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Frito Bandito writes:

So what you’re saying is, sometimes people are too stupid to know what’s good for them and others, and you need a quasi-dictatorial regime to get them into doing it?

Cochran replies:

Most people won’t wear seatbelts. You don’t need a dictatorship: just a government that isn’t crazy. In 1940, the government would have imposed quarantine without much agonizing. Of course, you couldn’t have had a big AIDS epidemic back then.

A government that isn't crazy huh? (u_u)

That problem seems insolvable except it somehow has been solved from time to time.


You are being suspiciously simplistic here. Needing to work hard to get a bride is one of the things that most vitally supports a culture of work ethic among men. Very few other things seem to have as big an impact. Most Fields medalists probably didn't work hard primarily because they wanted to attract a wife, though I bet many of them actually did. But the culture of work ethic being normative for men certainly seems vital to supporting their efforts!

To summarize:

  1. Men can attract women with hard work (note not about money per se, it can be status)

  2. The above is one of the strongest factors that contributes to a cultural expectation of hard work being normative for men

  3. This has strong impact on the output of high performers

If it wasn't for the ruthless class segregation in the modern West, where people with high genetic potential are quickly identified and sorted by the academic system into subcultures where men attracting mates with hard work still happens things would probably be pretty bad. If you don't think this happens I would direct you to Charles Murray's book Drifting Appart. And even the upper classes are drifting away from this model, this looks to me like a social disaster in the making. Things will overall still get better due to other factors in the medium run, but the opportunity costs are terrible. (<_<)


Note that this is an interesting example of a social problem dilemma as Dalrock emphasizes. Talking about something will make it worse, but unless it is talked about the fundamentals will continue to get worse. It generalizes to other problems I think. The best course of action is to beforehand determine if talking about the social problem is likely to result in change to address it, if not it shouldn't be talked about. Your opinions?


I want to emphasis that because men have significantly more outliers when it comes to achievement and social outcomes (both positive and negative ) , we should expect such a change in culture to ceteris paribus result in a net decrease in very exceptional achievements. Young men are also responsible for the vast majority of violent crime. We should expect delayed marriage and drop in marriage to push in the direction of more violence as well.


I don't think you should. But maybe this is because I feel the same way (;_;) despite being just someone who endorses HBD and dislikes Progressivism but thinks Moldbug wrong. I like this comment you made elsewhere much better than the one you linked to though:

Progressive takeover of a community is strongly empowered by a journalists noticing nonprogressive ideas floating there.

We've been noticing this process for a long time now. I now think I was wrong on this in the past. This should be a sign for what you call the "outer right" that we will only inflame the now inevitable escalation of status warfare, as social justice debates hijack attention away from human rationality to value and demographic warfare and people like us are systematically excluded from the intended audience. An explanation of some related costs for those who can't think of them. I think your and Anissimov's site More Right makes a nice Schelling point to regroup and continue our exploration of human rationality applied to controversial topics.


Further, those who pushed continental drift were not COMPLETELY isolated from Harvard at all! They knew the theories and the data.

He wasn't proposing complete isolation, just sufficient isolation to make fixating particular craziness difficult. It is uncharitable to think he proposed this. After all the academic community in Alpha Centauri would hardly be isolated from our own, the 4 year time lag isn't that much in academic circles, I've seen papers in some fields published abroad picked up here only after a 10 year time lag for example.

His basic argument is not that intellectual cooperation isn't useful, his argument is that intellectual cooperation is not a good way to investigate whatever craziness happens to get fixated in the community of intellectuals in question. It seems a stronger version of the argument that science advances by scientists holding on to old theories dying off and being replaced by younger ones, he posits entire fields can most easily be fixed by being replaced by a fresh fork of them from Alpha Centauri.

To give a technobable example, if someone here proposes duotronic dylithium computers might not violate the will of the Great Zod, and might be worth investigating, he would be widely seen as violating the Geneva convention and denounced for unethical research and being a quack, everyone after all knows multitronic plasma computers are the most promising branch. But once we see the data stream from Alpha Centauri's working version and note cats are not living with dogs there yet, this becomes harder to claim.


The speed of light is our friend in this regard, but I expect it is more likely we will become very fast, so what is today tiny lag will become very problematic, rather than traveling to the stars. But that is getting ahead of myself, if we don't have competing craziness we might not get starships or mind emulations. (;_;) So how can we get some of the benefit of this today where we are all one with Harvard?

A commenter there writes:

Russia is an interesting case. You’ve got a whole school of Russian linguists, with roots back in the Soviet era, who think they can reconstruct really ancient language families. American linguists (with a few exceptions — Joseph Greenberg) think they’re crazy. (I’m not competent to decide who’s right.) There’s also a tradition of Soviet/Russian sociologists, anthropologists, and archeologists doing old-fashioned investigations of ancient “ethnogenesis” of modern nationalities while Westerners have been busy convincing themselves that all this stuff is socially constructed and part of the “invention of tradition.” Peter Turchin is somebody who benefits from having a foot in the Russian camp (his dad was a dissident and his family got kicked out in the 1970s and he keeps up his ties with Russian researchers) and not worrying too much about marching in step with Western academic historians. And David Anthony’s work on Indo-European origins benefits a lot from him keeping up with former East Bloc archeology and archeologists and ignoring the “pots not people” Anglo-American orthodoxy.

As an aside I think, the pots not people people seem to have been wrong. People probably came with pots.

This seems like an argument for forcing graduate students to take a second language, and keep up with work outside English.

Any other ideas?


The point on torture being useful seems really obvious in hindsight. Before reading this I pretty much believed it was useless. I think it settled my head in the mid 2000s, arriving straight from political debates. Apparently knowing history can be useful!

Overall his comment is interesting but I think the article has more important implications, someone should post it. So I did. (^_^)


From this day forward all speculation and armchair theorizing on LessWrong should be written in Comic Sans.


Probably. Possibly. Yes.

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