The Peter Pan Generation

The Peter Pan Generation believes that whatever it wishes to be true is true. Whatever would be the most personally gratifying interpretation of reality is the natural one to, not only believe in, but to insist upon, as if the rest of us had a duty of care towards them akin to that of their biological mother.

This has led to many adopting the attitude that they can believe whatever they like with no obligation to pay any regard to consensual reality. If reality disagrees with me, it is wrong, and therefore has the obligation to change.

We can observe the consequences of this in the form of delayed adulthood, in particular a child-like total failure to accurately appraise the degree of danger in the world and to respond accordingly.

For this reason, some call them the ‘Special Snowflake Generation’. This was to distinguish them from their predecessors in Generation X, for whom Fight Club was a seminal influence on the collective identity, and who were told in which “You are not a special and unique snowflake. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

The generation who came after X, who weren’t latchkey kids, who were brought up with technology rather than catching the wave of the disruption it caused, who were bathed in hysteria about Islamists rather than the very real threat of the USSR and who, crucially, didn’t hear the message of Fight Club – they are the snowflakes, so named for their striking fragility.

wtf
The Peter Pan Generation doesn’t like being told no

If there is an overarching narrative in one’s social circles that rich white men are the devil and everyone opposed to The Man is on the same side and knows they’re on the same side and feels solidarity with each other, then one might be horribly surprised to find some of these people on your side want to throw gays off buildings.

Yet this is the natural consequence of the unnatural degree of naivety and unprecedented delayed infancy that is due, in a large part, to the absence of war or belief in the need for war or to prepare, either physically or mentally, for it.

Those of us in Generation X may not have had World War II or Vietnam to contend with, but we did grow up hearing the death throes of the Soviet Union and, with it, an entire paradigm that had until then given the world meaning. We were still brought up under the very real possibility that we might end up going to war one day.

Not so the snowflakes. War – like Hillary Clinton losing the last election – is unthinkable simply because they do not want it. There is no concept of war coming to them. After all, the Muslims blowing up Western targets are opposed to the same Man that is oppressing us!

And because those Muslims are opposed to the same patriarchal capitalist interests as the young and trendy there couldn’t possibly be any problem with letting in a couple of dozen million of them – they’re just like us, right?

As any regular reader of this column knows, all things comes in time, and the yin always turns into yang.

A sense of entitlement, in an indifferent world where you’re going to die, is like the potential kinetic energy created by raising a heavy object against gravity. Sooner or later, it is going to fall back to its natural starting point, and the further away it was before it fell the more noise and violence it will make on the way down.

It’s too early to tell what will slap the Peter Pan Generation awake in the way that 9/11 slapped awake Generation X, that Vietnam slapped awake the Boomers, that World War II slapped awake the Silent Generation, and the Great Depression slapped awake the Greatest Generation.

But what we do know is that nature will out, and that nature loves to punish stupidity with violence.

Political Gnosticism: Why a Demiurge Would Have Created Both a Left and Right Wing

Of all the world-hating, female-fearing, life-denying cults that sprang up in the wake of the Curse of Abraham, one of the most interesting is Gnosticism. As far as Abrahamic cults go, it’s unusually moderate, and its adherents appear to have achieved a far higher level of general spiritual awareness than the others. It’s worth taking a closer look at.

Gnosticism might not even really be an Abrahamic cult, as the sentiments that led to its creation may predate Abraham and go all the way back to Zoroaster, but the common interpretation of it nowadays is in the Christian context, as it was codified in the Christian Syria and Egypt of the second century A.D.

We may never really know if this movement was started by Christians who accidentally got close to the truth or if it was started by people who knew the truth and therefore knew that they had to modify it to fit a Christian paradigm for it to be accepted. Therefore we cannot judge if the Gnostics basically had it right or wrong (at least not here).

The essentials are this: there exists a unified, remote, supreme force that is considered a deity. From this deity various lesser forms have emanated. It is one of these forms – known as the demiurge – that has created our material world. In some schools of Gnosticism this demiurge is considered merely imperfect – in others, outright evil.

The essential idea that the world as it appears to the senses is not the full story is an idea that is shared with many other esoteric traditions. On the face of it there are similarities with the Hindu concept of Maya.

Let’s leave aside what we know about consciousness and the contents of consciousness for now. This essay posits a simple argument: any demiurge intelligent enough to have created the world in which we find ourselves wouldn’t do anything so simple and easy to outwit as merely maintaining the illusion of a material world.

