Monday, July 31, 2017

A weekend to remember

This weekend I had the honor of meeting John Derbyshire. He is every bit the gracious class act I expected him to be. The only person who may have influenced my thinking more is Steve Sailer. I use "may" earnestly here, as I'm genuinely unsure. Those two men are the consuls of my intellectual republic. He gave me a gift I will treasure to the end of my days:


I spent a fair amount of time orbiting around Richard Spencer. He is a rock star among the under-30 set. Some may disagree with his media strategy, as Vox Day emphatically does. When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, so while this dispute rages on I'll cleave that patch of empirical underbrush way over there in the shade if you don't mind.

That being what it is, Spencer is an impressive figure. This is not a nine-to-five gig for him. It's who he is. I watched as he engaged anyone on any topic, always thoughtfully, always intelligently, never haughtily. When I had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes, I came away with the firm sense he understands the gravity of the position he now holds. With great influence comes great responsibility. He gets that.

As the alt right goes from cultural insurgency to bona fide cultural force in its own right, many of the leaders of the insurgency will be unwilling or unable to transition accordingly. Spencer has already done so. The sky is his limit.

It's easy to fall into the trap of rolling our eyes when someone talks about political correctness for the umpteenth time. Do not fall into that trap. It's hard to overstate how liberating it is to be able to discuss things candidly in a social setting with a group of erstwhile strangers. This is unadulterated free expression, and it's an incredible experience.

As I repeatedly remarked, it felt strange speaking about the topics I spend so much time reading and writing about. We shouldn't have to compartmentalize these things. As Z-Man says, life is for living. Talking openly to smart people about interesting things is living.

Like fish in the ocean, we're so accustomed to the water we forget we're swimming until we're thrown onto land. Z kept looking over his shoulder out of habit, accustomed to having to do so whenever speaking honestly about anything--and he lives in the Baltimore ghettos! We got a chuckle from it every time, but it's a powerful indicator of the oppressive intellectual environment in which we currently live.

Speaking of Z, the man is a polymath. I assume there is a topic he has yet to study and does not have a thoughtful perspective on. That assumption is based entirely on another assumption--that no man is omniscient. I’m lacking any empirical evidence to back up my first assumption, though. He’s even more accessible in person than he is in written form. I thought that impossible, but there it is. His podcast is now on iTunes. It's great. He's also shared his remarks on the weekend here and here.

I recounted to Jared Taylor how I'd shared his recent interview with CNN with friends and family, confident that there was no way they could come away from it without admiring him and respecting the ideas he presented. He glowed, responding emphatically, "It's because they're true". Like the Derb, Taylor was every bit the man of integrity and sincerity I expected him to be.

Additionally I met Gregory Hood (a charismatic man of boundless energy), James Fulford (who apparently has the ability to run google searches in his head as well as being one hell of a prestidigitation artist), Counter-Currents president Gregory Johnson, Sam Dickson (who patiently entertained my dissenting opinion to his assertion that the US is closer to the cold civil war turning hot than Europe is) and moldylocks slayer Nathan Damiago (a man who I imagine would remain unshaken if he found himself alone in the woods surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves).

I also met several readers of this blog who wish to remain known only in the virtual world, and while I won't say anything else publicly about those encounters, they were no less memorable.

I encourage readers to consider attending next year. There were an enormous range of viewpoints present, running the gamut from people who are HBD-aware and realize something is deeply wrong in the West today to unapologetic white separatists, and everything in between. The atmosphere was one of spirited engagement from every corner. Conversations weren't about status signalling, they were about seeking real understanding.

Parenthetically, if there were any white supremacists--people advocating second-class status for non-whites or a system where whites are given explicit political authority to rule over non-whites--present, I didn't meet a single one among the over 300 people in attendance (150 more had to be turned away as the conference center was standing room only during the presentations).

I have to confess going in I was prepared to see at least a handful of jack-booted skinheads saluting the fuhrer, but there wasn't anything like that at all. The blood libel against Taylor's organization by extortionist groups like the $PLC and the ADL is truly despicable. Shame on me for entertaining the idea that there might be a sliver of truth to the accusations they make (and make a very good living from).

