The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

As a man with a 4 year degree in computer science, and a mediocre job doing web development I'm not really qualified to comment on politics, religion, or anything else, but I'll be damned if that stops me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ann Coulter shows why she's no longer a top thinker on the right

In her latest column Ann Coulter asks why not Romney. We are told that he's not a politician. No really, he's an outsider. Also, not only is he pro-life, he's deeply pro-life. Sure he switched positions right when he started campaigning for president, but he's a Washington outsider so we'd be fools not to believe him. He's great on immigration as recorded by his tenure in a state where immigrants were just pouring in. Despite the fact that in Massachusetts as governor he passed the bill that was the model for Obamacare, when he was not in political office and the only thing on the line was public perception, he stood strong, pushing for conservative alternatives to what was being passed in Congress.

After establishing his conservative bonafides, Ann goes on to tell us that Romney is the anti-establishment candidate. The establishment as defined by Ann is Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Sarah Palin. On the other hand, Christine O' Donnell (boy I remember how the establishment of conservative talk radio hated her) supports Romney. But of course we are not to take simply being anti-establishment as meaning anything as he who must not be named (seriously she mentions basically every candidate serious or not, but never Ron Paul other than with some vague “loose canon” reference) is certainly not to be considered.

Then in her conclusion she makes the very unfortunate comparison between conservatives that oppose Romney to liberals pushing for green jobs. This was a bad choice because Romney is a AGW nut. Oh sure there has been rampant fraud, the leaders of the movement have to constantly change their story when individual pieces of evidence such as the Himalayan Glaciers melting turn out to be false, and lets not forget that NASA has come out and said that there has been no warming in the last 15 years. But 'ol Romney knows better.

Pile on top of all this that Romney supported the wall street bail out, and is himself a made man from the financial sector, and you have a candidate who is simply not conservative. It does not matter who does and does not support him.

In showing the tremendous amounts of historical revision that had gone on with Joseph McCarthy in her book Treason, Ann Coulter gave me one of my first red pill like experiences. Then in her later books she also changed the perception of single mothers from heroes to villains, decried the political use of victims as spokes men (or more often women), and more. So it is sad for me to see how far she has fallen in writing this kind of drivel now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thinking in formulas

All of us think in formulas to some degree or another. There are different terms for it in different fields. In politics the formulas are called narratives. You have the left leaning narrative that says that if business is unregulated it will do evil things to hurt people. You have the right wing narrative that the free market can solve basically anything. These are basically just formulas that replace thinking. Business = greedy/evil. Free markets = everybody benefits.

In life style choices, the formulas are called scripts. One such script is the main one taught to our youth, which is that if you work hard in school and go to college and you will get a good job. In the alt-right sphere the script goes more like this: quite your job in the corporate prison, become self employed, and you can have more wealth freedom and happiness while you travel around the world.

To some extent I believe that formulas are necessary because to think through everything and question everything simply takes more brain power than most of us have. And there are some formulas that are pretty good and serve the people who use them well. For example Vox Day has the formula that if a scientist comes on the news and presents scientific conclusions without showing the science but instead relies on their authority as a scientist that you can conclude that their claims are false. That is how he reconsigned early on that global warming was a farce. The formula I used was that any scientific claims that are used to back radical liberal agendas are probably false.

The down side is pretty obvious. A lot of formulas out there that people commonly use are not only wrong, but very, very wrong. But even worse there are a lot of formulas out there that are right 90% of the time. One such formula that I have, that recently lead me astray, was the idea that liberal protests are just wrong, only existing because it is necessary to substitute group think for actual thought to reach their absurd conclusions. I'm not alone in having this formula, but recently in the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it was wrong. The fact of the matter is that the anger directed at Wall Street is justified. Thanks to the alt-right blog sphere I did catch on pretty quickly, but I know lots of people who have not. It was actually kind of funny to hear Sean Hannity interview some of the protestors. There was one where the protestor kept listing grievances and Sean kept saying that he agreed with that, but it didn't matter he kept having to try and twist it because the crowd as a whole was not protesting Obama.

The point is that even though some formulas can be good, you always have to recognize them for what they are not get attached to them, because chances are that sometime one of your formulas is going to be wrong, and if you are not able to let go of your formula driven conclusion you'll be a fool.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The problem with Ron Paul

Most commentaries that I read, I read because they either give me new information, because they put some new spin on something that I find interesting, or because they do a better job then me articulating what I already believe. There are a few, however, that will actually change me by reshaping the way that I think about the world. One of these that is fairly well know in the manosphere is Vox Day. Another who is probably less read is Alan Keyes.

Back during the run up to the 2008 presidential election, I used to find myself in the camp of thinking that of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, etc, I had to choose which one was the best because these were the only men that had any chance of being elected. I recognized that non of them particularly represented my values that well, but of course they were better than Obama, Hillary, or John Edwards.

