Chaos Patch (#46)

(Open thread, links)

NRx doesn’t vulgarize to a denunciation of Cultural Marxism (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …). Yes, ‘Duh!’, but well worth making explicit. Widening perspectives in time and space. “[T]he Reactosphere [is] an Illiberal University System.” Against critical thinking (and response). On the holiness problem. A thoughtful appraisal of Neoreaction (1, 2), but I’m reserving judgment on this. Terminal-phase feminism. Fragged Friday. Mitrailleuse off-blog channels. Meta-masters (1, 2, 3).

“Things without boundaries rapidly become unthings.” (This is also good.)

A few of the more notable aftershocks following the Paris massacre, from two generations of Le Pens (this is better), Malcolm Pollack, and the Anarcho-Papist. No go zones? A wide-angle view. Our interesting times are getting more interesting. The Saudi king is dead. The interim successor “has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and at many times cannot remember his own name.” ISIS made its move just in time. (Chaos, right?) An analysis of Saudi oil politics. Then back to France (sort of). Auster holds up well.

Venezuela, don’t laugh (related).

The Duck at Chateau Heartiste. Before Yarvin was Moldbug (from 1995). A Scott Alexander no-like list. The long culture war (and a more conventionally humanistic account). Broken democracy. The value of independent corroboration.

Unamused at work. Gregory Hood on MLK. Bookishness is over-rated. On Guillaume Faye on sex. The Economist tip-toes towards reality. Hope for Wikipedia?

January 25, 2015admin 36 Comments »
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36 Responses to this entry

  • Chaos Patch (#46) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Chaos Patch (#46) […]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 12:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Was Enlightened Says:

    You may find this amusing (or merely jejune): https://wasenlightened.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/nyarlaxotep/

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 4:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Frog Do Says:

    Reposting comment on Yuray’s piece, hoping to get a nontrivial response.

    “Public speaking and leadership can both be taught, as any cursory examination will tell you. Rhetoric is one of the oldest subjects to exist in the Western tradition, and if leadership wasn’t teachable I expect many military academies and the entire red pill manosphere would be surprised. Sure, most of it is carefully taught pose, but effective is effective.

    The benefit of rote learning is turning learned behavior into natural habits. Not whatever you’re trying to say here.”

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    That whole post is so misguided I don’t see why people even bother responding to it.

    As you pointed out, public speaking and leadership can both be taught. Rhetoric has been taught for millennia, and it’s hilarous that Yuray seems mostly unaware of that fact.

    Natural talent from genes can help you learn those subjects faster, but you are not going to be born as a competent orator, that’s just ridiculous. Even those with a natural predisposition to learn certain subjects faster and have an easier time understanding them still have to, you know, learn them. Yuray’s point that you cannot learn or improve critical thinking is totally wrong as anyone who has ever spent a substantial time on Less Wrong or has studied logic can tell you.

    Legionnaire’s response was overall pretty good though.

    [Reply]

    Frog Do Reply:

    Ah, I skimmed Legionnaire’s response, and on seeing “I agree with 90% of it” I closed the tab. Having read it now it is the more comprehensive version of my comment. If a bit too polite.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    Since I would also say I agree with 90% of the Legionnaire’s response, I think your interpretation of my article is unwarrantedly uncharitable.

    The only thing I mentioned concerning public speaking and leadership in my whole post was:

    “Courses and even university degrees in “Public Speaking” and “Leadership” already exist (despite the fact that both are obviously inborn abilities)…”

    You will note that my incursion into this subject was very minor and ambiguous and had potential for endless clarification that I am going through now. You ignored 95% of my article and zeroed in on that part. Fair enough, you have a bone to pick with a certain statement. Your response:

    “Public speaking and leadership can both be taught, as any cursory examination will tell you. Rhetoric is one of the oldest subjects to exist in the Western tradition, and if leadership wasn’t teachable I expect many military academies and the entire red pill manosphere would be surprised. Sure, most of it is carefully taught pose, but effective is effective.”

    They can only be taught to the extent that one has an inborn ability for either. Aristotle’s Lyceum was filled with intelligent young Greek men. Those that I currently see gravitating towards “public speaking” and “leadership” are not intelligent young Western men, but loud and insecure feminists of dubious racial background and even more dubious intellect. I will reiterate:

    Aggressive young white men from a common background forced by military men to undergo daily physical and mental training with each other under severe restrictions will learn to be more confident and leaderly? Certainly.

    “The benefit of rote learning is turning learned behavior into natural habits. Not whatever you’re trying to say here.”

    I think we are largely saying the same thing. You say “natural habits” I say “tools for the intellect.” To use your intellectual idiom, I would say: the innately intelligent ought to be taught habits which complement their innate intelligence, instead of the masses being uniformly taught habits which are intended to make them more innately intelligent — intended, but failed.

    “Is this, the blog post and the above reply, a rhetorical exercise in signalling I don’t understand? Am I being trolled?”

    Your flippant dismissal of my thoughts as trolling was insulting, and merited my equally flippant response: justice 4 trayvon! However, I am happy to continue engaging you in these comments, so long as the flippancy is kept to a minimum.

