Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 26

(Continued from part twenty-five)

Sleeping in front of that grand window, I began a dream. And what it brought to me was something I don’t think I could have grasped to the depth I did anywhere else… that the problem with our present world is not so much mayhem and destruction, but the fact that scope of thought and scope of action are so miserably limited within it. The problem, as H.L. Mencken described in his own way, is not that life is tragic, but that it’s a bore.

The world of my space friends – of the grown-up portions of our galaxy – is unconstrained. They run from one interest to another. I don’t get the impression that it’s some silly fantasy life, but they do what they choose, and even when necessities press upon them, there is no other will being imposed, only the necessities of circumstance.

My days on the spaceship seemed to funnel into that revelation. (Yes, I know revelation is a packed word, but that’s what it was to me.) Being away – far, far away – from the billions of minds who think it’s good and right for some smooth-talking thug to order them around and take their earnings… who are confused day and night by idolatries that their neighbors are willing to suffer for and sometimes to die for… who have no inkling of the treasures they hold inside themselves.

Being clear of that, the stupidity of the present Earth life was palpable. In fact, it struck me in the dream as a particular unpleasant odor, as strange as that sounds.

Continue reading “Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 26”

Do You Have A Plan For Improving Your Spouse?

All of us with husbands and wives (mates, whatever) are perfectly positioned to make them better human beings. But it seems to me that most of us squander it. Today I’d like to help fix that.

With the possible exception of your children, there is no one you’re likely to be closer to than a spouse. And that even goes for a lot of people with problem spouses; being with someone day and night over a protracted period conveys more understanding than pretty much anything else. Along with that comes opportunity. No one can present and support more ideas; no one can better nurture attitudes; no one will have more “right times” to insert a useful word, feeling, encouragement or compliment.

And so the position of spouse can be of immense effect. What I’m suggesting today is that we use it consciously and intelligently.

I am fully certain that we can make each other better people. Wives can make their husbands better and husbands can make their wives better. No one is better placed, no one has better reason for doing it, and no one will be better able to make course corrections as they go.

This, in a better world, would be glaringly obvious to us and would come to us naturally. It doesn’t, of course, and so I’ll start by going through the major obstacles I see.

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Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 25

(Continued from part twenty-four)

The surprise, which I suppose really shouldn’t have been terribly surprising, was how the ship provided gravity. The entire environment in this ship seemed Earth-norm. And the way the ship maintained gravity was very simple: It accelerated at 1g, then the propulsion section flipped 180 degrees (see below), after which the ship decelerated at 1g. The egg remained in the same overall position, to deal with any meteoroids and debris, but the center of the egg – the part I was living in plus the shuttle bay – also rotated 180 degrees for the deceleration half of the trip1. Except for the small time spent re-configuring, the interior experienced “normal” gravity the entire time. (If that doesn’t quite make sense, please draw it out, which should clarify it for you.)

I was not, I am sorry to say, able to understand the means of propulsion very well. I suppose I simply lacked enough underlying information to make the connections. What I am more or less certain about is that it was electrical, not gravitational.

An electrical drive makes perfect sense, of course, since electrical forces are about 1030 times stronger than the force of gravity.2 I am less clear on how this system operated. They seemed to have focused their equipment on a large star, set up some type of electric field, then used it to pull themselves toward it.

The drive unit was a metal cone that remained far ahead of the egg and pulled it. I was unable to determine how the egg was attached to the drive unit. There were lines shown in the schematics, but I couldn’t read the notations. They may have been some type of cable, or perhaps something I wouldn’t have understood anyway.

I never did figure out the light source for the inside of the ship (which, given my background, you’d think I’d be best able to understand). That said, Nikola Tesla was reported to have something very much like it (illumination with visible source) in his laboratory, back around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. If this was true, and given what we know about Tesla, it would have been done with currents of very high voltage and frequency.

Continue reading “Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 25”

The Conversation We’re Not Having

Given the danger, fear and barbarism that are presently engulfing the West, I find it necessary to point out that we’ve lost something very important: We’re no longer having serious public conversations.

Granted, public conversation has never been pristine, but there was certainly more of it decades ago, and it was very often of a higher quality. Back in the day, people actually read books and spent time thinking about what might be best. There’s quite little of that these days; mostly, people seek confirmation of their biases from sources that are likewise biased.

