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joined 2022 September 06 15:34:04 UTC


User ID: 867



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 06 15:34:04 UTC


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User ID: 867

Are there any theories why, among Asians, Indians in the West so often end up in leadership positions (especially in the corporate world), and East Asians don't?

The typical answer given is that "the leadership attainment gap between East Asians and South Asians [is] consistently explained by cultural differences in assertiveness, but not by prejudice or motivation". We see this reflected in the types of stories told in each culture about how an individual may rise to prominence and leadership: Chinese examples tend to be something like "kid studies hard for the imperial exams and passes at age 17, lifting his family out of poverty" or "brilliant strategist lives a quiet life in the countryside until a worthy leader seeks him out and asks for his help reunifying the empire", neither of which lend themselves to the type of assertive self-promotion needed to succeed in American business or politics. This may be less of an issue for 3rd generation immigrants and beyond who are fully assimilated, but they are relatively small in number at the moment.

I am not one of those advocating for executing homeless people, but I think there's an important point to be made here: if no solution is implemented, then this is what people will resort to. You cannot expect them to sit around for years waiting for enlightened technocrats to come up with the most humane remedies for societies' ills while they are harassed and threatened on a daily basis on the subway, going to a grocery store, or walking home. Any solution that goes into effect today is worth more to the folks on the ground than the perfect plan at some unspecified time in the future.

Discussions about homelessness always remind me of this Onion headline. If almost every country in the world, including your own several decades ago, doesn't have the problem you have, then maybe you should stop doing whatever it is you're doing.

Scott clearly gets it:

And yet ordinary people should be able to say “I want to stop choking on yellow smoke every time I go outside” without having to learn the difference between hexamethyldecawhatever and tetraethylpentawhatever.

despite then insisting that all his readers learn the difference. And he even knows what solutions will work:

If your plan is “be cruel and draconian”, then that will work. It might even be justifiable, if it helps protect other vulnerable people - I talk more about this here. But please admit it. Don’t mumble something about “I just want these poor people to be able to get the treatment they deserve yet don’t know how to ask for” before going back to railing against the damn liberals.

The issue here isn't that people are being hypocritical by mumbling platitudes about treating homeless people better, it's that liberals will smear any plan that doesn't center the welfare of "unhoused individuals" as cruel and draconian and thereby force others to use their framework as a prerequisite for engagement rather than telling the truth, namely "we don't give a damn what happens to those people; just get them off our streets." I don't even see how restoring the old system of mental institutions would be any less cruel than letting these people kill themselves slowly and publicly, though I suppose people might oppose it on libertarian grounds.


Several dozen people were shot in terrorist attacks in Dagestan this week. It's currently unclear whether this attack is related to the earlier concert hall shooting by ISIS-K, but given the region's history there's no shortage of potential suspects.


This article brought to my attention the ongoing series of joint military exercises between China and Cambodia and the construction of a Chinese naval base on the Gulf of Thailand. It's perhaps not surprising that Cambodia would fall into the Chinese camp given their shared tensions with Vietnam, but it does leave Indonesia as the only Southeast Asian nation that's still up for grabs in this new cold war (and even that chance is slipping given recent Chinese infrastructure investments).


Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that the Orthodox communities cannot be exempted from the draft, in what was probably an inevitability given their growing percentage of the population.


A coup attempt in Bolivia earlier today failed miserably after the general responsible was arrested on live television. Just another day in Latin America.


Apparently tourism in southern Europe has grown so spectacularly since the pandemic that the PIGS economies are now growing faster than Germany. Anecdotally, I hear that Lisbon and Porto are now standing-room only, akin to Kyoto or Venice, which means those looking for a quiet and peaceful European beach vacation should look elsewhere (I'm pretty sure Albania hasn't been "discovered" yet and the locals still love Americans).

A set of naval bases from which to wage war against Communism in Southeast Asia and a guarantee that the Philippines would not fall into the enemy camp. It's just a shame they never developed like South Korea or Japan, or else they'd be a much more valuable trade partner and might be able to actually put up a fight against China in the event of a war instead of being a glorified aircraft carrier.

