Protesters shut down UVic Effective Altruism club screening of a TED Talk by Peter Singer, the utilitarian philosopher and animal rights activist who has argued that carnivorous animals should be holocausted for the greater good*.
The event, which featured a screening of a TED Talk on effective altruism by Princeton professor and ethicist Peter Singer followed by a Skype Q&A, was met with protest on the grounds of Singer’s past defense of the right of parents to euthanize severely disabled infants.
Protesters argued that giving Singer a platform was implicitly supporting the murder of disabled people, and that his views supported eugenics. Those in support of the event, meanwhile, argued protesters were infringing on people’s right to free speech. …
McOuat said the event was intended to discuss “practical ways we can end global poverty, promote animal welfare, and reduce existential risks like climate change.”
“For me, it just goes back to the fact that we’re not promoting his views on [euthanasia] at all,” McOuat said. “It’s just all about solving climate change and all the stuff that we can all agree on.” …
All the while, Singer’s TED Talk and Q&A continued, and the room grew cacophonous. Shouts of support for Singer’s free speech were met with chants of “eugenics is hate” and “disabled lives matter,” and neither side showed any signs of backing down.
Here’s the thing. As a subset of Silicon Valley’s rationality/transhumanism-sphere, the EA movement is highly intelligent, highly Jewish, highly autistic – and, of course, overwhelmingly liberal (this is meant to swiftly characterize, not to imply that any of these is a bad thing).
I was at EA Global 2016 and my impression was that a good 90% of them supported Clinton over Trump; most of the rest were libertarians, neoreactionaries, Thiel’s boys, or some conjunction thereof. I made a temporary alliance with a libertarian proponent of seasteading to defend Trump at Alexander Kustov’s stand devoted to immigration, where we gathered a small throng at the same time curious and bewildered by our political unorthodoxy. The ensuing debate, however, was very civil and pleasant.
This, perhaps, hints at the root of the problem. Whereas EA supports many “social justice” ideals, perhaps naively – as I pointed out, they tend to be avid pronents of open borders, even though its very doubtful that #WelcomeRefugees is ideal even from a strictly utilitarian, anti-national position – at heart they are high IQ liberals who tend to understand nuance and respect freedom of speech, whereas SJWs are average IQ authoritarian leftists who have no time for “freeze peach” or the smallest acts of deviationism.
As such, further collisions – or coalescence – are inevitable.
* EDIT: Was jst pointed out to me that the argument against the existence of predatory animals has been associated with some of Singer’s more radical fans, and not so much Singer himself: “Philosopher Peter Singer has argued that intervention in nature would be justified if one could be reasonably confident that this would greatly reduce wild animal suffering and death in the long run. In practice, however, Singer cautions against interfering with ecosystems because he fears that doing so would cause more harm than good.“
This reads like the plot of a zombie movie. Elderly boffin Charles Murray & company go on a trip to the idyllic country estate of Middlebury, when…
I started to give an abbreviated version of my standard Coming Apart lecture, speaking into the camera. Then there was the sound of shouting outside, followed by loud banging on the wall of the building.
The existence of a ~1S.D. B/W gap in IQ is beyond dispute.
It is probably the single most studied and replicated finding in psychometrics. The graph of all the different studies of the B/W gap themselves form a bell curve, with Black IQ centered around 85.
Here is Emil Kirkegaard’s plot of John Fuerst’s massive (although unfinished) metastudy:
The only debate now, and since the past few decades, is whether the source of this difference is primarily environmental, cultural, or genetic.
The preponderance of the evidence now indicates it is mostly the latter (at least within socio-economically homogenous countries, such as the US), and in the next 5-10 years, further GWAS will very likely confirm it.
And that is a good outcome.
If the environment was to blame, it would imply that the already huge interventions to raise Black performance to White (and Asian!) levels had barely scratched the surface, so the only option would have been to abandon any further dreams of social justice or to embark on social engineering projects on cardinally bigger, possibly dystopian, scales.
