Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Paul Artherton - Good Clothes and Two Other Winners of the RTÉ Competition

Good Clothes by Paul Artherton took 3rd prize in the 2018 PJ O'Connor Awards.Set in 1970s Belfast, The Clark family live a life of peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. However the continuing polarisation of communities and ghettoisation of the city forces them to reconsider their life choices.
Dan Gordon - Charlie Clarke 
Kerri Quinn -  Mary
Conor Mac Neill - Jim
Gavin Peden  - Joe
Orla Charlton - Heather
Eleanor Methven - Mrs. Simpson. 

The parts of the newsreaders and the removal men were played by Vincent Higgins and Michael Liebmann

Music was 'Brutality' by The Defects Sound supervision was by Mark 
McGrathProduced by Kevin Reynolds 

Liam Murray - Brothers

Brothers by Liam Murray won first runner up Drama On One's annual playwrighting competition, the 2018  PJ O'Connor Radio Drama Awards. The play tells the story of two brothers, both of whom live with their elderly mother. Dennis has ambitions to make it big as a cartoonist. Gerry is more concerned with where the next beer - or scam -  is coming from. When Gerry interferes with Dennis' bid to impress a visiting cartoonist from a major New York firm, the brothers end up on a  collision course.

Stephen Jones - Denis Paul 
Ronan - Gerry Dramaturg: 

Jesper BergmannSound Supervision Mark McGrathProducer: Kevin Brew

Elaine Murphy - Ma

Ma written by Elaine Murphy.  The play is the winner of the PJ O'Connor Radio Drama Awards 2018, In this poignant tale we follow Ellen McCormack or Ma . Ellen, mother to two estranged daughters, is  alcoholic.   A likeable character in spite of being at best totally undependable and at worst  completely manipulative. Over  a forty eight hour period of her life we are introduced to the chaos which follows this, at times,  desperately lonely, feisty, funny woman  as she struggles with addictions.
Marion O'Dwyer - Ma 
Séana Kerslake - Dee,
Hilda Fay - Barbara
Enda Oates - the Garda 
The butcher and the bus driver roles were played by Joe Taylor
Nyree Yergainharsian played Grainne the post office clerk 
Mirjana Rendulic was Kristina 

Other parts were played by the company 

Sound supervision was by Ciaran Dunne 
directed by Gorretti Slavin 
The series producer of drama on one is Kevin Reynolds 

I'm Just Following It Back To The Source: "Why Are You Going Over This Again?"

All these questions point to the central enigma of the Holocaust, which has variously been interpreted as a premeditated action and as a barbaric improvisation. In our current age of unapologetic racism and resurgent authoritarianism, the mechanics of Hitler’s rise are a particularly pressing matter. For dismantlers of democracy, there is no better exemplar.

Alex Ross

Well, I've been doing what others are doing, though I didn't understand how important doing it was until the rise of Trump.  From this article by Alex Ross in the New Yorker Last April How American Racism Influenced Hitler Scholars are mapping the international precursors of Nazism.  There is this disturbingly familiar paragraph:

. . . To many liberal-minded Germans of the twenties, Hitler was a scary but ludicrous figure who did not seem to represent a serious threat. The Weimar Republic stabilized somewhat in the middle of the decade, and the Nazi share of the vote languished in the low single-digit figures. The economic misery of the late twenties and early thirties provided another opportunity, which Hitler seized. Benjamin Carter Hett deftly summarizes this dismal period in “The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic” (Henry Holt). Conservatives made the gargantuan mistake of seeing Hitler as a useful tool for rousing the populace. They also undermined parliamentary democracy, flouted regional governments, and otherwise set the stage for the Nazi state. The left, meanwhile, was divided against itself. At Stalin’s urging, many Communists viewed the Social Democrats, not the Nazis, as the real enemy—the “social fascists.” The media got caught up in pop-culture distractions; traditional liberal newspapers were losing circulation. Valiant journalists like Konrad Heiden tried to correct the barrage of Nazi propaganda but found the effort futile, because, as Heiden wrote, “the refutation would be heard, perhaps believed, and definitely forgotten again.”

Hett refrains from poking the reader with too many obvious contemporary parallels, but he knew what he was doing when he left the word “German” out of his title. On the book’s final page, he lays his cards on the table: “Thinking about the end of Weimar democracy in this way—as the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality—strips away the exotic and foreign look of swastika banners and goose-stepping Stormtroopers. Suddenly, the whole thing looks close and familiar.” Yes, it does.

As to the question in the title of the piece, he mentions one of America's premier eugenic-racists of the period:

American eugenicists made no secret of their racist objectives, and their views were prevalent enough that F. Scott Fitzgerald featured them in “The Great Gatsby.” (The cloddish Tom Buchanan, having evidently read Lothrop Stoddard’s 1920 tract “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy,” says, “The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged.”) 

Alex Ross doesn't mention it, but when you look into what Lothrop Stoddard claimed in that piece of crap mentioned, his conception of such things was indisputably Darwinian:

From classic times down to the end "of the fifteenth century, white Europe had confronted only the most martial and enterprising of Asiatics. With such peoples war and trade had alike to be conducted on practically equal terms, and by frontal assault no decisive victory could be won. But, after the great discoveries, the white man could flank his old opponents. Whole new worlds peopled by primitive races were unmasked, where the white man's weapons made victory certain, and whence he could draw stores of wealth to quicken his home life and initiate a progress that would soon place him immeasurably above his once-dreaded assailants. 

And the white man proved worthy of his opportunity. His inherent racial aptitudes had been stimulated by his past. The hard conditions of mediaeval life had disciplined him to adversity and had weeded him by natural selection.

Whenever someone says "natural selection" they are citing Darwinism, whether or not they say the word.  That his racism was securely rooted in Darwinism is also seen in another of Stoddard's racist diatribes,  The Revolt Against Civilization:

Let us now consider the rise of the new biology, which has already exerted so powerful an influence upon our philosophy of life and which promises to affect profoundly the destinies of mankind. Modern biology can be said to date from the publication of Darwin's work on The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in the year 1859. This epoch-making book was fiercely challenged and was not generally accepted even by the scientific world until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Its acceptance, however, marked nothing short of a revoloution in the realm of ideas. Darwin established the principle of evolution and showed that evolution proceeded by heredity. A second great step was soon taken by Francis Galton, the founder of the science of "Eugenics" or "Race Betterment." Darwin had centred his attention upon animals. Galton applied Darwin's teaching to man, and went on to break new ground by pointing out not merely the inborn differences between men, but the fact that these differences could be controlled; 
that the human stock could be surely and lastingly improved by increasing the number of individuals endowed with superior qualities and decreasing the number of inferiors. In other words, Galton grasped fully the momentous implications of heredity (which Darwin had not done), and announced clearly that heredity rather than environment was the basic factor in life and the prime lever of human progress

As anyone who has read the pieces I've posted on Darwin's relationship to Galton and his eugenics would know, Stoddard's claim that Darwin didn't go there is wrong.  Not only did Galton, himself, attribute his ideas to Darwin, as soon as Darwin heard Galton's first major book on eugenics Hereditary Genius (the perennially ill Darwin said his wife, Emma read it to him),  he wrote to his cousin praising exactly the points that Galton had drawn from On the Origin of Species, and he endorsed it and Galton's earlier two articles in Macmillan's magazine on the topic, repeatedly, in The Descent of Man.  And those were moderate as compared to the even more extreme claims about that which Ernst Haeckel had published even earlier, endorsing the claims of the immutability of superiority and inferiority and the ethnic and racial assignments of those which are what actually fueled the racism of the likes of Stoddard.   I suspect from checking Stoddard's citations that he never read The Descent of Man, like so many of today's Darwin champions, he never mentions that, his most relevant work to the topic.  

If you go the necessary extra step and look at the things that racists like Stoddard, Charles Davenport, etc. cited to support their claims, books and papers such as those by Paul Popenoe, Karl Pearson,  the Darwinian nature of their thinking becomes obvious.  

The article is especially valuable because it shows how much of the earlier scholarship and writing about the Nazi genocides and their motivation were over-simplistic and to the extent they left out information, the claims made about the origins of Nazism and the genocidalism that was AND IS intrinsic to it were off the mark.  I'm just supplying the ultimate origin of the biological theories of the Nazis and virtually all modern racism, whether or not they admit to where they got their ideas.  I think the anti-intellectualism of a lot of the neo-Nazism is so profound that they don't know what the secondary, tertiary and fourth-generation racism they imbibed came from.  

