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Culture War Roundup for the week of November 28, 2022

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More on Sam Brinton:

  • He has been caught stealing luggage at another airport:

An energy department official is accused of stealing luggage from Harry Reid International Airport, the 8 News Now Investigators learned Thursday.

  • His conversion therapy torture stories may be a complete or partial fabrication:

Was Brinton’s story contrived or embellished to manipulate high-profile leaders and elevate themself into the upper echelons of LGBTQ+ activism?

Looks like this upstanding citizen has serious issues with the concept of truth and personal property. Which probably could be identified when he was vetted for the top Federal administration position, if anybody dared to vet "the first non-binary, gay drag queen to hold a federal government leadership position". At least he wasn't dealing with something important, like radioactive materials...

"The red flags regarding Brinton were overwhelming and obvious to all who cared to see them" is such an incredible line. Just the sheer audacity of instantly flipping from defense and deflection to tossing him under the bus without even blinking.

The interesting part is that there are still zero other articles about this entire incident outside of the right wing press, to the point that wikipedia was trying to delete all mention of it as "no reliable sources verify." So there's a system for absorbing and synthesizing a response to "enemy news" without officially acknowledging it exists.

I"m very interested in this. I have a sense that the extent to which WP's "Reliable sources" document is used throughout media and government is deep and unprecedented. I noted that Matt Taibbi saw 'reliable sources' cited numerous times in his Twitter investigation and because we know that many of the major tech platforms interface with WP directly (Ex. Google, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa--a service I believe they pay for) it seems like there are dots that need to be investigated for connection. The specific document at Wikipedia is a nightmare of liberal bias (I'd consider myself a liberal, fwiw) and directly impacting the truthiness of any article related to modern personalities and events.

I think it's very likely this same document is acting as a source for everyone...why? Because people wouldn't do the same work twice if they didn't have to, particularly if it promoted the agenda they already wanted to purport. Anyway, I think there's a huge story about Wikipedia just waiting to be broken. I'd really like to know how WP doubled it's annual income since 2016, but don't have a pro statista account. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1311370/wikimedia-foundation-annual-funding/

Since when did robotic politeness and verbose incompetence become the norm for customer service live chat?

This has been bothering me for the past few years across numerous companies, but thought I'd vent here after suffering the latest incident.

Brief background: bought something from the Google Store. More than two weeks afterward, it's still in transit. Tracking estimates every day is the new delivery day, except it doesn't deliver, and the estimate just pushes forward by a day. I open up Google live chat support. It opens a form to enter the order number and description of the problem. I enter both like below:

GS.XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

I ordered this on Nov 18. It's still in shipping more than two weeks later. Every day over the last week, the delivery estimate moved forward by one day. The most recent update is from Saturday, November 26. How much longer do I need to wait?

----------------Here's the transcript----------------

You’re connected with agent Sarah.

12:03 PM

S

Hi vpn, welcome to Google Support! My name is Sarah. In case you need to refer to this chat interaction in the future, the Chat ID for this interaction is x-xxxxxxx. How can I help you today?

You've been pretty quiet. Are you still there?

Sarah · 12:04 PM

Me

I ordered this on Nov 18. It's still in shipping more than two weeks later. Every day over the last week, the delivery estimate moved forward by one day. The most recent update is from Saturday, November 26. How much longer do I need to wait?

GS.XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

S

Thank you for responding.

I see that you are contacting us about the order status.

Please be assured, I will definitely check the information for you immediately and help you with the best possible resolution.

Let me check the details for you here.

As there is no update on your order I will go ahead and check the details with my specialist team.

For the needed time to resolve your user support issue, you agree to allow Google customer support access to your Google product and account data. This data may include product information, Serial Number, countries or regions in which your product was purchased, account history, and limited historical usage data. Google uses this data to improve your customer service experience, to troubleshoot issues with this product, see promotion history, and for fraud prevention. Google handles this data as described in Google’s privacy policy.

May I have your consent?

Sarah · 12:09 PM

Me

Yes

12:09 PM

S

Thank you for the consent.

Kindly allow me 3-5 minutes while I check this with my specialist and get back to you with a resolution on this.

Thank you for your valuable time.

I am still checking the details with my specialist team.

Do you mind waiting for another 3-5 minutes more while I check this with my team?

Sarah · 12:19 PM

Me

Please just get back to me when you have an answer

12:19 PM

S

Thank you for your patience and time.

Upon checking the details with my specialist team I would like to let you know that they are suggested waiting until the end of the day of 5th.

Sarah · 12:27 PM

Me

As I mentioned, the estimated date changes every day in the last week. By tomorrow, it'll change again to the 6th.

My question is how many more days do I need to wait for this to keep happening? What if this doesn't arrive by the 5th? What then?

12:28 PM

S

Rest assured you will receive the by end of tomorrow.

Sarah · 12:28 PM

Me

And if not?

12:28 PM

S

I certainly understand your point.

If you do not receive the order, I will send you a follow up email after the chat so that you can reply back to my email.

So that I can help you further.

Sarah · 12:29 PM

----------------I ended the chat session here----------------

Some commentary:

  1. The first fail was the agent apparently did not have access to the web form where I described my problem. Now I was able to just copy and paste it over, but what's the point of having a web form if the data just disappears into the ether?

  2. Second fail was when the agent remarked that my volume was too low within 30 seconds of the chat being started. Is this some kind of script? If so, who OKed that? If not, who asks that? Note the timestamp: her feedback was sent within the same minute as her initial request for me to copy and paste. But it was more like a 20 second gap.

  3. What this transcript doesn't show is that each paragraph with a line break above was sent separately as a message that took time in between. Maybe it's meant to be a sophisticated script that mimics actual human typing, but the effect is that the rep sent a lot of messages that contained basically no information whatsoever. Rather than pacifying a customer, it frustrates them instead.

  4. The requested approvals are completely unnecessary. What's the point of asking if a customer grants permission to look at their order details? What kind of customer service can be performed without that permission? And what's with requesting for permission to wait for longer? The question makes no sense--what's their response if the customer types "no, I don't give you permission to take another 3-5 minutes"? All the unnecessary pings are distracting as I was multitasking while waiting for a response.

  5. The "Rest assured you will receive the by end of tomorrow." is simply bull. How could she possibly promise this? I'm happy to report back if somehow she did some Google magic and the package is released from holding from shipping jail for delivery tomorrow. This just screams incompetence.

  6. Related to the above, I recognize the rep has little no way of forcing something stuck in transit to go faster. But far superior service would have been stating their actual policy on delayed shipping: how about something like, if you don't receive it within 21 days after the order is placed, we will send you a free replacement or refund. Which would you prefer?

  7. Worst of all, there was no option to send feedback in the chat app of the experience. Maybe this explains the awful quality--no one higher up has any idea how bad the customer service actually is. They look at the transcripts every now and then and think, we've got great service! Look at how attentive and solicitous we are!

  8. Lastly, I have no proof, but I do wonder what is the probability that "Sarah" is a pseudonym to make the agent seem more amenable to a Western customer. It's just that I've met plenty of American Sarahs in my life, and not a single one of them would be caught dead talking/typing like the robot here.

As mentioned, I've unfortunately been subject to this sort of live chat experience across multiple large companies in the past couple of years. I wonder if it's the result of offshore call/chat center cultural differences. Are there some Asian countries where frustrated customers feel gratified when customer service use many word when few do trick? And they like it when they are asked pointless questions that do not advance toward a resolution just so they feel more in control somehow?

If not, then this script feels written by some psychology major who managed to climb the corporate ranks per the Peter Principle decide the best customer experience is to apply "nudges" that somehow make them happier. The result is the polar opposite, at least for anyone with half a brain, in my humble opinion.

And it is fairly dystopian. I imagine this type of deeply frustrating by superficially polite customer service has been portrayed in scifi movies or shows. If any of you reading this is senior enough at a company to influence policy on this front, I urge you to avoid following Google's stellar example here.

I'm happy to report back if somehow she did some Google magic and the package is released from holding from shipping jail for delivery tomorrow. This just screams incompetence.

Well, the improbable happened. The package did in fact deliver yesterday, as the rep predicted.

I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, the day after I complained, the package arrived; on the other hand, the same package was sitting in limbo for more a week without any updates, so the base rate was for it to continue to do so indefinitely. I don't know how the rep could have communicated with the shipper, in the span of a live chat session, and heard back that it would in fact deliver the next day. But it happened, so I'm glad that's resolved.

At this point, my main critique was all of this rep's correspondence could have been simplified into:

(Chat starts)

Hi vpn. I see that you're still waiting on your order to arrive. Please allow me to contact my specialist team. Note that this may take up to 10 minutes.

