As a result of a chain of unexpected events, I’ve discovered a motherlode of Paul Monk’s essays.

I didn’t realise that he’d been blogging for the past few years.

The stash doesn’t contain his older essays, which appeared in the Australian Financial Review between about 1998 and 2003. For them, you’ll have to buy his book of essays. [They used to be available on the Austhink website, but he took them down around the time he published his book.]

Those essays, which usually appeared in the Fin’s Review section on a Friday, were one of the reasons, along with the works of Heuer and Stebbing, for my becoming interested in thought and decision, as well as intelligence and strategy.

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Kudos to orca100

… whoever you are.

The subject matter is tragic, but your writing is absolutely superb, you are clever enough to see through the PC garbage, and courageous enough to write openly against it.

Links here and here and here.

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Paul Gottfried on the Baizuo

From Unz:

Every day I hear exasperated Trump-backers exclaim that the Left has gone crazy. And their complaint seems justified, at least up to a point. The demonstrations against Trump, which now involve such gestures as setting fires, destroying property and beating up suspected Trump backers, look utterly “irrational.” It’s as if the election and subsequent inauguration of Donald Trump released forces of madness that can no longer be contained … Note that I’m not saying that everyone out there making noise or burning property is a model of scientific rationality. Nor am I claiming that the entertainment community makes sense when they scream against the Donald, or that students who recently set fires on the Berkeley campus to protest a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos were engaging in Aristotelian reasoning. What I am asserting is that viewed from the top, this agitation and violence reveal careful thought. In fact, from the vantage point of George Soros and such protest organizers as the Democratic National Committee and the leaders of the grievance culture, noisy demonstrations are a reasonable means toward a predetermined end. Max Weber, Vilfredo Pareto, and other sociologists who understood functional rationality as working systematically toward a desired end would have pointed to these protests as illustrating perfectly rational action, at least on the part of those who organize them.

I was pleased to see this reference to functional, or what I call in my course Action, Rationality. I’ve drawn upon it and put it in my slides.

The useful idiots are all over the place, but that’s exactly what they are, mere stage extras. They are impressionable adolescents, Hollywood airheads, middle-aged women who want to “assert themselves,” perpetually incited racial minorities, and Muslim activists. Many of them can be mobilized at the drop of a pin to “march for tolerance,” however that term is interpreted by those who organize the march and by politicians, like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who seek to increase their influence through well-prepared displays of “righteous indignation.”

Righteous indignation indeed!

The only question that should be asked in this matter concerns the end game of those who are organizing the insurrectionary masses. What do they expect to gain from the continuing noise and escalating violence? At the very least they may hope to disempower Trump and his administration–perhaps to render them so powerless that they won’t able to do anything that the Left and the Democratic base (to make a perhaps unnecessary distinction) don’t want them to do. The Democrats are also hoping to take advantage of the chaos to which their fans and operatives have contributed by posing as the true party of order. Only the Democrats, the electorate will be impelled to assume, could end the civil unrest by bringing back the glorious days of the Obama administration.

This transfiguration of the bungling leftist Obama into the guarantor of American order may not be as strange an idea as it first seems. Last week I found myself sitting next to a sixty year old black woman on a train going to Philadelphia; and this traveler began telling me how nice it had been under Obama. At first I reminded her of the growing criminality in our cities during the last few years, but then I noticed she wasn’t talking about crime. Things had been nicer under Obama because back then one didn’t witness daily and even hourly eruptions of organized anger, with the media, entertainment industry, and in varying degrees the Democratic Party egging on the mobs. The woman whom I spoke to wasn’t looking for deeper causes. All she knew was that since Trump had taken office, pandemonium was loosed on the country. And it’s not yet clear that this pandemonium will be blamed on those who are causing it, namely the organizers, the media, and the throngs of useful idiots.

Worth reading in full.

Posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Democracy and freedom of mind, Epistemic Rationality, Instrumental Rationality, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Narrative and Taboo, The Mind & Society, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Worth reading – Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia discusses the Trump presidency and leftists quietism on islamic terror.

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It’s Scriptural, and Therefore Insoluble


Better late than never, I suppose.

A Bangladeshi-born psychiatrist says the ABC plays a role in radicalising young Muslim teenagers by over emphasising how they are victims of discrimination.

Tanveer Ahmed, a cultural Muslim who moved to Australia when he was six, says the national broadcaster’s obsession with perceived Islamophobia was often counterproductive.

