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"Mike"
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    I’m sitting in a spacious bar, Love City, that was once a factory. Too slicked up, it’s not quite a ruin bar, of the kind you find in Budapest. The patrons are mostly hipsters and yuppies, but with a handful of Joe Sixpacks thrown in. Looking like contractors, they’re probably fixing properties in this rapidly...
  • Mike says:
    @TG
    Indeed. I would say this from a slightly different angle: forget about the details of politics: constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, a republic, democratic socialism, even marxism, checks and balances, an independent judiciary, an independent central bank, a written constitution... all of these can be made to work, more or less, if the elites care about the nation as whole. And none of these will matter if the elites no longer care, if they value their own short-term profit over the long-term stability and strength of their nation.

    Back under FDR etc., the elites of this nation were worried about communists, and anarchists, and then Nazis. That made them care about this nation, they feared that if the nation went down they would go down as well. So they cared about the working class. I am old enough to remember when we used to celebrate that we had the highest wages in the world - that was considered a magnificent joint accomplishment and proof of the greatness of this nation. Now high American wages are routinely derided as evil, as proof that Americans are selfish and lazy and they need to be replaced by all those wonderful third-world refugees who have no alternative but to work for sub-poverty wages...

    I think the core of this rot is that the elites are no longer afraid. They no longer have reason to care. They live in gated estates, they fly from private airports (even first class in a public airport is not good enough/removed enough from the masses for them!), and if things fall apart they will just sail away in their yachts, tut-tutting about how Americans no longer deserve their presence...

    TG just a reality check.
    This nation was never intended to have elites. That is the reason for a federalist republic.
    No professional politicians, no state run schools and no illiterate voters.
    The downward spiral.
    ignorance of history and moral principals
    ignorance of the constitution
    Universal suffrage
    17th amendment direct voting for senators
    16 amendment direct taxation.
    Central bank with fractional reserve.
    and there with a dash of hubris you have the almighty US FEDGOV

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    • Replies: @Carroll Price

    This nation was never intended to have elites</blockquote

    This nation was never intended to be a nation. The Founders intended it to be a confederation of independent sovereign states. Which it was until the current rootless, criminal cabal took over in 1865.
     

     
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  • Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyou's long crusade to expose Elizabeth Holmes' Silicon Valley blood-testing start-up Theranos as a fake-it-until-you-make it hoax resulted today in the SEC imposing a ten year ban on Holmes and a $500,000 fine for "massive fraud." A little noticed aspect of the story is that Holmes was a true believer...
  • Compare her punishment to Jeffrey Skilling’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Colleen Pater
    do they make that turtle neck in orange as the new black?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • You may have gotten the impression from all those Harvey Weinstein movies that lissome women are good at fighting with fists or guns. (Oddly enough, though, Harvey evidently never believed that in his private life.)
  • Mike says: • Website
    @istevefan

    When I went through The Basic School in ’82 my rifle was padlocked to my bunk.
     
    In the army I never saw a rifle padlocked to the bed. We always had an armory room were all rifles, pistols, and mortars were held.

    PS. Did you have the key or combination to the lock? Or did you need your superiors to open it for you?

    The Basic School is a course that all 2nd lieutenants are forced to endure as they begin their career in the Corps. When I was there they stuffed about 2 months worth of instruction into a 6 month long program. I did have the combination to the padlock. If I remember correctly I even had to buy the lock. There were lots of little surprises like that for the officers.

    I went through OCS in the summer of ’81. I think we did the same with the rifles there.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mike says: • Website
    @istevefan
    When I was an infantryman in the US Army our weapons were kept locked in an armory Anytime you wanted to get your hands on your rifle to take it apart, clean or train with it, you had to check it out of the armory. It made it cumbersome to practice with your weapon because if the armorer wasn't there, you couldn't check out the weapon.

    I recall seeing footage from the 1960s where US soldiers kept their M14 rifles in unlocked racks in the middle of their barracks. I asked an old timer about that and he confirmed that when he was in the army at that time weapons were held in open racks in the middle of the barracks. He said anytime you wanted to clean or practice taking it apart, you just grabbed it off the rack and took it back to your bunk.

    But he said somewhere in the mid to late 1960s that changed. And soon they started to lock weapons in armories like they continue to do now. He said things got crazy in the 1960s. So maybe the cultural revolution led to rot that made the army worried about leaving weapons out in the open. The Texas tower shooter did his thing in 1966. I don't know if that is what caused the change, but it was probably symptomatic of the changing society.

    I was in the USMC on active duty from ’82 to ’85. I met old time NCO’s that had been in since the late 50′s. These guys completed boot camp in Parris Island, SC and then took their rifle on commercial airlines to their assigned duty station at Camp Pendleton in California. They just stood it up in the coat closet that airliners used to have.

    When I went through The Basic School in ’82 my rifle was padlocked to my bunk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @istevefan

    When I went through The Basic School in ’82 my rifle was padlocked to my bunk.
     
    In the army I never saw a rifle padlocked to the bed. We always had an armory room were all rifles, pistols, and mortars were held.

    PS. Did you have the key or combination to the lock? Or did you need your superiors to open it for you?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mike says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    I'm pretty sure you can't be sucked into a jet engine like that.

    Doesn't anyone fact-check this stuff?

    If a metal cargo box can be sucked into a jet engine, I imagine a man could be very easily.

    A quick google/youtube search would show you that it does happen.

    I bet there are a good number of readers of this comment section that had to do FOD (foreign object damage, IIRC) walks during their years in the service. I did my share.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Danindc
    A navy flight deck officer got sucked into a jet and spit out the back and lived to tell the tale.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • From the Dallas Morning News: Houston, Franklin and Jefferson are among Dallas ISD campuses that 'require further research' for possible name changes Corbett Smith, Staff Writer Dallas ISD [Independent School District] is researching the histories of Ben Franklin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson and 17 other historical figures, looking into whether their connections with slavery or...
  • Stonewall Jackson is one of those schools that has moms with MBA’s running things. The place is an outlier in Dallas test scores. It will be interesting to see what sort of crappy name they come up with for that school. I’m going to guess, since is it a school for the deaf too, that it will be called Helen Keller Elementary.

    TJ is a high school that no white parent would send their kid to if it was at all possible to avoid.

    Franklin is a middle school in one of that last high school clusters (Hillcrest) that whites use.

    Mayor Rawlings’ son went to Jesuit. (As did my son, but I’m not trying to force your child into a shitty environment.) His daughter went to Episcopal. This behavior is all too typical of politicians.

    I have to confess to attending an event early on that was Rawlings for Mayor. Several of my friends used to work with him advertising. It was naive of me to think he would be some sort of centrist Republican.

    Read More
    • Replies: @3g4me
    @15 Mike: " It was naive of me to think he would be some sort of centrist Republican."

    It is naive to believe any elected official of any political party would be anything other than explicitly in favor of everything non-White, non-Christian, and non-historical American. Even Trump, with his mushy civic-nationalism, appears convinced the Dacaca Mestizos are shiny-new All American boys and girls. He still pictures Annette Funicello when everyone else sees Miley Cyrus.

    Yet again: THERE IS NO VOTING OUR WAY OUT OF THIS. Ref: Z Blog The Idiot.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • National Parks typically cost $20 per car (e.g., Mesa Verde) or $30 (Grand Canyon) to visit for a day. However, if you are 62 or older, you can buy a lifetime senior pass for $10. On Monday, however, this goes up to $80. I want to buy one of those $10 bargains right away, but...
  • I’m 57.

    Tried talking my way into the pass at the East Gate of Yellowstone today. Used your argument Steve.

    The cute little rangerette in the booth was not amused.

    Either I was the 50th iSteve reader trying the same tactic today, or people drawn to become Park Service rangers are scolds.

    I know which way I’m leaning. Especially after listening to the ass that was policing the viewing area around Old Faithful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've gotten into more trouble over the years with park rangers than any other kind of official.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I went camping in late July 2007 and when I got back in early August, the world had changed. The subprime mortgage bubble had definitively exploded. It took more than a year for the financial world to be fully rocked, but the process was in motion by August 2007. As I blogged on August 12,...
  • @Dan Hayes
    Mike:

    One of the proximate causes of the eventual housing meltdown was that in congress Representative St. Germain surreptitiously increased FSLIC insurance on Savings & Loans in the middle of the night from $40,000 to $100,000.

    Dan, the limit is now $250,000 per account. You probably know that, and that limit was put in place after the Lehman debacle. Which is my… Oh, hell, I can hardly talk about it.

    If you have multiples of that amount of money, there are brokers that will assist you in placing as many insured accounts as you might need. One at this bank, another at this other bank, and then we can style the account a little differently, say from Mike to Michael, and still get that one covered too. One with my son’s name with me listed as the beneficiary…

    Financial regulation is very corrupt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Mike:

    Thanks for the update. I wasn't aware of the present stratospheric limits and how they can be manipulated.

    From what you have told me, the St Germain corruption era was petty ante compared to what's going on now.

    Live and learn from the Unz Review! Thanks again.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • There are many causes of the mortgage meltdown. Many of us commenters here at iSteve would agree on most of them, but weight them differently.

    My favorites: It all begins with deposit insurance. Banks don’t have to be safe and secure when they have deposit insurance. Second, the transition of the Wall Street firms from partnerships to public companies. With the partnerships the partners had joint and several liability. As public firms… Ahh… Who gives an eff…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Mike:

    One of the proximate causes of the eventual housing meltdown was that in congress Representative St. Germain surreptitiously increased FSLIC insurance on Savings & Loans in the middle of the night from $40,000 to $100,000.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously. He denounced Hezbollah and lined...
  • Mike says:

    The title of the article is very misleading.
    This is not a Shiite vs Suni war.
    Trump sided with Wahhabis and Salafi thugs that were created, funded, organized, armed and trained by Mossad, CIA and their cronies.
    The conflict that is raging in the area is Zionism / Imperialism / Neo Colonialism using their Wahhabi stooges against those they consider as enemies (anyone who does not follow the empires dictat).
    They hide their bloody hands by spinning a narrative that this is a Sunni vs Shiite civil war and this also provides them with cover and deniability. The press and the paid analysts basically run with the talking points provided by the White House and CIA and …. and provide further false and misleading analysis to further confuse the issue and hide the real culprits.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • From the Washington Post on May 2, 2017 (keep in mind that the Washington Post building is 1,102 miles from St. Olaf College): Protests erupt, classes canceled after racist notes enrage a Minnesota college By Lindsey Bever May 1 Following days of demonstrations against hate speech at a liberal arts college in Minnesota, the school...
  • Mike says: • Website

    Somewhat related:

    A high school friend of mine was in student government at St. Olaf. He invited me and several friends to Northfield for a Jerry Jeff Walker concert on the campus. He treated us well. We had front row seats. It was a good show. Afterwards we went into town for drinks at some crappy bar. Jerry Jeff showed up and we all had a very large time. Driving, very drunk, back to St. Paul, we learned from the radio that Bobby Sands had died.

    We stopped at White Castle to have The Bobby Sands Memorial Feast.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ganderson
    Sometime after John Lennon died, St. Peter went to him to ask if he could put a band together for a party they were having the following Saturday. John said, "Sure!"

    A while later John caught up to the Apostle and said-

    "Hey everything's great! We have Duane and Janis and Pig Pen- we've been rehearsing all week! What time do we go on?

    Saint Peter looked at him and said, "sorry, we had to cancel the party"

    "Oh yeah? Why?"

    "Bobby Sands ate all the food!"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Silicon Valley's tech oligarchs are becoming increasingly interested in brain-computer interfaces. The WSJ is now reporting that Elon Musk is entering the game with a new company, Neuralink. At the low end, they could improve function in patients suffering from diseases such as Parkinson's, which is the modest aim that the first such companies like...
  • Mike says: • Website

    Copying my comment here:
    Strongly agree with all your comments, and I think one could make additional substantial criticisms re: Musk’s ideas. That said, there might be some hope left.

    I. Further criticisms:

    A friend of mine (EvoBio, Developmental Neurosci) had some really insightful comments on how Musk’s vision doesn’t seem to be compatible with the brain’s information topology:


    >Elon … claims the thing he dislikes the most is how limited we are on output. He correctly points out that we use meat sticks to push buttons and that does not give us nearly as much speed as our input systems like vision do, and certainly not as much as the output a computer can have, which hinges on terabytes.

    >Then he proposes a solution, his solution is a “direct bandwidth interface.” In particular he is interested in a direct third layer that communicates directly and is morpholly symbiotic with the rest of us.

    >This is a common dream among people who are excited about transhumanism, but it is also neurologically impossible.

    >What makes the high layers of cortex have the function of operationalizing concepts we associate with “higher cognition” is not their proximity to a self that is accessible if only we had the right tool to insert into our brains, it is just their relative position in the middle of the stream of information that enters through the sensory system and leaves through the motor system. If you are halfway in between those two, you’ll be processing that high level information.

    >If you just insert a new radio interface with the entire high level layers of cortex, this would only give you a lot of disjoint unreal high level intuitions in the best of cases.

    >Evolution spent millions of years creating the input systems that enable our brain to receive the right amount of info in the right places and process it, but it did so by connecting the cables directly, without a middle man or a homunculus there in the middle to receive and pass on the information. So you can’t find a better tool to give to the homunculus in the middle of the room, because there is no homunculus.

    >So Musk’s dream is impossible, and it makes me sad to no end to be able to see the impossibility of a big dream of the world’s biggest living dreamer. It sincerely brings tears to my eyes.

    II. Mixed praise & criticism:

    Another friend (computational psychology / neuroscience) on how Musk’s nominal approach seems mistaken, but follows a pattern that has created value in the past:


    >It seems like Musk consistently does really sensible things for reasons that are non-sensible pragmatically, but extremely sensible ultimately, but with the non-sensible pragmatic considerations being pragmatically useful for gathering publicity and support for his sensible concrete steps.

    >Space-X: Trying to beat bloated government bureaucracies for getting into orbit is highly sensible for the sake of launching Internet and satellites (and maybe asteroid mining), but doing so in order to create a near-term Mars colony doesn’t make a lot of sense (considering that we haven’t even colonized the oceans), but ultimately wanting to have an extra-earth home for humanity is extremely sensible for hedging against planetary existential threats.

    >Neuralink: Trying to advance the state-of-the-art for brain-computer interfaces is highly sensible for the sake of helping people with neurological conditions (especially considering the rapidly aging boomers), but doing so in order to enhance normal brains to keep us from being outstripped by advanced artificial intelligence doesn’t make a lot of sense (considering that representations are likely idiosyncratically organized in individual brains, and nanotechnology doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to be able to interface with neurons such that normal functioning could be enhanced, and the risk of brain implants is non-trivial), but ultimately wanting to create such interfaces is extremely sensible since it would be great to be able to expand human intelligence.

