If you’re making a “CAN’T” argument, then just admit it’s because you can’t. If you’re making a “SHOULD or SHOULDN’T” argument, then state why you should or shouldn’t. But if you’re making a can’t argument while saying it’s because you shouldn’t, then that’s not truth that’s deception.

It’s true that you CAN’T hold Russia accountable for attacking Ukraine, breaking the postwar consensus, and restarting nuclear proliferation, but that doesn’t me you shouldn’t.

Truth is true. Lie is Lie. Unknown is Unknown. It’s not complicated.


Truth: Testimonial truth. Speaking truthfully.
Honest: Testimonial truth. Speaking truthfully.
Under testimonial truth, Honestly and Truthfully are synonymous.

Diplomats should not posture that they have the capacity to act, and choose not to act under the cover of justifications, when they have no capacity to act. This is dishonest. Politics is a dishonest business.


If you’re making a “CAN’T” argument, then just admit it’s because you can’t. If you’re making a “SHOULD or SHOULDN’T” argument, then state why you should or shouldn’t. But if you’re making a can’t argument while saying it’s because you shouldn’t, then that’s not truth that’s deception.
It’s true that you CAN’T hold Russia accountable for attacking Ukraine, breaking the postwar consensus, and restarting nuclear proliferation, but that doesn’t me you shouldn’t.

Truth is true. Lie is Lie. Unknown is Unknown. It’s not complicated.

Caine conveniently reduced the scope of the argument to the first sentence in order to remove the information necessary to render the argument correspondent with reality. (Usually this is merely the error of novices, or people who don’t read the entire argument; but it falls under the category of either a fallacy -straw man- or a deception – selective inclusion of information in the argument. I assume that this is merely the error of a novice. As such cain is applying the technique of formal languages to correspondent and natural languages. This is a common error of ‘logicism’ (that is the word Max was looking for). I categorize all these kinds of errors as ‘empty verbalisms’. But Max was attempting to say the same thing. (I am more patient – the curse of aspie-ness.)

—” If one can not do something (it is not reasonably possible)” is no different from “shouldn’t” in the vast majority of cases when people utter those words.—-

This is yet another fallacy given that the counter argument that Cain put forward was a fallacy of formal language, minus the information necessary for it to be correspondent – then you Greg, counter with an argument to normative speech.

So now we have gone from a correspondent argument, to an internally consistent argument to a normative usage argument. Now, I suspect that in the end, Neither Cain nor Greg is probably aware of the different properties of these systems and you are justifying intuition not formal criticism.

I made a rhetorical statement, because i do not make verbalist statements. I am an active opponent of logicism as psuedoscientific when applied outside of formal bounds. I’m an operationalist
I didnt make an absolute statement now did I?

Nope. No hole there at all. Rock solid.


—If Nuclear war is unacceptable for you then in this context it’s both Can’t and Impossible Max, there he can muse on his Moral Should or not, Be or not to be all day long, 24/7—

“If you can conduct nuclear war then
you cant conduct nuclear war and
its impossible to conduct nuclear war
but you prefer not to conduct nuclear war.”


Nuclear war is unacceptable. (Meaning you prefer not to conduct nuclear war.)
You can conduct nuclear war, but you prefer not to.
You can’t conduct nuclear war, and it’s immaterial whether you prefer to or not.

“Can’t physically” != “Prefer not to.”


… But really we just get back to the central argument which is that you’re holding a double standard. You allow yourself the laxity of informal language with ‘…in this context…’ but do not allow me the same laxity of informal language given the context. Instead, you pull out a sentence and argue that I made a statement I did not. Then, you go and make the statements I just illustrated were nonsense above.

I made no universal statement. I did not make a statement regarding the necessary membership of sets. I stated that it is dishonest to posture. You may not have understood that. But this is your own hasty reading.

I then defended my position with an argument over your head.

And I am back to making the same argument in simple terms.

