The Heterodox Academy is Just Affirmative Action for Conservative Ideology

This seems gobsmackingly obvious to me.  I once asked a conservative friend what conservatives want from liberals– he said, “we want to be respected even when we are wrong”.  And this is what the heterodox academy tries to do on university campuses.  But all ideas are not created equal, and wrong, stupid, and bad ideas simply don’t belong on campuses in the free marketplace of ideas.  The reason campus conservatism is headed for extinction is that its past its sell-by date– and its purely maladaptive in a 21st century environment.

Heres Haidt desperately trying to promote the NYT’s joke commenter– David Brooks, famous for his iconicly clueless Applebee’s salad bar quotes.

ummm…this looks like it would be impossible to implement, and why not just go to a parlimentary system?  Our presidential system imposes a two party system.  But Haidt is desperate to find some value in Brooks’ writing– newsflash– There are no “great” David Brooks columns.

Free speech is just a stalking horse to try to get conservative ideology onto campuses.  But the real reason conservatives are going extinct in university culture is that not all ideas are created equal, and conservative ideology is non-competitive among the educated.  It only appeals to the conservative base.

I liked this vox article and these comments from Kevin Krause:

No one wants to acknowledge this, but selection for admission to the top schools is largely based on IQ.  And having a successful 4 year college program is surely largely restricted to the upper third of the bell curve.  Like i said here, college educated whites are the white demographic Trump cant persuade.

Educational attainment is used in large scale genomic studies as a proxy for IQ.  Maybe the simplest answer is that conservative phenotype just isnt as smart.  Its not selection for liberal bias in academe– its selection for IQ!  And thats why the HBD guys should back-off racial IQ theory– because I think we will soon be able to prove btwn group difference in IQ– between liberal tendency and conservative tendency.

So I don’t think the Heterodox Academy is going to solve the problem.  Lets face facts, conservative ideology is unable to compete among SMART PEOPLE LIKE COLLEGE STUDENTS AND COLLEGE PROFESSORS.  And all the affirmative action in the world won’t fix the problem.

Jon Haidt, who should know better, is trying to maintain lifesupport for conservative ideology.  IPOF, conservatism NEEDS to collapse– so that can be a new emergent form, that is 21st century adaptive.

The (Pseudo) Intellectual Dark Web Is Just Another Witch-Ghetto

I always thought “Scott Alexander” was a super smart guy until I read this post.  The first glaring wrongness that gobsmacked me was Scott lumping Jonathan Haidt in with the “Intellectual Dark Web” folks.

That was very puzzling to me because I have read The Righteous Mind and the most salient point is that humans are not rational in decision making.  In the sense that Scott Alexander, the SSC commentariat and the IDW all claim to be rationalists while they are actually rationalizers, Jon Haidt is the anti-IDW.   This seems like a thoughtless mistake to have made, and I became extra-skeptical about the slate star codex piece.


Here’s the screen cap from the original (where Scott later changed Jonathan Haidt to Eric Weinstein.)

I will let Dr. Church explain why this is such a crazypants mistake.

I don’t know if you’ve read The Righteous Mind, but Jon Haidt makes the point that even people who consider themselves very rational are not using a rational argument when making decisions. They’re making decisions and then using the rational argument to rationalize. A lot of what he says sounds obvious once you restate it, but I found the way he says it and backs it up with social science research very illuminating, if not compelling.

The elephant, as he refers to it, the thing that’s making your decisions in your life, is deciding that this person is telling you that you’re responsible for something you don’t feel responsible for. It’s telling you that you have to sacrifice many things that you don’t want to sacrifice. From your viewpoint, that person is inconvenient, incorrect, and you’re going to ignore them. The more they insult you and your way of life, the less you’re going to listen to them, and then you’re going to make a bunch of rationalizations about that. This is why we have problems.

When I initially tried (and failed epically) to comment at SSC, this piece was one of my inspirations– i still think it is spot on.

FOX’s slogans are “Fair and Balanced”, “Real Journalism”, and “We Report, You Decide”. They were pushing the “actually unbiased media” angle hard. I don’t know if this was ever true, or if people really believed it. It doesn’t matter. By attracting only the refugees from a left-slanted system, they ensured they would end up not just with conservatives, but with the worst and most extreme conservatives.

