Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bile Is Boring

Bile is to ridicule as sarcasm is to irony as cynicism is to paradox -- all surrenders masquerading as provocations.


jimf said...

>. . .ridicule. . .irony. . .paradox. . .
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Donald Trump (HBO)
Feb 28, 2016


But when he's sworn in as President on January 20, 2017,
on that day, his opinions are going to matter. And you
**will** remember that date. 'Cause it's the one time-travellers
from the future will come back to to try and stop the whole
thing from happening.

And listen. I get. . . I get that the character of Donald Trump
is entertaining, and that he says things that people want to hear,
and I know his very name is powerful. Just listen to this one
supporter explain what it means to her:

"I was a little girl. I didn't even know what Trump Towers were,
but I knew that he was a wealthy, successful man. . ."

"Somehow, like, there was a. . . even as a very young kid,
the word 'Trump' sort of meant 'rich'. . ."

"It meant 'success'. . ."

She's not even wrong. "Trump" does sound rich. It's almost
onomatopoeic. **Trump!** It's the sound produced when a mouthy
servant is slapped across the face with a wad of thousand-dollar
bills. **Trump!** It's the sound of a cork popping on a couple's
champagneaversary, the day the renovations in the wine cellar
were finally completed. The very name "Trump" is the cornerstone
of his brand. If **only** there were a way to uncouple that magical
word from the man he really is. Well, guess what? There is!
Because it turns out the name "Trump" was not always his family's
name. One biographer found that a prescient ancestor had changed
it from -- and this is true -- "Drumpf". Yes! Fucking "Drumpf"!
And "Drumpf" is much less magical. It's the sound produced when a
morbidly obese pigeon flies into the window of a foreclosed Old Navy.
**Drumpf!** It's the sound of a bottle of store-brand root beer
falling off a shelf in a gas-station mini-mart. And it may seem
weird to bring up his ancestral name. But to quote Donald Trump,
"He should be proud of his heritage." Because "Drumpf" is much more
reflective of who he actually is. So if you are thinking of voting
for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to make America great
again, stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you
just met a guy named Donald Drumpf, A litigious serial liar with
a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former
Klan leader who he can't decide whether or not to condemn.
Would you think he would make a good president, or is the spell
now somewhat broken? And that is why tonight, I'm asking America to
Make Donald Drumpf Again. Hashtag #MAKEDONALDDRUMPFAGAIN. . .

The BBC's Denys Gueroult's conversation with J. R. R. Tolkien
Jan. 20, 1965
T: In the first test it's... it has to sound a nice name
to me wi... even if I don't know what it means. But then you, of course,
come across this unfortunate fact that if it... then it doesn't always happen
that if you, uh, then, uh, work with those same elements with the same meaning
into the... into a name then it doesn't always come out as a nice name, in spite
of that. So then you have to... have to... have to give him another name or do
something about it. Yes, it's a... it's a minor technical craft, actually, yes...

G: But it's an interesting technical craft...

T: Is it?

G: ...because you do it with equal success when you name **un**pleasant
characters, like Orcs...


G: ...because all your unpleasant characters...

T: Yes.

G: are instantly identifiable as unpleasant characters the minute one reads
their names.

T: Yes, I suppose they would. You wouldn't likely think much of
a chap called Uglúk, would you? No.

Dale Carrico said...

"The Uglúk Factor and the Wisdom of Repugnance" -- no doubt some smug Elven MA thesis.

jimf said...

Folks Who Don't Think Exactly Like We Do.

So I was browsing a post on this blog from a couple of years
R.U. Sirius on Transhumanism

. . .

> I'm not aware of any popular discussions that imply that
> folks on the Autistic Spectrum are "immoral".

OK, I take that back. Though "immoral" wouldn't be
the right word here -- just "extremely difficult" (for a
neurotypical person to deal with) or even "unpleasant".