    I deeply admire Musk. I just don’t think some of his plans make sense in the way that they’re being pursued. But I think they’re really good plans for other reasons, which he also recognizes, because he’s brilliant, but these other reasons don’t seem to be what motivates him most strongly.

    III. Maybe the glass is half-full?

    My intuition is that all these criticisms hit the mark, but overlook one thing: the future of BCI shouldn’t be judged on what it can’t do, but rather on what it can do. And it might only take a few wins to make brain-computer interfaces worth it. E.g.,

    - Perhaps there’s various kinds of valuable state information that is floating around in the cortex that doesn’t reliably make it into language or action, but could be measured by neural lace (emotional information?);
    - Perhaps there’s various kinds of metadata or offline-computable data that would greatly enhance performance on some tasks if directly ‘injected’ into certain parts of the brain;
    - Perhaps being able to get an objective ‘read out’ of what the cortex is doing could drastically improve diagnosing & troubleshooting various cognitive failures / mental blocks (e.g., imagine if your meditation teacher, or math professor, could get a real-time read-out of what your brain was doing).

    I think at least half the challenge with BCIs will be to figure out creative & clever ways to put them to use. All the theoretical hurdles in the world don’t matter if we can find One Important Thing that BCIs *can* do.

    Open question/challenge to BCI people: how can qualia research help you guys? What sort of knowledge about consciousness & qualia dynamics would help you do what you want- or figure out what you should want to do?

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, this is a very good comment.

    Nothing I can really disagree with there. This way of looking at Musk's projects (sensible steps with unsensible goals that are ultimately sensible, and sensible from a PR view) is... sensible.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I'm 12 years younger than the President, but I can't possibly keep up with his energy level. So here's an open thread for comments.
  • @Burton
    Steve,

    Trump's staff will have their hands full for a while implementing his immigration policies and economic agenda. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on what policy proposal optimally combines (a) political viability and (b) longterm damage to the Establishment/Cathedral.

    Here's mine: make any student loan over (say) $20k dischargeable in bankruptcy on a going-forward basis, and combine that legislative change with a modest debt-relief package for existing loans.

    Making student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy would deal a body blow to the educational indoctrination complex: only economically productive majors would survive in any meaningful numbers. Family formation would also likely accelerate as a consequence, and the legions of debt-burdened baristas who vote left out of resentment would gradually attrit away.

    The inhumanity of allowing teenagers to consign themselves to a lifetime of indentured servitude to banks in exchange for degrees they barely understand is self-evident--the moral/emotional case is easy to make and hard to refute. And throwing in the debt-forgiveness element would be a great play for the Bernie crowd.

    Anyway, I'm guessing at least a few people with close connections to Trump follow your blog, so crowd-sourcing suggestions could be a good way to get creative ideas into his circle.

    Agree on the discharge in bankruptcy.

    I would also add the feature of full recourse to the institutions that received the money for any loan discharged in bankruptcy.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • From Nature: How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children A long-running investigation of exceptional children reveals what it takes to produce the scientists who will lead the twenty-first century. Tom Clynes 07 September 2016 ... Stanley would affectionately refer to Bates as “student zero” of his Study of Mathematically...
  • @Chrisnonymous
    “Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society”

    Yes. No doubt hip hop, spectator sports, political punditry, beer brewers, etc are all dominated by 1%ers.

    Heh…

    Both of my kids were identified by Duke TIP.

    They were selected on the basis of, I believe, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and maybe some other test. Once selected, as 7th graders, they took the ACT. The older one did pretty good. I was pleased but don’t remember her score. The younger scored a 27 as a 7th grader.

    That was an interesting few months. It was when I really became aware of how competitive parents could be. It was the only time, since he was only ok at athletics, that other parents sought me out. Like I had anything to do with it other than marrying the right woman.

    Fast forward… The older one just graduated with a BS in math. She’s going to be a beer brewer. I do hope that someday she is an influential beer brewer.

    The second is also studying math. He’s on a full ride at an SEC school. And it ain’t a football scholarship.

    I did pay to send them to good high schools. I do think that helped both of them. For those of you that know Dallas they went to Ursuline and Jesuit. I highly recommend single sex high schools if you can swing it.

    Duke TIP selection was nothing more than mailings that offered us opportunity to spend money we didn’t have to send our children to various camps where they could hang out with the children of tiger moms.

    I’ve had a couple of nice glasses of wine. I’ll stop the bragging.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for the details and congratulations.

    This seems particularly valuable:

    I did pay to send them to good high schools. I do think that helped both of them. For those of you that know Dallas they went to Ursuline and Jesuit. I highly recommend single sex high schools if you can swing it.
     
    I would be interested in what level of math they had completed at the time of the test and any thoughts they had on whether their educational level affected their performance.
    , @3g4me
    My oldest one was selected by Duke TIP - for taking the SAT in 7th grade when he was 10 years old. No practice sessions - never took it before or since. Scored over 1100. No idea what he would have scored at age 12 or 13. Received various other honors/high scores before and after, but never really did anything with it. Specifically rejected a number of programs because they had become Asian ghettos and he wanted nothing to do with them. Perfectly capable with math and science but his heart was never in a STEM field.

    The occasional geek or Jew might well be comfortable in a Chinese/Indian school or work ghetto, but your average White, even a high IQ one, prefers to be among his own.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial. The problem is that this problem is a very hard one, and our native wit is unlikely to suffice. Moreover, because problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you advance up the technological ladder (Karlin, 2015), in a “business as usual” scenario with...
  • @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).
     
    Yes, I certainly don't see a "concert" of Great Powers coordinating on a global ban of these techs as realistic either.

    Agreement between the West/Bilderbergers and the CCP are the absolute bare minimum for that to happen. But China itself certainly doesn't look interested, and frankly I doubt there will be substantial restrictions in most Western countries including the US either.

    This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?
     
    I plan to write another post specifically about the Age of Industrial Malthusianism, though more descriptive than prescriptive.

    Your suggestion reminds me of this great article by Ugo Bardi about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which touched on the pointlessness of prescription.

    The Emperor Marcus Aurelius calls upon a wise druid to advise him on how to prevent the Roman Empire's collapse:

    "Emperor, first you need to plant trees. the land needs rest. In time, trees will reform the fertile soil."
    "But, druid, if we plant trees, we won't have enough food for the people."
    "Nobody will starve if the patricians renounce to some of their luxuries!"
    "Well, Druid, I see your point but it won't be easy....."
    "And you must reduce the number of legions and abandon the walls!"
    "But, but.... Druid, if we do that, the barbarians will invade us....."
    "It is better now than later. Now you can still keep enough troops to defend the cities. Later on, it will be impossible. It is sustainable defense."
    "Sustainable?"
    "Yes, it means defense that you can afford. You need to turn the legions into city militias and..."
    "And...?"
    "You must spend less for the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial taxes are too heavy! You must work together with the people, not oppress them! Plant trees, disband the army, work together!"

    Now, Emperor Marcus Aurelius seriously considers whether it is appropriate to have your head chopped off, after all. Then, since he is a good man, he sends to you back to Eburacum under heavy military escort, with strict orders that you should never come to Rome again.

    ...

    But I would like to point out to you something: let's go back to what our fictional druid was telling to Emperor Aurelius. He had this slogan "Plant trees, disband the army and work together"... Anyway, can you see what kind of world the Druid was proposing to the Emperor? Think about that for a moment: a world of walled cities defended by city militias, no central authority or a weak one, an economy based on agriculture.

    Do you see it.....? Sure, it is Middle Ages! Think about that for a moment and you'll see that you could define Middle Ages as a solution for the problems of the Roman Empire!

    So, our Druid had seen the future and was describing it to Emperor Aurelius. He had seen the solution of the problems of Empire: Middle Ages. It was where the Empire was going and where it could not avoid going.
     
    So things have a way of working out without our unsolicited input! ;)

    Hah, that’s a great story about Rome.

    I agree that some cycles have such inertia that there’s little to be done. “The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.” Still, perhaps EA could benefit from a clear description of the challenges the Age of Industrial Malthusianism might bring.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Very thoughtful & reasoned outlook. Broadly speaking I find myself in agreement with most of it. Some things that stood out:

    1. Neuropharmacology. You’re skeptical that there are much more effective ‘smart drugs in our future. I think your skepticism is warranted, and one way to approach this is the “Algernon argument”: http://www.gwern.net/Drug%20heuristics.

    On the other hand, I think it could be possible that there’s low-hanging fruit based on motivation. Elsewhere I’ve noted that:

    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it. On the other hand, there seem to be fewer a priori limits on motivational or emotional enhancement. And sure enough, the most effective “cognitive enhancers” such as adderall, modafinil, and so on seem to work by making cognitive tasks seem less unpleasant or more interesting. If we had a crisp theory of valence, this might enable particularly powerful versions of these sorts of drugs.

    http://opentheory.net/2015/09/fai_and_valence/

    2. A limited window for takeoff, before cognitive trends have us crashing hard. This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).

    4. Transhumanism. The more I think about it, the more dangerous transhumanism seems if done by civilizations without Moloch firmly under control.

    5. Galactic superpredators: plausible & scary.

    6. Cryopreservation: poor Robin Hanson.

    7. Overall: I think you’ve hit the important scenarios, & I think your probability estimates are reasonable. If I were to add one variable to this mix, it’d be political philosophy: the future will be radically different depending on the outcome of the memetic civil war the West is currently engaged in.

    8. Business-as-usual is dystopic: yes, and I thought your conclusion was especially good:

    Ironically, by far the biggest lacuna is with regards to the “business as usual” scenario. It’s as if the world’s futurist thinkers have been so consumed with the most exotic and “interesting” scenarios (e.g. superintelligence, ems, socio-economic collapse, etc.) that they have neglected to consider what will happen if we take all the standard economic and demographic projections for this century, apply our understanding of economics, psychometrics, technology, and evolutionary psychology to them, and stretch them out to their logical conclusions.

    The resultant Age of Industrial Malthusianism is not only something that’s easier to imagine than many of the other scenarios, and by extension easier for modern people to connect with, but it is also something that is genuinely interesting in its own right. It is also very important to understand well.

    Next puzzle: if this is a fairly accurate picture of the future, what should people do? What activities & investments are currently overvalued vs undervalued, and so on?

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).
     
    Yes, I certainly don't see a "concert" of Great Powers coordinating on a global ban of these techs as realistic either.

    Agreement between the West/Bilderbergers and the CCP are the absolute bare minimum for that to happen. But China itself certainly doesn't look interested, and frankly I doubt there will be substantial restrictions in most Western countries including the US either.

    This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?
     
    I plan to write another post specifically about the Age of Industrial Malthusianism, though more descriptive than prescriptive.

    Your suggestion reminds me of this great article by Ugo Bardi about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which touched on the pointlessness of prescription.

    The Emperor Marcus Aurelius calls upon a wise druid to advise him on how to prevent the Roman Empire's collapse:

    "Emperor, first you need to plant trees. the land needs rest. In time, trees will reform the fertile soil."
    "But, druid, if we plant trees, we won't have enough food for the people."
    "Nobody will starve if the patricians renounce to some of their luxuries!"
    "Well, Druid, I see your point but it won't be easy....."
    "And you must reduce the number of legions and abandon the walls!"
    "But, but.... Druid, if we do that, the barbarians will invade us....."
    "It is better now than later. Now you can still keep enough troops to defend the cities. Later on, it will be impossible. It is sustainable defense."
    "Sustainable?"
    "Yes, it means defense that you can afford. You need to turn the legions into city militias and..."
    "And...?"
    "You must spend less for the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial taxes are too heavy! You must work together with the people, not oppress them! Plant trees, disband the army, work together!"

    Now, Emperor Marcus Aurelius seriously considers whether it is appropriate to have your head chopped off, after all. Then, since he is a good man, he sends to you back to Eburacum under heavy military escort, with strict orders that you should never come to Rome again.

    ...

    But I would like to point out to you something: let's go back to what our fictional druid was telling to Emperor Aurelius. He had this slogan "Plant trees, disband the army and work together"... Anyway, can you see what kind of world the Druid was proposing to the Emperor? Think about that for a moment: a world of walled cities defended by city militias, no central authority or a weak one, an economy based on agriculture.

    Do you see it.....? Sure, it is Middle Ages! Think about that for a moment and you'll see that you could define Middle Ages as a solution for the problems of the Roman Empire!

    So, our Druid had seen the future and was describing it to Emperor Aurelius. He had seen the solution of the problems of Empire: Middle Ages. It was where the Empire was going and where it could not avoid going.
     
    So things have a way of working out without our unsolicited input! ;)
    , @Glossy
    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it.

    Isn't that like saying that PEDs can't possibly exist because if the presence of some simple chemicals would help us become faster and stronger, our bodies would probably already be producing them?

    We're selected for a very large number of traits, of which intelligence and muscle strength are only two, and there are many trade-offs involved.

    How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    We should be creating many copies of important STEM data collections on sturdy media. An example would be etching text onto stainless steel plates to be deposited throughout the world.

    About 99.9% of Greco-Roman book titles were lost during the Dark Ages. Interest in this stuff came back by the 13th century. After that it took, I'd say 3 centuries, to get back up to the Greco-Roman level. A lot of things had to be reinvented, as opposed to looked up.
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  • Although my own academic background is in theoretical physics, I’m the first to admit that field seems in the doldrums these days compared with human evolutionary biology. The greatest physics discoveries of the last couple of years---the Higgs Boson and strong evidence for Cosmological Inflation---merely confirm the well-established beliefs that physicists have had since before...
  • @Aaron Gross
    "Hills do not exist" is a very bad analogy, because it already stacks the deck. Variations in genetic features are not like variations in altitude. For one thing, altitude is an obvious, objective, one-dimensional geographical measure of hillness. There is no correspondingly obvious, objective, one-dimensional measure of race.

    Also, one of the main controversies in the race debate is the degree to which between-cluster variation justifies calling clusters "races" at all. Visualizing hills, mountains, etc. is misleading because it hides that question. What if altitude were completely clinal, with no gradients more than 1 degree, and the maximum deviation in altitude across the whole earth were five feet? Would geographers still talk about hills? I'm not saying that genetic variation is comparable to that, but I'm saying that we unconsciously assume certain kinds of variation when we visualize hills. It's question-begging.

