Can the gigantic committee practice Wu Wei?

If you're anything like me, you've been wondering that your whole life. Mencius Moldbug comes out with an emphatic "No!" in his response to Will Wilkinson's labeling of democratic skepticism as a mental disorder.

Related: A Thousand Nations

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I could have lived without

I could have lived without the foray into phrenology or the not-so-thinly-veiled condescending racism. Tell me again why people take this Moldbug character seriously?


Tell me again why people take this Moldbug character seriously?

Because he offers valuable insights. Well, that's not really answering your question. It's not why I "take him seriously". It's why I read his blog. I'm not sure what you mean by "taking him seriously." Maybe you are implying that his insights are not valuable. Maybe your point is that, since he's a racist (according to you), he can't offer valuable insights. Well, I've seen his insights, and I find them valuable. Maybe your point is that I can't trust Moldbug's judgment, since he's a racist and therefore has poor judgment, and so I can't trust his insight, as it proceeds from his faulty judgment. Maybe that is what you mean by "taking him seriously". But I am not trusting his insight. It is not his judgment, but my own, which I have employed in assessing his insights as valuable.

Maybe you want to protect people from the moral contagion, the spiritual pollution, of Moldbug's alleged racism. If people read things written by Moldbug, they may catch a mental virus and become racists, and you want to prevent that.

Finally, maybe you think that associating with Moldbug will make someone look bad in front of other people, that Moldbug is a racist and therefore a social leper, and that being seen in public in the company of Moldbug - or linking to him approvingly - will turn anyone who does it into a social leper as well.

I have a suspicion, which I'll share. I have noticed that you like popularity. It's important to you. So does Wilkinson - it is continually on his mind and is especially prominent in that essay of his currently under discussion. My suspicion is that on some level you view the ultimate goal of intellectual pursuits to be to achieve popularity - that is, social prominence. Moldbug is a social leper (in your view), and so his ideas, being his, are leprous. Therefore his ideas fail to serve the ultimate goal of intellectual pursuits, which is to achieve social prominence. Therefore his ideas are necessarily no good.

As for the matter of the skulls, I am neither trusting or distrusting Moldbug in this matter. I am simply not interested in it enough to pursue the matter. I'm simply forgetting it. If I were interested in it, I would not take Moldbug's word for it - though not for any reason having to do with Moldbug in particular. I would trust your claims about this even less.

Because he offers valuable

Because he offers valuable insights.

I've tried reading a few of his posts in the past, but they were too long for the blog format, and whatever was valuable in them could have been expressed with far fewer words and with far fewer Madeupisms. Moldbug needs an editor. And even if he had one, I can find much more insightful stuff elsewhere to spend my time reading, without having to dive into phrenology.

As for popularity, sure, that's part of what this is about. When libertarians wonder why their ideas don't seem to have the same appeal to non-white non-males, the willingness of some to embrace "race realism", white genetic supremacy, and male genetic supremacy and tie them together with libertarianism certainly doesn't make the ideology appealing to those with the wrong genes. How likely would you be to take seriously an ideology that says, or is closely associated with those who say, "You suck, you are inferior, you are not welcome here"?

Blog format

I've tried reading a few of his posts in the past, but they were too long for the blog format

Not sure what you mean. I don't think that reverse chronological order is all that limiting. It's not a restriction on length in the sense that haiku is. UR entries may be "too long" in a purely navigational sense for the typical format of the front page of a blog. If you are trying to find an older blog entry, it is inconvenient to scroll through very long more recent blog entries. But I read his stuff on an aggregator, as I read most blogs, and the aggregator navigation is not affected by the length of the individual blog entries.

I can agree that there is such a thing as a piece of writing going on too long - but it depends on the content and style and the competence of the writer. His writing is entertaining and is peppered with enough roadside attractions that it is a bit like what Route 66 is reputed to have been for the traveler.


Ha! Nice term. Did you make it up?