From what I've seen, Never Trump is mostly an elite phenomenon and does not really reflect typical Republican voters. See for instance what happened to the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. The Democratic coalition, by virtue of being more diverse, contains many interest groups who can threaten to abstain if they don't get what they want, as in the case of Muslims angry over Biden's position on the war in Gaza. That's not to say there isn't a core of stalwart Dem voters (mostly older and/or Black), but the fickle progressives and minorities are at least perceived by the party leadership as being important to get on side to run up the numbers (even though they may not flip many states).

North Korea

Putin visited Pyongyang this week for a summit with Kim Jong-Un, signing a mutual aid pact and securing a vital supply of munitions for the war in Ukraine. South Korea is considering responding with their own arms deal, because apparently Koreans are some of the only people in the world who still know how to make artillery shells.

The Philippines

China and the Philippines continued their naval game of chicken around Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, in a dispute that the Filipino government could at any moment drag the US into by invoking its mutual defense treaty.


Israel seems ready to launch a military offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, which would likely lead to a dramatic escalation in violence throughout the region, with more missile and drone exchanges with Iran and even at first glance unrelated nations caught in the crossfire.

Saudi Arabia

Over a thousand pilgrims have died from extreme heat on the hajj. And here I was worrying about political violence this year instead.


The EU plans to impose tariffs on the import of Chinese EV's, following America's lead. Time will tell whether this saves domestic manufacturing or if we in the west will end up like the Soviets with their Ladas looking enviously across the iron curtain at all the shiny new vehicles their government wouldn't let them have.

While I think there is an argument to be made with regard to the harmful effects of promulgating HBD/race science among the general public, I don't think the Turkheimer article makes a particularly good case for it. To extract the relevant points:

They are offensive precisely because they violate our intuition about the balance between innateness and self-determination of the moral and cultural qualities of human beings.


...it is a matter of ethical principle that individual and cultural accomplishment is not tied to the genes in the same way as the appearance of our hair.

The issue is that the intuitions and ethical principles he describes are not universal. One is perfectly capable of believing that the moral qualities and cultural accomplishments of human beings are tied to genes, and such a belief wouldn't prevent such a person from celebrating such accomplishments any more than it prevents me from appreciating the beauty of a flower simply because said beauty was genetically determined.

But I suppose I am simply restating your point about meeting the philosophical underpinnings of your opponent's worldview head on, with which I agree.

First of all, why push it now, and second, why the partisan divide?

Ranked choice voting seems to many people like a reasonable solution to increasing political polarization and pressure to e.g. "vote blue/red no matter who." Regarding the partisan divide, Republicans seem to have an easier time banding together behind a single candidate even if they have personal issues with them, whereas Democrats seem more likely to either not vote for or at least suffer significant mental anguish about making political compromises by voting for someone who even slightly diverges from their ideal platform. Changing to a ranked choice system would therefore bring in more undecided or otherwise nonvoting Democrats who can signal their desired policies while still pragmatically supporting someone who has a chance of winning, while Republicans don't need such a roundabout method and just vote pragmatically from the start.

The latter.

If the question is did the Nazis hate Slavs as a race as much as they hated Jews the answer is clearly no, as they were willing to work with groups such as the Croatian Ustaše and Ukrainian collaborators when it suited them, and their plans for Russia involved killing and starving the local population not because of their ethnic background but simply because they were there. In a practical sense of course it made little difference to the people on the receiving end of such brutality what exactly was going through the heads of those who ordered it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the way people speak or express emotions on their face over a lifetime affects how they look, as well as things like diet and lifestyle, all of which will differ between countries. Rishi Sunak for example has a face that looks very British to me in a way I can't fully articulate, despite his ethnic background.

You can't be a Nazi and fight for a country run by a Jew.

This gets at an interesting difference between the western and Russian (or at least Putin's) definitions of Nazi. In the west, the defining feature of Nazis is their hatred of and desire to exterminate Jews, and any feelings they have about Russians are orthogonal to their Naziness, whereas in Russia the defining feature of Nazis is their hatred of and desire to displace and kill Slavs (and Russians in particular as the leading Slavic people), and it's their feelings about Jews that are orthogonal to their Naziness.