(10 min later)

Hi vpn. My team informed me that you should receive your package tomorrow. If not, simply email me at sarah@ and we will process a refund or a free replacement. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

(Chat ends)

May GPT-6 be sophisticated enough to do this one day.

Does anyone have the link to the (iirc) Paul Grahan Essay about this exact same topic?

Two things - the support if you have Google one is fantastic. Always human, always primarily English speaking or smart/practiced enough to fake it, and always super quick. And with that you get youtube ad free and extra google drive space for all your Linux distros.

Secondly - "Rest assured you will receive the by end of tomorrow" - that is your silver lining. Either it turns up tomorrow now or you get free shit. Or at least a coupon for discounted shit. If you don't have it on the sixth, escalate to the highest person you can speak to and tell them they owe you for the day you spent off work based on their assurances.

Hmm, I completely forgot that I do in fact pay for Google One. Should have gone that route, though I blame Google for not automatically directing me there since I was logged in when I went to click help. Good tip though.

So, I've actually done this sort of chat support before. It was a long time ago, probably right at the beginning where it was even a thing. We're talking 2005 or so. So here's my take on the whole thing.

First of all, yeah. This is probably someone in India. "Kindly" is the big giveaway here.

But here's my guess about how these things are run. First, "Sarah" is probably doing between 4-8 chats at the same time. Truth is, when I did this, there were times I ran up to 12 at the same time. Maybe it was bad for me to do this because it set expectations, but I also let people know that you needed someone really good at this to do this.

Probably more controversially, I doubt that there's any sort of standardized script. It would be MUCH cleaner. There's almost certainly a standardized workflow, but no actual help in doing the work. My guess is that the client (this is undoubtedly an outsource company after all) is demanding original interactions in order for it to feel more "authentic" and natural. So you have a situation where maybe there's an unofficial text file passed around the office, that people cut and paste into the chat. The intent is that everything is freshly typed in by the agent....not realistic at all given the metrics and demands...but that doesn't matter. So this is kind of the work-around to survive.

A lot of the stuttering and everything is again, designed to meet metrics, so the supervisors can meet THEIR metrics, and the higher-ups can meet THEIR metrics so the center as a whole can meet their contracted goals and get sweet sweet bonuses. But that latter part doesn't matter nearly as much as everything beneath it. The stuttering refreshes a delay/time to respond counter that's actively measured.

More than anything, the point is that the problem above everything else is one of the combination of Corporatism and the Iron Law of Institutions. (I'd personally consider these the same thing, or at least there's substantial overlap here). Who gives a fuck if the customer experience is gawd awful. All the managers are getting paid for it on both sides. You just have to create the illusion of success, which is much easier than actually creating success.

Edit: Some background on what I did. I was on a team who did the original testing for the chat support functionality of a major US ISP when it first rolled out. Because of this, for the most part it was e-mail issues, although we got the odd intermittent connection issue. Yes, I had a text file with solutions for common problems/requests that I just copied pasted into the chat. But because I was good at diagnosing the issues, I'd say it was correct the vast majority of the time. If I had to type something in manually it's not like it irritated me and I just scoffed the client off...those issues were interesting to me and I was more than willing to give good instructions. I'd just take those instructions and add them to my text file in case the problem came back. I didn't do it because I was lazy or I didn't want to help the customers...there was just no point reinventing the wheel for every person who wanted to know how to set up their e-mail in Outlook, or at the time, were dealing with spoofed/virus e-mails. (This was actually the big contact driver for my department)

Please be assured, I will definitely check the information for you immediately and help you with the best possible resolution.

This language is a very strong indicator you're talking to a rep in India and Sarah is a pseudonym.

Also, you want to be contacting the shipper's customer service. They may have more details not shown to customers and might be able to fix or diagnose what's actually happening.

I've worked extensively with Indians over email and chat at a previous job and completely agree this is an Indian customer service rep. The verbosity, uncommon phrasing choices, and repetitious emphatic words is how they generally use English. Idk if they're just as verbose in Hindi—surely not?

Please be assured, I will definitely check the information for you immediately and help you with the best possible resolution.

I always figured it was just them trying to signal how much they want to help the customer and because they don't speak the language day to day they don't realise how uncanny it is.

It’s an Indian support agent following a script. Which they are hoping to eventually replace with AI.

I do wonder what is the probability that "Sarah" is a pseudonym to make the agent seem more amenable to a Western customer

Obviously this. There are enough clues that "Sarah" is an Indian support rep following a strict flowchart:

  • Use of the word "Kindly"

  • Puzzling grammar errors and stilted professional speech (no contractions, jargon, or slang)

  • "You've been pretty quiet" at the start is an automatic idle detection script - possibly misfiring

  • requesting permission for everything is likely a CYA tactic so they don't get fired in the event you escalate. I've found this to be common in dealing with offshore support

  • Paradoxically, making promises that both parties know is unlikely to be kept is also common: "Rest assured you will receive the by end of tomorrow."

Alternatively, it's a chat-bot trained on offshore support transcripts. God help us.

'kindly' dead giveaway

'Kindly reply with your seed phrase in order to fix your crypto wallet'. lol fuck no

Kindly is a dead give-away for someone from India? That is fascinating to me. One, because I use that all the time. Second, someone else on the Motte recently remarked that the way I express myself makes me sound Indian. I am German and have never set foot to India.

Are you guys sure this is "Indian" rather than "non-anglo speaker with a good grasp of English"?

It's 100% Indian. Does it feel good to learn you might actually be Aryan?

Sir, do the needful and cut the jokes.

I would say that by definition, the fact that you say "kindly (verb)" means it isn't just an Indian thing. However, 99% of the time when someone says "kindly" in this way it's a person from India. It is an extremely common turn of phrase for Indian people, whereas I haven't encountered it at all when dealing with people from other countries.

I only ever use it as an adverb. E.g.: "Kindly remind me when that meeting was again?"

I've never seen it used as a verb.

The last time I saw the word kindly talked about as much as it has been in this thread was when I was orphaning creepy little girls with a wrench.

GPT stuff aside, this:

What this transcript doesn't show is that each paragraph with a line break above was sent separately as a message that took time in between.

is something that I always assumed was designed to keep the customer engaged. Even clearly human chat support agents do this. Every 3 minutes they'll write something like "Thank you for your patience, we're still looking into your request."

Same reason corporate phone lines have hold music that gets interrupted every fifteen seconds with a human voice ("is it someone finally answering my call??") that says "Your call is very important to us. Please hold while we connect you to the next available representative."

It strings you along and manages to keep you on the line or chat way longer than you would if you weren't getting a steady but meaningless drip of feedback. It's dehumanizing and humiliating and encapsulates the ugly, cloying impersonality of modern life in a way I can't clearly describe.

Ah, yes, I do hate that far more in voice calls precisely for the same reason you outline. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's humiliating, but I agree it's dehumanizing. Thankfully, most companies seem to now implement a callback feature. For those that don't, ironically a different dehumanizing tech introduced with the latest Google Pixel phones allows its AI to "hold for you". While I haven't tested this out yet, it's supposed to sit and wait for both the music and the "your call is very important to us" interruptions to end until a live voice renders on the other end to notify you, probably through a ringtone playing. I admit that was one of the selling points for me personally given how painful the organic waiting experience is.

But worse yet was some other customer service calls where the wait was occupied not just by music, inane appreciative insertions, but literally ads! I believe PayPal did that at one point, with an annoying voice saying things like "did you KNOW that with PayPal, you can blah blah blah?!?!" Now that was humiliating.

Gpt3 is acting as customer support employee named Sarah for Google store. The role of GPT-3 is to respond to the customer politely and placate the customer.

A customer has bought something from the Google Store. More than two weeks afterward, it's still in transit. Tracking estimates every day is the new delivery day, except it doesn't deliver, and the estimate just pushes forward by a day. He opens up Google live chat support. It opens a form to enter the order number and description of the problem. The problem reads:

"I ordered this on Nov 18. It's still in shipping more than two weeks later. Every day over the last week, the delivery estimate moved forward by one day. The most recent update is from Saturday, November 26. How much longer do I need to wait?"

Sarah: Hi there, sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your order. I understand how frustrating it can be to wait for an item to arrive. I'm happy to help look into this for you. Can you please provide me with the order number so I can look into it further?

Order number is GS.1234-7845-2635

Sarah: Thanks for providing that information. I'm looking into the order now and will have an update for you shortly. In the meantime, can you please tell me which shipping option you had selected for the order?

I selected next day shipping.

Sarah: Thank you for that information. I apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the delay in the delivery of your order. I can see that the order was shipped out with Next Day Shipping. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the delivery has been delayed. I am escalating this to our team and they will do their best to get the order delivered to you as soon as possible. I apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience.

