Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Divide and poke in the eye

Most of the discussions in the reactosphere are very abstract. Knowledge of HBD and a certain command of history does that to you. What is human nature? How does it translate to politics? If there are many human natures, how do they translate into politics? While the mainstream goes on 2300 years after Aristotle, still discussing particular constitutions, laws or policies, we go beyond all that and see what is moving the general patterns that create the constitutions, laws and policies.

This gives us greater understanding of the big picture, but little influence in the actual political process. After all, all politics are local, and all change is incremental. We might be right that democracy per se is a dysfunctional system, but you can’t just go around saying that we must scrap democracy, as it doesn’t work because of the inbreeding or the Dunbar number.

Hereditarianism does explain a lot, and is the single most predictive theory on human (or simply biological) matters, but the fact remains that it doesn’t explain everything. The upper bound of IQ heritability is 0.8, people of the same genetic stock do behave quite differently depending on the culture they were raised on. Macro speaking, Taiwan and China, North and South Korea. Micro, you have siblings who develop quite different personalities. Today we are starting to understand that whatever is left after accounting for heredity, is less a function of parenting or schooling than peer pressure and milieu conditioning (the Dunbar group they happen to belong with). All in all, people are not as malleable as blank slatists in the Cathedral would like them to be, but there is still some large margin for them to argue that their intervention can raise outcomes.

As long as there is any window for Cathedral busybodies to ascertain the need for their intervention, hereditarianism isn’t going to change much. So what is IQ inheritability is 0.8. We still have 0.2 left to justify huge government programs! We can still close the Gap.

Many dissenters, famously the late Lawrence Auster, argued that opposition to Progressivist must be total, absolute and unforgiving. No concessions must be made to the enemy’s ideology. Progressivism is false because its premises are false, and the consequences of its theology are twisted and evil. I admit that as a man I liked very much his approach. Massive frontal assault, take no prisoners, fight to the end. All very appealing to my teenage boy heart. But it’s hard to fight against a coherent, steady block of zealots if your faith isn’t at list as strong. And ours isn’t, as I said before we still lack data to be able to prove all our points. Everything we have is much more truthful and consistent than what the Cathedral has, and even half truths are better than the obvious lies that the Cathedral holds as their dear faith. But you can’t raise an army with nuance and common sense.

A common conclusion to this realization has been to stop giving a shit. Moldbug famously said that activism is inherently progressive, so reactionaries must be passive in politics. A might example of making virtue out of necessity. He might be fooling himself but he isn’t fooling most of us. He did more for anti-leftist activism than anybody else in decades. But of course he couldn’t go further because he doesn’t know what else to do. We can talk and read and argue but we know we can’t fight Progressivism in the real world. We don’t even agree with each other on what we want to do.

So given that we can’t go all in into the political process, yet we do have things to contribute, what happened to incrementalism? Of all the points of the reactosphere, not all of them are radioactive, illegal hate facts. Anything that smells of HBD of course will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and will get you into trouble. But some ideas are eminently reasonable, and normal people who don’t directly work for the Cathedral will find it hard to disagree with them. I have been trying some of these in my real life interaction and the results are encouraging.

A comment in my last post was a good example of non-aggressive incremental policy proposal:

William WilberfangJuly 19, 2013 at 20:40(Edit)

Someone should push a pro-family/fertilty tax cut: a 5-10% cut for each child that one has. This way the non-taxpayers don’t get a subsidy and those with higher incomes get a greater discount in absolute terms. Of course it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the real purpose of such a policy, but at least it seems more palatable. It doesn’t discriminate by race per se and it’s doesn’t mention the heritability of intelligence. Maybe something like that could slip by the PC-radar, probably not though. It’s soft eugenics.

Anybody who pays taxes and cares about natality will agree with this. Given that cash payments per baby are on force on most of the developing world and the results are quite meager, this sort of proposal could get some attention.

Another idea I have been pushing around is disenfranchising public sector workers. This is a much more radical policy, the backslash from the bureaucracy of course would be massive; but most people today have a good understanding of what interest groups are, and the idea that public sector workers have different incentives from the rest of the voters is easy to explain. When you think about it, the most important idea on the reactosphere is that democracy has to go. Restricting the franchise on racial or gender grounds is of course supreme sacrilege. But a more moderate libertarian-ish argument is more palatable for most people.

I’d rather not scare away my real world acquaintances with maximalist HBD arguments, but I find it increasingly harder to shut up when people parrots Cathedral nonsense. Small, incremental, self-evident arguments are a good way of standing your ground without having to face the Inquisition and potential ostracism. Any other good ideas? The same way that PUAs have a list of pick up lines and share the results their get, perhaps we could have a list of tiny, smart ideas to poke in the Cathedral’s eye and open small fractures in their coalition. As the Japanese, say, when dust piles up it becomes mountains.