A clever demiurge would create two competing illusions, one masculine and one feminine. In this manner, the vast majority of people will spend all their time and wit trying to figure out which of the masculine or feminine illusions are correct, never suspecting that they were both shadows cast by one black fire.

This is a far more accurate picture of our world that to posit simply truth and illusion. There is not only truth and illusion, but truth within illusion, and enough so to make it far more powerful an illusion.

After all, if we were merely trapped in an illusion, then knowing the truth would be a simple matter of outlining the illusion and then looking at its opposite.

A clever demiurge might create just the one material world, but it would be created in a way such that there were at least two entirely different interpretations of it, and therefore conflict. This conflict would itself intensify the power of the illusion, as it would force all of us in the material world to take it seriously or suffer and die.

The most obvious way to understand this is to look at modern politics from a Gnostic viewpoint.

Most of us agree that there is only one material world, but, by way of example, consider these two competing perspectives. If one looks at the world in a feminine way it is natural to conclude that the primary imperative was to co-operate. If one looks at the world in a masculine way it is natural to conclude that the primary imperative was to compete.

This can lead to two entirely different attitudes to life, which naturally cause their bearers to come into conflict. After all, if someone is truly committed to competition there is no way to co-operate with them short of abject submission.

If one takes a fundamentally feminine perspective it may be that one looks to co-operate first and foremost and is thus likely to end up supporting a social democrat party. This will inevitably lead one into conflict with anyone taking a fundamentally masculine perspective, because this latter group will resent paying the taxes demanded by the social democrats.

If one takes a fundamentally masculine perspective it may be that one looks to compete first and foremost and so ends up supporting a conservative party, and so comes into conflict with those taking a fundamentally feminine perspective, because this latter group resents the inequality, coercion and social decay demanded by organising society for optimal capital production.

The demiurge may have achieved all this by emanating from itself lesser demiurges. Perhaps there’s a left wing demiurge making us want to do stupid things like let millions of Muslims in, and a right wing demiurge making us want to do stupid things like spend our children’s education money on a giant bronze statue of Jesus.

If any of this is true, the only way to find absolution is to reject entirely the belief that politics is a lens through which the truth appears. The left wing tells half truth and half lies, and the right wing simply tells the truth where the left lies, and lies where the left tells the truth.

Understanding New Zealand: Men and Women

The statistics we have examined so far have gone down into some fine details, but a correlation matrix is also useful for giving us information about high-level categories, such as men and women. What can the elementary gender division tell us about Kiwis?

Some points that stand out are ones that were already fairly well known. Men are slightly wealthier than women – the correlation between being a man and net personal income was 0.23. Also, to continue the general theme of minor social advantage, the correlation between being a man and voting in the 2014 General Election was 0.29.

Perhaps less well known is that men really like the National Party. The correlation between voting National in 2014 and being male was 0.35, which was significant. This was mirrored on the centre-left: the correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and being female was 0.31.

Neither of those statistics is surprising if the reader is aware of the many parallels between masculinity and conservatism, in particular the desire for the maintenance of a relatively high degree of order.

Likewise, there are clear parallels between femininity and social democracy, in particular the desire for a relatively egalitarian distribution of wealth and social status.

There are small, not significant correlations between voting Green and being male (0.10) and between voting New Zealand First and being female (0.21).

Of some interest, women smoke slightly more than men – being female has a correlation of 0.19 with being a regular smoker, although this is not significant. Possibly this reflects the value of nicotine as a treatment for certain anxiety and depression-related mental disorders, which women tend to suffer from at a greater rate than men.

Looking at gender differences in personal income and choice of employment, several interesting patterns reveal themselves.

One is that women are significantly more likely to be on any of the four benefits this study looks at. Although the correlation between being female and being on the pension was not significant (0.03), the others were much greater. Between being female and being on the student allowance the correlation was 0.21, with being on the unemployment benefit it was 0.39, and with being on the invalid’s benefit it was 0.26.

Being male was not significantly correlated with net personal income – the strength of this was 0.23, which was on the boundary of significance. However, looking at the next level down reveals a few patterns.

The personal income band most strongly correlated with being male was the $50-60K band. Here there was a correlation of 0.22. The female equivalent was the $5-10K band. There was a correlation of 0.21 between being female and being in this band.

