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Temporarily embarrassed liberal elite

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joined 2022 September 06 23:45:01 UTC


User ID: 896


Temporarily embarrassed liberal elite

0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 06 23:45:01 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 896

That's as may be, but when I go on talkingpointsmemo.com in incognito mode I get ads for premium brand menswear and SUV's, when I go on dailykos.com I get ads for e-scooters and high-end video editing software, and when I go on redstate.com or other sites in that network most of the ads are for cheap clothes imported from China. Admittedly I did see one ad for small-business accounting software on a right-wing site, which points to the one useful demographic that is still mostly conservative.

Any discussion of the UK Conservative's dismal polling that talks about ideology first and competence second is bogus.

The Tories are polling 20% because they f***ed up the technical implementation of Brexit (notice that not even the people who negotiated Johnson's deal are willing to defend it), f***ed up the COVID-19 response (the US was probably worse, but compared to the universe of rich countries the UK had an above-average death toll AND an above-average level of disruption caused by lockdowns etc.), f***ed up Trussonomics, and are also presiding over a slow-motion collapse in the NHS and the criminal justice system, and the final working out of the consequences of the UK's 70-year old system of housing communism (all of which they have done nothing to stop).

The very online debate is about whether the Tories can mitigate the damage by moving to the right to engage the post-2019 base of insane pensioners or by moving to the centre to appeal to the pre-2016 base of well-off people with jobs and families, but in the real world that is about mitigating damage caused by incompetence.

Keir Starmer's message in 2024 is going to be a variant on "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?", and whichever way he tacks on ideology, Rishi Sunak won't have a good answer.

If the lack of smart, educated conservatives was driven entirely by institutional gatekeeping, then there would be a lot of smart uneducated conservatives, and the adverts on conservative websites would be for educational trips to Rome and the St John's College extramural programme. In fact, the adverts on conservative websites (except explicitly Christian ones) are for crypto scams and acai berry colon cleanses, suggesting that there is a real difference in IQ.

Richard Hanania isn't trolling when he complains about how dumb American conservatism is in the Current Year - he is expressing frustration. This is new, but not that new. George W Bush had to pretend to be dumber than he was in order to be a serious right-wing candidate for President, George HW Bush did not. The only powerful right-wing tendency that would appeal to an intellectually curious 130+ IQ is tradcath.

[Yes - I know Elon Musk is on the right, and a genius. But his right-wing fanbase don't like him because he builds electric cars, they lie him because of his low-effort shitposting]

Houses are part of the means of production (at least according to the people who compile GDP statistics) because they are used to produce housing services. Firmamenti is advocating a system where houses can only be built with the permission of the local government (and where that permission can be granted or denied at a granular level) and can only be used for purposes approved by the local government. That is a system where housing is controlled by the government.

If white Americans wore their own culture's clothing, rather than dressing like stoner slobs, then America would be a better place. The same is also true, but less so, in western Europe. At least the immigrants are making an effort to dress well.

As of 2023, China leads the world in rare earths because they are the only country with good chemists and weak environmental laws. The US has plenty of rare earths - they just need to agree to some unimportant parts of the mountain west being despoiled in order to get at them.

What I find most depressing about this problem is how irreversible it is.

The problems with immigration in Canada (which is, unlike many other countries, doing a good job of selecting positive-value, long-term-assimilable immigrants) that the parent post referred to are all to do with growing the population while not building enough housing. Those problems are entirely reversible - slow the immigration while you catch up on housebuilding.

Given a comment about Land of Hope and Glory upthread, I checked and, interestingly, Jerusalem has a vocal range only one tone less than The Star-Spangled Banner. It is right at the edge of what can be sung by a mass crowd of untrained singers - it works at the Last Night of the Proms or with a non-audition choir, but not as a football song or in a school assembly. But it doesn't have the kind of reputation as a bear-trap among professional singers that The Star-Spangled Banner does.

If you support housing communism at every level, then you do you. But you will get the standard results of communism.

Easy to imagine UK wignats taking the step of overtly allying with Hindus and possibly Sikhs if tensions deteriorate further, for example;

If you extend "wignats" to include the populist right of the Tory party, this has already happened - the first time a Tory made a sectarian appeal to Hindus was Zac Goldsmith's 2016 campaign for Mayor of London. 2nd-generation immigrants from Christian Africa are also ingroup for similar reasons. Looking at photos, the Tory front bench is darker-skinned than the Labour front bench, and I don't think this will change in my lifetime. (After the next election, I expect Priti Patel and Suella Braverman to rejoin the shadow cabinet, and Kemi Badenoch and James Cleverly to stay in it). Priti Patel is also the leading Hinjew in Britain - and that alliance is getting stronger every time a Pakistani joins a pro-Palestinian march.

