Bangladesh in New Zealand Test Series 2017, First Test Preview

Facing Trent Boult on a green wicket in Wellington promises to be daunting challenge for the Bangladeshi top order

Bangladesh are currently paying $24 on BetFair to win the First Test of their 2017 tour to New Zealand, beginning tomorrow in Wellington. New Zealand are so heavily favoured that if Bangladesh can manage so much as a draw it pays $6.60.

On the surface of things, there are few areas in which Bangladesh have an advantage over New Zealand.

The Black Caps top order is looking as composed as it ever has done. Jeet Raval may have only played two Tests but across those two he averages 49.33, with two fifties and a not out. By the standards of Black Caps openers since Richardson, that’s as promising as anyone apart from Tom Latham.

Latham, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor comprise the rest of the top order, and one would have to go back as far as John Wright, Andrew Jones and Martin Crowe to find an equivalent solidity.

In the middle order things are not as certain. If Henry Nicholls cannot impress at No. 5 soon, he might have to return to domestic cricket for a spell while one of the next generation has a turn at trying to fill the Brendon McCullum-sized hole.

Colin de Grandhomme has, like Raval, only played two Tests but he has also looked solid, averaging 32, and also has a strong first-class record. Even though Watling at 7 is a solid pick, the overall feel of the Black Caps middle order is far from settled.

The pitch at the Basin Reserve is expected to be unusually green, which means that Trent Boult and Tim Southee can be expected to pose a considerable danger. In an odd quirk, Boult (12) and Southee (13) are, with Neil Wagner at 11th, grouped together on the ICC Test bowling rankings.

The Bangladeshi batting will depend heavily on certain key players, and if the Black Caps can get a couple of them early they will back themselves to roll the visitors, on a green wicket, for very little.

Although the spine of the Bangladeshi side is much stronger than it has been in recent years, few would expect it to stand strong against the Black Caps’ heavy artillery on a green track.

Opener Tamim Iqbal is the highest ranked of the Bangladeshi bastmen, at 22nd. An opener averaging 40 is an impressive asset for a side of Bangladesh’s reputation, and perhaps the foremost way that the Tigers could claim to have an advantage over their opposite numbers.

With a probable 4-5-6-7 of Mahmudullah, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman, the Bangladeshi middle order is a fairly battle-hardened unit. All four of these batsmen are, if not intimidating, skilled enough to make the Black Caps pay for any errors.

The major disadvantage that the Tigers will have is a bowling attack highly unsuited to the conditions they will face in Wellington. Shakib al Hasan may be ranked 2nd of all the allrounders in Tests, but his gentle left-arm spin will pose far less of a threat at the Basin Reserve than in Bangladesh.

If Bangladesh are to win, it will almost certainly take a handful of good spells from Taskin Ahmed, who with an ODI strike rate of 29 is growing into a strike weapon in the shorter form of the game, or from his expected new ball partner Subashis Roy, about who very little is known apart from a respectable first class average of 28.

The best hope for an interesting match might be for Bangladesh to win the toss and put the Black Caps in on a green wicket tomorrow morning, then to ambush the top order with their debutant new ball pair and get into the soft middle order before lunch.

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.

Having Three Children or More is Tantamount to Being a Murderer

Whether you realise it or not, these are exciting times for Planet Earth. We are currently in the middle of what is known as the Sixth Extinction (in the history of Earth), or the Holocene Extinction, after the geological era. This has been caused by humans, and is reshaping the biosphere of the entire planet.

The Sixth Extinction began with human migration outside of Africa. The existing megafauna of other continents – like the Woolly Mammoth and the Moa – occupied niches that were highly sensitive to the introduction of a new apex predator, and almost all of them were wiped out by human expansion.

Today, the Sixth Extinction has wiped out significant numbers of species on every land mass and ocean. The current rate of species loss is believed to be 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than what it would have been without human presence.

And it’s not just because we’re particularly wasteful or greedy.

