Ed Norton's character in Fight Club : Tyler Durden :: Plato : Socrates
Imaginative reconstruction of the Dialogues where Plato just gets utterly destroyed by every sophist he runs into, I mean the Athenians are hooting and hollering and clapping and laughing at him like he's the loser of a rap battle, so he makes up "Socrates" as his alter-ego.
(I know, I know, we have testimonial evidence from Xenophon among others that Socrates was a real person. Still, I think it would be appropriate had begun in the mood it abides: esprit de l'escalier.)
Was listening to the Great Courses entry on the dialogues in the shower this morning, and the author's description of Socrates's beef with the sophists struck me as shockingly relevant. The backdrop: the Pythagoreans had destabilized post-Periclean Athens by taking the teleology
out of fixtures of the natural world such as the Sun, replacing the Fiery Chariot of Appollo with admittedly cult-inflected but naturalistic accounts, such as "flaming rock in the sky". Much like Moldbug's description of Carylyle, Socrates had little interest in natural science
(*Carlyle - referring to the Moldbug essay that notes how Carlyle was a big hit in his time and elements of his personality wound up in Sherlock Holmes)
[natural science] ... rather, Socrates was interested in the developments in natural science only insofar as they threatened to destabilize public morals and the ability to find the good life. In particular, he was concerned that maybe the sophists going about using word-games
to gain power in the new age, the age in which advancements in math and science had destabilized the old order backstopped by oaths to the Gods and a mythic view of nature, were in fact correct, just pioneers who had been the first to apply the new techne to the actually-
-important _human_ sciences. My erudite readers can fill in the rest from here. As to why I say this situation sounds remarkably relevant today, two threads. First:

[Intermezzo while I try to find the second thread I am looking for.]

also let's @ someone I'm fond of to let him know I care #randomactsofkindness
@robinhanson

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More from @PereGrimmer

22 Nov
My sister apparently has a bet running with my mom for $1k at 10-1 that Trump will win. (I'm guessing she reads my feed and is sick of me always being right about crazy shit and then bragging? Neither mom nor sis are Trump fans by any stretch.)
The bet, to be clear, is 10-1 AGAINST Biden winning. Utter insanity given market odds. As I told my dad, it's a fun anecdote since it demonstrates a scenario where putting up skin in the game makes you seem less credible, since you did it as objectively crazy odds.
That is, when people have asked me to bet them that Trump will win at _even odds,_ I've of course said no, since the whole point of coming up with unusual predictions is to _make money from the current market odds,_ and so it would be nutty to sign over my profits to doubters.
Read 6 tweets
22 Nov
Time for a soft news story: whom did Trump recently unfollow? Image
Huh! It's funny how there is a total media obsession with Trump yet I somehow miss this beef.

Read 4 tweets
22 Nov
There is no chance Kyle would have been charged were he Muslim and Brown. This is a racial prosecution: he's being wrongly charged for murder and smeared as a Nazi because he's the Great White Defendant.
It's not so much that he's white as that he's Badwhite. The distinction is identical to

Badwhites must put up with this since they lack explicit class/racial consciousness and the litigation skills to play the Mau Mau game. I would suggest it's rather a bad idea to induce them to develop same.
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
If Biden becomes the next President, I think we are going to find ourselves looking back fondly on Trump's management of Covid within a few months.

I have heard this from several independent sources with knowledge of hospital administration stats.

Dry tinder burned up, better therapeutics and treatment algos, etc., I take it?

Read 6 tweets
22 Nov
I like Rudy, I think he's a great character, very personable guy, but please please please do not have him do the appellate argument. He just is not an appellate lawyer.
I'd do worse than Rudy. OK not really, but ideally they would get a Kathleen Sullivan type. (Not that she'd take the rep, but if she did, jeez, game over.)

I would do a bunch of E before the argument so I could match his flop sweat.

Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
As predicted, expedited appeal to the Third Circuit coming.
IS there any reason to read the lower court opinion? I'm thinking no. I get that libs are looking for any ray of sunshine right now, but they seem to be conflating the opening pawn sacrifice in the KIA with "CHECKMATE".
(Yes, now that there's a prestige drama about chess, I am going to be using so many chess metaphors you'd think I was Yasser Seirawan.)
Read 24 tweets

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