Across Europe, the nativist right movements that are appealing to younger people tend to be single-issue anti-Muslim. "The Poles are taking our jerbs" focus-grouped as a losing message in the Brexit referendum, which is why Cummings and Farage didn't run on it.

The Pan-European identity is defined by Christendom, not whiteness (which is fake anyway). Always was, probably always will be. Muslims and Gypsies are the outgroup. Hindus are a broadly-friendly fargroup. I can't speak for every country in Europe, but in the UK immigrants from Christian Africa are fine - we have two of them in a Tory Cabinet.

I have an interest in my neighborhood being a place I like to live, my city being a place I like to live, and my country a place I like to live. I absolutely have a right to express my preferences in these matters via the state. Keeping me expressing them via elections instead of simply forcing things to look the way I want them to is very literally the foundational role of government.

This viewpoint would be significantly less obnoxious if fewer of the people expressing it also talked about freedom, self-reliance, the value of hard work and other libertarian-adjacent ideas. "You can't have my house, you should get your own, and if you try to build one I will send men with guns to demolish it" is still antisocial, but "You can't have my house, it's my property because I worked hard for it, go get your own just like I had to, and if you try to build one I will act on my God-given freedom to send men with guns to demolish it" is despicable.

The Villages is near-100% dependent on fiscal transfers from working-age Americans.

A couple of generations ago, the median American sang frequently for fun or at least every Sunday in church. I’m guessing the anthem, sung by a crowd, didn’t used to be the big horrible embarrassed mumble it is today.

Most songs designed for mass singing have all the notes in the same octave. Looking at national anthems, God Save the King and Deutschland uber alles are all on one octave, La Marseillaise goes one note beyond the octave, and The Star-Spangled Banner goes four notes beyond a single octave. In addition, the top note of the tune is on "free", and "ee" is one of the harder vowels to sing at full volume.

To put the required vocal range into perspective, an operatic soloist is expected to to have a useful range of two octaves, and chorus singers can get by with slightly less.

A soloist singing The Star-Spangled Banner can choose the key to optimise for the middle of their vocal range (and the singer opening a sporting event will do just that - that is part of the reason the song is usually sung unaccompanied). Someone singing it in a choir can't - in order to be in tune they either have to sing at the same pitch as everyone else, or exactly one octave different.

This was never a song that was easy to sing.

I am going to call bullshit on this study. There are already a couple of posts in the thread pointing out that children of strict parents won't give honest answers to the survey which reflects on their parents, and that parents won't give honest answers to questions about their kids' mental health that reflects badly on their parenting. Given the existence of social desirability bias, I don't even trust parents reporting their own parenting practices - the reported high quality of "very conservative" parenting could be interpreted as "Very conservative parents are more likely to know the correct answers (as determined by a conservative think-tank) on a how-to-parent quiz."

But even if they have 100% honest answers (which they don't) I don't think this study does what it says on the tin:

  1. Child response bias. They spoke to 6643 parents, of whom 2956 had one or more teenage children who could have been included. (Were the other 3687 parents included in the study? They don't say). Only 1580 children were included - that is a 52% response rate. Are the teens who responded representative of the whole sample?

  2. Over-reliance on parental reports. The published results just don't use the child questionnaire data that much. It is used as part of a mostly parent-reported "index of mental health", and as one item out of six on a mostly parent-reported "index of relationship quality". The methodology section of the paper doesn't say how they combine households with child and parent questionnaires with households with only parent questionnaires to get a single set of results - this seems like the key step in the process to me, and it could mean that the published results are almost entirely parent-reported. "Parents who think they are good parents also think they have well-adjusted kids" doesn't seem like an interesting response to me, and could be Dunning-Kruger just as easily as actual parenting quality.

  3. Chart-crime. The correlations between parenting practices and mental health, and the correlations between adverse experiences and relationship quality on mental health, are shown on different graphs with different scales, concealing the fact that the impact of relationship quality dwarfs the impact of parenting practices. The text points out that the impact of relationship quality is larger. This isn't that bad - I have put out worse charts myself, with the excuse that I was running for public office at the time.

