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joined 2022 September 05 03:26:09 UTC


User ID: 420



2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 05 03:26:09 UTC


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User ID: 420

Network effects leading to strong winner-take-all dynamics, same as every other social media site. If you want people to see your video you upload it to Youtube because that's where people are looking, and if you want to watch a video chances are it's on Youtube because that's where people upload videos.

Compare to Amazon Web Services - sure AWS is expensive to run and benefits from economies of scale and so on, but there's still plenty of alternatives, especially if you're just planning to host a website. That's because of the far lesser network effects, users don't need to use a new browser or even a new URL if you switch hosting providers. At no point are they having to choose between the Amazon internet and the DigitalOcean internet, HTTP works the same regardless. In a world where discovering and watching videos was site-agnostic it wouldn't matter (perhaps where the dominant way to watch internet videos was a third-party application or a search engine which searched and suggested videos in the same way that Youtube does via some standardized protocol), but in the real world the network effects for a video site are strong. That's why all the big social media sites offer different things, overcoming network effects requires strong differentiation otherwise you're just like the biggest site in your niche but worse because of less content and less audience. Even on the rare occasion where an incumbent is overcome by a newcomer in the same niche (which was probably easier when the sheer number of users was less) they don't evenly divide the market between them, rather the newcomer reaches a tipping point where it benefits from the network effect instead and takes over, like Reddit and Digg or Facebook and MySpace.

It's impossible not to Notice that the battlelines between HBD and race denial in the 20th century largely broke between Protestant Darwinists (Madison Grant, E.O Wilson, Charles Murray, Samuel Morton, James Watson, etc.) and Immigrant Jews (Franz Boas, Stephen Jay Gould, Jared Diamond, Eric Turkeimer, etc.).

Steve Sailer literally invented and popularized the term "human biodiversity" in 1999. He wasn't the first to independently invent the term, Jonathan Marks did in 1995 and wrote a book with it in the title, but the current meaning associated with HBD is from Sailer. If you're going to claim he's secretly jewish, that's at least one name for you to add to the pro-HBD side.

Last week, after some token Holocaust worship and virtue signaling against anti-semitism on Twitter

Why doesn't this part contain a link? Is it because it actually refers to Nick Fuentes trying to start some sort of internet slapfight with Steve Sailer and his fans compiling tweets from years ago where he does stuff like mentioning Ashkenazi jews having a higher IQ or incidentally refers to the Holocaust being bad? But you didn't want to talk about your post in the context of the campaign by the Fuentes "groypers", and "isn't it shocking that if you search through Steve Sailer's tweets it turns out he's anti-Hitler" would be a weird thing to post, so you try to present it as if he recently started tweeting about anti-semitism apropos of nothing? This sort of thing, where people summarizing something carefully elide most of the story to fit a pre-selected narrative, is pretty annoying.

I haven't verified it myself, but looking through the Reddit threads apparently it was the classic loaded survey technique of offering a range of responses and coding all of them except one extreme the same way.


I took the questionnaire from the GGD Amsterdam that was used for this research. Of the 122 questions, exactly one is about this topic. The question is, “What do you think if two girls/females or two boys/men are in love with each other?” The answers are:

  • Normal
  • A bit weird
  • Very weird
  • Wrong

They interpreted every single answer that was not "Normal" as a lack of acceptance. Many people chose options 2 and 3, with a minority actually picking "wrong".

It also has whatever ambiguities accompany the words for "normal" and "weird" in Dutch. Now, that doesn't explain the rapid shift on its own but it might help. Maybe young people have recently had less exposure to discourse regarding homosexuality so they don't know that in this case the "correct" answer is that a rare condition is completely normal?

The steelman of the Greenpeace argument would be that allowing patent-encumbered GMOs will be a foot in the door for pushing more GMOs on rural farmers which will eventually result with Monsanto owning the small farmers. The situation for GMOs is not unlike the situation for software: expensive to develop, but cheap to copy. As a free-software advocate, I very much would prefer outcomes where the companies who develop the software/GMOs do not end up with a stranglehold on the end users due to copyright or (even worse) patent laws.

GMOs cannot be copyrighted in the U.S. or anywhere else I know of. They can be patented, but the length of a patent term in most countries is 20 years. Golden Rice 2 was developed in 2005, so unless there's a newer version that Wikipedia doesn't mention, any possible patents will expire next year at the latest. Also, if a country considered patents a big concern it seems like the solution would be to not respect GMO patents or to specifically ban patented GMOs, rather than not allowing GMOs in general, which would reduce the incentive for companies to develop GMOs but still allow you to free-ride and to use GMOs with expired patents like golden rice will soon be.

