Technology Has Changed The Nature of Human Intelligence

Kraftwerk sang about the fusion of man and machine in the 1980s, but even they couldn’t anticipate how the Internet would change our brains

People used to have a reasonably clear idea of what intelligence is. As measured by school examinations, intelligence is primarily a matter of remembering and recalling disparate pieces of information and, for bonus points, knitting as many of these pieces as information as possible together into a pattern that can be communicated. This was the approach taken by the Chinese Mandarin schools, and it made perfect sense – until now.

It used to be that having a good memory was the most important thing. This is natural if you lived in a time of informational scarcity, as we did for most of our history. Nature didn’t offer a lot of second chances to remember things; if you didn’t remember that crocodiles were often seen in this river, or what your grandmother said about not sticking your hand in empty logs where snakes could be, you probably weren’t long for this world.

Most of the time none of us had any idea what the fuck was going on. Only during the last 5% of the human experience has anyone managed to get anything written down, and even then mass literacy has only been a thing for a hundred years or so, and even then only in wealthy industrialised countries. The concept of being overwhelmed by knowledge was impossible outside of the most rigorous monastic setting.

The Internet has turned this entire equation on its head. It is like a gigantic non-corporeal memory comprising the sum total of human knowledge, never further than a few clicks away. No-one really needs to memorise everything anymore, when they could spend that same precious study time learning to understand the fundamentals of their discipline better.

During most of the time that people have been students, it used to be that you could open your skull and allow it to be filled. Anyone taking the time to speak to you probably had your best interests in mind, and so an atmosphere of high trust existed, and students could be more receptive.

Now, the most important thing is being able to discern truth from bullshit. On the Internet, people are lining up to shovel shit into your head. Not only are there the advertisers who have been a plague on mass media since the 1950s, but there are government propagandists – both foreign and “your own” government, religionists with a new audience, corporate intelligence agents, social justice warriors and anyone else with a drum to beat.

So you have to be more discriminating. After all, there’s no point in being open minded when you’re continually exposed to things like Flat Earth, which really only makes a person more stupid the more they think about it.

The more lies and propaganda there are around, the more intelligence becomes about being able to quickly and cleanly distinguish lies from truth, and to avoid logical errors like the balance fallacy, in which a person gives credence to a false position merely because a lot of people are bleating about it.

Intelligence is now about figuring out when you’re being lied to. Can you tell truth from bullshit when it comes to vaccine claims, for example? How do you know? How do you really know?

Now more than ever, what distinguishes the smart from the slow is how to accurately grade the reliability of the information that comes into their awareness and not simply accept it because the television says so and not simply dismiss it because the Government says so. Now it’s all about the metainformation – the information about the information – which gives us a second dimension by which to measure knowledge.

This will lead to an evolutionary process in which people who adapt to the new paradigm of information being abundant and unreliable, instead of rare and reliable, will outcompete those in the old paradigm of mindlessly memorising things.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the cyberpunk novel The Verity Key, a story based on his psychological research into whether it’s possible for devices to control people’s thoughts and actions by satellite.

Blade Runner 2049 Shows That Cyberpunk Will Live Forever

A Blade Runner for a new generation poses a set of moral dilemmas for a new generation – as cyberpunk always will

Film pundits are divided over whether or not Blade Runner 2049 can be counted as a successful film. On the one hand, it lost $80,000,000 at the box office; on the other, it has an 8.4/10 rating on the IMDB. This essay argues that not only is Blade Runner 2049 a great film, but it is evidence that the cyberpunk genre will live forever.

Cyberpunk, like Satanism and Test match cricket, is never going to find mass appeal among a Western population that hates thinking. All of these genres are acquired tastes that only a particular sort of person finds interesting – and then, they usually find it fascinating. So it’s entirely appropriate that Blade Runner 2049 did poorly at the box office but extremely well among cyberpunk fans who have a sophisticated appreciation for the genre.