If culture was to blame, it would have validated conservative critiques of Black and Hispanic lifeways and actually constituted an argument for a intensive imposition of White (or Asian) social standards and expectations on under-performing groups.
If, however, the ultimate cause is genetics, then nobody is to blame and we can all go about in peace rationally discussing the best way we can adopt to biological realities to everyone’s mutual benefit.
Here is Charles Murray himself, the conservative/libertarian, on this topic in The Bell Curve:
If intelligence plays an important role in determining how well one does in life, and intelligence is conferred on a person through a combination of genetic and environmental factors over which that person has no control (as we argue in the book), the most obvious political implication is that we need a Rawlsian egalitarian state, compensating the less advantaged for the unfair allocation of intellectual gifts.
The liberal Steven Pinker, in The Blank Slate:
Can one really reconcile biological differences with a concept of social justice? Absolutely. In his famous theory of justice, the philosopher John Rawls asks us to imagine a social contract drawn up by self-interested agents negotiating under a veil of ignorance, unaware of the talents or status they will inherit at birth — ghosts ignorant of the machines they will haunt. He argues that a just society is one that these disembodied souls would agree to be born into, knowing that they might be dealt a lousy social or genetic hand. If you agree that this is a reasonable conception of justice, and that the agents would insist on a broad social safety net and redistributive taxation (short of eliminating incentives that make everyone better off), then you can justify compensatory social policies even if you think differences in social status are 100 percent genetic.
Just supposing that there are differences between the races that are not caused by oppression, racism, etc. This is painfully obvious to anyone who will look. The Left refuses to look, because the reality of the whole mess is bad for the Left. So we say it doesn’t exist, unscientifically. We wish the reality away. …
Suppose Blacks had the same abilities as Whites, genetically.
All of the problems, including low IQ, were simply due the fact that they are fucking up, often on purpose. If this were true, and strangely enough, this sort of follows from liberal beliefs about genes and environment, I would argue for a harsh response to Blacks. Not necessarily cutting them off altogether, but I would certainly be a bit less likely to help them.
But there’s no evidence that that is true.
If Blacks do have low IQ due to things they cannot control, then, as a socialist, I would argue that there is no reason that the higher IQ group ought to obtain dramatically higher income, wealth, housing, living spaces and health than the lower one.
As much as possible, socialists should try to attempt to more equalize incomes, housing, living spaces and health care access for both groups, the higher IQ and the lower. …
Why should Whites be allowed to become dramatically richer, healthier, better housed, and live in better places than Blacks, simply because of how the genetic dice got rolled?
Answer: They have no such right. If both groups were equal, and Whites got that way by simply trying harder, then we could make the argument that the White position is just.
Why should Blacks be forced to become dramatically poorer, less healthy, worse housed, and live in worse places than Whites, simply because of how they were born, a variable that they had no control over whatsoever?
Answer: This is not right. It is not just. They should not be forced into these outcomes, and that they are is an outrageous injustice.
There seems to be a broad agreement across the thinking parts of the ideological spectrum that “social justice” (sanely defined) is both perfectly compatible and possibly even more defensible under an HBD-realistic lens.
However, the Pink Guards are utterly uninterested in looking at things from such perspectives, and it just so happens that neither will the Black Shirts they might eventually conjure up into being.
My own (limited) interactions with Charles Murray have all been positive, and I greatly respect him as an intellectual, a social scientist, and a proponent of open science. As such, there is nothing personal about the following analysis – it’s just my attempt to deconstruct his seemingly complex, but actually relatively straightforwards, political philosophy.
It barely needs to be stated that Charles Murray is not a racist/white nationalist, like the Pink Guards of Middlebury College and the respectable media insist. Even in The Bell Curve – a book that far more people “know of” than have actually read – he remains agnostic on whether the B/W gap is genetic or environmental in nature, and repeatedly goes out of his way to emphasize that group differences should never be used as justification to judge individuals differently (even though that’s not strictly accurate).
