James Augustus · Uncategorized

Via Negativa (Evolutionary Argument) in Historial Explanation

by James Augustus

My central argument is that Europe benefited by having an evolutionary environment that allowed for a high frequency of cultural, institutional and intellectual iterations, and that truth, sovereignty and natural law produce an existential advantage, so that what survived is what we call Western Civilization and its peoples.

It is easy to look back at what survived and construct a rational narrative, but by doing so we are being fooled by randomness as Taleb is so succinct at pointing out.

Evolutionary arguments are superior inasmuch as they point to what didn’t survive (via negativa) deterministically due to selection pressures.

Grammar of Natural Law · James Augustus · Uncategorized

Deflationary Language in Ethics

Mar 01, 2017 6:51pm
James Augustus

I suspect one of the factors contributing to deflationary language in ethics, law and science is that we needed a rational, empirical means of decidability in matters concerning rule, organization and extra-familial cooperation.

(Note that legal realism, contractualism and truth telling (science and it’s precursors) coincided with conquest and colonization of non-kin groups. Myth (context driven means of decidability) doesn’t scale past regulating/adjudicating tribal and familia affairs; Natural Law does because it serves as the only universally decidable means of adjudication between heterogeneous peoples.)

On the institutional level, the West was blessed with a geography that produced a high frequency of warfare in a manner that made institutional monopolies evolutionarily disadvantageous. An institution was able to survive if it wasn’t conflated with the current power structure (think of the Church and it’s relation to political power during the Middle Ages). In othewords, the incentive for institutions was to secure their existence by remaining autonomous/separated from the institutions of rule scince there was constant and frequent shifts in political power—the opposite of China.

These are just loose thoughts. I’ve been mulling this over in hopes that I can write a more formal evolutionary argument for Western Dynamism.

Grammar of Natural Law · James Augustus

Tragedy Allows Us To Construct Truthful Myths

by James Augustus


—“If we hold that the function of mythic art’s (story, play, movie, etc) is to provide commensurable decidability across the spectrum of classes, then I think that tragedy is the only theme that represents the full spectrum of human experience.

Information can be transferred to slave, citizen, master and hero in a manner congruent with their class and the profile of experiences they have with the world.

That goes without saying that myth seeks to provide information that is meaningful—tragedy might be our only way to construct myth that is also truthful.”— James Augustus

Grammar of Natural Law · James Augustus

The Function of Propertarian Grammar

by James Augustus

With out factoring in IQ, most humans cannot (or struggle to) separate/deflate intuited self-interest (the elephant) from their perception (solipsism) —which is to say that the average human struggles to launder imaginary content from cognition and so they approach truthfulness as a function of rationalizing intuition.

Those with masculinized, autistic brains benefit from the decreased cost of laundering imagination & emotional content from our perception, and reporting/testimony thereof. And (we) see the flaws (cognitive biases) in our thinking and especially in the testimony of others. And because of our ‘awareness’, we find it necessary to perform ‘test’/criticisms across multiple dimensions.

Propertarian grammar boils down to just that—it limits us to constructing arguments that are open to criticism across multiple dimensions: terms/categories, logic, existential possibility, parsimony, full accounting, empirical correspondence, & reciprocity (natural law/social science).

(Note: A person’s/group epistemological methodology [literary, hermeneutic, mythological, occultist, theological, rationalist, pseudo scientific, asymmetrical empiricism] is most often derivative of the lies they seek to tell.)

Authors · James Augustus · William Butchman

The Lies We Seek To Tell: Evolutionary Biases.


by William Butchman

“the lies they seek to tell”
Human bias is interesting. We have evolved machinery in our brains, and we are processing novel situations with these ancient systems, processing things that they were never designed to process. We use these mental models which are simplistic, and when something happens in the universe which breaks our model (because we don’t account for it) we ‘startle’ and a circuit built for snakes is activated. (I don’t know if I have this exactly right, I’ve only heard it once)

(From elsewhere:)

Why we believe snakes are the most evil things: Dr. Peterson suggested that the reason why we have a particular antipathy towards snakes is because we’ve long been their prey (since our ancestors were tiny rodents). I believe our fear and terror and hatred of snakes might also be particularly strong because they continued to kill us long after we outgrew the other reptilian predators (once you’ve evolved to be monkey-sized, you can handle lizards because you’re big enough to fight them and you can see far enough around you to avoid them. But you can’t see so well around your feet or the topside of tall branches, aka where snakes lurk. The threats we fear most are the ones we can’t see, Snakes happen to fit into all the hard to see places. There’s also something particularly traumatizing about having one of your primate relatives eaten by a snake as opposed to any other predator. Their deaths are the most agonizing. Unlike one of those big cats with teeth evolved to puncture skulls or a wolf that goes for the jugular, snakes kill by poison or suffocation and they swallow prey whole. Oftentimes over the course of several hours. Prior to human inventiveness, I can’t imagine a more torturous and agonizing way to die.

Snakes: these surprising dangers that lurk and jump out at us. We startle as we try to assess, an ancient circuit is activated. So, we have a bias to express the unknown, dangers, as snakes.

At least this is the evolutionary theory of the prevalence of the mythology. So, I can see (if this is true) how our biases may be built on ancient circuits.