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Effective altruism (EA) is the fairly simple idea that in charitable giving as in financial investment, you should aim to put your money where it would do the most good – be it earning the highest returns, or helping the maximum number of people. It is a laudable enough goal, though the ideas behind it are hardly new or revolutionary – I recall Jeffrey Sachs touting the superiority of anti-malarial nets over other higher-profile forms of development aid on cost-effectiveness merits back in the mid-2000s, well before “effective altruism” was on anyone’s radar. And I agree with the approach in principle. How could anyone not? Because the core of EA is just helping people live better, richer, healthier lives in clever and cost-effective ways, e.g. anti-malarial nets over dams, $40 trichiasis operations over $40,000 guide-dogs for the blind, machine intelligence research to ensure our future robot overlords don’t kill us all, and – open borders.

Wait, what? Here is where we come to some “problematic” aspects of EA. On paper, it is all about being rationalist. In practice, it is composed of people. What kind of people? EA demographics overlap a lot with that of LessWrong, which has carried out detailed censuses of its members – only 2% of them describe themselves as conservatives, while another 2% describe themselves as neoreactionary (where else would you get that kind of breakdown?), while the other 95% are mostly liberals, libertarians, social democrats, and anarchists of various stripes. They are composed primarily of upper-middle class Americans more compelled to engage in passive aggressive status signalling than to reliably carry rationalism through to its logical conclusions, no matter how unpalatable they might be liberal sensibilities. A few are just outright sperglord level autists.

effective-altruism-immigration A good litmus test for this hypothesis would be to see their attitudes on the current immigration engulfing Europe. The LessWrong boards are almost dead, and as far as I can see all the most intensive discussions are occuring on Facebook. A Sailerite Ctrl-F on EA’s biggest Facebook group shows 33 results for “refugee” and 22 results for “migra” just this past September.

Even if we were not all evil racists who don’t want any filthy foreigners aroun… or, merely accept the validity of discounting the welfare of outside groups relative to that of our own countrymen, there would still be some very legitimate arguments against open borders fundamentalism even from a pure EA perspective.

Here are some of the obvious ones:

  • As anyone with eyes to see has noticed, and as even the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has admitted in a recent report, the overwhelming majority of the current migrant wave into European is composed of young adult males. Not women or children, who are typically the biggest war victims.
  • Of which only half are from Syria.
  • Will in general be people who can afford the ~$10,000 needed for the Mediteranean route in the first place, or the ~$5,000 route to Norway via Murmansk so it’s not clear how much in the way of cash and other material aid they really need in the first place.
  • So we are really talking about maximizing utility, so wouldn’t it be more logical to make this more targetted and efficient by importing a few million of the most destitute people in say the D.R. Congo as opposed to Syria or Iraq, which however wartorn they might be are still far more prosperous than most of Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • But where precisely do you stop? 640 million people want to emigrate around the world, most of them from the Third World to the First.
  • Will First World countries composed overwhelmingly of Third Worlders continue to remain First World? More importantly from an EA perspective, would they retain the ability to substantively help the teeming multitudes of the Third World, or even hold conferences on topics such as “effective altruism”? The answer to this question might seem obvious to Unz Review readers, but will likely only confuse and bewilder many self-styled rationalists and EA’ers, many of whom are cognitive and racial blank slatists (this includes their high prophet Eliezer Yudkowsky if his magnum opus HPMOR is anything to go by).

And some of the less so obvious ones:

ocean-front-suite

Ocean Front Suites for $2,500 in city center of Dar es Salaam.

  • One dollar of spending money goes about five times further in poor countries than it does in First World countries due to purchasing power differences. (And that’s without considering the “extras” in the form of extra policing, language courses, welfare spending, etc. that First World nations would have to provide in order to pay for all the new vibrant diversity). If conditions in Syria are so utterly unacceptable that young males have no choice but to emigrate, surely it would be more effectively altruistic to encourage them to settle elsewhere in the Third World – say, why not a relatively stable and Islamic but poor country, like Tanzania, Senegal, or Bangladesh? The $10,000 they pay the Italian or Greek mafias to smuggle them into Europe would probably be enough to buy a nice house there!
  • European EA’ers could even subsidize them with a few $1,000s for the first few years to help them settle in their new homelands and encourage them to stay put. A Syrian doctor or engineer would be a great boon to a typical $1,000-$2,000 GDP per capita African country, where there are very few such specialists in the first place. In a European country, there are no substantive shortages of high IQ specialists, and your Syrian doctor or engineer would be just as likely to end up as a taxi driver (or would it be Uber now?) as to make relevant use of whatever professional qualifications he might have. There are 4 physicians per 1,000 people in Germany, compared to 1.5 in Syria and just 0.4 in Bangladesh, 0.1 in Senegal, and 0.0 in Tanzania. Having a Syrian doctor be a taxi driver in Germany is a bad skills misallocation on the global level, one that easily incurs an opportunity cost in the $10,000s, and it should elicit howls of outrage from any truly rationalist EA’er.
  • Or how about at least channeling some of this money to the few million real refugees stuck in drab refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey? Those people at least won’t be throwing food away like the desperate starving illegals at Calais:

  • When a Syrian migrates to Germany or Sweden, he effectively triples his carbon dioxide emissions. When he migrates to the US, he almost doubles it again. If we are talking about an Eritrean instead, the increase is more on the order of a hundredfold. Exploding populations in the First World means carbon dioxide emissions increasing much more rapidly than if it had taken place in a relatively poor country like Syria, let alone in the most destitute countries like Eritrea. More carbon dioxide emissions means more rapid global warming which in turns means even greater challenges to increasing prosperity in the countries of the Global South. AGW is a topic typically beloved of by progressives, but for some reason they don’t tend to mention it much in the context of immigration debates.
  • How about just stop funding Islamist crazies and support Assad, who according to opinion polls enjoys the most legitimacy of any political force in Syria? That would be not just the EA’iest but also literally the easiest low-effort, high-impact action of them all.
  • Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen, since the people opposing this are considerably more powerful than the Left’s anti-immigration racist bogeymen and most rationalists appear to have lapped up their propaganda as readily as most other Westerners.

Now some of the comments on immigration in the Effective Altruism Facebook discussion group are within the rationalist spirit of EA and are intelligent and relevant even if they fail to challenge the broader “open borders” dogma. (I see no reason to blank out names since this is a public group).

refugees-effective-altruism Others however are just your typical status signalling do-gooders and moralistic exhibitionists.

refugees-effective-altruism-2

Ines Ve sounds like a nice enough if naive person. Let’s hope she doesn’t get too disabused of her notions, like this fellow did:

And predictably you have the SJWs, down to the non-ironic use of “problematic” in casual conversation. I can’t even!

refugees-effective-altruism-3

Highly authoritarian and typically of only fairly modest intelligence, they are the death of any mildly interesting or intellectual movement that embraces them. I would not bet much on EA’s future.

 
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  1. jtgw says:

    I don’t know from EA, but I’m a pretty solid libertarian, yet I recognize that Western countries cannot open their borders as long as they remain welfare states. It’s really strange how people who are otherwise progressive statists get all libertarian and constitutionalist when it comes to immigration. It’s like they really believe money grows on trees and that their societies will continue to remain just as prosperous while they offer benefits to anyone in the world who needs it, or claims to need it. If you’re going to be open borders, at least have the decency to oppose wealth redistribution at the same time!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    "And as someone who really values EA’s potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out."
    EA is moral irreproachable but for utilitarians, which includes most people (or that is how they frame their arguments anyway) the greatest good of the greatest number is the criterion. One does not have to be altruistic to work for the common good if our self interest works to maximise the common good, as in The Fable of the Bees. So a utilitarian does not necessarily accept the need for meaningful altruism, or value it.

    I would say significant altruism is forgoing things you really want to help unrelated others, eg never eating out or going to a bar or giving your own daughter a superb birthday party. Forego those kind of things to help others, and you are altruistic. Altruism is clear cut, one helps others at painful cost to oneself. Effective altruism is when one's altruism is directed at most in need, but as already mentioned it's not necessarily the same as the greatest good for the greatest number. What AK is proposing seems non-altruistic to me, which doesn't make it necessarily ineffective for the greatest good of the greatest number.

    Altruism does not come into into immigration as economists overwhelmingly agree that immigrants are a net benefit to a Western country in every way. In global utility terms people should move where they are most productive, until the differences cease to exist, but as mentioned immigration makes everyone in the receiving country better off so according to all virtually all the experts, being pro immigration is just enlightened self interest.

    "this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries "
    The most valuable migrants are taking individual decisions to bail out on their homeland, leaving them without doctors, technicians and other qualified people necessary to improve things). The business class (overwhelmingly pro immigration) and intelligentsia (only a little less overwhelmingly pro immigration) in the country receiving immigration are bailing out of their national bonds with their fellow indigenous. All of them are looking for what they can get , not trying to be of service. Only force could persuade them otherwise.

    "I expect projections of a doubled GDP are predicated on treating labor as an undifferentiated mass without accounting for human capital. It’s common amongst economists (though slowly becoming less so)"
    A country can run on migration , it pumps up the housing market and at the same time keeps construction costs down. Britain is an example. It is very difficult to see the advantage for a country like Germany with a manufacturing base, given that future manufacturing and services will be more and more automated. I think the earnings ratio is the statistic Economists point to. But people today are fit enough to work at ages inconceivable when pensions were first brought in. Working till 7o or even older would be quite practicable in future decades. Gunnar Heinsohn says there will be high taxes and no pensions so young people would emigrate but countries like Britain and Holland are having high emigration. (MP Frank Field is in no doubt why and talks about this at 3:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaWJ9MN-RVU) . Given that immigration might cause greatly increased emigration, the many educated Germans who speak English and are 'post national' in spirit could go to Denmark or the US. Germany may lose more highly qualified people than it gains.

    In Germany Siemens and Daimler have both pledged to give jobs to the refugees. Most British and US commentators say that Merkel is compelled by German demographics to import people., and so Germany will know not be overtaken by Britain as the most populous country in the EU by 2050, which was gleefully being reported in the Economist not long ago. That is an indication that underneath all this Eurounity, nation states apart from Germany are jealous of their status and want to gain relative power in the future . Why else would the German population relative to Britain's decades hence matter in the EU? My feeling is the German leadership and people are doing this for moral reasons and a kind of insecurity about the way they would be perceived if it were the only big western power without cities a third non European. It sounds ridiculous that Germany is frightened of getting into a war but Merkel has raised that spectre repeatedly over the Euro. There is little doubt the German anti nuclear mania derives from their fear of being a WW3 battleground, not because they think it will pay off economically. The trauma of WW2 can't be overestimated, and it seems the Germans think if they follow the mirror image of a master race policy they'll be safe. Far fetched I know, but their nuclear policy is no less strange.

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  2. Since there is a dearth of comments here, I will repost some arguments from my Facebook page to hopefully get things rolling:

    (1) MJ –

    I’d *like* to think there’s room in the tent for many worldviews, and I *do* think EA attracts people who are above average at paying attention to good social norms which help people slog through political questions with less-than-average acrimony/entrenchment, and I *hope* that EA will be able to provide those norms, and incentives for people to follow them.

    And as someone who really values EA’s potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out.

    … but what will *actually* happen? Yeah, the default progression could easily be:
    (1) the movement has some brilliant early accomplishments;
    (2) the buzz it generates leads to a substantial dilution of the movement and the start of personal empires;
    (3) this provides enough ideological entropy and dry tinder that soon enough, the movement ignites in an auto-immolating firestorm of competing status hierarchies sniping at each other;
    (4) the SJ side wins*, and the losing side / heretics are enthusiastically purged; and
    (5) things calm down… but along with the heretics, much of the creativity and magic leaves the movement as well, and EA essentially ends up hijacked as “the foreign-aid arm of social justice”.

    There are worse fates, but there are better ones, too, and I’d say even EAers who enthusiastically support SJ themes like Open Borders should see this as lost potential.

    Can we prevent this failure mode? I dunno (we seem to be in the middle of stage 2, with hints of stage 3 right now). It’s going to be hard to completely prevent since:
    - EA is such a juicy target for hijacking,
    - EA has no built-in ideological security (with a nod to W.E., “effective altruism is not a natural kind”),
    - it’s easy to join the movement (anyone can call themself an EA) but hard to disseminate social norms to newcomers, and hard to enforce them.

    So, if we can’t prevent failure completely, can we mitigate it? I’d love to think that valence research could help- i.e., if we understand what suffering/wellbeing are, and can improve our quantitative metrics for how to measure the *actual* good we’re doing, maybe that could help keep our eyes on the prize. (i.e., if we can turn EA into more of a science, it might have less volatile politics.) Otherwise, I think an unshakable dedication toward political/ideological diversity could help. (I am somewhat hopeful here, for certain reasons). Maybe EA can counter-infiltrate SJ, and bring a more refined / coldly-rational edge to SJ efforts to improve the world? Can we make a social norm that competing in zero-sum status games (and in general, any ‘holier than thou’ posturing) is low-status? Can we give EA and EAers tools to fight against entryism?