Yes, I've heard about examples like that as well where the characters aren't even underage and there isn't even any real justification for calling them underage, and obviously they are a particularly telling example of the censor's mindset. (I'm reminded of how Patreon will periodically go after anime-style porn, like this pornographic animation of Hex Maniac, based on criteria that would include anything in an anime art style.) But I wouldn't call those cases the vast majority, a lot of censored visual novels are high-school romances and the like. It's just that standard is unjustifiable as well.

Maybe you're thinking of some particular subset that I'm not, but not that I've seen? Anime loves high-school, so a lot of characters are 16-18, and a fair number are 13-15 too. Reddit famously once (temporarily) banned subreddit mod holofan4life for posting a picture of Kaguya from the romantic-comedy Kaguya-sama in a bikini. (Presumably for "sexualizing minors" either because she's 16 at the beginning of the show or because her breasts aren't big enough.) Outside the school settings ages still tend to be pretty young and often feel like they were chosen at random, Yoko Littner is canonically 14, though it's not mentioned in the show. I'm less familiar with videogames but I think a lot of visual novels have school settings, and the characters in the aforementioned Atelier Totori range from 13-17.

Of course, the same is true for whole swaths of western media, like the teen sex comedy genre of movies, or teen dramas, both of which can have outright sex-scenes without anyone of note screaming about how that makes them "child porn". Some media from SJW-adjacent people will engage in the ridiculous business of deliberately writing characters to be 18+ because they believe it would otherwise be immoral to depict them sexually, but it's still not a mainstream taboo. Now, I think SJWs would probably go after those if they could get away with it (and probably have something to do with there being less teen sex comedies nowadays, though mostly for other reasons), but they're too obviously mainstream to act like they're doing something weird. Anime-style media is an easier target because any free-floating feeling of weirdness can be converted into talk about how something feels "creepy" for "sexualizing minors", without consciously thinking about how the same standards would apply to western media that doesn't feel "creepy".

None of those are his job though. And while his job as a blogger is connected to that, his job as a psychiatrist is not, and is much more likely to be used by him as his model for what a normal job looks like. You could argue that his membership and status in the rationalist community leaves him out of touch with how many people are largely socially isolated outside of work, but I don't see how this is such an obvious point as to imply dishonesty. Though I do think it would be good if he delved into it in more detail - does he think it's more realistic to reverse the trend of social isolation through non-work communities?

I would develop unusual meats: lab-grown shark fin, panda bear, lion steaks, elephant.

Primeval Foods is currently working on exotic cultured meat including lion, zebra, giraffe, and tiger. (On a semi-related note, Because Animals is working on cat food based on cultured mouse meat.) But most companies are focusing on the meats that currently sell in very large quantities, for the obvious reason that they expect those will continue to be the most popular choices even if people have more exotic options for the same price.

The posters on HackerNews, ever blinkered, theorize that this is some sort of effort to farm karma in order to promote products. That theory is almost certainly not true. There is minimal commercial value to Reddit accounts.

I've repeatedly encountered sophisticated repost bots making non-political posts, though never an entire thread like that. For example, I've seen bots that will post on /r/videos copying the top comment on the linked Youtube video, to get upvoted posts that are harder for Reddit to recognize as copies. In one case people noticed the comment was strange because it mentioned the year, which wasn't the same year the Reddit comment was made. That does not seem like something you would go to the bother of programming if there was no value in it. Reddit's spam filters treat accounts differently if they have an organic-seeming history of upvoted comments, so people who sell Reddit accounts want a way to create those at scale. Reddit might also treat real-seeming accounts differently when it comes up voting, so upvote-buying services might benefit from such accounts as well.

These weren't no-names or non-scientists but they were seriously and embarrassingly wrong. Imagine if we actually listened to these people, speedily cut fossil fuels out of the world economy accepting the energy rationing, economic mobilization and famines that would likely happen... only for it to be a nothingburger.

No they weren't, The Guardian just made that up. It's not a prediction, it's a brief outline of a hypothetical written by two non-scientists (both self-professed futurists working for the consulting firm Global Business Network) who specifically state that it is extreme and unlikely. The point is not that they think it is likely to happen, but that they think such unlikely but extreme scenarios should be considered and prepared for by the Pentagon.

An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security

We have created a climate change scenario that although not the most likely, is plausible, and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately.