When will I hear back from you?

Sarah: I will update you as soon as I receive any information from our team. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us if you require any further assistance..

One hour later Sarah revives information from her team.

Sarah: I have an update for you about your order. We have checked the status of the order and it is currently in transit. We apologize for the delay and we are working hard to get your order to you as soon as possible. We will update you as soon as we receive any new information. Thank you for your patience.

Yes but it's been in transit for 2 weeks now, it was supposed to be next day delivery.

Sarah: I understand your frustration, and I apologize for the delay. We will do our best to get your order delivered to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us if you require any further assistance.

Is there nothing else that can be done? What if it never arrives?

Sarah: We will do our best to get your order to you as soon as possible. If we determine that the order is lost or will not be delivered to you, we will be happy to refund the full purchase amount back to your account. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Its already been 2 weeks! I would think it is for sure lost. I really would like a replacement sent right away.

Sarah: I understand your frustration. We will do our best to get your order to you as soon as possible. If after a few more days the order is still not delivered, we can look into sending a replacement. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

I don't know maybe Gpt3 would be a better customer support than whoever you interacted with.

There is no economic rationale to provide high quality or personalized service for someone who purchased $10 of product. Compare car dealerships to shopping at Walmart.

If there is a single purchase, no. But the idea is repeat customer. And big box stores want to provide good customer service. The challenge is providing it at scale and low cost. In theory, technology should allow online stores to provide better customer service thereby earning more revenue share.

Perhaps this is why some stores sell memberships, like Amazon Prime or Costco, so you lock in the customer and get a high up-front payment . I have noticed that webhosting companies offer good customer support, so maybe it can be done for cheap services, but webhosting is recurring.

Since when did robotic politeness and verbose incompetence become the norm for customer service live chat?

Since the customer service live chat became an expression of an incompetent robot.

You know that "Sarah" is probably "chat_frontend" process ID 27192 running on xq1629, right?

No Sarah is Indian - I’ve worked with overseas customer support contractors and this has all the hallmarks (especially grammar) of an Indian CS rep using a script.

sarah is just GPT. KEKW. the funny thing is probably everyone in your timeline i just some kind of AI but just more realistic so just go with the flow.

Affirmative Action and Helter Skelter: The through-line from Charlie Manson to the Woke White Liberal

Epistemic Status: stoned rant while half watching a Christmas movie. TLDR: Manson's insane racial theories were based on the prophecy of a great racial war, the whites would lose and be exterminated by the Blacks, the Blacks would find themselves incapable of ruling the world and pass power back to the surviving whites in the Manson family. Woke upper class whites who support affirmative action have the same beliefs, only instead of surviving in a giant underground city in Death Valley, they will hide behind wealth and class and ivory tower qualifications.

If you don't know the story of the Manson Family, I highly recommend Karina Longworth's podcast on the topic. It's very good, highly listenable, fairly objective, and gets into a lot of the cultural setting especially around Hollywood. If you want to hear the conspiracy takes, Chaos is extremely good and very extensive, but comes to no conclusions, even the author doesn't know what happened. (It also pairs well with Family of Secrets to follow JFK rabbit holes)

What a lot of people don't realize about Manson, that I think a study like Longworth's makes clear, is that Charles Manson's manipulations of the young women in the Family were mainly a witchy 60s psychedelic take on traditional mid-century Black pimping techniques. The kind of stuff Iceberg Slim wrote about, which is also a book I recommend. Manson manipulated young runaways into sleeping with who he told them to when he told them to, acquired male hangers-on by leveraging sexual access to his young female runaways. The male family members who worked and fought for him, drug suppliers who provided him with acid and speed, and rich men who provided him with housing and money and recording opportunities were all really just interested in fucking the Manson girls. A poorer, dirtier gentile Epstein with a guru bent.

Part of his act was this big Helter Skelter prophecy, much of which was a racial ideology that inherent white superiority will out. Manson, who spent much of his life in prisons and reform institutions, hated Blacks viscerally. He thought them animals, but physically superior and ferocious animals. The diminutive Manson was a frequent target of assaults and rapes in juvenile facilities as a teenager, many by Black inmates. He would famously carve a Swastika into his forehead, and join the Aryan Nation in prison after the Family trials; most thought this was a departure from popular portrayals as a peace and love hippy, but that kind of semi-mystical white supremacism was already the Family's ideological base.

Manson saw the racial conflicts of the 1960s and used that as the apocalypse that his followers would be protected from by following his teachings. He taught that a great racial war was coming, Helter Skelter, that the United States would break down into civil war over treatment of minorities, and that ultimately the militant Blacks would exterminate the white race, both the liberals and the conservatives. The only surviving whites would be the Manson Family, hidden in a bottomless pit/hidden city in Death Valley. The victorious Blacks would be unable to rule a sophisticated society without whites, and discovering the surviving whites they would gratefully pass power back to Manson and his followers, who would rule the new world. It was an insane fantasy, peddled to drug addled teenagers to explain why they should follow this shaggy ex-con who fed them acid and sodomized them. Whites were so superior to Blacks that even after the majority of Whites were exterminated, the handful of special white survivors would rule the world. Subtext: it is good that the Blacks will destroy all of white straight society for us, clearing out the dead wood so that we noble enlightened whites can rule. Stop me if this feels familiar.

A lot of online rightists find it insane that any white people support affirmative action. White students are evenly split on affirmative action, despite being its putative victims. This support only increases as one reaches more selective schools, where affirmative action is harshest in action. Why is this? Because a liberal white student at Harvard Law, like the Manson family, believes so firmly and mystically in his own superiority that no white loss in a racial conflict can rattle him. He believes in his superiority as a talented white kid as firmly as he believes in gravity. He is one of the Great and the Good, his talent got him here, giving tithes to those inferior to him will only enhance his stature. After all, if I'm a white kid with a 165 LSAT who can't get into a T14, every 160 LSAT Black kid who gets in is a spot that could have been mine, I coulda been a contenda if only things were different. But if I already got in, if I'm confident that my 179 LSAT is such that I always will get in to whatever I want, then I'd rather a less qualified kid got in than a more qualified one. If you're trying to get into a class of 800, ever non-merit spot is a spot you lose, I go from having 800 chances to get in to 600 chances to get in. If I'm already in a class of 800, every non-merit spot is a kid who isn't competing with me anymore for the top spot, I go from competing to be 1/800 to competing to be 1/600. Let the Blacks push out the whites and the Asians, the Blacks won't be able to compete with me anyway. If we're all at a firm together, my pedigree and my talent are worth more the fewer people exist with my pedigree and my talent. Affirmative action at top schools is a way to narrow the field of actual competitors from that school.

This is Manson warmed over, the parallels are striking, true white supremacy is the absolute faith that talent resides in the white and that talent will out, the beliefs that so many of my white classmates had after three beers. Let the race war happen, let the Blacks destroy the unenlightened whites, and at the end the enlightened whites will rule because they will be the only alternative left. This is woke racism, let less talented kids get in to competitive schools, it just makes the real spots that much more competitive. The more of the real competition is eliminated, the easier it will be for me. Rather than hiding in a bottomless pit in Death Valley, they believe they will hide in the ivory towers, too talented and too connected to be dislodged by unfair policies. Keep just enough of a meritocracy, and the really talented kids will succeed and have interest in changing the status quo to help those below them, and the less talented kids who fail under the fakakta meritocracy probably aren't talented enough to make a difference anyway. The great and the good will always be on the side of the status quo as long as the critical mass of talented kids are hoovered up.

They might find this strategy works less effectively than they think it will. Like Hezekiah in Isaiah 39:8, to whom in was prophesied that his sons would be eunuchs in a foreign court, and nonetheless replied that the Lord's prophecy was good for there would be "peace and truth in my days." Apres moi, le deluge. Their talent is less of a protection than they think it is. The affirmative action kids at my schools often blossomed just as well once they got there, the dirty secret isn't that AA lets in less talented kids, but that admissions criteria are mostly a farce anyway when it comes to real life talent. The white kids that got in are mostly just as good as the kids who didn't five years down the line.

I doubt this. AA defenders are not secret believers in HBD, they genuinely drink their own 'shine 'bout systemic racism. Call it willful ignorance or whatever you want.

As for why they're systemically ignorant, if you want to go searching for hidden motivations I'd wager it's more feeling threatened by red tribe elites and less actual belief in their own superiority. AA is a great tool for making admissions less meritocratic, after all, which appears to be the real goal.

Yea. Classical liberals like to float the "Baptists and bootleggers" thesis. Not everyone is secretly some kind of bootlegger. There are Baptists.

