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.”
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.