The common trend among mass shooters

The way I see it, there is a distinct trend connecting so many of the people in America who decide to go out and murder scores of people with a firearm. In order to solve the issue, I believe it is more important and of greater necessity to examine this trend rather than to try and pinpoint the thing Americans are supposed to be banning, thinking it will solve the problem.

To that end, I’m going to go through 10 examples of American mass shooters, some perhaps more infamous than others, in order to examine what drove them to commit the atrocities that they committed, in order to try and establish a common trend between them.

 

Kip Kinkel

I think people far too often forget that Kip even existed, let alone murdered his own parents and some of his fellow students. But he did, and in a rampage that pre-dated the Columbine massacre by only a year. Unlike the Columbine shooters, however, Kip didn’t kill himself afterwards, which not only means that he was arrested and punished for his crime but also that the police were able to extract a motivation from him through interrogation, which is sadly never the case in the majority of these incidents.

Kip was interviewed by detective Al Warthen in May 21st 1998, he told the detective that he was aware that his mind “wasn’t right” and he knew that it was considered wrong to bring a gun to school but did it anyway. He told the detective that he was ashamed of having done something wrong, and that he killed his father because he loved him but was also “fucked up in the head”. After Kip’s arrest, some writings were found detailing his state of mind around the time of the Thurston High shooting. He seems to have wallowed in a desire to end his own life, he saw himself as profoundly disturbed or abnormal and as a consistently destructive influence to the world around. He claimed to hear voices in his head telling him to kill and was full of rage and hatred towards mankind. He also mentions a woman who he was seeing, but apparently broke up with him, which caused him to feel like his heart has broken, which he doesn’t even think is possible because he didn’t think he even had a heart. During Kip’s trial, Dr. Orin Bolstad testified that he had been hearing voices since he was 12 years old, and had experienced hallucinations, and that he told him that the voices in his head might have come from either “the devil” or a chip put into his head by the government. He stated that these were the signs of psychotic thinking, a manic phase of bipolar disorder, extreme depression and schizophrenia, as well as a consistent state of delusion. He was also said to have an obsession with violence, and to have exacted “revenge” on people who he perceives as having crossed him, whether his perceptions were accurate or not. Kip was on anti-depressant medications for a period time before eventually being taken off of it when it appeared he was showing positive results. After he was taken off the medication, however, his mental health began deteriorating again. It’s very clear that Kip was profoundly, extremely disturbed, and guided by delusions.

 

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Perhaps the most infamous school shooters in American history, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were responsible for the Columbine massacre, which is now etched into the memory of the collective American consciousness. Many people attempted to find scapegoats in guns, heavy metal and gothic music and the first-person shooter genre of video games (which back then was a rising star of PC gaming, home to such titles as DOOM, Quake, Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein). However, the diaries of the shooters were uncovered not long after the massacre, and they offer insight into their motivations.

Eric Harris wrote in his journal about how he believed that everyone around him was irredeemably stupid and robotic, incapable of thinking for themselves, that only he and his friend possessed what he called “self-awareness”, and that he wants nothing to do with society except to kill those he deems unfit to exist. He believes that human society is best run by a principle of “NATURAL SELECTION”, which for him entails as the murder of the disabled, the “rich snotty toadies”, fat people, people of low intelligence and people with “brain fuck ups” (presumably with the exception of himself and Dylan, if you get me). He believes that the human race is not worth saving, only destroying. Dylan’s journal suggests that he may have been extremely depressed and self-loathing, but like Dylan he also viewed himself as a literal God compared to most people, who he viewed as just zombies. Apparently they both felt pushed to the edge by, of all things, getting busted for breaking into a van and stealing things from it. They agreed to participate in a diversionary program in exchange for the juvenile officers expunging their criminal records, and they performed so well that they were let off early, but they still treated this is as the moment they became the “bad guys” with no going back. If you read it, you’ll find it to be a textbook case of extreme pathological narcissism and aggressiveness. Strangely enough, they say their parents raised them fine.

 

Randy Stair

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This man’s story was widely covered on the Internet, with many details emerging outside of the mainstream media’s analysis. Stair happened to be a transsexual individual, in this case a young man who believed himself to be a woman (or a “female soul”) trapped in a man’s body, and it is because of this fact that he felt separated from the rest of society. He was a self-confessed racist and misanthropist, who simultaneously hated the human race as a whole and everyone who isn’t white, and he especially hated men, both straight and gay people (though he did go on record as a homophobe). He seemed to be a deeply confused, highly irrational and extremely depressed individual, carrying around a combination of self-loathing, gender confusion, personal identity crisis, solipsistic tendencies, depression and intense irrational hatred for various groups of people and humanity in general.

He was also the creator of a cartoon series on YouTube called Ember’s Ghost Squad, which seems to be based off of a character named Ember from the children’s cartoon series Danny Phantom, who Stair claimed “brought out the girl in him”. The show centers around an all-female cast of ghosts who recruit lost souls into their army by having them killed in some way. That all the souls in the squadron are female, with no males, can be related to his own belief that he is a female soul, and a female spiritual presence that, in his own words, “puts [you] where you need to be”. The final episode of this show before Stair’s crime and death was a high school shooting, in the vein of the Columbine massacre, taking place at a high school committed by a character named Andrew Blaze, who seems to Stair’s alter ego, along with members of the ghost squad with the aim of killing innocent students and ultimately himself. The episode in question was released around the same time as the Weis Market massacre wherein Stair killed 3 people and himself.

Cursory research into Ember’s Ghost Squad can offer significant into the profound mental instability that Stair was suffering. While some have assumed that Stair had been radicalized by intersectional feminist (or social justice) ideology, the reality is much less simplisitic. For one thing, I haven’t seen evidence of him having operated on any radical feminist, Marxist or generally leftist websites – if anything, he was a brony.  I think he happened to embrace basic bitch social justice ideology as something to latch onto whilst he rationalized his disturbed psyche to the wider world and justified his future actions.

