Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

post by Capla · 2014-11-17T22:31:05.760Z · score: 10 (40 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 621 comments

Through LessWrong, I've discovered the no-reactionary movement. Servery says that there are some of you here.

I'm curious, what lead you to accept the basic premises of the movement?  What is the story of your personal "conversion"? Was there some particular insight or information that was important in convincing you? Was it something that just "clicked" for you or that you had always felt in a vague way? Were any of you "raised in it"?

Feel free to forward my questions to others or direct me towards a better forum for asking this.

I hope that this is in no way demeaning or insulting. I'm genuinely curious and my questioning is value free. If you point me towards compelling evidence of the neo-reactionary premise, I'll update on it.

621 comments

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comment by WalterL · 2014-11-18T17:55:16.579Z · score: 24 (24 votes) · LW · GW

C. S. Lewis describes the protagonist in The Man Who Was Thursday's relationship with the antag roughly like this. "He was coward enough to be frightened of force, but not coward enough to worship it." That's basically my relationship with the left.

I grew up in Massachusetts, so I became conservative initially through disgust at the excesses of the dems. I'm not proud of this, I'm sure if I grew up in RepublicTown USA I'd have started out a dem, basic smartypants contrianism. Like so many who fancied ourselves prodigies (I got a 1600 on my SAT, I read Calvin and Hobbes, Encyclopedia Brown, etc.)I regarded myself basically as a defender of a bastion of truth from a sea of fools.

Moving to college, however, I started seeing over the walls a different class of liberal, the Uruk Hai, if you will. I could never join them, but I deeply wanted to understand them. Why are the worst filled with passionate intensity? What was this movement that could only speak in irony? Why were the John Stewarts the real leaders, not the politicians? What's up with the left?

The reverse question was also demanding my attention. Why were my Right buddies so dreadful? Shouldn't these racists, these homophobes, these uneducated plebes be on the other side? Hard to defend truth alongside someone who wouldn't know it if it throttled him.

The task was impossible, I feared. The rank and file didn't understand themselves, and I wasn't confident that their existed a second tier. (As a conservative, I was super familiar with the "You are under the control of evil masters" meme, and it was rubbish when applied to us, so I figured it wouldn't be any better aimed at the left. Just Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin repurposed).

When President Bush took over I was ready for a golden age. Watching how the successfully elected conservative politicians fared against the Left was an eye opener. When Congressional Democrats, and then President Obama took over I thought that the Darkest Timeline had come, and once again the results were a revelation. I had been surprised twice, I took stock.

I watched Yes Minister around this time, and had my first realization. This was comedy, sure, but not really. This explained the Obama/Bush paradox. They, and their whole stable of fellow politicians, hadn't had the power to change anything, who did? Sir Humphrey. Not incarnate and hilarious, of course, but my experience in the corporate world had given me plenty of examples of the power of the rank and file to influence the bosses. I didn't quite articulate it, but I understood that the unelected G10+'s must be running the show.

I encountered Less Wrong at some point, and became familiar with the notion of dissolving a question. From there it was a brief hop to Moldbug's site (forget which post took me exactly, hang around long enough and you'll see mention of it on here). His open letter and introduction series took many of my own realizations and slotted them together into a cohesive framework, which made sense of the world.

comment by Prismattic · 2014-11-19T02:06:15.113Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Why were the John Stewarts the real leaders, not the politicians? What's up with the left?

There are lot of legitimate criticisms to single the left out for. But this is not one of them.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-20T08:45:08.609Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I got a 1600 on my SAT, I read Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes is part of the official smarty pants syllabus? I associate it more with introverted ADHD. And love it.

comment by epursimuove · 2014-11-30T10:14:12.082Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The main character is a precocious, day-dreaming, socially inept child - is it really surprising that he appeals to precocious, day-dreaming, socially inept children?

comment by SisterY · 2014-11-19T10:18:02.710Z · score: 22 (22 votes) · LW · GW

Years before I read any Moldbug, I became fascinated with the way that sacredness affects social life and cognition even in ostensibly non-religious groups. Since my work challenged the sacredness of life, I was able to notice how that particular sacredness was (non-rationally) socially supported against challenges, and this helped me to see the same patterns in other areas of thought. Human cognition and behavior only make sense when analyzed religiously, and the neoreactionary idea of "The Cathedral" is one of several fruitful analyses along those lines, along with, say, the ideas of Emile Durkheim, Jonathan Haidt, and Roy Baumeister. Human institutions and behavior must be analyzed religiously and folklorically. I'm more interested in human flourishing, ritual, and cultural evolution than regular politics, but the neoreactosphere has been extremely friendly to these kinds of discussions.

My family and most of my friends are extremely liberal and I was a good liberal for most of my life.

If you don't mind my asking, when you ask "what led you to accept the basic premises of the movement," what do you see as its basic premises, and what causes you to describe it as a "movement"?

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T12:53:54.402Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So what's the problem with the Cathedral...that it's not dealing with sacredness enough? Too much? It's making the wrong things sacred?

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-23T04:04:11.402Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Basically the third one, and also that it has a religious/sacredness based approach to what it values but extends its sphere to all human behavior.

comment by bramflakes · 2014-11-19T23:44:02.325Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I read about HBD first and then NRx second. I couldn't have a sensible conversation about it with anybody I knew due to the prevailing progressive memeplex - for example, my History teacher once claimed that war was nonexistent in pre-agriculture societies due to it being economically unsustainable (I just about managed to avoid giving myself a concussion from slamming my head on the table). I knew cracks were appearing in the Narrative after I read the Blank Slate, and I knew I had to jettison it entirely once I finished The Bell Curve.

But what to replace it with? Mainstream conservatism was as clueless as progressivism, and while individual libertarians might have had the right mindset to discuss the issue if you framed it the right way, their answers were unsatisfying. Then one day, someone on LW linked to Moldbug - and here suddenly was a whole other narrative that made a lot more sense. It wasn't about HBD as such, but an account of the Progressive idea machine that explained why it was so taboo. I toyed with some of the weirder aspects for a while (Patchwork and Corporate Governance) but eventually gave them up for similar reasons to libertarianism (in a word: too spergy).

I wouldn't call myself a Neoreactionary. My beliefs are somewhere in between paleocon and the Traditionalist branch of NRx. In an entirely separate part of my brain there's also an active transhumanist who is annoyed that this contrarian upstart is getting all the cognitive attention, and Annisimov's early post about transhumanist/NRx synthesis hasn't properly bridged the gap. I don't know what I'll believe in a year or two.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-20T18:50:37.220Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

History teacher once claimed that war was nonexistent in pre-agriculture societies due to it being economically unsustainable

That depends a bit on how you define war. Simply ambushing the neighboring tribe and killing all males isn't war in the traditional sense. It doesn't drag on.

comment by bramflakes · 2014-11-20T19:32:03.082Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Well there are lots of longrunning feuds and conflicts in hunter gatherer societies, where both tribes are about evenly matched for each other.

comment by araneae · 2014-11-24T23:45:45.336Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed. Archaeological study of the grounds surrounding Stonehenge shows evidence of what appears to be a prolonged conflict between two neighbouring settlements, which lasted several hundred years- during which time there were no new religious monuments made in the area (suggesting that most energies were devoted to this conflict). There's evidence of several major battles.

(Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04hc5v7)

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-25T00:06:21.850Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Stonehenge almost certainly wasn't erected by a hunter-gatherer society. Its main monuments date to about 2500 BC, which in a British context is late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (i.e. post-agricultural), and are generally attributed to the Grooved ware culture.

Forager economics may have existed at the edge of agricultural civilization well after the transition, of course, but from associated artifacts, among other things, we can be pretty sure that the European megaliths were put up by sedentary agriculturalists.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-20T22:11:11.113Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

An attack at night can allow an evenly matched tribe to kill the other one. That puts some pressure on a tribe that fears getting ambushed to ambush first.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-20T22:02:03.531Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Libertarianism is insufficient as most people will be led easily. They will not take freedom. Freedom is hard work, freedom is frightening. Neoreaction follows from libertarianism with a more secure possible future. Technology provides wealth and being with your group provides security in society.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T13:00:32.417Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Freedom is something regularly demanded by those who don't have it.