Cyberpunk will always have a place in popular culture, as long as advancing technology continues to pose us moral dilemmas that bring with them the possibility of horror. New technologies will keep putting people in novel and unique situations without any previous example of how to conduct oneself, and they will continue to provide new methods to control, exploit, dominate and destroy.

Even though most new technological advances will be for peaceful and wholesome purposes, we can predict, to paraphrase William Gibson, that the street will continue to find its own uses for things, and therefore there will always be expression for people using technology to get any edge on each other.

Which means that advancing technology will continue to produce moral dilemmas that make for fascinating fiction.

The moral dilemma at the heart of Blade Runner was whether or not artificial humans could ever be considered real people, and so whether or not there was ever a moral obligation to treat them as equals, in the way that most people feel a moral obligation to treat other people as equals. Roy Batty was outraged that humans might have engineered him to have such an artificially short life span, and viewers were likely to concede that he had a point.

For whatever reason, the collective consciousness appears to have concluded that replicants are not, and can never be, conscious. Fair enough, but the moral dilemma at the heart of Blade Runner 2049 is whether or not the offspring of replicants that can breed are conscious. The characters in the film seem to glibly assume that any creature that is born must have a soul, but the question is never discussed at length by them, leaving such ruminations for the viewer.

Blade Runner 2049 poses this question in a believable and terrifying manner, and forces the reader to consider Philip K Dick’s fundamental question of science fiction: not “What if…”, but “My God, what if…” My God, what if artificial creatures that managed to replicate were actually conscious in the same way that we are conscious? What if acting to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings in the universe meant that we had to consider the offspring of replicants?

Cyberpunk is always going to raise questions like this, because it will always be true that somewhere there is a megacorporation with pockets deep enough to finance bleeding-edge technological research and application away from the watchful eyes of the government or the public, for whatever dark and twisted motives the world can surmise.

Because it did such an excellent job of posing such deep questions in a way that chills the spine of the viewer, it can be argued that Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent piece of cinema for the sort of viewer who appreciates a subtler and more cerebral tale than the usual Hollywood fare, even if it did not find mass market appeal.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the cyberpunk novel The Verity Key, a story of ANZAC mateship in a dystopic future world where it’s possible for devices to control people’s thoughts and actions by satellite.

Misdirected Estrogen

Estrogen impels women to find vulnerable creatures to look after, and if they do not have children it will be cats… or refugees

Everyone’s familiar with the joke about the woman who decides not to have kids and inevitably ends up with piles of cats. Like many popular jokes, there’s an element of taboo truth to it: women have a certain level of estrogen to discharge and if they don’t have children they will often substitute a cat to be the subject of their nurturing instincts. This process plays a role in global politics as well.

This is all very natural – evolution, of course, selects for the kind of woman who breeds, and the kind of woman who breeds will usually have a massive dump of estrogen hit them near the end of their reproductive cycle. This estrogen will make them compulsively seek after a “warm fuzzy” feeling that results from being nice – a behaviour that has obvious evolutionary benefits for a breeding female who has children in need of nurturing.

All well and good if she does have children, because the woman will then try and be nice to her child in order to meet its developing needs, which will help to ensure that it grows up mentally and physically healthy. Even if she doesn’t have children she can look after other siblings or cousins, so this hormonal development still makes sense.

In our world, where the family structure has been shattered, women in their late 30s and 40s often have no children upon which to lavish all their nurturing instincts. At the same time, there are many cats in need of good homes, so the two things are a natural fit. All in all, this works out pretty well. Women get to enjoy the company of cats while the cats get to have homes.

Where it doesn’t work out well is when that misplaced estrogen gets directed onto refugees.

It first became fashionable to advocate for mass resettlement of refugees in the same places where it first became fashionable to delay motherhood. This is not a coincidence. Women who have delayed motherhood will look for any reason to try and generate for themselves the estrogen-based warm fuzzy that their breeding peers will be full of on a daily basis.