    When you ask "do hills exist," that's actually more like asking "do genetic populations exist" than "does race exist." The answer to the former is completely uncontroversial. The answer is yes. As far as I can tell, most of the "HBD" people, like Wade and Sailer, are really just defining "race" to mean exactly what anthropologists and geneticists mean by "population." It would actually advance the discussion if race-realists could precisely define "race" and explain exactly how it differs from "population." I've seen anthropologists try to get Wade and Sailer to do that, but both of them evade the questions.

    It would actually advance the discussion if race-realists could precisely define “race” and explain exactly how it differs from “population.”

    @ Aaron Gross,

    Race and population are essentially the same thing – they refer to a group with shared geographic ancestry. In GWAS studies they control for race/populations because of systematic ancestral differences.

    If you read Nevan Sesardic’s paper on efforts to deconstruct race notes an anecdote from AWF Edwards working with Cavilli-Sforza. Apparently, they with one of their papers they changed the word race to population to political reasons. However, the publisher changed it back to race anyway.

    http://www.ln.edu.hk/philoso/staff/sesardic/Race.pdf

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  • As Countenance points out, it has become traditional for Youths to go to American shopping malls the day after Christmas and punch each other. Why?
  • Any mall in close proximity to a light rail or subway station should be avoided.

    Here in Dallas, the amount of security at NorthPark is very high during the holidays and there is an enforced dress code (no sagging). You’ll likely have less trouble at Stonebriar and the Shops of Willow Bend as DART has no tracks near them.

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    • Replies: @anon
    Originally shopping malls were built in the deep suburban areas precisely so that there would be no public transportation to them. The idea was that you would have to have a car to get there and that this would serve to help keep 'undesirables' out of them. As soon as any mall lets itself be connected by subway station or light-rail system, crime escalates dramatically.
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  • I've almost never run in my life. At 6'4" I've always had the sense that my knees wouldn't take the pounding. Or I'm lazy. I do like walking, though. From the New York Times: I'm not the biggest fan of brain scan studies, but there is a lot of evidence that engaging in boring sports,...
  • As a former Minneapolis HS cross country champ who thinks he’s kinda smart and also spent the 80′s in SoCal listening to KROQ and going to clubs and shows back then, this is a fun thread.

    Winning races was not available to the soft. You often had to know when to throw an elbow or when to guide someone into a tree.

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  • @Steve Sailer
    I never saw Black Flag, Plugz, or Germs.

    But I do have Black Flag's 1981 "Louie Louie" 1 minute and 19 second single out in the garage somewhere:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dd87truWl8

    You know the pain, that's in my heart,
    it just shows, I'm not very smart.
    Who needs love, when you've got a gun?
    Who needs love, to have any fun?
    I said now Louie, Louie!

    I have this collection on vinyl somewhere in the house: The Best of Louie Louie

    It includes a version by the Rice University MOB.

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  • Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the West Indies only occasionally participate in the big international school achievement tests, PISA and TIMSS. Fortunately, a number of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have their own test: SACMEQ. (Here are the math scores for SACMEQ III in 2006-2011. SACMEQ IV doesn't appear to have been released yet.)...
  • @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    Probably wouldn't have been that functional but Oman is apparently very well run and Zanzibar was something like 30% Arab and Indian before the massacre, I don't know what the demographics are today but I think they're a pretty small percentage nowadays. Zanzibar is a autonomous part of Tanzania and I'm wondering why Tanzania outscores it?

    Also I would be interested in finding about Madagascar's scores, as it was originally settled by Austronesians from Borneo in the same style of those other Austronesians the Polynesians. Other comparisons that would be interesting would be the scores of Reunion and Mayotte, the Indian ocean islands owned by France. One interesting thing about Mauritius is that all of it's Prime ministers bar one have been Indians, the exception a white man. Seychelles' ex- president Albert Rene who served 27 year (1977-2004) was pretty light as well, but South Africa and the CIA sponsored a coups against him so he probably wasn't a beneficiry of white privilege.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Mauritius
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Seychelles

    In addition to Mauritius, I spent a little time in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

    Tanzania was awful… Hated the place… I can’t imagine that Zanzibar, being an autonomous part of that country, would be a nice place, except for maybe a couple of beach resorts. Dar es Salaam was a very unpleasant place to visit. Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda were positively delightful in comparison. I could maybe be incentivized to go back to both of those cities. They were enjoyable to visit. You couldn’t pay me to go back to Tanzania.

    I think it has to do with the dominant religion in Tanzania. Just a guess…

    The trip to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda was a group business junket arranged by the Mauritian government.

    Oh my God I could tell stories about that part of the world… But it is too late and I’m running out of bourbon. So some other night.

    But it was that trip and that job in Mauritius that started me down the path of noticing things that didn’t exactly align with what I had been reading. Up until I found this site…

    Your observation about the Mauritian Prime Ministers is accurate. My observation of the place: You have an island nation with a population less than the city of Dallas, or at least the Dallas area. The Prime Minister of Mauritius has less power than the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings. But yet he is a “national leader.” Politics in Mauritius are vicious because the stakes are so low.

    The beaches are lovely though…

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  • @jon

    Mauritius is interesting though. It’s bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It’s 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.
     
    Looking at the info I could find across a few pages on wikipedia, the demographics of Mauritius are thus:

    Indian - 68%
    Chinese - 3%
    French (or predominately so) - 2%
    Creole (which includes African/Indian, African/European and pure African) - the rest

    Seeing that, it doesn't seem too surprising that the top Indian, Chinese and French students would be competitive with their South Asian, East Asian, and European peers in the US and Australia. Nor does it seem a surprise that the lowest scoring Creoles would perform as poorly as their African counterparts.

    I spent 9 months working in Mauritius.

    Your assessment is correct.

    It is further strengthened by the fact that nobody I’ve met does a better job of cramming for the test than the Mauritians.

    They are a very interested in credentials.

    Well, at least the 70% or so that are ethnically Indian.

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  • It's been exactly three years since I moved on from Discover. Change is timeless. So I thought it would be a good time to announce the move to another project today. Until further notice this is my last post as a blogger at Unz Review. Just as when I left Discover, this shouldn’t impact regular...
  • Cool, look forward to the new site. Also, if you can convince Godless Capitalist to return to writing/blogging in some capacity that would be great :-)

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    he is :-) you just don't know it's him.
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  • @whorefinder
    The irony is that when President Trump wins, if Thiel's businesses receive ANY good thing from the government---i.e. avoiding an anti-trust lawsuit, having an IRS audit dropped, securing a government contract---, it will be front-page headlines in the NY Times, WaPO, CNN< and MSNBC for months.

    They'll run stories about it every day, while the Op-Ed columnists will be railing about "pay for play" all day. It doesn't matter how minor, Thiel will be crucified as a thief and President Trump as bought-and-sold.

    Meanwhile, Hillary relaxing anti-trust regulations for donors? Unmentioned. Bob Creamer and Google visiting the White house at a rate of once a week? Why report it? Saudi Arabia being Hillary's biggest donor, and then we fight wars in the Mideast against the Saudi enemies? ISLAMAPHOBE.

    You’ve just outlined what I consider to be the principal reason to vote for Trump.

    I am against the Imperial Executive.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    The Lugenpresse being hostile to the executive because he's not a D doesn't end the Imperial Executive ideal. Heck, W. was their mortal enemy for eight years and yet pushed it even more into the Imperial Executive ideal, and Obama gladly took it and ran with it.

    All the Lugenpresse is doing is trying to get a D elected, and then when people accuse them of being soft, point to their attacks when the R was in office.

    If you're worried about governmental overreach, you should be voting for Trump because he is the only candidate since perhaps maybe Goldwater who might try to curb governmental abuses by prosecution and restraint.
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  • What a mess! In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be? It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep...
  • Here’s the answer: “The west bears a heavy responsibility for the deaths of 450,000 Syrians, at least half the nation of 23 million becoming refugees, and destruction of this once lovely country.”

    That’s not a bug, that’s the prize at the bottom of the ruling elite’s Happy Meal. Yeah, DC is fomenting widespread human misery in the Middle East, but it gets millions of new and improved citizens-to-be to replace those ornery and hard-to-control old ones.

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  • Hinduism. The descendants of the conquerors from the North are still more or less on top after several thousand years. In a 2014 review in Taki's Magazine of economic historian Gregory Clark's book on surname analysis, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, I wrote: And yet ... From Buzzfeed:
  • @Lagertha
    ugh...Clock Boy. Does anyone have any idea where Clock Boy & Father Knows Best are? Still in Qatar, or was it Oman?

    Does anyone have any idea where Clock Boy & Father Knows Best are?

    He was in the paper this morning. It seems he’s back in town for a visit.

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  • Mike says: • Website
    @BenKenobi
    One of the first things I noticed after moving to Vancouver was that all (most) of the White people I befriended man and woman alike, while your standard PC Canadian, would without prompting say:

    "I f'n hate brown people." Humorously it was often prefaced by "I'm not racist but..."

    I came to the conclusion it was proximity. Kind of like how Americans catch heat both at home and abroad for "racism" against blacks.

    Try livin' next to 'em. I certainly understood the browns' reputation after working a hotel for 4 years in downtown Van.

    Try livin’ next to ‘em

    Buddy of mine has this huge house next door to his place. It went in and out of foreclosure a few times after 2008. Finally, an Indian buys the place. He moves his extended family into the house. There are cars everywhere, people coming and going at all times, etc.

    My buddy and the other wags in his neighborhood now refer to that house as The Call Center.

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    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Wait until the neighbourhood tips over!

    My girlfriend works in architecture here, and has an inside look at Vancouver real estate. She says it's typical for Indians to tear down an old White home that uses 40% of lot coverage to rebuild a house at 90% so they can pack 'em in.
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  • The most notorious feature of the difficult Oakmont golf course, site of this year's U.S. Open won by Dustin Johnson, is the Church Pews fairway bunker between the 3rd and 4th fairway. The tall islands of grass within the giant sand trap make it risky to try to advance the ball directly toward the green...
  • @Ganderson
    I did caddy- at Town and Country Club in St. Paul, a very old (1880s) club overlooking the Mississippi. A good job for me when I was in 7-9th grades. It was a real job too; you had to show up 6 days a week or you'd get fired. Caddies could play the course , A and Honor caddies on Fridays, B caddies on Mondays. It was hard to play the St. Paul Munis after playing at T&C! We had our own colorful lingo, too- to "get stabbed "was to not get a tip; a "fog" was a bad caddy, a "loop " was a round. Your first round, with an experienced caddy, was called "being stooged" Dunno if the terms were peculiar to the upper Midwest, or known more widely.

    On another note, although I get the idea that the aging of us boomers is a big part of the decline in rounds played, but other factors might be- the difficulty of many new courses- who wants to go out and shoot 110! Also- since a lot of golfers did not caddy, they don't know about fixing ball marks and playing quickly. Oh- and carts are the death of the game!!!

    I agree about Steve's golf posts- such a book would get a spot in my bathroom!

    Heh…

    My brother had one of his three weddings at Town and Country.

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    • Replies: @ganderson
    Given the smallness of St. Paul we probably know each other- or in any case know a lot of people in common.
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  • Via SlateStarCodex, here are some futurist predictions for the year 2000 by John Elfreth Watkins Jr. in the December 1900 issue of Ladies Home Journal. This list is fairly well-known for being pretty reasonable, so it's worth looking at for suggestions of how to make decent predictions and how to avoid mistakes that even a...
  • @IA
    In Paris, the wealthier arrondissements have paid fines for years concerning "diversity" quotas. Americans ought to wise up.

    In Dallas homeowner’s associations hire the Dallas police department to provide protection not available to those who live in unorganized neighborhoods.

    Americans have wised up.

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    • Replies: @IA
    Well, having to pay for protection on top of taxes isn't what I had in mind. Best to stop all 3rd world immigration.
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  • From the NYT: Behind Fake Degrees From Pakistan, a Maze of Deceit and a Case in Peril By DECLAN WALSH APRIL 10, 2016 ... But Mr. Shaikh could not prevent the seizure of a vast trove of data, some recovered from computer disks as they were being deleted, that led investigators to conclude that Axact’s...
  • Mike says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    I've spent much of this century in India, and the fake degree industry is alive and well there too. I can tell dozens of stories about their "schools". My first experience was in late 2003. A colleague and I were hiring workers for a support and development site. We were given a local city guide at our hotel. It was kind of a cross between a yellow pages book and a penny saver-type newspaper. It had pages and pages of ads for business and computer schools. There must have been over 100 that called themselves "colleges".

    The local company we had a contract with was only sending us applicants with Masters Degrees. Most of them were claiming to have Masters in Computer Science or MBA's, but when we got them into the post-hire training we were having to teach really basic stuff. Things like how to drag-and-drop, how to search for a file, etc..

    One of the schools was just a couple of blocks from our site, so we decided to walk over and pay it a visit. It was one room that looked like a converted garage - maybe 10 x 20 feet. At the back of the room was a table with 3 computers. There was a large white board with markers on one wall and maybe a dozen of the plastic chair/desk combos like you see in American high schools. By the front door was a small desk where a clerk would sit with the only other computer in the place. It was a "college". It looked like they were closed for lunch.

    I went back a few days later when the clerk was there. He was pretty friendly and open about the place, and explained the curriculum. Students came for a couple of hours a couple of days a week and they would drill them using the white board on some IT area to pass certification tests. Mostly they were interested in A+, Microsoft or Cisco certifications. The computers at the back were only used for doing practice exams. He said that the certifications were more important to most students than degrees, but they would offer degrees to the students who needed them and asked about them. After that, if an applicant didn't have a degree from either IIT or one of the big Indian state schools then we just ignored their degree completely.

    This dovetails nicely with my experience recruiting Indian students for an MBA program in Mauritius.

    I spent a month in India going round the Higher/Tertiary Education conference circuit. I also called on the special slime ball category known as the Education Consultant. My experience was very similar to yours.

    I really thought I was going to to well by doing good. I was such a sucker. I, as the White American, was just a show pony for the crappy under capitalized company.

    The MBA degree was awarded through a licensing agreement with a real UK university. It was nothing more than a profit center for that school. They didn’t much care about how crappy the students were either.

    Don’t even get me started on the cheating…

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  • @Bill B.
    The inability/reluctance of the developed world to recognise that much of the developing world's tertiary education is crap or somewhat crap causes great confusion - all those Syrian engineers and doctors! - and hurts the genuine heroes of the developing world trying to lift education quality.

    This is clearly a scam but rampant credentialism across much of Asia puts tremendous pressure on ordinary folk to waste years of their lives chasing pieces of paper that mean very little.

    Remember that the average Asian degree = a high school diploma from a good European school.

    (East Asia is different and there are bright spots elsewhere of course. Hard science and medical training is more difficult to fake; although note that it was recently discovered that a majority of foreign doctors working in the UK would not be able to pass British medical exams.)

