Bloody shovel

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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Clausewitz, Lenin, Robin Dunbar

Power is fascinating. It shouldn’t be though. Nothing good comes from the fascination towards power, especially for those who don’t have it. But we can’t help it. We are a political animal. Which means we share a common descent with these fellas down here:

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We being monkeys, we aren’t really fascinated with power, in abstract. After all it’s quite hard to even define what ‘power’ is. What does it really mean to have power? What does power do? How does it work? One of the first signs a word/concept is too vague is that it doesn’t translate well. In Chinese ‘power’ generally translates as 力量, but political power is translated as 權力.  It doesn’t help that 權 generally translates as ‘right’. As in 人權, human rights. And that’s a recent coining, borrowed from Western political science jargon. You’d think Chinese would have their own ideas about power after 2300 years of centralized empire, but they don’t have a clue.

So most people don’t have a good understanding of what power is. What we do know is powerful people. Those are everywhere, and God are we obsessed with them. Fascinated. They’re everywhere, and everybody’s talking about them. We are fascinated with the powerful. How did they get it? What do they want it for? And how do they use it?

And oftentimes, rather than fascination, we are more like mystified. Bemused. Stupefied. What the hell are they doing? I guess that is the common feeling on the reactosphere. All politically aware people have fantasies of what they would do if they had power. And theories of what power is for and why people seek it. But then you look around. And you see Jeff Bezos giving money to a sodomy promotion group. You see Finland’s government paying to have Somalis living the 60th parallel. You see George Soros buying shares of Herbalife.

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I have gay friends

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And then it strikes you. When you, politically awakened man, think about power, you have an abstract framework of what power does, and what it should do. You have your ideas on how society should be organized, and think that politics is about applying those ideas in absolute terms. But on closer inspection, it doesn’t work like that. George Soros didn’t buy shares of Herbalife because he has abstract beliefs on how the economy works and believes Herbalife is great value. Or he has abstract mathematical models that say that Herbalife will make him a lot of money. He has enough money anyway. Soros is probably buying Herbalife shares to fuck with Bill Ackman, another disagreeable Jewish banksta who seems to have very few friends.

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I have few friends

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Come on, no way billions are being moved around just for this petty high school-ish emotional shit, you might say. But that’s how it works. The closer you look at the circles of power, you see that in the end, they’re just people. And people like soap operas. Oh yeah they do. If the world gets to evolve out of the quagmire we are suffering today, and the study of human nature progresses in a wiser future, what the future humans will remember won’t be Hayek or Dawkins, or Pinker. The saint patron of the new political science will be Robin Dunbar. He showed us that people just can’t possibly care about more than a bunch of people. Which means that all the people that you don’t know are by definition not people. Alrenous, which is not precisely the most neurotypical of the reactosphere, was superb in expressing this idea in a comment at Foseti’s some months ago:

Bernanke doesn’t care if the peasants are getting into bitcoin. He won’t care until someone he knows personally wants to go all-in. That is, until someone his monkeybrain identifies as a human and not an abstraction. Equivalently, someone who can legitimately threaten his portfolio by buying into bitcoin and out of whatever he’d prefer.

That’s exactly right. The billions of people who are affected by the global elite’s decisions aren’t real for them. They’re just an abstraction, a bunch of numbers that their advisors (who aren’t really human either) cook up for them once a week. George Soros doesn’t care what Herbalife does, if it’s a real business or yet another financial Ponzi. All his brain can register is that this Bill Ackman prick, this son of a bitch who occupies 1/150 of Soros’s social brain, he has to be taught a lesson. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the guy. All evidence says he is quite the insufferable prick. But I think it’s interesting that most of the stuff that goes on in the upper spheres of society is just the result of the most basic friend/foe calculations.

I mean, why would Al Gore whore his WASP aristocratic self to get 30 million from Apple? The soulless freak of Al Gore already got 100 million bucks from selling to Al Jazeera his expertise in extorting cable companies. 100 million bucks. How much more money does he want? Does he really need that much? The guy is into raping menopausal masseuses, he doesn’t need much money for that. Bill Gates, who has some money, famously said that he will give his children 10 million each, and spend the rest in whatever. And that makes a lot of sense. 10 million bucks is a lot of money. You can live a very comfortable life, not needing to work at all for your entire life. As long as you refrain from conspicuous consumption, of course.