He has also, of course, become well known for being outspoken in his opposition to Trump – “counter-signalling,” if you will – for the past year: Meretricious appeals to Trump’s failings of character on the pages of The National Review, considerably more hystrionic screeds about “fascism” on his Twitter account. Speaking of The National Review, he is clearly part of that clique of Establishment neocons who believe that “dysfunctional” white working-class communities should die out and be replaced by immigrants. Now, in all fairness, Charles Murray himself is considerably more sympathetic to the white working class, possibly because of his far greater understanding of the world of Fishtown and Trump’s America, accumulated though thousands of hours of research; and, more speculatively, because his ties to the neocon (((tribe))) are ultimately not sanguinary in nature.
I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.
That said, the gloating reaction of elements of the Alt Right is somewhat misplaced, too – at least insofar as they attribute Murray’s “cuckoldry” to some desire to keep on getting invited to the cocktail parties of Conservatism Inc., out of monetary considerations, or out of a cowardly fear of becoming the next victim of an SJW witch-hunt. This is all pretty ridiculous. If respectability and huge amounts of money was his goal, Murray would have never even embarked on the career that he did, and he already has enough experience with SJWs for a few lifetimes; I suspect it’s like water off a duck’s back to him at this point.
Why do we always need to attribute personal or monetary motives to people’s ideologies, anyway?
Consider this. Murray supported the Iraq War, “for the reasons that the administration argues” (i.e. reasons based on lies, yet it is Trump and Russians, and not Murray himself, who live in a world of lies).
He became a supporter of gay marriage sometime around 2013; in so doing, he became the exemple par excellence of the neoreactionary criticism of conservatism as liberals with a lagtime of ten years.
He signalsskepticism about the anthropogenic nature of global warming, which is totally in line with conservative orthodoxy.
He writes long libertarian manifestos, while remaining positive-to-agnostic about the mass immigration of peoples – the “most American people” – who have no time for such Anglo autism. I don’t like breaking it to milquetoast conservatives, but returning to “muh constitution” isn’t going to get very far when you country is fast becoming an ethnic patchwork quilt, stratified between a Jewasian cognitive elite and the “mulatto underclass clicking sponsored content all day” it rules over (to borrow a phrase from eminent Twitter sociologist menaquinone4).
Along with the rest of Conservatism Inc., he seem to be pretty skeptical if not hostile to Russia. He approvingly mentions Leon Aron, who unironically speaks of “re-Stalinization” in Russia, as well as a piece by Noah Rothman in Commentary, in which Russia’s intervention in Syria is presented as “aggressive actions” that may present Washington with “a crisis that it cannot back down” from. (Predictably, there is no introspection about how exactly Russia’s presence in Syria at the invitation of Syria’s internationally recognized government could possibly be aggression against a United States that is operating in Syria with no legitimate mandate whatsoever).
In other words, apart from his ground-breaking work at the intersection of sociology and psychometrics, what we otherwise have in Charles Murray is a classic conservative of his generation – a “white-bread” conservative, one might say – who has grown up with his “brain on Judeo-Christian values” and who has faithfully and consistently subscribed to all the major tenets of the Conservatism Inc. tribe.
However, he can be no more blamed for this than millennial “rebels” marching in lockstep to dictates from the CIA, WaPo, and their Marxist college profs. At least Murray rebelled against one – rather central! – orthodoxy in his political religion, and to his credit, he has stood up for fellow heretics such as Jason Richwine instead of throwing them overboard, as is typical amongst conservatives.
