The Reich Stuff

Yesterday, Transterrestrial Musings contributed to the venerable April 1 tradition with the headline Pro-German Protesters Demand Ceasefire. That brought to mind something I’ve pondered recently: does the Third Reich seem so unique at least in part because we never had a chance to see what the Aztecs, Moghuls, ancient Mesopotamian civilizations, and other pre-industrial empires would do if they had mid-20th Century technology? I can imagine boxcars unloading people at Tenochtitlan…

Messages in the Original Star Trek

For those of you who brought your copy of The Screwtape Letters, open to Chapter 1:

Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism [disbelief in the supernatural] is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous — that it is the philosophy of the future.

This is relevant to discourse in general. Jargon means different things to different people; it is key to preventing meaningful communication. Social media is a gold mine of jargon, or a dilithium mine in the case of the original Star Trek. (Roddenberry hadn’t invented latinum yet.) Somebody will chastise the later spinoffs for being “woke” or “too political,” and someone else will claim that the show was that way from the start. Looking over the original series I find little in the way of allusion to real-world politics or ’60s liberalism, and nothing compatible with modern leftism.

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The Truthiness Is Out There

Is the term “conspiracy theory” ever used in a nonpejorative sense, in context with the actual definition of “theory?” Whether or not that be the case, my attention is focused on two aspects of the decidedly unsound variety rooted in speculation and/or outright hoax. First is overestimating the human capacity for large-scale concealment, cooperation, competence, knowledge, and consistency, violating a set of principles which I will dub Henderson’s Laws of Organization:

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Quote of the Day

“Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” has often struck me as the Bourbon Restoration attempted with rotgut whiskey.”

Wretchard T. Cat, on Facebook

His earlier comment in the thread provides context: “The key to [the Greatest Generation’s]  success was that they did not try to restore the pre-WW2 system. They let the British and European colonial empires die. The world was rebuilt on first principles. Subsequent generations have done the opposite. They’ve focused on preserving the World Order.”