Sanity, the Paperback

The paperback of Sanity is now available. I’m with the crowd that still prefers real books–though reading on a screen has its times and places.

Turns out that preparing a book for print is far more difficult than the e-version. I fiddled with the images and the layout for days.

You’ll note there’s a different cover. Let’s not get into the technical details of that. I think it looks sort of cool and faintly menacing, though. So I’m good with it.

If Mike Hammer had a son with Dagny Taggart, he might have turned out something like Cal Adler, the hero of Sanity. Just in case you were wondering.

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Some Background on Sanity – the Novel

I’m pleased and grateful for the comments and feedback I’ve received on Sanity so far. I thought a bit of background on the origin, the sources and the writing process would be interesting to some readers. Just a taste, though. As with a woman, mystery about the thing is vital to continuing interest.

Like many of you I’ve been an avid reader from the beginning, that is from the earliest days I can remember learning to read. Anybody who has read a good book and has a spark of creativity has thought about writing one themselves, how it gets done and what it takes, the time and the struggle. I remember when I was 15 talking to a woman at our church who had published several successful “Young Adult” books: “I have so many good ideas for books!” She just smiled and said: Continue reading

Sanity – a Novel is Published

It took longer than gestating a real baby, but I published the novel yesterday, for Kindle only so far. The print version requires a lot more work to get right, but there will be one within the week–I personally like to read books.

The eminent Nick B. Steves was an early reader and I trust he won’t mind me quoting a bit of his response:

I had the chance to read in on a flight to Phoenix. It was dynamite. Couldn’t put it down…

SANITY is soaked in an anti-modernist critique that long-time lurkers will find as comfortable as an old shoe. It doesn’t preach, but rather assumes the sale. For those who’ve drunk deeply at the NRx water-cooler, there will be many cleverly hidden Easter Eggs.

I previously posted about the process of writing and the part fiction could play in making our culture and society less worser. I hope you will buy and read the book and if so inclined, review it.

I’ll have more to say about the details soon. One more time:

Sanity – a Novel

 

Review: “A Rambling Wreck” – Book 2 of The Hidden Truth by Hans G. Schantz

I’ve had a deep fascination with “hidden truths” as long as I can remember. Conspiracies, secret societies, smoke-filled back rooms, intelligence agencies, etc., etc. I believe I was 11 when I found None Dare Call It Conspiracy in Grandpa’s bookshelf; perhaps not old enough to really understand it, but old enough to be interested and to look in the encyclopedia for the persons and entities mentioned there for follow-up research.

After that there were the spy novels of Ian Fleming and others, then I got into the JFK conspiracy books when I was 14…may adventures with that are described in my piece Occam and Me on JFK and 9/11. In conjunction with my reading on the UFO phenomenon:

It was a slow-motion mystical journey similar to the quest for the Great White Whale, a quest for the Key to Everything “they” had been withholding from “us” over the whole history of the Republic, the real meaning of the symbols on the dollar bill and the goings-on in Ivy League secret societies and the Jekyll Island Duck Hunt and, probably, the aliens on ice at Wright-Patterson.

While I may have concluded that Lee Oswald, Lone Gunman, shot JFK, that didn’t take away from a whole lot of other interesting things. Not all the good conspiracies are true; but some of the best of them are in fiction…

Now comes Hans G. Schantz with his “The Hidden Truth” series. I mentioned it in my post The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction last summer, but at that time I hadn’t read the second volume, A Rambling Wreck. Now I’ve read it twice. And not only is it a fun and entertaining read, it’s also practical; a practical manual for flying under Big Government’s radar and infiltrating, undermining and ratfucking Social Justice Warriors. What could be more fun than that?

Since his debut in The Hidden Truth our hero Peter Burdell has grown up, a lot. Losing your parents to government assassins will do that. But Peter is also trying to ace (or at least pass) his classes in his freshman year at Georgia Tech, infiltrate the power elite (The “Civic Circle”) and the burgeoning SJW movement at Tech. Also, earn some money working in a lab. Also, possibly, meet a nice girl.

You do need to read The Hidden Truth to understand what’s up in A Rambling Wreck, but that’s a feature, not a bug. Just buy them both! Hell, at the same place you can buy Dr. Schantz’s awesome book on ultrawideband antennas.

But back to the specific book at hand, A Rambling Wreck. Why should you buy and read it?

It’s fun, it’s well written, it’s just plain good science fiction and it satisfies. Also, it’s a practical guide to understanding, infiltrating and grandly screwing with college SJWs. After you’ve read it, buy a copy (of both volumes) for your friends and children at school! Buy copies for younger kids, too. These books show how young people should conduct themselves with honor and perseverance, and not through preaching, but through example.

Anyway, as I said, our hero has grown up quite a bit in the course of the two books. There is some mild profanity and a singular use of the ‘f-word” and the sexual content is a little more advanced, but it fits with the arc of the story appropriately. In fact something I particularly like is how Peter is tepid about “Gaming” girls and leans toward finding himself a more serious, committed and deeper relationship.

One last note: There are several sections of the book with discussions of physics that are not going to be easily digested by the “casual” reader. They’re important to the plot and belong. If you can’t shut out the buzz of stupidity around you for a few minutes and buckle down to some deeper thinking, well, you haven’t Become Worthy quite yet.

Think. Deeply.