Which is exactly what Bill Gates is doing with his Foundation, where he solves™ world problems because he cares. Yes, he cares about all those poor people. That’s why he declared that Mexico is much better off with Carlos Slim, and that’s why he’s still filing patents for the patent trolls at Intellectual Ventures.

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I have rich friends

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Hey, he’s inconsistent! He’s a goddamn hypocrite!, you say. Oh but he’s not. He is consistent in the only way that’s important: he’s accurately following his brain’s friend/foe circuit. He has many liberal friends, so he starts a charity foundation to impress them. He’s friends with Carlos Slim, so he compliments him in his blog. And he’s friends with the slimy rat Nathan Myhrvold, so he helps him with his business. When any of us imagine what we would do with 50 billion, we all envision this grand, coherent schemes where we try to attain our desires and help shape the world in an absolute way. But that’s not how it works. All politics are local. All people are tribal. All lives are soap operas. All it ever counts is who are your friends. And who are your foes. Who-whom.

Somebody (I think it was Vladimir) posted this link to a paper by David Friedman, where he argues that all political arrangements evolve from the tiny Schelling points which arise in small-scale interactions between individuals, which are then memorized, ritualized in tradition, and then grow to apply to bigger groups of people. Apply some historical quirks to it, such as class dynamics (the lower classes always ape higher-class mores), and you get that all beliefs are just the application of the random Schelling points which have arisen to regulate the interaction between elites. Two rich fuckers meet at a club in London in 1750. One gives to charity, the other doesn’t. The less charitable guy is impressed by the charitable one, so defers to his superior status. The idea spreads that being charitable gives you better status, so it starts to become an integral part of elite status jockeying. Fast forward 250 years and you have the NYT shaming all those who don’t accept transexuals being able to choose their sex at will.

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I have no male friends

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And that’s all there is to it. The only reality is the social circle. And what we call society is just an aggregation of overlapping social circles. As it happens in most social circles, extroverted sociopaths tend to gain power. Scale that up onto society at large and you get a club of vapid shallow extrovert sociopaths who have stumbled into power and simply use it influence their friends and screw with their foes. And the rest of us are just an abstraction.

Reason

Surfin’ the web yesterday, I come across this:

The Strange Sexual Quirk of Filipino Seafarers

How the pressures of the shipping industry have shaped everything about this maritime culture. Right down to their penile implants.

Penile implants?
Many Filipino sailors make small incisions in their penises and slide tiny plastic or stone balls — the size of M&M’s — underneath the skin in order to enhance sexual pleasure for prostitutes and other women they encounter in port cities, especially in Rio de Janeiro. “This ‘secret weapon of the Filipinos,’ as a second mate phrased it, has therefore obviously something to do,” Lamvik wrote in his thesis, “‘with the fact that ‘the Filipinos are so small, and the Brazilian women are so big’ as another second mate put it.”
What the hell? That must hurt like a bitch. Why would they do that?

Viewed in this context, bolitas is more than just a physical oddity adopted for the benefit of port women. It’s an important element of the Filipinos’ larger battle to assert their masculinity and compensate in a rivalry that they can’t always win aboard the ship. “It’s part of that competition that starts in the labor market that then bleeds over into culture,” McKay said. “They are dealing with how others see them.”

Apparently, the port competition is one that they feel they can win, and not just because of bolitas. Filipino sailors take a sort of Pretty Woman tack in their relationships with prostitutes, treating them as more than mere objects in a sexual marketplace — and above all, the Filipinos think, treating them better than other sailors do. As one Filipino officer told McKay: “‘The women prefer Filipinos because we treat them nice, not like other nationalities,'” he said. “‘[Sailors from other countries] think because they pay, they can treat them badly … But the Filipinos — we treat them like girlfriends. We pay too, but we’re nice, we smile, we even court them. That’s what makes the Filipino special. We’re romantic.'”

Romantic. Right. The Brazilian hookers are thinking about your frankendick aaaall day for months. They just can’t have enough of ya li’l Asian dick. But well what can you expect. These people were doing head hunting there until yesterday. What’s the average IQ over there, 85? Stupid people do stupid things. They just can’t see the world as it is, objectively. Fortunately we Westerners discovered the scientific method, and know how to detach ourselves from a situation, and put objective facts before everything else.