There's also people who find offending the baptists a pretty strong motivator in doing whatever it is that offends the baptists- the church of satan is basically an extreme form of this- too. Yes, the red tribe does the same thing it's just usually harder to distinguish from just being baptists compared to the church of satan.

Tribal hatred and personal convictions hold a huge percentage of our society's reasons for doing things and we don't like to acknowledge that.

By the way I'm not disagreeing with you. I just wanted to expand on your point.

Charles Manson's manipulations of the young women in the Family were mainly a witchy 60s psychedelic take on traditional mid-century Black pimping techniques.

Really? I guess Epstein was just doing cultural appropriation. You might as well describe securities fraud as an "early 20th century Italian technique." Or, hell, voter canvassing gets to be a "traditional Irish political technique."

Manson had a particularly dramatic implementation of the world's oldest patronage network. Like various other contemporary organizations, this involved copious amounts of sex and/or drugs. This does not, in fact, imply a cultural inheritance from black pimping to Manson to affirmative action.

Any theory relying on comparing your outgroup to history's villains should be subject to strict scrutiny. One that relies on "subtext" exactly opposing their stated beliefs? Stricter.

Enjoy your movie.

Really? I guess Epstein was just doing cultural appropriation. You might as well describe securities fraud as an "early 20th century Italian technique." Or, hell, voter canvassing gets to be a "traditional Irish political technique."

No, Manson himself in interviews and conversations with contemporaries talked about being fascinated by Black pimps he met in prison, and their systems of control. That one isn't just a matter of drawing parallels, it is literally that Manson said that was what he wanted to do when he got out of prison, and then he formed the Family, and pimped the women out. I highly recommend the podcast I linked and the book Pimp.

I stand corrected. Cognitive dissonance really wasn’t an obstacle to this man, was it?

Manson was clearly psychotic so of course he had little trouble avoiding cognitive dissonance.

But why would anyone have any dissonance on this particular issue? Acknowledging that your enemies, which have repeatedly bested and humiliated you, have at least some nifty techniques worth copying is adaptive and sane. In fact, it's ressentiment, reactive self-conceptualizing as the antithesis of everything your enemies stand for and practice, that isn't. Japan became a superpower (for a brief moment) by virtue of humility and aping Anglo-British institutions and the very Western epistemology. Russia, for a very long time one of the biggest players, has long been handicapped by the opposite ideology, and now is turning itself into a nuclear-armed Afghanistan. If you're committed to a life of crime, you've got to follow the lead of successful criminals. Manson couldn't really compete with major mafias, so Black pimps were an adequate role model, and one he was better-positioned to learn from.

I think most white people support AA because they were told it’s a good thing and they never question it. I think there’s also this idea all people are fungible among these kinds of people so it doesn’t really matter. I also think we should take them at their word that their version of diversity is actually a strength. Progressivism also has a type of antifragility where criticism and chaos makes it stronger. After the Summer of Floyd, these people believe it even more, which is crazy to me but apparently not to a lot of others.

Most white people don't support AA though. 50% of white students at elite universities support AA, and I'd wager social desirability bias trends that upwards but also that's a pretty selected group that still doesn't give a clear majority.

Most Americans period don’t support it. It’s not a popular policy. I was talking specifically about those that do support it.

A lot of online rightists find it insane that any white people support affirmative action. White students are evenly split on affirmative action, despite being its putative victims. This support only increases as one reaches more selective schools, where affirmative action is harshest in action. Why is this? Because a liberal white student at Harv

I am strongly opposed to AA on principle, but I think conservatives/rightists overestimate how much of an impact it has. Jews and Blacks are still only 2% and 13% of the country respectively, a figure that has not changed much in a long time. And of those blacks, maybe just a third are up for consideration for top spots in society anyway, so we're talking maybe 3-5%. So Most whites will be competing against other whites for those top spots, whether competitive schools or competitive jobs. you look at the racial composition of top companies. maybe a handful blacks out of hundreds of of non-blacks, figures consistent or lower than national average. Not many whites being displaced on an absolute basis. If you didn't get 'in', odds are a more qualified white took that spot, not an underqualified black.

The issue here is that we are talking about competition inside PMC class, which would be around 35% of the population and, also for the top jobs inside that class which may be around 1-5%. And I do not think it is solely about official AA legislation, there is also a push for more women and minorities in these positions without any legal pressure. I think there may be some merit to this theory, I have observed similar phenomenon of managers hiring mediocre people to prevent a situation when they basically rise their own replacement. If doing so even increases your prestige as a fighter for DEI initiative and a good ally, it has a lot of upsides.

Black and Jews are still only 2% and 13% of the country respectively

You've got your minorities backwards and this isn't India.

(Also, I assume Jews are the «Woke White Liberals who make it into Ivies regardless» in 5HP's framing).

fixed

I feel trapped in In Bruges, around the part with the cocaine and the Midget.

Charlie Manson was a man who believed in himself, right up to the end. To quote Chesterton from "Orthodoxy":

Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made a remark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of the modern world. Yet I had heard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothing in it. The publisher said of somebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And I remember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was written "Hanwell." I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums." He said mildly that there were a good many men after all who believed in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. "Yes, there are," I retorted, "and you of all men ought to know them. That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote: the man who has it has ` Hanwell' written on his face as plain as it is written on that omnibus."

Manson was exactly that type; part criminal, part con man, but with a belief in his own unrecognised worth that if only he could get the attention of those in power, would give him the life on easy street that he deserved. So he naturally jumped on the counter-culture bandwagon, but what made him stand out was that he did have a philosophy, crazy as it was, which he believed in (though it was at its foundation a belief that 'I am the greatest') and which gave him that aura of conviction that gurus need.

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Ivies (or HYPS) are already less of a career requirement in a lot of jobs than they were 20 years ago, simply because recruiters have realized that your average really smart kid who works hard and is charismatic for interview is no longer guaranteed a place at those institutions. In 20 years I expect they’ll be like Eton in the UK - overrepresented among many kinds of elites, indicative of decent breeding and excellent connections, at least some privilege, at least decent intelligence (since the actually dumb kids, even if rich and well connected, don’t usually get in) and maybe some manners, but not a marker of intelligence or work ethic per se.

Law is an exception for now, but isn’t that because the LSAT, affirmative action aside, is actually quite meritocratic? I’d argue it’s probably the last nearly pure meritocracy in American tertiary education (other than the Math Olympiad - MIT route) in that the stats suggest if you can score 179 or 180 and have a non-repellent personality, you have a decent shot at Harvard Law. And the LSAT is near enough a pure IQ test.

Don't worry--they're coming for the lawyers, too.

The democrats aren't the real racists, you can't beat universalism with slightly-different-universalism, and progressives support AA mostly out of a genuine (even if incorrect, confused, or inverted) desire to help historically-oppressed black people. People who couldn't get into harvard still support affirmative action at harvard!

The democrats aren't the real racists

Yale researchers would like to have a word. White liberals basically dumb down their language when talking to minorities. I think that this take that white liberals have "white savior" complex, and that they see minorities basically as pets to be taken care of is nothing new. In fact, I think it is one of the worst forms of racism as it hides behind façade of supposed compassion and caring. The true vitriol is shown when pets disobey and go against what their masters want - as with infamous Biden's you ain't black if you don't vote for me take. It could also support the OP's thesis that white liberals may not see minorities as true competition.

The democrats aren't the real racists

:Doubt:

I've said this before but I'm going to keep saying it. Whether it's men in white hoods setting fire to minority neighborhoods in 1920 or men in black hoodies setting fire to minority neighborhoods in 2020 the Democratic party is and always has been the party of the lynch mob.

Whether it's "Jim Crow" or "Safe Spaces" the Democrat party is and always has been the party of segregation.

I suspect that if you were to ask progressives who believe that AA is necessary, why is it necessary? a good chunk of them would reply with something about "systemic inequality" and how blacks are not going to succeed on their own merits.

I don't know what your definition of racism looks like, but all of that sounds pretty damn "racist" to me.

Whether it's "Jim Crow" or "Safe Spaces" the Democrat party is and always has been the party of segregation.

Ignoring the notable shift in the composition of America’s two major political parties that took place under the Southern strategy paints a very inaccurate picture. ”Has always been,” only works if you want to stop time before the middle of the 20th Century.

You mention Jim Crow, but fail to mention that Goldwater and Nixon deliberately made appeals to the southerners who wanted to retain it, and successfully brought a significant portion under the Republican tent.

The alleged shift in the composition of America’s two major political parties is vastly overstated, see other comments in this thread.

