On the Intellectual Dark Web | Glenn Loury & Bret Weinstein [The Glenn Show]

An excellent conversation between two people I admire:

Also, Bret Weinstein’s perspective on Trump’s Hitler-esque strategy was interesting. His general political views are somewhat in line with my own, although his are more liberal or Left-leaning, but I do grasp how there’s something very wrong with our political system on both sides of the partisan aisle and agree that Trump isn’t necessarily a special indicator of how off the rails it’s all gone. Trump is just one more in a long line of people who should never have been elected, but Hillary Clinton was certainly no better option, and that in itself is the problem: the choices we’re being presented with are shit and have been shit for a long, long time. Guess it’s difficult for me to be strongly distressed over Trump they way some of my fellow Americans are since I felt similarly about Clinton, though neither option were worth a damn.

But, then again, we get the System we’re willing to tolerate. I vote 3rd party while others scoff, but I don’t see any benefit in playing into the duopoly game. Not in my lifetime anyway. Observing the Political Left losing its shit over this most recent election is somewhat amusing, though also kind of unnerving how animated they’re all becoming, particularly in the mainstream media. Some do indeed seem to be angling toward stoking a civil war, and that’s not likely in any of our best interests. But whatever will come will come. Can’t probably stop that train, try as we might. Good to keep the channels of communication open though and to prod one another to think more deeply about all these topics, including what elements of society we think we’re aiming to recreate and/or preserve.

An introduction to the Frankfurt School (Philosophize This!)

Don’t expect any mention of Erich Fromm in this podcast though, unfortunately. Fromm being the Frankfurt School author I’m most familiar with. But it’s still an interesting podcast to listen to, especially recommended for those who have a knee-jerk reaction against anything relating to the Frankfurt School.

Part 1, “Introduction”:

Part 2, “The Enlightenment”:

Part 3, “The Culture Industry”:

Part 4, “Eros”:

Part 5, “Civilization”:

Part 6, “Art As A Tool For Liberation”:

What is referred to therein as “monopoly capitalism” sounds to be the same as what I generally refer to as Corporatism and/or oligopolistic capitalism. The difference being that the market situation has grown and expanded through the domination of sectors by key major (and increasingly global/multinational) corporations that wind up working in tandem to shut out competition from smaller businesses and upstarts (whether via political lobbying efforts or through technological strangleholds, etc.). To me, calling it monopolistic at this point oversimplifies the reality we’re confronting, though I can understand why Marcuse would use that language in the 1970s.

Part 7, “The Great Refusal”:

Pausing at 4:55 in that last clip…yes, and it’s precisely that concern which drives my own interest in the arguments and ideas put forth by people like Dr. Jordan Peterson. Though Peterson is well-known for criticizing neo-Marxists and those he refers to as “postmodernists,” he’s still absolutely right about how one needs to “clean your own room” before attempting to engage too far in the process of attempting to overhaul society. Why? Because “cleaning one’s own room” is about more than just literally doing domestic chores — it’s about developing our own individual selves, grappling with our own limitations and shortcomings, and taking more time to study history broadly so that we can have a better handle on what all has come before and why we humans find ourselves where we’re collectively at now. These are complex matters, not simply bumbling errors brought about by idiot, racist/sexist/”traditionalist” predecessors who gave too little thought to life and living or who were all so blinded by their own destructive agendas that they gave no shits for the fate of future generations. That’s too close-minded and uncharitable of an interpretation of the unfolding of history and the motives of people in the past and the institutions they designed over time. We have to step back and really take time to think deeply about what we’re confronting here today and how it came into being incrementally over the course of the rise of civilizations. Not any easy task. Requires a great deal of personal reckoning as well, due to our own individual biases and wishful thinking and brainwashed programming delivered via mainstream sources, educators (even those who were well-intentioned in their own right), and the wider culture and the narratives it depends on in order to survive.