Division into mutually suspicious groups is anything but a guarantees of security...its the major source of conflict.

comment by satt · 2014-11-18T04:13:01.902Z · score: 18 (20 votes) · LW · GW

Previously: the comments to "Why is Mencius Moldbug so popular on Less Wrong? [Answer: He's not.]".

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-19T10:14:48.125Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

This is important, connotationally. For example, I have upvoted WalterL's explanation, because I value the clarity of thought and answering the question. But that doesn't mean I agree with him politically. In a different thread, if someone would give a similarly clear answer to question "why are you a social justice warrior?", I would upvote that, too. On the meta level, I appreciate this quality of political debate. On the object level, I may disagree. I guess this way of debating is unusual on most parts of internet, so it make create a wrong impression that many people support an idea, while they can merely appreciate the way the idea was explained.

comment by Username · 2014-11-18T01:54:38.351Z · score: 18 (22 votes) · LW · GW

I don't consider myself a reactionary, but I found Moldbug's "Open Letter to Progressives" to be a very convincing teardown of modern western society. For me, it made a lot of things 'click', and really drove home just how arbitrary and historically motivated present day beliefs are. I wouldn't say it shattered my world view, but it certainly gave me an outside view and I highly recommend reading it all.

He then follows up this teardown with a buildup of a reactionary perspective. I think he does an awful job of showing this perspective as any less arbitrary than the one he just broke down, and has very little real justification. But to someone who was just left with a despairing sense of uncertainty about how the world should work, I suppose that it would be very tempting to latch onto the first thing that could fill that hole.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-18T22:09:13.317Z · score: 21 (27 votes) · LW · GW

That's standard preacher approach. Incendiary accusations to destroy everything you take for granted, then, when you're in tears and directionless, a promise of salvation if you follow their way.

Come to think of it, that's a pattern EY has used extensively as well... "Here's proof that religion is insane and most people are predictably and systematically stupid, including yourself. Now believe in the Singularity, general self-improving artificial intelligence, cryogeny, space expansionism, and libertarianism!"

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T17:26:45.222Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer doesn't really push libertarianism.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T16:53:24.737Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Come to think of it, that's a pattern EY has used extensively as well... "Here's proof that religion is insane and most people are predictably and systematically stupid, including yourself. Now believe in the Singularity, general self-improving artificial intelligence, cryogeny, space expansionism, and libertarianism!"

The hilarious thing about this is that Eliezer isn't even very hardcore about libertarianism, and most LWers on the surveys assign very low probability to cryonics actually working, including those who've actually signed up. The Preacher's Way works, whether or not you actually intend it to do so!

(Which is why it's epistemically polite simply not to speak that way at all.)

(And besides which, the human condition is an entirely valid concern that we ought to be moving from the realms of myth and religion to the realm of rationality. It is to my great and lifelong dismay that one signals intelligence, education, enlightenment, and general rationality by loudly dismissing all questions of value, feeling, or the human condition.)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:13:48.905Z · score: 4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The hilarious thing about this is that Eliezer isn't even very hardcore about libertarianism

Are you joking, or do you really think that total open borders doesn't count as hardcore libertarianism?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:09:52.690Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Not joking at all. Total open borders, by the usual tribal-allegiance measure of political positioning, is a hardcore liberal (in the Democrats-and-blue-tribe sense) position. Most actually-existing libertarians are xenophobes.

Of course, if the Libertarian Party has actually put open borders in its election platforms, then tell me and I'll update.

But no, he's not hardcore libertarian, in the sense of anarcho-capitalist or deontological proprietarian. All utilitarian libertarians are non-hardcore.

Also, I do recall him once self-labeling as "small-l libertarian", which very much implies non-hardcoreism.

comment by roystgnr · 2014-11-21T17:25:41.758Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Of course, if the Libertarian Party has actually put open borders in its election platforms, then tell me and I'll update.

Their platform says, "Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders." They have some elaboration here.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T16:49:41.320Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you, and now I know.

comment by fortyeridania · 2014-11-21T08:01:19.687Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I do recall him once self-labeling as "small-l libertarian", which very much implies non-hardcoreism

I do not think this is true. I think it just implies non-affiliation with the Libertarian Party. Many hardcore libertarians reject the Libertarian Party.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-20T00:03:53.594Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Weird, I thought that link would lead to Straw Nihilist.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:14:44.767Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. Straw Vulcan is rationality-signaling for STEM majors, and Straw Nihilist is the same for humanities majors.

comment by dxu · 2014-11-23T22:06:14.555Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Here's proof that religion is insane and most people are predictably and systematically stupid, including yourself.

This doesn't seem too implausible. I have no trouble believing that religion is false ("insane" is an incendiary term that I do not believe should be invoked in a non-clinical context due to triggering most people's "mind-killed" modes), as well as believing that people are predictably and systematically irrational (same deal with "stupid"). Are you arguing against this?

Now believe in the Singularity, general self-improving artificial intelligence, cryogeny, space expansionism, and libertarianism!"

I have not seen Eliezer ever advocate for his personal views on these topics outside of posts dedicated specifically to said topics. Most posts in the Sequences just talk about basic techniques for rationality, without ever mentioning any of the stuff you've listed. Indeed, the two major prongs of his worldview--rationality and transhumanism--seem to be largely (almost entirely) detached from each other. I'm having a hard time seeing this "preacher approach" you're talking about in Eliezer's writings.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-24T23:08:26.279Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Are you arguing against this?

Most emphatically not. I'm very glad to have discovered that, and I'm grateful for EY's impassioned preaching, that made it seem immediately, crucially, urgently relevant. By comparison, when I read books like Think Fast and Slow, or watch shows like Crash Course Psychology or Earthlings 101. I feel like I'm just collecting a bunch of interesting, quaint. and curious trivia that aren't much of a factor in how I think of myself, the world, and my place in it. (And don't get me started on new Cosmos. NDG doesn't preach, he lectures. Carl Sagan at least used to wonder )

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-19T17:23:38.108Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You should care about people in alternate universes. (Am I getting this right?)

Also, it's at least somewhat plausible that you're living in a simulation.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-20T00:11:24.601Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Well, we've never caught Nature glitching or bugging or even simplifying its calculations, and absence of evidence is evidence of absence. That we're living in a simulation is about as plausible as the Abrahamic narrative, about as falsifiable, and about as proven.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:00:23.857Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well, we've never caught Nature glitching or bugging or even simplifying its calculations

Um, how would you tell? Wouldn't glitches or simplified calculations appear as just additional laws of nature.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-20T05:08:46.608Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think of glitches as being small breaks in the laws of nature.

comment by roystgnr · 2014-11-21T17:19:47.470Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How would we recognize "simplified" calculations? If the "next level up" laws of physics differ from ours, their idea of what is cheap or expensive to compute might also differ.

Even if the upper physics was sufficiently similar to ours to share some characteristics (e.g. the need for large computations to be parallelized and the expense of parallel communication), and our laws of physics were simplified in a way to accommodate those characteristics (e.g. with a limit to the speed of information propagation), would we recognize that simplification as such, or would we just call it another law of physics and insist that we've never seen it simplified?

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-20T00:14:31.412Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm inclined to think that people (especially modern skeptical people) would find ways to paper over small glitches.

comment by dxu · 2014-11-23T22:13:26.940Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

While I can't assign a reliable probability to the hypothesis "you're living in a simulation", I attach roughly zero decision-theoretic significance to the possibility. Meaning: since there's nothing I can do to affect this, I can safely go on with my life without giving it much thought beyond the usual philosophical ponderings I do whenever I'm in a contemplative mood.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:12:33.199Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

He then follows up this teardown with a buildup of a reactionary perspective. I think he does an awful job of showing this perspective as any less arbitrary than the one he just broke down, and has very little real justification.