One inescapable fact of nature and reproduction is that, for your offspring to occupy a niche within nature, they have to drive out any possible competitors in that niche, and then to defend it against all comers. So for your offspring to so much as exist and continue to exist, they have to kill other life, because nature is permanently in a state of flux and this means conflict.

Your offspring have to eat. There’s no way around that. The cattle sector of agriculture has been responsible for 80% of the rainforest destruction since 1970. And one estimate of the world’s fish stocks suggest that the number of fish in the oceans are now 10% of their pre-industrial value.

Even if you raise them to be vegans (which is itself morally questionable), the food still has to be grown somewhere and your offspring have to live somewhere, and much of the remainder of Amazon rainforest destruction is for soybean production, housing space, or for hardwoods.

This rate of destruction is not inevitable. In fact, it is a function of another variable: our rate of population increase.

Given the increase in the human population in recent centuries (as depicted in the graph above), it is simply unavoidable that we would do the amount of ecological damage that we have done. Because people have to consume the environment around them in order to continue to live, an increasing population will always alter its environment – and therefore contribute to species extinction – in so far as it needs to eat.

The central contention of this essay is this: anyone who has more than two children does an amount of environmental damage to nature which, in terms of degree of tragedy, is equal to committing murder.

After all, there is one thing we do know for certain about our increasing population, and that is the higher it increases, the higher the demand for the limited resources of the planet become, and therefore the closer we move towards war.

If a couple has two children to replace themselves they are not increasing the amount of pressure on the environment. Only by having three or more does a couple ensure that their offspring have to expand into other niches instead of (relatively) simply just inheriting those of their parents. This expansion means aggression against the previous inhabitants of those niches – and this is unavoidable.

Perhaps, if humans were serious about avoiding the environmental collapse that would kill us all, we would pass a law so that any man who could be proven to have three or more children is to be executed. If three children was considered too restrictive, we could start with a boundary of four or even five.

Do We Need to Deislamify the Middle East in the Same Way We Denazified Middle Europe?

Let’s face it – Islam is the Nazism of the 21st century. It’s a supremacist ideology that treats entire classes of people like dogshit for no good reason. It’s aggressive, expansionist, and far too arrogant to respond to reason, compromise or even sanity. Most crucial of all, we have ended up fighting it whether we wanted to or not, and it appears the fighting will increase in intensity and scope.

In the century after Islam was founded, it swept out of the Arabian peninsula and immediately began a wave of conquest that took it as far as the gates of Paris. This wave saw Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, North Africa and Iberia all fall under the sword.

In the decade after Nazism took power in Germany, it swept out of Central Europe and immediately began a wave of conquest that took it as far as the gates of Moscow. This wave saw Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia and the Ukraine fall under the jackboot.

Hitler himself drew inspiration from the conquests of Islam, claiming that if Charles Martel had lost the Battle of Tours and thereby allowed the Umayyad Caliphate to conquer Europe, the Germans would have become heirs to “a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and in subjugating all nations to that faith. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the German temperament.”

Given such pronouncements, it isn’t surprising that the postwar Allied commanders believed that Nazism was, considered as a meme-school, too virulent to simply go away on its own accord. It would have to be rooted out, and with extreme prejudice.

Denazification required that the All-Lies “rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology.”

Can the West rid Middle Eastern society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of Islamic ideology? In the final analysis we may have to – Islam is every bit as virulent as Nazism, and, like Nazism, has a similar tendency to arise every time some populist wants to climb onto a soapbox and stir up those with a chip on their shoulder.

This column puts forward the claim that the West has a moral imperative to do precisely that. After all, in much the same way that the damage done to the German people by Nazism was ultimately much greater than what had been done to them by the Jews, so too is the damage done to Muslims (especially women) by Islam far greater than, for example, the damage done to Palestinians by Israel.