‘Often the voices they reach for reinforce that because their first instinct is to quell so-called Islamophobia,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

‘It keeps feeding the message that none of it is their fault, that the West is in fact against them.

‘It’s inaccurate and doesn’t get to the source of the problem. It keeps feeding grievance, it keeps feeding this idea of Muslim grievance so in that respect it’s part of the problem.

‘Terrorism is, at its heart, a conflation of personal resentments with a political ideology of resentment which Islamism is.’

Dr Ahmed is a former SBS journalist who has also previously been a member of the federal government’s Australian Multicultural Council.

The 42-year-old psychiatrist, who has a practice in Sydney’s west and visits prisons, called on the ABC to be wary of airing so-called moderate Muslims who downplayed the link between Islam and terrorism.

‘There has been too much promotion of so called moderate voices of Islam who usually turn out be apologists for terrorism, desperate to dilute any link between terrorism and Islam and promoting a message of Muslim victimhood,’ he said.

‘They use voice after voice of from various religious Muslims, almost all of whom have identical views, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, Muslims are victims of racism and the real problem is racism and white nationalists.’

In the wake of the United Kingdom’s third terrorist attack in 10 weeks, Dr Ahmed said the mainstream media and politicians also needed to acknowledge terrorists were following the Koran.

‘It’s grounded in scripture. People who commit terrorism, they are actually more devout than many other Muslims. Their actions don’t come out of thin air, they’re following strict instructions,’ he said.

‘It’s important we don’t tarnish all Muslims but people are just so sick of the platitudes and calls for tolerance, for unity and that Muslims are victims when in fact there’s a great deal of sympathy in a significant proportion of the Muslim community for the justification of terrorism be it blaming Western colonialism, blaming racism, discrimination.

‘While terrorism’s origins have many factors, Islamic terrorists, as heinous as their acts are, they are often merely doing what the scriptures are telling them.’

He called on the ABC to air Adelaide Shia imam Mohammad Tawhidi, who calls for a reform of Islam and for Muslims to integrate into Australian society rather than self-segregate.

‘He’s actually very courageous in pointing the truth in Islamic scripture, they’re the kind of voices we need more of,’ he said.

‘There needs to be a stronger focus on Islamic reformers who argue against the Koran being the literal, infallible word of God.’

With the rise of One Nation and far-right groups like Reclaim Australia, which call for a ban on Islamic migration, Dr Ahmed said it was inaccurate to blame far-right political parties for Islamophobia.

‘Phobia refers to irrational fear of Muslims. It’s very difficult to suggest a fear of Muslims and terrorism is irrational in the current climate,’ he said.

‘The rise of white nationalists comes directly in response to Islamism, not the other way around.

‘In no white nationalist text are there calls explicitly to kill their ideological enemies.

‘They’re channeling a legitimate and widely-held anxiety about Islam and mass immigration.’

Dr Ahmed, who is a Liberal Party member, has praised British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech outside 10 Downing Street which said it was no longer acceptable to unduly focus on unity and preventing Islamophobia to combat radicalisation.

‘There is no longer an appetite for mere tolerance and a facile message of tolerance and unity,’ he said.

He believed Australia’s Muslim population was better integrated than Britain’s however he said local terrorism was still a threat, especially in areas of south-west Sydney where Muslims are concentrated.

‘Where there are pockets of Muslims more prone to resentments there will always be a greater risk of terrorism,’ Dr Ahmed said.

‘The danger remains especially in enclaves where Muslims populations have stronger dependence on welfare, are more prone to crime and struggle to rise up the social ladder.’

His call comes after Sheik Tawhidi said unchecked multiculturalism was to blame for the London terrorist attacks that have killed seven people.

The Adelaide Shia imam posted his call on Twitter following the London Bridge terrorist attack, that has killed seven people.

‘Terrorism in the UK is growing week after week. Having extremists within our societies is not multiculturalism, it’s suicide,’ he tweeted to his 34,200 followers on Sunday.

He also supports One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s call to ban Islamic migration.

The Iranian-born religious leader, who moved to Australia from Iraq aged 12, later told Daily Mail Australia  ‘unmonitored multiculturalism is to blame’.

‘We need to make sure that those coming into the West really want to be part of the West,’ he said.

His calls comes after police in London shot dead three jihadist terrorists who had killed six people and injured at last another 48 during a van and knife rampage in central London.

The sheikh took to social media as Senator Hanson tweeted: ‘Stop Islamic migration before it is too late.’