Now, I would say that the former definition is closer to historical reality than the latter, but this misunderstanding is why we in the west have been bemused by speeches about the "denazification" of a country with a Jewish president. Moreover, your typical Ukrainian Neo-Nazi probably ended up that way because he has heard all his life from the Russians that Nazis are people who hate Russians, and since he does in fact hate Russians he figures he might as well put on the uniform and become more intimidating to his enemies.

If a country in Sub-Saharan Africa or any other region with reportedly lower intelligence ever catches up economically to the west without natural resource shortcuts such as oil or rare metals I would see that as proof either that we are not measuring intelligence correctly or that intelligence differences between populations are not relevant to things I actually care about.

If the question is simply whether these factors exist and are harmful in certain contexts, then I don't think anyone can deny that. However, I think anyone claiming that they are responsible for an increase in depression or chronic health conditions over time is incorrect, as homes have gotten substantially cleaner and better ventilated over the past century in most countries and the general shittiness everyone seems to feel these days has alternative psychological and sociological explanations that others have outlined downthread.

What would "postnational" mean without reference to some non-arbitrary, non-"I'm-not-touching-you" definition of Canadians? Who or what is sovereign on Trudeau's definition? Trudeau?

Presumably Canadian citizens, the rules for becoming one which are determined by the elected representatives of the current citizenry. Could such rules be considered arbitrary? Sure, but I think you need more than that to claim that they are illegitimate e.g. you can argue that the representatives were not enacting the will of the citizens, you can argue against democracy as a process for deciding questions of citizenship, etc. Also, if Canada had really ever been a single nation they would be speaking English in Quebec.

Rome was quite stingy with offering citizenship.

While they were in most respects stingy by modern standards, the fact that they had any form of naturalization at all was a radical break from all of their Mediterranean neighbors e.g. Athens where only people with two citizen parents were citizens themselves or Sparta with its permanent helot underclass, and this contributed to Roman military dominance as they were able to radically increase their available manpower over time. I also think the sort of mass granting of citizenship to allies as a reward for military service that Rome engaged in would be seen as radical even today, something akin to the US giving all inhabitants of Sonora citizenship in exchange for them suppressing the cartels (the closest modern equivalent might be the French Foreign Legion, which is relatively small).

Rome was ascendant when it was a nation state composed of Romans.

If we're going by the standard chronology, where the zenith of Roman power is the death of Trajan in 117 AD, then I don't see how this is true. 2 of the 5 Good Emperors were Iberians and no one seems to have cared, not to mention the long string of Illyrian emperors who ended the third century crises and founded one, if not the greatest of Roman cities i.e. Constantinople. On that note, the fact that a bunch of Greeks went around for a thousand years calling themselves Romans seems evidence enough of the assimilatory power of Roman institutions (interestingly enough these Romans functioned more and more like a nation as they lost territory and became weaker, but it certainly wasn't the same as the original nation).

A post-national state does not have a people, it has a territory.

Strictly speaking, a post-national state need only lack a people defined by common birth or shared ancestry, and can have one defined in other ways. One can argue that nation-states are a superior form of social organization to those other ways, but they are neither untried nor historically novel (e.g. Rome, Islam).


Macron dissolved the national assembly and called a snap election after being clobbered by the National Front Rally in the EU parliament, which I didn't know until now was a thing he could do. Considering what's happening across the channel as well this is definitely shaping up to be a year of major political shakeups across Europe.


Israel managed to rescue four hostages from Hamas. Thankfully they didn't shoot them by accident this time.


A list of candidates to replace the late President Raisi has been approved by Iranian religious authorities. None of them are familiar to me, but the claim is that they are sticking to religious conservatives as one might expect.

Burkina Faso

Russia's foreign minister Lavrov took a trip to Africa recently, pledging military support for anti-insurgency operations in several nations as part of the Wager Group's Russian Africa Corps' growing presence across the continent that is securing vital mineral and political (i.e. UN votes) resources and displacing western nations (France in particular) that used to fill this role.

I know several people whose fathers were in their 50's and mothers were ~40 when they were born, some of them being the youngest sibling of a large number and others being the only child. The latter sort might be a bit more socially awkward than normal, but that seems to be more from similarity to their parents than anything else. I would say the main concern in such a situation is the child having to care for their elderly parents earlier than the norm, but apart from that there are no major issues.