    Many universities are so poor they might as well be diploma mills - like Webster University's Thailand branch which is allegedly run by an 'Indian mafia':

    https://collegetimes.co/webster-university-thailand-corruption-fraud/

    Hmm…

    I had a little dealing with Webster when I was trying to get a business school off the ground in Mauritius.

    My problem was that I wanted to get a school off the ground. The owners wanted a diploma mill.

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  • From The Hindu:
  • Mike says: • Website
    @Numinous

    To get a visa to go to India, you have to give them your passport. Really. They keep it at least overnight.
     
    Well, duh! They have to stamp the passport. The US consulate in India kept my passport for nights when I applied for a visa. It's standard practice.

    I agree with you about Indian bureaucracy though. It IS hellish.

    No it is not standard practice.

    I’ve been to many countries. For most countries the visa is nothing more than the entry stamp. This has been my experience as a U.S. passport holder. Many countries just wave you on through without even a stamp in your passport (which kinda sucks when trying to brag about where you’ve been). Other countries do insert the visa in your passport. I have several. India is the only country where I had to surrender my passport to the High Commission.

    Using the U.S. consulate in India as a counter example isn’t really going to change my mind in your direction.A significant amount of our host’s efforts detail how the U.S. government is hostile to it’s own citizens. I imagine it is even worse on foreigners.

    For those of you that have never experienced this: Coming home to the U.S. from an extended stay abroad is awful. The U.S. government treats its own citizens as criminals.

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    • Replies: @Numinous
    Visas and foreign travel run on the principle of reciprocity. If country A imposes fees and restrictions on citizens of country B, country B attempts to impose similar restrictions on country A.

    The US has a visa waiver program with many countries (typically OECD) which allows you to travel without visas.

    Using the U.S. consulate in India as a counter example isn’t really going to change my mind in your direction.
     
    Huh? Then what else does? I was trying to answer your question about why the Indian High Commission held on to your passport for a night. Since the US chooses to hang on to my passport (in my country), the Indian government reciprocates that behavior with you. That's all there is to it.
    , @AndrewR
    Agreed. It's impossible to have fond feelings for the US government after dealing with multiple CBP bully tyrants.
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  • Mike says: • Website

    Heh…

    Anyone who has dealt with the Indian High Commission knows a real bureaucracy.

    Their whole system is designed to discriminate against non-Indians.

    To get a visa to go to India, you have to give them your passport. Really. They keep it at least overnight.

    And that will scare the crap out of anyone who’s been there.

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    • Replies: @Numinous

    To get a visa to go to India, you have to give them your passport. Really. They keep it at least overnight.
     
    Well, duh! They have to stamp the passport. The US consulate in India kept my passport for nights when I applied for a visa. It's standard practice.

    I agree with you about Indian bureaucracy though. It IS hellish.

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  • A commenter replies to my latest Taki's column proposing that all immigrants be required to have immigration insurance against any harms they may visit up Americans: One of my goals is to get the concept of liability for immigration on the table in the first place. Cigarette companies, for instance, always admitted they would be...
  • @Pittsburgh Thatcherite
    Selling citizenship and requiring citizens to buy insurance is politically impossible in any existing nation.

    In order to implement these ideas, a new nation must be created.

    This new nation, unencumbered by dysfunctional citizens, would have a very high standard of living.

    This new nation could be a corporation which sells citizenships for profit.

    This nation-corporation could buy a vast swath of land, provide effective government, sell a billion citizenships, and collect trillions of dollars in profit.

    PT,

    Your are getting really close to another of Steve’s favorite topics: Country Clubs.

    Heh… Didn’t even think of “Country” until I typed it out…

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  • Derrick Henry of the U. of Alabama has won the 2015 Heisman Trophy for top college football player, with Christian McCaffrey of Stanford the runner-up. This is a repeat of the 2009 result in which Stanford's Toby Gerhart finished second to the Crimson Tide's Mark Ingram. (Both results seemed fair to me.) Early last season,...
  • If we are to believe the hype, Stanford football players are still students.

    I think I’ve brought this up here before…

    In this podcast of Russ Roberts’ Econtalk, Roger Noll, Professor of Economics, Emeritus at Stanford says:

    But the number–like in a typical year, the number of students who play football who could get admitted to Stanford is in the range of 70-80. And we have to get 25 of them.

    So Stanford actively recruits the good students that can play football at the D1 level. And we know what they tend to look like.

    Moving OT… Here is, to me anyway, an interesting little factoid: My alma mater, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota is in next Friday night’s Alonzo Stagg Bowl, which is the D3 championship. They are playing the Mount Union Purple Raiders. This will be Mount Union’s 11th straight appearance in the game. Mount Union has dominated D3 football for over 20 years.

    Oh, and I like iffen’s thinking.

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    • Replies: @Chet
    According to Professor Noll's assertion only about 3% of incoming Division 1 freshman football players can gain admittance to an elite university based on academic merit. Any estimates on the percentage of basketball players with the same academic credentials?
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  • Affirmative action in college admissions based on race/ethnicity has been common since the end of the 1960s. It rather quickly was discovered to benefit primarily blacks and Latinos from above average homes. So, slowly, the rationalization for affirmative action was rewritten by the Supreme Court from original assertions of fairness, anti-discrimination, and reparations for slavery...
  • @Anonymous
    "Pretty sure that's about making Duke money."

    Perhaps. I've gone to the TIP website several times and have read about the program on Wikipedia a couple of times, but I still have no sense, in practical terms, for what the program is really all about or how it works.

    Both of my kids were identified by Duke TIP. The recognition put them on a mailing list for summer school courses and programs that we couldn’t afford.

    I did get to brag a little bit…

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  • Commenter Lot draws our attention to the following story out of San Diego, which at first seems pretty ho-hum: Point Lomans hope to ground FAA's flight plans by DAVE SCHWAB 9 days ago A riled crowd of about 1,000 concerned citizens turned out at a special meeting Oct. 4 in Liberty Station to give the...
  • I bet my mom is in that picture somewhere.

    You don’t need an alarm clock on Point Loma. The planes start coming over the house at exactly 6:00am.

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  • From the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times: Who is Mark Dayton? From Wikipedia: Back to the St. Cloud Times:
  • @Alice
    Dayton's brothers all were respected businesen in town. Mark was the only one who couldn't manage that. So he went into politics.

    In 2009, he admitted he was an alcoholic who was treated for "depression", though many indicate it's bipolar, what used to be called manic depression.
    http://m.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/80168257.html

    When he was senator in 2004, he caused a local stir when he closed his DC office and sent his staff home to MN after hearing a nat sec briefing by the FBI/CIA. It was the same briefing everyone else heard, and it listed possible threat scenarios.

    No one else reacted by being scared witless. Just him. The TNR piece is devastating.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28030-2004Oct12.html

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/magazine/77869/eeyore-governor

    He isn't weird by MN governor standards. Prior governors have included Jesse the Body Ventura and Rudy Perpich, who would disappear and state troopers couldn't find him.

    Heh…

    Weird governors in Minnesota…

    And their children. Rudy’s daughter (google Mary Sue Perpich or Sue Perpich) tried to get me to do her homework back in college. She thought waving those boobs around was going to work for her.

    Also, Mark Dayton’s brother John was a force behind one of the best restaurants to ever appear in Dallas: Routh Street Cafe. The place was the restaurant in town for ten years.

    I have one sister and her family left in Minnesota (the entire White Rock Kitchens clans was once living there). I’m going to have to check in to see how this attitude toward whites flies with her… If I remember correctly, she was a C student.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Mike, a "C" cup student or a "C" grade student. I would have helped her if the price was right.
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  • The passage of the collective self defense bills-- enabling Japanese participation in military activities beyond its home territory under restrictions that appear to be rather elastic-- --had a feeling of inevitability to me. They give more freedom of movement to the Japanese government in its security policy, more leverage in its foreign relations, and more...
  • @Astuteobservor II
    kinda hard to remain a pacifist when the barbarians are at the door with missiles in 2015 :)

    joking aside, there is no cycle. eu and usa has always been the bad guys for the last 500 years or so. with a small different blip that was japan 70 years ago. That is what happens when a few civilizations got much more advance military tech. the chinese leaders are just doing what they must. what is the point of having the biggest economy if they can't protect it. Because there countries just itching to ruin it all for china. THAT is a fact. I am completely fine with china doing whatever it can to secure it self. how can I fault china from doing that? that would be extremely idiotic. It is akin to telling home owners to not defend themselves during an armed home invasion.

    I’d agree that Europe and to some extent the us were the bad actors for the past few centuries, but it’s absurd to suggest china’s bullying behavior is defensive. there is absolutely no call for China to bully it’s neighbors like it’s trying to do. China is acting like a second rate European power trying to prove itself.

    I understand the psycholofy, I get that China was abused and traumatized, and like many abused children the cycle of abuse gets passed on, but it’s gotta stop if the human race is to survive.

    how cool would china be if it built up its power but refused to throw it’s weight arpund, showing the world how an old Asian civilization refuses to worship the barbarian god of power.

    China is tapping into the worst sides of its old culture, the craving for ‘recognition’ which manifested itself in childish antics like paying menacing tribes to offer ‘tribute’ (worth less than the payment) to shore up the fiction of Chinese doninance.

    this childish side of the old chinese culture was amusing and could be greeted with an indulgent smile as long as it was balanced with the mature wisdom of a ripe old culture.

    now, with its legacy of trauma, and acquired nationalism, it’s sinister.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    how is china bullying it's neighbors? do tell? your entire comment is 99% reaction to the bullying. I would like to know the bullying listed.
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  • A Justice Department press release: Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, August 24, 2015 Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Nebraska-Based Meat Packing Company The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Nebraska Beef Ltd., a meat packing company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The settlement resolves...
  • The department’s investigation found that the company required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documentary proof of their immigration status to verify their employment eligibility. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from making documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin when verifying an employee’s authorization to work.

    They didn’t require obvious US citizens to fill out I-9′s.

    Shame on them.

    Because when you’re sitting in an HR office in Nebraska, there really is no way to tell if the applicant you’re talking to is a citizen or not.

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  • Julian Castro, the former $20-per-day fake mayor of San Antonio promoted to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced the Obama Administration's new plan to move inner city poor people to your neighborhood on Wednesday in Chicago, a place I may have mentioned once or twice in discussing housing. The Washington Post coordinated with the...
  • Mike says:

    One thing that is never appreciated is that the base of this is the awful design of our financial system. We have a monetary system where new loans MUST be made to keep the whole thing afloat. Exactly where the loans are made at what time are up for debate, but as the pool of borrowers who can make a payment necessarily shrinks due to everyone else already being indebted, our system naturally must push into untried areas.

    No one cares about the plumbing of our financial infrastructure but it is deeply destructive over the long term. If more people understood that banks create money by issuing loans (and that money creation has nothing to do with the government) the way things are might make a lot more sense to people. Most people also believe the myth that banks lend out their deposits and make money on the spread. This bizarre belief should be obviously falsified by looking at your own deposit amounts in the bank and the debt you have (and yes, everyone else’s financial profile looks very similar to yours in your range).

    Bottom line all the good borrowers are gone. We are at a point where we need to find new borrowers or the system implodes.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    One thing that is never appreciated is that the base of this is the awful design of our financial system. We have a monetary system where new loans MUST be made to keep the whole thing afloat.

    Is this really true? I've always heard this, and the fact that friggin' auto title loans are now bundled and sold as securities seems to confirm it. We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point.

    Serious question - any references or links that explain this?
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  • From the New York Times: From iSteve:
  • Mike says:

    Entirely anecdotal but funny: I just put in a new store in North Hollywood. To keep the outside security door latched during business hours we put a double sided dog clip style attachment from the metal door to the chain link fence. It cost $3.00 from Home Depot. It was stolen literally within minutes while the work was still being done. This was at ground level behind a door.

    The next day we put another one but this time we welded one side around the chain link fence. Absolutely nuked one side of it. Overnight the chain link fence was unlinked to remove the worthless clip and steal it!

    LA, for this and about a million other reasons, is definitely a third world city.

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  • @International Jew


    either blue movie players, ‘technical staff’, accountants and other assorted milquetoast, locations, studios etc etc in the course of their day-to-day lives.
     
    Yeah, definitely. I stayed at a motel once that had furniture just like they use in blue movies. And at supermarket checkout lines I see people all the time that could easily be porn stars and porn talent scouts. Porn-capable computers, in turn, are readily available at places like Walmart and Target or, for people who want to be more discreet, by mail order (shipped in plain brown boxes).

    “Porn capable computers”?! I have no words…

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  • Mike says:
    @Benjamin

    I think this is the time to start discussing not the wealth distribution in Cali but the Proposition 13 which is holding California back. May be once homeowners start paying taxes appropriate for their multimillion homes the state would have the money to help the poor.
     
    You are a moron. Prop 13 is the only thing allowing people who are in the middle-class, now retired, to keep their homes. Going by what I see going on in Los Angeles real estate, "rich people" don't tend to stay put. They move around, buying and selling properties multiple times, and their property tax is reset every time they do. I've seen high end properties bought 6 years ago, that are now priced double the original price. Whomever buys that property will have to pay the reset tax! Fine by me. Let the rich have their inbreed rapefest.

    For the average person, Prop 13 allows long term homeowners–you know, people invested personally in a community–a way out of avoiding being taxed out of their retirement homes and into apartments.

    We've seen what's happened to this state WITH prop 13 enabled: Cold-hearted chaos. Imagine supercharging all the stupidity if our great state leaders could raise property taxes at their discretion.

    NEVER vote for ANY new tax in the state of California, you tool. The state has plenty of money. We're tossing over 10 billion state dollars a year to service illegal aliens. That's all the proof you need that we're swimming in money, and if anything, need REDUCED taxes to stave off the excessive spending.

    So because you bought back when prices were dirt cheap I have to pay your taxes for you? Not only do you expect me to pay huge sums for a normal house but I need to keep the roads fixed for you too?

    I’m guessing you are a baby boomer with the whiny entitlement that the world must act in your favor attitude.

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    • Replies: @William BadWhite
    "So because you bought back when prices were dirt cheap I have to pay your taxes for you? Not only do you expect me to pay huge sums for a normal house but I need to keep the roads fixed for you too?

    I’m guessing you are a baby boomer with the whiny entitlement that the world must act in your favor attitude."

    You sir are a dunce.

    It is amusing to see somebody whining that somebody else isn't paying more in taxes using the term "whiny entitlement". The people "benefiting" from Prop 13 aren't asking for other people's money (as are you). They simply want to not have their taxes ratcheted up constantly.

