Courage and Nerdliness

The Audacious Epigone reminds us of the courage of John Derbyshire who told us:

To the dissident, the only thing worth pondering about the proposition is, is it true? If it is, then no king’s command can falsify it; and if it is not, then not even the assent of a hundred million will make it true.

Predictably, one year after he said this, he was persecuted for speaking truth to power.

The dissident, therefore, has disturbing characteristics in common with the nerd, in fearlessly pursuing obscure knowledge that is of little personal use to him, or likely to be actively harmful to him.  Who could be nerdlier than Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit?

But, on the other hand, Steve McIntyre defeated the united forces of the state, academia, and the scientific establishment by exposing the hockey stick fraud.  After seven years of struggle, in 2012 October, the scientific establishment quietly decided that no further hockey sticks shall be published or publishable, and quietly conceded that the medieval climatic optimum happened.   He won, the entire marshaled and united forces of official science lost.  He is now pursuing mopping up operations to get the worst offenders punished.  They are unlikely to be punished, but that they are discredited (and thus all of official science discredited) is implicitly admitted by the retreat.  There is something not very nerdly about such a victory.

The entire forces of official science, including those that had absolutely no relevant knowledge or expertise, thousands of scientists and every scientific organization, officially endorsed the Hockey stick as official science and official government truth.

Warmism was a massive overreach by the left.  The plan was have a climate treaty organization centrally planning the world economy, to reduce the world population and living standards to sustainable level – to kill off about six billion with artificial famine, and reduce most of the few survivors to serfs working the fields with digging sticks under the whips of their carbon overlords, that being what it means to reduce carbon emissions without increasing nuclear power.  Less power, less industrial civilization, therefore less people.  We can only support the world population by using a lot of power, and at present the only practical sources for lots of power are carbon or uranium.

But the first step in this program, the food to fuel program, which is causing the deaths of a mere five million or so per year for the most utterly miniscule reduction in carbon emissions, has turned out to be politically unsustainable.   Raising that from millions of deaths to many hundreds of millions of deaths per year, which is what is needed to make a significant dent in carbon emissions and properly empower our new carbon overlords, was never going to fly.

Global warming was a proposal for a ridiculously extreme expansion of leftist power and the government run economy, which is to say, the leftist run economy, so defeating it was an important victory, for which Steve McIntyre deserves a major part of the credit, but it was merely a defensive victory, while on so many other fronts, the left marches on from victory to victory.

I have been watching “High School of the Dead”, a Japanese anime with wonderful and beautifully done, though quite improbable, boob animations.

The secondary male character in “High School of the Dead” is a total nerd, a fanboy.  What is he a fanboy of?  American gun culture and American guns, which are of course totally unavailable in Japan.  He knows the English language words for various gun parts, which I do not, and frequently speaks about guns in barely recognizable English, the way that American fans of Japanese anime speak about Japanese anime in broken Japanese. He can not only take a gun apart and put it together, which I can do, but does so while reciting the English language instructions and naming the gun parts, while I have no idea what they are named and am apt to wind up with mysterious strange looking bits left over.

In the story end of the world disaster ensues, he gets guns, quite a lot of guns, becomes very good at using them with quite improbable swiftness – and yet he, unlike the main character, remains a total nerd, even though his kill count is way higher than that of all the other characters put together, even though he saves every major character’s life time after time, usually saving several major characters in every episode.

The obsessive pursuit of useless knowledge (dinosaurs, star trek episodes, and, in Japan, guns) is the distinctive characteristic of a nerd.  Obviously someone in the US who pursues extensive knowledge of guns is not a nerd, but an expert.  Someone in Japan who pursues extensive knowledge of guns in the US is a nerd. People who pursue useless knowledge tend to wind up as low status, thus are assumed to be low status, and the anime rests on this assumption, even though in the story the nerd’s knowledge has suddenly become tremendously useful.

However, genuinely speaking truth to power, though almost useless, is, I would argue, not nerdly, since when power is based on lies, truth is, in the long run, apt to win, thus he who speaks the truth, has at least some small prospect of being a hero on the winning side, particularly if he times it right.