And so, I’d like to illustrate what a serious conversation would look like, if 2020 weren’t a dark carnival.

Continue reading “The Conversation We’re Not Having”

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 24

(Continued from part twenty-three)

The galaxy was simply stunning. More engrossing, however, was the indescribable blackness that surrounded it. It was unfathomably deep, not only in color, not only in distance, but in time. I was looking at an infinity, incomprehensible but staring me in the face.

I stared until my eyes hurt. I realized that I hadn’t blinked at all, and they were watering to compensate. I pushed myself backward onto the mattress and closed my eyes. I remained there until my they felt normal again. Then I sat back up, remembering to shift my gaze from time to time, which also induced me to blink.

The galaxy secured my attention this time. My ship was at the outer fringe of it and slightly above its central plane; enough that I could see the shape of the whole, with handfuls of stars still visible above me. After a few back and forths my eyes had returned to their habit of blinking, which removed that concern from my mind.

There were so, so many stars. The estimates I’ve heard are a hundred billion, and I believe it. Everywhere I looked there were stars upon stars upon stars, deeper than I could see and I’m not sure how much deeper after that. But this was not like looking at a photo of stars; these were real, unmistakably round, each with its own position, brightness and contrast with nearby stars… and nearly all, I knew, had planets around them. The effect went beyond any photo of any resolution.

Continue reading “Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 24”

On Rigging Elections

There’s presently a lot of discussion about rigging elections, and so I’d like to make a few things clear. I’ll do that with a few, brief points and stories:

#1: Every significant election involves vote rigging. The incentives and the emotions assure it. The local election judge knows what he or she can get away with, and 1 of x times, he or she will. That’s just the nature of the beast, and no faction is immune to it.

#2: Political organizations always steal or add votes. Whether it’s stuffing a ballot box, tossing away votes from the precinct that votes for the opponent, or a thousand variants, this happens all the time. Again, the incentives are all for it, as is the arrogance of party: We’re the righteous ones and our opponents are crazy, ignorant and dangerous.

#3: Big operators rig elections with superior assets. The big players tend to develop manipulation strategies like Google campaigns or psycholinguistic-based TV adds (bending the masses to their will), but they play dirty too. Not only do they have financial motives (favorable laws are immensely profitable), but they love the feeling of owning politicians.


Again, briefly, I want to give you a couple of stories.

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The Wages of Perpetual Fear

I’ve gone on for a long time about fear making humans stupid, and even about it being a weapon and a brain poison. But I’ve also wondered at times whether people would hit fear-fatigue… that point where people have simply had enough fear and walk out from under it.

As it turns out, however, I was a bit optimistic on fear fatigue. I’ve been reading Robert Sapolsky’s newest book, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best And Worst, and was disappointed to learn what the best new research shows on the long-term application of fear. (Or, in the academic terminology, sustained stress.)

My disappointment, however, was soon tempered by two things:

  1. I gained information on how fear poisoning works.

  2. That human neurology is immensely variable, that there are exceptions to everything, and that if the whole picture were actually as dark as the most troubling findings, we’d have devolved into nothing but murderous monkeys long ago.

I barely need to say this, but 2020 has been The Year of Fear. I’m a bit amazed by the extent of it. There is a certain appeal to soaking up all the fear stories in normal times – our ability to look evil in the eye makes us appear vibrant – but 2020 has pushed far beyond that level. What we’re encountering is much more than simple fear porn, and there are certain outlets (including websites) that I can only describe as obscene.

This is more destructive than people realize.

Continue reading “The Wages of Perpetual Fear”

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 23

(Continued from part twenty-two)

As it happened, the “shuttle bay” was the one thing our sci-fi shows right, or close enough to it. There was a big door, lights and alarms warning of upcoming depressurization, and the ship did look like a Star Trek shuttle, or perhaps the Runabout. (It was also made of the white/pink metal.)

I saw Jens into the ship and went back upstairs (the shuttle bay was one level below), then watched him leave through the window, which I had time to un-dim.

But once he left my field of view (in the down direction, which was odd), I dimmed the window again. I wanted to plan my time, because Jens was right, looking out that window would grab and consume my attention.

