Reading Makes You Stupid

They are always trying to get kids to read. Why? Most stuff isn’t worth reading. I have tended to think it’s a campaign of the publishing industry, or the libraries, to assure a stream of consumers, or just pro-education types who assume reading is good without thinking about why.

I was in the library yesterday, looking for something to read. I found myself looking at some history. Histories of the 60’s. Nope, obviously written by left-liberal historians whitewashing things for their own benefit. Something by Robert Dallek. Not really sure who he is exactly, but a liberal-audience historian also.

I saw a huge book on the Crusades. Something I would like to read about, but what does the author think about the Crusades? I pull it off the shelf and look at the blurb on the back- he clearly believes the Crusades were evil.

Most politics and history you can readily obtain is written by liberals, and therefore worthless, or written by politically acceptable conservatives, and thus pretty worthless as well. Moldbug reads things written in the 1800’s on Google books, and that may be the only way to get stuff you don’t have to constantly decipher for the real truth.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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18 Responses to Reading Makes You Stupid

  1. mindweapon says:

    The publishing industry is controlled by You Know Who, and “being an author” is a niche reserved for the nephews and nieces of You Know Who publishers. When you go into Barnes and Noble or Borders or Books a Million (rapidly dying, BTW), there are a bunch of new, pop books destined for the remainder shelves, and every 6 months or so there’s a new batch. They probably lose money, but they make a living for YKW’s who don’t want to actually work for a living.

    I remember one pop book in particular, some self help book about “how to be a Renaissance Man (or Woman).” One of the advices was “Renaissance men are not racist or anti-semitic.” Oooooff COURSE! Pick an idealized group of people from the past, make a self help book claiming “how to be like them” and make sure that you tell them that “racists” are not X. Of course, the Renaissance was a period in time immediatley after the expulsions of YKW from most European countries. THe only Western European country that did not expel YKW was Holland. So to be a true Renaissance man, you can’t be YKW. This pop book written by some non-entity from Brookline or Brooklyn or Scarsdale, totally distorted history and lied for an agenda. I doubt 100 copies of this lame book were ever sold, but I’m sure 10,000 copies were printed and the pop author got a little royalty. Now times that scam by a few hundred and you’ve got the pop book publishing scam.

    • Ryu says:

      Bah. It’s usually negros that go on and on about being a renaissance man or even better, a “renaissance brother.” It’s like a dead giveaway.

  2. Red says:

    Literacy is mostly leftists fighting the last war. They conquered the aristocratic and military classes primarily though cleverly written propaganda. It’s still useful in brainwashing smarter people. TV turned out to be 100 times better for influencing the common folk thus the declining efforts in getting common folk to read. The internet really freaked them out for a time, primarily Wikipedia during it’s geek years where every article was chocked full of non PC facts but they’re gaining control of all that now.

    • mindweapon says:

      I don’t think they are getting control of the information on the internet. maybe on wikipedia, but that’s one small corner of the internet.

      • Red says:

        To be precise our propaganda model is based on allowing the perception of free thought by drowning us in a sea of pointless and contradictory information. When men can read every opinion under the sun it’s difficult to determine what is true and what’s false. This is where the unofficial version of events is used as the gold standard to cut through the nose. In the newspaper age the standard was the NY times and the internet age it’s wikipedia. We assume that things like NY times and wikipedia are true because so many people believe such sources and because the goverment isn’t writing them. Thus our standard for what’s true becomes the state’s offical line simply due to the masses being informed thinking that wikipedia or the NY times are rocks of truth in a sea of bullshit. In an age of bullshit evidence presented as truth every night on the news it’s very difficult to test things empirically.

      • Matthew says:

        No, but they’re chaffing the fuck out of it.