 

Adam Lanza

On the face of it, there is no conclusive motivation that would explain why Adam Lanza carried out the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. However, I think there are clues that might help to explain what he was thinking before he did it. He was often described as a profoundly autistic individual, and according to his father he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of thirteen. However, autism campaigners have objected to this description by pointing out that most autistic people do not have the kind of aggressive and strongly isolationist tendencies that Lanza exhibited. According to a team of Yale researchers, Lanza was prescribed a behavior-based treatment program and an anti-depressant called Celexa, but his parents discontinued the treatment after they noticed that Lanza “was unable to raise his own arm” and attributed this as a side-effect of the treatment. The parents could not be convinced otherwise. As he grew older, he became much more isolationist and socially rigid with his youth, and increasingly obsessed with mass shooters. He was also active on a now (presumably) defunct online forum called Shocked Beyond Belief, under the username “Smiggles”, which was a forum in which people talked about the Columbine killers and a video game based on them entitled “Super Columbine RPG”. Dr. Peter Langman has written a report about Lanza’s mental tendencies and has concluded that Lanza suffered from deeply psychotic personality tendencies, and suggests that his mentality was very similar to many other mass shooters in not just psychotic personality but also in the sense that he went through similar failures in life.

Apparently, in 2014, a radio clip has emerged of what is supposedly Adam Lanza speaking to an anarchist/primitivist anti-civilization radio show called Anarchy Radio. He talked about a chimpanzee named Travis, a pet chimpanzee and animal actor who in 2009 attacked a woman and was shot to death by police, trying to articulate that Travis’ violent behavior was ultimately a reaction to civilization, which he thinks conditions people away from their instinctive nature. Some of his postings on Shocked Beyond Belief indicate that he had great sympathy for the dead chimpanzee, and he felt that after his death Travis was now free of the “rape” of civilization.

 

 

Elliot Rodger

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Elliot killed six people in Isla Vista, California, and injured 14 others before ultimately killing himself. Before the shooting, Elliot Rodger released a 141-page journal on the Internet, in which he recounts his life in excessive detail as well as his belief that he is akin to a god in human flesh, entitled to whatever he thinks is deserving of him especially the company of women, and sent to rid the world of those he deems impure. For all his godly pretenses, however, he also complains that he was jealous of other men for attaining pleasures that he did not and feels his life to be pathetic in comparison. His YouTube channel consists of videos where he talks about how he views the world as fundamentally unjust and unfair because he is incapable of finding a romantic or sexual partner.

His father, Peter Rodger, was an unsuccessful filmmaker most recognized as a second unit director for The Hunger Games. His own film, a documentary called Oh My God?, was a failure, scoring terrible reviews among film critics. If Elliot’s manifesto is to be believed, Peter invested all of his money in the film, kept talking about how it make him loads of money, and in the end it lost him money to be the point that he claims the film bankrupted him.

Many progressives and feminists used Rodger as a symbol of their conception of “toxic masculinity”, basically grandstanding for their ideology on the corpses of the people he killed. They propped him up as a political point about how they view all men in general as fundamentally suffering the same sickness as Elliott Rodger, when in truth most men aren’t actually like him. Elliott viewed himself as the greatest man in the universe, a god among men, and not the sad, narcissistic and possibly somewhat spoiled individual that really was. That’s all he was. He was a textbook narcissist, who was constantly disappointed with the world for supposedly denying him that which he believed, and the primary motivation seems to be that of “punishing” women for not having sex with him, as well as other men for having sex with women instead of him, coupled with his developed hatred for mankind as a whole, whom he blames for his internal anguish. His father believes that he was just the sweetest boy who was kind to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a flea, but the truth is that he was a profoundly egocentric individual who was obsessed with sex because he never had the company of a woman and who was consumed with loathing, desperation and hatred of mankind, which might have enabled him to separate himself from Man and negate any sense of value of the life of his fellow Man, not least because he felt himself to be above human life. It is possible that he may not have learned how to cope with failure and disappointment, and never accrued the characteristics associated with maturity and what it means to become a man before he died.

 

James Eagan Holmes

James killed 12 people at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. In his notebook he diagnoses himself with dysphoric mania, social anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, schizophrenia, body dysmorhpic disorder, psychosis and several other mental disorders. He justifies this self-diagnosis by describing numerous symptoms such as catatonia, excessive fatigue and isolationism. He believed that the reason for life is fundamentally arbitrary and thus life should not exist. According to Dr. Raquel Gur, an expert on schizophrenia, Holmes’ writings suggest that he was intelligent, capable of tackling deep subjects that most people don’t typically think about, but also incredibly delusional, noting that very intelligent people are also capable of generating more bizarre delusions. She compares his level of delusion-crafting to that of the “Unabomber” serial killer Ted Kaczynski, who also happened to be a professor of mathematics at Harvard University. She also says that Holmes did not feel wronged by anyone and was not motivated by a desire for revenge, and the last straw is instead cited to be him believing himself to have failed his neuroscience program. According to his defense attorney, Holmes was a schizophrenic and suffered mental illness for years before eventually succumbing to a violent delusion. Prosecutors note that he was aware of what he was doing and planned every aspect of his attack in advance and in detail within his notebook.

 

Jared Lee Loughner

Jared was responsible for a 2011 shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, in which he intended to kill Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and ended up killing six other people before being arrested. Before the shooting in question, he released a video claiming that Pima Community College was a “genocide school” that tortured its students. Incidentally, he was suspended from Pima Community College following the release of the video. According to TIME, he showed multiple signs of mental illness, including disorganized speech and writing, paranoia and an inability to function in social situations. According to a friend he also frequently used drugs, including marijuana, magic mushrooms, LSD, salvia divinorum, and even cocaine. Loughnor had been diagnosed with schizophrenia by experts who interviewed him. However, in an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Langman offers a different diagnosis. He instead suggests that Loughnor’s illness is closer to paranoid personality disorder, on the grounds that he read the idea of secret meetings into his encounter with Gabrielle Giffords which may have led to the development of grudge between him and Giffords, and that he did not seem to think that everyone was specifically against him.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Loughnor’s alleged political motivations, possibly due to the fact that he targeted an elected representative; namely Gabrielle Giffords. Although many in the media have taken to painting him as an expressly far-right Tea Party partisan, Loughnor himself was an Independent voter and according to a friend of his he was neither left-wing nor right-wing. Another classmate describes him as very left-wing. He was apparently interested in conspiracy theories, and was active on a web forum called AboveTopSecret which specialized in conspiracy theories and similar subjects, and he was particularly interested in the idea that the world would end in 2012. He also happened to be interested in the 2007 film Zeitgeist, which can be seen as distant from the ideals of the Tea Party. He talked about refusing to pay in any currency not backed by gold and silver, and yet far from being a gold standard advocate he advocated theories of “an infinite source of currency“. Much of the idea that he is strictly a right-winger comes from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, who it must be noted are so thoroughly couched in leftist ideological bias that they have more recently declared people like Maajid Nawaz (a liberal Muslim) to be “anti-Muslim extremists”. In general, Loughnor can accurately described as an enthusiast of fringe politics in general, without necessarily aligning with the left or the right. Some people even blamed Sarah Palin for inspiring the shooting simply because of her use of a target symbol in an electoral map. Needless to say, this was a stretch.