By "Democrats aren't the real racists," OP obviously meant current Democrats, or, really, given the subject at hand, liberals. it is common knowledge that, decades ago, Democrats, or at least Southern Democrats, were racial conservatives. The Republican Party practically did not exist in states like Mississippi. It is just as obvious that, starting in the 40s and accelerating after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, conservatives began migrating to the Republican Party.

And, if you don't understand that Progressives support AA because they think that both current and past discrimination holds African Americans back, you need to check the relevant polling

It is just as obvious that, starting in the 40s and accelerating after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, conservatives began migrating to the Republican Party.

That is not obvious when you look at the actual voting patterns. Quickly sanity check by looking at the presidential election outcomes, and see how much support you find for this version of events. 20 of the 22 southern Senate seats that voted for the CRA stayed Democrat for the next 20 years. They didn't start flipping Red until Reagan appealed to them as evangelicals. And even then, Clinton carried the south in 1992. A lot of those old racists stayed Democrat voters until they died, or at least well into retirement age, because unions, or FDR won the war.

There was a story from the 2008 campaign, about a canvasser for Obama in rural Pennsylvania who knocked on a door in a rural home. An elderly woman answers. The canvasser asks who they're voting for. The woman calls out, "Honey, who are we voting for?", and the presumed husband is heard to holler back "The n*gger!" And the woman smiled sweetly at the canvasser and reiterated, "We're voting for the n*gger." This story was told in a tone of awe at the Nyarlotep-tier charisma of Barack Obama, that he could inspire even these racist, sexist old assholes to vote for Hope and Change. But I think it's pretty likely that they had just been voting for whoever was a [D] since double-ya double-ya two, and if a yellow dog, why not a black guy?

It is indeed obvious when you look at voting for President, and when you look at pcts for other races.

I don't understand your reference to 20 of the 22 southern Senate seats that voted for the CRA. Only 1 Southern Senator voted in favor, and he was from Texas.

Clinton most certainly did not carry the South in 1992. Certainly not the deep South. As I noted elsewhere, the deep South did not vote even once for the Republican Party from the end of Reconstruction through 1960. Not even during the Eisenhower landslide. Yet from 1964 till now, the have instead almost never voted Democratic.

Sorry, that is an annoying amount of imprecise language and memory drift on my part. The stat living in my head was "20 of the 22 Southern Democrat Senate seats stayed Democrat for 20 years after the CRA"; the bit about "voted for" is superfluous and doesn't even make sense. And of course, trying to look it up is hopelessly confounded by results for "2022 Senate election". So, doing this the awkward way and just looking up the maps for every Senate election from 64 onward, I think the general point weakly holds.

Georgia doesn't elect a Republican to Senate until 1980. SC elected a Democrat to Senate in 1964, then confirmed in a special election in 1965. Strom Thurmond won in 66 and stayed in office forever, but the other NC Senate seat was Democrat-held until 2004, the first time a Republican held that seat since Reconstruction.

North Carolina Goes Democrat in 66, 68, then a Republican in 72, and a Democrat in 74 (that seat flips in 80).

Alabama votes D in 66, 68, 72, 74, 78 (twice!), flips R in 80, but goes back to D in 84 and 86, 90, 92, before flipping R again in 96-98.

Mississippi votes D in 64, 66, 70, 72, and 76. Flips R in 78, but D again in 82. That D seat flips R in 88.

Louisiana doesn't send a Republican to the Senate until 2004.

Texas is split 1/1 until 1994.

Florida is D in 64, R in 68. The Democrat seat stays blue until 88. The R seat flips back and forth a few times until it stays blue for a 3 election stretch ending in the 00s.

Tennessee does some complicated flipping between both seats, but doesn't seem to settle on R until 94.

Arkansas doesn't elect a Republican to Senate until 1996.

Missouri elects it's first Republican in 76, and seems to lock into that side during the 80's.

Overall, it looks like the "switch" happens in the late 70s into the mid-90s.

In presidential elections, only a few deep south states vote for Goldwater in 64. 68 is hopelessly confounded by Democrat-cum-Independent George Wallace. 72 Nixon carries basically everything, but in 76 Jimmy Carter takes the entire South. Reagan only loses GA in 80, and crushes in 84, which Bush replicates in 88; these wins, like Nixon's are so generally decisive that it's hard to chalk them up to regional-specific trends.. In 92 and 96 Clinton is at least strongly competitive in the South, winning about half the Southern states each time, and coming within 5ish points for most of the others. The South only really locks in as "Red States" with GWB.

This article takes a deeper look. Some money quotes:

This is why we see such little change from the general trend post-1964, even with the end of Jim Crow's strange career. Republicans picked up a few Congressional seats. J. Strom Thurmond became a Republican, and a few other prominent Democrats followed suit. But the Southern Congressional delegations continued to be dominated by Democrats. Almost all of the signatories to the Southern Manifesto remained Democrats until they left Congress. Some, like Russell Long and John Stennis served as Democrats into the 1980s. When Haley Barbour ran against Stennis in 1982, he lost by a nearly 2:1 margin. George Wallace was elected Governor of Alabama as a Democrat in 1982.

Richard Nixon walloped George McGovern in the South, but this was hardly exclusively about race -- McGovern was to the left of you average Southern voters on just about every issue imaginable. Four years later, Jimmy Carter was still able to carry every Southern state except for Virginia in 1976. As late as 1988, the South was still considered something of a swing region (the reason that Lloyd Bentsen was included on the ticket). Bill Clinton carried four Southern states in 1992, and came within five points of carrying four others. Republicans didn't make real progress in the Congressional delegations until the 1990s; even then the transformation continued into the 2000s.

In the statehouses, the transformation was likewise slow. Table I shows the percentages of Republicans in the state legislatures from 1962 through 2002. Some states' Republican parties grew significantly in the 1960s, but for the most part, big gains for the Republicans don't come until the 1980s and 1990s:

Regardless, it is indisputable that it was his generation, and not Thurmond's, that finally changed the political complexion of the South. Did race still have something to do with it? Almost certainly. But you also can't ignore that the South was by that point aligned with the national Republican Party on a wide expanse of issues relating to taxes, anti-communism, school prayer, abortion, the counterculture, Vietnam . . . the list goes on. Chalking everything up to the Civil Rights Act is overly simplistic, to the point of being incorrect.

So, yes, there is definitely something to this story, the Southern Strategy clearly had some effect, even if it seems like it was mostly alienating black voters. But this story Democrats tell themselves that "And then one day, for no reason, all the good people and all the bad people switched teams" is mostly copium and deflection from their party's history, which by their normal standards ought to utterly damn them.

But this story Democrats tell themselves that "And then one day, for no reason, all the good people and all the bad people switched teams" is mostly copium and deflection from their party's history, which by their normal standards ought to utterly damn them.

Well, that is not the story I told, and more generally, this does not address the very clear reality that, while in the past social conservatives were Democrats, that is obviously no longer the case, so, whatever the specific details, the claim that "Democrats are the racists because most racists were Democrats sixty years ago" is not a very honest claim. So, no, the party's history should not "damn them," because both parties have different compositions than they did in the past.

Well, that is not the story I told

Then we are watching two very different movies. That's the story I imbibed growing up and there may still exist the cringy teenaged political rants on LiveJournal to prove it. I get annoyed at this discussion because I'm coming with the embarrassed energy of the deconverted. More generally, I think if I rephrased it less snarkily, something like "After the CRA, basically all of the racists immediately switched to the Republican party and stayed there ever since", the median Redditor would agree, and further agree that all educated people know this is true history.

while in the past social conservatives were Democrats, that is obviously no longer the case, so, whatever the specific details, the claim that "Democrats are the racists because most racists were Democrats sixty years ago" is not a very honest claim.

At this point we're a little deep in the woods, in terms of multiple people jumping into a conversation. The "newest posts" feed is great for murdering time, but contributes to this sort of situation. To clarify, I'm not saying the quoted bit above, but I am saying that many of the racist Democrats from 60 years ago stayed Democrats in the wake of the CRA, and many who did switch did so more for other reasons ranging from religion to foreign policy, over the course of that 60 years. Hlynka, by contrast, was making a separate claim that Democrats are a party of public disorder and violent race baiting, and that this is core enough to the meme cluster "Democrat Party" to be common between old social-con Klansmen and new woke-prog antifa.

So, no, the party's history should not "damn them," because both parties have different compositions than they did in the past.

This is a very isolated demand for rigor. Dems damn the Republicans for the Southern Strategy and the United States in general for slavery and historical racism, but BlushingFlowerMeme.jpg regarding their own party's history as the party of slavery, the party of the Klan, and the party of Jim Crow. I'm certainly amenable to "the past is a different country" arguments, but the folks who toppled statues of abolitionists because they don't actually know who the person was don't get a free dodge for that accusation of hypocrisy.