The further I’ve gone down this rabbit hole over the years, the deeper I recognize the rabbit hole to be. There are no simply answers here. Not even that many clear-cut enemies necessarily. Just a bunch of us humans trying to make sense of reality and to play the games according the rules we understand (or rebel against them if that’s our bag). Domination and power certainly do factor in to the lived human experience, but so does SO MUCH else. It’s not so simple of a matter as destroying hierarchies and we’ll all eventually be free to live in peaceful equality with one another. No, that’s just begging for the creation of a power vacuum which will be filled by the ambitions of other groups of people operating under their own ideologies that will very likely prove even less effective than what’s currently in place. It’s a precarious situation at present, compounded by so much idealism in the hearts of protesters who like to imagine themselves as having the magical, never-before-tried answers to what plagues humanity. And many of them are blind to the lessons of history as well, largely due to ideological obsessiveness and the narrowing of focus that commonly entails. They will not prove to be saviors either, I’m willing to bet.

That doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands in the air and accept the current status quo as the only game worth playing because all else (like communism) likely will prove even more fatal. But it does ask of us to be careful and cautious in moving forward, to pay closer attention and to not be so arrogant as to assume we ourselves and those we politically/socially identify with have discovered ultimate answers to these complex problems and issues. Humility is absolutely essential here, lest history just keep on repeating (or rhyming, rather) in a downward spiraling fashion (thanks, in part, to new and powerful technologies coupled with greater centralization than the world has ever known before). Power available today is like that of no other time in history — be heedful of that fact.

Many of us want to see change be brought about, for human societies to become healthier and less dominated by economic interests solely. Plenty of us grasp the alienating features of modern life and what that can and does do to us psychologically and socially, and how that then spills out to impact all other aspects of society. But the way to bringing about change indeed isn’t going to come through simply protesting in the streets or certain interest groups vying to dominate within academe and the corporate and political world. That’s just a recipe for more disaster, so far as I can tell. I lost all faith in that approach. It’s become more a question of individual development and social evolution, of working with what is within our direct control and making decisions that allow us as individuals (and the communities we choose to devise or partake in) to live more in alignment with the values we claim to hold dear. Not trying to force the hands of others, since that won’t work. Better to find ways around the perceived obstructions and to test our own mettle than to attempt to overthrow society as a whole, especially when no better game plan is yet afforded to all of us on a society-wide scale.

People don’t wish to hear this, because it sounds harder. Much easier to instead try to push for change in the streets or by screaming at people in lecture halls and pulling down audio equipment so as to disrupt speakers we dislike. Much easier to behave destructively, rebelliously, than to take the time to comprehend our own inner tyrants and the consequences that produces in a reverberating fashion across society and on up through history. Much easier to blame the “other,” somebody else, than to recognize our own part played in this due to the human nature we share. Doesn’t matter that we were just born into this and didn’t ask for this. Nobody originally ever asks for anything, and all were born into it. That’s no excuse for refusing to do the heavy lifting required in this life. Turns out that giving in to such destructive tendencies and acting like rebels without a clue winds up doing more harm than good oftentimes, especially to our own selves, though it’s usually years on down the road before we can recognize it for what it is.

There are no easy answers here, and there likely never will be. It’s just us and our strivings and our need to learn to communicate more effectively with one another about our conflicting points of view. And that’s okay. This is what we have to work with. There was never a rose garden back before, no ideal worth returning to necessarily. Just the movement and expansion of Life in all its complexity on up through time. Never perfect, at least not in the rational sense that we humans like to dream about, nor will it ever be. But we co-constructors of this reality, particularly in terms of our own actions and choices herein. So we start there, inside oneself, that being where we have the most control and are capable of reaping the greatest benefit in our lifetimes.

Simple, yet not easy. C’est la vie…

“Joe Rogan Experience #1081 – Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying”

“Waking Up With Sam Harris #42 – Racism and Violence in America (with Glenn Loury)”

Have now added the books mentioned to my Audible wishlist: On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman and Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy.

“Joe Rogan Talks About the Biggest Unsolved Mystery Of All Time”

And then youtube went and removed the video clip in question, so in its place I’ll have to post the entire 3-hour podcast. Dammit.

The portion in question (which I’ll have to find on there later) was an excellent conversation between those three.

Further exploration of Milo’s controversy

After seguing over to the topic of pedophiles Milo had spoken out about in the past, let’s return to his own current case.