    Lots of open questions and few answers! One thought, though- it’s probably most interesting to keep a close eye on what the leadership is doing, rather than the average EAer. I think the leadership is pretty smart and is not only worrying about this, but actively trying to head off certain failure modes.

    *I’m reminded of this post- I’d *like* to think there’s room in the tent for many worldviews, and I *do* think EA attracts people who are above average at paying attention to good social norms which help people slog through political questions with less-than-average acrimony/entrenchment, and I *hope* that EA will be able to provide those norms, and incentives for people to follow them.

    And as someone who really values EA’s potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out.

    … but what will *actually* happen? Yeah, the default progression could easily be:
    (1) the movement has some brilliant early accomplishments;
    (2) the buzz it generates leads to a substantial dilution of the movement and the start of personal empires;
    (3) this provides enough ideological entropy and dry tinder that soon enough, the movement ignites in an auto-immolating firestorm of competing status hierarchies sniping at each other;
    (4) the SJ side wins*, and the losing side / heretics are enthusiastically purged; and
    (5) things calm down… but along with the heretics, much of the creativity and magic leaves the movement as well, and EA essentially ends up hijacked as “the foreign-aid arm of social justice”.

    There are worse fates, but there are better ones, too, and I’d say even EAers who enthusiastically support SJ themes like Open Borders should see this as lost potential.

    Can we prevent this failure mode? I dunno (we seem to be in the middle of stage 2, with hints of stage 3 right now). It’s going to be hard to completely prevent since:
    - EA is such a juicy target for hijacking,
    - EA has no built-in ideological security (with a nod to W.E., “effective altruism is not a natural kind”),
    - it’s easy to join the movement (anyone can call themself an EA) but hard to disseminate social norms to newcomers, and hard to enforce them.

    So, if we can’t prevent failure completely, can we mitigate it? I’d love to think that valence research could help- i.e., if we understand what suffering/wellbeing are, and can improve our quantitative metrics for how to measure the *actual* good we’re doing, maybe that could help keep our eyes on the prize. (i.e., if we can turn EA into more of a science, it might have less volatile politics.) Otherwise, I think an unshakable dedication toward political/ideological diversity could help. (I am somewhat hopeful here, for certain reasons). Maybe EA can counter-infiltrate SJ, and bring a more refined / coldly-rational edge to SJ efforts to improve the world? Can we make a social norm that competing in zero-sum status games (and in general, any ‘holier than thou’ posturing) is low-status? Can we give EA and EAers tools to fight against entryism?

    Lots of open questions and few answers! One thought, though- it’s probably most interesting to keep a close eye on what the leadership is doing, rather than the average EAer. I think the leadership is pretty smart and is not only worrying about this, but actively trying to head off certain failure modes.

    *I’m reminded of this post- http://thefutureprimaeval.net/socjus-and-ideological…/

    (2) SJ –

    Well Futurism WAS initially a fascist enterprise, so maybe we can find you some allies. Just kidding, I actually think you make some compelling arguments – especially about encouraging migration to other undeveloped countries. I haven’t seen this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries treated anywhere, where did you get this idea? Are there other advocates of this approach? I also worry about decreasing social trust associated with immigration.

    The biggest EA OpenBorders advocate I know is Carl Shulman: http://openborders.info/carl-shulman/ The economic models he mentions do seem unrealistic to me though. I would expect diminishing returns as immigration increased, not a doubling of global GDP.

    (3) AK (response to SJ) –

    “I haven’t seen this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries treated anywhere, where did you get this idea?”

    Mostly my own idea, but it does have a few loose historical precedents. For instance, the European colonial powers imported Indian and Chinese “coolies” into their African dominions because they found that the locals were not really suited for building their infrastructure projects (this was not for lack of effort, incidentally!). The Soviet Union sent engineers, doctors, and other qualified professionals to develop Central Asia. Most affected Russians didn’t want that but its not like they were given a choice about it.

    Africa under colonialism tended to better than afterwards (at least until the 1980s or so) and Central Asia was definitely much more prosperous under the USSR than it is today. What these two situations have in common is that in both cases the colonial/cognitive elites deserted in large members after independence and the collapse of the colonial/Communist systems that sustained them. But in principle, we do know that such a system can work in at least so long as somebody is subsidizing it.

    I expect projections of a doubled GDP are predicated on treating labor as an undifferentiated mass without accounting for human capital. It’s common amongst economists (though slowly becoming less so).

    Read More
    • Replies: @matt
    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don't pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been "cucked", in their view.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. matt says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Since there is a dearth of comments here, I will repost some arguments from my Facebook page to hopefully get things rolling:

    (1) MJ -

    I'd *like* to think there's room in the tent for many worldviews, and I *do* think EA attracts people who are above average at paying attention to good social norms which help people slog through political questions with less-than-average acrimony/entrenchment, and I *hope* that EA will be able to provide those norms, and incentives for people to follow them.

    And as someone who really values EA's potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out.

    ... but what will *actually* happen? Yeah, the default progression could easily be:
    (1) the movement has some brilliant early accomplishments;
    (2) the buzz it generates leads to a substantial dilution of the movement and the start of personal empires;
    (3) this provides enough ideological entropy and dry tinder that soon enough, the movement ignites in an auto-immolating firestorm of competing status hierarchies sniping at each other;
    (4) the SJ side wins*, and the losing side / heretics are enthusiastically purged; and
    (5) things calm down... but along with the heretics, much of the creativity and magic leaves the movement as well, and EA essentially ends up hijacked as "the foreign-aid arm of social justice".

    There are worse fates, but there are better ones, too, and I'd say even EAers who enthusiastically support SJ themes like Open Borders should see this as lost potential.

    Can we prevent this failure mode? I dunno (we seem to be in the middle of stage 2, with hints of stage 3 right now). It's going to be hard to completely prevent since:
    - EA is such a juicy target for hijacking,
    - EA has no built-in ideological security (with a nod to W.E., "effective altruism is not a natural kind"),
    - it's easy to join the movement (anyone can call themself an EA) but hard to disseminate social norms to newcomers, and hard to enforce them.

    So, if we can't prevent failure completely, can we mitigate it? I'd love to think that valence research could help- i.e., if we understand what suffering/wellbeing are, and can improve our quantitative metrics for how to measure the *actual* good we're doing, maybe that could help keep our eyes on the prize. (i.e., if we can turn EA into more of a science, it might have less volatile politics.) Otherwise, I think an unshakable dedication toward political/ideological diversity could help. (I am somewhat hopeful here, for certain reasons). Maybe EA can counter-infiltrate SJ, and bring a more refined / coldly-rational edge to SJ efforts to improve the world? Can we make a social norm that competing in zero-sum status games (and in general, any 'holier than thou' posturing) is low-status? Can we give EA and EAers tools to fight against entryism?

    Lots of open questions and few answers! One thought, though- it's probably most interesting to keep a close eye on what the leadership is doing, rather than the average EAer. I think the leadership is pretty smart and is not only worrying about this, but actively trying to head off certain failure modes.

    *I'm reminded of this post- I'd *like* to think there's room in the tent for many worldviews, and I *do* think EA attracts people who are above average at paying attention to good social norms which help people slog through political questions with less-than-average acrimony/entrenchment, and I *hope* that EA will be able to provide those norms, and incentives for people to follow them.

    And as someone who really values EA's potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out.

    ... but what will *actually* happen? Yeah, the default progression could easily be:
    (1) the movement has some brilliant early accomplishments;
    (2) the buzz it generates leads to a substantial dilution of the movement and the start of personal empires;
    (3) this provides enough ideological entropy and dry tinder that soon enough, the movement ignites in an auto-immolating firestorm of competing status hierarchies sniping at each other;
    (4) the SJ side wins*, and the losing side / heretics are enthusiastically purged; and
    (5) things calm down... but along with the heretics, much of the creativity and magic leaves the movement as well, and EA essentially ends up hijacked as "the foreign-aid arm of social justice".

    There are worse fates, but there are better ones, too, and I'd say even EAers who enthusiastically support SJ themes like Open Borders should see this as lost potential.

    Can we prevent this failure mode? I dunno (we seem to be in the middle of stage 2, with hints of stage 3 right now). It's going to be hard to completely prevent since:
    - EA is such a juicy target for hijacking,
    - EA has no built-in ideological security (with a nod to W.E., "effective altruism is not a natural kind"),
    - it's easy to join the movement (anyone can call themself an EA) but hard to disseminate social norms to newcomers, and hard to enforce them.

    So, if we can't prevent failure completely, can we mitigate it? I'd love to think that valence research could help- i.e., if we understand what suffering/wellbeing are, and can improve our quantitative metrics for how to measure the *actual* good we're doing, maybe that could help keep our eyes on the prize. (i.e., if we can turn EA into more of a science, it might have less volatile politics.) Otherwise, I think an unshakable dedication toward political/ideological diversity could help. (I am somewhat hopeful here, for certain reasons). Maybe EA can counter-infiltrate SJ, and bring a more refined / coldly-rational edge to SJ efforts to improve the world? Can we make a social norm that competing in zero-sum status games (and in general, any 'holier than thou' posturing) is low-status? Can we give EA and EAers tools to fight against entryism?

    Lots of open questions and few answers! One thought, though- it's probably most interesting to keep a close eye on what the leadership is doing, rather than the average EAer. I think the leadership is pretty smart and is not only worrying about this, but actively trying to head off certain failure modes.

    *I'm reminded of this post- http://thefutureprimaeval.net/socjus-and-ideological.../

    (2) SJ -

    Well Futurism WAS initially a fascist enterprise, so maybe we can find you some allies. Just kidding, I actually think you make some compelling arguments - especially about encouraging migration to other undeveloped countries. I haven't seen this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries treated anywhere, where did you get this idea? Are there other advocates of this approach? I also worry about decreasing social trust associated with immigration.

    The biggest EA OpenBorders advocate I know is Carl Shulman: http://openborders.info/carl-shulman/ The economic models he mentions do seem unrealistic to me though. I would expect diminishing returns as immigration increased, not a doubling of global GDP.

    (3) AK (response to SJ) -

    "I haven't seen this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries treated anywhere, where did you get this idea?"

    Mostly my own idea, but it does have a few loose historical precedents. For instance, the European colonial powers imported Indian and Chinese "coolies" into their African dominions because they found that the locals were not really suited for building their infrastructure projects (this was not for lack of effort, incidentally!). The Soviet Union sent engineers, doctors, and other qualified professionals to develop Central Asia. Most affected Russians didn't want that but its not like they were given a choice about it.

    Africa under colonialism tended to better than afterwards (at least until the 1980s or so) and Central Asia was definitely much more prosperous under the USSR than it is today. What these two situations have in common is that in both cases the colonial/cognitive elites deserted in large members after independence and the collapse of the colonial/Communist systems that sustained them. But in principle, we do know that such a system can work in at least so long as somebody is subsidizing it.

    I expect projections of a doubled GDP are predicated on treating labor as an undifferentiated mass without accounting for human capital. It's common amongst economists (though slowly becoming less so).

    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don’t pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been “cucked”, in their view.

    Read More
    • Agree: AndrewR
    • Replies: @jtgw
    Speaking as a libertarian, I'm interested to know what these Effective Altruists are proposing exactly. Are they simply talking about letting foreigners come here to earn their own money and pay for their own food and shelter? If so, I'm all for it. If they're talking about coming here to get food and shelter at taxpayers' expense, I'm totally against that.
    , @Bartolo
    No, Matt.

    The reason most people are not writing much in this post is that those on the Left (mostly) who pretend to care actually don´t give a fig, and they are all about status whoring and virtue signalling. And, believe it or not (and I really don´t know why), flooding Europe with Muslims (and I am talking about supposedly atheist marxists).

    Therefore, trying to convince them with arguments is an exercise in futility. Karlin is trying to be constructive, but that is difficult when nobody cares.

    You seem to be an instance of this, since you don´t comment on the subject, either. You just rush to signal you virtue and smash the "meanies".

    Or maybe I am being unfair and you have some suggestions as to how make the message come across to people like... well, you, I guess?
    , @Sean
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a65_1441034785 There are losers from immigration in the West but they are the poor indigenous Europeans. Lets look at the Africans and muslims you claim to be woirried about , while commenters here are " in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration" .

    It is not obvious that an open door policy would not make far more Muslims and Africans suffer. It seems it only Africans and Arabs who come to Europe are worth you worrying about. Africans and Arabs who stay in their own country and die because there are no doctors or infrastructure and civil wars raging through lack of good administrators, those suffering people (the billion strong 98% majority of the suffering) don't rate your concern.

