We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them.

– usually attributed to George Orwell.

Samizdata quote of the day – Missouri vs. Biden

So far I’ve only really discussed the procedural happenings—however what limited expedited discovery in this case has exposed (separate and apart from the Twitter files) is both unprecedented and abhorrent. The most widespread and troubling discovery? CISA has designated YOUR THOUGHTS part of the governments infrastructure. They call it “cognitive infrastructure”.

They argue they can regulate what you think as they consider it under their purview. In this article I describe “The 6 Most Shocking Recent Revelations of Government Censorship,” if you want the details. One character of particular importance was White House director of digital communications and strategy Rob Flaherty. Flaherty was ABUSIVE to social media companies—like they were his battered wife. Many of them resisted the calls for censorship until threats forced them into action. I was actually stunned to see how averse they were to censoring—until forced to by the government.

Tracy Beanz. Read the whole thing, it is astonishing.

Samizdata quote of the day – the enemy class at work

I had direct experience of how certain messages are everywhere in the culture. I recently went to a forum hosted by a large London law firm. (The event followed Chatham House rules, so I am being deliberately vague about names.) The forum was about the role of philanthropy advisors, and the kind of issues in philanthropy today. The panel included a Black guy, who is at an Oxford business school, who talked a lot about how conventional models of philanthropy are full of problems, such as how they are more about people trying to impose a view on communities and how from his point of view, philanthropy is more about supporting local people who should be in charge of their own destinies. I actually agree with quite a lot of that. But then he came out with the term “my truth”. This is post-modernism and a red flag. Another panelist said much philanthropy is questionable because the people who make lots of money and want to give it away do so in “extractive” ways or by exploiting people. He is some sort of Green and also reiterated fairly standard lines about neoliberalism, inequality and the evils of capitalism.

Another panelist was an advisor who is also a paid-up member of the Labour Party, and she said it was necessary to have philanthropy, however much one may prefer the State to do what philanthropy does, because we cannot wait for progress. (There is a kernel of truth to that.) Two other panelists were talking the conventinal lines about the need to “understand” clients and so on.

No-one, apart from your correspondent, challenged any of this. When I said that much of the modern philanthropy sector appears very political, and that some of these conversations are better had in Westminster, I was told by the Black guy that I had “come to the wrong place”. Further, this gentleman talked about the need to have “uncomfortable” conversations with rich donors. Others agreed. I bet it must be fantastic for a rich donor who writes a check to endow a hospital to be told he is legitimising an unjust capitalist order, or whatever. (Of course, there is nothing wrong if an advisor says, “Sorry sir, but we don’t approve of the sources of your wealth, and don’t want you as a client.”)

Where am I going with this? Well, the room was full of largely middle-aged, middle class lawyers, charity advisors and the like. I was left feeling pretty much on my own in asking the question that I asked. And this goes for lots of other issues in the public square right now. For instance, I bet that 99% of those present fully buy the catastropic, Man-made global warming scenario, and the decarbonisation agenda. Their views are, to them, so normal and right that dissent of any kind is regarded more than just unusual, it is seen as unseemly.

Interestingly enough, one or two people at the event came up to me and rather sheepishly said they agreed with some of what I said. I have no idea what effect my questions would have had.

Johnathan Pearce, whose comment here was too good not to be highlighted.

Samizdata quote of the day – cataloging a tsunami of Covid scandals

The mainstream press is 99.9 percent captured.

The “gatekeepers of the news” have become stenographers of virtually every dubious or false public health narrative. Nobody (who really matters in the Big Picture) is challenging the never-ending lies, manipulated data and false narratives.

If this lack of skepticism persists, it seems almost a certainty that all the important organizations in the world will continue to be led by people who either aren’t intelligent enough to challenge false narratives or know the narratives are false and simply don’t care.

Bill Rice

Samizdata quote of the day – so which is it?

Pro-censors on Substack:

“Hateful content causes real-world violence.”

Also pro-censors on Substack: seek out the hateful content, link to it, talk about it, make sure every one of their followers sees it and has a link to click to get to it, cause it to get significantly more algorithmic juice than it would have otherwise.

Either they’re the dumbest dumbfucks to ever dumb OR they don’t believe what they’re saying.

One. Or. The. Other.

Holly Math Nerd

Samizdata quote of the day – stand together

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Edmund Burke

Samizdata quote of the day – people use the weapons they are given

People use the weapons that are on their belt. The epidemic of false accusations of rape isn’t due to the badness of women; it’s because the State has placed a potent weapon at their disposal. Of course they use that weapon. If men could accuse women of witchcraft to “get” them there would be an epidemic of witchcraft accusations.

There is a reason that the statue of justice is wearing a blindfold; the demographics of the parties before the Court are not supposed to matter in any way. That the left has pulled us away from that ancient and sensible principle is one of the tragedies of our age.


Samizdata quote of the day – Juryless trials edition

The SNP’s plan should worry us all. Juryless rape trials will set a dangerous precedent. This elite suspicion of the public could erode the right to trial by jury in other cases, too. After all, if members of the public are assumed to be incapable of taking jury duty seriously in rape trials, then why allow us to be jurors at all?

Scotland’s lawyers are right. This is indeed ‘a deeply troubling attack’ on the criminal-justice system. Women must not allow justice to be destroyed in our name.

Ella Whelan

Climate change story told by ice cores…

A short but important presentation by Jørgen Peder Steffensen …

What do ice cores tell us about the history of climate change and the present trend? This video explains one perspective – arguably the most accurate one. And if you skip to 2:25, you will see the huge error we have made and the assumptions and extrapolations based on that error.

Samizdata quote of the day – rule by civil service

I worry when I read stories like the business secretary Kemi Badenoch complaining that she cannot deliver her party’s manifesto plans to scrap all EU laws due to Whitehall intransigence. It makes me wonder who exactly is in charge of public policy: elected ministers or their unelected officials?

There is an attitude among senior officials that they know better than these’ here-today-gone-tomorrow’ ministers. The old dictum of ‘advisers advise, ministers decide’ seems reversed. We have unintentionally ended up with a self-propagating bureaucracy who are either averse to change, or who feel they are above the democratic decision-making process.

Eamonn Butler

Samizdata quote of the day – Irish repression edition

Reporters without Borders seem to be of a similar mindset — they don’t know how anyone could object to these laws either and can’t see how anyone could consider them limiting. Is their assessment of our level of press freedom wrong? As of today, it’s probably not. That’s not to say that a wide variety of different opinions are available in the mainstream media or that dissent is encouraged; more that things restraining dissent and argument are philosophical and held in place by an unspoken consensus amongst the powerful. Hate Speech laws will, ironically, change that. Suppressing speech through arrest that you were mostly successful in suppressing through consensus might prove a tactical error. Who knows what next year’s rankings will hold?

Conor Fitzgerald

Samizdata quote of the day – heat pump edition

Oh, how we wish the laws of thermodynamics could be altered, in our favour.

Air-source heat pumps, which included the “mini-splits” popular in warmer climates, will provide less and less heat, the colder it gets outside, and less and less cooling, the warmer it gets outside. And in both cases, will use more and more electricity to produce less and less heating or cooling, as the outside temperature rises or falls, respectively – if you see what I mean. In other words, the more you need them, the less effective and efficient they are – the perfect government solution. You couldn’t make it up.

– Commenter llamas accurately describing the lunacy of heat pumps, which really are the perfect analogy for government: the more you need them, the less effective and efficient they are.