Heading For The Ideological Singularity
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From Malcolm at the Red Shift blog, with a hat tip to Foseti:

A position that was publicly held by the President less than a year ago—a neutral position at that, namely mixed feelings about gay marriage—is now bigoted extremism.

I have floated the term “hate creep” for this phenomenon.  Looking to the future of hate creep, Malcolm comes up with an interesting, and so far as I know original, metaphor.

It seems to me that there is a sort of ideological “singularity”, somewhere not far off in the distance, that we are accelerating toward. That singularity would represent the Omega point of the concurrent, onrushing streams of liberal opinion; it would be characterized by absolute non-discrimination, and rejection or elimination of all human differences, as well as by the abrogation of all traditional values, and of belief in objective human truths, in favor of a radical subjectivity in which everyone creates his own self, and his own model of reality, entirely ex nihilo, with no higher aim than maximizing the enjoyment of this brief flicker of life.

That singularity was a long way off, not so long ago. But as our world now begins to approach it more closely, the tidal pull between the side facing it and the side farthest away is becoming much stronger indeed, and very quickly. Before much longer the very ground we stand on will begin to break apart. You’ll see.

You need a little physics to understand the metaphor, but Malcolm supplies it.

So as we get closer to the singularity, the hate creep becomes a hate plunge, followed by a hate rip.

I do think Malcolm’s on to something.  The current state ideology of the West—utopian egalitarianism—is crazy and getting crazier real fast.  There must be some kind of ideological crisis ahead.

It’s hard to say what form the crisis will take, though I’ve ventured a guess. It's the very nature of singularities that when you hit one, all bets are off.

Incidentally, while Malcolm is right about the terrific tidal forces near a black hole, he doesn’t really need the full strangeness of black hole physics for his analogy.  I’ll fill it in.

So you’re falling down towards a black hole with a spacetime singularity at its center.  You are of course—this is relativistic stuff—carrying a large clock, which remote observers with telescopes can see.

As you drop towards the spherical “event horizon” that shields the hideous singularity from view, those remote observers see you slowing down.  Your clock runs slower, too.  (And yes, you’re being torn apart by tidal forces, but we’ll ignore that.) 

Your speed of fall gets less and less, and your clock runs slower and slower (as remote observers see these things), so that you will never actually reach the event horizon.  You’ll just get infinitely close, as you and your clock run infinitely slow.

That’s as seen by remote observers.  As seen by you, your fall gets faster and faster, you drop through the event horizon at a finite time, and head for the singularity!


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