(Read on for a brief personal update, and a preview of the new season of posts, which should begin dropping in the not too distant future, right here at The Filter.)
I’m writing this from a cafe in Brickell, Miami. Ten days ago we left our waterfront home in the Keys. The house should appear on MLS tomorrow. On Thursday, the four of us will leave Miami for Ontario. Two days after landing in Toronto, I’ll fly back out to Europe to try and secure housing for us there (much more on that later). For those not aware, Canada is now a left-wing theocracy with a regime media so compliant it might embarrass Jennifer Rubin. Meanwhile, health care service in Ontario is approaching third-wold levels, and not the good kind where you can get surgery and a vacation for less than the cost of an ’09 Civic, more like the bad kind where you have to wait 10 hours for emergency room service, and if you’re lucky they’ll bring the around the MAID cart and offer a painless exit for the long suffering, albeit toe-tag first.
So while we’ll spend a few weeks in Canada visiting my wife’s family, I want to get us out of there with no further delay. While on the topic of Canada, though, I should note that they just banned foreigners from buying property for two years, which is a Very Big Deal. This is being done in the hopes of delivering a coup-de-gras to their magical housing market, which has so far absorbed multiple blows with barely a jitter. I see homes in Toronto listed right now for $5 million (CDN play money) that were offered for under $800k when I first arrived in 2007. And if you’re wondering about local wages during that time period, I assure you they didn’t 6x. A lot of immigrants did move in during that time period, not just my family, and many of them eventually bought homes, us included.
A new word of the year
At the beginning of 2022, I wrote about my word of the year, “caring”. This year’s word, which as per usual popped into my head a few weeks before New Year’s Eve, is “chaos”, which only begins to describe what we’ve been through so far and what lies ahead.
On one hand, this is the perfect word for me, and should be easier to wrestle with than caring. Do you know about the muppet theory of personalities? In this scheme, everyone’s either an order muppet or a chaos muppet. Kermit is order. Miss Piggy is chaos. Bert is order. Ernie is chaos. If you know the muppets, you can keep going with the rest. If you know your family members, you can probably label them with barely a second’s thought.
One of my two brothers is a full-on order muppet. He’s so by-the-book it sometimes confuses me. My other brother, and myself, we are both extreme chaos muppets who’ve tried to construct strong guard-rails to keep life under control. My brother has largely succeeded a this. He bought a modest Chicago condo a decade ago, kept most of the airBnB style decorations as is, and has lived there ever since. Meanwhile, that house in the Keys we’re about to list is the 7th home I’ve lived in during that same time period, not counting various periods of purgatory spent at hotels to bridge a gap, like what we’re doing right now.
The good thing about a chaotic life is that it can bring lots of good energy, and good things, into your life. Three of those homes we got to live in were gorgeous, including the last one in the Keys, and nothing in the last year has made me happier than beginning round two of parenthood with twins.
The downside of my particular brand of chaos muppetism is that I don’t dare unpack all my boxes for fear that something will uproot my life as soon as I do. Also, while chaos muppets often take a perverse pleasure in disrupting things (think The Joker), it can be awkward for us when the world itself devolves into incoherence. Also also, not all of us chaos muppets just want to see the world burn, and certainly not literally.
As I write this, the great progressive project of the 20th century, the one to perfect mankind, has gone super nova. Very soon, if it hasn’t already happened, somebody will suggest with a straight face that at least 15% of Hollywood leading roles for women should be reserved for trans women (#oscarsSoCis). Which makes perfect sense if you think about it in the context of our present moment. I often think we’re on a cultural, economic, and social path that resembles podcaster Dan Carlin’s take on how WWII played out. He called it “Logical Insanity”.
I may be a chaos muppet, but I prefer not to live in Lagos (though I enjoyed living in chaotic Cochabamba when I was much younger). Nor do I want to risk being vaporized by the heat of a thousand suns because America’s elites are fearlessly playing a game of golden Jenga, wherein each tiny brick they slide out fattens their pockets with the sale of a tank or a stinger missile, but also causes the tower of global peace to totter ever more perilously. Unfortunately for those of us without access to a blast-proof bunker, this is a late-stage empire dilemma with no game-theoretic way out. But if everyone around you is looting the treasury and damn the risks, what’s your own best move? Logical insanity is basically baked into the cake at this point.
Leaning around the chaos
I don’t have any hope that my family will achieve long-term stability this year, even after exiting the US once again. I’ll write more about the specifics of my Europe strategy, and why it was chosen, over the course of the year to come. I also have drafts of a number of Filter posts in various stages of doneness, awaiting their moment to be plucked out of the pile and spit-shined to perfection. In no particular order, here’s a sampling of what awaits subscribers in this chaotic year ahead, assuming I get to these before the literal end of times:
A deep dive into the Insurgency Paradox, a topic I mentioned briefly during my appearance with Pete Quinones on his podcast
More on the idea of the Dim Age, which I discussed with Vin Armani back in 2020
Understanding the regime as the wind
Understanding your individual investments, and purchases, as ecosystems
Partial entailment Consequentialism, the one true moral philosophy for life
The rise of Emmiseration Capitalism and, relatedly…
How to keep on the right side of the growing peasant/lord divide
Metric swapping and mass psychosis
Sane investing in a hyper-chaotic world
Why life is both easier and harder than ever before
The Bad Jailor dilemma
And much, much more! Stick around, and if you haven’t yet done so, make sure to subscribe now.
Cannot wait to read about “why Europe” From afar it looks like the place is circling the drain and is in much worse shape than USA and especially Florida
great word for the year! mine was commitment. last years was gratitude. and as a fellow choas muppet i get it and all the moves. looking forward to hearing the year going forward and remember that in this year of the water rabbit if you're not self possessed you're lunch!