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John Derbyshire’s Google Reader: Keeping Up With The Dark Enlightenment
What I want to know at this moment (Wednesday afternoon) is: What's happened to Discover Blogs?
I ask because Discover Blogs is (not "are"—it's a single line item) one of the stops on my morning trawl through Google Reader. I click on that stop and up comes a list of posts from half a dozen science blogs, with a bias towards the life sciences. There are several posts every day: a mean of 5.58 for the past month, with mode 6, median 6.48, and standard deviation 2.64…sorry, science blogs do that to you.
Yet when I clicked this morning I got Internal Server Error. I tried getting at the blogs via Discover's actual web page, but still no result. I guess the techies have been at work and fouled things up somehow. Grrrr.
All right, it's been a trivial disturbance to my daily routine. But those of us who write for a living need something to write about, and we all have a sweep of favorite news sites and blogs set up. You get thrown off stride like this, it's distracting.
Google Reader is a key aid to the daily sweep. If you don't yet use it, go to the main Google page, choose Reader, hit the Subscribe button, and into the box put the URL for your favorite website — http://www.vdare.com, as it might be. From then on, any time there's a new posting on VDARE.com, you'll see it in boldface in the Reader panel. If you want to do daily checks on a lot of sites, this is the easy way to do it. (There are others.)
I actually need to cull my Reader roll. I have 57 sites on there, but several are defunct. OneSTDV went invitation-only in June; Cold Equations the same; and War Nerd's last original post was over a year ago (he's re-posted some golden oldies since).
Some others have lapsed for weeks, though whether they have ceased posting altogether I don't know. Your Lying Eyes, who used to post weekly, has been MIA since September; Inductivist, a fine quantitative blogger (whose top-of-page banner seems to have me at dead center), has said nothing since mid-October; and our own poor Nicholas Stix is still bailing out his ground floor Far Rockaway apartment from Hurricane Sandy.
Here, with thumbnail reviews, are the currently active blogs I find most useful (other than VDARE.com of course! and Taki's Magazine, in which I am also an interested party). The order is alphabetic—no invidious distinctions here!
- Alternative Right. Always something new from these guys. The quality of the ideas is variable, but you can't fault them on originality. Try Colin Liddell on the Asian vote or Brett Stevens on Tom Wolfe's latest.
- AmRen, of course. All the race-realist news, every day of the week, augmented with occasional reviews of interesting books not much reviewed elsewhere. This one of Pathological Altruism, for example; or this one of Race in Another America: The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil, which is relevant to something a little further down this post.
- Arts & Letters Daily, still the best compendium of interesting articles and reviews (said through gritted teeth, as it's been ages since they posted one of mine).
- The Audacious Epigone is not actually that audacious, but has an eye for an odd fact or story, and more respect for data than nine-tenths of Bigfoot media commentators.
- Discover Blogs. Grrrr.
- Education Realist. Education is the innermost circle of PC Hell, "a vast sea of lies, waste, corruption, crackpot theorizing, and careerist logrolling" (We Are Doomed, chapter 6). This blogger is a working math teacher with a cold, unillusioned eye. Try his take on "progressive" charter schools.
- Five Feet of Fury. This is Kathy Shaidle, a colleague of mine on Taki's Magazine. Mostly just links, but very simpatico — I could swear Kathy's stolen my Google Reader roll.
- Gates of Vienna. Actually a gateway to other sites critical of Islam in particular and multiculturalism in general. Not a big interest of mine, but when I want to shake my head for a minute or two at the multikulti lunacies in places like Sweden, they're just a click away.
- Gucci Little Piggy. Keen social insight and good links from a sound PC-skeptical base.
- Half Sigma. Similar, with a better-than-average comment thread.
- Hbd Chick. I actually met Hbd Chick at the Seattle conference this spring—a charming American lady who lives outside the US. She has a particular interest in genetics, and writes very intelligently about it, while always disclaiming any academic expertise.
Check out this thread she fired off the other day, starting from Steven Pinker's latest book (which I reviewed here). Look at the comments that follow her post, how she debates the commenters (who include two names from my Reader roll). More on this in a moment.
- Information Processing is the blog of Steve Hsu, a physicist who lists his interests as: "finance, economics, technology, particle physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, cryptography, startups, venture capital, genetics, psychometrics." Steve has an exceptionally lively mind, and is ahead of the curve on a lot of social phenomena. Here he is on MOOCs, which, if you don't know about them, you soon will.
- Jew Among You. As a card-carrying philosemite in the old English (and indeed Welsh) tradition, I am naturally attracted to Jewish race realists. Reuben vies for the Best of Breed rosette with Bob Weissberg.