Here's an example of the cross-fertilization of Nazism with American science, technology, industry and politics and law. 

California’s sterilization program directly inspired the Nazi sterilization law of 1934. There are also sinister, if mostly coincidental, similarities between American and German technologies of death. In 1924, the first execution by gas chamber took place, in Nevada. In a history of the American gas chamber, Scott Christianson states that the fumigating agent Zyklon-B, which was licensed to American Cyanamid by the German company I. G. Farben, was considered as a lethal agent but found to be impractical. Zyklon-B was, however, used to disinfect immigrants as they crossed the border at El Paso—a practice that did not go unnoticed by Gerhard Peters, the chemist who supplied a modified version of Zyklon-B to Auschwitz. Later, American gas chambers were outfitted with a chute down which poison pellets were dropped. Earl Liston, the inventor of the device, explained, “Pulling a lever to kill a man is hard work. Pouring acid down a tube is easier on the nerves, more like watering flowers.” Much the same method was introduced at Auschwitz, to relieve stress on S.S. guards.

And this:

When Hitler praised American restrictions on naturalization, he had in mind the Immigration Act of 1924, which imposed national quotas and barred most Asian people altogether. For Nazi observers, this was evidence that America was evolving in the right direction, despite its specious rhetoric about equality. The Immigration Act, too, played a facilitating role in the Holocaust, because the quotas prevented thousands of Jews, including Anne Frank and her family, from reaching America. In 1938, President Roosevelt called for an international conference on the plight of European refugees; this was held in Évian-les-Bains, France, but no substantive change resulted. The German Foreign Office, in a sardonic reply, found it “astounding” that other countries would decry Germany’s treatment of Jews and then decline to admit them.

The Immigration Act of 1924 was the creation of American scientists, lawyers,  propagandists, politicians, etc. most of those I have read cite natural selection or Darwinism, sometimes by name that name, as providing the scientific validation of their claims.  Stoddard, Charles Davenport. Harry Laughlin, all of them based their eugenics ideas in Darwinism.

One of the things I've collected in my research which I haven't used before is a letter from Charles Darwin's son, Leonard to Harry Laughlin 

October 29 [c. 1932]
Dear Dr. Laughlin, It was indeed good of you to send me the excellent photographs of the pedigrees and to tell me that they had attracted a good deal of attention. As to those who made them including yourself, I should have though you would have all cursed the name of Darwin before the job was done! I am very glad to hear from you that you think the [eugenics]congress was a success and my wife and I sincerely wish that we could have had such an opportunity of meeting many old American friends. I suppose the proceedings will be published when I shall enjoy reading them. With very kind regards from us both to Mrs. Laughlin and yourself.
Yours very sincerely,
Leonard Darwin

All of it including the part that flows like a poisonous sewer through American eugenics to the Nazis, had its head waters in On the Origin of Species, specifically Darwin's theory of natural selection, all of it flows from and through Charles Darwin and his closest scientific and personal associates, Francis Galton, his children such as George Darwin, especially Leonard Darwin whose letters to eugenicists such as Laughlin and Davenport, and German eugenicists, many of them with direct contact with Nazis demonstrate that connection and its importance in understanding the Nazi's application of natural selection.  

The comforting lie that the Nazis were some kind of unique aberration and a peculiarly German manifestation of depravity is made especially dangerous with the rise of Trump and other Putin financed and supported neo-fascist and neo-Nazi politicians.  You won't ever fight it back unless  you admit the extent to which they depend on the idea of natural selection and understand that its character is and has always been ideological. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Stupid Mail

I can't worry about someone going to Duncan's and badmouthing my writing and thinking when he said there were Nazis in the 13th century and he could prove it through a Star Wars movie.    I looked at the link and noticed no one joined him in snarking.     Speaking of old comedy routines, some day Simps reminds me of this charming child.   I'll bet it's just what he was like at that age. It's what he's like now. 

I Don't Know Why You Guys Want Me To Say Things That Are Going To Make You Sad But It's What's Going To Happen The Longer This Goes On

Someone is pissed off that I stated the obvious, that Darwin's basic claim of what is natural selection in the human population, of "savages" manifesting natural selection in the human population,  that that claim is identical to the most basic and central pillar on which Nazism stood,

"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health,"

That statement, presented as reliable science, of having the reliability that officially declared science is supposed to have, is obviously and literally the basic idea behind the entirety of Nazi ideology, published in Britain in 1871, almost immediately translated and published in German* and which took the German intellectual community by storm as it did British and American intellectuals and those who wanted to be mistaken as intellectuals in more popular venues of publication and bloviation, and from there into politics and the law.

That is the basic foundation of all of Nazism, the killing of the "weak in body or mind" by other people whose murdering not only proves their superiority but, and this is totally out of nowhere but the mind of Darwin,  "those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health."  How he comes up with the idea that murder makes the murderers better, well, I have said the British class system despite all those BBC-PBS shows and soaps about royalty and stately homes is essentially depraved.

In the third quote I gave, you can see how Darwin also provided the basis of the concern of the Nazis for the general welfare of the German Volk, one result of which is why a "Volkswagen" is called that.

"It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed."

"Or care wrongly directed" is the operative part of that scientific claim.  In this case the care was directed by the Nazi government to the welfare and, in line with the entire sentence, management, of the "Aryans" the "German Volk" who were to benefit from the murder of Jews, Poles, others who were on the list of those to be murdered by the Nazis, by the acquisition by murder of their land and property and through the direction of "care" in the "right direction" from those they considered inferior to those they considered superior.   That extermination was explicitly the reason for the trial-run of Nazi genocide, the murder of the disabled, something which was explicitly endorsed by not only Ernst Haeckel in his entire line of Darwinian elucidation but in The Descent of Man, by Darwin himself, as can be seen in the second of those quotes concerning the alleged enhancement of Spartan superiority through infanticide.

In the years I've been engaged in this I don't think there has been any time when answering an objection has done anything but strengthen the obvious ties between Darwinism and Nazism.  I don't think last year at this time I would have been prepared to say that the link is as direct as it so obviously is when you look deep into the primary documentation.

You want me to go on, I can guarantee you the result will only make you unhappier.   Darwinism is a blight on everything and will continue as long as people buy into the idea that natural selection governs everything.  It is irredeemably and unalterably a guarantee of depravity which has little intellectual validity when subjected to the most rigorous of scrutiny.

Note:  I should point out that looking again at The Voyage of the Beagle, especially at the blatantly racist claims Darwin made against the People he called Fuegians and the paltry evidence of things like his claim that they ate the old women among them, I think all of that is a product of Darwin's aristocratic racism and disdain for people who he called "savages" even as, in his scientific work, his claims about natural selection's unimpeded operation among them should have ensured their superiority.  There is nothing so telling as the two-faced presentation of Darwin when you contrast his claims about natural selection among "savages" and his bewailing the effect of "civilisation" in impeding the violence and neglect that would lead to the deaths of members of the British (and those of other "civilised" nations) underclass.  I've pointed out how he constantly discounts the predicted effects of natural selection in improving those populations of people most subjected to it even during his lifetime, such as the Irish who endured the second major potato famine in two centuries in the years before Darwin proclaimed their inferiority to even the Scots, their close, almost identical, biological cousins who had not been so culled by such a brutal "selection".

Everything about his theory is of the same quality, all of it is a product of his ideological and class preference, the preferences of his colleagues in biology and their various and shared bigotry.  That's another thing I wouldn't have said was obvious when I started in this study.  As I point out below, the extent to which the academic and scientific establishment has to tell bald-faced lies to maintain their myth is both astounding and its most obvious weakness.  You can only sustain that lie as long as people don't do with Darwin's books what he intended done with them, that they be read, his citations read, as well.  As soon as you start reading those, the lie is doomed, unless you have a goal of extending the life of that lie.

* Lest it be forgotten in a book intended to be his elucidation of natural selection hin the human species, , The Descent of Man,  whose introduction gives the highest praise to Ernst Haeckel's books, Generelle Morphologie, and especially his Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, in which Haeckel spouted even more explicit Darwinian racism and claims of the salubrity of killing people, a book which Darwin said, in that introduction.

This last naturalist, besides his great work, 'Generelle Morphologie' (1866), has recently (1868, with a second edition in 1870), published his 'Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte,' in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine. Wherever I have added any fact or view from Prof. Haeckel's writings, I give his authority in the text; other statements I leave as they originally stood in my manuscript, occasionally giving in the foot-notes references to his works, as a confirmation of the more doubtful or interesting points.