Alan Keyes, in a wnd commentary, made the very good point that as a Christian, for me to think this way was an insult to God. As a follower of the One who spoke the Universe into existence, there is never a time when I should out of necessity compromise with evil. God has the ability to elect whoever He wants. He is, in fact, more powerful than the latest polling data.

This election I've learned my lesson, and I have not even considered voting for anyone except for Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and very early on Herman Cain who was largely an unknown at the time.

Now only Ron Paul remains in the race, and despite my desire to like him as a candidate, there's a fatal flaw with him too. As pointed out by Alan Keyes in his latest blogpost, Ron Paul supports a States right to murder children (I find that substituting the definition of the word abortion for the word itself very quickly resolves all the moral quandaries surrounding it). He does this in spite of the fact that he recognizes the humanity of an unborn child, and that he supports the enforcement of the Constitution, which says that “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. This means that if an unborn child is a person, they must be sentenced to death in a court of law before the abortion can be preformed. And beyond that, even if it were not the law as it is currently written down, supporting the right of a state to murder children is abhorrent.

For this reason I find myself unable to vote for Ron Paul either in the primary or general election.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why I believe in God

When I was in college, there was time where a missionary to a Muslim country (I forget which one) came and spoke to my floor. It was a fairly informal event. It mostly involved us sitting around in one of the suites and talking, rather than an actual lecture. I was there because I've always found Islam to be fascinating on a interpersonal level as its followers are generally more willing to die for their beliefs than any others. When I asked what causes their beliefs to run so deep he responded by asking me why I believed what I do. Before a segue into my answer, I'll say that eventually he said that very devout Muslims will get together and work themselves up about their beliefs, and basically it is very powerful group think that drives them.

But as for my answer, it was an interesting question because mostly when thinking about why I believe what I believe I'd thought of it in terms of apologetic arguments. However, a belief on those types of arguments is really only going to run so deep. So why do I personally believe in the God of the Bible, regardless of what anyone else might think or say? It is absolutely not because the the 2nd law of Thermodynamics says that the universe must have been created. Arguments like that could never lead me to a belief so strong that I would be willing to die for it. The real reasons that I believe what I believe almost exclusively come from experiential knowledge.

The reason that I had not thought through my beliefs from this perspective is because though these reasons for my belief hold a lot of weight for me they do not hold a lot of weight for anyone else. But the fact that they might not be persuasive does not mean that they are not worth sharing. So here is why I believe in the God of the Bible.

The number one reason is that I know God. I talk to Him, and some times He talks back. I experience His presence on a somewhat regular basis. And for these reason I believe that I know God.

So what do I mean specifically when I say I experience His presence? It's hard to explain as it is a unique experience for me. One way that I've heard it put is that it feels like the room is full of warm jello, and I can somewhat relate to that. You could also say that it is somewhat like being on drugs. I have not done any recreational drugs, but I have been on opiate based pain killers. The neat thing about those for me is that although they don't deaden the pain at all, they alter my mood in such a way that I simply don't care. When on those pills (I forget which one it was exactly) I was unable to feel any stress, and just in general felt really good, and more than a little drowsy. It's also somewhat like they way I feel after a morning run and a cup of coffee. Runners high mixed with caffeine makes me feel very good, and active and ready to take on whatever the work day may throw at me.

Experiencing God's presence is somewhat like those things but not the same. It also involves feelings of both intense longing and fulfillment at the same time. When singing the worship song with the chorus “Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere” I can truly sing the lines with complete sincerity when experiencing God's presence.

I'm sure that someone of an Atheist mind set would read this and simply think that I'm imparting meaning to some sort of chemical reaction going on in my body. And although this is possible, it does not a good fit for the facts. The fact is that the other feelings that I have described come from predictable things, such as running, or taking drugs. But the presence of God has come to me when I'm active, meditating, tired, wide awake, in groups, or by myself, and ultimately I think you would have a pretty hard time explaining what triggered this chemical response in every single situation.

So then what do I mean when I say that God speaks to me? Me speaking to Him is no great mystery, it's just me thinking thoughts that I intend to be heard, or literally speaking out loud with the faith that God hears me. But what of God speaking to me? There are two ways God speaks to me. One is directly to my mind, and the other is through other people. God speaking directly to my mind is tricky because there is a constant conversation going on up there that happens on and between multiple layers of consciousness. So how do I know if a thought came from God or from my subconscious? Or do I even know for sure. Sometimes I just get an impression, not even words, that may or may not be from God. It's tricky for me if I am being honest. Some of the reasons that I believe that I get thought from God is that the thoughts tend to be startling. It's similar to an epiphany, but distinctly feels as though it has not come from my own mind. I admit that neither of these are daily, or even weekly events in my life, but they do happen.

When God speaks to me through other people it is almost always after being prayed for. After being prayed for, the person praying at times has told me that they felt God wanted them to say something to me. Sometimes what follows does nothing for me and leaves me wondering if they really heard something from God or not. But there have been other times where what the person said has had a similar effect on me as if I had just been hit by a truck. And this has come from people who I know, who are not professional motivational speakers or anything like that.

