Archive for January, 2018

Enlightenment vs. Postmodernism

January 26, 2018

We seem to be living in a very strange age, when postmodernism is seeing its last gasp for breath but no one is quite sure what to replace it with.

What is postmodernism? This is the philosophy that truth, reason, and such don’t matter. It is the philosophy of the leftists and Marxists in America. It is the philosophy of those who shout “Racist!” and hurl urine and worse at people they don’t like, not because of what they’ve done, but because of who they are. Postmodernism is to rational thought what death is to life.

The Enlightenment, however, is the net result of the Renaissance. Where the Renaissance brought a remembering of the old, the Enlightenment expanded upon it. What people call “Science” today, I believe, is really the principles of the Enlightenment. The principles are simply thus: Logic and reason are powerful tools. We can use deduction or induction to learn more about the world around us. We can treat each other as rational, sane beings and build entire societies based on nothing more than mutual respect and compromise.

The Enlightenment is said to have ended in the 18th Century, as people began to apply the ideas of the Enlightenment in building the modern world, the world you are more or less familiar with. Where the Enlightenment went wrong is a subject of debate, but I propose a simple answer: It missed the boat on religion.

Modernism is the culture we live in, where everything has a price but nothing has value. We can build factories and office buildings, but we don’t ask nor do we answer the question of what the purpose is and why it is important to do these things (or not). In this values-deprive society, you can see how Postmodernism can creep in, which basically assigns a value (evil) to everything, and then demands we fight each other until we are bloody pulps.

I think a new Renaissance is needed, a new Enlightenment, a new Modernism, where we do not forget, this time, that value is important. Rather than denounce religion as universally evil, something to avoid at all costs, let us embrace religion and use it for our own purpose.

In order to do that, we must understand religion in the context of science. What does it do? How does it work? We must approach the question of “Is there a God? Who is God? What does he want me to do?” with healthy skepticism and trepidation, but sincerity and honesty, allowing ourselves to be lead wherever the data leads us.

I believe it is quite possible to have our cake and eat it too, it just requires that we not ignore the important questions of the human soul.

Advertisements

Which Way for the Third World?

January 19, 2018

As part of the general zeitgeist of the immigration debate and the current political climate, people are waking up to just how terrible life is outside of the United States. In the third world countries, things are absolutely deplorable, in ways that few Americans can hardly imagine.

The worst countries seem to have a lack of the Judeo-Christian values we simply assume is present everywhere. Notable, they lack any respect of private property, any notion of honesty or trustworthiness, nor any sense of duty to one’s fellow man.

Given the fact that most of the world’s natural resources are “owned” by third world countries, and our modern economy is finding increasing need for the resources they own, there are only two ways to proceed:

  • Colonize the third world country, by creating a community made up of Western people, which may or may not hire locals as employees.
  • Contract with the leaders of these countries, and let them do whatever they feel like to uphold their contracts, such as using slave or child labor, and oppressing people in their wages.

It’s really a catch-22, because we have been raised to believe that colonialism is always bad. Isn’t it terrible that we go into an area and wipe out millennia of history and culture, and replace it with our own?

I think as the world watches the slaves or children labor to create the products they need, they’re beginning to understand what colonialism was all about.

First, colonists do not have any respect for the government of the land they are colonizing. Tyrants, dictators, and warlords are rejected outright, in favor of the government of their country of origin. This leads to war, obviously, and the colonists better have plenty of troops, weapons, and ammunition, because they tend to be outnumbered. If the colonists can show sufficient strength, or convince the local leaders that they should be left alone, then perhaps they can have a few years of peace. But as the colony expands, and as the disparity in the quality of life between the colonists and the natives increase, war is almost certainly inevitable.