Unfortunately for us, the modern career woman is too busy for cats and so the entirely natural desire of a female to take care of a vulnerable being has been displaced from the children she hasn’t had to the surplus offspring that someone else has had. This usually means refugees, because the poor and mentally ill people already in the country are not fashionable at the moment, and in any case they’re usually stinky and old.

So instead of raising a well-adjusted child they often choose to invite a permanent psychiatric casualty into their communities. This psychiatric casualty, even if they do not commit any crimes, will almost certainly pay nothing back into the pool for the general upkeep of society, and so represents a massive loss compared to the opportunity cost of a fully-functioning adult raised by healthy locals.

Doubly unfortunately, there’s no way of talking rationally to any person with this feminine impulse to dote on a vulnerable being (not only childless women but also male feminists and beta males trying to virtue signal to get laid) because people who get hooked on the warm fuzzies of looking after a helpless creature are every bit the drug addict as any crackhead. They will ceaselessly strive for bigger and bigger hits, sacrificing more and more to achieve them.

This is not a bad thing when it’s making sure that the next generation of our people are healthy. When it gets misdirected to undermining our own culture by inviting permanently crippled people in to absorb economic opportunities that were intended for our own people, then it gets bad.

Unfortunately, our controllers know full well that things like this are going to be happening and they have anticipated it all. That’s why they have a product ready to sell us before we even know we have the desire to buy it.

What Armistice Day Could Mean to the Psychonaut

The cessation of conflict that was tearing one apart – whether physically in the form of war or spiritually – is celebrated on Armistice Day

Armistice Day – 11 November – is a celebration that marks the armistice that ended hostilities at the conclusion of World War One. On this day in 1918, soldiers on all sides put down their guns, bringing an end to what had been, until then, by far the most mindless display of human savagery, ruthlessness and murderlust in history. The retrospective sense that it may have been better to not have fought in the first place echoes in the life of the psychonaut.

In the life of an ordinary person one struggles, and fights, and desires, and wins and loses, and always it’s a tremendous battle to satiate the demands of one ego, which yearns to be exalted. And then, if one ever sees the brick wall at the back of the theatre, one laughs because the battling is all so silly when there’s no way for you to ever really lose.

This is a microcosm of the struggle of nations to exalt themselves on the world stage – a struggle which is so bloody that if it ever stops being violent even for a moment we commemorate it almost a century later, in the hope that we never forget the price of peace.

Like the Great War soldier, the psychonaut has to learn how to put down his guns, but in a metaphorical sense. He has to learn how to be open to the world and to reality, to not be afraid of the inevitable, the indescribable, the ineffable or the incomprehensible. His is the path of the shaman, one who sees beyond, and who returns with knowledge that is not accessible from ordinary perspectives.

Putting down one’s guns might mean, spiritually speaking, that one puts down one’s more aggressive egotistic defences and accepts that one will die one day, and therefore that all victories on this earthly plane are fleeting, transitory, and not worth losing one’s dignity over. It’s the kind of realisation that one might just as well get on the battlefield as from a psychedelic.

Believing this means to value peace in one’s life.

Part of this might be to accept the inevitability of the future death of one’s physical body, and thereby to prepare oneself for the profound change to the contents of consciousness that will follow, instead of repressing it, panicking at every mention of it, or denying the magnitude of the chaos that will befall one over the horizon of death.

The vast majority of people, being materialists, can only look at the prospect of the future death of their physical body with whimpering horror, because materialists almost always bear the delusion that the brain generates consciousness and therefore that the death of the brain necessarily means the extinction of that consciousness.

A person who has seen beyond has had cause to put down his guns, because he knows that living a life that expresses an acceptance of the inevitable will cause the environment around him to be more harmonious than it otherwise would have been.

This doesn’t means that the psychonaut must martyr himself on the spot out of guilt. Putting down one’s guns does not imply that one become passive, or submissive, or self-debasing.

