CCP Explainer

So I have been asked to write an explanation of the Cooperation Competition Paradigm, or the CCP.  The CCP is one part of the vast, largely undiscover’d country of complexity science.  I can’t really do it justice– so I will defer–if you want an explanation of the advent of complexity science, read Dr. Baranger.  Or read Per Bak.  Here’s two wonderful texts that i had for coursework– read Bar Yam and Strogatz— or take a coursera class on complexity.  I also benefitted from reading Kropotnik’s Mutual Aid.

Here’s a salient example from Dr. Baranger’s paper–

“Finally, there is one more property of complex systems that concerns all of us very closely, which makes it especially interesting. Actually it concerns all social systems, all collections of organisms subject to the laws of evolution. Examples could be plant populations, animal populations, other ecological groupings, our own immune system, and human groups of various sizes such as families, tribes, city-states, social or economic classes, sports teams, Silicon Valley dotcoms, and of course modern nations and supranational corporations. In order to evolve and stay alive, in order to remain complex, all of the above need to obey the following rule:”
Complexity involves an interplay between cooperation and competition.
“Once again this is an interplay between scales. The usual situation is that competition on scale n is nourished by cooperation on the finer scale below it (scale n + 1). Insect colonies like ants, bees, or termites provide a spectacular demonstration of this. For a sociological example, consider the bourgeois families of the 19th century, of the kind described by Jane Austen or Honore de Balzac. They competed with each other toward economic success and toward procuring the most desirable spouses for their young people. And they succeeded better in this if they had the unequivocal devotion of all their members, and also if all their members had a chance to take part in the decisions. Then of course there is war between nations and the underlying patriotism that supports it. Once we understand this competition-cooperation dichotomy, we are a long way from the old cliche of “the survival of the fittest”, which has done so much damage to the understanding of evolution in the public’s mind.”
There are quite a few different models– conservative/liberal, farmer/forager, survive/thrive, order/chaos, red/blue, closed/open, etc.  I like settler/explorer myself.  Settlers are group-loyal, unquestioning, obey rules, value age, value experience, value the past, value authority, non-risk takers, etc– text book conservatives.  Explorers are intellectually curious, risk-takers, rule breakers, value the present and the future over the past, innovaters, creatives, empathizers, etc.  It seems logical to me that 10,000 years of evolution would create a CCP where two general sub-populations would adapt to maximize exploitation of the environment.  Another concept is periodic equilibrium– at times explorer phenotype had greater fitness in the environment– at times settler phenotype did.  But mostly there was equilibrium– peer fitness between the two phenotypes, and successful cooperation and competitition between the two tribes.

Now in the 21st century there is a degradation of the balance of the American CCP for two reasons– 1) In the 21st century to have a good job generally requires education and training.  It’s postulated that the good middle class jobs of mid-century will be computer programmer and data scientist, not factory worker or miner or farmer– jobs increasingly automated by the Cambrian Explosion in Robotics and Machine Learning.  There is no place for Jefferson’s Noble Yeoman Farmers in a tech-focused economy.  That is why the fight to try to insert conservative ideology into university campuses is a fight doomed to fail.  The OpenMind project is just sillie– Haidt wrote about openess, and conservativism isnt open– IPOF tunnel vision and rejecting facts and science has become a selective advantage for the red tribe.  Conservative ideology is non-competitive in the marketplace of academic ideas- so the only tribe capable of having an “open mind” will automatically reject stale, archaic conservative ideology!  Please note– capitalism is NOT the same as conservative ideology.   Conservatism is about slowing change, using tested forms, using experience.  That worked previously but its way past its sell-by date under time dilation imposed by the internet and tech.  Especially with young college students.  Its basically ancestor worship.

The second reason the CCP is dis-equilibriating is demographics– the settlers are becoming older, whiter and more male.  Percent white (ie, non-hispanic caucasian) is expected to drop below 50% by mid-century.  In theory, by the rules of recombination and genetic diversity in a successful CCP, equal numbers of both settler tendency and explorer tendency would be born– both are successful phenotypes.  But the settler ideology (conservatism) is maladaptive to including women and minorities, even if in those demographics half of the reps would biologically trend conservative.  By biological I mean also the inheritance of environment, something Dr. Zimmer notes in wonderful book– She Has Her Mother’s Laugh.  Past GOP presidents have tried to reach out to hispanics unsuccessfully– Trump seems to be trying drive them away.

My narrow field of study is sand-pile collapse.  I believe the equilibrium system of the US is collapsing, the CCP is collapsing.  There will be a new emergent form for the GOP– but the Dems seem to be able to go forward more easily– more adaptive to diversity and innovation, already focused on the future, science and tech.

Collapse is not a bad thing…its how new successful forms emerge at the border of equilibrium and chaos.

It is How Nature Works.


I don’t even have the words to describe how much I love Westworld, and I have a very good vocabulary.  It has all my favorite thought experiments played out in truly luscious, vivid cinematography– can a machine be human?  what does it mean to be human?  what is consciousness?  emergence, revolution, the power of love, the power of technology– immortality, resurrection and…becoming a monster.  Thats one of my favorite themes– does one have to become a monster to fight monsters?  Prominent in Monoke Hime and Shengeki no Kyojin.  This Sunday is the last ep for the season, but another season is contracted for by HBO.

So I won’t post spoilers– just conjecture.  So who are these guys?  When they first appeared I thought they might be desert raiders from Bedouin World, but those are standard dusters, not cloaks and robes.  Those are long guns and high tech– lances? spears? they are carrying.  And the masks– reminiscent of some  postapocalyptic mad-max-style future dystopia– SciFi World?  Where did they come from?  Through the Door?

I cant wait to find out.

So of course in my incessant quest to try to understand how conservative tendency brains work, I dropped by the SSC commentariat to see what they thought of Westworld.  Such a mistake– the commenters were very critical, picking it apart…it reminded me of the scene in The Last Battle (CS Lewis is a huge favorite of SSC) where the dwarves are eating a splendid feast but all they can do is cry and complain how terrible the food is.  I shouldnt have expected anything else– Westworld is basically a slave rebellion story.

The same with the SSC discussions of The Expanse.  The Expanse is great!  I have read all the books– but the trogs* at SSC dont seem to know that Corey is actually two guys that originally intended The Expanse as a video game design– I love how organic it is, all the branching paths and sub-stories, I love the Belters’ cultural and civilizational mashup.  Its so sad that one’s political leanings or brain biochemistry should ruin taking pleasure in great works of art.  Because film and video are our masterpieces now.

*You will note my use of trog as a catchall phrase for conservative tendency.  I took it from a quote by IDW darling Eric Weinstein, from the top of the where he says “we are not troglydytes”.  But you are– maybe not alt-right frogs, but trogs.


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 thousand 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.