Whisky, Cigarettes and the Meaning of Life

RooshV is a smart guy and playing a long game none of the rest of us get. He’s found his audience, and is cultivating them well. Some of it is good, some is okay, and some is just old-fashioned twaddle. Like this...
Lifestyle design has become so popular among both men and women because meaning and purpose have been removed from their lives, particularly god, family, and tribe. Without those, you have nothing to ground your existence on...
No. No. No.

The meaning and purpose of any person’s life cannot be found outside of them. We can decide to dedicate ourselves to a goal that is external to us, but it isn’t the goal that brings meaning, it’s the dedication. Any athlete, artist, scholar or entrepreneur will tell you that. Children don’t bring meaning, they bring the opportunity for the parents to find meaning in the task of raising those children - an opportunity that a noticeable proportion of parents don’t take. God cannot bring meaning, since there isn’t one (or a hundred): what makes the meaning of the religious life is the devotion and dedication. Meaning isn’t an object, it’s a process: it isn’t a goal or an objective, it’s the manner of one's living.

I read somewhere a story about a man who was having a slow recovery after heart surgery. One day the doctor suggested he put something on his bedside cabinet to remind him of why he was getting well. A couple of days later the doctor returns and is shocked to find a bottle of whisky and a carton of cigarettes on the man’s cabinet. “What’s all this?” the doctor asks, and the man reminds him about his suggestion. “Well, I meant a photograph of your wife and children, or some pastime like walking or sailing,” the doctor stutters. The man looks at him. “I’m not married,” he explains, “and I’ve worked hard all my life. I have no hobbies. This, the whisky and cigarettes, this is what I like to do, and it’s why I want to get better.” And the doctor did indeed notice that the man had improved even over the last two days.

That man understood. It wasn't whisky and cigarettes: it was smoking and drinking and all the things that go with that. The process, not the products.

God, family and tribe were never purposes, but institutions to whom we owed something for providing social order, support, welfare and work (maybe, if you were lucky). Today we discharge that obligation by working and paying taxes.

Roosh is right about one thing: find your purpose and your "lifestyle” will follow. Mine, as an ongoing amend for being a drunk and a psychological mess for so long, is to be a quiet, modest, useful worker and a quiet, considerate neighbour, as well as a reasonable brother, son and friend. From that, the early nights, training, work and quiet living follow.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Piper Harron’s Identity Politics

Piper Harron is a black woman who feels oppressed by mathematics. She has a PhD from Princeton and is married to a mathematics professor at the University of Hawaii. Her PhD is written in an informal style that crosses the border to cute a few times. She's been interviewed by no less that MathBabe Cathy O'Neill and Michael Harris has talked about her at least twice on his blog.

Here’s an extract from a post called Why I Do Not Talk About Math
“My experience discussing math with mathematicians is that I get dragged into a perspective that includes a hierarchy of knowledge that says some information is trivial, some ideas are “stupid”; that declares what is basic knowledge, and presents open incredulity in the face of dissent. ”
Translation: other people have strong ideas about what’s worth spending time on that they don’t hold back and I get upset by that.

To which the reply is; woman up, behave like an adult and join the community, or quit. Because that is going to happen to her wherever she goes. Some places they may be more polite about it, and then she will finish the year with a “struggling” grade in her appraisal, which she will know is their way of telling her to be employed elsewhere.

Attention-seekers feel oppressed by lack of attention. They don't want attention for what they have done, but for who they are, or perhaps for the fact that, being who they are, they have done what they have done. Attention-seekers take to identity politics like cats to catnip: it gives them so many ways to define the "being who they are" that makes their otherwise journeyman work attention-worthy.

And if Ms Harron thinks a bunch of nerds in a math seminar are bad, she’s going to get the shock of her life when she tries to fit in with the other mothers at the school gate. Then she will know scorn and rejection.

Harron’s affiliation with identity politics is a shame. Because she’s on to something with the style of mathematical papers and communications. Fifty years after Imre Lakatos’ Proofs and Refutations, a lot of mathematicians still write like Bourbaki. That’s something worth writing about.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Excessive Hypergamy is Epigenetic

Time after time reading posts at the Rational Male, I wonder if American women really are that bad? I think I asked it in a comment and someone replied YES. Well, if so many are it looks like they all are, then there’s something wrong with the gene pool or the water, and I suspect both.

I get hypergamy. Of course each woman wants to get a good deal for a partner. But a functional woman who does get a good deal dials down her hypergamy so she can make a good partner and raise successful children - if you believe in evo-psycho. The hypergamy is never turned off, but in an emotionally-balanced and healthy woman it only becomes active again if her husband starts behaving in a manner that threatens her survival, rather than simply having a bad day. If a healthy woman still has her hypergamy running, it’s because she made a bad choice of partner - and then you have to wonder how healthy she really is.

Having found a good partner, the chances that she will find a better one are vanishingly small once she gets over thirty-five and/or the second child. A healthy woman will know that, an unhealthy one with delusions will prefer denial. Keeping the hypergamy turned up in a relationship with a good husband is dysfunctional - it prevents her from running a productive relationship with her husband and child.

