Category Archives: Logic

MERCER’S Like A Man …

Britain, English, Gender, Ilana Mercer, Logic

My reply to John’s recent email about the Mercer writing style and thinking being like those of a man:

Yes, I like that. But most men no longer write, think or behave like men ought to.
Post your comment to my Unz Review column and you’ll see THE REACTION you get from THE MINI MEN who dog me on the site.

Just one example.

The oracular Dr. Sam Johnson, from his perspective in England of the 1770s, would have caned these mini men for their lack of manners. He certainly would have failed the prose of most men and women today for its billowing, self-indulgent quality.

—–Original Message—–
From: John
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 1:54 AM
To: ilana@ilanamercer.com
Subject: Re: NEW COLUMN: Covington Kid: Hated For The Color Of His Skin

Well considered and written.

A few years ago I said you wrote like a man. …

Well now I think you also think like one. So In you, I’ve found the best of both sexes…

Best wishes, John

NEW COLUMN: Dead By Illegal Alien? You’re Just An Anecdote

Crime, Homeland Security, IMMIGRATION, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Logic, Reason

NEW COLUMN IS “Dead By Illegal Alien? You’re Just An Anecdote.” It’s on WND.COM, The Unz Review and Townhall.com (only slightly abridged).

An excerpt:

THE topic: American lives snuffed out by illegal aliens.

The forum: The ubiquitous, Fox News, dual-perspective panel that never fails to dim debate.

Arguing in favor of letting potential killers come: Geraldo Rivera, a former daytime talk-show, bosom buddy of Sean Hannity, and a permanent fixture on Fox.

The Rivera “argument”: That some criminal aliens kill is incidental and immaterial to their status as uninvited, unvetted interlopers.  

Here are some of the stories Geraldo dismisses as anecdotes sensationalized:

The latest in a string of bereaved parents to appear on TV are the parents of young Pierce Corcoran, 22, killed by Franco Cambrany Francisco-Eduardo (44), recipient of the U.S. Professional Drunk-Driver Immigration Visa. And in 2012, a man named Ramon Hernandez took the tiniest of victims. Dimitri Smith, of blessed memory, was killed in-utero by this recipient of the same visa. The deceased preemie was shown on CNN, in 2012, being held for the last time by young mother Aileen Smith, before being laid to rest.

“In the last two years,” said a solemn President Trump, in his Jan. 8 address from the Oval Office, “ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.”

It seems crystal clear that, were it not for Geraldo’s plucky, uninvited visitors—more American than a lot of Americans, sneered Comrade Ocasio-Cortez—there would likely be 100,000 fewer assaults in America, 30,000 fewer sex crimes in America, and 4,000 fewer murders in America.

It seems perfectly clear that young Pierce Corcoran would be alive, if not for a bad hombre who had no business being in the country.

Clear to you and me, but not to “brother” Rivera (Mr. Hannity’s appellation for this idiot).

With the same logical illiteracy that has been given sanctuary and sinecure on Fox News, Mr. Rivera proceeded to make his “case”:

“I would feel equally pained,” he roared, “were the killer Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican or Jewish, young or old.”

Could a killer illegal alien be “Irish, Italian, Puerto Ricans or Jewish, old or young”? Certainly. But these categories are irrelevant and superfluous to the central point. Rivera is mixing it up; mixing logical categories to the point of moral incoherence.

This studied stupidity led Rivera, in short succession, to his next point: American lives lost and recounted “sensationally” on television were “anecdotes.”

To be charitable, Geraldo here is following his own breaking-eggs-for-omelets argument—and it is that, since the murderers are statistical outliers, the murders they commit are the exception to the rule in what is an exceptional immigrant community.

The logic doesn’t add up, but the numbers of the dead do—each life lost is precious. Each loss comes with a world of hurt that never heals.

Death by illegal alien is not about group crime aggregates, as Geraldo contends. (In particular, his contention that illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans, therefore, let them come.)

Wrong. Death by illegal alien is about this life-cherishing, immutable logic:

If alien X HAD BEEN REMOVED from the U.S., as the law dictates, innocent American Y WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY. …

... READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN IS “Dead By Illegal Alien? You’re Just An Anecdote.” It’s on WND.COM, The Unz Review and Townhall.com (only slightly abridged).

