I don’t want revolution, I don’t want “resistance,” I don’t want violence. I don’t want to make others live under my heel (despite the fact they dearly wish to make me live under theirs). […] I just want Done. I want Gone. I want Goodbye.
— The wave of the century.
The blog obviously isn’t coming from where Scott Aaronson is, and the title of this post isn’t even centrally his question, so I’m asking it.
If you were trying to discredit a demographic policy that discriminated against Islamization, the thing rolled out by the US administration looks like a good way to do it. Shouldn’t selecting against Salafism be the policy core? Such a stance could be easily based upon solid American precedent. This looks like something else entirely. (It’s a dog’s breakfast, which is to say hastily hashed-up populism food.)
ADDED: The flip-side to Scott Aaronson’s concerns (from his own comment thread).
Yes, it’s a ‘Moron bites’ that I’ve lazily twitter-packaged. Here‘s the almost incomprehensibly dismal source.
Jew stuff (from ‘Spengler’):
Israeli leaders of all major parties warn of two existential threats to Israel: a U.N. resolution forcing Israel back to the 1967 armistice line, and a nuclear-armed Iran. With Donald Trump’s election both threats have receded into the distance, and the State of Israel is more secure than it has been in its history. Yet American Jews, at least the majority of politically active Jews of high public profile, are miserable. America’s best-known Jewish conservatives—the “neocons” — have burnt their bridges to the incoming administration. It is one of the strangest, and silliest, episodes in Jewish political history. …
Lots of treasure subsequently.
A little hyperbolic, but definitely on to something.
SoBL has passed on this fascinating piece on Trump-fervor in Chinese elite opinion. It’s all good. Quasi-random snippet:
The past 30 years of China’s economic growth and social development began after a period of chaos [i.e., the Cultural Revolution], and there was no Enlightenment-like intellectual movement. Government officials, in order to mobilize reform, exaggerated the evils of the old benefit system as “everyone eating from one big pot,” which, with the assistance of some scholars, led to an almost complete social consensus that a market economy means completely free competition. With no restraint from ethics or rules, the “law of the jungle” that the weak are prey to the strong became nearly universal in society. Amid all the worship of the strong and disdain for the weak, an atmosphere of care and equal treatment of disadvantaged groups has not formed. Therefore “political correctness,” which is for the protection of vulnerable groups, basically does not exist in Chinese society, and the language of discrimination, objectification of women, and mockery of disabled people is everywhere. […] This way of thinking is further reinforced among some Chinese elites: they succeed because they are better able to adapt to and dominate this kind of environment. In this process, they are hurt by others, they hurt others, and gradually they develop a heart of stone and a feeling of superiority — that their success is due to their own efforts and natural abilities, and the losers in competition must be those who don’t work hard because they are lazy or have some other problems. Therefore, they believe in free competition and personal striving even more than ordinary people, and also feel more strongly that poor people deserve their low position, are more wary of the abuse of welfare by lazy people, and are more supportive of Trump’s attacks on political correctness.
The result is a shockingly civilized civil society (in which women, conspicuously, excel), but you wouldn’t get that from reading the article. Highly recommended, nevertheless.
Contrarian, definitely. But — on reflection — it’s not unimaginable. (Even if the average murderer is less gifted than his victim, the maths could go through.)
Nick Rowe on the economics of immigration:
“Total Factor Productivity” is not some geological feature like the Canadian shield. There has to be a reason why some countries are rich and other countries are basket cases, and unless you are lucky enough to find yourselves sitting on great reservoirs of oil that someone else will pay you to pump out of the ground, that reason seems to have something to do with social/economic institutions, and social/economic institutions seem to have something to do with people.
(If you want to be a format purist, treat the second sentence as the target, and the first as the lead-in — the emphasis has been juggled to help.)
Khan (who has a way with words):
For various ideological reasons there is an idea in some parts of the academy that Asian Americans are not a “model minority.”
(They vote funny, but that should be stopped for other reasons.)