Despite that males are generally slightly wealthier than females, this is not reflected in either of the $100K+ income bands. In both of these bands there is no correlation with gender.

This suggests a complicated pattern, but the general trend is that the higher the social status of any given line of work, the closer to gender parity the pay will be. This could reflect a lot of things.

Perhaps the most notable clue to answering this question comes from the fact that more men are managers – the correlation between being male and working as a manager was 0.49 – but more women are professionals.

This is an interesting division because it suggests that there is a difference in how men and women get to the highly compensated jobs.

Men are more likely to rise up to the top jobs from a lower starting point, a path not as easy for women because of the demands of childrearing. However, women are more likely to get a good education, valuable skills and therefore a high starting point, from where further advancement is not necessary or desired, or as heavily impacted by taking time off for children (many family GPs are women who fall into this category).

This might explain why there is no gender gap for the top income brackets, but explaining why there is a gender gap for the lower income brackets is a different matter.

Most of the reason is that men, whether by will or fortune, tend to choose industries that pay better than the ones women choose. Being male is significantly correlated with working in agriculture, construction, accommodation, and rental, hiring and real estate services, and these jobs tend to pay better than jobs in education and training and healthcare and social assistance, which correlate significantly with being female.

Perhaps the statistic that all gender warriors will find the least objectionable is that the people in the truly plum industries of professional, scientific and technical services, information media and telecommunications and financial and insurance services have the weakest correlation with being either male or female.

Generally there were no strong correlations between men and women in New Zealand, which one might expect from a generally free and liberal post-industrial secular democracy. The strongest correlation of all in this study was the completely unsurprising one between being female and being a single parent, which was 0.52.

Did A Weak Cannabis Policy Cost The Democrats The Presidency?

Let’s be clear – Donald Trump will not become American President this week because he out-thought the Democratic campaign during the election (although he did). He will become President because the Democrats and Hillary Clinton threw away a winning position out of sheer arrogance and hubris. One of the prime reasons for the Democrats squandering a sure-fire win was their refusal to promote a humane cannabis policy.

Cannabis became medicinally legal in California 1996, and many supporters of cannabis freedom were frustrated by George W. Bush’s refusal to countenance so much as a discussion about the subject between 2000 and 2008. When the Bush Presidency ended in 2008 and the Democrat Barack Obama became the President, it seemed like occasion for hope.

Indeed, Obama campaigned as the hope and change candidate. Part of this campaign was to distance himself from the haughty arrogance of the Dubya years. This manifested as a website – ‘We The People’ – where the American people could have their say on the issues important to them.

The top two subjects on this new website both related to repealing cannabis prohibition.

Cannabis users finally thought they had someone who would listen. Obama, infamously part of the “Choom Gang,” was sure to legalise cannabis. He had all the right rhetoric, admitting that he “smoked pot as a kid” and that cannabis is not more dangerous than alcohol.

So it isn’t as if Obama could claim to have been unaware of the strength of the sentiment of Americans in favour of legalising cannabis when he became President. By 2008, pretty much the entirety of Generation X believed that cannabis ought to be legal.

However, it turned out that neither Obama nor the Democrats had the guts to do anything about this generation’s foremost moral issue. This blog piece from 2009 provides an eerie premonition of the argument of this essay.

Obama, like the Green Party of New Zealand and almost everyone else, sold cannabis users down the river as soon as he got into power.

In fact, in 2009 Obama was even recorded laughing at the plight of the cannabis users who had just put him into power, as if putting tens of thousands of people in cages for their choice of medicine was an absurdly trivial matter.

Come 2016, and even a country with the socioeconomic challenges of Uruguay has managed to legalise cannabis fully – and still nothing from Obama or the Democrats, apart from a sense that they expect credit and gratitude for not sending the federal police to attack cannabis users in states like Colorado that expressed a democratic will to have legal cannabis.

So when the 2016 Presidential Election came around – and Democratic voters were asked to support a candidate who was known to not support cannabis legalisation – of course they simply refused and did not vote.

Despite a growing population and many large demographic advantages, Hillary Clinton got 4,000,000 fewer votes in 2016 than Obama got in 2008, and a large number of those will have been cannabis users. After being lied to by Obama, and then being presented in 2016 with a crusty old Boomer with no appreciation of medicinal cannabis at all, why vote?