Second, colonists bring their own values, government, and structure to the land. If they do incorporate the natives, historically as slaves, but lately as employees, then they expect the natives to behave like proper citizens of their country. IE, it would be supremely unfair for an American company to use slaves in Africa, even though the use of slaves is perfectly tolerable to the natives there. Instead, American companies operating in Africa are expected to hire the locals and pay them a fair wage. In exchange, the American companies are going to demand that their employees live up to the standards of the company, just as any other employee, and we wouldn’t mind seeing people get fired for showing up late to work, or shirking their duties.

Of course, the companies would rather bring people from their own countries in rather than hire locals, which is what you often see, particularly for jobs that the locals can’t be trusted to do. (How often do you see a local run payroll or handling accounting?)

Third, over time, the colony either fails (as it becomes too expensive to maintain without enough profit) or consumes the native population. Of course, the colonies can also drive the natives off their land, as we did when we colonized America. People don’t seem to mind so much when they watch third world countries gradually evolve into first world countries as they people become civilized and more and more land is controlled by the colonial interests. They seem to get excited when enough people have adopted our Western culture that they demand responsible government or even representation.

Looking at colonialism, I have to wonder what was so evil about it in the first place. Perhaps it was one of the things the communists hated because civilized people don’t like communism, and had the Western free powers continued their policies of colonization, it would’ve ended any hope the Red powers had of expanding. For instance, had France successfully continued the colonization of Vietnam, how would communism have ever taken root there?

So, while we pursue a more conservative approach to immigration, let us also remove the stigma associated with colonization. I think it’s high time we were more honest about the reasons why it is preferable over contracting with the local governments, and the benefits it brings to the people so colonized. We don’t need to bring the third world here to improve their lives, we just need to send our people there to change their lives.

Immigration Trends Conservative

January 19, 2018

A recent article at fivethirtyeight exposes how the country is shifting conservative in the immigration debate. Unfortunately, hardly any specifics were giving, least of all, what they meant by “conservative”.

I think what has happened is people have been exposed to what our immigration policy actually looks like. Sure, some have already seen the evils of it by first or second hand experience, but the vast majority of Americans never interact with it.

As people’s ignorance on this topic disappears, they gradually begin to adopt the conservative line on immigration.

Let me spell out what I see as the conservative line on immigration, and compare it with a few other ideas. But first, let’s look at the leftist line.

Leftists want:

  • To destroy America’s values and society
  • By bringing in as many illegal immigrants as possible and then granting them amnesty
  • By bringing in as many refugees as possible
  • By bringing people in randomly, especially from countries very different than our own
  • By giving them all the right to vote
  • By not securing our borders
  • By not punishing criminal immigrants with deportation

A good example of a leftist immigration program is Sweden, which, as we all know by now, is a complete disaster. In the latest news, I heard Sweden is going to activate their military to seize control of the no-go zones. France has also been following a similar policy and now political tides have shifted there, with people actually recommending immigrants all be forcibly expelled.

By comparison, conservatives generally want:

  • To preserve America’s values and society
  • By ending illegal immigration
  • By bringing in as few refugees as possible (maybe none)
  • By bringing in people only on an as-needed or merit basis
  • By strictly enforcing the naturalization code, punishing those who abuse the system
  • By securing our borders
  • By punishing criminal immigrants with deportation, after they have paid the price of their crimes.

This seems much more reasonable, no?

In case you are wondering, our current immigration policy is the leftist one, even though President Trump has used the power of his pen to make it look more like the conservative one.

Here are some alternative immigration policies that are being discussed and have some favor:

The Alt-Right generally wants:

  • To preserve America’s values and society
  • By limiting immigration only to people like us, as necessary
  • By expelling people (citizens or not) who are not compatible with our culture and race
  • By strictly enforcing our naturalization code, and increasing its requirements
  • By securing our borders

In general, the Alt-Right agrees on many of the physical aspects of the conservative policy, except they want to be even more limiting and removing those who are not like us. Keep in mind that while they talk about skin color, they are also concerned about culture and heritage too. IE, they’d rather have the English or Germans than the Russians, but they absolutely don’t want people from cultures nothing like ours, such as Africa, the Middle East, or Asia. And by English, they mean the English who have lived in England for over a hundred years, not the muslim immigrants who are invading that country now.