    Some development economists like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clemens think letting people immigrate from the Dominican Repubic is the best way to help them. There are people such development economist Paul Collier who think helping people in their own countries is the only way to help the genuinely needy, because those who go to the West in a brain drain makes the country worse, while the best of what's left want to go too, and the diasporas lower the cost of immigrating. Without restricting it immigration will naturally accelerate. Basically he says the immigrants' home countries will descend into hell holes if their best people are facilitated to leave. Collier has an interesting anecdote about trying to get factories started in the DR after the earthquake to bring development,and being stopped because environmentalists found out there were shy izards near the sight. There was quite a international campaign complaining about his proposals risking disturbing the lizards . But it wasn't really about the lizards, and you are not really worried about 98% of suffering Africans of Arabs; only the ones that are useful for sticking it to European societies most vulnerable classes, like those in the top link. They are easy targets, and you have Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche on your side he announced the migrants are 'just the people we need', pledging to give them jobs. Those immigrants are a tiny minority but they are where you can use them to big yourself up.


    The HBD genetic angle is that the refugees who get here are indeed the most capable affluent and qualified and according to HBD they represent a loss to their country of irreplicable genetic seed corn, Bringing them to the west condemns their homelands and the billion people left stuck there to downward spiralling poverty.

    , @AndrewR
    This site's commentariat certainly has a significant strain of dogmatism about race and utter lack of concern about people considered outside of the arbitrarily defined "white" racial group.

    OTOH, as Bartolo points out, a lot of the left seems to be motivated more by social status seeking and anti-white animus than any sort of genuine concern for the invaders/migrants/refugees.

    We live in interesting times.
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  4. jtgw says:
    @matt
    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don't pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been "cucked", in their view.

    Speaking as a libertarian, I’m interested to know what these Effective Altruists are proposing exactly. Are they simply talking about letting foreigners come here to earn their own money and pay for their own food and shelter? If so, I’m all for it. If they’re talking about coming here to get food and shelter at taxpayers’ expense, I’m totally against that.

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  5. Sean says:
    @jtgw
    I don't know from EA, but I'm a pretty solid libertarian, yet I recognize that Western countries cannot open their borders as long as they remain welfare states. It's really strange how people who are otherwise progressive statists get all libertarian and constitutionalist when it comes to immigration. It's like they really believe money grows on trees and that their societies will continue to remain just as prosperous while they offer benefits to anyone in the world who needs it, or claims to need it. If you're going to be open borders, at least have the decency to oppose wealth redistribution at the same time!

    “And as someone who really values EA’s potential for reducing suffering and promoting well-being in the world, I really hope EA figures this stuff out.”
    EA is moral irreproachable but for utilitarians, which includes most people (or that is how they frame their arguments anyway) the greatest good of the greatest number is the criterion. One does not have to be altruistic to work for the common good if our self interest works to maximise the common good, as in The Fable of the Bees. So a utilitarian does not necessarily accept the need for meaningful altruism, or value it.

    I would say significant altruism is forgoing things you really want to help unrelated others, eg never eating out or going to a bar or giving your own daughter a superb birthday party. Forego those kind of things to help others, and you are altruistic. Altruism is clear cut, one helps others at painful cost to oneself. Effective altruism is when one’s altruism is directed at most in need, but as already mentioned it’s not necessarily the same as the greatest good for the greatest number. What AK is proposing seems non-altruistic to me, which doesn’t make it necessarily ineffective for the greatest good of the greatest number.

    Altruism does not come into into immigration as economists overwhelmingly agree that immigrants are a net benefit to a Western country in every way. In global utility terms people should move where they are most productive, until the differences cease to exist, but as mentioned immigration makes everyone in the receiving country better off so according to all virtually all the experts, being pro immigration is just enlightened self interest.

    “this idea of moving immigrants from troubled countries to poorer countries “
    The most valuable migrants are taking individual decisions to bail out on their homeland, leaving them without doctors, technicians and other qualified people necessary to improve things). The business class (overwhelmingly pro immigration) and intelligentsia (only a little less overwhelmingly pro immigration) in the country receiving immigration are bailing out of their national bonds with their fellow indigenous. All of them are looking for what they can get , not trying to be of service. Only force could persuade them otherwise.

    “I expect projections of a doubled GDP are predicated on treating labor as an undifferentiated mass without accounting for human capital. It’s common amongst economists (though slowly becoming less so)”
    A country can run on migration , it pumps up the housing market and at the same time keeps construction costs down. Britain is an example. It is very difficult to see the advantage for a country like Germany with a manufacturing base, given that future manufacturing and services will be more and more automated. I think the earnings ratio is the statistic Economists point to. But people today are fit enough to work at ages inconceivable when pensions were first brought in. Working till 7o or even older would be quite practicable in future decades. Gunnar Heinsohn says there will be high taxes and no pensions so young people would emigrate but countries like Britain and Holland are having high emigration. (MP Frank Field is in no doubt why and talks about this at 3:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaWJ9MN-RVU) . Given that immigration might cause greatly increased emigration, the many educated Germans who speak English and are ‘post national’ in spirit could go to Denmark or the US. Germany may lose more highly qualified people than it gains.

    In Germany Siemens and Daimler have both pledged to give jobs to the refugees. Most British and US commentators say that Merkel is compelled by German demographics to import people., and so Germany will know not be overtaken by Britain as the most populous country in the EU by 2050, which was gleefully being reported in the Economist not long ago. That is an indication that underneath all this Eurounity, nation states apart from Germany are jealous of their status and want to gain relative power in the future . Why else would the German population relative to Britain’s decades hence matter in the EU? My feeling is the German leadership and people are doing this for moral reasons and a kind of insecurity about the way they would be perceived if it were the only big western power without cities a third non European. It sounds ridiculous that Germany is frightened of getting into a war but Merkel has raised that spectre repeatedly over the Euro. There is little doubt the German anti nuclear mania derives from their fear of being a WW3 battleground, not because they think it will pay off economically. The trauma of WW2 can’t be overestimated, and it seems the Germans think if they follow the mirror image of a master race policy they’ll be safe. Far fetched I know, but their nuclear policy is no less strange.

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  6. Bartolo says:

    I have been trying to convince some people I know by using some of these arguments (especially the one concerning the lower costs of taking care of refugees in places other than Europe). To no avail. They don´t even pay attention, let alone make an effort to understand. It´s status whoring and moral posturing all the way.

    Actually, the idea of not bringing them to Europe is anathema to them.

    See, if the immigrants don´t come over here, our beautiful souls can´t go to the central station of their city to distribute food other people paid for and take a selfie with a Muslim child – then go back home and post it on Facebook.

    Even worse: the “racists” and “xenophobes” don´t mind helping refugees in situ. In fact, they are perfectly ok with it. Thus, rational and cost-effective help in neighbouring, low-cost countries would fail to elicit any response from “racists” and “xenophobes”… which deprives our beautiful souls of the possibility to engage in conspicuous moralizing and to “fight against fascim”… or something like that. Since all they want is some fun, and don´t care at all about the refugees, they won´t even listen.

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  7. Bartolo says:
    @matt
    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don't pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been "cucked", in their view.

    No, Matt.

    The reason most people are not writing much in this post is that those on the Left (mostly) who pretend to care actually don´t give a fig, and they are all about status whoring and virtue signalling. And, believe it or not (and I really don´t know why), flooding Europe with Muslims (and I am talking about supposedly atheist marxists).

    Therefore, trying to convince them with arguments is an exercise in futility. Karlin is trying to be constructive, but that is difficult when nobody cares.

    You seem to be an instance of this, since you don´t comment on the subject, either. You just rush to signal you virtue and smash the “meanies”.

    Or maybe I am being unfair and you have some suggestions as to how make the message come across to people like… well, you, I guess?

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  8. Bartolo says:

    If we want to help effectively, thinking about the best, most cost-effective ways to help is not enough. We must also approach the issue keeping in mind the mentality of the people.

    In short: we must make proposals that people might find plausible and support. Proposals that can catch the attention of the public. Proposals that have a chance of being implemented in the first place.

    Supporting refugees in well-equipped camps in neighbouring countries and helping Assad (or at least stop hampering him) seem great options.

    Settling them in countries where there is a dearth of doctors and living costs are low is only good (and ingenious) in theory. But in the real world, it has short legs. (1) They don´t want to live in black, poor countries; (2) Blacks might not want them, either; (3) People will find the idea bizarre and will think those who propose it are wackos, thus paying 0 attention to proposals.

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  9. jtgw says:

    Immigration restrictionists have a big image problem when it comes to appealing to elements outside the far right. Take VDare, for instance. A good portion of their articles aren’t about immigration at all, but about black delinquency. So even if they occasionally post someone’s argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites, you can’t help but get the impression that immigration restrictionism is basically just a kind of white nationalism. Which is fine if you’re a white nationalist, but most people aren’t, not even most whites. Maybe Trump can bridge this gap, but I’m starting to lose confidence in him for my part.

    Read More
    • Replies: @matt

    So even if they occasionally post someone’s argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites
     
    You used to hear arguments like this a lot, even on the semi-far right. They sometimes seemed disingenuous, when coming out of the mouths of at least some of the people who made them, but they were made nonetheless.

    Prediction: You'll hear them less. And less. And less, until these arguments are met with open contempt by what will then be "mainstream" conservatives ("Who cares if it helps them? What matters is that it helps us."). You heard it hear first, folks.

    , @Sean

    Michel Levin: In fact—this theme permeates Race—play of the gene card, far from being a gratuitous swipe at blacks, has been forced on defenders of justice by the constant diabolization of whites. It is impossible to be silent when silence amounts to an admission of guilt. When Smith limps into court, berates Jones for breaking his leg, and demands damages, Smith must be prepared to hear Jones deny the charge. Smith has opened the door to alternative hypotheses about the cause of his deformity, for instance that it runs in his family, and he must be prepared to face them. Smith cannot accuse Jones and then call him tactless for pleading innocent—exactly what liberals do when they blame whites for black woes, then call whites who deny the charge insensitive and try to silence them with speech codes.
     
    , @AndrewR
    VDARE is contractually obliged to publish all articles from certain (if not all) contributers. Officially they are a single issue site that takes no position on non-immigration topics, although cetartainly they all oppose racial rent-seeking by black predators and parasites.
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  10. matt says:
    @jtgw
    Immigration restrictionists have a big image problem when it comes to appealing to elements outside the far right. Take VDare, for instance. A good portion of their articles aren't about immigration at all, but about black delinquency. So even if they occasionally post someone's argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites, you can't help but get the impression that immigration restrictionism is basically just a kind of white nationalism. Which is fine if you're a white nationalist, but most people aren't, not even most whites. Maybe Trump can bridge this gap, but I'm starting to lose confidence in him for my part.

    So even if they occasionally post someone’s argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites

    You used to hear arguments like this a lot, even on the semi-far right. They sometimes seemed disingenuous, when coming out of the mouths of at least some of the people who made them, but they were made nonetheless.

    Prediction: You’ll hear them less. And less. And less, until these arguments are met with open contempt by what will then be “mainstream” conservatives (“Who cares if it helps them? What matters is that it helps us.”). You heard it hear first, folks.

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  11. Sean says:
    @matt
    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don't pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been "cucked", in their view.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a65_1441034785 There are losers from immigration in the West but they are the poor indigenous Europeans. Lets look at the Africans and muslims you claim to be woirried about , while commenters here are ” in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration” .

    It is not obvious that an open door policy would not make far more Muslims and Africans suffer. It seems it only Africans and Arabs who come to Europe are worth you worrying about. Africans and Arabs who stay in their own country and die because there are no doctors or infrastructure and civil wars raging through lack of good administrators, those suffering people (the billion strong 98% majority of the suffering) don’t rate your concern.

    Some development economists like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clemens think letting people immigrate from the Dominican Repubic is the best way to help them. There are people such development economist Paul Collier who think helping people in their own countries is the only way to help the genuinely needy, because those who go to the West in a brain drain makes the country worse, while the best of what’s left want to go too, and the diasporas lower the cost of immigrating. Without restricting it immigration will naturally accelerate. Basically he says the immigrants’ home countries will descend into hell holes if their best people are facilitated to leave. Collier has an interesting anecdote about trying to get factories started in the DR after the earthquake to bring development,and being stopped because environmentalists found out there were shy izards near the sight. There was quite a international campaign complaining about his proposals risking disturbing the lizards . But it wasn’t really about the lizards, and you are not really worried about 98% of suffering Africans of Arabs; only the ones that are useful for sticking it to European societies most vulnerable classes, like those in the top link. They are easy targets, and you have Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche on your side he announced the migrants are ‘just the people we need’, pledging to give them jobs. Those immigrants are a tiny minority but they are where you can use them to big yourself up.

    The HBD genetic angle is that the refugees who get here are indeed the most capable affluent and qualified and according to HBD they represent a loss to their country of irreplicable genetic seed corn, Bringing them to the west condemns their homelands and the billion people left stuck there to downward spiralling poverty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jtgw
    I'm confused. In your response to me earlier you seemed to be accepting the economics consensus that immigration benefited host societies. Do you not actually buy that?