    The people "benefiting" from Prop 13 are people who by definition have been in their homes since before they appreciated significantly. That means they're likely to be people whose kids are finished with school, and gone. Why should they see their property taxes endlessly raised because their newer neighbors are willing to pay more for their homes? These people still pay income taxes and sales taxes and gas taxes.

    Find some other way to pay for your ridiculous transfer schemes.
    , @Benjamin

    So because you bought back when prices were dirt cheap I have to pay your taxes for you? Not only do you expect me to pay huge sums for a normal house but I need to keep the roads fixed for you too?
     
    Uh... I'm thinking that's a question you might want to pose to your congressman regarding the good folks who manicure his lawn, or the McDonald's franchise owner who hires the good folks who help support his failed business plan. These people add up to around 10 million in California, all of whom use "the roads," as well as "the water," and who regularly take their flu-ridden babies to your local emergency room for "health care," as well as being wildly overrepresented in our "penal system."

    As far as your charge of my being a "boomer," if anyone has their head stuck in the 1960's, it would be you. However, your psychotic delusions of "evil is strength" is a tired cliche. There's nothing new about you.

    If it were the 1930's you'd be extolling the merits of communism, while justifying Stalin's mass purges–if you acknowledged them at all–as "growing pains."

    Prop 13 not only supports the concept of long-term property owners. It also supports new homeowners by keeping property taxes at a steady and sane rate. If not for Prop 13, many people could never afford buying a home in California in the first place. Many homeowners who purchased a house in the '60's would have been forced out.

    Their home would likely be in the care of a Chinese Real Estate Investment Trust, which are so very popular now, and it would be rented out at an increasing market rate. Whole neighborhood blocks of "starter homes" would be rentals. If Prop 13 were repealed, this is what you would see happening at an accelerated rate.

    Again, stop advocating for the government to take more money out of my pocket at the point of a gun.

    That's no way to behave with a neighbor, Mike.

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  • The fact that black immigrants to the United States have shown achievements that are superior to native black Americans has been a phenomenon studied since at least the 1970's. At first it was just the Caribbean blacks who were a subject of this unexpected outcome. As black Africans kept immigrating into the US, they showed...
  • The entire thrust of this article implies that the genetic approach states that all whites are smarter than all blacks which has never been the contention of anyone serious. That some black groups have high IQ clusters and pass it on is utterly unremarkable.

    It is mind boggling that anyone could think all of Africa would be IQ homogeneous. Black Africans certainly don’t think so they tend to hold very strong opinions about who the smart and dumb Africans are.

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  • Carl Zimmer reports in the NYT: That reminds me of a story I once heard about psychologist Leon Kamin from one of his former grad students. Dr. Kamin, co-author in 1974 with Richard Lewontin and Steven Rose of the influential anti-human sciences screed Not In Our Genes, has extraordinary cognitive skills involving letters and numbers....
  • Mike says: • Website
    @Harry Baldwin
    I used to work as an illustrator in advertising, drawing storyboards. I usually worked with an art director. Art directors, while they generally can't draw well, are capable of visualizing. That is, you can describe a visual image to them and get them to agree on it before you actually put it on paper. There may then only be some fine tuning.

    At the client end--say, Procter & Gamble--you have people whose mind’s eyes are blind. If you were to describe an image to them, they would have no idea what you were talking about. They have to see it drawn on paper before they can understand. It's a different kind of mind. I hadn't been aware that there is a word for it.

    Harry,

    It gets even worse.

    I meet people that can’t visualize what a small change in their own home will look like.

    I am in kitchen design. I will have a sketch/CAD drawing of a kitchen when making a proposal to a husband and wife. This is a sketch of the kitchen in their own home. I will often propose something like moving a door or enlarging a window. Invariably one member of the couple understands what I’m proposing immediately. The other member stares at the paper or screen with a blank expression. They have a sketch of their own kitchen with a few modifications and can’t figure out what it will look like!

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    • Replies: @Seth
    Similarly some people are able to walk into a room and know exactly how the furniture should be arranged to make better use of space and create efficiencies.

    I, on the other hand, will accept as given whatever arrangement has been dumped in front of me, and work around it.
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  • From the Los Angeles Times, an article that looks at a forecast made in 1988 about what Southern California would be like in 2010. This is a useful exercise. - It's worth noting that the 1988 population forecast for 2010 was extremely accurate (a forecast of 18.3 million vs. a Census enumeration of 18.1 million)....
  • Mike says: • Website
    @Mark Minter
    @sailer

    You gotta watch The Rockford Files. I just finished episode 1 on Netflix
    (I am sure you can find it somewhere by searching "watch Rockford Files online". I found the episodes here:
    http://watch-series-tv.to/serie/the_rockford_files
    there are multiple links for each episode. My experience is "daclips.com" tends to have them, but you have to test. I have adblocker for chrome so I avoid a lot of crap ads. I highly recommend it. It's free and easily installs.)

    The show is fine but I tkhin you would enjoy seeing the shots of LA back in 1979. He drives that brown Pontiac Firebird which was sort of "the car" back in the day. There were shots in Ep. 1 from some rich ladie's pool up in Bel Air that showed the "flats" of LA back in the day. I am amazed how empty is looked.

    I was in the Marines at MCAS Santa Ana in Tustin in 1975. During the day the freeways were quite congested especially the 405. But at night, they really cleared out. It amazes me who we used to drive like 20 miles to go to the movies like it was nothing. You would get on the nearest freeway and blast down, and four or five songs later you were getting off the freeway, 20 miles away. My thing to do was drive. I would get in this beat old Mustang and drive the freeways at night. You could mostly drive as fast as you wanted. I would go out, get off the freeway somewhere, and try to "hack" my way back. Eventually I would bump into something recognizable.

    I once was in clothing store buying a jacket and the hot girl clerk asked me "Are you like in the Army or something?" (We had Marine Reg haircuts at a time when the world had long hair and we were quite obvious and fairly ridiculous looking in So Cal at the time. And quite disliked by the local population.)

    I replied, "Lady, I am in the Marines on a helicopter base with 2000 Marines and 100 noisy attack choppers 10 minutes away from here."

    That's how big it all was, even then, that a two squadrons of Hueys and Cobras would be unnoticed by locals even 10 minutes away.

    And white. Even though it had a lot of Mexicans back then, they were mostly in "the barrio" in East LA. Orange County was quite white. And very attractive. In no way could it be the same, that young, that attractive, that white, at least in the places that you wanted to go.

    But watch Rockford. There is this nostalgia theme on Netflix, people watching those older shows, remembering old times. It amazing seeing LA, that unbuilt, that open, that sparse.

    I was stationed at Tustin from 83-85.

    Good times…

    When people ask what I did in the Marines, I tell them I protected the beaches of Southern California from the Soviet Menace during the cold war of the 80′s.

    When they ask what it was like to be in the Marines, I tell them it was better than working for a living.

    When I was at Tustin we had (my memory is fuzzy) three or four CH-46 squadrons and three or four CH-53 squadrons. There was also a training squadron and during my last year, the CH-53E hit the fleet.

    In the 80′s the Hueys and Cobras were stationed at Pendleton.

    For those of you interested in this sort of thing: at least two of the squadron commanders while I was stationed at Tustin were HACs at the fiasco of Desert One. (Peter Principle.)

    And I agree on the beauty of SoCal in the Rockford Files.

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  • One of the stranger developments of the last decade or two is the emergence of a widespread public taste for historical racism porn: the younger generation gets titillated in a quasi-sexual fashion by depictions of things in the past that set off their Warning: Problematic brain alarms. You can hear it in movie theaters with...
  • Mike says: • Website
    @International Jew

    Tipping culture has a lot of arbitrary aspects to it.
     
    Sure does. I'd like to comment on the intersection of this piece, and a seemingly unrelated iSteve preoccupation, country clubs. My observation is that country clubs and other private clubs have a no-tipping policy. Why is that?

    Heck, I'll come out with it: the private clubs I'm familiar with have been mostly Jewish (um, about 3 of 4). So there you have it, the intersection of *three*, count 'em, iSteve preoccupations!

    Or is it that members give the staff big once-yearly bonuses, in lieu of tip? (I wouldn't know; I've been to those clubs as a guest, never as a member.)

    Having two kids that work at a country club, I can tell you the no tipping rule is due, mainly, to compensation law. My kids work at an hourly scale slightly above minimum wage. Your typical tipped position, such as a waiter, is only paid $2.13 per hour.

    Also, in the case of this country club, and others I’m pretty sure, there is no cash used on the premises. This helps keeps non-members away. You pay for everything on your account and settle up at the end of the month.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    When the $15 per hour minimum wage comes to LA I won't have to tip. Sweet!
    , @Jacobite
    Always tip your caddy.
    , @Forbes
    The clubs I'm familiar with, the only cash paid--including tip--is to caddies, otherwise no cash is observed. Menus contain no prices, and all charges go on the monthly statement, i.e. guests are guests, and they don't pay.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • From the NYT: Judge Rules Second Version of New York Teachers’ Exam Is Also Racially Biased By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS JUNE 5, 2015 A federal judge on Friday found that an exam for New York teaching candidates was racially discriminatory because it did not measure skills necessary to do the job, the latest step in...
  • Mike says:

    One thing missing from the conversation is that this focus on building poorer quality institutions is actually embedding the power of white people. In Latin America white people basically win in every area because the bar is set so low that even lazy white people can’t help but come out on top.

    Steve hints at this from time to time but it is never really fleshed out.

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  • Theodore Dalrymple said:
  • Mike says:
    @Anonym
    This is BS. Steve is hardly anti-business. It is possible to run a successful business without breaking the law by hiring illegals. There was also a highly successful silicon valley before the h1b visa.

    A bit of greed is common in successful business owners. Some are unable to moderate their greed against what is good for society at large.

    I was not discussing immigration regarding Steve’s business stance. Since you bring it up though it is not possible to compete in many industries if you hire only legal labor. It is delusional to think you can run a successful labor based business in LA county with legal labor for example. Not only from the labor cost perspective but the skills just don’t exist in the native born population for most labor jobs.

    It’s not that Americans wont do the jobs they can’t do the jobs.

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    • Replies: @Perplexed
    What are some of the jobs Americans can't do? When did they become unable to do them? What happened?
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  • Mike says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    I am an American who cares, and I have identified three things you have said that are either false or misleading:

    1) "The writer of this blog frequently writes things that show a bias against business."

    I am a business owner who has been reading this blog for a while now, and I do not detect the anti-business sentiment you claim exists. On the contrary, Mr. Sailer consistently sticks with cold facts and descriptions of the causes and effects of the topics he writes about. He comes across like someone who would gladly congratulate you for honestly-achieved business success, if you yourself in fact have had any. If you disagree with someone on issues like unmanaged immigration and the damage it does to our market and society, then so be it.

    2) "Americans don’t care."

    I and other Americans who comment here disprove your point. If we had more power, believe me, we would make some changes, which leads me to your next piece of disinformation:

    3) "Political power is not hard to get."

    This is your biggest lie, and it's falsehood should be self-evident. If you want to learn about political power, study those who have had some success with it. Recently, the host of this Unz Review described how he has achieved some success leveraging political issues; it is a long process filled with moguls.

    Hi Buzz you seem like a reasonable person. I own a business in CA (as well as other states) and I also interact with CA politicians for work reasons. Sadly getting what you want politically is actually remarkably easy. Very cheap too.

    Personally I see caring as caring enough to act.

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  • Mike says:

    Emasculation comes in many forms. The writer of this blog frequently writes things that show a bias against business. This suspicion of business only comes from an emasculated society.

    There is a reason that the continuing winners are the ones that promote endless immigration: Americans don’t care. Political power is not hard to get. People that wont fight deserve to lose.

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    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I am an American who cares, and I have identified three things you have said that are either false or misleading:

    1) "The writer of this blog frequently writes things that show a bias against business."

    I am a business owner who has been reading this blog for a while now, and I do not detect the anti-business sentiment you claim exists. On the contrary, Mr. Sailer consistently sticks with cold facts and descriptions of the causes and effects of the topics he writes about. He comes across like someone who would gladly congratulate you for honestly-achieved business success, if you yourself in fact have had any. If you disagree with someone on issues like unmanaged immigration and the damage it does to our market and society, then so be it.

    2) "Americans don’t care."

    I and other Americans who comment here disprove your point. If we had more power, believe me, we would make some changes, which leads me to your next piece of disinformation:

    3) "Political power is not hard to get."

    This is your biggest lie, and it's falsehood should be self-evident. If you want to learn about political power, study those who have had some success with it. Recently, the host of this Unz Review described how he has achieved some success leveraging political issues; it is a long process filled with moguls.

    , @Anonym
    This is BS. Steve is hardly anti-business. It is possible to run a successful business without breaking the law by hiring illegals. There was also a highly successful silicon valley before the h1b visa.

    A bit of greed is common in successful business owners. Some are unable to moderate their greed against what is good for society at large.
    , @Melendwyr
    Political power isn't hard to get if you're willing to sell your soul for it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • A continuing theme here at iSteve is that it takes forever to get big projects done in California, for reasons that are more or less inevitable under today's conditions of a huge population living alongside rugged terrain. This creates natural chokepoints that make getting things done slow and expensive. Back in the days of Gov....
  • @Daniel H
    >> The direct route to the Bay Area would be to.....

    ....go to one of the several airports in the LA area and get on a plane.

    Just think about the number of plane tickets the government could give away in lieu of spending the money on HSR.

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    • Replies: @Alice
    Here in the twin cities,the cost of the light rail was so high that they could have bought every single rider a $20k car and spent less. The purpose is to reward their constituencies and limit freedom. It supports all of their future moves of section 8 housing to sub and ex urban white voting precincts, too, so they can turn every county a D voting county.
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  • From National Journal: Why Old White People Dominate Small Businesses The concentration of wealth among older households stifles entrepreneurship among the young and minorities. BY MATT VASILOGAMBROS Follow on Twitter May 28, 2015 Ah, the small business owner. Oft-celebrated in the economy for his resilience and success—a representation of the American workforce. That is, if...
  • Mike says:
    @anon
    The real reason for the disparity in (legal) entrepreneurs is...

    traditional commercial banking involved encouraging saving and then using those savings as small business loans i.e. offering 2% on deposits and charging 4% on loans. From the 1980s onwards commercial banks switched more and more to debt-pushing where they make their money enticing people into debt-based consumption (aka usury) instead. This went even further after the repeal of Glass-Steagal where apart from the usury the commercial banking wing of the new combined banks simply became cash and asset funnels for the investment banking wing.

    There are two consequences of this.

