How to respond to hostile media inquiries

You receive a nice letter like this:

From: Tess Townsend <>
Subject: Media inquiry, deadline 10 am PST: LambdaConf (4 questions)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 14:04:27 +0000
Hi Curtis,
I’m writing a story about the controversy over LambdaConf retaining you as a speaker this year. Had some trouble tracking down contact information for you. Can you please respond to the following questions by 10 a.m.? Also, I have seen the Medium post you wrote in response to the controversy, just as an FYI.
1) Some have suggested you apply through blind application processes at various conferences as a means of trolling — that you apply so that, upon discovery of your writings, conferences that have accepted you as a speaker face controversy over allowing you to speak. What is your response to this suggestion?
2) Do you agree with the institution of slavery? Do you believe some races are better suited than others for enslavement or bondage?
3) What is your general response to conference goers who think your talk should be canceled?
Thank you,

You just got to work. It’s 9am. How do you handle it? Just tell the truth:

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:28:46 -0700
Subject: Re: Media inquiry, deadline 10 am PST: LambdaConf (4 questions)
To: Tess Townsend <>
1. No, I apply because I want to talk about Urbit.
I was certainly surprised by the Strange Loop controversy. In retrospect I shouldn’t have been. I think that, if I make any mistake, I keep underestimating the integrity of the organizers. I’m obviously impressed with John de Goes (LambdaConf), but I’m not even slightly mad at Alex Miller (Strange Loop).
I am honestly not sure how you blind an application of this type. For me or for anyone, but especially for me, since the technology is so unusual. I just assume that either they won’t want to deal with this Brown Scare nonsense, which is totally and completely and utterly understandable, and will just reject the application quietly on this basis; or that they actually won’t find the technology interesting (which is a little hard to imagine, but I’m biased); or that they will take a position that requires integrity.
I certainly underestimated how much integrity it would require. OMG, it’s getting creepy out there.
2. As Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick observed in the ’70s (see his short parable The Tale of the Slave), “slavery” is not a single institution. Something roughly matching the word has existed in all societies, including our own. Mass incarceration is a well-known phenomenon in the US today, for instance, and the Constitution explicitly defines “involuntary servitude” to include it. Likewise, the reason the word “emancipation” is used both for separating a child from parental control, and freeing a slave, is that all these terms arise from the Roman law, in which “slave” meant roughly “adult unrelated dependent.”
If we expand the definition of dependency from persons to institutions, we see that various kinds of debt slavery are common in societies today. It is impossible to precisely define “debt slavery,” but one good dividing line is whether or not debt can be shed in bankruptcy. Kind of hard to keep debt slavery going if the peons can declare bankruptcy. Oddly, there’s one institution in our society with the privilege to issue irrevocable debt: the university system. When I and my henchmen seize power, your student loans are cancelled! Just kidding, I have no “henchmen.”
But what most people mean is “the institution of 1850s North American slavery as defined by my received historical image.” This image comes from a variety of popular sources, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Roots to Django Unchained. I definitely do not approve of this institution! This image is more or less accurate across various historical periods. In the Americas it is most accurate in the Deep South and still more the West Indies, Brazil, etc. On the other hand, the philosopher Epictetus and the playwright Terence were slaves. “Adult unrelated dependent” is a pretty broad concept.
3. I think it’s totally understandable. America is a communist country and they’re communists. Not everyone is cut out to be a weirdo, misfit or dissident.
My critics are behaving very appropriately and effectively within the moral system they were trained in. Frankly, I admire them. They strike me as natural aristocrats, and I think they would be excellent people in a better world. They are intelligent, energetic, industrious, and often even witty. I would be happy to hand absolute power over to any one of them. Two would be unstable and a junta of any more than three would be downright dangerous. It’s not even the staffing that’s the problem with USG, just the org chart.
I don’t like living in a world governed by an enormous informal oligarchy of this type, but it is what it is. I certainly try to comply with both its formal laws and its informal rules, especially its rules on public speech. I certainly can do a better job of complying diligently with the latter, and I will going forward.

But you forgot something:

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:49:57 -0700
Subject: Re: Media inquiry, deadline 10 am PST: LambdaConf (4 questions)
From: Curtis Yarvin <>
To: Tess Townsend <>
Tess, an alert cow orker notified me that I’d neglected to mention the second part of (2).
My answer: I think all races are too little suited for enslavement or bondage. I regard the ability to follow, obey, and/or serve as a critical human talent. I think this talent (which, like all talents, is a mixture of birth and training) is increasingly rare and incredibly precious. There’s an old Prussian Army saying that I adore: “those who wish to command must first learn to obey.” I personally am not a very good follower, and as a result not a very good commander.
If there is a physiological basis for this talent, which there is for most talents, this physiological basis is likely to be distributed unevenly across the human species. And it is not always evenly demonstrated. I don’t know if we can say biologically that part of the genius of the African-American people is the talent they showed in enduring slavery. But this is certainly true in a cultural and literary sense. In any case, it is easiest to admire a talent when one lacks it, as I do.

It’s very important to be pleasant. You have to remember: this isn’t personal.

From: Tess Townsend <>
To: Curtis Yarvin <>
Subject: RE: Media inquiry, deadline 10 am PST: LambdaConf (4 questions)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:03:13 +0000
Thank you for your thorough responses. I would like to pose the questions in point 2 again, but as yes or no questions. The context of the longer responses is helpful but not entirely clear from a yes or no perspective.
Do you agree with the institution of slavery? (Yes or no)
Do you believe some races are better suited than others for enslavement or bondage? (Yes or no)

You have to tell the truth. But if you can’t use your own definitions, the truth is defined in the words the question is asked in:

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 10:04:50 -0700
From: Curtis Yarvin <>
To: Tess Townsend <>
No and no.

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