On the Daily Telegraph:

Islam is way more English than the EDL

Pure objective facts. No emotional input whatsoever. It is obvious that a dispassionate analysis of the history and culture of England takes you to the conclusion that Islam is way more English than the English Defense League. Way more, mind you. And this guy’s the biographer of Pat Buchanan! Fuck, I just hate this stuff. How people can spit such amounts of bullcrap with a straight face. What happened with reason? Rationality! The unbiased examination of the world? Public discourse in the West is no better than filipino sailors tales about the sexual prowess of their super-enhanced penises. But wait, at least in the West some people do care about rationality and unbiased inquiry. Yes, smart people, few as they are, are getting together in the internet to support objective science and engage in high-level intellectual discourse. Yeah, there’s an official community even, right? Less Wrong they call it. Let’s take a look.

Arguments Against Speciesism

What?

Why species membership really is an absurd criterion

In the beginning of the article, I wrote that I’d get back to this for those not convinced. Some readers may still feel that there is something special about being a member of the human species. Some may be tempted to think about the concept of “species” as if it were a fundamental concept, a Platonic form.

The following likely isn’t news to most of the LW audience, but it is worth spelling it out anyway: There exists a continuum of “species” in thing-space as well as in the actual evolutionary timescale. The species boundaries seem obvious just because the intermediates kept evolving or went extinct. And even if that were not the case, we could imagine it. The theoretical possibility is enough to make the philosophical case, even though psychologically, actualities are more convincing.

We can imagine a continuous line-up of ancestors, always daughter and mother, from modern humans back to the common ancestor of humans and, say, cows, and then forward in time again to modern cows. How would we then divide this line up into distinct species? Morally significant lines would have to be drawn between mother and daughter, but that seems absurd!

Wait wait wait. This is the rationalist community? The objective, smart guys? Well at least this guy does sound smart. Too smart maybe. Yeah, he can’t be really saying what I think he is. It’s just me, I’m not smart enough to follow his writing style. At least I feel severe mental pain when trying to read the whole thing. Let’s see the summary to see his conclusions.

Summary

Our speciesism is an anthropocentric bias without any reasonable foundation. It would be completely arbitrary to give special consideration to a being simply because of its species membership. Doing so would lead to a number of implications that most people clearly reject. A strong case can be made that suffering is bad in virtue of being suffering, regardless of where it happens. If the suffering or deaths of nonhuman animals deserve no ethical consideration, then human beings with the same relevant properties (of which all plausible ones seem to come down to having similar levels of awareness) deserve no intrinsic ethical consideration either, barring speciesism.

Assuming that we would feel uncomfortable giving justifications or criteria for our scope of ethical concern that can analogously be used to defend racism or sexism, those not willing to bite the bullet about torturing babies are forced by considerations of consistency to care about animal suffering just as much as they care about human suffering.

Ok. Cool. Forget anything I said. There’s no hope. We’re doomed. I’ll see you in a brothel in Rio.

Just another day in the NYT

Some time ago I picked up from Foseti the bad habit of reading Business Insider. I have to say that I’m pretty much over it now, and only take a look in circumstances of extreme boredom, which aren’t common for me (unless I’m too hangover to read books or play Civ).

Recently though I have picked up a perhaps even worse habit, this time from Half Sigma. HS can be an insufferable snob, which is made all the more hilarious because the persona that reflects out of his writing is that of the less glamorous guy on the internet (I always imagine him as Dilbert with a Jewish nose). But as dumb as his writing is sometimes, his heart is in the right place, and he has interesting intellectual habits. One of which is reading the New York Times. He does very well reading the NYT, not only because it gives him and his readers a window into the soul of the elite they so yearn to join. But because it gives him an infinite supply of stuff to blog about.

I don’t usually check up on the MSM, haven’t done so since I was 15. I never wanted to ‘know my enemy’, I have enough interaction with liberals in daily life to need to listen to their crap even when I’m in the comfort of my home. Or so it was for me, but my lifestyle choices have helped me to increasingly isolate from the larger society, and I guess I’ve been losing track with liberal fads. I must be seriously out of sync, because the stuff I’ve been reading on the NYT make me stop every 5 seconds to double-check. Does it really say what I think it does?

