Randoms

Hail explains why Romney is popular in Kenya. It would be impolite to draw any broader conclusions from his facts – it’s so much simpler to wish tribalism away.

– It’s interesting that Ron Paul’s biggest supporters are USG employees.

– It seems like some economist makes the headlines every couple weeks with a new theory about what’s really driving The Gap (i.e. besides genetics). The latest is, perhaps, how many words your parents say to you while you’re incapable of understanding words, or something like that. Being a believer in evolution, I prefer the genetic explanation, but if I had to pick a non-genetic one, I’d pick single parenthood.

– Danger and Play on being a man.

– I think these are also bad pieces of advice.

– Austerity is just another word for increased spending. Yglesias tries to clarify that austerity is any policy which he doesn’t like.

– The true face of academia.

– The effects of education spending on growth.

Thoughts on Finland.

– Todd Zywicki reviews Bailout.

– Roderick Long reviews Ayn Rand’s Anthem.

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18 Responses to Randoms

  1. josh says:

    I think Goldman was BHO’s number one last time. What gives?

  2. Candide III says:

    Some economist has been doing necromancy, then. The original Hart-Risley 30 Million Word Gap Study was done in 1995 (here is a summary (pdf)) and it’s been floating on the internet since at least 2008. Choice quote:

    Even if our estimates of children’s experience are too high by half, the differences between children by age 4 in amounts of cumulative experience are so great that even the best of intervention programs could only hope to keep the children in families on welfare from falling still further behind the children in the working-class families.

    This depressing result evoked only a predictable call for drastically increasing intervention programs in the conclusion, but even supposing for the sake of the argument that HBD is rubbish, can a solution which involves replacing parents be called practical by any reasonable definition of the word? The society cannot supply graduate-level adults to parent all its children. (In fact, its graduate-level adults often refuse to supply themselves with children to parent.)

    To those who don’t believe in HBD this kind of study is prima facie evidence in favor of putting everyone through college, as if vocabulary was the only thing that mattered. Of course, this isn’t so. A large chunk of basic general culture — attitudes, judgements, viewpoints — is transmitted together with the vocabulary (even in this study they noted the difference in encouragements/discouragements). College doesn’t and probably cannot teach this stuff. Rather it depends on this stuff to teach the things it does (or was once supposed to) teach.

    • Bill says:

      Also, they were psychologists, not economists. Though I wouldn’t put it past some of my colleagues to do this kind of crap these days.

    • Matt says:

      This study proves more that HBD is not really needed at all to argue against lefties. If the gap is so ingrained by the age of 4 that it can’t be closed, then the next question is “what is anyone supposed to do about it?” The lefties have gone and reduced to absurdity their entire paradigm, and all without once resorting to genetic reduction.

  3. PA says:

    Race-liberalism is above all driven by whites’ visceral pity for blacks. Ever since European missionaries came to Africa to baptize depraved souls, the white man has felt pity for the black — as long as the black remained humble in his relations with whites. We don’t feel this pity nearly as much for poor fellow whites, or for members of other races. Not with the same acuity as we do for black people. My suspicion is that the black man’s physical appearance and in our perception his childlike mind are removed to such a degree from our most basic template of “fellow man” that our trigger response is to see him as cursed.

    This is why “anti-racism” has balooned to its present quasi-religious heights. It’s a bug in in our nature, from an evolutionary perspective. As every race has its Achilles’ heels — blacks’ is their unbreakable pattern of self-decapitation by killing their own cognitive elites and dysgenic breeding through a lack of any sexual disgust no matter how ugly the female — ours is a difficulty in resisting our altruistic impulses toward members of this uniquely (in our subconscious response) depraved race.

    Why does a liberal see a ghetto and immediately call it “poor”, even as its full of SUVs, plasma televisions, blingy bling, and most obviously well-fed people? It’s because all he sees is black faces and hears black talking, which will forevermore trigger images of poverty that is beyond material.

    To make a fine distinction though, the white liberal, male or female, young or old, most certainly does not love the black. Not anymore than does a racisss. Blogger Whiskey misreads the single white female’s charity for blacks (by way of her voting and her political correctness) as her love of natural alpha. What in reality drives her is feminine nurture pity, the same pity that, at its extreme end, made Mr. Biehl shake hands and dine with his daughter’s African killers. This white pity for the cursed sons of Ham is at the heart of what writer Paul Kersey calls Black Run America.

    Forget liberals, single white females, and Mr. Biehl, though. Look at me and you, red-pill thinkers on race. Personally, when I interact with a nice and humble black, I catch myself feeling like hurting his feelings on any matter connected with race would be wrong and unkind. I feel sorry for a black person who is quietly in over his head in some work situation. I was very indulgent of David Alexander and Obsidian when they first came off as friendly. Shit, I even scolded commenters who made apparently unprovoked racist comments in their direction. All the while rationally understanding that the nice black person would chortle as another black cut my throat, or at least he’d have rationalized it as somehow provoked by my indubitable racism.