27 comments:

Feryl said...

Was everyone there a cracka? How many blonde-Americans (Anglo-Scots-Teutonic-Gaelic-Nordic-Baltic) Vs "ethnic" whites (Mediterranean-Irish-Jewish)? Judging from the names you listed (caveat: I do realize that due to anglicization/adoption/mixed marriages, surnames alone aren't enough to judge ethnicity), I saw one "ethnic" name. How many (judging from accents) were Midwestern, Southern, Northeastern, or Western by upbringing? Anybody from New England or the Pac. NW (who grew up there, not who lives there now)?

BTW, I just thought today how racial bloc voting happens:

- you see more and more people who don't look or perhaps even talk like you

- you think, "gee, who did they vote for?". "Who would they vote for"?

- you wonder, "maybe I should vote against that candidate and the voters they represent?"

- you're disquieted by the possibility that the "other" wants more jobs, more neighborhoods, more co-ethnics coming into the country, more gibs, etc. Therefore, the party they vote for ought to oblige them (if this group is permitted to vote in the first place, e.g. letting felons vote would create an incentive for a party to let more of them out).

- you consider that maybe, the party the other doesn't vote for just might be looking to represent you and your ethnic group

- you decide to take a stand; defending ethnic territory takes precedence over ideological territory. Who cares about a particular issue if you don't know where your descendants will live in the future (assuming you even have descendants)

Somebody on Isteve made the point that perhaps, in Maine where the African population has gone up like 600% in 15 years, everytime a Somali/Hijab is seen out in public, it pushes at least a couple people over to the GOP. In more swply areas ("hip" e.g. young/childless and not too black urban areas and college towns) and wealthy enclaves, a growing NAM population isn't that big a deal because young people are naive/hedonistic (as long as there aren't too many blacks) and rich people can choose to live in as white an area as they wish (e.g. Boulder, Colorado being wealthy and 88% white and voting for Hilary by 88-11).

The question is: how many whites can be "turned" by the growing numbers of non-whites? And even if this should happen to a lot of whites, will our leaders listen? And as usual, blacks are the deal-breaker. Alabama has a white population in the high 60's, but the black population is one-quarter of the state. Seeing all those black areas at an early age(the Deep South remains highly residentially segregated, for good reason) intimidates/cautions whites into keeping them in check by voting against them.

Maine voted much more for the GOP than usual, last election. Not too many rich people, not too many young swpls, and no doubt annoyance that frickin' Somalis had been parachuted into their state for no good reason. Minnesota is in a similar situation as Maine though we've got more swpl strivers and more general diversity (MN is 1/5 non white, at least, and it's getting worse) than Maine.

Feryl said...

As diversity arrives and gets more nutty and politicians grow more cowardly about calling out diversity problems, voters increasingly vote against other ethnic groups and their sponsors. One of the sad things about diversity is that voting for something eventually goes out of the picture. Most people end up voting against a foreign/alien threat. Defensive positioning, basically. Reacting.

For the record, extreme cultural liberalism makes racial voting more difficult. Many of the West of the Rockies states have seen an influx of very liberal yuppies and young strivers, and so few people Out West seem interested in having an ethnic nationalist identity. Presumably, that's got something to do with a lot of people out there being transplants. Who knows? Maybe it's the lack of traditional small towns, outside of coastal California? And the Western states, especially after 1990, were never that culturally conservative anyway (when they did vote GOP in the past, it was for small gubmint reasons).

TUJ said...

Amren already has a write up posted

https://www.amren.com/features/2017/07/sell-conference-shrugs-off-anti-fa/

Feryl said...

BTW, why aren't Western Euros turning? Their culture has been far more liberal than America's since the 60's. Also, many areas of Europe have been mostly or entirely white for thousands of years. Even in much of America's more northern and white states, urban areas have been dominated by blacks for several generations at this point. The mostly Ulster Scots white population in the South has dealt with blacks for hundreds of years by now. Point being, we know that dark skins render areas unlivable messes. But as long as blacks and invaders stuck to a few urban areas, well, that seemed tolerable enough. But non-elite whites in America are feeling perturbed by the diverse hordes increasingly being found in formerly white ares.

