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Lambency Studies Scholar👨‍🎓

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joined 2023 June 06 22:08:53 UTC


User ID: 2458


Lambency Studies Scholar👨‍🎓

0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2023 June 06 22:08:53 UTC


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User ID: 2458

Same. The number of intelligent and informed people who believe we're going to be dead in 15 years due to AI is very depressing. Not because I believe it but because I think they're completely deluded and I don't think I'm capable of breaking Yud's grip on their brains.

I'll steelman white nationalism for you even though I'm not and have never been a white nationalist.

One argument that Walt should have made was that tapping into white racial grievances is a good way to win elections (this might actually be false but you can at least make a decent argument that it's true). Look no further than the success of blacks voting as a racial bloc to see how successful the racialized voting strategy can be. Trump pandered to white identity and won, with a surprisingly diverse base, also implying that the strategy is viable. If he'd actually used the phrase "white people" maybe it wouldn't have gone the same way, but Overton windows and cultures can shift very quickly. Whether you like it or not, tribalism is a real and powerful human characteristic that can be harnessed to win elections. in the election-winning sense, White Nationalism is useful.

Whether it's constructive is obviously subjective, but I think even for centrists you could make the argument that it is. Racializing whites and then using that political power to implement policy could be constructive if you like the policy. Crime is a good example, and I think your discussion of the issue was kind of off the mark. White identity politics has a better chance of bringing about tough-on-crime policies than the kind of race-blind rhetoric you and Wood seem to favor. Black people are not going to vote for politicians that want to put people that look like them in jail. This is true despite the fact that the majority of the cost of black crime falls on black people. "Tough on crime" is a racist dogwhistle in the sense that everyone knows it means locking up a disproportionate number of black people. You sort of touch on this and this essay states it better: the effects of these policies will be racially disparate and voters can detect the dishonesty inherent in not addressing that. Walt should have argued that if you want tough-on-crime policies, it's much easier to motivate whites to vote by disseminating videos of gangs of black youths beating up defenseless white people and signal boosting egregious black-on-white crimes than by convincing black people that everyone'll be better off if we lock up more of their kids.

You repeatedly ask the question "what even are white interests?" which I'd answer by asking "what are black interests?" Is bail reform advancing black interests because it helps blacks spend less time in jail or is it harming black interests because it's letting out criminals that will victimize blacks? Obviously this doesn't have an objective answer but it doesn't follow that racial interests don't exist. Racial interests are just whatever the racial voting bloc wants. I think the majority of whites would support complete abolition of affirmative action, therefore it's a white interest even if the actual effects of that abolition aren't necessarily beneficial to whites. This doesn't even touch on governmental spending which is actually quite zero-sum and much more obviously in one or another groups' "interests". Voting as a racial bloc means a much better chance of implementing policies your group mostly agrees on, and forces politicians to pander to you. The black voting bloc has been pretty successful at doing this. I don't see why whites couldn't do the same thing, and I don't see any disqualifying difference between black interests as a concept and white interests.

Again, these aren't my politics, so maybe this doesn't match what wignats actually believe, I just felt Walt could have addressed your arguments better.

We don't know that but just assuming it's the case and using that assumption to reverse the implication of the pattern in the actual data we do have is terrible practice for journos and for everyone else.

Your point about Ukranians and other non-US nationalities is a good one, as is the fact that we still don't know exactly how this is being done. Likewise for the point about talking heads and extraneous details about graduate degrees.

On the other hand, mass psychosis seems unlikely. They don't cite much medical evidence in the article, I wish they had included more, but if peoples' pets have been affected I don't see how psychosis can be the cause. I also think that, if these russian agents were actually seen right around the time symptoms started for these people, that's quite a big point for the Russian ray gun theory. The movements of these people coinciding with hallucinated symptoms (not just the same city but within the same block) is possible but seems unlikely. Perhaps there are enough russian spooks travelling around that you can haruspex up a specious pattern from noise but I find that hard to believe in this case.