In addition to the Alt-Right, there is a sort of neo-conservative, free market, Libertarian immigration policy floating around, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular. It would look like this:

  • Maximize America’s economy
  • By opening our borders to anyone who wants to come here to live and work peacefully
  • By securing our borders against those who would do us harm.

The issue with this stance is it doesn’t care about what makes America America, and is focused instead only on maximizing freedom and wealth. While freedom and wealth are important, movements like the Alt-Right have shown that there are more important things, such as values and culture, and I think America is beginning to realize that. In other words, we’re waking up to the fact that money isn’t everything.

Where will immigration policy end up? I think the leftists are done for. I can’t see how they can maintain their current immigration policy short of deceiving the American people. I fully suspect that President Trump will get his way on this. Either we’ll shut down the borders or we’re going to be much more selective on who is allowed to come here and who is allowed to stay.

On Immigration (yet again)

January 18, 2018

As I watch the conversation on immigration (if you can call it that) unfold, I am struck be a few ideas I hadn’t considered before.

Question: Are we obligated to allow people to immigrate to our country? The answer is, of course, absolutely no. We owe no other country anything. We don’t have to take any refugees in, nor do we have to naturalize anyone. If today we decided to end all immigration to the United States, that would be morally sound.

Question: What conditions disqualify people from coming to our country, absolutely? There is only one condition which universally disqualifies someone from immigration, and that is if they come here to do us harm. Anyone who intends harm, and by that I mean injuring our physical bodies, our wealth, even our political system, should be absolutely and categorically disqualified from coming to our country. Those immigrants who mean us harm should be punished and kicked out. Even citizens who mean us harm should be punished.

Question: What people should we desire to immigrate to our country? The answer to this is rather simple: Those who already share our values and will be a net benefit. Only people that will make us stronger should even be considered, and it must be such a degree that it overcomes the risk of admitting foreign people into our country.

Question: Can we allow free immigration across our borders, provided that people mean us no harm? The answer to this is “No”. I used to believe it was “Why not?” but now I realize the silliness of that idea. The problem isn’t that free movement of people across the border is bad, but that it is very difficult to vet and to find people in our country who mean us harm. The cost outweighs the benefit. While I’d like to see the world work in our borders, paying us taxes, I don’t want our society to turn into China or India. We must maintain a certain degree of separation to maintain our unique identity. Anything less, and we will lose our identity and the entire notion of the nation will disappear.

Question: What does skin color, race or heritage have to do with it? The answer is only inasmuch as there is a statistical connection. In reality, we must consider the environment the person comes from as part of the baggage they are bringing with them. People who haven’t been raised in societies similar to ours should find it extraordinarily difficult to prove they mean us no harm and are a net benefit. The fact that there is a correlation between these types of societies and the color of their skin, their race, or their heritage is a statistical fact. I cannot deny that one’s heritage is a huge part of their personality and identity.

Question: What about refugees? Refugees can be considered that large class of (potential) immigrants that have no net benefit, but who we take compassion on and decide to open our borders to. Refugees who are fleeing a bad state and who can be helpful in making the situation better should never be admitted. They show a distinct lack of compassion for their fellowman, and admitting them only hurts their country. Others should be considered for exceptional circumstances, IE, we admit Christians being slaughtered because we want to spread the gospel, or we let a fleeing prince in with the idea that perhaps he can take power again and will be benevolent towards our nation.

As it stands, our immigration law is a disaster. I propose we simply stop admitting any immigrants, for any reason. Yes, this will disrupt business, but we need a sane immigration policy, and we need it now. We also need to remove the bad actors from our society. Right now, we are experiencing societal upheaval and having the added burden of refugees or immigrants will not make things easier.