They also ensured that the process would feed on itself. As conservatives left for their ghettos, the neutral gatekeeper institutions leaned further and further left, causing more and more conservatives to leave. Meanwhile, the increasingly obvious horribleness of the conservative ghettos made liberals feel more and more justified in their decision to be biased against conservatives. They intensified their loathing and contempt, accelerating the conservative exodus.

The equilibrium is basically what we see now. The neutral gatekeeper institutions lean very liberal, though with a minority of conservative elites who are good at keeping their heads down and too mainstream/prestigious to settle for anything less. The ghettos contain a combination of seven zillion witches and a few decent conservatives who are increasingly uncomfortable but know there’s no place for them in the mainstream.

Here’s an analysis i wrote of Struggle.

This is a really perceptive article, The Eternal Struggle.  It is one of the two things I read that made me excited about commenting at SSC, the other being UNSONGIn Struggle Alexander speaks to the cultural evolution that has stranded the Red Tribe outside of traditional institutions and normative standards, and the formation of alternative media bubbles and the burgeoning Red Tribe hatred of academic communities.

Its obvious to me after reading the post again that the IDW is just another ghetto for witches, like 4chan or the sad/rabid puppies or .  After all, traditional conservative intellectuals have largely left the building.

I have to say to say to Alexander, remove the beam from your eye please.  Or like one of my Doctor Dad’s favorite sayings, “physician heal thyself…first” .  If you dont have the clarity of vision to discern your own flaws, please refrain from analyzing and proscribing for others.




The Slippery Slope of Racial IQ Theory

The real reason we should stop talking about race and IQ is that it’s a very short slide from there to biological determinism of IQ based on socio-political phenotype.  I do not think proving red/blue brain biochemistry hypothesis is going to be at all useful in the present political situ.  There are already significant findings correlating lack of educational attainment with Trump voters– and educational attainment is generally used in cognitive genomics studies as a proxy for IQ.

I may mock Razib “Gunga” Khan for his oft professed “small c” conservative/”classic liberal” values, but he said the truest thing evah once at Crooked Timber– musing on the raw unpersuadability of the conservative base–

“How to tell stupid people they are stupid…”

Culture is humanity’s greatest adaptation.  It enabled humans to live in social groups, and evolve our large expensive brains.  But cultural adaptation has also enabled the red tribe to temporarily seize control of US government– the sole criteria to lead the right is now the ability to win.  In game theory, AllD (all defector strategy) alla time.  The right’s elites have weaponized its base’s  lower IQ (lower ON AVERAGE, like the HBD guys say) and inherent lack of intellectual curiosity– the low-information voters of the pre-internet age have turned out to be highly permeable to false information.  The single main attribute that informs the Right is ressentiment– from the incels that cant get hot women to date them to the miners, truckers, farmers and factory workers that see their brown industry jobs increasingly automated or shipped overseas.  They have to cheat to win because the system is unfair.

But this had to happen…it may take 15 years like it did in California, but eventually the GOP will collapse and have to re-invent itself.  It took a perfect storm for Trump to win, and it solidified the right– the only value that matters now is to win.

If the incel movement is a pushback against feminism, then remember feminism is itself a pushback against plus ten million years of misogyny.  Social justice is a pushback against racism and slavery.  Overt misogyny and racism carry social capital penalties. And they should!  Its why the SSC racists so object to being called racists.  Its why James Damore got fired.  Evolving demographics in a representative democracy force cultural adaptation– women and minorities can vote here.  That is what feminism and social justice/civil rights are– cultural adaptations to support demographic evolution of the environment.

Now I cannot say with certainty what will happen– spontaneous collapse of the GOP would be the best outcome for all– but it could be a Jesusland split, a civil war, a gradual California-style liberal take-over, etc…but I can say what will never happen– that the US returns somehow to being 90% white.  And I think proving IQ differences between sub-populations is the very last thing we should be working towards.




Red Brain, Blue Brain, Old Brain, New Brain : Part I

I agree with @jack — this is a great article.  But alas –he got 3k replies basically calling him a “cuck” when he said it.  The article discusses partisan polarization on two axes, class and energy economics.


America today faces a similar juncture around fundamentally incompatible energy systems. The red states held by the Republicans are deeply entrenched in carbon-based energy systems like coal and oil. They consequently deny the science of climate change, are trying to resuscitate the dying coal industry, and recently have begun to open up coastal waters to oil drilling.

The blue states held by the Democrats are increasingly shifting to clean energy like solar and installing policies that wean the energy system off carbon. In the era of climate change, with the mounting pressure of increased natural disasters, something must give. We can’t have one step forward, one step back every time an administration changes. One side or the other has to win.