America has been hit with massive immigration waves for 50 years now, and we're finally starting to show signs of fatigue and frustration, with so many languages spoken. so many on welfare, so many in emergency rooms, politicians and police covering for them, etc. The refusal of so many elites to acknowledge the problem is driving us nuts.

Europe's current white generations are accustomed to their countries being 80-95% white. The current low birth rates, high density living, and sheer numbers of fecund invaders are going to have a huge impact on demographics. America was around 70-75% white even in the good old days of the 50's and 60's, and back then and in times further past much of the non-white population was black. American Whites have had to reckon with the stress caused by large numbers of invaders and blacks for a long time and in many eras. White Westerners of the future are going to have to reckon with countries that are heavily non-white. Something has to give. Brazilification seems unlikely, as Latin America style race mixing of many different ethnicity seems highly aberrant and not likely to be repeated very often elsewhere, unless.....A country falls into a decadent tail spin and doesn't recover. Look at the mayhem in Venezuela right now.....I don't think ethnic expulsions or genocides in the future are out of the question, in places that you wouldn't necessarily expect. Economic dislocations and/or elite infighting might spur ethnic nationalism and territorialism.

Remember this, folks: nothing lasts forever. The engine of one-world globalism and extreme cultural liberalism can only run for so long.

Audacious Epigone said...

Feryl,

There was one guy who was either Amerindian Hispanic or American Indian. I only saw him in passing and wasn't able to ask. There was definitely an eastern tilt but not much of a north-south gradient. Substantial numbers from the South and Northeast, a surprisingly high number from the cuck corridor (very roughly 30% southern, 25% NE/mid-Atlantic, 10% Appalachian, 20% midwest, 15% leftover (outside the US plus mountain and West coast). A couple guys were from California but they were the only ones I talked to from west of the Rockies. Two of the 30 or so I talked to in some depth were Jewish and not at all perturbed by the "Jewish Question".

Europeans are primed for a back-against-the-wall reaction because they're older, their native TFRs are lower than those in the US, and there isn't nearly as much space on the Old Continent as there is in the US (the EU's population density is 4x that of the US). Distance is ice cubes being dropped into a simmering pot of tension.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Sounds interesting based on you and the Z man's descriptions. I'll have to look in to it next year. I would probably fall close to the "simply HBD-aware" end of the spectrum but any place where you could talk freely about it would be refreshing.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jokah,

I am, too. "Identitarian" works well enough for me, or simply alt right, or even just race realist.

Like Z (and like most of us, honestly--we're eclectic in that way), I don't fit neatly into any of those categorizations.

My threefold goal:

1) Moratorium on immigration for at least a generation (population reduction and fairness to appeal to honest leftists)
2) Repatriation of non-citizens
3) Native fertility up to at least replacement

Audacious Epigone said...

Call that what you will. It's not that far from Sailer "citizenism", I guess.

Jim Bowery said...

Why do you suppose neither Derbyshire nor Sailer have shown interest in lossless compression of a wide range of social data as a way to discredit the social pseudo-sciences?

e.g. SocialCausalityPrizeI

Derbyshire has published books on mathematics and Sailer has a fairly good grasp of statistics. Both of them understand how vulnerable the social pseudo-sciences are.

My guess is that neither of them really understand the relevance of algorithmic probability to induction of social etiology and won't have any motivation to learn until:

A) Someone scrapes the money together to fund something like the aforelinked proposed prize, and
B) As a result there is a lot of heat generated as the Ivy League types like Haidt are forced by the highly threatening results of the prize, to respond.

At present, I have to assume that guys like Derbyshire and Sailer just aren't serious about leading the field in a technical sense anymore -- nor are they particularly interested in those who are doing so.

Feryl said...


http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/no-decent-answers-on-douglas-murrays-the-strange-death-of-europe/

"John Derbyshire wonders why Europeans are so susceptible to guilt. One explanation is that all cultures have a foundation myth that tells them who they are, and the foundation myth of modern Europeans is a negative one.

