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Belmont Club

Turn-down Day

February 20th, 2013 - 11:50 pm

I will try to find a solution to the comment archives in some way. But yesterday was a jinx day: for as if to compound things a server connected to another task went down. Vexed by the momentary paralysis of my cyber-life, I dusted my palms and proclaimed in frustration “that this means war” and went down to the neighborhood theater to watch Zero Dark Thirty. About three hours later I returned home and realized that the movie’s message was in fact that “it doesn’t mean war”.

The raids, the surveillance, the bureaucratic infighting, even the coercive interrogation but most especially the Lamborghini purchase scene all shouted “let’s get along”. Someone probably figured it was the better part of valor not to ask why he was stashed half a mile from the Pakistani military academy. That not asking was part of the ‘solution’ too. Maybe that’s what it comes down to: cultures, bureaucracies and individuals squeeze past each other in the corridors of history on their way to wherever. Osama Bin Laden created a disturbance in the symbolism of the system. Somehow September 11 had to be squared and his death was necessary to balance the terms in some political algebra. Not that anything was really squared but sorta was thought to be good enough. Maybe the most important thing OBL ever did was to die and provide an excuse to restart the music.

Perhaps that’s the most important thing the first generation of stars did too.

Then the server started up again and I reflected that we often wind up achieving a slightly different goal from the one we set out to achieve; as if condemned never quite climb that peak glimpsed through clouds but always another a little off to one side.

Maybe that’s how it was with Osama. He wanted to lead the jihad and finished up instead as a step on somebody’s ladder. Someone needed his carbon to make a little star of their own. And where does that new ladder lead? Who knows? But probably not where they think it does.

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Top Rated Comments   
Wretchard, I managed to salvage my nom d' blog and am here for now. The qualifier is that I have been less than adoring of what for lack of a better target can be called "Hanscom's Fiasco" over at the Imperial Decree thread over at the PJMedia home page. I figure that ban hammers will start swinging from the PJM Bunker soon.

Just so you know [and you probably do, although it needs to be said]; as hacked off as many of us are, especially at the destruction of the archives and the reconfiguration of the site to discourage intelligent discourse, you are not in any way the target of our anger.

You remain an island of sanity in this mess, and none of the verbiage directed at Hanscom, et. al. applies to you.

I rather suspect you were as blindsided as we were. I have had an exchange with a bylined PJM writer on that other thread, and she was. Another PJM writer expressed bafflement because the deliberate ignoring of the outrage is supposedly not Hanscom's style. It may well not be, but that would mean that he is subject to force majeure. Since he is the managing editor, that implies command influence.

For the record, preserving accessible archives when the system goes through a major change is not that hard, as I am sure you professionally know. I gave an example of how it was done with a huge multi-decade archive on a shoestring by a hobbyist group. Works wonderfully.

I also note that I am hearing from multiple sources, including offline communications from other writers in the right blogosphere, that PJMedia has had an actual shift in ownership [as in controlling stock] and that the new powers that be are intent on shutting down conservative media. That they are willing to literally drive PJM into the ground and take the financial loss, because their goal is ideological and not financial.

I do not know if it is true or not. In these interesting times, it cannot be ruled out. I do not know if you are constrained from commenting by contractual obligations or ethical considerations, but that is what is out there and the presentation of the "stone face" by PJMedia is not debunking the rumors.

I suspect that as long as it remains bearable, most of us will remain with you. Each, of course, will determine where that line is for themselves. I do not know your contractual obligations, or for that matter your personal inclinations. But I further suspect that if you should decide that BELMONT CLUB and yourself would be better off as an independent entity; you would not be lacking for readers. I further suspect that a certain bylined guest writer here is capable and may be willing to facilitate that.

You are moving to larger themes. That may not be congruent with the interests of "Teh Management" of PJM. But it is probably fitting. Individual outrages are coming too fast and furiously to cope with in series and are merging [including, perhaps, what is happening at PJM]. Larger themes, as in 1775 or 1860, are what will motivate people and drive events. And events are driving on. Belief in the essential goodness and good faith of opponents is no longer possible.

Perhaps heresy and sedition are the order of the day.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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I liked "Zero Dark Thirty" very much. It was surprisingly apolitical in terms of the so-called culture wars. I was amused to see that it was not at all confusing, except insofar as the characters themselves are confused. Criticism of the film in this sense is like saying The Thin Man movies were confusing. People in the film almost but rarely quite know what's going on. The hit on bin Laden is the only time we see any clarity in the film, since clarity, in terms of an extension of political will, usually means a gun, which is the end of an argument. Really, as all know, it's simply a man hunt, like a Dillinger movie, except these hillbillies the law has to navigate through are so incomprehensible in our own cultural terms, we have trouble seeing anything.
1 year ago
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1 year ago
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1 year ago
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Moving on to low information female voters, how to you turn a typical member of the herd into a Mama Grizzly?

