On the increasing load diversity is placing upon mighty shoulders
analysis and long form, free, text
The oddball alternative rock band The Flaming Lips have a bittersweet song in their somewhat neglected canon called Waiting For Superman. The song depicts the masses once again in need of saving and once again they await their lord and saviour, Superman. Superman in this context is a postmodern stand-in for a Higher-Entity whom they call upon whenever things take a turn for the worse. In this way, the mass becomes infantilized and sheepish. This time, however, things are different, this time the weight is simply too much for their hero and he isn’t coming, even if he did it’s beyond his capabilities.
Waitin' for Superman
That they should try to hold on best they can
He hasn't dropped them
Forgotten or anything
It's just too heavy for Superman to lift
The Overman hasn’t forgotten, he knows about the crisis, it’s just that this time you’re on your own because he can’t do the lifting anymore. Sorry bozos, you had a good thing going for a while there and now it’s over and you’re going to be feeling some belated harsh realities the man in the cape cushioned you from. The squawking, never-satisfied chick and its ungrateful gaping gullet just fell out of the fluffy nest and into the bramble patch below.
Nobody could ever accuse Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush of playing life safe in a luxurious nest (which he could amply afford). Indeed, few things on earth are as risky as building a submarine out of carbon fiber, disregarding pretty much in toto the safety regulations and myriad deep-sea exploration protocols before using a games console control pad — running only on Wi-Fi — for a trip down to the Titanic wreck without having any tracking devices attached to the vessel while being bolted into the thing from outside!
The term ‘‘pretty experimental craft’’ has been doing a lot of heavy lifting this week, with a variety of naval experts and wreckage recovery engineers sometimes letting slip that — if they were to be brutally honest — they wouldn’t have trusted Rush’s contraption to submerge them safely to the bottom of the local paddling pool.
This infographic depicts the nature of the paddling pool Rush was sinking into:
Carbon fiber is lighter than titanium, which was convenient for Rush because he could slip in more passengers at $250,000 a pop which, again, conveniently, neatly amounted to a million dollars per trip. One passenger was a French marine veteran Paul-Henri Nargeolet who was knowledgeable enough to be able to explain to the others that they’d freeze at the bottom if they didn’t get crushed under the implosion or suffocate first.
It is at this point in the story that you can understandably ask where the voice of reason was in all of this. Surely there was a bureaucracy or institution somewhere to place a firm but paternalistic hand on Rush’s shoulder to try and elicit some sort of rethink.
And indeed there was:
One gets the impression that the guy writing the letter for the Marine Technology Society would be reminiscent of a 90s-era Gene Hackman. Stern and capable, experienced, and used to taking decisions that either grant or take lives. A pragmatic ex-military man in his 50s, and most certainly white. Stockton Rush, then, was being given a wake-up call by his peers who were saying in their own way ‘‘This insanity will end in disaster and ruin the reputation of marine exploration. Please stop this!’’.
Luckily for Rush — not so luckily for his passengers — he was easily able to brush aside these concerns from, as he put it ‘‘boring white men in their 50s’’. In 2020 Rush’s Oceangate Expeditions proudly announced on Twitter an all-female line-up of engineers and scientists, managers, and submarine pilots. The rest, as they say, is history.
In all probability, Stockton Rush wasn’t actually ‘‘woke’’ himself. Rather, the governing bodies of marine exploration have not yet been captured or are seen as areas of minor interest to the power structure so they have remained relatively white and male. Having run afoul of his peers, Rush was probably well aware that leaning into the language and hiring practices of the regime allowed him a powerful ally and the prospect of snubbing his erstwhile seafaring colleagues. It isn’t difficult to understand why a bunch of boffins out in the Atlantic or Pacific measuring the load-bearing potential of winches in a squall would be deemed less interesting to the Eye of Soros than Disney’s hiring quotas or transing the beer commercials.
To put it another way, on the periphery of Globohomo there still exists outposts, institutions that function in a relatively normal and ostensibly meritocratic manner. An old guard of white men in their 50s dutifully carries on the work of civilizational maintenance, while transexuals strip naked and prance about next to the President on the White House lawn. This is perhaps our own version of veteran Roman legionaries freezing in Germania while their Emperor Caligula conversed with the Moon back in Rome.
Regular readers of this publication will by now be familiar with what drove Rush into the endless murky deep regardless of risk. And true to form, he leaned into a dangerous pact, one of his safety chiefs was a young female TikTok poster.
Unfortunately for Rush and his passengers, they seem to have missed a weighty article that appeared in Palladium Mag earlier in the month by the very white and 50s-sounding Harold Robertson called Complex Systems Won’t Survive The Competence Crisis.
