The Various Audiences Of This Blog

I am much, much better at thinking than writing.  Another way to put this is that I’m just crappy at writing.

 

I started this blog in 2013 to participate/aid in/contribute to what had been named the “Manosphere.”  Around that time I discovered Moldbug and fell in with the neoreactionaries, and sometime (I don’t remember when!) I discovered the Jr. Ganymede, a group blog of/by/for Mormons of my stripe (intellectual, Romantic (capital-R), hungering and thirsting after righteousness).

These audiences have many similarities, but they have a good number of differences too.  A not-inconsiderable amount of effort in my writing here is spent tailoring posts for their various different audiences.

If it’s so much effort, why not create several different blogs? Probably because I want the best for all of those groups, and I believe they can help each other.  Distance and anonymity are the fence; given that, my secret wish is for us all to be neighbors.  There is also the practical matter of duplication of work.  I would rather require a bit more work/understanding of my readers (nrx: “Oh right, he’s the Mormon guy,” LDS: “Oh, right, he hangs out with Sith online.”) than sterilize myself for universal appeal.  I still aim for universal appeal, of course, but I don’t mind putting a bit more of the burden on you, reader, more than I used to.

So…why am I still writing?  I am well aware that I am not exactly a shining light of any particular blogosphere.  Why not pack up shop?  Because I’m a crappy writer.  I still have some insights I hope to share.

As for a unique contribution, the ambiguity thing.  We have a ton of information these days, but what is lacking is context.  I hold out hope that we can be better at navigating the modern intellectual landscape  (high-information, low-understanding) than we are.  One aim of this blog is to help us get there.  If the “patron saints” of Albion Awakening are Lewis and Tolkien, then Alan Kay might be the equivalent for here, purely for his statement that “A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

If you’re reading this, I’m probably on your side, for some value of “side.”

Carry on.

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Fulfilment and Metamorphosis

I have two conflicting intuitions, and I am quite sure of both of them.

The first is that we are to become “new creature[s],” that we are not merely supposed to “be good,” but that we are supposed to be good in a new way, a way impossible for our old selves.

The second, of course, is that each of us is irreplaceable, unique, and good, and that, if not on first look, but definitely on second, we will be clearly recognizeable in our final state to those who know us now.  Major changes are needed, to be sure, but they involve sharpening, refining, and clarifying—not hacking, mutilating, or mutating.

Hazards of Endarkenment

I do not think it wise to dwell overmuch on the dark.   Our faith lets us know right from the beginning that we are only seeing a part of the entire picture—and not merely that, but a chaotic, incoherent part.  Heaven is orderly, Hell discordant—therefore we can learn a little about all of Heaven (and creation) by glimpsing only a small part,  whereas Hell carries no such guarantees, at war with itself.

And yet.  Here we are.  Darkly enlightened.

It is, of course, something of an affectation to use the word “dark.”  Why should any particular knowledge be inherently dark?  And yet there are various factors that move us in that direction:

– we see widespread lies, sin, and ignorance

– we see conflicts between genders, races, and religions that are not solvable by simply “getting along”

– those who would prefer to believe in easier answers to the these dilemmas often shoot the messengers.  If enough people tell you you’re dark, you start to believe it.

– this by itself cannot help but be a cynical-making experience.  Having found a bit of truth, and seeing it consistently rejected, tends to make one see the glass as half-empty

– the magnitude of the opposition, and the broad vistas opened by what we’ve learned, can throw into sharp relief the nobility and beauty of the heights we can achieve…but they also ratchet up where we “should” be.   And despite an intellectual belief in Grace…I mean, maybe you only found the Red Pill because Grace wasn’t coming through, you know?

One of the dangers of being the sole local possessor of knowledge you find important, is that there is no one that can talk you out of it when that knowledge condemns you.  Benevolence isn’t enough: they are ignorant.

If you’re not careful, you can start to abandon the quest for peace as hopeless, and settle for superiority:

O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away,
And lose your love and shave your head; but do not go to stay
At the little place in What’sitsname where folks are rich and clever;
The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse for ever;

(The Aristocrat, Chesterton)

That line about things “grow[ing] worse for ever” is really a horrifying one.  It doesn’t mean simple decline; it means actual growth, self-transformation, in the wrong direction.  It is one thing to heal the wounded; it is quite another when someone has voluntarily begun to grow venom sacs under their armpits.  The Savior healed the blind with some clay; but reversing a reptilian tint to the eyes, once it has set in, might be a bit more involved.