. . .and I realized I hadn't looked at "" in a while.
Not surprising -- it's the blog of an irascible, opinionated
(but certainly not stupid!) conservative.

So I put the top-level URL into the browser, and found the latest
post on (surprise, surprise) the election mishegas.

Oy! Oy!, I say (and I'm not even Jewish ;-> ).
Who is temperamentally unfit to be President?
July 28, 2016

The Democratic line is that Trump is temperamentally unfit
to be President, since he has responded to political attacks
with personal insults. It's true that he's said some rash
things that he would have been better off not saying.

Commenting on Carly Fiorina's looks was un-Presidential;
and saying that Megan Kelly was bleeding from "her wherever"
was an unfortunate choice of words. Saying that John McCain
was not a war hero was simply not true.

But the central conceit of the Democrats that Trump, because
he has a sharp tongue, is as likely to lob a nuclear bomb
as an insult, is ludicrous. Does anyone really think that
he can't tell the difference?

Contrast Trump's behavior to Hillary's. According to several
accounts, Hillary would actually claw at her husband's face,
[ ]
punch him, and throw things at him during her tantrums.
When a Secret Service man said good morning to her,
she replied, "Fuck off!" This was evidently typical of her behavior
[ ]
toward the law enforcement assigned to guard her.

Which is more indicative of a personality temperamentally unsuited
to the Presidency -- hurling insults, or hurling ashtrays?

Hey, I'd love to be in a position to tell a Secret Service
agent to "fuck off". ;->

jimf said...

So this guy (John Craig, )
writes a lot about psychology, which is presumably why
I stumbled over his blog in the first place.

In fact, **sociopathy** is a topic he often writes about;
Sociopaths, like the rest of us, come in a full range of IQ's.
The dumber ones tend to engage in carjackings and bank robberies.
The smarter ones gravitate more towards Wall Street and politics. . .

But no matter how smart a sociopath is, he will. . .
have certain intellectual weaknesses that stem primarily from
his narcissism. Sociopaths. . . think themselves better
at everything than they are, and this is often their downfall.

Sociopaths often think they're fooling people when they're not.
When a normal person is onto a sociopath, and realizes he's
being lied to, he may just be too polite to say so. . .
The sociopath will take this as proof he's getting
away with whatever lie he's promoting at the moment. Or, because
he's successfully fooled people in the past, he thinks he will
continue to get away with it in the future -- since, after all,
he's so much smarter than everyone else. . .

Sometimes the lie is harmless, like insisting he hasn't had
any plastic surgery when he obviously has. Other times, it's
more sinister.

Similarly, sociopaths expect people to believe them when they
claim to be turning over a new leaf, no matter how many times
they've made similarly false statements in the past. And
sociopaths always seem to think that they're fooling others
with their displays of false emotionality. A sociopath always
thinks he is disproving Abraham Lincoln's dictum.

Sociopaths, despite being masters of manipulation, are, ironically,
quite easy to manipulate themselves. Because their egos are so
out of control, they tend to believe whatever compliments they get.
This makes them extremely susceptible to flattery. . .

A sociopath is far more likely to surrender to his impulses. . .
The seven deadly sins are in fact far more deadly when it
comes to a sociopath. He'll let wrath
get the better of him, and pull that trigger, or set that house
on fire. He'll let lust get the better of him, and rape that girl.
He'll let greed overcome him, and embezzle those funds. He'll
even let curiosity get the better of him, and see how fast
that car will go. And he's far more likely to indulge in drugs
and drink, whatever the long term consequences. . .

Sociopaths tend to see themselves as victims, even when they are
victimizers. So they never have a clear view of any complicated
situation in which they have a vested interest. In their minds,
everything that goes wrong is always someone else's fault. . .
[I]f you can never admit you're wrong, you can't learn.

Sociopaths don't have the kind of patience it takes to calmly
mull things over, so never really figure things out on their
own and make great intuitive leaps -- the essence of true creativity.
This, of course, does not stop them from taking credit for
others' ideas, as Steve Jobs did.