Whereas the opposition’s 100,000+ attendance figures are mostly taken at face value, the same favour is rarely extended to pro-Kremlin ones, on the few occasions they are mentioned at all. For instance, the Anti-Orange Meeting on February 4 at Poklonnaya had a densely packed crowd about 200-300 meters wide, and stretching more than half a kilometer into the distance; according to calculations by the geodesic engineer Nikolai Pomeshchenko, there were around 80,000 people there. But the most quoted figure in the Western press was 20,000, which Patrick Armstrong tracked down to a single AP article which was shamelessly copied by outlets as diverse as The Guardian, FOX, and Salon. Does this photo look like 20,000 to you? Who are you going to believe, AP or your lying eyes? (But I guess that’s still marginally better than Le Parisien, which tried to pass off Poklonnaya as an anti-Putin rally).
In contrast, there is a distinct lack of any critical questioning of figures issued by the opposition. Again, let’s ask Pomeshchenko: Using spatio-mathematical methods, he estimated opposition protests of 60,000 on December 10 (at Bolotnaya), 56,000+ on December 24 (at Prospekt Sakharova), and 62,000 on February 4 (again, at Bolotnaya). They are intuitively reliable, being halfway between the estimates of the police and the opposition, both of which have a dog in the fight.
There are a variety of ways to “delegitimize” a globalist-disapproved politician using the crowd numbers game. The tried and true method is just understating attendance at meetings in his support, such as by emphasizing photos taken from unflattering angles, or early in the morning before the main mass of people had shown up. Meetings and protests against him should of course be amped up as much as possible (though within reason; you don’t want to be too blatant about it, especially now that you’ve so conveniently sown the “fake news” meme).
More “advanced” methods, which we might well see in the not too distance future, is to photograph concentrations of nearby buses or other mass transit vehicles as “proof” that the bad guy’s supporters, who are all brainwashed alcoholics anyway (substitute with “opiate addicts” for the Trump Edition), were all transported in on pain of losing their jobs. Extra points if this is projection of your own behavior!
That the globalists would adopt the same dirty tricks against Trump, apart from demonstrating that they are really SEETHING MAD at this turn of events, also hints are something interesting.
And by “hints” I mean it has Soros’ grubby claws all over it.
The Guardian has touted the “Women’s March on Washington” as a “spontaneous” action for women’s rights. Another liberal media outlet, Vox, talks about the “huge, spontaneous groundswell” behind the march. On its website, organizers of the march are promoting their work as “a grassroots effort” with “independent” organizers. Even my local yoga studio, Beloved Yoga, is renting a bus and offering seats for $35. The march’s manifesto says magnificently, “The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.”
It’s an idea that I, a liberal feminist, would embrace. But I know — and most of America knows — that the organizers of the march haven’t put into their manifesto: the march really isn’t a “women’s march.” It’s a march for women who are anti-Trump. …
By my draft research, which I’m opening up for crowd-sourcing on GoogleDocs, Soros has funded, or has close relationships with, at least 56 of the march’s “partners,” including “key partners” Planned Parenthood, which opposes Trump’s anti-abortion policy, and the National Resource Defense Council, which opposes Trump’s environmental policies. The other Soros ties with “Women’s March” organizations include the partisan MoveOn.org (which was fiercely pro-Clinton), the National Action Network (which has a former executive director lauded by Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett as “a leader of tomorrow” as a march co-chair and another official as “the head of logistics”). Other Soros grantees who are “partners” in the march are the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. March organizers and the organizations identified here haven’t yet returned queries for comment.
It’s a very, very familiar script that has at long last made its way back to its original homeland.
On that note, I got a rather interesting correspondence in response to an analogous post last year in which I pointed out Russia’s (and Eastern’s Europe’s, including Poland’s) relatively high percentages of female CEOs.
Does this also make a good argument in favor of gender quotas? Russia, Poland, Georgia, Baltics, Armenia, and most other countries who did really well on that list never really had anything like the modern feminist movement, but some things that they did have in common are gender quotas together with an aggressive information campaign aimed at getting women more involved in traditionally male areas or work. AFAIK these policies existed in the former Soviet Bloc in both informal and formal levels (for example 30% minimum representation quotas in all Soviets up to the Supreme Soviet). And they had these quotas long before France or Sweden thought of them.
