On Libertarian Morality

Economic Inequality Is Just A Cover For Anti-Rich Prejudice

by Don Watkins, for The Federalist, 2016 April 14

Regarding businessmen, for example, we should condemn those who lie, cheat, and steal. But we should condemn them as individuals for their dishonest and predatory actions.

Universally, all white collar crime gets punished multiple degrees of magnitude less than hood crime. Condemning one businessman and not all of them is a concession that a couple of years in a comfy cell for frauding millions of people out of billions of dollars is approximately the right response.

There’s value in condemning a dishonest businessman over a dishonest person. A person’s role matters. A negligent student is nothing, a negligent mother should mean something extremely serious but doesn’t thanks to a certain demographic in tandem with a certain political structure, a negligent father has a special derogatory word made up just for him. Businessmen of today are lords of the past. It’s one thing to say they should be able to get away with more – maybe they should? But that’s not the argument libertarians make. “They’re just the same as everyone else!”

Replace “the rich” with “Hispanics” or “women” or “Jews” in that sentence, and ask yourself: isn’t this precisely the sort of prejudice we object to when it is targeted at other groups?

Good thing this isn’t a problem then.

Actually being against prejudice is even more stupid than buying Hanlon’s Razor, which I’m pretty confident was created to cover for corruption. You are prejudiced that your key will turn on your car, the switch will turn on the light, the food you buy isn’t rotten, and that you won’t get assaulted just walking down a street, unless you’re in South Africa, Detroit, Berlin, Paris, or London, then maybe you would. And why would that be reasonable? Is it because of ley lines? Some miasma? Special ghosts haunting those areas? Some other magic? Maybe it’s global warming? But we’re all “just” people right?

Equality is just for show. Your ten fingers are all different lengths and your two eyeballs have different strengths, you treat your mother differently than you do your wife but we pretend we’re all equal because as a public narrative repeated ad naseum at no one in particular and only believed by initiates, “it’s good for business”.

That’s why libertarianism exists. “It’s good for business”. Full sentence: It’s good for millionaires’ business in screwing over fresh cheap labor. And, on occasion, it’s good for businesses screwing over other businesses. Full sentence: It’s good for some bigger businesses screwing over other smaller businesses. And there’s no world outside of business. Nevermind that there are other narratives which are better for everyones’ business. “It’s good for business”.

Everywhere outside America immigration is primarily a cultural issue, but here it’s terrible to think about closing borders because startups might suffer. You know, those small businesses whose entire purpose is to sell out so that its owners can strike it big and always results in all its employees getting laid off because the buyout was for purposes of obtaining patents and the “brand”? Forget any other discussions, forget the state of demographics in this country, or unemployment, how the current generation of young adults have no future except grinding a life of poverty living in a truck at the parking lot of their dream job. If we limit immigration, startups might suffer.

Oh. No. Not the startups. Anything but the startups.

Prejudice encourages dehumanization – it encourages demonizing “the other” so they are seen as less than human and therefore unworthy of respect.

Whose problem is this? Is this an appeal to me to be a better person at any cost to me all for the benefit of someone else? Come back with a billion dollars and a sentence to few years in jail and then we’ll talk about “dehumanization of the rich” or whatever you want. Of course, the billion has to come first.

Should have plenty of billions laying around. You did seize all those assets right?

No?

We need to ask ourselves: Do we really think of rich individuals as human beings?

I can tell you how rich people in this country think of poor people.

No, I don’t have any citations. No reputable sources. I guess I’m just making shit up.

Making shit up that’s just magically on the mark every time.

Do we ever so much as ask: Did they honestly earn their money?

Considering most people quit their bosses and not their jobs?

Did they gain it by dealing voluntarily with other people, through an incalculable number of win-win trades?

Inside systems with many involuntary parts that favor them.

Remember: Libertarians think taxation is coercion and theft.

This is prejudice, plain and simple.

Repeat after me: The end goal of knowledge is prejudice.

What’s worse, it is not directed toward traits that have no bearing on a person’s character, it is directed at something that is in fact a moral achievement.

A literal statement straight from the mouth of a libertarian that having more money is a “moral achievement“, and that this moral achievement also, simultaneously, has “no bearing on a person’s character“.

Cult of Entropy.

This wasn’t a waste of my time after all.

When I discuss unfair treatment of successful businessmen, I almost always hear comments like, “Oh, boohoo. What do the rich have to complain about? Look at everything they have!” This reflects a crass materialism, which amounts to the notion that money solves everything, and that no one can be hurt by or object to mistreatment unless he’s poor.

We live in an advanced technological society, and enjoy a level of wealth, health, comfort, and opportunity that our ancestors could not have dreamed of. What made it possible? The effort of producers, on every level of ability, but with the most credit going to the men and women of extraordinary ability: the inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors who drive progress – and earn a fortune in the process.