    There seems to be an analogy with free trade: domestic producers of certain goods might lose in competition with foreign goods, but domestic consumers win, and the benefits to consumers outweigh the harm to producers because the money that consumers save can be invested in producing and exporting goods that the importing country has a comparative advantage in.

    You'd think it would work the same when it comes to immigration, assuming a truly free market in goods and labor. Native workers might lose in the competition for jobs, but native employers and consumers win and the winnings outweigh the losses for the society as a whole. It could be this is all rubbish but it makes sense on the face of it. And when did we all become communists and put the interests of the proletariat above everyone else?

    A lot of the restrictionist arguments in particular seem to rely on the lump-of-labor fallacy, and it's hard to gauge how harmful immigration is in a free market system when the market is already distorted in so many ways by government regulation, subsidies and taxation.
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  12. jtgw says:
    @Sean
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a65_1441034785 There are losers from immigration in the West but they are the poor indigenous Europeans. Lets look at the Africans and muslims you claim to be woirried about , while commenters here are " in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration" .

    It is not obvious that an open door policy would not make far more Muslims and Africans suffer. It seems it only Africans and Arabs who come to Europe are worth you worrying about. Africans and Arabs who stay in their own country and die because there are no doctors or infrastructure and civil wars raging through lack of good administrators, those suffering people (the billion strong 98% majority of the suffering) don't rate your concern.

    Some development economists like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clemens think letting people immigrate from the Dominican Repubic is the best way to help them. There are people such development economist Paul Collier who think helping people in their own countries is the only way to help the genuinely needy, because those who go to the West in a brain drain makes the country worse, while the best of what's left want to go too, and the diasporas lower the cost of immigrating. Without restricting it immigration will naturally accelerate. Basically he says the immigrants' home countries will descend into hell holes if their best people are facilitated to leave. Collier has an interesting anecdote about trying to get factories started in the DR after the earthquake to bring development,and being stopped because environmentalists found out there were shy izards near the sight. There was quite a international campaign complaining about his proposals risking disturbing the lizards . But it wasn't really about the lizards, and you are not really worried about 98% of suffering Africans of Arabs; only the ones that are useful for sticking it to European societies most vulnerable classes, like those in the top link. They are easy targets, and you have Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche on your side he announced the migrants are 'just the people we need', pledging to give them jobs. Those immigrants are a tiny minority but they are where you can use them to big yourself up.


    The HBD genetic angle is that the refugees who get here are indeed the most capable affluent and qualified and according to HBD they represent a loss to their country of irreplicable genetic seed corn, Bringing them to the west condemns their homelands and the billion people left stuck there to downward spiralling poverty.

    I’m confused. In your response to me earlier you seemed to be accepting the economics consensus that immigration benefited host societies. Do you not actually buy that?

    There seems to be an analogy with free trade: domestic producers of certain goods might lose in competition with foreign goods, but domestic consumers win, and the benefits to consumers outweigh the harm to producers because the money that consumers save can be invested in producing and exporting goods that the importing country has a comparative advantage in.

    You’d think it would work the same when it comes to immigration, assuming a truly free market in goods and labor. Native workers might lose in the competition for jobs, but native employers and consumers win and the winnings outweigh the losses for the society as a whole. It could be this is all rubbish but it makes sense on the face of it. And when did we all become communists and put the interests of the proletariat above everyone else?

    A lot of the restrictionist arguments in particular seem to rely on the lump-of-labor fallacy, and it’s hard to gauge how harmful immigration is in a free market system when the market is already distorted in so many ways by government regulation, subsidies and taxation.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    One aspirin might do you good, but a hundred won't. Is that a fallacy? I do accept it can be gauged moderately beneficial when kept to a much lower level that it will attain without restriction, but am aware that as Collier says economists strain to prove that immigration is good for everybody all the time in every way. He says moderate immigration is good economically but has ambiguous social effects, Sustained intense migration would be quite different and probably have rapid acting negative economic and social effects on the host society. The NYT never places a limit, they are in effect stretching the evidence to imply the more the better. A hundred aspirins.
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  13. Sean says:
    @jtgw
    Immigration restrictionists have a big image problem when it comes to appealing to elements outside the far right. Take VDare, for instance. A good portion of their articles aren't about immigration at all, but about black delinquency. So even if they occasionally post someone's argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites, you can't help but get the impression that immigration restrictionism is basically just a kind of white nationalism. Which is fine if you're a white nationalist, but most people aren't, not even most whites. Maybe Trump can bridge this gap, but I'm starting to lose confidence in him for my part.

    Michel Levin: In fact—this theme permeates Race—play of the gene card, far from being a gratuitous swipe at blacks, has been forced on defenders of justice by the constant diabolization of whites. It is impossible to be silent when silence amounts to an admission of guilt. When Smith limps into court, berates Jones for breaking his leg, and demands damages, Smith must be prepared to hear Jones deny the charge. Smith has opened the door to alternative hypotheses about the cause of his deformity, for instance that it runs in his family, and he must be prepared to face them. Smith cannot accuse Jones and then call him tactless for pleading innocent—exactly what liberals do when they blame whites for black woes, then call whites who deny the charge insensitive and try to silence them with speech codes.

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  14. Sean says:
    @jtgw
    I'm confused. In your response to me earlier you seemed to be accepting the economics consensus that immigration benefited host societies. Do you not actually buy that?

    There seems to be an analogy with free trade: domestic producers of certain goods might lose in competition with foreign goods, but domestic consumers win, and the benefits to consumers outweigh the harm to producers because the money that consumers save can be invested in producing and exporting goods that the importing country has a comparative advantage in.

    You'd think it would work the same when it comes to immigration, assuming a truly free market in goods and labor. Native workers might lose in the competition for jobs, but native employers and consumers win and the winnings outweigh the losses for the society as a whole. It could be this is all rubbish but it makes sense on the face of it. And when did we all become communists and put the interests of the proletariat above everyone else?

    A lot of the restrictionist arguments in particular seem to rely on the lump-of-labor fallacy, and it's hard to gauge how harmful immigration is in a free market system when the market is already distorted in so many ways by government regulation, subsidies and taxation.

    One aspirin might do you good, but a hundred won’t. Is that a fallacy? I do accept it can be gauged moderately beneficial when kept to a much lower level that it will attain without restriction, but am aware that as Collier says economists strain to prove that immigration is good for everybody all the time in every way. He says moderate immigration is good economically but has ambiguous social effects, Sustained intense migration would be quite different and probably have rapid acting negative economic and social effects on the host society. The NYT never places a limit, they are in effect stretching the evidence to imply the more the better. A hundred aspirins.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    I just think the way you present your arguments is confusing and it's hard to know where you stand on these issues. Collier's examples seem to be as much about the harm of environmental regulation as about the harms of immigration and don't necessarily conflict with libertarian positions on the fundamental good of free markets, free trade and open borders. Whenever people point to the harm of one or the other of these things, I usually suspect that the deadening hand of government is involved somewhere, e.g. one reason the Wall Street crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression was because Hoover raised tariffs in response.

    When it comes to immigration, we would do well to ask how harmful it really is, first of all, and then to ask how much of the harm is actually caused by this or that distortion of free enterprise and civil society by bureaucracy. Immigrants scrounging off welfare is a no-brainer, obviously: we would have no problem of welfare scroungers if we had no welfare. Immigrants stealing jobs is another problem that may not be a problem: it assumes the pool of jobs is static, which should not be the case in a growing economy. If employment overall is not increasing, maybe instead of blaming immigrants we should ask what else is wrong that could be causing this. The Fed's inflationary monetary policy is one obvious culprit: it pumps fake money into the economy, inflating GDP statistics but not actually increasing wealth and jobs.

    As far as I'm concerned, effective altruists should be pushing for libertarian policies if they want to increase standards of living for all. What I'd be afraid of is any impulse to liberal interventionist or neocon do-gooding like taxpayer-funded foreign aid or regime change. I don't care how high your IQ is, I don't trust you to run everybody's lives for some perceived maximum benefit to humanity.
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  15. jtgw says:
    @Sean
    One aspirin might do you good, but a hundred won't. Is that a fallacy? I do accept it can be gauged moderately beneficial when kept to a much lower level that it will attain without restriction, but am aware that as Collier says economists strain to prove that immigration is good for everybody all the time in every way. He says moderate immigration is good economically but has ambiguous social effects, Sustained intense migration would be quite different and probably have rapid acting negative economic and social effects on the host society. The NYT never places a limit, they are in effect stretching the evidence to imply the more the better. A hundred aspirins.

    I just think the way you present your arguments is confusing and it’s hard to know where you stand on these issues. Collier’s examples seem to be as much about the harm of environmental regulation as about the harms of immigration and don’t necessarily conflict with libertarian positions on the fundamental good of free markets, free trade and open borders. Whenever people point to the harm of one or the other of these things, I usually suspect that the deadening hand of government is involved somewhere, e.g. one reason the Wall Street crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression was because Hoover raised tariffs in response.

    When it comes to immigration, we would do well to ask how harmful it really is, first of all, and then to ask how much of the harm is actually caused by this or that distortion of free enterprise and civil society by bureaucracy. Immigrants scrounging off welfare is a no-brainer, obviously: we would have no problem of welfare scroungers if we had no welfare. Immigrants stealing jobs is another problem that may not be a problem: it assumes the pool of jobs is static, which should not be the case in a growing economy. If employment overall is not increasing, maybe instead of blaming immigrants we should ask what else is wrong that could be causing this. The Fed’s inflationary monetary policy is one obvious culprit: it pumps fake money into the economy, inflating GDP statistics but not actually increasing wealth and jobs.

    As far as I’m concerned, effective altruists should be pushing for libertarian policies if they want to increase standards of living for all. What I’d be afraid of is any impulse to liberal interventionist or neocon do-gooding like taxpayer-funded foreign aid or regime change. I don’t care how high your IQ is, I don’t trust you to run everybody’s lives for some perceived maximum benefit to humanity.

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  16. memorials says:

    Too many/extra people. Am I the only one who sees the parallel between the zombie movie/TV genre and the migrations stirring these days? At some point someone gotta have the stones to unleash some of that good ol’ us/them inner dynamic. Yeah, I know: where to draw the line? how to decide who’s ‘extra?’

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    You're not the only one. Mass immigration as World War Z has been a trope of Steve's since that movie came out. It's probably where you got it from.

    I think that the decision of where to draw the line should not be made by bureaucrats. The US immigration system is as byzantine as its tax code. Let the market control the borders.
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  17. jtgw says:
    @memorials
    Too many/extra people. Am I the only one who sees the parallel between the zombie movie/TV genre and the migrations stirring these days? At some point someone gotta have the stones to unleash some of that good ol' us/them inner dynamic. Yeah, I know: where to draw the line? how to decide who's 'extra?'

    You’re not the only one. Mass immigration as World War Z has been a trope of Steve’s since that movie came out. It’s probably where you got it from.

    I think that the decision of where to draw the line should not be made by bureaucrats. The US immigration system is as byzantine as its tax code. Let the market control the borders.

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  18. Which in a way is quite ironic since WWZ the Movie was some of the most blatant Zionist propaganda Hollywood has produced to date (which is really saying something!).

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    • Replies: @Kat Grey
    Anatoly, I would love to rescue hundreds of stray cats and take them inside my home. Realistically, however I know that I would not be able to afford the amount of food they would consume nor the required yearly vaccines to keep them healthy; there is not enough space and they would end up tearing each other to pieces; due to explosive feline fecundity, my cat population would quadruple within the year; finally, the result would be thousands of diseased, starving cats with a host of infections and a house full of excrement.
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  19. Kat Grey says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Which in a way is quite ironic since WWZ the Movie was some of the most blatant Zionist propaganda Hollywood has produced to date (which is really saying something!).

    Anatoly, I would love to rescue hundreds of stray cats and take them inside my home. Realistically, however I know that I would not be able to afford the amount of food they would consume nor the required yearly vaccines to keep them healthy; there is not enough space and they would end up tearing each other to pieces; due to explosive feline fecundity, my cat population would quadruple within the year; finally, the result would be thousands of diseased, starving cats with a host of infections and a house full of excrement.

    Read More
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  20. Flower says:

    Yeah, I suppose EA is a great idea, and if you want to give money to it, that is your business. I am reluctant to “donate” anything because past history has shown that these “charities” end up making the organizers very rich, with little or nothing actually going to the folks the charity was about. Now, I could give EA a buck and then walk away feeling good about myself, which is what the organizers are counting on. Yeah, those poor European refugees have it tough right now, but there are a growing number of folks sitting on curbs and in their cars in this country. Know why? Because they don’t have a place to live. I give money to them.

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  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Too bad EAs doesn’t apply some HBD to their OB movement. It’s clear that certain populations create more wealth, so those groups should be brought in and integrated first. That would accelerate their society to better handle future immigration of less productive people.

