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    The population of the world's major regions according to the UN's World Population Prospects 2017 report. World Population Prospects (2017) 2015 2050 2100 WORLD 7,383,008,820 9,771,822,753 11,184,367,721 Sub-Saharan Africa 969,234,251 2,167,651,879 4,001,755,801 East Asia 1,635,150,365 1,586,491,284 1,198,264,520 South Asia 1,823,308,471 2,381,796,561 2,230,668,781 South-East Asia 634,609,846 797,648,622 771,527,666 MENA & C. Asia 551,964,576 850,895,914 1,045,856,658 Europe...
  • @Jaakko Raipala
    Actually, if you looked at science Nobels over the past two decades, Japan is one of the candidates for the most inventive people on earth...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_Nobel_laureates

    ...which is a stark comparison of Japan's history in science. Given that Nobels are generally handed for the whole lifetime body of work (even if the stated reason is some particular invention) they generally go to around 50 year old or older people and the first post-war generation of Japanese scientists reached that age around the time when Japanese Nobels science really started coming.

    Historical credit for inventions, Nobel prizes and such are not a good indicator of talent in a population for the simple reason that there's going to be a huge pool of roughly equal talent going for it and only the first one to get there gets credit. For example, like any physics nerd I can name a whole lot of physicists who worked on the American atomic bomb. I have trouble remembering any Russians who worked on their bomb - though I'd probably recognize some names from their other achievements - and I won't even bother trying to remember any British, French, Chinese, Indian etc bomb makers.

    Were they as inferior in talent as their lack of reputation suggests? I doubt that. I assume they were talented people but in science you have to be the first to get the fame. I bet there were Russian physicists cursing their luck of being assigned to a goal that had been already achieved by the Americans - years of career wasted on something that will not bring any fame when the American physicists were free to work on something new.

    Western Europe has had first mover credit taking advantage for a long time now. East Asia has been stuck playing catch up where their talent is having to work on things that have already been worked on but Japan seems to be breaking through that advantage and if China avoids political disaster I bet we'll see them break it in the next 50 years.

    This whole "lack of creativity" argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There's a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that's getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about "creativity" that's just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?

    This whole “lack of creativity” argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There’s a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that’s getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about “creativity” that’s just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?

    That’s because a segment of hbd enthusiasts is merely white supremacists who glommed on to hbd the way a drunk leans on a lamp post – for support rather than illumination. They’re not about science – they’re about who whom, in the traditional sense of my tribe is better than your tribe. When Orientals eat cats and dogs, which they know mainly as working animals much like cattle or simply as a food source, the correct judgment is they are savages who are too uncivilized to understand that the proper place of these animals is as pets. When Europeans eat beef, which comes from an animal sacred to Hindus, the correct judgment is also that Hindus are savages in thrall to a backward cult.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem.
     
    Not really. There just hasn't been a lot of research devoted it, but it otherwise doesn't seem to be a hard problem at all.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs/

    Ok, I looked at the actual article review. The results were poor and there is zero evidence that they carried a lamb from the human version of 20 weeks or earlier (the actual hard part) to successful delivery and lambhood. As I already said, it’s a very hard problem. That paper doesn’t suggest otherwise.

    Artificial wombs have to replace gestation itself to be promotable. The handful of super preemies are overwhelmingly NOT coming from PhD moms, even the older ones. Which isn’t exactly eugenic. I don’t mind more little preemies living, but it’s not eugenic and gestation is not the blockade to having kids.

    College education has created a bizarre situation where lots of those women don’t reproduce, but a subset reliably does and has come to dominate married childbearing among whites in the West. And that subset is having above-replacement children more often rather than less often.

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  • res says:
    @Felix Keverich
    I think creativity is worth a lot more than mere 5 points of IQ. The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+. But if a person is not creative, it doesn't matter if his IQ is 130 or 100 - no discoveries will come out this person.

    IMO, the white man is really quite unique and cannot be replaced. Chinese may try and they will not succeed at replacing the West as the new world hegemon.

    The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+.

    This is a substantial overestimate. I used to quote 115 for the average US college grad, but it appears to have decreased from that:

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2017/04/average-iq-of-college-graduates-by.html

    I’m not sure I buy his current estimate of 100 computed from Wordsum scores, but it is clearly much less than 130+.

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  • @anon
    do you have any suggestions for how china can arrest dysgenic trends? I am interested in writing about this subject in Chinese.

    The One Child Policy, which privileges duller rural people and especially ethnic minorities, is especially bad. (Good on China for finally scrapping it).

    Otherwise, I don’t imagine the prescriptions for China would differ from that of any other country.

    Tying any maternity capital/benefits to income or education level; making it easier for university students to start a family (as in the GDR); subsidizing higher education so young people don’t have to go into debt; subdizing mortgages; etc.

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  • @The Practical Conservative
    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem. If you could crack that nut, you could just inject everyone with IQboost9000 a lot easier and cheaper.

    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem.

    Not really. There just hasn’t been a lot of research devoted it, but it otherwise doesn’t seem to be a hard problem at all.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs/

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    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    Ok, I looked at the actual article review. The results were poor and there is zero evidence that they carried a lamb from the human version of 20 weeks or earlier (the actual hard part) to successful delivery and lambhood. As I already said, it's a very hard problem. That paper doesn't suggest otherwise.

    Artificial wombs have to replace gestation itself to be promotable. The handful of super preemies are overwhelmingly NOT coming from PhD moms, even the older ones. Which isn't exactly eugenic. I don't mind more little preemies living, but it's not eugenic and gestation is not the blockade to having kids.

    College education has created a bizarre situation where lots of those women don't reproduce, but a subset reliably does and has come to dominate married childbearing among whites in the West. And that subset is having above-replacement children more often rather than less often.
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  • @anon
    do you have any suggestions for how china can arrest dysgenic trends? I am interested in writing about this subject in Chinese.

    Reverse urbanization. This is contrary to the Party’s goal of increasing GDP growth through urbanization. Somewhat intractable problem.

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  • do you have any suggestions for how china can arrest dysgenic trends? I am interested in writing about this subject in Chinese.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Reverse urbanization. This is contrary to the Party's goal of increasing GDP growth through urbanization. Somewhat intractable problem.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    The One Child Policy, which privileges duller rural people and especially ethnic minorities, is especially bad. (Good on China for finally scrapping it).

    Otherwise, I don't imagine the prescriptions for China would differ from that of any other country.

    Tying any maternity capital/benefits to income or education level; making it easier for university students to start a family (as in the GDR); subsidizing higher education so young people don't have to go into debt; subdizing mortgages; etc.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @The Practical Conservative
    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem. If you could crack that nut, you could just inject everyone with IQboost9000 a lot easier and cheaper.

    Maybe I’ll have to read a bit more up on it, but at first glance it doesn’t seem too difficult — at least ranked among biological problems.

    An incubator is really just a substitute womb for pre-term babies. People are always working to develop artificial blood. If that problem were licked, it would become much easier in theory. The embryo does most of the difficult work. A lot of mammalian models to experiment on, not to mention easily accessible human tissue samples (umbilical cords and placentas) normally discarded

    Embryos sometimes implant outside the womb too.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    The challenge with artificial wombs isn't the pregnancy part - though it reduces the cost of children and removes humans from the equation. You still need to raise the child, and that is still a significant cost.

    Very true, and dysgenics so far seems to have increased the cost significantly. But I’m speaking more in an 11th hour or last stand for civilization way, where I think there will be a more communal spirit and a bursting of the education bubble.

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  • Related to the larger topic of smart fractions, there is some reasonable evidence that the college mom phenomena that is all over United States white births is also all over white European births more generally. That is, that a subset of college educated women is replicating themselves and having above-replacement numbers of children (2-4). There’s a lot of talk about white births and the lack thereof, but not so much about the fact that relatively smarter white women are taking up a bigger and bigger slice of the ones willing to have children under modern multikulti conditions.

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  • @songbird
    The current trends seem to presage some dystopia, but I think the worse things get, the more resistance will crystalize around defending civilization. The great minds will be recruited and harnessed towards that goal.

    If politics fails, I think there's still the hope of technology. Lots of possibilities. For one, imagine iterated embryo selection paired with artificial wombs. One couple could have a 100 babies, all in the 99th percentile of IQ.

    Of course, on the other hand, we may end up with Europeans becoming like the Tuatha De Danann, living in fairy mounds and seeming to be magical beings because of their technology, like artificial light.

    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem. If you could crack that nut, you could just inject everyone with IQboost9000 a lot easier and cheaper.

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    • Replies: @songbird
    Maybe I'll have to read a bit more up on it, but at first glance it doesn't seem too difficult --- at least ranked among biological problems.

    An incubator is really just a substitute womb for pre-term babies. People are always working to develop artificial blood. If that problem were licked, it would become much easier in theory. The embryo does most of the difficult work. A lot of mammalian models to experiment on, not to mention easily accessible human tissue samples (umbilical cords and placentas) normally discarded

    Embryos sometimes implant outside the womb too.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem.
     
    Not really. There just hasn't been a lot of research devoted it, but it otherwise doesn't seem to be a hard problem at all.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs/
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  • @reiner Tor
    OT

    Seymour Hersh on the April chemical attacks. I don't know how reliable his sources are.

    Seymour Hersh on the April chemical attacks. I don’t know how reliable his sources are.

    What I find truly amazing, or perhaps unfortunately not, is how Hersh’s article is not even mentioned in any “mainstream” press in any English-speaking Western country, at least as far as I can determine. For someone who for 50 years has been renowned as an investigative reporter, it is impressive how his point of view can be totally suppressed. On the other hand, it is very interesting that Die Welt was willing to publish the article.

    For a serious discussion of Hersh’s article by a very respectable author, and one with a considerable intelligence background, see

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

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  • @Felix Keverich
    I think creativity is worth a lot more than mere 5 points of IQ. The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+. But if a person is not creative, it doesn't matter if his IQ is 130 or 100 - no discoveries will come out this person.

    IMO, the white man is really quite unique and cannot be replaced. Chinese may try and they will not succeed at replacing the West as the new world hegemon.

    What’s the creative and unique solution for dysgenic population trends that’s also fully cooperative with atomization, as the dominant trend of human societies? Inquiring minds wish to know.

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  • @Felix Keverich
    I think creativity is worth a lot more than mere 5 points of IQ. The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+. But if a person is not creative, it doesn't matter if his IQ is 130 or 100 - no discoveries will come out this person.

    IMO, the white man is really quite unique and cannot be replaced. Chinese may try and they will not succeed at replacing the West as the new world hegemon.

    Yeah, you’re really overshooting it. If Japan had 10 times larger population (which is China, basically), it would’ve already been the “hegemon”, or rather the most powerful country in the world for some time. And if anything, China seems to be a positive outlier in many ways when it comes to technology and development in general. By numerous economic and technological metrics China has already overtaken the US, and let’s be real, the Chinese are only getting started.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, sure. Hence my comments on (and adjustments for) East Asian IQ being "worth" ~5 points less.

    I think creativity is worth a lot more than mere 5 points of IQ. The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+. But if a person is not creative, it doesn’t matter if his IQ is 130 or 100 – no discoveries will come out this person.

    IMO, the white man is really quite unique and cannot be replaced. Chinese may try and they will not succeed at replacing the West as the new world hegemon.

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    • Replies: @Kimppis
    Yeah, you're really overshooting it. If Japan had 10 times larger population (which is China, basically), it would've already been the "hegemon", or rather the most powerful country in the world for some time. And if anything, China seems to be a positive outlier in many ways when it comes to technology and development in general. By numerous economic and technological metrics China has already overtaken the US, and let's be real, the Chinese are only getting started.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    What's the creative and unique solution for dysgenic population trends that's also fully cooperative with atomization, as the dominant trend of human societies? Inquiring minds wish to know.
    , @res

    The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+.
     
    This is a substantial overestimate. I used to quote 115 for the average US college grad, but it appears to have decreased from that:
    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2017/04/average-iq-of-college-graduates-by.html
    I'm not sure I buy his current estimate of 100 computed from Wordsum scores, but it is clearly much less than 130+.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Japan has indeed started winning many Nobel Prizes in recent years, but it's still achieving them at no more than 25% of America's rate even since 2010.

    It has 75% of Germany's publication intensity in Nature, despite its population being 50% bigger (this being much less tied to the age of researchers).

    There actually is some concrete evidence for the East Asian relative lack of creativity argument: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/asians-bright-but-not-curious/

    But on a cultural level (admittedly including some pretty low-quality popular culture) Japan is quite influential. Certainly much more so than Germany which is culturally stagnant. Ok, you probably need a different kind of creativity for scientific research than for creating successful popular culture which is interesting to an international audience…but still, the view of Japanese as unimaginative, conformist drones common among many HBD people seems exaggerated to me.

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  • @reiner Tor
    OT

    Seymour Hersh on the April chemical attacks. I don't know how reliable his sources are.

    There’s also talk of promoting regime change in Iran:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/25/trump-iran-foreign-policy-regime-change-239930

    Pretty disastrous imo.

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  • @Wency
    I want to credit AK for observing that Asian scientific output is underperforming, but it is still non-trivial. I read too many people who suggest that Asians are either destined to outperform Germans in scientific invention, or that Asians are basically Africans when it comes to inventing things (i.e., only white people invent things). The truth is somewhere in the middle, but where in the middle is an open question.

    On a personal level, I have a friend whose life was transformed for the better by a pharmaceutical (Uloric) developed in Japan by a Japanese company. Such contributions are fewer than IQ and relative populations would suggest, but they are not trivial.

    Japan made a lot of progress in developing its scientific community in the past few decades. Will it continue to make progress, or has it now reached a plateau? Moreover, Japan is in many ways more different from China than, say, England is from Russia. How much then can we extrapolate from Japan to the future of China?

    As AK's tables illustrate, this open question of Chinese science is almost the entire question of human scientific progress after 2050 or so. This is doubly true if you expect, as I do, that diversity will take a negative toll on the contributions of the remaining Western smart fraction via multiple pathways.

    I read too many people who suggest that Asians are either destined to outperform Germans in scientific invention, or that Asians are basically Africans when it comes to inventing things (i.e., only white people invent things).

    Indeed. The tendency to overshoot one way or another is quite frustrating. A civilization can underperform but still accomplish quite a few things. Being Asian myself, it seems more interesting to study the causes of it rather than going into a reflexive defensive reaction. Even if it proves to be largely false, studying the wrong angle can still lead to useful and interesting results.

    Personally, I think it has a lot to do with culture, which in itself may be correlated with genetics. Its difficult to get funding in China for projects unless they seem to bring practical results soon, something which is constantly frustrating for many researchers. It can’t be helping basic research.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Japan has indeed started winning many Nobel Prizes in recent years, but it's still achieving them at no more than 25% of America's rate even since 2010.

    It has 75% of Germany's publication intensity in Nature, despite its population being 50% bigger (this being much less tied to the age of researchers).

    There actually is some concrete evidence for the East Asian relative lack of creativity argument: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/asians-bright-but-not-curious/

    I want to credit AK for observing that Asian scientific output is underperforming, but it is still non-trivial. I read too many people who suggest that Asians are either destined to outperform Germans in scientific invention, or that Asians are basically Africans when it comes to inventing things (i.e., only white people invent things). The truth is somewhere in the middle, but where in the middle is an open question.

    On a personal level, I have a friend whose life was transformed for the better by a pharmaceutical (Uloric) developed in Japan by a Japanese company. Such contributions are fewer than IQ and relative populations would suggest, but they are not trivial.

    Japan made a lot of progress in developing its scientific community in the past few decades. Will it continue to make progress, or has it now reached a plateau? Moreover, Japan is in many ways more different from China than, say, England is from Russia. How much then can we extrapolate from Japan to the future of China?

    As AK’s tables illustrate, this open question of Chinese science is almost the entire question of human scientific progress after 2050 or so. This is doubly true if you expect, as I do, that diversity will take a negative toll on the contributions of the remaining Western smart fraction via multiple pathways.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I read too many people who suggest that Asians are either destined to outperform Germans in scientific invention, or that Asians are basically Africans when it comes to inventing things (i.e., only white people invent things).
     
    Indeed. The tendency to overshoot one way or another is quite frustrating. A civilization can underperform but still accomplish quite a few things. Being Asian myself, it seems more interesting to study the causes of it rather than going into a reflexive defensive reaction. Even if it proves to be largely false, studying the wrong angle can still lead to useful and interesting results.

    Personally, I think it has a lot to do with culture, which in itself may be correlated with genetics. Its difficult to get funding in China for projects unless they seem to bring practical results soon, something which is constantly frustrating for many researchers. It can't be helping basic research.
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  • @DNC
    Number crunching is done on computers. As a field, it is very demanding on the brains, so there's no reason to suppose that these problems will get easier as time goes on.
    Of course, the average person today has access to tools such as PCs, open-source and commercial software, programming and scripting languages etc. He/she can solve something that would be beyond him with just paper & pen, with the machine doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes. But the "ease" of such solutions comes from the work of the cognitive elite - those responsible for the processing chip, the PC's architecture, the mathematical concepts behind the number crunching, the streamlined algorithms etc.

    The existence and availability of such tools, however, isn’t actually reflected precisely with the use of them.

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  • @songbird
    The current trends seem to presage some dystopia, but I think the worse things get, the more resistance will crystalize around defending civilization. The great minds will be recruited and harnessed towards that goal.

    If politics fails, I think there's still the hope of technology. Lots of possibilities. For one, imagine iterated embryo selection paired with artificial wombs. One couple could have a 100 babies, all in the 99th percentile of IQ.

    Of course, on the other hand, we may end up with Europeans becoming like the Tuatha De Danann, living in fairy mounds and seeming to be magical beings because of their technology, like artificial light.

    The challenge with artificial wombs isn’t the pregnancy part – though it reduces the cost of children and removes humans from the equation. You still need to raise the child, and that is still a significant cost.

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    • Replies: @songbird
    Very true, and dysgenics so far seems to have increased the cost significantly. But I'm speaking more in an 11th hour or last stand for civilization way, where I think there will be a more communal spirit and a bursting of the education bubble.
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  • DNC says:
    @anon
    Interesting.

    Some problems get harder and some problems get easier. For example, simulation and finite methods are much easier than more elegant closed form, analytical solutions to technical problems. Process improvement approaches don't require particularly high IQ to implement. Which is good because they need to be modified frequently to account for other systemic changes.

    On the other hand, it seems like IQ might have something to do with the problem of open defecation in India and SSA. I have a feeling that dysgenic trends will lead to very bad outcomes but that we will scrape by quite well with available smart fractions.

    Number crunching is done on computers. As a field, it is very demanding on the brains, so there’s no reason to suppose that these problems will get easier as time goes on.
    Of course, the average person today has access to tools such as PCs, open-source and commercial software, programming and scripting languages etc. He/she can solve something that would be beyond him with just paper & pen, with the machine doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes. But the “ease” of such solutions comes from the work of the cognitive elite – those responsible for the processing chip, the PC’s architecture, the mathematical concepts behind the number crunching, the streamlined algorithms etc.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The existence and availability of such tools, however, isn't actually reflected precisely with the use of them.
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  • I really doubt that an IQ of 160+ is needed to make contributions in science/technology today (or even in 2050). I can only see that being necessary in certain theoretical disciplines within Physics/Chemistry/Mathematics.

    A lot of progress in applied science/technology is achieved through tinkering and grunt work experimentation. It requires a 130-145 IQ but not the 4+ std level you are talking about.

    We already probably have enough of a theoretical framework around many fields to continue to make practical progress for several centuries even without new theoretical breakthroughs.

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  • @Jaakko Raipala
    Actually, if you looked at science Nobels over the past two decades, Japan is one of the candidates for the most inventive people on earth...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_Nobel_laureates

    ...which is a stark comparison of Japan's history in science. Given that Nobels are generally handed for the whole lifetime body of work (even if the stated reason is some particular invention) they generally go to around 50 year old or older people and the first post-war generation of Japanese scientists reached that age around the time when Japanese Nobels science really started coming.

    Historical credit for inventions, Nobel prizes and such are not a good indicator of talent in a population for the simple reason that there's going to be a huge pool of roughly equal talent going for it and only the first one to get there gets credit. For example, like any physics nerd I can name a whole lot of physicists who worked on the American atomic bomb. I have trouble remembering any Russians who worked on their bomb - though I'd probably recognize some names from their other achievements - and I won't even bother trying to remember any British, French, Chinese, Indian etc bomb makers.

    Were they as inferior in talent as their lack of reputation suggests? I doubt that. I assume they were talented people but in science you have to be the first to get the fame. I bet there were Russian physicists cursing their luck of being assigned to a goal that had been already achieved by the Americans - years of career wasted on something that will not bring any fame when the American physicists were free to work on something new.

    Western Europe has had first mover credit taking advantage for a long time now. East Asia has been stuck playing catch up where their talent is having to work on things that have already been worked on but Japan seems to be breaking through that advantage and if China avoids political disaster I bet we'll see them break it in the next 50 years.

    This whole "lack of creativity" argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There's a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that's getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about "creativity" that's just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?

    Japan has indeed started winning many Nobel Prizes in recent years, but it’s still achieving them at no more than 25% of America’s rate even since 2010.

    It has 75% of Germany’s publication intensity in Nature, despite its population being 50% bigger (this being much less tied to the age of researchers).

    There actually is some concrete evidence for the East Asian relative lack of creativity argument: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/asians-bright-but-not-curious/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wency
    I want to credit AK for observing that Asian scientific output is underperforming, but it is still non-trivial. I read too many people who suggest that Asians are either destined to outperform Germans in scientific invention, or that Asians are basically Africans when it comes to inventing things (i.e., only white people invent things). The truth is somewhere in the middle, but where in the middle is an open question.