Your taste is not atypical for someone raised in or around immigrant enclaves where disdain for "white people food" is quite common, but less so for someone that grew up eating and therefore has at least some childhood nostalgia bound up with said food. All the same I think Western food is too broad of a category to dismiss, as even limiting ourselves to the US we have regional cuisines or styles of preparation (Cajun, Southern barbecue, Southwestern) that can put up a decent fight against what China or India has to offer.

As far as explanations for why people prefer the latter, one involves the industrialization of food production, which over time transforms meals from family gatherings where a peasant grandmother slaves for hours over a pot to squeeze every last drop of flavor out of rare and precious ingredients into mass-produced microwaveable slop that people eat by themselves solely for sustenance and not enjoyment (and this is not just in western countries; the food that the typical Japanese person eats every day is also to my eyes bland and unappetizing compared to the Korean or Chinese equivalent, since the latter two developed later), and the second is that you can usually get a better deal eating at a restaurant owned by a poor immigrant than one owned by a local i.e. why would I pay $20 for a craft burger and fries or a single appetizer at a good Italian place when I could get a giant bowl of pho for $12 (your local prices may vary proportionally) instead?

Even if we accept that these ideas were the product of 20th-century Jewish immigrants channeling their conscious or unconscious bias against white gentiles, I don't think it necessarily follows that knowing their motivations would be that much help in your fight against their ideology, any more than knowing the biographies of Marx and Engels would be particularly useful if one were engaged in a geopolitical rivalry with a communist state (rather than understanding Marxism as interpreted by living party members).

Here I'll borrow a metaphor from Scott to make this more interesting:

I am pretty sure there was, at one point, such a thing as western civilization. I think it included things like dancing around maypoles and copying Latin manuscripts. At some point Thor might have been involved. That civilization is dead. It summoned an alien entity from beyond the void which devoured its summoner and is proceeding to eat the rest of the world.

I'd wager that most of us here believe something along these lines, although we differ in the details of what exactly the alien is, the merits of being eaten by said alien, in which century it was summoned, who did the summoning, etc. In any case, you seem intent on crafting weapons to fight the long-dead summoner and his kin, rather than engaging the alien directly, and it seems like an ineffective strategy to me.

The taboo against using nuclear weapons is strong enough that I think their next use by a state might be a demonstration strike with plenty of advanced warning in an isolated area to intimidate an adversary into submission e.g. by Russia in Ukraine. Another possibility is as the last act of a collapsing regime or nation if e.g. South Korean troops close in on Pyongyang, Arab armies overrun Tel Aviv, or revolutionaries in Iran are breaking down the Ayatollah's doors, but I imagine that in most scenarios people are smart enough not to force the issue and to give the leadership a way out.

Now if we're limiting this to nukes fired in anger in an all-out war there could be a tit-for-tat scenario that goes like this: China hits an aircraft carrier with an anti-ship missile carrying a nuclear warhead, the President calls the Politburo and says "we are going to retaliate, either you offer up a comparable sacrificial lamb or you all die," China chickens out and allows a bunch of ships or a major military base to be nuked, a ceasefire is signed, and everyone sits down to contemplate their life choices.

Meanwhile, non-state actors are a wild card and in the long run I'm sure someone will get their hands on a bomb and use it, but I don't know if the odds of that occurring in this century are particularly high. Terrorists aiming for a high body count these days would probably go for biological weapons or diseases like smallpox if they could, given how much less conspicuous and more effective they are at actually killing people.

It's no good saying 'oh preindustrial civilization is so great' even if it's true, Ted should've had the wisdom to understand that nobody is going to pull back.

I mean, I care about the truth even if the truth is that the type of society that most people would want to live in given the choice will inevitably be destroyed by another type of society that is more fit in an evolutionary sense. That would be sad, just like the fact of our mortality or the eventual heat death of the universe are sad, but we all come to understand and accept such things in our own time, and in general asking questions irrelevant to our immediate survival is pretty central to my conception of what separates humans from worms and jellyfish.

Certain Muslim societies seem to retain features of Arab pastoral culture that are either irrelevant to or harmful to their modern day prosperity e.g. cousin marriage in Pakistan.