Quote note (#285)

Razib Khan on the Leftist destruction of the academy:

Though I hope that [Alice] Dreger and her fellow travelers succeed in rolling back the clock, I suspect that the battle here is lost. She points out, correctly, that the total politicization of academia will destroy its existence as a producer of truth in any independent and objective manner. More concretely, she suggests it is likely that conservatives will simply start to defund and direct higher education even more stridently than they do now, because they will correctly see higher education as purely a tool toward the politics of their antagonists.

This RK comment in the subsequent thread is also not to be missed, and is (if anything) even darker.

(Via, where brain-drain prediction is attached.)

September 19, 2016admin 41 Comments »


41 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    If academia wants to remove itself from the useful information market and enter the already-crowded propaganda products field, this is excellent, because it allows it to fail. Conservatives should already be pushing this ruin into the abyss, and/or setting up their own alternatives.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I would like to see this happen. It would be fantastic to found a technical institute. One problem, if we’re being honest, is that the majority of the best minds in most disciplines are really leftist. It wouldn’t be easy to scrape together enough right wingers and gather them in once place to form a decent university. I do think enough faculty could be found in the technical disciplines.

    We would need a lot of money. Let’s say we start with 50 faculty and pay them 200,000 each at an average personnel cost of 300,000/year. 50 more staff at an average personnel cost of 150,000. Any prof who leaves a cushy guaranteed for life job at an established university is going to want to see the money in the bank to to keep the place solvent for the remainder of his lifetime. Figure 300,000/year times 30 years times 50 profs we are looking at 270 million.

    We need a campus. If you try to go to Blahville, where land is cheap, the profs aren’t going to come. Lab facilities are expensive, and we’re not just talking teaching labs, which are themselves expensive. The profs have research. The research is often done on expensive toys. They are not going to come if they can’t bring their research. You need the toys. You also need dorms, a library, a refectory, marketing. Having no reputation means we have to offer scholarships to attract the best students. Having no endowment or alumni reputation means we have to pay for those scholarships out of pocket. Figure 500 million.

    All told we’re looking at three quarters of a billion – give or take half a billion – to found a small new technical institute and populate it with high quality students and faculty. (And if we aren’t going for high quality, why are we doing this?)

    Now, a word on Khan’s article.

    Khan estimates that the ratio of pubic supporters : private supporters : public PC priests is 1 : 1000 : 100. I don’t think so, or else they wouldn’t have the problem that they have. You don’t lose your job unless your dean or your president decides to pull the trigger. A few inarticulate Shaqueenias waddling around holding signs in front of the admin building doesn’t get you fired. Even a Gawker article covering an embarrassing little protest doesn’t get you fired. You get fired when your boss calls you into his office and says that you’re fired. If he were one of the 1000, he wouldn’t fire you.

    He also contradicts himself. At the top of his comment he says, “it’s not about tenure or money. it’s about social sanction and approval. “.

    But at the bottom he laments that “they’ll stand aside while the 100 tear [Alice Draeger] to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career.” Now he’s down to brass tacks. Fear of losing your job is the number one reason why most people who know better are afraid talk about this. It’s not about social approval. Those are really nice jobs, very hard to come by, quite easy to lose if you stray down wrong paths.

    Hey, as a great irony of ironies, even he was afraid to mention what “it” is that people like him are not supposed to talk about. That’s a pattern with him. He knows what “population structure” means but prefers the technical jargon for a very good reason.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    One more thought. It’s really difficult for cishet white men to get into med school these days. The demand for med school outstrips supply, so founding another med school would be a quick way to get high quality students into your institution. Quick but not cheap, since you’d have to build a hospital.


    Cryptogenic Reply:

    I have a long and annoying story re: a Korean-American ex-girlfriend competing against Filipina, African and Middle Eastern students in med school. It’s maybe the hottest spot for ruthless diversity enforcement. Medical diagnostic automation cannot arrive fast enough.

    Erebus Reply:

    >We would need a lot of money…
    >We would need a campus…

    You’re thinking about this all wrong. A brick-and-mortar institution is the very last sort of thing you should want to build. Such a thing would be far too vulnerable to dozens of threats — in fact, indefensible — and, as you’ve noted, would also be too expensive. A hardened data haven, which might serve as a digital truth-repository, should be vastly preferable and orders of magnitude cheaper to establish. If this repository is properly and sensibly curated, it could provide a better education than anything currently available.

    Education is a racket, anyway — deliberately inefficient and far too expensive. We should look for technologies to meaningfully improve upon the disgraceful current state of affairs. We shouldn’t establish new schools along current lines.