Another driver on the road to civil war is when two classes become fundamentally at odds. This usually takes some form of rich versus poor, the wealthy and the people, the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The system gets so skewed toward those at the top that the majority at the bottom rises up and power shifts.

Today’s conservative Republicans face the same risk. Since 1980, their policies have engorged the rich while flatlining the incomes of the majority of Americans, from the presidency of Ronald Reagan through to last December’s tax overhaul, which ultimately bestows 83 percent of the benefits over time to the top 1 percent. Make no mistake: A reckoning with not just Trump, but conservatism, is coming.

There is no way forward without collapse.  If we consider the IPD the Republicans have become the Player of AllD all the time.  This is obvious when evangelicals give Trump repeat mulligans on his grotesque sexual exploits, serial lies, flip-flops, hypocrisy, etc.  Republicans stand alongside neo-nazis and white supremacists and HBD political “scientists”.  Democratic norms have failed in congress.  Reciprocity has devolved into pure retaliation.

Trump or something like him was inevitable.  The minority demographic is clinging to power with dirty tricks, cheats, and exploits.  But the right has little choice.  I don’t know for sure what will happen– a gradual 15 year takeover like California, a sci-fi split into Jesusland and the Rim States, a “hot” civil war like 1860, a putsch by the minority sub-population.  But I can tell you what WON’T happen– a return to the 88% white demographics of Reagan’s time.

I was talking to a friend in Australia and he made this remark:

Just yesterday I was digesting the fact that in a lifetime, Australia went from very “Anglo-Celtic”, to a country with over 100 immigrant nationalities within it, and it helps me to grasp that a similar but bigger thing happened to America.

Heres my response:

i’ve been thinking about this too…both US and Oz still have continuing immigration and near zero emmigration, because they are superior places to live… Also the minority demographics have greater TFR than the white euro original stock. US is never going to return to 88% white, like Reagan times. white conservative-tendency forces are fighting trench warfare in the US. Social physics, demographic and cultural evolution, technology are shaping an environment much more favorable to diverse liberal-tendency brains.
its the destabilization of the CCP in a changing environment– now for a short span conservative-tendency (authoritarianism, rule following, lack of educational attainment and absence of intellectual curiousity, loyalty, etc) has achieved a fitness benefit, but that is not the sole cause of trumps election.
The good middle class jobs (capable of supporting a decent SES) of the 21st century will be coders and data scientists– the analogy of the manufacturing jobs in the mid 20th century.
the environment is changing faster– in Cochrans book The 10,000 Year Explosion the invention of agriculture changed the environment in the scale of thousands of years– the industrial revolution changed the environment in the scale of 100s of years– now the internet is changing the environment in the scale of 10s of years– and in this century we will still have to deal with the imminent cambrian explosions in robotics and machine learning, potential climate events, and emergent wars.
I think return to steady state becomes increasingly difficult (impossible) with time scale collapse.

Time dilation imposed by the internet is what I see as the greatest factor.  There is no time to gradually adjust to rapid change.  Leyden/Texeria also talk about two cultures.


Two different political cultures already at odds through different political ideologies, philosophies, and worldviews can get trapped in a polarizing process that increasingly undermines compromise. They see the world through different lenses, consume different media, and literally live in different places. They start to misunderstand the other side, then start to misrepresent them, and eventually make them the enemy. The opportunity for compromise is then lost. This is where America is today.

Where Leyden/Texeira falter imho, is their assumption that red and blue cultures are somehow peer and static.  I disagree.  Culture doesn’t shape society as much as society shapes culture according to its needs.  In a country with a diverse population and citizen votes, culture evolves to mirror the population.  In the US, academe, hollywood, urbanites, tech giants, literature, popular music and youth voters are pretty much all painted blue.   Cultural evolution is constantly happening.  But conservative culture just isn’t cool anymore– you can’t get to cooltown on the conservative express.  A recent episode of Silicon Valley was built around the premise that christian is the only offensive identity in tech world.

And Leyden/Texeira didn’t even begin to explore the biology of culture and political affiliation.  Afterall, Culture is Biology.

Apolos.  This has gotten far too long, and I haven’t even begun to address Red/Blue Brain Biochemistry Hypothesis, machine learning, complexity, the CCP, population genetics, Cultural Brain Hypothesis and social physics.