The final calculus can perhaps best be considered in light of a line from Niccolo Machiavelli’s Prince:

The Romans never allowed a trouble spot to remain simply to avoid going to war over it, because they knew that wars don’t just go away, they are only postponed to someone else’s advantage. Therefore, they made war with Philip and Antiochus in Greece, in order not to have to fight them in Italy…

To whose advantage is it that the West does not go to war with Islam?

It could be the West – recent advances in solar power, mostly thanks to enormous Chinese investment, suggests that we might be able to reduce our dependency on oil to a fraction of what it currently is. If we did so, the Middle East would lose not only much of its income but also its strategic importance, and Islam would fade into irrelevance.

It could be Islam – with every passing year, their proportion of the European population increases from a combination of mass immigration and a higher birth rate. As their propaganda becomes more sophisticated, more lone wolves would be inspired to commit terror attacks within Europe which would inspire others who believe that Europe is finally, after 1,300 years, ripe for the taking.

In the end it is most likely to come down to a question of will. The European will to survive never fully recovered from the Hemoclysm of World Wars I and II; the Islamic world is yet to recover from the century of humiliation that began with the British action to shatter the Ottoman Empire.

Can Europeans be Entrusted With Self-Governance?

A cold and dispassionate analysis of the last 100 years of European history clearly reveals that the inhabitants of Europe are a primitive bunch of savages who cannot be relied upon to govern themselves properly and who will take any opportunity to slaughter anyone on the flimsiest of pretexts. This is despite their astonishing skills at playing musical instruments and building cathedrals.

100 years ago, Europe was in the middle of what was then known as the Great War, or The War to End All Wars. Later known as World War One, this started because a rising Germany wanted a bigger slice of the world economic pie, and the established powers of Britain and France wanted to keep the size of their shares.

Rather than arranging an equal distribution of resources, the European powers chose to go to war instead. It was necessary to send soldiers all the way from New Zealand to quell the savages, and this was not achieved until Europeans had killed 10,000,000 of each other.

A few decades after this, a still rising Germany decided that they still wanted a bigger slice of the pie, only this time they went East instead of West. The established powers of Britain and France wanted to keep the size of their shares, so they attacked the Germans and said the Germans started it.

It was again necessary to send soldiers all the way from New Zealand to quell the savages, however the natural bloodlust of the Europeans had by this time led to 50,000,000 dead, with some millions of those stuffed into gas chambers in humanity’s first example of industrialised genocide.

After the guns finally fell silent on Hitler and World War II, there were a few decades of non-killing as the Europeans built the weaponry to kill each other once and for all this time. This was known as the Cold War and the Europeans found it so dull that they had to go double-or-quits on the next paroxysm of mass suicide – which they duly achieved by letting tens of millions of Muslims into Europe.

Letting tens of millions of members of an aggressive, male supremacist religion into your continent, when those same members have been trying to invade your continent and enslave you for 1,300 years, makes about as much sense as injecting yourself with a syringe full of blood when you have been specifically warned by medical professionals that the blood is full of AIDS. But they did it anyway.

From today’s vantage point, it is clear that the Europeans have shown that they lack the natural intellect to consider the wider strategic perspective or the long-term historical impact of their political decisions. Given that they have been fighting for endless centuries of violence, it is fair to conclude that this violence is in the very nature of the European man and that this will never change.

So the question is this: can Europeans, given their structural failure to adequately consider the long-term ramifications of their political decisions, be entrusted with self-governance? Or can we conclude, on the basis of the last century of historical evidence, that by their very nature they will always fight, always war, always commit genocide?

If it is the latter, as this column believes it is, the non-European world is morally obligated to step in and do something about it.

What needs to be done is that the continent of Europe needs to be made into a protectorate of the peaceful nations. Perhaps some kind of mentoring system can be brought in so that political leaders from peaceful nations visit Europe and educate the natives about the cultural values that are necessary in order to live without violence.

