Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Kites and the Swans

May 26th, 2017 by G.

THE KITES of olden times, as well as the Swans, had the privilege
of song. But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so
enchanted with the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in
trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing.

from Aesop’s Fables

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May 26th, 2017 11:44:01

Wise Manchester Commentary

May 26th, 2017 by G.

We are cowards. Because atheism doth make cowards of us all. Because not to be a coward requires a goal beyond the immediate . . . . People can only be brave when they have something to be brave about.

thus Bruce Charlton. Italicization added.

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May 26th, 2017 09:49:25

The Sky is Red and Lowring

May 26th, 2017 by G.

45 years since we went to the Moon.

Modern architecture.


Illegitimacy rates.

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May 26th, 2017 09:41:18

The Hollywood of the West Coast

May 26th, 2017 by G.

Hollywood is Hollywood for stupid people.

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May 26th, 2017 09:39:43

Settler Democracy

May 25th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

Another interesting internet poli sci: Three types of societies. Pioneer societies, marcher societies, and core societies. Pioneer societies are settler societies. Marcher societies are borderers. And core societies are the ones that are no longer marcher societies or settler societies. The theory is that pioneer societies are democratic, marcher societies are aristocratic, and core societies are monarchical/bureaucratic. (more…)

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May 25th, 2017 06:51:58

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 4

May 24th, 2017 by Vader

In the previous posts of this series, I developed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential decisions; briefly discussed the three key concepts in this definition (ability, meaningfulness, and consequence); and described liberty as the set of social constructs we erect to sustain freedom.


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May 24th, 2017 14:44:16


May 24th, 2017 by G.

Our own Lord Vader has been thinking carefully about agency and what it means for politics. See Notes 1, 2, and 3. It’s good stuff. The man breathes so heavily because his brain needs the oxygen.

I’ve been thinking a bit along the same lines. Must be something in the air.

Self-government famously requires a responsible people.

Our current form of self-government is democracy and has been for awhile.

Democracy has some problems. One of them is that while it relies on having a responsible people voting, it does nothing to teach that responsibility. In fact, the democratic form pushes against responsibility. The thrifty farmer gets the same vote as the gambler and the drunk. (more…)

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May 24th, 2017 12:46:09

The Myth of Martyrdom.

May 24th, 2017 by Bookslinger

What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers, by Adam Lankford.
John Batchelor interviewed the book author on his radio show:
Listen to this episode/podcast at this web page.

The book at Amazon.

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May 24th, 2017 07:43:59

The Honest Man

May 23rd, 2017 by G.

More and more, honesty is not a virtue our society prizes but fails to live.  More and more, it is a virtue that we reject as for dupes.  And more and more, it is.

What I failed to realize when I was younger is that honesty is a societal virtue.  It is a virtue whose purpose and sense is in relation to society at large. (more…)

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May 23rd, 2017 07:30:10

Washington Ballet’s Frontier

May 23rd, 2017 by John Mansfield

This may appeal to others besides myself. I wish I could see it. From the Washington Post:

“Okay, you walk — one, two, three, four, five, six, seven — and kneel on eight,” Stiefel tells Sarah Steele, a willowy, dark-eyed 22-year-old. She was recently hired as an apprentice, and Stiefel plucked her from that bottom rank to star in his ballet. Her courage at the outset of rehearsals attracted him. She possesses, he says, “the essence of a strong, brave artist.”

“You have a full eight counts to zip,” he continues. “Then you’ll get lifted. Turn on four, arms on five. Four counts for the gloves. . . . Lift on five; six, you get into the backpack.”

Sarah Steele

Miss Steele, ballet astronautrix

Steele and the dancer-crew members who are helping her dress eye him intently, tallying up the counts in their heads. The first few run-throughs are rocky — Steele’s zipper snags on the waistband of her tights, the gloves don’t cooperate. The helmet strap must be snapped — oh, where is it, where’s that dang other end? — and, meanwhile, the cyber beats in the commissioned music are racing on. Ah, at last, success! Well, the helmet’s a little askew. But Steele stands triumphant, ready for takeoff, fists clenched at her sides in the ready position.

“This is going to work,” Stiefel assures his dancers. “This will be absolutely no problem. We have two weeks to work on it.”


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May 23rd, 2017 06:31:30

The Truth of Nostalgia

May 22nd, 2017 by G.

I have nostalgia for lives I’ve never lived.

I was just driving through a tiny foothills Spanish colonial landgrant.  There are a few small adobes, willows and cottonwoods by the streams, a twisted apple tree, a few cattle, stacks of firewood, everyone related.  And I felt a strong sense of the distinctness and value of their life.  And an attraction, like nostalgia.

That’s what the best tourism usually is.  Nostalgia for unlived lives.  Imaginative communion with them. (more…)

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May 22nd, 2017 10:20:35

Hobson’s Imperialism

May 22nd, 2017 by G.

For those who like high-concept political theory, this is just the sort of thing they would like.  It has Burnham, the managerial class, all the favorites, with some genuine new bits too:

The private, public, and nonprofit sectors in modern developed nations do not have separate and distinct elites that can be counted upon to check each other. Instead, the private sector tends to dominate the public sector through campaign finance, and the nonprofit sector through donations. Even in the absence of these methods of elite coordination, the fact that almost all of the personnel of elite institutions of all kinds belong to the managerial-professional class and have similar educations and shared outlooks produces a common mentality, tending toward Orwellian groupthink among corporate executives, investment bankers, elected politicians, civil servants, and nonprofit leaders. Managerial dominance is reinforced by lateral mobility at the top levels of society. Diplomats become investment bankers, investment bankers become ambassadors, generals sit on corporate boards, and corporate executives sit on nonprofit boards.

from The New Class War, by Michael Lind

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May 22nd, 2017 09:48:47

The Bitch and Her Whelps

May 19th, 2017 by G.

  A BITCH, ready to whelp, earnestly begged a shepherd for a place
where she might litter.  When her request was granted, she
besought permission to rear her puppies in the same spot.  The
shepherd again consented.  But at last the Bitch, protected by
the bodyguard of her Whelps, who had now grown up and were able
to defend themselves, asserted her exclusive right to the place
and would not permit the shepherd to approach.

from Aesop’s Fables

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May 19th, 2017 07:14:21

Do men understand women better than women understand men?

May 19th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

Since equality never happens in nature; either men must understand women better than women understand men; or else women understand men better than men understand women – on average.

(Or, the difference could be too small to make a difference, except perhaps at the extremes.)

So which is it?

I would say the answer is obvious: men understand women better than vice versa!

More exactly, over time most men learn to understand women better and better; but women instead learn to tolerate that which they do not ever understand.

Why? Perhaps because biologically men court and women choose; so men want and need to understand women so they will mate with them. A woman (a young healthy woman, anyway) is intrinsically in-demand, and doesn’t really need to understand men – just to pick the best one available…

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May 19th, 2017 04:14:46

Sex Roles Are . . .

May 18th, 2017 by G.

Sex roles aren’t strict rules for living. They are banners for living. They are the old, sweet melodies and we are jazz musicians who sometimes play them straight and sometimes improvise variations on them.

-from Man and Woman, Men and Women


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May 18th, 2017 06:00:49