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In case you didin't catch the references to "safe spaces" and "men in black hoodies setting fire to minority neighborhoods in 2020", I am also talking about current Democrats.

Furthermore I'm going to have to object to your casual conflation of conservatism with racism. I get that it's kind of the default here, but still...

...All this nonsense about the "parties switching sides" is horseshit. A lie spread by liberal college professors and a complicit media. The coalition business-owners and preachers that defeated segregation and backed the civil rights act was largely Republican and has remained so. Likewise it's not modern conservatives who are pushing segregation, trying to get MLK canceled or claiming that "color blindness is the real racism", it's progressives. Conservatives didn't migrate to the republican party, as most of them had been republican from the start. What happened was that the old southern democrats died off and the new democrats realized that they needed to change their image if they wanted to remain relevant.

I am also talking about current Democrats.

I know you are talking about current Democrats. That's the point.

Furthermore I'm going to have to object to your casual conflation of conservatism with racism

I did not once accuse anyone or being racist. I used the term "racial conservatives" for a reason, to distinguish that from economic conservatives, but if you would prefer, we can say "social conservatives," who are obviously more at home in the Republican Party nowadays.

All this nonsense about the "parties switching sides" is horseshit

Yet, somehow, the states of the Deep South, which did not vote even once for a Republican from the end of Reconstruction until 1960, suddenly in the first election after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed have voted Republican and have done so in virtually every election since then (of course, in 1968, they voted instead for George Wallace, who ran on a segregationist platform). And, somehow, leading segregationists like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Moreover, somehow, at the same time, African American support for Republican presidential candidates plummeted. . Either they were too stupid to know where the parties stood on racial issues, or you are mistaken.

Yet, somehow, the states of the Deep South, which did not vote even once for a Republican from the end of Reconstruction until 1960, suddenly in the first election after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed have voted Republican

Except this is simply not true. In 64 the south voted for LBJ, in 68 George Wallace split the Democratic party vote between strict segregationists and not, handing Nixon the presidency. In 72 the Southern States voted for Nixon, but then so did every other state in the union with the exception of Massachusets. In 76 the south votes for Carter, a democrat. In 80 the southern electorate ends up split between Reagan and Carter with Reagan eeking out a narrow victory. In 84 Reagan wins reelection handily, repeating Nixon's trick of winning 49 out of 50 states (this time with Minnesota as the hold-out). In 88 the south votes for Bush Sr. who runs as Reagan's heir apparent. In 92 the south ends up split again with Bush winning AL, MS, and SC and Clinton winning GA, LA, and NC.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It's actually not until the 2000 election (by which point the Democrats had already rebranded themselves as the party for secular urban liberals) that the south begins to vote consistently "red".

As for waning black support for republican candidates, I would point to the great migration as a likely confounder. As the black population became more urban and secular it became more democrat. The rest is easily explained by a hopelessly compromised media and education establishment within democrat-controlled cities.

I said the Deep South, not the South. Again, those states had not once voted R since the end of Reconstruction, yet from 1964 to 2020 they suddenly have voted almost exclusively R. And note that they did so in 1964, despite that being as big a landslide for LBJ as '72 was for Nixon.

As for waning black support for republican candidates, I would point to the great migration as a likely confounder.

Please read the link and what I said. Black support for Republican candidates did not decline during the Great Migration; moreover, I said that it plummeted in 1964, which is exactly what happened; it dropped from the 25-30 pct it had been from 1936-1960 to something like 5% in 1964, and has stayed in the 10-11% range ever since. A drop that sudden and sustained obviously was not caused by the Great Migration, nor by the "hopelessly compromised media and education establishment within democrat-controlled cities."

I said the Deep South, not the South.

If Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina are not the "Deep South", who is?

Why should I bother reading your link to a democratic party advocacy group when your central claim is so easily refuted by a cursory examination of past election results? The claim that the deep south has voted solidly republican since the 1964 Civil Rights act is just plain false. As such your accompanying claim that racism is the reason that the south votes republican stands unsupported.

I said that it plummeted in 1964, which is exactly what happened; it dropped from the 25-30 pct it had been from 1936-1960 to something like 5% in 1964

That brings the interesting question of what did cause that drop. The usual answer I see is the Nixon's Southern Strategy, but this is too early for that. The CRA is an obvious thing to look at, but Republicans voted for it in significantly higher margins than Democrats, albeit as the minority party in both chambers. Is it something plausibly chalked up to the 64 election being Johnson vs Goldwater, and then lock-in effects from there?

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It seems like the big African American move to Dems happened with FDR, and it would be the most easily explainable by Dems firmly becoming the "party of the poor" with New Deal, and African Americans happening to be poorer than whites. LBJ just brought the rest (middle-class AAs) into the fold.

Also, I wonder how much the white South's transition to Republicans was affected by Republicans firmly becoming the party of the aggressive foreign policy, and Dems (somewhat undeservedly) becoming associated with anti-Vietnam-War pacifism. If there seems to be one constant in American politics, it is that the South is the most belligerent region of the US, seemingly never finding a war it didn't like (in WW2 it was the region with by far the lowest support for America First, if I remember right).

Of course Trump's occasional sops to anti-interventionism and the framing of "the first president to not start new wars" would confound this, but I'd say the image of anti-interventionist Trump was never really one Trump particularly relied on and lived far more in the heads of the sort of Trump supporters who very much would have wanted him to be an anti-interventionist and interpreted his words and actions to that purpose.

It seems like the big African American move to Dems happened with FDR, and it would be the most easily explainable by Dems firmly becoming the "party of the poor" with New Deal, and African Americans happening to be poorer than whites. LBJ just brought the rest (middle-class AAs) into the fold.

That strikes me a solid theory, honestly a it's probably a better one than mine. Sadly though the discourse is so dominated by social justice activists that there's probably no way to get a clear view.

As for Southern White's shift towards the GOP, anecdotally I think a lot of it had to do with Democrats becoming more explicitly secular after Carter's loss. Prior to Clinton there had been a sizable conservative Christian sub faction within both parties. Socially conservative economically liberal "blue dogs" on the democratic side, and old-school Evangelicals and Revivalists on the republican. A lot of the current culture war, specifically with the Democrats being the part of Globalism, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Political Correctness, etc... can be tracked back to choices made by Clinton in the early-mid 90s. To hear my parents, grandparents, oldsters at the VFW, Et Al tell it that's when their support in the south really started to collapse.

that's kind of a weak man. they are going to say that blacks can't succeed with AA because of the systematic racism and that is why they need affirmative action. not because of something intrinsic to blacks but rather something that society is doing to blacks.

"Their merits are not enough to beat fair odds" and "their merits are not enough to beat unfair odds" is the exact difference between being the common definition of "racist" and being your definition of "racist".

Some progressives did, I assume, come to believe the former but it doesn't look like they're a majority.

To some extent the only reason places like this care a lot is because there are a lot of smart people who (believe they) just missed out on going to elite colleges here, as illustrated by the stories in many threads on the topic. If you’re a 94 IQ redneck you’re not going to Harvard, your kids aren’t going to Harvard, and so Harvard admissions probably aren’t very high on your list of problems. Maybe a federal program that only gives agricultural funding support to womxn and latinx farmers is, but Harvard isn’t.

Haha no, I was never ever going to go to Harvard. I'm just sick of being blamed for things that aren't my fault (and if they pass unqualified personnel the blame will still continue!), and I don't want to be operated on by unqualified surgeons.

I didn't complain until "progressives" decided everything in the whole world is my fault and that "merit" was "white supremacist."

I am not 94 IQ, but I am enough of a redneck to have no illusions as to my chances of getting into Harvard(or for that matter most other selective universities. Obviously Texas Tech is a different story, but I'm pretty sure they've admitted at least one literal monkey at some point.). I find AA threatening because it's a tool for ensuring that our society's elites are less than perfectly meritocratic which biases the pool in an anti-red tribe direction.

Now the orientals who are getting used as catspaws in the effort to ban AA don't share this concern- they're more concerned with the matter of AA making it harder for them to get into highly selective universities- but you'll note that the people leading the effort to ban AA are not themselves orientals, they're using Chinese and Japanese Americans as tools to pretend AA is harmful to minorities. And, TBF, I don't believe for a second that the plight of japanmen with high SAT scores is what's motivating them, nor do orientals in general seem particularly worked up about the issue of selective colleges biasing their admissions against them. They mostly seem to just go to community college for two years and then transfer into regionally prominent selective universities after the pure AA admits have flunked out.

To some extent the only reason places like this care a lot is because there are a lot of smart people who (believe they) just missed out on going to elite colleges here, as illustrated by the stories in many threads on the topic.

