You Are All Gunna Have To Learn To Do The Math

Honest, I’m just trying to help.  This is truly the best (and most accurate) of all the sociology slogans I read today.

Kim Weeden quipped  “Sociology: we studied it first” for her entry.  But…so what if you studied it first?  Its all about to change.  The revolution is Data Science.  The soft sciences, like social science and political “science”, are about to undergo radical tranformation.  If you want to know what old school political science is all about, both Heather MacDonald and Charles Murray are “political scientists”– a discipline seeming to me to primarily consist of subjective history informed by Dead White Guy Philosophy with a heavy gloss of anglo-saxon cultural chauvinism.

I completely understand why students and faculty wont support Heather Mac and Murray on their campuses– they arent academics, they arent scholars– they are are not even social scientists– they are paid claquers for conservative alternative universities (ie “thinktanks”).  No street cred.  Its not a free speech thing, its a legitimacy thing.  But of course the students have free speech too.  Amirite?

Kim also tweeted this at me–

LOL!  Kim is a harbinger of the fight to come– where social science luddites will try to pretend that Big Data and Machine Learning arent going to totally transform their “discipline”.  Data sets of millions or hundreds of millions collected by ebadges or data mining– computer languages like Python and R– deep learning for pattern recognition– cognitive genomics–influence matrices.

Business World has been using this for market analysis for years– see MIT social machine project.  There are already commercial products available, and trust, these products are already being explored and fitted for predictive analysis of the 2018 midterm elections.

Heres the textbook for the course im taking now.  What is happening in science world right now is what MIT calls “antidisciplinary culture”–like “small-world” networks in cognitive genomics, EGT and Competition Cooperation Paradigm in cancer research,  and neural nets informing physics and math.  

So Kim, I’m not reinventing the wheel– I’m just fitting it with a warp drive.  Please try and keep up.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Islamic Diaspora

Diaspora, defn:

A diaspora is a large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world.

The term diaspora comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “to scatter about.” And that’s exactly what the people of a diaspora do — they scatter from their homeland to places across the globe, spreading their culture as they go. The Bible refers to the Diaspora of Jews exiled from Israel by the Babylonians. But the word is now also used more generally to describe any large migration of refugees, language, or culture.


From Wired magazine.

These are the outflows from just the first half of 2016, the top 19 countries for refugee outflow.  Note that the top 16 out of 19 are ME and Africa nations.  Unshockingly, war creates refugees.  The ongoing Syrian conflict seems to be still generating ~ 1 million refugees per year.  And the greatest outflows are from majority muslim countries.  This is an undesirable side-effect of US endless (and futile) “war on terror”.  Look below to see the percentage of the 21.3 million refugees that are children– over half.

The US accepts only a tiny fraction of the global refugee population– and is hugely complicit in generating the global flood with its truly awful foreign policy.  US is also contemplating a border wall to choke off immigration from south of the border, although mexicans and south americans are nearly all economic refugees, and not from war zones…or muslim.

But this is why non-action on Syria is not an option.  What US FP has done in MENA is basically create a factory for mass production and dissemination of “radical islamic terrorism”.  Consider that some tiny fraction of the ~ 100 million muslim children could become radicalized– what is .01 percent of a hundred million?  Ten thousand prospective terrorists embedded in their host populations.  Just one terrorist can do horrific damage.

Terrorism is a demand for justice in an unjust world.  Thats why a solution for the ME and Africa is critical over the next 30 years.  The choice btwn secular democracy and islamic government in majority muslim nations was never an option– the only option is a choice between different forms of islamic government.

Thats why the islamic diaspora of the 21st century is going to change the world in ways we cant begin to imagine.  It will spread islamic culture and the Quran all over the world.

To paraphrase the immortal Sewell Wright– migration is gene flow. .. and meme flow.


Polarization, Charles Murray and the Evolutionary Theory of Games

I think the interwebs dont really understand what is happening with the anti-Charles Murray protests that are sweeping campuses across the country.

From this otherwise excellent article by PHarden–



“Is there any academic more widely reviled by mainstream social scientists than Murray?”

People have forgotten that Murray is a paid think-tank “scholar” and strictly speaking NOT an academic.  Nor is Murray a social scientist– he is a political scientist.  So actual social scientists certainly have the right to critique him.  And I think students have every right to exercise their free speech rights against him.

Universities are supposed to be bastions of freedom of speech and ideas.  To conservatives this presents as a deliberate banning of conservative ideology.  But it is actually darwinian selection for merit in academe coupled with rejection of outgroup memes.  Conservative ideology fails with liberals, because it simply doesnt appeal to them, and thus it has no scientific validity.  I have no problem with stating facts: academy is painted blue.  Why is this?  I think its largely because universities select for IQ which correlates with factors of blue brain biochemistry (exploration, SES, educational attainment of parents, etc).

AEI was deliberately constructed to present an alternative to perceived liberal academe, much as the Breitbart organization started out as Big Hollywood in 2009, an attempt to “take back” Hollywood from liberal “bias” .  It is not, and never will be, a university.