I used to just check up on the links at HS or Sailer’s or whoever has the guts to actually read that shit every day. But I don’t know why I started to jump link after link, and read quite a bunch of NYT articles today. And wow. Let me give you some examples.

I started reading the frontpage article on the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Hundreds of dead. Big deal. The local military goes out of their way killing hundreds of Islamists, and USG is sad? I guess they’d rather kill them themselves, one drone strike at a time. Make-work for the military-industrial complex. Whatever. Nothing of interest.

And so I clicked on a link saying: Design Advice on Reconfiguring an Emptying Nest. Hey, that might be interesting for my parents, as my little brother just moved out. Turns out it’s a Q&A where readers ask the expert about their situation and get some tailored advice. I start skimming and then bump upon this question:

Q. I was never able to afford a house while my daughter was small; to put her through college, I lived in a studio co-op that I now own. Now she cannot get a job. How can I make a 420-square-foot studio accommodate two women with a lot of clothes? I cannot afford to rent a bigger apartment; I need to save money for retirement or to help her with graduate school. — Landless, Brooklyn

Wait a fucking second. OK, singular tense, so it’s a single parent, I guess it’s a woman. And she lived for decades in this tiny studio to put her daughter to college. Wow. Sacrificing her lifestyle for her daughter. Very nice. And what’s the result of that sacrifice? An unemployed daughter! Bravo. 20 years of savings… for nothing! And see how she hasn’t had enough. Now she’s saving more for her useless daughter’s grad school! See that’s it’s either that or retirement. Guess what she’ll choose? Fund her own old-age, or pour more money in the higher-education racket? At least her daughter will be hooking-up like the NYT wrote about a while ago.

I was getting all riled up when I go to another link, this one about Germany Fights Population Drop. That sounds interesting. Everybody’s talking about how the financial crisis has sent droves of Spanish, Italian, Greek and EE engineers all over to Germany which is booming and whatnot. I always thought it strange that Southern Europeans, even engineers, could readily adapt to work in Germany, let alone learn to speak Deutsch. As usual my gut was right:

A recent study found that more than half the Greeks and Spaniards who came to Germany left within a year.

Heh. Ich…bin…ein… slacker for the most part. Oh well. The article isn’t about that anyway, it’s mostly about some ideas to increase the local fertility rates. The neoreactionary gut on this issue is that women should stay out of the workforce after marriage and have kids. But Germany is notorious for having been doing exactly that, and they have one of the lowest birthrates in Europe. Anecdotally Japanese women also overwhelmingly leave the workforce after marriage, and still don’t have babies. That leads liberals to argue that what we need is, of course, more feminism.

Demographers say that a far better investment would be to support women juggling motherhood and careers by expanding day care and after-school programs. They say recent data show that growth in fertility is more likely to come from them.“If you look closely at the numbers, what you see is the higher the gender equality, the higher the birthrate,” said Reiner Klingholz of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

Oh yeah? Really? Wait a minute, what does it say around here?

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 9.03.18 PM

Champions of equality

Of course the only datapoint on their favor is that Sweden, famous for forcing toddlers to forget they have dicks, has a TFR of 1.67 against Germany’s 1.42. Big fucking deal. Yemen is in 4.27. Why don’t we try that instead?

Of course the real reason behind low fertility isn’t that hard to understand, and in this very article, probably without noticing it, they make it quite clear:

Melanie Vogel, 39, of Bonn, found that trying to blend work and motherhood was so lonely, dispiriting and expensive that she decided to have one child. None of her friends worked full time, her mother-in-law made clear she disapproved, and so did clients in the job fair company she runs with her husband.“Before my son was born, I was Melanie, a working businesswoman,” Mrs. Vogel said. “But after my son was born, to a lot of people, I was just a mother.”

Well as long as women like Mrs. Vogel think hat being a working businesswoman is higher status than being a mother, well Germany is fucked. It’s obvious that nobody wants to be “just a mother”. Or “just” anything. The problem is the “just”. The day when German women say that they want to be mothers, and not “just a working businesswoman”, they’ll start pumping out babies like rabbits. The same day the NYT will command Obama III (or Dwayne Elizondo Camacho) to carpet bomb the Nazi scum with agent orange.