60 minutes recently released a big investigation on Havana Syndrome basically saying that the cause is real attacks by Russian intelligence agents and not some sort of psychosocial mass hallucination (which many have believed since these incidents first began to occur). They identify specific Russian agents and link their movements to occurrences of Havana Syndrome aka AHIs (anomalous health incidents). As someone who was unsure about what was going on here this seems pretty convincing: Russians have been using some sort of weapon to target US intelligence personnel.

The culture war angle to this is twofold. First, the US IC has seemed unsure whether these AHIs (which usually take the form of some sort of brain injury) were the result of Russian attacks. If this article is legit then these reporters managed to do a better job than the people we pay and give access to classified information to so that they can find out exactly these sorts of things. This is an enormous failure on the part of US intelligence services, its agents have been getting attacked, many have been forced to medically retire, and the organizations they belong to haven't even been able to determine whether an attack happened at all. To be fair, some organizations seem to have said these were likely attacks, others have said the opposite, so not every organization failed to the same extent in this respect.

The other culture war angle is that if this article is true, Russia has been attacking members of the US intelligence community for a decade. What will be the retaliation for this? US relations with Russia are already pretty bad, but this is quite a big provocation. Russia occupies a spot in the US culture war, I wonder if this will change that position very much. Is Putin still strong and trad? Can he get more reviled by the people who hate him? Most people seem uninterested in/uninformed about spy stuff so maybe this won't really register in the public consciousness.

This isn't as culture-war-y a topic as some, but I think it's interesting.

The printed media part is really telling. The print media have managed to maneuver themselves into a position wherein the government (probably rightly) doesn't feel it can get away with pressuring them to remove, say, a "factually incorrect" op-ed. I can't see the government being stupid enough to try do such a thing, and if it did I can't see it ever winning if it were taken to court. Self-crafted narratives about journalism being the nation's immune system against tyranny mean that journalists enjoy a much more generous interpretation of the First Amendment than plebs. When plebs say something "factually incorrect" according to the feds, it's not only within the government's rights to try to suppress that speech, it might even be their duty (it's impressive how consistently bad KBJs opinions are btw). This journalist/pleb distinction afaik doesn't exist in the constitution but here we are. If twitter anons had just written op-eds instead, even in a pop-up right-wing twitter website formatted like a newspaper I bet this case would be perceived very differently.

Also, the traceability argument is very strange. Does the First require the government to be successful in its attempts to limit speech or is the attempt enough? The former seems ridiculous and not at all in keeping with precedent. If the government throws someone in jail to stop their speech, but they keep espousing the same view in jail, or even if being imprisoned Streisand effect's their speech to greater prominence, that would still be an obvious 1A violation despite the government's actions not limiting their speech and perhaps even promoting it. Surely if the government takes an action intending to limit speech that would be illegal if successful, it must also be illegal if unsuccessful.

I'm not sure if the likely bad ruling is because of the desire to not feed the "rogue reactionary court" narrative, because of a general view that allowing the unwashed masses to say things online is so dangerous that the danger of allowing it outweighs the law itself, or because it's ruled that Covid was such a special circumstance that the law doesn't apply. None of these seem like good reasons to me. I'm considering going into law and think constitutional stuff could be interesting, but seeing how SCOTUS cases actually go is depressing.

Good post but I don't think your conclusion follows. Yes, obviously much of politics is just personality differences such as some vibesy favoring of equity over gross outcomes but facts do in fact matter. I believe politics would look radically different if HBD was mainstreamed for two reasons.

