Archive for the ‘Realism’ Category

Twitter cuts (#94)

It’s a clear sign of how seriously Radical Islam is taken by the foreign policy establishments of civilized states. Roughly, it’s treated as a biological weapon, to be used against real adversaries (you know, those who are not mere hill people). That’s not going to change much anytime soon, however much one might want it to.

October 14, 2016admin 60 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#93)

All inevitable ugliness aside, just by asking what the “self” in question is, we’re getting somewhere.

October 9, 2016admin 31 Comments »
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Quote note (#287)

Scott Alexander treads the lip of the abyss:

The one place where Clinton is higher-variance than Trump is immigration. Clinton does not explicitly support open borders, but given her election on a pro-immigration platform and the massive anti-Trump immigration backlash that seems to be materializing, it’s easy to see her moving in that direction. If you believe that immigrants can import the less-effective institutions of their home countries, lower the intelligence of the national hive mind, or cause ethnic fractionalization that replaces sustainable democratic politics with ethnic coalition-building (unlike the totally-not-ethnic-coalition-based politics of today, apparently?), that could potentially make the world less functional and prevent useful technologies from being deployed.

I consider this one of the strongest pro-Trump arguments …

(Don’t worry — he doesn’t fall in.)

September 29, 2016admin 57 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#90)

Twitter’s ‘improvements’ have made it hard to reproduce tweet-storms, but this one is really worth your time:

September 28, 2016admin 63 Comments »
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Sentences (#73)

Bakker:

The problem, in a nut shell, is that we are shallow information consumers, evolved to generate as much gene-promoting behaviour out of as little environmental information as possible.

(Read the whole thing everything he’s ever written.)

September 13, 2016admin 60 Comments »
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Quote note (#283)

Peter Watts on the neurology of psychological integrity:

This thing you think of as you: it spreads across two cerebral hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum, a fat meaty pipe more than 200 million axons thick. Suppose I took a cleaver to that pipe, split it down the middle. (That’s no mere thought experiment: severing the corpus callosum is a last-ditch measure against certain forms of epilepsy.) In the wake of such violent separation, each hemisphere would go its own way. It would develop its own tastes in clothes, music, even its own religious beliefs. […] … Even when the corpus callosum is severed, the hemispheres can communicate via the brainstem. It’s a longer route, though, and a much thinner pipe: think dial-up versus broadband. The essential variables, once again, are latency and bandwidth. When the pipe is intact, signals pass back and forth across the whole brain fast enough for the system to act as an integrated whole, to think of itself as I. But when you force those signals to take the scenic route – worse, squeeze them through a straw – the halves fall out of sync, lose their coherence. I shatters into we. […] You might expect that an established personality, built over a lifetime and then split down the middle, might take some time to develop into distinct entities. Yet hemispheric isolation can also be induced chemically, by anaesthetising half the brain – and the undrugged hemisphere, unshackled from its counterpart, sometimes manifests a whole new suite of personality traits right on the spot. …

(There’s much more in the article.)

September 11, 2016admin 61 Comments »
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Quote note (#281)

Amerika:

The grim fact is that evolution is not binary. It happens in degrees, like shades of a color on a detailed painting. Some rise above, and the rest remain in the middle, in varying degrees. Humanity has not risen above its ape ancestors, only some have, and the rest remain “talking monkeys with car keys.” […] We see this daily. …

XS has just one substantial disagreement with the place this post goes, as distilled here:
“… there is a 1% of mental ability, moral integrity and character who should rule the rest of us, because our judgment is poor.” No. The rare exceptions are too precious to be squandered on social zoo-keeping.

September 7, 2016admin 168 Comments »
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Sentences (#71)

Intrasexual competition as an engine of moral calculation:

In four studies, we show that men are more likely than women to make the anti-utilitarian (hypothetical) choice of causing three same sex deaths to save one opposite sex life; and that this choice is more likely when there are fewer potential sexual partners, more likely for heterosexual men and less likely if the female character to be saved no longer has reproductive value.

(Via.)

September 6, 2016admin 12 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#76)


Continue Reading

August 11, 2016admin 27 Comments »
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Sentences (#67)

Sowell:

If there were a contest for the most stupid idea in politics, my choice would be the assumption that people would be evenly or randomly distributed in incomes, institutions, occupations or awards, in the absence of somebody doing somebody wrong.

(Via.)

July 28, 2016admin 133 Comments »
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