Bitcoin time

I have been diversifying from Bitcoin to ADA, because I was profoundly unhappy with Bitcoins scalability, and with its implementation of the lightning network, and I recommended that other people do so.

This turned out to be a bad idea.

The bitcoin lightning network substantially eases the scaling problem for an order of magnitude or two growth, after which scalability is likely to start biting again.

The bitcoin lightning network’s problems appeared to be insoluble to me, because of the way bitcoin works, and because I was just not seeing the will or coherent organization needed to fix them.

The taproot update to bitcoin, however, makes it possible to fix the lightning network, and suggests the existence of will and organization capable of fixing it, and with intent to do so. I conjecture that the recent rise in bitcoin is substantially driven by this prospect.

The biggest immediate problem with the lightning network is unrelated to the issues that taproot addresses: backup. Backup of your lightning network is broken, unless you are merely the client of some big node,.

The big point and big value proposition of cryptocurrency is that you don’t have to suffer client status, with all its grave costs, dangers, and inconveniences. It is client status that is the problem that bitcoin was originally created to fix.

To recover your lightning wallet you need both the master secret and the current state of your lightning wallet. Which you probably lost in the crash. Backups will not work, because the state of your lightning wallet, unless you are a mere client of a single important node, is likely to change frequently and unpredictably. The current backup solutions are a collection of complicated half assed workarounds which are likely to mostly work most of the time, provided you know who all your counterparties are, they are still around, and they are honest, well behaved, and well intentioned.

The correct solution is that every time your wallet state changes, it should send a copy of the state change, not the entire state, just the change in state, encrypted to a secret that only the possessor of the master secret can generate, to a couple of backups in the cloud.

Then if your lightning wallet crashes, you could recreate it from your master secret by re-running all the state changes from the beginning.

I don’t know why this was not implemented. Perhaps it is just that they had, and have, more pressing problems to deal with, but now that there is substantial, and rapidly growing, money in the lightning network it becomes a lot more pressing. I intend to go lightning, once backup is adequately addressed, and am going back to bitcoin right now.

462 Responses to “Bitcoin time”

  1. bitcoinfan says:

    Regarding simplified channel backup: there’s a simple proposal (Eltoo) that would add this (paper is fairly readable, but let me know if you need further explanation):

    https://blockstream.com/eltoo.pdf

    tldr; currently, Lightning requires each channel participant to store all past states, so that if the counterparty publishes an old revoked state, you can punish them on-chain.

    Eltoo makes it so that you don’t need punishments. You simply post the most recent state you have, and if the counterparty has a fresher one, they simply publish it, which they can do if the incrementing counter on their transaction is higher than the one you posted.

    Bitcoin requires a small modification to support this: support for signatures that commit to *any* input that matches the pubkey signed for, as opposed to a specific input. This modification is called SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT or SIGHASH_NOINPUT:

    https://bitcoinops.org/en/topics/sighash_anyprevout/

    It would be a simple change, and probably will happen at some point as Lightning usage grows and increases base layer fee pressure.

    • jim says:

      This is the correct way to do the lightning network over bitcoin, albeit it leaves out certain very important details.

      Among the many very important details it leaves out, I see no discussion of the wallet backup issue, implicit or explicit.

  2. Pseudo-Chrysotom says:

    Reply meant for going under https://blog.reaction.la/economics/bitcoin-time/?replytocom=2791246#respond
    If you could move it there Jim, that would be appreciated.

  3. Basil says:

    Orthodoxy is contrary to the will of the GNON. If Orthodoxy contributed to the fulfillment of God’s will, Orthodox churches would be filled with young people and small children, and not unpleasant aunts over 50 who, in their youth, performed abortions on a cooldown, and then simply felt the breath of death due to a meaningless materialistic life. Men who choose Orthodoxy cannot boast of a large number of children. You can say that before the Bolsheviks and the Industrial Revolution, Orthodoxy was different. But that Orthodoxy has long been lost – now Orthodoxy is a little different. Only one public Orthodox figure known to me proposed “a cruel Christian life” (the real punishment of criminals) and called lascivious women “mad dogs”, but he receives criticism from among his colleagues. The ROC (like other Orthodox churches) is a pro-power structure, and the modern state power of Russia is against real families and has a deeply anti-popular and anti-human nature. Therefore, waiting for changes in the right direction from this side is simply naive.

    Healthy Protestant parishes, Islam, or the creation of your own mini-cult at home – any of these options is more fruitful than Orthodoxy.

    • Anonymous says:

      > Islam
      😐

    • jim says:

      Sounds like Greek Orthodoxy in America

      Russian Orthodoxy in America lives

      Recent events have demonstrated that you cannot have Christianity, except as a mustard seed hiding underground, unless it has nukes and a state.

      If Christianity is not the state religion, if it does not dominate and converge all other religions within the state, it will be dominated and converged by the state religion.

    • neofugue says:

      > Healthy Protestant parishes, Islam, or the creation of your own mini-cult at home

      Ideas you neither have experience with nor will ever get around doing. Being lonely and atomized leads to despair, hence this comment.

      As Aidan has said regarding “good girls,” it is not that “good” girls are all taken, rather that being taken makes a girl “good.” Likewise, what makes a church good or evil is not the church itself rather the people who inhabit it. The perfect church does not exist, there are no “Magic Protestants,” and for every L. Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith there are a hundred trailer-park popes with nothing to show. If one wishes to attend a “good” church he must enter an imperfect one and make it better through his efforts.

      The friendships one cultivates at a church are stronger and more meaningful than any other kind, and your comment illustrates a need for these types of connections.

      • jim says:

        > If one wishes to attend a “good” church he must enter an imperfect one and make it better through his efforts.

        How can one make it better if a black priest assisted by a cat lady deacon preaches globohomo from the pulpit?

        If the head of the fish is rotten, the body of the fish is lost.

        • neofugue says:

          There are times when a man must retreat, and there are times when a man must fight. If a church is preaching globohomo with a black priest and a cat lady deacon then the best option would be to leave.

          There are numerous churches in my area yet I commute roughly an hour every Sunday (sometimes Saturday for Vespers) to get away from globohomo. What I was referring to was the fact that no church is completely perfect.

  4. Hellene says:

    Re-reading The logos has risen has clarified this for me.

    We observe that Gnon rewards those who do his will with sons, prosperity and world conquest. This is what jim’s blog documents and explains. What has never been discussed is that it is the will of Gnon that man’s existence is ultimately characterised by the satisfaction of desire, and that some desires can be satisfied through material means and some cannot.

    Man’s desire for absolute truth, the desire that has most characterised Christianity since its inception, is not a desire that can be fulfilled through physical means unlike hunger, thirst, or lust. Neither can our relationship to the past that characterises the Christian concept of repentance, or future (Lord’s prayer). These desires can only be fulfilled in relation to certain *states of mind*.

    When I see a discussion in regard to man’s relation to the nature and state of truth, a state of affairs that can be investigated individually as material cause and effect, a discussion that *must* happen unless we are all to perish, shut down on this blog under some flimsily designed pretext, I see red.

    • jim says:

      > When I see a discussion in regard to man’s relation to the nature and state of truth.

      Obstinate refusal to acknowledge or respond to your interlocutor’s position is not discussion, and not pursuit of truth.

      Persistently and stubbornly mischaracterizing your interlocutor’s position is not discussion, and not pursuit of truth.

      It leads to people persistently reposting the same stuff over and over.

      Rob would post something moronic, and attribute to his interlocutors moronic Christianity as imagined by late twentieth century internet atheists or invented by late nineteenth century philosophers.

      His interlocutors would yet again attempt to explain their position, and Rob would yet again post more or less the same inane, stupid, and repetitious thing, again attributing to his interlocutors the same moronic position again. After numerous such pointless repetitions, I shut that discussion down.

      Further, what you describe as the search for truth was done, unsuccessfully, by late nineteenth century – early twentieth century philosophers, and ended in them disappearing up their own assholes in the mid twentieth century. That path leads nowhere. It is the wrong path, leads only to your own asshole, no point in setting foot on it yet again. You have to start by setting foot on a different path.

      This “discussion” consists of you and Rob obstinately standing on that dead end path, and refusing to acknowledge that everyone else on this blog is walking a different path, or different paths, persistently and stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that there is any other path.

      The reason the discussion went on forever and led nowhere is because of refusal to acknowledge the interlocutor’s path.

      • Rob says:

        I honestly don’t know what you want me to say. Neofugee’s position was, as he agreed to when I said it:

        It’s like I’m talking to a brick wall. “Believe Orthodoxy because believe Orthodoxy.”

        First Principles are inherently circular.

        What am I supposed to respond to that with?

        • jim says:

          You are supposed to respond with comprehension.

          Neofugue was disagreeing with your representation of his position, not agreeing. The brick wall that I see is you.

          There is a world of thought out there, ancient but still living, and awakening once again, largely due to the impact of the red pill on it. Meanwhile you refuse to understand anything outside a narrow self enclosed philosophy that hit its dead end and died half a century or so ago.

          • Rob says:

            [*deleted*]

            • jim says:

              Those are reasonable questions.

              Which in this thread have been answered rather too many times.

              The point of your questions is not to obtain answers, but to reframe your interlocutors as agreeing with a position they reject, hence no answers satisfy you.

              The problem with starting with reason and the senses, is that it does not get you very far at all. If you are going to get anywhere, you need something a bit stronger to stand on. One would think that reason and the senses would get you a long way, but that is the debacle of late nineteenth century, early twentieth century philosophy.

              Even the moderate realist position goes a little bit beyond what is available from reason and the senses, though as short a distance as possible, and if you don’t take at least the moderate realist position, you are lost in the void.

              • Rob says:

                Then where, in Jiminiaty, do you propose we start?

                • jim says:

                  Under a hostile state religion, Christianity can only survive as a mustard seed, unless it is a branch of a Church from another state that has nuclear weapons and memetic sovereignty.

                  The time for large scale recruitment will be after the current Harvard State Religion self destructs, leaving a vacuum, that all sorts of cults attempt to fill. Then, if things go well, Caesar adopts us as his instrument to create a virtuous elite.

                  For now, the program is the program I gave in The Logos Has Risen:
                  We know the truth, live the truth, and so far as is safe to do so, speak the truth. When others lie, and it is dangerous to contradict them, we withhold the appearance of assent, the form and appearance of consent.

      • Hellene says:

        This is going nowhere. You are demanding I concede the argument before it even begins.

        I will simply say this. Gnon has spoken and Christianity is dead. You will have as much success as Julian.

        • jim says:

          If to respond is to concede, this tells us what method of debate you are using.

          If to acknowledge your interlocutor is taking the position that he is taking is to concede, this tells us the fragility of the ground you stand on.

          • Hellene says:

            You are demanding I respond to you using your own metaphysical framework. Not going to happen. That’s exactly what we’re arguing about.

            • jim says:

              No. I am demanding that you admit what my metaphysical framework is, instead of stubbornly, persistently, and repetitiously framing me with the one invented for me by late nineteenth century philosophers, without any regard for what I in fact said.

              I demand that you talk to me, rather than to a straw man invented a long time ago.

              • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                I am pretty sure he is either a shill or some other hostile entryist. I called him a boy fucker and he did not respond, even to insult me in return. Starman, can you hit these fuckers with the Red Pill on Women Question? I think Rob and Hellenes are fucking spies and saboteurs, here to fuck up our discourse.

                • alf says:

                  Rob has been polite.

                • jim says:

                  Obviously, but it is a new entryist strategy, and letting it play out reveals what our enemies are up to, what they want, who they are.

                  Previous attacks seemed directed at the dark enlightenment as a naziwhitesupremacist right wing extremists, as monarchists and so forth. This one seems to be directed at the faith of gnon.

                  There is the same absolutely ignorant arrogance we saw with Communist Revolutionary – with Communist Revolutionary, it was thought that only reason we had not bought into communism was that we were ignorant yahoo lumpenproles who had not yet bbeen told about it, and now it is as if the only reason we do not laugh at Christianity with all the terribly smart people is that no one told us about the amazing wisdom of nineteenth century philosophers.

                  “Oh right, I get it. They are rejecting the enlightenment. Go and explain the enlightenment to them and decorate it with their shibboleths so that you sound like one of them:

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  One theme that is consistent across time, is focusing particular shill efforts on any particular figures or trends in a community that seem most possessed of positive energy, or dynamism, or vitality, or so on; that which seems most given to gathering things towards such directions.

                  A few years ago peppermint was a significant target that got pressed; in more recent times suones was another target for pressing; now that that’s dealt with the next thing down the list that seems high energy is a regenrating perennialism as invoked through the particular form of Christianity, the once and future weltanschauung of europoid civilization that tied the various threads of tech-com, theonomist, and ethno-nationalist together into a pretty bow, as God intended.

                  Such is a key part of the continual effort at paring down opposition – potential or otherwise – into forms that are sterile and unchallenging to the incumbent revolutionary vanguard.

                • alf says:

                  A few years ago peppermint was a significant target that got pressed

                  I think there’s few Jim commenters who are as OG as peppermint was. His comments were funny but incoherent. Shaman bullied him for it, Peppermint couldn’t deal with it. It was an act of quality control the way I remember.

                  in more recent times suones was another target for pressing

                  The indian invasion was a bit much, I did not see a problem with the pushback.

                  the next thing down the list that seems high energy is a regenrating perennialism as invoked through the particular form of Christianity

                  Maybe, some of it, definitely. But part of it is also genuine debate.

                • Pmint thought sham was rationalizing violation of a man’s property rights over his daughters, and sham thought pmint was rationalizing violation of a man’s property rights over his wife. Plus a lot of other bullshit raked up for flinging, but those seemed to be the main assumptions animating each party.

                  Looked to me like ships passing in the night without ever seeing each other. The whole frackas felt fake and gay. But that’s just jew things i guess.

                  >The indian invasion was a bit much, I did not see a problem with the pushback.

                  Words like ‘invasion’ are very deceptive framing. We had one or two commentators speaking from the point of view of another still living adaptive tradition, which produced some profitable discourse.

                  I frequently debated with suones over one thing or another; and they were good debates which i enjoyed, because the angles were interesting. And he also brought his own angles of attack against other subversive elements, as well.

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  Letting it play out is well and good, but this seems to be the dead end if their script. We know what they are after, now, which you pointed out. They seek to attack Gnon and the Logos, to undercut the material and effective causation that NRx uses as its primary heuristic. Since we know what they want, the observational studies are complete, or nearly so. We know what they will say, and can say. Now we should perform a philosophical vivisection on them, to find out what they cannot say. That will help us better understand them, and determine who went them.

                  I suspect there may be overlap with demon-worshippers, specifically in their attack on Logos, Jesus Christ. The women question is usually good as sussing out malefactors, so it should be employed. Ultimately, however, we need to create a Nicene Creed of Gnon, to formalize our philosophy and defend specifically against attacks of this nature. These creatures show its utility and soon–if they are followed by others–its necessity. The Nicene Creed has lasted for nearly two millenia, and still performs admirably. We can only hope to be so lucky with a Creed of Gnon, but it should be attempted.

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  Peppermint deserved what he got because he was being a shit. I cannot remember what Shaman was bullyciding him for, but I remember he had it coming. Shaman’s loss was a tragic one. I cannot remember what it was that pissed him off, but he would be of great help here. He was great at smoking out spies and sneaks. I wish he would come back.

                • alf says:

                  Words like ‘invasion’ are very deceptive framing. We had one or two commentators speaking from the point of view of another still living adaptive tradition, which produced some profitable discourse.

                  I dramatize just because I like the alliteration. Indian renaissance sounds just as good.

                  It was more than one or two. Like, a couple? Really, I did not mind them vibing but there just happened to be a lot going on at the same time. I remember reading extensive Hindu theological posts and thinking ‘I don’t really understand this’, and consequently reading the haters’ posts accusing the Indians of not having sewerage and thinking ‘I understand this’.

                  I don’t think it was such a big deal and Jim dealt with it appropriately.

              • Hellene says:

                I admit I am wrong.

                “By their fruits you will know them”, and guess what, the fruits of my particular metaphysic are terrible.

                Gnon, and old style Anglicanism it is for me then.

                I am not an entryist and not under the thumb of a HR department like Caloric Restrictionist, simply someone who was testing out their worldview. To prove it this will be my last comment.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  I want to believe you are being honest, so I will. Other stronger men here will carry the burden of defensive cynicism. For what it’s worth, thank you for your admission, and I apologize if my insults caused you grief.

        • A2 says:

          Nonsense. Gnon has spoken and you chose to become soulless animals.

    • Kunning Drueger says:

      I’m setting aside my petty vendetta with you for the purposes of this post. I’m asking you honestly, in good faith, and I am fully stating that theology and philosophy are not at all my wheelhouse.

      >Man’s desire for absolute truth, the desire that has most characterised Christianity since its inception, is not a desire that can be fulfilled through physical means unlike hunger, thirst, or lust

      I’m not well read on Nietzsche, but wasn’t his contention that the pursuit of and/or claim to possess absolute truth was what “killed” God? Has it really always been the “point” of Christianity, or was it a pursuit taken up by the Enlightenment crowd relatively late in history (18th/19th centuries)? It seems like a whiggish pursuit…

      • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

        >This is Nietzsche’s twofold struggle: against those who remove values from criticism, contenting themselves with producing inventories of existing values or with criticizing things in the name of established values (the “philosophical labourers”, Kant and Schopenhauer, BGE 211); but also against those who criticise or respect values by deriving them from simple facts, from so-called “objective facts” (the utilitarians, the “scholars”, BGE Part 6). In both cases philosophy moves in the indifferent element of the valuable in itself or the valuable for all. Nietzsche attacks both the “high” idea of foundation which leaves values indifferent to their origin and the idea of simple causal derivation or smooth beginning which suggests an indifferent origin for values. Nietzsche substitutes the pathos of difference or distance (the differential element) for both the Kantian principle of universality and the principle of resemblance dear to the utilitarians. “It was from the height of this pathos of distance that they first seized the right to create values and to coin names for them; what did utility matter?” (GM I 2 p. 26)

        One of the good sir Friedrich’s main deals, is that he intuitively sensed that the ‘fact-value distinction’, that much of academic discussion laboured under in his day, and had done so perhaps as far back as the renaissance, was inherently impoverished, which is worthy of recognition; though where he perhaps misstepped is in a fully working through the implications of such an intuition.

        • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

          One of his other main deals – not unrelated to this, and of similar origins – is his intuitive observation of that, where some men are operating under inherited values reflected from larger bodies of validation, other men are operating as the source of those values; that men may differ in capacity for ‘natural nobility’; to more or less consciously participate in more or less transcendent teleologies – which is to say, the construal of more or less transcendent values; which in turn may be expressed as more or less capacity for agency. This, too, is worthy of note for recognizing – and is perhaps also something he misstepped in fully working through the implications of.

      • Hellene says:

        I suppose I could have simply said truth here for the same meaning, but I believe truth has been important to the West since the pre-Socratics…

        • Kunning Drueger says:

          It is very important. So much so that it is a very effective way to derail pursuits, waylay endeavors, and draw fertile young minds down the path of pointless pursuit. I’m a casualty of “seeking truth over all.” I guess I’ve just gotten to a place where I look up at the stars and I don’t care anymore about knowing all the facts and explanations of what they are, why they are, and what got them there. I just want to go to the stars, kill xenos, grow crops, and make babies. Simple as. A younger me would call this willful ignorance or brutish cowardice. But I think there’s something so sweet about a life simply lived. When one comes along, as I did so often, and starts picking at the threads, for any reason, I assume they are here to harm, whether they realize it or not.

          • alf says:

            I’m a casualty of “seeking truth over all.”

            You say that, but then reveal you have found truth.

            I just want to go to the stars, kill xenos, grow crops, and make babies.

            Sounds like the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. No doubt that were you to travel to such a star, you would have no trouble learning, out of necessity, what that star is, why it is there and what got it there. But right now it’s just not that important.

            Continental philosophy says its about the search for truth, just like progressives say they’re about the search of science, but in practice, always turns out to be another skinsuit.

  5. Pooch says:

    Really good talk between two based South Africans discussing when it is appropriate to flee and when to defend.

    https://youtu.be/XlZd5d-Kvd0

    • Alfred says:

      Fantastic video.

    • Kunning Drueger says:

      Really quite good, but also it’s just talk for us Amerikaners. The Afrikaners have a metric by which to measure what was lost, a massive stick with which to beat pacifists, moderates, and fence-sitters. We don’t have that here, and it takes so much to get Amerikaners moving. A stolen election, stolen wealth, stolen work, stolen children, stolen dreams… And they still just want to grill and recollect dubya dubya too.

      Sorry for the blackpill. Excellent talk. Caracal and Afriforum are great.

  6. Alfred says:

    I have to wonder if they’re going to try and keep the steal believable in Virginia or not.

  7. Anonymous BTC boy says:

    This fuckin’ regime…

    https://twitter.com/i/events/1453487745058295815

    • Anonymous BTC boy says:

      Government as Netflix subscription.

      I wonder how things are going to unfold for those who haven’t yet been vaccinated. Will they have to “catch up” on missed shots?

    • jim says:

      Vaccination is holy, so more vaccination is more holy. Everyone must be holy, and once everyone is holy, it is not holy enough. Everyone must be more holy. You must buy more indulgences from the pardoners properly authorized by the pope!

      • ExileStyle says:

        Something about this makes me authentically uneasy. It’s simple to rhetorically claim either “This is a test run for the rest of the West!” or “Australia and New Zealand were always prisons and never learned to be free!” but what’s really happening here? To say something like this so openly is amazing, even by already degraded US-Europe standards. Are they just monstrously stupid or is this a test run?

        And if it’s peculiar to Australia-NZ culture, what makes them so different from us, and so cheerily welcome of bioleninism?

        • jim says:

          How does Australia come into this story?

          This is the left in America leading the way for the left in America. Americans in America are launching a trial balloon for ever rising levels of vaccination to be imposed on Americans. If the balloon gets endorsed by the New York Times, probably Australians will follow, dutifully displaying exemplary obedience to an ever more insane and evil priesthood. But as yet, Australian authorities are just watching nervously from the sidelines waiting to be told how high they must jump.

        • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

          A-NZ are very far from power and thus must always be more conspicuously and obnoxiously holy. More American than America, more Puritan than Harvard, in order to show that they are not backwards rednecks. Like how the shitlibs in the South are so much more hateful and spiteful to their own people to prove that they are goodwhites and not badwhites. NZ was not as authoritarian, so it is not that. Australia was a prison colony, but NZ does not have the same history as its neighbor. It is not just the prison guard genetics making NZ a hellhole, too.

          • Hellene says:

            Spoken by someone who has never been to Australia and has probably never talked to an Australian.

            This type of exegesis contains as about much value as anything written by Foucault and it amazes me to find it on this blog. No relation to reality whatsoever.

            • Kunning Drueger says:

              I was bothered by your posts, but then I realized that you are basically just a cat lady. Using that filter, your petulant nagging isn’t so bothersome.

              • Hellene says:

                That’s because you’re a fucking retard with no ability to parse reality.

                This is why Wulfgar’s comment is useless:

                https://blog.reaction.la/economics/bitcoin-time/#comment-2791202

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  The kangaroos had 1 “mass shooting” and elected to liquidate their political power. Wulfgar’s thesis stands. There’s oodles of footage of armed white Aussie cops playing Covid gestapo, brought to light by a camel jockey immigrant. I disagree with Jim on this one; Australia and Hobbiton, with regards to their left wing factions, are extremely blue gov sensitive. There’s a cultural freeness that gives the impression of being laid back, but whites disarming themselves for any reason whatsoever is an unpardonable sin. They are slightly more hardline on immigration, but they are pozzed as fuck about brownskins that can g’day properly.