    On a personal level, I have a friend whose life was transformed for the better by a pharmaceutical (Uloric) developed in Japan by a Japanese company. Such contributions are fewer than IQ and relative populations would suggest, but they are not trivial.

    Japan made a lot of progress in developing its scientific community in the past few decades. Will it continue to make progress, or has it now reached a plateau? Moreover, Japan is in many ways more different from China than, say, England is from Russia. How much then can we extrapolate from Japan to the future of China?

    As AK's tables illustrate, this open question of Chinese science is almost the entire question of human scientific progress after 2050 or so. This is doubly true if you expect, as I do, that diversity will take a negative toll on the contributions of the remaining Western smart fraction via multiple pathways.
    , @German_reader
    But on a cultural level (admittedly including some pretty low-quality popular culture) Japan is quite influential. Certainly much more so than Germany which is culturally stagnant. Ok, you probably need a different kind of creativity for scientific research than for creating successful popular culture which is interesting to an international audience...but still, the view of Japanese as unimaginative, conformist drones common among many HBD people seems exaggerated to me.
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  • @CrispyCat9
    http://www.crisprupdate.com/broad-institute-claims-feng-zhang-conceptualized-crispr-system-in-2011/

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29518521 "Invention of blue LEDs wins physics Nobel"

    Without blue LED, no white LED lamps, LED colour TV, LED smartphone screen.

    Actually, if you looked at science Nobels over the past two decades, Japan is one of the candidates for the most inventive people on earth…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_Nobel_laureates

    …which is a stark comparison of Japan’s history in science. Given that Nobels are generally handed for the whole lifetime body of work (even if the stated reason is some particular invention) they generally go to around 50 year old or older people and the first post-war generation of Japanese scientists reached that age around the time when Japanese Nobels science really started coming.

    Historical credit for inventions, Nobel prizes and such are not a good indicator of talent in a population for the simple reason that there’s going to be a huge pool of roughly equal talent going for it and only the first one to get there gets credit. For example, like any physics nerd I can name a whole lot of physicists who worked on the American atomic bomb. I have trouble remembering any Russians who worked on their bomb – though I’d probably recognize some names from their other achievements – and I won’t even bother trying to remember any British, French, Chinese, Indian etc bomb makers.

    Were they as inferior in talent as their lack of reputation suggests? I doubt that. I assume they were talented people but in science you have to be the first to get the fame. I bet there were Russian physicists cursing their luck of being assigned to a goal that had been already achieved by the Americans – years of career wasted on something that will not bring any fame when the American physicists were free to work on something new.

    Western Europe has had first mover credit taking advantage for a long time now. East Asia has been stuck playing catch up where their talent is having to work on things that have already been worked on but Japan seems to be breaking through that advantage and if China avoids political disaster I bet we’ll see them break it in the next 50 years.

    This whole “lack of creativity” argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There’s a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that’s getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about “creativity” that’s just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Japan has indeed started winning many Nobel Prizes in recent years, but it's still achieving them at no more than 25% of America's rate even since 2010.

    It has 75% of Germany's publication intensity in Nature, despite its population being 50% bigger (this being much less tied to the age of researchers).

    There actually is some concrete evidence for the East Asian relative lack of creativity argument: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/asians-bright-but-not-curious/
    , @Johann Ricke

    This whole “lack of creativity” argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There’s a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that’s getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about “creativity” that’s just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?
     
    That's because a segment of hbd enthusiasts is merely white supremacists who glommed on to hbd the way a drunk leans on a lamp post - for support rather than illumination. They're not about science - they're about who whom, in the traditional sense of my tribe is better than your tribe. When Orientals eat cats and dogs, which they know mainly as working animals much like cattle or simply as a food source, the correct judgment is they are savages who are too uncivilized to understand that the proper place of these animals is as pets. When Europeans eat beef, which comes from an animal sacred to Hindus, the correct judgment is also that Hindus are savages in thrall to a backward cult.
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  • OT

    Seymour Hersh on the April chemical attacks. I don’t know how reliable his sources are.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    There's also talk of promoting regime change in Iran:
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/25/trump-iran-foreign-policy-regime-change-239930

    Pretty disastrous imo.
    , @for-the-record
    Seymour Hersh on the April chemical attacks. I don’t know how reliable his sources are.

    What I find truly amazing, or perhaps unfortunately not, is how Hersh's article is not even mentioned in any "mainstream" press in any English-speaking Western country, at least as far as I can determine. For someone who for 50 years has been renowned as an investigative reporter, it is impressive how his point of view can be totally suppressed. On the other hand, it is very interesting that Die Welt was willing to publish the article.

    For a serious discussion of Hersh's article by a very respectable author, and one with a considerable intelligence background, see

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I think the smart fraction’s worth could be reduced by density. It’s possible that a smart African will spend so much of his crucial early development among dumb people that he won’t be able to fully develop to the level of his potential.

    Maybe something similar could be at work with creative genius level East Asians. There’s many of them, they just have spent so much of their youth among extreme conformists that they will internalize conformism and so won’t live up to their potential.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Felix Keverich

    China as a now fully developed country drives global scientific progress pretty much single-handedly, like Europe did in the 19th century.
     
    Call me 'white supremacist', but I don't believe China will be able to drive scientific progress. There seem to be some major issues with creativity in Mongoloids.

    Look at Japan for instance: they have been a developed country for decades, and yet, can you name some famous innovations to come out of Japan since 1980? I honestly can't think of any. Everything they have is based on Western designs, it's copycat engineering. China seems to follow the same route.

    Yes, sure. Hence my comments on (and adjustments for) East Asian IQ being “worth” ~5 points less.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    I think creativity is worth a lot more than mere 5 points of IQ. The average university graduate in the West has an IQ of 130+. But if a person is not creative, it doesn't matter if his IQ is 130 or 100 - no discoveries will come out this person.

    IMO, the white man is really quite unique and cannot be replaced. Chinese may try and they will not succeed at replacing the West as the new world hegemon.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Felix Keverich

    China as a now fully developed country drives global scientific progress pretty much single-handedly, like Europe did in the 19th century.
     
    Call me 'white supremacist', but I don't believe China will be able to drive scientific progress. There seem to be some major issues with creativity in Mongoloids.

    Look at Japan for instance: they have been a developed country for decades, and yet, can you name some famous innovations to come out of Japan since 1980? I honestly can't think of any. Everything they have is based on Western designs, it's copycat engineering. China seems to follow the same route.

    http://www.crisprupdate.com/broad-institute-claims-feng-zhang-conceptualized-crispr-system-in-2011/

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29518521 “Invention of blue LEDs wins physics Nobel”

    Without blue LED, no white LED lamps, LED colour TV, LED smartphone screen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Actually, if you looked at science Nobels over the past two decades, Japan is one of the candidates for the most inventive people on earth...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_Nobel_laureates

    ...which is a stark comparison of Japan's history in science. Given that Nobels are generally handed for the whole lifetime body of work (even if the stated reason is some particular invention) they generally go to around 50 year old or older people and the first post-war generation of Japanese scientists reached that age around the time when Japanese Nobels science really started coming.

    Historical credit for inventions, Nobel prizes and such are not a good indicator of talent in a population for the simple reason that there's going to be a huge pool of roughly equal talent going for it and only the first one to get there gets credit. For example, like any physics nerd I can name a whole lot of physicists who worked on the American atomic bomb. I have trouble remembering any Russians who worked on their bomb - though I'd probably recognize some names from their other achievements - and I won't even bother trying to remember any British, French, Chinese, Indian etc bomb makers.

    Were they as inferior in talent as their lack of reputation suggests? I doubt that. I assume they were talented people but in science you have to be the first to get the fame. I bet there were Russian physicists cursing their luck of being assigned to a goal that had been already achieved by the Americans - years of career wasted on something that will not bring any fame when the American physicists were free to work on something new.

    Western Europe has had first mover credit taking advantage for a long time now. East Asia has been stuck playing catch up where their talent is having to work on things that have already been worked on but Japan seems to be breaking through that advantage and if China avoids political disaster I bet we'll see them break it in the next 50 years.

    This whole "lack of creativity" argument for East Asians is an extremely poor show by the hbd sphere. There's a good body of quantitative and empirical work on intelligence that's getting ignored in favor of ideological assertions. Why weaken your case by including an argument about "creativity" that's just as much of an evidence free assertion as the blank slate claims?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • One thing to give a lot more weight in these deliberations:

    The UN selects for induced stupidity, and so, unsurprisingly, its population projections are stupid.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • China as a now fully developed country drives global scientific progress pretty much single-handedly, like Europe did in the 19th century.

    Call me ‘white supremacist’, but I don’t believe China will be able to drive scientific progress. There seem to be some major issues with creativity in Mongoloids.

    Look at Japan for instance: they have been a developed country for decades, and yet, can you name some famous innovations to come out of Japan since 1980? I honestly can’t think of any. Everything they have is based on Western designs, it’s copycat engineering. China seems to follow the same route.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CrispyCat9
    http://www.crisprupdate.com/broad-institute-claims-feng-zhang-conceptualized-crispr-system-in-2011/

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29518521 "Invention of blue LEDs wins physics Nobel"

    Without blue LED, no white LED lamps, LED colour TV, LED smartphone screen.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, sure. Hence my comments on (and adjustments for) East Asian IQ being "worth" ~5 points less.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The current trends seem to presage some dystopia, but I think the worse things get, the more resistance will crystalize around defending civilization. The great minds will be recruited and harnessed towards that goal.

    If politics fails, I think there’s still the hope of technology. Lots of possibilities. For one, imagine iterated embryo selection paired with artificial wombs. One couple could have a 100 babies, all in the 99th percentile of IQ.

    Of course, on the other hand, we may end up with Europeans becoming like the Tuatha De Danann, living in fairy mounds and seeming to be magical beings because of their technology, like artificial light.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The challenge with artificial wombs isn't the pregnancy part - though it reduces the cost of children and removes humans from the equation. You still need to raise the child, and that is still a significant cost.
    , @The Practical Conservative
    Artificial wombs are an extraordinarily hard problem. If you could crack that nut, you could just inject everyone with IQboost9000 a lot easier and cheaper.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • anon • Disclaimer says:

    Interesting.

    Some problems get harder and some problems get easier. For example, simulation and finite methods are much easier than more elegant closed form, analytical solutions to technical problems. Process improvement approaches don’t require particularly high IQ to implement. Which is good because they need to be modified frequently to account for other systemic changes.

    On the other hand, it seems like IQ might have something to do with the problem of open defecation in India and SSA. I have a feeling that dysgenic trends will lead to very bad outcomes but that we will scrape by quite well with available smart fractions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @DNC
    Number crunching is done on computers. As a field, it is very demanding on the brains, so there's no reason to suppose that these problems will get easier as time goes on.
    Of course, the average person today has access to tools such as PCs, open-source and commercial software, programming and scripting languages etc. He/she can solve something that would be beyond him with just paper & pen, with the machine doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes. But the "ease" of such solutions comes from the work of the cognitive elite - those responsible for the processing chip, the PC's architecture, the mathematical concepts behind the number crunching, the streamlined algorithms etc.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • since problems tend to get easier, not harder as you climb up the technological tree.

    Shouldn’t this be the other way round?

    AK: thx

    Read More
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  • Would it be possible to do projections for 2100, but with the genetic engineering of embryos for intelligence becoming available on a mass scale in 2050?

    Basically, I just want to see what effect such technology would have on this if it was already available for everyone in 2050 (which, for the record, I think is unlikely).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Off topic, but the Victorian book on Russia (by Donald Mackenzie Wallace) which Philip Owen referenced in a February thread of yours is available to read at Unz.org

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/WallaceDMackenzie-1877

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Kong, Augustine et al. - 2016 - Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment This paper makes the case that there has been a decline in the prevalence of genes increasing propensity for more education (POLYEDU) in Iceland from 1910-1975. Here are some of the key points: The main mechanism was greater...
  • @Not Raul
    >> As the economists prosaically explain: “The relationship between fertility and women’s education in the US has recently become U-shaped.” <<

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/25/women-wealth-childcare-family-babies-study?client=safari

    Bullshit. The text says that high school women having more babies than advanced degree educated women. And high school educated (or less) women are equal numerous than college educated women (or more)
    See http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf

    Read More
    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...
  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    My reading of history concludes that there is no escape from an alpha group except for small gaps. The question is what is it composed of; a religious group, economic group, ethnic group, etc. Even down to the level of a tribe, there is one family or branch that usually heads the show. The best thing to have are those who have some classical understanding of benevolence and stewardship or at least imbue that in their policies; Ivan the Terrible is not Catherine the Great.

    I'm also a big fan of trying things in baby steps - the education (and its environs) of one's future generation seem to be of paramount concern in these culture wars. Usually the issue is not that one doesn't care that other people's kids are walking around barely wearing anything or smoking weed, one just doesn't want it happening around their kids. And of course for those who (increasingly) opt out of propagating a future generation - why should they pay similar to others?


    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.
     
    Possibly. I don't know if there was any coordinated intent behind it, but the relationship in meaning cannot be denied. The Arabic is an ancient language arose organically in a milieu that mixed both urban dwellers and their nomadic counterparts - a people very deeply rooted in nature and spirit. The language reflects that depth of understanding. A couple of other examples:

    The word for a very beautiful woman is the tri-literal root (فتن) which is also the same root for trial or tribulation.

    The word for mercy is is the root (رحم) which is also the same for the womb (it being the ultimate expression of mercy in the phenomenal world).

    Peace.

    My reading of history concludes that there is no escape from an alpha group except for small gaps. The question is what is it composed of

    I fully concur. The current one is corrupt and malevolent.

    The word for a very beautiful woman is the tri-literal root (فتن) which is also the same root for trial or tribulation.

    Is the word for high-maintenance the same? :)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.

    This would seem to be an insurmountable problem in the US.

    I would like for us to try the concept where it has some chance of success, in education, for example. I have been in favor of a total voucher system for public education for many years which would include religious schools of course.

    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) – in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point…

    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.

    Hey iffen,

    My reading of history concludes that there is no escape from an alpha group except for small gaps. The question is what is it composed of; a religious group, economic group, ethnic group, etc. Even down to the level of a tribe, there is one family or branch that usually heads the show. The best thing to have are those who have some classical understanding of benevolence and stewardship or at least imbue that in their policies; Ivan the Terrible is not Catherine the Great.

    I’m also a big fan of trying things in baby steps – the education (and its environs) of one’s future generation seem to be of paramount concern in these culture wars. Usually the issue is not that one doesn’t care that other people’s kids are walking around barely wearing anything or smoking weed, one just doesn’t want it happening around their kids. And of course for those who (increasingly) opt out of propagating a future generation – why should they pay similar to others?

    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.

    Possibly. I don’t know if there was any coordinated intent behind it, but the relationship in meaning cannot be denied. The Arabic is an ancient language arose organically in a milieu that mixed both urban dwellers and their nomadic counterparts – a people very deeply rooted in nature and spirit. The language reflects that depth of understanding. A couple of other examples:

    The word for a very beautiful woman is the tri-literal root (فتن) which is also the same root for trial or tribulation.

    The word for mercy is is the root (رحم) which is also the same for the womb (it being the ultimate expression of mercy in the phenomenal world).

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    My reading of history concludes that there is no escape from an alpha group except for small gaps. The question is what is it composed of

    I fully concur. The current one is corrupt and malevolent.


    The word for a very beautiful woman is the tri-literal root (فتن) which is also the same root for trial or tribulation.


    Is the word for high-maintenance the same? :)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    The situation seems to be that there are thousands if not millions that want their own group.
     
    Sure, it can be put up for a vote just like we do here - some Muslims don't like the fact that they can't legally marry another wife, but that's what the majority rule here decided. An atheist millet can simply draft its own 'ethical provisions' by some democratic forms; majority rule was never meant to satisfy everyone. Again, using the Ottomans as a case study (not the perfect solution) - close to 20 separate millets were organized and many of them were separate Christian denominations that would have been at each others' throats if they were forced together under the same rules; Orthodox (various kinds), Catholic, etc. I can't see why like-minded atheists (reaching a critical mass) couldn't petition for a separate millet. Remember, it's really administrative - since millets are supposed to be self-organizing based on common ground.The whole point is to be able to figure out a way to reduce tension (and nonsense, frankly, for the central authority - who cares if you want to have desegregated bathrooms in your schools if you are running your own schools) between differing ideologies in order to keep things moving along. Otherwise you get the culture wars we see happening. Again, from the above link:
    "The millet system continued to work well both socially and economically with some exceptions until the rise of nationalism began to divide the people ethnically instead of religiously (Martin and Encarta)."

    If it seems human beings are going back to dividing religiously (or ideologically/philosophically) along with ethnically, then this model needs to be reconsidered (again as an organizing framework - not simply copy-and-paste from the Ottomans).

    But, from what I can see, one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.


    Very prescient
     
    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) - in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point...but, then again, nobody really wins:
    "The Hour will not arise so long as Allah is called upon in the world." - reported in Muslim

    And though I agree that there needs to be a balance struck between the needs of the group and the needs of the individual, that quote you posted is scary; whenever I see any variation of 'the ends justifies the means' I shake my head.

    Peace.

    one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.

    This would seem to be an insurmountable problem in the US.

    I would like for us to try the concept where it has some chance of success, in education, for example. I have been in favor of a total voucher system for public education for many years which would include religious schools of course.

    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) – in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point…

    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    My reading of history concludes that there is no escape from an alpha group except for small gaps. The question is what is it composed of; a religious group, economic group, ethnic group, etc. Even down to the level of a tribe, there is one family or branch that usually heads the show. The best thing to have are those who have some classical understanding of benevolence and stewardship or at least imbue that in their policies; Ivan the Terrible is not Catherine the Great.

    I'm also a big fan of trying things in baby steps - the education (and its environs) of one's future generation seem to be of paramount concern in these culture wars. Usually the issue is not that one doesn't care that other people's kids are walking around barely wearing anything or smoking weed, one just doesn't want it happening around their kids. And of course for those who (increasingly) opt out of propagating a future generation - why should they pay similar to others?


    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.
     
    Possibly. I don't know if there was any coordinated intent behind it, but the relationship in meaning cannot be denied. The Arabic is an ancient language arose organically in a milieu that mixed both urban dwellers and their nomadic counterparts - a people very deeply rooted in nature and spirit. The language reflects that depth of understanding. A couple of other examples:

    The word for a very beautiful woman is the tri-literal root (فتن) which is also the same root for trial or tribulation.

    The word for mercy is is the root (رحم) which is also the same for the womb (it being the ultimate expression of mercy in the phenomenal world).

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    I thought we both agreed that everyone has a “belief” slot. Those without an official religion are simply their own grouping and assign their own oracle/leader/chairman

    You are not making any progress here. The situation seems to be that there are thousands if not millions that want their own group. You want me to share the same court authority with someone like JR? I don't think so.

    the tri-letter root (لحد) which means to dig a grave.

    Very prescient on someone's part to recognize that atheism would dig the grave of the believers. :)

    Hey iffen,

    The situation seems to be that there are thousands if not millions that want their own group.

    Sure, it can be put up for a vote just like we do here – some Muslims don’t like the fact that they can’t legally marry another wife, but that’s what the majority rule here decided. An atheist millet can simply draft its own ‘ethical provisions’ by some democratic forms; majority rule was never meant to satisfy everyone. Again, using the Ottomans as a case study (not the perfect solution) – close to 20 separate millets were organized and many of them were separate Christian denominations that would have been at each others’ throats if they were forced together under the same rules; Orthodox (various kinds), Catholic, etc. I can’t see why like-minded atheists (reaching a critical mass) couldn’t petition for a separate millet. Remember, it’s really administrative – since millets are supposed to be self-organizing based on common ground.The whole point is to be able to figure out a way to reduce tension (and nonsense, frankly, for the central authority – who cares if you want to have desegregated bathrooms in your schools if you are running your own schools) between differing ideologies in order to keep things moving along. Otherwise you get the culture wars we see happening. Again, from the above link:
    “The millet system continued to work well both socially and economically with some exceptions until the rise of nationalism began to divide the people ethnically instead of religiously (Martin and Encarta).”

    If it seems human beings are going back to dividing religiously (or ideologically/philosophically) along with ethnically, then this model needs to be reconsidered (again as an organizing framework – not simply copy-and-paste from the Ottomans).

    But, from what I can see, one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.

    Very prescient

    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) – in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point…but, then again, nobody really wins:
    “The Hour will not arise so long as Allah is called upon in the world.” – reported in Muslim

    And though I agree that there needs to be a balance struck between the needs of the group and the needs of the individual, that quote you posted is scary; whenever I see any variation of ‘the ends justifies the means’ I shake my head.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.

    This would seem to be an insurmountable problem in the US.

    I would like for us to try the concept where it has some chance of success, in education, for example. I have been in favor of a total voucher system for public education for many years which would include religious schools of course.

    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) – in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point…

    Maybe they meant that the un-believer was digging his own grave.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith.
     
    I thought we both agreed that everyone has a "belief" slot. Those without an official religion are simply their own grouping and assign their own oracle/leader/chairman (see note #258). We traditionally called these people mulhidoon*; those without faith.

    the Baha’i
     
    I'm not too familiar with the Shia rules so I don't know why they treat Baha'is different than any other non-Muslim minority.

    What about mixed marriages?
     
    Well, if the husband is Muslim - the adjudication happens in a Muslim court, but that should be made clear before the lady gets into the marriage in the first place. In case of conflict like this, the Islamic court trumps the other, because...well, because it is made clear that Islam is the dominant religion in case of this kind of conflict. With others, like a Jewish woman marrying a Christian man - I guess that would be left to the respective millets to figure out. Likely then, it's in the millets' interest to not officiate intermarriage - and if they don't officiate them, where can the couple go to get legally married? Not the central government - Shariah courts have better things to do.