 

Dylann Roof

At face value, it would seem fairly obvious that Dylann Roof’s massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AE Church was an act of pure radical white nationalist ideology and nothing else. I am, of course, not going to contest the idea that he was motivated by extreme racist ideology – after all, the evidence for his ideological persuasion is clear as day – but I submit that there is another motive at work, one that may be decidedly less obvious compared to his ideological persuasion.

If you read his manifesto you find will find, perched alongside the ideological material,  an obvious signifier of profound narcissism. As expected from a militant white supremacist, he believed that black people presented a threat to American society and needed to gotten rid of, but towards the end of the last page of the manifesto he proclaims that no one is doing anything about it other than talking on the Internet, and so he states that “Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”. This to me is Dylann positioning himself as the lone savior of the white race. For him, only he can save America from racial impurity. Not to mention, the idea that he had some kind of “racial awakening” to me harks back to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s concept of “self-awareness” – a profound “knowledge” of the world around them that no one else had. He claims he attained this “awakening” after Googling black on white crime following the George Zimmerman verdict, and he claimed to have become “completely racially aware” after checking out the website for a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens and looking up black on white murders in America and Europe. I can’t help but think, based on that, that he was the kind of person who either saw things in the world that have been spun by radical ideology and not necessarily reflective of the truth, or simply did not look at the larger picture of things and focused on very small details.

Other than that, recently released documents introduce the element of Dylann’s possible mental abnormality. They suggest that Dylann had suffered a combination of social anxiety disorder, schizoid personality disorder, mixed substance abuse disorder, possible autism and a history of depression. It is suggested that Dylann suffered from various symptoms associated with autism that may have cast doubt on his mental competency to stand trial, and that he had a high IQ that was compromised by an inability to process information and a poor working memory. They also entail that it was revealed in an investigation that Dylann was extremely socially isolationistic, pre-occupied with fallacious health concerns, used narcotics, possessed firearms and believed his life was falling apart. However, Dylann was deemed by the court to be mentally competent enough to stand trial and he chose to represent himself, apparently to block his legal team from presenting evidence of his mental health issues. His reasoning for this may have something to do with the fact that he viewed his reputation, rather than his actions themselves, as the most important thing, which one would argue is a fruitless endeavor considering that almost no one holds him in high esteem for his actions.

 

Seung-Hui Cho

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One of a number of individuals who is claimed to be part of an alleged current of right-wing terrorism in the United States of America, Cho was born in South Korea before emigrating to the United States. He was responsible for the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, in which he killed 33 people (including himself) at the campus of the Virginia Tech university. He sent a “manifesto” of sorts to MSNBC before the shooting, in which he outlines his motivations for what would become the Viriginia Tech shooting. In the “manifesto”, he lambastes the people he sees as “the rich kids”, accusing them of being sadistic, debaucherous, hedonistic, and fraudulent and of being rapists and lovers of terrorism, and he views himself as being abused by the world around him whilst positioning himself as the savior of the “Weak and Defenceless”. There are also multiple religious references in the manifesto in question, particularly towards Christianity. He also viewed Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers, as martyrs who laid down their lives in order to claim vengeance from what he calls the “Apostles of Sin”. Some even thought Cho was a Muslim because he identified himself as Ax Ismail, Ismail being the Arabic name for the Biblical figure known as Ishmael. Despite the religious tone of manifesto, however, Cho himself apparently hated his parents’ sense of religiosity, and when asked if he had religious beliefs his answer seemed to be no.

Cho had undergone psychiatric evaluation by court order after he was deemed to be a danger to himself and others. A report that was produced on Cho’s mental health concluded that he suffered from extreme social anxiety, depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, aggressive personality tendencies, and the loss of positive influences (including coordination between his school, therapist and psychiatrist) that had in his school years. Apparently the campus authorities at Virginia Tech were warned about his mental instability, but it seemed the warnings had gone unheeded. It is also possible that he was motivated by a sense of jealousy and rage sparked by his romantic advances towards a woman named Emily Hilscher having been turned down. To me, he also comes off as somewhat narcissistic; after all, how exaggerated must your sense of self-importance be for you to position yourself as the savior of the weak, helpless and downtrodden when in reality you’re a terminally depressed loner or something? Still, in his manifesto he makes it sound like he was raped by his friends in some kind of orgy, and I have to wonder what the hell inspired his writings, if not for a kind of pre-existing insanity or mental instability.

 

Charles Andrew Williams

Dr. Langman notes that the case of Charles is replete with contradictory information, particularly as some of Charles’ own statements are contradicted by other statements he made. It doesn’t help that it has recently come to light that Charles views himself as an “awesome liar”. It has been widely reported in the media that Charles was a good and wholesome kid who was pushed into becoming a serial killer by bullies. However, it had also emerged that Charles was actually a troublesome kid who was cocky, disregarded authority and delighted in breaking social norms through mischief. He apparently abused drugs, started fires (though Charles himself has no recollection of this), solicited the theft of alcohol, stole drugs and hung around with other delinquents who would later grow up to be criminals. Despite this, however, he managed to make it seem to others like he was a good kid. Whenever he was questioned about trying to “pull a Columbine”, he laughed. When he was taken into custody after the attack, he appeared to be calm, cold and nonchalant, demonstrating a lack of remorse for his actions. It is likely, therefore, that Charles was pretty much a psychopath, one with a history of delinquent behavior rather than simply having been bullied into becoming a monster. Furthermore, Charles has claimed to have been egged on into committing the attack by friends, but it appears to be more likely that he just shifted the blame for the massacre onto other people.

 

Conclusion

There are many more mass shooters besides the ten presented in this post, but what is clear is that all ten of these seemed to have suffered from various mental issues. Many were extremely depressed, some were clearly psychopathic, a number of them have expressed a deep seated hatred of humankind, some were schizophrenic, some were narcissistic enough to view themselves as gods or saviors who would bring salvation or judgement down upon us in a hail of bullets, and there was a tendency among them to feel isolated, hopeless and desperate. In the case of some of them their mental health problems were known to parents and experts and it was given treatment for a while, until the parents took them off the treatment, either because it they thought they no longer needed it or because they thought it produced unwelcome side-effects. In the case of some others, their mental health problems were never known to their parents or some of their peers. But all of the shooters had profound problems with their psyche, and had severe psychological problems before they resorted to mass violence. And it is likely that they weren’t driven by one single problem either. The shooters had multiple profound issues and problems that guided their respective personalities. Personally, in doing the research for this post, I have also come to the opinion that these people generally don’t just snap out of the blue, but rather that their problems develop for years before they finally kill scores of people.