    If there were truly Open Borders, but it came along with much stronger private property rights and almost no social safety net, then I do believe it would do a lot of good. Otherwise, you have a growing body of people incentivized to live on the backs of others.

    Therefore, I’m eager to watch Europe move towards Open Borders. It will ultimately force them to either eliminate their social welfare policies or collapse. The rest of the world, and hopefully the USA can learn from this. Plenty of immigrants are hard working and add to the world, but our system encourages and rewards people who prefer to leech.

    Besides being aware they exist, I’m not familiar with them. My impression is the Less Wrong community is now at Slate Star Codex. That’s a respectable set of IQ and SAT scores collected from their polling. It reminds me of the kids I went to college with, that still couldn’t wrap their heads around HBD until I walked them through step by step, in major part because they didn’t want to signal that they were racists.

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  22. Sean, please leave your comments be for half an hour before posting.

    Then, look them over for mainly two things:

    Laying the argument out so that a reader gets what you are saying. Watch out for quotes from other people, mark them clearly so that people will know the difference, especially if you disagree.

    Grammar, prepositions, subject-verb agreement — too many of these mistakes make people stop reading before the end.

    Thanks!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    "German culture is a culture of order" as Lind says.

    'Existential security being needed for liberalism and factual realism'. DS Wilson link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAjFC9agnd0 7:50

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  23. Sean says:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9602132/if-you-really-want-to-help-refugees-look-beyond-the-mediterranean/

    Collier understands the arguments rather well and on the specific issue of whether natives benefit, which is the opposite of effective altruism that we are supposed to be discussing, he says immigration’s tendency is to accelerate to levels that are economically harmful to the mass of natives, even those of the business class, because it reduces trust (or reciprocal altruism) and makes transaction costs prohibitive. if the Bitcoin technology is going to be needed at every step that is slower than just trust. Germany is a very high trust country. For example newspapers can be picked up from unattended stands because customers are trusted to pay for what they take, in the Dictator game psychological experiment German children gave away half their money).

    William Lind: A few years ago, in Stockholm, I needed some pipe cleaners. I stopped in a shop and bought a pack for 30 crowns. I thought that was expensive even for Sweden, so I checked the price in a different shop: 13 crowns. Then the light bulb went on. I realized the man who charged me 30 crowns wasn’t Swedish. He did not look Swedish, nor did he speak English with a Swedish accent. He was Middle Eastern. He had done what everyone does in his culture: cheat anyone he could. In Sweden it’s easy because people do not expect to be cheated

    I think Collier’s little story about Westerners protesting his proposed developments to help rebuild a devastated Third World country was really an aside complaining of the common tendency to seek status by altruistic outflanking. Such things have their place in the development of commercial society, like the people who won’t hurt root vegetables. 2:10, a Jain starving himself Jains are very successful in business. the Trustafarian green altruism police are not from poor families. The beliefs are not the point as DS Wilson says the factually wrong beliefs of cultures can and often do have practical realism. Liberalism and factual realism can only thrive in conditions of existential secutity. see <a title=”""” href="" Western freedoms are a consequence of the smooth functioning of Western societies, not the other way about.

    “…effective altruists should be pushing for libertarian policies if they want to increase standards of living for all.” Why do nations exist then? DS Wilson makes a point about religion but I think it is applicable to nations. There is no reason to think abolishing nations by libertarian migration policies would increase standards of living for anyone. Like I already said evidence of one aspirin being beneficial is not evidence for 100 being beneficial. Quite the opposite, to do good at moderate levels immigration has to has to be having very real economic and social effects relative to a finite system, so increasing immigration massively would be likely to do something profoundly out of scale . Emptying the migrant homelands of their qualified people by allowing them to bail out of their society could hardly help those countries remaining 95% of inhabitants.

    Moreover, in counties receiving immigration only indigenous social capital and networks are marked for destruction to facilitate integration of the communities, while immigrant social capital is left alone or encouraged. The laws against discrimination target the bonds of the indigenous communities to favour the integration of people who broke the bonds of their own societies. Putnam found that the indigenous community receiving immigration fragments, it has to work that way for assimilation to more. The immigrants are an alien wedge weakening what they are driven into, because like a wedge they are more dense (in social network terms) than the indigenous community, which is dissolved by government and social norms of nondiscrimination. In countries like Germany people will not break ranks and violate social norms no matter how distasteful (in this documented WW2 case German men were given the allowed not to participatee in an artrocity without penalty if they didn’t feel up to it. Many were disgusted with what they were doing , and threw up, but few of them asked to be excused). Lind again:-

    Why was the German chain of command able to do what ours cannot? The answer lies in the characteristics the German Army looked for in its officers. First, it demanded complete honesty at all times. Not only was active dishonesty not tolerated, neither was passive dishonesty: keeping your mouth shut and letting something you knew was wrong go through. The sin of omission was considered worse than the sin of commission. Second, it despised careerism. The surest way to guarantee you would not get promoted was to show you cared about it.

    Given a social norm of unqualified acceptance of immigrants, Germans will do just that even if it means destruction of their own communities. For the highly qualified indigenous, there is the possibility to bail out. Gunnar Heinsohn talked about this being an appreciable trend years ago:-

    Add to that another phenomenon that we can observe in Germany among other places. Here some of the ‘ethno-Germans’, as we are now beginning to call them, and who make up 85 per cent of the German population, are starting to emigrate. Annually about 150 000 Germans leave the country, most of them for the Anglo-Saxon world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ready to receive 1.5 million well-educated immigrants yearly, and they are doing everything to ease the way for them.” “It is no wonder that young, hard-working people in France and Germany choose to emigrate. It is not just that they have to support their own ageing population. If we take 100 20-year-olds, then the 70 Frenchmen and Germans also have to support 30 immigrants of their own age and their offspring. This creates dejection in the local population, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands. So they run away.”[...]

    I believe that even the pessimistic population prognoses will turn out to be too optimistic. They assume that the young people will stay in Europe and bring up their own children, but that will not happen. A study from 2005 showed that 52 per cent of the Germans between 18 and 32 wanted to leave. They might not mean it but they are entertaining the thought. The really qualified are leaving. The only truly loyal towards France and Germany are those who are living off the welfare system. Because there is no other place in the world that offers to pay for them. America, Canada and Australia count on receiving our best qualified youths, and they will get many of them. That will put an end to innovation and put a damper on economic growth in Europe. In Germany we are already forfeiting billions upon billions in revenue because we lack qualified people to take on the jobs. We have two million jobs that we cannot fill – and a welfare-dependent population of six million, and the two do not meet. The welfare group grows each year because of new babies, but the vacant job slots are not filled.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill M

    if the Bitcoin technology is going to be needed at every step that is slower than just trust. Germany is a very high trust country. For example newspapers can be picked up from unattended stands because customers are trusted to pay for what they take
     
    Even in Germany, this doesn't really scale beyond newspapers, which are very cheap goods whose value declines precipitously in a matter of hours. They don't leave a big jar out in the Porsche dealership and let you drive off in a Porsche. Virtually all commercial transactions aside from this newspaper example are done with the parties or their intermediaries like banks present. Bitcoin is just a piece of software, and it operates at the speed of light. It's certainly no slower than ordinary cash transactions or debit and credit transactions that are widely used.

    He did not look Swedish, nor did he speak English with a Swedish accent. He was Middle Eastern. He had done what everyone does in his culture: cheat anyone he could. In Sweden it’s easy because people do not expect to be cheated
     
    Lind is from the US. If he knew his own culture and history better, he might have had some more perspective. Yankee traders and speculators were famous for their cunning and deception in dealing. The Old West was known for its shrewd traders who were often little more than con men: http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Tradin-Ben-K-Green/dp/0803270860 The frontier was littered with wildcat banks that routinely ripped people off. Back then, markets for those goods were much more imperfectly competitive, and buyers and sellers had much less information, thus cheating was rife. Today, markets are much more ubiquitous, especially for ordinary goods like pipe cleaners. The markets for these things are much more perfectly competitive, with prices much more uniform and information much more easily discovered, and most buyers and sellers are price takers. But there are still more imperfectly competitive markets around such as car dealerships, certain real estate and financial markets, where this sort of cheating is still the norm. American car dealers will cheat buyers out of thousands of dollars by charging different prices because they can and because it's profitable in their much less perfectly competitive market. It's much less possible and less profitable for an American grocer to do so, so he doesn't, because there's other grocers nearby. The Middle Eastern pipe cleaner seller comes from a culture in which markets aren't as extensive and where markets for knick knacks and pipe cleaners are much less perfectly competitive, and more like imperfectly competitive car dealerships in the US.
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  24. I confess that I do not understand the appeal of the Less Wrong club. Well, maybe I do. While there is no original thought to be found there, they skew heavily young, university-educated, and smug. Also fairly humorless.

    Maybe it’s a dating community (but unfortunately like all dating communities with a high multiple of males over females).

    It’s still mysterious to me how someone as uninteresting as Yudkowsky could become a guru — a figure to be looked up to. But that’s what they said about Mullah Omar, too…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    It’s still mysterious to me how someone as uninteresting as Yudkowsky could become a guru — a figure to be looked up to...
     
    I don't know, I'm currently 50% of the way through HPMOR (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality) and it's been really fun if in a very nerdy, autistic kind of way. The first lengthy fan fic I can recall reading.

    Also Yudkowsky has some interesting and probably fairly original futurist ideas like the CEV concept, which is playing its role in discussions of the AI control problem.

    He is obviously very high IQ and fairly high energy (having founded major organizations in both rationality and AI research) if with a tendency to take his work perhaps a bit more seriously than it warrants (google Roko's Basilisk if you're feeling bold). But otherwise I don't know why he would be a bad leader.
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  25. Sean says:
    @Stubborn in Germany
    Sean, please leave your comments be for half an hour before posting.

    Then, look them over for mainly two things:

    Laying the argument out so that a reader gets what you are saying. Watch out for quotes from other people, mark them clearly so that people will know the difference, especially if you disagree.

    Grammar, prepositions, subject-verb agreement -- too many of these mistakes make people stop reading before the end.

    Thanks!

    “German culture is a culture of order” as Lind says.

    ‘Existential security being needed for liberalism and factual realism’. DS Wilson link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAjFC9agnd0 7:50

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  26. @Stubborn in Germany
    I confess that I do not understand the appeal of the Less Wrong club. Well, maybe I do. While there is no original thought to be found there, they skew heavily young, university-educated, and smug. Also fairly humorless.

    Maybe it's a dating community (but unfortunately like all dating communities with a high multiple of males over females).

    It's still mysterious to me how someone as uninteresting as Yudkowsky could become a guru -- a figure to be looked up to. But that's what they said about Mullah Omar, too...

    It’s still mysterious to me how someone as uninteresting as Yudkowsky could become a guru — a figure to be looked up to…

    I don’t know, I’m currently 50% of the way through HPMOR (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality) and it’s been really fun if in a very nerdy, autistic kind of way. The first lengthy fan fic I can recall reading.

    Also Yudkowsky has some interesting and probably fairly original futurist ideas like the CEV concept, which is playing its role in discussions of the AI control problem.

    He is obviously very high IQ and fairly high energy (having founded major organizations in both rationality and AI research) if with a tendency to take his work perhaps a bit more seriously than it warrants (google Roko’s Basilisk if you’re feeling bold). But otherwise I don’t know why he would be a bad leader.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stubborn in Germany
    Well, I got curious after reading an article in ... Slate (?) Salon (?) can't remember where, but the journalist had traveled out to the West Coast and spent a good deal of time among the Less Wrong people. He made it sound like a quirky but not unappealing bunch of people. It made me curious and I looked for them on the Web and as it turned out, they were advertising a "meet-up" a few days later just a few blocks from where I live. It said to bring homemade food along. I don't know why, but I was expecting a potluck brunch probably in a rented back room of a restaurant. And I thought I was going to meet a diverse bunch of people -- expat Americans, Europeans, men, women, young, old, professionals and non-professionals, mostly geeks (but geeks can be okay) ... a chance to get pleasantly drunk and maybe have an interesting conversation or two.

    When I got there lugging my container of American-style food, I discovered it wasn't at a restaurant but in a second-floor apartment. There were five people there, all in their twenties (i.e., I could be their dad) plus one precocious four-year old. All lived in that apartment. They kept telling me more people would come but no one came the entire afternoon. Everybody was cradling a tablet computer or a smartphone and would type or surf on it at times during conversation.

    The apartment was modern, spotlessly clean, and sparsely furnished. Not a single book in any room. No, wait. In the living room, atop the dresser, there sat a hardcopy of Mr. Yudkowsky's book, propped up much like a picture of the Madonna in a Catholic family's home, or like a shrine.

    All five adults (two women, three men) *plus* the little girl were bright people, but none struck me as highly gifted. I mention this because they went on and on about intelligence and about how Yudkowsky rewrote Harry Potter so the characters would act as intelligent people would. They were polite and friendly but in a way that struck me as vacuous and oddly disconnected. (No one offered me a drink, I had to ask for a glass of water after two and a half hours.)

