DISClosing the game theory of everything with a DISCerning DISCrimination of the DISC personality types.

Portrait of the author as a Driven/Incandescent.

Portrait of the author as a Driven/Incandescent.

I talk about DISC all the time, but if you don’t already know what I’m talking about, I may be leaving you lost. I often link to Wikipedia’s DISC Assessment page, but that’s truly inadequate for my purposes.

Why? Because I’m talking about my own reinterpretation of DISC based on the underlying mammalian and reptilian empathy strategies people deploy when making choices. I worked these out when I was writing Nine empathies and Shyly’s delight, but I’ve only glossed those ideas here. That changes today, not alone because I want this post to link back to from future DISCussions.

So: Start here: DISC is a quick ’n’ dirty personality profiling system for understanding how an individual person will tend to make choices. It is distinguished from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which can help you understand how individuals think.

My opinion is that you should DISC be profiling the people in your life all the time. They are different from you, and if you are not constantly reminding yourself of those differences, you will become progressively more disappointed with their persistent failure to be you. The reason for that is an idea I call dyspossibility – and we’ll get to that.

These are the DISC personality types, denoted with three different sets of appellations:

I’ve used a lot of different words for the DISC types over the years, but the terms I like best are the ones I came up with for Shyly’s delight: Driven, Incandescent, Sociable, Cautious. Those terms offer us a way of understanding a person’s personality from his own point of view – from the perspective of his over-arching value-pursuing motivation, which we can see here:

Driven people yearn to get things done, and this makes them socially dominant. The guy who claps his hands together hard and says, “C’mon! Let’s do this!” is the Driven member of your social group. Driven people are natural leaders, the only kind of bosses people will tolerate without resentment.

The Incandescent craves attention. They are typically very well turned out, every hair in place, and they are often found (more…)

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Is the Ayn Rand Institute’s indefensible stand on abortion part of a clandestine intelligence op?

Spies everywhere!
Photo by: JD Hancock

Writer David McGowan is the author of an enchanting conspiracy theory: Was the Laurel Canyon music scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s a sophisticated intelligence operation devised to defuse the anti-Vietnam-War movement?

As with all conspiracy theories, a willingness to suspend disbelief is the price of entry, but McGowan has this going for his theory: If he’s right, it worked. Before Laurel Canyon – before The Mamas and The Papas, CSN, the Byrds – the kids were radicalized. Afterwards, they were mellow, content to tune in, turn on and drop out.

I don’t subscribe to McGowan’s conjectures, but they’re fascinating, especially the huge number of connections he is able to make to the military intelligence apparatus: If you wanted to make it as a rock star in folk/country-rock L.A., a dad high up in the spy business turned out to be a big career boost.

I’ve been thinking in a McGowanly way about the libertarian agenda since last summer, when I realized that Stefan Molyneux’s anti-family stance was fundamentally at odds with the growth of his internet cult. I think Molyneux is engaged in a frenzied obsession to commit mass-parricide-by-proxy – I think he is killing his own parents over and over again in pantomime – but anti-familialism pervades libertarian philosophy.

That’s a problem. Why? Because philosophical movements grow by families. The initial growth comes from converts, obviously, but the long-term growth, from a fringe group to an established cultural force, comes about when children who were raised in the movement’s doctrine raise their own children in it. Two converts become seven adherents become twenty-five champions in just two generations. Add in on-going evangelism and you’ve got a growth machine that just won’t quit.

Libertarianism doesn’t have that. It is evangelical, if obnoxiously so, but it is all-but-adamantly anti-family, with the anti-family agenda being pushed relentlessly by theorists like Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard and gadflies like Molyneux. This is bad for people who subscribe to their ideas, since the family is the sine qua non building block of human civilization, the last redoubt against the (more…)

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Evading abortion got you down? Rhapsodize premeditated torture and murder instead.

Paper tiger flexes his tonsils, soils himself and sullies Western Civilization.

Paper tiger flexes his tonsils, soils himself, sullies Western Civilization.

Piers Morgan: ‘My highest moral virtue is my ferocious animal savagery.’

With emphasis: Rhapsodizing violence is evil. It is even more self-destructive if, like Morgan, you know your homicidal rage is entirely affected. Batman is insane, but Walter Mitty is self-annihilating.

My take:

The paths to error are infinite, but two landmarks I have learned to rely on, in listening to people trying to justify their evil actions, are the logical fallacies Tu Quoque and Two Wrongs Make A Right. Tu Quoque is Latin. It means, “You do it, too.” When you catch your teenager swiping a beer, the pre-fabricated rationale will surely be, “Well, you drink, why can’t I?!?” And you were probably very young when you first heard some little proto-brute justifying his vengeance by bellowing, “Well, he hit me first!” – ergo, two wrongs make a right. You should probably be on your guard against any statement that starts with a “well” and ends with an exclamation point. That particular verbal construction seems to fit very comfortably in the mouths of liars and thugs. But when you hear those two logical fallacies being deployed in tandem, what you are hearing, almost certainly, is a cunningly-crafted rationalization of an abominable injustice.

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Eliciting a response from the Ayn Rand Institute on the Planned Parenthood abortion scandals.

I’ve known Don Watkins net.wise for 15 years or so, and I met him in real life last Fall in Tampa. I comped him a copy of Father’s Day – because the last thing the world needs is more divorced parents. I’m not surprised to see he’s blocked me. Blood makes noise, after all, and cognitive dissonance craves nothing more than silence.

Remember The Affectionate Display, Don.

I know why.
I can help.
I repay effort.
I grow regardless.