UPDATE III (11/29): Did Stefan Molyneux Fail To Properly Credit Ideas From My Book, ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’?

Ethics, History, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, Logic, Morality, South-Africa

The implication in this Southern Poverty Law Center article is indeed that, in a 2015 video, vlogger Stefan Molyneux liberally used the material from my book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” published in 2011.

The authors at SPLC hate me just as much, so they don’t care to harp on unethical use of material they had traced to me (“Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa”), if there was any. Still, their facts imply that no attribution was made or  direct credit given to me for a Molyneux podcast based on the rather idiosyncratic ideas that came from a chapter in Cannibal titled “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70).

Writes the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In 2015 Molyneux published a video wherein he quoted an unnamed historian who claimed that “Apartheid wasn’t an expression of racism but concern over the survival of the white population.” The source for this quote is Ilana Mercer, a paleolibertarian writer and pro-Trump activist. Mercer’s 2011 book, which forms the basis for Molyneux’s YouTube video, is entitled “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The tome received a glowing review from Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance website. “Apartheid was never based on a theory of racial supremacy; rather, it was a survival strategy for the badly outnumbered Boers,” the review reads. This is a mirror image of Molyneux’s sleight of hand: a decontextualized racism is deemed immoral but it is argued that Apartheid makes sense. The real message Molyneux and Taylor are delivering to their audiences is that the application of racial discrimination in South Africa was essential to ensure white survival (read: dominance) and that force and laws should be applied to keep different races apart.

Of course, the ideas in my chapter, “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70), are not quite those expressed by the second-handers.

In any event, one gets accustomed to such lowly practices in this business. But if this is indeed true, and Stefan Molyneux had failed to fully credit this author for ideas that are nearly verbatim from “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70)—then this is a new low.

Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose all credibility.

It’s also so unmanly—and oh so very common. Yuk.

UPDATE I (11/27):

As was said, “Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose ALL credibility.”

Ever wonder why Stefan Molyneux, and many men on the so-called hard right (some of whom came well after me), have never asked me (one of the few people who knows the ins-and-outs of apartheid South Africa) on their shows to speak to matters South African (or to any other matters)?

A LOT OF men are simply uncomfortable with certain women. (Hint: Young blondes showcase them better and are easier to best.) As a result, libertarian men (or mini-men) end up mouthing crass, historically wrong, right-wing talking points, on their shows, about my birth place. Coming from libertarians, this laxness is a disgrace.

At least credit your sources if you don’t want to engage the writer! Before Into the Cannibal’s Pot, nobody spoke about South Africa in any meaningful way in the US, other than the praiseworthy WND reporters, and one or two others liberally credited in my book. You see, I cite my sources (primary and secondary) religiously. Again, many of the johnny-come-lately sorts whom the Mini-Men aforementioned (or hinted at) interview on their limited shows speak a load of right-wing crap about South Africa.

Still and all, some ideas are too idiosyncratic to be generic—which is the case with a hell of a lot of what’s in Into the Cannibal’s Pot.

UPDATE II (11/28): “The Art of the Ego: Review of Stefan Molyneux’s Stupid Book”

If you can get past the author’s redundant liberal preening (it sullies a solid piece), Alexander Douglas makes short work of Stefan Molyneux’s short-on-logic book.

… Molyneux’s first few chapters outline some basic principles of logic. His explanation of ‘logic’ is as terrible as you might expect from someone with neither qualifications nor natural talent (see this review). Molyneux is one of these people who thinks that (barely) being able to do the First Figure Syllogism is ‘knowing logic’?—?the logical equivalent of the Astonishing Human Calculator who can add single-digit numbers in mere seconds or Sir Andrew Aguecheek who can speak languages without book. The really telling thing, however, is how Molyneux deals with his own ignorance. …