    I quizzed them about their views of the "singularity", machine intelligence, and how to ensure humanity's continued existence. Presumably their responses came straight from Yudkowsky's writings, but I could not discern any ideas that had not already been broached by science fiction authors (or, less frequently, philosophers and computer scientists).

    They also talked about altruism as if it were something they had discovered afresh. But they were ignorant of the etymology of the word, nor had they heard of Auguste Comte or of the "religion of humanity".

    Finally I concluded I was in the presence of a cult. Not a cult like Jonestown but a much more benign affair. And when they showed me an age breakdown of Less Wrong people in response to my question (whipping it up in no time on one of their tablets) I became certain that this was as much about keeping people out ("old" people like me) ... as it was about drawing people in ("their kind", i.e., the young, so they can happily re-invent the wheel undisturbed).

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  27. @Anatoly Karlin

    It’s still mysterious to me how someone as uninteresting as Yudkowsky could become a guru — a figure to be looked up to...
     
    I don't know, I'm currently 50% of the way through HPMOR (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality) and it's been really fun if in a very nerdy, autistic kind of way. The first lengthy fan fic I can recall reading.

    Also Yudkowsky has some interesting and probably fairly original futurist ideas like the CEV concept, which is playing its role in discussions of the AI control problem.

    He is obviously very high IQ and fairly high energy (having founded major organizations in both rationality and AI research) if with a tendency to take his work perhaps a bit more seriously than it warrants (google Roko's Basilisk if you're feeling bold). But otherwise I don't know why he would be a bad leader.

    Well, I got curious after reading an article in … Slate (?) Salon (?) can’t remember where, but the journalist had traveled out to the West Coast and spent a good deal of time among the Less Wrong people. He made it sound like a quirky but not unappealing bunch of people. It made me curious and I looked for them on the Web and as it turned out, they were advertising a “meet-up” a few days later just a few blocks from where I live. It said to bring homemade food along. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a potluck brunch probably in a rented back room of a restaurant. And I thought I was going to meet a diverse bunch of people — expat Americans, Europeans, men, women, young, old, professionals and non-professionals, mostly geeks (but geeks can be okay) … a chance to get pleasantly drunk and maybe have an interesting conversation or two.

    When I got there lugging my container of American-style food, I discovered it wasn’t at a restaurant but in a second-floor apartment. There were five people there, all in their twenties (i.e., I could be their dad) plus one precocious four-year old. All lived in that apartment. They kept telling me more people would come but no one came the entire afternoon. Everybody was cradling a tablet computer or a smartphone and would type or surf on it at times during conversation.

    The apartment was modern, spotlessly clean, and sparsely furnished. Not a single book in any room. No, wait. In the living room, atop the dresser, there sat a hardcopy of Mr. Yudkowsky’s book, propped up much like a picture of the Madonna in a Catholic family’s home, or like a shrine.

    All five adults (two women, three men) *plus* the little girl were bright people, but none struck me as highly gifted. I mention this because they went on and on about intelligence and about how Yudkowsky rewrote Harry Potter so the characters would act as intelligent people would. They were polite and friendly but in a way that struck me as vacuous and oddly disconnected. (No one offered me a drink, I had to ask for a glass of water after two and a half hours.)

    I quizzed them about their views of the “singularity”, machine intelligence, and how to ensure humanity’s continued existence. Presumably their responses came straight from Yudkowsky’s writings, but I could not discern any ideas that had not already been broached by science fiction authors (or, less frequently, philosophers and computer scientists).

    They also talked about altruism as if it were something they had discovered afresh. But they were ignorant of the etymology of the word, nor had they heard of Auguste Comte or of the “religion of humanity”.

    Finally I concluded I was in the presence of a cult. Not a cult like Jonestown but a much more benign affair. And when they showed me an age breakdown of Less Wrong people in response to my question (whipping it up in no time on one of their tablets) I became certain that this was as much about keeping people out (“old” people like me) … as it was about drawing people in (“their kind”, i.e., the young, so they can happily re-invent the wheel undisturbed).

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  28. Bill M says:
    @Sean
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9602132/if-you-really-want-to-help-refugees-look-beyond-the-mediterranean/

    Collier understands the arguments rather well and on the specific issue of whether natives benefit, which is the opposite of effective altruism that we are supposed to be discussing, he says immigration's tendency is to accelerate to levels that are economically harmful to the mass of natives, even those of the business class, because it reduces trust (or reciprocal altruism) and makes transaction costs prohibitive. if the Bitcoin technology is going to be needed at every step that is slower than just trust. Germany is a very high trust country. For example newspapers can be picked up from unattended stands because customers are trusted to pay for what they take, in the Dictator game psychological experiment German children gave away half their money).


    William Lind: A few years ago, in Stockholm, I needed some pipe cleaners. I stopped in a shop and bought a pack for 30 crowns. I thought that was expensive even for Sweden, so I checked the price in a different shop: 13 crowns. Then the light bulb went on. I realized the man who charged me 30 crowns wasn’t Swedish. He did not look Swedish, nor did he speak English with a Swedish accent. He was Middle Eastern. He had done what everyone does in his culture: cheat anyone he could. In Sweden it’s easy because people do not expect to be cheated
     
    I think Collier's little story about Westerners protesting his proposed developments to help rebuild a devastated Third World country was really an aside complaining of the common tendency to seek status by altruistic outflanking. Such things have their place in the development of commercial society, like the people who won't hurt root vegetables. 2:10, a Jain starving himself Jains are very successful in business. the Trustafarian green altruism police are not from poor families. The beliefs are not the point as DS Wilson says the factually wrong beliefs of cultures can and often do have practical realism. Liberalism and factual realism can only thrive in conditions of existential secutity. see <a href="" Western freedoms are a consequence of the smooth functioning of Western societies, not the other way about.

    "...effective altruists should be pushing for libertarian policies if they want to increase standards of living for all." Why do nations exist then? DS Wilson makes a point about religion but I think it is applicable to nations. There is no reason to think abolishing nations by libertarian migration policies would increase standards of living for anyone. Like I already said evidence of one aspirin being beneficial is not evidence for 100 being beneficial. Quite the opposite, to do good at moderate levels immigration has to has to be having very real economic and social effects relative to a finite system, so increasing immigration massively would be likely to do something profoundly out of scale . Emptying the migrant homelands of their qualified people by allowing them to bail out of their society could hardly help those countries remaining 95% of inhabitants.

    Moreover, in counties receiving immigration only indigenous social capital and networks are marked for destruction to facilitate integration of the communities, while immigrant social capital is left alone or encouraged. The laws against discrimination target the bonds of the indigenous communities to favour the integration of people who broke the bonds of their own societies. Putnam found that the indigenous community receiving immigration fragments, it has to work that way for assimilation to more. The immigrants are an alien wedge weakening what they are driven into, because like a wedge they are more dense (in social network terms) than the indigenous community, which is dissolved by government and social norms of nondiscrimination. In countries like Germany people will not break ranks and violate social norms no matter how distasteful (in this documented WW2 case German men were given the allowed not to participatee in an artrocity without penalty if they didn't feel up to it. Many were disgusted with what they were doing , and threw up, but few of them asked to be excused). Lind again:-


    Why was the German chain of command able to do what ours cannot? The answer lies in the characteristics the German Army looked for in its officers. First, it demanded complete honesty at all times. Not only was active dishonesty not tolerated, neither was passive dishonesty: keeping your mouth shut and letting something you knew was wrong go through. The sin of omission was considered worse than the sin of commission. Second, it despised careerism. The surest way to guarantee you would not get promoted was to show you cared about it.
     
    Given a social norm of unqualified acceptance of immigrants, Germans will do just that even if it means destruction of their own communities. For the highly qualified indigenous, there is the possibility to bail out. Gunnar Heinsohn talked about this being an appreciable trend years ago:-

    Add to that another phenomenon that we can observe in Germany among other places. Here some of the ‘ethno-Germans’, as we are now beginning to call them, and who make up 85 per cent of the German population, are starting to emigrate. Annually about 150 000 Germans leave the country, most of them for the Anglo-Saxon world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ready to receive 1.5 million well-educated immigrants yearly, and they are doing everything to ease the way for them.” “It is no wonder that young, hard-working people in France and Germany choose to emigrate. It is not just that they have to support their own ageing population. If we take 100 20-year-olds, then the 70 Frenchmen and Germans also have to support 30 immigrants of their own age and their offspring. This creates dejection in the local population, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands. So they run away.”[...]

    I believe that even the pessimistic population prognoses will turn out to be too optimistic. They assume that the young people will stay in Europe and bring up their own children, but that will not happen. A study from 2005 showed that 52 per cent of the Germans between 18 and 32 wanted to leave. They might not mean it but they are entertaining the thought. The really qualified are leaving. The only truly loyal towards France and Germany are those who are living off the welfare system. Because there is no other place in the world that offers to pay for them. America, Canada and Australia count on receiving our best qualified youths, and they will get many of them. That will put an end to innovation and put a damper on economic growth in Europe. In Germany we are already forfeiting billions upon billions in revenue because we lack qualified people to take on the jobs. We have two million jobs that we cannot fill - and a welfare-dependent population of six million, and the two do not meet. The welfare group grows each year because of new babies, but the vacant job slots are not filled.”
     

    if the Bitcoin technology is going to be needed at every step that is slower than just trust. Germany is a very high trust country. For example newspapers can be picked up from unattended stands because customers are trusted to pay for what they take

    Even in Germany, this doesn’t really scale beyond newspapers, which are very cheap goods whose value declines precipitously in a matter of hours. They don’t leave a big jar out in the Porsche dealership and let you drive off in a Porsche. Virtually all commercial transactions aside from this newspaper example are done with the parties or their intermediaries like banks present. Bitcoin is just a piece of software, and it operates at the speed of light. It’s certainly no slower than ordinary cash transactions or debit and credit transactions that are widely used.

    He did not look Swedish, nor did he speak English with a Swedish accent. He was Middle Eastern. He had done what everyone does in his culture: cheat anyone he could. In Sweden it’s easy because people do not expect to be cheated

    Lind is from the US. If he knew his own culture and history better, he might have had some more perspective. Yankee traders and speculators were famous for their cunning and deception in dealing. The Old West was known for its shrewd traders who were often little more than con men: http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Tradin-Ben-K-Green/dp/0803270860 The frontier was littered with wildcat banks that routinely ripped people off. Back then, markets for those goods were much more imperfectly competitive, and buyers and sellers had much less information, thus cheating was rife. Today, markets are much more ubiquitous, especially for ordinary goods like pipe cleaners. The markets for these things are much more perfectly competitive, with prices much more uniform and information much more easily discovered, and most buyers and sellers are price takers. But there are still more imperfectly competitive markets around such as car dealerships, certain real estate and financial markets, where this sort of cheating is still the norm. American car dealers will cheat buyers out of thousands of dollars by charging different prices because they can and because it’s profitable in their much less perfectly competitive market. It’s much less possible and less profitable for an American grocer to do so, so he doesn’t, because there’s other grocers nearby. The Middle Eastern pipe cleaner seller comes from a culture in which markets aren’t as extensive and where markets for knick knacks and pipe cleaners are much less perfectly competitive, and more like imperfectly competitive car dealerships in the US.

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  29. Sean says:

    “They don’t leave a big jar out in the Porsche dealership and let you drive off in a Porsche”
    The value of what Syrian refugees are being given is more than a top of the range Porsche. Moreover, if they were giving Porsches away that would not stop anyone else buying one, but when excess young men are allowed into the country it will inevitably mean hundreds of thousands of ethno-German men never reproducing. The social bonding capital among Germans (but not refugees) is going to have to be dissolved and ethno-Germans will be at a disadvantage. The immigrants are going to be in the cities where they will act as a wedge. London is the same size it was a couple of generations ago, but half the indigenous population have left.

    “Bitcoin is just a piece of software, and it operates at the speed of light”
    I meant use of Block chain database technology, because people don’t trust one another. It would be a symptom rather than a cause. A link that explains why it is so difficult to get things done efectively in certain cultures http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

    “The Middle Eastern pipe cleaner seller comes from a culture in which markets aren’t as extensive and where markets for knick knacks and pipe cleaners are much less perfectly competitive, and more like imperfectly competitive car dealerships in the US.”
    There are many things to get up to with cars. Insurance fraud for example, which will become a lot more common in Germany I expect, some variants involve deliberately crashing into another car. I recall reading that a mayor was complaining that immigrants often call friends after an accident and a ethno-German gets mobbed . Markets don’t create societies in my opinion it is the society that creates the market.