That was as total an endorsement of another scientist's work that I believe Darwin ever gave in his lifetime.   As can be seen in statements by Darwin for the rest of his life, of Thomas Huxley, his chief defender and "bull dog", his son Francis Darwin, and others, Charles Darwin's endorsement of the orthodox Darwinism of Ernst Haeckel is unquestionable by any but either disqualifying ignorance or an outright and bald lie.

However, that lie is the common received wisdom of official academia and science, such as can be found at this website from The University of California at Berkeley.

Haeckel was influenced both by the German idealistic tradition and by the works of Darwin. After reading Origin of Species, Haeckel became one of the more prolific and vociferous supporters of evolution, but was less supportive of natural selection as the mechanism by which evolution occured. Hacekel was certainly an evolutionist but less so a Darwinian.

Well, that would obviously be news to Charles Darwin by testimony of not only his introduction to The Descent of Man but also throughout the text in which he continually lavished praise on Haeckel and his scientific declarations, not to mention in letters he wrote directly to Ernst Haeckel in which he thanks him for his energetic promotion and defense of Darwin's work.

The extent to which lying about Darwin in regard to Haeckel is commonplace is seen in the continuation of the text at the website.

An extremely common misperception is that natural selection and evolution are the same thing. In fact, Haeckel is one of many thinkers who believed that all species were historical entities (lineages) but did not share Darwin's enthusiasm for natural selection as the main mechanism for generating the diversity of the biological world. Haeckel instead believed that the environment acted directly on organisms, producing new races (a version of Lamarckism). The survival of the races did depend on their interaction with the environment, a weak form of natural selection. Haeckel's mechanism of change required that formation of new characters diagnostic of new species occured through progressive addition to the developmental trajectory. For example, most metazoans go through a developmental stage called a gastrula -- a ball of cells with an infolding that later forms the gut. Haeckel thought that at one time an organism called a "gastraea" existed that looked much like the gastrula stage of ontogeny. This hypothesized ancestral metazoan gave rise to the rest of the multi-celled animals.

While I don't want to list the evidence, which you can easily find, yourselves, Charles Darwin explicitly believed in the heritability of acquired characteristics, something which he stated explicitly as science as did Galton and virtually all of the early Darwinists with the exception of August Weismann up and until the "rediscovery" of Gregor Mendel's paper about twenty years after Darwin's death.  Lots of present day Darwinists are touting that fact after the long reigning orthodoxy of the 1930s neo-Darwinian synthesis had buried the idea only to have it reemerge as epigenetic inheritance has been demonstrated.  Apparently the neo-Darwinist who said that hasn't kept pace with both the latest in science and the Darwin PR campaign.

As I wrote in the post on the topic  of Haeckel's justified claim to the endorsement of his Darwinism, the people I quote establishing that, Francis Darwin, Darwin's son, Thomas Huxley, a man who Darwin himself said was his foremost champion and Ernst Haeckel, himself, knew Darwin, met him, corresponded with him and, in the case of Haeckel, had the confirmation of Darwin's approval of his Darwinism by letter and in person during Haeckel's several visits to Darwin at Down, something whoever told that lie at that website can't claim to have even by fourth hand.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dusan Bogdanovic - Six Ricercars

Yurika Takayama, piano

I'm definitely going to be getting the score for these. 

Dusan Bogdanovic is posting Youtubes of a lot of his pieces I haven't heard yet.  He's a fine composer even when he's not writing for his own instrument.

Four White Mop-heads

Image result for mop heads

Update:  Geesh, Simps, only three Irish Catholic shitheads?  I'm sure I could find at least thirty without having to try hard.  Any in the Republican Party, for a start, lots of members of the Boston Patrolman's Association.  

What would you say if someone said "three New York Jew shitheads"?   

Did some Irish bully give you a wedgie in jr. high school and it's given you a life long impotence complex?  Is that what's eatin' you bunky?

Update 2:  I forgot how funny Eddie Lawrence was.  Maybe I'll look for more of his work. 

Update 3:   Here's one

Update 4:  OK, one more.

"Vulgar?" - A Footnote

Other than the one time that Yisrael Gutman uses the term "Social Darwinism" it is used only one other time in the paper cited below, with an often used pre-prefix that I should have mentioned in my longer post.

In 1988, the German social researcher Hans-Ulrich Wehler called attention to an attitude that, he asserts, typified the racial and political anti-Semites who preceded Hitler: “The vulgar Social Darwinism that characterized the style of Hitler and the many Nazis had become one of the ideological components of their Weltanschauung long before 1917. . . .Hitler’s crazed ideas and hatred of Jews originated in the poisoned egg of German and Austrian anti-Semitism. The new racial-political anti-Semitism of the post-1870s era led explicitly and rather quickly to extermination.

The often seen phrase "vulgar Social Darwinism" is a further distancing of Darwinism (natural selection) from its reality of application in the world.  To which my reaction is, natural selection is as inherently "vulgar" as it is racist and homicidal.

Considering Darwin's elucidation of Darwinism, natural selection in the human species in The Descent of Man is a tale told in terms such as:  "With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health," exactly the Ursatz of Nazi ideology, and elaborated in such terms as "In Sparta, also, a form of selection was followed, for it was enacted that all children should be examined shortly after birth; the well-formed and vigorous being preserved, the others left to perish."  and Darwin also bewailing the evils of civilization allowing the poor and wretched to live in terms of animals in a commercial breeding operation, "It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed."   Considering that Darwin was bewailing the effects of civilization, not allowing people to die in squalid misery, babies to die like flies, lauding the salubrious effects of "savages" killing people, where do they find any kind of refined Darwinism?   The vulgarity of Darwinism was built into it from the start, the Nazis weren't the ones who put it there.  And I haven't even gone into the topic of Darwin on the salubrious effects of "savage" military conquest and genocide and on the topic of sex.

I could also go [and have gone] into the works of Thomas Huxley, Francis Galton, Ernst Haeckel, W. R. Greg, and others Darwin cited as reliable science and the entire later-day intellectual descendants of all of them to find passages as depraved as any you'll find out of Hitler and Goebbels, as I pointed out last month, including things said about the very people that the Nazis murdered in the millions.

The "new racial-political anti-Semitism of the post-1870s era" was informed by the theory of natural selection, it was an inevitable result of the widespread acceptance of natural selection in the German intellectual, political class even as it met some stiff resistance which it overcame.  As Hitler was born in 1889 and virtually all of the major figures in Nazism were born during the same period and slightly after, that was the world view they grew up with as certainly as my generation was indoctrinated in the phony post-war eugenics-free Darwin that co-exists so ubiquitously as its refutation available to be read in the plainest of terms in the words of Darwin.  Nazism is a product of that "post 1870" era, not the middle ages which would have been entirely remote from the imagination of the Nazis.  Their concept of medieval Europe was as colored by the late 19th century world they grew up in as it is for the people whose knowledge of it comes from Hollywood and video-games (today's  Ring des Nibelungen), what fuels the imagination of so many of our contemporary American Nazis.  If I were fifty years younger, I'd punch the next Nazi that calls himself a "Celt" and knock his goddamned teeth down his throat.  I'd do it for my parents who fought the goddamned Nazis.

In his study of the thinking of German military officers during the First World War, Headquarters Nights, Vernon Kellogg, an eminent American biologist (and Darwinist, even a eugenicist) who was a fluent speaker of German, said that "neo-Darwinism" permeated the thinking of the German intellectual class, of which so many of the German military officers were members.

Well, I say it dispassionately but with conviction: if I understand theirs, it is a point of view that will never allow any land or people controlled by it to exist peacefully by the side of a people governed by our point of view. For their point of view does not permit of a live-and-let-live kind of carrying on. It is a point of view that justifies itself by a whole-hearted acceptance of the worst of Neo-Darwinism, the Allmacht of natural selection applied rigorously to human life and society and Kultur.

Passing by the obvious attempt of Kellogg to distance Darwin from what he actually did say. as those who call it "Social Darwinism" do, when his description of what they were planning could have come from paraphrasing The Descent of Man,  these "neo-Darwinist" military officers, including many who had scientific educations, were the same group of people who would invade other countries and begin the slaughter ordered by the Nazi high command, the same military that had already set up the first genocide of the 20th century in East Africa with the help of the German scientific establishment in the decade before World War I brought Kellogg into contact with the military officer he'd gone to university with.  I wonder if Kellogg knew about that earlier genocide and if he did, why he didn't mention it.