- Dennis Mangan disappeared for four months but just recently came bouncing back as incisive and thoughtful as ever, tilting lances at the Left in politics, law, education, and immigration.
- Mencius Moldbug may have said all he has to say, which happens. I tally the annual number of his posts from 2007 to 2012 as: 134, 60, 60, 45, 27, 8. During his time on cyber-earth, though, MM has built up an extraordinary following among high-IQ dissidents. Of the ten smartest people I know on the dissident Right, at least three are MM fans.
- MM's political philosophy can be summed up in Alexander Hamilton's observation that "Your people, Sir, is a great beast." His notion of the Cathedral—approximately, the media plus the academy plus the bureaucracy—as the true center of power in our nation has surprisingly wide currency—you hear it from strangers in bars (well, I did recently).
MM's style is indirect, florid and allusive, and but if you want to join us in the Dark Enlightenment he's essential reading.
- Occidental Dissent. If you think the South will rise again, or wish it to (I wouldn't mind), Hunter Wallace is your man.
- ParaPundit seems to have been around for ever. I've been reading the proprietor, Randall Parker, for longer than I've been reading blogs — since he and I were participants in Steve Sailer's Human Bio-Diversity listserv back in the 1990s. Incredibly, Randall also runs the science-oriented FuturePundit for a total current posting rate of one per day. Makes me feel quite tongue-tied. Conservative, pessimistic, race-realist, tech-savvy.
- Pharyngula is my defense against people who tell me I only read blogs I agree with. Far-left liberal, religion-hating, and race-denialist (in spite of being a biologist), P.Z. Myers none the less occasionally says interesting things, usually about marine life-forms.
- Radio Free New Jersey. Tom's blog, which he shares with an orc named Frithguild, occupies that swampy zone between the firmly dissident Right (e.g. us) and Conservatism, Inc., but is backed with an unusual degree of financial and economic expertise and insight.
- Refugee Resettlement Watch exposes the thieving, lying, corrupt, and nation-destroying antics of the refugee resettlement rackets two or three times a day. Ann would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom if anyone in power gave a damn about freedom any more.
- Chateau Heartiste offers Applied Human Bio-Diversity—applied, that is, to the mating game. Literate, witty, frank, and fathomlessly cynical, Heartiste is the thinking man's Charlie Sheen. Are women really the way he says? Well, speaking from my own experience, which admittedly is nothing like as abundant as I would have wished, yes, a lot of them are. A whole lot. Maybe most. Maybe…Next item.
- Stuff Black People Don't Like. The very best of the in-your-face race realists, wide-ranging and well-researched. What journalism schools should produce: though if one ever did produce an SBPDL, the faculty would commit collective seppuku in a public square.
- Steve Sailer. What can one say? 122 posts in October, 133 in November as of Wednesday night, and scarcely a dud among them. Movies, sport, politics, the human sciences…and Steve has the best comment threads in the business, enriching and enlarging upon his posts. Just today on one of those threads I learned an interesting thing about Brazil (in regard to which, see under "AmRen" above).
Why isn't Steve rich and famous? Why do Bigfoot pundits read him and quote him without ever naming him? Why does Steve make John Podhoretz gasp and sputter? Why?
Well, actually, W.B. Yeats told us why, in lines inspired by the disgust he felt at bluenoses and political puritans who shouted down a friend's play:
Once, when midnight smote the air,
Eunuchs ran through Hell and met
On every crowded street to stare
Upon great Juan riding by:
Even like these to rail and sweat
Staring upon his sinewy thigh.
- Those Who Can See doesn't post often, but is always worth my time: long, judiciously illustrated, and data-rich.
- West Hunter is the joint blog of Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending, joint authors of The 10,000-Year Explosion, which has probably done more than any other book to demolish the misconception that evolutionary change only happens across geological eons of time.
On West Hunter the geneticist and the anthropologist pursue themes related to that book: here, for example, taking up Hbd Chick's remarks on the decline of violence. Not many posts (14 in September, 8 in October, 6 to date in November) but serious and original, always worth reading, often with links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
You want more? I got more … for another time, maybe.
And that's just the start of my morning trawl: about two-three hours. There are some worthwhile blogs — Andy Ross, Larry Auster, Fred Reed — that Google Reader can't pick up; I keep them in a separate bookmark folder. Then, Drudge, the BBC, the newspapers; and then, after a glass of something fortifying, political commentary.
You think it's easy, staying well-informed? Feugh!
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimismand several other books. His writings are archived atJohnDerbyshire.com.
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