The default reaction is "women and children first", as the males fall behind to intercede between the herd and the threat. Some males might be sacrificed "for the greater good" as they fight a delaying action. This allows time for a more precise evaluation of the size and power of the threat. If the initial thrust is slowed to a halt, other Beta males can join in a counter-attack. If they start to succeed, the females become the cheerleders providing encouragement. so females are the "leaders from behind", such as the Three Valkyries.

In the absence of Alpha Males (BHO is in charge), the boldest females are the de facto first line of defense. It is from this group that you get the first indications of female resistance.

But the real Mama Grizzlies are those with children who can provide survival of the species. Childless (pro-choice females) are just cannon fodder for the Mama Grizzlies to let become speed bumps to a major threat. They are even less worthwhile than Beta Males, as they are ineffective fighters and wait too long to enter the fray. Human speed bumps!
1 year ago
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43

For the distributed intelligence network to work, you have to have negative feedback.That negative feedback is analogous to courage.

Consider the flight or fight instinct. The first event is an eternal forcing (some clown changes the comments without telling you first). This could induce panic (flight) where everyone deserts you whining and imagining the worst (some commies bought PJMedia).

What allows the distributed mind to retain control would be a dampening effect that we might call courage.

Raw courage might result in death from a truly dangerous forcing (God is pissed at you). You can't fight the full power of Nature, but you can fight city hall. So you need some rapid sensory capability to evaluate the nature of the threat to provide the fuzzy logic decisionmaking ability to discriminate between overwhelming threats (Godd) and underwhelming Barack Hussein Obama Jr) ones.

You need to be able to decide whether fight or flight is the better option in a trice. You need intelligence.

Courage married to intelligence. That's the ticket.

And we need the 15 minute editing feature!!!! Start moving in the flight direction, but slowly enough to look over your shoulder to keep evaluating the type of threat, so you can turn and face the attacker once you know you can KICK ITS ASS!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another way to look at it would be to decide what type of defense you want to call in football.

Do you blitz, "bend don't break" or go to the prevent?

Against a WUSSY like BHO, it's all -out blitz time!
1 year ago
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As the fans used to chant while our undefeated football time was on DE-FENCE!

KICK 'EM, STOMP 'EM, STEP ON THEIR HEADS!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Courage is contagious.

That is how one starts a momentum shift, AKA a "preference cascade".

So you also want the ability of send out decisions FROM THE FRONT! AKA leadership

As the magazine delivery trucks used to have written on their sides, "Readers are leaders".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And, I am having to catalog all the new names chosen by old friends when the registration gremlin hit us.

But, more importantly, subotai bahadur said, supporting (unknowingly) my suggestion to save BC from the hounds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here is a bit of poetry from John Archibald Wheeler. Its mean to be physics.

""It from bit" symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes — no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."

So what question did Mr Bin Laden answer?
1 year ago
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Gratitude to "Fail Burton" on the last thread for noting that old comments are still in Google Cache. I retrieved and in defiance reposted my lost comment on the "Behind the Scenes" thread.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Want to take time off - write book about Japanese radical vs. dangerous Chinese hacker threat. Foreword by David Sanger, if he agrees.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Interesting note on the first stars. Before them, there was nothing but hydrogen and helium. As they blew up, other elements started showing up. But in addition there were black holes that helped mix things, in ways we are just learning. (Just finished reading interesting book on how black holes in the early universe had major impact.). "Gravity's Engines" by Caleb Scharf. "How bubble-blowing black holes rule galaxies, stars and life in the cosmos."

So this is another emergent "thing", that no one could have predicted from knowing the original starting status. This is where those who try to predict, run into serious trouble, and where the central control freaks run everyone into serious trouble. The problem is that in order for something to work it requires more knowledge than is possible to know. For example obamacare,aka zerocare.

When you have central control trying to do things, things happen that no one expects. So if the left is trying to wipe out PJM, what may result is a more organized opposition. Like the progressives in liberal denominations, by taking over they may concentrate their opposition in more effective groups. Like ore bodies that result from differential melting in hot magma from compounds melting at different temps. Or in early Christian history the Romans trying to stamp out the faith, kicked burning embers into new territory, Or in American history that British force that went out to seize a few guns and powder.

As long as we are in a time where that which cannot continue continues, we continue to accelerate into the rabbit hole with terminal velocity.

Thanks to all the faithful. May we all have wisdom to know what we need to do, and when, and to who. We already know why. Where remains the mystery it ever was.
1 year ago
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