    What about converts?
     
    Why wouldn't they simply shift from one court system to another?

    Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?
     
    I don't see why not. From what I have read, the Ottomans did not themselves allow a separate Shiah Millet, but that is probably more due to the political fact that they were rivals to the Persian and Shiah Safavid Empire and so had to uphold an image of being champions of Sunni Islam. I don't even see why the separate Sunni schools couldn't get their own courts since sometimes marriage rules can vary by school. Usually the school followed by the majority of a particular area held sway in the court system, but this was not a hard and fast rule - Egypt often passed through the hands of capable Shafi'i, Hanafi and even Maliki judges.

    Peace.

    *Note: Interesting, the Arabic language - the word for one without faith is the tri-letter root (لحد) which means to dig a grave.

    A passage from Dietrich of Nieheim’s De schismate libri III is used as an epigraph at the beginning of the second chapter of Arthur Koestler’s novel, Darkness at Noon:

    “ When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even deceit, treachery, violence, usury, prison, and death. Because order serves the good of the community, the individual must be sacrificed for the common good.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @pelagic
    That is an interesting argument for the utility of marriage. Would it be worth it to place marriage strictly outside of government recognition and tax benefits? How much legalism would still apply to married couples?

    The group-individual dynamic will always be in play. Liberals tend toward shifting responsibility (and power) upward to governing bodies or councils (socialism, welfare state, etc.). It seems ironic that conservatives champion individual freedom but they do not see that what they promote (2nd Amendment, property rights, etc.) is strongly dependent on a society that is tied-down by tradition, family, church and so on.

    "Freedom" for liberals comes via centralized power, especially the judicial branch, that can introduce and sustain leftist ideas that would otherwise never pass social filtering. Their idea of social autonomy or individualism is very different than the conservative's "freedom" based on what is the underpinning. The desired result is also very different.

    Further reading on this idea of "autonomy" can be found here:

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com

    Their idea of social autonomy or individualism is very different than the conservative’s “freedom” based on what is the underpinning.

    American conservatives are infected with libertarianism. I stand by my estimation that what they want is hyper liberalism for themselves and strict conservatism for the “others” to keep them in line.

    Maybe the DNC will make Sally Boynton Brown and Keith Ellison co-chairs. That should help draw the lines.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I thought we both agreed that everyone has a “belief” slot. Those without an official religion are simply their own grouping and assign their own oracle/leader/chairman

    You are not making any progress here. The situation seems to be that there are thousands if not millions that want their own group. You want me to share the same court authority with someone like JR? I don’t think so.

    the tri-letter root (لحد) which means to dig a grave.

    Very prescient on someone’s part to recognize that atheism would dig the grave of the believers. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    The situation seems to be that there are thousands if not millions that want their own group.
     
    Sure, it can be put up for a vote just like we do here - some Muslims don't like the fact that they can't legally marry another wife, but that's what the majority rule here decided. An atheist millet can simply draft its own 'ethical provisions' by some democratic forms; majority rule was never meant to satisfy everyone. Again, using the Ottomans as a case study (not the perfect solution) - close to 20 separate millets were organized and many of them were separate Christian denominations that would have been at each others' throats if they were forced together under the same rules; Orthodox (various kinds), Catholic, etc. I can't see why like-minded atheists (reaching a critical mass) couldn't petition for a separate millet. Remember, it's really administrative - since millets are supposed to be self-organizing based on common ground.The whole point is to be able to figure out a way to reduce tension (and nonsense, frankly, for the central authority - who cares if you want to have desegregated bathrooms in your schools if you are running your own schools) between differing ideologies in order to keep things moving along. Otherwise you get the culture wars we see happening. Again, from the above link:
    "The millet system continued to work well both socially and economically with some exceptions until the rise of nationalism began to divide the people ethnically instead of religiously (Martin and Encarta)."

    If it seems human beings are going back to dividing religiously (or ideologically/philosophically) along with ethnically, then this model needs to be reconsidered (again as an organizing framework - not simply copy-and-paste from the Ottomans).

    But, from what I can see, one issue is that it assumes an alpha group is ensconced, making sure everyone else plays by the rules.


    Very prescient
     
    Quite so (even though the Arabic lexical definitions predate the revelation) - in the end, we have it on good authority that belief will eventually lose out at some point...but, then again, nobody really wins:
    "The Hour will not arise so long as Allah is called upon in the world." - reported in Muslim

    And though I agree that there needs to be a balance struck between the needs of the group and the needs of the individual, that quote you posted is scary; whenever I see any variation of 'the ends justifies the means' I shake my head.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith. I doubt that the Baha'i in Iran would fare that well. What about mixed marriages? What about converts? Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?

    Hey iffen,

    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith.

    I thought we both agreed that everyone has a “belief” slot. Those without an official religion are simply their own grouping and assign their own oracle/leader/chairman (see note #258). We traditionally called these people mulhidoon*; those without faith.

    the Baha’i

    I’m not too familiar with the Shia rules so I don’t know why they treat Baha’is different than any other non-Muslim minority.

    What about mixed marriages?

    Well, if the husband is Muslim – the adjudication happens in a Muslim court, but that should be made clear before the lady gets into the marriage in the first place. In case of conflict like this, the Islamic court trumps the other, because…well, because it is made clear that Islam is the dominant religion in case of this kind of conflict. With others, like a Jewish woman marrying a Christian man – I guess that would be left to the respective millets to figure out. Likely then, it’s in the millets’ interest to not officiate intermarriage – and if they don’t officiate them, where can the couple go to get legally married? Not the central government – Shariah courts have better things to do.

    What about converts?

    Why wouldn’t they simply shift from one court system to another?

    Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?

    I don’t see why not. From what I have read, the Ottomans did not themselves allow a separate Shiah Millet, but that is probably more due to the political fact that they were rivals to the Persian and Shiah Safavid Empire and so had to uphold an image of being champions of Sunni Islam. I don’t even see why the separate Sunni schools couldn’t get their own courts since sometimes marriage rules can vary by school. Usually the school followed by the majority of a particular area held sway in the court system, but this was not a hard and fast rule – Egypt often passed through the hands of capable Shafi’i, Hanafi and even Maliki judges.

    Peace.

    *Note: Interesting, the Arabic language – the word for one without faith is the tri-letter root (لحد) which means to dig a grave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    A passage from Dietrich of Nieheim's De schismate libri III is used as an epigraph at the beginning of the second chapter of Arthur Koestler's novel, Darkness at Noon:

    “ When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even deceit, treachery, violence, usury, prison, and death. Because order serves the good of the community, the individual must be sacrificed for the common good.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    I see what you mean.

    It is true that the individual has been empowered vis-à-vis the traditional groups and institutions.

    I disagree with everything else that you wrote.

    That does not mean that everything is peaches and cream. It seems to me that we need to re-evaluate the balance between the group and the individual.

    We decided to use government to re-inforce and utilize the marriage contract in place of religion. If you want religion to control the marriage contract you need to remove government from the marriage contract business, you can’t have it both ways. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

    That is an interesting argument for the utility of marriage. Would it be worth it to place marriage strictly outside of government recognition and tax benefits? How much legalism would still apply to married couples?

    The group-individual dynamic will always be in play. Liberals tend toward shifting responsibility (and power) upward to governing bodies or councils (socialism, welfare state, etc.). It seems ironic that conservatives champion individual freedom but they do not see that what they promote (2nd Amendment, property rights, etc.) is strongly dependent on a society that is tied-down by tradition, family, church and so on.

    “Freedom” for liberals comes via centralized power, especially the judicial branch, that can introduce and sustain leftist ideas that would otherwise never pass social filtering. Their idea of social autonomy or individualism is very different than the conservative’s “freedom” based on what is the underpinning. The desired result is also very different.

    Further reading on this idea of “autonomy” can be found here:

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Their idea of social autonomy or individualism is very different than the conservative’s “freedom” based on what is the underpinning.

    American conservatives are infected with libertarianism. I stand by my estimation that what they want is hyper liberalism for themselves and strict conservatism for the "others" to keep them in line.

    Maybe the DNC will make Sally Boynton Brown and Keith Ellison co-chairs. That should help draw the lines.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    I see what you mean.

    It is true that the individual has been empowered vis-à-vis the traditional groups and institutions.

    I disagree with everything else that you wrote.

    That does not mean that everything is peaches and cream. It seems to me that we need to re-evaluate the balance between the group and the individual.

    We decided to use government to re-inforce and utilize the marriage contract in place of religion. If you want religion to control the marriage contract you need to remove government from the marriage contract business, you can’t have it both ways. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

    That’s my essential point. The individual may have been “empowered” against traditional groups, but has surrendered even more power to a new centralized state. Furthermore, I also do not believe that empowering the individual is necessary such a great good.

    My thoughts are pretty much formed by Ted Kaczynski.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Or you let religions control their own marriage contracts in a legally binding way (disparate civil court systems for each creed)...we've been doing this for centuries!

    "The amount of authority granted to each millet is especially evident in civil and legal matters. The millet had control over all internal disputes and agreements, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, other matters of personal status, and the distribution and collection of taxes (Bates, Rassam, p.101). This separation of legal disputes by religion was natural for the Ottoman society that already two types of law, sultanic yasak law for human life and şeriat for divine law (Martin, Empires: Ottoman). In reality, Muslim courts were commonly used by dhimmis, for the resulting decision was perhaps worth more than conclusions made in millet courts (Martin). Thus with respect for the authority of the Sultan and the Empire, dhimmis could generally live in peace."
    http://courses.washington.edu/disisme/Our%20Encyclopaedia/84135754-B01E-4A3A-BBA4-8BD129E3C331.html

    Also known as letting everyone have their own cupcake to eat!

    Peace.

    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith. I doubt that the Baha’i in Iran would fare that well. What about mixed marriages? What about converts? Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith.
     
    I thought we both agreed that everyone has a "belief" slot. Those without an official religion are simply their own grouping and assign their own oracle/leader/chairman (see note #258). We traditionally called these people mulhidoon*; those without faith.

    the Baha’i
     
    I'm not too familiar with the Shia rules so I don't know why they treat Baha'is different than any other non-Muslim minority.

    What about mixed marriages?
     
    Well, if the husband is Muslim - the adjudication happens in a Muslim court, but that should be made clear before the lady gets into the marriage in the first place. In case of conflict like this, the Islamic court trumps the other, because...well, because it is made clear that Islam is the dominant religion in case of this kind of conflict. With others, like a Jewish woman marrying a Christian man - I guess that would be left to the respective millets to figure out. Likely then, it's in the millets' interest to not officiate intermarriage - and if they don't officiate them, where can the couple go to get legally married? Not the central government - Shariah courts have better things to do.

    What about converts?
     
    Why wouldn't they simply shift from one court system to another?

    Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?
     
    I don't see why not. From what I have read, the Ottomans did not themselves allow a separate Shiah Millet, but that is probably more due to the political fact that they were rivals to the Persian and Shiah Safavid Empire and so had to uphold an image of being champions of Sunni Islam. I don't even see why the separate Sunni schools couldn't get their own courts since sometimes marriage rules can vary by school. Usually the school followed by the majority of a particular area held sway in the court system, but this was not a hard and fast rule - Egypt often passed through the hands of capable Shafi'i, Hanafi and even Maliki judges.

    Peace.

    *Note: Interesting, the Arabic language - the word for one without faith is the tri-letter root (لحد) which means to dig a grave.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    I see what you mean.

    It is true that the individual has been empowered vis-à-vis the traditional groups and institutions.

    I disagree with everything else that you wrote.

    That does not mean that everything is peaches and cream. It seems to me that we need to re-evaluate the balance between the group and the individual.

    We decided to use government to re-inforce and utilize the marriage contract in place of religion. If you want religion to control the marriage contract you need to remove government from the marriage contract business, you can’t have it both ways. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

    Or you let religions control their own marriage contracts in a legally binding way (disparate civil court systems for each creed)…we’ve been doing this for centuries!

    “The amount of authority granted to each millet is especially evident in civil and legal matters. The millet had control over all internal disputes and agreements, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, other matters of personal status, and the distribution and collection of taxes (Bates, Rassam, p.101). This separation of legal disputes by religion was natural for the Ottoman society that already two types of law, sultanic yasak law for human life and şeriat for divine law (Martin, Empires: Ottoman). In reality, Muslim courts were commonly used by dhimmis, for the resulting decision was perhaps worth more than conclusions made in millet courts (Martin). Thus with respect for the authority of the Sultan and the Empire, dhimmis could generally live in peace.”

    http://courses.washington.edu/disisme/Our%20Encyclopaedia/84135754-B01E-4A3A-BBA4-8BD129E3C331.html

    Also known as letting everyone have their own cupcake to eat!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Well, such a system could work where everyone had an accepted faith. I doubt that the Baha'i in Iran would fare that well. What about mixed marriages? What about converts? Do Sunnis and Shias get separate courts?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Daniel,

    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.
     
    Good point - and this is also in the realm of economics. In the past, who took care of you when you got older; kids, extended family, tribe, church, etc. These obviously had a right upon you as to how you lived life; that you didn't divorce willy-nilly, that you were willing to help defend territory, etc. Now everything is out-sourced to the central authority, and yes now you can live as free as you want as long as it's cool with the state.

    Also on a very related note (I've been a big Ben Swann fan for years since he covered Ron Paul very objectively in the previous presidential campaigns):
    "Ben Swann Truth in Media takes a look at a secretive government program being created at Arizona State University. The program is designed to control the way Muslims and Christians view religion."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19u2twNseXo

    "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" - I kid you not.

    Peace.

    In the past, who took care of you when you got older; kids, extended family, tribe, church, etc.

    Obviously there are big problems here and you and I are not the first to notice. :)

    Beyond that, among those of us who see problems we do not agree on what, if anything, should be done about it, which leaves everything pretty much in the hands of people who do not see a problem, not to mention the people who are pleased as punch that the older institutions and forms are in crisis.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh

    This doesn’t make sense to me, how about some elaboration?
     
    Its easy to say, for example, that your father has less influence over your life now than he would have had in the 1800s. So yes, they have lost power over you but in return, power has been centralized at a much higher level of the state so that you cannot expect rebel, have an unrecorded thought, or engage in any behavior that is not explicitly and agreed as legal by a committee.

    You're free to subscribe to any religion, but you cannot enforce prohibitions against single-sex marriages. You're free to speak your mind except on any topic the state has decided to be too taboo. You're immune from any expectation of death, the state will simply make your life too miserable to live.

    So we've traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    I see what you mean.

    It is true that the individual has been empowered vis-à-vis the traditional groups and institutions.

    I disagree with everything else that you wrote.

    That does not mean that everything is peaches and cream. It seems to me that we need to re-evaluate the balance between the group and the individual.

    We decided to use government to re-inforce and utilize the marriage contract in place of religion. If you want religion to control the marriage contract you need to remove government from the marriage contract business, you can’t have it both ways. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Or you let religions control their own marriage contracts in a legally binding way (disparate civil court systems for each creed)...we've been doing this for centuries!

    "The amount of authority granted to each millet is especially evident in civil and legal matters. The millet had control over all internal disputes and agreements, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, other matters of personal status, and the distribution and collection of taxes (Bates, Rassam, p.101). This separation of legal disputes by religion was natural for the Ottoman society that already two types of law, sultanic yasak law for human life and şeriat for divine law (Martin, Empires: Ottoman). In reality, Muslim courts were commonly used by dhimmis, for the resulting decision was perhaps worth more than conclusions made in millet courts (Martin). Thus with respect for the authority of the Sultan and the Empire, dhimmis could generally live in peace."
    http://courses.washington.edu/disisme/Our%20Encyclopaedia/84135754-B01E-4A3A-BBA4-8BD129E3C331.html

    Also known as letting everyone have their own cupcake to eat!

    Peace.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    That's my essential point. The individual may have been "empowered" against traditional groups, but has surrendered even more power to a new centralized state. Furthermore, I also do not believe that empowering the individual is necessary such a great good.

    My thoughts are pretty much formed by Ted Kaczynski.
    , @pelagic
    That is an interesting argument for the utility of marriage. Would it be worth it to place marriage strictly outside of government recognition and tax benefits? How much legalism would still apply to married couples?

    The group-individual dynamic will always be in play. Liberals tend toward shifting responsibility (and power) upward to governing bodies or councils (socialism, welfare state, etc.). It seems ironic that conservatives champion individual freedom but they do not see that what they promote (2nd Amendment, property rights, etc.) is strongly dependent on a society that is tied-down by tradition, family, church and so on.

    "Freedom" for liberals comes via centralized power, especially the judicial branch, that can introduce and sustain leftist ideas that would otherwise never pass social filtering. Their idea of social autonomy or individualism is very different than the conservative's "freedom" based on what is the underpinning. The desired result is also very different.

    Further reading on this idea of "autonomy" can be found here:

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh

    This doesn’t make sense to me, how about some elaboration?
     
    Its easy to say, for example, that your father has less influence over your life now than he would have had in the 1800s. So yes, they have lost power over you but in return, power has been centralized at a much higher level of the state so that you cannot expect rebel, have an unrecorded thought, or engage in any behavior that is not explicitly and agreed as legal by a committee.

    You're free to subscribe to any religion, but you cannot enforce prohibitions against single-sex marriages. You're free to speak your mind except on any topic the state has decided to be too taboo. You're immune from any expectation of death, the state will simply make your life too miserable to live.

    So we've traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    Hey Daniel,

    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    Good point – and this is also in the realm of economics. In the past, who took care of you when you got older; kids, extended family, tribe, church, etc. These obviously had a right upon you as to how you lived life; that you didn’t divorce willy-nilly, that you were willing to help defend territory, etc. Now everything is out-sourced to the central authority, and yes now you can live as free as you want as long as it’s cool with the state.

    Also on a very related note (I’ve been a big Ben Swann fan for years since he covered Ron Paul very objectively in the previous presidential campaigns):
    “Ben Swann Truth in Media takes a look at a secretive government program being created at Arizona State University. The program is designed to control the way Muslims and Christians view religion.”

    “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation” – I kid you not.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    In the past, who took care of you when you got older; kids, extended family, tribe, church, etc.

    Obviously there are big problems here and you and I are not the first to notice. :)

    Beyond that, among those of us who see problems we do not agree on what, if anything, should be done about it, which leaves everything pretty much in the hands of people who do not see a problem, not to mention the people who are pleased as punch that the older institutions and forms are in crisis.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    This doesn't make sense to me, how about some elaboration?

    This doesn’t make sense to me, how about some elaboration?

    Its easy to say, for example, that your father has less influence over your life now than he would have had in the 1800s. So yes, they have lost power over you but in return, power has been centralized at a much higher level of the state so that you cannot expect rebel, have an unrecorded thought, or engage in any behavior that is not explicitly and agreed as legal by a committee.

    You’re free to subscribe to any religion, but you cannot enforce prohibitions against single-sex marriages. You’re free to speak your mind except on any topic the state has decided to be too taboo. You’re immune from any expectation of death, the state will simply make your life too miserable to live.

    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Daniel,

    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.
     
    Good point - and this is also in the realm of economics. In the past, who took care of you when you got older; kids, extended family, tribe, church, etc. These obviously had a right upon you as to how you lived life; that you didn't divorce willy-nilly, that you were willing to help defend territory, etc. Now everything is out-sourced to the central authority, and yes now you can live as free as you want as long as it's cool with the state.

    Also on a very related note (I've been a big Ben Swann fan for years since he covered Ron Paul very objectively in the previous presidential campaigns):
    "Ben Swann Truth in Media takes a look at a secretive government program being created at Arizona State University. The program is designed to control the way Muslims and Christians view religion."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19u2twNseXo

    "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" - I kid you not.

    Peace.
    , @iffen
    So we’ve traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.

    I see what you mean.

    It is true that the individual has been empowered vis-à-vis the traditional groups and institutions.

    I disagree with everything else that you wrote.

    That does not mean that everything is peaches and cream. It seems to me that we need to re-evaluate the balance between the group and the individual.

    We decided to use government to re-inforce and utilize the marriage contract in place of religion. If you want religion to control the marriage contract you need to remove government from the marriage contract business, you can’t have it both ways. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh

    This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters.
     
    The strong notion from AL's posts is that technology enables decentralization. His main evidence for such is presumably the increase of individual independence from traditional groupings such as families or churches for physical welfare.

    My objection as noted before is that technology actually aggregates and increases power of collective entities, with the increasing centralized power of media organizations, mass distribution, and mass surveillance entities. The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    His view is incompatible with mine since we have different axioms of the result of increasing complexity. I find his view optimistic as best and do not actually believe that any separation is possible as barriers fall, while he seems to believe that it will be possible to segregate influences and groups.

    In essence, I think that he's misguided and has an identity defined by the notion of presumed independence from influence. I think its essentially a delusion and meaningful in terms that it lacks applicable value as a practical form, but you can't exactly dissuade people from delusions, its real to them.

    The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    This doesn’t make sense to me, how about some elaboration?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    This doesn’t make sense to me, how about some elaboration?
     
    Its easy to say, for example, that your father has less influence over your life now than he would have had in the 1800s. So yes, they have lost power over you but in return, power has been centralized at a much higher level of the state so that you cannot expect rebel, have an unrecorded thought, or engage in any behavior that is not explicitly and agreed as legal by a committee.

    You're free to subscribe to any religion, but you cannot enforce prohibitions against single-sex marriages. You're free to speak your mind except on any topic the state has decided to be too taboo. You're immune from any expectation of death, the state will simply make your life too miserable to live.

