||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Shahab Ahmed's Islam
Shahab Ahmed, to whom Harvard spitefully denied tenure, passed away almost two years ago. His books have been coming out posthumously. This year I can report that Before Orthodoxy is an instant classic. Last year, his university publisher had put out What Is Islam?. I still haven't read this one; but I've seen a few reviews. (We'll leave aside Harvard's judgement for our purposes.)
Frank Griffel has tendered to What Is Islam? a critical review. Griffel does that to many historical critiques of Sunnite Islam, usually unfairly. On this case, though, we should give to Dr Griffel his due. I don't see politically-motivated cant or talking-point in this review. Griffel instead has posted an exhaustive summary of Ahmed's take on "Islam".
Ahmed like Reilly and Starr argues for the normative Islam of its second century, especially in its Iranian "Intermezzo" form, before the Arab and Turkish Sunnites turned it into an arid and unquestionable law-code. The project was more personal to Ahmed given that he was a Muslim. Ahmed, Reilly, Starr and - we finally learn - Griffel seem to agree with each other and, for that matter, with Robert Spencer, that this law-code is inhuman. Ahmed (and Griffel) would only dispute with Spencer that this is not an indictment of Islam in its essence.
If Griffel is accurately representing this book, and I see no reason to doubt this, then Ahmed's inclusion of non-canonical practices into Islamic civilisation has led him into some absurdities. Take Moses Maimonides, the world's most famous Sephardic Jew; he lived in Islamic lands and ended up moving away from a Sunnite fundamentalist tyranny (Islamic Spain) into another Islamic land. According to Griffel, Ahmed counts Maimonides as within Islam. Er...
But this does not seem to detract from Ahmed's achievement, especially when Ahmed surveys the earlier attempts in the field of Islamic(ate) definitions.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Seeing whites as a race depends on what race you are
From outside Europe, "whites" are a monolithic block. If you are non-European you can generally get whites, especially their women, to dance to your tune if you accuse them of being white - I mean, of being "racist". (This was the main joke of Stuff White People Like.) There could be a subtext here, that the white nations don't like seeing themselves as one group.
The Amerika blog - here's just one comment thread - has been running a long argument in its own comments that the European nations see themselves not foremost as "white" but as distinct from other white nations. Historically in Europe there was a strain of thought that separated the "Mediterranean" type from the "Nordic"; nowadays I suppose we'd be calling it the "European Farmer" or "Sardinian" genome, as opposed to the "Bell Beaker". Out east, think of how the Koreans hate being lumped in with the Japanese and the Chinese. In Islam, think of the fada'il literature. Back to Europe many of its component peoples are "Euro-skeptic". Anglophone news outlets on this much tend to point to Brexit.
There do exist pan-European / pro-white outlets. It was almost three decades ago that Jared Taylor founded American Renaissance. Yes, it was ostensibly for Americans; but these days it holds some appeal to the whites in Europe, like the old Romans had done (and this might have been Taylor's intent from the start - note the site's aesthetic, classical architecture). A few years ago Taylor hosted a pan-European conference in Hungary - or tried to. The Magyars shut down the main venue and Taylor ended up hosting the affair in a pub, which also almost got shut down. One attendee, Richard Spencer, spent that night in a Budapest cell. I recall reading in European circles that the Hungarian adventure was silly, especially in a non-IndoEuropean state of all places; that a pan-white enterprise was so quixotic that "only an American" could imagine it,
As to that, Ace questions whether even in America we can end up as a melting-pot. He doesn't say "white" but it's a subtext. There is much bad blood between the Red States - the Scots-Irish and (we'll get to that) the Germans - and the Blue States, who are at base Irish and East Anglia English.
It turns out that the dream of a united nation of variegated Europeans has in fact been met - this nation is Germany. Razib noted in May that the "Germans" are three distinct nations in one: Rheinlanders (read: Wallaces) and Slavs, with the actual Teutons bordering on the Danes'-Mark. The Germans themselves are aware of their internal divisions; and they haven't been shy about sharing this with outsiders, to the extent that (Anglophile) HP Lovecraft had some fun at the Krauts' expense in "The Temple".
I gather that in Europe the dream of a United Europe is mainly a German dream. White America is as we all know mostly German America. This may explain why that (white) "melting pot" theory would be shared between Germans and Americans. Taylor isn't German himself - like I'm not - but, also like me, Taylor has spent his life outside his home ground, so his views on things are distorted.
Since the melting-pot hasn't erased the three nations in Germany, after thousands of years, it is a fool's errand in Merkel's EU and furthermore a point to Ace about the melting-pot in America. (And against Taylor.) Although, it would be nice if we could at least unite in a common enterprise, like protecting all our borders...
Thursday, August 10, 2017
White people: quit telling black stories
The social-justice activists weren't able to stop That Scene in HBO's Game of Thrones; but they may well be able to stop their new anti-racist drama. Lately I've also been alerted to Laurie Forest, who dared write an anti-racist story in The Black Witch.
