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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

I mean, all I can say is that the works that really make you (as an individual) think might not do anything for anyone else and vice versa. The impression I received from nearly everyone I talked to last year was that watching the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once would trigger some mixture of existential crisis and spiritual awakening in me and I just came away from it disappointed wondering "did you people not all think through and resolve these particular issues when you were in elementary school like I did?"

The way any nationality or ethnicity's intellectual powers are directed is in large part culturally mediated and orthogonal to their measured intelligence. Imagine all the collective brainpower that has been spent (or wasted, you might argue) by Ashkenazi Jews in debating the finer points of Talmudical hermeneutics or by Indian Brahmins in memorizing and reciting the Vedas for thousands of years. However high IQ those populations were or are, there isn't much there for you to read if you aren't into esoteric religious literature or have some personal connection to that culture. If your interest is as specific as modern science fiction novels for example, then you're probably going to get more out of a random western or western-adjacent country like Poland or Finland than anywhere in Asia simply for contingent historical reasons.

As far as the Japanese go, I'd say from my limited experience that their technical expertise in many areas of manufacturing seems indisputable, that they have made major advances in science above and beyond their neighbors in East Asia, and are pretty much the number 2 country in the world after the United States in terms of unique cultural exports (anime, manga, video games, movies, etc. that don't simply ape American forms like European or even Korean producers often do). The fact that they developed a vernacular literature and achieved nearly complete literacy before even most western nations also ranks them pretty highly in my book.

I also don't have too many complaints about my education, but to be fair I spent the last few years of it at a magnet school with a lot more freedom and higher quality students than is the norm. Being familiar with some East Asian school systems also colors my perceptions, and while I have always been somewhat bemused by Libertarians in the US raging about how schools are prisons for children, their arguments are perfectly valid in places like China or Korea.

I think his willingness to be ruthlessly realistic about limits to America's commitments to Taiwan is a breath of fresh air.

While he's honest about wanting to defend Taiwan only because of semiconductors, his claim that domestic manufacturing will supplant TSMC by 2028 seems patently absurd to me.

When dealing with a sample size closer to Dunbar's number than to population-level statistics, I don't think there's much difference in health outcomes, personality traits, or other factors based on maternal age. For what it's worth, my mother was older than you when she had me and I turned out normal, or at least as normal as any of us who post here are.

Now let's talk about the supposed conspiracy to force people into the suburbs. The largest American cities of 1920 were all built before the car. Many of them have a ring of streetcar suburbs. Most of them have lost population. There is a plentiful supply of dense urban cores in America with lower population than they had a century ago, and yet all the demand is for building more suburbs.

There is a reason many of those urban cores lost their population and it isn't just because the people there decided they wanted to move out one day because of changes in technology or lifestyle. Without the increased crime rates, race riots, and domestic terrorism of the 60's and 70's, America's cities would probably look much more similar to those in Europe.

I'm moving there for the same reason people hate suburbs: community. People talk about how suburbs are alienating and have no third spaces. I'm moving for the community, which is my wife's extended family. The third space was her grandparent's house. Now it is her parent's house, and someday (hopefully far in the future) it will be our house.

My understanding is that a family home is explicitly not a third place, because a third place is by definition a neutral public meeting ground with a semi-rotating cast of characters who have no obligation to be there. It might be possible to make one's house a third place by hosting enough open and regular events and parties, but that would be quite unusual, and would be made unnecessary if more typical meeting spaces e.g. coffee shops, bars, bowling alleys, dance clubs, etc. were common enough to meet people's need for socializing.

Do you imagine President Ocasio-Cortez sending the best US troops into the harm's way to defend places with names like Szypliszki and Stańczyki, which no CNN commentator could even pronounce - especially if it comes with the risk of global nuclear war? I think a lot of people would object to that.

I think for the millions of Americans with Polish ancestry those aren't just unpronounceable names, but places they would be more than willing to fight and die to protect, whether as part of an official intervention or as part of volunteer brigades. That's not to mention the fact that the Polish army is better equipped and better trained than the Ukrainians were at the start of the invasion last year, they would be facing a thoroughly depleted and less motivated Russian military, and there are already thousands of US soldiers present in the country who would probably get hit in the crossfire at the start of an attack and trigger demands for retaliation.

I'm not sure what the difference between Aryan Invasion Theory and Aryan Migration Theory is supposed to be. The genetic evidence matches pretty closely what we see in historical events that are universally considered invasions e.g. the Spanish conquest of the New World, which in terms of demographic impact took nearly 400 years to conclude during a time with much more advanced military technology and social organization than possessed by Bronze Age tribal peoples.