    Henry Dampier Reply:

    Obviously, if you put a kid with perfect genes in a dog cage, feed him, but never talk to him, he’s going to come out feral no matter how intelligent he is. Yes, an extreme example, but a demonstration of why the genes-are-everything argument is false.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    I think I was too extreme in my article in an attempt to get a point across, but I think you are being likewise extreme in your interpretation of it.

    Public speaking and rhetoric can be taught in the sense that they can be taught to people with an innate capability for public speaking and rhetoric. Normally, people with an innate capability for public speaking and rhetoric get 80% of the details figured out themselves through the ordinary course of life which normally requires one to speak publicly and argue. The 20% on the top may perhaps require a mentor. Fair enough.

    Liberals do not believe that the innate capability for public speaking and rhetoric is unevenly distributed among the population. Liberals believe in universal human equality, and they believe everyone has the same innate capability for public speaking and rhetoric. Since this is not true, the result is high school speech/debate kids with heads pumped full of equalist “You can do it!” nonsense alternately giving rousing speeches (if they have an innate ability) or mumbling, crying and leaving early (if they don’t). I witnessed this for years and it was ridiculous. The liberal response is not to take the #1’s and doubling-down on rote learning to “turn learned behaviors into natural habits” (as you say, which I call “giving the mind tools to play with”), to give them the edge, but their response is to take the #2’s and double-down on attempting to teach them “critical thinking” (or in this case “public speaking”), with narrowly diminishing returns.

    In other words, the dogma of equality results in huge educational wastefulness as teachers attempt teaching innate ability into students without it. Equality stipulates that all students are equal in abilities, that the only differences among them are differences in preference, and the result is that all students with mismatching abilities and preferences becoming resource sinks. This is my first point, however misunderstood.

    My second point is that rote learning has been deemphasized in favor of “critical thinking.” In reality, lots of rote learning is still going on, but it’s useless rote learning of “tips & tricks” that are explicitly supposed to teach “critical thinking” and implicitly attempts to increase innate mental abilities. Instead of memorizing history, students are taught to memorize ways to organize their history essays. The innate historian would not have much trouble knowing how to organize a history essay; he would be better served learning history so that he has some new things to write and think about. The non-innate historian would have to learn history as well as learn how to be an innate historian. In equalist education, the latter gets emphasized to the detriment of the former. Resource sinks.

    An younger sibling of mine (at a prestigious American university, no less), enrolled in a class on contemporary civil wars, related the following anecdote: after spending nearly half a semester discussing the shitstorms in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Ukraine, it turned out that from the thirty or so students, only a couple were able to correctly name and identify the litany of armed groups involved in each conflict, their allegiances, origins, histories and general movements. Most of the students had been relying on CNN cliches to write the few essays that were required of them.

    “Wait, so, is ISIS Sunni, Shia or jihadi?”

    Out of thirty, perhaps three could earnestly ponder and compare the dynamics of contemporary civil wars, with the correct geography, history, ethnic backgrounds and militia-politics in mind. All thirty passed with A’s regardless. The twenty-seven students with a CNN-understanding of contemporary civil wars, after all, showed excellent “critical thinking” skills, I would imagine. In my ideal reactionary system, the three students who were able to actually remember the who and what of the subject would’ve been given equal time to drill more information on the subject into their heads and to ponder it. The other twenty-seven would’ve been sent off to another department (or, perhaps, out of the university).

    I shudder at recollection of my own similar anecdotes, such as the Ottoman history professor who thought the Republic of Ragusa was part of Slovakia — “No! Wait!” she corrected herself — it was Slovenia, of course. Always mix the two up, silly me! Now, dear students… (not one person corrected her, as I stared in shock. She’d been teaching this course for years. I will venture a guess that she entered an educational system starting the grand experiment of teaching equality-based critical thinking instead of the out-dated authoritarian habit of forcing history Ph.D.’s to accurately memorize the geography of their specialties.)

    I hope this clarifies my position. Perhaps the experiences of others have not been so disturbing, but my own experiences thus far have inclined me to a certain nature over nurture extremism, which I am willing to modulate, though loath to abandon.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    I think you may have opened up a good discussion, but the best way to move it forward would be to examine specifically how prog education theory has affected education.

    My sense of things is that progs realized, sometime during the 70s, that all of the critical thinking exercises (like asking “what would you do in such-and-such a situation?” and encouraging creative abstract solutions to problems) was being done in super-rich areas, while rote memorization was done in the slums. The progs said, “Ah! This is because of discrimination! It’s part of a plot to keep the rich people on top and the poor people on the bottom!” and so they decided to seize hold of “critical thinking” as a major part of their pedagogy. At this time, Paulo Freire’s attack on the “banking model” of education exploded (the “banking model” is what you’re defending).

    So it might not be critical thinking as such which is the problem. It might its use as part of a broader political tool, and its misapplication towards people who really should get the basics first.

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    @Izak

    “I think you may have opened up a good discussion…”

    Thank you, that was my aim. If my original article was incendiary and polarizing, I am glad; it means there is debate and resolution to be had on this important topic, and, finally (hopefully), a strong resolution we can agree on. Let this be the furnace that the mighty neoreactionary broadsword of reactionary educational policy is forged in.

    “…but the best way to move it forward would be to examine specifically how prog education theory has affected education.”

    I agree that we ought to get a sense of the history of education and educational theory to usefully apply NRx thought to these issues. We ought to also get a sense of the literature on IQ, memory and learning — with a healthy dose of skepticism, naturally, concerning the left-wing origins of most of this literature.