(They are good at spur of the moment improvising, coming up with
glib lies, and delivering them in a way so as to seem credible. . .)

[A]ll these egotistical quirks effectively render
every sociopath stupid, no matter his IQ.

[Being] aware of this. . . will help you to deal with them more
effectively. It should also help you avoid being sucked into a
sociopath's self-destructive vortex.

Sounds good. And yet:
etc. I.e., **Hillary** is the "sociopath", Trump is just
a relatively harmless narcissistic blowhard.


jimf said...

MRA politics:
Paul Elam and Warren Farrell Discuss ICMI and the Presidential Election
Paul Elam
Jun 2, 2016


Paul Elam: . . .[I]n a rare moment for what AV[oice]F[or]M[en} does,
we're gonna discuss presidential politics. Recently, Warren and I. . .
were interviewed by _Mother Jones_ magazine. . .
They tried to make it look like there's a lot of circumstances
where I would lean toward Hillary, and there's actually not. . .
It came out in the interview that Warren had endorsed
Hillary Clinton as a presidential nominee.
First let me ask, since we're talking about _Mother Jones_ -- was
that true?

Warren Farrell: Yes, that's the first thing that _Mother Jones_
has gotten true in quite a while. . .

Paul Elam: Why would you choose
to endorse a candidate who so clearly stands as an impediment to
many of the issues faced by men and boys in this culture?

Warren Farrell: Everything you said I agree with -- she is
absolutely terrible on gender issues. . . from our perspective.
I would not support her if I had a reasonable choice. . .
Trump is, in my opinion, the most dangerous person being a viable
presidential candidate in the 70 years that I've been alive.
I am really fearful that when a bully talks to -- attacks another
bully type of nation like North Korea, as nuclear weapons become
viable, that we could really be talking about a disaster that
would be much bigger than a lack of compassion for men. . .

Paul Elam: When I look at Trump I see
a guy that's "ballsy", for lack of a better word, he's abrupt,
he's rude at times, he's certainly not politically correct,
but I also see an incredibly successful guy with. . . children that
are the product of a home with a father who are successful and
balanced and articulate and intelligent on their own. . .
I'm wondering. . . if maybe Donald deserves more of a fair shake
than being condensed into "everything that's wrong with men".

Warren Farrell: . . .Trump articulated a number of things. . .
accurately about men that had not been articulated by anyone
else. . . Men have been dying from the political correctness that
stifles them from saying the things that are their reality
in the world. . . So the lack of fear that Trump has I applaud.
It's the putting-down of people that disagree with him -- he
represents the very worst in listening skills, and the very
worst in braggadocio. I believe he will also be seen eventually
to be. . . a scam artist. The Trump University and things like
that are the essence of what somebody who's a scam artist
does. They promise more than they can deliver. And when people
are given hope at a level that he gives it, and then they
don't deliver, and they have a cynicism about whether or not
they **need** to deliver on it, and then cover it up, that's when
people feel really hurt and let down.

Paul Elam: Surely you're not suggesting that Donald Trump will
be the first politician that didn't deliver on his promises!
Ha, ha!

Warren Farrell: The difference, Paul, is that Donald does it
better than anybody. . . Like Mussolini, like Hitler, like
people who are the demagogues of our time, the difference is
not what they promise, it's the power that they have in their
personality -- to make Germany great again, and then make America great
again. . . [I]t's always
the most vulnerable who have the greatest need to believe --
people pick on the elderly, people pick on people who are
isolated, and they say "if you send in this $20, God will give
you 20 times more blessings" and so on. It's the charismatic
leader who is dangerous, and I think Trump is one of the most
charismatic people of our time. . . He's not just a man, he's
a phenomenon.

Paul Elam: Yes, he is. I don't know if I can really agree with
the Mussolini-Hitler comparison. Godwin's Law is something that
is a delicate thing to break. . .