    I’d add that if you want to establish a real-world “institution”, you’ll want to establish one that’s hardened to ideological threats: You’ll want to establish a new religion. This should, subsequently, allow you to raise money rather easily. The school will follow. Think Mormons and BYU. (I realize how unlikely and even exaggerated this suggestion is.)


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I don’t agree. We don’t need alt-right Wikipedia. We need profs, students, research, and development.

    Erebus Reply:

    Research and development? Do you mean technical research and development? What research questions would you assign a high priority to?

    Anon Reply:

    >Research and development? Do you mean technical research and development? What research questions would you assign a high priority to?

    Population genetics and (specifically) the genetics of intelligence, obviously. If someone like Greg Cochran had the necessary funding to pursue HBD lines of thought in a well-outfitted applied research environment we would be well on our way. Something like a SpaceX for HBD:

    “If you took those kids from the first group, with average IQs of 110, and dropped them on an uninhabited but friendly island, they would presumably get around to mating eventually – and the next generation would also have an IQ of 110. With tougher selection, say by kidnapping a year’s worth of National Merit Finalists, you could create a new ethny with far higher average intelligence than any existing. Eugenics is not only possible, it’s trivial.”

    Erebus Reply:

    It’s already being done. Hsu, Plomin, and many other eminent scientists have worked on the genetics of intelligence for years — and they represent the merest tip of the iceberg. In any case, you sure as hell don’t need to build a new school for that sort of thing. If you don’t mind the fact that it will be difficult to get your data published in a respectable journal, you can very easily hire Chinese or Russian scientists to run experiments and analyses for you. Then what? What do you do with the data? What, exactly, is the school for?

    And that “Island” scenario is more a thought experiment than a serious proposal. It’s not actionable. This, on the other hand…

    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    There are several reasons for having a living research institution. The direct technological benefits of original research into some of these taboo subfields will be profound. Pre-birth human genetic modification, research into eugenic selection pressures, life extension, post-quantum crypto. In particular, eugenics is strategically important; we don’t want China (or any single agent, really) to have a corner in that market. We would be creating a place in the US where people are explicitly allowed to research the dark side.

    An important meta-concern is that you can’t have a movement if the people in your movement can’t get jobs. Again and again I must reiterate that the number one weapon which the Cathedral employs against us is financial. It’s not social ostracism, it’s jobs. Getting disinvited from a dinner party doesn’t change anyone’s mind. Getting disinvited from giving a lecture at your field’s big conference definitely changes minds. (You need to give those talks if you want to be a successful big wig, not to mention they frequently lead to paid talks, TED invites, positions on policy panels, jobs as government mandarins, and other such perqs). There needs to be a place where explicitly bad-thinking people are seen to safely keep and grow their careers (for something besides being a professional bad-thinker). Being an anonymous unpaid moderator of a crypto-hardened Dark Wikipedia is not a career. We need a place for our guys to win and be seen as winning.

    Another reason is that we need institutions that allow us to disseminate knowledge to young minds that are pre-political . We don’t need to always do this the hard way by allowing the other side to spend the first 22 years indoctrinating the next generation without any meaningful dissent.

    Erebus Reply:

    The subjects you’ve mentioned are decidedly not taboo. Are you really interested in them? I mean no offense, but it seems to me that you haven’t bothered to look into them at all. Research into life extension, for instance, has exploded over the past 10 years. Research into pre-birth (and post-birth!) human genetic modification has gone from 0 to 100 — and is making its way out of the lab and into the real world more rapidly than anybody would have anticipated as recently as five years ago. Crypto is one of the largest comp-sci fields around. Taboo?

    In any case, if you can think up an experiment, and if you have the money, and if your experiment would pass an ethics review, I can guarantee you that you’ll find no shortage of scientists who would be glad to help you with that. Even in the USA, but especially in places like China. “Research and development” is something that can be done easy, and sometimes even cheaply. You sure as hell don’t need your own school for it!

    >”The direct technological benefits of original research into some of these taboo subfields will be profound.”
    >”An important meta-concern is that you can’t have a movement if the people in your movement can’t get jobs.”

    If you really think so, why not start a tech corporation and hire like-minded people? Starting a corporation that researches and develops life-extension treatments would be relatively cheap and easy. Here’s a lead for you: Daumone is a c.elegans pheromone that appears to delay senescence and extend lifespan in small lab animals and petri-dish cells. It has not been studied in much detail. You could start by chemically synthesizing it and selling it as a raw material to cosmetics companies (or Leonard Guarente’s company), then you could use the proceeds to fund more research. This wound not be difficult or complicated: It could be done with less than $100k and a modicum of time and effort.

