The Dissolution of Norms

In an increasingly interconnected and digital world, recognition of and adherence to unified norms of cyber governance are of paramount importance if order and security are to be maintained. Simply put, nations, and to a lesser degree – individuals – must agree to guard the digital commons and to refrain from engaging in nefarious acts of cyber hostility against each other in order to preserve the peace and to ensure the Web’s continued utility. All of this is quite obvious and intuitive, and requires little further exposition.

The problem with the bulk of the theoretical frameworks designed to deal with these concerns is that they have been fashioned upon precedent frameworks, frameworks that are profoundly dated, pre-digital, and predominantly Western. They are anachronisms repurposed for postmodernity. These models presumed that the West would always be ascendant, that warfare would always occur in real-time, and presumed the continuing primacy of the Western rationalist approach to global governance. Specifically, these models presume the universality of rationalism. The presumption is that every nation is largely the same, with largely consonant goals, and have a similar willingness to place economic concerns ahead of various other passion projects.

The assumption was that every nation, particularly the powerful ones would submit to rules of warfare because they collectively understood the dangers of not doing so: mutually assured destruction, increased and unsustainable costs, instability, insecurity, etc. It was taken for granted that the weaker (non-Western) nations would take the lead from the advanced (Western) nations in this regard and that this state of affairs, this world order would be accepted by all as being prima facie beneficial for all.

Man makes plans, and God laughs. 

The West fell. The BRICs rose. Rather than the homogeneity, hegemony, order and unification of norms pledged to the world by the West, we instead have the diversity, multipolarity, chaos, and competing norms proffered by the Rest. And what norms those are: China reneging on accords, China pilfering data, Iran doing…whatever the hell it is that Iran does, Russia maliciously accessing government intelligence, and the list goes on.

The failure of norms. The failure of Western norms as non-Western players come to the fore.

Nothing demonstrates the failure of universalism and to a certain extent, diversity better than this current state of affairs. Though this particular breakdown is occurring on the macro level, there is a clear parallel on the micro level. Fundamentally, the macro problem and the micro problem are the same:

(1) Equality does not exist and different people are incapable of adhering to the same standards. Therefore, differing standards must be adopted for differing peoples, increasing costs for everyone

(2) Differences made to coexist in close proximity eventually lead to destruction.


Digital interconnectivity creates a historically unprecedented  degree of global proximity, but not all nations and peoples are inclined to engage with this Brave New World in a civilized, orderly fashion. The norms set forth to govern this world are seen by many not as norms, but rather as illegitimate, arbitrary rules that may be flouted if and when beneficial to the flouter.

“The norm” is the standard. There can be but one standard, one “right way” of doing things. There may be deviations to the right or to the left, but the standard remains: immutable, the lodestar. The creation of norms arise from common culture, a common understanding of the world, a common value system. The former Western powers had (and still have) much in common. These commonalities provided the basis for their post-1945 conduct towards each other. Trust based societies with respect for the rule of law and for national sovereignty; equals. These characteristics make them predictable, orderly, and highly unlikely to engage in cyber hostilities against each other of their own accord. The operation of internalized norms, one might say.

The problem is that now, culturally alien unequals have a seat at the table. Entities with no respect or use for the rule of law are expected to abide by law and keep lawlessness at bay. Entities with radically divergent interests and objectives and with radically divergent outlooks are expected to converge (or at least set aside differences) for the greater good. This is an impossibility. Order must necessarily break down under this strain, making the world a profoundly less secure place for all. If order is to be maintained, parallel systems of governance must be created to apply to different peoples, at once repudiating equality and destroying the very concept of norms.

There can be no security without norms, and there can be no norms without homogeneity, hegemony, and common culture. Diversity precludes security. You may have one or the other, but never both.

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Women & The Marine Corps

In an announcement that came as a surprise to no one but the most indoctrinated, a Marine Corps study found that all-male ground combat units were more effective than mixed-sex teams. This finding is completely unsurprising, as the core Marine Corps competencies are grueling and intensely physical tasks that men naturally excel at. Nonetheless, we live in an age where the most obvious knowns are repackaged and delivered as heretofore unknowns.  The all-male groups outperformed the mixed-sex groups on 69.4% of the assigned tasks. These findings are of particular relevance due to a January 2016 deadline for the opening of all military combat positions to women. The snippets of the report that have been released read like a realtalk primer on biological sex differences:

  • women were less likely to accurately hit targets than men
  • women have higher body fat percentages than men
  • women are more easily injured than men
  • women have less upper body strength than men

But who is any of this a revelation to? The commenters at NPR.org, for starters. Faced with the stark, black and white reality of women’s inability to perform up to military standards the NPR commentariat got right down to work, manufacturing counterfactuals and churning out excuses.