First, in the early 20th century it was mainstream, and the sort of eugenics that anti-HBDers now use as a boogeyman was popular among elites. The cause of this was the popularization of evolution as an idea, which most people just assumed meant HBD. I don't see why a similar thing can't happen again. As I've also argued here, there are HBD arguments for all the positions that progressives favor, but that doesn't mean that those arguments would be made or would be as convincing to as many people as the ones currently being made. This ties in to my second reason for being bullish on HBD prompting political alignment: talking to people. Your one example of the HBD left wing blogger is a funny exception to the rule, can you talk to regular progressives or even just normal people and really believe they would just pivot on a dime to using HBD arguments to justify the same positions? I'm sure some would, but without magic dirt arguments like food deserts, lead poisoning, systemic racism, underfunded schools etc. do you really think the American public would support the hard and soft racial spoils systems we have in place? My impression is that they decidedly would not and most simply hold views based on false premises. Their views would change even by being aware of entry-level racial differences in, say, crime. Most people are remarkably unaware of the reality of race despite how important an issue it is. Part of the reason the system even exists is because it isn't talked about in the mainstream, look at the SFFA case and the casuistry employed by some of our most decorated academics to lie about what Harvard's admissions were doing. Obviously they lie because AA is on shaky legal ground, but they also lie in op-eds and, as far as I can tell, to themselves. Why would they do this if the facts didn't matter?

On a less bullish note, your post reminded of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions and specifically his reference to Planck's principle. The sad truth is that to get people to accept a new idea, especially the elites who have really committed themselves to an old idea, is not easy. Kuhn makes the point that the strength of the respective evidence for competing paradigms doesn't seem to explain which is adopted. Likewise for explanatory power. Science and politics are obviously different, but I think in neither does the marketplace of ideas actually work. A good model for how politically inconvenient facts are adopted is the AIDs epidemic, read this thread if you want the long version. Quite early, there was evidence that gay sex and hyperpromiscuity were behind the spread of the mysterious disease, but many in the gay community refused to change their habits. There were op-eds written saying that there was no evidence and that those trying to shut down the bathhouses were really trying to shut down gay sexuality etc. Eventually, when the evidence became overwhelming, this denial was whitewashed with the narrative of it being the government's fault. This suggests that if HBD is adopted by elites in my lifetime it will be done quietly, there will be some narrative excusing why it wasn't adopted earlier, and most normal people will be continue to be unaware. Despite this pessimism, I still think that if HBD were popularized, politics would drastically change.

I don't have first-hand spook experience or access to classified information, so it's possible you're right. I also don't know nearly as much about the non-HumInt side of the Cold War, although I will say that non-human intelligence doesn't matter if the humans comprising your organization are talking to the other side. A good example of this is PB/Gold. A Great operation that might have been a huge intelligence victory completely ruined because British intelligence was about as watertight as a shower drain.

The Soviets were good, the West was a more permissive environment, and communist ideology motivated many.

Yes, this is a big reason, it's not just western incompetence. Sort of like the US IC's continual humiliations at the hands of Cuba, countries that aren't liberal democracies have a much easier time doing this kind of thing and the fellow traveler phenomenon was extremely helpful to the Soviets. My point was that western intelligence communities' results were generally worse than their Soviet counterparts, not that the reason for this was solely incompetence.

I mean the USSR is no more, the US and its allies clearly outclassed the Soviets in nearly every arena

I agree with you on nearly every arena, I think intelligence is one arena where the reverse was true. The fact it no longer exists has very little to nothing to do with Western intelligence work imo. Just the penetration at the policy-making level alone is close to dispositive for me, but of course this isn't the kind of question that can be definitively answered.

Again, it would honestly take a book (Spies by Calder Walton makes the point pretty well although it devolves into ranting about Trump at the end) but I'll summarize.

By what standard?

The level to which the USSR infiltrated the US and its allies was far above the reverse. The Cambridge 5 (who weren't even American although they managed to compromise American intelligence) alone are a more impressive from a HumInt perspective than anything the CIA accomplished during the war (I'll only talk about CIA because british intelligence was laughably compromised). Most of the wins CIA managed were walk-ins caused by the USSR being a shithole, which had nothing to do with the CIA itself, and the balance was still towards the USSR, who had their own walk-ins (usually for money or ideology rather than the desire to defect).