It simply means that one stop behaving like a traumatised dog, ever on the ready to lash out in self-defence, and ever vigilant to all possible new threats from any direction. It means to relax, to let go and to forgive. This teaching is in many ways at the core of all religious and spiritual sentiment.

The lesson of Armistice Day is that conflict has a time and place and when those qualities no longer obtain then it’s time for peace. A genuine interest in peace means tuning oneself into a frequency from which conflict does not arise, a place that a Pyrrhonist would all ataraxia, a Luciferian would call apotheosis and a Buddhist would call nirvana.

Are You Trapped At Stage 4 of Kohlberg’s Scale of Moral Reasoning?

The majority of people can’t get past the idea that the law is the law and must be obeyed without question – which makes things hard for people who need medicinal cannabis

American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg had a lifelong obsession with morality and moral reasoning, and the best-known result of his research was his six-point scale of moral reasoning. A continuation of the child development studies of Jean Piaget, the theory suggests that people develop through discrete stages of moral reasoning, with each stage more sophisticated, effective and enlightened than the previous ones. This article discusses the tremendous number of people trapped at stage 4 of the scale.

Kohlberg’s scale suggests that moral sophistication develops over the course of a person’s life, with entry into each new stage marked by a brand new perspective which is different to the old one but still a derivative of it, in the sense that the individual holding it has “grown up” and become more of a functioning adult.

Essentially, most people start out with a similar level of moral reasoning to that of a wild animal. Kohlberg euphemistically referred to this stage as “Pre-conventional” and it consists of the wretches who do nothing but try to avoid punishment in stage 1, and the narcissists and psychopaths who are only interested in personal advantage in stage 2.

Conventional reasoning is where most people are. In this stage, moral decisions are justified with reference to what other people in society do or believe. Stage 3 of this involves an effort to display good intentions as defined by social approval, and a person here tries to be good and be thought of as good, wanting to earn a pat on the head.

In stage 4, a person comes to appreciate the value of the law. In this stage it becomes possible for a person to reason to themselves the need to follow a law or social convention despite that the people around them are not doing so. Someone here is capable of overcoming being induced by peer pressure into doing something immoral or criminal.

This is not the most sophisticated stage of moral reasoning, but in the same way that most people are intellectually unremarkable they are also morally unremarkable. In other words, most people just follow the herd and are neither vicious nor Buddha-like, and so they develop to here and no further.

It is speculated that most people never reach stages 5 and 6 of moral reasoning – collectively known as “Post-conventional” reasoning – on account of that they have neither the courage to stand out from the herd nor the intelligence to determine when it might be correct to do so. At these stages a person is willing to break the law if doing so would uphold a higher moral principle.

Kohlberg used to test the participants in his studies with something called the Heinz dilemma. This is a thought experiment in which the participants are invited to ask themselves if they might consider it morally permissible to steal a medicine if this was necessary to afford the medical treatment of a loved one.

New Zealanders often find themselves faced with something that we might call the Renton dilemma, after Rose and Alex Renton, who faced it. The Renton dilemma could be described as whether or not to act in order to help a sick person get hold of medicinal cannabis despite that the medicine has been prohibited by whatever local ruling power has claimed the authority to do so.

If a person was stuck at stage 4 of Kohlberg’s scale of moral reasoning, at which point they put the importance of the law above everything else, they would argue that Rose Renton should not have tried to get hold of medicinal cannabis without the relevant government approval, because laws like this must be obeyed for the sake of social cohesion.

The reason why this is dilemma is because a person who follows the law would not help a sick person get hold of medicinal cannabis, ergo they would let a sick person suffer needlessly for the sake of upholding the law.

A person at stage 5 of Kohlberg’s scale might not reason in such a manner, perhaps deciding instead that acting to reduce the sum total of human suffering in the world was more important than mindless obedience to a law that the people never consented to, and which was forced upon them on false pretenses and supported by lies.