  4. Missing regression. They have the data to compare parenting practices to relationship quality, but they don't. Given that "does authoritative parenting improve child mental health by improving relationship quality or via some other mechanism" is an interesting question, I assume they ran the regression and didn't report the results because they didn't like them. The text even asks the question, saying that the large impact of relationship quality on mental health is evidence that parenting style works via relationship quality. But it isn't the evidence you are looking for - you need to show more of the correlation matrix.

  5. Reverse causation and how. The aspects of "authoritative parenting" which correlate best with mental health are "My child completes priorities I set for them before they are allowed to play or relax" and "My child follows a regular routine", and "I find it difficult to discipline my child" (reversed). Those are measures of a parent's success at implementing authoritative parenting, not their commitment to doing it. And when you correlate that with parent-reported mental health, the direction of causation is obvious to anyone who has parented a difficult child. (I have a diagnosed ASD son - I speak from experience). IFS are putting out an "umbrellas cause rain" study.

  6. Genetic confounding. They mention this possibility, but dismiss it. I am not going to try to work out whether the stuff they cite to say that this study isn't genetically confounded does in fact say that, but my prior is that everything is genetically confounded. Grading on a curve, at least they considered the possibility.

  7. Talking around the 1 vs 2 parent question - WHY? This is the IFS we are talking about, 2 parents being better than 1 is a big part of their raison d'etre. But I can't find a clear discussion of it anywhere in the paper. They show breakdowns based on divorced/married/never-married status and high-low quality relationship with current partner (not co-parent!), but not the straightforward is the kid still living with both biological parents test. Do they have a dataset which shows that 2 parents are not, in fact, better than 1 and chose to hide it? (This is consistent with the small impact on child mental health of "Has a parent who used to live with you stopped living with you?")

  8. Inconsistent data presentation. The way the correlations between parenting style and parent demographics, and relationship quality and parent demographics are presented is completely different to the way the correlations between child mental health and parenting style, and child mental health and relationship quality are presented, in a way which confuses the fact that they are effectively different cells in the same correlation matrix, and also makes it hard to compare effect sizes.

  9. Missing regression. Why not compare adolescent mental health with parent demographics directly? You have the information. Haidt did it - he found conservative adolescents are healthier (particularly daughters). Again I unfortunately have to be specific.

I don't think this is unusually bad for a think-tank writing up some survey research - I do think they made more mistakes than usual because the underlying study is more complicated (there are four major groups of variables with unknown causal links between them - mental health, relationship quality, parenting practices, and parent demographics). But there is enough hinkiness that I can't trust the results, and I don't have a good response if I try and beat a tofu-eating attachment parent with the study and they say "correlation is not the same as causation". I do wonder why the main author (who is an economist at Gallup) didn't run the paper past a professional statistician - Gallup must have them on staff.

Haidt's work is much better at explaining why he thinks his theory is causally correct.

The most likely scenario where a Republican is President in 2025 is Trump with small GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress. In this case Project 2025 definitely can be implemented - and my read is it probably will. Having skimmed the Project 2025 policy book, I don't think that the Supreme Court will block anything the admin does, and they have playbooks for dealing with Deep State or Congressional GOPe obstruction. I don't think a seriously implemented Project 2025 which is somehow foiled by Trump's opponents to be a likely outcome - it is more likely to fail due to self-sabotage.

The major ways this could happen are:

  • Trump chooses not to implement it, and instead do something else. In particular, the Project 2025 policy book is mostly about things with big long-term consequences that can be done relatively quietly by executive order while looking like a normal conservative administration. The whole point is not to engage in highly visible abuse of power in a way which would unite people against you. Invoking the Insurrection Act on day 1 and sending troops to take over the NYPD is the opposite of this.
  • Trump starts implementing it, but gets distracted by a shiny thing in a way that throws the project off course. The most likely shiny thing would be revenge prosecutions, particularly if he goes after Republican politicians who have been insufficiently personally loyal to Trump. A senile do-nothing Trump does not derail the project as long as he gets a few key senior people (who have already been identified) into post who can run the project while he watches gorillas on cable TV or whatever. An active-but-distracted Trump will in turn distract the people who need to focus to make Project 2025 work.
  • Heritage staffers have snuck enough GOPe figures onto the list of possible appointees that the key part of Project 2025 (appointing 100% MAGA Republicans to several thousand key posts) doesn't happen. I was not paying sufficiently close attention, but my read from a distance was that GOPe political appointees did more to sabotage Trump's first-term agenda than the Deep State did.
  • There simply isn't enough legibly loyal MAGA talent to staff the administration and the list ends up full of duffers. Basic stuff doesn't get done because the people who should be doing it are lazy/stupid/corrupt and the substantive plan doesn't move forward.