The KGB also penetrated the US policy-making apparatus. Harry Dexter White, who as a Soviet agent may have contributed to the communist victory in China as a treasury official by obstructing financial aid to the Nationalists. Alger Hiss and Lauchlin Currie also come to mind (read about Venona if you're interested in this). The US had no equivalent agents placed to influence Soviet policy. The Soviets also ran the CPUSA.

When the CIA did get close to a win, it was often leaked by one of the many Soviet infiltrators in the CIA or in MI6 whom CIA shared much of their intelligence with. Konstantin Volkov comes to mind.

Overall I think you'd really struggle to make an argument that the US accomplished more of its intelligence goals than the USSR.

According to whom?

I don't think this is controversial among people who study the topic, it may be surprising if you don't though. If you can find someone defending the performance of western intelligence services during the Cold War I'd be interested to read it.

I think Rubicon is a better example of steelmanning US intelligence capabilities. You're right that we can't really know the full story (at least until more stuff starts getting declassified), but I think the Cold War (for which the relevant facts are less murky) is a big part of why OP and many others have such a pessimistic view of US security. This really deserves a longer post but I'm very tired so I'll summarize:

  1. the Cold War is understandably viewed as of paramount historical importance to pretty much everyone who cares about spy stuff.
  2. From an intelligence/security POV the US lost the Cold War.

It may be that CIA and other natsec/intelligence agencies have started performing closer to how they're supposed to in the decades since the CW ended. It's possible that the many visible 21st century failures we hear about are misleading because we only hear about when things go wrong, but I don't believe this applies to the Cold War. Also, what we do know about modern CIA failures is pretty damning.

I would say that it's actually not as bad as it's always been because China isn't as competent as the USSR was, and has many fewer fellow travelers to exploit, a gap which isn't closed by their use of diaspora. I'd be surprised if there were currently Chinese agents in high-up policy making positions of the sort that were exposed by Venona, and you did list some pretty big wins. The point about visibility goes both ways though, it's easier to sweep failures under the rug when you can just classify them.

There are many people who disagree with HBD. It's such a niche and taboo view that I'm not sure how any proponent could get upset by disagreement. It's hard to see anything but disagreement. The reason I'm grimacing is that your reasoning is extremely bad and the way you use words like correlation (which comes up a lot in this debate because of how much evidence is statistical) is sloppy to say the least.

I'm skeptical that whatever it is that IQ tests are testing for correlates directly with "intelligence".

The charitable reading of this statement is that you're skeptical IQ tests perfectly measure what you consider intelligence. I don't think anyone would say that IQ tests are perfect and always a perfect reflection of someone's cognitive ability, but when you test large groups of people, which is the data that we're actually talking about when we talk about IQ in the HBD context, these individual-level objections don't apply. If you think there are factors beyond what an IQ test measures that matter for life outcomes then no one will disagree with you, but your skepticism of this point is sort of a nonsensical reason to be anti-HBD since since racial gaps exist on every standardized test that could reasonably called cognitive in existence, including job-specific tests like fire chief qualification exams. Also, IQ does correlate pretty well with positive life outcomes, so even if it's one of many factors (just like race in college admissions) it seems to be a pretty important factor.

That being the case, your position of basically denying there's a cognitive ability or "merit" gap (as in the people who would be hired meritocratically into cognitively demanding jobs) is untenable even if you think IQ is complete nonsense. Anti-HBDers who have any idea what they're talking about don't deny the achievement gap, they argue the causes are non-significantly genetic. Also, "correlates directly" is simply not a statistically literate thing to say.

I'm skeptical that "intelligence" correlates directly with individual virtue, honesty, conscientiousness, lack of criminality, leadership ability, etc...