"How do you recognise a foundation myth? It fulfils three functions.

1)It explains the origin and structure of the world (and society).
2)It defines ultimate good and evil (and from those definitions are derived the values that are used to justify the holding of power).
3)It determines what is held sacred in that society.

For modern Westerners the story of WWII has become their foundation myth. It fulfils all three functions.

1)We live in the ‘Post-War World’. The lines on the map, the institutions, the sense of what era we live in, all arise from the starting point of WWII.

2)Ultimate evil is Nazis. Ultimate good is opposing Nazis. The values derived from these definitions are anti-racism, equality, diversity, anti-nationalism and so on.

3)The only thing that is held sacred, that cannot be denied or mocked in the contemporary West, is the Holocaust.

The problem is that all three functions are backwards or negative.

Instead of the origin event being one of fertility and new life, it was a conflagration of death and destruction.

Instead of ultimate good taking the central position in the story that slot is occupied by ultimate evil. Everyone knows that Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil, holds the centre point of the WWII story.

Instead of that which is held sacred being something mysterious and sublime it (the Holocaust) is an obscenity.

Having a negative foundation myth means the tree of life for Westerners is poisoned. People don’t realise it but the bounds of allowable thought and the orientation of ideas are all downstream from the myth of the society. As long as our understanding of who we are is determined by this negative foundation myth the only direction is down."

Bingo. I'm not the only who evidently realizes that post-WW2 Western culture is premised on sodomizing Hitler's corpse for an eternity. It's why there's so many WW2 movies. It's like the only thing that really matters. What kind of moral or political lesson are we to learn from WW1, or the Civil War, or Korea, or Vietnam? Those conflicts had more shades of grey, and you end up lamenting how vindictive, manipulative, and greedy we can be. But look, Hitler! And letting Jews infiltrate our consciousness of every issue hasn't helped and that's happened because Jews were granted martyrdom and sainthood in the wake of WW2, killing any kind of candor about Jews (pro-Jewish people get carried away and won't let "stereotypes" get discussed, while anti-Jewish people conflate Jewish privilege and networking with plots to systematically undermine other ethnic groups (meanwhile, Israel does far less damage to the West than Islam, while European countries with tiny populations of Jews are in some ways more insane than philo-Semitic America). One in fact could make the argument that Jews are simply parroting acceptable elite cultural elite and liberal discourse that's part and parcel of post-WW2 Western life. And are understandably nervous around continental Europeans who after all tried to kill them all. Modern liberal psychosis (that downplays Islamic antisemitism) afflicts much of our verbal over-class, within which there is plenty of nepotism and networking induced mediocrity among all ethnicities.

The Z Blog said...

If you wish to meet Steve Sailer, it looks like he will be at VDare's thing next spring. https://conference.vdare.com/

I shall be there for sure. That's a can't miss trip.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jim,

It's an interesting idea but beyond my basic training in statistics. I'm not quite sure exactly what is being proposed with the prize.

Speculating, Steve's knowledge of statistics is about as advanced as mine and his role is more akin to that of Erasmus than of Swingli or Calvin.

Derb is surely capable but he's 72 years old.

Have you reached out to la griffe du lion? He *is* a statistics professor IIRC and it would be right up his alley.

Feryl,

Interesting. Is the Christian foundation myth negative? Both in the case of Eden and the Resurrection, it seems largely so. And our outbred-ness is the mechanism for it to operate on.

Z,

Signed up. We're targeting kid #3 for summer 2018 which, after the experience of this weekend, had me worried that I might have to miss it. This makes that outcome at least acceptable!

legateofjudea said...

Feryl - "Jews are simply parroting acceptable elite cultural elite and liberal discourse that's part and parcel of post-WW2 Western life." I'm not parroting anything. People at the top of the IQ distribution create discourse and argument. People lower down parrot. You are fighting a straw men. If you want to address the top of the Jewish IQ distribution, I'm over here. I don't parrot.