Basic Logic

It looks like Radish was quitting, but it seems they’re staying in the end. Quitting is lame, if you can’t find the time or inspiration you can always do like Eric Falkenstein and simply slow down a bit.

I, on the other hand have been neglecting the blog lately. I’ve been busy with work and family, and I must say this Snowden business has disturbed me quite a bit. I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve also been playing Civilization a lot. The new expansion is amazing.

Anyway, I’ve been visiting family after quite some time, and I’ve been having some neoreactionary lapses which have proved very interesting.

Most of my family is fairly mainstream conservative, the kind of people that call themselves moderate or centrist. No extremism in them. God forbid that. They know very well who holds the megaphone and how they should never contradict it. But of course old people do have their own issues of concern, and they like to have an opinion in things that aren’t contradicted by the megaphone.

A big issue in the family lately is natality. A lot of cousins giving birth lately. Most of them quite old, 30+, and so they can’t expect many more babies in the future. That is something they like to complain about. And I like to participate.

Uncle: “Young people these days, you know. Nobody has babies. At this rate we’ll have no people left.”

Me: “Yeah well but what can you do. Women are busy working, and most people don’t have enough money to buy a home big enough for a family.”

Uncle: “Yes. The government should do something.”

Me: “Like what.”

Uncle: “Well if people don’t have money, well give them money. A subsidy for babies. Babies will pay taxes eventually.”

Me: “That’s all right, but if you set a certain amount of money to give people who have children, the incentive will be stronger to people with lower incomes. Say if you give them 10k a year per child, that’s a big incentive for someone who makes 10k a year in some odd job. But for a highly skilled engineer making 100k, it’s hardly an incentive at all.”

Uncle: “Yeah well. So?”

Me: “Which means that any subsidy to childbirth will produce a higher birthrate from people with lower incomes compared to people with higher incomes. And you don’t want that.”

Uncle (pauses to think): “Wait a second.”

Me: “On average people with lower incomes produce lower skilled children.”

Uncle: “Yes…”

Me: “Because intelligence is inheritable.”

Uncle (shudders, looks away): “Well…”

Me: “In the same way as height is.”

Uncle (suddenly with a very sanctimonious tone): “I’m not sure about that…”

Me: “There’s tons of studies proving it.”

Uncle: “You know, studies… you can prove anything these days.”

It’s funny because my uncle is 10cm taller than my father. And his children are 10cm taller than me! But of course acknowledging that intelligence is inheritable fired up his PC sensor. It wasn’t immediate though, I noticed him stopping to think for some seconds. I imagine his thought sequence was:

If intelligence is inheritable -> we should discourage dumb people from having children -> so the government should measure everyone -> and discriminate against dumb people -> did you just say discriminate? -> ALERT ALERT STOP NOW

My uncle is an old, middle level engineer, not highly educated so it’s not that he needs to be PC or that he was brainwashed at college. It happened very naturally that once I said “inheritable” a few seconds later he was about to reply “but that’s what the Naz…” when Aunt came by and interrupted the conversation.

I could tell hundreds of such anecdotes, when people listen to you in good faith, follow your logic, understand it, but a few seconds later go CRIMESTOP and refuse to go further. That won’t change until we grab the megaphone. And we never will.

Language is a badge of tribal membership

I dig linguistics, and I dig HBD, so how do you join them both? I’ve had this idea for some time now, but I hadn’t written about it lest some guy stole it and wrote a book before I did. 

It seems I’ll have to give up on that, as science is fast catching up with my awesome blog (see, I just pulled a Half Sigma here). Razib Khan quotes a recent study in Northern Australia that documents how some Abo kids came up with a new language just for the kicks. It fast became cool, and now the young kids of the tribe have a different language from their elders.  As it looks it’s a fully new language, with some grammar changes too, not just a bunch of jargon to fool their parents so they can avoid being eaten. A smart guy in Razib’s Twitter also linked to an experimental study where they put people to compete in a game, and prompted to develop their own secret speech, which they did.

When you ask a layman they’ll tell you that languages are to communicate. But that’s patently false, if we wanted to optimize communication we’d all speak the same language. And languages wouldn’t change over time. What the common theory is lacking is just a simple modifier. Languages are to communicate within the group. In fact this little modifier explains most of the mysteries of human psychology. Happiness correlates with income within the group. People are naturally cooperative within the group. Take the modifier away and you get the Cathedral.

