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Tipping Point: How Crazies Get Control—and How They Can Lose It
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See, earlier: John Derbyshire On Homosexual Marriage—Could The Pendulum Swing Back?

The Equality Cult is now so powerful that if you question it there is a serious probability you will be ostracized. Indeed, the enforcers have moved on to former allies: tennis champion Martina Navratilova, an open lesbian, has been fired from the advisory board of Athlete Ally [Email then] a charity aimed at helping homosexual sports people, just for saying that “transwomen” are “men who decide to be female” and that allowing them to compete against biological females is “cheating and unfair”. [LGBT group drops Martina Navratilova over transgender comments, Guardian, February 20, 2019] But how do we reach a tipping point where a bizarre minority opinion takes over? And can it be reversed?

Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but I suspect the answer is “Yes.” Note that Charles Murray feels the same way:

The speed with which the Trans-rights lobby has altered “acceptable opinion” is quite extraordinary. Condemning Miss Navratilova’s comments as “transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data,” the charity insisted that she “perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.”

But there was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of allowing biological men to compete as women was universally regarded as laughable. Indeed, twenty years ago, the idea of gay marriage or even banning smoking in bars was absurd.

The immigration-critical views espoused on, for example, were perfectly mainstream a few decades ago, before a group of emotional and manipulative postmodernists managed to infiltrate almost every institution of importance. Thus from 1924-1965, immigration to the U.S. was kept low and restricted to traditional sources, and the consensus supporting this was so strong that those who wanted to change it were forced to lie about their intentions.

But in the last decade, just as the Equality Cult has moved ever Leftwards in its constant arms race to find a new “oppressed minority” to virtue-signal about, there has clearly been a backlash.

In the UK, by 1997, it was unthinkable for any politician, other than those on the fringes of the fringe, to criticize Multiculturalism or discuss Muslim child grooming gangs…but now, these issues are openly talked about, even by senior members of the British government. [Sajid Javid defends noting the ethnicity of child grooming gang, by Peter Walker, The Guardian, December 3, 2018]

Defend and you risk being shunned, hence, so many of us write under pseudonyms. But this week it was revealed that head of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, a think tank “favored” by Trump and cited by him in tweets, had dared to assert: “Some of what VDare publishes is sensible, some of it is not, and some of it is downright scurrilous. Kind of like the New York Times” [Head of Trump Favored Anti-Immigration Group Confronted Over Promoting ‘White Nationalist’ Website, By Caleb Howe, MediaIte, February 20, 2019].

This implies that the sands might be shifting. Research published last year has demonstrated just how they do.

The “tipping point” at which vocal activists are able to change majority opinion to their minority view appears to be 25% of the group. Damon Centola and his team at the University of Pennsylvania have experimentally demonstrated this. [Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention, By Damon Centola et al., Science, June 2018]

They divided 194 volunteers into 10 groups and had them work together playing an online game in which they had to try to create new social norms. In each round of the game, the volunteers were put into random pairs and were shown a photo of a stranger’s face. They would discuss appropriate names for the face. Then, without consulting each other, they each had to choose the name they felt was most appropriate. At the end of the round, the names were revealed, and they won 10 cents if they’d both chosen the same name and lost 10 cents if they hadn’t.

This mimics the way in which conformity can have a payoff. As the rounds progressed, and even though people only interacted with one of person in their group in each round, the volunteers developed “group-wide conventions” so that everyone ascribed the same name to the same face.

At this point, Centola’s team had vociferous “activists” join the groups, varying how many activists joined each group. They found that if the activists made up less than 25% of the group then their ideas would not take off. But if they composed 25% of the group or more than their ideas always completely replaced the status quo. There was nothing in between these two extremes.

Centola’s team then set up a computer model and found that it precisely replicated real life, with a “tipping point” of 25%. Even when there were very strong incentives to stick with the status quo, the tipping point was raised to a maximum of just 30%.

It seems that once this proportion is reached, confidence in the current dispensation is increasingly undermined and those who disagree with it, but keep their heads down, become increasingly confident about defecting. This explains why the “change” can occur so quickly; why an idea can go from being “extreme” to “mainstream” so fast, as long as those who advocate the new idea do so in a kind of “rabble rousing” and confident way.