Well, I don’t see that as an insult. I don’t claim to be an academic. I don’t claim to be any thing. I claim I am correct. Otherwise that would mean I made an appeal to authority, which would be a fallacy. My arguments stand or they don’t, and they stand.

Says the guy who just made a clown of himself, did so with passion, did so under the cover of ad hominems.

–Falling back—

I didn’t make a mistake. My entire argument stands. I am good at what I do. Sorry. Just how it is. Get over it.




I‘ve been reading more on General Semantics and their meme E-Prime, and it’s pretty interesting how they advocate GS/E’ for the purpose of clarity and meaning.

Now, I advocate E’ and Operationalism because one cannot testify to the truth of a statement if one cannot state it in operational language. Because you can’t possibly state that you know what you’re talking about.

So, I think my argument in favor of E’ as a moral and ethical constraint, (and in the case of negative externalities, a criminal constraint) is stronger than the argument for ‘clarity and meaning’.

I‘ve still got to address the strange a priorist argument that there is something particularly interesting about decreasing precision (making general statements). Yes we can drop properties of many similar instances in order to construct sets of commons properties, and give them names. But this is an inverse of the problem of making general observations and investigating which properties we observe are necessary and which are not.

Some descriptions, if made more precisely have no meaning: “wind” and “wave” are pretty good examples. At human scale they are meaningful statements. below human scale they are not. All statements of precision have maximum and minimum points of demarcation.

I mean, i guess if you start with instrumentalism, you implicitly start with human scale and the problem of precision and arbitrary precision as necessary properties of any description (theory).

I just guess this is one of those things that’s so obvious to me that I can’t imagine a literary alternative because I did not learn philosophy by literary (allegorical) means.



1) -The Single Idea-
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt : Economic thought, unlike Moral thought, asks us to think about equilibrating consequences, and opportunity costs. If you understand the “one lesson” of the broken window fallacy, then that teaches you economic thinking in a nutshell.

2) –The Application of The Single Idea To The Civic Society–
Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell : Basic Economics applies this single principle.

3) –The Application of the Single Idea To Production Distribution and Trade–
Principles of Micro Economics, by Greg Mankiw : Micro Economics textbooks deal with patterns of cooperation (business).

4) –The Application of the Single Idea To Monetary, Fiscal, Industrial and Social Policy–
Principles of Macro Economics, by Greg Mankiw : Macro economic textbooks deal with the impact of fiscal policy (government spending) and monetary policy (issuance of new money or credit) on the economy, in the government’s effort to keep us all busy.

5) –The “Missing Link”: The Operations of the Financial System that connects political policy with production, distribution and trade.–
Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking, and;
Nial Ferguson’s History of Money

The book that is missing between Micro and Macro, I do not think has yet been written, which is how the financial sector services the relationship between micro and macro. I think that book has not been written. In the meantime Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking, and Nial Ferguson’s History of Money, are the best and most accessible works. (Others might disagree). Rothbard was a terrible philosopher, but his works on money and banking are still the best I have found.

6) –The Study Of Applications, Eddy’s And Flows-
Most advanced (niche) applications of economics are useful for professionals, but not terribly meaningful for citizens.

Personally, I don’t understand why we don’t get this stuff in high school.



I want to take you through an interesting line of thought, starting with creativity, and ending with something profound.

Unfortunately for all of us, creativity is terribly time consuming. You cant sit down and say “I’m going to be creative now”, and cram through it like you can with calculations, or organizing or planning which rely on reason and concentration. Creativity requires free association, trial and error.

We don’t think of creativity it as research and development, but it is. We merely artificially separate aesthetic, philosophic, scientific, technological and procedural forms of creativity by the concreteness of the information we have two work with. While we can see actions in procedures, technological and many scientific objects, philosophic and aesthetic are almost entirely imaginary. We have to ‘observe’ them introspectively. And worse, we cannot ‘see’ into our intuitions to analyze and observe our creativity at work, but we can examine what it is that we do and hypothesize about it – something which Daniel Kahneman has than thankfully given us a language to describe.