  3. joetexx says:

    An excellent book on several modern figures who have questioned the value of universal literacy and education is:

    Five counterrevolutionists in higher education: Irving Babbitt, Albert Jay Nock, Abraham Flexner, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Alexander Meiklejohn,  by Michael R.  Harris

    Nock’s thoughts on this are summarized in chapter 3 of his superb “Memoirs of a Superfluous Man”;

     http://mises.org/document/2998

    His conclusion:

    It is one of my oddest experiences that I have never been able to find any one who would tell me what the net social value of a compulsory universal literacy actually comes to when the balance of advantage and disadvantage is drawn, or wherein that value consists… Universal literacy helps business by extending the reach of advertising and increasing its force; and also in other ways. Beyond that I see nothing on the credit side. On the debit side, it enables scoundrels to beset, dishevel and debauch such intelligence as is in the power of the vast majority of mankind to exercise. There can be no doubt of this, for the evidence of it is daily spread wide before us on all sides. More than this, it makes many articulate who should not be so, and otherwise would not be so. It enables mediocrity and sub-mediocrity to run rampant, to the detriment of both intelligence and taste. In a word, it puts into a people’s hands an instrument which very few can use, but which everyone supposes himself fully able to use; and the mischief thus wrought is very great.

  4. eric says:

    Check eBay – they have books from the 1600-1800’s. I buy titles on philosophy, religion, history. Interesting but also flawed stuff.

  5. Ryu says:

    In a way, literacy is a bad thing. Now, I don’t mean everyone shouldn’t be able to read.

    But a literate, educated man is more easily decieved. Ideas have a slippery quantity to them. Give a man enough rope, show enough points of view and he’ll willfully trap himself. A good example would be the liberal racism hustle.

    On the other hand, an illiterate peasant in Medival Europe believed what he could see and feel with his own hands. Abstractions would have no power over him. Our own working classes seem to be very racially aware. But our priest classes in academia are full of limosine liberals.

    • Most of what we call “education” is actually religious in nature- the teaching of the correct things to believe. If you object and say these things aren’t true, you’re a heretic.

      • Matthew says:

        If it’s not engineering, it’s crap. Reading and writing are a form of engineering: how do you serialize words onto paper? Arithmetic obviously counts. History is fine, so long as you consider it to be extremely dirty input for your machine learning software.

    • Columnist says:

      In a way, Medieval Europe was stronger than Europe now.

  6. bruce says:

    I strongly disagree with you on this one. Subtitle should be “and not reading leaves you intellectually defenseless”. Do some research and you can find plenty of books written from a right-wing or conservative perspective. Re: the Crusades, check out Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusaders by Christopher Tyerman. Going to bookstore or public library to browse is like mindless channel cruising on TV -it is delving into the wasteland.
    Read Democracy and Leadership by Irving Babbitt cited by joetxx above. You will be glad you did.

    • Red says:

      I’ve read a lot of modern so called right wing literature and all of it suffers from the lies and bullshit of the progressive age presented from the perspective of an older form of progressiveness. Our minds are trained in such a way that we can only accept ideas from the progressive era and thus almost nothing is written from a truly different perspective.

  7. Matt Strictland says:

    The written word always reflects the biases of its age. Of course since our facts are rolling around to their biases, the older works are looking much better.

    As for the publishing industry, YKW does have a large presence but its actually gatekeepered by college educated women. Thats why its so liberal and Fem Centric and many publishing houses have trouble understanding half the market.

    Its also why things like Mack Bolan and the like are rarely seen these days, these things appeal to a signifcant segment of the audience that the editors know nothing about.

    I recall (no cite sorry) an article some years back about a publisher who somehow got talked into a book on some hot female wrestler or some such and was shocked by how many copies sold.

    Well, duh. Half the population is men and most can read and will read if you them something they want. Same with young people (c.f Harry Potter, Twillight, Hunger Games)

    However the good thing is with Kickstarter, Lulu and the like, we don’t need them and anyone with a bit of savvy can get published pretty cheap.

    This allows a degree of freedom of the press (at least for now) for more than just as the old say goes “whoever owns one” but for a lot of people.

  8. Columnist says:

    Learn other languages; Eastern European like Russian, Serbian or Hungarian, or non-White languages like Turkish, Arabic and Chinese. You will be exposed to a whole new set of ideas.

    • Matthew says:

      Bah. Take a page from Ryu and learn math. Then learn something useful, like one of the metallurgical arts. Forging, tempering, machining. Buy everything Dave Gingery ever published.

  9. So, if you can read- you inevitably become one of the elite. I think you need a little more of that edumacation.

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