I thought the article was about promoting feminism in enemy countries, but of course that’s not enough. The NYT is the trend-setter, and it couldn’t end an article about workers without mentioning the current fad.

Immigration in general has become more temporary, and moving across borders in Europe is especially easy.“I think the answer is that we need to look outside Europe,” Dr. Klingholz said.

That’s the final sentence, and it comes out of the blue. No real context in the rest of the article. Which reminds me of Cato the Elder, the Roman senator who would make a speech on agricultural policy, or the treasury, or the next festival for Venus, but would always finish saying Cartago delenda est. We should have open borders. White majority countries delendi sunt.

Blaming myself for reading anything political from the NYT, I then jumped unconsciously to the next link, which said: Sex in a teenager room. Hey it’s about sex, how bad can it be. Well let me put some random quotes:

One of the lovely things about not having children (besides never having to counteract a toddler’s propensity for covering all surfaces with what experts call “sticky”) is that I will probably never need to stare down the barrel of teenage sexuality.

or

But surely there is some happy medium? “I’m a great believer in the Edwardian house-party approach,” said Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners. “Back then, people would have large parties and invite the lovers of their guests. They’d put these guests in separate bedrooms. And then stay out of the hallway. Parents should put the boyfriend or girlfriend into the guest room. And then go into their own room.”

or

We tell our child: ‘Here are the rules. This is our house, and while you are welcome to have a friend stay the night, we expect you to consider sex to be a private, two-person activity. That means you go to bed when we do, you get up when we do, and if you are really well behaved, we’ll make you pancakes for breakfast. We do not want to be involved in any way in your sex life. We don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to see it. We expect you to wash your sheets and towels. In other words, we expect you to behave like good guests.’ ”This setup strikes me as fairly ideal: a well-mixed cocktail of caution and tolerance with a possible pancake chaser. As the benevolent manager of your family campgrounds, though, you would have to be prepared for the occasional camper who takes an especial liking for the site.

or

As Nina Lorez Collins, who worked in publishing for 18 years before recently becoming a life coach, knows. Two years ago, Ms. Collins — having decided that her 17-year-old daughter Violet was in a loving and committed relationship with her 19-year-old boyfriend, Nile — allowed the couple, with the permission of Nile’s parents, to sleep together in her home in Brooklyn.

Wait a damn second. The writer starts the article by disclaiming how she hates children and then she starts pontificating about how to deal with horny teenagers? What the fuck is wrong with her. You don’t have a family then shut the fuck up and stop telling people how to deal with one. Damn these feminists. What’s her name?

Henry Alford is the author of “Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners.” Circa Now appears monthly.

A guy? No way. No fucking way. My gaydar didn’t even have to start running. I just went directly to Google, and right enough:

Alford lives in New York City in a part of town he calls “the Adorable Restaurants district”.[52] He is openly gay.

I would easily start swearing about how fags should shut up about people’s children, but of course they can’t help thinking on sex with teenagers. Not anymore that they can help wanting to shove dicks on their rectums. It’s their nature.

After just these few articles I just couldn’t take it anymore. Damn I don’t know how Half Sigma or Sailer have the energy and mindset to read this stuff every day. After 30 minutes I needed a break. A week at least.

So be very careful around there. I recommend that you don’t read the NYT directly, but read stuff written about it, like this interesting article on the Telegraph which covers a massive takedown by the NYT on the Clinton Foundation. The NYT criticizing the Clintons in a long article is the rough equivalent of a court assassination in Tang China. The factions in the ruling class are moving against each other. If Hillary Clinton is out of the scene, who’s coming next? Mrs. Obama?

EDIT: B’s comment just reminded me of another NYT article I read a few days ago.
Sex Ed in 1964. Yeah I know, I’m a sucker for anything that contains the word sex. You can imagine where I end up clicking every time I read the Daily Mail.

The article is about how sex education in schools is so important, and how she wishes she would have had it in her days, when she was a teenager in the 1960s. In those days, teens had no idea about sex, nobody would talk about it.

The only time my mother gave me any information about sex was when I was 13 and traveling alone for the first time to visit an uncle in California.