It could be argued that the Democrats’ obstinate refusal to accept what all of their constituencies know – that cannabis prohibition ought to be repealed – cost them the Presidential Election. It showed them to be a party completely out of touch with the people they claimed to represent.

The New Zealand Labour Party looks set to ignore the lesson – Andrew ‘The Ditherer’ Little believes that cannabis causes “brain damage,” which means that there is no reason for medicinal cannabis users to vote Labour either.

Medicinal cannabis users will have to wait for him to run his course as Prime Minister, and then to wait for the next National Prime Minister to sit on their arse for nine years like Key and Clark did, which means possibly waiting until the year 2036 to get what Californians have had since 1996.

With a much more sophisticated appreciation for the national sentiment than the Paedophiles of Wellington, this column stands by the following prediction: the New Zealand centre-left will not win the 2017 General Election without the humane cannabis law reform policy that young people, Maori people, and both physically and mentally ill people are now expecting by right of natural justice.

The Life Cycle of Internet Forums

As any long-term reader of this magazine can recite by heart: as below, so above. The life-cycles of men and women are well known; those of empires somewhat less so. This essay will examine how the life cycle of Internet forums follows a pattern similar to what can already be observed in Nature.

If one follows the series of 19th century Thomas Cole paintings known as The Course of Empire, one can surmise that, on a much smaller scale, Internet forums follow the same pattern.

The first stage is known as The Savage State. With regard to empires this refers to the state of nature that existed before human civilisation arose. It is therefore an especially feminine time, full of raw potential and untrammelled chaos.

Internet forums begin in a similar state before anyone starts regularly posting. Often there is nothing but forum software to start the process. At this stage the forum has the full potential to go in many directions, as the people running it are yet to make any firm decisions regarding subforums or posting etiquette.

The second stage of an empire is known as the The Arcadian State. This is functionally almost identical to a world run by philosopher-kings. In the Arcadian state, humanity lives at peace with Nature. We might have learned to alter our environment in order to not die as easily, but nothing major has happened.

An Arcadian state exists in Internet forums when the people who have the greatest personal interest in the subject matter naturally find the forum and start to populate it with quality threads. This usually occurs when the name of the forum is spread around by whoever started it and they attract a small, hard-core of highly interested experts.

The third stage of empire is known as The Consummation of Empire. This is represented by glorious buildings at noon on a summer’s day. Everywhere there are marble steps; one can observe a triumphant general crossing the bridge that spans the central river, and all of this in the shadow of the great domed temple.

This is also the best stage of an Internet forum. In this third stage, the excellence established in the second has attracted a huge number of other people. They all want to take part in the glory, and so they flood in and tell their friends. The forum expands, and develops. More rules become necessary to deal with the friction naturally caused by such heavy interaction.

However, in the same way that the seed of decadence present at the height of the glory of empire is also the seed of its destruction, so are the abundance of rules and restrictions that come with the greatest extent of traffic the downfall of Internet forums.

The fourth stage of empire is known as Destruction. In this stage, the empire is collapsing. The painting represents the fall of the Roman Empire as it was sacked by Vandals and Goths, but it could serve as metaphor for the fall of any empire into destruction and ruin. It is hinted that the cause of the destruction may have been a civil war.

Again, the pattern is replicated perfectly in the life of Internet forums. The barbarian invaders are the people who recently joined the forum at its height but who would clearly have not have belonged back in the Arcadian stage. In other words, plebs.

These plebs have the effect of dragging the forum back down, firstly by reducing how willing other posters are to be open and creative, and secondly by provoking whoever is running the forum to bring in more and more rules to crack down on the plebs and to try and restore the glory days.

In this fourth stage of forums, it becomes harder and harder to post anything unorthodox or interesting as true creativity becomes ever more likely to fall foul of censure. Consequently, many of the threads, instead of discussing current events like in the glory times, are just wistful ramblings about old posters and old arguments.

New posters, instead of finding a niche they can feel happy in, are persecuted by older ones, frequently in the manner of high school girls psychologically abusing a victim. This henpecking has the effect of making the forum into a troll’s paradise, which attracts an ever nastier grade of poster, until the stream of new blood dries up completely.

The fifth stage of empire is known as Desolation. This is similar to the first stage, with the exception that the potential of nature, instead of bursting forth with vitality, is exhausted. There are no more human beings – Nature has entirely reclaimed the space on which a glorious capital once stood; weeds and flowers grow from the cracks in the shattered marble.