Of course it should be noted that not all mentally ill are violent, and many mentally ill people may nonetheless not be driven to commit atrocities. However, there are enough murderers who are profoundly mentally disturbed to suggest that there is problem with mental health in the United States. In fact, it is no secret that there is a problem with mental health in the United States. There is a researcher at Yale that, I think, makes a very salient point in one of the articles I linked here:  he says “When mental illness is well-treated in society, patients are not necessarily more violent. But when they go untreated and they are allowed to become severely ill, then we’re seeing a larger share of violence being committed by mentally-ill individuals. That violence is different in nature, because it’s often unpredictable — it’s often based on delusions.”. I wonder, just how well are the mentally ill being treated in America?

 

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Why Milo Yiannopoulos deserves to be named LGBT Person of the Year

This is just magical. Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor and political provocateur of our time, has won the title of LGBT Person of the Year, awarded by LGBTQ Nation. And you know what, I think that’s great.

It’s not because he is a great intellectual, or even a great conservative intellectual – if you want that, I would recommend you check out Ben Shapiro, Larry Elder or Thomas Sowell. It’s because he is a person who breaks conventions and pisses off all the right people. This is a gay man, and flamboyantly so in fact, who rejects the familiar left-wing LGBT identity politics, supporting conservatism, right-wing populism and Donald Trump instead. He often visits universities in order to give speeches, and finds himself heckled by riotous, authoritarian-minded students. For this, he is a rebellious figure and a destroyer of safe spaces and the intellectual conformity that so infects modern Western universities like a cancer. Sometimes, this has even meant putting himself at risk of physical assault, as was almost the case at DePaul University, where he had his platform stolen by an anti-Trump activist who accosted him on stage and the security at DePaul had failed to prevent this from this happening. Even after being removed from Twitter, accused of sending people to harass actress Leslie Jones (it all started when she reacted to his scathing review of the new Ghostbusters film), he tells the media that he’ll continue to be as offensive as people. As a renowned “troll”, one of the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump you could think of, and the face of conservative populism, he has become one of the great bogeymen of today’s political climate. In fact, Complex describes him as one of the worst people of 2016 (on their mostly shitty list). So him being interviewed by Out (another gay magazine), being nominated for Person of the Year, and him getting a publishing deal with Simon and Schuster for his new book, Dangerous, which managed to outsell The Princess Diarist by the late Carrie Fisher, is a major shock to the media and its culture. “How could such a vile hatemonger be so successful in our society?” is surely a question going through people’s minds, and rather witless question at that I might add.

Here’s to the most fabulous supervillain on the Internet. Shadilay, my dudes.

Dear Sarah Vine and Mared Parry: You’re both fools

I’ve been made aware of an article on a youth news website called The Tab, the title of which is “‘Today’s young women’ can do as they please, Sarah Vine”, which seems to be a response to an article by Sarah Vine on The Daily Mail, everyone’s favorite conservative-leaning newspaper. I’ve chosen to highlight the two articles so that I can illustrate two sides of what seems to be two clashing sets of cultural/social views, both of which I find to be wanting.

First, let’s talk about Sarah Vine’s article. I’m honestly not sure if fear-mongering is the appropriate word. Vine introduces her article by talking about the effect of New Year’s Eve drunkenness on our public health service. To be fair, this is a valid point. We in the UK have a National Health Service, a publicly funded healthcare service established by the government – in other words, propped up by the taxpayer. According to the NHS, misuse of alcohol costs the service £3.5 billion each year. So it is indeed quite costly for our healthcare system. She goes on to say that the images of drunken revelers that plaster her very article paint a picture of a Britain that is in the grip of a binge-drinking culture. At this point I should point out that, according to the Office of National Statistics, binge drinking is actually down, not up. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of binge drinking adults has decreased from 29% to 18%. I don’t know where Vine gets the idea that we live in a binge drinking culture – other than, perhaps, the same place that today’s feminists get the idea that we live in a rape culture. She also seems to lament how, in her opinion, it’s women who seem to get drunk the most. I haven’t found anything to corroborate her point, because none of the statistics I’ve found seem to say anything about the gender of the people getting drunk.

So after some moral porn about women getting drunk, we come to a rather peculiar point:

And you know the worst of it? When they regain consciousness the next day, long after the street cleaners have washed away the vomit and other unmentionables, long after the St John Ambulance crews have packed up and gone home, long after the last Jagerbombs have been necked and the empties put out for recycling, they won’t be embarrassed or ashamed.

They won’t wince at the mortifying humiliation of it all, the ghastly, dehumanising shambles; they won’t be filled with remorse or self-loathing.

They’ll just congratulate themselves on a great night out, hoot with laughter at the state they got themselves in, maybe even share their snaps on social media, swap hangover horror stories with friends. It makes me want to weep.

Are you kidding me? You mean you have nothing to say about the inevitable hangovers that these people got on New Year’s Day? If your description of the binge drinking on New Year’s Eve is anything to go by, it ought to be a bitch of a hangover. The dehydration, the headaches, the feeling of irritation and the sensitivity to the light of day must be quite profound in those people in such an event. At the very least, they’ll have that to regret. But what Vine doesn’t appear to understand is that such regret doesn’t last forever. Why should it? I mean sure, people behave disgracefully when they get drunk, even more so when they binge drink, but it’s no reason to constantly weep over having spent the night getting drunk. Also, it’s New Year’s Eve. I kind of expect people to get themselves drunk. I don’t like the idea of people getting drunk, but I can see why people would revel in such a way to mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. And, as a student, I can tell you that people sharing drinking and hangover stories is pretty normal, and I’m sure it’s entertaining in some way. The only thing I actually find to be truly degenerate is sharing the snaps on social media.

There’s not much more for me to say about this article because most of it is still moral pornography on her part. There is her claim that the number of alcohol related deaths in women is currently 2,838, up from 1,334. There’s no source to this claim, so I feel inclined to point out that according to the Office of National Statistics, men are more likely to die from alcohol related deaths than women, at a rate of 19.5 deaths per 100,000 males compared to 9.6 deaths per 100,000 females. I don’t understand why she cries about women being uniquely at risk from binge-drinking culture other than what I can only assume is the kind of gynocentric virtue-signalling classically associated with social conservatism.