Centola’s findings are in line with observational research from the 1970s which found that until women made up about 35% of the workforce in a particular company they would be discriminated against and demeaned. But, once they reached 35%, they began to make alliances with each other and to shift the balance of power in their favor. The result was that the whole “culture” of the workplace shifted to become specifically gaged towards female interests, even though females were still the minority. [The Tipping Point When Minority Views Take Over, By Ed Yong, The Atlantic, June 7, 2018]

This is why who controls powerful institutions is so important. It probably explains why the Left react with such hysteria when they discover that somebody who does not share their views has been appointed to work at a prestigious institution, as they have to the appointment of race realist sociologist Dr. Noah Carl to a fellowship at Cambridge University. His presence at Cambridge opens up the possibility of his views becoming more accepted, more people like him being appointed, and the 25% tipping point being reached.

It is probable that it was through the process outlined by Centola and his colleagues that the Gramscian “March Through the Institutions,” which has seen Leftist ideas take over mainstream American thinking since the 1960s, occurred. As the institutions “tipped” they then influenced society to “tip,” creating a revolution from both below and above.

The vociferous group could be composed of an ethnic minority who are able, whether consciously or not, to push public opinion in a direction which benefits their ethnic group.Kevin MacDonald has argued in The Culture of Critique that is true of Jews in Western countries, particularly with regard to Multiculturalism. Thus British Jewish Labour MP Barbara Roche was immigration minister when the Labour government opened the floodgates of mass immigration. “I love the diversity of London,” she told an interviewer. “I just feel comfortable”. [Hideously Diverse Britain: The immigration “conspiracy.” By Hugh Muir, Guardian, March 2, 2011]

But more recently, seven Labour MPs have left the party with one, Jewish MP Luciana Berger, proclaiming it “institutionally anti-Semitic”. [Labour anti-Semitism claims: Jewish group backs Corbyn, BBC News, February 21, 2019]Arguably, growing Muslim membership of the Labour Party has caused it to “flip” in an anti-Zionist direction.

So science implies that there is a possibility of reversing the hegemonic power of the Trans lobby—and of the Left in general. Perhaps the fact that the head of a think tank tweeted by the President now dares to compare to The New York Times signals movement in the right direction!

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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  1. Bill H says: • Website

    But of course. Once the “minority has reached 25% and causes the “tipping,” then that minority opinion becomes the prevailing opinion, which can then be “tipped” again by what was previously the prevailing opinion but was made minority by the previous “tipping.”

    Okay, that’s pretty murky. Let’s try again.

    Some 20% believe the sky is green, while 80% adhere to the blue sky theory. The green sky crown makes enough noise to convince others to join them and reach 25% and cause the “tipping” to occur, with the result that everyone is saying that the sky is green, no matter what color the sky actually is. Facts, remember, are irrelevant in culture wars.

    Now everyone is saying that the sky is green, because those who can see that it is blue don’t dare say so, because the conversation has been “tipped” in favor of green skies. But now the blue sky people are the minority, because a few of them will still speak up, and when that minority of people advocating blues skies reaches 25% the conversation will “tip” back to blue skies again.

  2. Re: the 7 Labour traitors. Islamic influence in the Labour party may have influenced them — however , other issues were probably of greater moment.
    1. (Most) of these 7 grubs were in danger of deselection by their local Branches. These guys jumped before being pushed.(These people are all signal & NO virtue).
    2. All of them are Blairites – ie rabid neoliberals. They hate Corbyn, pure & simple.
    3. These guys are bought & paid for Zionists. They’ve taken Israeli money & Israeli orders their entire careers. That Corbyn is so purely EVIL as to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause makes him a beyond the Pale, vile antisemite.
    There is NOTHING people such as these (neoliberals & dogs for Israel) won’t do to destroy Corbyn.

  3. Anonymous [AKA "Knowlegibus isuss Goodus"] says:

    This post is tendentious journalist-science, and conspicuously lame.

    That tipping-point business is a sign that the authors used a reductive model. It usually means the right differential or difference equation was a bit too hard for them. The canonical example is the Domar growth model, which blew up without precisely-balanced parameters. Everybody was like, Instability, OMG!!! until somebody – Solow – fixed the model.