By "places like this" do you mean the Motte? If so, can you cite evidence? I honestly never even thought once in my life that I missed out on an opportunity because of AA. But I'm still pretty opposed to AA because it goes against the core principles I was raised with, to view people as individuals, to be colorblind. Also, I could see it leading to a bad world, in part because it has no limiting principle, and is unfalsifiable. Not to mention, it's the laziest, stupidest, bandaid solution to the notion that we need to get blacks out of a cycle of poverty: just let them into college in greater numbers, into a world the underclass and poorly educated are probably not well equipped to deal with.

Isn't there an org that gets high-IQ people born into the underclass career training and matches them up with employers which has an article/interview about this- that they realized they needed to add a course about "how to hold a professional job" teaching things like opening bank accounts to get direct deposit?

The big story in North Carolina this morning is that power went out across Moore County last night and it appears it was due to intentional vandalism at several substations.

https://www.wral.com/sheriff-intentional-vandalism-at-substations-causes-power-outage-affecting-nearly-39k-moore-county-residents/20612201/

Speculation on the North Carolina subreddit is that it was motivated by outrage about a drag show scheduled to be performed in Southern Pines last night.

https://www.wral.com/drag-show-in-southern-pines-ramps-up-security-after-backlash/20596538/

So yes, nothing is known for sure as of this morning, but let's say they're right, that someone was so focused on making sure the drag show did not happen that they engaged in this intentional vandalism. It's really just an extreme form of no-platforming, isn't it? The same crap college students have been doing for years? The idea is that the featured content or entertainment is so harmful or damaging that it can't be allowed to exist and the community must be protected from it by any means necessary. In both cases I think it's idiotic. If you don't like it, no one's forcing you to go, but just let people do their thing. It's just as wrong to deplatform a drag show as it is to deplatform someone like Joe Rogan or Jordan Peterson.

It's really just an extreme form of no-platforming, isn't it?

Extreme no platforming is pulling the fire alarm, not burning down the building.

Extreme no-platforming includes beating the professor who sponsored the talk. If no one's actually set a fire to shut a talk down, that's more happenstance and the fact that lesser things have worked, than scrupulousness.

Only if you count any action taken against someone saying something you disagree with politically, in which case running over protestors or shooting up a drag show counts as no platforming. If you want to define it that way no one can stop you, but it seems like a semantic leap.

I characterize pulling the fire alarm (or other disruptive behavior) as extreme specifically because it is a step beyond the normal threat of social opprobrium while not crossing the line into actually violent/destructive behavior.

Violence clearly could be "no-platforming": storming the stage and lynching the speakers would clearly be "no-platforming." The thing that makes ideological action up to and including violence part of the specific subcategory of "no-platforming" is that the action is intended to prevent an ideologically-disfavored person/entity from speaking.

Speculation on the North Carolina subreddit is that it was motivated by outrage about a drag show scheduled to be performed in Southern Pines last night.

This is hilarious. Why not just cut the power to the drag show venue rather than disable several substations? This is a preposterous theory that assumes the perp would risk getting caught at several more severe activities that required greater planning than the one simple no-fuss activity needed to directly fulfill their goal.

Tangential, but decaying infrastructure + rise in conspiracy theory is a terrible combination. The latter will be invoked to explain perfectly predictable outcomes from the former.

An actual attack on a drag show would probably be a mass shooting at a drag show, not an attack on critical infrastructure with the hope it got canceled as a result of power outages.

I'm not going to write off terrorism, but the closest terrorism I can think of to something like this is probably radical environmentalism, not something right wing.

I guess you could consider it "extreme no-platforming" if that was indeed the reason. It still seems like a profoundly dumb thing to do if that was the intended result. I probably shouldn't describe specific things here as it feels a little too close to advocating violence, but I'm sure we can think of a dozen ways to cancel a show without causing such widespread disruption.

In fact, the apparent skill of the attack and how widespread the effect is makes me think that if it has any relation to the drag show at all, it's a lot more likely to be some sort of false flag done by a leftist group or a Government operative than an actual right-wing attack. It's kind of a mirror of insurgency - insurgents like to draw down a heavy-handed and disproportionate Government response to drive the population against the Government and towards them. If we have something that's so obviously over the line of scale of disruption versus the (supposedly) targeted event, why would anybody smart enough to actually do the attack carry it out when that's the obvious effect?

Here is how I read your post. "Let's just assume that the Jews burned down the Reichstag. What does that say about international Zionism?"

The biggest story here is how the subreddit would instantly jump to this ludicrous assumption despite absolutely no evidence.

Progressives' stated belief is that opposition to child drag shows is just cover for organizing a violent genocide of the entire alphabet soup brigade by evil conservatives trying to bring about the fourth reich. That this belief is stupid doesn't mean that they don't believe it. Put in that context, a series of power outages timed like that with a prominent conservative activist posting on twitter about how it's because of a drag show looks pretty suggestive.

These people are wrong, but a slim majority of them aren't insane.

Progressives' stated belief is that opposition to child drag shows is just cover for organizing a violent genocide of the entire alphabet soup brigade by evil conservatives trying to bring about the fourth reich.

Do not weakman your outgroup.

I know, I know, it's so satisfying to write a sneering, exaggerated description of just how very stupid and insane your enemies are. To unleash all your scorn and sarcasm and vitriol and describe them as Literally The Worst.

The irony, of course, is that this makes you a lot more like the people you are describing than not.

Are there some progressives who literally believe "Opposition to child drag shows is just cover for organizing a violent genocide and the Fourth Reich?" Maybe, though I haven't seen that specific claim in the wild. Does this describe most progressives? Or even a substantial number of them? Bring evidence if you want to assert that.

Initial assumption: anarchist/primitivist groups were responsible. I don't know specifically about NC but these groups exist and have been toying and practicing targeting power infrastructure for a while.

I don't think it was the drag show. If it was, then it could just as easily be a false flag.

I think it will be found to be the same kind of idiots who are throwing soup at paintings and gluing themselves to conductor's rostrums. But it is very convenient timing for people who want to make out that there is a huge trans genocide coming down the line, and that anyone who objects to bringing kids to a drag show (which is just like dressing up for Hallowe'en or going to the circus) is also against inter-racial marriage and are homophobes and probably Nazis and fascists.

A conservative activist in the area posted some hot takes on her socials and now claims she was questioned by the authorities regarding the blackouts.

Whoever it turns out to be in the end, this investigation is putting her name in the paper of record for the area, which we know from Operation Hurricane (the FBI’s Trump/Russia investigation) is sufficient to get a domestic spying warrant on her and her personal contacts. We are seeing “sources and methods” in realtime in addition to the smear.

Having read the linked article, it was nobody's fault but her own.

Power stations are closed down by vandalism, Little Ms. Hot Take starts bragging on social media about "“The power is out in Moore County and I know why" in several posts, what did she expect to happen?

Probably exactly what did happen, which she can now use as evidence that she is being persecuted for doing the work of the Lord. This was intended to provoke a reaction and it did. She should be charged with wasting the time of the police:

The Moore County Sheriff's Office just checked in. I welcomed them to my home.

Sorry they wasted their time. I told them that God works in mysterious ways and is responsible for the outage. I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters.

God is chastising Moore County. I thanked them for coming and wished them a good night. Thankful for the LEOs service, as always

So if "her name is out there to get a domestic spying warrant on her and her personal contacts", well I honestly don't think she's big enough fish for that but (1) she did it to herself and (2) good, she deserves to have her time wasted the same way she wasted the time of the police.

If she wants to preach a sermon, let her find a street corner. I think these "drag shows for kid audiences" are rubbish, and even harmful rubbish, but I don't think "let me pretend I'm involved in criminal activity so I can thump the Bible at cops who have to respond to every crackpot claiming they have inside knowledge" is the way to combat them.

I don't see any reference in there to inside knowledge at all. She blamed it on divine wrath.

Preachers have blamed hurricanes on divine wrath towards gays. Do you think those preachers were claiming to have inside knowledge on hurricanes?

She hinted on social media that she had information about who did it and why. She could have said "it was the wrath of God" online, but she didn't, for whatever reason - probably hoped the local newspaper, radio or TV station would send someone over to interview her and then she could have her sermon on the tea-time news.

Instead, the sheriff's office showed up, as you'd expect them to do, checking out every looper and fake confession claiming they had inside info. Because suppose this bint did know something, they'd be pilloried for ignoring her.

So she gets to waste time of the cops and do her sermonising, in order to feel good about herself like she was doing something.

If she had any guts, she'd have been standing outside the drag show preaching, but this is the flip side of the kind of activism which throws soup at paintings.

