Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Unseemly

I think people are not getting the point of my last post.

Everyone is putting forward their ideas for the “moron problem” as Jim Donald puts it.
Honestly I don’t think that’s rocket science. We know what to do. We do what we have been doing for centuries. Ask Gregory Clark for details.

But that’s not the thing. Nobody gives a shit about the long term sustainability of society. What people care about is feeling good about themselves.
Now imagine there’s a choice between:

1-Being part of a tribe/thede/country in which the low-skilled are put to work in coal mines and worked to death without leaving descendants.
2-Being part of a tribe/thede/country which is so fucking awesome that poverty doesn’t exist because we take care of everyone!

Well obviously 2 is a superior choice. And that’s because people don’t want to see poor people around. They don’t want to be reminded of the existence of poverty. Lest their become poor themselves.
What’s the point of being rich if there are poor people around in the same country? What’s this, India? Not even Indians like India.

And that’s why everyone likes the minimum wage.

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23 responses to “Unseemly

  1. Red April 1, 2013 at 04:05

    “2-Being part of a tribe/thede/country which is so fucking awesome that poverty doesn’t exist because we take care of everyone! ”

    This is what leads civilizations to destruction.

    The history of the past is periods where heavy genetic selection results in a superior group of people. This group then conquers, kills, and enslaves all the groups around them (Mongols, Bantu, Romans, Chinese, ect). Eventually that civilization softens and picks option 2. The society is then eventually overwhelmed by worthless people at every level. It then either dies or enters periods of extreme genetic cleansing that restores the stock.

    Worthless people are not just the under class either. The upper and middle classes produces a lot of worthless people as well. It’s just easier to push those people into the under class than to worry about eliminating them.

    • spandrell April 1, 2013 at 07:35

      I don’t blame them though. It’s a very natural way to think. Natural selection isn’t fun when it happens to you.

      • Red April 2, 2013 at 18:33

        Natural went out the window with the first civilization. You either shape your society (within bounds that appeal to human nature) or it returns to the level of killer apes.

        Civilization in many ways was an evolutionary shortcut. Instead of having to spend millions of years we found ways to breed force and breed ourselves into a construct that allowed for greater military force than would otherwise be possible. Our roots are still in that group of killer apes running around on the savanna and we do tend to revert to that level if allowed.

        • BD April 5, 2013 at 07:19

          Civilization is gay. Well, ultimately it isn’t even gay, it’s just asexual or haplodiploid at best. But on the way from converting a sexual species — a species made up of individual men and women — it has to mutilate their individuality to mold them into cells. It does this by promoting gayness, and any other perversion of genuine sex (the 600 million year old kind of sex) that is expedient in service of “being part of something greater than ourselves.”

          All attempts by civilization to be humane during this transition, such as the secular “Rule of Thumb” or the religions that place the man in authority over their wives and children (actually this was secular as codified in Roman law to the point that he could kill legally kill them) are ultimately to no avail so long as “civilization” is the overriding value.

          At the boundaries between the civil and natural worlds are pseudo-men:

          police (and other “first responders”), soldiers, frontiersmen (cowboys), etc. On these pesudo-men is heaped all the mutilated masculinity of civilization — a granting of temporary, revokable, strings-attached reprieve in limited circumstances. Playing on that pseudo-masculinity was the genius of The Village People.

          Those not sanctioned to have even this mutilated masculinity, but who nevertheless exhibit it, are raped in prison.

    • BD April 5, 2013 at 07:26

      Very early Africa is likely the origin of civilization via running packs of humans and the resulting near-eusociality. As some moved out of Africa, the environment, climate, wolf symbionts, etc. allowed them to recover a more individualistic character, but the eusociality trait is still latent and can be exploited.

      Centralization of male fecundity and male wealth come quite naturally to the Bantu.

      This used to be held in check by individual male combat — not boxing but real live tool-using kill-the-other-guy-with-everything-you’ve-got natural duels. Civilization took that defense against Africanization from us.

    • Greying Wanderer April 6, 2013 at 21:40

      “This is what leads civilizations to destruction.”

      What leads civilizations to destruction is a defected ruling elite that doesn’t give a shit about the long term sustainability of society. That infection then spreads downwards through elite emulation.

  2. jamesd127 April 1, 2013 at 13:29

    Suppose we have a minimum wage. But some people are not worth that, perhaps because they are stupid and lazy, perhaps because they are feckless, dishonest and destructive, and therefore need a lot of expensive supervision

    So, what do you do with those people? If you subsidize them, you get the problem we have now, which is that you get more of what you subsidize, and less of what you tax..