Now, let’s move on to Mared Parry. And right from the beginning I take umbrage with her perspective. The sub-headline of the article makes the assertion that girls who get themselves blind drunk and behave disgracefully as a result are an inspiration.

What is this bullshit!? Binge drinking isn’t something to be proud of! I’ll grant that getting drunk can be excused once in a while, but it’s not necessarily a positive thing to do. But it seems that Parry is here to tell us that the opposite is the case. She thinks that Vines’ typical “think of the women” virtue-signalling article amounts to telling women that they should be ashamed to be alive, which strikes me as saying that getting wasted is somehow the epitome of life itself. And trust me: she glamorizes binge drinking, to the point that she is capable of unironically declaring pictures of people being drunk to “masterpieces”. And I’m sure they are masterpieces to anyone who is completely devoid of the ability to appreciate actual fine art (and I don’t mean the nonsense I see in the fine art department at my university). She claims to agree with Vine that binge drinking, on the whole, is awful, whilst simultaneously glossing over what literally is binge drinking on the grounds that “it’s just women having a good time”. To me you just don’t go from “binge drinking floozies are an inspiration to women everywhere” to “yes, binge drinking is generally awful” without sounding hypocritical. In fact, she is actually less concerned about Vine drumming up hysteria about binge drinking culture and more concerned with the fact that Vine is a woman writing an article about women getting drunk. I sense the virtue-signalling is just as strong in Parry as it is in Vine. And as for her complaint about young men not being shamed for getting drunk? Who gives a shit other than Suzanne Moore in The Guardian? I can think of a better reason for pictures of women getting piss drunk lathering the papers than “sexist media”. You know what that is? It sells papers, particularly to an audience that might be more conservative as is probably the case in The Daily Mail. It’s more moral pornography than sexism, and I can see it from space. You’d have to be ignorant not to.

I can see how Parry just jumped on the Vine’s “post-feminist society” line by accusing of her of – drum roll, dramatic silence – internalized misogyny. From that accusation alone you can glance that aside from this being vapid apologia for binge drinking, it’s also feminist bullshit. Oh and don’t forget to accuse “sniffling, shaming, middle-aged journalists in general” assuming that the mainstream media is dominated by conservative pearl-clutchers while completely ignoring the pearl-clutchers on the left, who do the same thing only from an opposite perspective. And again, I love how she says “no one should be getting drunk to the point of incontinence”, whilst at the very beginning of the article praising binge-drinking women as inspirations. Is there any consistency at all to this bullshit? While I do ultimately agree that getting drunk is kind of inevitable and isn’t necessarily evil, there’s not much you can say to support the idea that it’s a good thing other than “YOLO” – the mating call of every social media-addled imbecile who sees little more to his/her life than his/her own incontinence and vapidity.

Speaking of inconsistency, Parry claims that she isn’t angered by these articles whilst at the beginning she claims that reading Vine’s article made her red with anger. That seems like cognitive dissonance to me. And if there’s no point to reading articles like that, why are you triggered enough by the article to even write a response? If all you think it does is make you laugh, then, again, why did you say it made you red with anger? This whole article was garbage, through and through.

And the reason I’m saying this, the reason I’m even talking about this, is because I want to talk about how detestable it is to declare binge drinking as anything to be celebrated, while also calling out the other side. One side whips up a regular hysteria about Britain being under the spell of binge drinking culture, which they seem to do every year if you’ve been paying attention, while the other takes the same angle and fucking celebrates it whilst half-assedly pretending not to. In other words, one is emblematic of finger-wagging social conservatism, and the other is brainless YOLO culture.

Sarah Vine, we are not trapped in the grips of the kind of binge drinking that you and your paper seem to think we are to the point that we need to be saved by good old Christian values. So get over your tired virtue-signalling act, you dollar store prohibitionist.

Mared Parry, being drunk may be normal, but binge drinking is not the greatest thing in the world and being drunk is not inspirational. So stop pretending that women who get blind drink are positive role models, you ditzy, hypocritical, overly permissive hack.

A picture of a scene of drunkenness in Swansea from a Daily Mail article from two years ago, when they said the same thing about 2014.

A picture of a scene of drunkenness in Swansea from a Daily Mail article from two years ago, when they said the same thing about 2014.


Sarah Vine’s article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4080750/Pictures-make-weep-today-s-young-women-SARAH-VINE-British-society-grip-binge-drinking-culture.html

Mared Parry’s article: http://thetab.com/uk/2017/01/03/todays-young-women-can-please-sarah-vine-29021?utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=recommendednext&utm_medium=popular

Best wishes this holiday season.

I just want to take the time to spread best wishes on this day of the year.

Merry Christmas

Happy Yule

Happy Saturnalia

Happy Holidays

May good tidings be upon you this season, and unto the new year.

This will not be the last post I publish for 2016. The last post I write for 2016 will be a retrospective on the current year and my thoughts on it, and some “New Year’s resolutions”, dare I say it for lack of a better term. For now, enjoy the rest of this day.

Time for a happy Winter “Mass”

Today is the end of the first part of my third year of university. I break up for three weeks of winter holidays after having finished a VIVA presentation and having to hand in two written assignments, including a dissertation (or about as close as a 6000 word document gets to a dissertation on my course). It’s been a lot of work, and I think I’ve been progressively busier as the months went by until I opted to just get my shit together with the written assignments.

Now I honestly just want to begin the winter holidays and get into the spirit of the Winter Mass – my own name for the Christmas holiday season, or rather the time between the start of the winter solstice and New Year’s Day. Basically this means I start doing nothing other than try to have as much fun as possible, especially given that this has been quite a year for me. Yes, I ask not much more of 2016 than playing video games, playing my guitar, and some reading I didn’t do, interspersed with a lot of movies. There’s still plenty of time for future blog posts between now and the time when I have to get back to work again, which will of course be some time in January 2017. Essentially, I’m going into festive mode as it were, and I plan to enjoy the fruits of a long fucking year.

Progress: Part 2 – What world do we want to live in?

This is the second part of Progress: Part 1 – The march of technology, and this post is essentially me ranting about the kind of world we’re progressing in.