Moldbug as political philosopher is far too libertarian to be useful. Moldbug as historian is capable of at least presenting a broad outline.

I'm disappointed that neoreaction hasn't done very much to fill in the details beyond the 20th century (and it was Moldbug and Foseti who did most of that), but philosophy is always more attractive than history.

Moldbug's political philosophy is useful to Nick Land, who avoids the defects of it by supporting them entirely: he seems to see capitalism as the only institutional intelligence capable of doing anything. I'm not sure how he squares that with HBD (especially given the role of the Catholic Church in their historical narrative) and cyclical history -- it seems to me that the economic consequences of the decline of the West should propagate outward. (There might be room for historical studies here -- what happened to trade after the fall of Rome? -- but there are obvious differences there. Transportation distance, interlinking of systems, and so on.)

That the throne-and-altar types have accepted Moldbug seems strange, since the Jacobite stuff is mostly trolling.

comment by scientism · 2014-11-21T15:18:42.904Z · score: 16 (22 votes) · LW · GW

If you care about culture, (traditional) values and intact families, then democracy is empirically very bad (far from being "the worst form of gov­ern­ment, except for all the oth­ers" it would place among the very worst). The question is then how you come to care about these things. For me it proceeded negatively: from a critical reading of political philosophy, I came to believe that the foundations of liberalism are incoherent; that what liberalism sees as constraints on individual freedom are nothing of the sort. That many of the norms, values and practices that make up a traditional society are non-voluntary - in the sense that it doesn't make sense to speak of people assenting or not assenting to them - and therefore cannot be seen as constraints on human freedom at all; we're born into them, they form part of our identity and they provide the context (even possibility) of our choices.

So I came to believe that the Enlightenment was the result of this kind of philosophical error and that it is no different from the kinds of philosophical error that bring people to, say, question whether an objective reality exists. The heady feeling one gets from an argument that leads to an absurd conclusion, in this case, led to the false belief that traditional society consisted of arbitrary constraints on human freedom and, eventually, to pointless reforms and revolutions. Consider this: If somebody proposes a model of the physical world and it's incorrect, they have to change the model. But if somebody proposes a model of society and it's incorrect, they can insist on reorganising society to fit the model. This is essentially what has been happening for the last several hundred years. If I said this is what happened with communism - that Marx developed a flawed model and Lenin tried to fit society to that flawed model - most people would probably accept that. Is it so hard to believe the same kind of process led to our own political order and continues to inform it?

On reflection, the contemporary Western view of politics, which I once accepted without question, appears to be utterly absurd. It has no choice but to see the history of humanity as one of oppression and this oppression is becoming increasingly bizarre. It was, perhaps, easy to believe that religion was inherently oppressive, at least given an overly literal interpretation of religion, or to believe that monarchy was oppressive, but now one must believe that the family was oppressive, that gender roles were oppressive, that sexual morality was oppressive, that even having a gender was oppressive, that monogamy was oppressive, etc. The list is ever expanding, the revisionist history gets more absurd by the day. Moreover, most people miss the fact that we're talking about traditional society being inherently oppressive. There were, of course, bad monarchs, bad religious leaders, bad family circumstances, etc, but the liberal claim is that it was all bad, all the time (although it is apparently unnecessary that anyone noticed, since everyone was also ignorant). This is quite an extraordinary claim.

In my view, none of these things were oppressive. You're born into a society, it has its pre-existing norms, values, roles and practices. You're born into a set of pre-existing relationships and roles. These are not constraints, they're part of your identity, they're part of the enabling context in which you have and make choices. This includes things like how leaders are nominated, the roles of men and women, children and parents, etc. That you can imagine different ways of doing things does not imply that you are being deprived of a choice. Moreover, they are in many respects immutable. They continue to exist whether we understand them or misunderstand them and try to rebel against them. Thus, there is just no such thing as a liberal society. What we have instead is a traditional society where there are, for example, arbitrary constraints on leaders (constitutional "checks and balances", elections, etc) that do little more than to ensure that we have incompetent leaders. We have family law and a welfare system that is bad for families. We encourage men to be bad fathers and husbands and women to be bad mothers and wives. We encourage children to rebel against their parents. So what we're doing, in fact, is not 'reform' but just being bad in our roles as parents, spouses, leaders, lawmakers, etc, because we have a bad model of how society works that lead us to mistake incompetence, negligence and immorality for freedom.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-21T18:36:09.454Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If I said this is what happened with communism - that Marx developed a flawed model and Lenin tried to fit society to that flawed model - most people would probably accept that

It's not just society. It's more like he looked at Marx's (flawed, yes) model, thought "that's cool and all, but I want to feed the Tsar his yarbles now", and hit it with a wrench until it gave him some half-assed philosophical justification for starting a revolution (and later for running a totalitarian state, though not as totalitarian as Stalin would make it).

See, orthodox Marxism isn't really a blueprint for revolution. Insofar as it's even a call to revolution, it's saying -- to the industrial workers of the entire world, and that's important -- that revolution is inevitable, it's going to happen anyway, the only thing holding it back from happening is self-delusion. Instead, it's better understood as a future history: it purports to lay out the historical forces that drive large-scale social changes and to predict what the next one's going to look like.

Now, there are a number of ways you could challenge that in light of the real history that's happened in the century and a half since Marx wrote. But Lenin had bigger problems than that. By Marx's lights, Russia in 1917 wasn't ready for a communist revolution: it was at the time the least industrialized major European country (relative to its population), with most of the economy still running on a semi-feudal agrarian system. Its serfs had been emancipated less than a century before. Worse, the rest of the world looked like it wasn't going to be getting on the revolution train anytime soon. This ran completely counter to Marx's future history, but Lenin, in essence, said "fuck it, we'll do it anyway".

comment by scientism · 2014-11-21T19:40:39.454Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Right, but it's that sort of transition from the descriptive and the prescriptive that I'm highlighting. In liberal philosophy the issue is much more subtle, but there has been a constant interchange between the descriptive and the prescriptive. So if you look at society as sovereign individuals engaged in contractual relationships with one another, that's essentially descriptive. It was intended to be descriptive. But then your model for why individuals give up some of their rights to have a state doesn't look right and the answer to that isn't to change the model but to make a prescriptive assertion: the state should be more representative of our interests. So you've gone from descriptive to prescriptive.

Likewise, with feminism: under a model that emphasises individuals in voluntary relationships, women look oppressed, so you derive the prescriptive conclusion that we should alter family law, etc. Under the traditional family-oriented model of society, it's not even clear why anyone but the head of a household should vote, since people aren't 'sovereign' individuals, they're members of an institution - the family - and they play different roles within it, and the head of the household is its representative in society. From this shift to an individualist view you can derive much of the rest of modern liberal/progressive prescriptivism. It problematises the family - the status of women and children, the fairness of inheritance (wealth, status and genetics), familial obligations, etc - and it problematises the institutions of the state.

It's a view of people magically appearing in the world fully formed, with their own interests, and they're shocked to learn that they have parents, that they have roles in society, that society has existed long before they were born and has its own traditions, values, etc. So they're encouraged to stomp their feet and say, "Why wasn't I consulted about any of this?"

comment by Capla · 2014-11-21T22:09:05.199Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can I leave society If I don't like it? Can I free myself from it's constraints and take advantage of it as an outsider?

If not, why not?

comment by [deleted] · 2015-05-05T10:11:20.935Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

IMHO the issue is that this kind of individualism in Western society, for wealthy white males, was created really long ago. Roughly late 18th century. So anyone without an explicit interest in history, esp. from the angle of questioning the whole modern epoch, will see this individualism already as an old, established, traditional stuff, i.e. pretty much conservative stuff. In the West, pretty much every step of progressivism, leftism or liberalism since that was largely about expanding it to other people, poor white males, non whites, women etc.

So you have the problem here that once one group of individuals got it, it is hard to defend why others should not. The issue is with having the first group have it, but that is a really old story, and so old that it looks downright conservative.