Materialism is good or bad depending on the intent of the author in that particular paragraph. Or maybe the author wants it both ways; insults people for being materialistic but believes that they probably still believe it anyways, why not use that too for a little extra cha-ching I mean, impact? Maybe the author doesn’t think of his audience as human beings.

Or maybe this is all “human being” means to him.

originally discovered and commented on Facebook, 2017 April 17
edited and added upon for better flow as standalone

Marketing, ideas, and sorting

I wonder how much can actually be paraded due to a combination of lack of expertise and trust in authority on the side of the audience and social shaming tactics on the side of the deliverer.

Seeing through solar roadways needs some understanding of engineering. Seeing through hyper-realistic portraits needs some understanding of drawing. Seeing through No Man’s Sky needed some understanding of programming or video game design.

Mass Effect Andromeda claims to not be able to make white characters because of the “textures” they used. The new Scorpio console says it’ll be better than the best PCs at the cost of one top-of-the-line PC component. Trump’s Syria attack is defended on the grounds that the president has more “intel”.

No one can be an expert on everything, but neither can one not trust in anything nor not care about others’ opinions. “Fuck haters” and “Question everything” are worse-than-nothing statements because the questions should be directed towards critical points.

I think analyzing people’s backgrounds, connections, and objectives bypasses these problems to a reasonable extent. These should be the baseline, with the “facts and evidence” on the “actual” issues as secondary, because the “actual facts” are more easily fabricated by quite a few orders of magnitude. There are people that lie about their work history, but at some point they leave a trail, and people even in the age of their internet for one reason or another generally don’t change names. Generally speaking peoples’ history of actions are hidden or missing rather than fabricated – the opposite of “actual facts”.

The people most worth looking into demonstrate this principle. Executives are the most powerful and their backgrounds generally aren’t in any “field” – Sooner will an executive of groceries become an executive of pharmaceuticals than a pharmacist, even though their degree might’ve been in partying sociology, or maybe never had a degree at all. Arguing a pharmaceutical executive’s, whether a CEO’s or a politician’s, decisions primarily on basis of biology or chemistry or medicine – or worse, morals – is the discussion level of peons.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Any person can expound about ideas. Even when talking about celebrity gossip and keeping up with the Joneses they’re basically talking about ideas. We even have a grammatically correct form of the word for personification: idols.

Expounding on people though is different. Beyond saying she likes cake or he goes weightlifting, can just any person accurately and effortlessly predict what some other person is going to do or say? They can’t. They can’t even fathom where to begin. Of course not, they can’t even understand the people they’ve spent years with!

“I thought you were going to do X.”
“Why in the hell would I do X? That never even occurred to me.”
“I dunno. Maybe you might’ve.”

But he sure does know what’s moral and what’s not or what’s the right thing to do in a certain situation of a field he only heard about two days ago! Just look at all these links and quotes from reputable sources he found on Google.

If only Google could predict what his friends were going to do too, then he could be just as confident and correct with people as he was with ideas. Such a lookup exists, it’s just not available at http://www.google.com, and is only available to advertisers, politicians running for head of state, and other big dollarydoo clients.

But it’s okay, because only small minds discuss people anyways.

But what will the idiots think?

The ability to sustain a disagreement is one of the qualities of power.

If you cede power to idiots, you will be ruled by idiots. Since idiots in power don’t exist: If you cede power to people determined to hold their opinion over yours, you will be ruled by people determined to hold their opinion over yours.

The idiots are just a convenient excuse which exploit the easiest chokepoint of human psychology. Oh no, we can’t offend nice little Billy Bob down the street! What will he think of us? What will he say to his friends? Until you say “fuck Billy Bob” you’re stuck whatever Billy Bob thinks. “Thinks” is generous; you really think Billy Bob thinks? He votes one way one year and the other way the next! Of course he has reputable sources. Of course he has arguments. But you get what you pay for, and reputable sources with analysis and evidence these days comes pretty cheap. Is that all it takes?

How cheap is it to stop you?

Why does the West feel the need to filter the fuck out of Japanese games before introducing them to the market?

Because they fear an uninformed consumer ,like a soccer mom or whatever, getting the game for themselves or possibly some kiddo like their child or whatever. And then if something objectionable, saucy, or even edgy that offends or bothers them they would shit up a dumb ignorant storm. So they get what they deemed is the worst and easiest things that would offend the uninformed dumb consumer soccer mom type person.

so dumb people essentially the remove/censor shit cause of dumb people and to avoid a stink that the dumbest of people tend to cause all to often.

98% of reasoning is ad hoc

The idea of science or truth-finding, as it’s thrown around, is to “let the evidence speak for itself”. The ideal is that no opinions are formed beforehand, and only after gathering, sorting, and analyzing the indisputable facts, is a conclusion made.