At some point in the future, when our society has stabilized and our politics no longer so combative, perhaps we can consider admitting immigrants that the vast majority agree are beneficial to everyone. Until that time, I see no problem with sealing up our borders to all immigrants.

DOW 200k!!!

January 16, 2018

Today, as the DJIA topped $26k, rising $1k in a single week, let’s talk about growth.

A naive way to analyze growth is to consider what happens if you see the same growth week after week. For Trump’s first term, there are roughly 150 weeks remaining, which would represent $150k in growth for the Dow in this simple model. That would be roughly $176k.

But more accurately, we should consider exponential growth. In one week, the Dow rose $1k/$25k, which is 1/25 of its value. We can calculate the rate of growth per week using the simple formula ln(26/25) = r, giving a rate that would lead to $9,332k after 150 weeks. That’s $9,332,000 for the DOW!!!

Since last week’s growth was, quite frankly, ridiculous, I think averaging the growth over his first term is more appropriate. From his election on November 8th, 2018 it was 18,589 and today it is 26,000, 434 days have passed. So the annual rate of growth is ln(26000/18589)*365/434 = 28%, which would give us $60k in 3 more years.

A good estimation of the doubling time is to take 70 and divide by the rate of growth in percent. 70/28 is about 2.5, which means with 28% annual growth, we will double ever 2.5 years. So we should hit $50k sometime in 2020, $100k in 2022, and $200k around 2024 or 2025. This isn’t exact, but since growth isn’t always constant, it gives you good estimates. The neat thing is that if we continue with Trump policies after Trump leaves office 7 years from now, we’ll see $400k in 2027, $800k in 2029, $1,600k in 2031, etc…

This kind of growth is frankly, unrealistic and unprecedented. Yet here we are! Why is the stock market growing so quickly? Is it just a bubble?

I think one of the reasons why we see such rapid growth is simply because people are buying stock. They are selling whatever assets they had, and purchasing stock instead. A lot of companies were sitting on mountains of cash, unwilling to invest it in the stock market during the Obama years. Now that the economy shows signs of recovery, they are moving their assets from cash to stocks. This is true for American companies, but it is also true for foreign companies and maybe even governments.

China recently announced that they are no longer going to buy US government bonds. Why? Because they have a better place to put their money. The US government may have to raise bond rates to compete with the attractive stock market because of this. (Or they can just stop borrowing so much money by cutting spending.)

This answers only part of the question, and it points to the root: Why are people so interested in gambling their life savings on the US stock market? Because deregulation, lowering taxes, and encouraging businesses to grow and people to get rich creates wealth. All those “greedy” things that evil capitalists do make it possible for Grandma Mabel to live her later years on her husband’s investment portfolio.

As a postlude, consider this: The larger the economy grows, the more money we need to keep it running. Since people use the US dollar, that means we need to print more. Right now, the banks get to choose how many new dollars to print, and they own every dollar printed. If our economy is doubling every 2.5 years, then they get to print themselves our entire economic growth, which is frankly ridiculous. If anything, that money belongs to the people. Let Congress decide how much to print (their constituents will tell them if money is scarce (deflation, which is very bad), or plentiful (inflation, which is not quite as bad but still bad) and they can print more or less, which they can then use to fund the government. If we’re growing at 28% annually, that means we should be able to print trillions and trillions, funding government completely, and not have to raise a dime in taxes.

You’re a man, now what?

January 11, 2018

One of the arguments I hear from people near the alt-right is that we should emphasize masculinity. Men should be tough, they should conquer, they should take what they want and things like that.

In Europe, the idea of a gentleman was a level above that of a man. A gentleman was able to fight, capable of taking what they wanted, but governed their ability to plunder and conquer with morals.

This is something the alt-right should really consider. Say you do drive out the foreigners from America, and you have a white country. Say you do gain control of the US military and find you have the power to nuke, the power to plunder, the power to destroy.

Now what?