These are the steps they propose be taken:

  • Improve predictive climate models to allow investigation of a wider range of scenarios and to anticipate how and where changes could occur
  • Assemble comprehensive predictive models of the potential impacts of abrupt climate change to improve projections of how climate could influence food, water, and energy
  • Create vulnerability metrics to anticipate which countries are most vulnerable to climate change and therefore, could contribute materially to an increasingly disorderly and potentially violent world.
  • Identify no-regrets strategies such as enhancing capabilities for water management
  • Rehearse adaptive responses
  • Explore local implications
  • Explore geo-engineering options that control the climate.

Notice that reducing CO2 emisssions isn't even mentioned because their scenario is so abrupt that it would be too late, rather they are talking about preparing ways to mitigate the damage and/or do emergency geo-engineering, in case an unlikely scenario like that happens.

This report suggests that, because of the potentially dire consequences, the risk of abrupt climate change, although uncertain and quite possibly small, should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern.

On the other hand, people who get more sun live years longer.

Observational studies without clear mechanisms of action are almost completely worthless. Reading the study it's just the classic thing where they controlled for a handful of factors that they thought of and then declared whatever was left over the effect of the thing they're studying. Rather than it being any of the countless variations across the population that aren't included in the arbitrary list of controls. (I think Scott has a post somewhere where he mentioned how little he trusts studies like this.) For instance this is how they controlled for comorbidity:

As a measure of comorbid illness at the start of the study, we created a dummy variable termed ‘comorbidity’ to identify women who had been treated with antidiabetic or anticoagulant drugs or medication for CVD for more than 1 month.

I wonder if any illnesses not prescribed those drugs might both increase mortality and decrease sunbathing? Or general variation in health below the level of actual illness?

This is in contrast to the skin cancer risk where the mechanism of action is very straightforward. It seems like a serious failure of both science and science communication that this sort of largely-meaningless observational study gets put on the same level.

Not all randomized control trials are blinded randomized control trials. All you need for a randomized control trial is to randomly assign a group of patients that gets the treatment and a group that doesn't. As far as I know, no long-term randomized control study of gender transition has ever been conducted, in either children or adults.

Non-RCT's are if anything even worse than euphemisms like "moderate-quality" make them seem, reading something like Scott's ivermectin post might help give a sense for it. That's why fields like nutrition, where long-term randomized control trials are impractical, are so terrible despite far more quantity and quality of research than a small field like gender dysphoria.

As a result of the GRADE approach, we read things like this in the report:

There was one high quality study, 25 moderate quality studies and 24 low quality studies. The low quality studies were excluded from the synthesis of results.

No, it's way worse than that, the high/moderate/low quality ratings were based on the cited meta-study and seem if anything too lenient. Reading the meta-study, many of the studies only looked at physical outcomes like "is puberty suppressed", they made no attempt to measure psychological outcomes to determine whether suppressing puberty actually provided any benefit. This is the supposed single "high-quality" study. It isn't a randomized control study, it compares patients who have been given puberty blockers to ones who just started the assessment process. (It also compares to a "cisgender comparison group", such comparisons tend to be even more worthless.) Among other potential problems, this means the results are very plausibly just regression to the mean or benefits from the other mental-health care provided. If you think the parents of children with worse self-reported "internalizing, suicidality, and peer relations" are more likely to seek treatment than the parents of children who are currently doing fine, which the study itself shows, then improvement over time is the expected result even if you don't do anything. And then here are the detailed explanations of why they considered the other studies to be even worse.

It's only unchangeable if we allow the combination of the eugenics taboo and a lack of long-term planning to deny us the use of current technologies like embryo-selection and potential future technologies like polygenetic genetic-engineering. (To say nothing of the possible individual enhancements opened up if we manage to achieve brain emulation.) Remember the general population of whites and asians is also less intelligent than intellectuals tend to assume, because they associate with a highly selected subset. A large fraction of the population struggles with tasks like "interpreting a simple bar graph". It's also getting worse, with current dysgenic trends. Just achieving and maintaining the sort of humanity that many people already assume exists requires transhumanism, for every race.

Afterwards we can look back on the statistics about stuff like intelligence and crime and obesity and depression the same way we currently look back on 50% infant mortality rates and widespread stunting from malnutrition. Though of course the biggest leap would be curing aging, if we ever achieve that I expect a lot of the other improvements would seem like a sideshow by comparison.

You can argue that consistently using "anti-X" to refer to any restriction on X, even if the restriction is the lack of a special privilege and is something the speaker thinks is justified, would be a more objective way to use language. But it is not the standard way to use language, guesswho isn't out there talking about people arrested for dangerous driving as being "arrested under an anti-white law", so it seems understandable for Folamh3 to interpret guesswho as making a bolder and less semantic claim.