I don't mean a politics that organically develops around a preexisting ethnic identity; I mean a politics that recognizes the weakness of an identity and believes that the use of government action to solidify that identity can solve real problems.

This supposes that the development of ethnic identities in the first place was an organic process, when in most cases it was a top-down government policy that forcibly assimilated minority groups through a combination of public schooling, historical revisionism, and state propaganda. Forming separate national identities is not the inevitable result of linguistic, religious, or cultural differences, otherwise the Middle East, China, and India would have ended up looking exactly like Europe. The relative youth of these identities is why there aren't many examples of shoring them up yet.

As to whether ethnogenesis has had good outcomes in the past, the question is good for whom? I would say the Turks have done well for themselves, successfully transitioning from being the head of a pan-Islamic empire into a nation-state with a strong identity and relatively good economic development relative to its neighbors, but that success came at the cost of millions of dead Armenians and Greeks. If places like India and Nigeria succeed in melding their disparate inhabitants into united ethnicities, that would in the long run eliminate most of the sectarian tensions that hold countries like them back, but would in the short run actively inflame them.

They'd be idiots to do so, as being the world's primary human capital magnet accrues compounding advantages over time that are simply irresistible and possibly even insurmountable, as we see now with China's stagnation.

Whether you consider these advantages at all depends on your metric of success. If you value something else more than material economic gain or technological development, then all the GDP growth in the world is not going to sway you. I wouldn't swap out my family members for people who were smarter and more productive if I were given the choice; for many people the same goes for their countrymen.

The increase in LGBT identification among young people is mostly driven by women identifying as bisexual with minimal changes in behavior. While there may be some combination of social contagion and environmental effects on the much smaller but still notable rise in the number of trans/genderfluid/whatever else people, I doubt that kid's TV shows have much to do with it compared to the bottomless cesspool of the internet drawing people in at an early age and amplifying the tiniest stirrings of attraction into whole new life paths as they exhaust more pedestrian sexual (and any other sort of) interests.

While sexual or other minorities may seize on a particular piece of popular media and claim it for their own, directing their members to engage with it and building an association, I think the causation doesn't usually run the other way, and people out of the loop will have no idea that that's what it's "supposed to mean" i.e. I could not have caught any implication that Timon and Pumbaa were a gay couple when I watched The Lion King because at that age I didn't know what gay people were, ditto for the Reflection song in Mulan being the "trans anthem," or My Little Pony being a gateway into...I don't even remember what anymore (being a furry?).

A place like North Korea or Maoist China may be for a time worse than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, but I think in the long run they will still come out on top due to the underlying strengths of their people and/or culture. Poor parts of East Asia feel completely different from poor parts of Africa in terms of education, industriousness of the population, and the general orderliness of society despite the lack of resources.

Do you think telling prospective parents "Look I know you say you don't have enough money to afford a home in a good area, but why aren't you willing to move to Detroit? The money you'd save on mortgage repayments would allow you to have an extra kid!" is actually a viable idea?

Moving to an inner city slum is not the only alternative to trying to live in the coastal elite bubble. There are dozens of smaller cities and towns in flyover country that have both a much lower cost of living and lower crime than the major metropolitan areas. Many of these are college towns that don't lack for quality schools and access to cultural or intellectual amenities either e.g. Ames, Ann Arbor, Athens, and that's just the A's. All it takes is giving up the conceit that anyone who doesn't live and work in New York or California is a miserable failure, but many of my peers seem to believe this deep in their bones.

At the end of the day though, I don't care much for or have any confidence in large-scale social engineering projects, so I'm not approaching any of this from a policy angle. Whoever ends up reproducing themselves gets to own the future, whether that's native-born Americans, Guatemalan immigrants, Hasidic Jews, or GPT-bots, and whatever opinions I have on which of those outcomes are better or worse are immaterial.

That's all true, but "I am unwilling to have a child if doing so means compromising on a middle class lifestyle for them or me" is not the same thing as "I cannot afford to have a child." Having known people whose parents gave them away to another family as children to keep them from going hungry, this is not a trivial distinction. We'd also be better off if those same prospective middle class parents were willing to make more economic compromises for the sake of raising children, as those children will turn out more or less the same regardless of which school district or extracurricular activities they're in.

As Carl Sagan used to say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A single clear picture of an alien spacecraft, a single radio signal listing off prime numbers, a single microbe in a meteorite that shares no common origin with life on Earth, any of these would be evidence of extraterrestrial life, but none have been presented. All we get is a lot of hemming and hawing, winks and hints, and the tiniest crumbs of blurry images or eyewitness reports. Show me the data and we can have the conversation. Otherwise I don't see the point.