Now, for some reason, people assume that they’re able to do this correctly off the bat. They also assume, I think due to some Western dogma that I can’t name because I don’t know my history, that everyone else is able to do the same, completely naturally and without effort, unless they have otherwise been artificially corrupted or sinned. Nevermind that they think of scientists highly and think of it as a well-paid profession, that they’ve learned of the history of vastly different and mutually exclusive ideas held as true by scientists throughout time, that there are things that scientists disagree with each other upon, little old them can do it with any subject matter because duh, it’s not like they have to do any work. Didn’t you hear? “The evidence speaks for itself!” As for any potential self-conflicts, they write it off as “new evidence” or “science is a self-correcting process” or any number of other things. They treat it as the worldview version of democracy: ‘the worst epistemology, except for everything else’; except who cares what else there might be in “everything else”, this is what I was taught in school and it’s all I need, hasn’t failed me yet. Except when it does, and when it does, it’s self-correcting.

As if “self correcting” is such a big deal for an epistemology. They criticize Christian priests for saying that “oh, actually, God doesn’t say anything bad about gays!” or dinosaurs or heliocentricity or whatever, then blink and forget about it. Same with the Chinese Communist Party. They’re not very communist now are they? They’ll disagree with you though. I don’t know what they’d say exactly but it’d probably be along the lines of “we’ve made some improvements”. I don’t need to talk about the American media and the whole rise and fall of the term”Fake News” do I?

Every way of thinking has ways of self-correcting, and every way of thinking will self correct until the moment you no longer believe it.

If that feels a little stretched, that’s because it’s worded backwards. Forwards, it’s

You will continue to think in a certain way as long as you can correct its errors.

Oh, but there’s a difference between “reasoning” and “rationalizing”. Sure. There’s also a difference between “nepotism” and “connections”, and “fact” and “opinion”, and “Correcting” a mistake is different than “Covering it up” too. Gee isn’t that nice, great sixth grade vocabulary lesson. One of us totally didn’t have a grasp on the English language before the other of us came along. So what’s the followup? So what?

Well, the difference is applied, and we can tell whether a way of thinking is faulty and needs to be changed or works just fine and nothing needs to be done.

Results are in: we’re always right and the other guy is always wrong.

All our corrections are either ‘improvements’ from people we already agreed with, or admitted changes but denied significance e.g. “oh pfft yeah I knew that, I just forgot / I just didn’t care / who cares”, while every inch the other guy gives is significant no matter what.

Test: What proportion of disagreements are civil, substantive, do result in a participant changing his mind, and don’t result in one participant characterizing the other as a simple cartoon villain who is inexplicably and irrelevantly evil and corrupted?

Is it 1 in 2?

1 in 5?

I think it’s closer to 1 in 100, but I can compromise halfway and say 1 in 50.

Now, it absolutely could be, that there’s a bunch of absolutely stupid retarded or corrupted people running around spouting opinions and just using defense mechanisms and logical fallacies every time they come to something which is against what they believe in, and by some magical spell or stroke of luck, you aren’t one of them. I can’t disprove that. But it seems a little too long winded and self fellating. Easier and simpler to model it as “I do things right, and my enemies do things wrong”. Hanlon’s razor might be retarded, but Occam’s is pretty good.

Eventually people will give in and admit this is actually what they do, and this is the kind of person they want to associate with. Those who don’t value others they’ve had history with and don’t cover for people who they’ve worked with before, just because in some instance and some interpretation, they didn’t follow the rules or weren’t strictly correct on some opinion, those kinds of people don’t have friends. And friends are important. Hobbesian State of Nature is intuitively ludicrous because everyone needs to sleep, and that means you’re going to need people helping you keep watch while you sleep, which means regardless if they tell a lie here or fuck your wife there, unless you have better options for the same purpose, you’re gonna have to deal, and even if you have better options, you better be careful, because you are also someone else’s consideration for replacement. It makes sense why it is the way it is. It also makes sense why people still hold up all the stuff they claim they do but they admit they don’t – the words and beliefs too are defenses against outsiders.

Networking. Rule of law. Evidence speaks for itself. I Fucking Love Truth, amirite lol?

I can only say such things because I can also say openly that I favor my friends, that everything that comes out of my mouth is my opinion, and that I think I’m always right. It’s more vulgar and crude, my personality and approach. Whether or not I actually do those things is a different matter. Isn’t it funny that it seems more likely that I’d engage in nepotism? Because I told you I would? Alternatively, if you already know me, isn’t it funny that your opinion on my likelihood on whether or not I’d do those things didn’t change? I did tell you, didn’t I?