I think it probably does (although again, the phrase "correlates directly" makes me grimace), but even if it didn't, I'm not sure what the relevance is. If IQ and other positive qualities were completely uncorrelated, we would still expect racial gaps in anything cognitively demanding. This is an argument against viewing higher IQ people as inherently better people, not for IQ or other measures of cognitive ability being useless metrics, even though the latter is the way you're trying to use it.

I am also skeptical of the claim that any and all observed variations in the above can be explained purely through biology/genetics.

"purely genetics" is doing all the work here. If, say, 70% of the gap is genetic, HBDers are right. likewise with "any and all variation". Why are you committed to the achievement gap being 100% XOR 0% genetic? Also, could you commit to whether you think the achievement gap is real or not? By this I'm asking whether you think the ubiquitous racial gaps on standardized tests imply an actual difference in the desirable traits being measured like future job performance, achievement in school, and, admittedly more nebulous, cognitive ability.

Subsequently I'm skeptical of the claim that if meaningful biological differences between groups exist, that the effect size of these differences outweigh the effect sizes of individual variance and/or other cultural and economic factors.

This is a dumber version of Lewtonin's fallacy. When we talk about entire population groups, individual variance doesn't "outweigh" population-level effects, that's nonsensical. If you're saying that HBD being true doesn't preclude the existence of smart black people then yeah, obviously.

The cultural/economic factors part is closer to a sort-of defensible position (although I'd like to see you explain racial SAT scores separated by parental income and education level) but you ruin your own point by using the word "meaningful" before them. If meaningful biological differences between groups (that impact traits we care about) exist, HBD is correct!

As I said in another post here, HBD doesn't have any inherent policy recommendations. It being true implies that racial spoils policies of the sort that we have in the US will not substantially close the achievement gap, but that doesn't mean you can't advocate for exactly the same policies as reparations for slavery or whatever. I find it strange how much of the related discussion on this forum and other places focuses on the people who bring it up and their motives. Everyone should interested in whether HBD is true, trying to craft policy based on fundamental misunderstandings of reality is bad and anyone living under those policies should want the truth to be known. Decouple what you or others think the political implications of HBD are from whether it's true. I find it so bizarre how willing people are to talk about everything except the truth of the claim itself.

I was referring to the political affirmative action, but you're right in that it's nowhere near S. Africa and probably is less "spoils"-y than the US in some ways. I think you understate it though, they literally only allowed Malay candidates to run for president in 2017. Most in the US would balk at that sort of blatant ethnic discrimination, which is why we have memes like "one of many factors".

There are two main components of civil rights law that the online right dislikes. There's the nondiscrimination part of the Civil Rights Act (which is interpreted to mean that pro-black or other progressive-favored group discrimination is OK even if it discriminates against other groups) and there's the disparate impact standard, which makes everything from enforcing laws against murder to MIT open courseware illegal depending on your interpretation. The disparate impact part is indefensible IMO, it's just a poorly thought out law that shouldn't exist. The nondiscrimination part would be perceived very differently if it was simply interpreted the way it was written, but it isn't.

It would never be conclusive. Countries are not electrons, you can't just compare them to each other and expect it to be perfectly valid.

Unfortunately the dissident right doesn't really have realistic political solutions besides the Sam Hyde "just kill em" semi-irony that I can't see ever catching on in the US. Although it's irritating to hear so many bad arguments and poor evidence trotted out to defend progressivism, dealing with multi-ethnic societies is hard. If you don't support mass deportations of citizens or mass murder then you need to advocate for policies that work within a society as multiethnic as the one you're in. Maybe that means racial spoils systems a la Singapore or South Africa.

