Some men go through life in a very predictable pattern, always seeking validation for their pro-social behavior. Whether it be as children when they follow the directions of parents, teachers, other adults, or when they grow up and adopt the familiar narratives that so many men fall victim to in their journey through life. In my time in academia I saw many of these men, often seeking predictable safe degrees in engineering, business, accounting, that they had been planning to do for most of their life. Their time prior to college had often been spent getting the best grades possible, maximizing their extracurricular activities, keeping up their perfect attendance scores and otherwise maximizing their chances of getting into a “good” college.
A majority of them had a life-plan laid out that went something along the lines of get into a good college, get a solid degree with good grades, intern with one of the top companies available, graduate, get a job with this company, work their way up the corporate ladder, be rewarded with a beautiful sexpot wife, 2.4 kids and a beautiful home. This goal was their motivation and they put their nose to the grindstone every single day to make it a reality. However, as is often the case with plans, in their meeting with reality few if any hold up.
As Mike Tyson once said “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
The trouble that such men often face, is that rather than designing their own path in life, they accepted the various narratives that they had been presented with while growing up and then permitted their super-ego to govern their life, for years if not decades. The “Good Boys” are convinced that there is an inner morality to the world, and that the social narratives present the good way to live, thus if one lives according to the narratives, one will be rewarded for one’s good behavior. This world-view is embodied in the concept of karma, where good things come to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Continue reading
I had somewhat decided to end my series on Social Justice Warriors with the last installment on the view of history used by social justice warriors. In a sense, I thought that I’d come full circle as I had covered both the methodology and ideology quite adequately, and once the history was covered to demonstrate how poor methodology applied to cherry picked examples are the engine of the movement, I could consider the series complete. However, then Nassim Nicholas Taleb tweeted out a question about virtue signalling, and I realized that this was a major gap in my series. Everyone engages in signalling, from the man who through posture and composure signals his status, to the woman who through her painted face and hourglass figure signal health and fertility.
However, the concept of signalling one’s virtue, is a relative new concept, first identified among the religious, where piety was the virtue most signaled, however much of human verbal and non-verbal communication is signalling on some level. Ranging from choices one makes in grooming, clothing, the manner in which one writes or speaks and many others. However, this differs somewhat from the signalling of virtue, as the former are honest signals, the latter may be argued to be dishonest signals.
Social Justice Warriors without virtue signalling are as hunters without weapons or a bank without money, it simply does not work. Virtue signaling to this community is not only a primary means of communicating status, and one’s allegiance to the group, it is also the means by which enemies are designated and then attacked. It forms the core of means, where I have previously covered motive and methodology. Virtue signalling has been a central element of many groups, from religious communes to atheist dictatorships, from Europe to the Americas and Africa, it is a central part of our communication as a species. Continue reading
Now, when I tell most people that I’m very much into philosophy, after their eyerolls subside, I start explaining to their blank faces. How philosophy still has value after what was called “natural philosophy” started being called “science”. There are 4 branches of philosophy, in order of importance:
Aesthetics: The study of beauty and ugliness, this is an entirely subjective branch that I will agree has little value, what is beautiful and what is ugly? That is in the eye of the beholder and quite frankly who cares?
Ethics: The study of what is permissible. A field to which I have devoted a lot of study, only to find that it is an emotionally ruled filed. I have found that people who have authoritarian leanings tend to be more deontological and people who like me have more libertarian leanings tend to be more consequentialist.
Metaphysics: The study of existence. What exists. Typically used a lot in religious debates.
Politics: The study of force. How should you organize society.
Epistemology: The study of knowledge, or rather theory of knowledge. What can we know, how do we know, can we know.