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Guest Post: Preserve thy Soul in Self-Control, a Review of Willpower

01 Aug

Free Northerner writes:

The Bookshelf: Willpower

Electricangel recommended I read the book Willpower, so I did, and he mentioned a possible guest post on it, so here it is.

Right off the bat, I’ll say that the book was excellent and I’m glad it was recommended to me.

Essentially the book is a discussion of willpower, how it works, how to use it to your advantage, and how to strengthen it.

It’s written in a typical self-help masquerading as popular science style. Introduce an issue, show some studies, show some real life examples, and then show the practical applicability of the previous. The writing style is solid; its engaging, accessible, well-written. Not quite as engaging as, say, Malcolm Gladwell, the big player in the self-help as popular science genre, but it’s also much more in-depth and informative than Gladwell’s breezy style (gentle mockery here), so overall I think it functions better.

The book argues that willpower exists and, along with IQ, is the strongest universal predictor of success. Levels of self-control as a child are tied to future life outcomes. Willpower is biologically based and is dependent on your glucose levels. The biggest lesson of the book is that you have only a limited amount of willpower, which is steadily depleted as you resist temptation and make decisions, and is restored through eating and sleeping. Your available willpower is somewhat innate but can be strengthened. So, you should try to avoid depleting willpower unnecessarily and conserve willpower for when you really need it.

The various chapters explain how to use to-do lists to optimize your productivity, how making decisions and will power effect each other, how to apply willpower to your spending, strengthening willpower, how belief in higher power/values can strengthen willpower, raising children with willpower, and that perennial self-help favourite, dieting.

There’s too much in the book for me to go through all of it here, so I’ll highlight some manosphere-related things that stood out to me.

As mentioned, there’s a discussion on glucose and willpower, and the book recommend eating low glycemic foods such as meats, veggies, nuts, and fruits rather than sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. In other words, eating paleo/primal can help build up your willpower. Although, in times of decision/willpower fatigue a quick boost of energy from something sugary can be a good temporary willpower pick-me-up.

Also, on diet and health, the authors conclude that, contrary to popular opinion, self-control has only minimal effect on physical health. They recommend heavily against “dieting”, saying that dieting itself causes long-term weight gain and unhealthiness as it overrides your body’s natural hunger signals. There’s some advice on how to increase your odds of becoming healthier.

There’s a discussion of the SMP. Essentially, your brain is reluctant to forgo options, so as you’re given more choices you become more reluctant to choose. So, as your mating choices expand you are more likely to increase your criteria for a potential mate, increasing the likelihood of ending up with no mate at all. This explains why some women (and men) can have long, impossible criteria for potential partners.

One section discusses the “hot-cold empathy gap”, where in peace you can not appreciate how you’ll behave in the heat of the moment. So, when in the heat of temptation you are much more likely do something that you would not consider otherwise. This is applied to men; when aroused men were a lot more likely to be willing to engage in sexual activities they would not have considered in a “cool” state. Not surprising, but something to for aspiring patriarchs to keep in mind.

The self-esteem movement is excoriated as it causes narcissism while not actually providing the promised benefits.

There’s a discussion of how single-parenting is heavily detrimental to children as children in single-parent homes are monitored less and monitoring is essential to the development of self-control.

On the topic that led to EA’s recommendation to read this book, video games are encouraged in this book for children as they exercise willpower. There’s further useful advice on raising children to have willpower and self-control.

In other words, the science of willpower more or less validates the arguments of the manosphere/alt-right at very turn.

The book concludes with some helpful and practical advice, such as know your limits, pick your battles, monitor yourself, use a to-do list, and reward yourself. This advice is not stunningly original, but it’s good to have it provided along with the backing science.

Recommendation:

This book is excellent. If you ever desire to improve yourself or accomplish something difficult, Willpower is a must-buy. It will explain to you how to better harness your willpower to succeed. I can not recommend this book enough.

If you don’t ever plan on accomplishing anything, you might enjoy the science but the book’s not for you. Also, you should really consider why you have resigned yourself to mediocrity and failure. Upon consideration you should choose to improve yourself, then read the book to help do so.

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74 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2012 in book review, Masculinity, Sin

 

74 responses to “Guest Post: Preserve thy Soul in Self-Control, a Review of Willpower

  1. electricangel1978

    August 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Well done, Unbound One of Arctic Appropinquity.

    Two things to add from the book that I found significant. First, the author John Tierney is a lapsed Catholic, but retains some sense from that background, much as John Donne left the faith to become an Anglican but still protested the splintering of Christendom with “No Man is an Island.” He is thus aware of sin as a concept, and believes that religions with good sense will recognize its persistence, and design social structures to strengthen the willpower, and also allow those who have sinned to return to good graces. Following a strict religious code thought out ahead of time can conserve willpower; the “good girl” listening to the words of a Patriarch doesn’t HAVE to fight back her hamster as a PUA puts on the moves.

