Already not liking this post. Sounding too much like a Jim fanboy. But the content mill needs to keep churning, so I’ll say stuff that I need to say. Also Jim needs just a little bit more attention.
There is no intellectual elite. No one in power knows what’s going on, a fact we can now confirm thanks to the Free ‘n Wild internet. Western intellectual output is just a bunch of windbags and yes-nodders enjoying the smell of their own farts.
But, we need an idea of knowing what’s going on, especially if we are not to partake in this collective suicide. So we try, and we come up with stuff like morals, ethics, virtue and God, which in nature’s terms is just a means of gene- and tribe optimization, or inter-tribe optimization if you’re into globalism.
Which is hard. All philosophers agree that no philosophers agree. But who needs Marxist professors smacking your heads with books on Mill and Rawls when you have teh internetz! For the first time in history all men worldwide get to push their ideas to all other men worldwide. Naturally, 99% of said ideas are men being obnoxious assholes, because what else are men gonna do, but the 1% remainder is pretty insightful.
Eh I’m underselling it. It’s amazingly insightful.
How insightful though? How smart are we really? How can we be sure it is not just another Scott Alexander calling Scott Aaronson a shining beacon of intellectual integrity circle jerk?
Personally, I’m at 129 IQ. Annoying because 1 point shy of being 2 standard deviations above the mean, so strictly speaking 2,5% of the population is smarter than me. Chances are, you are smarter than me. But the fact that people are supposedly smarter than me has never stopped me from judging, so I’ll give my opinion anyway.
Seems to me we’re pretty smart. Seems to me we have a pretty decent understanding of human nature and civilization. Nothing Godlike, mind you, more like we have reconnected with the Classics and the Old Religions, and we have combined it with science and evolution. It’s a pretty potent combination.
Jim says it best. Apologies if I sound like a broken record fanboy, but you gotta respect the king. Which does not mean no one else can take aim at the king and take his place, but so far, no one. His model is the best around, and might be summarized as ‘throne, altar, household, swing your dick around with pride, be good to your friends, be fire upon your enemies.’
It is not so complicated after all. You just got to get through the 99% obnoxious assholery.