This is also the natural end stage of all Internet forums. Indeed, 99.9999% of them are already at this stage. Here, there are no more truly human posters, just ghosts of people who used to be funny, back when they were younger and cooler, and before they sold out for a job or became bitter because of a family or or extended period of time without getting laid.

In this stage, there are as many banned users are there are regular ones. Here, no new posters even want to join the forum, because there is no joy in listening to middle-aged washouts droning out about how everything was cooler a decade or more ago. Especially not when these same washouts feel obliged to pack bully anyone who threatens the morgue-like atmosphere.

Because computer software does not need to eat and is therefore cheap to maintain, some forums are capable of lurching along in zombie mode for many years.

And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page…

The Curse of Abraham

Let’s look backwards in the history of the Western World, and see what we see…

Start of the 21st century to today: Islamic terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
Last half of 20th century: Jewish terrorists immigrate to another country and terrorise the host population.
15th century to first half of 20th century: Christian terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
8th century to 14th century: Islamic terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
(AD) 1st century to 7th century: Christian terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
(BC) 7th century to 1st century: Jewish terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.

All of these terrorists belong to the various cults that came into the world as a consequence of what is known as the Curse of Abraham, collectively known as the Abrahamic cults or Abrahamism.

How did they get like this?

Abraham was a narcissistic Chaldean megalomaniac who hallucinated a Babylonian god known as Yahweh (so named because the name can be spoken without consonants, and thus represents the divine nature of the breath).

For some reason, the nature of these hallucinations were violent – Yahweh apparently instructed Abraham to invade the land of Canaan (to the West) and ethnically cleanse it of the natives, possibly because the burgeoning civilisation of Mesopotamia was becoming too numerous to be contained, and inevitably spilled over into the territories of neighbouring tribes as has been the human story since many tens of thousands of years before history.

After another hallucination in which Yahweh appeared, Abraham had himself and his entire household genitally mutilated (presumably it did not matter whether Abraham’s household men consented to the procedure).

This genital mutilation is believed by the Abrahamists to be their half of a deal with God – in return they were promised descendants as numerous as the stars and the Promised Land, a huge chunk of Middle Eastern real estate. The genital mutilation in exchange for being successful invaders deal was followed by the ritual slaughter of some animals.

This isn’t even the worst of it – Abraham had a later hallucination in which he was commanded by God to murder his own son Isaac. He dutifully followed this ‘order from above’, but his hand was stayed by God at the last minute, who explained that he was only testing Abraham’s faith (he passed).

All of these things may be connected.

‘Abraham’ means ‘father of many nations’, and this has traditionally been taken as an admonishment by members of the Abrahamic cults to breed as much as possible. Breeding is, after all, the most effective way for a culture to conduct war against and to conquer its neighbours.

It’s possible that this is the true purpose of the genital mutilation. By preventing the Abrahamist male from feeling the natural pleasure associated with making love, the mutilation also stops him from getting the oxytocin that would lead him to form a natural pair bond with the female. And so, he never stops looking for opportunities to reproduce beyond her.

It could be that Abraham understood that his rapacious capacity for breeding inevitably would lead to war, because – assuming his offspring inherited it – it would lead to the land of Mesopotamia rapidly becoming overpopulated which would mean more resource conflicts and thus fighting.

This would explain the numerous exhortations in the Abrahamic holy texts for the followers to slaughter and murder without guilt or hesitation. If you’re going to breed with the intent of becoming especially numerous, you might as well get used to the fact that you’re going to have to wipe out a lot of other people to make room.

It is possible that the reason why Abraham hallucinated God telling him to invade the land of Canaan is because when your tribe reproduces to the point of putting extreme pressure on the environment one is forced to fight either one’s neighbours or one’s own kin – and your genes are better served by you fighting your neighbours.

Related to this is the fact that anyone interested in invading and conquering foreign territory often finds it convenient to adopt some kind of Abrahamist culture. This is the primary reason why some of the Abrahamic cults (in particular Christianity and Judaism) are at least as strong in the New World, to where they were brought by conquerors, as they are in the Old.

Did Abraham feel a kind of guilt because he knew that his rabbit-like horniness had made it necessary for him to invade Canaan and destroy the peaceful people there to make room for his own spawn? And was it this guilt that led him to mutilate his genitals, perhaps in the belief that the pleasure from the act of procreation was too much for him to handle and was leading him astray?