    The second is the idea about video games. To flesh out what you wrote, video games are actually GREAT training tools at building Willpower. You must master a series of small tasks to go on to greater and greater rewards. For all the fembots who complain about boys not growing up, who cannot stop looking at their damned iPhones, this one section makes the book worthwhile: a properly designed video game aligns with all that is best in masculinity.

     
  2. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

    @ EA: “For all the fembots who complain about boys not growing up, who cannot stop looking at their damned iPhones”

    Yeah, really! Of course, you don’t see men – or women – writing articles complaining about it, or sermons by Mark Driscoll et al. about that…

     
  3. Free Northerner

    August 2, 2012 at 1:48 am

    EA: Agreed, you could say his sympathy for religion and religious beliefs throughout the book. Also, the idea of religion as a precommitment to lower the necessity of willpower expenditure is something I should have touched on more.

    But everybody knows phones are communication devices that help you stay in contact and engage with others while video games isolate you from real life and cause you to murder children.

     
  4. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 6:09 am

    We need some more book reviews. I will do one of Priceless, shortly, focusing on its Manosphere-related content.

    It’d be nice to review each of these: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/dangerous-boys.html

    Especially this one: http://cantate-domino.blogspot.com/2007/05/dangerous-book-for-boys.html

     
  5. freebird

    August 2, 2012 at 7:40 am

    “This is applied to men; when aroused men were a lot more likely to be willing to engage in sexual activities they would not have considered in a “cool” state. Not surprising, but something to for aspiring patriarchs to keep in mind.”

    This is exactly why the current fad of simulated lesbian activity in places men go to look for sex,it escalates the sexual tension.
    Instead of responding,men should dismiss themselves.
    The thing is:there is little more the gals can do to escalate,they already near nude thrusting their genitals into the air in public places in a desperate bid for attention and competition.
    The then want the blessing of the public that this is “moral” behavior.
    No, it’s not.

     
  6. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

    @ EA: Of those books you linked to in the LRC link, I have read “The Man Who Was Thursday”, but it’s been a while, and I found the ending confusing. I have a copy; perhaps I should re-read it, sometime.

     
  7. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

    @ Free Northerner, EA: Willpower sounds like a worthwhile read, indeed. Thanks for reviewing it for us, FN.

     
  8. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @ freebird: No doubt, the gay rights movement has gained some, if not much, traction from heterosexual men finding fake lesbianism a turn-on; we would indeed do well to oppose it and discourage it…

     
  9. Sis

    August 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Good advice, I’m surprised developing habits wasn’t mentioned, I think that is a strong way to help with willpower. If you don’t have to think about it and automatically do it every day, then you don’t have to spend precious decision-making energy towards it.

    I’ve also heard that your willpower abilities are lowest when you are hungry, tired, stressed, away from home, and I think there was another one but I don’t remember it; anyway, if you have any two of the above symptoms, you are supposed to start doubting your decision-making abilities regarding temptations.

    I’ve heard video games are a great way to train if you ever want to be an air traffic controller.

     
  10. CL

    August 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Interesting, however, is IQ really a predictor of success? IQ alone doesn’t seem to predict much. The ability to delay gratification and persistence are bigger predictors, from what I can tell, which seems to be encompassed in ‘will power’. People with an average IQ but who are persistent – even to the point of being pig-headed – will do better than those with a high IQ but who lack persistence.

    Using myself as an example, I have a higher than average IQ (probably somewhere in the 130-140 range, although I haven’t been formally tested), but I get discouraged rather easily. Persistence is way more important than IQ when it comes to being successful in any endeavour and it can get to where a high IQ is actually a disadvantage.

    Also, constant decision making is exhausting. Modern life bombards us with micro-decisions and too much choice, and this drains our energy available for will power. The more we can reduce the need to make these sorts of decisions, the more we have left for will power and persistence. The book seems to touch on this regarding the SMP, and it makes sense to me.

    The Tyranny of Choice

     
  11. Sis

    August 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

    drunk or high, that was the one I couldn’t remember.

     
  12. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @Sis,

    Good advice, I’m surprised developing habits wasn’t mentioned, I think that is a strong way to help with willpower. If you don’t have to think about it and automatically do it every day, then you don’t have to spend precious decision-making energy towards it.

    You could have written the book. This is featured prominently as advice, the careful cultivation of habits.