Now, I have made a habit of creative thinking, by keeping my mind in that kind of space nearly full time. Although as an autistic it’s a lot easier to stay in that mode than people more in the middle of the curve: neurotypicals. But it is a luxury to afford the ability to conduct research and development (“Creativity”) full time. And while scientists avoid the acknowledgement of their work as a luxury good, artists and philosophers never do, and technologists and proceduralists never have to: they get paid for what they do.

Myself, I don’t see any difference, and never have, between creative approaches to humor, the arts, literature, philosophy, the sciences, technology and processes. I have done work in all but humor which I am tone deaf to, and science: something which requires too often getting your hands dirty- which I have an objection to. But I had to work very hard for many years to obtain the freedom to specialize in creativity. Most creatives endure economic hardship to practice creativity: it is only for a few that creativity is other than a luxury good.

But creativity is an expertise that at least most of us can improve upon. It is not unlike meditation in that it focuses your mind, but unlike meditation it attempts to solve a problem through what I consider guided dreaming. Free association with direction.

I think part of the hard work of becoming a non-procedural writer is in learning how to conduct guided dreaming, while at the same time, quickly jotting down a narrative of the dream. You don’t start out that way of course. You start out by planning your work, and gradually develop increasingly meditative states of mind, while at the same time writing down your observations of the internal visualizations.

–the three degrees of meditation–
So in this respect, I view this form of meditative creativity as the highest achievement of the disciplined mind, stoicism as action-oriented the middle ground, and buddhism as the lowest level of achievement in which we seek to do nothing whatsoever.

I am not fond of buddhism but I think that especially for women it may be more important to quiet the impulsive chaos of the female mind that it is for them to focus on action or creativity. I think for most people but more often males, it is perhaps better to focus on actions, since we are not troubled by the chaos of the female mind. For a few of us, who are most often if not entirely male, theoretical creativity is the only use our minds are really fit for.

For these reasons I think any new ‘religion’ or form of spiritualism, will not need to come from the buddhist, stoic, or creative schools of thought, but from all of them. We could easily cleanse buddhism of it’s mysticism, and represent all three as three different skills, dependent upon our individual human needs.

If this form of discipline was mirrored with ancestor rituals, and a return to the pagan celebration of nature, then I think that is the highest form of religion possible that we currently could construct for mankind.

–Rider and Elephant–
Until recently, I didn’t understand what form of skill that I had taught myself. It wasn’t until I tried to resolve the differences between buddhism and stoicism that it became clear to me that it isn’t so much that either is right, but that they each try to apply the same technique to the problem of mental discipline: gaining control of our “system 1″: the search engine we call ‘intuition’, and putting that miraculous machine to use: helping the rider of our consciousness control the elephant of our intuition.

–Adding Nature and Ancestors—
Really, mythology in the Greek and Roman models, absent family hierarchy, is all any people needs. We could celebrate, read and study the great people throughout history in each of the four disciplines of organization: Morality(words), Justice(force), Commerce(trade), and Craft(art, science, tech, manufacture, and construction). All of us would be better off with a libertarian theology (patron saints), than authoritarian (monotheistic god). Authoritarianism is a means of generating hostility and conflict. I think most of us would rather celebrate (remember and learn from thinking about) Alexander, Aurelius, Jefferson, Michelangelo, and those like them, than any mythical god. And we would be better of for it.

Nature is already set to restore to celebration, but we must restore our civic responsibility for the commons, and incorporate the problem of excessive reproduction in that sentiments.

–Should vs Can–
There are very few opportunities to establish a new civic cult, and formal institutions and the rapid change of formal institutions is the most secure means other than organic expansion. Given the right opportunity and incentives we can. And I think I know what that opportunity is, what incentives we use, and what institutions we rely upon. But I’m going to talk about that some time in the future.