I don't think it would really be a better way to use language either, because it's so impractical to do consistently that nobody would do it. Nobody is going to use it for every hypothetical special privilege that could exist, at best it would be influenced by status-quo bias based on what laws already exist, and realistically personal bias would creep in immediately. It would just create a natural motte and bailey where people would use "anti-X" in some cases based on their biases, and then retreat to "it's a restriction on X so it's anti-X" when challenged.

I think you're missing the point of her analogy. A law that restricts trans behavior is an "anti-lgbt law" regardless of the truth value of the underlying premise and how good the law is.

Is "white people aren't allowed to run red lights" an "anti-white law"? Would it become an anti-white law if it was overruling a lower level of government, like if some municipalities were allowing white people to run red lights and the state government passed a law saying they couldn't make racial exceptions? Yes white people are more restricted than if they got an exemption from traffic law, but nobody describes the lack of such an exemption as anti-white, not even white supremacists. But this means that describing a law that restricts X group as "objectively an anti-X law" is just a way to smuggle in assumptions about what laws are reasonable. I think Folamh3 assumed the implicit argument was that those laws were unreasonable, not that they were anti-transgender in the same way that "Chinese-Americans need to pay income tax" is anti-Chinese, because otherwise the argument doesn't make sense.

Notice that guesswho didn't describe segregation of sports by sex as anti-male, despite men and boys being the overwhelming majority of those restricted, likely due to believing that the segregation is reasonable except for when it applies to people who identify as transgender.

There isn't a great explanation that I'm aware of, but my working hypothesis is that it just really does turn out that the Blue Tribers are correct about built environment massively influencing how people interface with the world.

Isn't selection bias the most obvious explanation? Like how it tends to be the explanation for everything in education, and looking for "successful educational practices" without carefully controlling for it just tells you the educational fads in the most-selective schools.

Being normal weight correlates with traits, like intelligence and conscientiousness, that are also useful for succeeding in the educational system and getting high-status jobs. (Not always high-paying jobs, but that's because so many people want those jobs that there's competition driving down wages.) People move to the areas where those jobs are available, and they have children who inherit those traits. Left-wing ideology is popular among the educated/upper-class, so those areas are also left-wing.

This also tangentially relates to the recent blog posts about conservatism's human-capital problem, TracingWoodgrain's The Republican Party is Doomed and Hanania's Coping with Low Human Capital.

On the other hand, we have unique duties, shared by and asked of no other creatures, and we are moral monsters if we refuse to assent. It makes us both "part of nature" and "above nature" in a way that is full of psychological and philosophical tension -- not to mention is precisely and uniquely burdensome to human beings in particular. It seems like this point of view attacks human specialness while affirming people have special obligations. It eliminates human privileges while compounding human duties.

You could apply the same logic to babies, which most people value morally but which do not understand morality or take actions based on it.

The utilitarian answer is that there is no such thing as "unique duties" in utilitarianism, or even really "duties" at all, the whole framework is wrong. There are only choices and their results. Some choices have better results than others, so they are preferable, and this is true even if you are the only moral being in the world. The better choice is better whether it is part of your "duty" or not, and whether the beneficiaries share your sense of morality or not. You should, as a practical matter, make choices like specializing on the tasks you're good at, and taking into account the second-order consequences of helping people with the ability and inclination to help others themselves. But this is only because doing so has better consequences, not because you stopped counting the welfare of the amoral/severely-disabled/etc. when deciding which choice has better results.

Your link is mangled and goes to a random /r/funny thread, seemingly due to some combination of trying to link an image hosted on Reddit and old.reddit.com.

The established institutions of our society — government, academia, media, NGOs, etc. — are filled top-to-bottom with true believers who hold this as a terminal value, and it’s not going away until they all do (which is a problem, because there’s no voting them out).

This isn't how ideological groups work. They do not hold power by being all fanatics who would support the same policies regardless of their factual beliefs about the world. Nor do they have unlimited ability to hold onto power if public opinion turns strongly against them. There are some people like that, but they rely on support from the much larger numbers of people who buy into mainstream "anti-racist" arguments premised on factually incorrect beliefs. Most supporters of any ideology are aligned with it by some mixture of traits like factual beliefs, trusted information sources, formal principles, and informal biases. Many of them can be persuaded by chipping away at their factual beliefs and their trust in their current sources of information. If mainstreaming HBD failed it would be because the vast majority continued denying it, not because people accepted it and then just shrugged. Affirmative action doesn't have majority support already, it hangs on through disproportionate elite support, but that doesn't mean it can continue to do so even if you persuade a large chunk of public/elite supporters.