We live in a world in an age of relative prosperity compared to the past and the development of technology is accelerating rapidly, but I suspect there is also an increased sense of alienation among the modern generation – despite the fact that, supposedly, we’re all connected. The amount of times I see people staring blankly at their mobile phones at a time and place where they could otherwise be connecting with the outside world makes me think that we are in fact alienated by technology from the rest of the world. The mobile phones to me a wall that everyone puts up around themselves, inviting only the influences of their social media contacts. And that’s another thing: today’s culture is very social media driven, self-evidently so. The amount of pandering I see to social media culture from the world of television seems to me to be proof of that.

We are losing the millennial generation to postmodernism, which has gained too much influence and overreached significantly, and thus we may yet lose the world. In postmodernism, there is no meaning whatsoever, objectivity is worthless and there is no point to reality because truth is only a construction, as are any positive values. When you have a culture dominated by this sort of thing, there is no value to anything you do, because that value is surely a falsehood in that culture. I think this will ultimately generate nihilism, and extreme hedonism – that is, people living only for the pursuit of material pleasures whilst thinking only of themselves being gratified, without a thought for the world around them, even in the immediate and local sense. We’re already on the cusp of this in popular culture mind you. It’s so bad that you’ve got media outlets that actually go about advocating for pedophilia as the focal point of a new rights revolution.

Consumerism and celebrity culture dominates popular culture, and modern popular music is filled to the brim with talentless, meaningless garbage, a lot of which seems to revolve around certain notions of “love”, sex and partying. The sex and partying stuff wouldn’t actually be too much of a problem for me if (a) it wasn’t so shallow, (b) there was any talent whatsoever backing it up, (c) it weren’t everywhere and (d) I didn’t see that get passed down to our children. And yet contrasting this we also have a moral puritanism championed but a vocal minority whose ideas somehow have significant influence over our mainstream political culture. I am of course talking about the regressive left. They bleat on about how racism is everywhere you look even when it’s not, how misogyny is the air that we breathe even though we are more protective of the feelings of women than we are concerned for the needs of young men, view their moral judgement as infallible even when in reality it is deeply flawed and they view culture as something to be policed and purified, and especially segregated based on ethnic background (for instance, the idea that only black people can wear dreadlocks because they somehow own dreadlocks), rather than freely transmitted throughout society as it naturally would in a free and open environment. These people are also fond of dividing people on lines of race, gender and sexuality, and determining the worth of individuals based on identity.

And now we have a world where a person is worth more than another solely because he is of a certain race, a certain sex, a certain sexual orientation or any “gender identity” that’s not actually a gender and we’re expected to give them adulation and praise simply for their existence, not for any meritorious actions. It’s to the point where one of the most corrupt politicians America knows can be put forth as a virtuous politician because of the fact that she’s female. In addition to this, the relations between the genders are fractured by third wave feminism, and the ideological moral scares that they put out and the talking points spread through modern universities/colleges, to the point that men seem to be opting out of relationships with women, because they view modern women as undesirable to them for various reasons, or because they feel women have started becoming too demanding, perhaps emboldened by the new ideology, and creating new rules for the game that are unfair towards them, wanting to have their cake and eat it too as the MP Phillip Davis pointed out (note that his condemnation by the press and the middle class commentariat class demonstrates how taboo this perspective is). This is, of course, leading to the rise of things like MGTOW, a social movement where the prime directive, so to speak, is for men to never engage in relationships with women – essentially, a sort of self-imposed bachelordom, and pornography, while I have no real problem with it on its own, is essentially an escape from all of this – after all, why deal with whatever crap you think the search for love will always foist upon you when the women in porn will never judge you on account of the fact that they can’t? Thanks to third wave feminism becoming an accepted meme in mainstream culture, and in politics, gender politics has become acceptable when it shouldn’t. It is generating social problems by eroding any harmony that would otherwise exist between the sexes. And given that things like sexbots are on the way, it makes me think that in the future, not only will a balanced relationship between the genders be impossible, but people will also not be bothered to address those issues, and the value of intimacy between two human beings will decline as the sexbot undoubtedly will be servile in pleasuring every desire a human could have.

The West is also burned out on organized religion having become sick of its wretched authoritarianism and the evils that come with it, thus religion in general is on the decline. But while I think the decline of organized religions such as Christianity is overall a good thing, I fear that we have yet to fill the void with anything over than pure materialism and consumerism, and suffice it to say I am not impressed with some of the spiritual alternatives that are usually presented to us. I personally would prefer paganism, humanism, Luciferianism (well, obviously), Satanism, various forms of occultism as well as the Eastern religions to some extent as valid sources of spirituality as an alternative to both the corpse of Western organized religion and the swamp of consumerism that looks set to replace it. Hell, I would even accept primitive animism over those two choices. But perhaps the simplest alternative would probably be restoring Man’s connection with Nature in some sense, given that Man may become increasingly divorced from nature by the rapid acceleration of technology.

Currently, the political pendulum is swung to the left, which means progressive ideals are very much current year. Unfortunately, not only is progressivism the high faith of the political and media class, but progressivism has also gone off the deep end. It has embraced the evils of cultural Marxism, identity politics and collectivism and, through its ascendancy as an establishment ideology, has become the outlook of the armchair intellectual (or pseudo-intellectual that is) its adherents have become antipathetic towards the working class who they claim to champion. Much of the media is unable to see how far-gone it is, with Joe Scarborough being the only sane man in the MSM and the conflict of interest that has arisen because of its collusion with the powers that be. Instead of putting their feet to the fire at all times, the mainstream media is practically in bed with the powers that be and their desire for influence and profit has overridden any sense of journalistic ethics. And instead of realizing that it has failed to do its job of informing the public as an honest broker, the mainstream media has decided to wage war on “fake news”. In theory, this is a campaign against things like ads disguised as news. But in practice, it is nothing more than mainstream media outlets waging a war on other media outlets that were critical of Hillary Clinton, as the lists made on so-called fake news seem to corroborate. I’d argue that if you want to go after fake news, why not target Buzzfeed, Indy100 or The Mary Sue? It’s essentially click-bait garbage dressed up as news, and I’m pretty sure Buzzfeed has native advertising.