For now, I’d like to get across the very interesting idea that Creativity, Stoicism, and Buddhism can be combined into a secular cult that can provide an answer to post-mystical civic religion.

Followup Comments:

I have to go down this path. I will not end up as one of the racists. Arguments against something are futile. Arguments for something are actionable.

I know it’s frustrating for people to watch, but I have to be able to address comparative evolutionary strategy in order to make the weakness of our model, visible to us. I can almost do it.

Religion is something that I am working in the background since I want an answer to the complaints of religious conservatives. And in order to demonstrate that I’ve captured all of the unstated properties of western aristocracy I simply have to address religion. Not in terms of ‘how do we return’ but in terms of ‘why did it work’.

I had a hell of a time with both operationalism and performative truth. And I burned a few friends and relationships solving that problem. But from my perspective I’ve completed operationalism by tying it to testimonial truth. That was what prior generations failed to grasp. They were looking for a totalitarian answer, to the problem of truth, but no such thing exists. Mises failed because he lacked the ethic of testimonial truth, and relied upon pragmatic truth. Hayek got lost in psychology and universalism, rather than evolutionary biology. Brouwer and Bridgman and their followers are still looking for platonic and totalitarian truth. Macdonald is too interested, as is the HBD movement in genes. The mainstream is interested in institutions. Myself I am interested in the metaphysical assumptions that reflect our evolutionary strategies. And I think that I have found a better means of exposition than the others have. In the sense that it is possible to capture necessary and universal morality in law articulated as property rights, while voluntarily constructing contracts on top of those laws to perform voluntary exchanges – rather than to construct new laws.

I still cannot quite reduce the problem of pathological altruism to simple statements that people can empathize with as well as understand. How our universalism won’t work for the rest of the world, and how it won’t even work for us. I have to reverse the value of altruism from something we treat as sacred, to something that we treat as profane: suicidal. I know I can do it. I just need to work at it a bit longer. We cannot extend the family universally unless everyone also extends it in return. And demonstrably, others will not do so. And it is wise from them not to.

Anyway. Once I have that line of thinking done, I should have the entire picture. Right now my outline is I think, the broadest ever attempted. We will see if I succeed.

But while aristocracy is clearly my preference, propertarianism doesn’t recommend anything. It’s just the logic of cooperation. The institutional means of producing the level of trust that is tolerable for any polity.

Thanks for the kick in the pants tho.
Just please keep in mind that I’m conducting my experiments (testing my arguments) in public. It’s just R&D. Its how we fail that we learn from. What remains is that which is most likely true.


Curt Doolittle 

Well, Christianity wasn’t appealing, but we know who it appealed to and why. As far as I know, Christianity was practiced by less than 10% of the population and most of the persecution myths are just that. Had justinian not wanted to adopt byzantine (middle world) totalitarianism, and enforced christianity and closed the other schools, we might have never had the intellectual dark age, even if we had the economic one caused by the arab conquests.

When a population is mobilized, whether in contemporary america, or industrializing england, or in imperial rome, the disconnected peoples look for artificial tribes. This is why the english advocated tolerance for multiple churches – so labor would find company.

The USA did it with civic organizations. Now we do it, I don’t know how – because we are alienated as hell and simply mollify our anxiety with consumption and participation in artificial families and tribes created by television.

Women, slaves, and the disaffected found the promise of familial love from fellow church members attractive.

Not complicated really.


People who live in tents, ride animals, and shepherd other animals, talk about beliefs. People with fixed capital, who live in castles talk about laws. There is a reason for that.

When you ask people to value something that’s an informal institution we call belief. When you tell people that property is a rule that you cannot violate, that’s a formal institution we call law.

The first is religion. The second is government.

Is your brand of liberty for goatherds living in tents (religion) that requires belief, or for engineers, builders and craftsmen, (government) that requires laws?

People who live in tents have very simple property. They need very simple laws.

Liberty in modernity isn’t for simpletons.

Try not to think like one.