I sat at the table and took stock of myself,, and the first thing I realized was that a fair amount of sleepiness was bleeding through my excitement. And so I decided to get my body ready before I did anything else. I opened the window just a little, went to the bathroom, poured some water, found a blanket in a closet Jens showed me and turned the lights off. I lay myself down, with the galaxy as my night-light. I had to turn away from it to sleep – not because of the light, but because of the ecstasy I felt looking at it – and slept for several hours at least.

* * * * *

I woke up slowly, feeling a need to pull the pillow out from under my head and to lay fully flat on my back. And laying there I began to feel my joints relax. This was a surprise. When Jens mentioned relaxing, I thought of my muscles, not my joints.

My knees were first, with an instant surge of a surprising and even troubling intensity. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I felt a sort of burning or electrified ring around and through my knee joint. It was the type of thing that at a lower level might be almost pleasant – and in no way did it feel harmful – but it was intense to the point of discomfort, albeit a type of discomfort I couldn’t define.

The most precise comparison I have is to an electric shock from a DC power source, rather than our usual AC power. The pain of a DC electrification was absent, but the feel of the continuous (non-alternating) power was similar. I’m not sure this description will help many readers, but those who have worked with old-style DC motors should gain some understanding from it.

The effect on my knees was intense enough that I squirmed in response, after which it stopped. I worried that I had stopped it prematurely and tried to summon it back, but unsuccessfully. And so I lay there for a few minutes, first forgiving myself then glancing at my galactic night-light to cleanse my psyche a bit.

Then I felt it in my hip joints. To be precise, I was feeling the extreme top of my femurs, where they joined my hip. This I felt longer, but at less intensity. And I should add that I felt it to the ultimate, deepest portions of those joints. (While writing this I’m feeling it again, though not as strongly.)

As Jens said, this was unexpected. As yet I’m unsure what it signifies or why it was the first thing to strike me.

* * * * *

I remained in bed for some time after my joints relaxed (or whatever it was that they did), trying to relax the rest of me as best I could. I have some relaxation techniques I’ve developed over the years, and this seemed like a good time to employ them. Seldom do I have time enough in my normal life.

I relaxed more deeply than I would have expected, but the impression I got was that this environment would allow me to unfold gently and slowly. Perhaps, then, what I felt in my biggest joints was the first creaking open of the whole.

In any case I was out of bed about an hour after waking up. I showered, cleaned my teeth with something akin to a water-pick, and made some of the coffee drink. I undimmed the window about half way and decided that I should eat something before giving it my full attention.

I rummaged through the refrigerator and found a meal pack that Jens said was close to bacon and eggs. I heated it and ate it with my back to the window. And there I planned my few days on this ship. A wrote my plan on the notepad I used previously, wondering if my plan would survive its first engagement with the window, but it hardly mattered at this point. I was here, I was stable, and I would be back home in a few days. I finished my food, went to the bathroom, re-cleaned my teeth and came back to the main room.

Before I opened the window all the way, I pulled up the schematics Jens had shown me (on a flat plasma screen very much like ours), pulled up my pillow and mattress and dragged them to the window (both had been held in place with the smooth Velcro), then walked back to the console, keeping my back to the window. I rechecked my body, seeing if it needed anything (it didn’t), then opened the window and turned off the light. All that remained was the low illumination of some buttons on the console.

I sat on my mattress with my eyes closed. (The chairs were bolted/riveted to the floor and I didn’t want to spend time figuring out how to release them.) I took several deep breaths to even myself out, and then opened my eyes.

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Why Idealism Leads to Death

With violent idealists roaming streets, burning things, enjoying the fact that they can scare people and so on, I think a brief explanation of how idealism leads to death (and frequently to mass death) is in order.

The Two Models

There are two primary models of seeing the world that have been duking it out for a long, long time. They were most famously embodied in the rift between Plato and Aristotle, well over 2,000 years ago. Both men had their errors (this was a long time ago, after all), but each came up with a basic model of viewing the world. I’m simplifying, of course, but here they are in essence:

Aristotle: We should look at the things that are (aka, reality), make sense of it and draw useful conclusions from it.

Plato: Everything we see is a weak version of the real and glorious things that are beyond us. We should seek the ideal, and bring ourselves toward it.