Anyone who can’t get their head around the idea that the law can be wrong is likely stuck at stage 4 of Kohlberg’s moral reasoning scale, and it’s on issues at the forefront of cultural change, like cannabis law reform, where they get the most confused. Unfortunately, these people are by far the majority and the herd rules under the laws of democracy.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

What’s Defective in the Brain of Gareth Morgan?

Most Kiwis have now had occasion to listen to Gareth Morgan and have realised that there’s something missing from his brain

New Zealanders have had a collective experience this year – 97.6% of us have seen Gareth Morgan on television or social media and thought to themselves “There’s something fucking wrong with that guy.” Even by the mediocre, ignorant, bombastic standards of the puffed-up pissants who comprise New Zealand’s political class, Morgan stands out as a particularly vile specimen. This article takes a psychological perspective to examine what might be wrong with the man.

Having a go at someone on the occasion of the sudden death of a beloved pet, as Morgan did upon the death of Jacinda Ardern’s cat this week, is about as worthy of admiration as having a go at someone on the occasion of the death of a grandparent. It’s a really low thing to do, and a person wouldn’t normally think to do it unless something was missing from their brain. After all, many pet owners consider their animal friends a legitimate part of the family.

Imagine if Sam Morgan suddenly died and Jacinda Ardern had a go at Gareth on social media, taunting him on account of the damage Sam did to the environment with frequent international air travel. It would be the most appallingly unprimeministerial conduct ever witnessed in the history of the country. The whole nation would be united in agreement that someone who behaved like that was not fit to run a pub, let alone lead a country, on account of lacking basic compassion.

That this sort of conduct is not beneath Morgan won’t surprise the large numbers of people who have observed him speak and got a creepy vibe from the man, as if he was someone who you wouldn’t leave alone in a room with a pet or a small child.

Probably the reason for this is that Morgan, like most individuals who give other people the creeps, has a very low opinion of the importance of other people. As evidenced by his proposal to buy a section of Awaroa Beach, Morgan considers other people lesser beings, their opinions less worthy, their feelings less valuable.

This is not news to anyone who criticised Morgan’s refugee policy on one of his billions of sponsored FaceBook threads, and was verbally abused as a consequence.

It is cause to believe that Morgan has utterly failed at what a psychologist would call the development of a Theory of Mind – in other words, Morgan has absolutely no idea what’s going on in other people’s heads.

This hypothesis is supported by Morgan’s rude, crude, almost autistic dismissals of other people’s viewpoints. Like most narcissists, Morgan responds firstly with disbelief and rage when people disagree with him, and then when this cools becomes snarky and contemptuous. No effort at creating a common understanding with another person is made – you agree with the truth as divined by Saint Gareth or you are simply subhuman.

No amount of explaining could get it into Morgan’s head that most people are appalled by a tax plan that calls for taxing the family home. For the vast majority of people, their tenure of dwelling is their basic security in life: their castle and their home base. Of course, someone with hundreds of millions who can buy a house with pocket change cannot understand these sentiments, but the telling thing is that Morgan made no effort to – anyone who disagreed was simply a misinformed idiot.

Neither does he seem to have the faintest idea how much joy people get out of cats, and therefore the great anti-depressant effect that cats have on the people that spend time around them. He seems to have completely failed to understand that most cat owners see their cats as fellow beings of a similar order of importance to other people. This is pretty weird, all things considered, because there are very few people who are mentally defective on such issues of empathy.

Probably the main reason for this failure is that Morgan just doesn’t care. Judging by his behaviour on the campaign circuit, other people are, for him, just tools to be used in the achievement of a greater objective.

In other words, Morgan shares a failure to develop a theory of mind with all manner of criminals, psychopaths and dictators, who, like him, are missing the basic empathy that makes people truly human.