    1) The obvious one is the drying up of small business loans as the commercial banks abandoned their traditional (and absolutely critical) function of recycling savings into small business investment.

    2) The deeper consequence is debt-based consumption (usury) is parasitic and destructive to the economy as a whole while at the same time being immensely profitable to the usurers (hence why people have been trying to ban it for millenia and why it always comes back).

    Because debt-based consumption (aka usury) is deflationary the amount of spare cash in the economy shrinks meaning there is limited consumer demand to fuel new businesses.

    (An analogy is to imagine a rust-belt town where all the jobs were off shored at the same time. If the jobs were lost 10% at a time there would have been a chance for new businesses to grow because there would still be some money in the local economy but because all the jobs went at once so nobody had any spare cash so there is no consumer money to fuel new businesses.)

    More specifically the deflationary death spiral the US is in mostly involves the middle class gradually becoming poorer with the 1% getting the benefit. In terms of demand this means
    - increasing market for necessities (but declining per capita)
    - declining market for middle class spending
    - increasing market for wealthy spending

    So where is the unsatisfied market for entrepreneurship?

    Banking has never been about lending out savings at a higher rate than what is paid to depositors and your definition of usury is comically wrong.
    Banks lend with very little regard to the amount of deposits they have. They lend first and get the regulatory capital later. If they happen to have the required capital on hand well and good but it is by no means a pre-condition to doing a loan.

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    • Replies: @anon
    Money-lending for consumption (usury) is inherently parasitic and destructive and that's why people have been trying to ban it for 3000 years. Unfortunately the other side of the coin is usury is so destructive because it sucks out so much money from the real economy thus making the people doing it very rich - hence why it always creeps back - no matter how many institutional barriers are put in place they eventually get removed again.

    simple example:

    a consumer has $100 spare every month and wants two items that cost $600 each

    option 1) they save up six months and buy one of the items and then save up the next six months and buy the second -> their total demand in the year $1200

    option 2) they borrow to buy the first item straight away and then pay back $100 a month for the next twelve months -> their total demand in the year $600 with $600 going to the money lender

    Usury is ultimately deflationary for the simple and obvious reason borrowers pay back more than they borrow so money in the real economy is constantly being drained away into the financial sector - initially it creates a boom as initially borrowing means people are spending more than they have but over the long term it drains total demand out of the real economy like a vampire draining blood.

    And that's a large part of why the western economies are so trashed (which is one of the reasons why it's harder to start new businesses).
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  • A reader sends a story from Montreal alleging that an apparently prominent French language war correspondent maybe sort of kind of made up some of his biggest scoops. I never heard of the guy before, so I have no opinion on the allegations. But it's an opportunity for me to transcribe a famous passage from...
  • It appears very few of you have had the opportunity to smoke Gold Flake.

    Good stuff.

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  • I was wondering what the ACLU is up to these days. You used to hear about the ACLU all the time when I was a kid, but now it doesn't seem to come up much. But then I saw this letter to the editor in the New York Times: Oh, so that's what the ACLU...
  • Cost of attendance at Colorado College for next year: $63,600.

    Well that’s the posted rate anyway. I wonder what Rebecca’s parents think of the value they’ve received?

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  • I took a quick look through a bunch of mug shots of bikers arrested after the big shootout outside the Twin Peaks (har-har) restaurant in Waco, TX and came up with 37 white, 14 mestizo, and one or maybe two black. That's pretty close to the demographics of the cast of Texan Mike Judge's Idiocracy....
  • Skimming through these mug shots is like looking at the last 40 guys who’ve changed the oil in my car. If Jiffy Lube had its own army, it could be a pretty credible fighting force.

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  • From the NYT, an admiring description of the EB-5 visa, a federal program that manages to be both fundamentally corrupt and penny ante stuff at the same time: Let's be clear about what happened: the three (or possibly more) Zhao's did not write a check to the U.S. Treasury to buy their green cards. Instead,...
  • Mike says:

    Let’s face it: most Americans are not worth $500k over the course of their entire life. Stolen money or no, these immigrants are at least a net financial gain to the US.
    I enjoy reading this blog as a thought exercise but the author is always “once upon a time I did jury duty and a foreign guy went home with money he earned and didn’t give it to the state of CA to pay welfare”. I’m sorry white America: man up or go away.
    Feeling superior to people who are kicking your ass by working harder just looks pathetic.

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    • Replies: @Greenstalk
    Mike, you remind me of that old joke about a woman, money and sex, which ends with "We've already established that you're a prostitute, now we're just haggling over the price".

    P.J O'Rourke once wrote a book titled "A Parliament Of Whores". America is now A Nation Of Whores.
    , @BB753
    Chinese Communist Party Nomenklatura bigshots aren´t exactly hard-working.
    , @Beach

    Let’s face it: most Americans are not worth $500k over the course of their entire life. Stolen money or no, these immigrants are at least a net financial gain to the US.
    I enjoy reading this blog as a thought exercise but the author is always “once upon a time I did jury duty and a foreign guy went home with money he earned and didn’t give it to the state of CA to pay welfare”. I’m sorry white America: man up or go away.
    Feeling superior to people who are kicking your ass by working harder just looks pathetic.
     
    Americans have an incredibly high work ethic. Europeans who come here to live comment often about how "go-go" the population is. Americans are not having their asses kicked because they don't work hard. They are having their asses kicked because they are forced to compete with countries that employ essentially slave labor, because their own government allows their efforts to be usurped by the importation in their millions of foreign government cronies with illegal cash at one end, and illiterate peasants at the other, and because any way of fighting back against that puts them in a position of public ostracization and loss of the jobs they still have. If you want to engage in a "thought exercise" that involves more than being a smart ass, put your superior brain to a solution.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    An immigrant family with two kids will cost $648,000 just for their school costs.

    They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools
    Real spending per pupil ... $27,000 in the New York metro area.
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  • A couple of years ago, a reader called BLS wrote me a study of why obscure Dubois County in southern Indiana stands out above most of its seemingly similar neighbors. Now, Raj Chetty's study confirms BLS's observations: Dubois ranks 50th in the country out of 2,478 counties (and second in Indiana to Lagrange) for upward...
  • Germany has tried and failed to take over the world repeatedly. The English have exerted almost unbelievable control over most of the world’s surface for long periods.
    In terms of which white tribe has “won” historically it is not even a close call.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Stop embarrassing yourself.
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  • From the Washington Post: How the housing crisis left us more racially segregated By Emily Badger May 8 at 8:15 AM According to new research, migration patterns set in motion by the foreclosure crisis slowed declines in segregation across metropolitan America between blacks and whites by 19 percent, and between whites and Hispanics by 50...
  • Mike says:

    The LA Times wrote about this today. This is a quote regarding why blacks have left San Francisco: “Civil rights leaders here attribute the exodus not just to the high cost of living, but to policies that have favored independent retailers over chains, urban renewal that tore down the housing where many African Americans lived, redlining by banks and high crime concentrated in neighborhoods where blacks lived.”

    The last point has to be one of the more unintentionally hilarious things ever written in a major newspaper.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-sf-police-20150509-story.html

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    • Replies: @eah
    The last point has to be one of the more unintentionally hilarious things ever written in a major newspaper.

    Also use of the word "us" when the subject is de facto segregation.
    , @Lot
    San Francisco's $12 minimum wage, soon to be $15, and employer health insurance semi-mandate that effectively raises the minimum wage another 50 cents, also helps to keep out low skill NAMs.

    It's really a double effect. Some NAM jobs will be eliminated entirely by a $15 minimum wage, but the city still needs cashiers and cooks. So these businesses, who would only be able to hire NAMs for $9, will get plenty of white and Asian job applicants when they are forced to pay $15, and hire them instead.

    That employer mandate, soon to go nationwide for larger businesses with the affordable care act, also will discourage NAM hiring. The employers only need to -offer- health insurance, but employees don't need to take it if they have it elsewhere. So that means a white/Asian under 26 covered through his parents' insurance, or a married person covered through their spouse, is a more attractive employee than NAMs who are much less likely to have parental or spousal coverage.

    To put this in numbers, the cheapest an employer can go under the ACA mandate is to pay half the cost of a $200 to $300/month Kaiser Bronze plan. So hiring a white kid covered by his parents saves the employer at the very least $1200 a year compared to an uninsured adult.
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  • Dave Goldberg, the Silicon Valley CEO who died Friday, May 1 from head trauma, was vacationing at a classy resort north of Puerto Vallarta, which is in Jalisco, Mexico (although the resort itself appears to be just over the state line). The day Goldberg died saw a major outbreak of cartel carnage in Puerto Vallarta...
  • Mike says:

    It’s weird to me that the more obvious “wife did it” possibility hasn’t been raised. Bruce Beresford-Redman took his wife to Mexico to kill her.

    No need to do it yourself either local talent could do the job. Almost impossible to get caught in that country if you have money.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It’s weird to me that the more obvious “wife did it” possibility hasn’t been raised. Bruce Beresford-Redman took his wife to Mexico to kill her.
     
    How many billionaires, if any, have committed murder?
    , @Anonymous
    It's not an iSteve thread until somebody blames the Jews.....
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Why weird? By all accounts, they loved each other. Apparently, everyone who knew Goldberg in Silicon Valley liked him.
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  • From the Seattle Times: December 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM End of the nuclear family? Not in Seattle Could the traditional American family be making a comeback in — of all places — Seattle? Recent census data reveal an unlikely trend: The good old nuclear family, declining across the United States, is on the rise...
  • @Name Withheld
    Another example of the liberal upper middle class rejecting the ethos of the Sexual Revolution in principle, but not in rhetoric.

    Yeah, the SWJ types I know are among the most conservative people I know when it comes to personal lifestyle.

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    • Replies: @Percy Gryce

    Yeah, the SWJ types I know are among the most conservative people I know when it comes to personal lifestyle.
     
    Just so. One of my partners is a big promoter of SWPL and SJW causes and he is the most puritanical person I know. He recently confessed his horror of pornography.

    Conservative values for me but not for thee.
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  • There's an effort to make you assume that the Camp of the Saints mass migration going on from Africa to Europe is a temporary blip of "refugees" or "migrants" caused by the depredations of ISIS in Iraq and Syria or something like that. But the fundamental cause is far more long-term. Let's take the Sahel...
  • The problem goes back to decolonization. That lead to instability, conflict and decline in living standards.

    “Many people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ravaged by war, hunger and disease, articulated the same sentiment. Ted Koppel, an American television journalist, visited eastern Congo in 2001 and produced a documentary showing women who had been raped, beaten and starved by the rebels, pleading for help. It was a poignant report. They made it clear, abundantly clear, in that documentary that it was only white people who could save them from misery and suffering. Once you see and hear that, then you may begin to understand why some Congolese felt it would have been better if the Belgians came back to rule them again and maintian law and order.”

    http://africanstudies.tripod.com

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Belgium, don't do it!

    The fact that there is can enormous African population in Belgium is enough justification to wash its hands of Congo.
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  • We've had a lot of rape accusations involving college football and basketball players over the years, but the players seldom look like Haven Monahan, so media attention has been tepid. After all, when, say, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback on the national championship football team is accused of raping a coed, is that really a...
  • @Art Deco
    http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-chris-mccandless-died

    Chris McCandless starved to death. He didn’t accidentally poison himself.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You're mistaking Krakauer's thesis. He starved to death because he was no longer more than minimally ambulatory and could not hike out or do more than minimal local foraging. Krakauer's thesis is that he ate wild potato which contains a neurotoxin. The body can ordinarily tolerate the neurotoxin, which is why guidebooks list the wild potato as edible; it's Krakauer's thesis that McCandless' low caloric intake over several months had rendered him vulnerable to the neurotoxin.
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  • With Iran in the news, it's worth reviewing a central feature of Persian culture: "Zerangi." From the New York Times: The Real Supermarkets of Orange County NOV. 19, 2010 By FIROOZEH DUMAS In August, to be closer to my aging parents, my husband and I moved from Northern California to Orange County. My family settled...
  • People who want to have one idea and get rich without work? Sounds like almost every American (of any culture) that I have ever met

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  • At The Edge.org, Daniel Kahneman interviews an Israeli historian named Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I've skimmed the book and would have found it more persuasive about 15 years ago. But then Steven Pinker is called in to pour cold water over much of this: ... I’m skeptical, though,...
  • I agree with Pinker that the sort of tech that Singularity folks talk about is hard.

    But the future won’t be defined by the advanced tech we can’t figure out how to make work, but rather the stuff we can. Of which I suspect there’ll be no shortage.

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  • When I started writing about "The Cult of Microaggressions" a couple of years ago, the term caught on so quickly among the sardonic that I was concerned that we were having more fun than was warranted by a term that wasn't really all that popular. But since then, "microaggression" has become ever more used by...
  • The examples sound remarkably like the routine stupidity I encounter in my day to day life.

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  • From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • Mike says: • Website
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Operation Eagle Claw.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

    When I was in the Marines, I was up all night manning a post in a war gaming exercise. (Camp Roberts was the site, for those of you in the know.) I was the flunky lieutenant doing the work, but I had the privilege of being supervised by an LC that was one of the Marine helicopter pilots on Operation Eagle Claw.

    What a comedy of errors.

    He told me that when it was all said and done, the only thing he got out of the operation was a letter from the Justice Department telling him they would not prosecute him for any crimes he may have committed.

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  • Race riot in he South, 1863. Wikipedia: "Rioters subjected black men to the most brutal violence: torture, hanging, and burning." Eleven were lynched. The Southern mob depicted here were afraid that if the North won the Civil War, freed slaves would take the jobs of whites. Virginian though I am, a son of the Shenandoah,...
  • @Truth
    Basicaly, Fredro, I get the gist of this story as; "white men were bastards in the south, yet white men in the north are worse bastards, because they are bastards as well as hipocrites, therefore, white men are just bastards everywhere."

    Was this your intention?

    Yeah really. I’m a ‘Yankee’ and frankly am sick of hearing about slavery and harbor no particular animosity towards white people of the South.

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  • Julian Castro, the Obama's Administration's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, grew up in San Antonio with Henry Cisneros hanging around his house now and then. Cisneros went on to become honorary mayor of San Antonio and the Clinton Administration's HUD Secretary. In 1994, Cisneros bullied Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial into increasing lending to...
  • Mike says: • Website

    Tonight, while you are sitting around the Easter dinner table with your family and friends, if the topic of minorities and housing comes up (God help you if it does) remember that the low income minorities that Steve is writing about were not hurt financially when the housing bubble burst.

    In states with no personal recourse on mortgages borrowers with no down payment, low and unverified income, and little to no other assets, didn’t really purchase the house. They rented the house with an option to purchase.