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2014-11-30T18:25:28.143Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You are not being entirely fair to Lenin, he wrote a fair amount. They call it "Marxism/Leninism" for a reason. Lenin was a lot of things, but he was not a stupid man.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-22T20:16:51.516Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You forget the Marxist idea of morality where there's a moral imperative to do things that make history progress. Starting an inevitable revolution is such a thing.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-05-05T10:23:48.680Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is all fine, but let's move one level higher. What is the reason that almost everybody who reasoned like this was religious? Why does it seem like this kind of thinking is fairly impossible to defend without some reference to religion e.g. https://bonald.wordpress.com/the-conservative-vision-of-authority/ ?

(I am assuming we all agree here that ideas that cannot be defended on a secular ground are not worth defending)

Basically it sounds a lot like the conflict between human volition vs. actual happiness or good lives. A lot of modern liberalism reduces to "if you get what you personally want, you will be happy / OK". So it is all about moving people from inborn roles to roles they want and choose. And a lot of religious thought is all about trying to convince people to reduce or give up their self-centered volition, desires, viewpoints, whatevers, basically to convince them to find happiness through other means than following their own wills.

I am aware of this because I practiced a lot of Buddhism which uniquely focuses on it, on how the ego, the will, volition, vanity, is the source of suffering itself. Much of Christianity sounds like a half-assed version of a Buddhist ego reduction therapy - when people get down on their knees and pray "your will be done" it essentially means "NOT my will be done, I will train by brain to accept that the world does not revolve around me". The core idea in Buddhism, Christianity etc. is that there is true happiness to be found in surrendering your will.

THIS is the psychological basis from which we can understand the difference between traditional and modern societies. This is why reactionaries are religious, mostly.

The question is, just why cannot we justify this non-egocentric psychology on a scientific basis? Why do we need religion for this? Why cannot we figure it out naturalistically?

And if we cannot figure it out naturalistically, scientifically, isn't it likely this is at some level wrong?

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-03-31T11:23:06.311Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That many of the norms, values and practices that make up a traditional society are non-voluntary - in the sense that it doesn't make sense to speak of people assenting or not assenting to them - and therefore cannot be seen as constraints on human freedom at all

......even by the individuals affected? If they tell y8u that they hate being forced into a particular role, you're going to tell them that their feelings don't matter, because you can prove logically that it is non voluntary, and that you can't rebel against your identity?

There were, of course, bad monarchs, bad religious leaders, bad family circumstances, etc, but the liberal claim is that it was all bad, all the time (although it is apparently unnecessary that anyone noticed, since everyone was also ignorant).

It's worth noting both that the oppressed were often denied a voice, in the sense of leaving a written record, as part of their oppression....and that there is plenty of evidence of dissent , in the form of popular revolt.

It's also worth noting the difference between far left and classically liberal versions of this argument. (A perennial problem with Moldbug is the way he conflates progressivism qua the leftmost 10% of the spectrum with progressivism qua the leftmost 90%). The classical liberal does not regard traditional societies as morally wrong so much as instrumentally wrong, unsuited to economic and technological progress. Where you have a traditional, hierarchical society, the rulers of that society are under a set of incentives to defend their relative position, which is to say they are not incentivised to promote innovation. On the contrary, even technological developments can sunset them, as the English aristocracy was disrupted by the Industrial revolution.

Liberal democracies, by contrast, are so good at reaping the benefits of progress that, they are able attract queues of would be immigrants from more traditional societies.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-03-31T17:57:12.584Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If they tell y8u that they hate being forced into a particular role, you're going to tell them that their feelings don't matter, because you can prove logically that it is non voluntary, and that you can't rebel against your identity?

Suppose someone hates being short. Being short is mostly involuntary; the primary thing that is voluntary is how they react to being short. Historically, philosophical advice has been of the variety "deal with it; it's better to be short and untroubled than short and troubled." Being short and identifying as being tall, insisting on being tall, or resenting not being tall, are all opposed to reality.

The best liberal response, I think, is to note that "being short" has both a physical reality (how long your body is) and a social reality (how others react to the length of your body), and that the social reality is mutable. In a modern, industralized society, the economic use of height is very narrow, and we could adjust the social reality to match the current physical reality.

The worst liberal response, I think, is to claim that "being short" is just a social reality, that the social reality is completely mutable, and that short people have been oppressed by tall people, and we need to work against that oppression.

Liberal democracies, by contrast, are so good at reaping the benefits of progress that, they are able attract queues of would be immigrants from more traditional societies.

I am under the impression that, proportional to the relevant populations, there are more American expats in Singapore than Singaporean expats in America. (There might actually be more in absolute numbers, but I'm having difficulty getting that number.)

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-03-31T20:41:05.357Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The compromise approach, the best liberal morality, is a nice theoretical solution, but that him does it work in practice? In practice, people have a right, or they don't.

I am under the impression that, proportional to the relevant populations, there are more American expats in Singapore than Singaporean expats in American.

The important point would be whether they are there for so many years, or whether they have torn up their passports.

comment by Ixiel · 2014-11-25T12:45:02.932Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wow. This makes a lot of sense.

I had previously thought of the term neoreactionary as just an insult, as similar to any view as "asshole" is to any anatomy. Now I think it is at least in the top half of similar ideologies.

Thank you for the answer and thanks to the original poster for the question.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T15:47:41.932Z · score: 16 (20 votes) · LW · GW

IANANR,IFIDSIWAPLATMDTTTOMC (I am not a neoreactionary, in fact I don't strongly identify with any political labels at the moment due to the threat of motivated cognition)

But,

I think I have grasped the link between LW and NRx. Its a mixture of having something to protect and extrapolating trends. Whereas singulatarians looks at exponential trends in computing, extrapolate and see a future where some form of superintelligence will surely come to dominate, worrying that human values could be destroyed, the NRx look at the trends of memes and genes, extrapolate the exponential growth, and see a future where their ingroup and values are massively outnumbered, which can be a death sentence in democracy.

If your terminal values are running against the tide of change, then progressivism is an existential risk. Imagine you believe in God if you do not, and then imagine Christianity going the same way as Norse paganism. Imagine everything you believe gives meaning to life being discarded to the dustbin of history. Or imagine that the positive correlation between religion and fertility reverses the secularisation of society in the long run, and we end up in a totalitarian theocracy. If somehow neither of these futures scares you, keep going until you imagine a future that does.

To put it another way, most people think "this group I disagree with is only 2% of the population. They're not a threat." NRx thinks "This group is only 2% and doubling every x years. Assuming the trend stays constant, how long do I have until they have a democratic majority?".

That sounded more positive of NRx than I intended. Conversely, while exit is not threatening, NRx taking over society is of course a big threat to anyone with progressive values.

Among the ways NRx differs, I think strategic prioritisation is one of the big points. Even if you believe that homosexuality is a big threat to civilisation (which I emphatically don't) well, there are a lot of homophobes. What is going to be the marginal benefit of one more homophobe? By comparison, one more cryonisist or one more FAI researcher has very large marginal benefit due to the small size of these groups. I find it really strange that Anissimov used to talk about the threat of nanotech/AI/bioterrorism and now talks about the threat of gays and transsexuals. [Edit: I retract this last snetence - apparently I have been misinformed about Anissimov]

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T23:53:39.929Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I think I have grasped the link between LW and NRx. Its a mixture of having something to protect and extrapolating trends.

And meta-contrarianism too.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T09:32:19.242Z · score: -5 (25 votes) · LW · GW

Where have I talked about the threat of gays and transsexuals? I merely asserted that one especially insane transsexual (Justine Tunney) not be associated with a reactionary movement. That makes sense, right?

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-20T02:40:41.151Z · score: 23 (25 votes) · LW · GW

And I quote:

"Another trend is the rapidly falling testosterone among American men, which has gone so far as to cause some men to dress up and pretend they are women. They might even get surgery to mutilate their genital organs. This behavior is destructive, a form of self-indulgence and escape which contributes to the breakdown of societal fabric. If communities are going to reap the benefits of strong families, they will have to reject and condemn these behaviors. Otherwise, the demographic suffers from below replacement births and has no future. A shrinking demographic is a dying demographic."