All speculation aside, this is the definition of the ‘Curse of Abraham’: all followers of Abraham are cursed to spend all their short, precious years on this planet fighting because of a violently arrogant belief that they have been chosen by God to inherit the Earth at the expense of everyone else.

The Curse of Abraham is what the severely mentally ill psychopath inflicted on the rest of humanity.

Understanding New Zealand: Wealth and Poverty II

If we wish to go deeper than simply calculating correlations between median personal income and various demographic categories, we can take a look at the next level down of the Great Fractal, and examine correlations between income bands and specific industries.

It’s apparent from the numbers that winning working class loyalty is a battle between Labour and New Zealand First.

Labour does the best out of people who have next to nothing at all. The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and having a net personal income of $5-10K was 0.45, and with having lost money in the year or having nil income the correlation was 0.54.

New Zealand First, by contrast, tended to dominate the lower working class vote. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and income was above 0.70 for all of the income bands between $10K and $30K. For both Labour and New Zealand First, however, the correlation between voting for them in 2014 and any income band above $70K was -0.40 or even more strongly negative.

Although Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party voters were generally doing worse than average, they were closer to the middle than either Labour or New Zealand First voters. The correlation between voting for them in 2014 and being in the $50-60K income bracket was a significant 0.32, and even for the $150K+ bracket it was -0.31, significantly lower than average but barely so.

The National Party was predictably more oriented towards the middle classes, especially the wealthier ones, although this correlation was not as strong as one might have expected. For all of the income brackets above $70K the correlation with voting National in 2014 was between 0.34 and 0.36, which was significant but not particularly.

National did better than Labour in the $50-60K bracket, which is possibly where the winning of the election was more than anywhere else. After all, this bracket contains the sort of voters who don’t particularly win or lose from higher or lower taxes and so they tend to vote on apparent competence over ideology.

Voting for the National Party in 2014 had a negative correlation with every income band underneath $50K, although the correlations were not significant for the $15-25K income brackets, which were dominated by New Zealand First.

This creates an interesting contrast with the most established other right of centre party, ACT. The ACT party has no extra pull among the young in the $15-25K bracket – all of the income brackets between $10-40K have a correlation of -0.50 or stronger with voting ACT in 2014.

In the $15-25K income bracket there is little difference in the strength of correlation with either the National or the Labour parties. This is probably the result of one or more contradictory trends. Probably there are large numbers of people in this income bracket who, despite being poor, can count on being reasonably wealthy in a few decades, and so vote National in anticipation.

This phenomenon, of a small number of young people voting National because they expect to be wealthy in the future, is evidence of a burgeoning class system in New Zealand.

Winning the loyalty of the middle classes is essentially a battle between National and the Greens.

Voting Green in 2014 has a negative correlation with all income brackets between $10-50K, which will surprise anyone who might have thought the Greens stood for the poor and for those struggling. They have a significant positive correlation with the income band that is full of young students – between voting Green in 2014 and being in the $5-10K bracket is 0.30.

By contrast, voting Green in 2014 has a positive correlation with all income brackets above $50K, which confirms the picture that they represent the liberal urban elite rather than either the rural elite (National), the urban poor (Labour) or the rural poor (New Zealand First).

Perhaps the most interesting division of the middle class is its divide into managers and professionals.

The managers tend to be more right wing – voting National in 2014 has a correlation of 0.56 with being a manager, whereas for being a professional it is a not significant 0.10. The professionals tend to be more liberal – voting Greens in 2014 has a correlation of 0.73 with being a professional, whereas for being a manager it is a not significant 0.08.

Understanding New Zealand: Tobacco Users

Interestingly, the Electoral Profiles detail the number of people within each electorate who are regular smokers, who are ex-smokers, and who have never smoked. These stats, when added to the correlation matrix, tell us about the tobacco smoking habits of New Zealanders.

This article will assume that the statistics for tobacco use correlate highly with the statistics for cannabis use. The primary reason for assuming this is the size of the correlation between being a regular tobacco user and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014, which was 0.88.

This was the strongest of all the correlations between being a regular smoker and voting for a particular party in 2014. For voting Maori Party the correlation was 0.81, for Internet MANA 0.73, for New Zealand First 0.72 and for Labour 0.53. On the not-currently-smoking side were the Greens at -0.19, Conservative at -0.47, ACT at -0.58, and National at -0.75.