Knowing is an experience. Constructing an existence, logical, or mathematical, proof is an action. We can demonstrate them. That is not to say that they are true, it is to say that they are proofs. If we have constructed proofs, we may err, but it is very hard to lie. And even if one does, err, we need not hold him accountable for his error.

Speaking truthfully, constructing a proof, and possessing the ultimate truth are very different things. I can however speak truthfully, and I can construct an existence proof, and that is the most that I can do. I can know those things even if I cannot know if I possess the truth. So what does that do for me? I doesn’t tell me anything about whether I possess the ultimate truth, but it does allow me to speak truthfully to the best of my ability – and that is all that we can ask of anyone. Because it is all that is possible for anyone.

Conversely, we must ask it of anyone who seeks to place an argument into the commons the result of which would subject others to harm.


Poincaré rejected the later foundational work of Cantor, saying that

—“There is no actual infinity, the Cantorians have forgotten that, and they have fallen into contradiction. It is true that Cantorism rendered services, but that was when it was applied to a real problem whose terms were clearly defined, and we could walk safely. Logisticians as Cantorians have forgotten. (Poincaré 1908: 212–213; 1913b: 484)”—


Are Criticism and Critique nothing but justifications for people who cannot invent? Isn’t that what the record of history tells us?


Damn. Yes. That’s the answer: Control. Power. Without contribution. Control without contribution.

From James Santagata
I wish C&C were only used as justifications for those who cannot invent. But it’s actually used as a weapon, as a compliance technique to force a “validation seeking / approval seeking” frame onto those who do create…By accepting this frame, the creator actually gives up his power to those who cannot create. So what is the most societally beneficial manner to critique? How about this one: “Critique by creating.” – Michelangelo

From Karl Brooks
In a scenario where the critic intends destruction of the invention, AND the critic has gained superior standing, so he is able to not only condemn but even to vandalize with impunity: What are the inventor’s options besides attempts at negotiating from weakness against an implacable foe?

    1. He can marshal advocates who have equal standing with the critic who are willing to recognize and champion the invention as beneficial to everyone, including the critic.

    2. He can marshal advocates from within his (weaker) standing to directly attack the critic.

    3. He can capitulate, allowing his invention to be destroyed, perhaps with the hope that many others will miss his invention enough to dethrone the critic.

    4. He can capitulate and contribute only inventions that meet with the critic’s approval, adopting a fatalist attitude towards lost benefits.

    5. He can capitulate and cease to invent within the critic’s view, operating underground for like minded people.

    6. He can cease altogether.

I suggest the first option.

Option 0: he can take a fraud to court for fraud. This reduces transaction costs for prosecution, and increases transaction costs of misrepresentation.


If one had to be insured to issue public speech (sort of like homeowners insurance – everyone had it) then we would rapidly evolve classes in making public speech, which would demonstrate how to witness (truth telling). (Heinlein suggested something of this order.) Now some speech advocates theft, and some does not. Some purports to convey truths, and some does not. This is essentially restoring the greek discipline of rhetoric in an age where media replicates faster than greek era human voices could quell. This is also much closer to anglo saxon law. Why is it that I an produce a ladder that subjects people to harm and am accountable, but if I advocate a political policy that causes millions of deaths, I am not accountable?

(as usual, I am suggesting a common law (property rights), universal standing, and private insurance based solution to regulation, with fairly high confidence that the public, insurers and producers will seek practical means of solving problems without authoritarian intervention.)


With private property rights, universal standing, the common (polycentric) law, shareholder dividends (what we think of as direct redistribution, but is constructed as a dividend), what policy is there for us to advocate? If we can’t justify stealing from one another by force of law then what can we try to do, without majority rule?

Well, a lot of commons, a lot of contracts, but no thefts. Propertarianism leads us to contractual government. We separate the law, from our contracts. Our law remains constant but we construct voluntary contracts for whatever we need to. Contracts expire, have terms and conditions, and laws do not.

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