Michael Anissimov, May 27 2014. http://www.moreright.net/the-purpose-of-reactionaries/

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T09:09:26.054Z · score: -2 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. In communities where the strength of the family is irrelevant and the only focus is on the self, such behaviors are common. These communities are slowly being replaced by others due to their failure to reproduce.

comment by KaceyNow · 2014-11-20T18:35:05.003Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know which communities you're talking about, but anecdotally I have to say I've found trans bars and support groups to have a much broader range in race, class, and origin than any other places I typically go.

Also, low testosterone you describe in that paragraph is not implicated as a cause of transgender behavior, with people generally being in the typical range for their birth sex before transition, which includes outliers with very high testosterone levels. Giving people additional testosterone has been tried and not been found to "cure" transgender behavior.

Relying on made-up facts for an entire paragraph of your purpose statement is not very encouraging.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-21T09:09:10.348Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

According to wikipedia:

The androgen receptor (AR), also known as NR3C4, is activated by the binding of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone, where it plays a critical role in the forming of primary and secondary male sex characteristics. Hare et al. found that male-to-female transsexuals were found to have longer repetitions of the gene, which reduced its effectiveness at binding testosterone.[18]

So maybe the amount of testosterone would be normal but it would have less effect?

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T20:37:08.712Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

low testosterone you describe in that paragraph is not implicated as a cause of transgender behavior

What about low testosterone in utero (or high testosterone for f->m)?

What do you think the most probable cause of transgender behavior is?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T00:23:21.719Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure about KaceyNow, I suspect transgender behavior is basically a culture bound syndrome.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-21T09:14:27.798Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Wikipedia lists a large amount of evidence for differences in genetics and brain volume. I know its possible that culture could cause changes in brain structure to some extent, but it can't influence genetics.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T09:26:04.226Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Given Wikipedia's editorial biases (and academia's publication biases) on these kinds of topics, it's almost certainly filtered evidence.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T18:52:05.752Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Citation on the testosterone business?

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-21T13:03:52.235Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Alternate suggestions for making families stronger-- oppose whatever tends to weaken family ties.

Make divorce more difficult and/or more discouraged. Teach people how to be good companions.

http://www.businessinsider.com/lasting-relationships-rely-on-2-traits-2014-11

Discourage people from throwing their children out. This means discouraging homophobia and transphobia.

Support telecommuting. Being geographically scattered is hard on families.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T16:05:13.172Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Make divorce more difficult and/or more discouraged.

That doesn't make families stronger -- that makes people who hate each other live together (usually with pretty bad results).

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-21T16:08:13.653Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It does, but less divorce might still make for more stability in extended families. I don't know whether the effects of divorce on extended families has been studied.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T16:29:57.856Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that in this context stability is the wrong thing to optimize for.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T04:41:58.899Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Make divorce more difficult and/or more discouraged.

Yes, NRx's are trying to do that too.

Discourage people from throwing their children out. This means discouraging homophobia and transphobia.

Is there an actual logical connection between those two sentences that isn't a fully general argument against parents insisting on any ethical standards from children?

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-22T08:53:17.860Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You could distinguish between behavior which is clearly dangerous to other members of the family, and behavior which isn't.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T20:35:00.738Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If I understand you correctly, transsexuals are not the problem, lack of family values and low testosterone are the problem, and transexuals are one symptom.

Assuming, for sake of argument, that this is true:

1) A lot of people are pro traditional family values. What do you think the marginal utility of one more advocate is? Or is advocating it amoung certain groups (e.g. LW) more important because we need intelligent people to keep breeding?

2) You say "These communities are slowly being replaced by others" - has your estimate for when the singularity occurs moved far back in time? Concerns about family values seem of little importance if non-biological intelligence is likly to turn up soon.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T20:54:29.024Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

In reference to your first comment, basically yes.

1) The only reason I joined this thread in the first place is because someone attacked me, I don't particularly advocate neoreaction among LW groups, because I understand the community is hyper-liberalized to the point of absurdity.

2) Yes, my estimates of when the Singularity will occur moved from 2030-2040 to 2070-2080 over the last five years. This change is partially what has caused the neoreaction thing. I think there is a real risk that Western civilization will fall apart before we get there.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T20:06:47.646Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Is it really useful to give one numerical answer here? "2070-2080" doesn't capture the same amount of information as "if not before (say) 2050, not for a few centuries".

(Of course, the standard LW memeplex hardly has a reason to look forward to a non-Western singularity -- wouldn't it be almost certainly unfriendly by Western standards?)

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T21:08:44.099Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

1) I would agree that its probably best to keep NRx and LW separate. Still, this leaves the question of what is the marginal utility of advocating traditional family values?

2) I see, this does make your NRx position more understandable. I too have moved my estimates somewhat backwards.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T21:14:13.305Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

1) Way too many to list here.

2) I still consider a near-future Singularity possible but not likely.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-21T00:52:55.013Z · score: -2 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The LW tone has improved this year and this post is refreshing.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T13:17:23.528Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

being replaced

Do you have evidence for that? The family is not the main unit for transmission of information. Professional educators took over that function long ago.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2014-11-20T05:24:51.332Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

You single out Tunney for being transsexual, not insane.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T08:38:12.594Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, not appropriate for being a reactionary leader in a far right group. Neoreaction is a social conservative movement. This is similar to how you wouldn't put an NRA member in charge of the local Democratic Party headquarters.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T13:06:32.229Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

NRA membership is a changeable choice based on ideologic affiliations. Gender identity is firmware. You can't compare the two.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T13:42:11.305Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

"Firmware"?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T14:12:57.437Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Gender reassignment surgery is not a blanket solution for every case of gender dysphoria. Variable rates of satisfaction with the surgery don't make gender identity any less of a psychoneurological fact as opposed to an ideological affiliation.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T14:20:07.731Z · score: -5 (17 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like the number of people doing it is strongly correlated to the increased popularity of Tumblr.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T14:30:28.660Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You completely lost me there. What does Tumblr have to do with anything?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T18:55:04.547Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

It promotes gender dysphoria by introducing it where it didn't previously exist.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T19:07:08.501Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

In my old age, I'll look back and remember the funniest gems of cluelessness to have ever sprung from human ignorance. "Soybeans make you gay" will be among them. "Tumblr makes you trans" just joined the list.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T02:18:23.658Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I think you meant to post that on Rational Wiki.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T19:54:34.850Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Is that the Tumblr which is chock-full of straight porn?

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T20:04:27.959Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I don't necessarily endorse MichaelAnissimov's take on this particular issue, but Tumblr's a big site. You can find everything from cat picture blogs to literal Nazis on it if you look. That doesn't mean it's disproportionately cats (plausible) or Nazis (very improbable), though, nor that people are talking about cat pictures or antisemitism when they complain about Tumblr culture.

More specifically, there are basically two things you can easily use Tumblr for: image sharing and text microblogging. The former lends itself well to porn, the latter to radical politics, and the communities built up around these use cases don't overlap all that much.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T20:14:32.326Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Tumblr's a big site

Precisely. So correlating popularity of Tumblr to gender dysphoria leads one straight to here.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T20:20:35.049Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm at work and probably shouldn't click that link, but once again, I'm not saying that MichaelAnissimov's analysis is right; that's a rather complicated question that touches on some deep and AFAIK unresolved issues in identity formation, though priors point to "no". I am saying that Tumblr can accurately be called a major vector for radical identity politics without contradiction with its other use cases. It's both full of straight (and non-straight) erotica and full of LGBT and feminist activists, and the latter are the more relevant when we're discussing its political influence.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T21:21:01.018Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The link is SFW :-)

Tumblr can accurately be called a major vector for radical identity politics

Tumblr is just a publishing platform. The rise of the popularity of a platform does not imply that those who migrate to it en masse grew more numerous, only that they prefer this particular form of expression. The rise and fall of MySpace did not imply the rise and fall of indie bands.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T21:30:17.359Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The rise of the popularity of a platform does not imply that those who migrate to it en masse grew more numerous, only that they prefer this particular form of expression.