    Michael Lewis,: “When Goldman Sachs helped the New York hedge fund manager John Paulson design a bond to bet against — a bond that Paulson hoped would fail — the buyer on the other side was a German bank called IKB. IKB, along with another famous fool at the Wall Street poker table called WestLB, is based in Düsseldorf – which is why, when you asked a smart Wall Street bond trader who was buying all this crap during the boom, he might well say, simply, ‘Stupid Germans in Düsseldorf.’ [...] “Others do not behave as Germans do: others lie. The same instincts that allowed them to trust the Wall Street bond salesmen also allowed them to trust the French when they promised there would be no bailouts, and the Greeks when they swore that their budget was balanced.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill M

    The value of what Syrian refugees are being given is more than a top of the range Porsche.
     
    I think you misunderstand me. I'm not defending Syrian migration into Germany or saying that it will have any positive effects for Germany, economic or otherwise. I'm saying that virtually all commercial transactions are done with the transacting parties or their intermediaries such as banks present, and that the newspaper example is not representative of commercial transactions in Germany. Newspapers are very low value goods whose value quickly falls to zero in just a matter of hours.

    I meant use of Block chain database technology, because people don’t trust one another. It would be a symptom rather than a cause.
     
    The block chain is what makes Bitcoin like money or bankers' ledgers and credit money. In other words, it's not any more a symptom than gold or paper money is. In all commercial transactions, including in Germany, sellers demand immediate money payment or future payment of interest or collateral from buyers, precisely because they don't trust the counterparty.

    Markets don’t create societies in my opinion it is the society that creates the market.
     
    You don't seem to be talking about markets though. Or money for that matter. You seem to be talking about some sort of communal society that you think is identical to the market.

    The purpose of markets and money is to overcome the transactions costs of the lack of perfect information and trust.
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  30. Bill M says:
    @Sean
    "They don’t leave a big jar out in the Porsche dealership and let you drive off in a Porsche"
    The value of what Syrian refugees are being given is more than a top of the range Porsche. Moreover, if they were giving Porsches away that would not stop anyone else buying one, but when excess young men are allowed into the country it will inevitably mean hundreds of thousands of ethno-German men never reproducing. The social bonding capital among Germans (but not refugees) is going to have to be dissolved and ethno-Germans will be at a disadvantage. The immigrants are going to be in the cities where they will act as a wedge. London is the same size it was a couple of generations ago, but half the indigenous population have left.

    "Bitcoin is just a piece of software, and it operates at the speed of light"
    I meant use of Block chain database technology, because people don't trust one another. It would be a symptom rather than a cause. A link that explains why it is so difficult to get things done efectively in certain cultures http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

    "The Middle Eastern pipe cleaner seller comes from a culture in which markets aren’t as extensive and where markets for knick knacks and pipe cleaners are much less perfectly competitive, and more like imperfectly competitive car dealerships in the US."
    There are many things to get up to with cars. Insurance fraud for example, which will become a lot more common in Germany I expect, some variants involve deliberately crashing into another car. I recall reading that a mayor was complaining that immigrants often call friends after an accident and a ethno-German gets mobbed . Markets don't create societies in my opinion it is the society that creates the market.


    Michael Lewis,: “When Goldman Sachs helped the New York hedge fund manager John Paulson design a bond to bet against -- a bond that Paulson hoped would fail -- the buyer on the other side was a German bank called IKB. IKB, along with another famous fool at the Wall Street poker table called WestLB, is based in Düsseldorf - which is why, when you asked a smart Wall Street bond trader who was buying all this crap during the boom, he might well say, simply, ‘Stupid Germans in Düsseldorf.’ [...] “Others do not behave as Germans do: others lie. The same instincts that allowed them to trust the Wall Street bond salesmen also allowed them to trust the French when they promised there would be no bailouts, and the Greeks when they swore that their budget was balanced."
     

    The value of what Syrian refugees are being given is more than a top of the range Porsche.

    I think you misunderstand me. I’m not defending Syrian migration into Germany or saying that it will have any positive effects for Germany, economic or otherwise. I’m saying that virtually all commercial transactions are done with the transacting parties or their intermediaries such as banks present, and that the newspaper example is not representative of commercial transactions in Germany. Newspapers are very low value goods whose value quickly falls to zero in just a matter of hours.

    I meant use of Block chain database technology, because people don’t trust one another. It would be a symptom rather than a cause.

    The block chain is what makes Bitcoin like money or bankers’ ledgers and credit money. In other words, it’s not any more a symptom than gold or paper money is. In all commercial transactions, including in Germany, sellers demand immediate money payment or future payment of interest or collateral from buyers, precisely because they don’t trust the counterparty.

    Markets don’t create societies in my opinion it is the society that creates the market.

    You don’t seem to be talking about markets though. Or money for that matter. You seem to be talking about some sort of communal society that you think is identical to the market.

    The purpose of markets and money is to overcome the transactions costs of the lack of perfect information and trust.

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  31. jtgw says:

    I can’t speak for other countries, but my vision of the US is of a jurisdiction in which individuals should be free to pursue their own vision of happiness, but on their own initiative. It’s not a closed vision limiting these opportunities to members of a privileged class or race, but neither is it a license to seize by force (including the acceptance of public welfare) whatever resources you feel you are entitled to to achieve your personal goal of happiness. Whatever you gain must be gained by the universally recognized laws of fair commercial transaction.

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  32. Sean says:

    “I’m saying that virtually all commercial transactions are done with the transacting parties or their intermediaries such as banks present, and that the newspaper example is not representative of commercial transactions in Germany.”
    It is indicative of the ability to do business in a very cost effective way. In other countries one would have additional expenses to do the same thing. It only takes a minority to make the cost effective methods of conducting the transaction unusable, and that applies to any economic activity.

    “The purpose of markets and money is to overcome the transactions costs of the lack of perfect information and trust.”
    Individuals making the optimal self-interested decision in Nash equilibrium? The world does not seem to work like that. The ultimatum game, in which a split has to be acceptable for the deal to go through, relies on both parties having similar ideas of what is acceptable. In Germany contracts are regarded as binding. In Arab countries a contract is often regarded as an agreed intention rather than a commitment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill M

    It is indicative of the ability to do business in a very cost effective way. In other countries one would have additional expenses to do the same thing.
     
    That would be the case if business transactions in Germany were done without money and markets. That's not the case. To do business and transact in Germany, you generally have to use money and participate in markets.

    Individuals making the optimal self-interested decision in Nash equilibrium? The world does not seem to work like that.
     
    Markets don't work like that. Markets aren't a Nash equilibrium. In a Nash equilibrium, people know their opponent's strategies. In a market, people don't know counterparties' demand or supply schedules.
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  33. A Person says:

    I’m in general agreement with this post… I agree that EAs labeling themselves as EAs does not make the things they do actually altruistically effective. I don’t buy that because most EAs are liberal, a liberal worldview is the one that’s most conducive to being altruistically effective. And I am worried about an internal ideological battle in EA between SJ people and non-SJ people. (For what it’s worth, I identify as EA but I’m not politically liberal and I’m skeptical of a lot of the solutions EAs push.)

    I think the solution is what you are doing right now: engage in a constructive and friendly way. Writing this post is a good start. I think it would be cool to see some of the HBD bloggers put together a site that is basically the opposite of http://openborders.info/ and lays out the best case you can construct against open borders. Or even just a blog post. Then make a post to the EA forum or Facebook group with it and do these things:

    * Act remorseful for Akin’s behavior and agree that he should have been banned. Emphasize that membership in the group should be based on the standard of discussion participants maintain, not the ideology they hold. The idea being that if someone like you disagrees with them while maintaining a high standard of discussion you should not be kicked out. Especially for unpopular with the mainstream positions like HBD, it’s critical for HBD proponents to control their message and suppress loutish behavior in order to let academic thinkers predominate, so I actually think the HBD people are having a favor done to us when our worst advocates are censored.

    * Talk about the necessity of being inclusive to people with different political views, conservatives in particular. Although I identify as EA, it is stressful for me as a moderate conservative who doesn’t see obvious flaws in the writings of people like HBD Chick and Jayman to hear people talk about open borders and not be able to say anything because I know I will immediately be written off as a bigot racist etc… so I just keep my mouth shut. But it is causing me to identify with EA less and less. If EA is going to be a “big tent” movement it is going to need to find a way to deal with this sort of ideological diversity… kicking out people just because they don’t automatically reject EA is not ideologically inclusive, and ideological inclusivity is harder & more important than traditional sorts of inclusivity (tell them this… but it’s also true IMO).

    * If you want, acknowledge that you’re a white man and point out that dismissing things that people say on the basis of their race and gender is fundamentally an ad hominem argument. Say you’re perfectly willing to acknowledge that it’s possible you are biased on the issue, but the way to persuade you of that is by showing you convincing true arguments against your position not by pointing it out. Say that in order to be effectively altruistic in the world, it’s critical that our beliefs not be shaped so they are optimized for social desirability or conforming with our friends. Etc. etc. You can also point out that as a Russian (?) you are from Eastern Europe so according to the writings of HBD Chick etc. you are relatively less clannish and thus have “inferior” genes insofar as a concept of inferiority would be implied by HBD Chick’s writings. (BTW it’s interesting to note that HBD Chick thinks the English are the most outbred, and people of English descent, including a huge number of people who are quite literally from England, seem strongly overrepresented in the EA movement… it might be interesting to point this out, if only to flatter those English people. As an English person in England, I confess to reading HBD Chick a bit more than is healthy because it flatters me.)

    * You can talk about how the fact that the EA movement feels that it needs to preserve its image in order to look good to the press etc. means that EA will de facto go along with the mainstream press goes along with. But there’s no particular reason to believe that the mainstream press is optimizing for creating the conditions needed by an EA movement that is actually altruistically effective. So there needs to be some way of resolving the conundrum of EAs who are trying to be effective in whatever way is most sensible being slaves to the popular opinion, while popular opinion is not being optimized for sensibility (it’s being optimized for the headlines people will click on while browsing the internet, or what the powers that be want us to believe, or what have you… but it’s not being optimized for EA). Basically, to what point are so-called “EAs” willing to throw high-quality discussion about what actual EA actions are under the bus in order to optimize appearances for the media? Because at a certain point taken to an extreme you are just like any other group optimizing their appearances for the media, trying to boost your own status at the expense of other groups etc. (This points to a broader problem with the whole “big tent” concept. There’s inevitably going to be some subsection of your tent that people can point and laugh at. But in PR you are only as strong as your weakest link.)

    Something I think conservatives often miss is there are 2 kinds of liberals: liberals who lead the witch hunts and compete in self-righteous “liberal purity” posturing (https://themerelyreal.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/liberal-purity/), and liberals who are just nice people who kinda go along with the witch hunts because they don’t want to be seen as racist/sexist/etc, or object internally without saying anything (my guess is these are the silent majority). EAs in my experience are overwhelmingly of the 2nd type.

    So yeah, I think if you engage constructively and charitably that could be pretty valuable. The key thing to ward off the pessimistic scenario of EA being a clusterfuck is establishing a culture of friendly charitable etc. discourse between people from different sections of the “big tent”. Thus far EA has been shockingly good at this in my estimation, having observed firsthand.

    Sorry I am “defecting” by not doing this myself but I value my reputation too much. You’ve already sacrificed yours by posting under your real name so thanks for that :) Anyway keep it up!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    Say you’re perfectly willing to acknowledge that it’s possible you are biased on the issue, but the way to persuade you of that is by showing you convincing true arguments against your position not by pointing it out.
     
    Are we a computer that uses machine intelligence to process the information neutrally and go through all possible outcomes ? Machine intelligence finds even the perfect knowledge of future developments in chess computationally intractable (ie computers are programmed to play by using humans' educated guesses about the best moves). While we can produce 'true' arguments for why instead of giving our daughter a birthday party, we ought to use the money to save several children's lives in the third world, no one acts on that kind of thinking in practice. Because it is never acted on, it's not practical reasoning and can never be effective.
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  34. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    CUCKS!!

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  35. Sean says:
    @A Person
    I'm in general agreement with this post... I agree that EAs labeling themselves as EAs does not make the things they do actually altruistically effective. I don't buy that because most EAs are liberal, a liberal worldview is the one that's most conducive to being altruistically effective. And I am worried about an internal ideological battle in EA between SJ people and non-SJ people. (For what it's worth, I identify as EA but I'm not politically liberal and I'm skeptical of a lot of the solutions EAs push.)

    I think the solution is what you are doing right now: engage in a constructive and friendly way. Writing this post is a good start. I think it would be cool to see some of the HBD bloggers put together a site that is basically the opposite of http://openborders.info/ and lays out the best case you can construct against open borders. Or even just a blog post. Then make a post to the EA forum or Facebook group with it and do these things:

    * Act remorseful for Akin's behavior and agree that he should have been banned. Emphasize that membership in the group should be based on the standard of discussion participants maintain, not the ideology they hold. The idea being that if someone like you disagrees with them while maintaining a high standard of discussion you should not be kicked out. Especially for unpopular with the mainstream positions like HBD, it's critical for HBD proponents to control their message and suppress loutish behavior in order to let academic thinkers predominate, so I actually think the HBD people are having a favor done to us when our worst advocates are censored.