To be Continued.


Conor Friedersdorf Is No One’s Friend

Looks harmless doesn’t he?

Over the weekend Conor Friedersdorf wrote this extremely verbose long form piece (which thankfully will only be read by perhaps 1% of America) on why the Atlantic was wrong to fire Kevin Williamson, the “Hang ’em High” messiah of anti-abortion RW fanatics.

I really have to quit Ken White @popehat– he keeps exposing me to horrific crapology like this.   Friedersdorf is the perfect examplar of what is wrong with the right.  Just because Allahpundit, Patterico, Iowahawk, Frum, Will, Douthat, etc have run from Trump like scalded cats doesn’t absolve them from partial responsibility for Trump’s election.  Neither does it make them your friends.  In its purest form this kind of “tolerance” of RW eumemes leads to what I call the Ann Coulter argument: that abortion doctors get murdered because liberals have left anti-abortionists with no other recourse than murder.  This also the core argument (although much diluted with the “milk of human kindness”) of Alice Dreger, NA Christakis, Jon Haidt, Scott Alexander and David Brooks.

For years the rightist intelligentsia has been pandering to the GOP base– whispering sweet nothings into their ears like, you are entitled to your own beliefs, and all ideas are created equal while all facts are not.  Friedersdorf proposes the new mantra of the soi-disant moderates– even if RW ideology is pure unmitigated and dangerous crap, it deserves respect.  What we are seeing, in congress at least as a microcosm, is the breakdown of normative democracy.   I wrote about it here, Constitutional Hardball and the Calculus of Selfishness.  The last time socio-cultural norms broke down in this country we had a civil war.

Now I do not know what will happen– perhaps a civil war, perhaps a putsch by the minority party, or even a scifi separation into Jesusland and the Rim States— but I can tell you what will never happen– a return to a 90% white electorate.  There are a lot of reasons for this including cultural evolution and demographic evolution and social physics and advancing technology.  But the rightist intellectuals have simply never had the nads to explain this inexorable and intransigent fact to their base.  IPOF, they are stone-cowards terrified of the very humans they claim to represent.  I think it shows a profound lack of respect for their base.  Or maybe just deep pragmatism– that Red/Blue Brain Hypothesis is true and redbrains are just less intelligent.

Much Like Julian Assange, Roseanne Barr is Not Your Friend

So I still read witty lawyer Ken White ( @popehat ) in spite of his unfortunate tendency to RT the oldskool conservative soi-disant “intelligentsia” like @Allahpundit (who once gleefully RTd “gorilla arms” tweets about Michelle Obama).  Personally I don’t see any big diff between Allahpundit and Gatewaypundit but I guess Allahpundit gets a pass from Ken because of professional courtesy– he’s a lawyer.

I wrote about Julian Assange here— but I do not get why Ken would ponder about Roseanne’s loon aspect being exposed– she really did vote Trump IRL– she is an Israeli-nazi.  Roseanne won’t talk about Greater Israel on her sitcom– she will talk about jobs and the economy.  Ever since Roseanne has had a twitter account she has been passionately pro-Israel.

Roseanne is just as stealthy as Ricky Vaughn or Spotted Toad— she isn’t going to tell you her real reason for secretly supporting Trump– it’s because Trump whole-heartedly supports the ethnic cleansing of muslim/Palestinians in Israeli claimed territory.  Huffpo on Vaughn:

But his desire ― or need ― to be all things to all racists no longer worked. The opportunism that gave him mass appeal when the far-right was unified during the Trump campaign and for several months after the election also spelled his doom after last summer’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The deadly rally was a disaster for the alt-right. The infighting began soon after. And Ricky Vaughn was a target.

“That same strategy of one foot in the mainstream camp and one foot in the white nationalist camp didn’t hold up after Charlottesville,” Hankes from the SPLC said. “You saw him getting attacked pretty viciously by the hard right in the post-Charlottesville moment where a large part of the alt-right was black-pilled (i.e. soured) on Trump. That mainstream strategy kind of crumbled and ruined his credibility.”

He was too soft, many other white nationalists said. Too much of a sellout. Many denounced him. But Ricky Vaughn kept fighting for relevance. A month ago, in the debut of his own “Ricky Vaughncast” podcast, he described his new approach, which was softer even still. He felt the alt-right should move away from trying to publicly convert people to white nationalism with brute-force propaganda and instead seduce them secretly in private.

lol– caveat emptor.