The South Koreans, for example, would be the perfect choice to teach Europeans about the benefits of keeping millions of illiterate religious savages out of your territory. The Chinese could teach them about how to organise the continent into one group without the need for conquest. The Indians could teach them a peaceful religion to replace the bloodthirsty Abrahamism they have fallen for. The New Zealanders and Filipinos could teach them about how to interact with other ethnic groups without violence. The Americans could teach them how to have political discussions without threatening to silence anyone who thinks against the collective.

If the functioning world is to act, we must do so soon. It’s already obvious that the Europeans will stuff the Muslims into gas chambers at some point in the next 50 years if they are not conquered by Islam first.

We Used to Rape Them for Their Natural Capital, Now We Rape Them for Their Human Capital

Back in the day (19th century) the Western world completed the Scramble for Africa and held virtually the entire continent in bondage. Every part of Africa under European control was raped for its natural resources, a process that made Europe very wealthy and Africa very poor.

In recent decades, the West has more or less come to widely accept that this process was immoral. The primary reason for this is that it’s apparent in hindsight that, in order to get the populations to be compliant with colonialism and the processes of resource extraction, massive abuse and neglect had to be inflicted upon the native populations of Africa.

This abuse and neglect led directly to a widespread emotional, intellectual and cognitive impairment that has been passed down through the generations, crippling the capacity of Africans to care for themselves to this very day.

But, we also know that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In today’s world, wealth has less to do with natural resources and more to do with human resources. After all, diamonds or oil buried deep under the earth are not valuable without the human capital that knows how to extract and process them.

In an age when the total dollar value of services are five times the value of manufacturing, why go through the expense of building an empire just to dig up shiny rocks and extract rubber?

We know that doctors, engineers, psychologists, nurses etc. are generally more than happy to abandon their own people the moment you wave a fat Western paycheck in front of them, so it’s much better to loosen the immigration policy and let the human capital come to you.

The great irony here – which has been entirely unappreciated by the left – is that, from the perspective of people in the developing world, anyone who becomes capable of making a positive difference to the people around them usually ends up disappearing before they do, abandoning those they grew up with.

After all, why should a Kenyan doctor get paid $5,000 for saving 1,000 kids from malaria when he can move to New Zealand and get paid $50,000 to wipe old white people’s arses?

The next time a wealthy person tells you that allowing mass immigration is a moral imperative because of prior colonial action in the developing world, just know that the purpose of this mass immigration is not as moral as it sounds. The purpose is to plunder the affected areas of their human capital, making the West once again wealthy at the expense of Africa and the Middle East.

The only difference with the 19th century is that, today, the capital is getting itself on planes and delivering itself to us.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Did Aleister Crowley Predict That Donald Trump Would Become a Great Man?

Aleister Crowley, love him or not, saw further beyond than almost anyone. He skewered the establishment of his day with his withering sarcasm and wit, and established himself as one of the premier iconoclasts of all time. The mind boggles at what a genius like Crowley would have made of our modern age.

This article discusses the applicability of one particular quote of Crowley’s to the rise and rise of Donald Trump, namely:

The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without. Inevitably anyone with an independent mind must become “one who resists or opposes authority or established conventions”: a rebel. If enough people come to agree with, and follow, the Rebel, we now have a Devil. Until, of course, still more people agree. And then, finally, we have — Greatness.

This “essence of independence” has a paragon in our culture today: Donald Trump. Let’s take this quote sentence by sentence.

It can’t be denied that Trump acts according to standards from within: indeed, this is one of the reasons why he has caused so much consternation. There are no gurus or mentors who can be examined for clues as to Trump’s influences, and he is not an ideologue of any known stripe.

Because it’s so difficult to slap such a label on Trump it’s obvious that he must be a highly free-thinking man. But, as any free-thinking person reading this article will know, to think freely is to incur social pressure intended to force you back into the herd.

