Category Archive 'Der Untergang das Abendlandes'
18 Aug 2017

Flying, 1954

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Design is Fine:

KML Royal Super Constellation, cabin interior design by Henry Dreyfuss, from Revue der Reclame, 1954. Netherlands. Source. Pic 2/5: Club Lounge Pic 4: The Flying Chef offers a 7-course champagne dinner.

01 Apr 2017

Today’s Students Not Part of Our Common Culture

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Patrick Deneen has more bad news from the Academe.

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them: they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.

But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury Tales? Paradise Lost? The Inferno?

Who was Saul of Tarsus? What were the 95 theses, who wrote them, and what was their effect? Why does the Magna Carta matter? How and where did Thomas Becket die? Who was Guy Fawkes, and why is there a day named after him? What did Lincoln say in his Second Inaugural? His first Inaugural? How about his third Inaugural? What are the Federalist Papers?

Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide.

Another must-read.

31 Mar 2017

“Fewer Than 1% of Papers Published in Today’s Scientific Journals Follow Scientific Method”

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Breitbart has some really bad news.

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Professor Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim in a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change.

“We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.”

Armstrong defined eight criteria for compliance with the scientific method, including full disclosure of methods, data, and other reliable information, conclusions that are consistent with the evidence, valid and simple methods, and valid and reliable data.

According to Armstrong, very little of the forecasting in climate change debate adheres to these criteria. “For example, for disclosure, we were working on polar bear [population] forecasts, and we were asked to review the government’s polar bear forecast. We asked, ‘could you send us the data’ and they said ‘No’… So we had to do it without knowing what the data were.”

According to Armstrong, forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) violate all eight criteria.

“Why is this all happening? Nobody asks them!” said Armstrong, who says that people who submit papers to journals are not required to follow the scientific method.

A must-read.

13 Jul 2016

Hard Reboot Required

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AmericaReboot

16 Apr 2016

The Struggle to Find a Respectable Three-Button Suit

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ThreeButtonSuit

Harry Mount is frustrated to find that most tailors have succumbed to the two-button suit trend.

Last week I walked along Jermyn Street, spiritual home of the gentleman’s suit, and noticed something shocking. The jackets in the shop windows had lots of materials — tweed, cotton, wool — in all colours, shades and checks. But every single jacket had two buttons.

When did tailors get so boringly uniform? Why has the three-button suit — the classic style that dominated the 20th century — been wiped off the map? As a diehard three-button man, am I a fogeyish dinosaur, a walking Bateman cartoon: ‘The Man Who Wore a Three-Button Suit in the 21st Century’?

I seek solace (and a new three-button suit, in storm- grey, 13-ounce birdseye wool) from Tina Loder, a tailor for more than 30 years, and one of the few women tailors on Savile Row. ‘We’re going through a two-button cycle, just as we went through a three-button cycle a decade ago,’ she says. ‘Two buttons signal a casual informality and egalitarianism.’

But what if I don’t want to look casually informal and egalitarian?

Read the whole thing and insist on three-button suits.

Hat tip to David Wagner.

27 Feb 2016

Women Are Destroying Civilization

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Previously cited by Vanderleun and the News Junkie.

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Waylon Jennings made a similar point:

13 Dec 2015

The Victorians Were Probably Smarter Than People Today

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Benjamin Jowett 1817-1893


My name is Benjamin Jowett.

I am Master of Balliol College.

What there is to know, I know it,

And what I don’t know isn’t knowledge.

Nobody would write a poem like that about Yale’s current president Peter Salovey.

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A recent paper in the journal Intelligence is titled:

Were the Victorians cleverer than us? The decline in general intelligence estimated from a meta-analysis of the slowing of simple reaction time


Highlights

• Simple reaction time has slowed since 1889.

• Psychometric meta-analysis reveals a decline in g of − 1.16 points per decade.

• The decline between 1889 and 2004 is − 13.35 points.

• The decline between 1889 and 2004 is − 12.45 points.

• This is the first direct measurement of a probable dysgenic trend in IQ.

Abstract:

The Victorian era was marked by an explosion of innovation and genius, per capita rates of which appear to have declined subsequently. The presence of dysgenic fertility for IQ amongst Western nations, starting in the 19th century, suggests that these trends might be related to declining IQ. This is because high-IQ people are more productive and more creative. We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations, using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study. Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence (g) and are considered elementary measures of cognition. In this study we used the data on the secular slowing of simple reaction time described in a meta-analysis of 14 age-matched studies from Western countries conducted between 1889 and 2004 to estimate the decline in g that may have resulted from the presence of dysgenic fertility. Using psychometric meta-analysis we computed the true correlation between simple reaction time and g, yielding a decline of − 1.16 IQ points per decade or − 13.35 IQ points since Victorian times. These findings strongly indicate that with respect to g the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations.

20 Nov 2015

Light Reflected from City Skyscraper Buckles Bodywork and Mirror of Businessman’s Car

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Daily Mail story

28 Oct 2015

They Have the Russian Shaking in his Boots

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08 Sep 2015

Europe Welcoming Muslim Refugees

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TrojanMigrants

Clarice Feldman finds the recent mass invasion of Europe by Islamic refugees reminds her of a certain apocalyptic novel she read way back in the early 1970s.

Not one of the rich Gulf States has offered to take in a single Syrian refugee. The U.S., which already spends one billion dollars a year on refugee resettlement and countless more in welfare benefits, is being asked to take in more of these refugees. This would further burden those already at the bottom of the labor market.

Either the West turns them away or it ceases to exist. It’s that simple. The EU and the U.S. had the chance to fight on foreign soil or accept an invasion of their own lands, and chose poorly. Their choice now is to refuse social welfare benefits, scratch multiculturalism, and require assimilation instead of kowtowing to demands for disparate treatment, or die.