                  More to the point, you opened with “you can’t possibly understand cow shit because you’ve never stepped in a cow pie.” Did you honestly expect that line of argument to be convincing?

                • jim says:

                  Australian whites are a lot less disarmed than you think. There is some trivial paperwork, which is too hard and too slow for non whites and for people with short term horizons to navigate, but it does not stop anyone of ordinary competence from getting a gun. You have to sign up with a firearms instructor, and take a test. No one has ever failed the test. It is one hell of a lot harder to get a driving license, which has a real test, and everyone manages to get a driving license.

                  In practice, pretty similar to guns in California. Are Californians disarmed? I recollect in California, I had to wait a short period and take a test, which you can pass if you know not to point the business end of the gun at anything you do not want to destroy.

                  The Australian priesthood tells the American priesthood that Australia is now very very holy about guns, but they just go through the motions.

                • Pooch says:

                  Wulfgars thesis stands and I don’t see how it conflicts with Jim. In order to gain status, the priests of the provinces must display holier than thou holiness in order to get noticed, acknowledged, and patted on the head by the priests at the center of the Empire.

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  You are just jealous because you have smol-peepee extinct boy-fucking “philosopher” energy and I have big-dick Thundercock devirginizing energy. Go away, because if you nip my ankles then I will kick you in the teeth. Although you might find it easier to suck dick that way, so I am unsure if this will be an effective deterrent. I will declare it regardless. You are a whiny homo, and probably enjoy dead-ended ideas because they involve disappearing your own asshole, or someone else disappearing up your asshole.

                  TL;DR: You talk like a fag, and your shit’s all fucked up.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  I’ll take your word for it, Jim. But you have to understand that those gun melting pictures are the Holocaust for my people. Honestly, I’d love to believe the eternal Aussie is more than a meme. But there’s the whole thing with the govt condemning, vilifying, and punishing AuSAS over “””war crimes””” in AFG. Very reminiscent of Eddie Gallagher incident…

  8. inquiry says:

    @Jim do you have a Biblical commentary you recommend? I recently came across Adam Clarke’s, and his comments on the Parable of the Good Samaritan sounded rather Jimian.

    • jim says:

      Eighteenth century and earlier biblical commentary is generally fairly sane.

      • Esa says:

        Have you or anyone else good ever put together a reading list? For the self taught/ public school victim/ homeschooler who wants to learn everything important? A list of the most important classics/ history? Especially which Christian works are most important

    • c4ssidy says:

      I’m a long time Jimian student and I also listen to everything which Pastor Steven Anderson preaches. You might like it as well. He goes through the Bible chapter by chapter

    • neofugue says:

      The Orthodox Study Bible, available in Kindle, Hardcover and Mobile App, is an excellent source on proper patristic exegesis taken from the many saints of the church. The commentary goes up to the line while remaining silent on material which cannot be discussed, which is about as much as one could ask. For those wishing to read further general advice is to look for someone with the title of “Saint.”

    • Pooch says:

      LMAO! Money printer in overdrive.

      • The Cominator says:

        I can’t laugh at this one its a real outrage. Letting them flood in en masse is predictable making a bunch of them semi rich men at random at our expense (I’m sure the real motive is to kickback to their lawyers)… makes my blood boil. This one tempts me to make posts that sound like fedpoasting. Giving away enough money to most of these parasites that the average person would kill their parents for…

        It certainly hardens my determination that if we ever get the chance and I have anything to say about it that we will show no mercy…

        • Pooch says:

          It’s only going to get a hell of a lot worse from here. Third Worldism is coming. Once you accept that, the absurdity of the whole system becomes comical and the rage flows away.

          • The Cominator says:

            I can handle the rational importation for nefarious (and shortsighted) motives of some underclass… but paying them rich people wages selectively…

            I haven’t been this angry since the lockdowns started or at least 4am Nov 4th… its just not funny to me.

            • Pooch says:

              Well they are going to be making that in salary in a government job anyway. The black elite and middle class of ANC-run South Africa is entirely propped up by government salaries.

              • The Cominator says:

                Only the lawyers in this transaction are at all connected to the ruling class. I understand the ruling class is going to take care of themselves but that is not all of what this is. They are picking out random Guatamaleans and giving them upper middle class money that certainly the average angry millenial would kill everyone they know for…

                This is making a holy rite out of screwing the Amerikaner… and it really really makes me angry. This makes me want to fedpoast.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  As a fellow Rage-Prone Poster seeking to ameliorate my own rage, I’d just point out that none of it makes any sense, and this is just one in a series of senseless acts. I’ve posted before the salaries of Diversity and Inclusion Priests at the University of Michigan, which we only have access to because it is still nominally a public university. It was over $10 million a year in 2018-2019. We know how things have accelerated since then.

                  You add up those budgets, and extrapolate for every university in the nation, increasing by a factor of, say, ten for elite private universities, and we already have up to a billion dollar industry (or more by now, who knows) devoted to Holy Diversity Worship. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvthj9VUUAAWgMK?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

                  Not that this should make us feel better overall, but maybe temper individual moments of rage. We are here for the bigger picture. This gives me at least a sense of the scope of this beast. Paying noncitizens for nonissues is simply another episode in a huge industry which, in my whitepill moods, I trust cannot last.

                  In my blackpill moods, I *know* it cannot last but look forward to enjoying their perplexed suffering as they fall along with the rest of us.

                • Pooch says:

                  The regime employs a tremendous amount of people in high-paying state and quasi-state jobs with full pensions, who are overwhelmingly made up of diversity, and very little of whom actually do real work of any value, even to the regime. I would expect that number to continue to exponentially increase until collapse.

                • The Cominator says:

                  The diversity commissars were a known thing that expanded gradually as part of bureaucratic and patronage creep (before 2020 the Democrats had to actually buy votes) as probably what was originally an unintended consequence of subsidized student loans and priestly credentialing.

                  This is something even worse. Giving away massive money to criminals who don’t even have to pretend to do a phony job.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  @Pooch

                  Yeah, right after hitting submit and reviewing my post, I realized through simple arithmetic this in fact must be a multi-billion dollar industry, considering the thousands of universities in the US. I don’t even know what order of magnitude we’re talking about. Always presume the highest…

                  And Michigan even has an anti-affirmative action amendment, popularly voted for, on the books! Good Lord, what a few years we have ahead of us.

                • Pooch says:

                  Easy to see what’s in store for us. I believe I heard a statistic that something crazy like 1/3 of all black Africans in South Africa are employed by the ANC in someway either directly through the state or some sort of party apparatus.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  That sounds about right.

                  Interestingly, my wife and I just had dinner last week with a White South African couple, and the degree to which they (especially the husband) are not at all worried about the Blacks amazed me. Whites have found their own parallel universe to inhabit, one which very closely resembles the one constructed and preserved by Apartheid.

                  He was a guy from a middle-sized city. Rural White farmers, with less immediately accessible comrades-in-arms, seem to be having the worst time of it, but for some White people in SA things have been as good as ever. Their population is actually increasing, interestingly enough due to repatriation, he claimed. 75% of land in the country is still owned by White people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_South_Africans#Current_trends

                  It’ll take a while to bring us down.

                • Pooch says:

                  The Afrikaners that have chosen to stay in (and also return to) South Africa are a tremendous white pill. They are showing us how to survive civilizational collapse as they experience it in real time. The limiting factor to the growth of Orania is the physical construction of houses, not people.

                  It’s only a matter of time before Zimbabwe-style land expropriation becomes official policy in South Africa, but I reckon the Afrikaneers have been planning for that day for some time.

                • The Cominator says:

                  The real problem is never the blacks, nor even the jews but ALWAYS the white shitlibs.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  Yeah, a huge white pill. Whites are like 5% of the population and they’re not surrounded by the gentle MLK Jr.-type Gospel-Singing Blacks we know and love with centuries of history of navigating white culture but like full-blown Zulu Blackest of Black Africa Blacks…

                  History continues. New life in South Africa? Who’d have thunk.

                • The Cominator says:

                  I aint worried about Florida’s diversity either.

        • Mr.P says:

          We are well into the infuriate and humiliate phase of the regime’s advance.

    • chris says:

      This is the kind of stuff that would motivate me to purely transact with crypto. Giving out half a million to illegal immigrants for free when most working class people won’t see that much in their lifetime just makes the value of the currency worthless.

    • Mister Grumpus says:

      Shit test and fed bait. The perfect policy for them.

      “C’mon. Do a terrorism.”

  9. alf says:

    Case in point that Torba is not cool — regabbed below claim that Elon could not have launched a car into space.

    https://gab.com/tcbuidl/posts/107176800120475624

    My first response was ‘is this a joke?’ but seems serious.

    • jim says:

      Worries me.

      • Karl says:

        Why?

        • jim says:

          Torba’s post was outstandingly stupid, and repeats stupid lies spread by shills.

          Torba is our best namefag, the center of the aboveground battle. If he is stupid and being shilled, we are in trouble.

          • Karl says:

            I see. Never thought that a powerless namefag (e.g. anyone who does not command armed men) could avoid being shilled.

            Powerless namefags have a choice between being shilled or becoming martyrs. At present, I don’t see how a martyr could help us. Hence, I assume we are in just the same amount of trouble as before.

          • ExileStyle says:

            Why is this a sign he’s being shilled? Did I miss some controversy?

            • alf says:

              Because a man who vehemently denies that Elon Musk put a car in space has the same energy as the man who vehemently denies that the earth is round.

              • ExileStyle says:

                Ah, okay. That reminds me that I recently saw Milo Yanop-whatever hinting (on Gab) at some curious sympathy for flat earth theory, which struck me as peculiar if kind of funny.

                One charitable explanation that occurs is that now that we’ve learned how profoundly compromised and basically fake The Science and University-Sanctioned Authority are, lots of people are going to be taking a second look at the most basic sacred cows of The Science, of which the round earth is one.

                This was pretty easily demonstrated by some very smart Greek guys more than two thousand years ago, but when you’ve lost your bearings and need to go back to the beginning on your own, you might make a blunder or two.

                • HerbR says:

                  My sentiments exactly. When people cease to believe in the state religion, the less-disciplined and less-skeptical ones gravitate toward whichever carnival-barker is doing the best job of selling his particular snake oil. This happened when people drifted from Christianity, and is happening again as they drift from Progressivism.

                  Obviously you can’t “trust the science”, and you certainly can’t trust the journalists, but then whom can you trust? Answering that question is hard, and people who are predisposed to easy (and stupid) answers will be drawn to them like moths to a flame: homeopathy, flat earth, trooferism, take your pick.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  On a slightly more philosophical and historical note, it seems to me the whole problem began exactly when “trust” became associated with scientific discourse. For ages to be a “scientist” (or “natural philosopher” as they called themselves, a term we should maybe revive) meant precisely to be skeptical and not to trust what is immediately presented to you – one only trusted in God – and to argue with and poke holes in your fellow scientists’ theories and to convince them, not “publish” with one or two random anonymous peer reviewers who are selected precisely because they agree with you already.

                  At some point in the 19th century, probably in tandem with the rise of the modern university, “Science” became more like medicine and law and theology traditionally were, i.e. a matter of initiation into private, esoteric, privileged vocabularies.

                  But Jim’s written a ton about that, too, and in depth…

          • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

            That is an astoundingly stupid post. The air pressure force on the inside of the paint job is liable to be negligible compared to the attractive forces between the paint and the body. Plus, it is probably semi-permeable anyway, at least on a level where it would eventually equilibrate. The tire thing might be valid depending on which direction the tires are reinforced, but as they are built to contain higher than atmospheric pressure anyway, it is a bad argument. Besides, it is not as if he was planning on driving it after he strapped it to a fucking rocket and launched it into outer space. It was a flex, and a PR move, not some safety test.

            • c4ssidy says:

              At atmosphere is 15 pounds per square inch. Any of us should be familiar with putting double or triple that on our tires. To see if it would explode in space, go to the station and add another 15 and see if they explode

              • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                Actually, it could blow out the tires. I feel ashamed in forgetting that temperature and volume are related for gasses. Space can get very hot. As soon as that car moves into the direct sun, the temperature is going to rise, and the tires will probably be pressurized to several atmospheres over their rating. Still, it does not mean you cannot launch a car up to space, only that you cannot drive it once it gets there. That much we already knew, so it still makes Torba’s statement stupid and meaningless.

                • C4ssidy says:

                  Objects are supposedly heated to 120c in orbit. 25c to 120c turns 30 psi to 40psi. Tires are often rated to around 55 safely, might handle double or triple that, especially considering that they are not bumping against a road

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  The important point is not that it might eventually break down after floating in space long enough, but that it would not immediately blow up upon clearing the atmosphere.

  10. alf says:

    Rob says:
    2021-10-28 at 04:29 (Edit)

    Why do you believe in gnon?

    Because I believe my mind is ordered, that the world is ordered, and that my mind can figure out consistent patterns in the order of the world and act on them. Seems obvious. Same reason I believe whites are smarter than blacks, or men should control women’s reproductive organs. I can see it with my eyes and follow it with my reason, and I trust both.

    That doesn’t really answer the question. The question is, why do those patterns make you believe in gnon, aka in the existence of an entity we call Nature or Nature’s God? Can’t see that entity with your own eyes.

    • Rob says:

      I see consistency that seems incompatible with (or at least less likely than) any of the other theoretical explanations for it that I’ve ever thought up or heard of. Gnon seems to reward those who follow his tenants whether he’s a sapient being or not, seems reasonable to conclude he exists, even if it’s only as an abstraction. I may not have seen his face but I’ve seen his handiwork, as it were.

      • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

        So, granting the existence of divine law, you are merely quibbling over how to best honor the will of it’s author?

        • Rob says:

          My quarrel was, and still is, about the necessary presuppositions to get to a knowledge of cosmic or divine law. But I said I wouldn’t continue that discussion, so I won’t. If you want to talk about what I think it is that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

          • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

            >My quarrel was, and still is, about the necessary presuppositions to get to a knowledge of cosmic or divine law.

            Sounds like baggage from a prior faith.

            • Rob says:

              My first faith has always been in myself, and my ability to know the truth with sufficient effort. Deny that, and nothing left to latch on to. Can’t trust eyes, mind, memory, reason, nothing. No tools left to use.

              • Kunning Drueger says:

                Interesting how Fëanor got completely shat on for his position and inquiry, but this obvious Humanism shill faggot seems deserving of respectful response. Our host repeatedly accused Fëanor of internet atheism cringe, while this guy embodies it.

                • jim says:

                  Nah, Rob does not embody the internet atheist movement, but a considerably older movement.

                  The Internet Atheist movement was provoked by an army of young earth creationist shills, and understandably, though the people writing the shill scripts were quite smart, stereotyped Christians and Christianity as dumb.

                • neofugue says:

                  Fëanor was deceived into believing true Christianity as Universalism by the same people who a century ago were condemning the faith as backwards superstition.

                  Christianity is a system; it is not as if one can just accept the first cause and the resurrection, one must accept all the various doctrines, the communion of the saints, the Creed, the holy mysteries, and so forth. However, Christians have been arguing for God on Foundationalist principles since Aquinas, the “let me convince you of several heresies at which point we will then take you down the road to Christianity”-type apologia, for example the oft-used Kalam (Islamic) cosmological argument.

                  In hindsight, there were instances in which I could have been more aggressive with our half-baked 18th century Enlightenment humanist: Christ is risen, the wisdom of this world is foolishness, repent and believe in the resurrection! However, as most people do not argue on a paradigm level out of an inability in acknowledging presuppositions, there was a need to handle the discussion in a delicate manner. Arguing on a paradigm level was bound to end ugly because the Foundationalist cannot recognize his own theory-laden approach which by his knowledge is not theory-laden. Being insulting would only make things worse.

                  What was done rather well was having Rob lay out the inherent solipsism, circularity and absurdity of the humanist Enlightenment position. Progressives are not crude as to openly admit solipsism. How utterly self-refuting and foolish is an Evidentialist paradigm assuming that evidence and proving things is not theory-laden. “Reason” being man’s central capacity is as much a self-evident falsehood as “equality.”

                • Rob says:

                  For the last time: faith in Christianity cannot precede hearing about Christianity, even Paul says this. Hearing about Christianity cannot precede faith in ears to hear. Your faith is derivative of your faith in something else whether you acknowledge it or not.

                • jim says:

                  This is stubbornly unresponsive to what your interlocutors are saying.

                  Putting you on moderation for sophomore philosophy and stubborn unresponsiveness.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Fuck off, poindexter faggot.

                • Rob says:

                  No, you retarded cunt.

                • Hellene says:

                  What is the philosophical foundation of Jimianity, then? It’s easy to idiotically frame someone else’s as “modern philosophy” and censor them while your own is obscure or missing.

                • jim says:

                  Moderate realism is a much a leap of faith as any other. Moderate realism is entirely true, so far as it goes, not that I think that modern philosophers would know what that is, but while it goes far enough to get your feet on the ground, it does not go quite far enough to get your hands on your tools. Randian objectivity is as much a leap of faith as any other, and it is entirely true so far as it goes – which is perhaps a little further than moderate realism. It does go far enough to get your feet on the ground and your hands on your tools, but not your hands on family, wife, children, friends, kin, and allies. It fails to provide a plausible basis for committing oneself to a cooperate/cooperate relationship, it breaks upon the rocks of the paradoxes of game theory.

                  If however, we identify the moral logic of the universe with the the moral logic of game theory, and attribute that logic to the creator of the universe, then one may leap a little further

                  The Logos has Risen

                  See my comments: https://blog.reaction.la/war/the-isi-with-the-help-of-america-defeated-america/#comment-2746781 and https://blog.reaction.la/war/the-isi-with-the-help-of-america-defeated-america/#comment-2747824

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  You and your little crowd of doubleniggers have worn out your welcome. Go back to ~2017 and start reading before you post again. At least make an effort to not be collosal faggots.

                • Hellene says:

                  I’ve been reading this blog for ten years you stupid goat fucker. I know you have nothing to actually add to this topic because you can’t express an opinion without begging for someone’s approval before you do, so fuck off.

                • jim says:

                  If you have been reading this blog for ten years, it seems you neglected to read The Logos has Risen

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  Before there’s communication of any ‘foundations’ or so on, you’d need to provide a rather meta-foundation of your own first; which is, can you explain what utility there is in trying to argue with someone being purposefully obtuse and disingenuous? That’s the foundation you need.

                  If you really have been ‘reading this blog for ten years’, then you should have no trouble with providing a summary of what your interlocutors ostensibly believe in yourself. Can you prove you actually are what you say you are?

              • Aidan says:

                You are already making a massive leap of faith by assuming that reality is real and that the truth is knowable.

                When we say that God precedes reason, we are not saying that we know what orthodoxy is when we are born, before we are capable of logic. We are saying that reason flows from God- God is the reason we can reason.

                That God precedes reason can be seen in the fact that those furthest from God, living in opposition to natural law, lack the capacity to trust their senses, know the truth, and reason effectively.

            • neofugue says:

              Yes, but Rob, like the Progressive who refuses to acknowledge his messianic ideology could be a secular religion, refuses to notice this as it would be tantamount to rejecting his own system.

              • Rob says:

                Tell me, being that your mind is untrustworthy, what is your basis for assuming that you know what Orthodoxy is? Not that it’s true, just accurate knowledge of what the actual content of your system is from moment to moment.

              • Mr.P says:

                > the Progressive who refuses to acknowledge his messianic ideology could be a secular religion …

                This is important. I get that Progressivism is a secular religion, but please elaborate how Prog-ism is a messianic religion.

                I usually say to friends & family that Prog-ism is holiness-spiraled atheistic Christianity, that is, Christianity with no God and no Jesus, which by my definition kind of implies non-messianic.

                Just trying to understand.

                • restitutor_orbis says:

                  He might just be using the word “messianic” in its secondary meaning of a movement that expects to bring about utopia, as in Progs want secular utopia.

                  Encyclopedia Britannica says “the adjective messianic is used to refer to beliefs about an eschatological improvement of the state of humanity.”

                  And Wordnik says messianic means: “Belief that a particular cause or movement is destined to triumph or save the world.”

                  I trust the E.B. more than Wordnik but they both say the same thing. Progs definitely think (well their equivalent of “think”) that they are saving the world / improving humanity.

                • HerbR says:

                  Progressives don’t believe in a literal Messiah, but the progressive Eschaton is their own version of a Messianic Era. Not some individual, but rather some event, will come to sweep away the misery of human ignorance and usher in a new post-scarcity age of enlightenment.

                  The forecasted event changes based on the current intellectual fashion. A hundred years ago, it was Scientific Bureaucracy; fifty years ago, it was Communism; today it’s either the Technological Singularity or the Climate Catastrophe, depending on which faction is at the mike. It’s all pretty much the same stuff – an event which, to people who are not insane, looks so improbable as to be virtually impossible, but to the true believers, is always just 10-20 years out.

                • Mr.P says:

                  Right. Got it. Thank you.

                • The Cominator says:

                  They have effeminate narcissistic minds and (on and off) they view themselves as the messiah.

          • jim says:

            There was much worthy of criticism in the material you criticized, but the trouble was that you are criticizing it from the frame of late nineteenth century early twentieth century pholosophy, which is a piss poor frame.

            You need to criticize it from a different angle.

            • Rob says:

              My only angle is that the senses and the mind are reliable, must be assumed to be so. Otherwise no reason to assume your memory is feeding you accurate information from moment to moment and not just spewing bullshit. Need to trust your mind to even know what Orthodoxy is. That’s not philosophy.

              • A2 says:

                “Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”

              • HerbR says:

                That’s a whole lot of hot air just to say “I accept as axiomatic that there’s an observable reality perceivable by the senses”. I’m not a Christian, and my own take on Christianity is similar to Alf’s, but if it’s a choice between them and your dirty bong water college freshman take on epistemology, then sign me up with Jeebus.

                You’re interpreting all of the replies to you in the frame of people failing to understand the gravity of what you’re saying. It’s very obvious to me, and probably to most people here, that we actually just don’t find it interesting and don’t care. Gnosticism and modern manifestations like the Simulation Hypothesis that tell you not to trust your your own senses are stupid and evil, we know that and don’t need to be told over and over again. Other people here are trying to discuss serious issues and you’re playing the four-year-old who needs to be the center of attention. Get over yourself, and read what other people are saying instead of demanding they listen to your noise.

                Solipsism isn’t a philosophy. Ultraviolet light didn’t suddenly pop into existence in 1801; it was always there, we just didn’t have the knowledge or tools to perceive it before then.

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  Solopsism and other related Gnostic philosophies ought to be responded to by punching the philosopher in the balls until he accepts that you did not actually punch him in the balls and it is just the illusion of his senses. Then punch him again for the lulz. I hate that shit. It is sophomoric and ridiculous, and they constantly contradict themselves by the act of surviving in a reality that exists independently of their senses.

                • A2 says:

                  The modern version of “I refute it thus!”

                  After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it: “I REFUTE IT THUS.”
                  (James Boswell, 1791.)

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  I think that Bishop Berkeley, or a substitute opining in the same manner, should have been beaten for it. It is an opinion that is dangerous, because if the world is not real, then what you do in that world is not real, like fuck the wives and daughters of your congregation. It is all an illusion, so theft and betrayal does not really count. You should force them to either fully accept the conclusion of their lines of thought and accept random violence, or recant of their position in the face of the available evidence of reality– namely, their aching balls.