    But a university? Your university would be ostracized, even if the accreditation boards, the Feds, and other regulatory bodies give you a pass and allow it to exist in the first place. Schools don’t control the scientific journals, besides, and those largely determine their academic ranking.

    Besides, even a “Pepepedia” seems like a pretty good way to “disseminate knowledge to young minds that are pre-political”. We must be practical, after all.

    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    What is RK complaining about?

    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    Maybe we don’t need a uni, but we need

    1) Smart, well-trained experts working at the cutting edge of their field, earning very good salaries
    2) Smart novices apprenticed to the smart experts, earning some amount of money
    3) Whose advancement is not predicated on allegiance to the reigning orthodoxy

    This might take the form of a for-profit venture that hires young people into apprenticeship programs.

    But it definitely doesn’t take the form of Pepepedia.

    Aeroguy Reply:

    I noticed the Bostrom youtube link and I have a quibble regarding eugenics through proofreading. The idea being that by removing genetic load we can be supermen. I don’t disagree to the extent that this proofreading isn’t about removing mutations so much as selecting for the beneficial ones, it just makes good PR if you call a particular phenotype (even one held by the majority) a mutation if it’s relatively deleterious.

    The issue is I see a contradiction, if we place much at the feet of genetic loading then why aren’t women smarter since they have extra safeguards against new mutations. It implies that either phenotypes for higher intelligence aren’t just about avoiding genetic load but primarily about having new beneficial mutations (so eugenics primarily though incorporating new beneficial mutations not filtering out new deleterious mutations like Bostrom implies), or men having a higher standard deviation for things like intelligence than women isn’t explained though redundant chromosomes there’s a different mechanism at work. If there’s a scientific wrinkle in my understanding that goes beyond redundant chromosomes I’d love to hear it.

    Henk Reply:

    Aeroguy, there’s X-inactivation. I don’t know enough to tell you if this is the wrinkle you’re looking for.

    michael Reply:

    not only that but its easily abandonable and restarted, professors can hold jobs elsewhere and work part time at an institution under pseudonyms if wanted, and its got a very hard edge against a 50 k a year alternative that require student commit full time. obviously it already happening and not yet taking over so work needs to be done on or for the model

    michael Reply:

    there are a few usually small and often a bit religious ave maria Hillsdale come to mind nothing like cambridge one problem is you cant take any public money including student loans unless you sign title 9 etc so hillsdales an all cash deal, online would be the way to go with professors working part time if they wanted theres a lot of that already not advertizing as conservative might be wise for one thing its kind of absurd to say they have a bias so are not to be trusted but our bias is no bias -even if true


    Razib Khan Reply:

    hey dumbshit, google the word “race” on my blog archive.


    michael Reply:

    But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

    S.C. Hickman Reply:

    Brett Stevens: “If academia wants to remove itself from the useful information market and enter the already-crowded propaganda products field..”

    I thought academia was always already a propaganda products field: producing left-wing ideologues as product?


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 1:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRK Says:

    “the total politicization of academia will destroy its existence as a producer of truth in any independent and objective manner“

    The obvious rebuttal is that the institutional production(!) of truth is always inherently political, and can only attain a degree of objectivity and independence by acknowledging that fact.
    Not that the academic left was up to the task, either.


    Cryptogenic Reply:

    RK himself pointed out that of course everything is downstream from the social/political. Everything is a social construct. But something like HBD realism is, at the very least, *less strained* and more likely to be correct.

    Only flaky INTJ types will accept this and not care that its implications overlap with ultra-low status ordinary racism, because status is either one more tool in our Pragmatist Survival Kit or is a goal that escapes us entirely.


    NRK Reply:

    “*less strained* and more likely to be correct”
    More likely to be correct than apodictic blank-slateism, certainly, but not because it is less strained.
    Strain might as well indicate objectivity.


    Cryptogenic Reply:

    Not sure exactly what you mean.

    OP: http://www.unz.com/gnxp/human-biodiversity-redux/

    “The key is that I think my explanations are less strained than those who reject the idea of race.”

    I think so too.

    NRK Reply:

    What I mean is that if everything is downstream from the socio-political (and let’s not forget the economic), then the intuitive plausibility of any explanation (i.e. its non-strainedness) can no longer be claimed as a straightforward indicator of truth, as it becomes explicable in terms of its smooth alignment with ‘the powers that be’.

    admin Reply:

    That’s a piece of pomo obscurantism of exactly the kind being criticized.