    “My sense of things is that progs realized, sometime during the 70s, that all of the critical thinking exercises (like asking “what would you do in such-and-such a situation?” and encouraging creative abstract solutions to problems) was being done in super-rich areas, while rote memorization was done in the slums. The progs said, “Ah! This is because of discrimination! It’s part of a plot to keep the rich people on top and the poor people on the bottom!” and so they decided to seize hold of “critical thinking” as a major part of their pedagogy.”

    My response to this would be that affluent white progs sometime in the 70s, as is typical for decadents, abandoned the virtuous model of rote learning which required three things anathema to prog ideology: self-discipline, discipline, and an objectively good and agreed-upon telos for the learning. They replaced it with “free-thinking” and “critical thinking” — critical, because, implicitly, they wanted to pass on their nascent tradition of criticizing and questioning “dogma” i.e. traditional Western Christian culture. They then simultaneously, and in that classic prog/Brahmin/SWPL tradition of zero self-awareness, did what you described: “Why do only us rich white people (SWPLs) get to learn critical thinking, our new enlightened form of pedagogy [read, NRx: a new degenerate form of education expected to manifest in a wealthy decadent generation] while the poor only get rote learning [read, NRx: the ideal form of learning forced onto the lower classes by a previous generation of progs who thought everyone should get to learn by rote like the upper classes, regardless of their ability to grasp it]? Clearly, our adoption of critical thinking education is what gave us our privilege! We must give the lower classes critical thinking privilege too!”

    “At this time, Paulo Freire’s attack on the “banking model” of education exploded (the “banking model” is what you’re defending).”

    From La Wik:

    “Banking education is a term used by Paulo Freire to describe and critique the traditional education system. The name refers to the metaphor of students as empty containers which educators must deposit knowledge into. This reinforces a lack of critical thinking and knowledge ownership in students, which in turn reinforces oppression.”

    >which in turn reinforces oppression

    Since “oppression” is almost universally associated in progressive minds with all the structures, habits, formations and social organizations that we reactionaries want to honor and rebuild, I strongly believe I am arguing for the correct position. Banking education today, banking education tomorrow, banking education forever!

    Notice the way the concept is presented. Students are “empty containers” and educators must “deposit.” This is left-winger projection borne of the dogma of equality. If you’re an equalist, you can only see your students as empty containers on an assembly line — after all, they’re all equal! This is insane. Human beings are not empty containers on an assembly line. They are physical and mental creatures of incomprehensible complexity and diversity with a supernatural soul of even greater incomprehensible complexity and diversity. Appropriate educations for them will all vary considerably — the ultimate problem in educating this diversity of human beings is balancing the available educational resources with the scope of diverse talents that require development. Banking education teaches something. Critical thinking education, as it is practiced by the left-wing educational complex, teaches essentially nothing, while claiming to teach intelligence (and, in even more Cthulhu-like horror, to teach “creativity”).

    “So it might not be critical thinking as such which is the problem. It might its use as part of a broader political tool, and its misapplication towards people who really should get the basics first.”

    All I can say to this is that the incendiary response to this article suggests that there is huge theoretical work to be done in this field from an NRx perspective. To use my own fledgling paradigm, I think we need to aggregate our cognitive power into the task of memorizing the history of education in the West by rote, doing the same for the the literature on IQ, nature vs. nurture, educational psych, etc. (all with a healthy dose of skepticism — remember who produces this literature/research, and it’s not Evola), and then applying our innate critical thinking skills to draw and articulate conclusions.

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    “That whole post is so misguided I don’t see why people even bother responding to it.”

    Not so charitable, are we?

    “As you pointed out, public speaking and leadership can both be taught. Rhetoric has been taught for millennia, and it’s hilarous that Yuray seems mostly unaware of that fact.”

    I am aware of the fact, though I didn’t consider it when I wrote the article, because I was focusing on a very specific thought I had concerning the effect of modern equalist dogma on educational prerogatives. I will point out again that several of you have latched onto this sentence:

    “Courses and even university degrees in “Public Speaking” and “Leadership” already exist (despite the fact that both are obviously inborn abilities)…”

    …with incredibly uncharitable opposition considering the minor and ambiguous incursion into the subject it represented. Calm down, friends, we are not thinking so differently. Public speaking and leadership are most certainly inborn abilities, which COULD BE improved with education, but ONLY INSOFAR as one ALREADY POSSESSES an innate ability for them. This reasonable formulation is not the reigning one. The reigning one is public speaking and leadership (and critical thinking, which I focused on) are skills that can be improved endlessly for anyone who expresses a preference to learn them. “10,000 hours to master a skill,” is the reigning formulation, despite the fact it’s false. Some people are naturally good at public speaking, leadership and critical thinking, and they ought to have their skills developed through rote learning (of heuristics, praxeology, rhetoric, etc.). Most people are not naturally good at public speaking, leadership and critical thinking, and they should not be told they are, or can be, and we should not waste resources trying to push them past their natural limits. We should redirect them towards more suitable vocations.

    The benefit of rote learning to innate critical thinkers, leaders and public speakers is that it turns learned behaviors into natural behaviors, thus reducing the cognitive resources required to publicly speak, lead or think critically. The benefit of rote learning concerning other subjects (e.g. history, economics, politics, languages, geography, biology, physics, chemistry, etc.) is that the innately intelligent now have something to easily apply their intelligence to — “tools for the intellect.” An IQ of 160 that has memorized the geography, history, biology and ethnography of, say, Bavaria, is prepared to produce accurate insights about Bavaria. The problem is that modern liberal-leftist dogma is prone to denigrate rote learning as some kind of obscene outgrowth of the “Authoritarian Personality” (yay Adorno, yay Cultural Marxism — funny how it ties in to that, eh?), and instead proclaim the glorious merits of pure “critical thinking” education. “Teach them not what to think, but how to think!” The legitimate methods of teaching “how” to think, i.e. praxeology, heuristics, logic, etc. are usually not included by our educational innovators. Instead, “critical thinking” education devolves into sophistry, feels, low-grade Marxism, and then replaces rote learning in fields where rote learning ought to be the dominant educational method. From my observations, at least, and the “very specific thought” I’ve referred to previously seems to predict this would happen.

    “Natural talent from genes can help you learn those subjects faster, but you are not going to be born as a competent orator, that’s just ridiculous.”

    I said inborn, not born. As in, born within you, not something you are born. And this seems obvious enough. Competent orators are born and made: they are born with genes disposing them towards verbal IQ, social intelligence, low anxiety, etc. and they are made as they practice oratory in a million life situations as they grow from children to men. I don’t deny that competent natural orators can improve their oratory with mentorship by more experienced and skillful orators.

    “Even those with a natural predisposition to learn certain subjects faster and have an easier time understanding them still have to, you know, learn them.”

    To say I deny this is ridiculous — do you take me for a fool? However, I will point out again that natural orators and leaders typically learned oratory and leadership not through formal classes organized by SWPLs, but through the ordinary courses of their lives that required oratory and leadership. A natural orator and leader will learn oratory and leadership every time he has to console a family member, motivate a close friend, organize some kind of group outing, or haggle with a stubborn foreign vendor.

    “Yuray’s point that you cannot learn or improve critical thinking is totally wrong as anyone who has ever spent a substantial time on Less Wrong or has studied logic can tell you.”

    My point was not that you cannot improve critical thinking, but that most people have a pretty low limit on the amount of critical thinking they can do, educated in it or not. I will point out again that LW stuff is not something that is taught in school! What is taught as “critical thinking” nowadays is not praxeology, heuristics and logic but sophistry, feels, low-grade Marxism and rote learning of “tips & tricks” implicitly intended to imitate innate intelligence e.g. endless debate on how to organize a history essay, and minimal debate on history, when the opposite ought to be the case.

    “Legionnaire’s response was overall pretty good though.”

    I agree.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 4:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chaos Patch (#46) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 4:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Here’s my commentary on the holiness problem:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~peter.a.taylor/fourth.htm

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 9:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Izak Says:

    Some of the responses to Anissimov’s piece are just as silly as Anissimov’s.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Specifically?

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    Jim shifts the goal posts entirely to talk about the Jews and denounce antisemitism. Nice to know he’s tackling the hard subjects, but the post wasn’t about the Jews. This statement: “If you conclude that Cultural Marxism is really really important and rules the world, it follows that Jews rule the world” is just stupid. He continues: “If you believe that the Cultural Marxism is the problem rather than a problem, it follows that getting rid of Jews would solve the problem.” Formal logic doesn’t seem to be Jim’s strong suit. He then goes on to contrast orthodox with reform Jews, as if his straw man couldn’t possibly do such a thing.

    Anissimov’s post was chiefly stupid because if anything it wasn’t anti-Semitic enough. If he had just said “the Jews,” he’d still be wrong, but he’d at least be vaguely plausible. But he didn’t do any of this. He limited his criticism to one tiny, infinitesimal fragment of the Jews. So it’s just silly for Jim to assume he’s talking about all Jews, when Jim himself has the wherewithal to discriminate between kinds of Jews and yet assumes that the post to which he responds does no such thing when its whole purpose was to do just that.

    Anarcho-Papist’s post is just…. I don’t know, lame. The very first sentence is pure bullshit. He’s humpy-dumptying (a term from that same paper that talks about Motte and Bailey stuff); entryism has a specific definition. AP redefines it to suit a theory he wishes to propose. He’s not talking about entryism and in fact there is no need for jargon. It’s an observation about group dynamics and gradual decay, and I’m assuming he’s using the term “entryism” as a sort of passive-aggressive inside attack against his target who abuses the term. Just a guess; I could be wrong. But to achieve such a rhetorical feat, you first need to make sense. So when he switches to speak about NRx, he’s sloppy. First of all, NRx is not really sovereign; it’s one of the most poorly defined groups I’ve ever seen. That’s what I like about it! If it’s sovereign, it has an “open borders” policy that makes all of America look like the Bilderberg group. Let’s now read his manly and aggressive quote: “Join, support, or get out of the way.” No doubt, these are some tough-sounding words. But most of what I’ve seen NRx do successively is A) host good general discussions on sociopolitical issues from an ideologically nonspecific non-prog standpoint, and B) navel gaze. I get the need for B, but I hang around mostly for A, and I try to be as honest about my views as possible. With respect to the soi-disant Neoreactionaries, even if I wanted to “get out of the way,” I’m not sure what I’d be getting out of the way from.

    I’ve said enough.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    My theory of entryism takes a pre-existing theory, ‘entryism,’ which is formulated to answer the question of why communities and groups not originally about one thing eventually become subordinated to that one thing, and modifies it according to a model of social dynamics which imputes volition only to the individual level, leaving evolutionary selection to occur at the group level. Hardly bullshit, unless you mean people are never to augment theories in order to make them more robust. The “original” definition, and definitions are theories after all, spoke only to those cases in which the subordinating is intentional, but this clearly doesn’t describe all or even most cases in which the same kind of subordinating takes place. The former is conspiratorial, mine is spontaneous.

    The rest is just you whining that NRx doesn’t exist to suit your fancies. You don’t need to like that it considers itself self-directed, which is precisely the point of its memetic sovereignty.

    Feel free to hang out in the salon and argue whatever you would like, clearing a space for discussion in which anything and everything may be considered without resort to thought-stopping buzzwords is one of its purposes, but that is not what it is identical to nor does is this to suit your purposes but rather its own.

    This is why the point of sovereignty was so important to stress: because some people quite obviously don’t get that. That is why the three choices are offered explicitly: join, support, or get out of the way. So long as you make yourself useful, you may stay…

    Izak Reply:

    “The rest is just you whining that NRx doesn’t exist to suit your fancies.”

    Not so! If it did, it would be the most schizophrenic and self-destructive movement of all time. I’d think it was lame right off the bat.

    As for the post, what more can I say? It isn’t your best work, and I keep up with it semi-regularly. Though I appreciate the response. I suppose NRx navel-gazing is useful in that it deflects accidental “entryism” by providing the appearance of self-directed memetic sovereignty or whatever else. After all, if everyone keeps saying, “What we are: essay #2564 on this question,” then it would probably give off a feeling of general unease for people who are haphazardly stumbling in with their own private hobby horses and preoccupations. But I have seen enough of these charts and graphs of the “react-o-sphere” writ large to know that it doesn’t have “its own” purposes as of yet, and there are various NRx people with their own hobby horses and preoccupations. If it is in the process of forming and materializing into a more coherent discourse, then fine, but it *seems* as if people want that to happen by making descriptive declarations about NRx rooted in what one wants it to be rather than what it is.

    Which is partly why it would be somewhat amusing to watch the word “neoreaction” get abused over and over and over again by the media (if the movement picks up) until the word denotes basically nothing.

    You have to keep in mind, my chief objection to your post is that I find it rhetorically lame. But I suppose it was a pretty random target of criticism, because I find most of the NRx navel-gazing posts lame.

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 9:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    Yuray’s post was cool to those that try to teach critical thinking in the types of “lateral thinking” or “outside the box” however none of his stuff can be sustained, see Stanovich’s book “Rationality and Reflective Intelligence”.

    Hueristics in general have been taught and are considered relevant in mathematics education, Jaynes notes this in his book and every one from Polya down knows this.

    Knowledge that can be executed over in time space, overcomes biology. Novice mistake. Many young people use the knowledge of the “arithmetization of the plane” aka cartesian graphing and are able to solve cubics, and solve many types of equations with this simple technique, that the greatest geniuses were unable to accomplish because they have that same knowledge. That one small powerful knowledge base allows them to outdo their biological ‘betters’.

    I agree with him on people trying to teach “critical thinking” when they try to teach you mental tricks ie outside the box, but an accumulated body of knowledge that can be executed over can give advantages easily over biology and it isn’t even close.

    Upon rereading his post I think he got his sentiment off incorrectly. Perhaps he rushed the post.

    Also note time-management is more important than I.Q. (fact) see Barkley 2012 or any year. I have also learned from Barkley how to recreate the environment as an extention of you ala extended phenotype style to give you more advantages, like it was an extra limb. PLEASE READ BARKLEY 2012 I’m TELLING YOU.

    I have a few interesting posts coming might have to delay until next open thread, or make my library/resource website this week.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    John gray is pretty much Mencius. They might as well be clones of each other. I think I’ve learned the most from either him or curt. Because I already had read John Gray I haven’t gotten much out of Nrx at all. Even though I considered myself a part of it.

    In fact I think one of the shortest ways to poliical know how is John Gray. Try either “Enlightenment’s wake”(1997) or Gray’s Anatomy where he also discusses how Atheism is a derivative of Christianity.

    http://www.amazon.com/Enlightenments-Wake-Politics-Routledge-Classics/dp/0415424046/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422224773&sr=1-1&keywords=enlightenments+wake

    Grays Anatomy a shorter collection of essays
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1846141915/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    and for christ’s sake has has a book called “Heresies, against progress and other myths”. Us ignoring him is a SPECTACULAR OVERSIGHT

    Don’t read is wikipedia article it’s bullshit. I’m convinced he’s one of the best/the best political philosopher of this age. Perhaps he might be displaced by maybe 1 or two individuals that accompany us, but that has not happened yet, and they’re not 20 year olds.

    John Gray also counteracts the standard NRx narrative of the polygon, he has had political positions before, and is the lead book reviewer at the new statesman. He knows about Burnham, Machiavelli, Pareto, He knew Karl Popper & Isiah Berlin, and might know Oakkeshot’s conservativism better than any one else. If you’re confused about the anti-progress stuff he will explain it way better than any one else does.

    Curt Doolittle + John Gray + Mencius and that’s a wrap.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Thanks for this reco. Just bought it. $9.50 in used paperback edition on Amazon. Will see what the cat has to say.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    “Upon rereading his post I think he got his sentiment off incorrectly. Perhaps he rushed the post.”

    As I mentioned on the Legionnaire’s article, I wrote it under the influence of a cocktail of stimulants as the fruit of an extremely specific thought I had: that the dogma of equality necessitates a huge waste of educational resources on attempts to turn the non-innate into innates, while neglecting the development of the innate’s innate abilities. Otherwise I appreciate your charitable interpretation.

    [Reply]

    stræcwine Reply:

    SanguineEmpiricist, can you provide any links for Barkley’s “Extended Phenotype” paper? I don’t have access via a university account.

    This is highly relevant to my interests, but google is not my friend here. Plenty of his stuff online, but not that paper.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    It’s not a paper it’s a book

    http://www.amazon.com/Executive-Functions-What-They-Evolved/dp/146250535X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422236544&sr=1-1&keywords=9781462505357

    He pretty much demonstrates what kind of society you have according to what executive functions you have or do not have and then what is missing in culture/society around you. He is the pre-eminent ADHD researcher.

    It has to do with your time myopia, your time horizon, how you ‘feel’ time pass and how long you can consider the future. Keywords Spatial Capacity, Temporal Capacity, Motivational Capacity, Inhibitory capacity, Conceptual/Abstract capacity, Behavioral-Structural Capacity, Social Capacity, Cultural Capacity

    “Cultural Capacity refers to the degree of cultural information and devices(methods, inventions, products) or scaffolding that the individual is adopting to attain the goal under contemplation.

    The extended phenotype model goes Pre-Executive Functioning->Executive Functioning–>Methodical-Self-Reliant level–>Tactical-Reciprocal Level->Strategic-CoperativeLevel -> Extended Utilitarian

    He uses the different levels specified and then _What is missing_ to diagnose your executive functioning deficits and proceed with your treatment accordingly at your recursive evolutionary level(??). Unbelievable. Who knew something like this was possible. Treatment at the proximate evolution(?).

    He makes the case that he is against the use of only ‘tests’ such as Ravens Matrices or saying the alphabet backward to assess your executive functioning and prefers an ecological approach and says that they do not correctly assess what they measure.

    He notes via Dawkins 1982 how advanced organisms construct inatimate artifacts for their own benefit. “Artifact genetics”

    “Several different levels of evolution are now believed to exist, and each is partially dependent on and derived from the levels below it. These are genetic(slowest)->operant conditioning->vicarious or observational learning->mimetic-ideational->gestural communication/language->mental symbolic(simulation via internal language)(fastest)->and cultural artifactual.

    Each level relies on a different storage device to accumulate information, a different means of encoding that information, and a different mechanism to replicate it. Each is a specific instance of universal evolution…. Note that the levels alternate between intrapersonal and the interpersonal, this may signal that the next level to evolve is likely to be intrapersonal…

    he also notes that evolution because of these higher levels has significantly sped up. He notes how city states, tribes, nations cannot exist unless you have hit a specific level of EF. Which he specifies as the strategic-cooperative level.

    So when NRx talks about time preference, THIS IS the scientific definition of time preference. This must also be why immigration severely complicates things, because now you have people of vastly different time horizons, time myopia, and impulsiveness and the way you conduct property relationships is changed.

    He also quote MISES!

    I am going to directly apply what I have learned as the ceo of my company. This is a severe advantage. I’m surprised that Scott Alexander has not already read this book.

    My other post seems to still be awaiting confirmation.

    [Reply]

    stræcwine Reply:

    Thanks. Just spent a few hours listening to some of his lectures.

    I assumed by Barkley 2012 you meant this paper:

    Barkley, R. A. (2012). Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation: Extended Phenotype, Synthesis, and Clinical Implications

    However, it’s only cited as a ‘projected publication’, so possibly google was not my friend as it has not been published.

    Currently collaborating with 2 rather severe ADHD cases, the environmental scaffolding stuff might be very helpful.

    Chris B Reply:

    @SanguineEmpiricist
    “I have a few interesting posts coming might have to delay until next open thread, or make my library/resource website this week.”

    Any update on this? and any chance you can send me an email so I can ask you some questions on this- newinternationaloutlook@gmail.com

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 10:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Izak Says:

    Also: Yuray is wrong and Legionnaire is right. Both of them neglect to point out what the actual secondary ed school system looks like now, at least in America. In lower-class, mostly black schools, rote learning is how things are done. In upper-middle-class, mostly white schools (the cognitive elite!), critical thinking is much more encouraged. If Yuray’s causal argument linking equality dogma to critical thinking teaching was correct, then stupid kids would get more critical thinking while smart kids would get more rote facts. Instead, the opposite is done, and it’s done for a very simple reason: people, in their hearts, know that no one is fundamentally equal to the other, and so they implement different teaching styles based on what they perceive to be the recipient’s innate capabilities.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    “Both of them neglect to point out what the actual secondary ed school system looks like now, at least in America. In lower-class, mostly black schools, rote learning is how things are done.”

    Rote learning of what? What are they learning by rote? What are the holding pens for America’s barbarian underclass doing to their wards, what are they teaching them by rote? This you must first explain to me in detail before I can add my thoughts. It goes without saying that my article is not concerned with the lower-class majority-minority parts of the educational system, which in my mind resemble American prisons more than the European notion of schools. Full disclosure: my educational history consists of overwhelmingly white middle/upper-middle class American public schools, overwhelmingly white middle/upper class American/British international schools, and overwhelmingly white/Asian middle/upper class American universities. Through personal second-hand accounts, I have good ideas of overwhelmingly white upper-class American private schools and overwhelmingly white middle-class European public schools and universities. When I comment on education, this is what I have in mind.

    “In upper-middle-class, mostly white schools (the cognitive elite!), critical thinking is much more encouraged.”

    Yes, which is where I see a problem. The cognitive elite should be encouraged to learn by rote. In my experience, “teaching critical thinking” results in 2-hour sessions of sophistry and thede-signalling set off by a pop psych viral YouTube video and an idealistic Brahmin teacher asking questions like “Can we really trust our intuition?”

    “If Yuray’s causal argument linking equality dogma to critical thinking teaching was correct, then stupid kids would get more critical thinking while smart kids would get more rote facts.”

    First of all, don’t apply my thoughts to lower-class minority-majority schools. I have little idea what goes on there. Restrict my thoughts to the above-listed types of educational institutions.

    My argument is not that stupid kids get critical thinking and that smart kids get rote learning, my argument is that everyone gets less rote learning and more critical thinking, but that the critical thinking becomes a resource sink (since critical thinking is largely innate) and the rote learning gets deemphasized to everyone’s (and especially the innately intelligent’s) detriment.

    Stupid kids should get expulsions, and smart kids should get rote learning. To the extent that true critical thinking can be taught, it would fall under the umbrella of “rote learning” in my mind, and should be restricted to smart kids with innate potential to be true critical thinkers.

    “Instead, the opposite is done, and it’s done for a very simple reason: people, in their hearts, know that no one is fundamentally equal to the other, and so they implement different teaching styles based on what they perceive to be the recipient’s innate capabilities.”

    I think you draw this conclusion by comparing lower-class minority-majority schools to white schools. I am comparing white schools of today to white schools of yesterday. I am guessing that minority-majority schools end up with rote learning because of your reasons above, and white schools end up with critical thinking because that’s where the equalist dogmatist Brahmins end up teaching — they can’t hack minority-majority schools. So “critical thinking” follows its adherents — into SWPL white enclaves.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    You haven’t established how or why the doctrine of substantive human equality led to “critical thinking” in schools, though. If the two things (still?) had a strong connection, then we would see “critical thinking” type education done more intensively for dumb kids as a way to help them get a leg up. I’m not necessarily saying critical thinking is awesome — the notion has its problems, and besides, it has a number of different definitions depending on whom you ask. But your argument is partly an historical one arguing for a causal relationship. Is this really true? It could be, but I need to see evidence.

    In my view, “critical thinking” questions aren’t always bad. The real problem is that humanities and social science (especially history) classes desperately need curriculum reform. With unchallenging requirements, teachers find themselves having to ask “critical thinking” questions just to facilitate discussion and kill time. Plus, with the current curriculum for most schools, the bare facts are somewhat pointless to learn. A progressive pedagogical thinker could easily take your objection and say “Yes, yes! We need to force our students to know everything about MLK Jr’s life! Except the bad parts! They need to know about his whole career! His church! Where he grew up! The name of his first dog! Etc!” I’d much rather be in some joke High School social studies course where we have a few lazy weeks to learn about how great the civil rights movement was rather than a labor-intensive few weeks where we learn every detail about it. Why? Because the whole thing isn’t worth dedicating much of one’s time to, and most of the good heretical info won’t be there anyhow.

    Now, I think “critical thinking” has such a stranglehold on pedagogy in college because the folks who represent the liberal arts want their field to remain as attractive as possible and thus increase more students. So they first get a stupid curriculum that students will be drawn to, then they make up stupid questions to conceal the fact that their class is pointless. If you take, let’s say, an average “major British authors” course in college and made the whole thing rote memorization, no one would want to take it. People study literature because they want to think about deep ideas. That’s a good thing; it’s one of the advantages of the humanities. But the difficulty of someone like Shakespeare forces you to familiarize yourself with a few historical details no matter what, and then you can start to pursue more info on your own time based on the line of inquiry you develop yourself. But the further you get into the modern era with literature and culture, the less context is needed, and loading up a class with stupid details about Toni Morrison’s life (or whatever) would be pointless. So instead, you get an optional Modern American Fiction class (rather than a required Shakespeare) with discussion questions like “Does slavery still haunt the US?” because the teacher was reading about Derrida’s writings on hauntology or whatever. My point is basically that content has a major relationship to pedagogical strategy.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    “You haven’t established how or why the doctrine of substantive human equality led to “critical thinking” in schools, though. If the two things (still?) had a strong connection, then we would see “critical thinking” type education done more intensively for dumb kids as a way to help them get a leg up.”

    There might be a disconnect between the Brahmin preaching and the Brahmin practice. Brahmins preach equality and critical thinking when they design curricula, pious equalists that they are, but in the classroom even they intuit that some kids just don’t get it — but the curriculum has already been designed to help “critical thinking” at this point, so there’s not much to be done. Everyone gets more “critical thinking” and less rote learning.

    I will again emphasize that “critical thinking” is not the same as actual critical thinking. “Critical thinking” is what happens when equalist progressives try to turn the not-so-intelligent into deep and creative thinkers. The result is sophistry, feels, pandering, “tips & tricks” and low-grade Marxism. The intelligent suffer this too, because they’re in the same educational pipeline with the same curriculum and the same teachers.

    And I think I’ve established how the doctrine of equality led to “critical thinking” fairly firmly — at least, how the logic of equality would lead to that outcome. If everyone is equal, asks the equalist, why are some people less intelligent than others? Cf. if men and women are equal, why are women worse at math than men? Well, the equalist says, it must be because the less intelligent just didn’t get enough education at being intelligent (“critical thinking”). Cf. it must be because of male privilege and patriarchy, women just need more math education (and money, and opportunities, etc.). The only reason we don’t hear about intelligent privilege is that it’s too absurd, even for an equalist. But we do see the not-so-intelligent getting more and more education, money and opportunities — like I said, resource sinks.

    “I’m not necessarily saying critical thinking is awesome — the notion has its problems, and besides, it has a number of different definitions depending on whom you ask. But your argument is partly an historical one arguing for a causal relationship. Is this really true? It could be, but I need to see evidence.”

    I wouldn’t quite call my argument a historical one, since I don’t claim to be a well-versed historian of education. My argument consists of taking the logic of universal human equality to its logical conclusion, and noting that the insanity at the end of that road is consistent with the observations I’ve made about modern education IRL.

    As for the notion of critical thinking, well, you’ve got critical thinking and you’ve got “critical thinking.” Critical thinking is what intelligent people can do naturally, and perhaps improve with instruction from other intelligent people. “Critical thinking” is what I mentioned above: in theory, turning the dim into the bright, in practice, sophistry, feels, pandering, etc. — the litany of expected mediocrities that occur when you shove a square peg into a round hole. Resource sinks.

    “In my view, “critical thinking” questions aren’t always bad. The real problem is that humanities and social science (especially history) classes desperately need curriculum reform. With unchallenging requirements, teachers find themselves having to ask “critical thinking” questions just to facilitate discussion and kill time. Plus, with the current curriculum for most schools, the bare facts are somewhat pointless to learn.”

    I can’t really comment on the intricacies of curriculum reform.

    “A progressive pedagogical thinker could easily take your objection and say “Yes, yes! We need to force our students to know everything about MLK Jr’s life! Except the bad parts! They need to know about his whole career! His church! Where he grew up! The name of his first dog! Etc!” I’d much rather be in some joke High School social studies course where we have a few lazy weeks to learn about how great the civil rights movement was rather than a labor-intensive few weeks where we learn every detail about it. Why? Because the whole thing isn’t worth dedicating much of one’s time to, and most of the good heretical info won’t be there anyhow.”

    I am highly skeptical of this happening. From this angle, demanding intense memorization is practically anathema to the typical progressive pedagogue because it inevitably reveals that some people are better at memorizing than others. Better to have everyone engaged in “critical thinking” which can’t be assessed objectively because “there’s no right answer!” A’s for effort all around.

    Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 10:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Son of Olorus Says:

    Adam Curtis just came out with a new documentary on afghanistan (exclusively on bbc iplayer)
    ,its really good – http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gyz6b/adam-curtis-bitter-lake -it just goes to shows how destructive political meddling and progress-ism is.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 26th, 2015 at 12:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lord Auch Says:

    The Economist article reads like they’ve actually imbibed some Charles Murray.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 26th, 2015 at 2:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Anthony Says:

    Hope for Wikipedia? Go look at the article on Gamergate controversy as it stands now (presumably without the efforts that got the various editors sanctioned) and ask if that looks like a pro-Gamergate article, or an anti-feminist article, in any way.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 26th, 2015 at 3:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Frog Do Says:

    @Mark Yurray

    I would say that constantly having to request your article be “interpreted charitably” given that it was rushed and done on a “cocktail of stimulants” does most of my work for me. People focus on the public speaking and leadership remark because it is an obvious failure in the original analysis, and a canary in the coal mine for the rest of the piece. The other obvious canary is talking about your own IQ score. And given your response to that was the nonsensical “Which courses on leadership and public speaking did Jesus Christ take?”, I assumed you were trolling, given the existence of a Jewish educational system explicitly mentioned in the New Testament. Your “Justice for Trayvon” follow-up confirmed it.

    So no. I am flippant because your thoughts were shallow and ill-formed.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    You said you reposted your comment here hoping to get a non-trivial response. In my unbounded charity, I wrote you 3500 words of clarification. Your response was to ignore them and continue inventing excuses not to engage me. I requested charity, because my intuition that you lacked it was evidently spot-on. To put it mildly, you are neither a gentleman nor a scholar. I will not make the mistake of extending good faith to you again.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 26th, 2015 at 6:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Problems with the “Puritan Thesis” in #NRx | Occam's Razor Says:

    […] been championed by various bloggers, which recently has erupted into a debate (see here, here, here, here, here, here, […]

    Posted on March 19th, 2015 at 3:39 pm Reply | Quote

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