When you signal that you're an Ally, you signal that you're a bitch. You won't be thanked for your Wokeyness. You'll just make yourself a target - and not from the alt-righters.
If storytellers like Forest had the wisdom and fortitude to write about what The Marginalised would do to their Oppressors once the Social Justice was served, that might be a story worth the telling. Brandon Sanderson, amateurishly, poked at this in his Mistborn books. David Anthony Durham in his Acacia series did better.
But, well... Current Year.
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Muhammad Atta is my copilot
I've not passed along a lot of the Vox Day memes here, and I'll leave to others to decide why that is(n't), but here's one.
Since I'm on That Spectrum, I'll spell it out: Google / Alphabet is a company that provides "free" shit in any number of forms: blogspot is one, youtube another, the search-engine being the most ubiquitous. As we all learnt in gradeschool, or should have learnt, nothing is really free. So Google / Alphabet lives or dies on advertising - targeted advertising, namely AdWords.
But it's got other revstreams, like those self-driving cars. So Google knows what you say, they know how to program algorithms that put you on their whitelist or blacklist, and they want to sell you a vehicle that runs up to 65 miles an hour along a mountain highway.
This might all be fine and good, if Google didn't care about what the drivers were doing on their spare time. Well... that's where Vox Day comes in.
Google's employees are on record wishing for physical harm on their own coworkers when they step out of line - or even when the standouts aren't breaking company policy, but just offend Google management feelz. And no, this violence wasn't just bloviating from ex-employee blowhards like Yonatan Zunger; it's not even the pro-antifa posturing. Go click that Breitbart article; the people there really do walk the talk, they really do come to blows.
If Google could kill us, they would. You'd have to be a fool to put yourself in Google-maintained physical spaces.
UPDATE 9:16 PM MST: Yeah, Steve Sailer got there first. But I hadn't read that when I posted this.
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Argument to the man
Wired, being journ-o-listers, went out to refute James Damore... and not the substantive points in his essay.
It transpires that Damore, a Harvard alumnus, a couple years back had claimed on LinkedIn to have left there with a Doctorate :mumble: Philosophy (my Latin's not great). Wired contacted that establishment; the Harvardians reported that they had delivered to Damore naught but a lowly 2013 MS. I myself in mine own academic blunderings never got anywhere near this, but I am told that Harvard gives the MS as a participation-trophy to PhD candidates whose theses go splat.
And sometimes a university gives out PhDs to theses that go splat years after the fact; and when they do, those degrees are not retracted. You may or may not be surprised at some of those recipients. The insufficiently-credentialed bystander can certainly understand a temptation for the MS graduates / PhD failures to handwave - hey, I went through the PhD programme! at Harvard!!
Stolen-valour sucks, and Damore's resume-pumping should not be condoned. But we're all here to debate Damore's argument to Google.
Damore's argument argues what it argues despite whatever dirt its detractors dig concerning Damore himself. Take it from one who has also attempted Arguing Without A Licence, in my case concerning Late Antique Islam. Personally, in that capacity, I've not actually claimed to be anything more than a BA in Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations (and in various mathematicals). But there's lots other irrelevant dirt an interested party might dig up. (To pick on some dirt I actually deserve.)
So, kudos to Wired, I guess, in finding out some stuff that can serve as a warning to others. Yes,
Monday, August 07, 2017
He got fired of course
Coincidentally I've just backed up my blogspot archive.
Antitrust, Mister President. Please.
UPDATE 8/8/2017: over in Anglophone-Islamicate Twitter, Razib Khan and Emad Mostaque are vehemently agreeing with each other: that this is going to happen.
Sunday, August 06, 2017
The Lamed Vav... of Evil!
The Defamation League makes no effort to rebut the Thirty Six point by point, on whatever actual defamation any of them have done - that's beneath them. This is, rather, a proscription: to shut its targets out of the Western conversation. Pax Dickinson, for a start, cannot find a regular job because would-be employers in the Forbes 500 fear the Defamation League.
The gnostic Left believes it is too rational
The transnational elite believes that it is superior in intellect. Yet, when defending its turf, it doesn't argue; it prefers to no-platform its rivals. I've noticed a self-rationalisation: that that their soi-disant superiority is a weakness. More specifically, that demonstrating that innate genius in a superior argument is not worth the effort.
I saw it here earlier with Perfesser Jonathan Rape Rape Brown, who kicked himself (or, claimed that his wife kicked him) for being too scholarly when he defended slavery. Now, we got Matt Siegel opining
These are people with the Higher Gnosis, and they see no point in mounting an actual intellectual defence of this texto implícito. Why should they? These pearls are lost upon us swine. We don't deserve an argument, they say; we deserve war.
Their arrogance becomes even funnier when the non-Westerners amongst them attempt Western classical allusions. As Sun Tzu once advised his Emperor, Jet Li.
Maybe Nassim Taleb has a point and it's time we quit addressing mandarin-class dolts by honorifics.
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