"And are understandably nervous around continental Europeans who after all tried to kill them all. " - there are almost no Jews left in Europe. Currently most Jews who are leaving are French Jews who are more nervous about the actions of Muslims that have recently attacked them. While Israel is one of the top destinations of emigrants, the United States, Canada and the U.K. are collectively higher on the list.

"killing any kind of candor about Jews" - I assume you mean candor about Jews performing better on IQ tests. There is no candor about any subgroup performing differently on such tests. You are ignoring that Hitler used the argument that Eastern Europeans were biologically inferior to justify attacking them as well. The hesitancy to reopen that door is understandable and reasonable.

"John Derbyshire wonders why Europeans are so susceptible to guilt" - It is biological. It evolved to allow people to transition from a tribal to a national group, which allowed for larger and more complex civilizations. Guilt acts to self regulate behavior when no authority is present. However, all emotions are primitive cognitive processes. We have to examine them through the lense of reason. German guilt over WWII that leads to the admission of people who pose a danger to its society and will lead to greater fear and intolerance is maladaptive. The problem isn't the emotion of guilt in an individual per se. The problem is that government decisions cannot be based on emotion. Angela Merkel and her allies made bad decisions. Emotions may have contributed to those decisions, or they may have just been used to create a narrative to justify those decisions

"why aren't Western Euros turning?" - I don't know what is going on in Merkel's head. However, I do know what is going on in the heads of high level EU and NATO bureaucrats. Within the last year, I was at in the executive lounge of a five star EU hotel where a conference was being held. I had a chance to speak with some of the attendees after they had enjoyed some of the complimentary alcohol provided in the lounge. They know that the EU is very close to collapse. They will barely be able to survive a Brexit. They had no Plan B if Le Pen won in France. It would have been the end. The EU is a tinder box just waiting for the next match.

None of this is caused by the Jews or incorrect cultural values. It is caused by low fertility levels. There have been multiethnic empires throughout history. Go read Day of Empire. These empires always become stronger when tolerance allows them to admit skilled people that make the empire better off. They become weaker when they admit people who are unskilled that make the empire worse off and cause a corresponding decrease in tolerance. All of this has happened before. If we can cure obesity, it will raise fertility above the replacement level. This will eliminate the ability to admit low skilled people and eliminate the increasing level of fear seen among ordinary people.

legateofjudea said...

AE - that last post was a tangent. I wanted to ask, why does it say, "We are doomed"?

Audacious Epigone said...

Legate,

His earth-bestriding bestseller, of course!

Feryl said...

None of this is caused by the Jews or incorrect cultural values.

I never said it was; white cultural elites (of whom many are Jewish, in America at least) have becoming increasingly liberal since WW2 as a consequence of Western anti-fascism. Also, the candor bit pertains to PC overkill that never allows anyone to point out that Jews are disproportionately liberal and wealthy in America. Jewish hyper-defensiveness (generally supported by elite American liberals) about this observation inadvertently fuels conspiracy theories that Jews are pulling every lever of subversion. How would people feel about the NY Yankees if the team owner and MLB commissioner ruined the life of any sportswriter who observed that the Yankees tend to spend lots of money to land star players?

Basically, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are to some degree based on conflating cause and effect; Jews don't make rich people more liberal, rather, modern rich people tend to be culturally liberal regardless of their ethnicity. I think that recently, the amount of treason committed by gentiles (and as I hinted at above, there are scarcely any Jews left in Europe to be blamed for those nations turning into Sodom) is hopefully causing alt-righters/nationalists to wake up about the real problem: too many elites are counting money, trying to impose neo-liberal/neo-conservative hegemony on much of the world in a utopian stupor, and refusing to accept that post-WW2 ideology has turned into a twisted funhouse reflection of what began as well-intentioned projects to make our lives better. And ragging on Jews won't make any difference.

Boulder, Colorado (presumably not a hot-bed of Jews) is a rich city that's 88% white, who voted for Hillary by like 88-11%. We've got a long road ahead of us, and I suspect that within 10-20 years Gen X-ers are going to be leading mostly Millennial/Gen Z lynch mobs against white elites who abdicated responsible rule around 1990.

Feryl said...