Once again, here is the relevant portion of Milo’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast (excerpted from episode #702).

I can understand why it comes across as if Milo is making excuses for those who took advantage of him as a young teenager, particularly the “priest” in question (I put quotations there because I hear Milo has since waffled on whether or not that’s truthful). But I can also understand how such life experiences can skew one’s perception. He’s not the first to approach the topic of his past in this manner and won’t be the last. I’ve at times done so as well when it came to my own sexual experiences with adults as a young teen, though I’m prone to oscillate back and forth over the years since. Creates a lot of mixed emotions inside a person, which then can lead to drinking excessively and drugs and promiscuity, as Milo himself acknowledged.

On a side-note, this topic also harks back to MRA/pro-MGTOW vlogger Karen Straughan’s mention of being sexualized by an adult at age 14 and how she too didn’t feel like a victim as a result.

Causes a person to question whether the perspective of adults impacted as youths by such life experiences are capable of being impartial enough in order to be taken seriously in these discussions. On one hand, they possess direct, first-hand experience with the event and subsequent consequences that may have arisen. On the other hand, they’re biased by the event itself since it likely played a not insignificant role in shaping their psychological development from thereon. Meaning such events become normalized in the minds of the young individuals in question as a consequence of having to directly deal with them and then find ways to cope with their memories. There is a moral component to all of this that isn’t mentioned often where the youth in question has to wrestle with his or her sexual and social identity as a result of seeing themselves relegated to that role in the relationship with the adult early on. Speaking as a female, I recall wrestling immensely with the notion of being a “whore” at age 14 due partly to my experiences as well as others’ feedback on the subject. And those questions loom over me, even now in my mid-30s. Can’t pretend being assigned to that “camp” early on had no impact on future life choices from there on out or how I might have chosen to unfold my life as I did in the absence of such early sexualization experiences. Will never fully know, and by now it almost doesn’t matter since what’s done was done long ago and can never be undone.

But it does lead to the curious question of who we might’ve all been had the chips fallen in another direction…  And we’ll never know.

Resuming viewing Stefan Molyneux’s video on Milo’s current controversy:

That was a very fair assessment, IMO. I think Stefan is right about naming names of these Hollywood celebrities who threw parties where they essentially drugged and raped young boys/very young teens. When I listened to that portion of Milo’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast I was surprised Joe didn’t flip out on him. Why provide cover for these predatory persons? And as Stefan pointed out, we are judged by the company we keep. That was the company that Milo, for whatever reason(s), chose to gravitate toward in his 20s. Wasn’t a kid anymore — yet still chose to partake in partying on multiple occasions with people who treated “very young boys” that way. Why? What excuse possibly exists for doing that, and then to choose to remain silent on who these people were? That sounds like the opposite of anyone I’d personally care to call my ally. That right there tore it for me. That and protecting the name of the priest who, for all we know, is out there continuing to molest and teach oral sex techniques to other 13-year-old boys. That’s not okay. Simply not acceptable. What excuse could ever possibly make it okay in this day and age?

This is what I mean in saying that those who undergo such life experiences early on wind up with skewed perceptions that follow them into adulthood. When a person is subjected to such treatment at the onset of their budding puberty, it tends to alter their psychological development on that plane. It was normalized by Milo enough to where it apparently wasn’t shocking or tremendously worrisome when he witnessed similar treatment carried out against other young boys years later. Not unsettling enough for him to call the police or to try to offer aid to those young boys or even for Milo to cease attending those parties in question. Just wasn’t, as he demonstrated by his own account. That serves as proof positive that Milo’s obviously deeply impacted and biased as a result of what all he was subjected to early on, which then can’t help but taint future arguments he puts forth.

I’m not aiming to be mean here. Didn’t have much of an opinion one way or another on Milo prior to this latest controversy. But knowingly partying with grown men who are sexually using and abusing underage boys strikes me as pretty damn fucked up. I can’t get around that. Even after reading about the pedophiles Milo called attention to through his journalistic work. Still.

Joe Rogan and Gavin McInnes on Milo Yiannopoulos Controversy:

Have now also listened to a couple videos from reporter Lee Stranahan on his YT channel. Don’t know that man and am not sure if I’ve ever read any of his articles, seeing as how I’m not very acquainted with Breitbart News. Took in his perspective as Milo’s colleague.