As with the other things, if you come at this from an atheist perspective, you certainly could explain this all away. It's possible that I'm placing undue importance on things people say due to the circumstances, and although I've had people give messages from God about things that I had not asked them to pray for, their words have been generic enough that you could attribute them to an extremely well done cold read. I don't think that this is the best explanation though, because the people doing this are not pro's, and at times are doing things in a way that are too risky. For example there was one time where I was at a conference, and during the worship portion, a person came up onto the balcony and specifically walked up to me through a crowd of people and asked if he could pray for me without hearing any prayer request. I said yes, and after he was done praying he told me that I needed to trust God about where I was. He said that God was saying that He had already affirmed that where I was was where He wanted me to be and that I needed to have faith and trust Him instead of perpetually doubting and asking. This had a very strong effect on me. I was also the only person that this guy prayed for on the balcony of that church. So could this have been done with a cold read? Maybe, the message was fairly generic and was one that could apply to many young Christians. But the fact is that this guy came right to me unasked and gave me a message that would not have applied to me for the rest of my time at college.

The final reason that I believe in God is because of the supernatural. There have been several events that I have been to where I supernatural events took place. Some of them I only observed in others, some I didn't personally observe things but heard things from other people there who I knew, and in one case I experienced a small supernatural event myself. I come from a more charismatic background within the church and there have been times when I've seen things that are just weird. For example, outside of church events I have never seen something like 30% of a crowd effected so that they are unable to stand or sit up right, are actually lying on the ground in most cases, and are uncontrollably laughing or crying perpetually for periods of ½ hour to 1 hour. I also know a lot of people who have been to such events that have found them very off putting, but either way this does not seem natural. Then there was one multi-night event I was at but I missed one night. One of the other people in our group came back to the hotel and said that there were people in the isles that could not walk correctly. They appeared to be walking against oncoming water as they approached the stage. These events always correlate with a very strong sense of the presence of God. Lastly there was an event that I was at where there were lots of people falling on the floor laughing or weeping. I asked one of the people with the conference to pray for me, and while he was praying for me I felt a sharp push to my chest. It was not the guy praying because his hand was on my head, I had my eyes open, and although I was certainly pushed backwards, I could not tell you where exactly I was pushed from other than that it was in the chest region. If it had been the guy praying or someone else I would have felt their hands on me, but I didn't feel any hands. After being pushed I stumbled backwards. The man praying told me to not do that be to allow myself to fall. There was another person behind me to catch me. Sure enough it happened a second time, and this time I didn't step backwards to keep upright but let myself fall.

My sister had the same thing happen to her, with the exception that when I was on the ground I stayed there till I no longer felt that God was doing something, but could have gotten up any time I wanted. My sister on the other hand said that she felt a great weight on her and could not get up. And also if I recall correctly she cried while I was not overcome with either tears or laughter.

This is why I believe in God. The supernatural argument might seem like it should be the most persuasive, but for me it is not. For me it is in feeling the presence of God that most moves me. And for that reason, because through His presence I know Him, my faith in God will not be shaken.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Heart of game part 3

It was not my intent to go on such a long hiatus, but after writing heart of game part 2 I lost my job (unrelated to the post) and getting new work, finding ways to cut expenses, getting a new room mate, and things like that all take a great deal of time and energy. Things are not back to normal yet, but I'm going to make a better effort to keep posting some what regularly.


So on to the heart of game part 3.

The first two parts if you need a refresher were state control and frame control. In keeping with the control theme, the third part is validation control. What I mean by validation control is recognizing how, when, and why you validate other people. By validation I mean anything that is done in terms of speech, body language, or other forms of communication that lets someone know that they are good or okay or something that they have done is good or okay.

I'm guessing that most of my readers have been trained since they were very young to give out excessive validation all the time whenever interacting with anyone. I certainly was always taught to do things like always say thank you to people who check me out at the store, even to the point of being a communication breakdown as they said it first.

Although there is certainly something to be said about validation control in general and the need for men to withhold validation much more than they do, the biggest application of it in the realm of game is how you validate the actions of a girl that you find attractive. A good rule of thumb is to ask your self how you would react in the same situation if instead of an attractive girl, the person you were interacting with was a man, or better yet an unattractive girl. Would you still have big stupid grin on your face whenever you saw them? No? Then by having one you are projecting the idea that they can do better than you.

Contrary to the idea that validation control is manipulative, for most guys it should just be bringing things back to normal. In actuality, really awful validation control is an instinctual attempt at manipulation that just does not work very well. If you are laughing harder at a girl's jokes, smiling bigger when they enter the room, or any of the other common mistakes that most guys make, that is an attempt to manipulate the girl in question into liking you. By treating her like any other person, male or female, you won't be manipulating anything and you'll do better than if you had.