“We haven’t talked much about this,” Ma said. “But if a strange man ever puts his hands on you, you open your mouth and scream.”

Oh poor thing, condemned by her mother to a life of ignorance and obscurantism of the pleasures of life. Fortunately at age 16 she discovered Playboy, which had some hilarious advice.

So we got the Saran Wrap and wrapped. And wrapped. And wrapped. You new readers may not know this, but in matters of safety and personal health I am scrupulous. So we kept wrapping. I cannot, even in educationally correct greengrocer terms (root vegetable? zucchini? summer squash?) do justice to the final result. Let’s just say the only sexual thing possible, when we were done, was to look, and having looked, it was not something you would ever forget. Wait, I’ve got it: Picture a noble palace guard, swathed in 13 layers of dry cleaner’s plastic wrap, but, you know, proportional.

Anyway, summer ends, the teenage boy, who had been a waiter at one of the hotels, goes back home to New York City and this being one of the things in my life I want to block out forever, I do.

See? Back in those dark, dark days, kids didn’t know about condoms or pills or depo-provera, so they (at least she, being scrupulous) did things like wrap the dick on Saran Wrap.

Wait a second. So we have a teenage girl, raised in the 1950s by a conservative family, who never talks about sex, in an age without porn or sexual content in TV…

And she still fucks the hotel waiter during a family summer vacation? Holy shit. One more point for the null hypothesis of parenting.

Whitopia

I was going for a walk around my neighborhood yesterday, when I found a big ad banner that caught my attention.

It was something like this:

 

Pretty goofy, or outright ugly perhaps. It’s about some coin laundry which just opened nearby. I have a washing machine at home, so I won’t be using it, but then I had second thoughts once I looked above and saw the name of the company:

Whitopia! The Japanese have an hilarious taste when using English words, but I never thought they would come by this piece of genius. I’ll come by and see if they have a membership card I can put in a prominent place in my wallet.

I wonder if any of the enterprising readers of my blog isn’t willing to open some franchises back West? I’ll help with the negotiations.

Gems

Sorry again for the slow posting, but I’ve been busy with work et al. It’s not only Civ, I swear. I’m a productive member of the community. I don’t know quite which one though.

Most of human life can be described using Bell Curves and Pareto distributions. Say blogs and comments. The quality of comments in any given blog is distributed normally, and 20% of the comments have 80% of the insight. The bigger the blog, the more numerous the commenters, the most pronounced this effect is. In any popular blog, most comments are probably garbage. But once in a while there’s  marvelous gem that kinda justifies having the blog on the first place.

On Cheap Chalupas, Why are CEOs salaries rising? Comments are mostly divided between “because CEOs are John Galts superior specimens and they deserve the money” libertardians and opponents claiming a conspiracy. But you don’t need a conspiracy if you talk sense, like Justin does:

My personal guess is that we are just dealing with ignorance. Back in the day supply lines were short, personal connections were obvious, prices were clear, and you had a dozen other firms to compare CEOs and see what happened if you went with the bargain rate CEO option.

Today, supply chains are deep and nigh unto incomprehensible. Personal connections are vastly more important, but you need to know the right wonks and staffers as well as the right congressmen, CEOs, and labor leaders. Prices are ever less clear as more and more of the economy swaps over customized and service pricing. And, of course, we’ve had mass consolidation and niche targeting so there are endless internet arguments about who is actually comparable – if anyone. You have ever smaller safety margins everywhere (no warehousing, fewer slack man hours, and fewer facilities).

So say you just bought up a major of a generic major corporation worth 10 billion. How will you rate potential CEO inputs? How much will it *cost* to accurately measure them? Even assuming you can for a reasonable price, how much risk are you taking with the bargain option? If you could quantify senior executives, how will you price marginal risk? If there is only a 5% chance that the bargain option will do worse than the gold plated option, just how bad does the potential downside have to be before you say, screw it I’m paying the extra few million per annum as insurance?

People and investors tend to be risk averse particularly in ambiguous situations. CEO pay may be objectively too high, but that is hard to measure and harder still to justify with the possibility of major downside risk. In practice, this should mean that executive pay should be the most obscene for the firms that have the most ambiguity measuring a CEO’s utility and at the firms where low likelihood/high impact downsides are the most likely.