    I’ve also heard that your willpower abilities are lowest when you are hungry, tired, stressed, away from home, and I think there was another one but I don’t remember it; anyway, if you have any two of the above symptoms, you are supposed to start doubting your decision-making abilities regarding temptations.

    Now think about what happens during a woman’s cycle. While her body prepares to accept a zygote, it expends a TREMENDOUS amount of energy to build an internal bassinet. This is where the cravings and crankiness of PMS come from, and it’s also why her ability to restrain herself around alpha males is lowest when fertility is high. It’s not that she has increased desire; it’s that their willpower to resist the always-present desire is lessened by the drop in blood sugar.

    Husbands and boyfriends, beware!

     
  13. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @CL,

    Interesting, however, is IQ really a predictor of success? IQ alone doesn’t seem to predict much. The ability to delay gratification and persistence are bigger predictors, from what I can tell, which seems to be encompassed in ‘will power’. People with an average IQ but who are persistent – even to the point of being pig-headed – will do better than those with a high IQ but who lack persistence.

    There’s a great recent book out called The Intelligence Paradox. In fact, you are correct: persistence is highly important. However, it is also highly correlated with intelligence, as is conscientiousness. So, you can have smart, lazy people (guilty as charged), but you are more likely to find long-term, high-investment thinking in the highly intelligent.

    Modern life bombards us with micro-decisions and too much choice, and this drains our energy available for will power. The more we can reduce the need to make these sorts of decisions, the more we have left for will power and persistence.

    Exactly. This is not simply theorized, but the book shows examples from experimental psychology.

    From an article on the book:

    The experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation. To study the process of ego depletion, researchers concentrated initially on acts involving self-control ­— the kind of self-discipline popularly associated with willpower, like resisting a bowl of ice cream. They weren’t concerned with routine decision-making, like choosing between chocolate and vanilla, a mental process that they assumed was quite distinct and much less strenuous. Intuitively, the chocolate-vanilla choice didn’t appear to require willpower.

    But then a postdoctoral fellow, Jean Twenge, started working at Baumeister’s laboratory right after planning her wedding. As Twenge studied the results of the lab’s ego-depletion experiments, she remembered how exhausted she felt the evening she and her fiancé went through the ritual of registering for gifts. Did they want plain white china or something with a pattern? Which brand of knives? How many towels? What kind of sheets? Precisely how many threads per square inch?

    “By the end, you could have talked me into anything,” Twenge told her new colleagues. The symptoms sounded familiar to them too, and gave them an idea. A nearby department store was holding a going-out-of-business sale, so researchers from the lab went off to fill their car trunks with simple products — not exactly wedding-quality gifts, but sufficiently appealing to interest college students. When they came to the lab, the students were told they would get to keep one item at the end of the experiment, but first they had to make a series of choices. Would they prefer a pen or a candle? A vanilla-scented candle or an almond-scented one? A candle or a T-shirt? A black T-shirt or a red T-shirt? A control group, meanwhile — let’s call them the nondeciders — spent an equally long period contemplating all these same products without having to make any choices. They were asked just to give their opinion of each product and report how often they had used such a product in the last six months.

    Afterward, all the participants were given one of the classic tests of self-control: holding your hand in ice water for as long as you can. The impulse is to pull your hand out, so self-discipline is needed to keep the hand underwater. The deciders gave up much faster; they lasted 28 seconds, less than half the 67-second average of the nondeciders. Making all those choices had apparently sapped their willpower, and it wasn’t an isolated effect.

     
  14. CL

    August 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    There there’s the old Marshmallow Test, which shows the same thing – i.e. that self-control is correlated with success and intelligence.

     
  15. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Yes, but what man wants to possibly fail the Marshmallow test? That was the first time I saw anything about restrain and success. I have had to learn restraint, CL, but it is theonly way to live. “Control yourself, or someone else will do it for you.”

     
  16. CL

    August 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Indeed, EA. It can certainly be learned to an extent, but it seems a lot is determined by character from the outset. I think I probably would have passed the marshmallow test but I’m not sure my brother would have, and you can still see the difference in our personalities.

    I’m tempted to run the test on my kids but I already know which one will be better at delaying gratification. The older one might do it, but she is more likely not to than the younger one. Nature seems to trump nurture a lot of the time.

     
  17. The Continental Op

    August 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    If we want to promote the reaction agenda, let us make liberals make a long string of decisions–through a series of questions–then they are in the bag.

     
  18. Free Northerner

    August 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    @SIS; “Good advice, I’m surprised developing habits wasn’t mentioned,

    It was, but the book packed in a lot of information, so I didn’t put in everything, only the things that really stood out.

    @CL: “Interesting, however, is IQ really a predictor of success? IQ alone doesn’t seem to predict much.”