Defending Human Rights Begins At Home

There’s no point in Jacinda Ardern’s Government fighting for the rights of “refugees” in Australia when it is committing human rights abuses against the New Zealand people by denying us medicinal cannabis

Watching Jacinda Ardern virtue signal about the need for New Zealand to take in country-shopping refugees from Manus Island is disgusting when she is representing a Government that is currently committing human rights abuses against its own people. The fact is that if the Sixth Labour Government wants to get a reputation for being on the correct side of human rights issues, it needs to start at home with a repeal of cannabis prohibition.

Putting a sick person in a cage for growing the medicine they need to alleviate their suffering is a human rights abuse. No reasonable person doubts this anymore, despite the 80 years of propaganda seeking to demonise the plant. There is ample evidence that cannabis is medicinal and should never have been made illegal.

Plenty of unreasonable people once argued otherwise, and unfortunately our law still reflects the conclusions drawn by those unreasonable people in the form of the Misuse of Drugs Act. But much like prohibiting women from voting, or to putting gay men in cages like animals, reasonable people have kept the pressure on to get the law changed to something reflecting basic human compassion.

The majority of the New Zealand people now believe that the politicians who criminalised growing medicinal cannabis, and the Police officers, judges and bailiffs that enforce this illegal law are human rights abusers. This is because, if people do not have the right to a medicine that takes their suffering away when they get sick, then they don’t have any rights at all.

A law that forces sick people to endure unnecessary suffering when those sick people could themselves be growing a palliative medicine is obscene. It’s more obscene than anything else currently happening in New Zealand, and this is why Ardern needs to begin with a repeal of cannabis prohibition and not by meddling with Australian “refugee” policy.

It’s clear that it’s important to the Sixth Labour Government that they are seen to be doing the right thing. Much of the argument for voting for them in the first place is moral – that a greater redistribution of wealth would alleviate poverty and that we have a moral obligation to reduce poverty because it causes suffering. So they have an obligation to actually make moral decisions.

It’s also clear that the Fifth Labour Government fell, in part, because the public perception was that it was more interested in being seen to do the right thing than actually doing the right thing. They started to appear hollow and dishonest to a jaded electorate, and the public became cynical.

In order to avoid this, Ardern’s Government ought to deliver a meaningful win to the disenfranchised and dejected masses who voted them in, and quickly. It ought to introduce an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests, effective today, by giving notice to Police Commissioner Mike Bush that it had intent to repeal cannabis prohibition.

If the intent was to look good from taking correct moral actions, this is one that the Fifth Labour Government should have taken 18 years ago, because there was enough evidence for California to make medicinal cannabis legal in 1996. Ardern would do well to make up for the tardy refusal of the New Zealand Government to stay informed; a pig-headedness that has caused so much suffering.

Of course, if Jacinda Ardern had any real integrity, and wasn’t just another of the virtue-signalling hypocrites that Western voters now expect leftist politicians to be, she would make a public Government apology to those impacted by cannabis prohibition, emphasise that the New Zealand Government never had the right to make The People’s Medicine illegal and open discussions about compensation for past criminal convictions. That would be the result of making an objective, honest appraisal about how to put things right.

This is too much to realistically hope for, but we can still call for an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests on the basis that prohibition will not survive this term of Government.

Why Christianity Will Destroy The West (Again)

Christianity caused the 4th century Roman Empire to rot from within, until they were unable to secure their borders against invaders and collapsed. A similar fate is befalling 21st century Europe

Christian culture is defined by many things; virtue signalling, slave morality, resentment, passive aggression and self hatred are the foremost of these. This Abrahamic disease of the collective consciousness was fatal for the Roman Empire before us, and, unfortunately, the Western world hasn’t been able to shake it off for nearly 2,000 years. It’s going to be fatal for us too.

Mass immigration destroyed the Roman Empire – this is a matter of historical record. Fat, lazy and decadent, the Romans no longer had the will to defend their own Northern borders against Germanic barbarians, and that led to those barbarians having their will with the place. Free plunder resulted.