Rule by priests rests on lies.  When priests become discredited, rule by soldiers, or brigands, may ensue, which is apt to be an improvement.  Indeed, I would argue that rule by brigands is the best, for when they rule, they cease to be brigands, as we see in Munshi Abdullah’s account of early British colonialists.

Someone who speaks truth to power has a non negligible chance of winding up on the winning side and becoming an ideologue of the winning side, at least if he times it correctly.  When soldiers or brigands come to power, they are apt to bring some new priests to power with them, thus defeating the massed forces of the establishment, as Steve McIntyre did, was not only an enormously impressive feat, and brought personal benefit to Steve McIntyre in that he, and you, did not wind up as serfs farming wheat with a digging stick, but there is a small but non zero possibility of a new establishment, in which case he will quite likely wind up as part of the new establishment priesthood, while all those who officially endorsed the Hockey Stick find themselves no longer part of the establishment priesthood.

Democracy is become unsustainable, due to hordes of bastards, the government importing a new people, ever increasing welfare, free medical care, the abolition of old style marriage,  the total inability of government to budget, and so on and so forth.  Democracy, equality, social justice, and all that stuff, is going to go, thus at this point in history, it may well be becoming less nerdly to be a dissident.

22 Responses to “Courage and Nerdliness”

  1. Thrasymachus says:

    The system now is built on insane lies little different from what the Soviet Union was built on. Nobody saw the end of that coming, and being more centralized it was weaker, but in the end people will have to admit the truth.

    • jim says:

      Nobody saw the end of that coming

      Actually I saw the fall of the Soviet Union coming in the latter days of the Bhreznev years, but only about ten years in advance, which is I suppose not all that impressive, but still a lot better than the CIA and academia which for some time after the Soviet Union had fallen was in grief and denial, refusing to admit what had happened.

  2. Thales says:

    First link is broken.

  3. SOBL1 says:

    I enjoy your blog. McIntyre’s work has been very effective since the NY Times recently disbanded their enviro bureau and stopped their green blog. Getting them to change is admission enough.

    I agree with you on what the left was trying to accomplish and let me add one more element: carbon trading. The Wall St banks were ready to get carbon trading up and running, and what the hell were they going to do to assign value? It would make derivatives look credible.

  4. BnG says:

    “I have been watching “High School of the Dead”, a Japanese anime with wonderful and beautifully done, though quite improbable, boob animations.”

    “I have been watching “High School of the Dead”, a Japanese anime.”

    “I have been watching a Japanese anime”

    “I have been watching anime”

    loooooooool

  5. KM says:

    show me dat titty anime, i need dat

  6. Jim's Blog Fanboy says:

    Please tell us more of your insights gleaned from long nights spent watching cartoons combined with recycled old moldbug ideas

  7. KM says:

    link to titty anime

  8. T Rhine says:

    pics or improbable boob animation didnt happen

  9. Merc says:

    Speak truth to power, oniichan! u~guuu

  10. KM says:

    LINK TO THE FUCKING ANIME FAGGOT

  11. Dr. Kevin MacDonald, PhD says:

    You guys need to stop giving Jim a hard time. There is nothing wrong with anime. Even renowned anti-semitic scholars such as myself like to wind down after a long night of debunking pieces of the Holocaust hoax by firing up our laptop and letting ourselves be drawn into a magical world where cute schoolgirls with huge eyes and technicolor hair frolic in a fictional Japan. I think we can learn a lot from these delightful stories, such as how a homogenous nation devoid of parasitic ethnic groups can produce such wholesome yet titillating entertainment fit for consumption by even the most discriminating academics and internet intellectuals.

    So lighten up, kick up your heels, and allow yourself to be mesmerized by the wonderful and beautifully done, though quite improbable, boob animations of your favorite anime.

  12. mmgood says:

    “After seven years of struggle, in 2012 October, the scientific establishment quietly decided that no further hockey sticks shall be published or publishable, and quietly conceded that the medieval climatic optimum happened.”

    Interesting if true. Cite?

  13. BN says:

    Jim never delivered the goods. Still waiting for those improbable boob animations two and half years later, bub.

  14. Powder Jews says:

    Hey buddy, what’s the word on the animes?

  15. Did someone say boob animations?

  16. Pangur says:

    Poast the fucking anime dammit.

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