Update:  Well, I'd wanted to write about the collusion of Devin Nunes and Cathy McMorris Rodgers this morning.  I've warned you before that I've got tons of material on this topic that I've never used, yet.  I think I have shown that I know what I'm talking about and where the primary documentation can be found to support my arguments.   I will note that was one of the things the critics said about Daniel Goldhangen, that he relied primarily on secondary sources, which I've avoided because those not only make arguments weaker, they are vulnerable to the ideological intentions of those who write those secondary sources.

Why Scholars Have To Break The Taboo: Any Study Of The Holocaust That Leaves Out The Part The Theory of Natural Selection Played In That Won't Work To Prevent It Happening Again

For all of its tens of millions of crimes, counted in bodies, in people maimed, terrorized, starved, oppressed - better count those in the billions, actually -  Marxism isn't a racist ideology or a biological one.  Its pretense is that history can be made scientific and that materialism governs all but it isn't an ideology based on racism and tied to biological theories.

Nazism is, inherently, at its very core a racist ideology based in very specific ideas of biology, those which were predominant in German science in the period of Nazisms' forming and foundation, which was thoroughly based on Darwin's theory of natural selection.  The thinking of Darwin and the mainstream of his scientific colleagues who he endorsed as his true followers and the next generation of totally accepted, conventional Darwinists permeates Nazi ideology from the time of that 1919 letter of Hitler I posted a couple of weeks back through to the end and in the post-war period in such influential Nazis as William L. Pierce. Pierce, being an American instead of a German, is far more willing to use the name of the Brit,  Darwin, but the ideas of Darwin permeate all of Nazi theory and even in its popular-scientific presentations.  

Rereading the paper I linked to yesterday evening Goldhagen—His Critics and His Contribution by Yisrael Gutman, there's lots of talk about how racism was a part of the "modern antisemitism" which generated the Nazis and their Shoah (a term which is better in every way than "Holocaust")  but Gutman, like almost all Western scholars, is reluctant to state in plain terms what that modern form of racism consisted of, it consisted of racism, a putrid gem that found its most dangerous place, in the setting of Darwinian natural selection.  

I think I know why Gutman doesn't state what becomes obvious to anyone who looks at the primary literature of Nazism - in the pre-war period, during the war and its continuation in the post-war period - that it is, as I said, first and foremost a biological, a Darwinian ideology, it is because it is forbidden to point out that history because no one is to say about Darwin what virtually everyone did before the crimes of the Nazis were revealed to the wider world.  No one of any stature who I have found in the pre-war period ever divorced Darwin and Darwinism from eugenics and no one who has ever studied the history of eugenics could claim that the American and Canadian forms of it, the British exposition of it, were not a part of the Nazis ideology and their propaganda promotion of eugenics.   

It is rather stunning how, in the post-war period, especially in English language academia and media, what was universally admitted to before the war, that Darwinism and eugenics were parts of the same thing, became denied and a forbidden reality, the statement of which could destroy an academic career.  That was the common received wisdom that my generation were taught and it was taught, in no small part, by people who knew it was a whopper of a lie as they said it, people who had been educated before the war and even people who had read Darwin and those he cited as reliable scientists.  In the time I have been studying and writing on the topic, I've challenged people, over and over again to come up with anyone of any scientific or academic stature in the pre-war period who denied that Darwinism and eugenics were inseparable, who denied that eugenics is founded in the theory of natural selection and am still waiting for the first example of that. 

Only one time does Gutman use the word "Darwin" and it is attached to the prefix that is always used to distance Darwin from the inevitable consequences of believing his theory of natural selection, "Social Darwinism" that biological inheritance carries immutable traits that comprise the discourse of racist classification.   I'm going to give you that entire paragraph, which is long, to show you how even as that weasel word "Social Darwinism" is used, it describes exactly what the theory of natural selection is founded in. 

Since the new European Jew had adopted the language, culture, and behavioral patterns of the population at large, his opponents needed markers that would transfer his ostensibly objectionable essence from overt manifestations to subliminal, inscrutable ones rooted in biology. Furthermore, one could argue in making the distinction that anti-Jewish racism, unlike the “emotional racism” of the past, rests on the scholarly foundation of Social Darwinism. 

Um, I can't let that pass.  That "scholarly foundation of Social Darwinism" is, actually, a scientific foundation of Social Darwinism.   Charles Darwin, himself, admitted that Natural Selection and Spencer's classic definition of "Social Darwinism" "Survival of the Fittest" were exactly the same thing, quoting his co-inventor of natural selection,  Alfred Russell Wallace encouraging him to clear that up.  "Social Darwinism" IS Darwinism, on that we have the best possible authority, Charles Darwin, himself. *

Therefore, if the erstwhile anti-Semitism ordered the Jews to abandon their singularity and be like everyone else, the modern anti-Semitic theory argued that a Jew remains a Jew after he effects his social integration even if he goes so far as to abandon his faith. 

Indeed, for that we can cite the ultimate authority to make that claim, Adolph Hitler in that 1919 letter.  You can read it at the link, I don't want to post it any more than I have. 

Indeed, Jews who no longer look Jewish and abandon the traditional behavior patterns are much more menacing than overt Jews who remain cloistered in their compatriots’ society. The “Jewish problem,” formerly rooted in the Jews’ intransigent refusal to abandon their singular traits, was reincarnated as the “Jewish problem” of those who had immersed themselves in society at large. In other words, it ballooned from an internal Jewish problem to a national and universal one. Above all, while a Jew could solve the erstwhile problem of “differentness” by repudiating his origin and religion, the problem of the Jews as a racial entity defied all solutions. Such a solution must lead to the removal of the Jews from the national territory, and, where a continental or global solution is being sought, the solutions should by right be much more radical and severe. 

I will point out, again, that the Nazis in their original plan of deporting all Jews somewhere else (something they never did much to enact) they were repeating claims made by the eminent British scientist and Darwin's scientific grandson, Karl Pearson, who said exactly the same things, specifically about the Polish and Russian Jews the Nazis began to slaughter fourteen years after Pearson published his disgusting scientific paper in 1925.  I can't get over how that isn't considered to be a major issue, that non-Nazi science so casually published such material in reviewed journals and how, gradually, such stuff arose again in the 1970s on till today. 

The study of the Nazi genocides will never progress to adequate understanding and, the foremost reason that it is not only an important but vital study to make, THE PREVENTION OF FUTURE MASS SLAUGHTERS.  That vital scholarly study will never be effective  until it admits that Darwin's theory of natural selection is the central concept that turned old-line racism into modern genocide. At least the Nazi variety of that.  

The Marxist versions of genocide are founded in other but related ideas.  The Marxist materialism that is the reason they can turn human populations into "masses" to use like natural resources and dispose of like those, as well, is also an intrinsic aspect of natural selection.  On that we have the authority of Darwin's named, most lauded, warmly endorsed German colleague, Ernst Haeckel.  It turns out that you can't understand any of it unless you understand the effect that turning people into objects available for use and disposal plays in mass murder inevitably has when theory meets the real world.  The first act of Darwinian natural selection is based in the economic utility of organisms, including people.  That idea permeates Darwin's thinking, from his original spark of inspiration in Malthus's economic depravity, to his equation of all of nature to the commercial raising of animals on farms to his comparison of those objects for breeding and slaughter to human beings, or, rather, us to them.  

*  Not only did Darwin, in the 5th edition he prepared of his magnum opus, On the Origin of Species, make it impossible to honestly distance Darwinism from "Social Darwinism" he intrinsically tied it to the act of human beings selecting organisms on the basis of "fitness" to be kept for breeding or selected for slaughtering.  He certainly knew how Spencer presented "Survival of the Fittest" in terms of human sociological ideology as he did that. 

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term natural selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer, of the Survival of the Fittest, is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient. We have seen that man by selection can certainly produce great results, and can adapt organic beings to his own uses, through the accumulation of slight but useful variations, given to him by the hand of Nature. But Natural Selection, we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.

Well, eighty years after he published the idea, the Nazis (as Republicans in Indiana and other eugenicists elsewhere before them) were ready to make those "feeble efforts" according to their ability. 