And let me tell you how rotten our political establishment is. Last weekend Fidel Castro, the communist dictator of Cuba, died of old age after having apparently survived numerous attempts on his life. The man impoverished his own people, made them afraid to speak out against him, disdained the concept of a fair trial and preferred instead to execute people by firing squad, and his government rounded up gay people and put them into work camps (totally not what a Nazi would do, right?), because he viewed homosexuality as “counterrevolutionary”, all while serving as a thorn on the side of the West especially during the Cuban missile crisis. His legacy is that of a country where political opposition is not tolerated, and hospitals that are so shitty and wretched that I am disgusted that Michael Moore had the nerve to suggest that Cuba was a model of benevolent healthcare back in 2006, and now that Castro is dead the Cuban government mandated that every Cuban mourn his death. No wonder the Cuban exiles are figuratively dancing upon his grave. He was a tyrant, by any definition. And yet what do our world leaders do? They put a fucking halo on him! How is it that this murderous man can be treated with praise and dignity by the leaders of the free world? He does not deserve any dignity for the way he has ruled over human beings. And to me surprise, Donald Trump is the only one condemning him and speaking truth to power in the process. I am sick to death of demonstrably evil (fuck nuance for once, we know he’s a monster) people being treated with any kind of dignity. Last year Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the then king of Saudi Arabia, died. This was the monarchical ruler of a brutal theocracy guided by the tenets of sharia law and strict Islamic faith. What did my country do? We lowered our flag to mourn him! We mourned a foreign despot who, by all means, should not be treated with any modicum of respect. It made my blood boil to see that. I am so tired of people being cucked so hard that they either ignore the evils that they would otherwise see, or ignore it outright, or even twist it so that somehow it’s not evil, even though it actually is evil! That’s how reprehensible the establishment is – we wine and dine the very people who, on a moral level, we should be shunning- and just one more reason it needs to be supplanted by a new order of things.

Truth be known, I suspect that a lot of the behavior and cultural sink we are suffering – the identity politics, the social justice bullshit, the folly and hollowness of popular culture – may well be a cloak for something much, much worse. Privacy is under attack in Germany and in the UK. Germany was planning on releasing a law that would prevent German citizens from finding out what data is being collected about them, while in the UK the Snooper’s Charter has been passed into law and will come into effect in short order. Not to mention, globalism (as they call it) seems to be marching on. China is talking about global governance of the Internet (which, given that America has given up control of ICANN, is a worrying sign), and the European Union is pushing for a common defense policy, an army and active military involvement while in EU member states governments are arresting people for tweets, presumably in order to suppress any dissent regarding the European project. As I see it, internationalism and globalization will eventually erode the sovereignty of existing nation states through global control of civil liberties, the rule of international corporations (who control the media and up until now have directly controlled America’s presidents) and (arguably) economic colonialism in the form of land grabbing.

Oh and let’s not forget the real scandal: our governments tend to be corrupt. Our governments tend to lie and take your money, and they’re often run by people who don’t consistently put your interests first, and they aren’t always kept in check because the average person doesn’t always care. And make no mistake, their primary interest is money, power and influence, not you most of the time.

So, that’s the look we’re looking at. And I’m honestly not sure why we talk of progress in such a situation. Oh wait. It’s probably because most of us, both on the left and the right, are too distracted by wedge issues. That’s the lens through which we see progress, unfortunately. To me, when you look past wedge issues, it looks like we’re progressing towards a world where we’ll be divorced from nature, and ourselves (through the loss of what it is to be human), we’ll have fully forsaken human wisdom, while international powers establish global power that will require authoritarianism to keep itself together.

You know, the 1976 satirical film Network is generally taken to be somewhat prophetic. I rewatched the film and there’s one speech from the main character that isn’t spread around as often as the more famous “I’m as mad as hell” speech or the “we’re in a lot of trouble” speech.

Last night I got up here and asked you people to stand up and fight for your heritage, and you did, and it was beautiful. Six million telegrams were received at the White House. The Arab takeover of CCA has been stopped. The people spoke, the people won. It was a radiant eruption of democracy. But I think that was it, fellas. That sort of thing is not likely to happen again. Because at the bottom of all our terrified souls we know that democracy is a dying giant a sick, sick, dying, decaying political concept writhing in its final pain. I don’t mean that the United States is finished as a world power. The United States is the richest and most powerful the most advanced country, light years ahead of any country. I don’t mean the communists are gonna take over the world. The communists are deader than we are. What is finished is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary, human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished. Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter than white steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods. Well, the time has come to say is “dehumanization” such a bad word? Whether it’s good or bad, that’s what is so. The whole world is becoming humanoid, creatures that look human but aren’t. The whole world, not just us. We’re just the most advanced country, so we’re getting there first. The whole world’s people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered insensate things.” – Howard Beale, Network (1976)

Does it sound familiar?

Progress: Part 1 – The march of technology

There’s one issue I have largely ignored in this modern age, one that our world may have to deal with very soon (unless we all get nuked in a proxy war that gets turned into full-blown war, hint hint): the rapid development of technology and computers, and perhaps AI. It might be because I don’t think I know a lot about the subject, but that probably doesn’t change the fact that, sooner or later, we’ll all have to deal with it.

There was a person at the university who came as a guest speaker for our morning dissertation theory session weeks ago, and he was interested in talking about the future of designers in an age where computers may eventually learn how to do a lot of the creative process for us.

Imagine it: a time where a piece of furniture would be designed by a computer or a machine that had the designer mindset and could do most of the creative process for you, and all you would do was input information and then approve or reject what the computer generates. That means you won’t be drawing any designs yourself, the machine would do that for you and you’d put in the pertinent information. Some people in the audience were worried that the role of the designer would become greatly diminished and many jobs would be lost. Honestly, I can hardly blame them, for that’s one of the first things I thought too. How can you not? It’s the same reason ordinary workers fear the rise of automation in, say, the manufacturing industry, with machines increasingly replacing human workers for menial tasks. They are concerned not because they want those jobs, but because they need those jobs in order to survive. The weird thing is it feels like the guest lecturer isn’t even denying this point. He admits that he would feel bad about his job being gone, but he just accepts it as his lot in life. I, meanwhile, would not be so gracious in his position. After all, this is my livelihood we’re talking about, and I doubt I have the personality to just accept a miserable lot because that’s now the way of the world.

Some of the ideas we talked about ranged from the actually kind of good to the absurd. From bridges made by robots that 3D-print the whole thing as they move along, to VR videos (not just movies and games, but videos) which presumably means we have the misfortune of seeing a VR version of one of Onision’s videos some time in the future, to custom-made earphones that range from $250 a piece. The last one was actually trotted out as somehow being choice that most consumers would buy, when surely the average consumer will probably buy a cheaper set for purely practical and not aesthetic reasons. On the plus side, it sounds like this involves the use of 3D modelling software to accurately model the shape (external and internal) of the consumers ear in order to fit the shape of the ear.