Asked about her call, Sheikh Tawhidi said the idea had merit although he stopped short of advocating a ban on all Muslims.

‘I support a temporary ban on Muslims coming from the Middle East,’ he said.

Sheikh Tawhidi said jihadists had a history of attending mosques that promoted sharia law – a hardline Islamic legal system derived from the Koran and the Hadith, covering the life of the Prophet Mohammad.

‘The majority of mosques advocate for sharia law without removing the violent parts,’ he said, adding the imam who preached to the three London terrorists needs to be held responsible.

Tawhidi said he had not had contact with Pauline Hanson but would support any policy that strengthened national security.

‘You need to investigate and shut down the mosque that this terrorist used to attend.’

The 34-year-old imam said the political Left in the United Kingdom had allowed London to turn into Baghdad.

‘The Left wants us to believe that terrorism is the result of unemployment,’ he said.

‘Since when did humans blow themselves up for not having a job?’

Armed police swooped on the London Bridge area of the UK capital after two incidents, which saw six people killed and dozens injured.

It came after three jihadi terrorists killed six people and injured at least another 48 others during a knife rampage.

The men ‘of Mediterranean origin’ had shouted ‘This is for Allah’ after they had mowed down 20 revellers in a white van hurtling across the London Bridge.

Well done for saying so.

But – if the problem is essentially scriptural, and the scriptures were dictated by god, and cannot be changed, what chance does imam Tawhidi’s plan for greater integration have? It’s not going to work, because it can’t work.

There’s really only one end to this. The two groups simply cannot live together peacefully in the same society. Over time, one will either expel or subjugate the other. Given that this is the inevitable result, it’s best, I think, for the situation never to have been created in the first place.

As Steve Sailer says, that’s what separate countries are for.

More good, unapologetic articles on islamic extremism and victim culture, and the Australian responses to it, here.


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From James Kirkpatrick, at Unz:

From Breitbart to [Teresa] May, from CNN to Ariana Grande, the West is living in denial. Hopkins and McHugh have been targeted because they suggest actually doing something to solve the problem, namely, 1) getting Muslims out of Europe and 2) stopping more from coming.

It’s not that Europeans and European-Americans don’t know this would solve the problem. Nor does anyone deny Europe is headed to submission if Muslim immigration continues. But to identify the obvious problem, the obvious solution, and the obvious consequences if the solution is not carried out is to impose a moral burden most Westerners do not want to accept.

At a certain point, the refusal to understand becomes a moral failing. The cuck who won’t dump his cheating girlfriend, the heroin addict who tells himself he doesn’t have a problem, the obese woman who insists she is healthy while destroying herself—all can be figures of sympathy, but only to a point. Those who present harsh truths to these unfortunates are often condemned for their trouble, those who offer comforting lies are praised by them. But given sufficient knowledge of both problem and solution, victimhood becomes collaboration.

We have reached this point in the West. Katie Hopkins and Katie McHugh are suffering for the sins of our supposed leaders, both in Conservatism Inc. and in the high councils of state.

True. And indicative of the death grip that paralytic epistemology has over the minds of so many in the west.

But for how long? When will the inevitable reaction begin? And when it does start, will it be too late to save western civilisation?

At present, all the pace is being set by islam. And the pace is accelerating.


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Reality Winner, Reality Terror

I thought that this was quite a good satirical summary of the weirdness of the Reality Winner story.

While reading it, this line grabbed me:

Start with her name: “Reality Winner.” Then let’s tick off the other boxes: lesbian bodybuilder, ardent Bernie Sanders supporter, a “Black Lives Matter” enthusiast who (though white herself) argues that “Being white is terrorism.”

It immediately occurred to me that one explanation for why a white woman – or any white person, really – would subscribe to the belief that ‘being white is terrorism’ is fashion. It’s fashionable to think this, and to tell all your peers that you believe this. Radical chic is how it has been described before.

It’s hard to believe that any white person could hold this belief in earnest. Some do, I think. But for the most part, I think it’s fashion, trendiness, chic.

My concern is that, like any unfounded generalisation about a race, tribe, religion or ethnicity, which poses that such a group is in itself, by reason of its being, a threat to others, it will form the basis of discrimination and murder. After all, if being white is terrorism, and terrorism is an affront to the existence of a community, there’s really only one solution, isn’t there?