"The problem is that government decisions cannot be based on emotion. Angela Merkel and her allies made bad decisions. Emotions may have contributed to those decisions, or they may have just been used to create a narrative to justify those decisions"

I would suppose that emotion in the form of fear, sorrow, grief, and pain will begin to hit more and more Germans in the coming decades. Remember that Nords and Teutons in MN, Wis. and Iowa have begun to vote more Republican, primarily for racial bloc reasons and cultural conservative reasons since the Dems for 20 years have drifted further and further away from heartland whites. Also, your Upper Midwestern Carlsons and Schmidts (and Owsowskis and Dufresnes)have had Detroit, South Chicago, North Minneapolis, etc. serving as a lesson in When Diversity Goes Wrong for 40-50 years by now. Our motherland co-ethnics haven't the slightest clue that dark skins will not, and I mean will not, ever fully adapt to Western norms.

When the Dems start squealing about trannies and letting more Dem voters, I mean felons, out of prison, they're kissing a lot of white prole votes good bye. The more elite whites can afford to buy their way out of the less pleasant aspects of diversity, so they ain't gonna care to change their tune until their blood gets spilled by indignant natives tired of being ignored.

Jim Bowery said...

La Griffe du Lion's last appearance was in 2012 and prior to that, 2008. That being said, I have taken your suggestion to heart. These are desperate times.

I could devote time to pedagogy but since I get no feedback from The Great and The Good of the Alt Right regarding this, it is difficult to do placement -- the first task of education. Things are progressing rapidly -- explosively even -- in AI and data analysis. This is rather like my situation after passage of the Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990 -- do I spend my precious time doing things others will eventually do (as evidenced by Musk and Bezos) or do I pursue things only I am in a position to pursue?

They'll come around eventually. However, it's been over 10 years since I proposed the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge, and even though Hutter's PhD students have gone on to fame and fortune, we still have nonsense like Kaggle.com acting as though compression is of no particular interest. It took 27 years for a private launch service company to dominate the global market for launch services. Is it going to be another 17 years before people wake up to the weapon they possess to nuke the social pseudo-sciences?

I did manage to contact Geoffrey Hinton's benefactor (the guy Hinton credits with funding the revival of artificial neural network research that is now the dominant form of AI). He was a statistician with the government when he funded Hinton, having just been a founder of the DoE's EIA -- that saw the need for more general data analysis tools. I was able to convince him of the generality of using lossless compression as the singular figure of merit for unified data models. However, he and I go back a ways -- like over 20 years so he knows me professionally and was willing to sit still and listen rather than wriggling around in his seat thinking about recess. I just don't have that kind of credibility with The Great and The Good of The Alt Right and there are just too many _other_ things -- if equal if not greater urgency -- only I am positioned to pursue.

Pangur said...

Spencer is terrible and is just the kind of guy the Right needs to purge:

http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/8772-richard-spencer-threat-or-menace/page__st__0

Giving a rootless cosmopolitan with no visible means of support and a "just-might-like-dick-in-the-ass" affect any authority is a great way to doom the movement.

By the way, how is it that Spencer is accessible again? He absolutely refuses to go anywhere where his ideas -- such as they are -- might be criticized (this is SJW behavior), particularly from the right. Spencer declined an invite from MPC's own Pleasureman to appear on MPC's Pozzcast . . . what is Spencer afraid of?

Conclusion: Richard is a lightweight who tracks what his audience wants to hear and what will get him attention. If the new Right is going anywhere, it's be despite the efforts of one Richard Spencer, not because of it.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jim,

Will you lay out in the vernacular of laymen what exactly it is you're trying to do? I'm thinking it's a richly sourced (as in from all available sources) longitudinal uber 'survey' of sorts, but even if that's in the ballpark, my articulation is terrible.

Pangur,

He runs NPI, a small publishing house, and takes donations. Probably supplemented by family money but so what? Steve Sailer scrapes by and he's one of the top 10 public intellectuals of the 21st century.

I thought his disdain for quant emphasis used to be counterproductive--we need it all. "Muh statistics" are important. He doesn't talk about that anymore. His pan-Europeanism naturally seems like it'll work a lot better stateside where we're mostly European mongrels, but it's a long-term vision and the Alt Right needs those, too.