The Gothic War started in 376 when a huge number of Goths turned up on the border of the Roman Empire seeking refuge from the Huns. At first, Emperor Valens was pleased at the prospect of cheap labour for his workforce and willing soldiers (heard this story before?), but the unwillingness of the local population to support this foreign multitude of hungry mouths (what about now?) led to insurrection, and aided by traitors within the local Roman population (what about now?) the Goths were able to sack the place, leading to the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire.

All of this was made possible by the conversion of the Empire to Christianity, which turned the minds of the Romans away from reality and replaced their natural morality with the slave morality that we see expressed today in the legions of social justice warriors and cultural Marxists.

Angela Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran minister, and her Christian morality was instrumental in her decision to open the borders of Germany to the hordes of Syrian migrants seeking refuge from people exactly like themselves.

Thinking like a Christian and striving to make a show of piety, and supported by wealthy, fashionable virtue signallers, Merkel decided to allow a million Syrians to have their way with the country she ruled, on the basis that they were claiming to need help and that submitting to this invasion would be charitable.

The same catastrophe is going to happen to us, for the same reasons, and the same people will be cheerleading for it.

The immensely privileged Alison Mau used her platform in the mainstream media to let us know yesterday that we were all racists for not wanting to take hundreds of refugees, despite acknowledging that these refugees were severely mentally ill, which would require that the mentally ill New Zealanders already present go to the back of the healthcare queue to accommodate them.

Her logic is that, if you are one of the tens of thousands of Kiwis who are desperate for mental health care from a system that you have paid taxes into and which your grandparents built, you’re going to have to get to the back of the queue behind a horde of people who have not inherited a birthright to the wealth of the nation.

As Dan McGlashan points out at several points in Understanding New Zealand, this is the major division on the left, between the privileged, usually Green supporters and the unprivileged, usually Labour and New Zealand First supporters. The privileged, like Alison Mau, having enough money to protect her from the cruel vagaries of life, are happy to support whatever cause is trendy this week without care for the consequences, because the consequences of mass “refugee” resettlement will fall upon the unprivileged. The unprivileged, like the working class of New Zealand, will see the community bonds of the neighbourhoods destroyed, and the queues in front of them for getting mental health care become longer, and the security of their women and elderly start to become jeopardised.

The self-righteous Christian sentiment that expresses itself as a desire to be seen to be virtuous and compassionate will destroy the West, and it isn’t the Muslims that necessarily do all the damage. They just do enough damage to make people lose their minds, as the Jews once did in Germany. And then, all Hell breaks loose.

The real danger is not Muslims, because they are a century from being a real threat to the West. The real danger is what we ourselves might get tempted to do when the hordes of Muslim “refugees” fail to integrate, and start to achieve territorial dominance in certain areas.

A Holocaust of Muslims in Europe this century is entirely plausible – not because such a genocide is itself plausible but because all the stupid shit that leads up to one is apparently in the process of being repeated. Like the yin and the yang, the excesses of one ideology lead to the excesses of its counter, and the excess of a narcissistic desire to virtue signal one’s likeness to the ideal of tolerance and compassion as embodied in Jesus Christ will be violence.

The Boringest T20I Is Worse Than The Boringest ODI

Scoreboard pressure in often so intense in T20s, especially at international level, that one misstep puts the chasing side in a hopeless position

In much the same way that cricket analysts were slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in ODIs, so too have they been slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in T20s. Everyone knows strike rate is important in limited overs; what few understand is how this can lead to extremely boring matches. This article looks at why efforts to contrive a more interesting game of cricket have only somewhat succeeded.

The advent of T20 came about when someone realised that, all other things being equal, fans liked seeing boundaries and wickets, and didn’t much care for dot balls or for contests that were over long before they technically finished because the chasing side lost early wickets. And so a form of the game was contrived to have as few dot balls as possible, and as many boundaries and wickets as possible.