    • spandrell April 1, 2013 at 14:50

      Jim, I know. See above:
      I don’t think that’s rocket science. We know what to do. We do what we have been doing for centuries. Ask Gregory Clark for details.

      What I’m talking about is what *people* want. And people don’t want to live the Farewell to Alms. Downward mobility is unseemly. There may be a lot of ruin in a nation but not in *my* nation. My nation is cool.

      • jamesd127 April 1, 2013 at 21:21

        Well, yes, people want that everyone should be able and willing to earn a decent living. But the only way you are going to get that is to define “us” so that the downwardly mobile are not “us” – which is what happened in the society described by Gregory Clark.

        • spandrell April 1, 2013 at 23:25

          So then it’s only part of our children who fall into poverty. How sweet.

        • Greying Wanderer April 6, 2013 at 21:46

          “which is what happened in the society described by Gregory Clark.”

          No it isn’t. What happened was you couldn’t afford to marry unless you were reasonably prosperous and you couldn’t have children out of wedlock. This allowed social cohesion, charity and lots of other nice things while at the same time preventing dysgenic breeding. There are practical reasons for religion.

  3. Carl April 1, 2013 at 16:10

    Is it even possible for a high technology human society to sustain itself in a meaningful way, or will the cognitive biases of people always result in societal suicide? We know that people prefer pretty lies to truth. Presumably this was just as true in the past as it is today. So why is our society so uniquely stupid? Is it that technology has sufficiently insulated us from the short-term consequences of societal stupidity? That seems to me the only logical explanation, in which case it is a problem that will solve itself when the long term consequence of collapse is finally realized.

  4. jamesd127 April 2, 2013 at 01:49

    In the early nineteenth century, the law on marriage was pretty much new testament: Punitive divorce for female adultery, but not necessarily for male adultery. Husband is head of the household, etc.

    However, the marriage of George the fourth and Queen Caroline demonstrates that the actual practice was something much closer to the modern system where the husband is responsible for everything but has power over nothing. People stretched their quite sensible laws to accommodate practices that were distinctly twenty first century feminist.

    However, if we go back just a few decades earlier, they did not. So, cultural change, caused by the struggle for political power.

    • spandrell April 2, 2013 at 04:54

      There has been struggle for political power since…

      since we were one with the chimps probably. It never made us give women power. Do the Arabs don’t fight for power? Yet they don’t give power to women.

      There’s something else to it.

      • jamesd127 April 2, 2013 at 06:45

        Puritans have been playing the white knight card since before the english civil war. “We are more chivalrous than thou”

        Christianity was always more protective of women than its competitors. Women were entitled to gentle treatment so long as they were dutifully performing their role as wives and mothers. So since the puritan shtick was to be even more Christian than Christians …

        Poor Queen Caroline was a wronged women, since King George made no secret of the fact that he intended to use his mistresses for pleasure, while reluctantly doing his duty on her to beget heirs.

        However, the new testament, and english law at the time, said that sort of misbehavior was not grounds for refusing one’s husband sex, still less grounds for banging people other than one’s husband. So puritans, naturally, decided to be more new testament than the new testament. Back then they could not quite openly take the pro adultery position, but they took the marital rape position, and furtively took the pro adultery position by proclaiming that women were naturally so chaste and pure that no amount of evidence could possibly cast doubt on their chastity.

      • jamesd127 April 2, 2013 at 06:55

        The written law at the time was that if Caroline refused him, or had sex with someone else, he could peg her to the clothesline and thrash her like a rug. This seems reasonable to me. Freedom of contract requires that contracts can be enforced. Obviously there will always be some social pressure against such measures.

        “The taming of the shrew” presupposes that the husband could use such measures, but is under a great deal of social pressure to not do so, even when such measures are obviously justified, which again seems to me a reasonable system.

  5. Greying Wanderer April 6, 2013 at 21:56

    on-topic

    You’re right, people are tribal and that’s why homogenous countries like minimum wages – similarly healthcare. Diversity turns society into lots of mini-tribes and kills that motivation except among leftists who like increased state power for its own sake, idealists who see everyone as the same tribe and those who will personally get more out than they pay in *and* people in countries which are being wrecked by their ruling elite and who therefore feel very insecure about the future – so a pretty big majority.

  6. Greying Wanderer April 6, 2013 at 21:57

    “Empowering women had been part of the Puritan schtick from the beginning”

    Empowering women (up to a point) is neccessary for assortative mating.

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