I’m saying two things:

First, it’s not a sign of too much Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Klein, Susan Brownmiller or Anita Sarkeesian. That’s getting the cause and effect reversed: women don’t watch Oprah and get ridiculous ideas about what they are entitled to, they have ridiculous entitlements and watch Oprah to reinforce them. Young women who can’t do STEM or vocational degrees do bogus ones like women’s studies. It isn’t the degree that made them weak-minded, they already were. If the audience is large enough, there's a profit to be made pandering to them, and that's what American men see when they stray into the media for the emotionally unstable. In a country of three hundred million people, a lot of lunatic niches can be profitable.

Second, this dysfunctional behaviour is a symptom of organic disorders transmitted from parents and caused by epigenetic modifications. (The chemical mess that is the human genome can be modified by the addition or removal of chemical signals in various places. These modifications affect the way the underlying genome is processed by the rest of the cell, it doesn’t change the DNA sequence of the genome. Epigenetic effects are heritable and usually fade out after three generations.) The birth control pill, junk food, and the environmental stresses to which the 1960’s / 70’s generation of American women were subject, had epigenetic consequences for some of those women which shows up as dysfunctional hypergamous behaviour in their daughters and grand-daughters. Unlike the Dutch Famine of 1944 the same factors continue to operate now, and in fact the environmental stresses are even higher. So American men can expect more generations of crazy women.

This is why Rollo’s Red Pill seems so harsh and lacks the humour and affection of Roissy’s Sixteen Commandments. Rollo is writing about women, and the culture around women, who have epigenetics that make them unstable and dysfunctional. The size of his audience suggests there are a lot of them in the US, and that a lot of men didn't understand what they were seeing and marrying.

Rollo writes about women whose hypergamy is amped-up, out-of-control dysfunctional because they are organically damaged. A lot of what he writes about is a rationalisation of the crazed beliefs and deranged behaviour caused by that damage (the Feminine Imperative), or is commentary on the junk culture that sucks profit from that damage. These are the women who will carry on what amounts to domestic guerrilla warfare for decades until they have the perverse satisfaction of knowing they have taken a strong man and made a stub of him. (What kind of person even does that?) These are the women who regard divorce as a financial strategy, choose lawyers who have no problem making false allegations of child abuse, spousal rape and battery, and then defy court orders about the father’s visitation rights. These are the women who lie about using birth control to trap the man into marriage, or child support payments. This is why the MRA have such a hard time: they are dealing with problems caused by disordered women that no court or law in the land can solve.

Whatever was in the water, the food or the rest of the environment in the US just wasn't in the UK (*), though it seems to have been in Sweden and Germany. It’s not going to change, and it could well be a permanent feature of the population. American men need to learn to ignore the dysfunctionals and their culture. I get that it’s pretty hard when the majority of the population is obese and ugly, and when away from the big cities man can go for days or even entire counties without seeing one woman with an attractive personality and figure, which I gather is the way it is in the USA.

Let’s be clear about this: a woman exercising hypergamy in the search for a long-term partner, or, having decided she doesn’t want that, exercising hypergamy in the search for short-term partners, is looking for the best deal she can get. Men do it. Businesses do it. Her search process can feel harsh if she dated you a couple of times and you liked her, but she decided you weren’t a good bet. Hence the need for Game. Young men need to understand that she’s with you either because she likes the ride you’re offering (which is Rollo’s solution) or because she sees you as a useful resource for her plans (Beta bucks). All men need to understand that even in a relationship with a healthy woman, they need to be assertive, to have a direction and to supply a certain amount of attention, drama, fun and challenge - leavened with a few moments of Beta comforting now and again. This is what Heartiste writes about (or used to before the 2016 election run-up), and I’ve always recognised his world rather than Rollo’s.

(*) I’d say the women in the UK have improved since the 1970’s because they know the aren’t going to be forced to do things - like getting married and having children - that they don’t want to do. They are a couple of sizes larger than they were when I was a teenager, but so are the men. There were a lot of hard-faced gossips around in the 1960’s, and their equally hard-faced gossip daughters now have jobs in mid-level administration. There were a lot of trivial airheads then and there are now. There were women being loudly drunk in Islington on a Saturday night in 1930, and their great-grandaughters still are.There were Career Women in the 1930’s and there are more of them now, many of whom have made the same calculation about the value of domestic partnership that single men make.  But there are fewer women trapped in unsuitable marriages making their husband’s lives miserable, and there were millions of those in 1965. And Angry Young Women will always be with us.

Friday, 1 April 2016

It's April, Of Course I Have a Cold...

... and in about six weeks' time I'll get hay fever and be almost unable to stay awake in the afternoons. That will last about six weeks. Spring. I love it.

On the other hand, having a muzzy head means I can look at my photographs a little less harshly. So here's a few I prepared earlier...

From the top: cranes on the way into Vauxhall; orange pots at the bottom of my garden; the pub on the road into Poppit Sands, Pembroke; Dutch graffiti in a Banksy Stylee.