Roseanne is going to feed Trump’s base the same MAGA/jobs/BS that Trump fed them…but her covert agenda is Greater Israel.

I guess its true, we always become what we most despise.  Roseanne has become a nazi.


Still Looking for Mr. Goodbar

“A New Prophet” lol– posing for the part.

I just don’t get why Scott Alexander is so ummm… “respected” by the twitterati… the guy seems profoundly clueless and incredibly dense.  eg, if you make a safe space for racist and/or misogynist and/or homophobic and/or xenophobic speech obviously the racists, misogynists, homophobes and xenophobes will only become MOAR openly phobic and entrenched in their views.  Alexander is basically removing the social capital penalty for those kinds of anti-social behaviors enforced by the cultural evolution of US society.  So Alexander (much like his fellow traveler David Brooks) is not offering any kind of solution to our current socio-cultural woes.  “Respecting” the redtribe won’t increase their permeability to reason and science.  This seems like such a failure to grasp basic social physics and biology of belief research that I find it difficult to believe Alexander is as credentialed as he claims to be.  I too wanted to understand the schism between red and blue so I made a doomed effort to comment at the Cult of SSC for a couple of months.  My conclusion is that the red/grey tribe is neither understandable or persuadable– we are simply not the same.

So that’s why I find Alexander’s latest enraptured embrace of Jordan Petersen so hilarious, in a comedie noir semi-tragic fashion, of course.   Petersen reminds me of a slick scientology proselytizer more than anything ( without the Xenu), but Alexander is apparently head over heels about him, comparing him favorably to CS Lewis.

Twelve Rules isn’t another such thinkpiece. The thinkpieces are people pointing out a gap. Twelve Rules is an attempt to fill it. This isn’t unprecedented – there are always a handful of cult leaders and ideologues making vague promises. But if you join the cult leaders you become a cultist, and if you join the ideologues you become the kind of person Eric Hoffer warned you about. Twelve Rules is something that could, in theory, work for intact human beings. It’s really impressive.

And so learning that Jordan Peterson, who in his off-hours injects pharmaceutical-grade meaning into thousands of disillusioned young people men (ed. correction– there is no indication that Peterson appeals to young women in any sort of numbers)– learning that even he doesn’t have much he can do except listen and try to help people organize their narrative – is really calming and helpful.

I agree with Nathan Robinson here.

Jordan Peterson’s popularity is the sign of a deeply impoverished political and intellectual landscape… if you want to appear very profound and convince people to take you seriously, but have nothing of value to say, there is a tried and tested method. First, take some extremely obvious platitude or truism. Make sure it actually does contain some insight, though it can be rather vague. Something like “if you’re too conciliatory, you will sometimes get taken advantage of” or “many moral values are similar across human societies.” Then, try to restate your platitude using as many words as possible, as unintelligibly as possible, while never repeating yourself exactly. Use highly technical language drawn from many different academic disciplines, so that no one person will ever have adequate training to fully evaluate your work. Construct elaborate theories with many parts. Draw diagrams. Use italics liberally to indicate that you are using words in a highly specific and idiosyncratic sense. Never say anything too specific, and if you do, qualify it heavily so that you can always insist you meant the opposite. Then evangelize: speak as confidently as possible, as if you are sharing God’s own truth. Accept no criticisms: insist that any skeptic has either misinterpreted you or has actually already admitted that you are correct. Talk as much as possible and listen as little as possible. Follow these steps, and your success will be assured. (It does help if you are male and Caucasian.)

I wrote about this here when someone suggested Ann Coulter as an exemplar of a new public intellectual of the red/grey tribe– the right is engaged in a desperate search for appealing spokesmen and leadership– the old guard of conservative intellectuals have all left the building.

Alexander is still metaphorically looking for Mr. Goodbar.  Looking for Mr. Goodbar is a 20th century novel–  a psychological thriller about a young woman’s obsessive search for the agent of her own death.  Now I’m not saying embracing Petersen as a champion of the red/grey axis would cause Scott Alexander’s actual death…just the metaphorical death of the GOP.  And I would argue that the GOP has already found its Mr. Goodbar in Donald Trump, the overwhelming choice of the base.  I just cant wait for the slasher finale, where Trump grinds the red tribe /grey tribe coalition into lamb patties.  I don’t think Petersen’s infinite series of platitudes and cliches is going to hold much value in the post-Trump apocalyptic landscape of the future.