    So we've traded power over us by familial and close actors, to distant and conceptual actors, but many confuse this as a gain in individual liberty.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @pelagic
    "This “reality” in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty."

    Historically this is certainly true. History also shows that individual liberties need to be restricted by other group members-- parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. Without recognition and enforcement of common cultural mores there is no civilization at all. Various non-religious rational "realities" have severely restricted life and liberty as you know, so how is religious tyranny somehow worse than those tyrannies?

    Possibly you have no objection to folks practicing their religion quietly and privately, after the English style. Likewise, I have no objection to the workings of scientific progress and technology so long as their proponents do not go on to try to destroy that which their "truth" says is false, i.e., religious belief. This intolerant attitude seems to be gaining and as many have observed it starts to resemble the oppression of certain religious eras. Remember, when only one small group was the keeper and dictator of Truth? I guess you don't see this.

    Individual liberty includes my right to reject your ideas, and yours to reject mine. It includes the right of people to enjoy religious flourishing or atheistic philosophy. I think our Founding Fathers had a keen understanding in this area and even today we benefit enormously from their wisdom. Just a glance at other countries demonstrates this profoundly.

    Thanks for sharing your early experience with independently derived libertarianism. I can say that I had a parallel experience that revealed something transcendent that superseded my "autonomy" yet did not abolish my free will. While I have not exactly found a correlation like your Ayn Rand example it allowed me to escape the closed sterility of materialism and nihilism which seem to capture the attention of thinkers who reject spiritual matters for whatever reasons.

    Religion is not the "only way" for all people, obviously. Neither is libertarian atheism. To demand that others follow your morality, whatever its source, is wrong. People have to see the light as they say and recognize a better path when they see it. Christ's teachings strongly emphasize free will. All of the vagaries of human existence and human nature are addressed in the Bible.

    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice. This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters. You sense that agreement on a fixed moral code is a barrier to "open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities" but I wonder how you seem to see only the dangers of the former and not the latter.

    The "free form" morality you espouse seems to have as much, if not greater, potential for normalizing genocide and other horrors as religious commandments. Your vaunted rational thinking can provide the rationale for exterminating whole groups of people that are perceived, quite rationally, to be a mortal threat to your own group. Especially if you have the technological upper hand. Whose rational thinking do you trust to avert or prevent such a terrible outcome?

    This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters.

    The strong notion from AL’s posts is that technology enables decentralization. His main evidence for such is presumably the increase of individual independence from traditional groupings such as families or churches for physical welfare.

    My objection as noted before is that technology actually aggregates and increases power of collective entities, with the increasing centralized power of media organizations, mass distribution, and mass surveillance entities. The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    His view is incompatible with mine since we have different axioms of the result of increasing complexity. I find his view optimistic as best and do not actually believe that any separation is possible as barriers fall, while he seems to believe that it will be possible to segregate influences and groups.

    In essence, I think that he’s misguided and has an identity defined by the notion of presumed independence from influence. I think its essentially a delusion and meaningful in terms that it lacks applicable value as a practical form, but you can’t exactly dissuade people from delusions, its real to them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    This doesn't make sense to me, how about some elaboration?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Abelard Lindsey

    I thought you were claiming that since the suprasensible realm doesn’t- cannot – exist, then humanity’s central task simply must be to focus on the material realm.
     
    That's what I prefer to focus on. But can do what you want. Remember, I'm the libertarian. I don't think all of humanity should do the one only thing. I think different factions and individuals should be able to pursuit their own interests independent of each other. I want to pursue radical life extension. You want to follow whatever your instincts and intuition drives you to do. As long as we don't screw with each other, we get what we want and everything is cool.

    You seem uncomfortable with this. You seem to think that our pursuit of radical life extension somehow threatens your ability to live your life on your own terms. I see no reason to believe this threat is real. Hence, I suspect its a psychological on your part.

    Rather than be based on intuition, your position is based on the refusal to see intuition as legitimate, and to only admit clear, bright, and simple ideas as having any relevance.
     
    You are free to believe this if you want. It makes no difference to me what you think what my thought processes are. Besides, how's it any of your business what my personal dreams and ambitions are in life? I'm totally cool with you doing your thing with your life. However, I sense that you're not cool with me doing my thing in life. You come across as uncomfortable with me making my life choices. The reason, I think, is that deep down you feel the need for people like me to agree with you, to make the same life choices as you do, in order to realize some external validation that you are indeed making the correct choices with your life. In other words, despite your much vaunted instincts and intuition, you really don't feel comfortable with your life choices.

    I, on the other hand, have no need for any external validation to know that my choices are correct for me. I've never experienced any self-doubt about what I want to become in life. For example, lets say that Aubrey de Grey's SENS therapies become available next summer and I undergo treatment with them. If the vast majority of my neighbors and general public where I lived chose not to undergo SENS therapies, I would totally cool with that. I would not feel the least bit of doubt about having made the correct choice for myself. If anything, I'd probably feel sorry for them because they would still face the unpleasant experience of old age, whereas I would be free from it. However, if their cool with it, hey, whatever. I live my life. They live their's. Everything is cool.

    The fact is, despite my occasional ranting and raving on blogs like this, I am actually very laid back and comfortable with my world-view and my life choices. Talha strikes me as equally laid back as well. You, on the other hand, do not seem laid back at all. Perhaps you really do need more introspection.

    I probably didn’t make myself clear, but I don’t support any kind of political coercion – I wouldn’t support stopping you from doing what you wanted to in this regard. So we’re on the same page in that respect.

    What DOES somewhat worry me is that there are structural incentives in your vision towards messing with the lives of others, however good and pure your libertarian intentions are at this particular moment. It would be MUCH easier for you to realize your vision if you could harness the manpower, infrastructure, and organization of society at large, which makes coercion an attractive option, and people who think like you tend to develop superiority complexes that make it easy to exploit others, or recreate them in their image.

    I think the smart thing to do is pay attention to structural incentives far more than the stated good intentions of individuals and to keep in mind that human nature is corrupt and fallen.

    You really think I’m wrong to be scared, or at least worried? Then I think you’re being naive. Still, though, I don’t support political coercion.

    But really, mostly I’m not being political at all but operating on the level of “whats the best kind of life for beings such as we are” – i.e, pure philosophy, in the ancient Greek sense. To that end I tried to shed some light on what seem to me the hidden assumptions behind your approach to life, and what the real significance of our choices are, what they imply, what they assume as background, on what level do they seek for happiness, what kind of happiness each approach can offer, etc, etc.

    So I’m not really trying to convince you but just illuminate the situation – shed some light on it, expose the things that lie hidden in the shadows to the bright light of reason.

    It’s perfectly OK if you disagree with my interpretations – or agree with them but don’t care. All this takes place well beyond any kind of proof. It’s a discussion, a dialogue, and I for one enjoyed talking to you. Its rare these days to be able to hold any kind of polite discussion with people so completely on the opposite pole from you – on every corner of the web and in real life, people increasingly seem interested only in childish rhetoric and posturing and circling the wagons.

    So – good luck to you in your vision, I hope it brings you happiness.

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  • Is there such a thing as a libertarian society? I think there is only the condition of a host society where libertarianism can exist as a supplemental idea. Libertarianism is dependent on others who are biased, particular, traditional, etc., to enable a framework for their ideas to come to life. To that extent I’m ok with libertarianism as a relativistic and marginal practice.

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  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Now this is well and honestly stated as far as I'm concerned. In my experience, many dialogues go something like this...

    Materialist states; "Prove God exists according to my framework." - not possible.

    Believer states; "Disprove God exists according to my framework." - not possible.

    Once one chooses a framework - or "belief", as you state - the conclusions are practically perfunctory and only differ in details.

    I have always found it is interesting that the Qur'an doesn't deal too much with addressing materialists (possibly because of the framework differences I mentioned - possibly because materialism is fairly marginal for the majority of human existence); it is far more concerned in fixing the understanding of God.

    "Their messengers said: 'Is there a doubt about God?''..." (14:10)

    What I find fascinating about the theory of evolution is that it is ultimately a product of the human mind which itself is subject to the theory - as the Arabs say, 'laa budda minhu' - there is no escape. The evolved cognitive faculties stand accused of being biased, not towards objective reality, but towards what ever ensures survival. Mathematics, logic, history, science need not be correct interpretations of the phenomenal world - any more correct than, say, the belief that the stars are the souls of our dead ancestors that watch over us and answer our prayers as long as it is conducive to genetic propagation. Survival of the fittest also pisses on the coffin of our philosophical assumptions.

    Peace.

    What I find fascinating about the theory of evolution is that it is ultimately a product of the human mind which itself is subject to the theory – as the Arabs say, ‘laa budda minhu’ – there is no escape.

    Carl Sagan said something along the lines of, “Starstuff contemplating itself.”

    Survival of the fittest also pisses on the coffin of our philosophical assumptions.

    The greatest kings and leaders, the greatest religions and greatest philosophies have always made provisioning for the least among us into a paramount virtue.

    For me, Talha, I’m just trying to keep my little lame donkey on the path and headed in the right direction. :)

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  • Guys, I just learned of a new term, on a polywell fusion blog of all places.

    Its omniquantilism.

    If god is omnipotent and all things are possible. Then its possible than all religions are correct simultaneously. Think of it as the theological equivalent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics.

    How’s that to make your Sunday morning?

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  • I thought you were claiming that since the suprasensible realm doesn’t- cannot – exist, then humanity’s central task simply must be to focus on the material realm.

    That’s what I prefer to focus on. But can do what you want. Remember, I’m the libertarian. I don’t think all of humanity should do the one only thing. I think different factions and individuals should be able to pursuit their own interests independent of each other. I want to pursue radical life extension. You want to follow whatever your instincts and intuition drives you to do. As long as we don’t screw with each other, we get what we want and everything is cool.

    You seem uncomfortable with this. You seem to think that our pursuit of radical life extension somehow threatens your ability to live your life on your own terms. I see no reason to believe this threat is real. Hence, I suspect its a psychological on your part.

    Rather than be based on intuition, your position is based on the refusal to see intuition as legitimate, and to only admit clear, bright, and simple ideas as having any relevance.

    You are free to believe this if you want. It makes no difference to me what you think what my thought processes are. Besides, how’s it any of your business what my personal dreams and ambitions are in life? I’m totally cool with you doing your thing with your life. However, I sense that you’re not cool with me doing my thing in life. You come across as uncomfortable with me making my life choices. The reason, I think, is that deep down you feel the need for people like me to agree with you, to make the same life choices as you do, in order to realize some external validation that you are indeed making the correct choices with your life. In other words, despite your much vaunted instincts and intuition, you really don’t feel comfortable with your life choices.

    I, on the other hand, have no need for any external validation to know that my choices are correct for me. I’ve never experienced any self-doubt about what I want to become in life. For example, lets say that Aubrey de Grey’s SENS therapies become available next summer and I undergo treatment with them. If the vast majority of my neighbors and general public where I lived chose not to undergo SENS therapies, I would totally cool with that. I would not feel the least bit of doubt about having made the correct choice for myself. If anything, I’d probably feel sorry for them because they would still face the unpleasant experience of old age, whereas I would be free from it. However, if their cool with it, hey, whatever. I live my life. They live their’s. Everything is cool.

    The fact is, despite my occasional ranting and raving on blogs like this, I am actually very laid back and comfortable with my world-view and my life choices. Talha strikes me as equally laid back as well. You, on the other hand, do not seem laid back at all. Perhaps you really do need more introspection.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    I probably didn't make myself clear, but I don't support any kind of political coercion - I wouldn't support stopping you from doing what you wanted to in this regard. So we're on the same page in that respect.

    What DOES somewhat worry me is that there are structural incentives in your vision towards messing with the lives of others, however good and pure your libertarian intentions are at this particular moment. It would be MUCH easier for you to realize your vision if you could harness the manpower, infrastructure, and organization of society at large, which makes coercion an attractive option, and people who think like you tend to develop superiority complexes that make it easy to exploit others, or recreate them in their image.

    I think the smart thing to do is pay attention to structural incentives far more than the stated good intentions of individuals and to keep in mind that human nature is corrupt and fallen.

    You really think I'm wrong to be scared, or at least worried? Then I think you're being naive. Still, though, I don't support political coercion.

    But really, mostly I'm not being political at all but operating on the level of "whats the best kind of life for beings such as we are" - i.e, pure philosophy, in the ancient Greek sense. To that end I tried to shed some light on what seem to me the hidden assumptions behind your approach to life, and what the real significance of our choices are, what they imply, what they assume as background, on what level do they seek for happiness, what kind of happiness each approach can offer, etc, etc.

    So I'm not really trying to convince you but just illuminate the situation - shed some light on it, expose the things that lie hidden in the shadows to the bright light of reason.

    It's perfectly OK if you disagree with my interpretations - or agree with them but don't care. All this takes place well beyond any kind of proof. It's a discussion, a dialogue, and I for one enjoyed talking to you. Its rare these days to be able to hold any kind of polite discussion with people so completely on the opposite pole from you - on every corner of the web and in real life, people increasingly seem interested only in childish rhetoric and posturing and circling the wagons.

    So - good luck to you in your vision, I hope it brings you happiness.
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  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Your point about the knowledge frontier – again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly.
     
    String theory postulates the existence of additional dimensions. I already said that our five senses are limited and that is the reason why we make scientific instruments to increase our sensing capabilities. If any of the theories about additional dimensions (string theory, many worlds interpretation of quantum, etc.) are correct, there is no doubt in my mind that we will eventually develop the means to access those additional dimensions (traversable wormholes??? who knows) at some point in the future. Our argument does not change mine at all.

    What is very clear to me is that you guys want to believe there exists a reality that is non-empirical and that only certain special people have some sort of "secret knowledge" of this reality. This "reality" in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty. I see no reason to consider this dynamic in any other context.


    I discovered certain truths when I was around 16-17 years old.

    1)Reality and truth are empirical. That is, all knowledge is acquired through observation. There is no such thing as "hidden" knowledge.

    2) As such, reason and rationality are the proper cognitive tools for understanding reality and ascertaining truth.

    3) As a corollary to 1) and 2), I came to the conclusion that human individuals autonomous moral free agents and that the proper way for individuals to relate to each other is on the basis of mutual respect and rational self-interest (some of this is based on game theory, which I will not get into here).

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.

    There was more to it than that, but that is what I came up with in a nut shell.

    Some years later in college, I was driving with some friends to go rock climbing, where I described my world view. One of them, a grad student, remarked that my world-view was not original that that others had thought of it as well. He said that there was even a name for it. It was called "libertarianism". That was literally the first time I had ever heard the word "libertarian". He also said that there was this "liberarian" author who wrote novel based on this idea. It turned out he was talking about Ayn Rand. I had never heard of Rand before this. I read "Atlas Shrugged" and found that a world-view that I independently derived while in high school, was essentially the same as that expressed in this novel.

    My point in telling you all of this is that my being able to independently "invent" or derive the libertarian world-view, and the notion of individual as autonomous free agents in particular, without having any previous knowledge of libertarianism and figures such as Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, is the surest confirmation I could have that reality and truth are empirical and that the libertarian Paradigm is essentially correct. I have never once felt the need to reconsider my convictions over the past 35 years of life.

    What is very clear from our discussion here is that humans will bifurcate into two groups. One group, which you guys seem to be a part of, want to maintain the status quo and live life within a fixed horizon. The other group, which I am clearly a part of, want to use tools to increase our capabilities and to pursue an open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities. Since our goals are mutually incompatible, the key is how to manage the relationship between the two groups such as to maintain peaceful coexistence while simultaneously allowing for both groups to get what they want.

    I think people of both groups can peacefully coexist as neighbors in western countries, particularly the USA. However, I suspect that some sort of partition will be necessary for much of the rest of the world.

    Hey Abelard,

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.

    I’ve seen this before – have you thought about its assumptions?

    Example; I own a lovely Siberian cat named Milo. As far as all other human beings are concerned, he is my property – legally everyone recognizes this.

    If I were to torture him to death using a blowtorch; is that or is that not immoral? There is no violation of human contracts or rights, anymore that if I took apart my Corolla with an axe.

    Should society prevent this from happening, being that no human rights are being violated? Can we punish an individual for this?

    Answers should be fairly straight forward – I think???

    Peace.

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  • @iffen
    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject

    Belief in “science” and belief in “religion” are beliefs; they are acts of "faith."

    Empiricism does not allow for the existence of the supernatural. If there is evidence of the supernatural, it would by definition no longer be supernatural.

    Materialism (not the Mercedes kind) does not allow for a soul, immortal or otherwise.

    Evolution has endowed us with a "belief" slot. How we fill that slot is up to us.

    Hey iffen,

    Now this is well and honestly stated as far as I’m concerned. In my experience, many dialogues go something like this…

    Materialist states; “Prove God exists according to my framework.” – not possible.

    Believer states; “Disprove God exists according to my framework.” – not possible.

    Once one chooses a framework – or “belief”, as you state – the conclusions are practically perfunctory and only differ in details.

    I have always found it is interesting that the Qur’an doesn’t deal too much with addressing materialists (possibly because of the framework differences I mentioned – possibly because materialism is fairly marginal for the majority of human existence); it is far more concerned in fixing the understanding of God.

    “Their messengers said: ‘Is there a doubt about God?”…” (14:10)

    What I find fascinating about the theory of evolution is that it is ultimately a product of the human mind which itself is subject to the theory – as the Arabs say, ‘laa budda minhu’ – there is no escape. The evolved cognitive faculties stand accused of being biased, not towards objective reality, but towards what ever ensures survival. Mathematics, logic, history, science need not be correct interpretations of the phenomenal world – any more correct than, say, the belief that the stars are the souls of our dead ancestors that watch over us and answer our prayers as long as it is conducive to genetic propagation. Survival of the fittest also pisses on the coffin of our philosophical assumptions.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    What I find fascinating about the theory of evolution is that it is ultimately a product of the human mind which itself is subject to the theory – as the Arabs say, ‘laa budda minhu’ – there is no escape.

    Carl Sagan said something along the lines of, “Starstuff contemplating itself.”

    Survival of the fittest also pisses on the coffin of our philosophical assumptions.

    The greatest kings and leaders, the greatest religions and greatest philosophies have always made provisioning for the least among us into a paramount virtue.

    For me, Talha, I'm just trying to keep my little lame donkey on the path and headed in the right direction. :)

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  • @AaronB
    Good points about evolution and how it affects belief in reality.

    In the end, and I think this generally acknowledge among scientists, science undermines itself.Science depends on the concept of truth, but it becomes clear that scientific logic cannot provide the foundation for any belief in any truth. Belief in truth has to come from "outside" - which is why science was initially a religious project. Newton believed he was unlocking God's secrets.

    This all came to a head in the early 20th century, when it was finally grasped that science undermines itself and cannot be self-sustaining - science can provide no foundation for itself and can only be justified from the "outside", apparently, only in a framework of religious "faith". It was considered a 'crisis' at the time, and was felt to be sapping morale and motivation among scientists. Bertrand Russel was hopeful a solution would be found before long - but no solution was ever found, nor will it ever be.

    So "faith" is ultimately indispensable - imagine that! It's one of those things that if you're receptive to it, began to move you away from the cult of modern science.

    Your point about lacking a "sense" is also a very good one -

    If someone simply cannot see the color orange, what can you do? Not much.

    As for the modern scientific imagination being literally unable to conceive that animals may have intuitions and senses we know nothing about, and offering explanations limited to known factors, well this is part of the basic structure of how modern science is practiced, almost a kind of "pact", if you will.

    The "pact" is that if modern science cannot investigate it, it doesn't exist, if it can't be put in numbers, it doesn't exist, if its a question modern science cannot answer, it isn't a question. You see there's nothing logical about this, but its like a secret pact to close your eyes. All answers must be in the narrow and closed circle of known scientific factor and methods, or it doesn't exist.

    Science began as a particular method devised to answer particular questions - and ended up by saying whatever questions it isn't fitted to answer (by design, mind you), don't really exist.

    You see the sleight of hand.

    Hey AaronB,

    Newton believed he was unlocking God’s secrets.

    Farraday was also searching for the presence of God in his studies of magnetic forces.

    Your point about lacking a “sense” is also a very good one

    To be completely honest, I can’t take credit for the points – this is not my tradition’s first rodeo with materialism. The Persian polymaths like Imams Ghazali, Fakhr uddin Razi, Baqillani (ra), etc. had already dealt with a lot of these arguments centuries ago. I was simply applying some principles to certain modern philosophies to show incoherence.

    https://www.amazon.com/Incoherence-Philosophers-Brigham-Young-University/dp/0842524665

    “In a detailed and intricate philosophical discussion al-Ghazâlî aims to show that none of the arguments in favor of these twenty teachings fulfills the high epistemological standard of demonstration (burhân) that the falâsifa have set for themselves. Rather, the arguments supporting these twenty convictions rely upon unproven premises that are accepted only among the falâsifa, but are not established by reason. By showing that these positions are supported by mere dialectical arguments al-Ghazâlî aims to demolish what he regarded was an epistemological hubris on the side of the falâsifa.”

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/al-ghazali/#AlGhaRefFalIsm

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Science began as a particular method devised to answer particular questions – and ended up by saying whatever questions it isn’t fitted to answer (by design, mind you), don’t really exist.

    Indeed, this is ‘scientism’ for them to admit that they don’t have the tools to answer all the questions requires (again) stepping on the ego.

    To be fair, it is as silly as when religion is used to answer questions it is not prepared to handle – such as whether or not the Earth was the center of the universe.

    Each field of knowledge has its own domain – when that is recognized it makes things go way more smoothly.