But what problems did this actually cause prior to 1914?

Skyrocketing crime rates in east coast and midwest cities driven by the rise of the Italian-American mafia, the creation of Tammany Hall-style corrupt machine politics across much of the country, and an anarchist movement that resulted in one presidential assasination and a series of deadly bomb attacks.

To me, that's not assimilation, but just being a guest with good manners. Assimilation would be abandoning one's own native language, religion, and cultural practices, marrying a native so that your descendants would look like the majority of wherever you have chosen to live, and severing all but the most superficial emotional ties with your ancestral home.

I think there's a fundamental difference in temperment between the kinds of people who support immigration and the kinds of people who oppose it. The former encompasses those who are excited by the idea of meeting new people from far off lands, trying new kinds of food, and uniting all of humanity in a shared civilizational project. The latter encompasses those who just want to be left alone, to live and die in the land of their ancestors, and to promulgate the traditions that were passed down to them without change being forced on them from the outside.

The issue (for us Americans at least) is that the United States by its nature is hostile to the latter sort of mindset. An offhand remark in this post by Bret Devereaux gets to the heart of the matter, to wit: "In a way, one may feel pity for the born-American who emotively longs for the comfort of the nation because it is something they cannot have, but then there ought to be a country for the people who would rather not be in a nation and here it is." Many of us here, including me, long for a nation. I don't want to rule the world, I don't care for American exceptionalism, I don’t care about having the most Nobel Prizes or the most innovative companies or being at the forefront of technology, I just want a home inhabited by my own people, though I've already accepted that I will never have one (being not only American but mixed-race as well).

I think being a relatively isolated island continent helps a lot with maintaining that policy. It's a lot harder to refuse someone when you have a land border and you can see the poor masses longing to get in, which is why most western nations have out of cowardice tried to outsource the job to Central American or Middle Eastern countries that have fewer qualms about kicking people out by force. It also seems to me that Australia has relatively few immigrants from populations that restrictionists like to complain about e.g. Hispanics, Arabs, Africans (black Africans to be precise, I know there's a lot of Afrikaners in Perth), so that may have something to do with its success as well.

This claim has always sounded like an excuse to me, because I have only ever heard it from people who are middle or upper-middle class, while families much poorer than theirs both in this country and abroad are somehow able to raise multiple kids.

This doesn't seem like an overly restrictive definition to me; I would consider someone with one immigrant parent to be of foreign origin. In practice, people's intuition on this matter is mostly based on appearance e.g. someone who is half Belgian and half Algerian will be seen as more foreign than if they were half Polish, even though each has one non-Belgian parent.

The change happened last year as a nationalist PR move by Erdogan, partially motivated by annoyance at having the same name as a dumb-looking bird and partially by a sense of pride in being able to force foreigners to use their endonym. More broadly, there does seem to have been a slightly higher rate of country name changes in the past few years (Turkey to Türkiye, Czech Republic to Czechia, Swaziland to eSwatini, and Macedonia to North Macedonia).

I think a good exploration of this topic is John Michael Greer's series of posts on the "disenchantment of the world." While I have always found his religious sensibilities (the guy is an honest-to-god(s) Archdruid after all) a bit peculiar and had the same suspicions you might about the sincerity of his beliefs, I can't deny that he is about as good a translator as you could wish for of many concepts that we rationalist and rationalist-adjacent moderns have lost touch with.

Those cores weren't designed by or built for Mestizos...

No, but they were built by Mestizos for a white overclass, which is the same thing we would get in the US even for the most extreme possible levels of immigration, except that some of that overclass will be Asian as well.

Is San Salvador now as nice as Copenhagen?

To me, yes. Copenhagen is flat and boring and the people are (by my American standards) standoffish, rude, and lazy. San Salvador also has much better food and it isn't dark half the year (I should note that while I have visited Denmark, Sweden, and many South American countries, I have not been to El Salvador specifically). That's not to say that much of the architecture in Copenhagen or Stockholm isn't jaw-droppingly beautiful, and they are definitely places I might choose to live...if they weren't inhabited by Scandinavians.

Mestizos and Asians are not as crime-prone as blacks, but they don't create cities that are optimal for the enjoyment of white people.

The cores of most Latin American cities don't seem all that different from their antecedents in Spain and Portugal; there is more crime and sprawling slums around many of them of course, but recent events in El Salvador show that that can be fixed. Plenty of westerners seem to love the urban planning in places like Japan or Singapore as well. Given American population densities, we will not see any Tokyo-style megacities for the foreseeable future, but I fail to see how getting a Sapporo or two (a city that was built in consultation with American engineers in the late 19th century and looks the part) would be sub-optimal.