    The book didn’t talk much about IQ, but yes, intelligence, as measured by IQ, is one of the strongest statistical predictors of overall life success. It is also, as EA stated, correlated with self-control, willpower, or future time orientation (All terms used to refer to the same general concept).

    The marshmallow test was also talked about in the book.

    I’ve been tempted about running it on my nephew (whose pre-school age), but while on vacation I offered him a bunch of candy, he had a small amount, then rejected the rest because he didn’t want to spoil his appetite for later. He’ll also only eat small amounts of chocolate even when lots is offered to him, because he knows if he eats too much he’ll get a small allergic reaction. So I’m pretty sure he’d pass.

     
  19. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Persistence is important. When I did my PhD, it was mostly just dumb persistence. Slogging away. I had some success in my eventual career, but it took a long time to arrive. Dumb persistence got me there.

    IQ is a good start, but I don’t think mine is very high. I have good study habits though. It is good if you can avoid unnecessary conflicts too; get people to help you when you can; develop more than one line of interest; be flexible. Know when to quit and when to persist.

    Luck is important, whatever they say. But you can create a fertile ground for luck by being patient and staying alert. Avoid alcohol.

     
  20. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    @DC,
    Avoid alcohol.
    If you weren’t hanging for dear life to the bottom of the globe (at least we Northern Hemisphere types are usually on top of it), I’d send you my copy of John Zmirak’s Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine. Whiskey, and Song and have you do a review.

    Ask Will. Zmirak (a Croatian, much like the Social Pathologist) makes the catechism go down smoothly, in this case with a nice doppelbock.

     
  21. CL

    August 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Genius: 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

     
  22. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    You have to have a sort of “two-eyed” approach. On the one hand, you have to aim high, really high. In my own favourite field, science, the scientists who solve the biggest problems are not the smartest scientists. They are the scientists who try to solve the biggest problems. And that tends to mean the scientists with the biggest egos. (I think that is one reason why men tend to solve the biggest problems. Ego. A lot of women are very smart, but they aim low.)

    So, on the one hand, aim high. Einstein was only an indifferent mathematician, but he pondered the big problems. On the other hand, you have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Be you own harshest critic. Constantly query your own conclusions. That is the second “eye”. If you use the eye of genius, and the eye of self-criticism, you will see further than anyone else.

     
  23. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    @ DC: EA just directed a response to you, in regards to your second-last comment, but because it had two links it got stuck in moderation; see just two above your most recent comment. (Annoying how WordPress even does that to the admins of a blog; arrgh!)

     
  24. CL

    August 2, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    @ Will S.

    You can change that in the discussion settings.

     
  25. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Angel Headed Hipster (been reading Ginsberg), I learned to avoid alcohol the hard way. Maybe there is something in Irish genes, because most of my male relatives have or had a problem with alcohol. I never had a big problem, but I found myself drinking spirits at one stage (gin, vodka), and realised that I had better give it a miss. I enjoyed beers in the pub as a student, but one’s metabolism moves on.

    Funny thing was that I gave up the grog because I had liver problems, although it turned out there was probably no connection. Even funnier thing, getting my liver right after a cholecystectomy may explain why my testosterone levels appear (subjectively) to have bounced up a lot in the last decade. At least that is the only explanation I can think of for my current state of mind.

     
  26. Will S.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @ CL: Really? Hmmm. Thanks; I’m gonna have to educate myself how to do that.

     
  27. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    @DC,

    Those Irish genes might also be coding for celiac. You people were meant to eat cattle, not wheat, thus the use of cattle as “wallets” back in the day. I wonder if spirits and beer might not be hitting that; I’ve had a number of Irish friends who could not tolerate alcohol. I wonder if they exclusively tried grape-based wine if they’d see a difference?

    There are three versions of the gene that helps us process alcohol. Jews and Italians have the best detoxifier, presumably because Mediterraneans developed fermented beverages first. Northern Europeans detoxify alcohol more slowly; this is allegedly one reason for Scottish soccer hooliganism. Asians and especially American Indians detoxify alcohol at the slowest rate, and alcoholism is epidemic in American Indian populations. I’d guess you’re in the second group; I have no doubt that I am.

     
  28. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Well, I got quite bad hangovers, especially from things like Guinness, and beers in general. I found wine the least likely to give me a hangover. Maybe there is something in your theory.

    I don’t generally put much faith in folk genetics, and I don’t think I am a typical Irishman (in any case, I have plenty of English genes as well, and I am an Australian in any case). But I do seem to have the sensitivity to alcohol. And I find that I have a slight mental instability – not enough to give me real problems – but it is there. And it takes that Celtic form. A bit of that “gift of the gab” and not quite all there sometimes. Bardic. More intuitive than systematic, which is strange for a man trained in science.