Another video by someone named TheOneTrueLib. Randomly came across his clip tonight on the subject:

Listened to Milo’s words repeated several times now, and I will say this definitively: MILO IS NOT DEFENDING PEDOPHILIA IN THESE VIDEO CLIPS. HE IS, HOWEVER, DEFENDING HEBEPHILIA (at least so far as his own personal experience goes, according to his own word choices). Let us use these terms in their proper sense. This distinction does matter. Pedophilia is arguably much more destructive and harmful than hebephilia, though I certainly don’t consider hebephilia to be fine and dandy either. Hebephilia defined: a sexual attraction to minors ranging in ages 11-14 approximately. Basically very early pubescence. Many of us would argue that’s totally not okay either for adults to pursue, absolutely, but it does differ qualitatively in regards to puberty. That does matter since we’re discussing sexual acts here. Still not cool for adults to sexually mess with 11-14-year-olds, in my firm opinion, so that’s crystal clear on the record. But not quite on the same level of perversion as raping a baby or toddler. Can we at least acknowledge that as true? Different quality of fucked-up-edness, is it not? Requires a special sort of sexual psychology to pursue sex with an infant or toddler or any other pre-pubescent child. Not identical to the sexual psychology in play for those interested in pursuing pubescent youths. Different degrees of warping in the mind.

Pubescent youths are undergoing the process of budding and transforming into full-fledged, highly autonomous sexual beings. That qualitatively contrasts with the pre-pubescent child, though we obviously acknowledge growth and development flows along a continuum. Puberty is a majorly important transition zone though. And it quite obviously doesn’t unfold overnight. It’s a lengthy process. Hence why we as a society also feel it necessary to protect early pubescence from adult sexualization as well. Makes sense. Evidence points to us being better off drawing the line around 15-16 when it comes to more than a 5-year age difference, with it being ethically (if not criminally) prohibited for teenagers to engage in sexual relations with teachers, priests/pastors and other authority figures. That’s where a lot of us out here choose to draw the line, whatever term we think we need to apply to it.

But, honestly, equating it all with pedophilia is truly a misnomer and does distort the conversation for those who do think the nuances to be highly relevant. Both pedophilia and hebephilia deserve to remain punishable by laws, in my firm opinion. No good reason for grown adults to be sexually messing with youths that young. Doesn’t tend to work out well for both parties involved in the end, especially the youngest. Can be seriously damaging and destructive. And I’m probably preaching to a large choir in stating that. Perhaps including Milo to whatever extent he agrees. This is why age of consent laws matter. Early sexualization appears to be messing a bunch of people up. Experienced some of his shit in my family as well. We’re being impacted directly and indirectly by all this perverted nonsense going on. Doesn’t look to be helping us in any justifiable way as individuals or as a people. And many of us didn’t need academic studies or claims on the matter to originally figure that out. Too often it’s a mind-fuck, regardless of how we might try to rationalize it. This seems so evidently clear all around us in society that I feel like I’m beating a dead horse to keep belaboring the point.

Is this not obvious by now to most Westerners? Very likely it is. Let’s take that as granted. Yet don’t most of us also distinguish, to whatever degree(s), between sexual actions perpetrated against young children versus young teens versus young adults? Quite obviously different degrees of sexual (and emotional/psychological/experiential) readiness, so we understand a line must be drawn somewhere and that it must be clear and concise enough that laws are capable of enforcing it. Maturity outliers (however they are to be determined) do not get to decide legislation on the matter, because they do not represent the norm in this case. Not like it’d likely prove unhealthy for youths seeking promiscuous kicks be denied access to adults, referencing Milo’s opinion expressed on the matter. And I don’t doubt Milo might himself agree with that if he seriously took time to ponder and reflect back. Might’ve been better off had the sexualization by adults not occurred until he was at least 16 and not come by way of a priest at all. Hot or not.

