Alt Right as abused drug

Former drug abusers are often the most vocal speakers on the dangers of drugs. Similarly I think that’s why I’m so critical of the Alt Right: “dark enlightenment” thought is fun when you’re young and rebellious, and it can help dissolve some of the BS constructs you see all around you, but too much of it will stunt your growth, and as you mature you should realize some of those BS constructs are there for practical reasons.

Practicality vs. coping with dissidence

Reality often accommodates contradictory beliefs and frequently even provides evidence that supports all of them. Thus intelligent, informed people can hold opposing beliefs on basically everything.

Now put yourself in the shoes of one of those intelligent, informed people whose beliefs contradict most of those underpinning our modern/liberal/global/egalitarian/democratic Western society. What are your practical options to get through life? Or would you take no practical option and just “cope”?

What annoys me lately is when those people’s goals suggest they should seriously pursue practical options, but their actions are pure coping instead.

Our wrinkled universes

Most of what happens to us is decoration on the fabric of our reality. But some of our experience impresses wrinkles and folds into that fabric, hiding certain truths and bringing others into greater visibility. With enough intellect and ability to compartmentalize we can tease these folds apart and iron the wrinkles flat a bit, peeking at what was hidden and reassessing what was foregrounded. But instinctively we are fold- and wrinkle-loving creatures; we need them to make sense of our lives, and even while we are making a show of laying the fabric flat we are secretly pressing folds and wrinkles back into it.

Self-fulfilling narratives

It seems like the direction of change in our society is at least partially, in some cases, determined by the way we believe it is going to change.

For instance, there seems to be this consensus that future humans are going to use a lot of sophisticated AI and live in space or on other celestial bodies. It started as a vision by a few influential sci-fi writers (as in Asimov’s “The Last Question”, or Star Trek), became a vision shared by lots of sci-fi writers, and may be becoming a kind of assumption among people in general.

If there was a popular genre of sci-fi in which future societies always lived under the ocean, and government agencies and cutting-edge private companies who developed the means to live under the ocean received a lot of media attention, then advances toward living under the ocean would be highlighted. Kids would get excited to some day contribute to that effort. And at some point in the future, that is indeed what we would end up doing.

TL;DR: narratives are self-fulfilling.