But what this new fashion risks losing sight of is the fact that cricket is only interesting in the first place because it is a contest of skill, and sometimes the nature of the match situation in T20 is not conducive to playing the game skillfully.

For instance, it almost never occurs in ODIs that the chasing team, in the first five overs, falls so far behind the required strike rate that the match is effectively lost without resorting to slogging. The chasing team might lose early wickets, which makes the chase much harder, but as long as they can keep their wickets intact there are still plenty of overs in which to win through playing proper cricket and building an innings.

In T20s it’s common for the chasing team to build up enough scoreboard pressure in the first five overs that they effectively cannot win. In other words, it’s possible to lose the game with the bat in the first five overs because of scoreboard pressure – something that is near to impossible in ODIs.

This can happen if the team setting a total bats well enough that they’re close to the optimal possible run rate over the 20 overs (which is usually somewhere just above 10 an over, a rate that cannot realistically be maintained for an ODI). When the required run rate for the batting team climbs above this, it cannot be achieved without taking risks (i.e. slogging) and when this happens one is no longer playing cricket. It’s no longer a contest of skill but merely hit and hope.

This is an incredibly boring outcome from the spectator’s point of view, because the beauty of cricket is that it is a contest of skill where the batsman must find a balance between aggression and keeping his wicket intact. Removing the “keeping the wicket intact” part of the equation often reduces the game to slogging.

It has happened twice in the two matches of the T20I series between New Zealand and India so far.

In the first T20I in Delhi this week, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma both scored 80 at strike rates of 145+ opening the India innings, which allowed them to finish on 202, more than 10 runs an over. This asking rate was so high that the slightest stumble in the chase would see the match over as a contest.

And it duly was effectively over, 22 balls into the chase after Munro and Guptill had both been dismissed. At this point the equation was 185 runs off 98 balls and Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, for all their undoubted skill as batsmen, couldn’t do much about it because neither could slog at the required rate.

Once a T20 match gets to this stage it gets ugly, because batsmen have no time to get used to the conditions so as to play big innings where they strike the ball skillfully and with timing into gaps in the field. So after Williamson and Latham were dismissed, Colin de Grandhomme had to come in and slog his first ball, which got him out.

In last night’s T20I at Rajkot, the contest was effectively over in the second over of the chase after Trent Boult had taken two wickets. Colin Munro clubbed his way to 109* (58) in the first innings, which meant that the slightest stumble would put the total out of reach.

And it duly was effectively over after Boult’s second, which meant they needed 10.5 an over for the remaining 18, or an individual strike rate of 175, with their two best hitters out. None of their batsman managed this, as few do.

The remaining batsmen were unable to score at the required strike rate without throwing their wickets away, and so limped to a loss, effectively throwing in the towel long before the innings concluded.

In ODIs strike rate is a major factor, but strike rate seldom destroys the chasing team’s hopes as quickly, as ruthlessly and as completely as in T20Is. Scoreboard pressure can destroy a chasing team’s chances so quickly that players can be forced into mindless slogging, and this is much less interesting to watch than a balanced contest between bat and ball.

The Black Caps T20 side already can’t find room for batsmen of the quality of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, because they can’t (or don’t) slog enough. This means that the viewer is watching batting of a lower level of skill just because the way the T20 format is contrived promotes such. This is also not interesting from a viewer’s perspective.

The real horror scenario is this – what if it is decided that strike rate is so important in T20Is that there’s no room in the side for Kane Williamson? Because if this day ever comes, T20Is might start to be considered a joke format by cricket fans in the same way most rugby union fans consider sevens, or at least one only suited for levels below international.

If the joy of sport comes from watching skill on display then it can be argued that T20Is are objectively more boring than ODIs because they objectively give less opportunity for the batsman to display skill. The overwhelming importance of strike rate means that skillful cricketers are often pushed out of the side by sloggers, which are only fun in small amounts.