So I’ve been thinking about something. Back when George Floyd died, you heard a lot about people who want to “abolish the police”. There are also among leftist crowds people who want to abolish prison altogether.
These are fundamentally not serious people. A few cities made the mistake of treating these ideas as serious ideas, but they’re not. They’re some sort of psychological coping mechanism that a handful of people use for their own mental health. But the mechanism only works for these people when they pretend these are serious ideas about how the world works, that would improve society if we widely implemented them.
This is true for other leftist ideas too. “Fat-positive feminism” is similar, as is the incessant obsession about “rape culture”. As a thirteen year old boy, I thought of myself as a communist. This wasn’t really something I genuinely thought deeply about, this was just some sort of natural product of being a white trash boy forced by my mom to attend a school for rich kids. I would play Tropico and see this ideology called “communism” and figured it allowed you to build some sort of idyllic tropical paradise where everyone has their basic needs met.
The point is, these are not serious arguments that you’re supposed to rationally engage with. These are ideas part of dissociative coping mechanisms that are constructed as if they were rational convictions, but serve not as a model to base policy on, but rather, exist for the purpose of protecting the mental well-being of the people who believe in them.
These are similar phenomena on the right. You have people who want to pretend that SARS2 is some sort of benign influenza-like virus instead of something that’s now creating an entire generation of brain-damaged children. Showing them how this virus today still hospitalizes as many people as seasonal influenza does in two days in a normal year won’t change their mind, because they’re not serious people.
Rather, these are people who constructed a kind of cloud castle within their minds that they can inhabit, where the harsh realities of life do not affect them. But they need to convince themselves that the ideas they peddle are real, because otherwise they can’t take comfort in their mental cloud-castle. And to make sure they can continue to enjoy the comfort of their cloud castle, they need reinforcement from other people who participate in this behavior too.
Transgenderism is similar. These people arrived at an idea that suits them and makes them happy or at least makes their mental problems bearable, but for that idea to work, they need to push the rest of society to facilitate them in this idea. They can only believe they’re really men or women, when other people participate in the ritual of treating them as something they’re not.
Climate change is another example on the right. These people are psychologically just incapable of accepting the apocalypse that is approaching, so they construct an alternative and increasingly far-fetched reality in which the human induced buildup of greenhouse gasses does not reduce our planetary carrying capacity.
But these are not serious people. These are not people you can engage in debates or discussions with. And normal people tend to recognize this subconsciously, that most people are just publicly putting up their own psychological coping mechanisms on display. So they don’t rationally engage them, but rather, pay them lip service.
Autists tend to make the mistake of believing that these are rational views people have about the world, that are subject to reevaluation in response to new information.
“Hey, did you know that a new study found there is no such thing as metabolically healthy obesity?”
“Well, good thing you told me, I guess I have to start losing weight after all!”
This is the sort of exchange an autist expects to have. But that’s not how the real world works.
Instead, it seems that the closest the autists can get to changing people’s minds, is by inoculating them before the unhealthy coping mechanisms can germinate:
“Hey, did you know a neovagina smells like poop? Here’s someone from Reddit who says the whole room smells like poop from her neovagina!”
And now the skinnyfat friendzoned Google engineer in San Francisco doesn’t “discover” two years later that he’s really a woman. He was inoculated.
And for many ideas and problems, all of us adults are now just stuck in whatever our cognitive framework is.
You can teach thirteen year old girls what a neophallus looks like, how you have to get a fake boner for your fake penis by inflating a pump. Those thirteen year old girls will then decide their pronouns are not he/him after all. This probably doesn’t work when they’re already committed, when they have the boyish haircut, the moustache, the amputated breasts, etcetera.
This is true for almost every topic, we’re all stuck in our own cognitive boxes. This is why it’s generally only useful to discuss new things that happen. By the time people have made up their minds, there’s no genuine point in arguing with them anymore. Most ideas only die, through the physical deaths of their adherents. Historically many regimes seem to have realized this, which is why we saw such massive genocides throughout history.
In fact, many ideas that settle in people’s minds have internal reinforcement mechanisms, that allow their adherents to interpret attempts to steer them away from them as evidence the idea is correct: “The devil will try to tempt you away from God.” “Klaus Schwab doesn’t want you to know that humans actually-“
It seems to me this began with Christanity, but it’s now widespread in Western civilization. You can see it with the transgenders too, pale sickly thirteen year old girls and boys who are at the bottom of the social hierarchy, but can be at the top if they pretend to be something they’re not. When an LSWM or an autist then tries to explain to them that there are just two genders, this serves to reinforce their conviction that they’re actually oppressed (which puts you at the top of the modern hierarchy).
The closest thing that seems to work to change people’s minds after they’ve already arrived at a belief is not some sort of rational debate or new arguments, but a kind of shock therapy. If you can completely psychologically terrorize someone, they’ll change their minds.
As an example, young white women from middle class families will be LGBTQI allies etc, until they have some creepy ghoul pretend to be a woman on their swimming team and in their locker room. That changes their minds, in a way no rational argument ever could. Mass migration is similar. There simply wasn’t any genuine public opposition to migration of Muslims to Western countries, until 9/11.
For climate change, it seems that never happens, because climate change doesn’t render shock events, it just loads the dice the same way obesity does. People who end up in the emergency room from snorting cocaine decide to change their lifestyle. People who develop prediabetes, then diabetes, then need to inject insulin, then get out of breath walking to their supermarket, then start suffering gangene on their toes, then die of sepsis never have the sort of shock moment that luls them out of their sleep.
The problem with climate change is that the shock event will never arrive. There’s just a shift in the distribution of events, where bad events that also happened in the past just happen more regularly and tend to be somewhat bigger than they used to be. Forest fires happened in the past, but now they’re somewhat larger, in parts of the world where they used to be rare and they now make it hard for forests to recover. But this isn’t shocking to people. There’s exactly nothing you can point out to people that’s happening today, that they won’t remember happening in their childhood. So the idea that this is not a real problem, will only die once the people who adhere to that belief die too.