    These notions can go far in academia. That phony Malcolm Gladwell made a lucrative career out of crowd-pleasing qualitative results from reductive quantitative models.

    25% is bogus. I’ve tipped groups to extreme outcomes all by myself. The opposite extreme is die Wende, which occurred long after everybody knew that COMECON was bullshit.

    The concept here is based on diffusion models, which are state-based. Ideas are not discrete states, they are interactive, combinatorically-complex bundles of attributes and gradients with emergent properties. States might apply to party slogans or something, but not to any semblance of rational discourse. So the question is, What are you trying to do? Are you trying to social-engineer your brilliant ideas into everybody else? Or are you trying to get people to use their heads? If your purpose is the latter, discrete stochastic models and the experiments they’re based on won’t help you.

  4. El Dato says:

    From Greg Egan’s short story “Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies”

    I’ve heard dozens of ‘explanations’ for the events of that day, but I find most of them equally dubious — rooted as they are in the world-views of particular attractors. One way in which I sometimes think of it, on 12 January, 2018, the human race must have crossed some kind of unforeseen threshold — of global population, perhaps — and suffered a sudden, irreversible change of psychic state.
    Telepathy is not the right word for it; after all, nobody found themself drowning in an ocean of babbling voices; nobody suffered the torment of empathic overload. The mundane chatter of consciousness stayed locked inside our heads; our quotidian mental privacy remained unbreached. (Or perhaps, as some have suggested, everyone’s mental privacy was so thoroughly breached that the sum of our transient thoughts forms a blanket of featureless white noise covering the planet, which the brain filters out effortlessly.)
    In any case, for whatever reason, the second-by-second soap operas of other people’s inner lives remained, mercifully, as inaccessible as ever . . . but our skulls became completely permeable to each other’s values and beliefs, each other’s deepest convictions.
    At first, this meant pure chaos. My memories of the time are confused and nightmarish; I wandered the city for a day and a night (I think), finding God (or some equivalent) anew every six seconds — seeing no visions, hearing no voices, but wrenched from faith to faith by invisible forces of dream logic. People moved in a daze, cowed and staggering — while ideas moved between us like lightning. Revelation followed contradictory revelation. I wanted it to stop, badly — I would have prayed for it to stop, if God had stayed the same long enough to be prayed to. I’ve heard other tramps compare these early mystical convulsions to drug rushes, to orgasms, to being picked up and dumped by ten-metre waves, ceaselessly, hour after hour — but looking back, I find myself reminded most of a bout of gastroenteritis I once suffered: a long, feverish night of interminable vomiting and diarrhoea. Every muscle, every joint in my body ached, my skin burned: I felt like I was dying. And every time I thought I lacked the strength to expel anything more from my body, another spasm took hold of me. By four in the morning, my helplessness seemed positively transcendental: the peristaltic reflex possessed me like some harsh — but ultimately benevolent — deity. At the time, it was the most religious experience I’d ever been through.
    All across the city, competing belief systems fought for allegiance, mutating and hybridising along the way . . . like those random populations of computer viruses they used to unleash against each other in experiments to demonstrate subtle points of evolutionary theory. Or perhaps like the historical clashes of the very same beliefs — with the length and timescales drastically shortened by the new mode of interaction, and a lot less bloodshed, now that the ideas themselves could do battle in a purely mental arena, rather than employing sword-wielding Crusaders or extermination camps. Or, like a swarm of demons set loose upon the Earth to possess all but the righteous . . .

    The chaos didn’t last long. In some places seeded by pre-Meltdown clustering of cultures and religions — and in other places, by pure chance — certain belief systems gained enough of an edge, enough of a foothold, to start spreading out from a core of believers into the surrounding random detritus, capturing adjacent, disordered populations where no dominant belief had yet emerged. The more territory these snowballing attractors conquered, the faster they grew. Fortunately — in this city, at least — no single attractor was able to expand unchecked: they all ended up hemmed in, sooner or later, by equally powerful neighbours — or confined by sheer lack of population at the city’s outskirts, and near voids of non-residential land.

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