The wise ruler realizes that he has a target on his back, and so he buys off all of the potential shooters. He forms unions and alliances until everyone who could do him harm instead does harm to his enemies. Forming “win-win” relationships means you can sleep soundly at night, knowing someone else is watching your back.

And that’s what gentlemanly virtues are all about. Living in a society full of men capable of violence, but arranging things so that they don’t have to. That is the ultimate virtue.

Of course, being surrounded by brutes who don’t embrace these gentlemanly virtues reminds people why gentlemen are necessary, and reminds the brutes just what the gentlemen are capable of.

It’s always nice to watch a man in a top hat brutally beat a robber in the face with his walking stick-turned-long mace.

Where does political division come from?

January 10, 2018

Or, why are there so many countries? Why aren’t we all unified under a single government yet?

Looking at American politics, it is clear that we have reached a stable state. There are two sides to the political spectrum. People just don’t cross from one side to the other in any large numbers. And there is simply no compromise between the two sides. Neither can budge nor can we find any common ground.

How did we get here? Are we repeating history itself?

I believe we are.

Societies go through a process of change, evolution if you will. Evolution, in this case, doesn’t always lead to bigger and better. Often it means things get significantly worse.

Societies divide, I believe, into two groups of people. There are those who simply want to mind their own business and tend to their own affairs, and those who want to meddle in other people’s business. The latter group comes from many backgrounds and excuses, from the noble (I care so much, I have to get involved!) to the ignoble (I want to enslave you to make my life better.)

It doesn’t matter what their motivations are, the results are always the same.

The problem with meddling with other people’s lives is that you will never understand their life as well as they understand their own. Only in the most extreme circumstances (such as mental retardation and similar diseases) can we begin to agree that meddling in their life will improve their life, but there is absolutely no reason why a semi-rational person should be interfered with in any way, as long as they keep to themselves.

Interestingly, even though societies divide along these lines, that isn’t the line that causes the division. See, one group, the non-meddlers, can exist with each other in infinite numbers. I can see how the world could have a one-world government, if everyone in the world simply agreed to leave each other alone. The division comes, instead, from the meddlers.

The meddlers inevitably clash with each other, and soon, they attempt to gain power over each other. In a political arms race, soon they are resorting to ever more extreme tactics to gain the upper hand, and eventually, blood is shed and you have war. This is how the Civil War in the United States was started. It wasn’t until you had the pro-slavery people and the anti-slavery people at each other’s throats and blood being spilled that war become obvious and even necessary.

We are in such an age where a group of meddlers has been disempowered, and they are resorting to ever more increasingly desperate measures to obtain power again.

How do we stop it? It’s pretty easy, actually. You stop the meddling by forbidding it. Imagine if, tomorrow, all the laws governing discrimination and segregation and such were repealed. No longer did the governments care about what a person’s skin color was, or their income level, and instead, they were left to their own devices to survive in the harsh reality of the world. What would the meddlers do if they didn’t have government to back up their meddling?

Before the Civil War, without the federal government to continue to support slavery, the Southern Democrats realized that the end was nigh, and so they fired the first shots in secession and war. It would be interested to see what the modern leftists would do if faced with a similar crisis!

Our goal should be the complete disenfranchisement of any aspect of government involved in meddling. No more welfare. No more discrimination lawsuits. No nothing. As long as no one is being murdered or robbed, then the government doesn’t are what happens. If the leftists want to continue their insanity, they are free to do so, but with their own money and their own power, not the money and power of the government.

This is the only way to preserve the union.

Go back in history, and you’ll see political divisions always arise from the elite. Anytime the non-meddlers try to distance themselves from government or political entities, they are unsuccessful. It is only when they meddle in the government, when they disempower them, that unity can be achieved.

European history might have looked a lot different had their kings and emperors concerned themselves only with securing the individual rights of the people, and leaving everything else alone. Alas, for whatever reason, they did not, and that’s why they are still divided to this day.