Our Western civilization, as it formed in late antiquity, tended to take Aristotle’s path, focusing mainly on reality. The Roman Church – after it gained real power centuries later – took a very Platonic course, but they had to give up a good deal of that after about 1200 AD. (Thomas Aquinas, etc.)

And so we’ve been a civilization more in tune with Aristotle than with Plato. Idealism, however, reverses that, and has brought masses of people back to Plato’s way. And while it tends to sound good (“lets hold to the higher principles”), when mixed with human weaknesses – and especially when mixed with power – it leads to dark and deadly places.

To explain why this is so, I’m going to use a wonderful but academic passage written by Harry J. Hogan, from his introduction to The Evolution of Civilizations. I’ll pull pieces out of the quote and then elaborate:

In a Platonistic society, social arrangements are molded to express a rigidly idealized version of reality.”

This is why the Bolsheviks killed all the other socialists.

In a group of humans holding to a higher principle, the principle quickly becomes rigid, and the people become rigid. If you espouse a variant of their belief, you are immediately seen as an enemy. You can find this in more or less every idealistic group.

If your ideal is the great one, anyone who distracts from it is pulling people away from Truth. By so doing, they are destroying anyone who listens to them and they are destroying the future of humanity.

Once real-life humans take a principle as perfect, this is what you get. It’s how you get self-righteous college students and kindergarten teachers breaking windows and terrorizing kids.

Such institutionalization would not have the flexibility to accommodate to the pressures of changing reality.” 

By holding your principle as high and perfect, you are also making a claim to perfect knowledge. Real humans, however, do not possess perfect, god-like information. That isn’t to say we’re stupid or defective, but we just don’t have perfect knowledge, and pretending we do has to lead us into dangerous places.

Bear in mind also that science proper (not the kind beloved by politicians) was the opposite; it held “we could still be wrong about this” as a fundamental and eternal principle.

Idealism cannot bend, cannot adapt, cannot accommodate itself to better concepts. Humans change, and endlessly.

Western civilization… is engaged in a constant effort to understand reality.”

This is our model: Looking at reality, attempting to understand it, adapt to it, and if possible use it to our benefit. This model is wide open to differing and even clashing ideas, to infinite experimentation and to endless growth.

Within Aristotle’s model, then, reform is always possible.

Does All Idealism Kill?

All ideals held rigidly can kill and will in certain circumstances. Holding principles as stars to guide by, however, is something very different.

The principle used as a guide is not a claim to perfect knowledge. Rather, it is “the highest and best we can currently make out.” And that is a fine thing to steer by; we need only remember that we came to that principle with incomplete knowledge.

And so a human-friendly principle, like proper scientific findings, remains open to future clarification and modification. That is honest, non-arrogant and useful.

The Idealists Are The New Barbarians

Idealism tends to spawn clannishness, disgust for “the other,” and soon enough collective guilt and the death that follows it. This is what has flowered in 2020 AD. Under the new idealist model, white people are inherently defective and need to be put out or put down. (After a good fleecing, of course).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, any institution or corporation that has bowed to cancel culture has gone over to the barbarians… who are also the idealists.

There’s a lot more to be said on this subject (and I say a good deal of it in my book Production Versus Plunder), but in practical terms, this is enough. And the idealists on the news are barbarians.

None of us possesses perfect knowledge, and by arrogantly imagining that we do, we spawn death.

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

Comments from readers:

“This is the most amazing little book I have read on history in 36 years of reading history.”

“It will change the way you look at nearly everything.”

“I will flat out say that this is the best history book I have ever read… I am fairly well read, but I learned a tremendous amount that I hadn’t known before or hadn’t aligned so that it made sense.”

“This is the best and clearest description of the history of Western civilization I have ever read.”

“Packed with insights on every page concerning how the world came to be the way it is and what we might expect in the future.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 22

(Continued from part twenty one)

Over the next hour or so, Jens showed me how to find food, water and so on. Everything was similar to our Earth supplies, but none of it identical. The ship had, in the cooking station, a refrigerator, a stove and a sink. Again, they were all close enough to use but not the same. He went on to show me how to control the lighting and the window, the bathroom and the shower. I made a few notes just so I didn’t spend too much mental energy on remembering, but they really weren’t necessary.