                • neofugue says:

                  Quoting Lord Byron’s Don Juan: Canto 11:

                  When Bishop Berkeley said “there was no matter,” And proved it—’twas no matter what he said: They say his system ’tis in vain to batter, Too subtle for the airiest human head; And yet who can believe it! I would shatter Gladly all matters down to stone or lead, Or adamant, to find the World a spirit, And wear my head, denying that I wear it.

                  What a sublime discovery ’twas to make the Universe universal egotism, That all’s ideal—all ourselves: I’ll stake the World (be it what you will) that that’s no schism. Oh Doubt!—if thou be’st Doubt, for which some take thee, But which I doubt extremely—thou sole prism Of the Truth’s rays, spoil not my draught of spirit! Heaven’s brandy, though our brain can hardly bear it.

      • alf says:

        seems reasonable to conclude he exists, even if it’s only as an abstraction

        Yes exactly. And it is in the exact same track that the existence of God, perhaps as an alternate name for Gnon, perhaps as an even bigger entity such as the creator of our universe including natural laws, can be deduced.

        After the existence of God is deduced, a logical question is then: similar to how Gnon rewards does who follow his rules, what are God’s rules, so that we may follow them and equally be rewarded?

        To which the answer is that history has shown that Christian God is by far the most effective. It’s not so much a question of ‘why Christian God?’ as it is: if Gnon then God then might as well pick the strongest God around. Which is Cgristian God. That that God is also the God of our ancestors is an excellent bonus, almost as if it was meant to be.

        Of course, this way to arrive at Christianity, the logical way, is quite different from the way ye old prophets arrived at Christianity, who basically woke up one day hearing a voice telling them to slaughter two goats and rip their clothes. Which is rather silly, but that we arrive at the same conclusion through such different routes is mysteriously beautiful as well. At least, to my mind.

        • Rob says:

          Don’t have a problem with arriving at the right type of Christianity that way. Personally I’m a fan of old-style Anglicanism, not much for Orthodoxy as currently practiced. Too many monks, not enough retaking Constantinople. I do have a problem with undercutting the essential self-belief that underscores any kind of coherent belief in anything else, which is what I objected to below.

          • alf says:

            Don’t have a problem with arriving at the right type of Christianity that way.

            Well well a happy ending, don’t get that too often.

            I do have a problem with undercutting the essential self-belief that underscores any kind of coherent belief in anything else, which is what I objected to below.

            Either I don’t understand or don’t care. I think the logos is supposed to cover this? Seems like a discussion I’m staying out of.

            • Rob says:

              Either I don’t understand or don’t care. I think the logos is supposed to cover this? Seems like a discussion I’m staying out of.

              I’d explain but I promised I’d stop so I guess not. Adios.

              • alf says:

                Well I think Jim stepped in because the debate was going in circles. Seems to me we didn’t go in circles here.

    • neofugue says:

      Your mind is not your first principle as the above would lead to solipsism. The mind does not “reason” in a vacuum; therefore your first principle is the existence of “logic” independent of God, men having the ability to perceive it as a necessary condition. This is the Enlightenment narrative, and upon a cursory glance at the civilization which adopted it as its ideology would lead one to realize it as a self-evident lie, as “reason” is continuously redefined to whatever the zeitgeist happens to be during the current year.

      Just as the Progressive piously claims his messianic ideology not a religion, the Enlightenment sophist proclaims his ideology self-evident. Reason exists because it does, and men are able to reason because they have to. Does “reason” mean “Gnon,” or does it mean “Equality?” Of course, “my” interpretation of “reason” is correct because it just is.

      • Rob says:

        This is the Enlightenment narrative, and upon a cursory glance at the civilization which adopted it as its ideology would lead one to realize it as a self-evident lie, as “reason” is continuously redefined to whatever the zeitgeist happens to be during the current year.

        Oh really? But your eyes are untrustworthy, so obviously you can’t look at it. Your memory is untrustworthy, so obviously you can’t remember what you looked at a second ago. And of course your reason is untrustworthy, so you can’t draw any conclusions from empirical data and assume they hold any degree of truth.

        You can’t even argue against the presupposition without yourself dishonestly presuming it.

        • neofugue says:

          Discussing sophisticated theology requires a level of reading comprehension, being able to understand what constitutes a first principle and why concepts considered absurd in one system would be tenable in another.

          Previous postings:
          https://blog.reaction.la/economics/bitcoin-time/#comment-2790959
          https://blog.reaction.la/economics/bitcoin-time/#comment-2790965
          https://blog.reaction.la/economics/bitcoin-time/#comment-2790997

          • Rob says:

            Great. Now tell me how you have received these heavenly first principles of yours without relying on silly things like senses to key you in to a larger world, or a memory to remind you of what they are after you’ve heard them?

            “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
            -Romans 10:14

            Oh, and as to the previous point, why don’t you tell me who is praying the Hagia Sophia today? Or, hell, show me a majority Orthodox country with an above-replacement fertility rate?

            • neofugue says:

              Calm down, take a deep breath, relax.

              As I had wrote previously:

              > As Paul states in Romans, that moral allure is the law of God written in men’s hearts. Because of the Fall, men are not able to properly interpret the world in so far as its origin, its meaning, and its Telos. Man retains the image of God but lost the likeness of God, and the incarnation restores man to an immortal state. It is not that apologetics lacks importance, rather men can only see truth through the grace of God, through humility and acceptance of the teachings of the Church. Logic is not our starting point, rather a tool used to understand God.

              No one says that the senses do not matter or that we cannot trust our intuition at all, rather that man is susceptible to demonic delusion and thus must base his understanding in God and remain humble and vigilant.

              • Rob says:

                How clearly do I need to spell this out? Neither I nor you nor anyone else starts life with the Christian story imbedded in our minds. We do, however, start out with our minds and our senses. In order to imbibe the Christian story, metaphysics, and morality, we must hear about them from somewhere. In order to hear, we must believe that our ears are reliable. In order to retain, must believe our memory is reliable. And, of course, to determine true or false, we must believe our reasoning is reliable. If you deny of any of this, you must show a way to get the Christian story without any of these things.

                Orthodoxy cannot be established until the reliability of the senses and the mind already is. It thus cannot be a first principle. It must be deduced from something else. Why this is such a problem for you I cannot fathom.

                • neofugue says:

                  We know our senses are reliable because they are in accordance with God.

                  Video on the subject of prelest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkfg6shSpTU

                • Hellene says:

                  I’m sorry but this is complete lunacy.

                  No one is born Orthodox. There is a point in time where you had to weigh the truth or falsity of Orthodoxy before accepting it, which implicitly assumes that your senses are reliable, and not only that, but that you are actually equal to the task of holding Orthodoxy to some standard!

                • Rob says:

                  The sequence of events goes: belief in reliability of ears > hearing about Christianity > belief in Christianity. Yes or no?

                • neofugue says:

                  Matthew 7:6: Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

                  There is no argument or method by which one can change a man’s views without his will. I have been exceedingly patient and forthright, but it seems I have only been feeding stubbornness.

                • neofugue says:

                  Given my previous comments my answers should be obvious.

                • jim says:

                  No one is proposing to believe Orthodoxy rather than their minds and their senses. Your question presupposes that all questions can be solved by pure reason, and neofugue is tossing that solution overboard.

                  Rather, the problem neofugue is addressing lies in the the fact that unfalsifiable, or unlikely to be falsified, beliefs are needed to get by.

                • Hellene says:

                  How and when did you come to the conclusion Orthodoxy was true? Did you not trust that your senses were reliable before you accepted it was true? Or did this revelation happen after? If it happened after, how and why did you accept that your senses were true before this moment? And could it be that not being able to rely on your senses before this revelation, it may not be true?

                • Rob says:

                  No one is proposing to believe Orthodoxy rather than their minds and their senses.

                  If that is indeed the case, then I have no quarrel with anyone. Belief in Orthodoxy doesn’t bother me even though it isn’t my faith. All I have a problem with is starting in the wrong place. If we all agree that we have to start with faith in our minds and senses then that’s all I ask.

            • jim says:

              This is sophomoric nineteenth century philosophy, and I rule it off topic for ignorance of thousands of years of relevant debate.

              Stuff it in a sack, or you are going on moderation. This stuff was stupid two hundred years ago. It was a waste of time the first time around.

              The universal acid of skepticism can not only dissolve stuff like the Trinity, but with equal ease the chair underneath you. It is a universal argument that can disprove anything and prove nothing.

              • Rob says:

                Fine. You’re probably right, this has been a waste of time.

              • Tityrus says:

                > This is sophomoric nineteenth century philosophy

                No, it’s is not. It’s just philosophy, exactly as it was practiced by the Ancient Greeks. Athens and Jerusalem will always be in conflict, and it is absolutely ridiculous that so many here seem to maintain that Athens and Jerusalem are ackshually the same thing.

        • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

          Why argue points that you yourself have said you (assumedly) don’t believe in?

          I feel like a lot of this has come simply from some miscommunication and mistaken assumptions.

  11. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    >If you then consider that these people are trying to start a war with Russia and China, while trying to lock down the country and force-vaccinate everyone, at the same time that they are in the process of trying to manage a controlled implosion of the US dollar – this is something where you would need a whole helluva lot of ultra-competent people to pull it off. I’m not seeing a lot of competent people around these parts.

    >You would also need those competent people organized meticulously, and it is incredibly difficult to organize this, since none of it can be discussed in a straightforward manner. So, you have the basic understanding of the agenda among liberals. Chris Hayes knows that talking about hyperinflation is like talking about ivermectin – you’re not supposed to do it, because it is very naughty. But Chris Hayes doesn’t understand what I’m laying out right now.

    >Virtually none of the people tasked with implementing this agenda even understand what the agenda is.

    https://dailystormer.su/hyperinflation-is-a-very-serious-problem-for-a-very-unserious-country/

    • Varna says:

      Thanks.

      AA is one example, and Roosh another, how calamity descending, and the whole world attacking him, can turn a strong man into a vastly superior version of what he was before.

      They were both boys before the ZOG attacks and God reminding them that He is central to everything. Now both have become Men. Like them or dislike them, agree or disagree, they grew in front of our eyes and developed depth that was lacking.

      Anglin and Roosh are some of the very few thinkers of today (and basically the only ones of their generation) whom a thinker from ancient Athens or medieval Paris could converse with and recognize as belonging to his kind. And then move on to exchanging vulgarities with after the third tankard.

      With Anglin and Roosh the continuity of civilization still lives, reaching back to the start of the Iron Age. With the mainstream globohomo zogbot pundits, politicians, academics, etc this continuity is completely broken.

      They are empty parasites who can only mimic badly the true structures of civilization even as they destroy them.

      • ExileStyle says:

        Anglin is a remarkable writer and thinker, and a master satirist. In any other era he would be up there with the likes of an Erasmus or a Diderot. No exaggeration.

        Though now that I think about it, maybe that is exactly what will have us reading him in a century or two – thinking of the shit that guys like Erasmus took from the censors in power then.

  12. ExileStyle says:

    I asked this of neofugue in a deeply nested comment below, but thought I might gather some more feedback from the Orthodox and Orthodoxy-knowledgeable here (since we seem to be in a theological mood today): what is the explanation for the passionate opposition to the “filioque” clause? Even keeping it to material and efficient causes, how has this become a hill to die on for a millennium or so now? Not trying to be provocative, just actually want to understand.

    Is it just a language misunderstanding? In Latin, the “-que” clitic generally has the function of joining two things in joint equality. Otherwise you’d use “et” or “atque” or a number of other choices. Was it about Frankish military power?

    • neofugue says:

      The addition of the Filioque clause has major implications for Christianity which is difficult to adequately oversimplify in a comment.

      Filioquism can be traced back to the fall of Rome in the West. When the Germanic tribes invaded Western Europe, they adopted Arianism as it was more compatible with their ideological baggage carried over from Paganism. For example, if distinction implies division, how could Christ who did not know the hour be of the same essence as the Father? As St. John of Damascus writes, “the root of all heresies is the failure to distinguish nature and person.”

      Even after the Western barbarians rejected Arianism, they unquestioningly held onto their philosophical presuppositions and thus reworked their theology towards Filioquism, because “logically” God having person, will, essence, act, and energy to them necessitated division or composition of God, which could not be accepted. The addition to the Creed was later dogmatized by the Roman Catholic Church after the Great Schism.

      For a more in-depth commentary on the Filioque, these sites are recommended. The standard text on the Filioque is St. Photius the Great’s On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit.

      Proper Trinitarian theology can be found in John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The Third Ecumenical Council in 471 forbade and anathematized any additions to the Creed.

      • The Cominator says:

        Discussions of the nature of the trinity are opaque and divisive…

        At least controversy over whether christ was wholely man and wholely god can be argued in more trrms of concrete logic.

      • jim says:

        These sites are splitting hairs over the unknown, the unknowable, the unintelligble, and the incomprehensible.

        The argument is “X implies Y, and Y is obviously bad, therefore we must reject X”

        Hard to tell what X implies.

        In the debate over the pre-eternity of Christ, we saw the poisoned fruits of the faith that demoted Christ. What are the observable fruits of the Filoque?

        The problems with Roman Catholicism were that the Pope coveted what was Caesar’s, the Church capitulated to the Romance movement and contractual marriage, and the Church went even further overboard on celibacy, which in practice was apt to mean capitulation to the lavender mafia. Not seeing how the Filoque contributed to these, while I do see how denying the pre-eternity of Christ led to sodomy and transexualism.

        However, the on reflection, the argument that changing the creed opens the door to a host of demons seems to have been convincingly demonstrated. The argument that the filoque is a bad addition to the creed that should be rejected on its merits is unconvincing and unintelligible. The argument that the creed is too sacred to muck with is plausible.

        • ExileStyle says:

          The most compelling angle does seem to be simply that sacred formulae are sacred for good reason, and that changes to them need to be made unanimously, otherwise you get demons.

          Researching my own question I found that the clause was apparently added unilaterally at the request of Charlemagne himself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Aachen

          I have not yet discerned why he found this necessary or advisable, but I presume it was in response to some heresy or other. Pushing a political or military agenda through adding a clause to an oath seems farfetched, but not impossible given the predisposition to shed blood over words at the time.

      • jim says:

        I don’t agree with this analysis.

        Looks to me that the Filioque was not a concession towards Arianism, but a hasty shill test against an entryist heresy, probably some variant on Arianism, which no one now remembers, and it no longer means what it originally meant. What it means remains unclear. The holy spirit “proceedeth”? “The procession of the holy spirit”? What is that? Does it mean anything at all these days?

        The creed grew out of a collection of shill tests, and became catechetical, a short summary of Christian doctrine. But shill tests necessarily come and go, as threats, plots, and enemy conspiracies come and go, while a short summary of Christian doctrine should remain unchanged forever.

        We should keep shill testing separate from Catechesis. Catechesis is for children and for friendly curious outsiders. Shill tests are for potential enemy outsiders. Albeit some threats are eternal, and belong in both categories, so there is going to be some very substantial overlap between the categories. A creed is going to look very like a collection of shill tests.

        You need a creed so that friendly people will know what team they are signing up for, and you need shill tests to prevent hostile people from an enemy team from signing up in an organized plot.

        And since your team is always the same team, needs always the same creed. But since there is always a new enemy team, always a new shill test.

        The trouble with the filioque is that after fourteen centuries, no one remembers what it originally meant. It does not belong in catechism, nor even in shill tests, because that particular entryist enemy is not around any more.

  13. Varna says:

    Off topic: a list of states that have explicitly taken measures against vax mandates. Others, like the Dakotas, I believe are also free, but without explicit anti-vax mandate laws. If someone can add free states to the list, please…

    • Alabama: Fully reopened. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law that prohibits local governmental entities, schools and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for admission or to receive goods or services.

    • Alaska: Fully reopened. Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) issued a memo requiring employees, contractors and visitors to wear a mask in indoor state facilities, unless social distancing can be maintained. In April, Dunleavy issued an order banning all executive branch departments from requiring any person to provide proof of vaccination (vaccine passports).

    • Arizona: Fully reopened. On Sept. 27, a Maricopa County superior court judge struck down a law that prohibited mask mandates in schools and limited local governments from enforcing similar COVID-19 policies. On Aug. 16, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed an order prohibiting local governments from issuing vaccine mandates.

    • Arkansas: Fully reopened. Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sept. 28 announced he would not renew the state’s public health emergency related to COVID-19, which had just expired. Previously, he signed a bill that bans state and local mask mandates.

    • Florida: Fully reopened. In May, the governor signed a bill that prohibits vaccine passports.

    • Georgia: Fully reopened. On Aug. 19, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an order that prohibits local governments from mandating COVID-19 restrictions on private businesses, such as vaccination or mask requirements.

    • Indiana: Fully reopened. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill banning state or local governments from requiring vaccine passports.

    • Iowa: Fully reopened. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation that prohibits schools and local governments from issuing a mask mandate.

    • Montana: Fully reopened. In April, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed an executive order prohibiting vaccine passports in Montana.

    • Oklahoma: Fully reopened. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed an order that prohibits state agencies from requiring a visitor to show proof of vaccination to enter public buildings.

    • Texas: Fully reopened. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an order prohibiting state and local government entities from issuing vaccine mandates.

    • Utah: Fully reopened. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a law blocking employers and colleges and universities from vaccine requirements.

    https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html

    In Eastern Europe I can think of Belarus, Croatia, and Hungary as places without sweeping vax mandates. Sooner or later the “red states” and EE will have to start building sub-federal links with each other bilaterally and group-to-group.

    In Russia, though, the vax mandates seem to have hit all 80+ federal states at this point.

    • The Cominator says:

      “In Russia, though, the vax mandates seem to have hit all 80+ federal states at this point.”

      Extremely disappointed in Putin for this…

    • Kunning Drueger says:

      There needs to be a serious discussion about “statalization.” Similar to the sweeping nationalization that occurs after “local” governance replaces overlordship of industry. State governments need to start assuming responsibility for any and all federal facilities and services that they reasonably can shale-tigers (SDakota) and destination states (Florida) will have an easier time doing this, but if competent people are available to help the transition, I think many states on that list could begin the process. It could start as simply as what Governess Noem did in 2020 by declining federal aid. As states assume control over federal services, they could conceivably “restructure” them into nothingness.

      Related to this idea, I wonder if the Neo-Right can do more than just meme. Not that memetics aren’t important, bit I bet there’s a lot of brain power being applied to industry and commerce that could be redirected towards “expanding” state services, by which I mean the opposite of course.

    • Contaminated NEET says:

      That’s cool, but those States will only do this until the Feds tell them otherwise. Then the sinister and mysterious black-robed Council of Nine will remind them that the Supremacy Clause says they have to do whatever Mommy Washington tells them, and they will immediately obey because, well, the Councilors’ every utterance is Law itself.

      • Starman says:

        @Contaminated NEET

        “That’s cool, but those States will only do this until the Feds tell them otherwise. Then the sinister and mysterious black-robed Council of Nine will remind them that the Supremacy Clause says they have to do whatever Mommy Washington tells them, and they will immediately obey because, well, the Councilors’ every utterance is Law itself”

        True.

        Until an aspiring state Caesar starts by simply ignoring them.

        • Pooch says:

          In fact it’s the other way around. Woke cities and companies in red states are flagrantly ignoring the mandate bans daring state authorities to enforce their own laws, which of course they don’t and aren’t. Laws are nothing but words written on pieces of paper. Enforcement of laws are everything.

        • Kunning Drueger says:

          Caesar would be nice, but balkanization seems more likely to me as morons propagate within the halls of federal power. Similarly, I don’t think the USM will just evaporate overnight, rather more and more private detachments and/or “sponsored units” will take over. Governors have a lot of power they decline to use for fear of federal consequences. As it becomes more obvious that USG, and USM and DHS in particular, cannot back words with action, a space will grow for field and wield their own detachments. Big corporations already have SIUs and security departments, and there are thousands of private security companies, just waiting to be bought out.

          • Pooch says:

            Speaking of which…
            https://unicornriot.ninja/2021/private-mercenary-group-targets-assaults-detains-anti-police-protesters-in-uptown-minneapolis/

            The video in the article is a pretty solid white pill.

            The cops are probably saying, “you’re going to defund us/prosecute us if we do our jobs? Fine we will allow private contractors to do it for us then.”

            • Dave says:

              Many cops fired for refusing the vax will be joining those mercenary groups.

              There’s no point arresting people if prosecutors are going to release them without charges the next day. Break their legs instead.

              For white female protesters, the Russian practice of beating them with whips should suffice. No sense damaging property that we intend to reclaim.

              • Alfred says:

                >Many cops fired for refusing the vax will be joining those mercenary groups.

                >There’s no point arresting people if prosecutors are going to release them without charges the next day. Break their legs instead.

                I’ve been hoping for this for a long time. Joe Biden’s handlers are truly sawing off the branch that supports them.

                • Pooch says:

                  If Caesar really does arrive, and I’m not particularly optimistic he will, he’s going to come not with a detachment of active duty or national guard, but with ex-military privately hired security at his back. Kunning is right, there is going to be an opening for something like this as order continues to erode.

  14. notglowing says:

    https://zaufanatrzeciastrona.pl/post/jak-adolf-hitler-dostal-wazny-polski-certyfikat-covid/
    In polish, just use google translate.
    Someone is able to forge EU Digital Covid passes, from France and Poland at least.
    In case you didn’t know, the pass QR code is not a serial number, but rather a signed message stating when the test or vaccine was made, signed with the government’s private key, similar to a cryptocurrency transaction.

    This means someone has those two governments’ private keys.
    He issued a pass for “Adolf Hitler”, which I can confirm is working with the official government app.
    Passes cannot be revoked in the current system. However they will likely overhaul it in that case.

    • Anonymous BTC boy says:

      Fuckin’ hilarious.

      • Pleroma says:

        In politics, nothing is an accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

        These weird measures aren’t popular in the governments either. If I were in a position to make a joke of a GreenPass I would do it no questions asked.

        Death to the UN.

        • jim says:

          On the contrary – to carry out a plan requires executive authority. Power is fragmented. They are all simultaneously carrying out mutually contradictory plans.

          • Karl says:

            Indeed. And in addition to fragmented autority there is incompetance of people who try to cary out a plan to the best of their ability.

            There is usually plenty of incompetence in government bureacracy and I suspect that incompentence enabled someone to mock the GreePass system

          • Varna says:

            In certain moments the different power currents overlap in unforeseen ways and boost each other into unexpected directions, and then again diverge and it’s back to chaos with the occasional manifestation of this or that agenda from the different players.

            I used to only notice Putin barely holding it all together, trying to ride the tangle of competing snakes and channel the energy into more or less one direction, and it took me a while to admit (during Trump’s presidency, which opened my eyes like those of the iconic Clockwork Orange peep) that in much of the West it’s even worse. And getting worser.

            After the initial awakening it’s easy to look back at the 2000 election, at Watergate, and the JFK shooting, at 9/11. and see them as visible manifestations of coups and counter-coups. Ike’s speech at the end of his presidency.

            Curious what goes on with Erdogan these days. Way back when Putin warned him about the impending coup, but this didn’t make them allies. More like Putin was investing into keeping a guy whom he knows as a character and capabilities, IMO.

          • notglowing says:

            Lack of the necessary coordination and unity is what causes these problems first and foremost.

            In their defense, this vulnerability is a side effect of what is fundamentally a good design (with flaws)
            The fact that covid passes are signed messages, verified offline by phone apps, is actually not that bad.
            If I designed this system, I would’ve made it in the same way. However multisignature would’ve been a necessity, and a means to invalidate passes and signatures is necessary.
            Still it could be much worse, they could’ve easily made the QR code be just some serial number, with the app connecting to a government database. Such a solution would be simpler to design and not present this kind of weakness.