Someday I will go into the Indiana eugenics law and how the Democrat, Thomas R. Marshall, Wilson's Vice President ("What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar") tried to scuttle it, alas with only limited success. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Stupid Mail

I don't notice any of the Eschatonian dolts have claimed to have read Goldhangen's book they mumble about at the link you sent me.  I know Simps never read it because he seems to have never read an entire book about the Nazi genocides, skimming the pre-Holocaust Berlin Diary, which he doesn't appear to have actually read, seems to be the extent of his scholarly effort.  I doubt if any or many of the blog rats at Baby Blue have read more than a few book reviews.

They aren't great readers, the rump comment community of Eschaton.  Articles at most, though even those read in headline or skimmed, books, not so much. 

As I said, if the idiot Supreme Court hadn't made it impossible to sue the owners of blogs who post libel by their blog rats, I'd have sued Duncan a long time ago.    To hell with them and the ever dwindling numbers who bother with them. 

Simels is just a sore head because he came here making a fool of himself and I pointed out just how big a fool he made himself into, yet again.  He did all the work, I just commented on it. 

Goldhangen's book is hardly uncontroversial among probably more eminent historians of the subject, even his supporters have to admit that.  It has the reputation of being a work of polemic more than of history, though satisfying to bigots of the Simels type (who, nevertheless, never have nor ever will read it)  it's hardly a fully accepted work and is unlikely to become the dominant point of view in the study of the Nazi genocides.   I think any scholar who doesn't address the fact that Nazism was first, foremost and completely a biological ideology based on the idea of natural selection isn't coming close to a real explanation of the motivations of the Nazis.  What Goldhangen calls "eliminationism" is a useful distinction though I think he tries to extend his idea farther than it can usefully maintain coherence.   I do agree with his critics who say he is a bigot, never a good beginning for scholarship. 

Update: Well, Trump did adopt Steve Simels' idea of setting up a concentration camp in an abandoned mall.   Clearly, since Trump set up a baby-concentration camp in an abandoned big box store he thinks more like Trump than I do.  I'd point out the irony of that re Simp's idea of history, X-Men comix,  but it would take more time than it's worth. 

Potemkin Spillage

Years ago I saw the movie Alexander Nevsky late on a Saturday night on the public TV station out of Durham, New Hampshire, it's the only time I saw the movie.  I wonder if somewhere small public stations still show classic movies on free broadcast, I don't think they do around here much. 

I knew Prokofiev's music for the movie before that and and found it compelling.  So I was predisposed to think well of the movie.  What I saw was an interesting looking, awful to watch piece of Stalinist propaganda, stifling tableaux with dialogue and an action cartoon battle scene, the famous "battle on the ice".  Perhaps my reaction had something to do with knowing a lot about Stalin's genocides and his pact with Hitler which, of course, collapsed as Hitler did what he'd been saying he was going to do since the early 1920s, pushing on past the line carving up Poland and invading Mother Russia, itself.  Prokofiev's music holds up a lot better than the movie he wrote it for.

I don't read much in the way of movie criticism so I didn't know till looking around last night that my evaluation of Alexander Nevsky is shared by some other people who get paid to scribble about movies.   Reading that I decided to post this piece.

For a film purist, it isn`t easy to see the score stripped out of a movie and, in effect, placed in front of it, thus destroying the delicate relationship established between sound and image by the director.

And when the director is Sergei Eisenstein, one of the medium`s most self-conscious, analytical creators, the damage will be particularly extensive. Not one image or edit-or, to judge from Eisenstein`s published accounts of his collaboration with Prokofiev, not one note of music-ever entered one of his films without complete and voluminous theoretical justification.

And yet, it must be admitted that ``Alexander Nevsky`` is probably more important to the history of 20th Century music than it is to the art of film. Current scholarly opinion dismisses ``Nevsky`` the film almost completely.

``I would have preferred to pass over it in silence as one of the most profoundly retrograde films ever made by a filmmaker of stature,`` writes Noel Burch, probably Eisenstein`s most sympathetic contemporary critic. For Dominique Fernandez, Eisenstein`s most recent biographer, the film is

``puerile . . . the daydream of a boy scout.``

There were, however, compelling reasons for that puerility. ``Alexander Nevsky`` marked Eisenstein`s return to filmmaking after six years, during which the official aesthetic of the Soviet Union changed from the open experimentalism pioneered by Eisenstein and his colleagues in the 1920s to the dull and repressive ``socialist realism`` that was enforced under Stalin.

Most interesting to me was the position of the movie in its time and how Stalin's on again off again alliance with Hitler and so much else impinged on the movie.

For Eisenstein, who had been forced to abandon one project (``Bezhin Meadow``) by the state film agency and had been denounced as a  reactionary "formalist`` by his colleagues at a famous film union conference, the assignment to film ``Nevsky`` was clearly his last chance.

To ensure the ideological correctness of Eisenstein`s work, he was given a co-writer (Piotr Pavlenko), a co-director (Dmitiri Vassiliev) and a special assistant for the direction of actors (Elena Telecheva). Cast as Nevsky was Nikolai Cherkasov, a blandly handsome leading man who also happened to be a member of the Supreme Soviet.

The selection of the subject was clearly motivated by Stalin`s propaganda needs of the moment. Nevsky was a 13th Century prince who led forces drawn from the Russian peasantry to an unexpected victory over invading Teutonic knights, a story with an obvious parallel to the Nazi threat then mounting in the autumn of 1937.

In an article on ``Nevsky`` in the Soviet propaganda review International Literature, Eisenstein wrote, ``I do not believe that any period in history witnessed such an orgy of violence to all human ideals as has resulted in recent years from the growing insolence of fascist aggression. . . . It is hard to believe your eyes when you read of the unbridled ferocity of the Jewish pogroms in Germany, where before the eyes of the world hundreds of thousands of downtrodden people, shorn of human aid, are being wiped from the face of the earth. Opposed to his bloody nightmare as champions of humanity and culture, as an active force rallying the energy of the best men, are first of all the Communists.``

I'll break in here to note one of the most bizarre things I've ever read was that sometime in the 1930s, Goebbels gave a list of movies he thought Nazi film makers should emulate, one of them was Eisenstein's Potemkin.  As I recall another was a movie by Fritz Lang, his recounting of the crap mythology that was the basis of Wagner's Ring.  I'll look that up later to see if I'm remembering it correctly.  Not that I think any of this is really important.

The Hitler-Stalin pact was signed in August 1939 and ``Nevsky`` was quickly pulled. Eisenstein was put in charge of a program of ``cultural reconciliation`` between the Germans and the Soviets, and soon was staging Wagner`s ``Die Walkure`` for the Bolshoi.

Nevertheless, ``Nevsky`` played long enough to become Eisenstein`s greatest domestic success and won for its maker the Order of Lenin, thus assuring him a slight measure of security in his final years. He died in 1948, two thirds of the way through his trilogy on Ivan the Terrible, which also used a score by Prokofiev.

Seen today, ``Nevsky`` plays like a systematic repudiation of Eisenstein`s most important ideas. Instead of the notion of the ``masses`` as a collective protagonist, there is a thoroughly conventional, solitary hero figure-a ``great leader`` who must have reminded Stalin of himself while flirting with the fascism the film was meant to denounce.

I know the idiot who provoked yesterday's go-round doesn't know what any of that means.  While I doubt it will lead me to go look for the movie so I can see it again it was interesting to see how much of my audience-member reaction to the movie is shared by what are arguably members of the idiot's profession.

I have a mild curiosity about where the claim that Jack Kirby copied the helmet from what Simps called "a Nazi" in Alexander Nevsky for "Magneto" comes from.  It has a pop-culture pretending to be high-art common-received bull-shit aroma to it.  I saw the "proof" frame from the comic that Simps posted and I don't think it's apparent that's where the idea came from.  If the . . . um .  . . "artist" ever said that was his inspiration, that's the only way to know if it was.  I don't really care about that, even less than I care about the movie.   What is kind of interesting is to see the damage that Stalinism did to the work of what could be considered a major artist, under the man who murdered so many artists even as Stalinists in the United States, especially those who would go on to become official celluloid heroes, like members of the Hollywood 10, praised him while being totally free of his crushing domination.  Makes you wonder what Eisenstein would have said if he were free to say what he really thought of him. 

I think the movies as high-art are more an aspirational thing than a reality, I think the really big ones have too many hands in them for that.  It's worse than opera on that count.

