[ExI] > Taiwan is standing strong

Darin Sunley dsunley at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 21:45:35 UTC 2020

Trump's rhetorical toolbox is optimized for human opponents. A human making
you look like a pathologically-lying horses ass is a relatively easy
problem to solve. You puff up, projecting all the power and confidence you
can muster. You hit back harder, suck all of the oxygen out of the room, or
any of half-a-dozen other strategies that are literally build into the
human hindbrain. These strategies are dark, no question about it, but the
problem is, they work. And they work even better in times of perceived
crisis. Neolitihic hindbrains will follow strong forceful leaders is a time
of crisis, and aren't terribly concerned about epistimelogical truth.

In a time of extreme hyperpartisanship, Trump can play the hindbrains of a
significant chunk of the population like fiddles. That's not dumbness or
stupidity, or even close. It's not even really pathological, per se.
Indeed, in the ancestral environment, these abilities were powerful leading
indicators of extremely competent tribal leadership ability. Tribes that
followed Trumps lived. Their opponents tended not to. And so here we are.

The problem is you can't humiliate a virus pandemic into submission.

The 2016 election was about choosing a leader who could defeat and cow
human opponents. It certainly wasn't about choosing a competent technocrat
to manage a public health crisis. But then, it never is. As the meme goes,
"Find you a girl who can do both". But that's a much harder challenge, and
not one the major parties have been terribly interested in even trying to

I haven't the foggiest idea what the DNC is trying to optimize for this
time around, and I suspect they don't either Their current front runners
are neither Bronze-age warlord archtypes, not competent technocrats. Which
si why I'm not optimistic about their chances.

On Sat, Mar 21, 2020 at 5:32 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 1:58 PM Henry Rivera via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> > *“Smart”??? Did I really hear Dr. Smigrodzki call Trump smart?! *
> Trump is so incredibly dumb he won't even tell the truth when the truth
> would serve his reelection interests better than a lie would. If in early
> January Trump had told the truth as science best understood it and said I'm
> sorry to say it but it looks like we're heading toward a horrible tragedy
> then when the bodies started to stack up like cordwood he'd look wise and
> prescient; and if it had turned out the expert epidemiologists were wrong
> and things didn't turn out all that bad then he could claim that thanks to
> his heroic measures he saved hundreds of thousands or millions of lives.
> But by continuing to insist until just a few days ago that the virus was
> just a Democratic hoax and nothing to worry about Trump now looks like the
> world's biggest horse's ass. And then, as frosting on the low IQ cake, just
> yesterday Trump claimed he knew COVID-19 would be a global pandemic before
> anyone else did, and by making that utterance he vividly demonstrated to
> the entire world that he is not only a world class fool he is also a world
> class lyer.
>  John K Clark
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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