            But it would’ve had no end of issues in maintaining that infrastructure, it would be less reliable when validating and get overloaded easily during times of high usage. And the entire country would grind to a halt then. The reason why we haven’t had those problems is that they’re using a fundamentally sound design.

            If you could make the assumption that everyone has smartphones, and that they connect to the internet at least once daily, covid passes could be obtained only through a government app, and work in the same way, but the government would be able to automatically replace them at any time when a key is leaked, invalidating all older passes once the newer versions are distributed. That only requires every phone to connect to the government servers once each for every time there is a breach, and doesn’t cause disruption otherwise.

  15. Bitcoiner says:

    Welcome back Jim. Lightning backups are indeed hard. There is a variant of your solution already used in practice called watchtowers.

    The basic principle is that a watchtower holds a small amount of state for every channel it watches. Using that state it can make sure the channel closes out with the correct amounts. Meaning, if someone tries to publish an old channel state the watchtower can publish the justice transaction.

    That means you could run or use a watchtower for your channels and if your other machines go down you could always recover funds. It requires channel closing and re-creation but saves you your money.

    Check it out: https://lightningnetwork.plus/watchtower

  16. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    > But the fact you enjoy Doom doesn’t mean our world is good. It means you were made by our Creator with the wherewithal to be able to confront evil.

    This is what it all comes down too in the end; the matter of fittedness.

    You look at it as the world being wrong for you.

    But i look at it as you being wrong for the world.

  17. simplyconnected says:

    This is a big off-topic but I thought it may be useful to some people thinking about religious exemptions to the injections.
    This sample of accepted/rejected religious exemption claims (I think for college) was posted on the chans (occasionally there’s something worthwhile).
    Your interpretation will be better than mine, but as far as I can tell what works is to say “my religion tells me God heals, not injections”, as opposed to getting into any secular details about safety etc.

    • Jehu says:

      That’s an interesting collection of claims. Yeah, your estimate seems to be right. Keep it totally non-falsifiable and they seem to mostly be accepted.

      • simplyconnected says:

        Exactly. It’s interesting that it’s better not to bother laying out any rational argument.
        Perhaps it’s a legal thing: judging from the consistency of accepted/rejected applications, they might have some specific legal criterion.

        • Jehu says:

          Just saying the you and your minister prayed about it and God led you both to believe that we should not take the Vax would probably walk, especially with a signature of your minister. Most of the fruit of a poisoned tree fetal stem cells from aborted children arguments were accepted as well, unless they said anything about lack of proper approval processes or the like or risks of the vaccine.

        • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

          They hold these truths to be self-evident. Which is to say, it is an article of faith for them; so of course ‘rational argument’ would be totally unpersuasive.

          At the same time however, their particular faith also cloaks itself in the superficial forms of ‘science, progress, reason’ and et cetera – things that ‘science, progress, and reason’ have long since killed and gutted to wear as skinsuits – such that, by using forms of argument that are ‘reasony’ or ‘sciency’ sounding, to the aparatchik, you stop sounding like someone from another faith – which is what the ‘religious exception’ is nominally for – and start sounding like someone who is a heretic or apostate to *his own* faith; if you really were scientastic, you would ‘Trust The Science’ and not try to defy it, so that makes you double-plus ungood, and thus the rejection.

          • jim says:

            > such that, by using forms of argument that are ‘reasony’ or ‘sciency’ sounding, to the aparatchik, you stop sounding like someone from another faith – which is what the ‘religious exception’ is nominally for – and start sounding like someone who is a heretic or apostate to *his own* faith; if you really were scientastic, you would ‘Trust The Science’ and not try to defy it, so that makes you double-plus ungood,

            I think this is not only what gives the aparatchik’s granting exemptions from the holy rite of vaccination trouble. It is also what is giving Rob and Hellene trouble.

            You are allowed to believe in stupid Christianity as defined by internet atheists and nineteenth century philosophers, but the Christianity founded on the fusion of Classic Hellenic philosophy and the Bronze age faith of the children of Israel, the Greek Logos incarnating as the Jewish Messiah, is unthinkably beyond the pale, so when people lecture them on it, they refuse to register it and are unresponsive to their interlocutors.

            Crimestop shuts down their minds.

          • Jehu says:

            I think the original reason for religious exemptions as such is that the denial of same is likely to result in religious wars, something the authors of those protections had seen and were horrified by the destructiveness they exhibited.
            That it protects groups like the Amish was just collateral to the Schelling point.

            • Kunning Drueger says:

              As was so eloquently pointed out by the catemite lover, I’m very much out of my depth on this topic. Can you elaborate, specifically on how exemptions obviate religious wars?

              • simplyconnected says:

                By appeasing those of other religions? not enraging them thus encouraging their religious fervor?

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  Which is the ostensible reasoning; but what really happens in environments of ‘religious tolerance’ is much like what happens in environments of ‘separate church and state’; a perfect set of conditions for a new dominant religion that hacks the superficial identification criteria to come into power over any other competition.

                • jim says:

                  They don’t want Christian martyrs.

                • alf says:

                  Yes its the opposite of the anti-CRT protests Moldbug hates because they energize progressive fervor. By allowing religious exemption, you negate Christian fervor. As any liberal will tell you, America unfortunately has many backward rednecks, and you have to deal with them.

                  Does go to show that organized religion is once again the thing that scares them. Its not the validity of the anti-vax argument that matters, its the threat of violence behind that argument.

                • simplyconnected says:

                  alf says:

                  Does go to show that organized religion is once again the thing that scares them.

                  I get that sense too. From the list of accepted/rejected claims, you can see they really are looking for sincere religious (non-prog) belief, and they’ll grant you an exemption, which could be seen as a form of appeasement.

              • Jehu says:

                That there were multiple churches in the US was baked in the cake at independence. Lots of the states had their own State churches also.
                If you were to require something uniquely odious to Catholics, the chance of unrest in Maryland would be great, or to Quakers, in Pennsylvania, or to religious Virginians who were mostly church of England in America types.
                It’s a lot easier to avoid these sorts of problems by making a Schelling point around religious exemptions. People seem a lot more likely to fight based on transcendental offenses than existential ones (for instance, you notice pretty much nobody exempts men from a draft based on their desire not to die, or their desire not to die for the table stakes of the conflict, and sometimes there are even draft protests or riots, but they’re rarely regime threatening).

  18. blackpilled says:

    Australia just secured a deal for a few hundred million boosters, which works out to be about 10 boosters per person. Source code of some of the vax pass apps across the world show that they will support many boosters too. So that seems like the plan going forward.

    The vaccines are causing excess death. The problem is that its not causing enough death for normies to notice and do anything. Although perhaps assuming that there could ever be enough death is normalcy bias.

    Its hard to see covid ending any other way but a lot of people dying. Its a race between ADE and Marek’s. Anyone have opinions on which we might see first? If its the latter, what do we do?

    • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

      Marek’s less likely since the shots aren’t actually vaccines to begin with.

    • Karl says:

      Covid will never end, like the flu it will be with us forever.

      What should or could normies do if they notice excess death? Don’t see any options besides refusing the clot shot or forging a vaccination document.

      Marek’s took may years to get really bad for unvaccinated chicken and there was a vaccine that reliably prevented chicken from getting sick. We don’t have such vaccines. So I expect that it will take even more time for a Marek effect to show up with covid.

    • Pooch says:

      The vaccines are causing excess death. The problem is that its not causing enough death for normies to notice and do anything. Although perhaps assuming that there could ever be enough death is normalcy bias.

      They managed to scare people into radically altering their lives for a bad flu season regardless of what was happening right in front of their noses. I would imagine Cathedral propaganda will be able to easily conceal the true deadliness of the boosters to people who have already bought into covid hysteria. What this whole thing has taught me is that people loyal to the regime have no limits on doing things necessary to display that loyalty.

      • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

        Right, but the problem they will run into is that the endless boosters will select for people who distrust the regime. It will run through the loyalist sections of the military and police forces. It will kill off their mouthpieces. It will start to kill them. The people who will be increasingly likely to survive will be their most hated enemies. The Alex Jonses and Jims of the world. They already have problems with projecting force. That will only accelerate as their forces die from the consequences of the clot shot and their propaganda mouthpieces have to be replaced.

        That gets even worse if the rumors of Vax AIDS are true. Fighting an OPFOR that is riddled with AIDS is like a wet dream come true from a military perspective. Disease is usually the largest killer in wars. If we end up fighting an enemy with no immune system, guess who wins that fight?

        • Pooch says:

          You’re right. It is a form of leftists murdering every other leftist. Maybe this is how the leftist singularity terminates itself, but I think we already knew the Alex Joneses and Jims of the world are the most likely survivors. Anyone who doesn’t understand the default path we are on is the collapse of Western civilization is suffering from enormous normalcy bias and the odds they make it through to the other side decrease by the day.

        • The Cominator says:

          Which is why I think in most cases the clot shots will only cause long term health problems, but our enemies are increasingly stupid. I hope the Vax kills everyone who took it (I’m easily willing to sacrifice a few) but I’m not that optimistic.

          I do suddenly have an idea but its not one that I want to mention anywhere on the internet.

          • Pooch says:

            The vax is not all that noticeably deadly yet to healthy people (but we certainly know excess deaths are up because of it). It may not be until the 8th, 9th, 10th boosters that people really do start dropping like flies which is probably 5 years away still. Hard to predict the level of satanism the state religion will be in by then.

            • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

              Well, we are 1-2 shots in, and deaths are up drastically. Who knows whether the increase is linear, exponential, or logarithmic. I would guess logarithmic, but that is just a shot in the dark based on the way most things in nature behave. The boosters are just adding onto the damage. We are at the point where most people know someone with serious side effects, whether temporary or permanent. What happens what someone who had only temporary issues as a result of shot #2 gets booster shot #3?

              • Varna says:

                What happens is you always start “with the most vulnarable” and at one point “you accidently fix the age pyramid” and oy vey who could have foreseen this. Oh well, at least we don’t have to worry about pensions anymore.

                The survivors are to lower their expectations, accept the new “flexibility of prices which expand the range of choices”, and go eat bugs in between the shots.

                • Karl says:

                  The clot shot is not killing of pensioners specifically. Excess deaths are most clearly seen in male teenagers.

                • Varna says:

                  That’s now; I’m hypothesizing about further on down the booster cycle when the vintage Soviet immunity-shutdown thing starts kicking in for real.

                  I’m basically 100% certain that in 2022 there will be a total wave of miscarriages though. And globohomo will instantly spin it in abortion terms as “was needed to save the life of the mother”.

            • Alfred says:

              One has to wonder if the elites are still taking the shots. I’ve heard that the I-MASK+ protocol is being used by members of congress but I have no way to verify it. Getting others to mask up and take their clot shots while they laugh at the public just proves how elite they are.

              • Pooch says:

                I would guess the insane non-white leftists in Congress are too stupid to refuse the shots. The old white guard I’m not sure. They may be smart enough to fake the shots.

                • Jehu says:

                  The real test is, do they give it to their own children? A 60-something or even a 50-something might take something they know might reduce fertility, but only a total degenerate would do that with their own children.

                  Last I heard California’s governor hadn’t vaxed his daughter…

          • jim says:

            Bitmessage

  19. Kunning Drueger says:

    A family requires a man. A man requires a purpose. A purpose requires a community. A community requires a society. A society requires an identity. An identity requires a nation. A nation requires a king. A king requires a God.

    Obviously there are subtle distinctions, exceptions, and different orderings, but I believe this is an adequate summary. I also believe that faith and/or Faith is the sinew of this structure and status is the energy or motive force that animates it. Jim has spoken on each of these things, and his words need to be collected into a single repository, because the beginning is the Word. I am struggling with the Faith aspect/element. I have sincere doubts about Christianity based on its well documented track record of being subverted and gelded, but I also doubt that there is anything else much better out there. This is a deep and abiding issue because it touches on every part of the structure. How do we build families, men, purposes, communities, societies, identities, nations, and monarchies that endure? Are we, as fallen creatures, doomed to an eternal cycle of good men-good times-weak men-bad times? From my perspective, it seems that there are two big failure points: the man and the Faith. The man problem is wide and shallow, so constant maintenance is probably unavoidable but accomplishable. The Faith problem is trickier. Is there something wrong with the Faith, or is it failed man failing to interpret it properly? If the Faith is not well understood and easily transfered between generations, there will always be exploits available to the Priests. They will sweep in and tell us what is wrong and how to fix it, and inevitably we will be subjected to collapse and ruin. But how do we maintain a Faith without priests? High barrier to entry is a good start, but the underlying problem is generational. So the Priests must merely wait for the son to fall short of the father and the cycle begins anew. Maybe it is in fact inevitable and we are doomed to cycles. But if it isn’t, how much effort should be put into building something that can withstand progeny less intimately familiar with the Stakes?

    • Hellene says:

      All of Spengler’s civilisations exhibited cycles. I read somewhere that Plato retired from public life when he realised his civilisation was doomed. Perhaps there is no answer to the problem of our civilisation. That’s not to say we should give up, but perhaps change how we approach the problem.

    • Alfred says:

      From my perspective, it seems that there are two big failure points: the man and the Faith.

      The women question and holiness spiraling seem to be the twin problems civilizations struggle with. Kingship was created as a way to deal with both issues but it’s a cure with a rather short shelf life that highly dependent on the character of the king and his nobles. After 5,000 years we still haven’t found anything better.

      If we can get off this rock and start building civilizations that survive on places like Mars the pressure of living in such a difficult environment might lead to the invention of a social tech that solves these issue.

      Life is always a struggle and if we ever stop struggling as a species we’ll end up like the dumb like the Neanderthals or the Australian Niggers: Unable to innovate, unable to advance, and unable to survive the next shit storm the universe tosses at us. Intelligent life seems very scarce in the galaxy, and we will be lucky indeed if we survive long enough to get off this rock.

      • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

        I thought the Neanderthals could innovate, and that it was their lack of cooperation that killed them. They were fewer in number and did not have the amount of fighting men that other primitive humans had. The humans that descended from mixes with other humans seemed to have fared quite well for themselves. It is the pure humans that seem to be unable to do anything beyond feed and breed.

        • Alfred says:

          I thought the Neanderthals could innovate, and that it was their lack of cooperation that killed them. They were fewer in number and did not have the amount of fighting men that other primitive humans had. The humans that descended from mixes with other humans seemed to have fared quite well for themselves. It is the pure humans that seem to be unable to do anything beyond feed and breed.

          Humans and Neanderthals encountered each other in the Levant and the Neanderthals generally won, trapping us in Africa for a while. Both groups were expanding at the same time. At some point the human tool kit started improving quickly while the Neanderthals were still using the same toolkit they’d used for hundreds of thousands of years. We’d gotten creative while they’d become stagnant. Towards the end of the Neanderthals their tool kit started improving but it was too little, too late.

          We undoubtedly gained something valuable from our interbreeding with them as evidenced by the selection that kept those genes around, but humans showed a lot more adaptability in tech creation and adoption than the Neanderthals before that interbreeding, assuming it didn’t happened when we first duked it out with the Neanderthals in the Levant.

          • Kunning Drueger says:

            Not at all my field, and I don’t have links, but I remember being at university when a groundbreaking body of research came out showing that subsaharan Africans had no neanderthal DNA while Europeans had up to 3%. For obvious reasons, this was memory-holed very quickly. I like to think neanderthals were the Elder of early hominids and the homo sapiens were the Edain. Probably inaccurate, but myths should be used to our benefit regardless of veracity.

            • Alfred says:

              There’s some evidence that we didn’t bury or honor our dead before we interbred with the Neanderthals. Bodies were often just tossed in garbage piles in human camps. But we have evidence that they practiced warfare and beat the crap out of humans they encountered in the Lavent, so they were not exactly the Elves.

              There also the issue with swimming, sub-Saharan Africans can’t swim worth shit because they naturally sink instead of float while Neanderthals made it as far as Create in the Mediterranean, demonstrating a lot of water travel ability. Africa had plenty of good coast line and outlying islands and sub-Saharan Africans colonized almost none of it.

              The really suppressed bit about sub-Saharan Africans is they interbreed with some other archaic human group that was probably dumber and less advanced than most humans where. I still don’t have the full details on that.

              • Varna says:

                Interesting stuff about sub-Saharan Africans.

                I’ve encountered theories that Jews are more Neanderthal and Gentiles are more Cro-Magnon, but I’ve never had the motivation to go deeper into that.

                • Alfred says:

                  I’m rather less convinced that Jewish behavior is largely genetic. I’ve dealt with enough Mormons that I feel exactly the same about them as most people feel about the Jews. Though Jews are much better at Jewing than Mormons are but I seem the same sort of destructive behavior towards their host populations that Jews have always displayed.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  It’s pretty obviously genetic.

                • Oog en Hand says:

                  What about the Aurignac?

                • Leon says:

                  That theory makes little sense. The Neanderthals were muscular with ultra dense bones. Far more athletic than even the finest modern athletes. They wrestled ancient beasts to the ground. Nothing about them screams Jewish.

                • Varna says:

                  Well, the Jewish sickly nerd persona is just one. Just like the current “Chinese nerd persona” and “faggy Korean persona” and people forget that a significant chunk of Chinese men are burly Sicilian types in wifebeaters or wiry chainsmoking blue collar types, and that Koreans have the same type who in certain situations go to the rooftops.

                  Jews also have masculine men. And, heh, women. Heck, half the 1920s/30s mobsters were Jews, but somehow only the Italian type made it into pop culture (just like only the gentile plantation owners, cough). Bugsy Siegel for one.

                  Not that this proves or disproves anything about the Neanderthal DNA theory, just pointing out that the Woody Allen type is representative only of one demographic segment, just like faggy and nerdy Asians.

                  On the East Coast you go into a Russian neighborhood, the unshaven butcher-types who can beat a bear into submission with a hockey stick are all Jews.

              • Cloudswrest says:

                From La Wik.
                —————–
                A new allele of ASPM arose sometime in the past 14,000 years (mean estimate 5,800 years), during the Holocene, it seems to have swept through much of the European and Middle-Eastern population. Although the new allele is evidently beneficial, researchers do not know what it does.

                • jim says:

                  Or, more likely, not allowed to know what it does.

                  Would not be hard to find out. Just take a bunch of profiles from a population that is generally heterozygous on ASPM, and look for correlations with ASPM. Prison, socioeconomic level, that broad brush stuff. Then when you see a difference you can start to zoom in on what exactly the difference is.

            • Cloudswrest says:

              Also see this on recent human neuroevolution:

              “Both selected alleles [brain genes ASPM and Microcephalin] are relatively rare in subsaharan Africa.”

              I heard various rumors that Bruce Lahn has stopped research into these matters.

              http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/genetics/brain/lahn_2005_aspm_microcephalin_science.html

        • Leon says:

          I read somewhere that Neanderthals didn’t breed in the same numbers as cro magnons. Although they were physically superior to cro magnons they were out numbered and outbreed.

    • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

      Instead of looking at where it has been gelded and subverted, look where it has not. The purest, best expressions of the faith are where the human race is lifted highest. The only other faith that did anything similar was Ancient Greece. The only two societies that had science were the Greeks and Christian Europe, and we do not know enough about Ancient Greece to reconstruct what they had. All the best thinkers in NRx are Christian, or Christian-adjacent. There is simply no other option.

      • Karl says:

        Song dynasty in China had science with more impressive results than ancient Greece.

        Don’t understand their faith though and whatever that faith was it made them unable to defend against an invasion, which suggests that that faith would not work for European culture.

        • Varna says:

          To be fair, no one could handle the Mongols. Had Western Europe appeared as a quirk of fate in an easier to reach region–for example clustering around the Volga…

          Around the time Rome was disintegrating, China had reached a peak of bureaucracy on 19th century levels, and tech of 17th century levels. This was enough for it to just stay in one place and be a futuristic land of wonders and plenty compared to everyone else for the next thousand years. Of course this stagnation played a bad joke on it once the West became steampunk, but that’s neither here nor there.

          And it assimilated all invaders sooner or later. And is still around, whereas the peer civilizations of antiquity–not so much.

          The faith is on a folk level generic ancestor and nature spirit worship, not unlike the Japs. In villages you get shrines where everything blurs together–Buddhism, Taoism, and even Maoism. The latter also now, on a folk level, a “legendary ancestor emperor who watches over the land”. No doubt in a time of great crisis Mao is expected to return and pull the sword out of the stone etc.

          Just like the more folky commies in Russia make icons of Stalin and also expect him to return in a time of need.

          Minor gods for everything in China, from various professions to just family/clan celestial protectors shown respect by a little shrine one room, which in monotheism proper would get absorbed and rebranded into a framework of “patron saints” for this and that.

          • Alfred says:

            >To be fair, no one could handle the Mongols. Had Western Europe appeared as a quirk of fate in an easier to reach region–for example clustering around the Volga…

            The Mongols had difficulty outside of steep country as they’re defeats in Hungry showed.

            They conquered China because the Song had fallen into degeneracy with Socialism and Women’s lib. The Mongols beat them because they offered the Chinese a ruling class that was both free market and patriarchal while presenting themselves as more Chinese than the current crop of Song rulers.

            • Basil says:

              Do you know why the Mongols defeated China? Why did China slip into socialism and feminism, while the Mongols retained their patriarchy, market and military traditions? Why did nomads hold out much longer than sedentary farmers?

              Is the Bible the main answer? It is not for nothing that Scripture focuses so much on Babylon. Historical and statistical data confirm this. Always, literally always, rural areas have been more resilient than cities. Even today. Cities in the long run always lead to greater degeneration, weakness, pussy worship, socialist practices, cheap luxury, whores and infanticide. This is not a modern phenomenon, according to Roman historians.

              • jim says:

                The problem is the anonymity of big cities. When a chick slips out of sight of family, her behavior changes radically.

                It is simply easier to impose patriarchy on women in the countryside. This is the reason cities are a population sink.

                But monitoring is now possible with smartphones and universal surveillance.

                Make all your women give you the passwords for their cell phone tracking.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  I can confirm this. Ever since my wife surrendered her digital privacy to the higher good of our marriage we have both been happier and more at ease. She has spoken of her relief at not being tempted by the simple possibility of living a private life, which leads to our lives becoming closer. There is something about the mere possibility of secrecy that leads women to pursue secret lives, almost structurally. (That has been my impression at least.)

                  She also realizes this is my prerogative, and has never asked or suggested that I reciprocate. Which one never should of course, even if there is nothing to conceal.

              • jim says:

                The Hebrews came to Egypt as shepherds and traveling businessmen – they did sheep herding on the outskirts of the delta, and also as businessmen. They were hired by the Egyptian elite to do the dirty work against the native population.

                In the late stages of Bronze age civilization, the Egyptians failed to reproduce, and the population of foreigners with a different ethnicity and religion continued to increase quite rapidly due primarily to higher fertility, which alarmed the Egyptians – the biblical account is supported by historical sources. This became a potential military threat – both in Egypt and everywhere within late stage Bronze Age civilization. The Egyptians launched a program of getting rid of foreigners, which led to the Exodus and other events.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  And lo, almost alone among the nations they did survive.

                  Until the Romans arrived, who had even less interest in tolerance.

            • jim says:

              > The Mongols had difficulty outside of steep country as they’re defeats in Hungry showed.

              They went through Afghanistan like a dose of salts.

              • Aidan says:

                Yup. The Mongols started losing battles when they were fielding soldiers who were not born on the Mongolian steppe, but in the luxury of conquered lands. The first-generation horde was unstoppable, but the second generation was far inferior in quality, to the point that Baibars could pull off the Mongol’s own tactic of feigned retreat against Hulagu’s horde at Ain Jalut.