I’m speculating, yes. In ways it’s none of our business, but it became our business when it entered the public square. Became a topic of discussion, uncomfortable as it kinda makes me to be looking into this eccentric gay guy I knew little about prior to a few weeks ago. Heard his name bandied about and watched a few clips, but now here we are dissecting his past sex life and comments on the topic. BUT, he did bring it up. We all wouldn’t know had he not. And I understand that drive to live out loud, to say what’s on our minds, sometimes flippantly depending on the context of the situation. I’m guilty of that plenty myself, won’t pretend otherwise. But what goes on the internet stays on the internet. Much of a bummer as that turns out to be at times. We’re all growing and maturing and unfolding our potential to whatever degrees. Life is a process. In our 30s we still can’t claim to have it all figured out. So much remains a mystery. (Sometimes more and more so over time, since the more we learn, the more we realize how much we can’t be certain about.) Even when we’re introspective and actively seeking out knowledge, we’re still limited by time and experiences insofar as what we’re capable of comprehending (and to what meaningful extent). Intelligence helps, but it’s not the end all/be all. Acquiring wisdom takes time. Comes at the cost of a number of failures, often enough. We live and we learn. Not a damn one of us has it all reckoned with to where we fully know what the hell we’re doing. Lots of good actors out here in the world, that much is undeniable.

Is this turning out to be somewhat of a defense offered on Milo’s behalf? Maybe. Offering it up on all of our behalves though. Because we are all stupid and misguided and have made some morally reprehensible choices (to whatever degrees). Sometimes people go beyond the point of social redemption — that can happen. Pedophiles do just that, in my firm opinion. Milo hasn’t done that in regards to what he’s said, IMHO. He has turned a lot of us off and made us seriously uncomfortable with his expressed viewpoint though. And that may likely impact his popularity (at least among thoughtful conservatives and libertarian-leaning individuals), as perhaps it should. Content matters when you’re a public figure. What you say and do gets scrutinized. Who you are matters in all walks of life. Our morals are what check the beastly aspects of our character. Milo happened to be more public than most and stated some things about himself that quite frankly creeped a good number of us out. Looks to me like he has a lot of self-reckoning to do. Just gotta work through it somehow. No clear and easy answer on how to do that though. He hit a moral wall, as to be expected. I, for one, am glad that wall does exist (much as it too might deserve to be challenged at times). Glad so many out here aren’t complete and total nihilistic moral relativists. Heartening to be reminded of that, even if Milo’s expressed views wound up being the most recent proving ground.

Part of me does feel sympathy for him, relating so far as I can based on my own history. Not sure what advice is of real value right about now other than that being humbled isn’t such a bad thing. Sometimes it’s our greatest teacher. Speaking from some experience on this, though admittedly still personally struggling with the matter. Wanting to get morally upright to a greater degree and actually doing so obviously aren’t one and the same. How we’re conditioned early on can construct a bunch of hurdles we have to then figure out how to surmount. Even when we’re winning the race in some particular area(s), those dark spots/shadows tend to wind up jeopardizing us eventually if we don’t effectively reckon with them. And I think that’s what we very publicly witnessed here. Strikes me as a bit of a tragedy actually, just to know a man not too much younger than myself is having to learn these lessons without the blessed sanctity of privacy while being forced to confront and hopefully sort it out for himself. Another reason why fame holds no appeal to me. Hard enough to grow up without the spotlights on you. In that respect, I wish him the best in coping and managing his life from here on out. Perhaps (hopefully) this recent “implosion” will ultimately prove valuable in his process. Implosions happen. And they can prove very necessary and long term in our best interest. Hard as it is to see that when it first hits though.

I don’t wish that man harm or hate. Do wish he’d figure out a way to open up about the sex parties he supposedly witnessed in his 20s. And about the “priest” as well if he’s still working with young teenagers. Sucks when assholes get let off the hook for doing depraved shit. Pain tends to pay forward. Helpful to always keep that in mind.

Hard Bastard’s take on the situation:

Leaving off on Millennial Woes’ video titled “Interdegenerational Milo”:

“Tough love” can sting… MW’s expressed views strike me as valuable in this discussion as well.

It goes without saying that Milo has a lot to further sort out for himself. So I’m just gonna leave him to that and move on.

“Gold nugget highlights from Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Experience #877”

Love this talk.