(second block, fourth letter of the prisoners' quadratic tap code...)

...am here to tap through the walls.

Wed Oct, 15 2008

Who Is John Galt?

Paul Hsieh and I comment here:

"We still have free speech in this country, and we still have a culture that (for the most part) values reason, success, and prosperity."
Look, Paul: you can talk about what the culture values, but we both know the source of values, and the fact is that individuals are responsible for what they think and value. Now, you might be right as a matter of statistics and if we stipulate to mush-definitions for the concepts that you list, but the more principal fact is that only a rare few can actually reason to the bottom of "reason, success, and prosperity". The anti-reason in comments on this post alone should adequately demonstrate the epistemic material to work with in the culture. Most people regard the 1990's as a "success" because of that creep from Arkansas, and if Ben Bernanke personally dropped a satchel full of Federal Reserve Notes on their porches, they would happily call it "prosperity".

"Free speech". Look around you: that hasn't stopped a steady march of imbeciles for generations since, say, FDR. I see a lot of people holding "free speech" as a political standard against which to judge the advance of tyranny, as if being allowed to point out to imbeciles every other sort of violation of freedom that they actively sanction makes it all worth bearing.

You are hollering from the prison-cell, and calling it freedom. The herd at the cannibal-pot will give you their reply next month.

I've been making a lot of people online angry for a long time at pointing out ugly truths. I am now here to tell you that, as ugly as they are, they are positive joys compared to the price of letting this disaster run its necessary course.

Get this straight: no nation in history has ever voted its way out of straits like these, and we won't, either. You're one of a few qualified to take up this discussion, Paul, and that's why I say you should understand why that's true. Go look at the Twentieth Century Motor Company again. That's what you're seeing right in front of you, with America as the object.

The principal ethical/political confrontation of our times is nothing more or less than collectivism versus individualism. Make no mistake about this: everyone will be called upon to stand on one side or the other, sooner or later and one way or another. The central question is whether they will know what they're doing when their time comes, and why.

Voting will not relieve them of this responsibility. There will come a time sooner or later when that political narcotic will no longer suppress the intensity of the central conflict.

For anyone seriously interested in American freedom, it must now be time to reject every manifestation of democracy in politics on moral grounds: understand the immorality of voting, stop doing it now, and tell everyone why.

And then, here's one of my comparative "joys": start letting go of everything that you love that the state can use against you as hostage, in order to prepare yourself for starving it out of existence. Stop paying for it. This government will always keep stealing your productivity as long as you let it, and there will be no other recourse.

All my life, I have believed that there was enough of a moral conscience remaining in this country to which to appeal with passive civil disobedience. (See MLK, et. al.: flood the courts, and embrace the prisons.) As this rot advances, doubts encroach. I know this, in any case: it's either that, or someone starts shooting sooner or later (and in the current political pressurization, you can never tell who or why), or the long anesthetic slide into the oblivion of totalitarianism will run its full horrible course right here where untold precedent generations would weep eternal heartbreak if they could see it.

That's it. That's what you've got left:Why anyone thinks they can get away with the last one is beyond me.

You people have been voting for the lesser of two evils for so long that evil is all that's left, now.

"Galt's Gulch" will never be a place.

It's in your mind. That's why you have a mind.

If you don't put it to work for yourself, nobody else ever will.


"For one, the worst event of this day, though it may deject, shall not break or subdue me. The call upon us is authoritative. Let who will shrink back, I shall be found at my post."

(Edmund Burke, speech at Parliament, 1785)


Various guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and mostly eBay.

Early Norlin ES-335 -- 1970, in Walnut ("ES-335TDW"). This is a period-piece look and feel, and arguably the sound as well but that's to cut things very finely. A "classic" 335 would be the original of 1958 in the Sunburst or Natural finish, or the Cherry Red of 1959; the Walnut of 1970 (second year of that finish offering) is not really a "classic" 335. In the history of the Gibson aesthetic, this is analogous to, say, vertically-striped polyester bell-bottoms or Bahama Blue shag carpeting. None of this is to say that they're not cool guitars, and this is a nice one. Excellent photographs.

Chrome hardware, featuring the trapeze tailpiece (like my L-47 and I've always liked it) and ABR-1 bridge with period-typical nylon saddles. Bound rosewood fretboard, with small block markers, and then the crown inlay at the machine head. These would be the T-top Humbuckers. Vintage Nazis would moan that the upper bouts are pointy (the body templates were wearing-out in the factory) and the fourteen-degree machine head with the volute signals a sometimes not-fun era of the line, but these things really do rock or moan or whatever you want a 335-type semi-hollow to do. ...which, of course, is because it really is a 335.

In the months since I've let AxeBites languish all to bleedin' hell, Gibson's Robot Guitar technology has sifted out to other models than the original Les Paul application. I don't know how it's going: I still haven't even seen one of these self-tuners. I don't see piles of them burning on the sides of the highway, nor reverent hangings in display cases over bars, so who knows? This 2008 Robot SG is ready to rock in the Metallic Red. Nickel hardware; it's the stoptail wired for data to send to the tuners, with dual Humbuckers. It's a bound rosewood fretboard, but I really like the single-bound machine head with the crown inlay. That's a real cool old-school look, right there, to set off that crazy-ass color. {nod}