But even if you resist, your aspiration works against you.  You know, walking home from the grocery store, that superiority is both illusory and not the point.  But that places you not one iota closer to where you should be.  My father had three kids at my age, you think.  And he did it on the East Coast.  What kind of natalist-traditionalist am I, a single Mormon dude in Provo with easy access to a dating pool worth killing for, and no prospects in sight.  If I’m the hope of the West, well, we might as well pack it up.  And you know that this very attitude makes it worse—which, alas, doesn’t make it wrong.

Be someone’s rock?  Reassure that everything will be all right?  I’m Darkly Enlightened, I’m nowhere near qualified for that job.  If only that meant anyone else was.  You can name five different reasons things will not be alright, and you are very, very confident you can defend them.  But the fact of their incompetence does nothing to solve yours.

I’m supposed to provide validation?  I need validationAnd I don’t know a single person I trust to give it.  Do they even aristocrat, brah?

And finally it comes to me.   There is one person who will accept my efforts without trying to dissuade me from my aspirations.  And you consider: have I been properly meek?  Were I bid to wash in the Jordan seven times, would I?  Have I done the equivalent?  Perhaps not.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Rebuttal I Wish I’d Written

David Hines wrote a good tweetstorm about the organization asymmetry between Right and Left, but what gnawed at me about it was: the Left should not be our example!  Over at Thermidor Richard Greenhorn highlighted the actual root problem:

http://thermidormag.com/the-spirit-of-a-spiritless-situation-on-the-rights-failure-to-organize/

 

We should all be praying for guidance.  The victory will not come because of our efforts—we may even lose the battle, from our point of view.

God bless you, and yours.

Against Skill

Heartiste will occasionally run a post featuring a “Game Challenge” for readers.  They basically go:  “You are in <x situation>.  <Y> happens.  What do you do?”  Readers are invited to comment, etc.

And, you know, this is useful, within its sphere.  But it minimizes something important: often the time for effort and skill is not “now,” but it was yesterday, or it will be tomorrow.  It’s tempting to think of “game” or “skill” as its own, independent, fundamental entity, that can be tested in an isolated, head-to-head trial:

An example from a few days ago:

 

Theodore asks,

“Game question: What is the best way to respond when a girl asks if she annoys you?”

 

Heartiste has an answer, and it’s alright.  But the answers most useful for dudes in their actual lives would be:

“Beats me.  If it’s possible that a small failure here tanks the whole relationship, then I’ve already screwed up.”

and

“Beats me.  If this goes south though it’s not the end of the world.  I’ll keep pursuing my goals and approach someone else.”

 

The race is not to the swift.

Assorted Thoughts, In Context

On Sexual Polarity

– The “ideal” member of the opposite sex, from a purely sexual point of view, will be at maximum sexual polarity.  Think Christian Grey and a mix between Audrey Hepburn and Jessica Rabbit.

– Sexual polarity is somewhat controllable.  Most advice in the manosphere is oriented towards increasing it—men are advised to do things that increase their confidence, to lift, to put energy into their careers, and women are advised to take care of themselves, dress in a feminine manner, and be supportive.

– Sexual polarity is, to some extent, a luxury good.  That is: just because something is sexy does not mean that it is always a good idea.  If you are bent under the sink, you don’t want to be wearing a miniskirt.  If you have work to do, maybe those extra hours at the gym could be cut down a bit.

– Not only do cis characteristics sometimes have to be sacrificed in the name of practicality, but sometimes it even becomes expedient to adopt some behaviors typed to the opposite sex—women pushing harder for raises; men being quiet and supportive of a boss, etc.

– The above explains the “paradox” that in poorer countries there are more women in “typically masculine” professions like engineering.  To an extent, the country “can’t afford” sex.

– Those of similar polarity attract.  Extremely masculine men and extremely feminine women gravitate toward one another.  This does not make them superior, more self-actualized beings—a hard-drinking gym rat construction worker and a flaky stripper are both strongly sexually polarized, and could definitely end up together, but you don’t want to be either one.

– That said, the prevailing ethos in the West generally moves people to a lower level of polarity than they “ought” to be—as in, could stand/afford, and would enjoy.

On Catch-22’s and Effort Sinks

– There exists a class of situations and goals where, after a certain threshold, exerting extra effort fails to provide returns, and may even be detrimental.  Examples include: you need a job to get experience/experience to get a job, confidence to build relationships/relationships to gain confidence, relaxation to achieve success/success to be able to relax, and faith to obey/the fruits of obedience to build faith.

– I’ve basically only come across two ways to break these impasses: either avoid them as unproductive in hopes that they will resolve themselves in time or as we labor in more productive arenas, or try to power through one of the steps despite the “necessity” of the other.

On Wanting Absurdly Attractive Women

– “It’s not so much that I’m shallow (although I am of course),” I thought.  “It’s that I view the attractiveness of the woman I can attract as society’s opinion on me.”

– “Oh,” I thought.  “Women must feel the same.”