As increasing polarization in America divides americans into two camps we can observe increasing radicalization on both sides of the debate fueled by social media.  On twitter for example accusations of “Red Guards” or “Torquemadas” leveled against liberal university students and professors protesting Murray are becoming as common as accusations of “Nazi ” or “Brownshirt” against campus Republicans and the tiny cohort of conservative geneticists and political scientists.  If we simply consider US universities as Culturally Stable Strategies that evolved over hundreds of years by selection for IQ, EGT and Social Network Theory predict that conservative ideology will never penetrate.

An evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) is a strategy which, if adopted by a population in a given environment, cannot be invaded by any alternative strategy that is initially rare.

So according to John Maynard-Smith conservative ideology and conservative researchers, scientists, and professors cant make much headway in penetrating the CSS of liberal universities.

The big reveal post-election is the correlation of educational attainment and liberal voting patterns.  Much has been written about the supposed “liberal bias” of academe– very little has been said about the voting patterns of the election and how they project into the future.  The GOP is facing a double whammy of demographic doom– from the hispanic deathcross and from the correlation of liberal voting patterns with educational attainment.  How did we get here?

The Founders set up their version of a Nash equilibrium in the US constitutional republic– its really very clever.

In game theory, the Nash equilibrium is a solution concept of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only his or her own strategy.

But the US equilibrium system began to fail in 2008, with the election of Barack Obama, and the first ringing of the demographic timer.  In 2008 (for the first time) white kids under five became a minority.  Republicans began to play a two-person zero-sum game against democrats in congress– a profound change in strategy culminating in the refusal to honor Obama’s SCOTUS appointments in his final term.

But the US equilibrium system is not just challenged by demographic disparity, but also by economic disparity.  Jobs and SES in the 21st century are increasingly dependent on college educations.  Currently 70% of US pop has no college degree, but there are 20 million or so new college freshman every year.

So what happens to a large non-equilibrium system (or as my beloved John Von Neuman termed it, a “non-elephant”) ?  It becomes vulnerable to sandpile collapse, according to another hero of mine, Per Bak.  This is observably happening in MENA, and in the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, and in the French Revolution.  Indeed, in America Trump’s election is a sort of the Postman Always Rings Twice avalanche– the first avalanche being Sarah Palin’s insane popularity with the GOP base– a populist avalanche.

Again, there is no certainty that US will undergo full collapse– currently the Founders’ protections against an elected demogogue seem be holding– the constitution is WAI.  But is collapse such a bad thing?  Collapse brings emergence of new forms.  Collapse brings chaos and self-organizing criticality.  Collapse brings new scales of complexity.

I personally think liberal democracy is a Terrible Lie.

Maybe we can do better.





There is No Liberal Bias in Academe– Its Selection for IQ

Im only into the first chapter of this wonderful book– but I already see the solution to conservative claims of liberal bias in academe!

This study claims academe is not representative of the conservatives in the upper 5% of IQ.

The left-liberal skew of British academia cannot be primarily explained by intelligence. The distribution of party support within the top 5% of IQ is relatively similar to the distribution of party support within the general population.
Do you see the authors mistake?  He is using the top 5% of IQ– universities select the upper 1-2% in IQ.  So if the author redoes the study, I imagine he will find academic proportions true to the upper 1-2% being nearly purely liberal.  If it was a snake it would have bit you.
I learned this from Haier’s wondrous book.
I cant wait to learn more.
You’re welcome.

Is Razib Khan Cracking Up?

Roughly two years after the New York Times terminated Razib Khan’s contract after a single day, Khan has severed all visible connection with Unz and VDare, and shut down “The Secular Right” –the weblog he shared with John “Sun People/ Ice People” Derbyshire.  Quarantining himself has not led to the NYT proffering a new contract.  And Khan seems to be growing increasingly incensed over the treatment of conservative quasi-scientists like Charles Murray at American universities.  He claims that university students are acting like the “Red Guard” in China’s cultural revolution, showing a profound lack of understanding of the Cultural Revolution and Chinese history from that period.  And this presumes that Murray Racial IQ Theory is indeed science, when its actually a dusty 20+ year old hypoth that has been serially discredited and is of little contemporary value.  I have no problem with Murray speaking on behalf of AEI, a known white nationalist “think-tank”.  And Murray is a political scientist, not a social scientist or a geneticist.

But the craziest thing I saw today was this treatment of John Maynard Smith’s tremendous Evolutionary Theory of Games.  EGT is something that is very current today, in complex adaptive game theory and in the wonderful EGG research project, for example.

Right.  But if Khan “forces himself” to talk about JMS concept of ESS (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy) isnt he going to have to give up on “reforming” Islam?  Because Islam is actually a CSS (Culturally Stable Strategy), a term contributed by Richard Dawkins himself (mirable dictu) to JMS book.

If Khan actually understands the ESS/CSS concept of EGT, then he knows its not possible to “reform” Islam without rewriting the Quran, a book soon to be read by a quarter of the world’s population– and that doesnt seem possible.

An evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) is a strategy which, if adopted by a population in a given environment, cannot be invaded by any alternative strategy that is initially rare. It is relevant in game theory, behavioural ecology, and evolutionary psychology. An ESS is an equilibrium refinement of the Nash equilibrium. It is a Nash equilibrium that is “evolutionarilystable: once it is fixed in a population, natural selection alone is sufficient to prevent alternative (mutant) strategies from invading successfully.

I think he’s cracking up.

Shadi Hamid is Wrong Again

Why does the Atlantic pay Shadi Hamid?  He’s like the King of Wrong on both American government and Islam.  The only thing i can figure out is that Hamid is the token soi disant muslim.  Here is the latest affront to our intelligence.

Presidentialism can work fine when there is basic consensus over what it means to be a citizen and what it means to be a nation. But the United States no longer enjoys such a consensus. The country is now polarized along cultural, ethnic, and ideological lines. There are, quite literally and not just figuratively, two Americas.

The consensus in a presidential system depends on electoral parity, which is increasingly a thing of the past in America.

In a complex adaptive system like US government the Cooperation/Competion Paradigm is critical for an equilibrium system.  (note: all CA systems are either equilibrium systems, in transition, or non-equilibrium systems– what the legendary Hungarian mathematician John Von Neuman called “non-elephants”)

Dr. Baranger:

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.
When the US had rough electoral parity there was incentive to compromise.  But as the GOP remains lily white and the percentage of non-hispanic caucasians continues to drop, a presidential system devolves towards a zero-sum game, and the only way for republicans to “win” is to cheat (Sinner in TFT), or not to play.  This was apparent in the republican house over the last eight years.  Going forward the GOP has to worry about demographic doom, coming not just from the death cross with majority minorities, but from the increasing correlation between liberal voting patterns and educational attainment, revealed in the 2016 election.  Currently 70% of the US adult population doesnt have college degrees, but that number decreases by millions every year, as even conservative families push their children into degree programs.  Does anyone really believe that good 21st century jobs wont require college?  And young people go to college for the most part– not the olds.  A tribe without reps cannot survive.
In the EEA it was beneficial for h. sapiens sapiens to evolve 2 distinct phenotypes (call them red and blue) to maximize benefit from competion/cooperation (note: this is not genetic determinism because the four paths of heredity include environment).  Like our self-destructive lust for sugar and fat these two phenotypes are still with us.  But the red phenotype is losing relative fitness in modernity, causing the system to dis-equilibriate.  So Hamid is wrong when he says this is “culture, ethnicity, and ideology”– the polarization is phenotypical.  The two sides are literally incomprehensible to each other, the polarization gap is so wide.
I agree with Hamid that the only way to preserve democratic values going forward is to create a parliamentary system–  but the Founders made it extremely difficult to change the constitution.  Good luck explaining that to the republican base, people wholly incapable of understanding how health care, evolution, or climate change works.
Unlike most Americans I do believe in evolution though:

Jesusland Evolution

       After the 2004 election the Jesusland meme was everywhere.  This image represents the 30 red states that elected GW Bush.  We all know how that turned out.  Endless war on Islam and the horrific law of NCLB.   The meme actually originated in a science fiction book called Thirteen by Richard Morgan.  Ironically the UK title of the book was Black Man, much like the UK title of the first Harry Potter book was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Ignorant, racist America– how the world sees us.

Political science fiction, like Kim Stanley Robinson’s (his newest book New York 2140 is a projection of climate change), offers a way to test drive the future.  And the future is grim.

I’m not particularily incensed about Trump’s election– in an equilibrium system the pendulum swings back.  I think the Founders built in enough protections that 4 years of Trump can do minimal damage– surely there will be pain, but largely among Trump’s voters.  Consider Schwarzeneggers election in californis– he couldnt fufill his campaign promises and earned near universal scorn and disapproval from californians as the worst governer ever.

So that brings us to this year’s Jesusland.

As we can see the rust belt is turning red and the sunbelt is turning blue.  Why is this happening?  Nate Silver has an explanation.    The correlation of educational attainment with liberal voting patterns.  Its pretty powerful.

So this is why we are seeing a frantic attempt to insert conservative ideology into university campuses, ie Murray Racial IQ Theory at Middlebury college.  The problem in complex adaptive systems dynamics is that red and blue demes are disequilibriating under relative fitness in the 21st century.  The Founders design worked great while there was rough parity between the two sub-populations.  But going forward that assumption doesnt hold.  Increased blue demes correlate with educational attainment, local economic growth, centers of culture and academe.  Here is the population dis-equilibriation visualized.

So now lets take a look into the future, via the scholastic poll 2016.

Half these students will be eligible to vote in 2020.   The single greatest correlate for young voters is how their parents voted.  But this poll is showing something else– that education ALONE can cause a switch in affiliation from red to blue.  Its probably not just education, but social influence.  So as more Americans become educated ( a 4-yr college education is perceived by ALL parents as the greatest enhancement of economic ability) we headed for a permanent liberal supermajority.

Can that be a democratic republic?