This result is not one unforeseen. Over four decades ago, this development was foreseen among others by Jean Raspail, a French author, of The Camp of the Saints, a novel of Europe being overrun by refugees from the Third World. The left’s favorite hate group designator, the Southern Poverty Law Center, attacked the author, the book, and its publishers. “The book is a racist fantasy about an invasion of France and the white Western world by a fleet of starving, dark-skinned refugees, “a haunting and prophetic vision,”SPLC says, “of Western Civilization overrun by a burgeoning Third World population.”

Some fantasy. At the moment about 300,000 immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa have poured into Europe:

    More than 300,000 people have crossed into Europe by sea — most of them from Libya to Italy or from Turkey to Greece — and 2,600 have died in the attempt. Thirty to 40 drowned Friday after a boat carrying more than 120 Somalis, Sudanese and Nigerians deflated off the coast of Libya.

    The migrants who manage to get to Greece must then begin a difficult trek across Macedonia and Serbia before sneaking into Hungary in hopes of getting, eventually, to preferred destinations like Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, which are prosperous, offer the chance for jobs and have been more welcoming than other nation.

The pictures show the immigrants are almost entirely men and young boys and once they’ve been granted asylum, there surely will be a call to admit their wives and children and parents and other family members, most of whom will require substantial social welfare services. If history is a guide, most will be inassimilable and reside in self-contained ghettoes, demanding ever more concessions for benefits and special treatment.

Read the whole thing.

30 Aug 2015

European Suicide

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ShariaFrance

The Muslim Issue quotes a Swedish review of Hungarian 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Imre Kertesz’s new book (not yet available in English):

“Europe will soon go under because of its former liberalism that has proved childish and suicidal. Europe has produced Hitler, and after Hitler the continent stands there with no arguments: the doors are wide open for Islam, they no longer dare talk about race and religion while Islam only knows the language of hatred against alien races and religions,” writes Kertész in his book. …

“I should say a few words about politics too … Then I would talk about how Muslims are flooding, occupying, in clear verbs, destroying Europe, and how Europe relates to this, the suicidal liberalism and the stupid democracy … It always ends the same way: civilization reaches a certain stage of maturation where it is not only able to defend itself, but where it is in a seemingly incomprehensible worship of their own enemy.”

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Imre Kertesz

22 Aug 2015

Tweet of the Day

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Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds via Karen L. Myers.

17 Aug 2015

“Mustn’t Call Him Master”

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Stephen Davis, now co-“head-of-College” for Pierson College at Yale. Davis has chosen to share the title with his frau. After all, a husband being Master (or “head”) of a college and not including wifie would be unequal. (Thousands of Yale men are spinning in their graves.)

Anybody doubt that Eliot and Vargas LLosa are right? Just read this, a piece demonstrating what kind of blithering, wimpy creeps have replaced the men who used to teach at Yale and serve as college masters. John Hersey, Master of Pierson in my day, must be laughing in Hell. And just look at that miserable wretch in the above photo: No jacket, no appropriate shirt, no necktie. He’s married, of course, to a priestess, and she appears for her photograph as co-“Head of Pierson” in a t-shirt!

The Yale Alumni Mag offers a now-go-out-an-throw-up-in-the-street item to brighten alumni’s lives today.

The sign on the door says “Pierson College Master’s House,” but the person who currently holds that title would rather you call him something else. Religious studies professor Stephen Davis ’98PhD, who was named master of Pierson in 2013, recently wrote to members of the college to ask that they “refrain from calling [him] ‘Master’ Davis.” He explained that “I have found the title of the office I hold deeply problematic given the racial and gendered weight it carries. . . . I think there should be no context in our society or in our university in which an African-American student, professor, or staff member—or any person, for that matter—should be asked to call anyone ‘master.’” He suggested that students could call him “Dr. Davis” or “Professor D.” Davis’s biography on the Pierson College website now refers to him as the “head of college.

If the old Lithuanian greenhorn Pans I knew growing up in Shenandoah had heard this one, they would not have called this wanker “master” (“Pan” in Polish and Lithuanian). They’d have snorted and called him: “chłop” (“peasant”, “serf”, “slave”).

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The doorway to the Master’s House in Pierson College.

17 Aug 2015

“Notes on the Death of Culture”

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Eric Fischl, The Old Man’s Boat and the Old Man’s Dog, 1982. –Our time’s version of The Raft of the Medusa.

John D. Davidson reviews Mario Vargas Llosa’s just-released
Notes on the Death of Culture, a must-read pessimistic essay discussing the West’s rate of decline since 1948 (the year of my birth) and our civilization’s gloomy prospects for the future.

In his 1948 essay, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, T.S. Eliot argued that the highest levels of culture are only attainable by relatively small groups of people, and that in order for a civilization to sustain high culture a class system of some kind is necessary. Because culture is transmitted primarily through the family and religion—not schools—and because it relies to a large extent on these particular loyalties for its perpetuation, when these institutions fail, “we must expect our culture to deteriorate.”

At the risk of over-simplifying Eliot’s argument, one of his basic contentions sounds rather old-fashioned, perhaps even bigoted by today’s standards, that “we can distinguish between higher and lower cultures; we can distinguish between advance and retrogression.” This notion flies in the face of multiculturalism, not to say the notion of equality. Yet it’s a necessary premise for his assessment of the state of contemporary culture:

    “We can assert with some confidence that our own period is one of decline; that the standards of culture are lower than they were fifty years ago; and that the evidences of this decline are visible in every department of human activity. I see no reason why the decay of culture should not proceed much further, and why we may not even anticipate a period, of some duration, of which it is possible to say that it will have no culture.”

According to Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, the culture-less period foreseen 67 years ago by Eliot is the one in which we are all now living.

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