Groupthink is a thing. Emergent communities are a thing. Tumblr isn't just a publishing platform, it's a social platform, and that makes it meaningful to talk about "Tumblr" as a social entity rather than a purely technical tool. And when looked at in that light, Tumblr (the community, or more specifically the radical politics community as opposed to e.g. the catpic community) almost certainly radicalized many people who wouldn't otherwise have gotten involved; naturally there would have been other centers of radical politics and other vectors of radicalization if David Karp had been hit by a bus back in 2004, but that's not the world we live in. Similarly, MySpace played a role in the rise of indie music by exposing people to it through social-media channels.

We're typing this on Less Wrong, dude. I can hardly think of a clearer example of online movement-building. Do you really think that this community -- movement, cult, hugbox, whatever you want to call it -- would look much like it does now if Eliezer had stayed on the SL4 list, or gone straight to publishing a book?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T21:41:05.747Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

We're typing this on Less Wrong, dude

So do you think there is a causal connection between the number of unique pageviews on LW and the state of AI research (size of programs, funding, etc) out in the real world?

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T21:43:10.653Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

AI research in general, only marginally. That's a big field with a lot of other things driving it. AI safety research, or e.g. awareness of the heuristics-and-biases program among LW's target demographic? Yes, absolutely.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T10:11:22.909Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

From what I heard I thought you were calling for people not to associate with any gays/transsexuals, or with people who themselves associate with gays/transexuals. I thought you thought that the threat posed was one of demographic decline.

I apologise if I have misrepresented your position, but that was how I interpreted the situation from what second-hand sources said. Incidentally, in what respect is Justine Tunney insane?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T10:23:55.136Z · score: 0 (18 votes) · LW · GW

Apology accepted. Your second-hand sources were wrong, tell them that. It's so difficult to have legitimate discussions about NRx when 90% of the opinion the Less Wrong community has about us is based on stuff that is completely made up.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-20T03:51:27.296Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

So, just to be clear... are you claiming that this quote isn't encouraging readers to reject and condemn transsexuals?

Or that the quote isn't yours?

Or that encouraging readers to reject and condemn transsexuals is meaningfully distinct in this context from calling for them not to associate with transsexuals?

Or something else?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T08:52:37.459Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

It is my quote. It is meaningfully distinct, in the sense that we can participate in a progressive society where it's normalized, but recognize how it emphatically does not fit into a conservative framework.

In general, this position is similar to that of many conservative Republicans. It may be shocking to many of the people on this site to be exposed to view held by a majority of Americans, but that's just too bad. In any progressive "struggle session", I will fail. This is because I reject the entire progressive worldview.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-20T14:13:16.623Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

OK. Thanks for clarifying. (I'm not really interested in discussing what about it may or may not be shocking and why it might be if it is, I just wanted to get your perspective on what seemed from mine to simply be two contradictory statements.)

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T14:22:01.843Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

To clarify further, I'm not a universalist, so I don't think everyone "should" condemn or approve of any particular individual or group. I said that for groups that care about strong families, they will need to denormalize alternative lifestyles. If groups don't care about strong families, they can do whatever they like. The "strong families" bit is essential to the meaning of the paragraph.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-20T17:11:29.336Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Further clarification accepted. FWIW, this is consistent with my previous understanding of your position, with standard error bars around "strong" and "family."

comment by Jiro · 2014-11-20T19:31:36.255Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Reading that quote, what you said is stronger than that. You said "if communities are going to reap the benefits of strong families". Regardless of how this can be literally parsed, what it connotes is that you think that strong families are beneficial and that transsexuals, by preventing such benefits, are harmful and worthy of condemnation. Furthermore, your quote is full of loaded language which implies that you personally view transsexuals negatively.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T20:00:28.388Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I personally think that many of them are confused. Given that it's a liberal society, I respect people's decisions to do what they want. Yes, strong families are beneficial. Various alternative lifestyles get in the way of that. Eventually societies need to choose between maximizing personal freedom and having strong families. This is a tradeoff that most liberals have yet to really consider seriously.

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-21T05:09:55.932Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Is there any reason Strong Families are incompatible with alternative lifestyles? The modern conception of the nuclear family as the main unit is itself something barely 50-100 years of vintage. What's the in practice difference between say, a polyamorous group raising children together in a stable situation and a large, extended family with various cousins and so on?

Or to make it even simpler, I see no strong reason to say "you shouldn't be gay" when you could be saying "Hey gay guys, you should form a monogamous pairbond and raise children together for 18 years".

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T20:07:22.261Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

What's the in practice difference between say, a polyamorous group raising children together in a stable situation and a large, extended family with various cousins and so on?

Well, what's the difference in practice between polyamorous relationships and family ties?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T05:03:54.355Z · score: -5 (21 votes) · LW · GW

What's the in practice difference between say, a polyamorous group raising children together in a stable situation and a large, extended family with various cousins and so on?

The fact that their internal dynamics are completely different.

Or to make it even simpler, I see no strong reason to say "you shouldn't be gay" when you could be saying "Hey gay guys, you should form a monogamous pairbond and raise children together for 18 years".

Because:

1) The child is deprived of a mother (or father). And yes the two play different roles in bringing up children.

2) Gays aren't monogamous. One obvious way to see this is to note how much gay culture is based around gay bathhouses. Another way is to image search pictures of gay pride parades.

comment by wedrifid · 2014-11-26T22:05:59.553Z · score: 4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

2) Gays aren't monogamous. One obvious way to see this is to note how much gay culture is based around gay bathhouses. Another way is to image search pictures of gay pride parades.

This user seems to to spreading an agenda of ignorant bigotry against homosexuality and polyamory. It doesn't even temper the hostile stereotyping with much pretense of just referring to trends in the evidence.

Are the upvotes this account is receiving here done by actual lesswrong users (who, frankly, ought to be ashamed of themselves) or has Azathoth123 created sockpuppets to vote itself up?

comment by satt · 2014-11-27T01:24:32.824Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Are the upvotes this account is receiving here done by actual lesswrong users (who, frankly, ought to be ashamed of themselves) or has Azathoth123 created sockpuppets to vote itself up?

I've suspected Azathoth123 of upvoting their own comments with sockpuppets since having this argument with them. (If I remember rightly, their comments' scores would sit between -1 & +1 for a while, then abruptly jump up by 2-3 points at about the same time my comments got downvoted.)

Moreover, Azathoth123 is probably Eugine_Nier's reincarnation. They're similar in quite a few ways (political views, spelling errors, mannerisms) and Azathoth123 started posting prolifically roughly when Eugine_Nier got banned.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-27T09:50:01.287Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Well, firstly I'd like to say that I certainly don't think we should ban homophobia (unless we ban all politics), and I also think that some of the things Azathoth123 says are intelligent and worthy of upvoting.

Having said that,

I've been downvoted for saying stupid things (by LW standards) and this is ok. But arguing with Azathoth123 is the only time I think I've been downvoted for saying things just because someone disagrees with the politics. Yesterday I posted two replies to him, neither was antagonistic or problematic in any way I can see, but still both have been downvoted. I have noticed this repeatedly.

What's more, this isn't going to help him spread his politics. People will stop being willing to talk to him (I've certainly grown tired of it), and it also reflects badly on other NRxers.

Futhermore, given that the large majority of LWers are socially liberal, I find it surprising that some of Azathoth123's comments get so many upvotes. It doesn't fit my model of the average LWer, even when filtered to assume that more consevatives are talking to him. I'd say maybe 70% confidence that he's using sockpuppets based on that, rising based on what you and others have said.

comment by satt · 2014-11-28T01:31:50.983Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Futhermore, given that the large majority of LWers are socially liberal, I find it surprising that some of Azathoth123's comments get so many upvotes. It doesn't fit my model of the average LWer, even when filtered to assume that more consevatives are talking to him.