EDIT: Just while reading David Hines’ remarkable and eerie review of Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage, Hines calls this sort of behaviour ‘ … Phariseeism, done to win acclaim from other whites.’ The Free Dictionary tells me that one definition of Phariseeism is ‘Hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit; sanctimoniousness‘, with sanctimony being ‘Righteousness accompanied by an unwarranted attitude of moral or social superiority; smug or hypocritical righteousness.’ I think that covers it, the motivating force being a desire to be fashionable.  

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Groupthink, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Narrative and Taboo, The Mind & Society, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment


Not mine this time. From Jack D., at Sailer’s site at

Every society has an all purpose diagnosis that is equivalent to “possessed by evil spirits” and an exorcism treatment to match, but we call it by different names depending on the time and place. And people always think of their own as being serious and true – they are only comical and obvious BS when you look at those from other times and places.

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Climate Change – Me, Trump, SWP, The Narrative and Thomas Bayes

On May 23, this letter appeared in the Australian Financial Review:

Can we risk denying climate science?

On March 9 this year Scott Pruitt, the new head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, said there was “tremendous disagreement” about the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming.

The Australian Academy of Science (like pretty much every scientific institution in the world) doesn’t agree with Mr Pruitt and says on its website that: “… human activities … have sharply increased greenhouse gas concentrations … these gases have a warming effect … warming has been observed … continued reliance on fossil fuels would lead to greater impacts in the future … This understanding represents the work of thousands of experts …” You can see the details by googling “AAS and climate change”.

US geologist James Powell identified some 33,700 peer-reviewed climate scientists of whom some 9oper cent agree with the AAS.

So where does this view of “tremendous disagreement” come from? What people such as Mr Pruitt are often referring to is the online Global Warming Petition Project by which 31,487 scientists joined a petition to the US government that includes a statement that: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and destruction of the Earth’s climate.” (See the website by googling “global warming petition”.)

So doesn’t 90per cent of 33,700 saying “yes” and 31,487 saying “no” justify a claim of “tremendous disagreement”? Not if you look more closely.

First, the 31,487 is out of a pool of some 11.5million relevant scientists in the US, according to the 2009 census. So not a big take-up.

Second, you don’t have to be a climate scientist to sign. All you need is a basic science degree, no matter in what discipline – even “general science” is enough.

Third, of the 31,487 signatories, just 39 claim to have scientific experience in climatology.

Fourth, the names, according to the website, were gathered between 1998 and 2007. So seven years without a new signatory?

Maybe there were more signatories after 2007 but in April 2013, when I looked at the website for a talk I was giving, the number of signatories was the same – 31,487 – and the number claiming climatology as their area of science was – you guessed it – 39!

Everyone has the right to an opinion. But who wants to punt their children’s and grandchildren’s future on the opinions of anyone other than the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate scientists and scientific institutions like our own highly respected Australian Academy of Science? Not me.

Jim Main

Cootamundra, NSW

I penned this reply soon after, and sent it in to the newspaper:

Dear Sir, 

Jim Main [Letters, May 24, 2017] makes a strong case in favour of taking action against carbon dioxide emissions. But his case is not unanswerable.

His argument relies heavily on the pronouncements of experts. However, arguments from authority arent really applicable in this field now. For thirty years, the public has heard dire warnings about climate change which have never come to pass. This is probably because the models used by the experts have been shown to be not reliable, with a heavy bias towards over-estimating the temperature and climate impacts of carbon dioxide emissions.

But even if the models had been correct, we would still be left with the question of how we should respond. Carbon abatement on the scale necessary to reduce emissions significantly is tremendously expensive, and even a successful abatement programme would only delay by a few years the forecast rise in temperatures. This would be a heavy cost to impose on society for negligible corresponding benefit.

Even then, should our abatement programmes succeed, we would then face the problem that the earth might continue warming anyway, due to influences on temperature other than carbon dioxide.

Given all this, the best response is, I think, to continue growing our economies as quickly as possible, so as to generate the resources needed to allow adaptation to any and all climate changes, regardless of their cause. After all, another ice-age glaciation is all but inevitable and that really will be transformational climate change.

My letter wasn’t published.

I thought this piece on Trump’s withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord came closest to my own thoughts.

For the purposes of our interests, it seems to me that much of the misunderstanding and hysteria over global warming, on the part of the alarmists, is a failure of Bayesian updating. Since the warming scare began, around three decades ago, and the science has advanced tremendously in that time. From what I can see, what started off as a terrifying prognosis has turned out to have been grossly exaggerated: the early models misunderstood the interactions between carbon dioxide and temperature, and so greatly overstated the effects of ongoing global warming on the climate. In fact, what we actually discovered, through the ice core samples, is that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere actually lag temperature increases, rather than lead them. There is also the question of logarithmic absorption and saturation, and the estimates of costs to GDP of both no action and action, which show the costs of action to be many orders of magnitude greater than taking no action and just adapting.

