What ends hysteria?

I’ve previously written about social manias throughout history.

We’ve discussed what gets them started, but how do they end? Is there a way we can cut them short?

Let’s examine some examples and see if any patterns emerge:

Economic bubbles
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The reason we lost our liberties and voting power

At the Pub, Brisbane 1982
*Karen voice*: “Excuse me everyone, can you show me your digital vaccine passes, please?” I pity the fool. Image: At the Pub, Brisbane 1982 (© Rennie Ellis) via source

The commonest furphy in liberal democracies is that power comes from voting franchise and individual liberties.

That is, people are strong because they can vote and because they possess rights that are protected by courts and constitutions.

This is backwards.

People have rights and the franchise because they have power.

Voting
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Multiculturalism and social trust

If the headline’s assertion is not already familiar to you, read this first.


I was once flying back to Sydney from Bangladesh and the flight was delayed by twelve hours – a common occurrence in those parts. The airline put us up in a nice hotel by the airport, twin-share. I was travelling alone.

An Aussie guy spotted me and suggested we share because he didn’t want to spend the night with ‘some random Bangladeshi.’ I looked him up and down, decided he was alright and agreed.

The night passed without incident.

I was younger and more pious then, so I thought we’d been a bit racist. Now that I’m older, I can see why it made sense.

When I see an Aussie, I can sum him up at a glance with a very high degree of accuracy. Toffy Poms sometimes complain that they can’t ‘place’ Australians in terms of class because we all speak the same, but we can tell who’s who.

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Black swans of trespass

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another poetry post. However, please humour me for a moment by reading this short piece and deciding what you think of it. You’ll find out why later.

Durer: Innsbruck, 1495 (published 1943)

I had often cowled in the slumbrous heavy air,
Closed my inanimate lids to find it real,
As I knew it would be, the colourful spires
And painted roofs, the high snows glimpsed at the back,
All reversed in the quiet reflecting waters –
Not knowing then that Durer perceived it too.
Now I find that once more I have shrunk
To an interloper, robber of dead men’s dream,
I had read in books that art is not easy
But no one warned that the mind repeats
In its ignorance the vision of others. I am still
The black swan of trespass on alien waters.

Bookmark your thoughts. Whatever your opinion, the story behind this poem is a tale for the ages.

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The last 3 good albums

I’m haunted by three albums released from the late 1990s to mid-2010s.

Partly because they are ethereal and strange, partly because they seem to be the last good albums ever recorded.

I might be wrong about this. Perhaps I’m just a grumpy old man and you can draw my attention to more recent good albums.

On the other hand, maybe downloading killed music as we once knew it, leaving us with nothing listenable except for free, bland focus music.

Edit: here’s another view of what’s wrong with modern pop. It’s not the only one:

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Woke Inc. shelves multiculturalism

I was reading yet another Hate YT story and realized something interesting: we never hear the word ‘multiculturalism’ any more, even from the same elites who once pushed it with the same gay abandon they once spruiked the campus rape epidemic and Bruce Jenner.

I thought this might just be my impression, not reality, so I checked Google Trends to see how much the word is being searched worldwide.

This is what I found:

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The return of the aristocracy

If you’ve poked your head out of the cave lately, you’ll have noticed a pattern.

Our rulers want to change our lives.

They suddenly want us to eat bugs, live in pods, refrain from eating beef, enjoy our lack of privacy and own less stuff. They also want us to travel less, especially in Australia where travel for most is banned.

It’s Woke, global warming, Covid and WEF nonsense rolled into a single, unified campaign against the common man.

Why?

Who stands to benefit from us eating bugs? Who wins by stopping us from flying to Bali for a holiday?

In terms of absolute monetary benefit, no one. There’s not much money in marketing bug burgers or renting out bungalows at Bonnie Doon.

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The best games ever

a person with collar shirt

This article examines the antics of five athletes to synthesize a grand unified theory of why the Olympics are cactus.

I’m old enough to remember the Sydney 2000 Olympics. It was a special time – just about all Australians were proud to have it and hoped to put on a really good show for the world.

Do you remember Eric the Eel? He had no Olympic-sized pool back in Equatorial Guinea to train in so he almost drowned. The crowd cheered him on wildly and he just made the distance. Unkind people thought we were being racist and/or condescending but far from it – we genuinely admired his spirit. The balls of the guy, to even make the attempt! That is the Olympic spirit.

I have nothing against the concept of the Olympics. The world’s greatest sportsmen gathering every four years to compete in peace and friendship. Going back the Greeks, it was a triumph of human creativity and abstract reasoning to put aside conflict for a couple of weeks, enjoy the show and perhaps imagine a better world.

What killed the Olympics? Various things. Cheating, politics (i.e. banning Russia), IOC corruption, professionalism, corporate sponsorship, cost overruns, white elephant stadiums. No doubt there are more. The Olympic spirit has been dying for decades. Why cheer drugged-up pros who are playing for millions of dollars? Give us the good old days of mustachioed, pot-bellied accountants stopping for a fag and a dram of whisky as they run the 1896 marathon wearing hats and bow ties.

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Becoming less WEIRD

https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/0k64dHE3ibAt1Z4SRw6MpA--~B/aD01NDA7dz05NjA7c209MTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg--/https://s.yimg.com/hd/cp-video-transcode/prod/2020-06/07/5edd1fb792fc2851a333f29d/5edd1fb792fc2851a333f29e_o_U_v2.jpg
Background

I previously wrote about how those with ancestors from north-eastern Europe are WEIRD.  We are culturally unique because we are Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.

WEIRD does not mean ‘white’.  Those whites on the peripheries of Europe, outside the Hajnal Line, are not WEIRD.

Most of the letters in the acronym could apply equally to the high-trust Asian Tiger societies, but they lack our extreme egalitarianism, guilt complex, and low consanguinity and ethnocentrism.

Over time, WEIRD people built the richest, freest, most creative, dynamic and technologically advanced nations in history.  That is changing.

The Decline

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You are WEIRD

Map of nations covered by psychological studies

The trouble with people living in WEIRD countries is, we don’t know how WEIRD we are.

WEIRD stands for Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.  Many countries have some of these characteristics, but only a few have them all, which makes them . . . weird.

The map above shows where 90% of psychological studies come from, adjusting country size by population.  These WEIRD countries account for only about 15% of the world’s population.  Some researchers are starting to think these studies must be culturally biased, and that broader studies are needed to understand human nature more fully.

This is because WEIRD countries are different.  They have certain Read More