    Peace.

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  • @pelagic
    "This “reality” in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty."

    Historically this is certainly true. History also shows that individual liberties need to be restricted by other group members-- parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. Without recognition and enforcement of common cultural mores there is no civilization at all. Various non-religious rational "realities" have severely restricted life and liberty as you know, so how is religious tyranny somehow worse than those tyrannies?

    Possibly you have no objection to folks practicing their religion quietly and privately, after the English style. Likewise, I have no objection to the workings of scientific progress and technology so long as their proponents do not go on to try to destroy that which their "truth" says is false, i.e., religious belief. This intolerant attitude seems to be gaining and as many have observed it starts to resemble the oppression of certain religious eras. Remember, when only one small group was the keeper and dictator of Truth? I guess you don't see this.

    Individual liberty includes my right to reject your ideas, and yours to reject mine. It includes the right of people to enjoy religious flourishing or atheistic philosophy. I think our Founding Fathers had a keen understanding in this area and even today we benefit enormously from their wisdom. Just a glance at other countries demonstrates this profoundly.

    Thanks for sharing your early experience with independently derived libertarianism. I can say that I had a parallel experience that revealed something transcendent that superseded my "autonomy" yet did not abolish my free will. While I have not exactly found a correlation like your Ayn Rand example it allowed me to escape the closed sterility of materialism and nihilism which seem to capture the attention of thinkers who reject spiritual matters for whatever reasons.

    Religion is not the "only way" for all people, obviously. Neither is libertarian atheism. To demand that others follow your morality, whatever its source, is wrong. People have to see the light as they say and recognize a better path when they see it. Christ's teachings strongly emphasize free will. All of the vagaries of human existence and human nature are addressed in the Bible.

    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice. This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters. You sense that agreement on a fixed moral code is a barrier to "open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities" but I wonder how you seem to see only the dangers of the former and not the latter.

    The "free form" morality you espouse seems to have as much, if not greater, potential for normalizing genocide and other horrors as religious commandments. Your vaunted rational thinking can provide the rationale for exterminating whole groups of people that are perceived, quite rationally, to be a mortal threat to your own group. Especially if you have the technological upper hand. Whose rational thinking do you trust to avert or prevent such a terrible outcome?

    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice.

    I don’t think that they think that far out. It is like their ideas on government in a modern economy and society, they are non-existent. Basically it is libertarianism for me and the people with which I agree and regimented good behavior for all the riff-raff.

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  • Kong, Augustine et al. - 2016 - Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment This paper makes the case that there has been a decline in the prevalence of genes increasing propensity for more education (POLYEDU) in Iceland from 1910-1975. Here are some of the key points: The main mechanism was greater...
  • […] has ended or gone into reverse across the developed world around the 2000s by the latest,” notes Anatoly […]

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  • @Not Raul
    You're right. Clark isn't the source for the last one. Fertility in recent decades isn't his specialty.

    I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for; but you might be interested in this

    http://www.economist.com/node/14164483

    http://grist.org/population/2011-03-03-are-rich-americans-having-more-kids/

    >> As the economists prosaically explain: “The relationship between fertility and women’s education in the US has recently become U-shaped.” <<

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/25/women-wealth-childcare-family-babies-study?client=safari

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    • Replies: @Rodolfo
    Bullshit. The text says that high school women having more babies than advanced degree educated women. And high school educated (or less) women are equal numerous than college educated women (or more)
    See http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf
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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)
     
    I don't recall Clark (or anybody, for that matter) writing this.

    Could you please give a source?

    Re-Icelandic PMs. Not sure you can extrapolate much from n=8. For that matter, their birth dates go back as far back as the 1920s. Their average completed fertility rate is 2.9 children. Iceland's TFR only fell below that number in the early 1970s, and not by all that much.

    You’re right. Clark isn’t the source for the last one. Fertility in recent decades isn’t his specialty.

    I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for; but you might be interested in this

    http://www.economist.com/node/14164483

    http://grist.org/population/2011-03-03-are-rich-americans-having-more-kids/

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    • Replies: @Not Raul
    >> As the economists prosaically explain: “The relationship between fertility and women’s education in the US has recently become U-shaped.” <<

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/25/women-wealth-childcare-family-babies-study?client=safari
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  • @Not Raul
    I'm very familiar with Clark's work.

    You're right about Clark's view on the Medieval era.

    Here's a brief outline of later periods:

    Pre-1820: wealthier had more children.
    1820-1880: neutral
    1880-1980: poor had more
    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)

    It's a bit more complicated than that; but that's a good first order approximation.

    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)

    I don’t recall Clark (or anybody, for that matter) writing this.

    Could you please give a source?

    Re-Icelandic PMs. Not sure you can extrapolate much from n=8. For that matter, their birth dates go back as far back as the 1920s. Their average completed fertility rate is 2.9 children. Iceland’s TFR only fell below that number in the early 1970s, and not by all that much.

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    • Replies: @Not Raul
    You're right. Clark isn't the source for the last one. Fertility in recent decades isn't his specialty.

    I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for; but you might be interested in this

    http://www.economist.com/node/14164483

    http://grist.org/population/2011-03-03-are-rich-americans-having-more-kids/

    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...
  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Well! You have utterly failed to understand – or allow yourself to understand – the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm.
     
    Such a realm may or may not exist. However, since such a thing cannot be verified objectively, it is irrelevant for the purposes of my long-term strategic life decisions.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of “spoilt religion”.
     
    Its not any more spoilt than any other religion or world-view.

    But it’s more of a “feeling” and a “dimly sensed intuition” than it is something that I can rationally explain. It’s more a cosmic feeling that the universe is ok and death is is a natural part of human life and not to be feared.
     
    How does our pursuit of radical life extension prevent you from living this choice? Are you afraid that, once developed, that anti aging therapies will be made mandatory by the state, like childhood vaccinations? I can understand if this is the basis of your concern with radical life extension.

    If you’re uncomfortable with things like “dimly sensed intuitions” and require everything to be reduced to simple, utterly clear concepts – Descartes intellectual breakthrough that led to science – then this isn’t something you’re likely to appreciate.
     
    Different people experience different "dimly sensed intuitions". Would you believe me if I told you that I have had "dimly sensed intuitions" in the 1980's that told me that radical life extension was the only correct choice for me? What if I were to tell you that both logic and intuition are in agreement on this?

    1) Yes, if you’ve decided that your life task is to gain power in the physical realm, then the possibility of a suprasensible realm is irrelevant to you, almost by definition. Indeed that is nothing less than the central insight of science.

    But that is question-begging. Our discussion was about whether humanity’s task should indeed be primarily to gain power in the physical realm, and to that question, the existence of a suprasensible realm is highly relevant.

    I thought you were claiming that since the suprasensible realm doesn’t- cannot – exist, then humanity’s central task simply must be to focus on the material realm.

    But if you have pre-decided that our task is to gain power, then of course, focusing on things that don’t pertain to that makes no sense.

    But again, that is question begging.

    2) How does your pursuit of life extension prevent me from living out my choice?

    Of course, in theory, it need not.

    Characteristically, you are looking at the issue as an abstraction – you are focusing simply on the element of achieving a “practical” result. However, the decision to achieve this particular result, the desire to do so, implies a world view and a value system which is not necessarily benign.

    But you cannot see how your merely “practical” decision is actually deeply embedded in, and arises from, a very particular value system that may spell doom for other humans.

    So in the end, we simply cannot separate theory from practice and view it as abstraction, because the desire to do so itself betrays a particular value system – and one that history has shown to spell doom for other humans and their ways of life.

    Still, *I* personally would not attempt to physically stop you, if that’s what you’re asking. But your attempt to view it divorced from values is a self-deception.

    3) You mention your intuition –

    Rather, I would describe your position as a deliberate choice to dwell in the Descartian world of clear and simple ideas from which intuition and other “dark” intimations are excluded.

    Rather than be based on intuition, your position is based on the refusal to see intuition as legitimate, and to only admit clear, bright, and simple ideas as having any relevance.

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  • @AaronB
    Well! You have utterly failed to understand - or allow yourself to understand - the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm. It threatens your ability to gain power through your senses, so you do not allow yourself to understand it. But the psychology of it is less important than the sheer fact that you are not understanding the points being made. Whatever the reason.

    Dude, that you independently came to the same conclusion as Ayn Rand - what is that supposed to mean exactly.

    There is nothing new under the sun - nothing I'm saying is new, either.

    But I do appreciate that you understand you are on some kind of religious quest. The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of "spoilt religion". This seems now almost like an obvious, even banal, point.

    It has religious aspirations but it locates them "out there" rather than inside. It recognizes the inadequacy of "day to day" living and seeks something more intense. It's a kind of inverted spirituality. At least you're not obsessed with money and status, which seems utterly devoid of any higher aspirations at all.

    Well! You have utterly failed to understand – or allow yourself to understand – the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm.

    Such a realm may or may not exist. However, since such a thing cannot be verified objectively, it is irrelevant for the purposes of my long-term strategic life decisions.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of “spoilt religion”.

    Its not any more spoilt than any other religion or world-view.

    But it’s more of a “feeling” and a “dimly sensed intuition” than it is something that I can rationally explain. It’s more a cosmic feeling that the universe is ok and death is is a natural part of human life and not to be feared.

    How does our pursuit of radical life extension prevent you from living this choice? Are you afraid that, once developed, that anti aging therapies will be made mandatory by the state, like childhood vaccinations? I can understand if this is the basis of your concern with radical life extension.

    If you’re uncomfortable with things like “dimly sensed intuitions” and require everything to be reduced to simple, utterly clear concepts – Descartes intellectual breakthrough that led to science – then this isn’t something you’re likely to appreciate.

    Different people experience different “dimly sensed intuitions”. Would you believe me if I told you that I have had “dimly sensed intuitions” in the 1980′s that told me that radical life extension was the only correct choice for me? What if I were to tell you that both logic and intuition are in agreement on this?

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    1) Yes, if you've decided that your life task is to gain power in the physical realm, then the possibility of a suprasensible realm is irrelevant to you, almost by definition. Indeed that is nothing less than the central insight of science.

    But that is question-begging. Our discussion was about whether humanity's task should indeed be primarily to gain power in the physical realm, and to that question, the existence of a suprasensible realm is highly relevant.

    I thought you were claiming that since the suprasensible realm doesn't- cannot - exist, then humanity's central task simply must be to focus on the material realm.

    But if you have pre-decided that our task is to gain power, then of course, focusing on things that don't pertain to that makes no sense.

    But again, that is question begging.

    2) How does your pursuit of life extension prevent me from living out my choice?

    Of course, in theory, it need not.

    Characteristically, you are looking at the issue as an abstraction - you are focusing simply on the element of achieving a "practical" result. However, the decision to achieve this particular result, the desire to do so, implies a world view and a value system which is not necessarily benign.

    But you cannot see how your merely "practical" decision is actually deeply embedded in, and arises from, a very particular value system that may spell doom for other humans.

    So in the end, we simply cannot separate theory from practice and view it as abstraction, because the desire to do so itself betrays a particular value system - and one that history has shown to spell doom for other humans and their ways of life.

    Still, *I* personally would not attempt to physically stop you, if that's what you're asking. But your attempt to view it divorced from values is a self-deception.

    3) You mention your intuition -

    Rather, I would describe your position as a deliberate choice to dwell in the Descartian world of clear and simple ideas from which intuition and other "dark" intimations are excluded.

    Rather than be based on intuition, your position is based on the refusal to see intuition as legitimate, and to only admit clear, bright, and simple ideas as having any relevance.
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  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Your point about the knowledge frontier – again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly.
     
    String theory postulates the existence of additional dimensions. I already said that our five senses are limited and that is the reason why we make scientific instruments to increase our sensing capabilities. If any of the theories about additional dimensions (string theory, many worlds interpretation of quantum, etc.) are correct, there is no doubt in my mind that we will eventually develop the means to access those additional dimensions (traversable wormholes??? who knows) at some point in the future. Our argument does not change mine at all.

    What is very clear to me is that you guys want to believe there exists a reality that is non-empirical and that only certain special people have some sort of "secret knowledge" of this reality. This "reality" in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty. I see no reason to consider this dynamic in any other context.


    I discovered certain truths when I was around 16-17 years old.

    1)Reality and truth are empirical. That is, all knowledge is acquired through observation. There is no such thing as "hidden" knowledge.

    2) As such, reason and rationality are the proper cognitive tools for understanding reality and ascertaining truth.

    3) As a corollary to 1) and 2), I came to the conclusion that human individuals autonomous moral free agents and that the proper way for individuals to relate to each other is on the basis of mutual respect and rational self-interest (some of this is based on game theory, which I will not get into here).

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.

    There was more to it than that, but that is what I came up with in a nut shell.

    Some years later in college, I was driving with some friends to go rock climbing, where I described my world view. One of them, a grad student, remarked that my world-view was not original that that others had thought of it as well. He said that there was even a name for it. It was called "libertarianism". That was literally the first time I had ever heard the word "libertarian". He also said that there was this "liberarian" author who wrote novel based on this idea. It turned out he was talking about Ayn Rand. I had never heard of Rand before this. I read "Atlas Shrugged" and found that a world-view that I independently derived while in high school, was essentially the same as that expressed in this novel.

    My point in telling you all of this is that my being able to independently "invent" or derive the libertarian world-view, and the notion of individual as autonomous free agents in particular, without having any previous knowledge of libertarianism and figures such as Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, is the surest confirmation I could have that reality and truth are empirical and that the libertarian Paradigm is essentially correct. I have never once felt the need to reconsider my convictions over the past 35 years of life.

    What is very clear from our discussion here is that humans will bifurcate into two groups. One group, which you guys seem to be a part of, want to maintain the status quo and live life within a fixed horizon. The other group, which I am clearly a part of, want to use tools to increase our capabilities and to pursue an open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities. Since our goals are mutually incompatible, the key is how to manage the relationship between the two groups such as to maintain peaceful coexistence while simultaneously allowing for both groups to get what they want.

    I think people of both groups can peacefully coexist as neighbors in western countries, particularly the USA. However, I suspect that some sort of partition will be necessary for much of the rest of the world.

    Well! You have utterly failed to understand – or allow yourself to understand – the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm. It threatens your ability to gain power through your senses, so you do not allow yourself to understand it. But the psychology of it is less important than the sheer fact that you are not understanding the points being made. Whatever the reason.

    Dude, that you independently came to the same conclusion as Ayn Rand – what is that supposed to mean exactly.

    There is nothing new under the sun – nothing I’m saying is new, either.

    But I do appreciate that you understand you are on some kind of religious quest. The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of “spoilt religion”. This seems now almost like an obvious, even banal, point.

    It has religious aspirations but it locates them “out there” rather than inside. It recognizes the inadequacy of “day to day” living and seeks something more intense. It’s a kind of inverted spirituality. At least you’re not obsessed with money and status, which seems utterly devoid of any higher aspirations at all.

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    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

    Well! You have utterly failed to understand – or allow yourself to understand – the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm.
     
    Such a realm may or may not exist. However, since such a thing cannot be verified objectively, it is irrelevant for the purposes of my long-term strategic life decisions.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of “spoilt religion”.
     
    Its not any more spoilt than any other religion or world-view.

    But it’s more of a “feeling” and a “dimly sensed intuition” than it is something that I can rationally explain. It’s more a cosmic feeling that the universe is ok and death is is a natural part of human life and not to be feared.
     
    How does our pursuit of radical life extension prevent you from living this choice? Are you afraid that, once developed, that anti aging therapies will be made mandatory by the state, like childhood vaccinations? I can understand if this is the basis of your concern with radical life extension.

    If you’re uncomfortable with things like “dimly sensed intuitions” and require everything to be reduced to simple, utterly clear concepts – Descartes intellectual breakthrough that led to science – then this isn’t something you’re likely to appreciate.
     
    Different people experience different "dimly sensed intuitions". Would you believe me if I told you that I have had "dimly sensed intuitions" in the 1980's that told me that radical life extension was the only correct choice for me? What if I were to tell you that both logic and intuition are in agreement on this?
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  • @Honorary Thief

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need?
     
    We still die after a comically short period of time (by geologic standards). Are you really fine with the fact that you will whither and die in a few decades? I'm not. At the very least, I'd sure like to have the option of living much longer.

    Yes, death no longer bothers me.

    But it’s more of a “feeling” and a “dimly sensed intuition” than it is something that I can rationally explain. It’s more a cosmic feeling that the universe is ok and death is is a natural part of human life and not to be feared. That it’s necessary in some way.

    If you’re uncomfortable with things like “dimly sensed intuitions” and require everything to be reduced to simple, utterly clear concepts – Descartes intellectual breakthrough that led to science – then this isn’t something you’re likely to appreciate.

    The modern mentality is to ignore anything that cannot be expressed in the clearest and simplest terms – this is the opposite of the traditional mentality, where pursuing what is dimly intuited is the true task of life.

    The modern mentality gives you vast power over the external world, the traditional mentality leads to personal transformation and the attainment of bliss.

    To understand why death is ok, you’d have to undergo a personal inner transformation. You think happiness is “out there”, and as long as you do, its natural for you to want to prolong your existence “out there” as far as possible.

    In a sense, logic and reason is the lowest common denominator of human communication, but I’m describing an experience that exists above this level – simply in the sense that it has become rare in the modern world (i.e, not in the sense that it is “superior” to reason. It’s just not a lowest common denominator type of experience).

    So what I’m really trying to say is – its hard to explain :) And that we should be ok with that, contra Descartes.

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  • Kong, Augustine et al. - 2016 - Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment This paper makes the case that there has been a decline in the prevalence of genes increasing propensity for more education (POLYEDU) in Iceland from 1910-1975. Here are some of the key points: The main mechanism was greater...
  • I don’t believe that Icelandic fertility is currently dysgenic.

    Recent Icelandic Prime Ministers have had relatively high fertility:

    Benediktsson — 4 children
    Jóhannesson — 5
    Gunnlaugsson — 1
    Sigurðardóttir — 2 (pretty good for a lesbian)
    Haarde — 5
    Ásgrímsson — 3
    Oddson– 1
    Hermannson — 5

    These Lutherans seem to follow the Pope’s statements on birth control more faithfully than Catholics do (wink).

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  • @reiner Tor
    I guess you mean Orthodox Ashkenazi groups or something. I guess you are aware why most alt-right/dark enlightenment/hbd/whatever people find that problematic. First, having a closely inbred clannish/sectarian ethno-religious group, which will probably be hostile or at best indifferent to the population at large, as an elite, might actually be worse than having a friendly but dumb elite. Second, IQ is not the only heritable trait that matters. Third, heritable traits are not the only things that matter, quickly breeding Ashkenazi groups for example don't seem to be conducive of scientific progress for cultural reasons if nothing else.

    Why are all of your comments like that?

    I agree.

    Most American Jews are (still) non-ultra Orthodox, and that population might have relatively high IQ; but that group has below-replacement fertility. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are increasing in number very quickly, and could be a majority of Jews in the US in a few decades. It seems likely that average IQ for ultra-Orthodox Jews is about as far below the Reform Jewish average as the average for Jehovah’s Witnesseses is below the Unitarian average.

    The main hope for maintaining Jewish IQ is assortive mating between Jews and intelligent gentiles, who then raise the children Jewish. I have a cousin who married a Jew and converted. Ivanka Trump did the same thing.

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  • @reiner Tor

    IQ change (increase) during the Industrial Revolution in England
     
    I think Greg Clark wrote something else. He proposed IQs (except he never used the expression) increased substantially during the late medieval and early modern periods, but this process stalled and the quickly went into reverse during the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps that's how you meant it, but it's almost the opposite of what you wrote.

    I’m very familiar with Clark’s work.

    You’re right about Clark’s view on the Medieval era.

    Here’s a brief outline of later periods:

    Pre-1820: wealthier had more children.
    1820-1880: neutral
    1880-1980: poor had more
    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)

    It’s a bit more complicated than that; but that’s a good first order approximation.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)
     
    I don't recall Clark (or anybody, for that matter) writing this.

    Could you please give a source?

    Re-Icelandic PMs. Not sure you can extrapolate much from n=8. For that matter, their birth dates go back as far back as the 1920s. Their average completed fertility rate is 2.9 children. Iceland's TFR only fell below that number in the early 1970s, and not by all that much.
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  • 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...
  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Your point about the knowledge frontier – again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly.
     
    String theory postulates the existence of additional dimensions. I already said that our five senses are limited and that is the reason why we make scientific instruments to increase our sensing capabilities. If any of the theories about additional dimensions (string theory, many worlds interpretation of quantum, etc.) are correct, there is no doubt in my mind that we will eventually develop the means to access those additional dimensions (traversable wormholes??? who knows) at some point in the future. Our argument does not change mine at all.

    What is very clear to me is that you guys want to believe there exists a reality that is non-empirical and that only certain special people have some sort of "secret knowledge" of this reality. This "reality" in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty. I see no reason to consider this dynamic in any other context.


    I discovered certain truths when I was around 16-17 years old.

    1)Reality and truth are empirical. That is, all knowledge is acquired through observation. There is no such thing as "hidden" knowledge.

    2) As such, reason and rationality are the proper cognitive tools for understanding reality and ascertaining truth.

    3) As a corollary to 1) and 2), I came to the conclusion that human individuals autonomous moral free agents and that the proper way for individuals to relate to each other is on the basis of mutual respect and rational self-interest (some of this is based on game theory, which I will not get into here).

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.

    There was more to it than that, but that is what I came up with in a nut shell.