And buy and read A Rambling Wreck.

Back with a Book, But Liberalism Unsteelmanned

A full two months ago I posted Steelmanning Liberalism (I), the (I) being a kind of warranty express and/or implied, but (II), which was supposed to be about how Liberalism (ostensibly) prevents civil war, won’t be appearing; it just wasn’t coming out of the unconscious depths from whence all my good writing emerges.

I was concentrating my mental energy on my novel Sanity, and I’m extremely pleased to report that my “final draft” is complete. Here’s the current, if somewhat inscrutable, synopsis: Continue reading

Steelmanning Liberalism (I)

I’ve loved the term “steelmanning” ever since I first read it, somewhere in Slate Star Codex. Scott Alexander seems to have used the term many, many times and I don’t know exactly in which piece I first saw it, but credit where credit is due.

I was reminded of it again a few days ago when the estimable Geoffrey Miller pointed out that Conor Frieders… okay, I don’t want to get into that, or him. Let’s just leave it that the tweet inspired me to at last begin a post I’ve been contemplating for some time:

Steelmanning Liberalism

As to what liberalism is, what it is exactly that we’re steelmanning here, let’s refer to La Wik, for its universalism (heh):

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation

I’m sure that my target demographic here experiences a certain distaste, perhaps even physical revulsion to “Liberalism” because for the discerning, the term conjures up images like this:

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Or perhaps this:slt

These are the seeming fruits of liberalism, and by their fruits ye shall know them; all of us experiencing sanity feel a natural and healthy revulsion at such things. But let’s be honest. These are the strawmen of liberalism, or, perhaps one could say, merely the products of mental illness. What are the very best arguments for liberalism? What are the Steelmen?

I identify four, in descending order of importance:

  1. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely destructive war between nation-states
  2. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely civil war within nation-states
  3. Liberalism in general prohibits and discourages the killing of individual humans
  4. Liberalism provides the maximum opportunity for individual humans to develop their “human potential”

Today, we focus on (1). Obviously if this were true,  it would be a powerful argument that everyone, everywhere should adopt a liberal political system. War does not further good “reactionary” values like strong families with a committed father and mother in their complementary roles, like subsidiarity, like voluntarism and local control and craftsmanship. War produces single moms and orphans, national emergency governments running roughshod over all forms of local outlook and control, the involuntary military draft and mass production of material that is not for construction and admiration but for the express purpose of destruction and dealing death.

The notion that “Democracies don’t fight each other” was expressed by George W. Bush in 2004 and by his almost equally liberal predecessor Bill Clinton in 1994, but as helpfully pointed out by the BBC:

Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, [was] published in 1795. Kant’s theory is that democratic leaders are restrained by the resistance of their people to bearing the costs and deaths of war. And a democratic culture of negotiation and conciliation, plus the hurdles to taking swift action, favours peace.

For simplicity we here use “democracy” and “liberalism” interchangeably. In Current Year, all significant “liberal” regimes are democracies, whether parliamentary or American-style, and all actual “democratic” systems (those with voting and a regular, peaceful transfer of state power) are considered “liberal” under the definition above. The fact that a number ill-liberal nations hold sham elections is, in itself, significant. The fact that many “democracies” still have (powerless) monarchies is irrelevant. Luxembourg is as cute as a button; we will discuss it no further, unless it goes to war.

Now, it’s possible to dispute whether, in fact, liberal regimes or democracies have never, ever, gone to war with each other; the Guardian provides a helpful summary of possible exceptions. The best the good Professor could come up with was the (maybe, possibly) the War of 1812 and the Peloponnesian War.

Athens’s attack on Syracuse refutes the hypothesis, yet it is questionable whether the Athenians knew that Syracuse possessed a democratic polity or whether the rule of democratic peace applies to ancient warlike republics.

Color me unconvinced. One could argue that the US-Mexican War of 1846-8 qualifies, but the Mexican government in 1846 wasn’t liberal, or indeed outside of Mexico City much of anything but a mess. So I’m not buying. Some fools try to claim that Hitler was “elected” (he was appointed Chancellor). Germany was a democracy in 1933. Anyone want to make the case that it was still in 1939?

The American Civil War of 1861-5 belongs to Part II.

Liberalism has, arguably, been around as an important idea since Locke and other thinkers of the 17th century (see Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle for a great fictional treatment of the era). Modern liberal political regimes have been around since 1776. They have steadily increased in numbers since then, and they’ve not gone to war with each other. If all nation-states were liberal in construction, war would be extinct, or very, very rare.

This is the most important fruit of liberalism.

Consider it Steelmanned, Part I.

How Scientology Could School the Neoreaction

A couple of years back I wrote a piece at The Mitrailleuse, Opus Dei Could School the Neoreaction, of which the eminent Nick. B. Steves wrote, “He gets very much very right.”  High praise.

Recently I read Anti-Puritan’s post Scientology, training routines, and the post-rationalization of abuse and it occurred to me that Scientology also might “school” the NRx and that my personal knowledge-set made me the man to write about it. As I commented:

 I have a good deal of knowledge of Scientology, and a somewhat different take on the results of these exercises. Enough to finally do a new post on my own blog, which will appear in a day or two.

As that was approximately 26 days ago, let’s just say that I was pondering all this time about the right approach.

Ars longa est.

Continue reading