                • The Cominator says:

                  Its not quite that simple…

                  1) They lost a lot of cohesion later. One of their leaders (Berkei) was an idiot and converted to Islam, previously Mongol policy was generally to genocide Muslims because Muslims would kill ambassadors, break any agreements they made with the Mongols and surrender and unsurrender. All of which outraged the Mongols.

                  2) In the Far East as you said they got used to living off steppe and you couldn’t be an invincible army of horse archers and live long term off steppe.

                  3) I don’t think the Western horde was too much inferior one generation later (not the way the Eastern horde was two generations later) but horse cavalry is inferior to camel cavalry strategically in the deep desert (and tactically you have to accustom horses to the smell of camels or they become unmanagable too) so they lost to the Mamaluks.

                • jim says:

                  > 1) They lost a lot of cohesion later. One of their leaders (Berkei) was an idiot and converted to Islam

                  The problem was that the Khanates did not have a policy of forcibly converting their wives and ensuring that their sons were raised in the state religion, because they did not have a vigorous, or particular coherent state religion. So when they overran Jews, the Jews won in the end through their women, and when they overran Mohammedans, the Mohammedans won in the end through their women.

                  Women always have immense power, even if their husbands can execute them for any reason or no reason at all, because they have your sons hostage. State and Church have to try to limit this power, or at least restrain it to comparatively prosocial channels.

                  > 2) In the Far East as you said they got used to living off steppe and you couldn’t be an invincible army of horse archers and live long term off steppe.

                  Not a problem, when you penetrate into settled lands, you graze your horses on the farmers crops, turning settled land into nomadic pasture. Which can only support a much lower population density, but you do not care.

                • Pleroma says:

                  Don’t reproduce with losers and it isn’t a problem. The Puritans knew what they were doing.

                • jim says:

                  The Puritans did not know what they were doing, being trapped in a holiness spiral.

                • The Cominator says:

                  “Don’t reproduce with losers and it isn’t a problem. The Puritans knew what they were doing.”

                  Imagine going to this blog and saying that as a short intro sentence…

                • Pleroma says:

                  >Imagine going to this blog and saying that as a short intro sentence…

                  Correct.

                • Pleroma says:

                  The Puritans conducted the most successful conquest in the annals of the world. They were the hardest of hard people. They succeeded where the Icelanders, Phoenicians, and (probably) the Minoans failed. They established a foothold in an inhospitable climate populated by inhospitable people and proceeded to increase their number from 20,000 to 1,300,000 inside 150 years. How did they do it? With 1) the highest human fertility rate on record and 2) absolutely no admixing.

                  “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

                  They also had the highest rate of literacy on record, and the strongest nuclear family and lowest rate of bastardy.

                • jim says:

                  No they did not.

                  You can tell which faith conquered America biologically by the Church buildings in which they were hatched, matched, and dispatched.

                  Search for images of old abandoned ruins of American Churches. You will see that the people who founded America were hatched, matched and dispatched in Churches with altars.

                  If the Puritans conquered America, if the Puritans expanded biologically, all the old Church buildings would be Congregationalist or some such. Instead, they are usually Anglican. The Congregationalists and the rest, the Churches that were the biological heirs of Puritanism, just vanished.

                  If you look at genealogies of current day people who claim descent from the puritans, it is usually someone who came over fleeing Charles the Second. The second cousin of one of the Mayflower crowd came over, or something like that.

                  Mayflower puritanism vanished in a flood of second wave puritanism following the restoration, and a bigger flood of Anglican immigration.

                • The Cominator says:

                  I have my issues with Moldbug’s puritan theory its not entirely right and its not entirely wrong but if the Puritans encouraged people to spread successfully its likely because they couldn’t stand living under the governance of the Puritans (note these are the annoying control freak Boston Presbyterian Puritans, the Plymouth Independent Puritans and this was Cromwell’s sect were far far more amiable and reasonable people but they weren’t the ones in control, this is STILL true in Mass to this day. Plymouth/Cape Cod culture is far more fun loving and less leftist and self righteous than Boston area culture is).

      • ExileStyle says:

        You are forgetting the Romans, who we might have the most to learn from. Their theology was essentially political in nature and centered on family, manhood, war, and the status and dignity of men with families who went to war. Unlike uncountable other war-based civilizations, the Romans had an intellectual and spiritual flexibility, curiosity, and pragmatism which allowed them, without any sense of inferiority or resentment, to adopt the best of Greek thought and adopt it as their own.

        Athens was the Boston/Cambridge of that era; the Romans intuited enough and had good enough taste to recognize what were and were not their strengths, and they outsourced ethics and metaphysics to Greek models without being overrun by them, at least until the Platonic Christians came along.

        They also built the linguistic and legal structures upon which what we know was Christendom was built. For me, a hesitator on the Christian issue, the real interpretive question of Rome was: Did they create the fertile ground out of which (virtuous) Christianity grew, or was Christianity simply the final holy spiral blow to Rome?

        Either way the Romans remain formidable and important: even in the latter, more pessimistic scenario, they served as a tempering influence to infinite Christian holiness, giving it form and focus through their political institutions and ways of thinking encoded over centuries in their language.

        They also developed the ideas of virtue (virtus, from “vir,” man, i.e. manliness) and piety (dignified strength in the face of fate) in a way that the much more sensual, mystical, and emotional Greeks never did, and many ex-Roman Christians still neglect or misunderstand.

        The Romans, and their Eastern (Greek/Byzantine) successors were remarkable curators of what would otherwise have been forgotten knowledge.

        Rome is that other option, pure and simple.

        • Varna says:

          Rereading Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon these days.

          Likely not just me, times being what they are…

          • ExileStyle says:

            Yes, he presents exactly the most powerful counterargument to Christian triumphalism. An Enlightenment figure of course (which we can never totally condemn without condemning our whole civilization), and not one in the Harvard mode but in the Roman mode: something very powerful, precious and maybe irretrievable was lost in the first few centuries after Christ whose significance we have not yet been able to fully comprehend – or maybe will not be able to until history plays out just a little bit further.

            • INDY says:

              Would you explain this further?

              • ExileStyle says:

                To summarize briefly, Gibbon’s grand narrative about the fall of Rome centers around (a) their lost of moral direction and purpose and resulting decadence and (b) how this vacuum was filled by Christianity, resulting in the end of a glorious empire. So, a very similar narrative to what we’re thinking about here.

                As a good 18th Century Englishman I’m sure he would have considered himself nominally “Christian,” but it is clear that he (like many of that era, hence Enlightenment etc.) deeply regretted the fall of Rome and the “Dark Age” which followed.

                What one makes of that has to do with what one makes of Christianity, of course.

                • INDY says:

                  Thanks. A lot of the Rome talk here has been going over my head so I picked up the full set this summer, published 1909. Been saving it for this winter when I have the time and energy.

        • neofugue says:

          The title of Romans belongs to the Christians and the Christians alone.

          https://infogalactic.com/info/Satyricon

          “The surviving portions of the text detail the misadventures of the narrator, Encolpius, and his lover, a handsome sixteen-year-old servant boy named Giton. Throughout the novel, Encolpius has a difficult time keeping his lover faithful to him as he is constantly being enticed away by others. Encolpius’s friend Ascyltus (who seems to have previously been in a relationship with Encolpius) is another major character.”

          The virtuous Early Republic which defeated Carthage lies in stark contrast with the decadent collapsing Late Empire. Before Gibbon rewrote history, the classical narrative of Ancient Rome was that it rose and prospered under virtuous pagans but collapsed under the weight of moral decay, which Christianity restored upon the ascension of the faith to power.

          • ExileStyle says:

            What an outrageous claim. At least try to cast a cursory glance at chronology, to begin with. Petronius, a satirist whose entire body of work is a heaving sigh of distaste, however comical, for what he had seen and experienced, was writing generations after the “Republic” had died, and many, many more generations before a bunch of rent-seeking patricians discovered that Christian egalitarianism was a comfortable vehicle for their continued social climbing. Petronius, as a (to repeat) *satirist* may have had more subtle and, yes, far more ethical intentions in recording and/or embellishing this sequence of stories than simply reveling in Roman decadence. Do you sense affection in the story of Trimalchio’s dinner? Or an overwhelming sense of disgust? — Trimalchio, btw, was no Roman, but a freed slave with a bunch of money and a taste for wild parties.

            Where did his moral compass come from? From the Christians, whose writings he could never had known or heard of? He was a boy when Jesus was a man approaching death, and probably died before Paul.

            If you want to take the Rome vs. Christian thing seriously, at least strive for a little intellectual honesty or basic level of research.

            • neofugue says:

              There is a difference between satire and critique. Not every Progressive satirical sex comedy critiques the sexual revolution.

              The Satyricon is a great historical source representing the moral decay of High Rome found under Nero. Petronius was a debauched pleasure-seeker sodomite making light of the contemporary Roman social order, critiquing the gauche nouveau riche through Trimalchio and lamenting the “death” of great art, but glamorizes Encolpius’ sexual escapades. Christians rightly destroyed most degenerate Pagan literature; Juvenal’s Satires were kept as the work itself is morally conservative.

              > before a bunch of rent-seeking patricians discovered that Christian egalitarianism

              This was discussed before in the comments section of the last post, and is not worth going over. Critiquing Christianity is fine; ascribing an evil Progressive position to Christianity is not acceptable.

              • ExileStyle says:

                The satire question is a really interesting one, and yes, much of the Satyricon is jaw-droppingly lurid. My argument would be that the purpose of this luridness was not celebration (or at least celebration alone) but also critical.

                As for the last part, okay, maybe I got carried away a bit with polemics. (I thought it was a nice turn of phrase.) I was referring more to cynical late Roman “Christians” who converted for various political and financial reasons and played no small part in the end the western empire.

                I obviously have great sympathy for the Romans and what was lost with their fall, and there is a compelling and not too audacious argument that the egalitarianism of Paul might lie at the root of a lot of western leftism. I’m undecided, or not sure it is that simple, but I was definitely defending the Romans from the right in this case and not from the left.

                • neofugue says:

                  > not too audacious argument that the egalitarianism of Paul might lie at the root of a lot of western leftism

                  The Orthodox position on the descent of the West into Leftism (“atheism”) begins with the Great Schism and the theological innovations of Roman Catholicism; the general sentiment does merit sympathy even if it is incorrect.

                  No religious system arises ex nihilo as communicating new ideas requires using the language of prior faiths. The Soviets used the Cyrillic alphabet, used to convert the Rus to Christianity, and the early Christians redefined the term logos as a means of communication despite the Christian conception sharing little to no similarity with the ideas of Neoplatonism.

                  Just as one would not equate the impersonal logos of Plotinus with the personal property of the Son—personal meaning connection between the metaphysical and the empirical—it is a misstep to confuse the equality of men in Christ with the inequality of men as a result of the Fall.

                  All ideological thought has religious origins; for example, “secular” natural law comes from Thomism. Your line of thinking is not new; in Christianity, the West fell because the individual virtue of Pagans could not surmount the evil of the Pagan demons. My point is not meant to convince, rather to make aware an ideological similarity.

                • ExileStyle says:

                  Your comment about individual virtue vs. collectively worshiped demons is interesting. My affection for Rome, from a kind of Hobbesian perspective, is centered largely on their deification of state, family, and emperor. This led to healthy writing about virtue ethics. They seemed to be less prone to crazy demon gods than many surrounding cultures, most notoriously Carthage. They banned the Bacchanalia, for example, very early on, in ca. 186 BC.

                  Like many here, I have been drawn from time to time to Eastern Orthodoxy, but unfortunately the cultural specificity of it has made it hard to approach, at least where I live. While I know the national and language element is a strength not a weakness, I was alas born into a western Roman culture.

                  Speaking of language, I come from a “verbum” and not “logos” tradition. Which also makes the “filioque controversy” a bit opaque to me – what is that about, materially and effeciently at least?

          • The Cominator says:

            Gibbon didn’t rewrite history. The ruling christian sect under Theodosius and his children were like commies, with the most notorious order to murder all federati families living in Italy.

            • neofugue says:

              Gibbon’s mistake was eulogizing Stilicho in anti-Christian revisionist history, a devout Nicene Christian who ascended to power through Theodosius’ holy war against the Pagans in 395 and upon culminating power proceeded to destroy all of the Pagan holy literature among them the Sybelline books.

              The families of the foederati were killed along with Stilicho, himself a Nicene Christian, out of fear that Stilicho and the ascendant Goths would usurp Honorius and the last vestiges of the Roman elite and proclaim himself Emperor (which in retrospect he should have done). Arianism certainly played a larger role in Justinian’s reconquest of Italy and North Africa, but this was more ethnic than religious. Genocide was standard practice when dealing with barbarian incursion.

              • The Cominator says:

                It was beyond retarded…

                • neofugue says:

                  …and desperate, indicative of normalcy bias.

                  The Empire held off every barbarian invasion before, why not now?

                • The Cominator says:

                  Because Theodosius the faggot recruited them wholesale in big formations and then the cabal around Honorius murdered their families causing them to defect and desert en masse.

                • neofugue says:

                  Because there was a lack of Roman warriors able to match the Goths. Rome falls under siege and all the dying empire can do is send 6000 men from the East.

                  Even if Theodosius had somehow crushed the Goths the empire would have still been overrun by another horde.

                • The Cominator says:

                  Theodosius caused that problem himself. Between spending resources trying to pay informants to arrest and torture peasants for praying to the old pagan weather gods (yes this was a big concern of his) and maintaining a commie command economy no wonder they couldn’t field an army.

                  Marcian eventually solved these problems in the East, but these policies were never reversed in the West hence it fell.

                • neofugue says:

                  “The thicker the hay, the easier mowed” – Alaric

                  Peasants could not fight effectively before gunpowder. Cannon fodder is useless without an elite contingent of warriors.

                  The Goths today make up the elite of Spain and much of the New World.

        • A2 says:

          It’s also interesting to compare these with our contemporary, mercantile virtues.

      • restitutor_orbis says:

        Although no longer widely practiced, Zoroastrianism has much to commend it as a religion. If I were a monarch, I would make a Christian-Zoroastrian hybrid my faith, replacing or supplementing the Jewish Old Testament with Z’s writings.
        In particular:
        1) It is Aryan, not Semitic, in its origin. It avoids having a “chosen people”.
        2) It is a religion of struggle, not pacifism. God’s followers are commanded to fight against evil, not stand by passively waiting to be saved.
        3) It solves the problem of evil. Evil is an active force avidly seeking destruction of all that is good. Evil is chaos, disorder, entropy, and lies — and isn’t that what we fight today?
        4) It supports a concept of Logos/Gnon/Asha, an embodiment of truth, order, and righteousness as part of the cosmic pattern. Natural law is real.
        5) It supports living well in the world, high achievement, etc. Zoroastrians are high achievers in their own societies.
        6) It could, by a clever theologian, be developed into a form compatible with Christianity — focusing on Jesus as the Sayoshant, the Magi (Zoroastrians) paying him homage, and the many shared features of God, Devil, heaven, hell, resurrection, final judgment, and more.

        • ExileStyle says:

          What you’re describing is Manichaeism, which plenty of Church Fathers wrote reams of analysis and polemics about, not least the most famous ex-Manichean Augustine.

          Not to say you’re wrong or that I disagree – the problem of evil is *the* theological problem per se, I’d claim – just that early Christians intuited in not-insignificant numbers that something was incompatible between these two metaphysical interpretations of Evil.

          My suspicion is that the mere acknowledgement of an Evil God basically coequal to the Good God would almost certainly lead to a vibrantly passionatre Church of the Evil God. This has been reenacted in various forms through Christian history. I mean, if Cathars and German Romantics and Hollywood Producers and the like can, from a theology with a purely subservient Evil Force, become full-blown Eyes Wide Shut Satanists, what happens when Satan is granted an equal standing with God?

          I’ve browsed around in studies of post-Zoroastrian Sufi research (Henri Corbett esp.), a movement not not far removed from Catharism (maybe even directly historically related) and it all seems to arrive at some kind of degenerate Black Mass-style Bacchic sex-and-alcohol cult movement, an allure of basic (and boringly predictable) depraved behavior that must, I sense, have to do with an underlying metaphysical misunderstanding.

          But again, all provisional intuitions.

          • ExileStyle says:

            Sorry, that’s *Henry Corbin for the interested.

          • restitutor_orbis says:

            Yes and no. You’re definitely right that Manichaeism did attempt to be a Zoro-Christian hybrid like I suggested. But I am not suggesting that particular “strain”.

            Manicheans went wrong IMO because they adopted the Gnostics idea that the struggle was between a spiritual world of good and a physical world of evil.

            The original Zoroastrians, on the other hand, believe that the physical world is good, except insofar as it comes under the influence of evil. This seems like a subtle point but it actually has profound implications.

            Zoroastrians believe creation is to be fought for and defended; Manicheans, like Gnostics, believe creation is the product of an evil demiurge and to be left behind in pursuit of ascetic spiritualism.

            Zoroastrians do not put the Evil One on an equal footing with the Lord Creator. The Evil One is not a God because he cannot create, he can only destroy. He is not responsible for our world or for anything good.

            As far as whether the religion I propose would lead to evil — it might; but certainly the religion we’ve got has led to a global tyranny of evil! I think that Christianity actually sets itself up for failure because of two doctrinal points:

            1. By insisting that God created the universe from nothing, including Satan, it indirectly makes God responsible for the existence of evil.

            2. By insisting that God is all-powerful and Satan merely a creature of his devising, to be disposed of later by God, it (a) encourages passivity, (b) leaves believers uncertain as to why God is waiting around to deal with Satan, and (c) compounds the existence of evil.

            Conversely, the message of (pure-strain) Zoroastrianism is very clear. God’s creative acts have been made from the getgo in the face of a determined, evil, and destructive enemy, who tirelessly wages at every moment to replace order to chaos, truth with lie, and good with evil. God’s every effort is turned towards this battle. We are soldiers in that war.

            What is good? Truth, justice, and order as embodied by God.
            What is evil? Lies, injustice, and chaos as embodied by the Devil.
            Why is there evil in the world? Because there’s a war on.
            Why did God create evil? He didn’t, God created in the face of evil, against evil, and works tirelessly to sustain creation from evil.
            What ought be we do? We should be creators and fighters who build, bring order, support truth, fight evil.

            So what I’m proposing is a very, very different religion from Manichaesim and other Gnostic faiths.

            • Kunning Drueger says:

              A midwit discussing theology always ends poorly, but I can’t help pointing out that God creating good in the face of evil seems to imply that either evil, or Evil, exists outside of Creation or is a side effect of the act of creation. Whichever path you walk, the God is constrained. Which is fine by me, I don’t need God to be all powerful, all knowing, unstoppable, etc., to admit that I am a sinner in desperate need of his grace and guidance. But it seems to drive the priests mad. Either they start burning heretics to avoid the discussion, or they start worshipping the Chaos. I don’t need a perfect King to be a good subject, I need a good King. Why must God be the omni- suite? I don’t know, and don’t really care, but try asking devout Christians, or Muslims, if there is any kind of limit to God. Make sure you have an exit strategy.

              • restitutor_orbis says:

                It does drive priests mad. It’s worth thinking about why. My immediate answer would be either (1) that priests rate their power based on the power of their god or (2) God in a state of war needs warriors more than priests.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Point 2 is very interesting. I don’t want to blaspheme, but I rather like the idea of a constrained God. This is probably my inherent mortal, limited perspective, but I like the idea of serving a God who needs me, in some miniscule way, just as I need Him, though I am not at all stating that there’s any sort of parity. A King needs his soldiers, and each soldier needs the King. Of the many things here that have opened my eyes, something that stays with me is Jim’s assertion that, when the King deigns to visit some small hovel, he treats the man of the house as the King of that place. Obviously it’s a formality, but what a powerful and beneficial gesture. Maybe God lets us be needed by Him, for our own good and to the benefit of our relationship with Him.

                • neofugue says:

                  God is not constrained by dialectical either/or propositions, so God being unable to refute himself is not indicative of him lacking omnipotence. The existence of miracles is itself a suspension of causality. Ever since the Great Schism the West has tried to “prove” God using “logic,” leading to the outdated and failed classical proofs. Orthodoxy presupposes God as first principle and views logic as less certain than God; thus one cannot “out-logic” Orthodoxy out of existence.

                • Rob says:

                  Ever since the Great Schism the West has tried to “prove” God using “logic,” leading to the outdated and failed classical proofs. Orthodoxy presupposes God as first principle and views logic as less certain than God; thus one cannot “out-logic” Orthodoxy out of existence.
                  If so, why believe in him? Why specifically believe in Orthodoxy, not Buddhism or Islam? “I believe because I believe” isn’t that convincing. Everyone needs reasons whether they acknowledge them or not.

                • neofugue says:

                  The central narrative of Christianity is “Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.” People are drawn to Christianity not necessarily because of the intriguing narrative of someone rising from the dead 2000 years ago, rather their desire for mercy and forgiveness of sins. The primary appeal of the faith is moral. When St. Augustine critiques the Pagan Gods, he points out their immorality as proof of them being false.

                  My point was not to say that logic does not play a role in Christian theology or metaphysics; the fathers neither advocated nor practiced strict fedeism. It was that Orthodoxy puts God first before all other things, that God is not dependent on something more certain than himself.

                • Rob says:

                  As Paul says, if Christ is not raised then Christians are still in their sins and are of all men most miserable. Christianity makes some specific historical claims about a 1st century Galilean Jew, if they’re false then so is it. Also, a moral allure implies a preexisting moral framework which has to precede conversion to Christianity.

                  You can’t start with it, you’ve got to start with belief in your moral convictions (to tell you you’re a sinner) and your own ability to correctly judge the true from false (to tell you this is the correct religion). Only then could the Christian story even theoretically have an appeal. Then you’ve got to puzzle out the correct branch of it. If you don’t start by assuming logic you’ve got nothing.

                • neofugue says:

                  As Paul states in Romans, that moral allure is the law of God written in men’s hearts. Because of the Fall, men are not able to properly interpret the world in so far as its origin, its meaning, and its Telos. Man retains the image of God but lost the likeness of God, and the incarnation restores man to an immortal state. It is not that apologetics lacks importance, rather men can only see truth through the grace of God, through humility and acceptance of the teachings of the Church. Logic is not our starting point, rather a tool used to understand God.

                  Without the Resurrection there is no Recapitulation of Christ and as such Christians are not absolved of their sins nor freed from death.

                  The problem with beginning with logic is that no one completely agrees with each other on what constitutes being “logical,” hence the differences of opinion on the messages of Christianity. Without an authoritative consensus men could take a single source and derive opposite meanings. Referring to the previous post’s discussion of Metropolitan Kallistos, one could “logically” convert to Christianity while retaining Progressive morality. Look at the thousands of Protestant denominations, each proclaiming themselves as the one true church. There has to be a leap somewhere, and that leap must be first principles.

                • Rob says:

                  Faith in yourself is basis for faith in literally anything. If you don’t trust yourself completely you have no basis for assuming that Orthodoxy even exists. Could be all in your head. You can’t perceive or process anything except through the filter of yourself. Then you’ve got to trust your sense of morality and your reasoning to lead you to the truth. No religious experience, no wisdom of a saint, no argument, no moral feeling can provide a motive for anything except insofar as you believe you can correctly perceive and interpret it. If you believe Orthodoxy because of the wisdom of the scriptures an saints you have to believe you know what wisdom looks like and that this is it. If you believe because someone told you you’ve got to believe the other person is competent and you’re fit to judge that they are. If you believe because you got blasted on the road to Damascus you got to believe in your own eyes and memory and reasoning. So got to take the leap of faith on your own competence first.