    NRK Reply:

    Re-reading both the article and the linked comment, I have to disagree: what the author criticizes is not the assertion that science and epistemology are social phenomena, but instead the aspiration of subjecting them to an explicit political agenda.
    Now, some people might argue that the one necessarily leads to the other, but that’s no different from accusing everyone doing HBD studies of wanting to set up concentration camps.

    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 2:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uriel Alexis Says:

    chances for a market-driven private academy to develop.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 2:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • atavisionary Says:

    If you would like some more specific facts and situations about the progressive take over of academia, I wrote the following:


    This piece was actually integrated into my book, and also expanded with more details. A more proper excerpt should be coming out on righton.org in the near future.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 2:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kwisatz Haderach Says:

    More comment-mining from RK:

    “yep, i think it’s a package deal. those of us who can see the future coming need to prep ourselves to make it into the oligarchy. only there will liberty remain and retain.”

    “people need to accept that the future is arranged around corporate units. that naked power will dictate relations between those corporate units.”


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 3:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Abelard Lindsey Says:

    Razib already mentioned in his piece what will happen. Non-technical higher education in this country is slowly being killed by the leftist in charge of it. Not only conservatives, but many of us alumni of many political flavors will stop supporting it by no longer donating to alumni funds. We will also vote to defund higher education (except for technical programs of course) as much as possible. The non-technical programs will wither and die over time and most universities will be stripped to their engineering and other professional programs.

    The private universities will fare better, at least for a while. However, I am reading on the net that alumni donations to these are declining as well. As long as their endowment funds hold out, they will be OK. When these start to run out, then hard choices have to be made, and we all know liberals are not good at making hard choices.

    Non-STEM higher education will be mostly a thing of the past by 2030 or so.

    These problems tend to resolve themselves on their own over time.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 4:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cryptogenic Says:

    Pepepedia does have a nice ring to it.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 4:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    This situation — which I agree with, but do not find the passing of rotten institutions terrible — pertains to the West first of all, and in its details to the US. I think Japan and China, in particular, are more pragmatic and less Cathedralized.

    More than two dozen Japanese universities have announced that they will reduce or altogether eliminate their academic programs in the humanities and social sciences, following a dictum from Tokyo to focus on disciplines that “better meet society’s needs.”


    I won’t link to the predictable reply (Forbes, “To Become A Global Leader, Japan Needs More Liberal Arts Education, Not Less”) to avoid the usual link jail time. I think it can fairly be summarised as inadvertently showing the need for even less liberal arts education in society.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 7:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    Perhaps a bit too close to the practical for NRx, but … The current educational system is a massive social and monetary waste and cannot go on. It is supremely cynical to put our young generations into debt slavery just to certify them for a possible future white collar job. It is equally cynical to require this process to take several years of no particular outcome, except relentless indoctrination. This is likely negative productivity improvements for most students, and we haven’t even gotten to the grievance departments.

    In the US, it would be fairly easy to fix (the linchpin as I understand it is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co. ), though that judicial weed has grown voluminous by now.


    Evan White Reply:

    One problem with the hypothesis that Griggs v. Duke Power is the root of all our trouble: as I understand it, the US is pretty much alone in the world in (more or less) forbidding IQ tests for employment. But even where it is legal, all those other countries are still all using university degrees as the credential for high-status employment instead of IQ. Why do we think that is?


    Aeroguy Reply:

    Compliance/diligence/agreeableness are valued higher than intelligence. Once the bare minimum intelligence required is met they look for other characteristics, higher intelligence than the minimum required is seen as a liability, even in engineering fields since they have more options and don’t have to put up with as much shit. At the very top of management where unlimited intelligence can be put to use loyalty is paramount and a smart stranger is seen as inviting a dagger in the back.

    Smart people have two options, keep your head down playing their games or be an entrepreneur.


    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I never thought of it that way Aeroguy, but now a lot of what has happened to me professionally makes sense.

    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 7:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    total politicization of academia will destroy its existence as a producer of truth
    Even highly woke dudes like Razib are at least a decade behind on his news.


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 7:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • grey enlightenment Says:

    total politicization of academia will destroy its existence as a producer of truth
    Even highly woke dudes like Razib are at least a decade behind on his news.

    yeah it’s not exactly a new observation


    Posted on September 19th, 2016 at 11:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    @Xoth funny the dumbest people figure that out right away, then theres those of us who are so annoyed at such a situation that we always chose the most obnoxious choice.


    Posted on September 20th, 2016 at 12:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Outliers (#24) Says:

    […] The collapse of academia (Outside In) […]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 8:21 pm Reply | Quote

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