Total Assholes On The Bench

Judge T. S. Ellis III was a Reagan appointee and I'm beginning to think that that has a lot to do with why he's on the verge of outrageously and openly favoring the defense side of the Paul Manafort trial.  The rule that when a judge does things like hold up one side to mockery - accusing a prosecutor of crying in court - that you're not supposed to bring his partisan affiliation and loyalties into the discussion of his behavior is ridiculous, a product of the phony piety the Judiciary have had mounted on their behalf. 

I think the only reason he's not developing into a pop-culture figure like the infamous Judge Ito who let the O.J. Simpson trial turn into the world's longest and worst circus act is because there are no cameras allowed in federal court, cameras in the court is a trend which I do thank Judge Ito for discrediting. 

I think it's becoming clearer with every report of Ellis's biased behavior that he doesn't belong on an American bench.  He's sounding ever more like one of the judges in the Rumpole story, except in this case he's clearly favoring Trump's former campaign chairman. 

It does rather amaze me how big an asshole a judge is allowed to get because there isn't any real way to reign them in.  It doesn't surprise me as much as it once would because judges do all kinds of totally outrageous and assholish things such as claiming that babies and toddlers brought up before them for deportation can get justice when they can't even talk.  I wish I could find the quotes from the one who claimed he could make a 4-year-old girl understand the relevant law.  I wish I could see the facial expression of the judge as he told that whopper of a lie, back during the Obama administration.  One of the reasons that Ellis's behavior is so noteworthy is because he's being an asshole to the prosecution.  I would guess that most judges either being or aspiring to be upper class, the profession comes down hardest on those without money and, so, power.

I don't know what the answer for judicial a-holes is but I think Judge Ellis is past the point where we should just figure it's a charming judicial eccentricity.  This trial is about serious things, many people ended up dead and maimed in Ukraine as Paul Manafort profited from propping up the Russian puppet there.  I doubt Judge Ellis cares about that, the cold-bloodedness of many judges and lawyers is pretty awful.  And there is a lot more to the history of Paul Manafort than just that.  Ellis queering the trial to get him off is too serious to smile over his behavior and his own motives are relevant to consider, now.   And I don't mean by hiring the Dancing Ellises. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

And Now For Fun - Stephen Gives A Presidential Makeup Tutorial

Stupid Mail - Straight From The Horse's Ass

Who did Simps mean was a Holocaust survivor?  Wilber Ross?  


I didn't know Magneto from The Powerpuff Girls until I just looked him up.  Superhero comics were the stupidest of a stupid genre.  Figures one of the "Brain Trusters" would make an argument about history out of a comic book character who wasn't created until 1963, not to mention so vulgar as to make a claim about the Holocaust on that basis.  And it figures that Freki "aka JR" would agree with it.  While she's not as stupid as Stupy, she's as dishonest. 

As the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby the character wouldn't know anything they didn't and neither of them were Holocaust survivors.  As people who did lame-assed comic books, neither of them would seem to have a history of scholarly research.  Though Lee is apparently still alive so maybe someone should ask him instead of Stupy's ass for the answer. 

It wouldn't have been a stupider thing to say if he'd meant Wilber Ross.  Stupid is what they do at Duncan's "Brain Trust". 

Update: Well, if they want to get all Darwinistic about it, how many of the huge-brained (in their own minds) Eschatonian Brain Trusters have so much as had one offspring?  I know some have but some of the worst cases don't seem to have.  I don't believe Duncan has spawned, or Simps or many of the others ever mentioning offspring. Something they shared with many of the most ardent Darwinists, like Galton and Leonard Darwin.  Maybe they're evidence that whatever trait they share in common that leads them to Eschaton is a maladaptation.  

If "eschaton" were a verb it would mean wasting time telling each other that you're smarter than anyone else while proving the opposite by saying stupid stuff you can't support.   Being a snob has to fit in somewhere, too. 

It Only Gets Better If You Don't Make It Worse - Faithful Monogamy Is Superior To Promiscuity

I happened to remember that 33 years ago, this morning, I was in a church attending the funeral of one of the first of scores of people I knew who died of HIV-AIDS.   I don't know why that date sticks in my mind but it makes me think it's a long time since I wrote about that experience and why the promotion of promiscuity in the wake of that epidemic has to count as some of the worst moral irresponsibility in the present day. 

I don't have time to write about it today so, though I'm allergic to the TED brand, I think this short talk by Dr. Edsel Salvaña packs more information into less than five minutes than just about anything else I've read or heard on the topic.

Here is another short report from Deutsche Welle that is also worth your time.

His description of the genetic versatility of HIV is pretty stunning and disturbing when you put it together with the encouragement to men to be promiscuous which has become ubiquitous with the internet and the free-speech, free-market license for commercial sex to flood the world.

After I read it, I wondered if people who claim that monogamy is impossible or unhealthy ever consider that someone could follow their advice and become infected with HIV.  I wonder if Dan Savage ever thinks about that, the (criminally irresponsible) sex advice guys and gals at Salon or Alternet.   Dan Savage, of the generally positive "it gets better" campaign should point out that it doesn't get better if you get infected with HIV or other, serious, STDs.  But I doubt anyone would consider that groovy and career enhancing for them.

Since so many of those guys are exactly the kind of Darwinian true believers I've mocked so much over the past month, wouldn't it be something if their encouragement to promiscuity ended up with the imaginary "strain" of human beings who are susceptible to them became extinct through STDs.  I don't for a second believe that would happen, I'm not the Darwinist, but I do have to wonder why they don't consider the consequences of what they claim to believe in.

Faithful monogamy is superior to promiscuity, I'll go out on a limb an say that a rigorous epidemiological study would find that as so many have that religion leads to longer, healthier and happier life.  The campaign to discourage faithful monogamy among gay men (often by promoting even the most dangerous and self-hating forms of promiscuity) is among the worst things that have been done to us.  It turns us into our own oppressors and killers.   I added that just to piss certain people off.  And because it's true.  Thinking about this makes me really angry at a lot of people who refuse to learn anything.

Cleaning Up The Whine Stain - If You Want To Hear Someone Whine, Say You Don't Believe In Natural Selection

About the only excuse anyone has for believing that there is a real "thing" called "natural selection" is that it is supposed to be a very weak force that can't be observed but it must be there because it provides people who want such a thing an alleged mechanism that drives the evolution of species.  I have never read a defense of the idea that didn't end up claiming that was why it must be retained, because it was a way of coming up with a scenario of how species evolved.  While I have no doubt that all of the present day species alive, including  humans, are the result of evolution, I don't buy natural selection as an explanation of that at all.  I don't think it ever was much of an explanation of how species evolved, it's the ultimate just-so story.

Biology textbooks of the past and I would guess still have very few claimed examples of natural selection based on the actual observation of generations of organisms.  And all of those I know of are totally bogus as demonstrations of natural selection.

The most popular one I'm aware of is the legendary peppered moth, the specimens of which in entomological collections went from lighter grey to dark grey, linked in time and, who knows, perhaps in reality,  to the change in the atmosphere as the industrial revolution and the plague of coal burning altering the environment.  There is a report that with the adoption of clean air laws it is changing back to a lighter coloration.  Though the moth phase of the organisms' life was only a short part of it as compared to the time it is a caterpillar, quite likely when most of the predation that happened to them, happened, and a myriad of other issues in the back and forth over what the reported change in color means, it never represented an example of natural selection because the moths didn't evolve into a new species.

I haven't read anything in which they even explained the change of color as a result of observed  predation on the lighter colored moths as compared to the darker, or, as relevantly, their larvae.  I doubt anything like that has ever actually been observed with sufficient care in a sufficient percentage of any species to come close to anything like a scientific observation. Certainly in no case where there has been a change of species.  And you'd have to discount any other explanations due to other, non-predatory variations in the lighter and darker subgroups as well as things like the mating patterns of the two variations and what the resulting offspring would be like, etc.    I have no doubt that species evolved into other species but whatever mechanism it happened through - and I suspect there are probably thousands if not many times more of those ways it happens - I doubt natural selection is anything like "a thing".

Though, in fact checking what I just said, I'm reading that there has been a decline in all peppered moths, whatever color in the past fifty years.  My guess is that it's probably a combination of man-made global warming (ironically, including coal), artificial pesticides of the kind that the Trump regime just green lighted to keep destroying honey bees and the destructive industrial, development and agricultural policies that have come with the pervasive power of the relevant STEM topics which enable, most of all, such things.   I think there's a good chance that instead of saving us, as Henry Adams predicted, science will come to rule us all and we will commit suicide through the increase in our destructive power while our moral sense is eroded by scientism and greed.