                  Next you have to apply logic. No way around this. If, as you said, Augustine argued that the immorality of the pagan gods proved their falsity there must be some agreed on and preexisting system of morality you can judge a god by or that argument is null. If so, what is it? Does the Christian God measure up to these claims? Was Jesus Christ actually resurrected? The faith lives or dies on whether he was or not. Even believing because you were raised Orthodox requires you to at least subconsciously reason out that the people who raised you knew what they were talking about, which goes back to faith in your own judgement. Does Christianity provide the answers you’re looking for? Got to look and see, then use logic to see if the answers satisfy the problem. Otherwise you could answer the questions of morality equally well with the color blue, or any other non sequitur.

                  Problem is if you don’t begin with logic your belief is arbitrary, unsupported and unsupportable. A Muslim could just as easily tell you to take a leap of faith for Allah. Got to have reasons to be leaping or you’ll just jump into a pit.

                • neofugue says:

                  Your response presupposes that men have the ability to accurately perceive the world outside of divine revelation, which is being openly denied.

                  Definition of First Principles:

                  “A first principle is a basic proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.”

                  Orthodoxy did not adopt the path of Scholasticism, which attempted to incorporate classical metaphysics with Christianity. The position denies the objectivity of the human experience, rather assuming God as the first principle of knowledge. We derive logic and understanding through divine revelation, not the other way around.

                  Quoting Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

                  If one openly denies the “objectivity” of the human experience, then he must base his understanding on God.

                • Rob says:

                  The premise is men have to be able to perceive the world outside of divine revelation or there is no way of discerning that there is such a revelation at all. Someone does have to tell you about the thing being revealed, after all, which presupposes some ability to understand what is being told. Otherwise revelation is quite pointless.

                  Second, and I’d think this would be obvious, without the ability to discern absent such revelation there is no basis on which to discern true revelation from false. Any idiot can claim that God told him the secrets of eternal life or write a book. How do you know which one is real and which is not, absent logic?

                  If one openly denies the “objectivity” of the human experience, then he must base his understanding on God.

                  Apparently you don’t get it. Maybe some questions will help:

                  1) Which God? There are many who say that they have revelation from divinity and contradict each other. How to determine which is true and which a lie?
                  2) How do you tell when God is speaking if he is the first principle of your knowledge, as opposed to a demon or your personal delusions?
                  3) Denying the objectivity of human experience logically denies the objectivity of your own. That being the case, how do you know that Orthodoxy objectively exists at all, and is not just a personal delusion in your head?

                • alf says:

                  If you don’t start by assuming logic you’ve got nothing.

                  Well yes but no. No successful prophet ever went by the logical method. It’s more a ‘flinging a plate of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks’ method.

                  There’s a nice meme format in there: the chad prophet (splits sea in two, doesn’t care about logic or phycis, has millions of descendants) versus the virgin philosopher (want to be logically coherent, never amounted to anything outside academia, can’t even get laid).

                  This doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain logic to the madness, that logic being that if your family, extended family, friends and neighbors all share the same religious beliefs, you’ll find that the sense of shared comfort and identity you derive from that far outweighs any contradictions, and instead you’ll righteously assume that those attacking the contradictions are either lost or up to no good.

                  Why specifically believe in Orthodoxy, not Buddhism or Islam? “I believe because I believe” isn’t that convincing.

                  Because so did your forefathers, and their Christianity outcompeted everyone and it wasn’t even close.

                • Rob says:

                  Because so did your forefathers, and their Christianity outcompeted everyone and it wasn’t even close.

                  That’s a fine reason to sign up but even there you’re relying on your ability to judge prosperity and assuming faith in yourself to know what it looks like and that it’s desirable. Literally cannot avoid such self-belief as the first premise. Thought I’d have to point out that tech advances make a better case for Anglicanism than Orthodoxy.

                • alf says:

                  That’s a fine reason to sign up but even there you’re relying on your ability to judge prosperity and assuming faith in yourself to know what it looks like and that it’s desirable.

                  Where’s the problem?

                  Thought I’d have to point out that tech advances make a better case for Anglicanism than Orthodoxy.

                  Not disagreeing. I think Jim argues that current day Orthodoxy most resembles 17th century Anglicanism.

                • neofugue says:

                  > men have to be able to perceive the world outside of divine revelation or there is no way of discerning that there is such a revelation at all

                  Man is made in the image of God but cannon understand meaning and Telos unless through his grace. The relevant term in Orthodoxy is “prelest,” spiritual delusion, and even the most venerable of monks are required to question themselves.

                  > Why specifically believe in Orthodoxy

                  There are numerous scholars and countless saints who have dedicated their lives to converting those from various backgrounds, and I cannot speak for all of them. My own personal reasons coming from a Progressive Leftist background revolved around the need for redemption and justifying a strong moral footing. Each individual requires his own approach.

                  > *all three questions*

                  The answer to all three question is that we have the church and the communion of the saints as our authority. It is not that I do not understand your objections, rather that I dismiss them outright.

                • Rob says:

                  Where’s the problem?

                  Not a problem with you but undercuts neofugue’s idea that we have to (or even can) start with God. Truth is, we always have to start with ourselves. There’s no other lens to view anything from. Then we need logic. Only with those things in hand can we start looking for revelation.

                • Rob says:

                  Man is made in the image of God but cannon understand meaning and Telos unless through his grace. The relevant term in Orthodoxy is “prelest,” spiritual delusion, and even the most venerable of monks are required to question themselves.

                  And do the monks ask the question “Is Orthodoxy true?”. After all, they can only know it through themselves, whether you choose to believe it is grace or not. Doubt yourself, cannot avoid doubting your convictions. If you are incompetent to judge, cannot judge Orthodoxy as true.

                  My own personal reasons coming from a Progressive Leftist background revolved around the need for redemption and justifying a strong moral footing. Each individual requires his own approach.

                  Why assume your need for redemption or strong moral footing are anything but prelest?

                  The answer to all three question is that we have the church and the communion of the saints as our authority. It is not that I do not understand your objections, rather that I dismiss them outright.

                  Great, but you do so arbitrarily. You have no ground to stand on against a Muslim dismissing Orthodoxy because Allah said to. No basis for comparison of “revelation”. No basis to trust your own judgement, even the judgement that the church and the communion of saints aren’t just spouting bullshit. You could just as easily take the color blue as your authority, it would be just as meaningful. Only could work at all via an unprincipled exception.

                • alf says:

                  we have to (or even can) start with God.

                  As far as I’m concerned it’s an unfalsifiable distinction. If we are made in God’s image, by starting with ourselves, we start with God as well, so you might very well have to start with God.

                • Rob says:

                  As far as I’m concerned it’s an unfalsifiable distinction. If we are made in God’s image, by starting with ourselves, we start with God as well, so you might very well have to start with God.

                  Have to start with yourself to figure out you are in God’s image. Plain to see from most world religion that it’s not an obvious first principle. Somebody has to tell you the story of a God making people in his image, you’ve got to trust yourself to judge it true, then you can say you’re in God’s image.

                • jim says:

                  > Have to start with yourself to figure out you are in God’s image. Plain to see from most world religion that it’s not an obvious first principle.

                  My mind is orderly, and makes sense of things. The universe is orderly, and capable of being made sense of. Which is why Galileo was correct in ascertaining heliocentralism from a single data point.

                  To reason beyond one’s mind to the world of the senses requires a leap of faith. And your starting point has to be that leap of faith. Starting with just yourself leaves you in the trap that modern philosophy is trapped in.

                  So, given that a leap is needed, and we want to land with our feat on the ground, how should we leap?

                  Why does not Judaism or Islam work, in the sense that Orthodox Jewish engineers are limited, and Orthodox Jewish scientists and Mohammedan scientists are worthless. (Islamic engineers are not bad within certain limits, but they are always dependent on the creations of a society that once was Christian.)

                  They lack the logos – Fully man, fully god, and the order and structure through which God created the universe. They lack the bridge between inside and outside.

                  The logos was from the beginning an integral and fundamental part of Christianity, but when Charles the Second made the Invisible College the Royal Society, the Established Anglican Church started to make a big deal out of it. That, and married Bishops, is an important lack in Orthodoxy. Orthodox Bishops need to be married with well behaved children, and they need to make a bigger deal out of the Logos than they do.

                • alf says:

                  You’re splitting hairs.

                • Rob says:

                  I’m pointing out that you cannot cut out faith in yourself and your own competence without cutting out everything. Cease believing in your own abilities and you’re left with nothing but unprincipled exceptions all the way down. Hell, even doubting your own competence requires faith in the part of you that’s doing the doubting. Literally impossible to begin anywhere else.

                • alf says:

                  I’m pointing out that you cannot cut out faith in yourself and your own competence without cutting out everything. Cease believing in your own abilities and you’re left with nothing but unprincipled exceptions all the way down. Hell, even doubting your own competence requires faith in the part of you that’s doing the doubting. Literally impossible to begin anywhere else.

                  I’ve tried to follow what you write here but my eyes keep glazing over. You are making a problem out of something that’s just not a problem for me.

                • neofugue says:

                  > And do the monks ask the question “Is Orthodoxy true?”. After all, they can only know it through themselves, whether you choose to believe it is grace or not. Doubt yourself, cannot avoid doubting your convictions. If you are incompetent to judge, cannot judge Orthodoxy as true…Why assume your need for redemption or strong moral footing are anything but prelest

                  This comment is cursed. My intention is not to justify the faith on your terms, rather to reject those terms outright. It is off-topic and pointless for me to throw pearls at swine by doing apologetics.

                  My initial points were that God is not constrained by dialectics and Man is unable to see clearly and logically without him because of the Fall. Even if one personally disagrees with the theology, this should be rather straightforward.

                • Rob says:

                  What about it do you think is is not straightforward? Distrusting your judgement means the judgements “Orthodoxy is true” or even “I should distrust my judgement” are equally untrustworthy. There is nothing complicated about it.

                • Rob says:

                  My initial points were that God is not constrained by dialectics and Man is unable to see clearly and logically without him because of the Fall. Even if one personally disagrees with the theology, this should be rather straightforward.

                  I do disagree with the theology because it’s dumb to the point of self-refutation. Practiced consistently it not only undermines the ability to advance technologically but also leaves one in the same position as a Muslim sitting on his ass and waiting for things to just happen, inshallah.

                • neofugue says:

                  What is being discussed is not logic, rather why logic is as a precursor to knowledge. My position appears absurd to you because of a priori assumptions at the heart of your belief system. “Man must be able to trust his perceptions, otherwise he cannot know anything.” In Progressivism, “equality is a good thing, otherwise one is a bad person.”

                  The position is a rejection of the first two propositions of the Enlightenment listed here:

                  “Reason is man’s central capacity.”
                  “Beliefs are to be accepted only on the basis of reason, not on the authority of priests, sacred texts, or tradition.”

                  Man sees through a glass darkly as a result of the Fall. Beliefs are to be accepted only on the basis of priests, sacred texts, and tradition, and all “reason” outside of the Church is to be rejected as delusion. Without Christ one cannot trust his thoughts.

                  When discussing the human and divine natures of Christ, many on this blog view it as “contradictory” because of their first principles of logic. Since my first principle is the church, there is no “contradiction” in Christology; Christ having two natures is not a problem. The church being first principle of knowledge does not lead to solipsism.

                  Men are not able to build consensus around an “objective” form of logic, and those attempting to do so often find themselves building consensus on absurdities such as “equality.” This blog consists of commenters of varying perspectives from around the world each with his own understanding of “logic” and the world around him. Are all but one foolish and illogical? Well yes, I am right and all others are wrong, of course; but no, each man sees the world with slightly different ideological baggage.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Maybe I’m missing something, but Rob just seems to be a Humanist Entryist…

                • Rob says:

                  What is being discussed is not logic, rather why logic is as a precursor to knowledge. My position appears absurd to you because of a priori assumptions at the heart of your belief system. “Man must be able to trust his perceptions, otherwise he cannot know anything.”

                  Your perceptions include your perceptions that lead you away from progressivism and to Orthodoxy. You grant those perceptions an unprincipled exception to the rule that you cannot trust yourself.

                  Man sees through a glass darkly as a result of the Fall. Beliefs are to be accepted only on the basis of priests, sacred texts, and tradition, and all “reason” outside of the Church is to be rejected as delusion.

                  Ok. Why? Why is the Church the first rule of faith and not the Koran?

                  Without Christ one cannot trust his thoughts.

                  And what about those thoughts that you had that led you to Christ? What about the thought that you cannot trust your thoughts? Why do they get a magic exemption?

                • jim says:

                  This discussion is circling the same sinkhole as all modern philosophy.

                  Christianity lacks logical justification. Philosophers said “Let us only accept what can be logically justified.”

                  Disappeared up their own assholes.

                • Rob says:

                  My mind is orderly, and makes sense of things. The universe is orderly, and capable of being made sense of.

                  No objections from me here. But I have to point out that assuming your mind is orderly and makes sense of things is an a priori leap of faith that has to be taken to make sense of anything.

                  Maybe I’m missing something, but Rob just seems to be a Humanist Entryist…

                  Not a humanist or an Orthodox. If you want to call me anything, you can say I’m a believer in gnon.

                • Rob says:

                  This discussion is circling the same sinkhole as all modern philosophy.

                  Christianity lacks logical justification. Philosophers said “Let us only accept what can be logically justified.”

                  Disappeared up their own assholes.

                  If you want it to stop, it’s your blog and I’ll respect that.

                • Hellene says:

                  This discussion has been amusing to read. Rob is clearly correct, and judging from the response to his perfectly simple, common sense position is to tell him to shut up and go away, the faith of Jim has no future.

                • jim says:

                  Refuted by the irrefutable might of “modern” philosophy.

                  Meaning late nineteenth century early twentieth century philosophy.

                  That faith died in the late twentieth century, staggered on as a stinking zombie for a bit, but the crows are now getting rid of what is left of its corpse.

                • Hellene says:

                  You speak of material and effective causation yet recoil when it’s brought plainly to your attention. Trying to frame Rob’s comments as “modern philosophy”, is of bad faith, as he is simply pointing out common sense.

                  The point is that out there somewhere is an actual existing person called jim who has to assume as first principles that he exists, that he can discern truth from falsity, that it is valid to reason deductively, etc, and proceed accordingly from there. You have to believe in your own ability to discern the truth, or you are gone at the beginning. There is no way out of this.

                  You can deny these first truths of Gnon if you wish but he will punish you.

                • jim says:

                  Nuts.

                  This not common sense, but madness

                  Starting only from one’s own mind, and proceeding by pure reason, one cannot justify the testimony of your own eyes and hands, cannot justify sitting down in a chair and expecting it to hold one up. Leading to a lengthy catalog of insane propositions confidently asserted by late nineteenth and early twentieth century philosophers.

                  Every time someone who subscribes to “modern philosophy” sits down, he is making an unprincipled exception – applying one standard to beliefs he finds necessary, convenient, or politically preferable, and another standard to beliefs he does not like.

                • jim says:

                  But these things don’t get me all the way.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  >Kant’s critical philosophy was developed in several famous works, including Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, and Critique of Judgment. Ultimately, Kant concluded that “everything intuited in space or time, and therefore all objects of experience possible to us, are nothing but appearances, that is, mere representations which have no independent existence outside our thoughts.”

                  >Now, epistemological skepticism existed long before Kant. The Münchhausen trilemma, about which I have written several essays, was first elaborated by Sextus Empiricus in the Second Century AD. However, Kant’s critical philosophy was uniquely destructive. He was, in the words of Moses Mendelssohn, “the All-Destroyer.”

                  >What made Kant different? Stephen Hicks, in his seminal book Explaining Postmodernism, writes:

                  > ” Many earlier skeptics had denied that we can know anything… [b]ut earlier skeptics had never been as sweeping in their conclusions. [T]he conclusion of those skeptical arguments would be merely that we cannot be sure that we are right about the way reality is… Earlier skeptics had, despite their negative conclusions, continued to conceive of truth as correspondence to reality.

                  > ” Kant went a step further and redefined truth on subjective grounds. Given his premises, this makes perfect sense. Truth is an epistemological concept. But if our minds are in principal disconnected from reality, then to speak of truth as an external relationship between mind and reality is nonsense. Truth must be solely an internal relationship of consistency.

                  > ” With Kant, then, external reality drops almost totally out of the picture, and we are trapped inescapably in subjectivity–and that is why Kant is a landmark. Once reason is in principle severed from reality, one then enters a different philosophical universe altogether.”

                  >After Kant, Western philosophers began to abandon either reason or reality.

                  >Metaphysical idealists claim our consciousness is real and our reality an illusion; eliminative materialists claim our consciousness is an illusion and our reality is meaningless.

                  >Much of contemporary thought — broadly dubbed “postmodernism” — abandons both reason and reality. And this is the “philosophical universe” that we now find ourselves in. It is the philosophical universe in which progressivism has flourished, conservatism has failed, and physiocracy must somehow develop.

                  Kant, of course, was a very spergmatic fellow. Long on calculation, in a lexical sense (and thus an attraction to spheres of priestly endeavor), but sparing in capacity for world formation (and thus the frequently maladaptive products of such endeavor).

                  A sense of disconnection with Being comes naturally to such sorts. A trouble with ‘getting a grip’ on it’s processions, whereas the systemizations of their own thoughts feel clear and present; feel like it comes much easier than any other practice they might concern themselves with.

                  His main aim of course was to, basically, justify his own private beliefs by scorching the earth behind him. ‘It is no more untenable than yours because… none of it is tenable!’

                  As for myself, you can count me in the ‘im not seeing any problem here’ camp. Being is shaped by overlaping hierarchies of teleologies; bringing yourself into alignment with these teleologies grants power; and playing a rhetorical game to try to use any and all other words except the G word to describe the hierarchy of Powers is just being precious. That rational analysis leads naturally to the impoverished limitations of any one particular humanoid agent’s reasonability, and towards the super-rationality of emergent Traditions.

                  [1] ( https://treeofwoe.substack.com/p/why-we-must-lay-a-new-foundation )

                • alf says:

                  If you want to call me anything, you can say I’m a believer in gnon.

                  Well I wanted to say you’ve got demons whispering in your ear, but didn’t, because it would probably just get you asking ‘what demons’ and ‘on what basis are you assuming the existence of demons’, but this is much better. If you’re already at gnon, getting to God is just the next logical step.

                  Why do you believe in gnon?

                • Rob says:

                  Why do you believe in gnon?

                  Because I believe my mind is ordered, that the world is ordered, and that my mind can figure out consistent patterns in the order of the world and act on them. Seems obvious. Same reason I believe whites are smarter than blacks, or men should control women’s reproductive organs. I can see it with my eyes and follow it with my reason, and I trust both.

                • neofugue says:

                  > assuming your mind is orderly and makes sense of things is an a priori leap of faith that has to be taken to make sense of anything

                  This is not your first principle as the above would lead to solipsism. The mind does not “reason” in a vacuum; therefore your first principle is the existence of “logic” independent of God, men having the ability to perceive it as a necessary condition. This is the Enlightenment narrative, and upon a cursory glance at the civilization which adopted it as its ideology would lead one to realize it as a self-evident lie, as “reason” is continuously redefined to whatever the zeitgeist happens to be during the current year.

                  Just as the Progressive piously claims his messianic ideology not a religion, the Enlightenment sophist proclaims his ideology self-evident. Reason exists because it does, and men are able to reason because they have to. Does “reason” mean “Gnon,” or does it mean “Equality?” Of course, “my” interpretation of “reason” is correct because it just is.

                • neofugue says:

                  *will post to top thread

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Don’t worry guys, Rob said the right things about negroes and women.

                  I stand by my assertion,: Humanist Entryist. Neofugue is correct, and St. John confirmed this further with his contribution. To engage with this argumentation is to cede the frame and not a valuable use of time.

              • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                Do you recall ever playing ‘imaginary battles’ with friends as a kid?

                X: ‘my sword does a million damage!’

                Y: ‘yeah? well my sword does infinity damage!

                Z: ‘oh yeah? well my sword does infinity plus one damage!’

                And et cetera.

                If you take this to be implying that unregenerated schoolyard juvenalia has been a not unsubstantial factor in theological developments of more than a few world-historic thought systems… you’d be right.

                There is an almost irresistible tendency towards ‘ontic inflation’ amongst lower order types of men attracted to priesting (especially when different teams are bumping up against each other), which usually ends up leaving you with Al Ghazali.

                In any case, whoever wins the coming civilization sweepstakes in the new world is going to need to use The American Orthodox Church as part of doing it. And The American Orthodox Church is naturally Christianity With American Characteristics.

            • neofugue says:

              My knowledge of Manicheanism and Zoroastrianism is limited, but there are things to address in these two points:

              > 1. By insisting that God created the universe from nothing, including Satan, it indirectly makes God responsible for the existence of evil.

              In Orthodox Christianity, God does not create evil as evil is not a thing in and of itself rather a lack of “good.” God did not create Satan; he created the angels, and through their pride and anger some fell and became devils.

              > 2. By insisting that God is all-powerful and Satan merely a creature of his devising, to be disposed of later by God, it (a) encourages passivity, (b) leaves believers uncertain as to why God is waiting around to deal with Satan, and (c) compounds the existence of evil.

              The central prayer of Orthodoxy is “Lord have mercy,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me, a sinner,” and the purpose of the Christian life is to obtain theosis, uniting oneself with God. Our lives are a test of whether or not we choose to repent and follow him, or rebel and fall into hell. Satan is a temptation.

              As St. Isaac the Syrian states, “Those who are tormented in hell are tormented by the invasion of love. What is there more bitter and violent than the pains of love? Those who feel they have sinned against love bear in themselves a damnation much heavier than the most dreaded punishments.” When the unrepentant die, their experience of the eschaton and God’s presence will burn as if they were lit on fire, similar to how shills on this blog have difficulty using the words “Jesus Christ.” It is not because the unrepentant posses “evil” as a thing, rather that they lack what is good.

              • Kunning Drueger says:

                Is there a place online, besides here, where I could communicate with based and redpilled orthodox men?

                • neofugue says:

                  The best place to go online is the Orthodox Christian Discord because of its excellent moderation.

                  Live link: https://discord.com/invite/orthodoxchristian

                  There is some vetting out of necessity but it is basic—questions are: Are you Orthodox? How long? Who told you?

                  In the interest of maintaining good opsec I cannot refer you to my handle, but if it lags I can relay the message to the mods.

                  The important thing is to remain patient and humble. The fall of man is the result of pride, which is why the Jesus prayer “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” is recited countless times throughout the liturgy.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Thank you.

              • restitutor_orbis says:

                I actually am baptized and raised Orthodox. I’m familiar with our theology and our explanation for evil. I don’t find it persuasive, despite really wanting to, although I find it much more persuasive than its lesser variants.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  I’ve have only recently been made aware of St. Issac’s view of what hell is, and I must admit that it appeals to me deeply. It contradicts wildly with my protestant upbringing, but every day I gain a lower opinion of Calvin’s Mistake. My tentative exploration into Orthodoxy has been unexpectedly fulfilling. I think ROCOR could be the seed from which a mighty tree bursts forth. But that is probably my Amerikaner desperation bleeding through. A rotting raft is the finest ship to a drowning man. Time will tell.

                • jim says:

                  The problem of evil never worried me. Seems obvious, and if it is in some sense hard, the official answer by divine revelation is the one God gave Job.

                  When I give you my answer I speak as a man, not as a prophet. You don’t like my answer and you want God’s answer?

                  It is right there in the bible.

                • alf says:

                  every day I gain a lower opinion of Calvin’s Mistake

                  What was Calvin’s mistake?