The agents who exert this social pressure are the extremely powerful men and women of silver, and they are the authority in the sense that they control the media and the government and therefore are the psychological programmers of the populace.

Trump was firmly in the ‘rebel’ stage when he first announced his presidential bid. He was laughed at, like teenage rebels tend to be. Not taken seriously, a clown, a buffoon. The purpose of all this social pressure was to bring Trump back to the herd, to coerce him into bowing the knee before the masses.

He refused, and won the Republican nomination. The Hitler comparisons began – Hitler being perhaps history’s prime example of an independently-thinking politician. Because Trump won’t be cowed by the bleating of the masses, the logic went, he would inevitably start another world war.

That Trump was self-funded, and thus able to act independently of the money men who seek to make all politicians into whores in exchange for putting them on the throne, was made out to be a negative. It was as if, by not grovelling before those who had set themselves up as the powerbrokers, Trump had committed a heresy.

This was the moment he transitioned out of rebellion and into devilry. Every single day, the New Zealand media had a headline piece about how Trump was evil and if he became President we would definitely all die in nuclear hellfire.

As we now know, even this didn’t stop him, or the Trump voters. Donald Trump duly won the Presidential election by a considerable margin, and in doing so set himself up for greatness.

One might argue that, in becoming President of the United States that Donald Trump has already achieved greatness. However, a look at the recent alternatives for the role – Hillary Clinton, Obama, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney – tells us that the standards are very low indeed.

Certainly with the world being a powderkeg right now, Trump has an unprecedented opportunity for greatness. Whether he takes it is a matter of Fortune and Will.

Why There Always Has Been War And Always Will Be War

It’s as simple as looking at a yin-yang, and knowing that the yin represents chaos and the yang represents order. Keeping in mind the Fifth Hermetic Principle – the Principle of Rhythm – we can surmise that it is true of order and chaos that “the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left.”

In a Taoist sense this is to say that an excess of order, by its very nature, leads to a minuscule element of chaos arising within it, which grows, and soon takes on a momentum of its own, only to itself crystallise from a tiny seed into order, and ever more rigid order, until the cycle begins anew.

Too much masculinity in the alchemical world is represented as fire and iron, and these stand as metaphor for how too much masculinity in the physical world leads to violence.

An excess of masculinity is like fire when it has too much energy because it causes violence which burns flesh and sears souls, and is what the ancient physicians meant when they diagnosed a person with a choleric personality.

It is also like iron when it imposes too much order because it is harsh and cuts mercilessly, and when it breaks down it shatters, as with an excess of masculinity one loses one’s ability to yield and to withdraw and breaks like a tree that cannot yield to a storm.

This is evident in the natural world even when one looks at biological life in the simplest way. A seed that sprouts and begins to grow towards the light must eventually break the surface if it is to survive (for a literary description of this phenomenon see Chapter 21 of Anna Nilsen’s Writing With The I Ching: Biting Through).

As below, so above: the world of men is no different. If a person observes the current order of the day and finds it unworthy of continued existence, then – if they are intelligent – they will soon come to appreciate the degree to which, and the vigour with which, the established order maintains itself (indeed, that’s all that order is).

But like the rising yin, the desire to break the established order – once it takes hold – grows ever more powerful by virtue of its position within nature. As the dusk darkness consumes ever more of the light, so does the chaos dissolve ever more of the existing order, until it breaks through and imposes an order of its own.

If you look at the current state of world history, there is an established Anglo-American order, which has dominated world affairs for about 200 years. This order is generally known as ‘The West’, because it represents the powers on the Western side of the world when viewed as a chessboard.

This world order arguably began at Waterloo, when the then wielder of the Spear of Destiny – Napoleon Bonaparte – was defeated in battle and the First French Empire sundered.