In itself, heavy upvoting of Azathoth123's comments doesn't make me suspicious. Eugine_Nier often got lots of upvotes, and I don't recall suspecting them of self-upvoting when they were posting under that name. (Though I have now started to wonder.) Other neoreactionary-leaning commenters like Konkvistador, Vladimir_M, Athrelon, and GlaDOS have solidly upvoted comments as well, and I've no reason to believe any of them have ever self-upvoted.

(Your other observations mostly align with mine.)

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-28T09:55:24.580Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Other neoreactionary-leaning commenters like Konkvistador, Vladimir_M, Athrelon, and GlaDOS have solidly upvoted comments as well

I don't think you can easily lump all of NRx under one banner. Criticism of democracy is fairly accepted on LW, and HBD (as an 'is' statement, not as a justification for discrimination) is seen as plausible. OTOH I don't think there is much support for homo/transphobia here, and its certain comments on this subject which seemed to get an unreasonably large number of upvotes.

comment by Ixiel · 2014-12-03T22:27:22.386Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

actual lesswrong users (who, frankly, ought to be ashamed of themselves)

Hi. I'm a kneejerk moderate who has found Aza's comments a rare view into a world I do not know. I vote him/her up often, since I am benefited by this knowledge. I do not vote people up because I agree with them or, in this case, vice versa. I believe s/he is an asset to the site.

Care to explain exactly why I should be ashamed of myself?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-27T00:30:57.606Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This user seems to to spreading an agenda of ignorant bigotry against homosexuality and polyamory.

Do you have a counterargument to go with your insults. Also, while you're on the subject could you define what you mean by "bigotry" and why it's a bad thing. In my experience these days it usually means "he's using a Bayesian prior based on a category I don't like".

Or is this simply the kind of comment you now need to occasionally make to keep the Australian thought police of your case? If so, I'd like you to know that I sympathize with your position and hope Australia desides to re-embrace free speech.

comment by pragmatist · 2014-11-27T11:13:15.716Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I assign a very high probability (>90%) to Azathoth123 being Eugine_Nier. Given the latter's history, I wouldn't be surprised if Azathoth were involved in voting shenanigans. But I think it would be better if you take this to a mod (Viliam_Bur, I believe) for confirmation/action, rather than speculating in public.

ETA: Just realized that this comment is doing exactly what it was advising against. Slightly embarrassed that I didn't notice while I was writing it.

comment by wedrifid · 2014-11-27T13:11:48.009Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I consider social policy proposal harmful and reject it as applied to myself or others. You may of course continue to refrain from speaking out against this kind of behaviour if you wish.

In the unlikely event that the net positive votes (at that time) given to Azathoth123 reflect the actual attitudes of the lesswrong community the 'public' should be made aware so they can choose whether to continue to associate with the site. At least one prominent user has recently disaffiliated himself (and deleted his account) for a far less harmful social political concern. On the other hand other people who embrace alternate lifestyles may be relieved to see that Azathoth's prejudiced rabble rousing is unambiguously rejected here.

comment by pragmatist · 2014-11-27T13:33:10.680Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In the unlikely event that the net positive votes (at that time) given to Azathoth123 reflect the actual attitudes of the lesswrong community the 'public' should be made aware so they can choose whether to continue to associate with the site.

Yes, but wouldn't this be more effective if you first confirmed/disconfirmed your hypothesis about the votes through a mod? In the absence of that information, how is a member of the public to know how to act? My objection was more about the speculative nature of the comment rather than the fact that you're "speaking out". I have nothing against speculation per se, but in cases where it can be fairly easily verified I prefer to see that happen instead.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T22:46:02.772Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The child is deprived of a mother (or father).

So are children raised in orphanages. Where do you think children adopted by gay couples come from?

And yes the two play different roles in bringing up children.

And yet empirically children raised by gay couples don't end up much worse adjusted than those raised by straight couples, and more generally parenting seems to have very little effect on children when controlling for genetics and nonshared environment.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T22:51:23.360Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

And yet empirically children raised by gay couples don't end up much worse adjusted than those raised by straight couples

Or rather anyone who publishes a study saying otherwise gets the "evil homophobe" treatment to encourage others to self-censor.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T23:03:29.285Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Why do studies that do find that it all comes down to genetics and nonshared environment not get the "evil racist" treatment?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-23T23:52:04.664Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Why do studies that do find that it all comes down to genetics and nonshared environment not get the "evil racist" treatment?

As long as they bend over backwards to avoid mentioning the potential racial implications. Otherwise, they do.

As for why studies showing the connection between race and things like IQ are now becoming "slightly more mainstream", probably because people have been noticing these things for decades and it's becoming increasingly obvious.

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-22T05:44:58.711Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

bathhouses and pride parades are a shitty example, but I'll admit that gay guys don't seem to be monogamous after I looked around for studies.

What are the internal dynamics you think are optimal for child-rearing?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T21:17:42.450Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What are the internal dynamics you think are optimal for child-rearing?

I don't know the details and I'm guessing neither does anyone else in this thread. However, stability is good, as well as being raised by people to whom Azathoth has given a desire to care about the child's future, as opposed to who are conditioned to regard the child as a rival for their children.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T22:46:38.178Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

as well as being raised by people to whom Azathoth has given a desire to care about the child's future, as opposed to who are conditioned to regard the child as a rival for their children

That'd be an argument against all adoptions and orphanages, not just gay adoptions.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T22:51:59.854Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The argument is weaker since ordinary adoptions are better at providing stability.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-27T01:08:01.993Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

2) Gays aren't monogamous. One obvious way to see this is to note how much gay culture is based around gay bathhouses. Another way is to image search pictures of gay pride parades.

I think the stereotype is that male gays are promiscuous while lesbians are the opposite. Given this, would you be in favour of letting lesbians adopt?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-26T14:02:46.557Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Gays aren't monogamous

You seriously don't know what you're talking about.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T13:35:32.427Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Different doesn't mean worse.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T21:11:55.495Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Most changes to working systems make things worse. Which means the burden of proof is on you to explain why the change you're advocating doesn't make things worse.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-23T18:41:23.308Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'll point out, again, that no one is making traditional child rearing arrangements unavailable, so it is not so much a change to "the" system as allowing other systems to operate.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-23T23:55:15.001Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

That's independent of the question of whether this the non-traditional arrangements are better or even workable.

Also, I'd be much more willing to tolerate them if there were schools I could send my children to where they weren't encouraged to "find of if they're gay" or "find out if they're trans".

Also if progressives are so in favor of "allowing other systems to operate", why to they freak out whenever some hamlet in the Bible Belt decides to teach creationism?

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-27T00:57:14.501Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When I went to school (not that long ago) there was no mention of homosexuality in school sex education by law, and there was homophobic bullying. Even the most liberal teacher said "if two pupils were in a gay relationship, we'd cross that bridge when we came to it". Despite this, some of my school friends were gay, and plenty of people of my age are gay.

Do you have a link to back up this claim of schools teaching children to "find out if they're trans"? There's a difference between preaching tolerance and preaching advocacy.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-27T06:56:03.177Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on where I went to school in a liberal state and what I describe was definitely going on.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-27T09:27:50.559Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you mean that at your school people were teaching children to "find out if they're trans"? If so, then please do describe what was going on.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-26T13:59:44.684Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sexual diversity is real; creation science is not. Schools must teach what is true.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-27T00:20:40.545Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Sexual diversity is real

In what sense? It's real in the sense that there are people who engage in gay sex and people who claim to be "really" the opposite gender. There are also people who rape, people who believe in creationism and people who believe themselves to be "spiritually" some animal.

That doesn't mean we should endorse their behaviors or take their claims at face value.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-27T00:42:17.484Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

there are people who engage in gay sex and who claim to be "really" the opposite gender

People who sleep with their same sex do not necessarily identify as homosexuals, and definitely not all homosexuals identify as transgender. They are not the same phenomenon, they must not be confused, and the fact that you confuse them reveals a lot about your suitability to have this discussion.