                • Wulfgar Thundercock III says:

                  The Protestant Reformation. Should have sacked Rome, killed the corrupt pope and bishops, and installed himself as pope and his men as bishops. Instead, he holiness spiralled Christianity into endless Protestant sects.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  I meant surviving to adulthood, but as usual Wolfgar put it better.

                • The Cominator says:

                  Wulfgar the papacy should not exist. The bishopric of Rome while legitimate at one time has been vacant for nearly 1000 years.

            • jim says:

              1. By insisting that God created the universe from nothing, including Satan, it indirectly makes God responsible for the existence of evil.

              Obviously if God created the universe from nothing, he also created free will, because we obviously have free will, and it would be a mighty boring universe if we did not.

              If free will, going to have evil. Seems like a good tradeoff to me, despite the obvious downsides.

              • Varna says:

                If “born this way” — no free will, no evil.

                For no free will and no evil — cause and effect need to be dismantled, stable categories, concepts, language, sentence structure, anything which makes basic logic possible.

                The only evil is thus then ascribed to those with free will. Free will becomes a marker of evil. No one is responsible for their actions except white straight men. They have free will and this is what makes them dangerous and evil. Nobody else has free will and are simply born this way and also a product of blind social forces. They are not evil. They are virtuous.

                They are virtuous even if they skin grannies alive, and men with free will are evil even if they spend their lives giving to the community. Awake or asleep, active or passive, they still generate astral waves of evil that are responsible for all that is wrong with the world.

                The extent to which these metaphysics become the logic by which a person or a society live, is also the extent to which they are servants of the father of lies.

                • jim says:

                  > If “born this way” — no free will, no evil

                  Yes, lots of people resent the burden of free will. They should be slaves.

                  You can choose to be a villain, a hero or a saint. Other things, you cannot choose. Some things, you are indeed born that way.

                  You cannot become a dragon, or lady, by deciding you are a dragon or lady. Free will means that you choose your actions, not that you choose who you are.

                  I have monsters inside, and sometimes I let them out to play, when they can do no great harm. And once in a long while I have unleashed them, when I had great and terrible need of their services. I cannot not have monsters inside, it is who I am, and sometimes they have come in very handy. Free will does not allow me to decide who I am, but I am the master.

                  I am indeed born this way, and it is no very great hardship to keep the monsters inside.

                • Varna says:

                  Freedom as in “liberty through self control” vs freedom as in “liberty through lack of self control”.

                  Appears to correlate inversely with external control. Those exercising conscious self control demand external freedoms, rights, privacy, ownership etc, while those to whom freedom is lack of self control demand a society of total external control and surveillance and enforcement.

                  Outsourced responsibility and control as a political, social, and spiritual model.

                  No doubt part of the toxic femininity archetypes taking over the social fabric increasingly. The external control grid constantly built up in order to play the role of the perfect “husband/father/son” who only amplifies the desires and impulses of the female.

                  Always reacting to “won’t SOMEONE do something” and “are you just going to let them talk to me like that”, and “I need some more money”, but never reproaching for lack of self-control.

                • Neurotoxin says:

                  Varna:

                  Freedom as in “liberty through self control” vs freedom as in “liberty through lack of self control”.

                  Appears to correlate inversely with external control. Those exercising conscious self control demand external freedoms, rights, privacy, ownership etc, while those to whom freedom is lack of self control demand a society of total external control and surveillance and enforcement.

                  This. Many left-wing constituencies are absolutely freaked out by any expectation that they exert any kind of self-control. A huge part of leftism is this disgusting notion of liberation: Liberation from any consequences of one’s actions.

              • restitutor_orbis says:

                Free will may be persuasive enough to you to answer the problem of evil, but it doesn’t seem to persuade most people. If it did we wouldn’t have had 2000+ years of theodicy and apologetics in the Church.

                In our contemporary era, free will as an explanation for evil falls *very* flat. Most young people today are familiar with massively multiplayer games and virtual worlds. Every player of those games knows they offer you free will – you can do whatever you want within the physics of the game. Every player also knows that some virtual worlds are much more fun, pleasant, stimulating, beautiful, than other virtual worlds.

                The question we have to answer today is not “why does man do evil?” Free will answers that. The question is “why does man exist in a world that is filled with awful stuff?” The answer “it’s the best possible world” falls flat because we, virtual world creators, can already create worlds that are more beautiful and more enjoyable for people to escape into.

                The answer to this question is always some variant of “we deserve it because of the fall,” or “God will bring evil out of good,” or “don’t question God’s mysterious ways.” There is no logical reason we couldn’t live in a better universe than we do, and if God is all-powerful and all-knowing and not opposed by an opponent of his stature, things are the way they are because that’s how he wants them. That then leads to the conclusion that God is not all-good.

                • Varna says:

                  Like explaining to a toddler that something is for his own good but he simply doesn’t have the capacity to get it.

                  Then we imagine a brain the size of all galaxies put together being told by the toddler how the brain is a poopy head because it doesn’t correspond to the toddler’s concept of good.

                  “If you were good, you would have created a world made of candy. See, even I made a world made of pretend candy for my teddy bears. And yet you didn’t make a world made out of candy for me. Life has no meaning and the creator is evil.”

                • jim says:

                  When we design video games, we design in plenty of evil. The player character is continually getting killed, even more npcs are continually getting killed.

                  Long ago when I played world of warcraft, you started out killing sentient puppies, and eventually graduated to killing and robbing undead and such.

                  If I was building a universe, I would build it pretty much like this one. Except you would wind up killing a lot more puppies.

                  I am in fact responsible for one game universe. You start out driving along a bumpy, obstacle filled road, which rapidly becomes more and more dangerous until the player character is eventually killed. I have worked on a few others.

                  It was a small game. If the universe is a really big game, God is going easy on you.

                  > virtual world creators, can already create worlds that are more beautiful and more enjoyable for people to escape into.

                  No, people escape from this far too easy world into a virtual world that is a lot rougher.

                  And then someone discovers a cheat code to make it easy, for example the recent unlimited free items hack in “animal crossing”. And all the players rush to get unlimited free stuff, but if the game creators don’t fix the hack lickety spit, everyone stops playing the game.

                  Reflect on one of the greatest virtual world video games ever: The first “Doom”. Remember the ending. I bet you still play that game once in a while.

                  I have been a game designer, I have worked with, and for, other game designers. The evil that you are talking about is what game designers call “player versus environment”. We use the term so much that we shorten it to PvE. I was always coming up with ways to make the environment more hostile, cruel, and unfair. I was doing levels for another game designer’s game, and I came up with something really nasty. I showed it to him, and he grinned like mad, and shortly thereafter proposed a way to make it even nastier. A good game needs PvE.

                • alf says:

                  And then someone discovers a cheat code to make it easy, for example the recent unlimited free items hack in “animal crossing”. And if the game creators don’t fix the hack lickety spit, everyone stops playing the game.

                  Yep.

                  The question ‘if God exists why allow evil’ is just not as interesting as people make it out to be, and often when they make it out to be very interesting they are using it as a prelude for entryism.

                  The obvious answer is: if everything were good and easy, life would be unbearably boring.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  I solemnly swear that I’m up to no paganism.

                  The world is a more full, dynamic, and terrifying place if God is constrained. Whether it is because there are other Game Designers, or there are software limitations, it is just a richer experience. Kind of like Tolkien’s Ainur concept. Yes, Iluvatar is all encompassing, the source from which springs all possible melodies and, more gravely pondered, all silence. But the Naugrim are just as integral as the two lights, just as the bolts are necessary to the overall structure. Why is it such a big ask for priests to accept that God is infinite and constrained?

                • alf says:

                  Why is it such a big ask for priests to accept that God is infinite and constrained?

                  Well you’d like to be backed by the strongest God possible, and having a constrained God implies the possibility of an unrestrained, even more powerful God.

                  But obviously God has shown himself to have some constraints, at least compared to previous iterations of Him.

              • Tityrus says:

                >If free will, going to have evil. Seems like a good tradeoff to me, despite the obvious downsides.

                You are saying that is contradictory for man to have free will and to not be able to do evil.

                That doesn’t solve the problem at all. God created everything out of nothing. Therefore the very categories of nature and reason are under his control, and if he decided to, he could abrogate the law of contradiction and make it possible for the two contradictory ideas of “free will” and “universal goodness” to both be real and true at the same time.

                If this is not the case, and God does not have any power over the law of contradiction, then God is not really God, because he is constrained by the laws of logic. Which leads us to the position of Spinoza.

                I.e., that the statement “1 + 1 = 2”, which belongs to logic, is more powerful, eternal, and unshakeable than God.

                Spinoza also correctly deduced that, if God is completely subject to logic, then man, who is subject to God, must be subject to logic. Logic is all law and has no element of arbitrariness. Which constrains us to deny free will. So the argument is self-defeating.

                This is basically a stylized retelling of the past 600 years of Western philosophy.

                • yewotm8 says:

                  “If this is not the case, and God does not have any power over the law of contradiction, then God is not really God, because he is constrained by the laws of logic.”

                  This strikes me as huge bullshit. The very suggestion simply does not make sense. Logic is a hard rule of existence, it cannot be overpowered. Arguing that God could simply turn it off is bullshit. I have no other way to describe it other than” wrong”.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  @yew

                  The main problem is playing a game of bait and switch with definitions; open with a statement of ‘there is no [thing]’, but using their own precious definition of [thing] that is different from their rival’s definition of [thing], which implies different things than what the other implies.

                  Eg, ‘the fact that existence is not arbitrarily random proves there is no god’ (even though this is quite backwards), which is then turned around into ‘i can arbitrarily do whatever with existence’ (which is double-plus backwards again). There is of course no real logic at all in this process; rather, it is mainly a longform means of rationalizing a subversive’s attack on the status of an incumbent system; and for much of the history of occidental civilization, the incumbent power(s) happen to have been Christian. ‘You people can’t tell me what to do!’

                • yewotm8 says:

                  I find it odd that one can very easily tell when he’s being lied to, even if he’s not sure why. I do appreciate your explanation as to why, even if I don’t see how it follows from what he said.

                  Boy philosophy sure is gay.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  When a good decent exponent of civilization speaks of higher powers, he naturally speaks of the processes responsible for there being a certain order of things; whereas, when a congenital subversive speaks of a ‘higher power’, his definition is chaos and caprice, something that may act in contravention of any particular nature or order or principle.

                  It can be said that political differences, like many other differences, are merely a surfacial expression of much deeper, more evolutionarily primitive differences in animating aesthetic sensibilities; and instances like this are an illuminating example.

                  Like many the congenital subversive is attracted to power in general; whereas, his sense of power in particular is impact – doing things someone else doesn’t want you to do. Thus, he is always inevitably given to convergance towards the calumnious, calamitous, and catastrophic.

                  In such cases as this, he banks on you not noticing that while he is using the same words his counterpart may be using, his definitions have quite different entailments than what a more goodly person may be implying by the same word. Thus, when ‘exploding’ his own ‘definition’ – which is really just an artificial prop set up expressly for this purpose – he wants you to come away with the impression that he instead had exploded the natural law proponent’s definition – thus in turn freeing himself from censure for his subversive actions under that same framework – even though in the end the whole exchange would have been nothing but non-sequiturs from the very beginning.

                • Tityrus says:

                  > In such cases as this, he banks on you not noticing that while he is using the same words his counterpart may be using, his definitions have quite different entailments than what a more goodly person may be implying by the same word. Thus, when ‘exploding’ his own ‘definition’ – which is really just an artificial prop set up expressly for this purpose – he wants you to come away with the impression that he instead had exploded the natural law proponent’s definition – thus in turn freeing himself from censure for his subversive actions under that same framework – even though in the end the whole exchange would have been nothing but non-sequiturs from the very beginning.

                  I will suppose against all evidence that you will read this in good faith.

                  The idea behind “natural necessity” is—things happen the way they do because they could not happen otherwise, i.e. because they do not fall under God’s power. At bottom, the contention that “evil exists because God could not have made man free without making him capable of doing evil” implies that there is are powerful inescapable entities called truths, all or some of which can be known to the mind through reason, against which both God and man are entirely impotent.

                  I will not deny that this is an extremely self-evident idea—that’s why everybody believes it. And I will not deny that this idea is the very foundation of rational thought. “Gnon” is just a collective name for all of the truths to which everything that exists or could ever exist is in inescapable bondage. But this “Gnon” is not the God of the Bible—nowhere in the Old Testament will you find the idea that “even God bows to necessity”. You will find it in Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, and all the other philosophers, and you will find it in the Christian theologians who have followed the philosophers, like Aquinas and Anselm (it is by no means a specifically “Enlightenment” idea). Spinoza was one of the first to stop making an unprincipled exception for free will, for he recognized that for man to have free will would imply that he is in some sense free from casualty and reason, which would be just as intolerable for man as for God; he regarded free will as “chaos and caprice”, and the entire point of philosophy, to him as to everyone, is to eliminate from the universe every trace of chaos and caprice. What I’m saying is: the conceptual universe in which “free will therefore evil” makes sense and is inevitable, when developed fully, leads to the denial of free will. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I am perfectly reconciled to Spinoza’s dangerous idea. Though I don’t think that jim is.

                  When I said “God is not really God”, I was saying that “Deus sive natura”, or Gnon, is not the same God as the Biblical God. At bottom the distinction between all Gnons and the God of Abraham is that the Gnons are just so many names for the anonymous and universally acceptable idea of “necessity”, but the God of Abraham is a principle of incomprehensible caprice, which man can only worship without understanding. I do not believe in this God of Abraham, but many men who were far from “lower order type men” have believed, or tried to believe, in him; among others, Dostoevsky, Luther, and Pascal. Sheer intellectual cleanliness demands that we don’t confuse these two things and pretend they are the same. “Gnon” is not a step towards God, but the exact negation of God. “Gnon” is just atheism, for nobody can seriously worship and “believe” in the set of all truths of the form “1+1=2” or “Socrates was poisoned” in a truly religious way. This is, of course, obvious, but it is still worth saying because many people here, not the least of all jim, really seem to want to confuse them. But it is just impossible to think clearly about religion without recognizing how fundamental this antithesis is.

                • jim says:

                  Nuts.

                  Among the numerous constraints that the God of Abraham has chosen to subject himself to, is that he cannot lie and cannot change – unlike the God of Mohammed. The God of Abraham is not “a principle of incomprehensible caprice”

                  Creating a universe that is logically consistent and makes sense, a universe that is physically and morally intelligible, is a necessary part of that constraint.

                  The old testament God is entirely consistent with the new testament Logos. Greco Jews and Greco Romans had no difficulty in finding the Logos in the God of Abraham and Moses.

                  I find your account of the faiths of the Old and New Testaments equally unrecognizable. Do you read the bible, or do you read progressives and shills telling you what is in the bible?

                  People unmoored from the cultural Christian cultural background can find the bible unintelligible – if so, try reading eighteenth century biblical commentary. (The commentary and translations go to crap starting nineteenth century, as they start projecting modernity back to several millenia past, but the eighteenth century is close enough to us to be intelligible to us, and close enough to the communion of the saints for them to find the bible intelligible.)

                • alf says:

                  God created everything out of nothing. Therefore the very categories of nature and reason are under his control, and if he decided to, he could abrogate the law of contradiction and make it possible for the two contradictory ideas of “free will” and “universal goodness” to both be real and true at the same time.

                  If this is not the case, and God does not have any power over the law of contradiction, then God is not really God, because he is constrained by the laws of logic. Which leads us to the position of Spinoza.

                  I.e., that the statement “1 + 1 = 2”, which belongs to logic, is more powerful, eternal, and unshakeable than God.

                  If [this unfalsifiable assumption] then [that unfalsifiable assumption] therefore [this unfalsifiable but suspiciously heretical conclusion]

                  The way you describe God just doesn’t stroke with how the bible describes God. Doesn’t stroke with how I’d describe God. Reads like a bunch of gibberish in order to strawman God.

                  Like, you’re demanding God to be so powerful that he can ‘abrogate the law of contradiction and make free will and universal goodness equally true’, whatever that is supposed to mean. Meanwhile, in the bible, God can’t even get the Jews, His own people, to listen to Him. 😂

                • yewotm8 says:

                  “evil exists because God could not have made man free without making him capable of doing evil”

                  This is really dumb. Things exist as they are, why are you questioning why reality is the way it is? Why are you trying to blame some higher power for it?

                  Also God could easily have given man free will and shaped him to not want to be evil. But we know that he created a universe not where man is necessarily good or evil or does or does not necessarily have “free will”. He created a universe where man adapts on genetic, individual, and civilizational levels, and sometimes evil is most beneficial to the the adapting unit.

        • jim says:

          > 1) It is Aryan, not Semitic, in its origin. It avoids having a “chosen people”.

          You are giving too much credence to a hostile entryist version of Christianity concocted by the enemies of Christianity.

          The material and effective reason why Christianity has semitic origins is that the children of Israel were only people around who substantially preserved a written memory of Bronze age social technology. Trouble with the Aryans is that we failed to keep literacy through the bronze age collapse, preferring the warrior path, and did not recover it until several centuries of early iron age.

          Christians are the chosen people

          No such thing as Judeo-Christianity. Replacement theology, supersessionism, comes right from the horses mouth. The Christian Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Supersessionism is official, and any Church stuffing it into basement behind the water heater along with the rest of all the embarrassments is heretical

          • restitutor_orbis says:

            [Jim – while I am disagreeing with you here on some points, I want to state up front that my reason for even *thinking* about these points is due to your writings; you are the person who convinced me that we need a religion of Gnon for the future of our civilization. Please take any disagreement in the context of me thinking through the details of what that religion should be, based on my own struggles with faith, having gone from religious to atheist and back again, and interactions with similar people.]

            I agree 100% that IF Christianity is to be the religion of the future, the version of Christianity that is adopted must be supersessionist. It is both Biblical (parable of the bad tenants) and right.

            That said, I disagree with you that a supersessionist Christianity is our best choice. I think you are wrong as a matter of historical fact about needing to look to Semitic material to maintain Bronze Age social technology. That may have been true until the 19th century but it’s not true now. Now we have translated Aryan writing that predates the Hebrew writing. The Zoroastrian Gathas are of Aryan origin and date to between 1000 BC and 1700 BC. Zoroaster’s writings are set in a Bronze Age caste society.

            In terms of functioning social technology, Zoroastrian teaching led to a civilization that was exceptionally high-functioning — far more so than the Hebrew civilization, which it outshone in every regard. The defeated and miserable Hebrews were liberated by the Zoroastrians under Cyrus the Great. Most of post-Exilic Hebrew thought is derived from Zoroastrian thought. The pre-Exilic Jews have none of the concepts that are found in Zoroastrianism, like heaven, hell, resurrection, judgment day, or an evil adversary. Messiah had no place in pre-Exilic Hebrew religion.

            In short, my view is that Post-Exilic Hebrew religion is a Semitic copy of Aryan theology of heaven, hell, resurrection, judgment, messiah, and spiritual war. The Jews mangled it because they wanted to fit it into their tribal religion. Now we have the original, better stuff it was based on and can look to that. Jesus makes more sense as the Zoroastrian messiah than he does as the Jewish one.

            • restitutor_orbis says:

              Jim, I can’t reply to your post above (for unknown reasons, possibly nesting is now too deep?) so I’m replying here.

              I’m actually a professional game designer. I’ve designed many and consulted on many more. It’s how I earn my living. The idea that our real world is designed to be a good game is, to use your phrase, nuts.

              A good game is not like our real world. If it were, game design would just be simulation and its not. No videogame has you log in and say “your character is arbitrarily disabled. You did nothing wrong but now your gameplay will involve being trapped in an iron lung for 40 years.” That’s not PvE. That’s not challenge of the sort that games offer. That’s just something that happens in the real world. It’s the suffering and horror that has made people cry out like Job cried out.

              Our real world shows, everywhere, signs of being scarred by actual and ruinous malice and ill intent.

              The reason you find fighting evil fun is that we were made by God to fight evil. He gives some people a warrior’s soul because he has placed in a world that is at war with evil. But the fact you enjoy Doom doesn’t mean our world is good. It means you were made by our Creator with the wherewithal to be able to confront evil.

              If you think God’s answer to Job was a good one, I won’t argue with you but I don’t agree and am sorry to find you so apathetic about the problem of evil.

              • restitutor_orbis says:

                Alf – “The obvious answer is: if everything were good and easy, life would be unbearably boring.”

                That’s also nuts. You know what’s boring? Being disabled from an insidious genetic disease and stuck in bed, unable to socialize, unable to think clearly, unable to see friends. Having your doctor tell you “the good news is your disease won’t kill you; the bad news is, the disease won’t kill you.” That’s not good, and it’s not easy, and it’s unbearable, and it’s boring.

                Har, har, free will explains it. No it doesn’t. Har, har, God made life like a videogame filled with fun challenges. Come on.

                If the only evils in your life you encounter are ones that make life “interesting,” then count yourself lucky because you have lived a life very sheltered from evil.

                • restitutor_orbis says:

                  Varna – “If you were good, you would have created a world made of candy. See, even I made a world made of pretend candy for my teddy bears. And yet you didn’t make a world made out of candy for me. Life has no meaning and the creator is evil.”

                  Nice strawman, Varna.

                  I believe the world is very meaningful, filled with meaning. I believe its Creator is all Good. What I do not believe is that He is unopposed. I believe God is opposed by an active and powerful evil and that we ought to struggle against that evil, and not blame God for it.

                  I accept evil is real and I don’t trivialize it as some exciting challenge that makes life interesting. That is the complete opposite of this sort of candy-coated world you’re talking about.

                  There are feel-good pantheists who will espouse the law of attraction and talk about how you get what you manifest and it’s all love and then become atheists because life didn’t go their way, but I’m not one of them. Thanks.

                • jim says:

                  I recall in world of warcraft a high level undead giant that completely unpredictably ravaged over areas where low level players normally hunted low level monsters. (Or at least completely unpredictable to those players.)

                  It was necessary for the story line for higher level players, but there is no way a lower level player could understand why a high level monster suddenly showed up.

                  And the end of the original Doom is as senseless, arbitrary, and unfair as it possibly can be. Makes the game great.

                  Should I go to heaven, and God taps me on the shoulder and says “I liked that level you did, I am giving you a bigger level to design”, you are likely going to be in trouble.

                • alf says:

                  You know what’s boring? Being disabled from an insidious genetic disease and stuck in bed, unable to socialize, unable to think clearly, unable to see friends.

                  Covered in the book of Job. Job is rightfully angry at God for mistreating him, rightfully angry at his friends for assuming that his misfortune must have been his own fault. But in the end, Job finds God, and finds peace.

                  If the only evils in your life you encounter are ones that make life “interesting,” then count yourself lucky because you have lived a life very sheltered from evil.

                  You have no clue what evils I have been through. Also, typical nihilist entryism: “how dare you be hopeful and not black-pilled like me?”

                • The Cominator says:

                  In RPG video games you can typically save and reload (certainly in Baldurgs Gate II the greatest RPG ever made you can) in real life you can’t…

                • neofugue says:

                  “The righteous Job said: Is not a man’s life on earth a trial? Are not his days as those of a hireling? (Job 7:1) Therefore, one must be as a watchful guard and be prepared for all that may happen.”

                  – St. Nikolai of Zica

              • jim says:

                > I’m actually a professional game designer. I’ve designed many and consulted on many more. It’s how I earn my living.

                I find this hard to believe. You don’t sound like a professional game designer. You sound like someone from the focus groups that are brought in to test the game.

                Then the marketers running the focus group bring the developers a list of suggestions from the focus group participants for game changes, most of which are utterly inane.

