Polarization and Pseudo-Speciation: Morlocks and Eloi Edition

The Eloi arrive for slaughter
The Eloi arrive for slaughter

I’m not really very happy about the current instantiation of my skull furniture.  You could say I’m being forced to redecorate because my old skull furniture burned up in a trash fire.  Descartes, Kant, Jefferson, Neitsche, Wittgenstein, Hayek, Hume, etc.  Also the ridickkulous trope of liberal democracy– “we are all equal” is just a terrible lie.  And a worse eumeme is that “we are all one” — we just aren’t.

What all the pundits are calling polarization in US politics is actually psuedo-speciation– pseudo because we can still presumably physically interbreed.  Sometime ago I began to suspect that the nature of organic reality is fractal, and not gaussian.  What this means to philosophy, government, society and culture is that the coarsest scale of h. sapiens sapiens is always N >> (strictly greater than) 1.   In layman’s terms, that means two tribes/organisms will always fight.  In philosophical terms that means there can never be universal human rights and universal human values/morality as long as there is more than one tribe.

Two responses to the 2016 Edge question in particular directed my current thought– Berreby on Creation of a No Ethnic Majority Society and Wheatley’s Dawn of Understanding in the context of Haidt’s Strongest Prejudice and  Why Do People Vote Republican .

America is going down.

How do you sell “liberal democracy” as a panacea for global ills when you can’t even put out a trash fire in your own backyard?

 

 

 

The End of Israel

This piece published in Israeli media was pretty revelatory for me– all the chatter about Obama’s lack of a Syria strategy, or the insanity of what he is implementing, suddenly makes complete logical sense.  Obama wants to end the unwinnable forever war on “radical Islam”.  His strat appears to be containment of the “war on terror” in the ME and then a pivot to Africa.  I wrote this piece about why would anyone play a game they can never win…this is the reason.  Obama isnt playing to win… he was simply going to wall off the board in the ME and let the players fight it out.  HRC would have continued the same strat.

But with a new president the board is back in play.  The creation of a US/Gulf state league is a total wet dream for islamic insurgencies.

I would like to say a word or two about demographics.  By 2050 25% of the planet’s humans will be muslim (concentrated in MENA, subsaharan Africa and SE Asia, there will be 1 billion youth in Africa (mostly sunni muslim), but there will still only be ~16 million jews.  The global jewish breeding population has only now begun to recover from the effects of the Holocaust when 60% of the global jewish population was eliminated.  Around 10 million jews live in Israel.   This is simply unsustainable unless Israel can make peace with its neighbors.

One of the global effects of the internet and SNT connectivity is the re mapping of the global power distribution.  Put simply, the chokehold of rich white humans on the 10: 1 majority of darkskinned poor humans will erode going forward.

Israel will be demographically drowned under the tsunami of MENA youth migration moving north in search of jobs and a refuge from civil wars.  Is the US really prepared to deploy hundreds of thousands of US troops backed by millions of US taxpayers to protect an unsustainable apartheid state?

Terrible Lie

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My depression and lack of posting isnt directly attributable to the election…its all about what the election has unveiled.  Like the creeping reveal of a terrifying horror movie there were plenty of clues in the run-up to Trump’s election.  The one thing that Trump told his supporters that was actually true– “I am your last chance”.  If the GOP remains the party of non-college whites they will never win a majority again.

But the coming liberal supermajority isnt exactly good news for our democratic republic.  The Terrible Lie that America is founded upon is that “all men are created equal”.  Liberals believe that the playing field (environment) can be leveled with law– conservatives believe that attitude can triumph over aptitude (“drive”) — these are articles of faith.   Yet neither of these aphorisms are true.  The truth is that we can’t level the genes.  At least, not yet.

The deciding factor in the election was educational attainment, pointed out by Nate Silver and Daniel McCormack—  McCormack’s analysis is especially trenchant when applied to the four battleground states that decided the election.  Yet no one is talking about this.  Are we afraid to?  Maybe.

What we are going to discover going forward is correlation of IQ and educational attainment, correlation of IQ and SES, correlation of brain biochemistry and IQ…and horribly — inverse correlation of IQ and educational attainment with red brain biochemistry.  Data Science, R programming, MIT’s Social Machine, and accelerated research into cognitive genomics with our new fabulous 21st century technology toolset– these tools are going to raise the lid on a pandora’s box of horrors that we would much rather not know…because it means secular democracy is a Terrible Lie.

