Posts Tagged ‘Realism’


Baizuo” — the greatest thing in 2017 so far.

Makes me think the world might pull through okay.

It’s all (amazingly) good, but this is probably the kernel:

The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the ‘white left’. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

ADDED: Baizuo at Weimerica, and Spandrell’s place.

May 14, 2017admin 80 Comments »
TAGGED WITH : , , , , ,

Quote note (#352)

Cowen the edgelord:

Let’s say you’ve read and loved Julian Simon, who stressed mankind’s indefatigable power of creation and innovation. I certainly have. Simon stressed that the cost of producing real resources likely would fall, thereby spreading wealth across mankind. The bad news is that probably should make you a Malthusian. …

The compact argument is brilliant, brutal, contrarian, and solidly-traditional in a way that’s not easy to over-appreciate.

May 11, 2017admin 55 Comments »

Sentences (#99)

Venezuela’s near-future (but it could be anything):

[Some X] will not be pretty, but it is difficult to see how it can be avoided.

This is the world now.

May 3, 2017admin 17 Comments »

Quote note (#348)

Retrieved from four years ago (by XS’s favorite HBD-blogger), and still perfect in its outrageous realism:

Daniel Freedman was a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. For his doctoral thesis, he did adoption studies with dogs. He had noticed that different dog breeds had different personalities, and thought it would be interesting to see if personality was inborn, or if it was somehow caused by the way in which the mother raised her puppies. Totally inborn. Little beagles were irrepressibly friendly. Shetland sheepdogs were most sensitive to a loud voice or the slightest punishment. Wire-haired terriers were so tough and aggressive that Dan had to wear gloves when playing with puppies that were only three weeks old. Basenjis were aloof and independent.

He decided to try the same thing with human infants of different breeds. Excuse me, different races. …

You’ll never guess what happens next (although, actually, the readers here are almost certain to).

The dog-breed analogy is used quite often, but probably still not enough. It’s pitched at the correct cladistic level, obviously. In addition, since ‘labrador supremacism’ sounds immediately ridiculous it should contribute to chipping a little stupidity from the race discussion.

April 4, 2017admin 26 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#114)

It’s getting difficult to set any kind of limit to where this stuff could lead. Whatever counts as a ‘realistic’ socio-political forecast today, it’s been pushed out vastly further than seemed imaginable only a year ago.

February 16, 2017admin 5 Comments »
TAGGED WITH : , , , ,

Twitter cuts (#94)

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

October 14, 2016admin 60 Comments »
TAGGED WITH : , , , ,

Quote note (#281)


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

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

September 7, 2016admin 168 Comments »

Sentences (#67)


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


July 28, 2016admin 133 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#56)

Derbyshire has made approximately the same point with even more blunt honesty.

Universal moral concern is a bizarre religious idea, of fairly recent vintage. Eventually it will come to be seen that way again.

ADDED: relevant.

March 26, 2016admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Utilitarianism is Useless

Utilitarianism is completely useless as a tool of public policy, Scott Alexander discovers (he doesn’t put it quite like that). In his own words: “I am forced to acknowledge that happiness research remains a very strange field whose conclusions make no sense to me and which tempt me to crazy beliefs and actions if I take them seriously.”

Why should that surprise us?

We’re all grown up (Darwinians) here. Pleasure-pain variation is an evolved behavioral guidance system. Given options, at the level of the individual organism, it prompts certain courses and dissuades from others. The equilibrium setting, corresponding to optimal functionality, has to be set close to neutral. How could a long-term ‘happiness trend’ under such (minimally realistic) conditions make any sense whatsoever?

Anything remotely like chronic happiness, which does not have to be earned, always in the short-term, by behavior selected — to some level of abstraction — across deep history for its adaptiveness, is not only useless, but positively deleterious to biologically-inherited piloting (cybernetics). Carrots-and-sticks work on an animal that is neither glutted to satiation or deranged by some extremity of ultimate agony. If it didn’t automatically re-set close to neutral, it would be dysfunctional, and natural selection would have made short work of it. (The graphs included in the SSC post make perfect sense given such assumptions.)

Pleasure is not an end, but a tool. Understood realistically, it presupposes other ends. To make it an end is to black-hole into wirehead philosophy (1, 2). It is precisely because ‘utils’ have a predetermined biological use that they are useless for the calculation of anything else.

Set serious ends, or go home. Happiness quite certainly isn’t one. (Optimize for intelligence.)

ADDED: SSC discussion threads are too huge to handle, but this comment is the first to get (close) to what I’d argue is the point. Quite probably there are others that do.

March 25, 2016admin 38 Comments »