Nine empathies, exposing empathy as the self-seeking survival strategy it’s been all along.

FREE this weekend for Kindle: Why academics get empathy all wrong:

Empathy ultimately is imagination – the invocation of the presumed mental states to be found in other people’s minds, but also the contra-factual insistence that one can experience at first hand the interior existence of another entity – and there cannot be an act of imagination that is originated by and for the benefit of anyone other than the actor himself.

You’ll note that I used the word “entity” in that definition. Of the nine kinds of empathy I want to explore, only three concern real people, the next three essentially fictional people, with the last three illuminating ideas of empathy for things that are not even alive – or not even real things!

Imagination about the completely imaginary? Who ever heard of such a thing?

A poet, of course, and I approach this as a poet, so just as we move from the most real of empathies to the most fanciful, so do we move from those empathies that are nearest to one’s own experience to those most remote – and from the most to the least actionable. I can do a lot of immediate benefit for my niece. My contributions to the ideas of self-adoration, human sovereignty, the family – and now empathy – may take a little longer to come to fruition. These are all expressions of empathy for the idea, the most fanciful, most remote and least actionable of empathies, but the one that can make the greatest and most enduring of differences in real human lives in the long run.

Changing lives? That’s the leadership of the poet.

Virtually all of philosophy, not just reductionist science, labors under the delusion – an empathy for the impossible – that people can be controlled from the outside, and can thus be impelled to betray their own interests and values. My impression is that the sole interest academia takes in empathy is to try to figure out how to build a better shmoo.

I work the other way. I know the self is the cardinal value of the uniquely-human life (more…)

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The Admirability Virus: Catch the world getting something right – more and more often every day.

Cultivating Splendor one mind at a time.

By: Petr & Bara Ruzicka

Despair is worse that pointless, but cultivating admirability – in yourself and in everyone around you – will pay huge and ever-increasing dividends. How self-loving is that?

And how Church of Splendor is that?

You say you want to make a difference in the world? This is a difference you can actually make.

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Hillary Clinton and Rotarian Socialism: What’s wrong with the National Association of Realtors?

You don’t have to wake up next to Hillary Clinton to know that the National Association of Realtors is infested with fleas…

You don’t have to wake up next to Hillary Clinton to know that the National Association of Realtors is infested with fleas…

Writing for San Diego Rostra, my friend Brian Brady reminded me of this BloodhoundBlog post from 2007, echoed here below.

Have things changed since then? Why, yes, they have. They’ve gotten substantially worse.

“Rotarian Socialism” is not mine, nor is “Brother, you asked for it!” But, no matter who wins this election, there is more “Rotarian Socialism” to come – in real estate and in every other business – and it was 108 years ago that “Brother, you asked for it!” –GSS

Business Week’s Hot Property wrote yesterday about the NAR’s having gotten into bed with Hillary Clinton — who is “sponsoring a bill that bars commercial banks from hiring real estate brokers/agents” — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The National Association of Realtor is routinely, habitually, congenitally anti-free market.

I’m doing the prep work to defend the traditional practice of real estate, but this is my radical yelp: The original and on-going purpose of the NAR is anti-capitalist. The organization was formed to limit entry into the residential real estate business — to push Chester the Barber and others out of the business. The NAR wrote the original state real estate laws to achieve this goal — however poorly. This on-going legislative campaign against banks competing for real estate transactions is just more of the same: “Protecting” mediocrities from fair competition.

It seems never to end. If you’re a member of the NAR, you get hit with spam about once a month about some vitally important piece of anti-free market legislation: Coerced health insurance for real estate brokerages, keep WalMart out of banking, keep banks out of real estate. The NAR is hardly alone in making appeals for legislation, so it is perhaps easy to forget that legislation is imposed by force of arms. What the NAR is doing is taking control of the massive firepower of the Federal government and deploying it to hijack potential competitors.

It’s a protection racket — vicious, awful, evil crime — dressed (more…)

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Too much bad news, bunkie? Look out for your own with the dollar store sex toy challenge.

When the kids are away, dad and mom should make time to play.

When the kids are away, dad and mom should make time to play.

Church Sunday, to cleanse the palate of all that news, a fun way to make the most of your marriage:

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A year later, what’s the #Libertarian stand on the #PlannedParenthood videos? Blank out.

If you look into a mirror and discover a ghoul glowering back at you, what should you do? Ask @YaronBrook. He’s got experience with that kind of thing.

If you look into a mirror and discover a ghoul glowering back at you, what should you do? Ask @YaronBrook. He’s got experience with that kind of thing.

Church Sunday: A year after the Planned Parenthood videos, where do big-foot libertarians stand? Blank out.

I’ve written a ton on the subject. Who else has?

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Dallas = Orlando = Boston = Aurora: How ‪‎feminism‬ spawns spree-killers.

Attention-seeking time bombs...

Attention-seeking time bombs…

Comes this week yet another spree-killing, this time a massacre of Dallas cops. As the headline indicates, I think these guys are more alike than they are different, and their differences – Islam, race, sexual politics – come down to pretexts. They are attention-seeking time bombs.

Hence Church Sunday, a clip from last October: Spree-killers in six minutes: Under-fathered, over-medicated, involuntarily celibate and universally rejected. Feminism kills fatherhood – and under-fathered boys sometimes kill indiscriminately.

The saddest news of all? There are by now too many of these wretches to take note of or remember. Less a blaze of glory than a brief spark of ignominy, soon supplanted by the next flash in the pan. The pretext meant nothing all along, but in the end the act itself means nothing – nothing beyond the pain inflicted on innocents in a failed bid for notoriety.

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Freedom? From what? Pursue your own independence!

Church Sunday: “Devoured by local predators only!” is not a proud boast.

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