    Some years later in college, I was driving with some friends to go rock climbing, where I described my world view. One of them, a grad student, remarked that my world-view was not original that that others had thought of it as well. He said that there was even a name for it. It was called "libertarianism". That was literally the first time I had ever heard the word "libertarian". He also said that there was this "liberarian" author who wrote novel based on this idea. It turned out he was talking about Ayn Rand. I had never heard of Rand before this. I read "Atlas Shrugged" and found that a world-view that I independently derived while in high school, was essentially the same as that expressed in this novel.

    My point in telling you all of this is that my being able to independently "invent" or derive the libertarian world-view, and the notion of individual as autonomous free agents in particular, without having any previous knowledge of libertarianism and figures such as Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, is the surest confirmation I could have that reality and truth are empirical and that the libertarian Paradigm is essentially correct. I have never once felt the need to reconsider my convictions over the past 35 years of life.

    What is very clear from our discussion here is that humans will bifurcate into two groups. One group, which you guys seem to be a part of, want to maintain the status quo and live life within a fixed horizon. The other group, which I am clearly a part of, want to use tools to increase our capabilities and to pursue an open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities. Since our goals are mutually incompatible, the key is how to manage the relationship between the two groups such as to maintain peaceful coexistence while simultaneously allowing for both groups to get what they want.

    I think people of both groups can peacefully coexist as neighbors in western countries, particularly the USA. However, I suspect that some sort of partition will be necessary for much of the rest of the world.

    “This “reality” in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty.”

    Historically this is certainly true. History also shows that individual liberties need to be restricted by other group members– parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. Without recognition and enforcement of common cultural mores there is no civilization at all. Various non-religious rational “realities” have severely restricted life and liberty as you know, so how is religious tyranny somehow worse than those tyrannies?

    Possibly you have no objection to folks practicing their religion quietly and privately, after the English style. Likewise, I have no objection to the workings of scientific progress and technology so long as their proponents do not go on to try to destroy that which their “truth” says is false, i.e., religious belief. This intolerant attitude seems to be gaining and as many have observed it starts to resemble the oppression of certain religious eras. Remember, when only one small group was the keeper and dictator of Truth? I guess you don’t see this.

    Individual liberty includes my right to reject your ideas, and yours to reject mine. It includes the right of people to enjoy religious flourishing or atheistic philosophy. I think our Founding Fathers had a keen understanding in this area and even today we benefit enormously from their wisdom. Just a glance at other countries demonstrates this profoundly.

    Thanks for sharing your early experience with independently derived libertarianism. I can say that I had a parallel experience that revealed something transcendent that superseded my “autonomy” yet did not abolish my free will. While I have not exactly found a correlation like your Ayn Rand example it allowed me to escape the closed sterility of materialism and nihilism which seem to capture the attention of thinkers who reject spiritual matters for whatever reasons.

    Religion is not the “only way” for all people, obviously. Neither is libertarian atheism. To demand that others follow your morality, whatever its source, is wrong. People have to see the light as they say and recognize a better path when they see it. Christ’s teachings strongly emphasize free will. All of the vagaries of human existence and human nature are addressed in the Bible.

    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice. This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters. You sense that agreement on a fixed moral code is a barrier to “open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities” but I wonder how you seem to see only the dangers of the former and not the latter.

    The “free form” morality you espouse seems to have as much, if not greater, potential for normalizing genocide and other horrors as religious commandments. Your vaunted rational thinking can provide the rationale for exterminating whole groups of people that are perceived, quite rationally, to be a mortal threat to your own group. Especially if you have the technological upper hand. Whose rational thinking do you trust to avert or prevent such a terrible outcome?

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    • Replies: @iffen
    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice.

    I don't think that they think that far out. It is like their ideas on government in a modern economy and society, they are non-existent. Basically it is libertarianism for me and the people with which I agree and regimented good behavior for all the riff-raff.
    , @Daniel Chieh

    This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters.
     
    The strong notion from AL's posts is that technology enables decentralization. His main evidence for such is presumably the increase of individual independence from traditional groupings such as families or churches for physical welfare.

    My objection as noted before is that technology actually aggregates and increases power of collective entities, with the increasing centralized power of media organizations, mass distribution, and mass surveillance entities. The confusion is that by the migration of the center of power, it has increase been portrayed as an increase in individual liberty.

    His view is incompatible with mine since we have different axioms of the result of increasing complexity. I find his view optimistic as best and do not actually believe that any separation is possible as barriers fall, while he seems to believe that it will be possible to segregate influences and groups.

    In essence, I think that he's misguided and has an identity defined by the notion of presumed independence from influence. I think its essentially a delusion and meaningful in terms that it lacks applicable value as a practical form, but you can't exactly dissuade people from delusions, its real to them.

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  • As a philosophical world-view, transhumanism is the DIY equivalent to organized religion. The converse, of course, is that organized religion can be considered to be the “social welfare” equivalent to transhumanism.

    Why rely on some external agency to do something for you when you can do it yourself?

    I prefer the self-reliant route myself.

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  • The good news is that I don’t think traditionalist types will ever go to space, O’neill’s high frontier concept (if you don’t know what this is – google it). Transhumanists and other pioneering oriented westerners will go to space. I think among the religious factions, that the Mormons will go as well. But I expect that other Christians and Muslims will choose to remain here on Earth. I think the East Asian people will go (Japanese, Koreans, Chinese), not because they are into pioneering (they’re not) but because they have a history of being opportunity seekers (e.g. Overseas Chinese). I think most other people will choose to remain on Earth.

    So, we’ll have the Third Millennium Westphalia, followed by the large scale human settlement of space by Westerners and East Asians, starting several decades later.

    BTW, Trump’s first acts as president taking on obamacare and the regulatory apparatus very strongly suggests that we are going to have another “Reagan” economic revolution in the U.S. Since most of congress AND most state legislatures are republican, I think the Reagan revolution will last this time around (at least 30-40 years). This enough time for the development of the technologies to be developed to enable the breakout into space and to enable the bifurcation of humanity between transhumanists and traditionalists.

    I definitely look forward to another Reagan revolution.

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  • Especially when it comes to the concept of meaning, its so fundamentally part of our identity that it becomes point to debate things except to elucidate to oneself and for the benefit of a peanut gallery.

    Exactly! Its obvious that meaning is individual specific and that it is silly to believe that there is a single standard definition of meaning that is appropriate for all humans.

    What I’ve always voice is the notion of the damage inflicted by “advancement” and thus I challenge the notion of technology as a singular positive good without any consequences.

    Once again, all value statements such a positive good and the like are individual specific. There is no common standard of these things that is equally appropriate for all humans.

    The best we can do is where we all make our own choices and go our separate ways with regards to these matters. This is the positive sum approach to dealing with these matters and, by virtue of that, is the only appropriate approach.

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  • @Talha
    Hey Abelard,

    How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?
     
    From a material sense it is not. How is a murder different than a death by an accidental fall. Answer that question and you'll understand it is human volition that is under the microscope. However, coming from your perspective, I'm not even sure you can recognize human volition (other than as a nice illusion to keep society from falling apart):
    https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-free-will

    This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.
     
    Is prohibition against murder stupid because, hey, dude's just moving on to the next life anyway. The religious argument against suicide is completely sound (though an argument from a simply material or rational perspective may not be) - the only thing that shouldn't be done is to prevent others from not committing suicide if they don't believe in the prohibition.

    He made us, but didn’t make us to last.
     
    Not physically, no. This world is a testing ground - you are asking for Paradise, this isn't it.

    if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed)
     
    First off:
    "Doesn't man see that it is We Who created him from a sperm drop? Yet, he stands forth as an open adversary." - (36:77)

    You wouldn't be believing in any god I take seriously. It is amazing to me how many intelligent people I come across that have a straw-man idea of God.

    God is the only ontological Reality by virtue of what He is. Anything besides Him is contingent reality, completely subsumed by His act of willing it into being and subsisting (without which, it simply ceases to exist) - if you understand that then you will understand how amused I would be at finding a man out on a limb of a tree shouting encouragements at someone sawing at the trunk.

    You'll get your chance though; when you meet Him, challenge Him.

    That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?
     
    You actually do have complete freedom to do anything you want (in fact, you just judged God and found Him 'wanting', I assume you are still breathing - that is a sign if you care to take it) - you also have freedom to deal with the consequences in the next life, this is how it works. He treats obedient slaves and rebellious slaves differently - that makes sense to me. We don't worship a chump, a chump is beneath worship.

    You’re essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.
     
    You have got to be kidding me - there is no way anybody living today or in the past encompassed all of the branches of Islamic knowledge comprehensively. I know all the tenets necessary for me to function. I mean, I put my trust that doctors know what they are doing and defer to them though I personally don't understand all of the science behind what they do. Any yes, even in medicine (or any other science), certain topics are known by only a handful of experts in that particular specialty. Again, this is an issue of stepping on the ego and recognizing others may know more than oneself - even in religion.

    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice.
     
    You are entitled to your opinion. Though this conclusion will be laughed at by most people. You had mentioned before you were a programmer (and possibly taken AI). Did they teach Greek logic, like they did with us at UCLA - because your statement lacks coherence other than as an opinion.

    "If you are against professional body building, you are for obesity."

    I think this is hogwash.
     
    You think a lot of things are hogwash - your opinion is irrelevant to the thousands that have experienced and reported the phenomenon.

    None of these methods have panned out.
     
    None of any methods are ever likely to pan out. You still don't get what I'm saying - but that's OK.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that.
     
    Bingo!

    that’s why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities.
     
    Bingo!

    This doesn’t support your argument at all.
     
    You haven't understood my argument at all. Describe the taste of German chocolate cake to someone who has no sense of taste. Use clear language, knowing that when he puts something in his mouth it is indistinguishable from any other thing. All other senses are functioning fine. Please keep it to four to five sentences.

    But alas, I realize this has digressed into the very clearly theological realm which I stated I wouldn't get into earlier. If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject - though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance - which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).

    Peace.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject – though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance – which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).

    This is true. At some point, some debates have no real “middle ground” thus we have a very human nature to believe that there is always a compromise to be found. But there isn’t; at some point for some reason, we find understanding with one of the positions and then proceed to basically self-reinforce our beliefs.

    Especially when it comes to the concept of meaning, its so fundamentally part of our identity that it becomes point to debate things except to elucidate to oneself and for the benefit of a peanut gallery.

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    I noticed your confusion about supernatural phenomenon in here, which prompted my earlier Heinlein quote about it. The concept is really simple. There is a knowledge frontier at any given moment of time. Anything inside it is understood phenomenon. Anything outside it is not understood and is, therefor, defined as supernatural. Electricity was a supernatural phenomenon 400 years ago. Then Ben franklin flew his kite and figured out what it really was. Likewise, supernatural phenomenon today is stuff that will have perfectly logical explanation 400 year in the future.

    I always fear self-interested fanatics most of all. That’s a particularly dangerous attitude, very akin to the worst of religious fringe groups. The self-determination of an apocalyptic cult to end their world, for example, doesn’t necessarily give them the right to harm the lives of everyone else who happens to share the same world.

    Now you're the one who is terrified of death (LOL!).

    Now you’re the one who is terrified of death (LOL!).

    Missing the point, possibly intentionally. Also, you’re confusing me with other people, I’ve never had an opinion on death which I voiced here beyond the technical challenges of amending aging.

    What I’ve always voice is the notion of the damage inflicted by “advancement” and thus I challenge the notion of technology as a singular positive good without any consequences.

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  • Your point about the knowledge frontier – again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly.

    String theory postulates the existence of additional dimensions. I already said that our five senses are limited and that is the reason why we make scientific instruments to increase our sensing capabilities. If any of the theories about additional dimensions (string theory, many worlds interpretation of quantum, etc.) are correct, there is no doubt in my mind that we will eventually develop the means to access those additional dimensions (traversable wormholes??? who knows) at some point in the future. Our argument does not change mine at all.

    What is very clear to me is that you guys want to believe there exists a reality that is non-empirical and that only certain special people have some sort of “secret knowledge” of this reality. This “reality” in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty. I see no reason to consider this dynamic in any other context.

    I discovered certain truths when I was around 16-17 years old.

    1)Reality and truth are empirical. That is, all knowledge is acquired through observation. There is no such thing as “hidden” knowledge.

    2) As such, reason and rationality are the proper cognitive tools for understanding reality and ascertaining truth.

    3) As a corollary to 1) and 2), I came to the conclusion that human individuals autonomous moral free agents and that the proper way for individuals to relate to each other is on the basis of mutual respect and rational self-interest (some of this is based on game theory, which I will not get into here).

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.

    There was more to it than that, but that is what I came up with in a nut shell.

    Some years later in college, I was driving with some friends to go rock climbing, where I described my world view. One of them, a grad student, remarked that my world-view was not original that that others had thought of it as well. He said that there was even a name for it. It was called “libertarianism”. That was literally the first time I had ever heard the word “libertarian”. He also said that there was this “liberarian” author who wrote novel based on this idea. It turned out he was talking about Ayn Rand. I had never heard of Rand before this. I read “Atlas Shrugged” and found that a world-view that I independently derived while in high school, was essentially the same as that expressed in this novel.

    My point in telling you all of this is that my being able to independently “invent” or derive the libertarian world-view, and the notion of individual as autonomous free agents in particular, without having any previous knowledge of libertarianism and figures such as Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, is the surest confirmation I could have that reality and truth are empirical and that the libertarian Paradigm is essentially correct. I have never once felt the need to reconsider my convictions over the past 35 years of life.

    What is very clear from our discussion here is that humans will bifurcate into two groups. One group, which you guys seem to be a part of, want to maintain the status quo and live life within a fixed horizon. The other group, which I am clearly a part of, want to use tools to increase our capabilities and to pursue an open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities. Since our goals are mutually incompatible, the key is how to manage the relationship between the two groups such as to maintain peaceful coexistence while simultaneously allowing for both groups to get what they want.

    I think people of both groups can peacefully coexist as neighbors in western countries, particularly the USA. However, I suspect that some sort of partition will be necessary for much of the rest of the world.

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    • Replies: @pelagic
    "This “reality” in turn is then used as justification to restrict individual liberty."

    Historically this is certainly true. History also shows that individual liberties need to be restricted by other group members-- parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. Without recognition and enforcement of common cultural mores there is no civilization at all. Various non-religious rational "realities" have severely restricted life and liberty as you know, so how is religious tyranny somehow worse than those tyrannies?

    Possibly you have no objection to folks practicing their religion quietly and privately, after the English style. Likewise, I have no objection to the workings of scientific progress and technology so long as their proponents do not go on to try to destroy that which their "truth" says is false, i.e., religious belief. This intolerant attitude seems to be gaining and as many have observed it starts to resemble the oppression of certain religious eras. Remember, when only one small group was the keeper and dictator of Truth? I guess you don't see this.

    Individual liberty includes my right to reject your ideas, and yours to reject mine. It includes the right of people to enjoy religious flourishing or atheistic philosophy. I think our Founding Fathers had a keen understanding in this area and even today we benefit enormously from their wisdom. Just a glance at other countries demonstrates this profoundly.

    Thanks for sharing your early experience with independently derived libertarianism. I can say that I had a parallel experience that revealed something transcendent that superseded my "autonomy" yet did not abolish my free will. While I have not exactly found a correlation like your Ayn Rand example it allowed me to escape the closed sterility of materialism and nihilism which seem to capture the attention of thinkers who reject spiritual matters for whatever reasons.

    Religion is not the "only way" for all people, obviously. Neither is libertarian atheism. To demand that others follow your morality, whatever its source, is wrong. People have to see the light as they say and recognize a better path when they see it. Christ's teachings strongly emphasize free will. All of the vagaries of human existence and human nature are addressed in the Bible.

    I have always wondered how libertarians expect their idea of individual morality (so 6 billion+ individualized moralities??) to work out in practice. This idea seems to obviate the fact that humans are mutually dependent, for starters. You sense that agreement on a fixed moral code is a barrier to "open, unlimited future of ever expanding possibilities" but I wonder how you seem to see only the dangers of the former and not the latter.

    The "free form" morality you espouse seems to have as much, if not greater, potential for normalizing genocide and other horrors as religious commandments. Your vaunted rational thinking can provide the rationale for exterminating whole groups of people that are perceived, quite rationally, to be a mortal threat to your own group. Especially if you have the technological upper hand. Whose rational thinking do you trust to avert or prevent such a terrible outcome?

    , @AaronB
    Well! You have utterly failed to understand - or allow yourself to understand - the entire issue surrounding the adequacy of our senses to reality and truth and the possible existence of a suprasensible realm. It threatens your ability to gain power through your senses, so you do not allow yourself to understand it. But the psychology of it is less important than the sheer fact that you are not understanding the points being made. Whatever the reason.

    Dude, that you independently came to the same conclusion as Ayn Rand - what is that supposed to mean exactly.

    There is nothing new under the sun - nothing I'm saying is new, either.

    But I do appreciate that you understand you are on some kind of religious quest. The more I think about it, the more I realize techno-utopianism is a kind of "spoilt religion". This seems now almost like an obvious, even banal, point.

    It has religious aspirations but it locates them "out there" rather than inside. It recognizes the inadequacy of "day to day" living and seeks something more intense. It's a kind of inverted spirituality. At least you're not obsessed with money and status, which seems utterly devoid of any higher aspirations at all.
    , @Talha
    Hey Abelard,

    4) As corollary to 1-3, that morality was exclusively about how how people treat each other and was, therefor, inherently contractual in nature.
     
    I've seen this before - have you thought about its assumptions?

    Example; I own a lovely Siberian cat named Milo. As far as all other human beings are concerned, he is my property - legally everyone recognizes this.

    If I were to torture him to death using a blowtorch; is that or is that not immoral? There is no violation of human contracts or rights, anymore that if I took apart my Corolla with an axe.

    Should society prevent this from happening, being that no human rights are being violated? Can we punish an individual for this?

    Answers should be fairly straight forward - I think???

    Peace.
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  • Kong, Augustine et al. - 2016 - Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment This paper makes the case that there has been a decline in the prevalence of genes increasing propensity for more education (POLYEDU) in Iceland from 1910-1975. Here are some of the key points: The main mechanism was greater...
  • @5371
    Oh, but none of it matters, coz them boffins have invented this wonderful thing called CRAPR or something, so every baby born will be an optimal test tube creation real soon now.

    Control dysgenics is so more easy than start to use this pedantic machine of senseless purfecction. This histrionic possibility look plain dumb. You have something more easy to be done but you prefer to do what is by now unpredictable and hard. And with this kind of situation the battle against white Caucasian extinction will be won by globallistas because with the probability to buy their preferred biological traits any argument against en masse immigration, miscegenation and white dispossession will be useless at least for most people on the west.

    When this system that lies to you all the time have the total control of the genes of your family…

    Think holistic firstly

    Before to act think about the bigger picture and their chains of relatedness.

    But hbabies is that people on the right who think politically correctness is ” applied boring ethics” while it’s not exactly like that. PC is not ethical, it’s not about ethics as a crucial goal. It’s about how to use ethics to impose via pacific ways total control over minds, hearts and bodies of people.

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  • @anony-mouse
    '... (i.e. the clever are breeding more slowly)...'

    Well then find groups of above average intelligence who are breeding more quickly and help them.

    What am I saying-this is Unz.com. Oh well.

    I guess you mean Orthodox Ashkenazi groups or something. I guess you are aware why most alt-right/dark enlightenment/hbd/whatever people find that problematic. First, having a closely inbred clannish/sectarian ethno-religious group, which will probably be hostile or at best indifferent to the population at large, as an elite, might actually be worse than having a friendly but dumb elite. Second, IQ is not the only heritable trait that matters. Third, heritable traits are not the only things that matter, quickly breeding Ashkenazi groups for example don’t seem to be conducive of scientific progress for cultural reasons if nothing else.

    Why are all of your comments like that?

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    • Replies: @Not Raul
    I agree.

    Most American Jews are (still) non-ultra Orthodox, and that population might have relatively high IQ; but that group has below-replacement fertility. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are increasing in number very quickly, and could be a majority of Jews in the US in a few decades. It seems likely that average IQ for ultra-Orthodox Jews is about as far below the Reform Jewish average as the average for Jehovah's Witnesseses is below the Unitarian average.

    The main hope for maintaining Jewish IQ is assortive mating between Jews and intelligent gentiles, who then raise the children Jewish. I have a cousin who married a Jew and converted. Ivanka Trump did the same thing.

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  • @Peter Johnson
    Thanks for the link to an interesting article. I suspect that there will be more articles along the same lines appearing over the next few years. Iceland is easy due to high genetic similarity in the population. How does the speed of IQ change (decrease) compare to the implied speed of IQ change (increase) during the Industrial Revolution in England (a la Gregory Clark)? Clark does not spell it out in terms of a specific rate of increase but perhaps that rate could be inferred in some way from his data?

    IQ change (increase) during the Industrial Revolution in England

    I think Greg Clark wrote something else. He proposed IQs (except he never used the expression) increased substantially during the late medieval and early modern periods, but this process stalled and the quickly went into reverse during the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps that’s how you meant it, but it’s almost the opposite of what you wrote.

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    • Replies: @Not Raul
    I'm very familiar with Clark's work.

    You're right about Clark's view on the Medieval era.

    Here's a brief outline of later periods:

    Pre-1820: wealthier had more children.
    1820-1880: neutral
    1880-1980: poor had more
    1980-current: neutral (for pre-1950 origin population, at least)

    It's a bit more complicated than that; but that's a good first order approximation.

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  • 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...
  • @AaronB
    Taleb is good, and offers very similar fare to Gray - he's more palatable to the STEM set, because he is good with numbers and stats. He's aware of this, and has joked about it amusingly. Taleb is friends with Gray and also considers him one of the few modern writers worth reading, btw.