The Founder’s America was built on the rough electoral parity of two ideologies– but what happens when there is radical electoral dimorphism?  In polarized America, the only thing that breaks familial tendency  seems to be education.  So what Grand Bargain can a permanent liberal supermajority offer the conservative minority?  Is there a place for Jefferson’s Noble Yeomen Farmers in the college-educated hightech world of the future where robots do their old blue-collar jobs?  Just one example– with the advent of self-driving cars 1.5 million long haul truckers are projected to lose their jobs within 4 years.  Can Trump bring those jobs back too?

This is why KellyAnne Conway (aka Skeletor in Drag) is so vested in pushing the eumeme of “alternative facts”.  Its why the GOP’s only pragmatic option for maintaining political power is fascism.

Even though I am a flaming liberal I hate this…I stood in class and pledged allegiance like everyone else.  If the richest country on earth cant realize the dream of a representative republic what hope is there to spread “democracy” to the rest of the planet?  And even worse…how to keep red brain genetic tendency Americans from finding out the truth?

Unz blogger Razib Khan once famously (or infamously) mused– “How to tell stupid people that they are stupid…”.  Going forward Razib and the rest of the HBD crewe are gunna have to work furiously to keep them from finding out.

 

 

 

 

Graeme Wood’s Six Weird Tricks for Defeating ISIS

I started reading Graeme Wood’s The Way of the Strangers with anticipation.  After all, he initiated my foray into blogdom with his article in the Atlantic on “What Does ISIS Want?”

But with dawning horror I read the escalating error cascade of cultural chauvinism and institutionalized frat boy snark that Graeme decided to run with.

Here’s my first cut at correction:

  1. Wood appears to interpret Bukhari/Muslim “stranger” (the title quote) as being odd or weird.  Stranger in this context means one who has left his tribe for the tribe of the Ummah, for a wider memetic tribe.  Muhammed’s first act was to unite the warring tribes under the banner of Islam.
  2. I first noticed Cole Bunzel when he wrote Paper Caliphate– I asked him if he had read Naji’s Idarat al Tawwahush.  His response was “why would I be interested in a war manual”?  This is like a historian studying China’s Cultural Revolution and being ignorant of Mao’s Little Red Book.  Shouldn’t “scholars of jihad” be interested in a manual of jihad?  Using western “jihadologists” to analyze ISIS is truly weird– Nājī and Setmarian (islamic jihadist scholars) spell out the why, how, and what of jihad in their books.  The idea of targetting youth of all nations, and of leveraging and creating chaos is explicitly delineated.  The idea of “flash terror” as informed by ISIS ideology is also absent from Graeme’s book.
  3. Pretending ISIS is a unique phenomenon– now thats really weird– ISIS is an instance of islamic insurgency, and wont be the first or the last one going forward–  muslims will make up a quarter of the world’s humans by mid-century.  May I recommend Bacevitch for an analysis of proximate causes?
  4. Wood’s choice of Mizot as a “Taymiyyan scholar” is also puzzling– Ibn Taymiyya’s greatest contribution to al Islam is his tafsir— the exegesis of the Quran that forms islamic jurisprudence.  Its why tyrants ban Taymiyya’s works when they can.  To use a complex adaptive systems analogy, jihad (also the Caliphate) is in the DNA of the Quran– Taymiyyan tafsir allows the “gene expression” of jihadism to be carried through to the 21st century.  Also the “dick” quote shows an embarrassing lack of scholarship in another of Wood’s sources.   Using back-bench western “scholars” like Mizot and House Muslims like Shiraz Mahr to try to rewrite the Quran is pure idiocy– the Quran emerged to be specifically immune to that sort of tinkering.   Its recursive and self-defining, and has 163 bit n-gram entropy (the largest Heegner number)– but information theory is not what Wood and the jihadologist guild are selling though– they are selling the fantasy that islamic insurgency can somehow be ended without addressing the initial causes.
  5. Wood also seems to believe that initial causes are irrelevant to the rise of ISIS and other islamic insurgencies.  Jihadism is a response to oppression and tyranny.  Unless the initial conditions change America will find itself in a forever war against a quarter of the world’s humans.  Given demography and population dynamics, its a war the US can never win.
  6. This is the most puzzling of all– Wood cites Mccants and Bunzel ( the frat boiz of the jihadologist guild)–  and none of the people that actually do have an understanding of ISIS– Dr. Atran, Hassan Hassan and Abdel Bari Atwan.   Although I do approve of Filiu’s inclusion.  Now that is a really weird trick indeed.