Predictably, we talked about AI, but not much about it. Just the inevitable concern about AI developing too rapidly to the point that machines would become our masters or we’d see a real life equivalent of Skynet taking over all machines and destroying human civilization in order to establish complete dominion over the Earth, with one person bringing up the known concerns Stephen Hawking has on the subject. I guess that sprang from the discussion of machines having the ability to learn things about the consumer at a faster rate, even to the point where machines can potentially have opinions about things (I swear to Belial I hope this doesn’t wind up affecting journalism).

The worst thing I heard floated was the idea of society governed by a machine instead of humans. When I heard that I thought “No. Just, fucking, no.”. If I think about it, this was the same kind of proposal offered by the third Zeitgeist film, Moving Forward, which I guess should tell you how utopian it is. But the main thing is: (a) I doubt there would be much liberty in a system where men are ruled by a machine that decides what it thinks is best, presumably without the consent of the governed (I am of the opinion that a machine governing everything would put democracy out of the equation) and (b), assuming we haven’t gotten to a phase where machines look after machines and make tech support obsolete, who is controlling the machine that rules humanity? I would bet money that the same kinds of corporatists, oligarchs, career politicians and owners of multinational corporations – the people whose political will is increasingly being rejected and resisted – will be the ones owning that machine or influencing its design, mainly because they will have the money to invest in such a project and will doubtless desire greater control over a populace. What better way to control people than have them be ruled by machines that do all the work, even governance, for them, especially if we get to a point where dependence on machinery makes each generation of humans dumb because the incentive to become intelligent has vanished!

One of my games design tutors actually raised an interesting point: whatever technological revolution that awaits will require an economic revolution to back that up. He said that once the jobs start going, the economy will be significantly damaged because if you don’t have jobs, you don’t have an economy. Because of that, it may become necessary for our economy to undergo a significant paradigm shift in order to adapt. I’m not much in the way of an economist – in fact, I don’t consider the subject of economics to be a strong suit of mine – but think it’s worth considering points like that. I think it is also worth considering just how much poorer we might be if we were increasingly displaced by machines, particularly when coupled with an increase in income inequality and the shrinking of the middle class. Otherwise, who is all this rapid technological advancement and automization going to benefit other than the wealthier classes of people or even just the particularly wealthy few?

Personally, I am concerned about the prospect that we may become ever more dependent on technology. I think our species has enough of an issue with this as it is with the near-universal presence of social media, the Internet and computer technology. These things can make life very convenient, but it also opens up a world of distractions and risks. I use the Internet frequently as a form of satisfying personal curiosity, writing blog posts, keeping up to date with current events and maintaining contact with my fellow students and some of my friends, including my fellow Satanists and Luciferians. Not to mention, if I’m going into the games industry, my job will most likely depend on both the Internet and computer technology. If one day those things disappeared, that’s my livelihood potentially gone. I’m going to be honest with you: it is not that hard for a dependency to develop, especially when there is no escape from the thing creating that dependency. I remember Satanicviews writing a short post in 2014 about how he felt the Satanist must stress self-sufficiency and not allow him/herself to become the same creature he sees as pathetic and helpless when deprived of Facebook, and I think this point needs to be considered more often than it does. Depending on how the technological revolution plays out, on how much more prevalent machinery and technology become in our society, I think the increased convenience offered by machines will likely make an already common problem even worse, and perhaps Man will become truly helpless. If we get to a point where technology is even able to replace intellectual pursuits. And who knows, maybe by then it’ll be too late for all but a few individuals to escape or recover from this dependency should the worst-case scenario occur and Man somehow loses access to this technology.

What also bothered me was when a colleague of mine heard my concerns and told me just “you can’t stop progress”, or how I might as well just stop using anything digital. So, if I don’t like what my government is doing I shouldn’t call the cops or the fire department? Another defense I remember hearing is”people used to be afraid of television back in the day”. People used to think that television would dumb the masses down. Almost 90 years after the birth of television, I think most programming on television is garbage, intellectually empty and easily outclassed by the kind of entertainment you can find on the Internet, with exceptions of course. Ultimately, I think the best use you have for a TV is so you can play video games on a traditional games console – which, to be fair, is still a very good thing. The problem I have is putting our options in two camps – one favoring and embracing progress, the other being the reactionary camp that says we should completely put the brakes on everything we’re doing. There’s a lot of questions we will need to answer, and my feeling is that we need to answer them carefully. I think we should adopt a more conservative approach, rather than a progressive or a reactionary one. An approach where, though we accept that certain changes will most likely be inevitable, we are willing to draw lines in the sand.

I believe that it is ultimately in the best interest of our species that we remain the dominant species on Earth for as long as possible and not be supplanted by a new intelligent being. After all, this is how we have survived as a species long enough that we can live in the civilization we have created for millennia and how we have been able to live in at least relative liberty and relative order. None of what we have achieved as a species – all the technological, intellectual, social and economic progress we have made as a species – would have been possible if our species had just stayed as hunter-gathereres living in the pure state of nature (as Locke would call it) for its entire existence. Unfortunately, our species also seems to have a habit of risking its own destruction and a penchant for always looking forward and never looking back, and it all just seems more pronounced in the modern world. I think that the only way we might realistically achieve what I would want to do is if our species, or at least a solid majority of people, became conscious enough to realize the rammifications of the technological progress we could be making if it were not guided by any kind of restraint or any ethical debate, and start taking the progress of the species in a different direction – one conducive to a positive future in which Man can work with new technology, perhaps even with AI up to a certain extent, but is still round about the pants-wearer on planet Earth, and one in which the value of human life doesn’t fade away in the way I think it might.

I hope we manage to work something out, because otherwise, we might find a future where technology has advanced too far, and mankind pays a terrible price and eventually becomes supplanted by the machine, all because we could not summon the power to control our own destiny. If that future should arrive, I’m afraid it is likely that I might be one of the reactionaries, like the kind in Steven Spielberg’s A.I., who have no qualms in destroying androids however possible. Human life to me is, and should be, more valuable than the artifical life of a robot.

Scene from A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a movie that, incidentally, really scared me when I was younger.

Scene from A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a movie that, incidentally, scared the hell out of me when I was younger.

As the title suggests, this is the first part in a short series of long posts that are connected directly by the same theme. The next post in this theme will address the theme