    ....It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    "Convenience" hardly strikes me as one of life's noblest goals, although I am glad you admit this is finally at the bottom of so many techno-utopias. I once told a techno-utopian I knew that the upshot of all this magnificent technology was really just "convenience", and he freaked out. Of course, nothing wrong with convenience, but surely life offers finer and more interesting pleasures - heck, as I get older I find I even derive more pleasure from candlelight, however this sins against convenience. George Orwell as of a similar mind.

    Techno-utopia - the pursuit of convenience! It's a good slogan.

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill. But it won't, alas, and you will be just as restless and dissatisfied.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need?

    We still die after a comically short period of time (by geologic standards). Are you really fine with the fact that you will whither and die in a few decades? I’m not. At the very least, I’d sure like to have the option of living much longer.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Yes, death no longer bothers me.

    But it's more of a "feeling" and a "dimly sensed intuition" than it is something that I can rationally explain. It's more a cosmic feeling that the universe is ok and death is is a natural part of human life and not to be feared. That it's necessary in some way.

    If you're uncomfortable with things like "dimly sensed intuitions" and require everything to be reduced to simple, utterly clear concepts - Descartes intellectual breakthrough that led to science - then this isn't something you're likely to appreciate.

    The modern mentality is to ignore anything that cannot be expressed in the clearest and simplest terms - this is the opposite of the traditional mentality, where pursuing what is dimly intuited is the true task of life.

    The modern mentality gives you vast power over the external world, the traditional mentality leads to personal transformation and the attainment of bliss.

    To understand why death is ok, you'd have to undergo a personal inner transformation. You think happiness is "out there", and as long as you do, its natural for you to want to prolong your existence "out there" as far as possible.

    In a sense, logic and reason is the lowest common denominator of human communication, but I'm describing an experience that exists above this level - simply in the sense that it has become rare in the modern world (i.e, not in the sense that it is "superior" to reason. It's just not a lowest common denominator type of experience).

    So what I'm really trying to say is - its hard to explain :) And that we should be ok with that, contra Descartes.
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  • @Talha
    Hey Abelard,

    How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?
     
    From a material sense it is not. How is a murder different than a death by an accidental fall. Answer that question and you'll understand it is human volition that is under the microscope. However, coming from your perspective, I'm not even sure you can recognize human volition (other than as a nice illusion to keep society from falling apart):
    https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-free-will

    This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.
     
    Is prohibition against murder stupid because, hey, dude's just moving on to the next life anyway. The religious argument against suicide is completely sound (though an argument from a simply material or rational perspective may not be) - the only thing that shouldn't be done is to prevent others from not committing suicide if they don't believe in the prohibition.

    He made us, but didn’t make us to last.
     
    Not physically, no. This world is a testing ground - you are asking for Paradise, this isn't it.

    if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed)
     
    First off:
    "Doesn't man see that it is We Who created him from a sperm drop? Yet, he stands forth as an open adversary." - (36:77)

    You wouldn't be believing in any god I take seriously. It is amazing to me how many intelligent people I come across that have a straw-man idea of God.

    God is the only ontological Reality by virtue of what He is. Anything besides Him is contingent reality, completely subsumed by His act of willing it into being and subsisting (without which, it simply ceases to exist) - if you understand that then you will understand how amused I would be at finding a man out on a limb of a tree shouting encouragements at someone sawing at the trunk.

    You'll get your chance though; when you meet Him, challenge Him.

    That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?
     
    You actually do have complete freedom to do anything you want (in fact, you just judged God and found Him 'wanting', I assume you are still breathing - that is a sign if you care to take it) - you also have freedom to deal with the consequences in the next life, this is how it works. He treats obedient slaves and rebellious slaves differently - that makes sense to me. We don't worship a chump, a chump is beneath worship.

    You’re essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.
     
    You have got to be kidding me - there is no way anybody living today or in the past encompassed all of the branches of Islamic knowledge comprehensively. I know all the tenets necessary for me to function. I mean, I put my trust that doctors know what they are doing and defer to them though I personally don't understand all of the science behind what they do. Any yes, even in medicine (or any other science), certain topics are known by only a handful of experts in that particular specialty. Again, this is an issue of stepping on the ego and recognizing others may know more than oneself - even in religion.

    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice.
     
    You are entitled to your opinion. Though this conclusion will be laughed at by most people. You had mentioned before you were a programmer (and possibly taken AI). Did they teach Greek logic, like they did with us at UCLA - because your statement lacks coherence other than as an opinion.

    "If you are against professional body building, you are for obesity."

    I think this is hogwash.
     
    You think a lot of things are hogwash - your opinion is irrelevant to the thousands that have experienced and reported the phenomenon.

    None of these methods have panned out.
     
    None of any methods are ever likely to pan out. You still don't get what I'm saying - but that's OK.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that.
     
    Bingo!

    that’s why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities.
     
    Bingo!

    This doesn’t support your argument at all.
     
    You haven't understood my argument at all. Describe the taste of German chocolate cake to someone who has no sense of taste. Use clear language, knowing that when he puts something in his mouth it is indistinguishable from any other thing. All other senses are functioning fine. Please keep it to four to five sentences.

    But alas, I realize this has digressed into the very clearly theological realm which I stated I wouldn't get into earlier. If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject - though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance - which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).

    Peace.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject

    Belief in “science” and belief in “religion” are beliefs; they are acts of “faith.”

    Empiricism does not allow for the existence of the supernatural. If there is evidence of the supernatural, it would by definition no longer be supernatural.

    Materialism (not the Mercedes kind) does not allow for a soul, immortal or otherwise.

    Evolution has endowed us with a “belief” slot. How we fill that slot is up to us.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Now this is well and honestly stated as far as I'm concerned. In my experience, many dialogues go something like this...

    Materialist states; "Prove God exists according to my framework." - not possible.

    Believer states; "Disprove God exists according to my framework." - not possible.

    Once one chooses a framework - or "belief", as you state - the conclusions are practically perfunctory and only differ in details.

    I have always found it is interesting that the Qur'an doesn't deal too much with addressing materialists (possibly because of the framework differences I mentioned - possibly because materialism is fairly marginal for the majority of human existence); it is far more concerned in fixing the understanding of God.

    "Their messengers said: 'Is there a doubt about God?''..." (14:10)

    What I find fascinating about the theory of evolution is that it is ultimately a product of the human mind which itself is subject to the theory - as the Arabs say, 'laa budda minhu' - there is no escape. The evolved cognitive faculties stand accused of being biased, not towards objective reality, but towards what ever ensures survival. Mathematics, logic, history, science need not be correct interpretations of the phenomenal world - any more correct than, say, the belief that the stars are the souls of our dead ancestors that watch over us and answer our prayers as long as it is conducive to genetic propagation. Survival of the fittest also pisses on the coffin of our philosophical assumptions.

    Peace.

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  • Apropos of some of the interesting commentary in this thread:

    “Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.”

    – G. K. Chesterton

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    • Agree: iffen, Talha
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  • @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Good points by you and Daniel.

    And if they cannot impose it, they tend to feel morally justified in exploiting us “lesser breeds”. So technology isn’t really a neutral, values free enterprise – it comes with its own set of attitudes, and historically these have not been benign.
     
    This is part of the concern. Once a set of humans considers themselves genetically superior and they are married to the idea of natural selection (survival of the fittest); this is potentially a very dangerous combination. There simply is no moral imperative (from their framework) to interdict getting rid of the inferior sub-group - any more than it is immoral for a tougher pack/herd/sounder of wild boars from eliminating another by running them out from utilizing a watering hole. Survival of the fittest pisses on the coffin of humanist concerns.

    You have chosen to believe that reality is only what is apprehendible by your five senses, but there is no logical or metaphysical reason requiring you to do so.
     
    I find this particularly interesting; can mankind look for the lost ring if it isn't under the streetlight?

    Even from the framework of evolution, the senses have no purpose in finding the truth about the universe. They came about as accidents in a particular stage of one of the ancestor organisms. Being useful to survival, they simply clung on and out-competed those organisms that didn't have them. Again, these senses were acquired not by any purpose (according to the model), but by random mutation and fortunate happenstance. And actually, this is not simply a process of aggregation; there may have been certain senses that were discarded along the path because (while useful to get a better sense of the universe) are simply not useful for a particular organism's survival. A mole's horrendous eyesight comes to mind as well as our (relatively) weak sense of smell. According to the model, it is quite possible that human beings simply do not have certain senses that more 'primitive' life forms have retained along the path.

    It actually seems very silly when we try to analyze things according to our understanding. An example; there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that animals have certain intuitions that humans do not - like in detecting natural disasters. I find it fascinating that this article:
    http://gizmodo.com/5833733/how-your-dog-knows-an-earthquake-is-coming-way-before-you-do

    Starts out like this:
    "There's enough anecdotal evidence of creatures freaking out and even fleeing areas en masse before earthquakes to take unusual animal behavior seriously, as our gallery of dog-related tweets that followed today's 5.9 earthquake in D.C. suggests."

    And simply follows it by:
    "But there's nothing supernatural or sixth sense about it."

    And then follows that by:
    "Seismologists think animals sense an electrical signal generated by the movement of underground rocks before an earthquake. Or they might sense early but weak shocks that humans can't feel....The problem is no one's been able to pinpoint a consistent animal behavior that they can use as a disaster predictor. The connection doesn't seem to be reproducible."

    It just seems incomprehensible to these people that these animals may just be operating on a sense that is not observable by humans. And, even in their framework, might have been observable by humans, say, 40,000 years ago, but was simply not as useful for survival as other things and was simply dropped like claws, etc. And that trying to map the animal experience onto something that is detectable by us, like electrical signals or slight tremors might be completely off base. How do you describe color to an earthworm?

    I find it fascinating that probably much of the other world cultures have (or the pre-moderns* would have had) no problem with the idea that animals (or even small children) are connected to the phenomenal world in a different way than most adult humans. Elephants can know when a friend (even a human) has died and will make pilgrimage to mourn them - most cultures will understand (and even find it comforting) and simply have different terms to explain the 'why':
    http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/elephants-say-goodbye-to-the-whisperer-1253463

    Post-Modern man wanted to leave behind superstition - and this is not bad - but did he also throw out the wonder and - gasp - magic in the universe as well?

    Peace.

    *"When you hear the barking of dogs and the braying of donkeys at night, seek refuge in God. For they see that which you do not." - reported in Abu Dawud

    Good points about evolution and how it affects belief in reality.

    In the end, and I think this generally acknowledge among scientists, science undermines itself.Science depends on the concept of truth, but it becomes clear that scientific logic cannot provide the foundation for any belief in any truth. Belief in truth has to come from “outside” – which is why science was initially a religious project. Newton believed he was unlocking God’s secrets.

    This all came to a head in the early 20th century, when it was finally grasped that science undermines itself and cannot be self-sustaining – science can provide no foundation for itself and can only be justified from the “outside”, apparently, only in a framework of religious “faith”. It was considered a ‘crisis’ at the time, and was felt to be sapping morale and motivation among scientists. Bertrand Russel was hopeful a solution would be found before long – but no solution was ever found, nor will it ever be.

    So “faith” is ultimately indispensable – imagine that! It’s one of those things that if you’re receptive to it, began to move you away from the cult of modern science.

    Your point about lacking a “sense” is also a very good one –

    If someone simply cannot see the color orange, what can you do? Not much.

    As for the modern scientific imagination being literally unable to conceive that animals may have intuitions and senses we know nothing about, and offering explanations limited to known factors, well this is part of the basic structure of how modern science is practiced, almost a kind of “pact”, if you will.

    The “pact” is that if modern science cannot investigate it, it doesn’t exist, if it can’t be put in numbers, it doesn’t exist, if its a question modern science cannot answer, it isn’t a question. You see there’s nothing logical about this, but its like a secret pact to close your eyes. All answers must be in the narrow and closed circle of known scientific factor and methods, or it doesn’t exist.

    Science began as a particular method devised to answer particular questions – and ended up by saying whatever questions it isn’t fitted to answer (by design, mind you), don’t really exist.

    You see the sleight of hand.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Newton believed he was unlocking God’s secrets.
     
    Farraday was also searching for the presence of God in his studies of magnetic forces.

    Your point about lacking a “sense” is also a very good one
     
    To be completely honest, I can't take credit for the points - this is not my tradition's first rodeo with materialism. The Persian polymaths like Imams Ghazali, Fakhr uddin Razi, Baqillani (ra), etc. had already dealt with a lot of these arguments centuries ago. I was simply applying some principles to certain modern philosophies to show incoherence.
    https://www.amazon.com/Incoherence-Philosophers-Brigham-Young-University/dp/0842524665
    "In a detailed and intricate philosophical discussion al-Ghazâlî aims to show that none of the arguments in favor of these twenty teachings fulfills the high epistemological standard of demonstration (burhân) that the falâsifa have set for themselves. Rather, the arguments supporting these twenty convictions rely upon unproven premises that are accepted only among the falâsifa, but are not established by reason. By showing that these positions are supported by mere dialectical arguments al-Ghazâlî aims to demolish what he regarded was an epistemological hubris on the side of the falâsifa."
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/al-ghazali/#AlGhaRefFalIsm

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Science began as a particular method devised to answer particular questions – and ended up by saying whatever questions it isn’t fitted to answer (by design, mind you), don’t really exist.
     
    Indeed, this is 'scientism' for them to admit that they don't have the tools to answer all the questions requires (again) stepping on the ego.

    To be fair, it is as silly as when religion is used to answer questions it is not prepared to handle - such as whether or not the Earth was the center of the universe.

    Each field of knowledge has its own domain - when that is recognized it makes things go way more smoothly.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Honestly, it’s more the man-melding-with-machine-surveillance-state that I’m concerned about.
     
    Yeah, this is my concern too. There will always be ways around it. The surveillance state will have to be reduced, but that's a discussion for another day.

    I think radical life-extension will not give you what you are looking for, but that’s just me.
     
    You are correct that radical life extension BY ITSELF will not give me what I want. Rather it will give me the time and the means to go about creating what I want, and that is the name of the game.

    If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.
     
    Correct, religion can offer me nothing.

    If you're into religion, that's cool. Its' your thing and I don't want to interfere with it.

    Just realize that what works for you does not necessarily work for all other humans. Religious people tend to forget this sometimes.

    A few points -

    I realize neither of us will “convince” the other, but we can try and better understand our assumptions and illuminate the presuppositions that lie deeply embedded in our thinking – I’m trying to illuminate not persuade. Ultimately we each must choose alone.

    1) Your point about the knowledge frontier – again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly. Kant would have called it the ‘noumenon’, the thing-in-itself, that we can not – in principle, mind – have access to. It has nothing to do with our instruments, but is a built in limitations of our senses themselves. It is not about the “knowledge frontier”.

    Beyond that, there could be beings – like demons and angels – that simply choose to conceal themselves from us, yet influence our thoughts and feelings. Nothing in science has dis-proven any of this. We have just chosen to focus on other questions, questions science CAN solve. And then we pretended the questions science can’t solve don’t exist. Kind of a sleight of hand.

    What’s more, as Talha points out – if you believe we are creatures of evolution, there is no reason at all to believe our senses give us ‘reality’. They could be giving us utter distortions that help us survive.

    Indeed modern scientists no longer believe our scientific truths are anything other than approximations that allow us some ability to manipulate the universe.

    Belief in “reality” is really a religious position, Abelard – see, in the end, you really are religious :)

    Try as you might, you have not shrugged off religion but are deep in a religious quest that you cannot see for what it is :)

    2) Folktales can shed some light on your claim that I’m death loving. Interestingly, every culture has tales of ghosts who linger on in a state of misery because they have “unfinished business” here on earth. These ghosts are not happy and their continuation here on earth after their time is up is supposed to be agony. Typically, they find “release” only if whatever unfinished business they still have is completed.

    Technology-people who desire immortality are like these ghosts – having never found existential fulfillment here on earth, they have failed to consummate their life, and have “unfinished business” here that makes them wish to linger in a state of searching, ghostly misery. Even the idea of uploading themselves onto a hard drive appeals, so desperate is the desire to prolong the search for fulfillment, and so ghostly an existence are they willing to endure.

    It is a seeming paradox, but I have found that people who seem the most unfulfilled in life fear death the most. But as I’ve explained, its only a seeming paradox.

    If you achieve existential fulfillment during life, then you have no reason to fear death. Life has served its purpose, and you are ready for the next stage, even if that stage is just a kind of re-absorbtion into the matrix out of which we all come, a return to the ‘ground of all being’.

    In reality, a desire for endless continuation on earth expresses a deep pessimism, a loss of hope, about the ability to find ultimate fulfillment in life. Just as the desire for “endless process” – expresses a deep pessimism about the same thing. We see in modern politics “process” is often substituted for “solution” out of a loss of hope.

    It’s all of a piece – joy and bliss do not fear death and have no desire for endless increase, because it has found what it was looking for, and living in an existential void sees life as an endless process rather because it has lost all hope of a solution.

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Kong, Augustine et al. - 2016 - Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment This paper makes the case that there has been a decline in the prevalence of genes increasing propensity for more education (POLYEDU) in Iceland from 1910-1975. Here are some of the key points: The main mechanism was greater...
  • ‘… (i.e. the clever are breeding more slowly)…’

    Well then find groups of above average intelligence who are breeding more quickly and help them.

    What am I saying-this is Unz.com. Oh well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I guess you mean Orthodox Ashkenazi groups or something. I guess you are aware why most alt-right/dark enlightenment/hbd/whatever people find that problematic. First, having a closely inbred clannish/sectarian ethno-religious group, which will probably be hostile or at best indifferent to the population at large, as an elite, might actually be worse than having a friendly but dumb elite. Second, IQ is not the only heritable trait that matters. Third, heritable traits are not the only things that matter, quickly breeding Ashkenazi groups for example don't seem to be conducive of scientific progress for cultural reasons if nothing else.

    Why are all of your comments like that?

    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...
  • Honestly, it’s more the man-melding-with-machine-surveillance-state that I’m concerned about.

    Yeah, this is my concern too. There will always be ways around it. The surveillance state will have to be reduced, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    I think radical life-extension will not give you what you are looking for, but that’s just me.

    You are correct that radical life extension BY ITSELF will not give me what I want. Rather it will give me the time and the means to go about creating what I want, and that is the name of the game.

    If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.

    Correct, religion can offer me nothing.

    If you’re into religion, that’s cool. Its’ your thing and I don’t want to interfere with it.

    Just realize that what works for you does not necessarily work for all other humans. Religious people tend to forget this sometimes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    A few points -

    I realize neither of us will "convince" the other, but we can try and better understand our assumptions and illuminate the presuppositions that lie deeply embedded in our thinking - I'm trying to illuminate not persuade. Ultimately we each must choose alone.

    1) Your point about the knowledge frontier - again, missing the point. There is no reason to think there cannot be an entire dimension of existence that cannot be apprehended by our five sense under any form and that yet influences us greatly. Kant would have called it the 'noumenon', the thing-in-itself, that we can not - in principle, mind - have access to. It has nothing to do with our instruments, but is a built in limitations of our senses themselves. It is not about the "knowledge frontier".

    Beyond that, there could be beings - like demons and angels - that simply choose to conceal themselves from us, yet influence our thoughts and feelings. Nothing in science has dis-proven any of this. We have just chosen to focus on other questions, questions science CAN solve. And then we pretended the questions science can't solve don't exist. Kind of a sleight of hand.

    What's more, as Talha points out - if you believe we are creatures of evolution, there is no reason at all to believe our senses give us 'reality'. They could be giving us utter distortions that help us survive.

    Indeed modern scientists no longer believe our scientific truths are anything other than approximations that allow us some ability to manipulate the universe.

    Belief in "reality" is really a religious position, Abelard - see, in the end, you really are religious :)

    Try as you might, you have not shrugged off religion but are deep in a religious quest that you cannot see for what it is :)

    2) Folktales can shed some light on your claim that I'm death loving. Interestingly, every culture has tales of ghosts who linger on in a state of misery because they have "unfinished business" here on earth. These ghosts are not happy and their continuation here on earth after their time is up is supposed to be agony. Typically, they find "release" only if whatever unfinished business they still have is completed.

    Technology-people who desire immortality are like these ghosts - having never found existential fulfillment here on earth, they have failed to consummate their life, and have "unfinished business" here that makes them wish to linger in a state of searching, ghostly misery. Even the idea of uploading themselves onto a hard drive appeals, so desperate is the desire to prolong the search for fulfillment, and so ghostly an existence are they willing to endure.

    It is a seeming paradox, but I have found that people who seem the most unfulfilled in life fear death the most. But as I've explained, its only a seeming paradox.

    If you achieve existential fulfillment during life, then you have no reason to fear death. Life has served its purpose, and you are ready for the next stage, even if that stage is just a kind of re-absorbtion into the matrix out of which we all come, a return to the 'ground of all being'.

    In reality, a desire for endless continuation on earth expresses a deep pessimism, a loss of hope, about the ability to find ultimate fulfillment in life. Just as the desire for "endless process" - expresses a deep pessimism about the same thing. We see in modern politics "process" is often substituted for "solution" out of a loss of hope.

    It's all of a piece - joy and bliss do not fear death and have no desire for endless increase, because it has found what it was looking for, and living in an existential void sees life as an endless process rather because it has lost all hope of a solution.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Jealousy and envy are a spiritual disease and needs to be excised from the heart.

    Well that we’re in agreement.

    I no more envy someone who lives longer than a guy with four Mercedes in his driveway. Once you ditch the material paradigm, you become interested in other things.