I think if Reverend Jimbob at the local IFB church had declared that he knew the real reason for 9/11 or the Dylan Roof shooting or the Boston Marathon bombing without elaboration he would have been questioned by police, and that even if he clarified fully that he meant it was because God sent a calamity to punish the Boston Marathon because of the immodesty of running shorts or whatever, it would still be his fault he got questioned by police for saying that out loud and ambiguously.

I'd love to hear what they did (assuming there was even a "they" to begin with), but it doesn't sound like they were too successful. Griefing vulnerable infrastructure in minecraft is an understudied tactic, and it's fascinating to notice the potential for it all around you in, uh, your local server.

Transformers seem like the big one due to the shortage and huge lead times, especially specialist ones. Some guys from the utility asked to make sure I was keeping my wood stove after installing a mini split, because the single HV transmission line that brings power to our whole area relies on transformers they don't have and possibly can't get replacements for; they did manage to call the supplier's old number a few years ago, but the lady on the phone didn't seem to speak much english and couldn't tell them if the company was still in business.

Also another example of "dimmer vs switch" violence (assuming any of it's true); leftists are a lot better at strategically applying violence to target enemies and bully bystanders into compliance. Rightists only know how to go straight from zero to death con 1. "Go Wolverines!"

TBH if you see violence as switch vs dimmer, you're probably also a lot more squeamish about collateral damage- if anything which justifies violence of any sort justifies lethal violence, then you won't inflict minor damage on people who don't justify lethal violence.

It's not understudied at all, it's just that the venn diagram of people who use "doing X in Minecraft" as a euphemism for meat-space political violence and the sort of people who actually have schematics of their local water/power grid stashed on a thumb drive is two separate circles.

Fair. We'll leave it in your capable hands then, and good luck to you.

Not sure this really works. The case for 'normal' no-platforming only needs to show that the cost of a particular event/speaker outweighs the benefit, because there is no 'collateral damage'; if a speaking event is cancelled by a university, the only negative consequences are those that arrive from the cancellation of that event. Even if one thinks that many/almost all cases of no-platforming don't meet that requirement, that's the bar. Whereas if you want to justify shutting down electrical substations, you have to show that the harm of that drag show outweighs all the potential consequences of a power outage for hospitals, businesses, schools, households, public safety (streetlights, for instance) etc.

if a speaking event is cancelled by a university, the only negative consequences are those that arrive from the cancellation of that event.

IIRC "no-platforming" (even at universities) starting in the GamerGate era has long included tactics like pulling fire alarms and calling in bomb threats. I think those are probably comparable in scope to cutting power, albeit this sounds like it was a larger scale than a single building.

You could say murdering all the drag performers would be “just an extreme form of no-platforming”. I think it would be wrong to be so needlessly reductive, it just collapses actual meaningful differences in harm and violence in order to “both sides” or “what about” the situation

it just collapses actual meaningful differences in harm and violence in order to “both sides” or “what about” the situation

I honestly just assumed that was the intent.

Finnish MP Quiz: Initial results

(note: I've created a second equivalent quiz, you may click here to take it if you want to test yourself more without reading analysis)

The quiz has been taken 237 times (at the moment of writing). The best results has been 19/20 (this may have been just me testing the quiz, though). The worst result is 3/20. The average result is 10.8 - while this looks like only a little better than random change, it should be mentioned that evidently not all answered every question.

Going through the individual MP's, here's how they rank on the basis of how correctly they were guessed (in other words, the number shows how many people correctly guessed a left MP as leftist or a right MP as rightist):

LEFT MPs

97 % Pia Lohikoski (Left Alliance)

77 % Tiina Elo (Greens)

68 % Anneli Kiljunen (Social Democrats)

65 % Seppo Eskelinen (Social Democrats)

64 % Pirkka-Pekka Petelius (Greens)

50 % Kimmo Kiljunen (Social Democrats)

47 % Ville Skinnari (Social Democrats)

14 % Markus Mustajärvi (Left Alliance)

RIGHT MPs

73 % Vilhelm Junnila (The Finns)

71 % Janne Heikkinen (National Coalition)

68 % Mauri Peltokangas (The Finns)

64 % Ville Vähämäki (The Finns)

58 % Wille Rydman (National Coalition, currently independent pending review)

52 % Jouni Kotiaho (The Finns)

51 % Kai Mykkänen (National Coalition)

42 % Kaisa Juuso (The Finns)

41 % Hannakaisa Heikkinen (Centre)

32 % Ville Valkonen (National Coalition)

30 % Hanna Kosonen (Centre)

25 % Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo (The Finns)

QUICK THOUGHTS:

The fact that there is one MP who was correctly guessed by 97 % shows people have tried to answer the quiz seriously, for the most part. It's not surprising that Pia Lohikoski would be guessed correctly by the most, as there are several cultural signals (red hair, glasses, jewelry) that probably are more associated with left-wingness than right-wingness interculturally.

On the other hand, her party comrade Markus Mustajärvi was the most wrongly guessed person in the quiz; it probably should be mentioned that while both indeed belong to the leftmost party in the Finnish parliament, Mustajärvi is probably the most "red-tribe-equivalent" leftist politician in the country, representing the deepest reaches of Lapland, being very much a "trad leftist" type, opposing for instance gun control bills when they have occasionally been proposed, once causing a scandal by drunkenly addressing a far-right rally etc.

Generally speaking, I suspect many simply associated women with left wing and men with right wing. Finnish political dress codes for women are typically looser than in countries like US and "normie dresses" and such are pretty normal female politician-wear; the sort of a "power pantsuit" you'd associate with Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi etc. would be reserved to a very distinct class of right-wing female politicians.

The two female politicians from the Centre were guessed more incorrectly than correctly, and Centre, indeed, would probably be the party whose members would most likely resent me placing them in the "Right" category; this party, stereotypically representing rural interests, identifies as centrist (as the name says) and is in government with the three left-wing parties, but it also constantly fights with those parties in all manner of policy issues, recently almost bringing down the government, and at least at this point I would guess most Finns would place the party on the Right.

Some people said that 20 pols is too little and they want to test again if they are now better at a particular form of cultural pattern-matching, so I've created a second quiz with 20 more MPs. My subjective appraisal is that this might be a little bit easier?

I did best by guessing. 12/20

My framework is basically "quirky/disheveled to lazy bureaucrat" primarily based on interactions with friend's families and government officials. The more disheveled ones would generally be overly helpful - and believe in homeopathy (but could easily be far right, green or christiandemocrat). The others would be more useful/knowledgeable, but difficult to urge into action - and always very by the book (but depending on the location, the book could involve bribery with chocolates or cash).

Trying it with facial structures went slightly worse than guessing.

Hot or not got me 10/20.

12/20, as a note I was really overthinking at the beginning. In the second half I just went by my guts and had a little better results. But it really seems like a random chance.

On the other hand, her party comrade Markus Mustajärvi was the most wrongly guessed person in the quiz;

I was applying my American political stereotypes here - to me he looks like a stereotypical late middle aged Chamber of Commerce Republican.

Generally speaking, I suspect many simply associated women with left wing and men with right wing.

Excepting the dyed hair lady, my heuristic here was if she looks like one of my aunts she's right wing and if she looks like Liz Warren she's left wing. With a robust sample size of n=3 or 4, the latter rule worked flawlessly. I don't recall the exact performance of the former rule other than that it was worse than randomly guessing.

I got 12/20 overall so whatever system I have doesn't appear to work.

edit: I did the second round and applied the Liz Warren rule again and it went disastrously. 11/20 overall.

13/20 this time, 12/20 last time. I think the sample size is now big enough that I can say my physiognomy detector works, but it isn't too good.

Thanks for the detailed update. I'm surprised that so many took the quiz, considering how relatively few votes and fewer comments these threads receive. You'd think it's far less effort to upvote/downvote than to take a 20 page quiz, but suppose a lot more readers here lurk in the shadows. Hi there!

It's not surprising that Pia Lohikoski would be guessed correctly by the most, as there are several cultural signals (red hair, glasses, jewelry)

You're too polite to spell it out, but I expect the high percentage can be additionally explained by: short hair, overweight, and generally less feminine appearance.

16/20, better than 13/20 last time. I just went with my gut. I'm not sure what I based it on. The only people I think I was ever sure about were women who were dressed a certain way seemed obviously left-wing. The biggest surprise was the young attractive woman who I thought I was sure was left-wing.

It would be interesting to poll people on their country of residence to see if people from different countries are better at placing Finnish politicians.

10/20, same as last time. It seems I'm really bad at this.

How representative/random are those people? Are you just screwing with us, by any chance, by picking a ton of similar women in glasses?