     
  29. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I wouldn’t call it folk genetics;I did get it from Razib Khan, amongst other sources. For example, this article has the following on Jews and alcohol:

    MYTH JEWS ARE LESS PRONE TO ALCOHOLISM
    TRUE

    Manischewitz may be an acquired taste, but that’s not the reason Jews tend to have fewer drinking problems than other groups. A 2002 study conducted by Deborah Hasin of Columbia University shows that at least 20 and as many as 30 percent of Jews carry a genetic mutation that makes them less susceptible to alcoholism. The mutation, called ADH2*2, is believed to increase levels of acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical byproduct of alcohol metabolism that causes headaches, nausea and flushing. The trait is also common among Asians but is very rare in white Europeans. Without this mutation, less acetaldehyde is produced, making drinking a more pleasurable experience. The 2002 study, which focused on 75 Israeli Jews between the ages of 22 and 65, found that ADH2*2 had the strongest effect on Ashkenazis, Jews who had arrived from Russia before 1989, Sephardi Jews and Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent; less protected by the genetic mutation were more recent Russian immigrants.

    I cannot find the original study with the three versions of the alcohol processing gene; perhaps it’s in The 10,000 Year Explosion.

     
  30. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I wasn’t calling that info folk genetics. I meant more the general idea that different ethnic groups have different characteristic modes of thought. I was thinking about this today, though, and I suppose it might be, since there is more evidence these days that personality is inherited, that different ethnic groups might have selected for different personalities. The problem is that it kind of attracts some silly ideas. But it is not impossible that Africans are naturally more ebullient and aggressive; Asians are naturally more family-minded; Australian Aborigines more likely to “go walkabout” in their minds. I am just less sure about differences between mico-races, or whatever one wants to call groups like the English and the Irish and the Scots. Genetically, these groups are hard to distinguish.

     
  31. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    That said, I think I discussed this once on that Irish lawyer girl’s blog, SDaedalus. That is, that there might be some kind of selection in Ireland for unusual mental states. I can’t remember my argument, but I think it was something like its being an advantage to live in communal solidarity with other people, given Irish clannishness, and a good group selection strategy might have been to be clannish and be prone to spirituality and hence capable of being in religious solidarity rather than individualistic. And the latter could be related to a certain mental instability. I don’t mean, all religious people are crazy, just that being a bit “fey” or having “second sight” (eg. in the Scottish Highlands), could have had its selective advantages. Or at least having that reputation. I notice that this stereotype is still present in popular series like Hamish McBeth.

     
  32. electricangel1978

    August 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Ethnic differences are easy. Welshmen are just Irishmen who couldn’t swim.

    Also, despite the “Anglo-Saxon” label, it’s my understanding that most of the genetic material of England derives from the original Celtic inhabitants.

     
  33. David Collard

    August 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Obviously, as a religious man myself, I am not saying that religion is a result of craziness; just that God speaks to us as creatures capable of being religious. He put a religious impulse into us, and some people and peoples may have more of this than others. Clearly God chose the Jews for this reason, not say the Greeks; and the Jews have always been believers in magic and ritual. And the Irish seem to be naturally religious too.

    “How odd of God to choose the Jews –
    but how could He fail to choose the Gael?”

    (Belloc? Chesterton?)

    As for Irish mental instability, that might then lead to the use of alcohol as self-medication. And then maybe there is the biochemical issue as well in the mix.

     
  34. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Yes, there is an argument that the Brits are really Brits, and that the Anglo-Saxons were just overlords. Same argument with the Normans. I think I read that East Anglia is more Anglo-Saxon, as the name implies. There is just a danger in this kind of folk anthropology. Good old Steve Sailer tried to run an argument that there was something naturally Calvinistic about the Germanic tribes, and I think he then argued that this explained why people from East Anglia tended to be Calvinists and they were the people who settled America. I had to point out that the Germanic tribes were moving around before Protestantism came along, and that in any case the Germans went Lutheran, not Calvinist, which was more a French and Swiss invention. The dangers of folk anthropology …

    Steve is usually cleverer than that. I spend a lot of time on his blog and also on Razib Khan’s. In fact, I comment a fair bit under my real name.

     
  35. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

    EA, I have been meaning to ask. Are you a Catholic? Have you always been one? I could have sworn that we had a discussion about sola fide once which led me to assume you were a Protestant.

    It is easy to get confused. I have been chatting off and on with a woman in the ‘sphere, whom I always assumed was a married lady, but apparently not. Only found out today.