All of this information is significant for our beliefs about global warming, and what to do about it. But the alarmists, for whatever reason, haven’t updated any of their beliefs to account for it. We can classify this error partly as slothful induction caused by an unwillingness to acknowledge unwelcome truths, and partly as Begging the Question in Induction [more the error of non-observation, but there may be some of the error of mal-observation in there as well].

A question for us to think about is: what is the difference between slothful induction and the error of non-observation?


Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Motivated Reasoning, Narrative and Taboo, The Mind & Society | Leave a comment

Slothful Induction and islamic Terrorism

One reason for recently taking a new role in Europe was to see the place before the muslim invasion made it impossible to move around safely.

I think I’ve left it too late. The place was already sinking when I visited for work back in 2002. Seeing young arab thugs harass little old ladies in the suburbs of Paris made my stomach turn. That was 15 years ago. Things are much worse now.

What is interesting, for our purposes, is seeing the strength of the hold that the mind-set that created the problem has over the cognitive and power elites of western Europe. islam has made its aims clear, in its books, its laws, its history, its practices. And it is now making them manifest on the undefended, sheep-like populations of the region. And despite the mayhem, the now-regular massacres of innocents in the name of allah, except for small, brave sections of the population, neither the masses nor the elites are capable of doing anything to save themselves – their families, their wealth, their ideals and beliefs, their land. They are completely impotent in the face of their executors.

Their beliefs are so strong as to paralyse them in the face of death and destruction. They would rather sacrifice their children than sacrifice their beliefs.

Another amazing fact is that our society went through something precisely like this only a generation ago. And our paralysis in the face of mortal threat was noted then, as well, by the iconoclastic and insightful Australian philosopher David Stove (reproduced here):

Wasps never live to see their offspring, but this has not prevented some of them from hitting on an ingenious way of providing for the future welfare of their young. They build clay cells, deposit their eggs in them, stock the cells with spiders, and seal them up. The spiders have been paralyzed by the parent wasp, by chemical means. This chemical not only does not kill the spider, but leaves him quite unharmed; it just immobilizes him. So the baby wasp, when he emerges from the egg, finds himself surrounded by food: first-class protein at that, and fresh as a daisy.

For the spiders, if they are conscious of being paralyzed, the thing must be horrible almost beyond our ability to imagine. Not quite beyond it, however; because we have all known something like this paralysis in our dreams. We dream that we are in some fearful danger, and we try to flee or fight; but our limbs respond only faintly, or not at all, to our will. We try to call for help, or we simply scream; but, most horribly, no sound comes out of our mouth. Our mental energies are all intact, but our physical energies have somehow vanished. This paralysis, all will agree, is the crowning horror of a nightmare.

But nightmares are not the only parallel which our experience furnishes to the spiders’ plight. Citizens of the open societies of the West have experienced, during the last forty years, a waking parallel to it: a political one. In these societies, the communist power comes steadily on, not only without the citizens wishing it, but in direct opposition to their wills. Hardly one in a hundred of them does not regard communism with fear and loathing, and they try to give effect to these mental energies. They write, or talk, or at least vote, against the communists: yet it is all as though they did not. Somehow, no one can tell how, their resistance is paralyzed, just as in a nightmare.

No one will suppose that the causes of this political paralysis are purelyintellectual. But to an important extent its cause is intellectual, and even (odd as this may sound) purely logical. The fact is, we painted ourselves into a logical corner. We set ourselves to achieve a society which would be maximally-tolerant. But that resolve not only gives maximum scope to the activities of those who have set themselves to achieve the maximally-intolerant society. It also, and more importantly, paralyses our powers of resistance to them, and evidently must do so. It is this logical problem, as much as anything, which has nullified internal resistance in the West to communist power.

And a separate, different, but no less profound, insight into our paralysis, from Auden:

We would rather be ruined than changed
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.

I’ll do my best to see as much as possible of this old, blood-drenched continent while I can, over the next two or three years, dodging the bombs, the knives, the automatic guns and the nightmare vehicles.

And then I’m going to get the hell out of here, and go back to my home country, and do everything I can to ensure that what is happening here doesn’t happen there.

Update: May responds. Zero credibility.

Posted in Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Narrative and Taboo, The Mind & Society, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment