IQ Shredders

There are all kinds of anti-techcomm arguments that impress people who don’t like techno-commercialism. Anything appealing to a feudal sensibility, with low tolerance for chaos and instability, and a reverence for traditional hierarchies and modes of life will do. There’s one argument, however, that stands apart from the rest due to its complete independence from controversial moral and aesthetic preferences, or in other words, due to its immanence. It does not seek to persuade the proponent of hyper-capitalist social arrangements to value other things, but only points out, coldly and acutely, that such arrangements are demonstrably self-subverting at the biological level. The most devastating formulation of this argument, and the one that has given it a convenient name, was presented by Spandrell in March 2013, in a post on Singapore — a city-state he described as an IQ shredder.

How does an IQ Shredder work? The basic machinery is not difficult to describe, once its profound socio-historical irony is appreciated. The model IQ Shredder is a high-performance capitalistic polity, with a strong neoreactionary bias.
(1) Its level of civilization and social order is such that it is attractive to talented and competent people.
(2) Its immigration policy is unapologetically selective (i.e. first-order eugenic).
(3) It sustains an economic structure that is remarkably effective at extracting productive activity from all available adults.
(4) It is efficiently specialized within a wider commercial network, to which it provides valuable goods and services, and from which it draws economic and demographic resources.
In sum, it skims the human genetic stock, regionally and even globally, in large part due to the exceptional opportunity it provides for the conversion of bio-privileged human capital into economic value. From a strictly capitalistic perspective, genetic quality is comparatively wasted anywhere else. Consequently, spontaneous currents of economic incentive suck in talent, to optimize its exploitation.

If you think this sounds simply horrific, this argument is not for you. You don’t need it. If, on the other hand, it conjures up a vision of terrestrial paradise — as it does for the magnetized migrants it draws in — then you need to follow it carefully. The most advanced models of neoreactionary social order on earth work like this (Hong Kong and Singapore), combining resilient ethnic traditions with super-dynamic techonomic performance, to produce an open yet self-protective, civilized, socially-tranquil, high-growth enclave of outstanding broad-spectrum functionality. The outcome, as Spandrell explains, is genetic incineration:

Mr Lee said: “[China] will make progress but if you look at the per capita they have got, the differences are so wide. We have the advantage of quality control of the people who come in so we have bright Indians, bright Chinese, bright Caucasians so the increase in population means an increase in talent.”

How many bright Indians and bright Chinese are there, Harry? Surely they are not infinite. And what will they do in Singapore? Well, engage in the finance and marketing rat-race and depress their fertility to 0.78, wasting valuable genes just so your property prices don’t go down. Singapore is an IQ shredder.

The most hard-core capitalist response to this is to double-down on the antihumanist accelerationism. This genetic burn-rate is obviously unsustainable, so we need to convert the human species into auto-intelligenic robotized capital is fast as possible, before the whole process goes down in flames. (I don’t expect this suggestion to be well-received in reactionary circles.)

What is especially pronounced about the IQ Shredder dilemma, which passes beyond the strongly-related considerations of Jim (most recently here, here, and here) and Sister Y (here, and here), is the first-order eugenics of these machines. They concentrate populations of peculiar genetic quality — and then partially sterilize them. It is the first-order (local) eugenics that makes the second-order (global) dysgenics so extraordinarily destructive.

So, that’s the problem starkly posed. Rather than reaching hastily for a glib solution, we should probably just stew in the cognitive excruciation for a while …

ADDED: Mangan helpfully abstracts the IQ Shredder concept beyond the specific Pac-Rim city-state example.

ADDED: Jim is on the case.

ADDED: Fertility false-consciousness.

ADDED: Hurlock in defense of cities.

July 17, 2014admin 118 Comments »
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118 Responses to this entry

  • FoolishReporter Says:

    low fertility and hypercapitalism seem to go hand in hand no matter the culture. hmmm

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Capital directs human ‘resources’ into industrial productivity, rather than bio-productivity (which is incrementally instrumentalized, as a means to the cyclic regeneration of techno-commercial production).

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    Industrial productivity is usually oriented towards products that can be delivered to provide value in human lifetimes, not beyond them. Which is to say, industrial production tends towards producing more dildos than diapers. Base human desires (pursuit of pleasure, avoidance of pain) incentivize the industrial production of products that will satisy them. This is terrible for humanity in the long-term. The result is plain to see.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    If that was even remotely true the Industrial Revolution would not have led to the biggest population growth explosion in human history, but exactly the opposite.
    On the contrary the natural tendency of capitalism is to drive time preference down instead of up which leads to more long-term planning.
    Try again.

    Rasputin Reply:

    So, the techno-commercial cannibalises the biological, just as capital cannibalises Christianity. It’s not really surprising that an alien virus completely annihilates it’s host. But I don’t think that it is necessarily beyond possibility to install a pro-sprog incentive structure that could hold back the process long enough to make a difference, and hopefully achieve AI lift-off. MM’s Dire Problem (which I was just re-reading courtesy of the link in your previous piece) appears to argue strongly in favour of a degree of Kingly intervention into economics in matters of “judgement and taste” in order to generate (socially) desirable distortions:

    “First, the King has no compunction whatsoever in creating economic distortions that produce employment for low-skilled humans. A good example of such a distortion in the modern world are laws prohibiting self-service gas stations, as in New Jersey or Oregon. These distortions have gotten a bad name among today’s thinkers, because makework is typically the symptom of some corrupt political combination. As the King’s will, it will have a different flavor.

    As both a good Carlylean and a good Misesian, the King condemns economism – the theory that any economic indicator can measure human happiness. His goal is a fulfilled and dignified society, not maximum production of widgets. Is it better that teenagers get work experience during the summer, or that gas costs five cents a gallon less? The question is not a function of any mathematical formula. It is a question of judgment and taste. All that free-market economics will tell you is that, if you prohibit self service, there will be more jobs for gas-station attendants, and gas will cost more. It cannot tell you whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.”

    Could the same Moldbuggian logic not potentially hold true with regard to limiting the effects of the IQ Shredder? Furthermore, in a fully realised patchwork, the patches which genetically devolved too quickly would soon become rotten and be either sectioned off or absorbed into other patches. Across a wider area of patches, not just Hong Kong and Singapore, all optimising for intelligence, is it not possible that a level of equilibrium might be found between Kingly intervention and the auto-bio-cannibalisation of the free market?

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    Moldbug has it spot-on there.

    Akaky Akakievich Reply:

    Berlusconi is king: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/silvio-berlusconi-acquitted-appeal-prostitution-case

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 5:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    This genetic burn-rate is obviously unsustainable, so we need to convert the human species into auto-intelligenic robotized capital is fast as possible, before the whole process goes down in flames.

    Obviously, I’m sympathetic to this solution, but I don’t think the problem gives us enough of a time-frame to make it operable. Speaking as pragmatically and skeptically as possible, as urban centers continue to attract and sterilize high-IQ individuals, we’re looking at—what?—maybe two generations before those individuals die without any progeny. That’s a serious exigency. I wish Kurzweil were right, but honestly, if he’s not, we have about 80 years to figure out a Plan B.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes. Escape velocity doesn’t look reachable before crashing into the wall.

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    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    I’d be interested on specifics on these reproductive rates. I get the feeling that the mean is highly deceptive. Are all groups reproducing at the same rate within the polity? Or is it highly skewed in one direction?

    An example of this phenomenon (where the mean is effectively useless for practical applications) is in the time for a woman’s first labor. They say, seven hours. But the 1st standard deviation is extremely wide. So a first birth taking 2 hours is not at all unusual — but if you plan according to the average, you’ll have your kid of the front porch (don’t ask how I know this.)

    I get the feeling this 0.78 disguises some .. interesting … filtration.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Can’t get lower than 0 on the low side. So the distribution can’t be that crazy.

    Ghostlike Reply:

    Plan B is genetic engineering. One thing smart people are good at is convincing that they are smart and smart is good in most people’s minds. Deep down, past all the delusion, people can tell where they stand with some part of their brain as far as relevant attributes go and the key insight of genetic engineering to realize that they will model their kinds after smart people once they have the ability to do so.

    A common complaint regarding genetic technologies is that people might go too far and leave ‘things’ behind in their rush for self improvement, but the cure for that really is more knowledge, understanding and experimentation.

    The real red pill of genetic technologies is that they are functionally equivalent to race replacement.

    What is a large group of 100 IQ blacks? Whites.

    What is is a large group of 150 IQ whites? Uhhh…

    It is a kind of a strange position to argue for, and you can find people on the far right arguing for racial preservation on one hand while arguing in favor of genetic engineering of humans on the other not even aware of the opposing natures of their two views. Going even beyond that if it is sheer power and beauty that one wants to increase in the universe then it makes the most sense to argue in favor of AI and take the racial improvement proposition to its radical conclusion.

    At any rate, the worries about dysgenics are far too premature at the moment considering what is on the horizon…no, let me retry this sentence.

    The feeling of helplessness when looking at the future is what is wrong. The correct reaction when one looks at the world now is worry, but the right reaction to worry is definitely not helplessness or endless comparisons to the Roman Empire, but the determination to make things right. An aggressive mindset is necessary when looking at the future.

    The real question is which of the futures that lie before us is the one that we really want.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 5:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Malcolm Pollack Says:

    As Scharlach says, the problem isn’t Singapore and Hong Kong, but every hub of advanced civilization. The problem isn’t new, either; it affected imperial Rome as harshly as it’s going to affect us.

    There are simply too many distractions, rewards, duties, diversions and responsibilities for the cognitive elites of any high civilization; they inevitably turn away from the burdensome task of breeding. Meanwhile the repository of knowledge and culture that must be carried forward grows larger and more complex in each generation, and requires more and more children of superior ability to receive it – but they aren’t being born. Eventually the whole thing becomes so top-heavy it totters and falls.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    Perennialism. My view as well (see last blog post, I go into it more). If Singapore was a sustainable model it would have a fertility rate above 2.0. There’s no getting around this fact. And there is no evidence that a 0.78 fertility rate could be tripled by an edict from the corporate King-CEO.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 5:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Yuray Says:

    My reflexive traditionalist reponse is that a system that produces a 0.78 fertility rate among its population is clearly completely degenerate and not worth having. My reflexive Balkan response is that you’re conflating a high level of material technology and comfort with actual human civilization. I see more civilization in a hearty laugh and good conversation than in a corporate boardroom. The first serves humanity, the second capital.

    There are human systems of organization that result in replacement-level fertility, life satisfaction, very high technological ability (and thus defense from outsiders) and quality art and culture. That should be the goal, not a hyperdrive-capitalist techno-utopia.

    Furthermore, I would add that the social order of civilization is not what attracts high talent people, but the chance to make large amounts of money. High-IQ people flock to New York and London as well, yet those are hardly Singapores.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Civilization X is more advanced than civilization Y if it has a higher degree of complexity.
    A higher degree of complexity implies a higher degree of a division of labor, which implies more advanced material technology.
    This is my not-so-reflexive Balkan response.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    So we have different definitions of ‘civilization.’ That’s fair. Unfortunately, there’s still that plunging fertility rate.

    I would define civilization not by its complexity, but rather by its sustainability (i.e. the lower the time preference…). Something unsustainable hardly fits the definition of ‘civilized,’ in my mind. If it’s unsustainable, there won’t need to be an argument against it anyway… as long as you wait long enough. And for Singapore, that time distance seems to be less than a century.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    “I would define civilization not by its complexity, but rather by its sustainability (i.e. the lower the time preference…)”
    The two a connected. More complex civilizations always have lower time preferences than less complex ones.

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    The two are connected, but, it seems, not in a very good way. If complexity was civilization was sustainability, Singapore’s birthrate would be a solid 2.1. Instead, it seems more like complexity is the opposite of sustainability.

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Civilizations are those people we remember. We remember them because they were highly productive and built for posterity. When people lose interest in posterity, they shortly thereafter become invisible to historians.

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 5:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • FredR Says:

    The population cycle drives human history?

    http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6557/

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Yeah that paper is phenomenal. A must read. The most interesting data point I took out of it was that the Germans disappeared from Transylvania over the course of a few generations in the 1700s and 1800s. As they got thinner on the ground they found it harder and harder to pair up and breed. Something similar has happened in Buenos Aires, which is getting more and more indigenous. European peoples just can’t seem to take root there. So, conceptually, I think the take-away from the paper is that the historical stronghold of northern people is … the north. That’s where they thrive. The obvious retort is that heating and AC have made climate a moot point. So perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that places with a critical mass of strong, healthy, intelligent northerners (Scotland, Finland, Russia, Wisconsin) will hang on to their cultures for a long time.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Malcolm Pollack Says:

    Accelerating the problem is that women – the limiting reagent of any population – are now, in proportion to their intelligence and their engagement with the high civilization, drawn into the same sterilizing process. Short of Brave-New-World-style baby-making, there’s simply no hope of a sustainable birthrate for genetic elites.

    [Reply]

    Leonard Reply:

    We do have fertility techs to watch, particularly in vitro and surrogate mothering. These have not been mainstreamed, but they are getting close. The rich in the future will rent the wombs of the poor. It won’t stop the decline, but it should cut down on the cratering somewhat. Many women don’t like pregnancy, and/or don’t like the time off from work it implies.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Doktor Jeep Says:

    So what I take from this is that good genes and high IQ us wasted on hypercapitalism. I can see socialists using this as fodder though socialism takes away any motivation to “be smart”.

    Perhaps we’re missing an angle here.

    For what “system” is this IQ shredder “by and for”? I suspect it all boils down – or up – to someone somewhere owning 20 yachts at the least, but at the most and worst, they own the means of production too.

    Meaning it will still be their system once we call it out.

    Do they do this on purpose or in a more Kochian sense, simply don’t care as long as they get what’s coming to them?

    IQ may be the wrong target then. As one who has seen some of the worst thinking coming from PhDs, wisdom is what we need and if the smartest man in the world decided to be a simple farmer we can call that real progress.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    Agreed. Technocommercialists conflate IQ and complexity with civilization and the result is a place like Singapore — high IQ, high complexity, high technology, high order, no children, no future. Civilization is wisdom, not intelligence.

    Of course, you’re free to promote complexity at the expense of sustainability, but I don’t know why you’d want to.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Socio-historical Darwinism isn’t kind to ‘sustainable’ civilizations, which is why we’re where we are.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    It’s not kind to Singapores either, and Rome lasted a hell of a lot longer than Singapore will.

    Traditional wisdom is replete in cyclical explanations. I don’t doubt that all sustainable civilizations eventually meet their end. Again, see my blog posts. But some civilizations are much more sustainable than others, and starting off your new great technocommercial civilization with a birthrate of 0.78 and a lot of headscratching does not strike me as very successful, let alone sustainable.

    My suggestion would be to think about ways to make Traditional social organization possible in a world with such high technological complexity, not advocating for complexity then retroactively trying to fix the negative outcomes (which are inevitable).

    Kgaard Reply:

    @

    “My suggestion would be to think about ways to make Traditional social organization possible in a world with such high technological complexity, not advocating for complexity then retroactively trying to fix the negative outcomes (which are inevitable).”

    That’s where my head goes on this too. When the (Orthodox) Patriarch of the country of Georgia announced that he would personally bless every single baby, the birth rate went way up. In the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv, there are beautiful Orthodox churches all over the place — and in the town square one sees smoking hot 25-year-old women in high-heel shoes pushing baby strollers.

    Perhaps half the battle is simply becoming conscious that there is a problem. If the leaders do so and then prioritize the making of more babies, that’s a good start. Jewish birth rates are high because their leaders value new babies — both in Israel and New York. If the Jews can do it in a high-stress place like New York, why can’t others do it too? This points to the idea that there could be a spiritual response to the birth-rate problem. Russia is apparently having a re-awakening of Russian nationalist spirit. Perhaps there will be a revival of the Orthodox church there too, and a concomitant rise in birth rates as priests tell their flocks to get on it, so to speak.

    Part of the issue in Hong Kong and Singapore is that both cities are spectacularly crowded — even more crowded than Manhattan. The Kowloon side of Hong Kong is a never-ending human sea. How is a white-collar couple of 25 supposed to start a family in that mess? It’s not a reasonable decision. It’s not even reasonable to get married in that situation.

    I lived in and around NYC for much of my 20s and 30s and … damn … it would have been very very difficult to spawn given that I had no spiritual tradition to anchor a pairing or a family in. I could do it now because I’ve solved my career challenges. But then? No way. In capitalism, if you don’t carve out a career niche you end up the worst kind of wage slave. Marx was spot-on with his concept of alienation of labor activity. That is the FIRST brutal challenge that every new entrant to the modern workforce must deal with.

    If we set aside the overcrowding problem,

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    It seems like a balance issue, actually. The hypercapitalist places show two particular aspects working well (catallaxy and thedishness), but are failing at the traditional part. You need all three loops of the trike, if any are missing it’s going to leak.

    It’s also obvious that Buddhism – as a tradition – is probably an evolutionary dead end. My wife’s family is full of divorced Buddhists with 2 or less children.

    (Our Orthodox parish here in the states has many babies, though I don’t know if we’ve broken even just yet.)

    Kgaard Reply:

    @Doktor Jeep

    “It’s also obvious that Buddhism – as a tradition – is probably an evolutionary dead end.”

    Ironically — or perhaps not — Buddhism is perhaps closest of all the major religions to getting the cosmology right. So the implication here is that you have to have a lying cosmology to generate new babies. Very depressing.

    We see the same dynamic with mainline Protestantism. They’ve scraped away all the theological nonsense (these are smart people) but at the end of the process there is nothing left. No reason for anyone to show up on Sunday. So the churches are empty.

    I think half the appeal of Orthodoxy is the groovy services. The Orthodox are getting at a kind of existential truth experientially (incense, chants etc) — even if what they are actually saying doesn’t quite add up. Perhaps that is the way to go. But having been brought up heathen, it might be a tough stretch for me personally …

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Yuray Says:

    @Hurlock

    Industrial Revolution satisfied then-human desire for social approval to have healthy children. Over time, industrial revolution provided way better pleasure-giving and pain-removing products (there’s that technological improvement). Eventually society shifted from valuing children (a pre-Industrial value) to valuing pleasure and comfort, since the following was much easier than the first.

    I think this dovetails quite nicely with traditional notions of affluence leading to decline, so I’ll stick with it. Feel free to correct me.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    My bad, this should’ve gone at the top of the page to the comment that started with “If that was even remotely true…”

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    A very fair and painful statement of the problem.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • Driftforge Says:

    It’s probably worthwhile considering the counter case of the Amish in this context. Low attraction inward, high reproductivity, with a shielding demi-culture around it into which those not able to maintain the standards ‘boil off’ into, and from which the best examples can, on occasion, be recruited inwards to the core population.

    The shielding demi-culture is significant as it allows incoming ‘first-order’ eugenics to prove out prior to entry, mitigating the problems inherent in current skilled migration schemes that are associated with reversion to the mean.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • aisaac Says:

    Suppose we brought back hereditary slavery. Slave breeders would want to optimize thevalue of their stock, just like animal breeders do now. How much is a person with a high iq worth?

    [Reply]

    SGW Reply:

    I recall reading a rather verbose suicide letter that basically argued that there are two camps that always violently bump into each other. In these conflicts, there always is a group that fights for bio-capital and there also is a group that fights for techno-capital (Romans vs Jews, Normans vs Saxons, Confederacy vs Union, Axis vs Allies). Capital invested in bio-capital is capital that isn’t invested in techno-capital, and vice versa, so the basic relationship does seem to be antagonistic.

    While bio-capital and techno-capital are antagonistic on the surface, they are also unable to live without one another (currently), much like Orwellian superstates. There is no particular reason why Mammon would prefer the accumulation of bio-capital over techno-capital or vice versa, but for some reason states tend to focus on one to the detriment of the other. The reason why Singapore doesn’t accumulate and export high-functioning people the way it accumulates and exports high-tech commodities is because Mammon isn’t allowed to function in that area, not because it necessarily prefers the latter over the former.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 6:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • RorschachRomanov Says:

    Well, at least Azazoth is not without a sense of humor- twisted though it may be.

    Perhaps the greatest example of trolling in the universe- that evolutionary success refracts out of itself and hails self destruction.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That tragic structure seems remarkably prevalent. (Comic too, you’re right, from a sufficiently lofty perspective.)

    [Reply]

    RorschachRomanov Reply:

    Indeed it does. Admittedly, I find a perverse comical irony in the whole affair, but from time to time the humor fades- at first a series of meaningless auditory signifiers, and then I hear them- sobs of the wounded Fisher King, a “diamond bullet” (Colenel Kurtz) obliterating my lofty position and a sense of tragedy that would melt the heart of Stalin himself penetrates to the core of my being-

    A species of bison formed tight circles to defend against dire wolves. This was impenetrable, worked for thousands and thousands of years. A biped, man comes along…that very formation made them easier to slaughter.

    Azazoth always gets the last laugh.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    @ Mark Yurray
    People have always valued pleasure and comfort its not like this is something that happened only after the Industrial Revolution.
    “Eventually society shifted from valuing children (a pre-Industrial value) to valuing pleasure and comfort, since the following was much easier than the first.”
    Was it the Industrial Revolution alone that caused this value shift, or was it something else? This is a pure post hoc fallacy and you are not considering alternative explanations.
    Also there are plenty examples of quite traditional states in eastern europe who have a below-replacement birthrate despite their traditional values. These states are all much less affluent than western states (because they were economically ruined by communism) and it is exactly their poverty which is causing the population collapse. So lack of affluence can be very bad for birth rates as well.

    “If complexity was civilization was sustainability, Singapore’s birthrate would be a solid 2.1. Instead, it seems more like complexity is the opposite of sustainability.”
    Or it means that there is a third factor that is driving sustainability down nothing to do with complexity.
    “Here is a complex society with a low birthrate, therefore more complexity always leads to lower birthrates”
    This is simply once again overlooking alternative explanations in favor of the one you prefer.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    People had to value things other than pleasure and comfort before the Industrial revolution, because before then they were much, much harder to come by.

    “Was it the Industrial Revolution alone that caused this value shift, or was it something else? This is a pure post hoc fallacy and you are not considering alternative explanations.”

    I considered alternative explanations and found them wanting. This explanation makes the most sense: higher availability of comfort and pleasure > higher valuing of comfort and pleasure (short-term) > less long-term investments > less children. I mean, I’m open to other explanations, but Occam’s Razor dude…

    “Also there are plenty examples of quite traditional states in eastern europe who have a below-replacement birthrate despite their traditional values. These states are all much less affluent than western states (because they were economically ruined by communism) and it is exactly their poverty which is causing the population collapse. So lack of affluence can be very bad for birth rates as well.”

    Traditional in name only. Show me an East European state that has a monarchy, aristocracy, caste system and deeply religious population. And I would dispute that they are that much less affluent: iPhones and heating are not some rarity in Eastern Europe. Birthrates are low because communism killed their traditional values even moreso than capitalism did to Westerners, but now they assert them out of desperate nationalism and piety. If Eastern Europe was more affluent, the birth rate might rise some, but it would probably not reach 2.1 judging by the result in Western Europe.

    I know strictly religious Orthodox Serbs with six kids here. They’re probably even poorer than the average Serb, considering how many kids they have to feed. It’s wisdom and deeply held values that spur childbirth, since only wisdom, religion and tradition take the long-view of things, and children are a long-term investment.

    “Or it means that there is a third factor that is driving sustainability down nothing to do with complexity.”

    Keep hunting the Bogeyman. The problem of decadent and affluent people not doing the hard things in life (having kids, raising them right, dealing with national debt, dealing with youth unemployment, defending borders, dealing with mass infanticide, dealing with massive anaesthetization of the population, etc.) is not a new problem and it has a simple explanation.

    I welcome your attempts to find a third factor that we can solve and then all go have our cake and eat it too in a civilized, sustainable, highly complex society like Singapore. I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    [Reply]

    Mark Yuray Reply:

    For the record, don’t wait for a reply from me: I’m moving my philosophizing from Outside-In to the local bar for the next few hours.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    ” This explanation makes the most sense: higher availability of comfort and pleasure > higher valuing of comfort and pleasure (short-term) > less long-term investments > less children.”
    No it doesn’t.
    You do realize that more comfort means that it is easier and less dangerous to have kids?
    Why do I have to constantly repeat this? Capitalism is driven by and drives the lowering of time preferences. It. Does. Not. Raise. Them.
    Time preference goes up when you have more insecurity about the future. You have more insecurity about the future when you have less resources with which to support yourself, or are in a state in which the possibility of losing your resources is very high (like war or something, or an economic crisis). The Industrial revolution as you yourself observe, lead to affluence and affluence means more resources available, which means lowering of time preferences which leads to population growth. (as we observe in the industrial revolution)
    People in the middle ages had much shorter time horizons and higher time preferences than us, because they lived in much more dangerous and less affluent times. To suggest that people long before the industrial revolution (it might be possible to argue for people immediately before it) had a longer time horizon than people during and after the industrial revolution is laughable and betrays a lack of knowledge of history and economics.
    There is absolutely no way that affluence by itself can lead to higher time preference, there must be something else which caused the increase in time preference.
    (Also connected with complexity) The whole argument of Hans-Hermann Hoppe (from whom you probably took the concept of “time preference”) in his “Democracy: The God that Failed” is that it is a lowering of time preference which allows for production of capital goods that initiates the “process of civilization” – a positive feedback loop where time preferences perpetually decrease due to the accumulation of capital, the increase of the relative value of future goods, the further division of labor, and lengthening of life expectancies.
    Read that again, very carefully. Accumulation of capital, which leads to more affluence also leads to lower time preferences. It is a positive feedback. Notice how it also leads to a further division of labor as well, which means, as I said in a previous comment, an increase in complexity.
    So now that we established that your argument does not make any sense, and that prosperity and affluence actually decrease time preference, how about we look for some possible alternative explanations?

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    There is absolutely no way that affluence by itself can lead to higher time preference, there must be something else which caused the increase in time preference.

    Democracy, and in particular, women. Women notoriously have shorter time preference than men. Observe that single women never accumulate capital.

    This is why you have to subjugate them to their husbands, and make them marry young, in order to get reasonable fertility. The nazis stopped them from getting educated, stopped them from going to work, and still it did not make them fertile, for the nazis, being basically leftists, continued to undermine the authority of parents and husband.

    But even without votes for women, democracy will eat the seed corn, because the politician does not want to leave anything for the next election.

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 7:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    Why can’t we have industry and technology but take people’s toys away?

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 7:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Darth Imperius Says:

    What about Israel? They have birthrates near 3, yet they have a highly complex, highly capitalist, high-IQ society. Critically, they also maintain a sense of tribalism, warrior values and religiosity while most developed societies are abandoning them. Can’t this model be duplicated by other advanced nations and peoples?

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    simple problem: It is hated.

    [Reply]

    Y.Ilan Reply:

    And in what way is that such a big problem? We’re used to it and we can deal with it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 7:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • IQ Shredders | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 8:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    I remarked in passing on the cure for Singapore. Just as the cure for Chinese poverty was to import the economic laws and customs of Hong Kong into Shanghai, the cure for Singaporean infertility is to import the marital laws and customs of Timor Leste, where women cannot own property, because they are wards of their parents, until they become wards of their husbands.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 8:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    Dubai has a fertility rate of 2.9 kids per woman.

    On the other hand it has a huge number of single male expats, so may well be an IQ shredder also. But expats above a certain economic level seem to have a wife and also a “maid”, so may well have massive eugenic fertility. The data is not available. It does seem it is the poor expats, mostly construction workers, that are male and single, and if their genes go down the drain, we do not care that much.

    If on the other hands, high IQ expats are not marrying their “maids” and not allowing them to have children …

    We don’t really have data, but it is definitely different from Singapore.

    [Reply]

    peppermint Reply:

    The way Africa works is economically self-sufficient women try to get the biggest pimp to give them children. There are few women who don’t get to have children and many men who are left out.

    The way Europe works is a man of character chooses one and only one wife and gives her many children. There are less men left out, and there is also a commensurate pool of women left out.

    Those men and women who are left out are either slaves or monks.

    The slave girls want to seduce their masters and get some children with their capable DNA – of course they want a man who can support his own wife and kids and some slaves.

    And who’s going to tell her that her line must go extinct for the glory of the race?

    The reason White women are so beautiful and White men are so creative is because of the desperate struggle of White women to get impregnated.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    Where do you get 2.9 children per women for Dubai? I didn’t find much on Dubai specifically, but the UAE graph was horrifying, 1.72 TFR and a dramatic downward slope. If Dubai really stands out from that graph it would be worth investigating.

    Heck, it would be extremely significant if we could find ANY region which combines Mammon worship and good fertility stats. East Timor doesn’t cut it.

    But the elephant-sized fatty in the room is Mammon. He just doesn’t bless his followers with children. Unfortunately he does bless them with power, so we’re in quite a predicament.

    A civilization that converts to Mammon worship gains temporary power which enables it to defeat more “sustainable civilizations” and convert them to Mammon worship. But all this does is extend the gene shredding effect to more and more countries.

    But maybe there is a solution. Caste. Take some of your mid-high IQ but ultimately unremarkable types who would end doing something harmful like lawyer or college professor or HR person or journalist and instead, turn them into religious fanatics who have 7 children per women. Put that destructive verbal IQ to work on something useful, like memorizing obscure religious texts or figuring out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Don’t make the faith too compelling, you want a percentage of their offspring to leave the faith and start following Mammon, while the rest continue to breed more and more replacements for those who turn to Mammon worship and fade away. After all, regression towards the mean suggests that you won’t necessarily get your geniuses of the future from breeding together today’s rare geniuses.

    Sound far fetched? Well, isn’t this somewhat similar to the situation in Israel? The one modern-ish technological-ish country with a sustainable fertility rate of 3.0.

    Of course, if you believe the propaganda[1], fertility for non-fanatically religious Israelis is actually remarkably high as well, 2.6 for non-Haredi Jews. But of course, while they may be atheists, they’re not exactly Mammon worshipers since, by techno-commercialist standards, Israel is a communist country, concerned with something other than the almighty shekel.

    Ethno-communist Israel vs Techno-commercialist Singapore. 3.0 TFR vs 1.20. Whoa.

    [1]http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/4058/israel-demographic-miracle

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Dubai definitely has as much mammon worship as you can get. Fertility is not good, but looks like high status women have mildly above replacement fertility and high status men have well above replacement fertility.

    Fertility among expat women is only 1.7, but this averages over high status female expats (typically wives) and the very large numbers of low status female expats, typically maids, who are not supposed to reproduce. Since there is a very large difference between the wives and the maids, the high status female expats have to be reproducing above replacement.

    This may fail as Dubai becomes assimilated to progressivism, but the problem is clearly female status, rather than mammon worship.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    I agree with you that the problem is female status, but the question is, why would anyone go and do something as silly as elevating the status of women?

    A Cathedral specific answer is insufficient, because we have all of East Asia and the vast majority of the Middle East to look at. Less Cathedralized, still dealing with the demographic transition. I think we have to question a model that has Harvard alone causing that change, rather than merely acting to accelerate it.

    It seems to me that Mammon demands elevated female status, once you reach a certain level of technology / social organization, and jobs become more suited to the talents of females. From Mammon’s point of view the idealized 1950s situation with the housewife at home in the suburbs is clearly ridiculous.

    By that time the shift in the nature of work was already well underway; the unique talents of men were hardly needed for the vast majority of jobs. Conscientiousness (behaving yourself) and/or verbal bullshitting ability were on the rise as necessary talents.

    Historically, low female status was not JUST a social construct, to be raised or lowered at will. It had a rational basis in certain forms of female inferiority. Their inferiority at physical labor and violence being the obvious examples, but one might be able to come up with others.

    But by the 1950s (and for wealthier segments of society, well before, which is why they had women problems much earlier than the rest of us) social status for men was not based on their ability at physical labor or violence. It was based on a variety of factors, but verbal bullshitting ability and behaving yourself would be the two I’d focus on.

    In a society of warriors and peasants, low female status just makes sense. It’s obvious. They’re transparently inferior in these areas. They have high value, but in the same way cattle have high value. But in a society of lawyers, ad execs, real estate agents, university professors*, government workers, newspaper columnists, television presenters, human resources assistants, and assembly line types, the rationale for low female status no longer makes as much intuitive sense.

    Let’s face it, there are a whole lot of people who have jobs that women can do, with varying but reasonable levels of effectiveness. In a sea of bullshit jobs based on verbal bullshitting ability and behaving yourself, it’s easy to lose track of the few jobs that still require the unique talents of men. And we’d already set up a status hierarchy where many of these female friendly jobs were reasonably high status. Good luck telling the lawyers that they’re no better than women. Even though it’s true, trust me on that one.

    So for Mammon it didn’t make a lot of sense to have perfectly capable lawyers, real estate agents, Huffington Post contributors, etc. sitting at home in the suburbs, raising children, when they could be sitting in cubicles raising GDPz. It makes even less sense now, as we continue to move towards an ever more fully bullshit based economy.

    You wanted technological capitalism, you got it, albeit in a hideously twisted form. But we can learn something from this version. It turns out that In technological capitalism women aren’t naturally low status. It may be ideology that pushes a tiny minority into fire fighting, but there are any number of professions based on verbal bullshitting ability and behaving yourself to which they are admirably suited. That’s just the market.

    * Especially with standards declining in the shift to mass education, where university professor becomes more like high school teacher.

    scientism Reply:

    @ an inanimate aluminum tube

    East Asian countries combine low female workforce participation with low fertility. Countries with more women in the workforce actually have higher fertility (Japan recently started advocating that more women work in a bizarre attempt to raise fertility). So it’s not careerism among women. Note that Singapore is a former British colony and inherited the colonial political and legal system, Japan’s government and laws were created during the US occupation, South Korea and Taiwan are both constructions of the US. So The Cathedral had input there.

    The problem is likely things like family law, divorce law, mass education, etc, all of which these countries borrowed from the West. It seems like the mix of having women legally emancipated but subject to traditional expectations is particularly toxic and leads to especially low fertility – i.e., in Japan there are not just fewer marriages and births but men and women seem completely uninterested in one another.

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Japan there are not just fewer marriages and births but men and women seem completely uninterested in one another.

    Throughout the world testosterone levels are falling. I don’t have data for Japanese men, but just looking at them, looks as if the generation raised after female emancipation had a massive drop in testosterone compared the generation that preceded them.

    No one has a handle on why testosterone levels are falling, but I believe the cause is psychological rather than physical – possibly coeducation around age twelve or so, when all the hot chicks are more mature than the guys, bigger than the guys, etc.

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Heck, it would be extremely significant if we could find ANY region which combines Mammon worship and good fertility stats. East Timor doesn’t cut it.

    We see no affluent countries with really high fertility. But we see poor places with both really low and really high fertility – so it is not mammon that is destroying fertility. The same thing that is causing low fertility in the non Muslim population of dirt poor Nepal is causing low fertility in Singapore.

    Boko Haram don’t think they are threatened by Mammon.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    If the mammon theory is correct, then the Nazi measures to raise fertility should have been highly effective. Reduced female education, reduced high status female employment., but continued to undermine the authority of parents and husbands.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    As post libertarians we should be skeptical of the government’s ability to solve problems just by legislating them away.

    The Nazis couldn’t even stop abortion, what are the odds that their muddled, half-hearted efforts to deal with a fundamental part of human nature would be “highly effective”?

    One Nazi official lamented “The state stands helpless before many things. The scornful smile, expressing the sentiments of the children in regard to the “stupid” people with large families, cannot be forbidden or restricted. The state cannot completely eliminate the manifold dangers of the large city and it cannot deprive mothers of their employment.* At first it can only honour the mothers of children and remove from the fathers of large families part of their extra burden by reducing their taxes.”

    * Note that in a traditional economy this employment would have taken place in the home, while in a semi-modern economy like Germany it would have taken place outside the home. The implications for child rearing are obvious.

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 9:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ademonos Says:

    And that’s why we need a semi-arbitrary priviliged class. An aristocracy of bloodlines, but plastic enough to allow the most talented to join its ranks, and the less talented within the bloodlines to leave. Whether we live in a techno-capitalist system, a throne and altar feudalism, or something else is mostly irrelevant. An explicitly priviliged class is necessary.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    In an ethno-socialist state like Israel, is there effectively a widespread aristocracy of the Jews?

    If so, the problem with Sweden and Norway is no recognized proles.

    [Reply]

    Ademonos Reply:

    Yes, that’s precisely our problem (yes, I’m from Sweden). Also, no real upper class or elite, only a very rich middle class. Our entire countries are almost exclusively middle-class.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Aristocrats were always too worried with family honor and acquiring property, that their fertility was never very high. It was the farmers who bred.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Us anglos, we had some really solid farmers. Know why? Because all of the Anglo nobles got downgraded when we lost to the Normans, wasn’t it?

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Not that many Anglo nobles to make a difference, even if they all picked up farming; which they didn’t as a big bunch were surely killed by the Normans.

    Khans seem to leave a hefty genetic footprint; European nobles, not so much.

    Ademonos Reply:

    Their fertility was at least very high compared to modern standards. Many times above replacement level. Also substantially higher chances of surviving at all stages of life (there are statistics for this flying around, if you doubt it). This is of course doubly true in contemporary times, with advanced medicine and treatments. Additionally, in an ideal system the lower classes would be subject to eugenic policies so as to limit their breeding in relation to the higher classes.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Aristocrats were always too worried with family honor and acquiring property, that their fertility was never very high. It was the farmers who bred.

    Vietnamese aristocrats typically had around eight surviving legitimate children, and a small army of “cousins” (illegitimate children) Poorly performing legitimate children were apt to be demoted to the same status as “cousins”.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Aristocracies in very ‘noble dense’ areas like France where you had a lot of titled people with no inheritance would probably suffer from low birth rates, due to perceived overcrowding (all overcrowding is in a sense, perceived) – why have 10 kids when you have to divide a dwindling inheritance, or when you’ll get 9 kids who have title but nothing to show for it?

    As it turns out, the ‘rules’ that govern aristocracy probably have a huge effect on its utility to the society (and not just to certain aristocrats.) Therefore, I think you can conclude two things:

    1. Aristocracy, with good rules, can be a huge eugenic and civilizational force
    2. Having an aristocracy can be as bad or worse as having none, and informal aristocracies seem to be the worst (because their informal rules will tend to favor particular powerful people at the expense of everyone else, other aristocrats included.)

    Some minimal rules are definitely required; would be interesting to see a version of these.

    VXXC Reply:

    An explicitly privileged class won’t work.

    If you mean guardians perhaps but traditionally that’s the actual defenders.

    It’s better to keep things informal when you have such a legalistic society who’s very fiber is shot through with postmodern immorality. This would simply create a worse exploit. Not to mention instantly create a billion determined opponents from the doer classes.

    An explicitly privileged class amongst the present human material would simply create another short-term, utterly boundless until heads removed chaotic exploit.

    We do need privileged defenders, and their informal privilege should be the law cannot touch them for defending – the current problem. It would be short work otherwise, the Progs are now worms.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 9:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:

    Smart people will start having kids when they understand that the definition of rape is attempting to force someone to use their resources to propagate your genes. That will get under their skin and make them go reproduce.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 10:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Filipe Says:

    Any 10IQpts cognitive enhancer could postpone catastrophe for decades and accelerate growth, and we’re likely to have at least that (probably much more) as neuroscience advances…

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 11:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Under a properly functioning anarcho-capitalism, you get to choose the rules under which your property is secured. The market then weeds out contradictory rules, and you’re left with the various profitable tradeoffs.

    If Jim is correct, a firm that do not secure women’s property except as part of their patron’s will be cheaper, and the families that subscribe to it will have more children. Therefore, customers who want children will also subscribe to that firm, which will naturally feed into the price signal.

    If Jim is incorrect, the market will also quickly determine that. It will route around the problem if at all possible, probably within five years.

    [Reply]

    peppermint Reply:

    ahahahahahahahahahaha

    “within five years”

    “the market will determine it”

    “families that subscribe to it will have more children”

    “within five years”

    “the market will determine it”

    “under anarcho-capitalism, you get to choose the rules under which your property is secured”

    “choose the rules”

    “under anarcho-”

    “the market will determine it”

    “within five years”

    “families that subscribe to it will have more children”

    “choose the rules”

    “property is secured”

    “under anarcho-capitalism”

    “within five years”

    “the market will determine it”

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    “choose the rules”

    “property is secured”

    “under anarcho-capitalism”

    “within five years”

    “the market will determine it”

    The market for violence will determine it. It usually does.

    The original plan of “Occupy Wall Street” was to occupy Wall Street and other symbols of capitalism. A handful of rentacops sufficed to change their plans.

    In an otherwise decadent America, with an army whose chief objective is to promote acceptance of transexuals rather than win wars, with a Nasa whose chief objective is to promote respect for (nonexistent) Islamic science rather than explore space, rentacops and the old Blackwater mercenaries have shown no signs of decadence. (before Obama forced Blackwater to sell out to a crony, much as Flavius Stilicho was executed for being too successful at defending Rome against the barbarians.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 12:35 am Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    There are high IQ people who do not worship Mammon and make babies. They are a minority today because of Mammon’s great attraction, but when TFR is 4+ in a world of sub-replacement, it won’t take long for the meek to inherit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 12:52 am Reply | Quote
  • DB Says:

    Well, the relevant “native” population in Singapore is Han Chinese… and it’s less than 1/300 of the worldwide Han Chinese total. This is about as close to a nondestructive policy test as you’re going to get.

    Singapore is in an especially interesting position re: adoption of reprogenetic technologies.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Yes … just looking at the math I don’t see how we run out of a sufficient number of high-IQ people to carry the ball forward in terms of technological innovation. Big cities have always drawn in talent from the countryside and then left it childless. The deeper issue, it seems to me, is that the middle of the pack is getting tawdrier from a genotypic IQ standpoint. Even there, though, that is partially offset by improvement of phenotypic IQs, which you really see in a place like Peru. So, if we extrapolate these trends, we would get:

    * Continued solid technological advancement ad infinitum;
    * Crummier art, crummier fashion, less attractive people on average;
    * Crime rates would be flat (genotypic IQ down, phenotypic IQ up);
    * Neither Elysium nor Idiocracy happen in their pure form. Things will be tackier. There will be enclaves of the wealthy, just like today. But smart people will still get rich by inventing helpful stuff for the masses (Elysium assumes the rich hog everything for themselves). And those around the world with a genetic potential of 90 IQ will be increasingly achieving the sort of real-world potential they could achieve in a richer country. Again using Peru as an example, rural areas are getting much better. New housing everywhere etc etc. The same is happening in China, Pakistan, Costa Rica … and soon should be happening in India.

    Since technological advancement pretty much all happens in small cohesive pods anyway (i.e. Silicon Valley), tech firms should be able to keep meeting their personnel needs without too much trouble.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 1:29 am Reply | Quote
  • The cure for IQ shredders « Jim’s Blog Says:

    […] Our best hopes for a high tech future, for avoiding a dark age, are consuming the genes needed for a high tech future. Smart people go to Hong Kong and Singapore and fail to reproduce. […]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 2:19 am Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    Consider an updated version of the five-tier dystopia. Call it “the dystopia of the nine tiers” – but note that its organization might be amended after several generations.

    Citizens are rated by noniles – that is to say, they are rated for genetic fitness by generation, and strictly ordered by fitness score. The lowest ninth is Rank Zero, the next highest is Rank One, and so on up to Rank Eight.

    Each female citizen of each rank is required to have a number of children equal to her rank number.

    Assume women start breeding at 18; assume most women are not healthy enough for continuous child-bearing and must take at least one year between pregnancies.

    Assume the starting population includes 4500 females, divided by rank into groups of 500. Assume there are 4500 male citizens, similarly ranked.

    In Year Zero of this dystopia (yes, that was an intentional Khmer Rouge-Pol Pot reference), all Rank Zero citizens would be sterilized. Assuming that women bear one child as often as every two years,then before the beginning of Year 16, the first generation of female citizens has produced the next generation. This new generation includes 18000 new citizens!

    This kind of dystopian forced-fertility would be able to generate such vast numbers of new citizens that it could operate dysgenic culls while still maintaining social order. It would not need to slaughter 88% of the population all at once — that kind of sudden move might make the citizens revolt!

    The new generation will be inclined to have superiority complexes – because only 500 of them will be descended from Rank One mothers, whereas 4000 of them will be descended from Rank Eight mothers. Celebrities in this dystopia would be fortunate souls who had been selected for extra fertility privileges.

    After several generations of selective breeding, the society might discover that a significant fraction of particularly fertile and resilient women were capable of bearing up to a dozen viable offspring. As the demographics allowed, this society could modify its ranks. It might have 12 ranks, while retaining the rule that each woman of a given rank must bear as many children as the number of her rank.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    This requires that the state coerce women to reproduce and have sex with people.of high rank

    This is likely to be unpleasant and involve a lot of state coercion.

    Women are a lot more likely to comply with coercion from people who love them, which economizes on the amount of force required.

    It would be a lot easier if parents coerced daughters to not have sex with people of low rank, and if when a woman chose to have sex with a man, or chose to get pregnant by a man (we could do it either way) then she becomes subject to his authority, and he becomes obligated to look after her, protect her, and support her and her children by him.

    Outsource the coercion to those as close to the woman as possible, because they are in a better position to coerce her successfully, and their coercion is likely to be less resented.

    [Reply]

    Akaky Akakievich Reply:

    How futuristic.

    [Reply]

    Akaky Akakievich Reply:

    I especially like: ‘We could do it either way.’

    [Reply]

    Antisthenes Reply:

    *tips trilby*

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 3:20 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Singapore, as its parent cultures of coastal Southeast China were all pretty heavy Mammon worshippers; and I mean that they have a Money God in their temples whom they worship openly.

    And yet they bred profusely up until 1965. So it’s not about money.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    Society wide women’s liberation didn’t make economic sense in the traditional economy, but it does now, under technological capitalism.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Depends how you calculate this ‘economic sense’. The argument has been made that any increase in economic output by the entrance of women into the workforce has been offset by the decreased productivity of men, who are prone to work less when having women in the office, and much less if working hard doesn’t lead to sexual access.

    There is no invisible hand; it is all too visible. Women’s entrance in the workforce was a political decision; of course some managed to profit from that, but that doesn’t mean that it was a spontaneous effect of market dynamics.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 6:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Akaky Akakievich Says:

    “… combining resilient ethnic traditions with super-dynamic techonomic performance, to produce an open yet self-protective, civilized, socially-tranquil, high-growth enclave of outstanding broad-spectrum functionality.”

    Super-Cannes, anyone? And look what happened there …

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 10:29 am Reply | Quote
  • dbqd Says:

    Well for what it’s worth it doesn’t seem to actually be a matter for Singapore. As long as they get to pick from the best of the rest of the world, there will be enough people coming in to make up for the lack of on-site births.

    And isn’t the IQ issue overblown? I don’t think smart people are going to go extinct, even for races the dire predictions of population death seem a bit too dire. Women can have 10 kids or so easily, and so on, see bouncing back populations after the war.

    Around the second world war peasants used to get a lot of kids because they would help work the fields and be a form of direct insurance against old age.
    Singapore is a country designed for economic growth, so of course it attracts money driven people. Fact is kids are a net loss on their bankrolls. What’s needed is a change of incentives.
    Maybe by reducing state social security programs (in as so far they exist) and allowing kids to start working at a young age, even doing away with compulsory schooling.
    I’m thinking about kids being taken to work early in their lives to become their fathers assistant, or some other job in his company, getting real life skills right from the get go and so on.
    Allow parents to keep their kids wages and soon they are going to pay for themselves in full and many times over. Also how cool would it be for a dad to work with his sons.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    What’s needed is a change of incentives. Maybe by reducing state social security programs

    Lots of people, the Nazis, emperor Augustus, and indeed Singapore, have tried financial incentives. They help a little, but the impact is small

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 2:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nyk Says:

    I’m not sure if anyone in the ‘Sphere considered this angle yet, so here’s my take: It might be the case that, in order to preserve Civilization, you have to destroy it first.

    What nonsense is this, you say?

    The word ‘civilization’ comes from the same Latin root as ‘city’. A fundamental feature of any civilization is that fact that it is tied to increased urbanization, it has been this way since its very beginnings in Mesopotamia. Without cities there could be no civilization.

    But, here’s my 0.02$ : I postulate that cities in general are IQ shredders.

    Cities are those places that are strongholds of leftist thought, because the inhabitants of the cities tend to become shielded from direct contact with the laws of Gnon (or laws of Nature) in a way that small communities are not. Also, in large, crowded communities where it’s not the case that everyone knows each other, things like ‘slut shaming’ are far more ineffective. The crowded cities are also have a psychological impact against having children. Cities allow for a greater division of labor, which is why they attract high IQ people who specialize and thus escape the tedious tasks required of them when living in small villages.

    So, it may be the case that civilization is fundamentally at odds with the existence of cities. Humanity is basically doomed to repeat the decline and fall. At least until something called Internet appears and allows smart people to specialize in the comfort of their family home in the village, next to their 4 kids and the family dog, with few if any celebrity alpha males around to distract the attention of the housewife. I think deurbanization may be a necessary condition for stopping the cycle of civilizational decline. The Global Village suddenly gets new meanings, and I think NRX should investigate that one step further from the Patchwork idea: breaking up not only the countries, but their constituent cities as well in favor of rural existence.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    I am pretty sure that smart people growing up in Silicon valley have a reproduction rate a fraction of that of Singapore.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 4:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    “yet self-protective,”

    No, no they’re not. They’re independent cities. Absent the US or a replacement protecting power they fall.
    In Hong Kong’s case they have China, and China has them.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    “yet self-protective,”

    No, no they’re not. They’re independent cities. Absent the US or a replacement protecting power they fall.
    In Hong Kong’s case they have China, and China has them.

    Finally.

    May also include:

    Yes, that’s precisely our problem (yes, I’m from Sweden). Also, no real upper class or elite, only a very rich middle class. Our entire countries are almost exclusively middle-class.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 6:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Funny capitalism was working fine until the Baby Boomers hit puberty, but then again so was sex, marriage, government, even war.

    Speaking of shredders, how about Bio Mass Shredders? It’s time we got something back from them. And all things considered we should take it without asking. Does wonders for our finances as well.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 6:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    1. Aristocracy, with good rules, can be a huge eugenic and civilizational force

    2. Having an aristocracy can be as bad or worse as having none, and informal aristocracies seem to be the worst (because their informal rules will tend to favor particular powerful people at the expense of everyone else, other aristocrats included.)

    Some minimal rules are definitely required; would be interesting to see a version of these

    Healthy and successful aristocracies seem to have been quite anarchic. The rules could not be written down or even explicitly stated, and were an emergent consequence of of relationships between families. Aristocrats owned the land, and enforcement came from the aristocrat. The aristocrat was backed by other aristocrats because of family relationships.

    If anarchy is that anyone’s force is legitimate, and anarcho capitalism is that anyone’s defensive force is legitimate, successful aristocratic systems are that the right to use force legitimately is a family possession.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 6:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    There is no invisible hand; it is all too visible. Women’s entrance in the workforce was a political decision; of course some managed to profit from that, but that doesn’t mean that it was a spontaneous effect of market dynamics.

    Muslim democracies going coed is as violently unpopular as white democracies going brown, and yet every single Muslim democracy has gone coed, just as every white democracy is going brown.

    When we see feminism appearing in poverty stricken third world places like Burma and Nepal, it is not a spontaneous result of economic forces. Armed foreign intervention is painfully visible in Africa. Why should we suppose it is spontaneous in wealthy countries?

    Pretty much all of the third world has had its fertility reduced. There are not that many wealthy countries, and considerably fewer than there appear to be since most of them are muppets of the Cathedral, or were puppets of the Soviet Union, so the fact that one hundred percent of advanced countries have reduced fertility is not statistically significant.

    There is a natural tendency for the family to collapse, to wind up as a matrilineal/matriarchal society like the ghetto, chimps, or many primitive tribes, where adult males are not really part of society or the family. This tendency is visible at all levels of economic organization, and economic development, and the Cathedral is forcefully aiding and abetting the natural tendency of entropy.

    The family is hard to build, hard to sustain, easy to destroy.

    Power is pushing hard for the destruction of the family. To sustain the family, power has to push hard in the other direction.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    The entire world has gone coed, including the Muslim world where coed is violently unpopular, sometimes so unpopular as to have lethal consequences..

    Is this the spontaneous result of market forces?

    On the contrary, we see single sex education to the extent that schools are genuinely private.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The fundamental IQ shredder is individualism. When people live for their own desires at the expense of all else, either under ideology or capital, they either have fewer children or raise those children poorly because they treat them as servants.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 7:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • laofmoonster Says:

    Not all IQ shredders are of equal value. The tradeoff isn’t between biology and capital, but biology and “anything that requires high mental investment”. This includes (literal) anti-capital-ist activities as much as capitalist activity. Staying in school for a PhD in Grievance Studies will put a damper on family formation.

    I wonder if an unfriendly/amoral AI could raise the survival floor of humanity, pushing us back to a Malthusian trap. A Darwinian treadmill sucks to run on, but it would make us fitter, so to speak. A cognitive arms race? It’s not quite unprecedented: the relationship between wolves and ravens has made wolves more social (and thus probably more intelligent).

    http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/node/43
    http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/sites/default/files/tech_pubs_files/V%20et%20al%202004%20raven.pdf

    Crow intelligence also helps them survive in human environments, perhaps we could be as the crow to AI.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2014 at 12:47 am Reply | Quote
  • Tom Says:

    Gerard K. O’Neill dealt with this issue almost 50 years ago. He asked, “Is the surface of a planet really the right place for an expanding technological civilization?” And he concluded, “No.”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_K._O%27Neill#Space_colonization

    An expanding technological civilization in the high frontier of space will involve an expanding high-IQ population. The surface area of the Earth is extremely limited by comparison, with very low hard limits to population growth in general relative to space, let alone high-IQ population growth.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m a little skeptical — supporting a big sloppy mammal in space is extremely expensive. Extreme structural miniaturization looks like a precondition for off-planet population development.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    If and when we have minifabs or nanofabs, so that you can make anything, including another fab, just by feeding the fab the necessary power and raw materials, then it becomes economical to colonize space, because of unlimited power and raw materials.

    Until then, not economical.

    [Reply]

    no Reply:

    indeed. The technology and engineering to create an O’Neill cylinder habitat at one of the Lagrange points orbiting the Earth existed in 1965.

    But the arable land and living space thus created would be the most expensive land ever to have existed, by two orders of magnitude. The Dutch project of reclaiming land from the North Sea would have nothing on this. Every gram of steel and glass, every grain of sand and pinch of clay for the farmland inside would be brought up from Earth, at literally astronomical expense.

    I’d love to leave the dying society of Ameri-Kwa behind and live in an O’Neill sky-city with a harem of fertile high-IQ wives. Wouldn’t you? It’s never going to happen, though. Ever. It’s a pipe dream.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 20th, 2014 at 4:45 am Reply | Quote
  • IQ and Eugenics | Anarcho Papist Says:

    […] I will forward some speculations about the intelligence constitution of societies brought about by the ongoing discussion of cities as IQ shredders. I note the highly tentative nature of these hypotheses, but I suspect that delving into distinct […]

    Posted on July 21st, 2014 at 1:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • bzfgt Says:

    Gas is significantly cheaper in New Jersey than almost anywhere else.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 24th, 2014 at 4:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Neoreactionaries Should Study and Popularize Complexity Science « Calculated Bravery Says:

    […] probably read quite a bit on this one.  From mating preferences and sexual strategies, to the eugenic or dysgenic effect of culture and policy, a lot has been written on this subject.  Evolution and adaptation are […]

    Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 10:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Career women are dysgenic | Atavisionary Says:

    […] favoring male intelligence in the long run. Traditional environments (patriarchy) minimized the shredding of intelligence traits that passed through women to some degree by prioritizing reproduction even […]

    Posted on August 12th, 2014 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • House of Eratosthenes Says:

    […] in writes on IQ shredders, Singapore being the classic example. It takes in very intelligent people from all over Asia, and […]

    Posted on August 25th, 2014 at 1:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • me Says:

    That argument rests on an unstated assumption that those high-IQ travel-willing people would have higher fertility rates if they stayed in their original homelands. I’m not convinced that this assumption is correct.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 5th, 2015 at 2:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Problem With Singapore – waka waka waka Says:

    […] The term itself was coined by the blogger Spandrell in this post from a couple of years back. Nick Land discussed it also, last year, here. […]

    Posted on April 5th, 2015 at 8:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • The future belongs to whoever shows up for it | nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst Says:

    […] for, and anything that causes lower fertility is selected against. This is the principle behind IQ shredders. In this case, if ‘farming’/‘foraging’ tendencies have a significant genetic component, […]

    Posted on August 16th, 2015 at 3:21 am Reply | Quote
  • On Progress, Lightbulbs and Neoreactionaries | Poseidon Awoke: Realist Says:

    […] doubt he has any clue that cities like Singapore have turned into IQ shredders, that these technologically advanced, economic dynamos are actually eating the genes which produce […]

    Posted on February 27th, 2016 at 1:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lessons from Foxes: Genes, Demography and Destiny – YugaParivartan Says:

    […] men leading to low TFR. Like Singapore, it appears that South India is increasing becoming an IQ shredder. The fact that high IQ men and women who engage in careers are less likely to reproduce spells doom […]

    Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 8:25 am Reply | Quote
  • The Basic Drives – ossipago Says:

    […] doubts about this are dispelled by another the existence of IQ Shredders.  Quite simply, some of the most intelligent people prefer prosperity to reproduction.  Surely […]

    Posted on August 15th, 2016 at 11:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • ‘Working’ Women – Dissident Quill Says:

    […] Last but not the least, ‘working’ women lead to IQ shredding. […]

    Posted on September 9th, 2016 at 10:02 am Reply | Quote
  • Singapore, Hong Kong and Other Hypercapitalist Societies as “IQ-Shredders” | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay Says:

    […] Interesting argument. […]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 3:43 pm Reply | Quote

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