It seems Wood’s book is simply unserious sensationalism, pruience over Abu Yayah’s marriage, calling Cerantonio a dork, designed to promote sales and obscure the real problem going forward.

Is the US really prepared for infinite police action, at least until we run out of money or our democratic republic collapses into civil war?  How ironic that the US practice of fomenting civil war in the headfake of “democracy promotion” is going to end so ingloriously.  What happens when publicity-and-chaos loving ISIS soldiers start attacking the overseas assets of Donald Trump that he refuses to divest himself of?  Will the US send military force to protect Trump assets?

All I can do is fall back on one of my old gamer axioms…

You Are Not Prepared.

The Demographic Doom of the GOP Isn’t Hispanics: Its Education

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-6-33-01-amResults of the 2016 Scholastic Poll.

There is a huge amount of post-election handwringing over why the polls were wrong.  But the most interesting analysis I saw was this piece by Daniel McCormack, contesting the theory that income, % white or manufacturing employment were actually the discriminating  separations– it was education.

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What are the four variables?  Starting top left: income, manufacturing, %white, education.  What is happening?  Let McCormack explain–

What the regression analysis is telling us, then, is that districts with lots of manufacturing employment aren’t on average shifting their votes to Trump; they just appear to be shifting their votes to Trump because in many cases these districts also have below-average education levels, and these districts absolutely are shifting votes to Trump. In fact, after accounting for the effect of education on vote change, districts with manufacturing employment are shifting less of their votes towards Trump. (I ran a hundred or so permutations of this model, adding and subtracting different covariates. For instance, if education is left out but whiteness and income are included, manufacturing is still positive. I feel pretty confident that education is responsible for the flipped sign on manufacturing.)

So the real enemy for the GOP is education— half the scholastic respondents will be first time voters in 2020– and then in increasing numbers every election cycle going forward for the forseeable future.   The GOP base isnt going to college anytime soon–older, sicker, and whiter than the democratic base– but uniformly and fervently wishes a college education for their children.  Olds dont go to college…they eventually die-off.   The Trump presidency is actually radar chaff obscuring deep structural problems in the electorate.  The single thing Trump said to his supporters that was true was “I am your last chance”.  The GOP will never win a popular majority again, and soon demographics will top the levees of gerrymandered districts.  Then in 2040 the hispanic demographic deathcross, where declining number of whites crosses the increasing number of hispanics.

Who Killed Kayla Mueller?

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The recent spew of propaganda about the tragic death of Kayla Mueller ignores a core fact– ISIS didnt kill Mueller– Barack Obama did.  Barack Obama refused negiotiation and dropped the bomb on her that killed her.  The Obama administration has a strict no ransom policy (except, of course, for Iran).  Many other countries successfully negotiated ransom release of ISIS captives.  Obama could have negotiated the release of Kayla at anytime as an exchange for Dr. Siddiqi.  He could have saved ALL the hostages.  Here is a letter from ISIS that Obama DID get– one of ISIS goals was to break the US zero-negotiation protocol.  Another was freeing muslim prisoners– epecially female mulsim prisoners.

From Abdel Bari Atwan’s book, The Digital Caliphate:

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At any time Obama could have negotiated for Kayla’s release.  Its ridiculous to blame MSF for not wanting to jeopardize their hostages’ release by participating in whatever scheme the FBI was hatching.  If Mueller parents want to blame someone, blame Obama.

Kayla’s president didnt just leave her there to rot, he dropped a coalition bomb on her.  Israelis do that– rather than allow an IDF soldier to be captured and ransomed, they will kill him and anyone in his general vicinity.  Its called the Hannibal Protocol. 

Here is my thought– when Kayla sent this letter to her parents, saying she was well treated, Obama executed the Hannibal Protocol on her to deny ISIS a propaganda opportunity if she reverted.

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But my main complaint is back off MSF– they arent responsible for Muellers death– Obama is.

Competition/Cooperation of ISIS and JF/Al Qaeda and the MENA Teacup

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I apolo in advance for the technical nature of this essay– I have been warned that im not very accessible when i go full frontal math.  If i can beg your indulgence, please read this excellent introductory paper by Dr. Baranger, “Chaos, Complexity, and Entropy: A Physics Talk for Non-Physicists”.