    They might have spent a couple hundred dollars at U-Haul for a truck rental for one extra move. That’s the extent of their financial damage.

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  • @interesting
    lend a trillion dollars to minorities and lower income borrowers, which helped launch the 2005-2007 metastatic era of the housing bubble.


    mega-facepalm, i can't believe anyone with a pulse still buys into this propaganda.

    If Steve’s assertion is propaganda, I guess you don’t think his assertion of lowered mortgage underwriting standards as a contributing cause to the housing bubble is correct. What do you believe is a stronger or non-propagandist cause?

    You are not allowed to use the word “greed” in your answer.

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  • From the NYT: That reminds me. What exactly is the ACLU up to these days? You used to hea
  • @MarkinLA
    Sorry but the whole business is sleazy. It would be better if it didn't exist at all. Like I said, save your money and buy that beater at the same auction where these guys get those cars.

    Your lack of knowledge is showing. You are implying that you save up and buy your vehicles where dealers buy their cars. Car auctions in LA are dealer only. OPG auctions are open to the public but legal dealers are very unlikely to buy a car there.

    People also do not have the ability or desire to save and pay cash for cars. Odds are very strong that this includes you.

    Your assertion that picking up cars is a feature of these businesses is about twenty years out of date. Nowadays people with bad credit can walk into shiny dealerships with $500 and a paystub (fake or real) and walk out with a very nice car. Why are they going to put thousands of dollars – which they don’t have – down on a beater?

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  • Like I've been saying, the big trend of 2015, following the anti-Semitic massacres by Muslims in Europe, is that the group that dominates the contemporary mindset, ethnocentric liberal Jews, are starting to feel the pressure on the obvious logical contradictions between their sensible is-it-good-for-the-Jews ethnocentrism and their public avowals of diversity uber alles. Today in...
  • Why comparing Jewish women’s apparent respect for their virtue to the world’s greatest soccer player’s respect for competition rather than for fakery is supposed to be anti-Semitic is unexplained.

    That made me laugh…

    Much funnier than Noah’s tweet.

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  • From the NYT: So
  • @Justpassingby

    So the opportunity cost to the taxpayers of this taxpayer of providing an affordable apartment is $83,000 per year in foregone profits. Must be nice to win the lottery.
     
    Are you sure about your math?

    $1.06 billion/year divided by 150,000 units is a $7,067.00 per year/unit average with the low- and moderate- units, being less than 10% of the 150K, being lower than that amount.

    Or am I wrong?

    You were dividing by 150,000. However:

    “But only 12,748 of the 150,000 apartments were earmarked for low- and moderate-income tenants…”

    You should have been dividing by 12,748. The result is $83,15o per unit.

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  • From the NYT: That reminds me. What exactly is the ACLU up to these days? You used to hea
  • @Lot
    Rip-off loans is where banker scumbaggery and IQ denialism profitably intersect.

    Good paternalistic liberals like Senator Warren just want to ban payday loans, which often feature 7,000% interest rates.

    The banks, however, insist the solution is "financial education." Rather than cap interest rates, let's protect the IQ<85 set by forcing schools to try to teach them concepts like present value, compound interest, and amortization.

    I love how not one person has challenged your your completely made up (and wildly wrong) 7,000% number.
    Most payday lenders are struggling middle class and couldn’t be further from Wall Street if they tried. They lend to people who no one trusts – family and friends included – and the default rates are off the charts.
    Even the concept of APR being applied to a two week loan is somewhat stupid. If you asked a friend to spot you $300.00 no one would think it weird if the friend gave you an extra $50.00 as a “thank you”. When a business does it all of a sudden we decide to stretch out the loan as if it lasts for an entire year and get shocked that the APR is higher than a credit card. In CA it costs $8.00 to borrow $50.00 from a payday lender. So what?!
    The cycle of debt thing is a joke. That $8.00 is trapping you forever?!

    The car dealer thing also falls into a made up scandal territory. Several people have written here that the evil dealers resell cars they repo. What are they supposed to do?

    I think I am the only pro business voice that ever comments here. Instead of yearning for a white utopia why don’t some of you get off your butt and try to run a business. Since everyone on here is an expert in payday lending my suggestion would be to start there. Get back to me when you’ve burned through all the money you’ve managed to scrape together.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Several people have written here that the evil dealers resell cars they repo. What are they supposed to do?

    The problem with these types of dealers is that doing the repo is a substantial part of their business. For this business it is a feature not a bug. They are lending to people they know are a missed paycheck or one big unexpected bill from a repo.
    , @pseudonymic handle
    It depends on what you consider "pro business. " I thoroughly approve of people who create and innovate, design new and improved products, find ways to streamline manufacturing, etc. I don't find usury particularly edifying, however; but that's just me I guess. Very interesting series of articles about payday loans and who's heavily involved in them over at Occidental Observer payday loan articles.
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  • Mike says: • Website

    As usual the government is looking in the wrong place. If you want to find discrimination, you can’t look at the loan terms, you must look at portfolio performance/profitability. If my ROI on my “black” loan pool is higher than that of my “white” pool, I may in fact be discriminating. I think competition really drives racial disparity to zero.

    Like Lot, I’m concerned about anyone that is going to be taken advantage of by someone with my skills and background. I think a lot of bad regulation has allowed the current situation to come into being. Back when I was a banker in the early ’90′s we wouldn’t finance payday lenders, we were very choosy about used car dealers and only financed a couple of pawn shops. Financing tote the note lots put another layer of security/repayment between us and the less than credit worthy consumer. Pawn shop loans are non-recourse so they, while having very high interest rates, are not really evil. Really shady guys could not get bank financing. All their stuff had to be done out of personal capital.

    Now we have publicly traded companies with bank financing making the payday loan racket possible on the scale we see today. Just another example of gaming the regulations. In the old days we had guys that were concerned about their reputation in the banking industry. Today, with their ability to hide behind regulation… Not so much.

    Pro tip to the iSteve community: if you see an old guy like me sitting across the table from you with an HP-12c, run. If I’m allowed to sell you a product with no clear market price, and also finance that sale, I can rip you off in one dimension or another.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    HP-12c

    It's fascinating how this ancient calculator still keeps rolling along.

    , @Lot
    Mike, very OT, but on your blog you wondered why there aren't more high-end manufactured homes.

    I have an underdeveloped investment property in San Diego, and looked into manufactured to see if it might save me money when I build. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no design that fit, even on those websites that have a ton of different models. I even looked at east coast places that don't deliver to California and saw nothing available there either.

    I needed a design that three floors with a relatively compact footprint, and there just wasn't anyone making them.

    I also did not see any "apartment over garage" designs, which is a very common thing to do in older parts of San Diego that have gone from middle class to top 5% places, where you often have a lot zoned for two houses that current feature a nice house in front and a run-down old garage facing the back alley. Replacing the old garage with a two-floor apartment over a garage happens all the time, and seems perfect for manufactured since people are less picky about their granny flat/rental unit, but I've never seen manufactured used.

    Between these two designs, there are tens of thousands of people who might be in the market in California at this very moment, but just nothing available. Instead there is just one standard sprawling suburban style house after another for sale, plus a ton of "tiny homes" that also rarely make sense in urban California.

    , @International Jew

    if you see an old guy like me sitting across the table from you with an HP-12c, run.
     
    Be even more wary of us HP-11c users: we know the formulas by heart.

    BTW, there's a great 11c app for Android. Looks and works just like the real thing, and it's free. My real 11c finally bit the dust a few years ago, sigh.
    , @Bill Jones
    HP12-c
    I've got two.

    As for discrimination an analysis of mortgage defaults 10 years ago showed that blacks defaulted at higher rates than whites who were paying the same interest rates.
    i.e. Blacks were preferentially treated.
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  • From the New York Times, an article about how a brain scientist is going to use brain scans to try to figure out the mystery of white flight in Hungary from heavily Roma (Gypsy) schools. What kind of brain defect causes white Hungarian parents to hold delusional stereotypes about Gypsy children being lazy, dishonest, and...
  • @Steve Sailer
    Are there any other ethnic groups where parents traditionally train their small children to be criminals?

    The Bushes?

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  • From the NYT Op-Ed page: The World's Most Important Place™
  • Mike says: • Website

    I know I’m wearing out my welcome tonight, but…

    I’m sitting here having a whiskey or two… And I’m very interested in this story.

    OU has one of the most generous National Merit Finalist scholarships in the entire country. It is a five year deal and is what is known as “full ride plus.”

    I can assure President Boren that he’s lost one particular National Merit Finalist for the Fall of 2015.

    And I’m happy about it, even though it will cost me money.

    I know I can’t fix the football/education problem at our state flagship universities on my own, but I can move one student in the right direction. Give me a little individual justice to be on the side of and I’ll feel even better about the money I’m going to have to spend.

    (There is no Social Justice. There can be justice for individuals. We all need to be in favor of justice for individuals.)

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  • @Steve Sailer
    Didn't current Oklahoma U. president David Boren have a little sexual harassment scandal himself?

    You know Steve, I don’t know about that particular charge.

    But, he was a U.S. Senator…

    So I know which way I would bet.

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  • My son is a student at Jesuit. This is what I meant by hitting too close to home.

    The SJW’s were protesting at the Rice family home this week. WTF?!

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    • Replies: @ben tillman

    My son is a student at Jesuit. This is what I meant by hitting too close to home.

    The SJW’s were protesting at the Rice family home this week. WTF?!
     
    At least they're safer here than they would be anywhere else.
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  • Also, for another peach on the football team at OU, google up Dorial Green-Beckham.

    OU was angry with the NCAA that Green-Beckham had to sit out the season.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Didn't current Oklahoma U. president David Boren have a little sexual harassment scandal himself?
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  • From The Atlantic: Madison, WI is of course not some backward racist burgh like Ferguson, MO, it's home to the University of Wisconsin and the state government. Madison is part of Dane County, which gave Obama 71% of its vote in 2012. We can see the difference in racist hatred levels in these statistics from...
  • Mike says: • Website

    Like the UVa rape scandal, the local media (with help from the big league) will protect the reputation of Madison. The lefties have to go to UW-Madison. There isn’t a tuition reciprocity agreement with Iowa.

    Iowa City is pretty cool, but it’s not Madison. And if the reputation of Madison falls to the level of Ferguson, do you really expect the students to go to Minneapolis (where there is tuition reciprocity)?

    There is no need to fear Madison eclipsing Ferguson as The Most Important Place on Earth. The Badgers, especially those that want their children to attend UW-Madison, will make certain that doesn’t happen.

    Matt Kenny should be afraid of what may happen to him. Much more afraid than Darren Wilson ever needed to be.

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    • Replies: @Hrw-500
    No need to fear Madison eclipsing Ferguson....

    I read that short exterpt from http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/662155/posts
    then I quote:..."In 1966, Look Magazine named Detroit an "All American City." The positive national attribution was short-lived....

    It could be doubtful then Madison could also eclipse Detroit but sometines just a little match could blow a powder keg even in a former "Model City". http://www.detroits-great-rebellion.com/Index.html
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  • Charlotte Allen has been writing a series of fine in-depth articles in the Weekly Standard in which she takes ideas that -- while they might seem familiar to you or me (if I do say so myself) -- are not familiar to 99.9% of the country. But then she leaves the house and does some...
  • @Lot

    Dr. Rachel Levine, a balding, bespectacled fiftysomething doctor who transitioned five years ago and was appointed on January 27 by Pennsylvania’s new Democratic governor Tom Wolf the state’s first transgender physician general, can look to the uninitiated like Phil Silvers in a wig.
     
    I highly encourage you all to google image search these two names and confirm this hilarious observation on your own.

    Lot, I thought that line was funny without looking for his image. Now that I’ve gone off to see the resemblance, the line is even funnier.

    Steve, thanks for the pointer, that was a great read.

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  • The First World War casts a dark shadow over the 20th century. It shattered the relative peace that had reigned since the Napoleonic Wars, killing some 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians. It is also blamed for causing the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the postwar decline of traditional morality—the flapper era, and the rise...
  • OT, but Dr Frost & other commentators may wish to comment on this appalling straw man piece by Dr Rutherford, who I thought would have higher standards.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/01/racism-science-human-genomes-darwin#comment-48268761

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  • From the New York Times: It's time for American Jews such as Rep. Lowenthal to finally come out of the closet and admit, without shame or any further attempt to shirk the question, that they like golf.
  • OT, but Steve or other commentators may wish to comment on this straw man article at the Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/01/racism-science-human-genomes-darwin#comment-48268761

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  • Last week I was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Education Writers Association, with the topic of my panel being the perspective of Asian-Americans on Affirmative Action policies in college admissions. Despite having the only white face among the four presenters, I believe my analysis made a useful contribution. A couple of...
  • @Dave
    Who gets appointed? Why? Why does the media like some potential justices and rail against others? Remember Harriet Myers? How was she any worse than Sotomayer? Are White Protestants fairly represented as owners and decision-making executives in Big Media? Why is the Speaker of the House Catholic? It is the House of *representatives* after all? Who do the Protestant presidents get their money from and owe their allegiance to? Is there not another reason for under-representation besides aptitude? Massive under-representation has the appearance of impropriety. Catholic is not a denomination. Baptist is a denomination. People of a White Protestation background are the single largest ethnic group in the United State,s and they have no representation on the Supreme Court. What else explains it but group mindedness? White Protestants, who are primarily of British stock, are the most individualistic people in the world, according to everybody who tracks this stuff.

    Dave, you’re absolutely right about the lack of White Protestants on the U.S. Supreme Court but you have answered your own question, and I quote, “White Protestants, who are primarily of British stock, are the most individualistic people in the world, according to everybody who tracks this stuff.”

    That’s the reason! White Protestants are INDIVIDUALISTIC. They are not “company men. ” Catholics ARE company men/women. Catholics are taught to “do as they’re told.” (I’m Catholic myself so no slights are intended; that’s what the Baltimore Catechism is all about –”do as you’re told.”) For example: The last two White Protestants on the U.S. Supreme Court were both appointed by Republicans: David Souter and John Paul Stevens. Both turned out to be the EXACT OPPOSITE of what their Republican Presidents wanted. They were TOO individualistic and became extremely liberal. They were NOT ” company men.” George H. W. Bush (41st President) put Souter on the Court. In the infamous case of Bush v. Gore regarding the 2000 Presidential election, Souter took the Gore side! Even though Souter owed his job to a Bush, he individualistically went out of his way to vote against the Bush family’s interest. Likewise, President Gerald Ford put Stevens on the Court only to find out Stevens was more liberal than anyone else on the Court. In Bush v. Gore, Stevens ALSO took the Gore/ Democratic side, not the side of the Republican candidate.

