I’m no longer regulalry Tweeting, but I still have a desire to share what I’m reading with the world and comment on it. So I decided I’m going to start doing Friday link roundups, either weekly or bi-weekly. This one will be free, but I’m going to put future link roundups behind a paywall to provide an incentive for people to become paying subscribers. So please subscribe if you want to see more of these. I’m getting a lot more free readers, but paid subscriptions are flat, so there seems to be a limited number of people who will donate money out of the goodness of their hearts alone. Links will include short commentary on some stories, as per below.
It's remarkable how widespread the premise is that 'intelligent people won't fight at all', instead of "intelligent people will fight like hell to defend their homes but aren't interested in fighting to take someone else's."
How much of the selection filters for western elites include "willingness to leave your childhood home in pursuit of career opportunities?" Does this explain the continued surprise that intelligent people are perfectly willing to fight for causes that actually make sense?
I write from a basement in southwest Ohio, 10 minutes from where i grew up. I left home because of economic opportunities, and when I was younger, I was much more on board with progressivism and the idea that conservatives were all stupid idiots. As I've grown older older and seen both how authoritarian progressivism is.
I've also how many intelligent people simply _didn't want_ to leave their homes, and how deeply biased the population who did move to places like stanford or harvard are. I see at trading companies, hedge funds, tech startups, VC firms, all located on big costal cities, this idea that stanford and MIT grads were selected primarily for intelligence instead of, say, willingness to relocate for an elite role. I now think much of the failures of the late 20th/ early 21st century come from 'meriotcratic' filters being much more heavily selective against people with strong levels of loyalty and commitment to tradition who didnt' grow up by elite schools.
The offer to fly Zelensky out of Ukraine seems like it typifies the kind of 'leaders' the west has had for decades. We're saying our leaders are selected for competence, but honestly there are far more intelligent people who couldn't work at Google because they didn't want to leave their homes, than there are who couldn't make the technical cut.
I'm applying for online jobs remotely now, and wow, the opportunities are crazy. Living in suburban Ohio in 2022, I have way more options to work remotely for elite businesses than I did in 2019 when Iived in the bay area of California where ostensibly i was paying literally 10x as much for housing, simply so I could have access to high paying jobs.
In my experience there are a lot of right-leaning rationalists in the public arena, it's just that they're typically called Libertarians.
"Abortion is a bad issue for Republicans".
There are studies suggesting that people are much more uncomfortable with abortion once you get into the details. And the more people see the details of wokenss and civil rights law, the less supportive they become. So why does abortion tank the Republicans but Democrats keep winning despite wokeness? I think it is because the US is essentially a mediacracy. And when you have nearly all of pop culture, institutions, Hollywood, and journalism on your side, it's possible to overcome natural human disgust. "Oh but Fox News, dailywire, conservative radio!" LOL. Yeah whatever a handful of conservative media compared to the ocean of left-promoting media isn't going to sway people not already deeply committed to conservative positions.
Imagine if Hollywood, elite media, etc started showing graphic videos depicting late term abortions and describing it in negative terms, it would probably be banned or significantly curtailed. The horrific reality is ignored while elites/media focus on outlier cases or run affirming stories about "an act of radical self-love".
Acknowledging that abortion is grotesque doesn't mean we have to ban abortion after 6 weeks, I'm just pointing out that abortion is a problem for Republicans because of how the issue is framed by elites/media.
Thanks for sharing my Mann interview Richard!
> During the interview, Mann mentioned that there are still Mayans in Mexico and neighboring countries who speak the Mayan language, apparently 6 million of them. I feel ashamed for not having known that, and this contributed to my guilt about how little I know about Mexico, which is our neighbor and a very fascinating country.
Yeah, it's honestly a shame that the conventional view on this part of the world just groups them together as "latinos" or worse yet "latinx" and just leaves it at that. Totally ignores the rich history and complexity of the region.
Word to the wise: Please don't believe anything you read about Russia or Ukraine in mainstream outlets like NYT or WSJ, unless you have independently verified it. They flat out admit they are assisting Ukraine and the U.S. deep state with the "information war."
Case in point is all media outlets plucking out the word "concerns" from a speech pledging partnership between Russia and China as evidence of a rift. Even as propaganda this is getting embarrassing.
There's nothing wrong with pulling for Ukraine. But that doesn't mean one has to uncritically believe unreliable sources.
Taliban seems like a high-IQ movement because it is run by a professional intelligence agency, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) which is staffed and led by officers of the Pakistani Army.
Pakistan, an ethno-feudal garrison state, is itself tun by a highly educated Punjabi elite class.
One of the least discussed aspect of the Afghan debacle is how after almost two decades of constant warfare with US/NATO, the Taliban was simply able to walk into Kabul as though it never left. They were protected and sustained in Pakistan with the blessings of this Pakistani ruling class (read, the Army).
People use twitter for many things. But one way to use it is to publish links out on stuff you find interesting. This is precisely the same as a blog linkpost. Effectively that's what Tyler Cowen does with his daily linkpost, and that would easily tranfer to twitter.
Blogs can also be used many different ways as well of course.
But reading your post today made me realize the extremely tight correspondence between the linkpost and posting links on twitter. Same use case.
On the Ukraine IQ/class point, it is important to remember that that the losses from WWI caused an enormous change in the British class system (and the coming to power of the Labour Party), and arguably had something to do with the fall of Britain and a major world power. If there are similar losses in Ukraine, you may expect a similar result.
Also, I am not entirely sure that storming German trenches by the children of leading businessmen and aristocrats helped the actual war effort, but that is another issue.
Didn't you tweet about the University of Michigan, about how it wasn't able to reach its diversity targets due to affirmative action bans? That this was evidence that banning affirmative action really works? It looks like Michigan's law students are much more diverse than its undergraduate body! It's usually the other way around. Shouldn't the ban affect the law school as well?
I made some predictions about the Russo-Ukrainian war here: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/open-thread-241/comment/9002861.
I've seen some Russian graphs suggesting upper class people support the war more than proles. The framing ("can buy whatever he wants, can sometimes buy what he wants, etc") makes me think its a sanctions thing, though, which isn't encouraging news for the Russians. Hard to know, in any case.
Dwarkesh Patel is a rather bad interviewer, I think. The questions he asked Mikaberidze struck me as amateurish.
If you ever want to visit Mexico, I'm a local. There's also a small rationalist group in Mexico City (mostly expats, obviously).
Regarding #8, do you buy the idea that the people moving into red states are making them bluer? All you ever here is “those damn (Californians, New Yorker, Fill In Blue Staters) are turning our state into a liberal hell hole!” I personally don’t buy that. I think most of the people leaving California and New York are lower middle class people, people with larger families and small time proprietors. Arguably, all 3 of those are decent indicators that the people leaving blue states are Republicans. Thoughts?
Hi, New Hampshire person here with an explainer on item seven. Chuck Morse is well known to be very poor on 2A issues and very pro-establishment. So when the local ersatz-MAGA folks searched around for candidates to endorse, and found that this general somehow got the most name recognition of every potential Chuck Morse opponent, then they put everything into him. Morse continued to remind us of his positions during the first debate for this office, and he did not deign to participate in the subsequent debates. It was just a matter of time before the general would beat Morse. I guess they reached enough people that it worked on the first try. Personally I voted for the ersatz libertarian, but I'll take a MAGA over a Deep-Stater any day.
The link for #8 is wrong, it's #7's link.