I saw well-bred, fit, sharply dressed ZFG white guys eagerly asking him about what was coming up next. Identity Evropa is something he's promoting. The college tours are hostile as hell and he goes on absurd leftist programs like Roland Martin's. He's getting shit done.

Jim Bowery said...

AE, as I said, "placement" is the first step of pedagogy and "laymen" is a really vague "place." Nevertheless, let's try the not-as-vague "place" of folks familiar with CDNIC aka "Correlation doesn't imply causation." This bromide is trotted out at the convenience of those unrealists who operate at the interstices of social pseudo-science and popular culture (where anecdotes get blown into feature length films that bypass anything remotely resembling statistical tests for significance in the popular mind).

I'll start with Sailer's .88 coefficient of determination (squared correlation or r^2) between affordable family formation and a State voting Republican. This is among the highest found between demographic variables that aren't trivially related (as are, for example, HIV positive and AIDS prevalence). This is particularly pertinent as the first Ockham's Guillotine challenge is The Laboratory of the Counties contest -- to compress county-level demographic data -- and Sailer uses State level correlations -- even refers to my "Laboratory of the States" database -- which I've provided to you in a Google spreadsheet.

In that article, Sailer posits a causal structure:

The Dirt Gap:
Cheap land +> Republican victory

The Mortgage Gap:
Cheap land -> Housing cost
Regulations +> Housing cost
Housing cost -> Republican victory

The Marriage Gap:
Housing cost -> Years married
Years married +> Republican victory

The Baby Gap:
Housing cost -> Total Fertility Rate
Total Fertility Rate +> Republican victory

BUT even more powerful is:
Housing cost * Total Fertility Rate +> Republican Victory

This last synergy (multiplication '*' is more than sum of the parts) Republican strategists should take as seriously as a heart attack because it's magnitude, at 88% is among the highest ever measured in the social sciences between demographic variables that aren't trivially related (as are, for example HIV and AIDS prevalence).

You'll notice that in Sailer's model, there are paths of causation. He did what is called Path Analysis" in statistics. This is a really old technique with roots in genetics -- where establishing causal pathways to phenotypes is very complex. These models are not dynamical (they don't have feedback loops -- they are directed acyclic graphs) and that simplifies their mathematics greatly.

The basic idea of path analysis is that you find the DAG that minimizes the error of the predictions. Ockham's Razor says you must also minimize the complexity of the DAG. Algorithmic Probability says the best DAG model is arrived at in 3 steps: 1) you measure both the errors AND the complexity of their DAGs in contention and do so in the same units: bits. 2) You then add the bit length of the a DAG to the bit length of its errors to give the size of the model, and 3) The minimum size model is the best you can do. Algorithmic Probability lets us put Ockham's Guillotine to work.

Sailer agrees with Haidt in claiming, in effect, that even if we restrict ourselves to directed acyclic graphs there is no point in trying to build unified models of society based on Ockham's Razor. Why? Because things are just "too complicated" or something. They never really give arguments beyond hand waving. They wave off the suggestion as a non-starter and move on -- sort of like AEI does when someone presents Sailer's analysis involving affordable family formation.

In the presence of Moore's Law, the explosion of advances in AI and of data availability, this is the moral equivalent of the apocryphal, "Let them eat cake."

Jim Bowery said...

Here's an example of the lost opportunities that result from guys like Sailer, Derbyshire and apparently Jordan Peterson, failing to recognize the potential of Ockham's Guillotine to nuke the social sciences. Some kid at Google has placed his neck on the chopping block to try to lay out the realist perspective on heterogeneity aka proximal diversity aka "diversity", and it is causing a shit storm. I've done what I can to affect the two primary pinnacles of Google's AI intelligentsia, Hinton's deep learning group and the DeepMind group via authoritative contacts being Hinton's original benefactor and DeepMind founders' PhD adviser. These are "push" forces I've applied. Sailer, Derbyshire and/or Peterson have "pulled" this kid into jeopardy and not supplied him with the tools -- tools that exist within Google itself to totally nuke the social pseudosciences.