     
  36. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:47 am

     
  37. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:52 am

    @ DC: “in any case the Germans went Lutheran, not Calvinist, which was more a French and Swiss invention”

    True, but there were a handful of Germans who went Calvinist (the Heidelberg Catechism is a result of that; the Reformed Church in the U.S. is a German Calvinist descendents’ denomination; esp. in the Palatinate, there were many Reformed) – and there were a handful of French who went Lutheran, particularly in Alsace and Montbéliard.

    Protestantism is complicated. 🙂

     
  38. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Thanks, Will S, that is interesting. Always there are exceptions to the rule. I think my broad point still stands, but that is fascinating. I don’t know much about Protestantism, but I have started studying it a bit in recent years. So I knew that the Calvinists were the Second Reformation.

    I hope I am not being unfair to Steve Sailer, but I think his argument really was that silly. Something about how Germanic tribes, including the Norse who settled in Eastern England (or maybe just raped a lot of Saxon girls) had some kind of racial tendency to become Calvinists.

     
  39. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Oh, I agree, DC; Sailer’s argument indeed was silly; indeed, most Germanics, from the Germans to the Scandinavians, went Lutheran, after all… The German Calvinists and the French Lutherans were indeed exceptions to the general patterns of the two peoples, as regards how they embraced Protestantism (which kinds).

     
  40. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Sailer also neglected to consider how many Germans, and a handful of Dutch – all Germanics – embraced the Radical Reformation, i.e. the Anabaptist faith (Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites)… Admittedly, not many – but possibly more Germans (not Dutch or Nordics) embraced Anabaptism than embraced Calvinism, even… There is indeed little basis for thinking of Calvinism as an inherently, decidedly Germanic tendency…

     
  41. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 1:42 am

    “Collard” is a name from my mother’s side, not my real surname. There is a family story that it is a Huguenot name. The original Collard who came to Australia was a convict, the only one I know of in my ancestry, who was transported to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) for Highway Robbery (stole some shoes from his employer, apparently). He was from Somerset. I doubt that Collard really is a Huguenot name. It just looks a bit French.

     
  42. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Maybe your maternal ancestor was so heinous a criminal and so unresigned to his fate that he needed to be “collared”, and got given that name. 😉

     
  43. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Well, it is not pronounced that way. It is pronounced with a long “a”. In a rather French style.

    He was a model prisoner. I think he did his seven years in Tasmania and then went to live in Victoria and did quite well. He became quite respectable, although he left his conviction out of his biography as far as possible.

     
  44. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Of course it’s not pronounced that way; his descendents were embarrassed – or wanted to climb socially, like how Hyacinth Bucket in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ pronounces her last name ‘Bouquet’. 😉

     
  45. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Speaking of Anabaptists, I just learned something interesting; the Amish population in America is exploding:

    http://happolatismiscellany.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/why-the-amish-population-is-exploding/

     
  46. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Good Grief, this make me glad it is not my real surname. Having this kind of conversation all my life would have driven me nuts. The only problem with my real name is getting people to spell it correctly. I sometimes wish too that I had not started using a pseudonym. Once or twice I have been tempted to just use my real name, but some of the feminists out there are clearly pretty nearly insane and I don’t want some nutty woman stalker on my trail.

     
  47. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 3:00 am

    🙂

     
  48. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

    @DC,

    Yes, I am the sole Papist at Patriactionary. Working on converting Will; not having that much success. I’m concerned that when the Pope eventually DOES something with that computer that stores the name of every Protestant in the world that it will end badly for him. Will and I have agreed that as soon as we have freed the world of non-Patriarchal systems, and dealt with the threat from the Muslims and the Mormons (the former are at replacement or lower fertility, the latter threaten to drown us), we can get back to some doctrinal wars and maybe a little inter-Christian killing, like the good old days. Or maybe just agree to disagree.

    We did indeed discuss Sola Fide, and you’re still wrong. Faith in Jesus alone, as Luther said, (btw, I saw where a survey of Papist youth showed that many of them could not answer this basic question: what is necessary to go to Heaven? Sheesh!) gets you into Heaven. Where WE have it right is that Faith must be reflected in works. Having Faith without Works is like those feminists who come to the defense of men in their minds. I think the Catholic version of this doctrine is best termed “trust but verify.”

    You do know that collard greens are the signature dish of the rural black underclass in the USA, no?

    BTW, have you read The 10,000 Year Explosion? That would be worth a read; highly un-PC, but absolutely fascinating.

     
  49. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

    @Will,

    Calling Alsatians “French” is like calling Quebecois “Canadian.” Technically true, but Alsace is full of pretty blond Germanic-stock girls, neat houses, and much more ORDER than is seen typically in France. The “Francophone Lutheran” country was stocked with Germans who happened to have been conquered by Louis XIV, the Ceaucescu of the 17th century. France went much more for Calvin/Cauvin, as with the Huguenots.