    The whites’ pity for blacks is not limitless though. It comes to an abrupt end and turns into hate — or more precisely, into survival imperative — when the black stops being humble and becomes confident and aggressive. Rural Southerners lynched blacks in retaliation for real or alleged acts of criminal depravity: think Newsom and Christian but decades earlier. Barring extreme cases like Mr. Biehl, the most liberal white father, I honestly believe, would in his heart of hearts rather his own daughter die of cancer than be knocked up by a black man — in both cases it’s a genetic obliteration but at least cancer doesn’t humiliate him. But most liberals who matter do not see blacks’ aggressive side up close and personal. Most liberals who matter preemptively insulate their daughters from coming into contact with black suitors.

    Thus their theological pity for the black man flourishes unchecked and liberals who matter self-indulgently luxuriant in said pity. This is why the more we sacrifice our blood and treasure into the black bottomless pit, the louder the shrill accusations of racism.

    This is why intelligent, worldly men in high places continue to let their hamsters run wild with the most absurd, intellectually indefensible, common experience-defying explanations for The Gap.

    On a final note, I watched Batman Begins in a nearly all-white movie theater. There was a scene in which Bruce Wayne fires his company’s corrupt white CEO and promotes Morgan Freeman’s character into that position. The audience in my movie theatre erupted in spontaneous applause. There is a genuine catharsis whites feel when our innate pity for the black is discharged.

    By the way, blacks pick up on this. And that is why the more they get, the more angry they are. A solution to the problem of our time depends on our ruling classes coming to understand this dynamic.

    • M.G. says:

      ‘…our trigger response is to see him as cursed.’

      Insightful comment. No matter how ‘equal’ he claims us all to be, an honest read of the average liberal’s posture towards Blacks–the excessive head-patting, effusive praise for the most mediocre accomplishments–betrays someone who believes he’s dealing with a group of people who are slightly mentally retarded.

      • Samson J. says:

        Right. A less detailed and accurate, but more succinct, way of saying it is that whites are generally genuinely kind, and so they really want to help the less fortunate.

      • PA says:

        It’s not just simple fraternal kindness for the less fortunate. That’s what whites feel for other whites. Liberals hate poor whites in concept, but unless he’s an exceptionally callous person, a lib would feel sympathy for a poor white he met personally.

        Whites also don’t give damn about people of other races who aren’t black. It’s just blacks we feel this weird pity for, and for reasons I explained above.

  4. Samson J. says:

    – I think these are also bad pieces of advice.

    I think the advice is terrible, too. The worst parental advice I ever got (from otherwise fine parents, I must say) was that I should study “whatever I wanted to” in university and pursue “whatever career interested me.” Alas, my parents exemplified that phenomenon recently described at Half Sigma’s – that because they never went to college, they thought *any* major was likely to be worthwhile.

    • spandrell says:

      Same here. Can’t really blame them though. It’s hard to guide your children in a world you don’t understand yourself. Our parents generation was the most deluded and clueless since Napoleon

    • asdf says:

      I disagree. You should do what you want. Just make sure its actually what you want and not the major that allows you to wake up late everyday with a hangover.

      I didn’t appreciate that advice enough in college, now that I’ve got an actual career and have to do the same thing for 40 years I get how important it would have been to not go into a career I knew I didn’t like just for the money.

      • Samson J. says:

        You should do what you want.

        To be clear: it’s not that this is false in and of itself – of course you should do something that you enjoy. It’s just that there’s a lot more to it than that; “doing what you want” always comes with some tradeoffs that young people are not necessarily aware of.

        A father’s advice should be something like: son, do what you want, *but*, since I know your personality, I think you would enjoy X, and I think you should steer clear of Y. Also, remember to consider A, B, and C, which may not occur to you at your age.

  5. James says:

    I know that Rand is one of Foseti’s favourite authors. I credit her mainly with having given rise to awesome pieces of music by Rush, such as 2112, Something for Nothing and Anthem.

    Because 2112 is so amazing, I read out a short essay on objectivism in class when I was 14 or 15—it went down surprisingly well. I conclude that, although she offers few detailed ideas to the adult mind, Rand is a healthy emotional influence on collectivised teenagers.

    Here are lyrics from Anthem:

    Live for yourself—there’s no one else
    More worth living for
    Begging hands and bleeding hearts will
    Only cry out for more

    <Something for Nothing:

    You don’t get something for nothing
    You can’t have freedom for free
    You won’t get wise
    With the sleep still in your eyes
    No matter what your dreams might be

    The plot of 2112 is based on Rand’s book Anthem. However, a lot of its power is due to Rush’s personal circumstances at the time. Their 3rd album, which included a couple of self-indulgent “epics”, underperformed, so the album 2112 was make-or-break: the studio told them to be more radio-friendly, and eschew lengthy compositions. In response, Rush created a 20-minute title track with these lyrics:

    I know it’s most unusual
    To come before you so
    But I’ve found an ancient miracle
    I thought that you should know
    Listen to my music
    And hear what it can do
    There’s something here as strong as life
    I know that it will reach you

    [Reply]

    Yes, we know, it’s nothing new
    It’s just a waste of time
    We have no need for ancient ways
    The world is doing fine
    Another toy will help destroy
    The elder race of man
    Forget about your silly whim
    It doesn’t fit the plan

    I guess Rand’s story struck a chord with them. (Luckily, 2112 was a hit record.)