It's really tragic.

Audacious Epigone said...

I sent links to your comments to Sailer, Razib Khan, the Derb, and Randall Parker to see if they have any reactions to it.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jim,

Re: the anonymous realtalker at Google, your presumption is that empirical truth, if marshaled overwhelmingly and systematically enough, will save him. Is that naive?

Jim Bowery said...

AE, the anonymous realtalker at Google, if he had an understanding of the technological power at the disposal of Google to nuke the social pseudosciences, would likely not have exposed himself to getting fired and, instead, nuked the social pseudosciences.

Look, it's _really_ as simple as I'm letting on:

There is a single fucking metric that tells you which of two theories is the best given the same data -- and it's practical.

The longer people deny this, the longer that particular tentacle of the jellyfish remains flailing around rather than being nailed to the wall.

No, it won't solve everything and yes there will still be "gender studies" and the like blathering on about this or that in whatever cant they've come up with this week. But the minute they start trying to put on pretenses of measurement, they'll walk into a storm of silicon razors.

Jim Bowery said...

Maybe the AEI/Charles Murray will get it.

Jim Bowery said...

Well I may have been wrong about the Google realtalker's potential: In his first public interview he repeatedly cited Jonathan Haidt who was the Ivy Leaguer that wrote "The Pursuit of Parsimony" as the answer to the question "WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?" It was only recently that I ran across that execrable essay while trying to figure out why lossless compression hadn't become a standard tool of social science shortly after Solomonoff's papers in the 1960s. That's when I discovered, simultaneously that Sailer had, to a limited extent, agreed with Haidt in "Haidt: Against Occam's Razor . Unfortunately, the degree to which Sailer agreed with Haidt was in precisely the area of unified models of social eitology -- which is precisely the area where Algorithmic Probabiliy has the most to offer.

So Haidt had already poisoned the well for this young man and therefore likely rendered him immune to any admonitions from the likes of Sailer/Derbyshire/Peterson to pursue lossless compression of a wide range of longitudinal social data with the vast resources of data, expertise and computation at Google, rather than writing yet another tome along the lines of the decades old "Bell Curve".

AE, I didn't directly address your earlier question regarding "I'm thinking it's a richly sourced (as in from all available sources) longitudinal uber 'survey' of sorts". The answer is "yes" -- that's exactly the kind of data Google has at its disposal -- most prominently in Kaggle.com where they have established a large number of datasets. I asked them why there had been no prizes analogous to the Hutter Prize since some of Google DeepMind's founders did their PhDs under Hutter and at least one of them, Shane Legg, did his PhD thesis specifically on lossless compression as the essential ingredient of artificial general intelligence.

The only response I received was a request that I upload to Kaggle my dataset -- a measly 90M easily downloaded from the Censtat page of the US Census!

Regarding the kid (now known to be one James Damore) and the VDARE pariahs of numeracy: Perhaps the best thing for them to do is not so much convince their readers of the efficacy of the Ockham's Guillotine approach, as to admonish guys like Haidt to stop succumbing to the real problem with so-called "Jewish Science": If you have excess brain capacity -- particularly capacity for eidetic memory -- it is tempting to denounce Ockham's Razor precisely because you don't need to simplify things in order to be lossless in your compression of the data: You just memorize everything. This is the same problem with software engineering where Moore's Law has caused an explosion in the capacity of personal computers rendering it tempting to complicate things for job security and empire building with hoards of H-1b programmers to deal with the complexity in an ever-increasing miasma of bugs and security holes. This H-1b problem is, by the way, why, prior to suggesting the Hutter Prize, I had suggested to Ray Ozzie that he establish a prize, upon taking over from Bill Gates as MS's chief architect, that would pay out to MS programmers that came up with the smallest program that would expand into a full implementation of all the features of MS's OS and Office suite. Unfortunately, there is a huge incentive among the Brahmin caste to import H-1bs and Ray already had his court toadies advising him against my admonitions regarding such a prize, as well as my later admonition that MS support the Hutter Prize.