If I had to venture a guess it’s because I’ve been an outsider my whole life trying to get inside various groups using their explicitly stated rules, continually failing, continually getting shafted, continually being told I’m “us” while I’m still “them”, and continually finding out that the game is rigged. It’s never the explicit rules, it’s always some other, hidden, second set. Yes, I am mad because bad, I am frustrated because I’m a loser; what winner would ever need to reconsider and improve on his ways? As for why I’m an outsider, I’m not sure. I think it might be because I’m Chinese and my way of thinking or speaking is also inherently Chinese. But in any case why is the enemy. What matters is “now what”, and the answer to that is “revealing the rigging”.

But I still get my laughs sometimes. Yesterday was the “Vault 7” Wikileaks and there’s been a lot of buzz about the “Deep State” of the American government, where the “unelected bureaucracy” and “intelligence community” hold the true power in relation to foreign policy and a number of other things. There’s been some uproar about a former CIA chief saying it’s not a “deep state” but a “friendly permanent government” – ‘It’s the beginning of a dark age!’ ‘The end of the experiment of freedom!’ I mean, really, what’s the big deal? They’re doing the same thing you’re doing, just with more people and more money. They’re your countrymen. Same culture, same blood – what makes them so special that they would refrain from doing at work what everyone else is doing everywhere? You think they weren’t doing it in any way at some point in time?

I guess some people actually think everyone else is just stupid.

Actually, I shouldn’t say that. Occam’s razor might be pretty good, but Hanlon’s is retarded.

Aesthetics before Communists

I was going to make a comment about how I’ve played games with good aesthetics that have bad mechanics/balance, but never the other way around. I stopped, but not because I found examples of the other way around (which I did).

I stopped because I remembered that once upon a time, SJWs basically didn’t exist in videogames, and bad aesthetics were just a result of the art being done by non-artists or because of technical limitations.

RIP GW.

Activism is Safe

“Danger” is an evaluation of self-preservation for a given scenario. Whether the danger is deserved is a matter of justice, which is separate.

Nazis are “dangerous” even if they don’t do anything, because their support for the ideology of the Third Reich is only secondary in the evaluation. It is not so much that it’s dangerous to be around Nazis because they’ll long-knife you if you’re not a Blue Eyes White Aryan, it’s because non-Nazis will do it to you if you’re seen associating with Nazis – and non-Nazis far outnumber Nazis.  Counterexample: no non-black has stopped supporting BLM even though they threaten about the same thing.

People like to say it’s actually because they believe Black Lives Matter or any number of other things. Perhaps they do. But if they do, then it’s also clear that they’ll change their opinion on homosexuals within ten years, fake news within four months, and additional funding to NASA within… well, people are calling for more space exploration funding all the time because They Fucking Love Science and Elon Musk Is Totally Tony Stark or Steve Jobs 2, and this article is fairly new, so “one second” probably is an overly generous estimate. “But there was new evidence” You’ll notice that people who learn and account for new things in any other subject will never say this line. “Well everyone changes their minds” So in the end, it really is about what the group thinks of you and not what you think of things.

No one ever thinks of BLM as dangerous because no one can touch BLM; “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason“. They may think of going out in public with a mass of people is dangerous, or they may think that rioting is dangerous, but unless they’re a Nazi they don’t ascribe those to the named reason why people gathered.

Cutting Cards

In urban planning, a transit-oriented development (TOD) is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport.

A TOD typically includes a central transit stop (such as a train station, or light rail or bus stop) surrounded by a high-density mixed-use area, with lower-density areas spreading out from this center. A TOD is also typically designed to be more walkable than other built-up areas, through using smaller block sizes and reducing the land area dedicated to automobiles. […]

One criticism of transit-oriented development is that it has the potential to spur gentrification in low-income areas. In some cases, TOD can raise the housing costs of formerly affordable neighborhoods, pushing low- and moderate-income residents farther away from jobs and transit. When this happens, TOD projects can disrupt low-income neighborhoods.

 

Commies are so full of their own shit they actually believe that more public transportation is worse for the poor. Or at least some of them do. Those that’d cite such a statement would. I’m not sure about those who wrote it though.

I really wonder how many statements like these aren’t actually made with the overt topic in mind. Or rather, in obverse, how many statements were made with a different intent in mind but got cited in a different way because words can mean different things if cut different ways.

Sometime recently some HK bureaucrat was asked why he chose an existing apartment block to be demolished for a new one, rather than choosing nearby land that was only being used to house rusting vehicles and equipment. His answer was “it’s easier to move people than to move stuff”. Cue days-long grilling and laughingstock by public opinion, his true position was obvious given the situation, but that sort of thing generally isn’t recorded for the purposes of academia, because there, ad hominem is bad, and if you use it you should feel bad, while they simultaneously also admit that sources are important, and “irreputable sources” exist. No such thing as a irreputable researcher though, of course. Nevermind that researchers only get money if they publish and only get big if they get cited.

But I probably shouldn’t talk too much about that while I’m linking Wikipedia.