That being said, I don't think raceblindness is actually as politically untenable as Greene implies. If you poll people, most don't support affirmative action or other racial spoils-type policies. Moreover, I think it needs to be emphasized that there's only one ethnic group driving these politics in the US, and they're quite a small minority (although obviously they have many sympathizers). I don't think abandoning colorblindness just to placate blacks or cut down on race riots necessarily follows, if the truth about group differences that so many liberal elites supposedly know but don't say were publicly acknowledged, imo black advocacy would start to be perceived less like equality or even equity and more as the unmitigated black self-interest that I see it as. If this happened, these policies would become politically untenable, and raceblindness might make a comeback. France has a large ethnic-minority underclass and manages to maintain raceblindness (although obviously it isn't a paradise over there). I think raceblindness can be viable in the US, and if you have ethical or other reasons to prefer it it's not unreasonable to, although obviously in the current political climate it's impossible. People who want raceblindness need to be pointing to how ineffective all the effort and resources poured into closing the achievement gap has been, they need to point out that black underrepresentation isn't because of anti-black racism and that prioritizing diverse candidates means hiring less qualified candidates. These are common talking points online, if they go mainstream it could change politics drastically. As Greene says, these things are already sometimes admitted in private by educated people. These sorts of public taboos can collapse pretty quickly (although they can also persist for a long time).

I quite enjoyed this essay, I think Greene is right about centrist liberals not (publicly) acknowledging the actual consequences of what they're advocating for, and maybe not even being willing to live with those consequences. I think his proposed solutions are pretty undercooked though, if I were his editor I would probably just remove that part of the essay.

This is a cope explanation. Things get declassified, people talk, and the assassination plots we know about are not just the ones that publicly blew up but were dragged up during congressional investigations against the wishes of everyone involved. Not that the CIA is above lying to congressional committees, but I think it's a mistake to assume there are secret CIA assassination operations that are vastly more competent than the ones we know about. If you actually read about this stuff it just doesn't fit, the CIA as an organization simply can't get away with doing that kind of thing anymore, and even when it tried it was bad at it. The closest I can think of to an attempt to disguise the nature of an assassination is the CIA plot to assassinate Patrice Lumumba, wherein they planned to poison his toothpaste with something that would cause a death that looked natural (they never managed to pull it off).

The idea that the CIA or some other western service killed him is ridiculous. Carrying out something that risky just to make Putin look bad when he's already a global pariah makes no sense, likewise for the GRU although it's slightly less ridiculous (but still not realistic). Also the CIA is notoriously bad at carrying out assassinations, even pre-Church commission. If it wasn't a drone strike and their involvement is alleged to be more than supplying intel/weapons I'd be very skeptical of their involvement in any assassination.

Generally if the motive you're considering for an intelligence service to kill someone is a false flag to manipulate public opinion you're completely on the wrong track. The only time I can ever think of something remotely similar being confirmed to have happened is the Lavon affair conspiracy which was never carried out. The vast majority of the time assassinations occur it's because the regime sees the target as an enemy or annoyance and wants them to stop existing.

While I don't really have an emotional commitment to whether Putin had Navalny killed or not, I think it should be pointed out that even back in the 50s the KGB was capable of killing people and making it look like an accident. I'm not sure if you've heard of the meme of the heart attack gun but actually there are two things this might refer to, One is the CIA version (https://allthatsinteresting.com/heart-attack-gun) which fired a frozen dart of water mixed with shellfish toxin, which as far as I know wasn't ever used. The other is the KGB version, which was used at least twice, including to kill the Stepan Bandera of occasional political controversy. The gun blew cyanide gas into the victim's face, killing them almost instantly and leaving traces that resembled a heart attack. The triggerman botched the Bandera assassination so the authorities weren't fooled into thinking it was an accident, but he had assassinated Lev Rebet two years earlier and had succeeded in fooling everyone then. If you want to read more about it here's an interview with the author of a biography of the assassin: https://huri.harvard.edu/news/man-poison-gun-qa-serhii-plokhii

Anyway, my point is that it's reasonable to assume Putin has ways of making deaths look accidental. That being said, I don't see any reason for the head of the GUR to say this unless he believed it to be true, honestly I'm surprised he'd say it even then, so I'm much less sure that Navalny was assassinated than I was. It's easy to get lost in the wilderness of mirrors and see spook shit where it doesn't exist, on the other hand it's quite a coincidence.