In his sobering analysis, Robertson claims diversity hiring is gnawing away like saltwater on iron at the very complex system which constitutes the U.S and the West generally:
Think of the American system as a series of concentric rings with the government at the center. Directly surrounding that are the organizations that receive government funds, then the nonprofits that influence and are subject to policy, and finally business at the periphery. Since the era of the Manhattan Project and the Space Race, the state capacity of the federal government has been declining almost monotonically.
While this has occurred for a multitude of reasons, the steel girders supporting the competency of the federal government were the first to be exposed to the saltwater of the Civil Rights Act and related executive orders. Government agencies, which are in charge of overseeing all the other systems, have seen the quality of their human capital decline tremendously since the 1960s. While the damage to an agency like the Department of Agriculture may have long-term deadly consequences, the most immediate danger is at safety-critical agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In recent years the FAA has issued a multitude of reports and held conferences in a vain attempt to address the dramatic increase in near misses besetting its flight paths and runways. In theory, the remedy is simple: hire based on merit and set policies in place that favour ‘‘high human capital’’ as Robertson somewhat cautiously names it.
In practice the problem is less easily solved, as Robertson writes:
The result has been clear: any time meritocracy and diversity come into direct conflict, diversity must take priority.
The project underway is unprecedented and unheard of in history. Western civilization is a network of complex systems within networks relying on extraordinarily advanced engineering and scientific brilliance. It is also a creation of white men. The ongoing project of the current regime is to replace those white men, seemingly entirely, with diversity and expect either everything to continue as usual or to actively improve the system as a whole. In what amounts to a ‘‘Civilization of Theseus’’ scenario bit by bit, one diversity quota at a time, white men will be purged and replaced with the clients of Power, and everything will be fine.
Until, of course, things aren’t fine.
When news broke that Stockton Rush’s ill-fated deep-sea expedition had disappeared at 3000m — the depth at which he was told he’d come a cropper — it was then taken for granted that the rescue operation would be carried out by highly capable white men in their 50s. No questions asked. White men would cancel their games of golf and their fishing trips and be helicoptered out to the Atlantic where they would man advanced sonar equipment and quite possibly have to climb into a submersible — that actually worked because they designed it — and sink down into the gloom after the man who’d eschewed every bit of advice he’d been given.
Before the news broke that Rush and all onboard had died instantly in an implosion, it was speculated that they were resting and slowly asphyxiating down by the Titanic, four kilometers down on the sea-bed. The mainstream media then began showing an oxygen countdown clock in a macabre recreation of a Hollywood 90s action movie. Suddenly, our screens were crammed full of boring white men in their 50s who were asked to explain how they would lift a small submarine off the bottom of the ocean. The sugar coating gradually dissolved when it had to be explained that no ships had suitable cables 20km in length, and even if there were, there were no cranes that could lift a vessel off the sea-bed at that depth and 5500 lbs per square inch.
It was ‘‘too heavy to lift’’.
Sorry folks, but Superman can’t save you this time. You’re on your own.
Superman could not put new batteries in the game controller or prevent the carbon fiber hull from crumpling like a paper cup. Neither could he attach a homing beacon or re-engineer the portals so they could open from the inside.
Superman will be absent when the planes fall from the sky and when there’s a Chernobyl in Cumbria. When diverse quality control departments give the stamp of approval to railway lines that snap and pesticides far beyond what’s fit for human consumption, Superman will be playing golf.
Americans living today are the inheritors of systems that created the highest standard of living in human history. Rather than protecting the competency that made those systems possible, the modern preference for diversity has attenuated meritocratic evaluation at all levels of American society. Given the damage already done to competence and morale combined with the natural exodus of baby boomers with decades worth of tacit knowledge, the biggest challenge of the coming decades might simply be maintaining the systems we have today.
The problem is a negotiation between diversity and meritocracy amounts to a discussion between equality and white supremacy. The framing is now baked into law and the very ether of the political and corporate institutions from which it emanates like an ooze. A triumph of meritocracy would, in the view of Power, be a triumph of white supremacy and therefore anathema to the very foundational mythos of the current hegemonic ideology.
This societal arthritis, inflicted from above, will see an ever-decreasing pool of what Robertson graciously calls ‘‘competence’’ trying to dowse an exponentially increasing amount of incompetence’s brushfires. At the same time, the core population mass will expect living standards to remain consistent or even improve. It is taken for granted in the West that when you flush a toilet it only works in one direction, that when you flick a switch the lights come on, and when you become trapped or stranded on some fool-hardy adventure a benevolent and all caring guiding hand will swoop in with his technological acumen and save you. He’ll fix the system and then give you a cheeky wink before flying off to the next job.
He won’t be coming forever, because he is overwhelmed and it’d be racist and white supremacist to try and lighten the load on his overburdened shoulders. Tragically, it probably will not be for the lack of trying.
As the Flaming Lips put it:
He hasn't dropped them
Forgotten or anything
It's just too heavy for Superman to lift