                • jim says:

                  I am shutting down whine whine whine discussion of the question of evil, because it has four thousand years of being an unprofitable question, the official answer by divine revelation is “No.”, and because the questioners tend to sound like a small child demanding unlimited candy.

                  In one sense it is a very hard question – God ducked it.

                  In another sense it is a very stupid question. Of course the universe cannot be wall to wall candy. People need adversity.

                  We are not going to get anywhere, after not having gotten anywhere for four thousand years.

                  I am also shutting down triumphalist assertions that it is a killer argument refuting Christianity. I give thanks every day, and my thanks are sincere. I really feel grateful because I have a nice life, and people who do not feel grateful are irritating.

                  But religions that do have an answer, such as Zoroastrianism and Gnosticism, are on topic. Not on topic is confidently telling us that they are much more viable than Christianity, because they suit irritating people so much better. So, yes, you can, and should, observe that the fact that they have an answer to the problem of evil gives them an advantage. But it simply is not a killer argument, any more than the contradiction between the divinity and humanity of Christ is a killer argument, and I am tired of hearing that it is.

                  I am not shutting down discussion of religions that do have an answer, or discussion of the fact that they have intellectual appeal because they have an answer. I simply do not feel that appeal, people whom I like to be around don’t feel that appeal, and telling me that I should feel that appeal because Job is getting it in the nads is not going to convince me. I know a man who is paralyzed from the neck down, except for very limited use of his hands and ability to control his breathing. He cannot eat proper food because of limited ability to chew and swallow, and because his bowels just don’t work. He has a nice life, owns and runs a successful business, has pretty women wheeling him around, and is glad of it, and I have a considerably nicer life, and am glad of it.

                  Criticism that God is a lousy video game designer because the game is arbitrary, unfair, and cruel is stupid. My video game, and every video game I have had a hand in, have been a lot crueler, and often arbitrarily and unfairly cruel, and no one thinks that the universe is designed, or should have been designed, as a fun video game. Nonetheless, reality is a rather fun video game, and I don’t feel like spending much time in unreal video game universes, due to inferior graphics and robotic bad guy behavior.

                  When designing a video game, we make some activities, including some necessary and unavoidable activities, subject to a significant risk of completely arbitrary unfair random very bad outcomes, which risk the player’s behavior can mitigate, but not entirely avoid. At least that is the way I do it, and most people I know do it, and most massively multiplayer games that I have played, games that inherently lack a save and restart feature, seem to be designed that way.

                • restitutor_orbis says:

                  Believe what you want, Jim. You don’t sound like you have any knowledge of the game industry at all. I’ll respect your note below to abandon the discussion.

            • jim says:

              > Zoroastrian teaching led to a civilization that was exceptionally high-functioning — far more so than the Hebrew civilization, which it outshone in every regard.

              And yet, second temple Judaism, which had been converged to Zoroastrianism under Babylon, was clearly inferior to first temple Judaism, descended directly from Moses, Aaron, and Jacob. And there is a reason why the Bible makes Babylon a metaphor for decadence.

              Modern Zoroastrianism has something terribly wrong with it, in the same way modern paganism has something terribly wrong with it. I know what is wrong with modern paganism. The paganism of Zeus/Jupiter/Thor/Indra lived when men worshipped their ancestors, and traced descent from real ancestors given divine or semi divine status. It died when men forgot who their great grandfathers were, and many men did not know who their fathers were. I don’t know why Zoroastrianism died, but dead it is – surviving Zoroastrianism is not actually surviving. Its life force has been lost.

      • neofugue says:

        > There is simply no other option

        As if there was an “option” in the first place.

        Men enchained by solipsism believe their musings unique as if none before them thought in similar fashion. Monarchs guide the faiths of their nations along certain paths but do not choose their particulars, rather managing factions.

        The real “option” is the work one does with his family and friends, building networks and communities, becoming worthy over time.

  20. JK Mallard says:

    > The correct solution is that every time your wallet state changes, it should send a copy of the state change, not the entire state, just the change in state, encrypted with a secret that only the possessor of the master secret can generate, to a couple of backups in the cloud.

    It seems like this solution or pretty close to it has already been implemented, years ago?

    https://github.com/darwin/lnd-auto-backup

    Is this really still an issue?

    • jim says:

      Last time I looked, Lightning backup was broken.

    • jim says:

      Last time I looked, people were doing wallet recovery in an alarmingly ad hoc fashion.

      Something that actually works should be integrated into the install of lightning wallet, so that an install can become a recovery.

  21. notglowing says:

    > I don’t know why this was not implemented.

    Following Lightning and BTC developers, this was always intended to be part of the ecosystem. But they develop things as separate parts, and many of these separate components are simply not finished yet, or not even in a working state.
    I believe that “Bifrost” is the name of the solution meant to provide storage of data as a paid service for the bitcoin network, both for lightning network data, and taproot scriptless scripts.
    Unfortunately, while it is referenced in many places there isn’t a whole lot about it.
    It’s hard to find any information on how it is supposed to work.
    https://www.rgbfaq.com/glossary/bifrost
    They want this to be decentralized too, so a simple centralized solution was not chosen.
    Note that there is a coin and platform called Bifrost, that is unrelated.
    That said, there are multiple decentralized storage services that are springing up, some of them using IPFS as a protocol, around the Ethereum and other smart contract ecosystems. They could probably be used by Bitcoin in the future as well.

    Aleph is an example. The cool thing about it is it does not charge for modifying data, it simply requires users to hold an amount of Aleph tokens which gives them the right to use a certain amount of storage on the network for an unlimited time. Changing what you are storing only requires sending a signed message to their network with no fee associated.
    The price of the amount of Aleph tokens needed per unit of storage works out to currently around 100 years worth of AWS storage costs, so the economics are sound.
    The storage is funded by staking the tokens and emitting more of them, so you are paying a cost through holding.

    • jim says:

      So, lightning wallet needs to be integrated with Aleph, or a bridge to Aleph, or something like Aleph. And until then, it is alpha release software, until you can reliably restore your lightning wallet with nothing but the master secret.

      An alpha release is a release that has critical features missing or not working. A prealpha release has critical features not only missing or not working, but not even fully and coherently planned and mocked up.

      I am waiting for the beta release of lightning wallet.

  22. null says:

    Bitcoin:

    1. Zero privacy and 100% universally public ledger. If you go to the strip club, I know. Or worse, if you donate to a church, I know.

    If you try to improve security, you use a “coin tumbler”, which is *almost* literally money laundering and certainly evokes the image of laundering.

    If you try to hide behind multiple wallets, there is technology to follow the money.

    2. 7-10 transactions/second across the entire world. Visa does 50,000/second during Christmas season. – 3 orders of magnitude too small.

    3. 10 minutes to settle a transaction without using their janky “lightening” network.

    Monero has privacy by default and 1700 txns/second. It still takes significant time to settle.

    Why isn’t bitcoin trading just greater-fool theory? It can’t overcome its foundational problems without throwing the whole thing away.

    • jim says:

      Monaro has issues – notably they initially screwed up the algorithm, because it is very hard to do any clever cryptography using elliptic points of non prime order.

      As for tumblers, use Wasabi wallet.

      Yes, Monaro privacy is enormously better. And it is a very good idea to transact in an out of Monaro to rinse your money. But Bitcoin has network effects behind it, so harder to buy goods and services with Monaro. Bitcoin is has more interface software, notably BTCPay.

      And now Bitcoin has the lightning network, which does provide privacy – or would, if it was implemented correctly.

  23. Reactionary Mormon says:

    I had a gut instinct about 2 weeks ago to liquidate my Ada for Bitcoin as I sensed Bitcoin’s second wave of bull run for this cycle was coming up, my Bitcoin transactions since summer have gone back to costing pennies instead of dollars (and take under 30 minutes instead of unpredictably longer), and finding out Cardano launched Smart Contracts without their Smart Contract engine Plutus being ready and that Hydra is still nowhere close to development.

    I also recently learned that Adam Back is probably Satoshi. Gives me a lot more confidence knowing that Satoshi presumably has been actively involving himself with the future of Bitcoin and Layer 2 stuff rather than just disappearing from an incomplete project:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfcvX0P1b5g

    The documentary totally mis-frames Back as a bad actor with bad motives in the block size war, but the reality is larger blocks just lead to a drastic increase in the blockchain faster without addressing the fundamental scaling issues (e.g. Bitcoin SV has a larger blockchain than Bitcoin without having anyone even using it).

    Intelligent readers of this blog should be able to also make out the documentary’s others missteps in assuming evil motives in Satoshi coming back and presumably sabotaging Gavin Andresen attempting to hard fork and centralize the project. As Adam Back has commented on Twitter, having figureheads / leaders in crypto introduces moral hazards and points of failure in the system that are better not to have.

    • jim says:

      Initially Satoshi thought that increasing the block size would help somewhat mitigate the scaling problem, but he eventually realized that it would not, and might well worsen it.

  24. Alfred says:

    Anyone know of a good source for Ivermectin? I picked up some in horse paste form a while ago, but I was thinking that the normal pill form would be more likely taken by extended family if they catch the WuFlu.

    • Mike in Boston says:

      More palatable than the horse paste, but still relatively easy to get (Amazon will no longer sell it to you, but any number of vet supply places will, unless you are in the People’s Republic of California) is injectable 1% ivermectin solution. You don’t need to inject it, just make sure you dose it properly into a glass of water and take it orally. The brand I happened to buy has no other weird ingredients, just ivermectin, glycerol, and propylene glycol.

      Ivermectin in pill form is OTC in a number of countries, but lately the regime has begun seizing shipments.

      The stated reason is that they were mislabeled, which might even be true: last year airmail packages clearly marked “hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets” right on the Customs label were delivered to me without a hitch. But at that time Trump was still in office. I have to wonder whether they would still get through now.

    • Reactionary Mormon says:

      Don’t take animal meds. FLCCC lists Buy Pharma in their list of recommended pharmacies, and the only complaint against them in reviews is “how dare they sell medication without requiring a prescription”. Haven’t ordered yet but they seem to have good reviews:

      https://www.buy-pharma.md

      • jim says:

        Animal meds are fine. I use them all the time.

      • yewotm8 says:

        Veterinary technology is probably far ahead of human medical technology considering the government oversight each has. No reason to think that animal medicine is any worse than human in SISPQ either.

  25. Neurotoxin says:

    “The correct solution is that every time your wallet state changes, it should send a copy of the state change, not the entire state, just the change in state…”

    IIRC, in data compression they use a similar idea for some applications like video. E.g. in a movie, the background in a dialog shot is not changing (if the camera is fixed). So you only need to transmit data about the background once per shot, instead of re-transmitting it for every frame.

  26. Esa says:

    Maybe stupid question but what do you guys see BTC being worth in say 1 year, 2 years, 10 years? And are there any other cryptos worth investing in or to make some money off of?

    • jim says:

      Bitcoin, like all crypto-currency, is a high risk, high reward investment. If globohomo is unable to destroy it (and I see several massive vulnerabilities that will have to be addressed for it to survive, and am working on replacement that will make me immensely wealthy should bitcoin be taken down successfully), and if globohomo is not reigned in by a Caesar willing and able to restrain the misconduct of the US financial system, it will replace the US dollar, in which case its market cap is likely to of comparable value to the US dollar broadly defined money supply, M3. We don’t know how big M3 is, because it somehow disappeared when it was growing at a terrifyingly rapid rate, but M2 is twenty trillion, suggesting a bitcoin market cap north of twenty trillion present day dollars, though by the time this happens, a McDonalds hamburger is probably got to cost several thousand or several million dollars.

      I therefore expect bitcoin to appreciate by a factor of around twenty or so, though this will take a while, probably considerably more than two years.

      If you asking “where will it be in two years”, you are asking the wrong question. It might be anywhere in two years, the big question is where is the final destination, which is why dips do not matter to hodlers except as buying opportunities.

      • pyrrhus says:

        It seems to me that when and if the dollar collapses, the Feds will likely make the use of private cryptos like Bit’C criminal, possibly capital crimes…So the whole scenario is extremely dodgy, and will resemble the late Roman Empire where every form of wealth got seized by the Government or Army whenever they needed cash…

        • Alfred says:

          and will resemble the late Roman Empire where every form of wealth got seized by the Government or Army whenever they needed cash…

          This seems likely. And they probably won’t have any issues torturing people to death who no longer have that bitcoin. The lesson here is not to buy bitcoin from anything that can track you.

          • Oog en Hand says:

            Torture doesn’t work.

            • jim says:

              A politically convenient myth.

              Pain causes one to speak truthfully. More effective even than alcohol. Torture is not an instrument of coercion, it is a way of altering people’s minds. Works great.

        • Anonymous BTC boy says:

          Will they really?
          It seems to me that (a significant portion of) the Feds are themselves HODLing bitcoin (and other cryptos).

          If anything, I think they’ll start shaking each other down before they get to us, no?

          • Mike in Boston says:

            they’ll start shaking each other down before they get to us, no?

            Why would they do that? They already cooperate to steal apples from our applecarts. Why would they cease cooperation, rather than just engaging in more of the same?

            They will squeeze every penny they can from us before turning on each other.

        • Neurotoxin says:

          pyrrhus: “when and if the dollar collapses, the Feds will likely make the use of private cryptos like Bit’C criminal, possibly capital crimes…”

          There’s actually precedent for this. In France in the 1790s – note a leftist holiness spiral – they made refusing to accept the inflated gov’t currency a capital crime.

          https://www.gutenberg.org/files/6949/6949-h/6949-h.htm

          “It decreed that… any one who refused to accept a payment in assignats, or accepted assignats at a discount, should pay a fine of three thousand francs; and that any one committing this crime a second time should pay a fine of six thousand francs and suffer imprisonment twenty years in irons. Later, on the 8th of September, 1793, the penalty for such offences was made death, with confiscation of the criminal’s property… To reach the climax of ferocity, the Convention decreed, in May, 1794, that the death penalty should be inflicted on any person convicted of ‘having asked, before a bargain was concluded, in what money payment was to be made.’”

          On the bright side, the coming era is not going to be boring.

          • Anonymous BTC boy says:

            Ah, but by that time they were doling out death sentences like candy during halloween.

            BTW, is this you? https://neurotoxinweb.wordpress.com

            • Neurotoxin says:

              Yup, that’s me.

              • Anonymous BTC boy says:

                Excellent site. I especially like the “Red Pill in Fiction” series.

                • jim says:

                  The “Red Pill in fiction” is a great series, but in our discussion on Rotherham, Neurotoxin underappreciated the implications for real life female behavior, failing to take his own blog to heart.

                  Maybe he should have read his own blog more.

                • Neurotoxin says:

                  AnonBTC and Jim: Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been itching to do another RPIF post, but haven’t had time to get into a cheesy romance lately.

                  On the Great Rotherham Debate: That was fun, wasn’t it?

                • jim says:

                  One thing I have noticed is that every so often, all the old romances disappear from the library shelves and are replaced by new romances. I conjecture that there is some change in the line on romance that all libraries and all authors must comply with, but cannot read far enough into them to figure out what the change is, if any, due to estrogen poisoning.

                • Neurotoxin says:

                  “…estrogen poisoning…”
                  The key is to take it in small doses. No man can suffer through much of this crap in one sitting.

                  Disappearing books: Doubtless they’re being politically corrected, like everything else. Last year: Pirate rips off captive maiden’s bodice and “ravages” her. Next year: Pirate respectfully asks, “Milady, would it trouble you if I were to kiss your hand?”

                  A la mode: The romance-y cable channels are now starting to go inter-racial. They resisted that for a long time, a startlingly powerful unprincipled exception.

                  (Another reason that physical books may have high turnover is, er, think about what women use these books for. Handle with gloves.)

                • jim says:

                  > Last year: Pirate rips off captive maiden’s bodice and “ravages” her. Next year: Pirate respectfully asks, “Milady, would it trouble you if I were to kiss your hand?”

                  Sudden surge in popularity of Korean soaps subtitled in English

                  I was shocked to see that everyone on a tug of war team was concerned that women were rather useless in a tug of war. As the American empire declines, it is having trouble making everyone everywhere toe the line. The Korean shows seem to be politically correct enough, but every so often, not very often, something happens that is now unthinkable and unimaginable in English language media.

      • Esa says:

        Thank you. I ask because I want to make money in the short term. I suppose this isn’t the place for that sort of question but I was just curious if anyone had any ideas.

    • restitutor_orbis says:

      The article that persuaded me to invest in BTC was a stock-flow analysis that modeled BTC’s value in comparison to gold, where value is determined by the amount in existence relative to the amount coming into existence. The article argued for a valuation of BTC of about $250,000 per coin within a few years. I personally am hoping to see $120,000 by mid-2023 and $250,000 by 2025.

      But that presumes normalcy and of course we won’t have normalcy.

  27. Eugine Nier says:

    On a related note. What’s a good way to buy non-KYC bitcoin?

    • Publius says:

      Are tumblers not sufficient?

      • Hellene says:

        How do tumblers help in this scenario?

      • jim says:

        The problem is, how to exchange dollars for bitcoin? After you have bought it, a tumbler hides who owns it, but does not hid the fact that you bought bitcoin and do not have a cover story as to how you sold it.

    • Mike in Boston says:

      What’s your threshold for “good”? The Bisq network seems great on paper (multi-sig transactions with auto-escrow and mediation for a reasonable fee) and definitely works for some people but there are plenty of bugs.

      • jim says:

        I am a regular user of the Bisq netowork, and if bitcoin lightning network straightened out its chaotic wallet backup system, I would be using it in a flash, despite all my very strong objections to the way it works right now, (which, as I noted, the taproot update of the bitcoin base layer looks designed to make fixable)

      • Eugine Nier says:

        bisq requires you to already have some bitcoin to use it.

        • Mike in Boston says:

          The amount of bitcoin required to use Bisq is quite small, under USD 500. Some options are therefore:

          (a) Buy a small amount of bitcoin from one of the remaining non-KYC bitcoin ATMs. Near me, there are a few that will let you buy as much as $900 with only SMS verification. The SMS is, of course, sent to the prepaid burner phone that you paid for in cash at a cell phone store in the hood. The one in the shitty neighborhood nearest to me provides polite, efficient service.

          (b) Reddit’s /u/Cash4Cash> is an active marketplace, full of people eager to rip you off, but includes an escrow mechanism.

          (c) Bisq’s keybase channel is a less active marketplace. No real protection against getting ripped off, but hey.

          (d) kycnot.me may have other options.

          • Alfred says:

            The SMS is, of course, sent to the prepaid burner phone that you paid for in cash at a cell phone store in the hood. The one in the shitty neighborhood nearest to me provides polite, efficient service.

            You can buy burner phones at walmart or any other big box store and phone cards from your local drug store. Leftists enabling Black and Mexican criminality can work in your favor as here.

            I hear people pay in cash and setup the phone. The only thing linking such people will be security video which such stores do not keep for long.

            • Eugine Nier says:

              The only thing linking such people will be security video which such stores do not keep for long.

              The COVID mask hysteria is helpful here.

        • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

          Depends on how it works. If all you need is just a little bit to get your toe in the door, then it’s a lot easier to argue away a trifling sum traceably converted to trifle of btc (‘everyone tried it out’), than all your savings being traceably connected at once.

    • Humble Acolyte says:

      Bitcoin ATM 10-20% convenience fee is worth it IMO. I wish I had always done that, but I KYC’d for Coinbase, so now I will be on The List when the enemies of human freedom start doing house calls.

      • Alfred says:

        I made that mistake as well, though mostly because I was have trouble getting ADA via the normal methods. I’m not exactly sure what to do about it, though my investment isn’t very large.

      • Eugine Nier says:

        Don’t ATM’s require a cellphone number?

    • Anonymous BTC boy says:

      Maybe…
      step one: Buy BTC from a KYC exchange
      step two: Buy BISQ-BTC and use KYC-BTC as security deposit
      step three: Return KYC-BTC
      step four: Make off like a bandit

      I think (something like) this would work?

      It seems to me that the biggest technical obstacle is getting a hardware wallet anonymously. (Since the Feds will know who ordered one, or used a platform like craigslist or anything like that.)

      • jim says:

        I don’t see what this gains you.

        • Anonymous BTC boy says:

          A plausible excuse / cover story for what happened to said bitcoins?
          “B-but officer, I only borrowed BTC — then I changed by mind and I returned it! Honest!”.

      • jim says:

        Sure officer. Here is my hardware wallet. And here is the master secret, which you can see only control 0.000001 btc.

        All buying a hardware wallet tells them is that you are into crypto currency, and by the time the $#!% hits the fan, everyone will be into crypto currenncy.

    • Esa says:

      What should one do if they have already made all their purchases through KYC?

      • jim says:

        One solution is to appear to sell it, if this is not going to result in a stupendous tax burden

        • Esa says:

          Can you specify? Sell yourself an NFT? Some sort of monero swap? I am new to this. And the reason for this is so the IRS/ gov doesn’t come after you for your BTC?

  28. Aidan says:

    Off topic, but I’m feeling appreciative to Jim for obliterating shills. I’ve been lurking a few “right wing” spaces lately and dialogue has been completely poisoned by people posting robotic scripts.

    We had a short discussion on whether or not we were being too trigger-happy with the shill tests. It’s obvious to me now that we are not.

    • Pooch says:

      Main reason I come here. Jim’s moderation is second to none.

    • Tityrus says:

      I was just looking through older jim comment sections (2014-2017 or so) and I notice that the average quality of discussion here has improved quite a bit since then. Very rare to see that on the Internet.

    • neofugue says:

      Do not hold a conversation with a fool,
      And do not visit with a senseless man.
      Beware of him, so as to avoid trouble,
      And you will not be defiled when he shakes himself off.
      Stay away from him, and you will find rest
      And not be exhausted by his insanity.

      – Wisdom of Sirach 22:13

      Engaging with shills can defile a person. At best they are exhausting irritations, at worst devils leading many astray with slick tongues and clever whispers.

  29. chris says:

    So, Swpa ADA,
    Hodl BTC?

  30. Mycroft Jones says:

    Or skip lightning and go straight to BSV. Scalability issues already solved.

    • jim says:

      Craig Wright is a scammer, therefore BSV is a scam.

      Its technological claims are impossible, or inadequately explained, but with Craig Wright behind it, you don’t need to look at the technological details.

  31. The Bidenator says:

    I’m a noob so don’t know what the lightning network changes apart from scaling. Does the lightning network allow smart contracts or anything like that? The main thing that has been keeping me on ETH is being able to hold wrapped BTC, and some other pegged tokens and being able to switch between them easily without a centralized exchange.

    I guess what I’m really asking is whether or not there is still a place for other chains or will the lightning network with its fixes eventually replace them all?

    • jim says:

      On a fully and correctly implemented lightning layer, you can do contracts. It will be a better place for contracts that the underlying layer. But as yet, the lightning network is very far from being fully and correctly implemented.

      In the end there can only be one – not in the sense that there will be literally one blockchain. Every company’s shares will be their own blockchain, and every financial instrument will be blockchain based, but there will be a single dominant blockchain in the same way the US dollar used to be the single dominant currency.

      And the question still remains, and has not yet been answered, is which one will it be?

      I was giving up on bitcoin, because of the scaling limit and technological stagnation. But it seems I wrong about technological stagnation.

      • Publius says:

        It’s a shame that Bitcoin’s scripting system is so limited.

        • jim says:

          Taproot makes it possible to fix bitcoin’s scripting system – it is designed to support scriptless-scripts in a way that is very powerful and general, though there is as yet no application program support for actually scripting stuff scriptlessly. It is, in this sense, potentially far more powerful than the ether scripting system.

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