    * Talk about the necessity of being inclusive to people with different political views, conservatives in particular. Although I identify as EA, it is stressful for me as a moderate conservative who doesn't see obvious flaws in the writings of people like HBD Chick and Jayman to hear people talk about open borders and not be able to say anything because I know I will immediately be written off as a bigot racist etc... so I just keep my mouth shut. But it is causing me to identify with EA less and less. If EA is going to be a "big tent" movement it is going to need to find a way to deal with this sort of ideological diversity... kicking out people just because they don't automatically reject EA is not ideologically inclusive, and ideological inclusivity is harder & more important than traditional sorts of inclusivity (tell them this... but it's also true IMO).

    * If you want, acknowledge that you're a white man and point out that dismissing things that people say on the basis of their race and gender is fundamentally an ad hominem argument. Say you're perfectly willing to acknowledge that it's possible you are biased on the issue, but the way to persuade you of that is by showing you convincing true arguments against your position not by pointing it out. Say that in order to be effectively altruistic in the world, it's critical that our beliefs not be shaped so they are optimized for social desirability or conforming with our friends. Etc. etc. You can also point out that as a Russian (?) you are from Eastern Europe so according to the writings of HBD Chick etc. you are relatively less clannish and thus have "inferior" genes insofar as a concept of inferiority would be implied by HBD Chick's writings. (BTW it's interesting to note that HBD Chick thinks the English are the most outbred, and people of English descent, including a huge number of people who are quite literally from England, seem strongly overrepresented in the EA movement... it might be interesting to point this out, if only to flatter those English people. As an English person in England, I confess to reading HBD Chick a bit more than is healthy because it flatters me.)

    * You can talk about how the fact that the EA movement feels that it needs to preserve its image in order to look good to the press etc. means that EA will de facto go along with the mainstream press goes along with. But there's no particular reason to believe that the mainstream press is optimizing for creating the conditions needed by an EA movement that is actually altruistically effective. So there needs to be some way of resolving the conundrum of EAs who are trying to be effective in whatever way is most sensible being slaves to the popular opinion, while popular opinion is not being optimized for sensibility (it's being optimized for the headlines people will click on while browsing the internet, or what the powers that be want us to believe, or what have you... but it's not being optimized for EA). Basically, to what point are so-called "EAs" willing to throw high-quality discussion about what actual EA actions are under the bus in order to optimize appearances for the media? Because at a certain point taken to an extreme you are just like any other group optimizing their appearances for the media, trying to boost your own status at the expense of other groups etc. (This points to a broader problem with the whole "big tent" concept. There's inevitably going to be some subsection of your tent that people can point and laugh at. But in PR you are only as strong as your weakest link.)

    Something I think conservatives often miss is there are 2 kinds of liberals: liberals who lead the witch hunts and compete in self-righteous "liberal purity" posturing (https://themerelyreal.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/liberal-purity/), and liberals who are just nice people who kinda go along with the witch hunts because they don't want to be seen as racist/sexist/etc, or object internally without saying anything (my guess is these are the silent majority). EAs in my experience are overwhelmingly of the 2nd type.

    So yeah, I think if you engage constructively and charitably that could be pretty valuable. The key thing to ward off the pessimistic scenario of EA being a clusterfuck is establishing a culture of friendly charitable etc. discourse between people from different sections of the "big tent". Thus far EA has been shockingly good at this in my estimation, having observed firsthand.

    Sorry I am "defecting" by not doing this myself but I value my reputation too much. You've already sacrificed yours by posting under your real name so thanks for that :) Anyway keep it up!

    Say you’re perfectly willing to acknowledge that it’s possible you are biased on the issue, but the way to persuade you of that is by showing you convincing true arguments against your position not by pointing it out.

    Are we a computer that uses machine intelligence to process the information neutrally and go through all possible outcomes ? Machine intelligence finds even the perfect knowledge of future developments in chess computationally intractable (ie computers are programmed to play by using humans’ educated guesses about the best moves). While we can produce ‘true’ arguments for why instead of giving our daughter a birthday party, we ought to use the money to save several children’s lives in the third world, no one acts on that kind of thinking in practice. Because it is never acted on, it’s not practical reasoning and can never be effective.

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  36. Bill M says:
    @Sean
    "I’m saying that virtually all commercial transactions are done with the transacting parties or their intermediaries such as banks present, and that the newspaper example is not representative of commercial transactions in Germany."
    It is indicative of the ability to do business in a very cost effective way. In other countries one would have additional expenses to do the same thing. It only takes a minority to make the cost effective methods of conducting the transaction unusable, and that applies to any economic activity.

    "The purpose of markets and money is to overcome the transactions costs of the lack of perfect information and trust."
    Individuals making the optimal self-interested decision in Nash equilibrium? The world does not seem to work like that. The ultimatum game, in which a split has to be acceptable for the deal to go through, relies on both parties having similar ideas of what is acceptable. In Germany contracts are regarded as binding. In Arab countries a contract is often regarded as an agreed intention rather than a commitment.

    It is indicative of the ability to do business in a very cost effective way. In other countries one would have additional expenses to do the same thing.

    That would be the case if business transactions in Germany were done without money and markets. That’s not the case. To do business and transact in Germany, you generally have to use money and participate in markets.

    Individuals making the optimal self-interested decision in Nash equilibrium? The world does not seem to work like that.

    Markets don’t work like that. Markets aren’t a Nash equilibrium. In a Nash equilibrium, people know their opponent’s strategies. In a market, people don’t know counterparties’ demand or supply schedules.

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  37. Sean says:

    Markets work because of people’s culturally inculcated and hereditary dispositions to cooperate, and it is mere assumption to stipulate that they work for other reasons given the variability beween market economies across the world. A Nash equilibrium is like a market when everyone is acting logically to maximise benefit to themselves. But in the real world people don’t simply take any gain they can get. A money example: whether you save $$20 on a toaster $20 on a car, it is logically the same. In the ultimatum game a 80/20 split favouring the proposer is considered fair, but any offer should be accepted even a 99/1 yet n practice people often reject those offers. German children made a 50/50 offer. You could call that altruism, or pro-social behaviour. There was a well known experiment to model interactions and it found big differences between countries, even within Europe. Greeks seemed far less cooperative, see here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill M
    What you're effectively stipulating is that there are no such things as markets, that the concept of the market and market participants is actually just an illusion, and that what appears to be market activity is in reality just some sort of robotic cooperation. That's fine, but it's just a metaphysical assumption, and there are also different metaphysical assumptions.

    A market is not a Nash equilibrium. In a Nash equilibrium, participants know opponents' equilibrium strategies. No market activity would take place if that were the case. In fact, many economists deny the reality of markets having any sort of equilibrium at all. Many believe it's primarily a convention adopted for the prestige of mathematization and elegance and to make the work of economics easier, without necessarily any basis in the reality of markets.

    At any rate, apparently you don't actually believe there is such a thing as the market, so perhaps that's why you think what's referred to as markets is just a Nash equilibrium.
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  38. Bill M says:
    @Sean
    Markets work because of people's culturally inculcated and hereditary dispositions to cooperate, and it is mere assumption to stipulate that they work for other reasons given the variability beween market economies across the world. A Nash equilibrium is like a market when everyone is acting logically to maximise benefit to themselves. But in the real world people don't simply take any gain they can get. A money example: whether you save $$20 on a toaster $20 on a car, it is logically the same. In the ultimatum game a 80/20 split favouring the proposer is considered fair, but any offer should be accepted even a 99/1 yet n practice people often reject those offers. German children made a 50/50 offer. You could call that altruism, or pro-social behaviour. There was a well known experiment to model interactions and it found big differences between countries, even within Europe. Greeks seemed far less cooperative, see here.

    What you’re effectively stipulating is that there are no such things as markets, that the concept of the market and market participants is actually just an illusion, and that what appears to be market activity is in reality just some sort of robotic cooperation. That’s fine, but it’s just a metaphysical assumption, and there are also different metaphysical assumptions.

    A market is not a Nash equilibrium. In a Nash equilibrium, participants know opponents’ equilibrium strategies. No market activity would take place if that were the case. In fact, many economists deny the reality of markets having any sort of equilibrium at all. Many believe it’s primarily a convention adopted for the prestige of mathematization and elegance and to make the work of economics easier, without necessarily any basis in the reality of markets.

    At any rate, apparently you don’t actually believe there is such a thing as the market, so perhaps that’s why you think what’s referred to as markets is just a Nash equilibrium.

    Read More
    • Agree: Numinous
    • Replies: @Sean
    "In a Nash equilibrium, participants know opponents’ equilibrium strategies "
    A paradox, also seen in electrical power grids, is that in traffic networks sometimes roads are overused, ie not in Nash equilibrium, to the extent that traffic flows better if they are closed down.

    Rats sometimes chose a worse location to find food in a maze, because in the real world there would be competition from other rats at the best location. Efficient markets depend on all kinds of human adaptations.
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  39. We are all travelers. The trip starts in a place called birth—and ends in that lonely town called death. And that’s the end of the journey, unless you happen to exist for a few hours, like Bunny Blake, in the misty regions of the Twilight Zone.

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  40. Sean says:
    @Bill M
    What you're effectively stipulating is that there are no such things as markets, that the concept of the market and market participants is actually just an illusion, and that what appears to be market activity is in reality just some sort of robotic cooperation. That's fine, but it's just a metaphysical assumption, and there are also different metaphysical assumptions.

    A market is not a Nash equilibrium. In a Nash equilibrium, participants know opponents' equilibrium strategies. No market activity would take place if that were the case. In fact, many economists deny the reality of markets having any sort of equilibrium at all. Many believe it's primarily a convention adopted for the prestige of mathematization and elegance and to make the work of economics easier, without necessarily any basis in the reality of markets.

    At any rate, apparently you don't actually believe there is such a thing as the market, so perhaps that's why you think what's referred to as markets is just a Nash equilibrium.

    “In a Nash equilibrium, participants know opponents’ equilibrium strategies “
    A paradox, also seen in electrical power grids, is that in traffic networks sometimes roads are overused, ie not in Nash equilibrium, to the extent that traffic flows better if they are closed down.

    Rats sometimes chose a worse location to find food in a maze, because in the real world there would be competition from other rats at the best location. Efficient markets depend on all kinds of human adaptations.

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  41. AndrewR says:
    @matt
    The reason there is a dearth of comments on this post is because very few Unz commenters are willing to pay even lip service to the notion of alleviating the suffering of Muslims and Africans, even if it is in the service of coming up with excuses to further limit Muslim and African immigration. They don't pretend to care anymore. Even pretending to care about human beings who lack sufficient European ancestry is a sign of having been "cucked", in their view.

    This site’s commentariat certainly has a significant strain of dogmatism about race and utter lack of concern about people considered outside of the arbitrarily defined “white” racial group.

    OTOH, as Bartolo points out, a lot of the left seems to be motivated more by social status seeking and anti-white animus than any sort of genuine concern for the invaders/migrants/refugees.

    We live in interesting times.

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  42. AndrewR says:
    @jtgw
    Immigration restrictionists have a big image problem when it comes to appealing to elements outside the far right. Take VDare, for instance. A good portion of their articles aren't about immigration at all, but about black delinquency. So even if they occasionally post someone's argument that restricting immigration will help blacks as well as whites, you can't help but get the impression that immigration restrictionism is basically just a kind of white nationalism. Which is fine if you're a white nationalist, but most people aren't, not even most whites. Maybe Trump can bridge this gap, but I'm starting to lose confidence in him for my part.

    VDARE is contractually obliged to publish all articles from certain (if not all) contributers. Officially they are a single issue site that takes no position on non-immigration topics, although cetartainly they all oppose racial rent-seeking by black predators and parasites.

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  43. Western liberalism whether sentimentalist left-liberal or rugged individual libertarian, is very much an individualistic, anit-communitarian ideology. White left-wing liberals aren’t really interested in pragmatically helping large number of people, since they have no interest in the health of societies, countries and communities, only particular individuals.

    They want to help other individuals that they imagine to be like themselves -fellow special snowflakes. Observe the way white left-liberals eyes light up when they see a NAM like President Obama who acts and talk like themselves. If Obama was a typcial black man rather than a “bounty bar” (white on the inside, black on the outside) SWPLs wouldn’t like him so much.

    Obviously it is much more cost-effective to say, send aid to refugees living in the third world than house refugees in overpriced housing in the large cities of industrialised countries, but that kind of pragmatic, anonymous help lacks an individualistic dimension. Liberals want to help individual refugees who they perceive to be escaping from redneck reactionaries in their own countries.

    It never dawns on them that they may be helping people who are very different from themselves.

    The libertarian commenters hear make the same argument, but from a rugged individualistic perspective – lets help the hard working, ambitions individuals in the third world who want to move away with their lazier, less talented, and more thuggish co-ethnics.

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