… Here is what he says about abduction, for example … Now, many people don’t know what abduction is. Nothing wrong with that. And you might find yourself in an exam, where you’re asked to define abduction, and maybe you missed that lecture, or you drifted off, or you just can’t remember. Then you might just write some bullshit, hoping to get a few marks. Perfectly acceptable behaviour. But if you’re writing a book on reasoning, and you remember that abduction is a form of reasoning but you can’t quite remember what it is?—?can you imagine in that circumstance just writing down some bullshit and hoping to get a few marks? Wouldn’t you just google it or something? Imagine being so devoid of intellectual humility. …

… It does help to show that, while logicians have no claim to be any better at informal reasoning than anyone else, there is such a thing as being godawful at informal reasoning. I’m not sure I knew that before looking at this book. But Molyneux is as bad at reasoning as he seems to be at everything else. Yet somehow, through some Dunning-Kruger pathology, he seems to regard himself as good enough to educate others. He is desperately in need of education himself, although I wouldn’t blame you if you preferred to put him ‘through the fist’ (“There are only two ways to resolve disagreements: through The Argument, or through the fist”). …

Myself, I’ve never been able to get through anything Molyneux writes. Other libertarians, systematic thinkers all, have said the same. My favorite, David Gordon, calls Molyneux’s arguments “often preposterously bad.”

“A (Tiny!) Bit More on Molyneux,” also by Alexander Douglas, delves into the problems of logic.

UPDATE III (11/29/018): On crap output and arrogant overreach. As someone who labors over every sentence she puts out (to the best of my abilities, which are respectable but far from infallible), these points, as made by a professional logician, are good.

Alas, and as noted by Tocqueville in the 19th century and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, conformity of thought and anti-intellectualism are powerfully prevalent among Americans (the kind who follow Stefan Molyneux type Svengalis) .

Molyneux on logic just humiliates himself. And frankly it’s irritating to have spent years of hard study trying to master some elementary logic and then have some pontificating fraud claim the right to lecture others without doing any work at all

An Open Letter on Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux” By Alexander Douglas.

UPDATED: About An Inspiring Young Man Who Knows He Has Things To Learn

Education, English, Intelligence, Kids, Logic, Reason

The stories about youths ruined by the education system are legion. My own encounters over the years confirm that students are taught to never question the state of their knowledge; to work to a grade and to not doubt the value of that grade.

Students and parents mistakenly believe that grades correspond to the state of their knowledge. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Adoring parents enforce these misconceptions, enabling bad teachers, and giving pedagogues (mostly mediocre or sub-par minds) ample cover.

In this context, I seldom give interviews, because young interviewers, while genuinely interested, poor things, are unable to grapple with substance and content.

I feel for these promising young minds. They’ve been deprived. They most certainly have not been taught to distill, analyze and question information. Unable to grapple with content, young minds resort to process-oriented gibberish:

“How do you feel about… What made you … Who inspired you.” Sorry, old chap. That’s not going to cut it. It’s what you ask the traditional Agony Aunt.

See, your kids are taught by women and their house-trained boys. So they look at the world not in search of substance, data, insights; but by escaping into different states of feeling.

Having said that, I am so happy to report that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a young Millennial. He had “reached out”—scrap that phrase, please, use “contacted”—with a request for an interview.

After reading his questions to me, I replied somewhat curtly by saying that his were questions better addressed to a YouTube fresh face or some young social-media sensation.

I explained why and told my young interlocutor I’d be glad to look over his revised questions once he got his bearings.

I had expected that he’d huff and puff as ego-maniacal Millennials usually do, when criticized.

But what a pleasant surprise awaited.

The young conservative replied thus:

OK. That’s definitely right. I enjoy your writing very much. Will get back with different questions. Thank you very much

My reply to his:

I knew you could be pushed to grapple with material. You’re better than the previous questions you sent, smarter. Give me a week and I will get back to you with answers to new questions. Good for you for being a good sport.

 

Came his reply:

Thank you for encouraging me. I really appreciate it … [and other stuff I won’t share]

AND MY YOUNG INTERVIEWR’S REVISED QUESTIONS ARE SHARP. They’ll be shared when answered.

Pushing good minds in the right (and Right) direction, provided they don’t suffer hubris, can work.

UPDATE:

No. Traditional, teacher-centered learning is the only way to begin to reverse progressive, child-centered miseducation. Restoring hierarchy is essential.