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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. David Brain
    March 15, 2016 @ 10:33 am

    Hmmm. Reading this brought to mind a lot of issues that I had with Philip Pullman’s otherwise enjoyable retelling of Paradise Lost in the form of His Dark Materials. Because Pullman too has to resort to the Pascal God (which from now on I too will enjoy calling the Basilisk) – which he explicitly calls The Authority – in order for his bunch of strawmen arguments to work.

    And it feels to me as though Pullman also misunderstood Milton’s God, or, rather, preferred to adopt what might be considered to be the “traditional” line, rather than addressing the scholarship. (I’m not assuming that he didn’t, mind you, but Pullman doesn’t seem to give much more than a surface reading of PL. Not that he should, of course, but there’s a dangerous Dawkins-like sense of smugness about his approach at times.)


    • John Biles
      March 16, 2016 @ 2:09 am

      The God of His Dark Materials isn’t a very good critique of the Christian God; the metaphysics of the world bear little resemblance to Christian belief. If anything, this is closer to the God of Gnosticism. The Magesterium does work as a critique of all the bad stuff Christian churches have gotten up to over the years, though.

      I can see some parallels of Roko’s Basilisk to Pascal’s Wager, though R’s B is a lot weaker argument (and Pascal’s wager itself has a lot of problems). Roko’s Basilisk is based on a lot of transhumanist delusions of things we have little reason to think will come to pass. Computing capacity can’t just keep increasingly infinitely and anything based on the assumption we’re living in a simulation now is even more delusional.


    • Froborr
      March 16, 2016 @ 9:11 am

      On the other hand, Pullman’s God does work pretty well as a critique of C.S. Lewis’, which makes sense given his stated intent to write the anti-Narnia.


  2. Alan
    March 16, 2016 @ 7:52 am

    The only thing of Yudkowsky’s I’ve read is Methods of Rationality, and while it’s a flawed work, I think I’ll always have a soft spot for it due to Yudkowsky’s commentary about Randian Objectivism. At first, Harry is just mildly contemptuous of Atlas Shrugged. But then, when Tom Riddle finally tells Harry his backstory, he stands revealed as an Randian Monster, someone who throws of the Sanction of the Victim and then takes the next logical step: that if there’s no one who can stop you, why /shouldn’t/ you become a genocidal monster and kill anyone who annoys you if doing so brings you pleasure? And at the end, Hermione delivers a response to Ayn Rand that basically boils down to “people should do good for it’s own sake without worrying about the fact that other people aren’t.” Which sounds puerile the way I just described it, but in context made me want to fist-pump and say “Ha! Take that, John Galt!”


  3. Froborr
    March 16, 2016 @ 9:12 am

    Ah yes, this bit. Contains my likely pick for best paragraph in the whole book.


  4. Anthony D Herrera
    March 16, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

    My biggest takeaway from this is that you should be teaching young people at a college. And not a cheap one either.


  5. Matt
    March 16, 2016 @ 10:44 pm

    “racist hicks are awesome forces of abstract horror”

    And appealing to whites without a college education (not all of whom are racist hicks) is a key play by a certain individual seeking the Republican Presidential nomination.

    This seems to be tearing apart the conservative movement:

    Phil – How do you feel the current events in the US electoral process relate to Neoreaction? Or is it all just so much noise?


    • Alan
      March 17, 2016 @ 6:14 am

      I’ve seen excerpts from the Williamson piece. I’m almost amazed to see a writer at the Nationalist Review (America’s #! White Supremecist Magazine!) actually come out and say that he thought poor whites are just as loathsome as poor blacks. My deepest regret about the Obama Administration is that the man himself never even tried to sit down with poor black and poor whites and explain to them who was keeping them both in the gutter.


  6. Green
    February 17, 2020 @ 8:37 pm

    Wow! the gems that can found. Beautifully done, sorry i am so late to the party,


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