Your post was so long and so wrong that I really struggled to finish it, but I managed and I'll respond:

Poverty sticks. If your parents lived their entire lives without wealth, then you're going to start with no wealth and little investment, you're going to take on debt and take short-term solutions over long-term investments just to stay afloat, you're not going to be able to afford a car to get to the better job you were offered 35 minutes from home, or you'll lose the job when your shitty used car malfunctions and you miss a day.

These narratives about oppression and its relation to economic achievement sound plausible but if you really look into them they just don't hold up at all, ditto with the vicious cycle of poverty argument espoused by you and Terry Pratchet (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/72745-the-reason-that-the-rich-were-so-rich-vimes-reasoned).

Exogenous shocks to family wealth generally don't have that much impact on long-term outcomes. Here's an article on slave owners after the civil war: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20191422 . Basically their wealth rebounded, despite the loss of a huge amount of property. This finding seems to replicate in an incredible range of times and circumstances.

You see a similar dynamic with pre-Cultural Revolution elites in China. Despite being prevented from attending university, rusticated, struggled, and generally oppressed, pre-Revolution elites rebounded basically as soon as they were allowed to, it did not take 300-500 years. This was after a concerted effort to destroy their position as elites and prevent them from regaining it. The source for thus is The Son Also Rises by Greg Clark, which you should read as I think it completely refutes the worldview espoused in your post.

And of course the examples of Asian-Americans (weird the internment of Japanese during WW2 hasn't resulted in long-term underachievement) and Jews in the US and Europe are also completely at odds with the huge effects of past/present discrimination that you posit.

Minority status matters.

Why do Asians and Jews do better than the majority if being a minority is so deleterious? Why do black immigrants?

And if no one is making any conscious effort to correct for those factors - if we have no diversity initiatives and no AA and no social efforts to lift up disadvantaged people and no policies that care about this at all - if we just leave it up to chance and the standard grinding gears of the economy and society and government, then things are not going to sort themselves out quickly.

Yes, obviously nothing will change quickly, that's why colorblindness died as a political goal. The question is what is the cause of this disparity. If the cause is genetic then diversity initiatives will not help. If the cause is cultural or anti-black discrimination, diversity initiatives might be worth dealing with the less competent hirees/admits. You seem to just assume it's not significantly genetic though, I'm not sure why.

The left sees a system where many people never produce a resume that represents their full innate potential because of systemic factors working against them, and sees a correction applied against those factors as a long-term pressure towards a meritocratic equilibrium.

This position is simply incoherent. Blacks do worse on every standardized test that could reasonably be called cognitive from the SAT to Fire Chief qualification exams. Given this, it doesn't make sense to believe anything other than that blacks are less qualified on average for cognitively demanding jobs. Whether this was caused by past discrimination or whatever else doesn't change the fact that by every measure we have, we should expect black underrepresentation in anything cognitively demanding. Even if you believe the cause of this gap is purely environmental, it's Kendyist wishful thinking to say that there is not a real racial "merit" gap such that affirmative action means hiring worse candidates. If you're for affirmative action despite that, it's fine, but these little memes about not being able to put together a resume or having the opportunity to get experience are incredibly unrepresentative of reality.

Am I making the same myopic mistake when I say the right views this question through the lens of individual achievement and personal responsibility and misses the larger systemic/stochastic factors that produce national trends in the data? Or is that just literally actually their position?

Yes, you're making a mistake. I don't think you have any idea of the nuances of the debate or of anything you discussed in your post. Handwavey "conservatives think like this.... liberals think like this" posts are generally bad and yours was particularly bad and irrelevant in this context.

To think progressives are deliberately promoting HBD because they're old-South style racists playing 11-d chess is actually impressively deranged.

Sure, the far-right doesn't currently have *power, but it certainly has influence. And most of the far-right does mix in the 'statistical differences in IQ' part of HBD with white identitarianism.

I think the right-wing Overton window is already shifting in the HBD direction, partly because Musk bought twitter and allowed it to be discussed. In real life though, it's still absolutely unthinkable and career suicide to talk about it frankly. I take your point though, the idea does actually have (increasing) power just because of it's popularity on twitter. Maybe we'll see that translate into real life in the next decade.

It's a fact that obviously helps the right more than the left because it torpedoes a core left-wing belief about the world, but in the end it's just a fact, like evolution, that can be used to justify whatever policies the arguer wants. LKY seems to have instituted affirmative action in Singapore partly because of his race realist beliefs. I think it's really asinine to assign facts a political significance in and of themselves, even if it happens that currently one political faction likes talking about it more than another. It's not hard to argue for largely the same things leftists are arguing for now while being race realist, but I think discourse and policy would be less dysfunctional were leftists forced to do so instead of making magic dirt arguments.

His point is sort of that 'not-HBD' is a key part of the logic justifying affirmative action, but not actually a key part of the political resonance of affirmative action for almost everyone.

I agree this is his point but I disagree with him. I think a drastic shift in the Overton is possible simply by popularizing knowledge of HBD-related facts. I think many people are genuinely unaware even of the achievement gap, let alone the evidence for it being largely genetic. The NYT runs an article about selective highschools having an issue with diversity every couple of years, not sure how that would even be news unless people weren't aware of the achievement gap. In my interactions with people I don't reveal my actual views so maybe they don't either, but I get the impression most people are simply unaware of the kind of stuff you see on race realist twitter. If that's really the case, I think there's a strong case that talking about it can change peoples' minds.

I also really dislike the argument that because wignats like talking about it no one else should lest they be associated with wignats. Politics is primarily about preferences but facts are actually important as well. Yglesias has a relevant piece on this https://www.slowboring.com/p/the-strange-death-of-education-reform-3f5 wherein he pretty much says that denying the achievement gap exists is stupid and harmful. I think a similar argument can easily be made from a liberal perspective for not denying that the gap is significantly genetic. Preventing wasteful policies that are based on fundamental misunderstandings of reality is reason enough to talk about it. There's a great quote from HBD-archon Greg Clark about this:

"This is not an “ugly” fact. It is not a “beautiful” fact. It is just a fact. This fact helps explain why it is so hard for societies using the levers of social policy to eliminate group disparities in outcomes. It is a fact that we should be aware of in thinking about inequalities of income and wealth."

He'd say 'yeah, we already tried to convince the intelligentsia, see the Bell Curve, it didn't work'.

The evidence will only continue to grow, I think eventually it will just be too much to deny. Even with the taboo on talking about it and researching it, even with institutions like the NIH forbidding research on it, it's just inevitable that if HBD is true it will become undeniable eventually. If it's true then the sooner it's acknowledged the better for crafting effective policy, so if you believe it's true I think you should want to convince people. Of course, taking the position Scott Alexander tacitly confessed to in his Kolmogorov And The Lightning essay of not talking about it to save your social status is completely fine too, you just shouldn't discourage others from talking about it.

I think given the relevance to so many current political issues, and the fact that so many elites and so many policies operate under the belief that it isn't true, it's actually just important to talk about in general. I agree that most of the people who do talk about it are cringe, but that doesn't affect the need to talk about it.

There really doesn't seem to be any way to respond to the progressive objections to Hanania's preferred positions other than to talk about it. If blank slatism is true, doesn't the free market just perpetuate the underclass status of an ethnic group that could otherwise be just as successful as others? Aren't we missing out on a huge number of doctors and engineers by not trying to remedy the environmental factors causing such a huge disparity in every measure of cognitive ability?