    MAKE NO MISTAKE: I’m not being partisan. I’m pretty liberal myself. It goes both ways: Republican or Democrat. But if I’m a President , I want a “company man” or “company woman” who is gonna toe the line for my beliefs. If I’m George H.W. Bush (41st President) the last guy I want is a Souter who votes against my son (George W. Bush, 43rd President) in Bush v. Gore. Catholics are taught to toe the line. They obey hierarchy. They kneel, and say “mea culpa, mea ultima culpa”. I’m a Catholic myself, and I don’t recall the Catholic Church ever telling me to “think for yourself.” You’re to obey. Same goes with Democratic Presidents: Pick a Catholic and they’re used to toeing the line and being company men/women. Pick a Protestant and who have an individualistic loose cannon who’ll “think for himself/herself” and WON’T do what you want.

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  • Founded by eight NASA scientists, the Rainbow Mansion is a kind of academic coop, where you have to demonstrate you're working on something interesting to get a rental agreement. The building itself is true to its name, a mansion spacious within, and surrounded by lush gardens without. Every week they host a group dinner, followed...
  • As far as I can tell, you’re making a valid point that gene function depends on context, a valid point that balanced polymorphisms exist, and a valid point that mutations are an important factor in long-term adaptation.

    But then you go for what seems to me to be two ridiculous conclusions, that (1) any genetic engineering whatsoever is necessarily doomed to failure, because any optimization we can possibly think of involves unforseeable tradeoffs, *even if it’s just fixing a genome’s most obvious Loss-of-Function mutations*, and (2) that it’s always problematic to call any given mutation “negative”, because who knows, it could do something good in some context.

    This misunderstanding seems rather fundamental, and resting on very different understandings of these ‘typos’ I suggest fixing: it feels like you’re arguing off of your definition of genetic variation, and I’m arguing off population genetics’ definition of genetic load, and ne’er shall the twain meet. Which is fine, but I think we may be getting into diminishing returns from discussion. If you want to see genetic load more as population genetics does, I can recommend the following fairly accessible sources:

    - Armand Leroi on ‘mutants’ (written before we had much genetic data on load and mutation rate, but still a reasonable abstract overview):

    http://edge.org/conversation/the-nature-of-normal-human-variety

    - Greg Cochran on genetic load (all worthwhile reading):

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/?s=genetic+load

    - Kevin Mitchell on the basic ‘sand in the gears’ hypothesis of genetic load decreasing intelligence: http://www.wiringthebrain.com/2012/07/genetics-of-stupidity.html

    - Optionally, the MacArthur paper on the methodology in, and results of, finding LoF variants (a longer, less accessible read, but good background if you’re interested):

    https://macarthurlab.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/lof_final-manuscript-with-figures_120216.pdf

    - Optionally, Hsu’s paper laying out his methodology and estimates for finding IQ-reducing variants (Hsu’s methodology may indeed involve some balanced polymorphisms, aka tradeoffs):

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.3421

    You can also just google ‘genetic load population genetics’ or ‘genetic load Haldane’ (co-founder of population genetics, who also coined the concept of genetic load) and you’ll find a lot to read. Some of the literature uses the term ‘mutational load’ interchangeably with ‘genetic load’, which can be confusing. But I assure you, this isn’t exactly an unstudied problem…

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    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    Not "any genetic engineering whatsoever", no. But most attempts will have serious unexpected side effects - and most have. Pleiotropy is nothing to play around with.

    The traditional understanding of 'genetic load' is wrong-headed. 'Load' isn't a problem that nature can't eliminate - it's perfectly capable of getting rid of rare variants. It's not a bug, it's a feature. Getting rid of it will have only mild benefits to individual organisms in the short-term and will greatly harm their species in the long-term.

    I don't think I have much else to say on this matter.
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  • @Melendwyr

    There’s natural genetic variation, and there are errors.
     
    Wrong. It's all 'errors'. Errors which turned out to be useful become the default. Errors which aren't useful tend to be retained in case of future utility.

    It seems to me you want to say something about mutation, adaptation, and ecological niches, but aren’t quite clear on how to phrase the statement.

    Are you suggesting that no gene variant can ever be more across-the-board adaptive than any other gene variant? Or that if a random mutation happens, our probability estimate shouldn’t skew toward it likely having a negative effect? Or that there’s no such thing as a “loss-of-function” mutation, since function is contextual? Or that random mutation is the core engine behind adaptive evolution, so it has a net positive effect on our genomes? Or that accumulating mutations in not-so-important-or-inactivated-genes is useful as a pool of genetic variance, that can be drawn upon during times of increased selection pressures (basic ‘punctuated equilibrium’ theory)? Or that evolution, for all its blind chance, is probably smarter than humans would be if we tried to ‘fix’ our genomes, so we should leave well enough alone?

    The above statements are all very different. A couple are reasonable, with some caveats, whereas others go against every foundational equation in the field of population genetics.

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  • @Mike Perry
    Forgive me for what is likely a stupid question, but if we gain the capability to edit deleterious versions of genes, would we not also gain the ability to replace "good" genes with better ones?

    Is there a reason why we would only delete bad genes and not good ones?

    And if we are able to do both, would the people that result be close to the sort of superhumans Cochran envisions? Or would we still run into the sort of diminishing returns you mention?

    Mike- yes in theory, if we can edit the genome, we can replace ‘good’ genes with better ones.

    But it’ll be really complicated to do this. Generally, if there’s a ‘good’ version of a gene, it won’t be easy to improve upon it in a way that doesn’t involve subtle (or obvious) tradeoffs. Eventually this sort of ‘from good to amazing’ enhancement will happen, I’m sure, but it’ll take deep knowledge of how genes contribute to our phenotype, and a lot of trial-and-error, and maybe there’s not a ton of room for improvement without completely remaking our genomes.

    Meanwhile, we have a bunch of broken genes laying around, and we already know the ‘good’ versions work (since almost everybody carries the good variant of any given gene). We don’t have to know nearly as much about the nuts-and-bolts of how things work to fix these errors. The neat thing is the potential benefits from doing this are surprisingly large.

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  • @Melendwyr

    Yes, you’ll lose some good mutations in the process, but many, many more bad mutations will go.,
     
    But that's just it - outside of specific contexts, there is no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' gene. And the context includes every other gene an organism possesses.

    Screening out all the rare genes, or all the genes that are deleterious to some aspect of our traits in the most common contexts, would massively impair our ability to evolve in response to selection pressures. We were probably never rigorously optimized - in the long-term, a strictly optimized organism will rapidly go extinct as conditions change and the target moves out from under it. But to the degree that our genes on average produced a near-optimum result, it was in our hunter-gatherer days. We've been changing our environment rapidly since then - and our genome has changed rapidly, too. It would be foolish to think that our present genes are optimal for our present conditions. And as for future conditions... who knows? Sabotaging our genetic library of options just as our environment is being revolutionized is a recipe for disaster.

    We have recessive traits for a reason. We're designed to conserve recessive traits, when it would be easy to eliminate them, for a reason. That reason has nothing to do with individual human survival or happiness, and everything to do with the long-term health of our species.

    Melendwyr-

    There’s natural genetic variation, and there are errors. This idea of ‘spellcheck’ leaves natural genetic variation (and most balanced polymorphisms) intact, while fixing the obvious, low-hanging-fruit errors.

    It’s reasonable to say context is important, but it’s unreasonable to say “outside of specific contexts, there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ gene”– many errors are simply bad. Negative. They break the gene, and this hurts us. Full stop.

    Any hypothetical ‘spellcheck’ process wouldn’t have much impact on ongoing accumulation of de novo mutations, so evolution would still happen if it was a one-time thing. If it was an ongoing process, sure, evolution would slow down (but you still have a gazillion possible combinatorial arrangements of existing genes, so it’d by no means stop). But something tells me worrying about genetic engineering having the capacity to stop evolution is kind of missing the point: I guarantee genetic engineering will lead to a lot more genetic change, not less.

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    • Replies: @Melendwyr

    There’s natural genetic variation, and there are errors.
     
    Wrong. It's all 'errors'. Errors which turned out to be useful become the default. Errors which aren't useful tend to be retained in case of future utility.
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  • Anatoly- thank you for the mention, and it’s a nice overview. I do think this is one of the most interesting ‘low-hanging fruit’ areas in biology. I can’t take original credit for the ideas- I stand on the shoulders of many giants in the community, most notably Cochran/Hsu/Leroi.

    A few comments:
    - I’d like to make a graphic distinguishing the different definitions/estimates of genetic load. But in short: MacArthur’s interested in super-rare loss-of-function mutations. We can’t study them with association studies, so we don’t really know what they do– just that they’re probably important, and probably unilaterally bad. Hsu, on the other hand, looks at semi-rare mutations that decrease a specific trait (specifically, IQ). Many of these semi-rare mutations will decrease IQ by virtue of decreasing health; some will decrease IQ and leave everything else fairly untouched; some will decrease IQ but there’ll be some beneficial tradeoff elsewhere. A holistic definition of ‘inherited genetic load’ will combine these two understandings.

    - It’s my understanding Cochran believes paternal age to be a much more significant driver of genetic load than heat. Also, here’s Peter Frost on the general topic: http://www.unz.com/pfrost/on-paternal-age-and-iq/ (I couldn’t find an easy list of paternal ages by culture and era, but it’s probably out there somewhere…)

    - On my “5-7 years” estimate: I should note that this would be wildly optimistic in terms of a ‘full genetic spellcheck’, even if resources, regulations, and morality weren’t factors. However, if we’re just concerned with performing a procedure that gets *enough* low-hanging fruit to make a significant practical difference, I would stand by the estimate.

    I’ll send you a better-formatted slide for the super-optimistic estimates. I’ve had problems with the formatting as well.

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  • Christopher Caldwell has an interesting article in the Weekly Standard on victory in the Greek elections by the far left, who then formed a coalition with the Greek rightist equivalent of UKIP: Syriza’s rise is a sign that many of our political attitudes will need to be rethought. They are left over from the 1960s,...
  • @gcochran
    I certainly don't believe it.

    Yet instead of asking for proof (I have a deluge of numbers waiting) this is your response. Says it all.

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  • @Anonym
    If the regulatory burden of running a small business is too high, it does not mean that the natives are too lazy, it means that they are too honest to run a small business (because the immigrants are breaking the rules).

    If the natives were not lazy the absurd regulatory burden would not exist. Americans literally have no ownership in their own country. It takes an engaged citizenry to care about the rules that govern how things work. Instead everyone congregates here and cries into their beer. Sad.

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  • "A Most Violent Year" stars Oscar Isaac as, pretty much, a brooding Michael Corleone trying to go straight in the heating oil business in New York's outer boroughs in 1981. Isaac plays a Colombian immigrant who has worked his way up to the point where he's on the verge of buying a huge storage facility...
  • Fantastic call on the camel overcoats. Could be like one of those features in celebrity magazines, Who Wore It Best?

    It’s a tough call but Isaac but a hair.

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  • Christopher Caldwell has an interesting article in the Weekly Standard on victory in the Greek elections by the far left, who then formed a coalition with the Greek rightist equivalent of UKIP: Syriza’s rise is a sign that many of our political attitudes will need to be rethought. They are left over from the 1960s,...
  • The only thing that reliably unites everyone in the US anymore is their dislike of small business owners. Hating small business is a constant iSteve theme.
    As an immigrant from a (more civilized) first world country, the US really deserves the third world social environment it is building. The complexities of running a smaller company here are ridiculous.
    What Steve fails to understand (and doesn’t care to try) is that the tax burden here is irrational. For a business I once owned I did the math of the percentage of revenue it would take to be in compliance with all laws: city, state and federal. It came to 110%. No one believes me or cares when I tell them this but math has a funny way of being right.
    Being hostile to small and medium business is profoundly stupid. Immigrants own almost all SME businesses here. Isn’t it something of a clue that if a people of a country are too lazy to run a business that their elites will walk all over them in all areas including immigration?

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    If the regulatory burden of running a small business is too high, it does not mean that the natives are too lazy, it means that they are too honest to run a small business (because the immigrants are breaking the rules).
    , @gcochran
    I certainly don't believe it.
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  • Many Americans wonder why the US military has such a dismal record of failure in its wars in Moslem territories. Do we not have the most modern forces in the world? How can a force armed with fighter-bombers, B1s, night-vision goggles, helicopter gunships, heavy armor, and advanced remotely-piloted vehicles lose routinely to lightly-armed goatherds? Journalistic...
  • Gene Su-

    I wasn’t aware Hulugu Khan did genocide in Old Baghdad. By all accounts it was a world class “rape,
    pillage and plunder” ass kicking that the Arabs never really recovered from.

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  • From Taki's Magazine: Exhortation and Megalomania by Steve Sailer January 28, 2015 It’s widely assumed, both by liberals and conservatives, that the fields of arts and entertainment innately induce egalitarian political leanings. Much of the prestige of the left, in fact, derives from the notion that it’s only natural for creative people to favor equality...
  • Those “exceptions” in popular entertainment prove there’s a huge market for conservative-friendly stories that the self-appointed guardians of popular culture want to suppress. If they can’t suppress them, they’ll do their best to ignore them.

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  • From the Washington Post, a story of an African immigrant family who have racked up $1.3 million in debt, even while not paying their mortgage for over six years. Swamped by an underwater home After the housing collapse derails the American Dream, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the Boateng family Story by Kimbriell Kelly...
  • It is ridiculous that these stories keep getting written.

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  • From the New York Times: Jeb Bush Sounds Sympathetic Note for Immigrants By NICK CORASANITI JAN. 23, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO — In a sweeping speech that leaned heavily on economic policy, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida on Friday described immigrants as the “engine of economic vitality” before calling for a more welcoming immigration policy...
  • Your conservatism when it comes to race and your discomfort with capitalism is always a weird mix to watch. As an auto lender in your neighborhood I can affirm that Hispanics and particularly blacks tend to pay more for auto finance. The reason is their dismal credit on average and their history of getting repossessed.

    And no, car dealers in reality NEVER lend to consumers. Car dealers do not have the the right personality to have a thousand dollars in their pocket and not spend it. They don’t even buy the cars they sell – they are all on credit from the auction house. Buying at auction has worse prices and very frequent major mechanical problems attached: you get better prices and know what you are getting with a Craigslist transaction.

    The solution to the problem of your belief that blacks and Hispanics get discriminated against by lenders is simple: lend your own money at what you consider fair terms. Once you have lost all your money you might finally have a real world lesson that differences in race exist.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Mike

    That NAMs have bad credit and that they are exploited, and that dealers are wary of NAM buyers and that they exploit them-- these things are not incompatible.
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