With these types, the goal is always to make an issue about everything that it’s not about. On face, it’s clear what these findings mean: that on average, women are weaker performers on key Marine competencies and the addition of these weaker on average female performers to the general Marine population brings down the overall performance of mixed-sex groups. Put simply: women are a liability and should not be admitted into combat positions. Naturally, this is clear to anyone who’s realistic about the physical and spatial limitations of women as compared to men. However, delusional liberals eager to preserve their equalist nurture versus nature fantasies in the face of indisputable evidence to the contrary prefer to turn this into a question of morale (mixed-sex groups don’t perform as well together, so that’s the cause of the sub par performance of those groups) and demand to know why the Marines didn’t test the performance of all-female outfits, perfectly blind to the fact that the mixed group essentially takes into consideration female performance-and this performance was found wanting.

At any rate, what these equalist wet dreamers don’t realize is that an all-female squad would be their worst nightmare, as it would do nothing more than expose everything they believe as balderdash and lies. Even if the Marines had enough female recruits to be able to put together an all-female outfit (something which I seriously doubt to have been a possibility) the performances of these pussy posses would, without a doubt, have been so abysmal as to call the entire gender integration of the corps project into question. The Marines mercifully spared liberals from having to look this ugly truth square in the face by only going so far as testing mixed-sex groups, thereby leaving open the question of whether those groups’ poor performances were due to poor morale of mixed-sex groups or due to the addition of shitty female recruits who will never be as effective as male recruits.

Though the results of this study are unlikely to change any thoroughly dildofied minds, there is humor in this situation, however black. It’s clear that none of the powers that be within the military are going to make the decisions that one would logically expect them to make given this evidence; to do so would be sexist. So I don’t expect any waivers to be requested. Nonetheless, what’s amusing about this is how clear it has become that the average liberal thinks that life is just one huge science project, an experiment wherein there are no consequences for operating under a false hypothesis. What’s funny is how ignorant these people choose to remain in the face of indisputable evidence that puts the lie to their harebrained equality schemes. They have no comprehension that a wrong decision in this respect can result in catastrophe, mayhem, and massive loss of life. To their minds, this is just a distant & low probability concern.

What’s most important to liberals is creating the semblance of equality even if it comes at the expense of national security and American lives just so that they can pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves for being so inclusive and progressive. They’re the vanguard of equality, and they desperately need to signal how progressive they are. There’s no sense that they are on the verge of making a dangerous and costly mistake that will be hell to undo. None of this matters. Facts don’t matter. Reality doesn’t matter.

Agenda uber alles.

Higher Education is Becoming Increasingly Irrelevant

Progs hold as an article of faith the inherent value of education. In leftist/equalist cosmology, education is imbued with magical properties of a sort that can transform dim students with IQs of 85 into latter day Einsteins while somehow preventing the 14 year old project chick with the 28 year old mother from becoming baby mama number 5 to a resident stoop goon. Not only is education so magical that it has the power to spin straw into gold, it is so powerful that it can defy the economic law of supply and demand and retain full potency even after its value is diluted as a result of overmatriculation. Progressives are above all Credentialists who regard the credential as an amulet, a modern day rune that brings the bearer success and fortune regardless of whether he majored in Transgender Unicorn Studies or Electrical Engineering. Colleges and universities are above all concerned with bottom lines, easy money, and indoctrination: thus a credentialist culture that acts as a pipeline, funneling kids from institution to institution comes as a boon to the college-industrial complex. Any policy working to put more asses in university seats will be welcomed by higher ed for pecuniary reasons while being passed off as high minded “social justice.”

So, it should come as no surprise that institutions of higher learning have begun to drop standardized testing as an admissions requirement. George Washington University is the latest to join the party.

George Washington University on Monday became one of the largest and most prestigious schools to join a nationwide movement against admissions tests, announcing that it will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. 

The Washington, D.C., school’s new policy will go into effect on Aug. 1 and applies to both freshman applicants and transfer students. The university said in a statement that it came to the decision based on the findings of its Task Force on Access and Success.

GWU now joins such (mostly) venerable schools as Wesleyan, Brandeis, Bryn Mawr and Temple in the standard lowering bonanza.