Already from this, some clear trends suggest themselves – in particular, that a Kiwi is more likely to be a regular smoker the harder their life is.

There was a correlation of -0.61 with net personal income and being a regular smoker, which is even stronger than the correlation with net personal income and being Maori (-0.48).

On that point, the correlation between being a regular smoker and being Maori is a whopping 0.92. This is even stronger than the correlation between voting Maori Party and being Maori (0.91), which tells us that the smoking-Maori connection is one of the strongest observations that we can make.

Kiwis of European descent are moderately unlikely to be regular smokers – the correlation between the two is only -0.32 – but the correlation between being of European descent and being an ex-smoker is 0.74. Asians are more likely to never have smoked – the correlation between the two was 0.77.

Although there was no significant correlation between median age and never smoking, the correlation between median age and being a regular smoker was -0.53, and with being an ex-smoker it was 0.53. This tells us that regular smokers tend to be much younger than ex-smokers, which fits the observation that regular smokers are usually in their teens, twenties or thirties.

Returning to the idea that people tend to smoke more the worse they are doing, we can observe that the correlation between being a regular smoker and being on the invalid’s benefit is 0.85, and with being on the unemployment benefit it was a whopping 0.87. This is probably because there is little else to do on a long-term benefit other than to smoke!

Also related to this idea, we can see that people doing well are less likely to smoke. Even merely being a student, which is to say, still young and poor but at least hopeful, is not significantly correlated with being a regular smoker. It is, however, correlated with never smoking, even if it was a very mild 0.25.

Perhaps the final word on this line of thinking comes from contrasting the correlation between having no qualifications and being a regular smoker, which is 0.84, with that of having a Master’s degree and being a regular smoker, which is -0.66.

Predictably, given the stats detailed thus far, the working class professions tend to be the ones that correlate positively with being a regular smoker. Agriculture, fishing and forestry (0.35), Construction (0.37), Electricity, gas, water and waste services (0.42), Transport, postal and warehousing (0.52) and Manufacturing (0.58).

And so, the middle and professional classes are inversely correlated with being a regular smoker. These were Information media and telecommunications (-0.34), Rental, hiring and real estate services (-0.38), Financial and insurance services (-0.48) and Professional, scientific and technical services (-0.56).

Finally, there is no significant correlation between any of being a regular smoker, being an ex-smoker and never having smoked on the one hand, and being either male or female on the other. Despite this, the numbers suggest that more females than males are regular smokers.

Virtue Signalling in the Post Truth Age

Observant readers may have noticed an increased awareness of a social phenomenon that has come to be known as ‘virtue signalling.’ This is exactly what is says it is – an attempt on the part of the person expressing themselves to enhance their social standing among the listeners by advocating a particular political viewpoint, and ostensibly on the grounds that it is the morally correct thing to do.

The most recognisable recent example of virtue signalling was all the people who expressed support for allowing Syrian refugees into their country as the Syrian Civil War accelerated.

What made this virtue signalling, as opposed to a genuine regard for the well-being of the Syrians, is that very few of the people making noise about the refugees actually cared about them one way or another. This was evident in two major ways.

The first was that the virtue signallers were mostly young, fashionable people who wouldn’t be seen dead with a refugee or in the kind of neighbourhood that the refugees are going to end up in if they are accepted. Very rarely did any of these people actually volunteer time to refugee services.

The second was that the virtue signallers, rather than making any effort to ensure that anything good happened to the Syrians, simply moved onto the next opportunity to signal virtue (which was opposing Brexit, and then opposing Trump).

These two points explain why, once the refugees are let in, they’re inevitably dumped in a cheap neighbourhood or suburb and forgotten about.

Virtue signalling has always existed. In fact, it is a part of nature. Darwin himself realised that the extravagant, luxurious tail of the peacock was a significant survival disadvantage as it was a beacon for predators and made it harder to escape them. Such a sight could only have evolved if there was some compensatory mechanism, such as if presence of a glorious tail attracted females to a degree that outweighed the increased death rate from having to bear it.

Virtue signalling signals more than just virtue. It also signals being part of the leisure classes, which necessitates the expression of contempt for the labouring classes and their unfashionable and brutal politics and desire for neighbourhood solidarity.

Virtue signalling can therefore be a statement of belonging.