The nature of yang is to decline into yin – we know this, and already it’s possible to observe an America in cultural decay. Already the American Empire has degenerated in certain ways further than any empire in history, with the most recent 50 years giving us everything from Charles Manson and Ted Bundy to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The nature of yin is to rise into yang – and this can be observed with the awakening of the sleeping giants of China and India. These countries were poor and were always going to remain poor as long as they were too corrupt to organise any meaningful invest in the human capital of the young. This was how it was when the Spear of Destiny was held in Europe, but now, as it crosses the Pacific, the East is awakening.

There is every chance that a rising Eastern power that wants its place in the Sun will naturally come into conflict with the established Western one that wants to hold onto power. Indeed, many believed that the Japanese action in the Western Pacific theatre of World War II was this event playing out (this column is far, far from the first to suggest it).

The collapse of the established order is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. The established order never collapses peacefully (observe adult male elephants for an analogy in the natural world).

Therefore, war is a fundamental aspect of life, and always will be, as long as there are masculine and feminine.

Our Relationship With Information Has Fundamentally Changed in a Quarter-Century

The greatest selective advantage that the human creature has over its competitors is an unrivalled capacity for intelligence. This manifests as an ability to make use of information. Few are aware of it, but the human relationship to information has undergone a revolution over the past 25 years – and it has implications for our conception of intelligence.

It used to be that there was a shortage of information. Now there is a surplus. In many ways, this has been a good thing. In some ways it’s had strange implications.

Some of the ways it is good are like the way creatures that have adapted to a shortage often find themselves thriving when there is a surplus, such as athletes who have trained at high altitude where there is a shortage of oxygen.

It has meant that researchers and academics now have it easier than ever. Instead of relying on a librarian or punch cards, researchers can put a regular expression into a search engine which has crawled all the papers in their field (or subset thereof).

In fact, most people have in their pockets instant access to more information than physically exists in the largest library in the world. This is fairly straightforward, and not as interesting as the ways in which it is strange.

The strangest implication of our new relationship to information is that it is no longer about finding rare nuggets of truth among fields of irrelevant or easily dismissed information. Now it’s about knowing how to distinguish those nuggets of truth from nuggets that might look or sound very similar but which might really be full of falsehood.

Becoming educated about a subject used to be like finding diamonds among rocks – now it’s more like sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Being correct is now no longer a question of having money to buy books or to hire a learned tutor and having a good enough memory to recall what one has been told. Now it is a question of gullibility.

Take climate change as an everyday example. Determining the truth of this isn’t as simple as just finding out what the foremost expert thinks.

Who are the foremost experts on climate change, and why? And why does one set of supposed experts disagree so fundamentally with another set of supposed experts? If the experts are unified on climate change, how is that different to when they were unified on homosexuality being a mental illness? How much of the consensus is groupthink?

And what is the extent of politics on the science of climate change?

Questions like this once didn’t need to be asked because there was no way of propagating enormous amounts of dis- or misinformation like there is with the Internet of today. Often things were as simple as finding the nearest university professor who had an interest in the subject, and that was as good as one could hope for.

Dealing with this change is difficult because it requires an entirely different set of mental skills. The new paradigm prioritises nuance and probability over revolution and absolutes. Shades of gray instead of brutal black and white.

One now has to be more streetsmart with research, and accept that politics has a much greater influence on science – especially the soft sciences – than most would dare admit. Today’s climate change debate appeared in the previous generation as the debate over racial intelligence, and in the generation before that as the debate on the medicinal value of various psychoactive drugs – two other subjects where finding the simple truth is impossible.

To some extent it doesn’t matter: the sort of person who didn’t read books nowadays simply doesn’t educate themselves with the Internet instead. You can’t make gold out of shit.

But to a large extent, intelligence is different to what it used to be. It is no longer a simple question of storing, retaining and reproducing information like a biological hard drive, but a question of identifying the most likely claim to correctness out of a number of plausible competitors, like a knight choosing a blade from an armoury before battle.

This may mean that the kind of person we consider to be intelligent now may not be the same kind of person that we will consider intelligent in another quarter-century.