Members of the task force examined the value of test scores in understanding how a student performs at GW,” the statement said. “They reached the same conclusion as many other institutions: that the best predictor of academic success in college is a student’s high school record, especially their high school GPA. This conversation led GW to adopt a test-optional policy.

GWU should do whatever it wants with its admissions policy. What it shouldn’t do is try to force feed readers this disingenuous tripe. Everyone knows that not all high schools are created equal. The D student graduating from New Trier High School would be better equipped for life than the A student graduating from your average Chicago public high school. Common are the tales of public school graduates unable to properly read the words on the document certifying the achievement of basic academic proficiency. If 40% of incoming freshmen, whose high school grades were ostensibly solid enough to qualify for admission at public universities require at least one remedial course to bring them up to speed with the general college population, it would seem obvious that high school performance is not as predictive of fitness for or success in the university context as GWU and its ilk would like us to believe.

“The test-optional surge recognizes that no test — not the SAT, old or new, nor the ACT — is needed for high-quality admissions,” FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer said in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. “Many independent studies and practical experiences have shown that test-optional admission enhances both academic excellence and diversity.”

I hate to break it to you Bob, but there is no way that a lowering of standards will enhance both excellence and diversity. It will only enhance one at the expense of the other. GWU’s new admissions policy won’t attract “diverse” higher achievers capable of excelling in rigorous disciplines, but rather will attract “diverse” credentialist strivers who skate through cake majors. Consider this story:

Wake [Forest University]’s [test optional] policy drew Natalie Casimir to the university.

Casimir, 18, from Mooresville, N.C., said she thrived in the International Baccalaureate program at her public school and got mostly A’s and a few B’s. But she didn’t have the knack for testing. She took the ACT twice and got middling scores. Then she got a 1580 (out of 2400) on the SAT at the end of 11th grade. She was despondent.

“It really hit me hard,” she said. “I felt like my work in the classroom wasn’t adequately depicted in the test scores. I kind of panicked. I had only really known of schools that took SAT or ACT scores. I thought, maybe I’m not good enough to get into a really good school.”

Casimir’s gut conclusion was likely the correct conclusion. The story continues:

But she was. An older brother tipped her off to Wake Forest’s policy, and she fell in love with the school. She applied without submitting test scores and got in. A daughter of Haitian immigrants, Casimir is now a rising sophomore and plans to major in English with minors in political science and Spanish.

No further comment. Back to the original story.

A study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling last year found that at schools with test-optional policies, there was virtually no difference in cumulative GPA or graduation rates between students who submitted scores and those who did not.

Which is probative of nothing. As we’ve already established, high schools regularly churn out A average graduates who haven’t yet mastered the fundaments of reading and math. Furthermore, universities will stop at nothing to prevent attrition.

“For economic growth and social stability, America will need to find successful paths to higher education for hundreds of thousands of additional first-generation-to-college, minority, immigrant, rural and [learning differences] students,” the NACAC report said. “This study provides the research support for optional testing as at least one route by which that can happen.” 

But does it actually have this effect? What’s ironic about this push to foster “economic growth and social stability” through expanding access to higher ed will have the opposite effect. Academic rigor will become the first casualty, as standards are abandoned and fluff majors proliferate to accommodate the influx of inferior students. As educational standards plummet, the devaluation of the college degree will accelerate, leaving these subpar students with mountains of debt, no marketable skills to speak of, and a worthless degree. A glut of degrees on the market will depress the cost of hiring degree holders while intensifying competition for a dwindling number of positions.

Not only will credentialing even the most mediocre students not provide greater access to wealth for those students, it will entrench cronyism and nepotism, as employers scramble for ways to separate the wheat from the chaff of human capital. The marketplace will prove more brutal a threshing mechanism than university ever could be. Rather than becoming empowered, these students will become resentful and will blame the system for their inability to succeed, eventually becoming a critical mass of malcontents determined to topple the system they believe to have wronged them. They’ll become a huge liability.

Progressive utopianists will not stop their chimerical pursuit of equality. They can’t abide the thought that not everyone is capable of success in college. They won’t accept that not everyone should go to college or that the heritability of intelligence means that education cannot create what isn’t already there. The considered and compassionate response to these realities would be to encourage kids to pursue alternative paths to success and satisfaction, rather than forcing them in the direction of college where they will either become mediocrities or outright failures.

But who are we kidding. There’s nothing compassionate about prog social justice theology. They are happy to sacrifice as many lives as necessary on the altar of Leftism.  Education is magic!