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Robert Stark has just released his latest podcast in which we discussed all sorts of topics including My American Decade along with co-host “PillEater.”

Robert Stark is a journalist who specializes in interviewing various interesting figures from the Alt fringes. So you could I suppose view him as The Unz Review on podcasts.

Here are some of my previous episodes with him:

Some notes/highlights:

  • My thesis from American Decade that American society has been “Europeanizing” this past decade.
  • The fragmentation of the US political spectrum: “Clinton democrats, Sanders socialists, Rubio/Bush etablishment conservatives, Cruz Bible-bashers, and Trump nationalists.”
  • A big chunk of US income inequality (relative to Europe) disappears once you adjust for race.
  • My political views: “Fairly socially liberal (except for rejecting political correctness, and radical feminism), economically centrist, and closest to Rabbit’s AltLeft.” (The main reason I don’t overtly identify as Alt Left is that I am probably considerably to the right of most of them on economics).
  • The SJW problem – today’s campus Pink Guards will be future elites in 20-30 years.
  • The Bay Area and its remarkably high density of interesting people.
  • The first global warming models were constructed by the Swede Svante Arrhenius, who was also – in what will surely blow the minds of Kochservatives – a eugenicist.
  • Amtrak as a little-known national treasure of America.

This didn’t make it into the podcast due to time constraints, but we also had a little discussion about the ideas of Michael Hudson, an economist (and UR columnist) who criticizes the financialization of the US economy. I am not actually convinced the problem is especially acute in the US – according to the statistics I’ve looked at, the financial sector’s assets relative to GDP are higher in the EU than in the US, and twice as large in the UK. That said, it is surely a pretty big misallocation of cognitive resources at the global level. The people now eking out a few more percentage points in greater economic efficiency (=a couple of years of normal growth) could instead be designing nuclear powered spaceships.

 
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This month the SF Bay Area based rationality organization LessWrong has released the latest survey of its members, or rather of its “diaspora,” since the site itself has gone mostly dormant with many of their members now congregating at Scott Alexander’s blog and Yudkowsky’s various offshoots).

Although some critics disparage Less Wrong as a clique of depressed autists – a stereotype considerably affirmed by its own surveys – it also hosts a concentration of highly motivated and intelligent people, many of whom are involved in cutting edge pursuits (artificial intelligence, transhumanism, effective altruism) and, one suspects, will on average achieve more and contribute more to technological and scientific progress than even the typical person of a similar IQ. As such, that makes LWs an interesting object of sociological study.

Less Wrong Demographics 2016: International

Taking into account only people who gave concrete answers to the question of nationality, 54% of LWs listed their primary country as the United States, while fully three quarters belonged to the Anglosphere (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand). The biggest non-Anglo communities were in Germany, Russia, Poland, France, Sweden, and Israel.

Below are all the countries which hosted more than 1% of the global LW community as gauged by the 2016 survey.

Country Share of Global LW Population
United States 54.1%
United Kingdom 7.8%
Canada 6.0%
Australia 5.9%
Germany 3.5%
Russia 2.3%
Poland 1.7%
France 1.4%
Sweden 1.3%
Israel 1.2%
Netherlands 1.1%
Denmark 1.1%
New Zealand 1.1%
India 1.1%
Finland 1.0%
Others 9.6%

In per capita terms, as you might have guessed, this is in ethnic terms a primarily Anglo, Judaic, and Nordic community. It has a modest presence in East-Central Europe, which begins to fade as you go into Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Latin America, and vanishes almost entirely in high IQ East Asia (even in rich, developed countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan which all have strong contacts with the SF Bay Area, the epicenter of the global LW community).

map-lesswrong-global-demographics-2016

In geographic terms, the Hajnal Line can as usual be discerned but it is shifted substantially east into Eastern Europe. Possibly this is because many LWs have a programming background, and Eastern Europe has no shortage of good programmers.

Less Wrong Demographics 2016: United States

Considering only the US, non-Hispanic Whites are substantially overrepresented relative to their share of the US population, while Hispanics and especially Blacks are very much underrepresented.

LessWrong Race (USA, 2016) %share %USpopulation Overrepresentation
White (non-Hispanic) 87.3% 62.1% 1.41
Middle Eastern 0.6% 2.5% 0.22
Hispanic 2.3% 16.9% 0.14
Black 0.4% 12.6% 0.03
Asian (Indian subcontinent) 1.9% 1.3% 1.52
Asian (East Asian) 3.5% 4.3% 0.81
Other 4.1% 9.1% 0.45

East Asians are underrepresented, though they converge with (non Jewish) Whites when Fillipinos – of whom there are almost as many as Chinese in the US – are removed from the East Asian category. However, considering that Less Wrong has its epicenter in the SF Bay Area, which is now a quarter Asian, and it becomes fair to say that relative to the population that Less Wrong typically draws upon – technically inclined, high IQ, Californian, SF Bay Area – and the East Asian underrepresentation becomes very, very substantial (though it is impossible to quantify this precisely since this survey had no information on where precisely in the US respodents came from).

In so doing, this underrepresentation provides yet another hint towards alternative explanations for the “bamboo ceiling” that have nothing to do with structural oppression and more to do with things like whether you have the curiosity to browse through Yudkowsky’s sequences in your free time.

LessWrong Race (USA, 2016) %share %USpopulation Overrepresentation
White (non-Hispanic) 76.7% 62.1% 1.23
Middle Eastern 0.3% 2.5% 0.13
Hispanic 1.9% 16.9% 0.11
Black 0.4% 12.6% 0.03
Asian (Indian subcontinent) 1.9% 1.3% 1.52
Asian (East Asian) 3.5% 4.3% 0.81
Jews 11.9% 2.0% 5.97
Other 3.3% 9.1% 0.37

When the figures are adjusted to count people who identify as Jews as a separate ethnicity, that dramatically lowers White overrepresentation and basically converges Middle Easterners with Hispanics. Asians from the Indian subcontinent overtake them, though not when adjusted for their greater demographic presence (not to mention intelligence and presence in the tech world) in the SF Bay Area.

lesswrong-racial-demographics-usa-2016

Meanwhile, the Jews themselves come to account for a larger share of the Less Wrong population than all the other non-White minorities combined.

lesswrong-racial-demographics-usa-2016-overrepresentation

There are six times as many Jews in Less Wrong as their share of the US population. Apart from their off cited intelligence, there are also relatively more Jews in the SF Bay Area than the average for the US, at around 3% of the population. Furthermore, considering that both of the most prominent “gurus” of Less Wrong, Eliezer Yudkowsky and Scott Alexander, are Jews, this is perhaps not all that surprising.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Jews, Rationality, San Francisco 
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Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nick Eberstadt, an analyst at the AEI who specializes in Korea and Russian demography. He was dropping by SF and we had drinks at the excellent Samovar Tea Lounge.

As readers will know, we do obviously have many disagreements on Russia demography, with Eberstadt representing the “pessimistic” side and myself, the more optimistic one; and his assumptions and methods have at times been objects of criticism at this blog. If I may be so bold, recent data – population growth since 2008, and perhaps even a natural increase this year – has, at least thus far, favored the “optimistic” variants more than the “pessimistic” ones (though one can validly argue that the “echo effect” of the 1990′s baby bust has yet to make its play).

Nonetheless, I should emphasize that he is a deeply knowledgeable and conscientious scholar, who is receptive to new data and convincing counter-arguments, and a very interesting and entertaining conversationalist in person. It would be good for Russia watchers in general to meet up more often, as online interaction just isn’t the same thing. If you’re ever passing by the Bay Area, feel free to drop me a line.

(Republished from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
 
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.