Ave atque vale, brother. Your integrity is neither dead nor unmourned.

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Tête-à-tête in Tombstone.

“Art is the stuff that sticks with you,art is the thing that won’t turn you loose.”Photo by: Frank Kovalchek

A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story

When the shadow blocked the doorway of Johnny Ringo’s, everyone in the bar looked up. The door was propped open and traffic was brisk. The glare of the late afternoon sun fought the gloom of the little taproom to a draw. But then gloom captured the turf enduringly, and we all looked up to see why.

The stranger leaning against the doorjamb was long and lean and very relaxed. He wore black wool trousers pegged at the ankles over ornately-tooled snakeskin boots. His dove-grey top coat fit him like a glove. Beneath it he wore a rich brocade waistcoat and a white linen shirt open at the collar. He had eyes the color of coal and flowing brown hair that spilled halfway down his back. His handlebar moustache was trimmed and combed and waxed to perfection. A red silk cravat finished the ensemble, that and two nickel-plated Colt 45s with carved ivory grips. The sidearms were mounted high, at his ribs, and a double-barreled shotgun, breech open, was slung across his left arm.

And even though Johnny Ringo’s is the tourist trap for the sophisticated tourist, still everyone gawked. Everyone except one man in the corner at the end of the bar, a man nearly perfectly concealed by the gloom. He looked up at the stranger in the doorway and there was genuine fear in his eyes.

The stranger was looking right at him. Looking right through him. He didn’t stare, he glared, and the room fell deathly silent – not a nervous cough, not a stolen breath. The fearful man tried to hold the stranger’s gaze but couldn’t. He looked down at the drink before him on the table then looked up again quickly, something furtive in his eyes. The stranger nodded slowly and said, “I’m your huckleberry.”

Some moron guffawed in recognition but this didn’t relieve the tension, it added to it.

The stranger stood up straight and snapped the breech of the shotgun closed. He hefted it (more…)

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My top 5 posts illuminating the Ayn Rand Institute’s intellectual paralysis over abortion.

“Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.” –Nikolai Lenin

“Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There’s no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.” –Nikolai Lenin

First, how can I have five weblog posts on the itty-bitty little Ayn Rand Institute and its palpably false arguments in favor of abortion – intrauterine infanticide? I don’t. I have more than a dozen – so far.

Second, how is it that the itty-bitty little Ayn Rand Institute, full to bursting with Ayn Rand’s prideful minions, has not managed to write anything at all about the Planned Parenthood videos and their fallout for champions of infanticide?

My guess is that Rand’s radicals-for-perfect-conformity are engaged in a cluster-frolic worthy of James Taggart himself: Fretting, dithering, blaming, steaming – doing everything except standing up to take responsibility like self-responsible adults.

What of their staffers, donors and other insiders?

The first person to deviate from the party line will be purged. And the next. And the next. Et cetera.

I’m kicking their asses in public and they respond to me with transfixed paralysis.

How am I doing it? Like this:

  1. Taking on Ayn Rand and Objectivism on abortion: A moral atrocity cannot somehow be a political sacrament.
  2. Fisking Ayn Rand on abortion: Why her utilitarianism is necessarily anti-man, anti-mind, anti-life.
  3. Why won’t the thick-witted cowards at the Ayn Rand Institute rise up to defend Planned Parenthood?
  4. Spanking the Ayn Rand Institute on abortion and Planned Parenthood: None so deserving.
  5. Why am I infanticide-shaming the Ayn Rand Institute? Because abortionism kills humanity itself.

PS: Bonus post: Is the Ayn Rand Institute’s indefensible stand on abortion part of a clandestine intelligence op?

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“The purpose of civilization is to prevent rape, to make the world safe for women and children.”

“Can you read the inscriptions on the buildings outside? This is M.I.T.’s way of honoring all the great men of science. Galileo, Kepler, Fourier, LaPlace. Aristotle, toward whom every branch of science must bow. Hundreds of names, some larger, some smaller, almost all of them men. Does that seem odd to you?”By: Justin Jensen

From ‘The Unfallen’
Finally on Friday, not knowing what to do but knowing she had to do something, she called Winnie Booth and asked if she could meet her for lunch. She stopped at Toscannini’s in Central Square for ice cream then again at Bertucci’s, where a pizza was waiting for her, and she met Winnie in a little lounge overlooking Killian Court at M.I.T. They shared small talk over lunch. Winnie was so big with the baby she seemed about to burst and she used her belly like a little table.

“You can afford to eat like this,” Winnie said, “but I can’t.”

“…This is the most I’ve eaten in a week, I think.”

“That bad, is it?”

Gwen put on her best plucky expression. “Nothing’s bad. Just… different.”

“My mistake. Devin comes to the lab on Monday with a face like he’s running for county coroner, but nothing’s bad. Your eyes look like they haven’t got a tear left in them, but nothing’s bad. What could be bad?”

Gwen smiled sheepishly and that was answer enough.

“Do you know the best philosopher I ever studied under? It’s Devin’s grandmother, Cecilia, Candy. No credentials, no college education, no pedigree of any kind, just a mind that can see through twenty miles of bullshit and will not let you get away with a thing. When I first met her, I was the worst kind of smug, college-bred jackass. Knew everything and deferred only to curriculum vitaes longer than my own. And that woman just took me apart. Nothing vicious about it, there’s not a drop of cruelty in her. All she really does is ask questions. But she asks questions that make it painfully obvious that everything you had been so confident about was constructed from solid quicksand.

“The first few times I (more…)

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