     
  50. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

    @Will,

    Fascinating stuff on Wikipedia. As to the “Francophone Protestant” land, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montb%C3%A9liard

    Then, read what the French Revolutionaries did to traditional, Catholic-ruled lands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Mediatisation

     
  51. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

    No, I didn’t know that about “collard greens”. I am a keen America-watcher, but I miss many subtleties, no doubt. Collard is my mother’s maiden name. That’s all. And David is my second name. I have always used that as my penname.

    I worry about my real identity becoming known, mostly for my family. I have written some controversial stuff, and I am aware that there are people who have been reading my comments for a few years now, and are NOT happy with me. I think I am safe. I have been vague and I have not made the kind of mistake GBFM made recently. Strangely, I knew of him under a different handle several years ago.

    As I said, I am a somewhat intuitive thinker, and systematic theology is not my bag, man. I know a lot, but that was just catechesis and osmosis. On faith and works, I have moved from the more Jesuitical, works emphasis, to the more Dominican faith emphasis. I find that Grace helps more than my own weak efforts, although I think God still wants a token effort.

    You are not supposed to tell Protestants about that computer. Seriously, have you see the website for the Holy See? It would shame a model railway club.

     
  52. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @ EA: “Where WE have it right is that Faith must be reflected in works. Having Faith without Works is like those feminists who come to the defense of men in their minds.”

    Ah, we hold that, too; we see good works as flowing out of one’s faith; a response of gratitude to being forgiven; the Holy Spirit inculcates a desire to do good works, as a result of knowing that one has been forgiven, due to one’s faith. You’re sure you’re not a Protestant, EA? 😉

    “Calling Alsatians “French” is like calling Quebecois “Canadian.” Technically true, but Alsace is full of pretty blond Germanic-stock girls, neat houses, and much more ORDER than is seen typically in France.”

    Yes, I realize how intermingled the people of Alsace-Lorraine are, ethnically and racially, between German and France; I had an Alsatian-Lorrainian friend who, though French, used German names of some foods instead of the French ones, like ‘kartoffelsalat’ or something for potato salad, etc.

    “I’m concerned that when the Pope eventually DOES something with that computer that stores the name of every Protestant in the world that it will end badly for him.”

    A-ha! I knew that computer existed!

    @ DC: “You are not supposed to tell Protestants about that computer.”

    Too late; the truth is out!

    “I have been vague and I have not made the kind of mistake GBFM made recently.”

    Really? What happened; where? I missed it; is GBFM someone we already know under another name? I had my suspicions he might be… You can email me if you want to keep the details private, to protect him (unless it’s widely been discussed, in which case, why bother); you know my email address from my comments at your blog.

     
  53. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @ EA: “Will and I have agreed that as soon as we have freed the world of non-Patriarchal systems, and dealt with the threat from the Muslims and the Mormons (the former are at replacement or lower fertility, the latter threaten to drown us), we can get back to some doctrinal wars and maybe a little inter-Christian killing, like the good old days. Or maybe just agree to disagree.”

    Exactly. 🙂

    Don’t forget the Amish threat.

    http://happolatismiscellany.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/why-the-amish-population-is-exploding/

    Uppity Anabaptists; do we Reformed, Lutherans, and Catholics have to drown them, again? 😉

    Re: Montbéliard: Yes; many of the people of Montbéliard fled to Canada, hence that monument; now, of course, they’re fully assimilated Nova Scotians. 🙂

    Many Huguenots also fled here; sadly, most of them ended up as United Church of Canada members; they constitute the bulk of French-speaking U.C.C. churches in Quebec (of which there admittedly are very few).

    “Yes, I am the sole Papist at Patriactionary. Working on converting Will; not having that much success.”

    Why don’t you come over to the Dark Side? 🙂

    Ah yes, collard greens. Referenced famously in Run D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis”:

    “It’s Christmas-time in Hollis, Queens / Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens…”

     
  54. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    GBFM and I had a falling out over CS Lewis. I defended Lewis against his suggestion that Lewis was one of the inventors of the cock carousel. This was based on a misreading of a passage in Prince Caspian. At about the same time he did something a bit careless and I was able to confirm his real identity with a little quick googling. As I said at Dalrock, his secret is safe with me. He pissed me off but I am not vindictive like that.