In our society, being cluelessly out of touch with reality is seen by some as a virtue. It suggests that one is from a family wealthy enough to have shielded one from the harsh realities of life, and that one has enough leisure time to indulge in truly wasteful peccadilloes like advocating for the conquest of the West by a hostile foreign ideology.

Note that this has always existed in the human sphere – the previous generation of virtue signallers made a show out of advocating for communism, for the same reasons their descendants advocate for mass Muslim immigration. The generation before that signalled virtue by appeasing Hitler and claiming this was motivated by a sensitivity to the value of peace.

Unfortunately, there is now so much virtue signalling that when someone expresses a political opinion, the listener actually has no idea at all whether this opinion is genuinely believed, or if it is merely a brazen attempt to ingratiate the speaker with the sort of person the speaker presumes will agree with that opinion.

This would explain why mass Muslim immigration has such passionate apparent support from homosexuals, even though Muslims would gladly throw those same homosexuals off the top of buildings as soon as they were given the opportunity.

It may be that what is being signalled is not ‘virtue’ but rather a masculine or feminine orientation. So that a person against mass Muslim immigration is rather expressing themselves in a masculine manner, like when people advocate exercise, and anyone for it is expressing themselves in a feminine manner, like when people advocate veganism.

In the Post Truth Age, you can never take anything at face value, not even your own desires.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting by Industry and Employment Status I

This article looks at what we can tell about the preferred industries of certain voting blocs based on their voting patterns. For the most part, the statistics in this area are fairly predictable, because industry types tend to be class defined and we already know which social classes vote for which parties.

There were few occupations that correlated with a significantly lower vote for the National Party in 2014, which is not surprising considering that National won the election. The most prominent was the transport, postal and warehousing industry, who had a correlation of -0.51 with voting National in 2014. As mentioned above, this can likely be best explained by the fact this is generally a working class industry.

It was a different story with rental, hiring and real estate services, which had a correlation of 0.49 with voting National. This is also not particularly surprising as it is an industry that essentially tries to generate money without performing any labour, i.e. by rent-seeking. Real estate agents and property managers are known for being the types that will do anything for a buck.

For the Labour Party these roles were, unsurprisingly, reversed – the transport, postal and warehousing industry had a correlation of 0.55 with voting for the Labour Party, probably reflecting the fact that if a Kiwi drives for a living they are very likely to be some kind of bogan and therefore a natural Labour voter.

One statistic that will surprise many is the voting pattern of people in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. Many would expect people in these primary industries to vote Labour or Green, but it is not the case. These people are more likely than anyone to vote New Zealand First – there is a correlation of 0.40 between being in agriculture, forestry or fishing and voting New Zealand First, compared to -0.31 for Labour and -0.24 for the Greens.

This can be explained to some extent by the fact that people working in agriculture, forestry and fishing are more likely than average to be Maori (the correlation between the two is 0.22), and Maoris are significantly more like to vote New Zealand First.

The interesting thing about that is it shows the people who vote Green seldom actually have anything to do with the environment, because they usually live in wealthy neighbourhoods in big cities.

Green voters are more likely than any others to be students – being on the student allowance has a correlation of 0.55 with voting Green in 2014, compared to 0.34 for Labour, -0.18 for New Zealand First and -0.46 for National. They are also more likely than any other to work in hospitality – voting Green in 2014 had a correlation of 0.52 with working in accommodation.

Green voters are the ones most likely to be involved in the new technological occupations. Even though Green voters are older than Labour ones, voting for them correlates more strongly with high-tech occupations than voting for Labour does. Voting Green in 2014 has a correlation of 0.63 with working in professional, scientific and technical services, and a correlation of 0.70 with working in information media and telecommunications.

The Greens also overwhelmingly dominate the arts and recreational services industry. People working in this industry have a correlation of 0.69 with voting Green in 2014, compared to -0.17 for National voters, -0.13 for Labour voters and -0.18 for New Zealand First voters.

Oddly, there’s a pattern based on benefit type. Pensioners vote National (correlation: 0.50), unemployment beneficiaries vote Labour (0.62), students vote Green (0.55) and invalid’s beneficiaries vote for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.76).

This latter correlation is both very strong and will be very surprising to many, until one considers that it is precisely invalid’s beneficiaries who suffer the worst from the Government’s refusal to reform our cannabis laws.