This study shows to me one thing – that the results of these policies stick, they don’t disappear immediately when the quotas are removed, even if the financial and political systems suffer a serious shakeup and reshuffle. One of the common arguments against quotas of any kind is that they are ineffective – they create an illusion of equality, underneath which the actual inequality not only persists but exacerbates, since the party that is benefiting from the quota system starts to take it for granted and no longer has a reason to work as hard to compete with others for its share of the pie. As a consequence, there is a fear that should the quotas be withdrawn, its share of the pie may not only rapidly drop to its pre-quota levels, but even further than that, since the underlying inequality worsened. But this statistic offers at least some reassurance that it is not the case. It’s been 25 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the accompanying quota system, the Russian political and economic landscape was pretty radically re-configured and changed many hands since then, yet apparently the Russian women at least in business are still more affluent than their peers in their West, strongly suggesting that the Communist policies in this regard were effective. Perhaps the Commies were just ahead of their time, what do you think?
Of course, this has potential implications not only for gender quotas but all kinds of quota systems – ethnic quotas, race quotas, etc.
Quotas/”affirmative action” are not of course the most popular policy proposal around these parts, but its hard to think of an alternate cultural or deep historic explanation. Russia, Poland, etc. are Slavic, but the Caucasus and Baltic peoples are not. The Ex-Soviet bloc and China have the communitarian family as their traditional family… But Poland is egalitarian nuclear, while both Thailand and Indonesia – 5th and 6th, respectively – are anomic. The Hajnal line obviously plays no role here.
Economic structure? Russian companies tend to be big and bureacratic, and a considerable percentage are state-owned, which all in all favor women more, but the likes of Estonia are full of small private firms.
The two lowest countries, just as last year, are Japan and Germany. Both have big manufacturing industries and relatively patriarchal attitudes in which working mothers are stigmatized. But that also describes Italy, but Italy is 10th on the list of countries by percentage of CEOs. It’s an interesting puzzle.
Basically, stuff that you’ve probably heard here before.
That said, we did veer into two fairly idiosyncratic tangents.
(1) The Alt Right should embrace Transhumanism
Yes, I know, they are sort of dorky and even SJWish at times. But technology has ideological load, as Michael Anissimov put it (in an article I can’t find), and it just so happens that transhuman techs are perfectly in line with Alt Right, NRx, Identitarian, and even White Nationalist agendas.
Raising IQs via genetic editing will arrest the dysgenic trends increasingly affected all peoples on the planet. Degenerating into a global idiocracy serves absolutely no-one’s interest: Not of Europeans, nor Asians, nor Africans.
Automation will (hopefully) redistribute resources from the NAM-pandering welfare systems of today to something more fair and equitable. It will also probably help even the gap between indigenous and immigrant fertility rates in Europe and the US.
Radical life extension will help preserve White majorities in Europe. The reason that they are declining isn’t just a matter of birth rates, but also of death rates; Europeans are simply much older than your typical immigrant “youth.” Plummeting mortality and morbidity rates – apart from their general desirability – will from an ethnic perspective overwhelmingly benefit Whites and help Europeans maintain majorities in their historic homelands.
Ultimately, this is the future, and ideologies that fail to grapple and engage with it will fall by the wayside.
Do you think I should start an Alternative Left movement? People are calling me the Alternative Left. Alternative Left would be something like:
Economically Leftist or liberal (left on economics)
Socially Conservative or at least sane (right on social issues)
It would be something like a leftwing mirror of the Alternative Right.
Do you think it would go over? I am really getting sick of this Left/Right bullshit. Everyone has to decide if they are “conservative” or “liberal.” What bullshit. What if you are a little of both?
Just because I don’t want to engage in SJW faggotry – the sort of ideology that Lenin would have called an infantile disorder, and which Friedrich Engels correctly identified as serving the reaction – doesn’t necessarily mean I want to lick oligarch ass either.