Jens also explained that this ship had been a mystery to his world for a long time. It had simply showed up in his star system, empty, spawning some variation of the Flying Dutchman mystery. They had reverse-engineered its course fairly well over the subsequent years, but this visit gave Jens a chance to improve their calculations and follow the ship back more precisely. Maybe even to learn what happened to its crew.

This is for fun,” he told me, then paused.

I’m using your terms, now, like ‘just for fun.’ But that’s actually misleading. Fun is a virtue, not a waste. It engages necessary parts of your being and teaches your inner parts to value and express themselves.”

This was a spot where I needed to stop and dig in a bit.

And by ‘inner parts’ you mean something like ‘subconscious’ or ‘psyche’?”

Well, all of your terms for this are partial and sloppy. Soul would be a good catch-all, save for the religious dialogs it spawns. I think ‘inner parts’ has the fewest appendage ideas attached, and so I’m using that one.”

I appreciated his care for us and our language, but I was feeling agitated by it. I knew why… it was something I had thought about many times over the years, and with significant discomfort… though I didn’t want to just blurt it out; that struck me as rude or disrespectful. But I should have know that this man would read me deeply enough to see it. He was kind, but nonetheless hyper-advanced compared to us.

It’s okay,” he said, “this is a good time and place to express what you’re feeling.”

I’m tired of being a damned monkey!” I said it loudly and with a considerable level of passion. “I want to understand these things… I am capable of understanding them… I don’t want to be always the ignorant brute.”

You have to know that we don’t look at you as a brute,” he said.

I know, I know,” I went on, now standing and pacing. “But Jens, I don’t want to be ignorant and undeveloped. I want to understand and to engage in the important things, not to be stuck in a sandbox, playing with baby toys!”

I continued to pace, long enough to notice that he had gone silent. I looked at him and found him crying.

I… uh…”

It’s okay,” he said in a choked-up voice, “I understand… I sympathize.”

I sat next to him and waited. He reached over and held my hand. And I could literally feel some sort of benevolent substance running from him into me.

In your book, Paul, you wrote about being half-way between homo erectus and full growth, did you not?” He was still holding my hand, still emanating the benevolent substance.

I did.”

Then I’d like you to understand that I am less than half-way between where you are and full growth. I haven’t experienced frustration to the extent that you do, but I’ve felt it nonetheless. Please believe me that if I could make it all better for you, I would.”

Then I started crying. “I believe you,” I pushed out.

The two of us sat there for a bit, then began regathering ourselves. Jens found two towels in a drawer, wet them, handed one to me and proceeded to wipe his face with the other. Then he poured two glasses of water and sat back down.

A big part of your problem,” he said, “is that your inner parts are out of sync with your cognition. You were born into that, but it seems to me that you’ve been addressing it fairly directly over the past few years. Is that your impression as well?”

I explained to him that he was correct; that I had several dreams in which it seemed my inner parts, as he calls them, were trying to communicate better with my cognition, and vice versa. First by feel and then with at least some understanding, I had been working on that, though I added that I’m still doing it by image and feel.

At this point that’s probably the only thing you can do,” he said mournfully, “but it will improve.”

I nodded, and smiled as appreciatively as I could. Knowing that I was at least progressing helped.

And that’s part of why I want to get off this ship quickly; to leave you with as much time alone as I can give you.”

Because being alone in this environment will help me sync-up with my inner parts?”

Exactly so,” he said. “Think of this as being deeply alone. Not lonely, as in missing people, though that would happen eventually… but alone, where the outside pressures simply aren’t there.”

Then this will be instructive to me.”

He laughed. “I suspect it will be an especially good kind of instructive… the kind you never saw coming.”

I laughed along with him, and then struggled to find a last question or two to ask him, because he was now standing and scanning the ship to be sure there was nothing else he needed to do before leaving.

We’re glad you’re writing about these adventures,” he said.

Honestly, Jens, aside from my regular subscribers – a tiny fraction of the world – I’m not sure who’ll care about it. Without some fairly serious reading and thinking, they’re not really going to understand.”

You’re right,” he said, “aside from a few, they won’t. But writing endures. It will be waiting for those who are hungry to understand, and for a long time.”

I nodded.

Follow me down to the ship,” he said, smiling. “it will remind you of a Star Trek shuttle.”

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