In the study of complex adaptive systems dynamics, a uniquely powerful paradigm is expressed by the competition/cooperation model.  Dr. Baranger puts it like this:

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, sportsteams, 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.

The reason it is so very impossible to “defeat ISIL” as President Obama egrigiously puts it is that is that local islamic insurgencies and the current epidemic of global jihadism are emergent complex adaptive systems.  Hassan Hassan is a really smart guy, but he has no maths to speak of.  The actual reasons sharia will be implemented in MENA are largely mathematical, not ideological.  Like Hassan says:

The events of the past two weeks should serve as a wake-up call to regional and world powers about the collective danger of two competing models. Both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are doubling down on their own methods of terrorism and insurgency, as they illustrated in their statements and the Islamic State’s coordinated attacks in Latakia and Tartus. The two groups are unlikely to cooperate against their opponents, but they can still inflict lasting damage to regional order and international peace.

One reason that sharia will eventually inform all MENA governments is brute-force population demographics– the bulge in the snake of muslim reproduction and youthful demes.  And when muslims are democratically empowered to vote, they vote for islamic government (in Algeria, Egypt, and Turkey).  As simple and obvious as this statement seems, it was the tragic flaw of the Bush Doctrine of “democracy promotion”.

But that is beyond the scope of this essay.  In the n + 1 scale cooperation of jihadist movements is expressed by the desire for representative government incorporating sharia– rule by sharia– in the n scale above it IS and JF/Qaeda compete for resources, publicity, territory, fighters.  But make no mistake– the core goal of both IS and JF/Qaeda is identical– it is only their methodology that is different.  Where Hassan is naive is his belief that “regional order and international peace” can be somehow re-imposed.  I am sorry Hassan, but the MENA tea-cup wont ever reassemble– entropy goes only one way.  The cooperation/competition tension makes the shared goal of rule by sharia more likely– IS and JF/Qaeda are actually more powerful apart than united.

Hassan’s arabic is very good, but I’m not sure this is the exact meaning of wasati : “Zawahiri’s remarks indicated that al-Qaeda is settled on its current strategy of acting as a wasati (middle-way) jihadi movement. ”  In quranic exegesis I was taught wastitiya means the continuation of uninterrupted “signalling”– so it is not exactly the middle or average way– it is the way that is valid or relevent in this frame of spacetime.  This actually gives JF/Qaeda greater flexibility in pursuit of the cooperative goal of sharia.  Also delaying a caliphate allows JF to form alliances.  An emir can form alliances, a caliph cannot.

Although Hassan Hassan is the best of the jihadologists, his analysis is still limited and stunted by cultural chauvinism and wishful [magical] thinking.  Dr. Atran is far better in his analysis, incorporating actual data in his book Talking with the Enemy and integrating history and cognitive anthropology.

By creating chaos among the enemy’s civilian populations, as outlined in Management of Savagery (required reading for every Isis religious and military leader), by undermining faith in their own governments’ abilities to provide security for their people (the primary function of government), and by polarising Muslims and non-Muslims to “eliminate the grey zone” between true believer and infidel, as outlined in the online publication Dabiq, Isis demonstrates that individual and small group acts of violence amplified through the media constitutes the most effective way to publicise, and possibly propagate, revolutionary change of the political, social and moral order.

Rather than reflecting a movement in decline, recent attacks are better understood as a recalibration of long-endorsed tactics in the service of a constant, overriding strategy of world revolution.

Even if Isis loses all territory in Syria and Iraq, the global jihadi archipelago could continue to expand if the social and political conditions that led to its emergence persist.

But where is the complex systems analysis, the mathematical analysis?  Its only just begun– here is a Nautilus article on BTW Sandpiles— here is one I wrote over a year ago– Sandpile Collapse in MENA.

I think MENA analytics can be qualified like this:

political “scientists” & jihadologists << social science analysis (Dr. Atran) << complex systems (mathematical) analysis

Im a mathematician so of course I place math the highest– but the other reason for this is that math strips out bias and subjectivity– unlike the deep and deliberate ignorance of Western nations in their insistence on prosecuting an unwinnable war on islamic ideology.  In CAS this is a battle to impose artificial outgroup structures on powerful emergent natural forces–  the desire of sunni populations for self-representation in government– the consent of the governed.

So I really have just one thing to say– mathematically, this is a war the West cannot win.  The torrent of noise pouring out of the jihadologist terror-as-cash-cow-machine just obscures that fact that the war on Islam is unwinnable.  And that the tea-cup never comes back together.