“There is no left or right, only nationalists and globalists.” – Marine Le Pen
Yesterday I was asked by a friend if I planned to write anything about the ongoing saga over Halloween costumes at Yale. I said probably not because what would be the point? The whole affair is so bizarre that parody is redundant. Besides, plenty of other people have ably commented on it, and if you really wanted to indulge in masochism you could always go straight to the source and watch a video of those hysterical freaks haranguing the hapless Master of Silliman College for having the gall and temerity to be “committed to an ideal of free speech.”
How dare he privilege the First Amendment over safe spaces? The irony of these students demanding that adults dictate their Halloween fashion choices – a blatant exercise of authority that would have enraged their activist forebears in the 1960s – was entirely lost on them, in the unlikely event that they even considered it in the first place.
Until the early 2010s, campus leftism seems to have mainly consisted of Obama enthusiasts and a radical fringe of Bob Avakian cultists. I didn’t move in those circles, which is why for a long time I perceived the SJW phenomenon to be a highly fringe phenomenon largely confined to the Internet: Completely insane, to be sure, but amusing, entertaining, and ultimately harmless. WaPo opinion columnist Catherine Rampell agrees:
What has happened to college campuses in the less than 10 years since I graduated? I don't remember this fixation on "safe spaces."
It just so happens that I left university just as the party was getting started.
Tellingly, my only significant encounter with SJW activism on campus occured during my last term at UCB, in which I was taking a class on hominin evolution to satisfy the biology part of the breadth requirements needed to graduate.
The professor showed the class the following clip from The Neanderthal Man, a bad 1953 scifi movie in which a mad scientist injects himself with a serum that regresses animals to their “primitive” states, which for humans is the Neanderthal. Or rather, the black, hirsute apeman that 1950s folks apparently imagined Neanderthals to be. This Neanderthal man proceeded to terrorize picnicking couples, bashing in the mens’ heads and taking away the women to the accompaniment of campy music.
Overall, this is pretty tame stuff – no blood, no nudity, and an overly slapstick tenor to it all – as was typical of Hollywood movies during the MPPC era. No normal person, I am sure, would take exception to showing this clip to a class of adult students for the purposes of illustrating the popular outlook on Neanderthals in the middle of the 20th century.
However, at least one member of the class did take very strong exception to it.
“Excuse me, professor,” piped up a dark-haired girl in Ben Folds glasses. “Showing rape scenes can be deeply traumatic to survivors of rape and sexual assault. This class is supposed to be a space safe, and you should have either refrained from showing this clip, or at least accompanied it with a trigger warning.”
Wow, just wow, I can’t even! I am not even exaggerating. While I hardly have perfect recollection, and her precise wording would have been different, this is in fact more or less the gist of what she said, down to the stilted speaking style as if she was reading from an SJW glossary.
After a long silence, the class burst out laughing, and the professor, maintaining decorum but obviously struggling to battle down his mirth, told her that her that while he appreciated her concerns, the content he presented was appropriate for mature adult viewers and justified in view of the learning goals of the class. He added that he was not a qualified psychologist, so he lacked the competence to conduct any further discussions on the topic. In the event that she had any lingering concerns, he offered to refer her to a professional psychologist, or to the university department responsible for dealing with student complains (safe in the knowledge that it would chucked out with a chuckle). Her classmates were rather less polite in their responses, telling her to Reddit and Tumblr all about it after class. Very soon she realized just how weird her outburst must have looked from the sidelines, and resolved to work on her social skills and stop being an attention whore.
Of course that last part is a total fiction.
As opposed to what would happen in any normal society, the professor, who didn’t have tenure, apologized to her profusely. He thanked her for pointing out that the clip was problematic and promised that he wouldn’t show it again in his class. He invited her to further discuss her concerns with him after class or during office hours. The other students sat quietly in what I assumed was dumbfounded silence, though I might well have been overly optimistic considering that the latest polls show that an absolute majority of American students are opposed to free speech on campus.