Many academic theories about language posit that language evolve to aid better coordination, say for hunters. You go left, I go right, I throw the first spear, etc. Chimps seem to be able to coordinate without speaking, but it sounds reasonable that talking does help coordinate better. But if the idea is to be able to coordinate hunters, then why are men worse at language than women? Women do 70% of the talking, and it’s mostly inane gossip. It has extremely little information density. Woman conversation is most of the time a status confirmation task, all they do is say get a group, say something and listen carefully to the tone of voice of all the participants, to check what everyone thinks of each other. If the mother hen suddenly is rude to you, well you know you’re in trouble. You better find ways to raise your status or undermine hers. I taught a girlfriend that all her speech was an unconscious status confirmation task, and that she should stop caring as she will always be high status in my eyes. She never nagged me again.

For all I know language did start as a way for men to coordinate hunts better, but over time it’s obvious that it evolution found other uses for it. Language itself is a big, a huge shibboleth, a simple way of knowing which tribe people belong to. Babies stop telling apart sounds not used in their native language by 10 months, before they even start talking themselves. And the ability to properly learn new phonemes dies permanently after age 10. With years of effort you can learn to communicate in a foreign language, but your accent will always give you away. And that’s being lucky, most people just don’t have the capability. And of those who do, a big majority are women, whose tribal membership is always tenuous. After all they never knew when they would be exchanged to a different tribe, or kidnapped and taken away.

A big puzzle of linguistics has always been the relationship between languages. Why are some language families so big, and others so small. One big language family extends from Ireland to Bengal. Yet dozens of different languages of 4 unrelated language families linger in close proximity in Southwest China. Not to mention the Papuans, with hundreds of languages of a dozen families. And those in the know say that most family groupings are very suspect.

Why don’t the Papuans get their shit together and talk the same language? Because they don’t want to. For thousands of years they have had no need of talking with the neighboring tribe. The neighbors were there to raid, kill, and occasional cannibalistic feast. Austronesian languages are famously extensive, from Hawaii to Madagascar. Yet the Philippines or Borneo are a patchwork of small tribal languages which are not intelligible by the nearby villages. It surely has something to do with the fact that every year, the able bodied males of a given village would raid the neighboring tribe, cut their heads off and bring them home as a trophy.

Farming changed the normal dynamics of tribal speech, with cooperation forced top down to vast masses of people engaged in farming and trading. First you had tens of thousands of people speaking the same language. Then millions. But massive, empire-wide koinés are tied to their empires, and always die and fragment. Ancient Greek died, Latin fragmented, as did Tang Chinese. The Middle Ages brought regional dialects, mostly sharing local market areas, the Enlightenment chose one dialect and artificially transformed it in the national tongue.

The ideology behind national tongues, nationalism, is dead, but national tongues are still around. Of course they are far too useful, and they are too strongly linked to the nation states who created them. But in the same way that the nation state is slowly losing relevance, so national languages are fading too. 50 years ago you would never have listened a regional accent on national TV, today the BBC makes a point of casting Scottish scientists for their documentaries. Italian dialects are making a comeback.  Even in Japan a big part of movies are voiced in regional dialects, some quite obscure. All while every country on earth is putting ever more resources into English education.

If languages were to communicate, we would have an English speaking world in no time. Instead what we will have is a global English speaking elite, lording over masses speaking bad English to their masters, and revived regional dialects to themselves. Given Google Translate and PRISM, it wouldn’t surprise me if vernacular writing dies out, with most speech being done in untranslatable dialect, and writing done in English. A massive Hong Kong style diglossia. It might be the only feasible resistance against what’s coming.

White Nationalism

 

Good luck with that.

Doublespeak

Global Times goes on about Snowden:

 

Snowden’s fate a sign of US hegemony

Edward Snowden, a whistle-blower from the US National Security Agency, applied to 21 countries for political asylum on July 1, but encountered negative responses. Snowden withdrew his Russia asylum bid after Russian President Vladimir Putin dictated terms for his stay. The fate of the whistleblower has become a symbol testing US hegemony. 

Snowden’s exposure has discredited the US. His latest revelations that the US has been spying on the EU mission in New York and its embassy in Washington have caused explosive consequences and strong reactions from EU members like France and Germany. 

These immoral actions will further deprive the US of its power to mess with world affairs under the guise of moral values.

Snowden has exposed US hypocrisy, its random violations of citizens’ privacy and arrogant cyber espionage in other countries. US soft power has failed to prevent these negative influences spreading across the world. Non-US media refrained from launching harsh criticism against the US, but the storm caused by Snowden’s leaks has made the global public well aware of what’s going on. 

Snowden’s latest step has displayed US hegemony to the world. He submitted 21 applications for political asylum, then the US projected its power – the countries involved either cowered or delayed for time.

 

Countries involved either cowered or delayed for time. China among them.

Global Times is very happy to use Snowden to slam USG, and defend him as a human rights defending hero. But they kicked the guy out.

Classy. It seems I was right after all. The guy is fucked.