Compare to libertarians. In theory principle-based libertarians shouldn't even care how effective libertarianism is, right? The justifications are stuff like Freedom and the Non-aggression-principle, not effectiveness. But of course it's not a coincidence that they generally believe libertarianism is effective as well. There's presumably some libertarians who would, for instance, oppose conscription even if they sincerely believed it was the only way to prevent being conquered by a communist nation, or support open-borders even if they thought it would result in statists taking power or otherwise end in disaster. But most wouldn't, and in fact I've noticed a notable number of libertarians and ex-libertarians online who became alienated from hardline libertarianism based on stuff like believing that open-borders would end disastrously for liberty. And once you get into actually trying to set government policy alongside people who don't care about principled libertarianism, of course "Privatizing X will end terribly for everyone, but we should do it anyways because Freedom" isn't an argument anyone makes.

Online polls open to self-selecting members of the public are garbage. But that's different from conducting a survey online by selecting people some other way and then giving them a link instead of a sheet of paper to fill out, which is how many surveys are conducted nowadays.

I can't conceive of a space between determinism and randomness where free will could exist. It's possible that I'm just missing something here, or there is such a thing as free will and it's just absolutely indescribable in any terms that we could possibly understand, but right now it makes more sense to me to just say that free will is an illusion.

I think a better way to phrase it is that it's just a poorly-defined concept that ends up functioning as a motte and bailey. "Illusion" makes it sound like something constantly apparent but untrue, rather than just a confused way of thinking about a concept. In the motte, he can declare that things that happen for a reason are "deterministic" and thus not free will, while things that don't happen for a reason (like the outcomes of quantum randomness) are "random" and thus not free will, and then imply that magic can produce results that are neither caused nor uncaused and thus free will is proof of magic. But then when the time comes to argue the existence of "free will" he doesn't have to do anything to argue that something can be neither caused or uncaused, just that people make decisions. Well yes, I believe that people make decisions, I am a "compatibilist" who thinks that people can make decisions with their brains even when those decisions are caused by prior events. I just think that those decisions are some mixture of caused and uncaused rather than some incoherent third thing that has been arbitrarily associated with magic.

And for any characters where it's too hard to apply that label, behold the Female Character Flowchart for some other options. (It's from a post on a 2010 nerd-feminist blog that was linked on Jezebel and made the rounds, it stuck with me because normally you only see such critiques used one at a time.)

Here is a graph of both traffic and homicide deaths by race and time. Here are the black deaths by week, in which we see that both kinds of deaths spiked at the exact same time: immediately following the death of George Floyd. (Both graphs courtesy of Steve Sailer, the only person of note I've seen discuss the traffic component of the Floyd Effect.)

The simplest explanation is that it is still 100% the Floyd Effect. Police pull over black drivers less than they used to so dangerous drivers stay on the road until they kill themselves or others (as well as it possibly affecting deterrence and so on). The alternative explanation is that it was the Floyd effect originally but some other effect has taken over since then. I haven't looked at the most recent data, if you wanted you could check if it has become less racially skewed than the period covered by those graphs. But with the timing I'm not going to give credence to any explanation in which it was never the Floyd Effect and the spike just happened that week and primarily among black people by coincidence.

"Bounded Distrust" where he defended Fauci's choice to lie to the public and to the congress was his coming out party and now this is simply who he is.

I suspected this was an inaccurate summary so I reread Bounded Distrust and he doesn't mention Fauci once. Also he doesn't defend anyone else either (besides defending conspiracy theorists as being understandably suspicious of mainstream sources), it's about extracting information from misleading/untrustworthy sources, not saying it is good for them to be misleading. It's so far from your description that I am wondering if this a distorted description of some other post but then you also remembered the wrong title.

  1. Yes, in comparison to established democracies they seem less stable and unlikely to survive as long.

  2. Like most authoritarian governments, they pay the cost to the functioning of the country I mentioned, because they are less responsive to feedback and have to keep things under control in other ways. What democratic countries would actually prefer to live under a government like Saudi Arabia in exchange for some supposed economic benefit from open borders?

  3. Remember we are talking not just about formal democracy but a "share in governance", in particular in the context of open borders. Non-democracies can still do things to keep the support of the majority of residents, both by controlling who enters (and how long they stay) and by being responsive to the desires of residents. But he was talking about a country that both let in anyone and then disregarded their opinions in favor of democratic rule by the minority of natives.