Either way, everyone remained silent as Ben Folds glasses girl denounced prof to his face, and that of course included myself.
The professor had to get his tenure, and I had to satisfy my breadth requirement and quietly get the fuck out of a university system fast becoming a nursery school for coddled and aggressive manchildren. In the meantime, the SJW ideology and its Red Guard methods wracked up yet another Gramscian victory.
Yesterday, the Wikileaks Twitter account posted the following graph showing the growth of SJW terms such as “trigger warnings,” “microaggressions,” and “safe spaces” on the Internet in the past few years. This pretty much confirms the impression that it was limited to a sort of “enclave of extremism” until 2014 or so, but – much like the metaphor traditionally used to explain the concept of exponential growth, that of pondweed spreading almost imperceptibly slowly at the start to filling in the rest of the pond extremely rapidly at the end – has recently come to play a very prominent role in the social discourse; and indeed, much in the manner of pondweed, in a way that stiffles better and more varied alternatives.
Though Nationalist, Alt Right, and even mainstream conservative hostility to SJWism is entirely predictable, it is curious to see that cryptoanarchists and cypherpunks have adopted essentially the same negative stance towards it. Why? Because “generation trauma fad is pro-censorship which impedes our work,” according to a further comment by Wikileaks. The intense SJW hostility to cypherpunks and free information activists, probably on account of the fact that they are overwhelmingly composed of free-spirited intelligent white men – a hostility displayed throughout the Western state-sponsored campaign to persecute Julian Assange, not to mention the entirety of Gamergate – must have also played their roles in significantly “immunizing” this class of people from SJW ideology.
Since indigenous nationalism may well be the greatest challenge to the power of the Atlanticist elites, and cypherpunks provide some of the most potent tools to actualize it, it is surely rather telling that SJWs have so viciously focused on precisely these groups, as opposed to, say, actual American oligarchs and their shitlord tendencies like having sex segregated trophy wives. I wonder to what extent SJWism might even be a creation of the American deep state, to be used as an icebreaker against opponents of the creeping surveillance/security state at home and increasingly, abroad. If this sounds like that’s too much of a conspiracy theory – not that being such makes it necessarily wrong – consider that it’s now common knowledge that the CIA promoted modern art to undermine the Soviet Union. And, incidentally – and so conveniently – to provide a new and convenient method for Western oligarchs to store and increase their wealth.
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.
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).
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).
Others however are just your typical status signalling do-gooders and moralistic exhibitionists.
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!
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.
Homicide rates have been spiking in quite a few cities in the first half of this year. I summarize the data in that article. (Indianapolis, LA, Phoenix, and San Diego are only given as “declines.” I arbitrarily assign that a value of -10% and assume that homicide rates in 2015 ≈ homicide rates in 2012, which is the last year for which we have data in a convenient format. Multiplied by 7/12 to take into account that the data for 2015only covers the first 7 months).
Now this sample is highly urban, accounts for less than 10% of the US population, and might have been nitpicked for the areas with the most drastic increases for inclusion. So conceivably and even probably at the national level there will not quite be the ~17% increase in the homicide rate (minus 1% point to account for immigration into the cities) observed here. And it is also possible that things will start calming down in the next few months.
Even so, a significant increase of 10% seems all but inevitable, which once it comes to pass would constitute a drastic reversal of the post-1990 trend towards decreased homicide levels. This reversal appears to be especially sharp in predominantly Black areas (compare the increases in Baltimore, Milwaukee, and St. Louis to those in San Diego or Phoenix).
“Why is there a synchronicity among these cities?” said Peter Scharf, an assistant professor at the LSU School of Public Health whose research focuses on crime. “One reason may be President Obama is broke. Governors like Bobby Jindal are broke, and mayors like (New Orleans’ Mitch) Landrieu are broke. You don’t have the resources at any level of government to fund a proactive law enforcement.”