On Steve Sailer’s, talking about the quasi-negro ex Washington mayor who is now in California banging Steve Jobs’s widow:

Maybe this is why Silicon Valley isn’t producing ground breaking tech anymore. The inventive, Midwestern pioneer types that founded the place are gone and it’s been increasingly taken over by technically weak, politically savvy and minded types.

Brezhnevism avec diversity. That pretty much explains the future of the Anglosphere.

Greying Wanderer on Education, at Cochran’s:

If there are dumb, average and smart people and they can answer up to and including dumb, average and smart questions then you if you have an exam with two dumb questions and an average one then the final scores are:

d/a/s get 2/2/3 marks each and the IQ distribution magically disappears

However if you ask one dumb question, one average and one smart the final scores are:

d/a/s get 1/2/3 marks each and the IQ distribution reappears.

It’s amazing.

The state education system in the UK is currently based on this magic trick.

I wonder how homeschoolers grade their kids.

On Jim’s blog, B, the hardcore Jew, started an awesome fight by throwing the first stone against the oxymoron of traditionalist christianity:

Christianity was the original transgressive Leftist movement (though an argument could be made for the preceding Jewish heresies like Sadduceanism and Essenism.) It really served as the prototype of all the subsequent ones. Any attempt to have a sustainable Christian government without sliding off into the Leftist Singularity necessitated tons of hypocrisy, unprincipled exceptions, special pleading and the rest of it, embodied most vividly in the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. Any attempt to actually implement Christianity in real life on any scale rapidly turns into feral Leftism, the Munster Republic, etc.

Of course, by the standards of original Christianity, today’s Leftists are insanely far to the Left. So what? By the standards of Leftism 100 years ago, today’s Leftists are also insanely far to the Left. It’s an exponential curve. I’m sure that, barring a Restoration, in 100 years Barney Frank will be denounced as a reactionary for his failure to take up a principled stance in favor of mandatory pedophilia, or whatever form the eternal boot stomping on a human face will have taken by then. The point is that all this started with Christianity’s transgression against Judaism in the name of being holier than the High Priest, holier than the Prophets, holier than Moses, etc.

A discussion started which seemed endless, but it wasn’t because Red settled the whole issue in one strike.

Paul’s revelation was quite right wing. He was establishing order to a religion that was out of control. Peter’s was about turning Christianity into a universal religion instead of a ethic one. Universal monotheism was clearly an idea who’s time had come. The church spent a great deal of time putting down “revelations” that was useless bullshit. It’s a feature of religion that can be hard to control with out a good hierarchy running things.

Leftwing revelations are about power grabs. Rightwing revelations are about establishing order and making things work. They’re easy to tell apart.

One of the reasons that Jesus was promoted to Godhood was to prevent any future game changers like Jesus. Hell even the biggest sect of Christianity that denied his divine nature (Arab Christianity, aka Islam) had to slam that door shut by saying that Mohamed is God’s last prophet and thus no one can change the game after him. The trinity doesn’t make sense because the reason for the trinity is to prevent a new Jesus showing up to ripping Christianity apart.

I have some good stuff coming in for the next days, hopefully I can start running the blog at the usual pace.

Update: I had messed up Red’s quote.

Speaking of comments, I sent the following to Bryan Caplan’s post tiresome post on Open Borders:

It’s funny how Caplan rightly argues for the signaling theory of higher education.

But the thought never crosses his mind, that there might be such a thing as the signaling theory of open borders advocacy.

After all he doesn’t live with diversity. He doesn’t understand its consequences, nor actually give much of a shit. So why is he constantly talking about it?

Signaling his faith to his media and government benefactors. What else?

But it wasn’t published. Their moderator, I guess some grad student they have working for peanuts, said:

Crude language such as obscenities and four-letter words are inappropriate on EconLog. That includes using the word “shit.” Comments should address the economic content of the post and the discussion in the thread without resorting to profanity, anger, or obscenities.

In addition, your comment violates our stated policies about making personal, ad hominem, remarks.

I thought I had addressed the economic content of the post, namely that he makes up shit to make his employers happy. I did say “shit” though. Oops I just did it again.