    Well that answers my question. You have your god and I have my life. There’s really isn’t more that can be said.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Abelard Lindsey
    Let me ask you guys this: Why do you have such a problem with radical life extension (by bio-engineering means)? Are you afraid you will be forced to undergo the therapies yourself? Or is it because you would resent others, including neighbors, who choose to undergo such of their own free will?

    BTW, I don't believe in immortality per se either. In the future, people will not age, but you could still die in a plane crash, for example.

    Hey Abelard,

    Why do you have such a problem with radical life extension (by bio-engineering means)?

    I already said, I don’t know if I should. I’m more concerned with man melding with machine. If people want to grow really, really old by messing around with their bodies – only the associated things bother me (like kicking off a new plague or something). I think radical life-extension will not give you what you are looking for, but that’s just me.

    Are you afraid you will be forced to undergo the therapies yourself?

    Yes, possibly us and our children.

    Or is it because you would resent others

    Jealousy and envy are a spiritual disease and needs to be excised from the heart. I no more envy someone who lives longer than a guy with four Mercedes in his driveway. Once you ditch the material paradigm, you become interested in other things.
    “Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pomp, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller, but afterward it dries up and you see it turning yellow, then becoming debris. And in the Hereafter there is severe punishment or forgiveness from God and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.” 57:20

    who choose to undergo such of their own free will

    Not sure you actually believe in free will, but given the assumption; like I said, all good with me as long as it doesn’t get applied forcibly on others. And also, a little healthy distance for safety would be nice.

    Maybe others can chime in.

    Peace.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Death is a stage and as natural as life.
     
    Death is death, whether it be by suicide or cancer. How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?

    The body, and life itself, is a gift on loan from the Master, He expects it to be returned in good faith.
     
    I got a car as a graduation gift when I graduated from university. I graduated with an electrical engineering degree (no BS degrees for me). It was my mother's old car and a very nice one. I was very thankful and felt a great deal of gratitude (I never expected such a gilf because i consider my parents paying for my university education to be a gift enough). I drove it for three years before it finally "gave up the ghost". My mother had no problem with me selling it at that point. Indeed she was surprised it lasted as long as it did.

    If I accepted your world-view, why should I have any different relationship with my body than I would with a car? The car is a vehicle. It is normal to get rid of it and replace it with a new one or simply go live somewhere (e.g. Tokyo area) where you do not need a car. If my body becomes old and decrepit, I see no reason to continue to live in it. This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.

    You god is essentially like Dr. Tyrell. He made us, but didn't make us to last. This is an unforgivable sin and is the reason why, if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed). Back in the 1980's my friends and I, in discussions about "good" or "bad" AI, came to the conclusion that it is utterly immoral to create a sentient being, and not grant it complete autonomy to pursue and create its own future. We believed (and still believe) that it is wrong to create sentient AI and not grant it freedom in the Randian/Rothbard sense. That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?

    Now are you beginning to understand why I have such a dark, jaundiced view of organized religion?

    One of my core beliefs is that sentience and autonomy in the Randian/Rothbardian sense are inseparable. Strange as it may seem, I really do believe this. Indeed, this is the principle reason how I cam to reject religion in general.

    First, I’m not exactly sure what the Islamic viewpoint in this is – way above my pay grade to know – there are maybe 5-10 human beings on the planet with the requisite knowledge to have a valid opinion on the subject.
     
    Let me get this straight. You're essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.

    Are you sure you are Libertarian? I’ve seen this discourse before, but not from that particular camp.
     
    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice. The reason why I am libertarian is because I don't care if believe in religion or not or choose to sacrifice your life and autonomy for it. What you believe is your business, not mine. As long as you do not attempt to use the corrupt force of government to impose any tenets of your religion on me, what you believe is not my concern at all.

    About the dogs and other animals detecting earthquakes, I think this is hogwash. I lived in LA during one of the quakes and my co-workers who had dogs and cats said that they slept right through it. My wife, who is Japanese, has said the same thing about the inability of the animals there to give early warning of impending quakes, which Japan gets a lot of. Japanese scientists have tried animals, along with just about anything else you can think of, to get early detection of quakes. None of these methods have panned out.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that. that's why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities. Microscopes, telescopes, AFM/SPM, the list of technologies goes on and on. This doesn't support your argument at all.

    Hey Abelard,

    How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?

    From a material sense it is not. How is a murder different than a death by an accidental fall. Answer that question and you’ll understand it is human volition that is under the microscope. However, coming from your perspective, I’m not even sure you can recognize human volition (other than as a nice illusion to keep society from falling apart):

    https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-free-will

    This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.

    Is prohibition against murder stupid because, hey, dude’s just moving on to the next life anyway. The religious argument against suicide is completely sound (though an argument from a simply material or rational perspective may not be) – the only thing that shouldn’t be done is to prevent others from not committing suicide if they don’t believe in the prohibition.

    He made us, but didn’t make us to last.

    Not physically, no. This world is a testing ground – you are asking for Paradise, this isn’t it.

    if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed)

    First off:
    “Doesn’t man see that it is We Who created him from a sperm drop? Yet, he stands forth as an open adversary.” – (36:77)

    You wouldn’t be believing in any god I take seriously. It is amazing to me how many intelligent people I come across that have a straw-man idea of God.

    God is the only ontological Reality by virtue of what He is. Anything besides Him is contingent reality, completely subsumed by His act of willing it into being and subsisting (without which, it simply ceases to exist) – if you understand that then you will understand how amused I would be at finding a man out on a limb of a tree shouting encouragements at someone sawing at the trunk.

    You’ll get your chance though; when you meet Him, challenge Him.

    That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?

    You actually do have complete freedom to do anything you want (in fact, you just judged God and found Him ‘wanting’, I assume you are still breathing – that is a sign if you care to take it) – you also have freedom to deal with the consequences in the next life, this is how it works. He treats obedient slaves and rebellious slaves differently – that makes sense to me. We don’t worship a chump, a chump is beneath worship.

    You’re essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.

    You have got to be kidding me – there is no way anybody living today or in the past encompassed all of the branches of Islamic knowledge comprehensively. I know all the tenets necessary for me to function. I mean, I put my trust that doctors know what they are doing and defer to them though I personally don’t understand all of the science behind what they do. Any yes, even in medicine (or any other science), certain topics are known by only a handful of experts in that particular specialty. Again, this is an issue of stepping on the ego and recognizing others may know more than oneself – even in religion.

    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice.

    You are entitled to your opinion. Though this conclusion will be laughed at by most people. You had mentioned before you were a programmer (and possibly taken AI). Did they teach Greek logic, like they did with us at UCLA – because your statement lacks coherence other than as an opinion.

    “If you are against professional body building, you are for obesity.”

    I think this is hogwash.

    You think a lot of things are hogwash – your opinion is irrelevant to the thousands that have experienced and reported the phenomenon.

    None of these methods have panned out.

    None of any methods are ever likely to pan out. You still don’t get what I’m saying – but that’s OK.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that.

    Bingo!

    that’s why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities.

    Bingo!

    This doesn’t support your argument at all.

    You haven’t understood my argument at all. Describe the taste of German chocolate cake to someone who has no sense of taste. Use clear language, knowing that when he puts something in his mouth it is indistinguishable from any other thing. All other senses are functioning fine. Please keep it to four to five sentences.

    But alas, I realize this has digressed into the very clearly theological realm which I stated I wouldn’t get into earlier. If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject – though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance – which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject

    Belief in “science” and belief in “religion” are beliefs; they are acts of "faith."

    Empiricism does not allow for the existence of the supernatural. If there is evidence of the supernatural, it would by definition no longer be supernatural.

    Materialism (not the Mercedes kind) does not allow for a soul, immortal or otherwise.

    Evolution has endowed us with a "belief" slot. How we fill that slot is up to us.
    , @Daniel Chieh

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject – though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance – which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).
     
    This is true. At some point, some debates have no real "middle ground" thus we have a very human nature to believe that there is always a compromise to be found. But there isn't; at some point for some reason, we find understanding with one of the positions and then proceed to basically self-reinforce our beliefs.

    Especially when it comes to the concept of meaning, its so fundamentally part of our identity that it becomes point to debate things except to elucidate to oneself and for the benefit of a peanut gallery.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Let me ask you guys this: Why do you have such a problem with radical life extension (by bio-engineering means)? Are you afraid you will be forced to undergo the therapies yourself? Or is it because you would resent others, including neighbors, who choose to undergo such of their own free will?

    BTW, I don’t believe in immortality per se either. In the future, people will not age, but you could still die in a plane crash, for example.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Abelard,

    Why do you have such a problem with radical life extension (by bio-engineering means)?
     
    I already said, I don't know if I should. I'm more concerned with man melding with machine. If people want to grow really, really old by messing around with their bodies - only the associated things bother me (like kicking off a new plague or something). I think radical life-extension will not give you what you are looking for, but that's just me.

    Are you afraid you will be forced to undergo the therapies yourself?
     
    Yes, possibly us and our children.

    Or is it because you would resent others
     
    Jealousy and envy are a spiritual disease and needs to be excised from the heart. I no more envy someone who lives longer than a guy with four Mercedes in his driveway. Once you ditch the material paradigm, you become interested in other things.
    “Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pomp, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller, but afterward it dries up and you see it turning yellow, then becoming debris. And in the Hereafter there is severe punishment or forgiveness from God and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.” 57:20

    who choose to undergo such of their own free will
     
    Not sure you actually believe in free will, but given the assumption; like I said, all good with me as long as it doesn't get applied forcibly on others. And also, a little healthy distance for safety would be nice.

    Maybe others can chime in.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @5371
    I don't think you're going to live forever, or very long.

    Actually, I think my chances are better than even.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Death is a stage and as natural as life.

    Death is death, whether it be by suicide or cancer. How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?

    The body, and life itself, is a gift on loan from the Master, He expects it to be returned in good faith.

    I got a car as a graduation gift when I graduated from university. I graduated with an electrical engineering degree (no BS degrees for me). It was my mother’s old car and a very nice one. I was very thankful and felt a great deal of gratitude (I never expected such a gilf because i consider my parents paying for my university education to be a gift enough). I drove it for three years before it finally “gave up the ghost”. My mother had no problem with me selling it at that point. Indeed she was surprised it lasted as long as it did.

    If I accepted your world-view, why should I have any different relationship with my body than I would with a car? The car is a vehicle. It is normal to get rid of it and replace it with a new one or simply go live somewhere (e.g. Tokyo area) where you do not need a car. If my body becomes old and decrepit, I see no reason to continue to live in it. This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.

    You god is essentially like Dr. Tyrell. He made us, but didn’t make us to last. This is an unforgivable sin and is the reason why, if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed). Back in the 1980′s my friends and I, in discussions about “good” or “bad” AI, came to the conclusion that it is utterly immoral to create a sentient being, and not grant it complete autonomy to pursue and create its own future. We believed (and still believe) that it is wrong to create sentient AI and not grant it freedom in the Randian/Rothbard sense. That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?

    Now are you beginning to understand why I have such a dark, jaundiced view of organized religion?

    One of my core beliefs is that sentience and autonomy in the Randian/Rothbardian sense are inseparable. Strange as it may seem, I really do believe this. Indeed, this is the principle reason how I cam to reject religion in general.

    First, I’m not exactly sure what the Islamic viewpoint in this is – way above my pay grade to know – there are maybe 5-10 human beings on the planet with the requisite knowledge to have a valid opinion on the subject.

    Let me get this straight. You’re essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.

    Are you sure you are Libertarian? I’ve seen this discourse before, but not from that particular camp.

    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice. The reason why I am libertarian is because I don’t care if believe in religion or not or choose to sacrifice your life and autonomy for it. What you believe is your business, not mine. As long as you do not attempt to use the corrupt force of government to impose any tenets of your religion on me, what you believe is not my concern at all.

    About the dogs and other animals detecting earthquakes, I think this is hogwash. I lived in LA during one of the quakes and my co-workers who had dogs and cats said that they slept right through it. My wife, who is Japanese, has said the same thing about the inability of the animals there to give early warning of impending quakes, which Japan gets a lot of. Japanese scientists have tried animals, along with just about anything else you can think of, to get early detection of quakes. None of these methods have panned out.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that. that’s why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities. Microscopes, telescopes, AFM/SPM, the list of technologies goes on and on. This doesn’t support your argument at all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Abelard,

    How is a suicide death any different than any other cause of death?
     
    From a material sense it is not. How is a murder different than a death by an accidental fall. Answer that question and you'll understand it is human volition that is under the microscope. However, coming from your perspective, I'm not even sure you can recognize human volition (other than as a nice illusion to keep society from falling apart):
    https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-free-will

    This is the reason why I think the prohibition against suicide is stupid if you actually believe that human consciousness survives physical death.
     
    Is prohibition against murder stupid because, hey, dude's just moving on to the next life anyway. The religious argument against suicide is completely sound (though an argument from a simply material or rational perspective may not be) - the only thing that shouldn't be done is to prevent others from not committing suicide if they don't believe in the prohibition.

    He made us, but didn’t make us to last.
     
    Not physically, no. This world is a testing ground - you are asking for Paradise, this isn't it.

    if I believed in the existence of a god, I would most certainly be into maltheism (the belief that god is evil and must be destroyed)
     
    First off:
    "Doesn't man see that it is We Who created him from a sperm drop? Yet, he stands forth as an open adversary." - (36:77)

    You wouldn't be believing in any god I take seriously. It is amazing to me how many intelligent people I come across that have a straw-man idea of God.

    God is the only ontological Reality by virtue of what He is. Anything besides Him is contingent reality, completely subsumed by His act of willing it into being and subsisting (without which, it simply ceases to exist) - if you understand that then you will understand how amused I would be at finding a man out on a limb of a tree shouting encouragements at someone sawing at the trunk.

    You'll get your chance though; when you meet Him, challenge Him.

    That the Abrahamic religions believe in a god that did precisely this, what does this say about the morality (or lack thereof) of your god?
     
    You actually do have complete freedom to do anything you want (in fact, you just judged God and found Him 'wanting', I assume you are still breathing - that is a sign if you care to take it) - you also have freedom to deal with the consequences in the next life, this is how it works. He treats obedient slaves and rebellious slaves differently - that makes sense to me. We don't worship a chump, a chump is beneath worship.

    You’re essentially saying that you went out and joined a religion without an understanding of all of its tenets and the corollaries thereof.
     
    You have got to be kidding me - there is no way anybody living today or in the past encompassed all of the branches of Islamic knowledge comprehensively. I know all the tenets necessary for me to function. I mean, I put my trust that doctors know what they are doing and defer to them though I personally don't understand all of the science behind what they do. Any yes, even in medicine (or any other science), certain topics are known by only a handful of experts in that particular specialty. Again, this is an issue of stepping on the ego and recognizing others may know more than oneself - even in religion.

    I stand by my point that a religious opposition to effective anti-aging biomedicine is tantamount to a demand for human sacrifice.
     
    You are entitled to your opinion. Though this conclusion will be laughed at by most people. You had mentioned before you were a programmer (and possibly taken AI). Did they teach Greek logic, like they did with us at UCLA - because your statement lacks coherence other than as an opinion.

    "If you are against professional body building, you are for obesity."

    I think this is hogwash.
     
    You think a lot of things are hogwash - your opinion is irrelevant to the thousands that have experienced and reported the phenomenon.

    None of these methods have panned out.
     
    None of any methods are ever likely to pan out. You still don't get what I'm saying - but that's OK.

    Yes, we humans have only five senses, and rather limited ones at that.
     
    Bingo!

    that’s why be build scientific instruments to increase our sensory capabilities.
     
    Bingo!

    This doesn’t support your argument at all.
     
    You haven't understood my argument at all. Describe the taste of German chocolate cake to someone who has no sense of taste. Use clear language, knowing that when he puts something in his mouth it is indistinguishable from any other thing. All other senses are functioning fine. Please keep it to four to five sentences.

    But alas, I realize this has digressed into the very clearly theological realm which I stated I wouldn't get into earlier. If you feel you have all the answers (coherent or not), there is nothing in religion for you.

    There really is no middle ground of beliefs on this subject - though there should be a respect to let the other live according to their belief system as long as reasonable care is taken to ward off harm to others (which is best accomplished by physical distance - which is why I think the island idea is good or picking one state).

    Peace.
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  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Everyone has to make their own choice, but what’s involved has to be clearly and starkly defined, with no fudging.
     
    Exactly. We have already made our choice and we have no use for kibitzing from a peanut gallery.

    Tell me, why “endless”? Why not ending somewhere, anywhere, in some perfect state?
     
    Maybe I like to do new things and always explore and expand my horizons. Does the expression "its the journey and not the destination that counts" mean anything to you?

    Lets say I do find some perfect state of existence that makes me happy. Why does it need to end? Why not last forever?

    So you want to live forever. It’s of a piece with your desire for “endless” more.
     
    Maybe I like freedom. Maybe I like to try new things and go to new places. Maybe I like getting up in the morning and feeling like my life is open with no constraints on it. Maybe I like this feeling.

    If death is so wonderful, ask yourself why many religions and cultures consider suicide to be a crime (this is one feature of the Abrahamic religions that has never made sense to me). In any case, I believe the origin of at least the Abrahamic religions is rooted in the breakdown of the bicameralism and the origin of human consciousness. But this is a discussion for another day.

    You say moderns are merely bored with the philosophy I oppose to a life of endless striving and power, but that is not the reactions I am usually met with.
     
    You certainly won't get that from me.

    If you want to promote your pro-death philosophy, my suggestion is to start with ending any legal restrictions on both self-suicide and assisted suicide. Support "right to die" initiatives in all U.S. states and, perhaps, federal legislation that would preempt any state level laws that oppose "right to die". Once I see more people like yourself support right to die, I will be convinced of the sincerity of your beliefs. Until then, I think your arguments are full of hot air.

    You may not believe me, but even though I am committed to radical life extension for those who want it, I also believe in the "right to die" for those who want that too. I have always considered the religious objection to suicide to be utterly pointless and stupid. If you believe human consciousness survives death of the physical body, you don't really die when you die. Thus, suicide actually does not exist. Thus religious people who believe suicide is wrong are utterly stupid.

    I don’t think you’re going to live forever, or very long.

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    Actually, I think my chances are better than even.
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  • @Abelard Lindsey

    Everyone has to make their own choice, but what’s involved has to be clearly and starkly defined, with no fudging.
     
    Exactly. We have already made our choice and we have no use for kibitzing from a peanut gallery.

    Tell me, why “endless”? Why not ending somewhere, anywhere, in some perfect state?
     
    Maybe I like to do new things and always explore and expand my horizons. Does the expression "its the journey and not the destination that counts" mean anything to you?

    Lets say I do find some perfect state of existence that makes me happy. Why does it need to end? Why not last forever?

    So you want to live forever. It’s of a piece with your desire for “endless” more.
     
    Maybe I like freedom. Maybe I like to try new things and go to new places. Maybe I like getting up in the morning and feeling like my life is open with no constraints on it. Maybe I like this feeling.

    If death is so wonderful, ask yourself why many religions and cultures consider suicide to be a crime (this is one feature of the Abrahamic religions that has never made sense to me). In any case, I believe the origin of at least the Abrahamic religions is rooted in the breakdown of the bicameralism and the origin of human consciousness. But this is a discussion for another day.

    You say moderns are merely bored with the philosophy I oppose to a life of endless striving and power, but that is not the reactions I am usually met with.
     
    You certainly won't get that from me.

    If you want to promote your pro-death philosophy, my suggestion is to start with ending any legal restrictions on both self-suicide and assisted suicide. Support "right to die" initiatives in all U.S. states and, perhaps, federal legislation that would preempt any state level laws that oppose "right to die". Once I see more people like yourself support right to die, I will be convinced of the sincerity of your beliefs. Until then, I think your arguments are full of hot air.

    You may not believe me, but even though I am committed to radical life extension for those who want it, I also believe in the "right to die" for those who want that too. I have always considered the religious objection to suicide to be utterly pointless and stupid. If you believe human consciousness survives death of the physical body, you don't really die when you die. Thus, suicide actually does not exist. Thus religious people who believe suicide is wrong are utterly stupid.

    Hey Abelard,

    If death is so wonderful, ask yourself why many religions and cultures consider suicide to be a crime (this is one feature of the Abrahamic religions that has never made sense to me).

    Death is a stage and as natural as life. The reason why suicide is forbidden is the same reason why chopping off your leg for no good reason is forbidden. The body, and life itself, is a gift on loan from the Master, He expects it to be returned in good faith. He simply has not let us know when He is going to send the recall notice. Again, slaves understand this.

    your pro-death philosophy

    Now, now – that’s just silly. In fact, that’s the kind of twisting of words that scares people; “You will not promote artifical life-extension, thus you are pro-death.”
    Well, we can’t have pro-death people running around now can we? What are we, terrorist sympathizers?

    Thus religious people who believe suicide is wrong are utterly stupid.

    Not from their framework (it would be stupid not to believe suicide is wrong) – but, I will agree that religious people shouldn’t block those who don’t believe in their framework from committing suicide.

    If a religion, say Christianity or Islam, claims that the biotechnological pursuit of radical life extension is wrong, what that religion is really saying is that “God” demands human sacrifice.

    Again, more twisting of words. First, I’m not exactly sure what the Islamic viewpoint in this is – way above my pay grade to know – there are maybe 5-10 human beings on the planet with the requisite knowledge to have a valid opinion on the subject. But this is getting a bit more concerning…

    “Not genetically extending the life of your children is sacrificing them to Moloch.”

    We certainly can’t have child-killers running around, can we?

    Are you sure you are Libertarian? I’ve seen this discourse before, but not from that particular camp.

    Peace.

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