    *SPOILER*

    I only recently got round to actually reading one of Rand’s books, The Fountainhead. I found that, for a famous author, her writing is stilted and her characters are lifeless. The only human moment is when Roark rapes Dominique—that is Rand’s sexual fantasy, and not in tune with objectivism. Still, there is something compelling about the novel: a tug on the emotions in favour of self-reliance and dignity, rather than wormlike status-seeking. Like Rush, Rand is extremely earnest, and they have both earned legions of devoted fans for this reason.

    It seems to me that humans have a certain volume of moral emotion, with deontological rationalisation on top. Although I am a moral anti-realist, I think that great minds should attempt to direct this well of emotion into an optimal configuration, given present circumstances. Given that average humans are thoroughly deontological, and we all have these feelings, what is the most useful way to position the moral emotions? Might they defend constitutional freedoms as “fair and good”? What to do about smart-alecs who point out the necessary inconsistencies in any useful (from a utilitarian perspective) configuration?

    In our society, Rand’s writings (or Rush!) are a benign deontological nudge.

    • asdf says:

      Ironically the primary real world result of Rand’s influence is to increase the power of worm-like status seekers (as long as they work for a “private” company). The greatest concentration of Ayn Rand fanatics I ever knew was in IB, and nearly all of them started at 3rd and lied, cheated, and stole their way home.

    • sconzey says:

      I had no idea that Rush were Objectivist-inspired. 2112 was the first CD I ever bought, and I’d forgotten how good it was. Thanks for reminding me 😀

  6. James says:

    From the Finland link:

    I would like British foreign policy to orient itself towards Russia

    A very interesting, recent book on Russia is Angus Roxburgh’s The Strongman, a study of the Putin years. If anyone wants a DRM-stripped copy, email: jamesg050 at gmail.

    The first thing to know about Putin is that he probably condoned the murder of several hundred innocent Russian citizens in an FSB false flag operation.

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

    The Wikipedia article is barely readable; Roxburgh’s book (which is far from anti-Russian or anti-Putin) strongly insinuates that this was a genuine conspiracy. We know this, because like most real conspiracies, it wasn’t watertight and was blown in a particularly embarrassing way.

    So, Putin is cold-blooded. As for his policies: as far as I can tell from The Strongman, Putin genuinely wanted to liberalise Russia in the early 2000s. However, he soon found that he couldn’t trust the Americans, and that opening his country would spell disaster. In hindsight, the Arab Spring phenomenon suggests that Putin was quite right. So, after a few years in power he clamped down on Russia’s civic and economic freedom. He is now unpopular, but (probably unbeknown to Russian citizens) his authoritarianism isn’t merely a whim.

    Apart from general illiberalism, Putin’s tactic for resisting America’s exported revolution was to kick out the NGOs and found Nashi, a youth movement which intimidates his political opponents. There is also RT News, his propaganda channel. I actually find this a good source of world news; the bias is in the occasional severe piece of anti-American propaganda (generally an “interview” with some crank) and pieces paying lip service to Universalism, i.e. pretending that Russia is instituting liberal reforms which it obviously is not.

    Some other interesting things from the book: corruption is a way of life in Russia; Putin is extremely charismatic in person; according to Roxburgh, who has been close to Putin, the man is naive in one respect: he seems to think that American politicians control their press. That is, when the Western press is negative towards Russia, he thinks that elected Western politicans are responsible for this. Of course, he controls his press, but the Western media have more power than politicians. He needs to brush up on his moldbug!

    Overall, The Strongman didn’t lead me to admire Putin or USG. They seem equally unpleasant, in different respects. Some of Putin’s misgovernance is due to the devil’s driving; I don’t think this accounts for all of Russia’s serious problems. So, I don’t see what the libertarian alliance has to gain from bigging up Russia—Putin is certainly no libertarian. And of course, this “I think the government should do X” is a failure mode: to echo moldbug’s BIL talk, we don’t have power! Certainly, I would like an improved government to do X, Y and Z; but the job of the libertarian alliance is to install that new government.

  7. […] Round, Patriactionary – Father Knows Best, FKB2, GL Piggy – Links, Foseti – Randoms, Matt Forney – Links And Ladies, Dalrock – Baby Momma Drama, Captain Capitalism – […]

  8. […] – James G on Putin. […]

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