Or maybe, just maybe, with SJWs, #BLM activists, and their political enablers running circles around the forces of authority, the former become demoralized and effectively go on strike.
Janard Cunningham is lucky to be alive. Pulled over by an Alabama police officer for erratic driving, Cunningham exited his vehicle during the traffic stop, aggressively approached the police officer and delivered a debilitating sucker punch to the officer’s head.
When any police officer is debilitated by a criminal’s blow to his head, it’s a life or death moment. Threatening deadly force against an attacker is perfectly reasonable. Even using deadly force to terminate the attack might be justified. But thanks to the fashionable demonization of police officers driven by activists and their enablers in the media, that’s not what happened next.
Instead, Cunningham seized the stunned officer’s firearm and pistol whipped him senseless. The officer said he didn’t defend himself because of fear of what the media and the activists would do to him. “A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media,” the unnamed police officer told CNN. “I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now. It’s hard times right now for us.”
And those Blacks for whom Black Lives don’t Matter in the least take over the streets.
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.
Just $2,000 per month will cover all of my monthly expenses, which will enable me to start doing this fulltime and triple my output.
For a comprehensive overview of my past and present projects, as well as links to my current social media accounts, please visit my website akarlin.com.
This is not so much meant to be comprehensive as to illustrate the themes and individual thinkers whom I follow and am inspired by.
I do not bother including any MSM outlets, since I’m sure they can do just fine without my publicity. Most of my “front page” news I get via /r/worldnews, /r/russia, and RCW.
Especially important, useful, and regularly updated resources are marked by an asterix, while blogs that appear to gone dormant appear at the end in italics. And while I try to keep these things objective, if you include me in your blogroll that does vastly increase the chances that I’ll reciprocate.
He who does not love his mother more than other mothers and his country more than other countries, loves neither his mother nor his country. – Charles de Gaule (on validity of nationalism).
When will Russia get an idea for which one can live for and create for? Galina Dmitrievna, – for our children, our grandchildren, for our Motherland, Russia, it always was, is, and will be worth living for and creating for. What else is there? However we might try to come up with a national idea, it has to be said directly: There is nothing closer to someone than his family, his close ones, and his own country. - Vladimir Putin (on uselessness of ideology).
There is no left or right, only nationalists and globalists. - Marine Le Pen.
After communists, most of all I hate anti-communists. - Sergei Dovlatov.
Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong. Europe is a geographical expression. – Bismarck (answer to the “Is Russia Europe or Asia?” debates).
I am an atheist, but an Orthodox atheist! – Alexander Lukashenko.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. - Luke 22:36, NIV (they don’t teach this kind of Christianity nowadays).
Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy. – Cersei Lannister (clannishness defined in 7 words).
Don’t trust these three: The woman, the Turk, and the teetotaler. – Based Peter the Great.
Science & Futurism
Intelligence is what you need when you don’t know what to do. – Carl Bereiter.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) expressed it tersely when he heard a noted historian pro claim that it was by virtue of their very different gifts that Caesar became a great commander, Shakespeare a great poet, and Newton a great scientist. Dr. Johnson replied, ‘ ‘No, it is only that one man has more mind than another; he may direct it differently, or prefer this study to that. Sir, the man who has vigor may walk to the North as well as to the South, to the East as well as to the West.” – Arthur Jensen, The g Factor (its most poetic elucidation?).
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be. – Lord Kelvin (on the necessity of quantification).
Personally, I’ve been hearing all my life about the Serious Philosophical Issues posed by life extension, and my attitude has always been that I’m willing to grapple with those issues for as many centuries as it takes. - Patrick Hayden (on life extension).
There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn, nonetheless, for the latter. - Academician Prokhor Zakharov (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri).
The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn’t even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude. - Uthan the Perverse (Warhammer 40K)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. – H.P. Lovecraft (the ultimately fate of the noosphere?).