    He has quite an impressive background, as I always suspected, although he seems to be a tryhard and a bit of a crank. He has a strong hard science background, but has also done a lot of stuff on literature on the Internet. A friend had some dealings with him years ago, but after initial enthusiasm, he became tired of his shtick. He is not a bad looking guy, and bright, with unusually socially conservative views, but a blowhard and what we call here, a bullshit artist. He has a strong interest in the games industry. I know his real name. He seems to have a PhD. I think he uses all that lozzzozzll thing to hide his identity and for fun. He is quite good with words. He has an obsession with anal sex, which he sees as a metaphor for the ruination of modern women.

     
  55. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I’m familiar with GBFM himself, but I haven’t known his real identity. I know someone who fits the criteria you describe, though, who used to have a blog under a different identity.

    Anyway, he’s an interesting and humourous joker; it’s good that the manosphere has a court jester. 😉

     
  56. Daniel de León

    August 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    You do know that collard greens are the signature dish of the rural black underclass in the USA, no?

    Best. Food. Evar.

     
  57. Will S.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I certainly like collard greens. I also like turnip greens, esp. the way Cracker Barrel does them, cooked with pork hocks, served with malt vinegar. Mmm, mmm!

     
  58. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    @DC,

    “He has an obsession with anal sex, which he sees as a metaphor for the ruination of modern women.”
    I’d say it’s one of the causes. I mean, really: they have a perfectly serviceable (sorry, pun intended!) orifice right next door. I cannot understand why that’s not good enough. And DC, thodomy ith a thin. (BTW, you, GBFM, SP, me: how many other ‘sphere bloggers are properly addressed as “doctor?” When I get into a position of power to do so, I am going to award an honorary doctorate to Roissy. You can bet you’ll want to save that commencement speech.)

    @Will, Daniel:
    Yes, throw a few hamhocks in there, and it’s REALLY good eatin’.

    Personal tale here: when I was a younger EA, I dated a girl who was a member of what we would call a minority group here in America, but she was not black. Anyhoo, she was invited to a dinner in honor of the “minority” people, in a lily-white state, to which she invited me. Let’s just say that if it were not meant as a welcoming gesture, it could have been interpreted as the most racist thing I ever saw. ALL the food was meant for African Americans, and it was ALL stereotypical: fried chicken, potato salad, collard greens, and, I kid you not, watermelon. It was the best meal I had that year, but my girl was not thrilled with the food. I have loved collard greens since.

     
  59. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    @Will,

    You know I love the Amish, and want every religion to become like them: separated from the world, popping out six kids, marrying young and fertile and for life. Still working on my system. We’ll write it together.

     
  60. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    @Will,

    Yes, I realize how intermingled the people of Alsace-Lorraine are, ethnically and racially, between German and France; I had an Alsatian-Lorrainian friend who, though French, used German names of some foods instead of the French ones, like ‘kartoffelsalat’ or something for potato salad, etc.

    Alsatian might be my favorite cuisine: German ingredients and quantity, French elan. There’s a place I go to twice a year that make a choucroute garni that is out of this world, and their Baekeoffe is not only German in name, but German in meat quantity.

    And it’s the only part of France where they brew a decent beer. Really, after WWI, the Germans should have insisted that Alsace become a separate country, part of the lands of Lothar meant to buffer the Franks from the rest of the Germans. We’d all have been better off.

     
  61. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I sometimes use the title “Dr”, and sometimes not. I did in my last job, which was in environmental risk assessment. I put it on a form when I went to a new dentist recently. I think it helps if they think you know some stuff too. The guy addressed me as “Dr [my first name], until I asked him to stop. He is a Muslim and was probably trying to be polite. But I am just “Mr” for most purposes lately, including on the school board I sit on.

    On anal sex, well, I have done this with a woman. It is a different feel. And, yes, of course it is a sin, a serious one. And I don’t do it any more. But I can see the appeal.

    GBFM is just obsessed with the topic. Yes, it is a sin, but not as bad as abortion. I just find his obsession with “butthex secretly taped by Bernankifided pubhlishing slutts” tiresome.

     
  62. David Collard

    August 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    What is your doctorate in, ElectricAngel?

     
  63. electricangel1978

    August 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Computer Science.

     
  64. Will S.

    August 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    @ EA: Yes, I know you like the Amish. I myself admire them, for their integrity, in trying to maintain their purity; that said, I think their as-near-as-possible complete separation from the rest of the world is incorrect, as I don’t think they get much opportunity to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ as Christ called us to be, to the earth and the world. I’m not sure their lifestyle is all that compatible with Catholicism, either; as far as I know, Roman Catholicism emphasizes the need to be in the world as a witness as much as the Reformed tradition does. I mean, monks and nuns get to be separate, but the rest of Catholics are called to live in the world, but not be of it, no? Same with us Calvinists.

    I think Alsace-Lorraine as another Switzerland, a buffer, neutral state, would have made much sense…

     

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