Naw, I think natural selection is an ideological construct invented by aristocrats out of their point of view informed by their belief in their superiority.  I have noticed that even the groups they believed were inferior, when people in those groups take up the idea, they figure it demonstrates their superiority to others.*

It's all too convenient and that's before its utility to atheist fundamentalists comes into it.   I doubt it really exists as anything but an ideological framing.  It has been almost uniformly negative in its effect in the world since it was first published and it still is.

*  Note, I don't buy Sam Seder's theory of how the tradition of scholarship among Ashkenazi Jews came about, I think it's probably a lot more individual and a lot more varied and a lot more complex than anyone can ever know.  I do have to wonder why the Sephardi are left out, I've known lots and lots of people with that heritage who were really smart and I've known loads of people from every ethnicity who are as stupid as anyone else.   I'd love to hear Sam Seder on that disgusting paper by Karl Pearson and Margaret Moul I went over a couple of weeks back.

Anyone who believes in IQ as a real "thing" is pretty stupid.  Lots of people with PhDs, even the legendary physicists buy that horse shit.  Look at William Schockley who was a friggin' Nobel Laureate physicist.

While we have our differences, I totally agree with what Micheal Brooks said.

Update:  "so something more is going on"

The 10th grade Biology Textbook example of the peppered moths is a good example of bad scientific explanation.  Here's a real geneticist describing just part of the problem, the kind of problem that has been a part of the ideology of natural selection since Darwin first published it.

In contrast, most evolutionary biologists work on natural populations of plants or animals that they have chosen because they believe they can tell a natural historical story of how selection actually operates in a particular case. The most famous example is the increase in the black form of the wings in the peppered moth that has occurred in England since the mid-nineteenth century. The explanation offered and repeatedly appearing in textbooks (although since called into question because of faulty methodology) was that the moths rested on tree trunks where they were at risk of being eaten by birds. Before the spread of heavy industry the tree trunks were covered with lichens whose speckled appearance was matched closely by the “peppered” appearance of the moth’s wings, so the camouflaged moths were only occasionally attacked. With the air pollution caused by heavy industry, the lichens were killed, so the moths were easily visible on the naked dark bark and were heavily preyed upon. A mutation to black wings appeared and was strongly favored by natural selection since the black-winged forms were now once again camouflaged.

There is little doubt that this example, widely taught in lectures and textbooks, had a powerful influence in convincing evolutionary biologists who came into the field from their prior interest in natural history that one could tell the causal story of natural selection. One unfortunate feature of this case is that the caterpillars of the dark-winged forms also have a slightly higher survival rate than those of the speckled-wing form, even though they are not black, so something more is going on, but this fact is not part of the curriculum.

Read that last sentence, again, One unfortunate feature of this case is that the caterpillars of the dark-winged forms also have a slightly higher survival rate than those of the speckled-wing form, even though they are not black, so something more is going on, but this fact is not part of the curriculum.

Who knows what that "something more" that is going on is?  Who knows that it has anything to do with the coloration of the moths or that you would be able to actually find anything that would account for that difference in survival rate?  Or that that difference is persistent over time?  It could be that there is no discernible reason for it.  If you can't discern a real reason, maybe there isn't one. 

Lewontin goes on about these complications:

The causes of a reduction in survival in larvae that results from mutations with obvious visible effects in adults must be as varied as the morphological character in question, and it would require a detailed examination of the process of fruitfly development to elucidate. It is precisely this phenomenon that compromises the elegant natural historical story about the industrial dark color of the peppered moth or the story about predation in the dark-colored mice. Is it the dark coat and not some other metabolic product that is changed in dark-coated mice and that is responsible for their greater success in reproduction? Perhaps the mice with dark coats are also more fertile or better able to digest their food.

Yeah, maybe one of those things.  Or maybe it just happened.  I would question the interpretation of any of those variable other reasons, including the possibility that it just is that way, sometime, all fit under the massive umbrella called natural selection.  I would like to know what other force of nature, any law of science is held to be like that, that it can be whatever you want to say it is, providing yourself with an otherwise non-existent answer.  I think to say "natural selection" more often than not is just a way of saying "it's turtles all the way down" only it's said by sci-guys and it's been found to be useful for ideological materialism and, most of all, atheism, so no one points out what they're doing. 

And the fact is that even today grey peppered moths and dark colored ones are the same species.  There was no new species that resulted from it, it is in no way an example of natural selection, though from the start of its use in science, that was the claim.  It was a convenient lie and it still is being pushed on science websites if not in textbooks.

You Can Paint Someone To Look The Part But You Can't Install A Soul Into An Amoral Princess

How much do you want to bet that if she's ever under indictment, the American media will play Hope Hicks as a Disney princess and that there's a good chance that would get her off? 

I wasn't really expecting anyone who reads this to take that bet, it's something that's certain to come into any potential Hope Hicks defense, it's how the media including the White House correspondents have presented her.  Some of them have been way, way too chummy with her, I believe it was Lawrence O'Donnell who expressed his shock when he saw them exchanging kisses with her in the press room.  But, then, look at how many of the members of the media are either qualified by looking like models or are the children of the rich.  It's no surprise they don't understand how inappropriate that is.   Electronic media has turned what was a disreputable enough profession into a dangerous lie machine.

I hope Hope finds herself back answering questions to Robert Muller's staff and if she lies about what happened when she decided to ride on Air Force One last weekend, that she finds her pretty ass in prison.   The trip was supposedly a result of her going to the Trump golf course where Trump has been parking his fat ass for the past week to catch up with Ivanka and Jared.  That lie is thinner than second skimmings.  Like she doesn't have Ivanka's cell number?  Since everyone I've heard said they doubt she was there wearing a wire, she had other reasons for being there, none of those I can think of honest and above board. 

If all else fails her defense will be that she's too stupid to have known that it would look like she willingly put herself in a position to be a tampered-with witness, which is credible but no excuse.  I mean the stupid model cum Disney princess was having an affair with Rob Porter AFTER she had one with Corey Lewandowski* - I still marvel at their screaming fight on a sidewalk, in public,  down here in the blue collar world people still have enough class that they try to hide their adultery.  But, then, she is still loyal to Donald Trump, with his record of both treating and talking about women, even after calling Hicks "the best piece of ass he (Corey Lewandowski) ever had."  Her buddies in the media reported it that that made her cry, considering her subsequent failure to quit and her continuing behavior, I don't believe that.   That's how rich people are, they are crooks and trash.

No one should get off from criminal jeopardy on the power of their looks, something that some of the most serious criminals in Republican criminality have tried and, in some cases, succeeded in doing.  Oliver North wore a uniform to lie to the Senate and he made it into his golden parachute.  That's something my father, a decorated Marine in WWII despised him for, dishonoring the uniform and lying while wearing it,  but which worked for him.   

If she committed a crime, I hope she won't get off on her looks and her connections with the reporters who socially-kiss her.  It's pretty clear that's her major career asset, that and the wealth she came from.   If I were the boss of someone who kissed her in the press room, I'd fire their asses and say that was the reason.

*  Let me remind you of Lewandowski's mocking a young child with Down Syndrome who was one of those ripped away from her mother by Trumps ICEstapo, something which the piece of shit still hasn't apologized for.   I have no sympathy for anyone who would go from that to getting involved with Rob Porter. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

An Unexpected Answer Provided By The CBC

This segment from the CBC program Tapestry is about a mother's experience with her daughter who has Down syndrome.  

I didn't expect to hear it several days after I answered a comment relevant to the topic.  It is an example of what I said, some people with Down Syndrome give a lot more to the world than people like me.  As the mother says, it's a lot more complicated than we are taught and led to think about it.  

Going Deeper Into The Piece

It's no secret that I love the music of Dusan Bogdanovic, I think I've posted just about every piece of his I've found on Youtube.  The first piece of his I ever heard was his Sonata #3 for Guitar as played live at the Boston Guitar Festival by the brilliant young guitarist Xavier Jara, you can hear his playing in this video which someone put up with the score.

It is a spectacular and wonderful piece.

Last night I came across this way too short excerpt of a video masterclass that Dusan Bogdanovic gave on this sonata, even his explanation of the tonality of the opening of the piece, beginning with the fascinating and, as far as I'm aware, the unique tonal basis he used in composing the piece, is worth listening to over and over again.