Trajan (98-117) and Hadrian (117-138) were born in Hispania - the sources disagree on how ethnically Italian they were (most elites in the Italic colonies in Hispania were of mixed Italian-Spanish ancestry) but it didn't appear to matter politically. The Italic colonies in Hispania received the ius Latinum under the late Republic (meaning that local elites would acquire full Roman citizenship over time) and all of Hispania did in 74AD. So "not extended to Iberians" appears to be false by the 1st century AD.

The next dubiously-Italian emperor was Septimus Severus (193-211) - his mother was Italian, but his father was Carthaginian. Because tribal affiliation was inherited in the male line in Rome, he would not have been considered Italian by his subjects. His wife was Arab, so Caracalla (211-217) was only 1/4 Italian by blood quantum. After that ethnically Italian Emperors are the exception, not the rule. But I think you can argue that the empire is already in decline by that point.

Amoral means that a choice was made without reference to morality. Immoral means that it is contrary to morality. If Napoleon was motivated solely by glory, his decisions were amoral. They may also have been immoral - that depends on what your moral code is, because Napoleon didn't have one.

It is a term originally used by Neil Kinnock (leader of the UK Labour Party from 1983-92) to describe far-left entryists in the Labour Party. The main group he was talking about was Militant, but almost all the far-left groups listed in As Soon as This Pub Closes practiced entryism in the Labour Party at some point in their history. When I was involved in centre-left politics in the UK, the term was an approximate British equivalent of "moonbat".

I agree that the term is (intentionally) offensive and I am happy to stop using it. Is "Loony Left" allowed here to refer to the same people?

Only to PMC women who are afraid of dirt. Men are only afraid of it to the extent that they think it is emasculating. Traditional elite women learned to handle filth by mucking out stables as teenagers. (Old money will buy their daughter a pony, but never hire a groom for her). And working class women don't seem to have a problem with it either.

Given feminist biopolitics, "I don't to gestate a kid" is a more socially acceptable line than "I don't want to raise a kid" because it riffs on the idea of women controlling their own bodies - but raising a child from birth to young adulthood is harder than gestating them from conception to birth and this is common knowledge in our culture. Hell, even if you only count the nine months after birth, a newborn is harder work than a pregnancy and any mother will tell you this. But most women who say they don't want to gestate a kid wouldn't want to raise it either.

I have met a very small number of women whose identity is wrapped up in their hotness but who are not party girls (motherhood is incompatible with a party lifestyle) for whom artificial wombs would reduce their anxiety around losing their looks due to pregnancy leaving them willing to have children. But the great majority of childfree-by-choice PMC women's true rejection of motherhood is that the time and energy commitment would ruin either their competitive-but-not-well-paid-enough-to-hire-a-nanny career in arts/journalism/NGO bullshit etc. or their hedonistic lifestyle.

Artificial wombs make single fatherhood by choice as available as single motherhood by choice is now (likely impact on overall fertility negligible as not many men will sign up), but the main impact would be that they dramatically reduce the cost and risk of babymaking for older couples with fertility issues.

The topical example right now is surely "I can build electric cars and rocket ships (in both cases with a level of intense study that took me a year or more and would take someone without my IQ or work ethic decades) so I can run a social media company by winging it and still have time to shitpost."

In a society where redistribution from old to young is privatized (except for the welfare class) but redistribution from young to old is handled by the State, the childless are free-riding because they are supported in their old age by children they didn't raise.

Islam, of course, permits polygyny (although I understand it is rare in most Muslim societies). Both Christianity and Hinduism prohibit it, meaning that dowry was near-universal among landed-class Christians and continued into the early industrial era, and is still a live issue in India.

Looking at the US, Census report saying that 27% of children are involved in a child support claim. (This includes divorced and never-married parents) Fairly standard data showing 40% non-marital childbirth. (This includes unmarried cohabiting parents)

Essentially all single motherhood is a choice by the woman (women control fertility in jurisdictions with legal contraception and abortion, and file the vast majority of divorces where children are involved in all no-fault-divorce jurisdictions).

So I am comfortable that c. 30% of American women are choosing single motherhood. (Figures in Western Europe are slightly less, but not much). And anecdotally most of them are doing so due to the poor quality of the men available to them.