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?

idk.

Why Rod Dreher is Woefully Wrong

The intransigent stupidity of the Right never fails to amaze me.  Normally I dont read pundits like Rod Dreher but these were linked on seriously slow-witted Shadi Hamid‘s TL.  Consider these two articles from “The American Conservative”: The Douthat Scenario is Coming True and Islam is the Last Badass Religion.   Both articles comprise a sort of protracted moan about the decline of christianity in the US.  Unsure what Dreher is recommending– possibly Christianity as a state religion? But wouldnt that be anti-constitutional?

Anyways, I can enlighten these simpletons about cause with science (see Pascal Boyer: Religion Explained and Scott Atran: In Gods We Trust).  Although it seems Hamid should know this (since he claims to be muslim) the core difference between Islam and modern christianity is the method of salvation.  Indeed Hamid even discusses this in his sillie book, but only in the context of the separation of church and state.  The thing about salvation by faith alone is there is no penalty for defection.  Once upon a time (before the born-agains, protestants and evangelicals) Catholicism was “badass”.  Because the penalty was excommunication.  But now– theres no penalty– murderers and rapists on death row can be born again with Jesus and go right straight to heaven.  Secular atheists dont believe in heaven so its even easier for them.  And then there is the “no religious affiliation” cohort.

Peter Beinart– Over the past decade, pollsters charted something remarkable: Americans—long known for their piety—were fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The vast majority still believed in God. But the share that rejected any religious affiliation was growing fast, rising from 6 percent in 1992 to 22 percent in 2014. Among Millennials, the figure was 35 percent.

Islam requires both works and faith, something christianity jettisoned a while back.  And being a martyr is definitely a major work.   Heres Dreher, still not getting it:

That’s something I respect about Muslims in general: they take their faith a lot more seriously than we Christians do. The only forms of Christianity that are going to survive the dissolution now upon us are going to be those that are serious about the faith, and incorporate it into disciplined ways of living. What would it mean for Christianity to be “badass”? Not violent, or intimidating, or cruel, but serious and countercultural. This is one reason that Orthodox Christianity is so attractive to men. It sets serious challenges in front of you — fasting, prayer, and so forth — and expects you to rise to the challenge. It’s not rigidly dogmatic and moralistic, certainly, but it’s not sentimental either. It sees the Christian life as a pilgrimage toward God in which we die to ourselves every day. That’s not Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. That is the faith.

Good luck reinstating salvation by works into fat lazy xenophobic American christians.  Because that is what it will take.  The other problem is demographics, which political “scientists” like Shadi Hamid never talk about.  Although there is rough global numerical parity between christians and muslims, the distribution is vastly different, as is the TRF (total reproductive frequency).  Muslim populations are more concentrated, younger, and make a good case for religion emphasizing muslim over race, while it is very apparent that white christians are not the same as black christians, or south american christians the same as african christians.   In christianity race mostly trumps religion.  And Islam is growing by attracting new adherents while christianity is losing reps to “unaffiliated”.

And finally here is a new paper “The Evolution of Extreme Co-operation via Shared Dysphoric Experiences”.  Certainly right now MENA is one big war zone full of many dysphoric experiences for sunni muslims.

One type of extreme co-operation is obviously martyrdom.

So unless Dreher has an idea for giving the Benedict Option some teeth (listening to an atheist and a maftoon dissing Islam isnt going to cut it) christianity will continue to decline vis a vis Islam.

tant pis, but that’s how evolution of religion works.

 

 

A Letter to Allison Stanger on Charles Murray and Racial IQ Theory

Dear Alison,

I’m very sorry to hear of your injuries, and of course I do not condone violence as a form of protest.  But I’m very disturbed by your treatment of Murray as just another speaker with a difference of opinion that must be respected under free speech law.

those who prevented Charles Murray from speaking must be punished for violating college rules. But what the events at Middlebury made clear is that, regardless of political persuasion, Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them. People from both sides of the aisle reject calm logic, eager to embrace the alternative news that supports their prejudices.

Murray has never retracted Racial IQ Theory, even though his thesis has been repeatedly discredited.   And Charles Murray is a political scientist, not a social scientist.  The social science guy that was the co-author of the Bell Curve has died.   The social science (as well as statistical science and data science) problem with Murray Racial IQ Theory is that between group variance is smaller than within group variance.  Competently illustrated below by Dr. Taleb, the Black Swan guy.

So inviting Murray to speak as a social scientist, given that he has never retracted his bad science of Murray Racial IQ Theory, is actually giving legitimacy to “alternative facts”.  I have no problem with Murray speaking as a political “scientist”.  His alt-right, white nationalist POLITICAL views are openly embraced by AEI, his sponsors.  But alternative, conservative fake-science cant be allowed on campuses.  Would you support a Republican climate denialist speaking on climate science?  A Republican Creationist lecturing on evolution?  I don’t think the students would.  Its fine for Murray to speak as a republican political activist.  But make that crystal clear–that needs to be separated from his fake science of Racial IQ Theory.

This is going to be a huge problem going forward– the big reveal from the election results is the deep correlation of educational attainment and liberal voting patterns.  Alt-right sites are already proposing some sort of alternative system to public universities, which seems impossible to me– the US university system is the finest in the world.

You are correct that the extreme polarization of the country has led to the politicization of news and the rise of Kellyanne Conway “alternative facts”.  But we can’t allow the rise of “alternative science”.  The Middlebury students have every right to block the promotion of bad science and conservative “alternative science”.

Meanwhile real scientists are still waiting for Murray to retract his discredited theories on race and IQ.

heres wishing you a speedy recovery and continued academic success

best witches,

bintchaos