There is a link attached to the Youtube listing to an online tutorial site where you can access more of the lesson, though I think it's on the for-pay part of the site and not the for free part.  Looking at the for-free part, it looks like it would be worth looking into if you were a guitarist or even a mere pianist interested in Bogdanovic's music. 

As I said last week, looking into his Counterpoint for Guitar, Dusan Bogdanovic is a deep and insightful composer and musician.  I'm even more impressed with his book now that I've had most of a week to look at it, and I'm not even a guitarist. 

Musical practice is entirely superior to music theory, all theoretical study should be grounded in the practice of making music, composing and performing, improvising and written out pieces.   It's an exciting time to be alive in music, especially for people lucky enough to have this kind of thing going on in their instrument.

Correcting Myself

Thinking more about what I said yesterday, I've got to revise my own ideas.  I don't think anyone sacrifices their life out on the basis of "gene selfishness," of course, though the mathematical incoherence of Hamiltonian "altruism" isn't the most immediate problem with the idea. 

I proposed two terms to replace "altruism," itself an idea polluted with Auguste Comte's ideological positivism and materialism but, thinking more about it, I doubt those were all that much better.  "Unselfishness" and even "heroic generosity" don't cut it as an adequate description of someone who either gives up their life or obviously risks giving up their life to save someone else.  I don't think anyone ever did that on a mere lack of selfishness or it would be a lot more common.  And I don't think that even "heroic generosity" is adequate to describe the ultimate of  acts.  I don't think anyone sacrifices themselves out of those,  I think the only word that can come close to being adequate is the one we've been shamed out of allegedly serious consideration by the culture of positivism and scienciness, love.   And I don't mean whatever some scientist telling some kind of just-so story will do to the word to show-horn it into a perversion of the emotion into natural selection or positivism or atheism.  Which I know they'll do if you give them the chance. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Old Whine From Old Jugs

I haven't changed a single position.

I'm a radical leveler and an egalitarian democrat. 

I believe that other than a small, reasonable one-time return on invested money in addition to repayment of any money lent, that should end any claim to the ownership of the means of production on the part of money lenders.   Workers, who produce all of the wealth of any company, are the ones who should be considered to have an ownership stake in businesses and are the rightful owners of any wealth produced by their labor.  

I believe the existence of billionaires and multi-millionaires are enough of a danger to democracy that they should be taxed down to the same level as the rest of us, that wealth used for the common good of us all. 


But the word "socialist" has been so damaged through associations with Nazism, Marxism, Fabianism, various and sundry ideologies around dictators and mass murderers, the ravings of lunatics, etc. not the least of which are many who call themselves "social-democrats" or "democratic-socialists," that I won't use the word to describe myself anymore. 

Any word you have to continually qualify to separate yourself from the major genocidal ideologies of the 20th century is a word that should be junked.  Maybe I'll call myself a "leveler" more or an "egalitarian democrat". 

Hate Mail

I know they say it to feel all sciency and smart but when I hear someone use the word "meme" it's a sign that they a. don't understand what the word supposedly means, b. they don't know enough about it to know that pretty much anyone who has thought hard about it has concluded that "memes" are a figment of some rather dodgy sci-guys imaginations and that if they were real c. while they wouldn't exactly debunk the validity of the very science they were created to supposedly prop up but they would impeach the reliability of anything any of us concluded about anything, including all of science,from mathematics to physics, down through the legitimate life sciences, on to the crap that "memes" were invented to serve, which are more legitimately considered para-sciences if not pseudo-sciences.  My preference is the later in that last item in that list. 

Evolutionary psychology, the academic fad of the inventor of "memes", Richard Dawkins, is bull shit and, as was predicted by the Sociobiology Study Group in 1976, the very year Dawkins first published the book most of the blog-rat, comment thread, even talk show host kew-el kids got the idea from, it has quickly turned into both covert and overt eugenics. 

One of the pieces I wrote that I got the most pleasure from was one I've reworked three times as I got into brawls with atheists over it,   it was the one where I took one of the most pervasive of ideas from Dawkins' same book, The Selfish Gene and, if I do say so myself, I tore it to shreds.  That was the idea of his Darwinian fable of "the first bird to call out" which is still widely considered by so many to be a scientific fact when there is literally nothing about the thing that stands up to the most basic requirements of science to the fact that it flies in the face of such physical phenomena as the speed of sound and the entire idea it is couched in, Hamiltonian "altruism" dogma, is mathematically irrational.   I've challenged several people online and off to defend the thing, scientists and at least one mathematician and none of them was able to.  That such an idea can be inserted into the public culture of the educated class of Westerners and likely others as "science" when it is literally irrational and dishonest is pretty scandalous.   

I hedged my language a bit, even when I reworked it the last time, now I'm going to say that from the first claim contained in the statement, it is an example of obvious scientific dishonesty. 

Laying down one's life for one's friends is obviously altruistic, but so also is taking a slight risk for them. [Um, if the life was laid down, that's hardly a "slight risk for them", it's the ultimate risk.  I'm always reminded that Dawkins is so highly praised for his way with words.] Many small birds, when they see a flying predator such as a hawk, give a characteristic "alarm call", upon which the whole flock takes appropriate evasive action. There is indirect evidence that the bird who gives the alarm call puts itself in special danger, because it attracts the predator's attention particularly to itself. This is only a slight additional risk, but it nevertheless seems, at least at first sight, to qualify as an altruistic act by our definition.

Richard Dawkins:   p.6, The Selfish Gene,  Thirtieth Anniversary Edition, 2006

The basis of Dawkins' claim is "There is indirect evidence that the bird who gives the alarm call puts itself in special danger, because it attracts the predator's attention particularly to itself."  I have looked for such "indirect evidence" and have found that there is no such evidence, Dawkins made it up, it is a "just-so" story made up to support his theory of gene selfishness and the fevered attempt of Darwinists to turn unselfishness, even the sacrifice of ones life for others, into an act of selfishness by genes supposedly held in common between those that the animal sacrificing itself shares with animals it sacrifices itself for.  It is no more founded in observation than the story of the coloration of Jacob's sheep but it's considered science because it props up a. Darwinian natural selection, b. his typical, anachronistic, Brit-style materialism.  

Despite all of the attempts to reconcile observable, knowable acts of self-sacrifice that disadvantage those who sacrifice themselves in the most unDarwinian of ways with natural selection (which no one can observe in reality) I think it's inevitable that such attempts will always run up against problems such as the speed of sound but most of all,  against the impossibility to make it come out right mathematically.  

Whenever an animal containing such alleged "altruism genes" sacrificed itself "at their instruction," the fact would be that the percentage of such "altruistic" members of their species would decline whereas members of their species which didn't contain those genes would have to increase as a percentage of the species.  If such "non-altruistic" animals were not there, the entire reason for the fable, to support natural selection, would dissolve into a wash of irrelevancy.   Not only that but the removal of "altruistic" members of the species would have to remove them from the possibility of competing in mating and leaving offspring as compared to the enhanced percentage of the species which didn't sacrifice themselves but went on to leave off spring.  I've asked biologists and mathematicians to tell me why that isn't the case and have yet to have one who could explain the flaw in my reasoning.  

I have also pointed out that such "altruism genes" would turn the classic Darwinian positive adaptations of better eyesight and hearing into mal-adaptations, as they would lead those with superior senses at a higher risk of seeing a predator, calling out and being selected out of the species by the predator according to Dawkins' fable.  

But, as I said, the problem starts with the fact that Dawkins' was lying when he said there was "indirect evidence" that his scenario was real because there is, in fact, no evidence of that sort at all.  The whole thing is a lie that no one should ever have mistaken as science for a second.   If you want you can read my fuller criticism at the above link.  

Over the years writing about this and, also, looking into things such as the thinking of Auguste Comte, I've developed a real dislike of the word "altruism", I much prefer "unselfishness" or, even better "heroic generosity".  Since Dawkins' shtick was largely invented to turn the basic reality of all of our action into selfishness on the part of genes,  you can't believe that without coming to the conclusion that unselfishness is a delusion.  Which isn't surprising as it was the conclusion of many of the most prominent Darwinists who had Darwin's approval and of some of his critics from the same time.  As I said, you can't possibly reconcile unselfish behavior with natural selection, no matter how much you want to.  The idea turns selfishness and, as I've pointed out recently, even genocide into a law of nature.  Depravity is an inherent part of it.