There are also people who rape, people who believe in creationism and people who believe themselves to be "spiritually" some animal.

No valid argument exists to equal homosexuality per se with, respectively, violating others' autonomy, being ridiculously misinformed, or having a psychiatric disorder.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-27T06:54:49.614Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

People who sleep with their same sex do not necessarily identify as homosexuals, and definitely not all homosexuals identify as transgender.

Sorry if my wording wasn't clear.

No valid argument exists to equal homosexuality per se with, (..) or having a psychiatric disorder.

I don't see what argument you can possible make for why say transsexuality shouldn't be considered a psychiatric disorder but being an "other kin" should. Today people who call transsexuality a psychiatric disorder are labeled "evil trasphobes", the way progressivism is going in a couple decades people, like yourself, who call other-kinness a psychiatric disorder will be labeled "evil other-kinphobes".

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-27T13:22:03.121Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Again, you are confusing homosexuality and transgenderism.

Same-sex attraction is not classified as a mental disorder and does not require any medical intervention.

On the other hand, gender dysphoria is classified as a mental disorder in the DSM, and the treatment is helping your body match your brain, not the other way around. "There is also evidence that transsexuals have parts of their brain structure that is typical of the opposite birth-assigned gender." That's why in another comment I said it's firmware: your gender identity cannot be 'repaired' because it's wired in your brain, and that's why the treatment is modifying your netherparts instead.

The problem with otherkin is that they deny their own humanity, which is in a completely different category than denying one's femaleness. (However, if future surgical advances allow anyone who wants to get functional hooves and wings implanted, I say let them be happy.)

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-28T05:37:56.299Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, gender dysphoria is classified as a mental disorder in the DSM, and the treatment is helping your body match your brain, not the other way around.

Um, you do realize the DSM's contents is massively influenced by politics?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-28T13:15:19.033Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's also listed in the WHO's ICD, if you prefer that source.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-12-01T02:58:39.049Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not as familiar with WHO's ICD; however, I'd expect the process that produces its contents to be similar to the one for the DSM.

comment by gjm · 2014-12-01T13:14:32.096Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Neither Bryan Caplan's post at the other end of that link, nor the Wired article he in turn links to, appears to me to be saying that the contents of the DSM are "massively influenced by politics".

[EDITED to add:] For the avoidance of doubt, I agree that both make a lot of criticisms of the DSM. I just don't see that "massively influenced by politics" is what they're complaining about.

comment by pragmatist · 2014-11-27T11:28:52.555Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see what argument you can possible make for why say transsexuality shouldn't be considered a psychiatric disorder but being an "other kin" should.

How about the fact that everything we know about ontogeny suggests that gender of a child of human parents should be more fluid than its species, since the determination and development of gender-typical physiology in utero is complex and multivocal? There are ontogenetic factors (insufficient uptake of testosterone, for instance) that might lead to a child with male-typical sexual organs but more female-typical neurological features. There aren't any analogously complex species-determining processes involved in the development of a child.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-28T05:37:07.839Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There are ontogenetic factors (insufficient uptake of testosterone, for instance) that might lead to a child with male-typical sexual organs but more female-typical neurological features.

Why would this effect the neurological and only the neurological features? On the other hand the example of other-kin shows that it's possible for a human brain to identify as something it isn't.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-12-02T03:01:52.170Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

People who sleep with their same sex do not necessarily identify as homosexuals

Just noticed this clause. Then which of the two is the thing that is supposedly 100% innate?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-02T13:06:55.647Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nothing prevents a straight man from having a night of experimentation, and he may or may not end up liking what he finds.

I couldn't care less whether sexual orientation is innate or a choice. If it's innate, the debate is over. If it's a choice, you're free. In both cases, nothing wrong has happened.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-12-03T02:59:36.986Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I couldn't care less whether sexual orientation is innate or a choice. If it's innate, the debate is over. If it's a choice, you're free. In both cases, nothing wrong has happened.

s/homosexuality/other-kinness in that paragraph. Do you still agree with it? If not, what's the difference?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-03T04:10:57.841Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

EDITED: It took me several minutes to guess what the s/ syntax probably meant.

Otherkin (or transgenderism, as discussed in previous posts) is an identity. It refers to who you are. Homosexuality is an orientation. It refers to whom you desire. They are different categories, but they can and do intersect (for example, if a person was born with lady parts, and only finds feminine people attractive, and identifies as male, that person is a transman, and not homosexual).

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-12-04T11:02:23.255Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Otherkin (or transgenderism, as discussed in previous posts) is an identity. It refers to who you are.

Can you taboo those italicised phrases? Or to put that differently, write it in E-Prime?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-04T14:08:48.076Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(Short version: No obligatory link ties a particular set of body parts with a particular set of personality traits.)

I cannot claim to know firsthand the experiences of a transgender person, but I will attempt to do it justice. What we call "gender identity" describes a subjective sense of alignment with a set of traits that our culture tends to associate with a biological sex. Every culture assigns its own sets of expected roles, rights, privileges, and allowed emotional range to people of each biological sex, and at its core individualism begins by questioning the validity of those expectations. Just like the shoemaker's son should not have his life options limited to shoemaking, a child born with lady parts should not have to perform only a nurturing, submissive role. But gender identity covers more than socially approved roles; it involves the way you present yourself to society, the language you choose to use, the clothes you feel comfortable with, the type of personal ties you prefer to establish, the virtues you embody. No obligatory link exists between a particular set of body parts and a particular set of personality traits. We also need to remember that gender identity does not necessarily follow a binary pattern; as intersex people exemplify, not even biological sex does. Evolution may have given us a very specific procedure for reproduction, but it says nothing about the way we should structure our society, and you cannot try to derive cultural norms from it without falling into an is-ought fallacy.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-12-04T15:23:20.384Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That all makes good sense, but to me it leaves two issues unexplained. The first is that for all the fluidity and conventionality claimed for the things summarised as "gender identity", it is still treated as a package deal even by transgender people: you perform either the standard male package or the standard female package, however those are defined by the culture around you, with no more variation from that standard than cis people show. The very names "trans" and "cis" embody the practice. Meanwhile, some cis women just get on with being assertive, and some cis men bring up children themselves.

The second is that many (most? I don't know) transgender people seek hormones or surgery to modify their bodies so as to more closely resemble, at least outwardly, the biology of their desired sex. Apparently, they desire not merely to perform that gender role, but to have that sex. Something more than gender roles is going on. That is also indicated by self-reports of gender dysphoria, where the sufferer experiences acute discomfort with the physical sensations of their own body's sex.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-04T16:41:36.810Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

it is still treated as a package deal even by transgender people: you perform either the standard male package or the standard female package

Trans people engage in more variation than that, actually.

modify their bodies so as to more closely resemble, at least outwardly, the biology of their desired sex

Not all have the same motivations. It depends on what you want your body to do. Some trans people care that others will treat them according to the image they present: it may be difficult for others to think of you as the man you feel you are if you lack the conventional signals (beard, voice, flat chest, etc.). For other trans people, erotic possibilities are the deciding factor: your body parts determine which sex acts are possible for you. Still other trans people may find that it's more an issue of overall self-image. And some trans people may simply not mind any of these factors and decide not to have any surgery at all.

For both issues, a more general reply is that acknowledging the variety of possibilities of human sexual experience involves acknowledging further variation at the individual level.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-12-04T17:06:02.492Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Trans people engage in more variation than that, actually.

I nearly said something about the concept of genderqueer in my previous message, which would have been to the effect that it's an alternative to the trans route rather than something that includes it.

Not all have the same motivations.

And yet "gender dysphoria" (which is the wrong name if gender is a conventional construct) isn't on your list, but from what I've read and heard seems to be the primary motivation for reassignment surgery.

The general point I'm making is that dissatisfaction with conventional, socially constructed ideas of gender cannot explain the whole transgender phenomenon.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-04T19:16:07.170Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed, just like only in soap-operas can male homosexuality be explained by bad experiences with women. There is evidence that brain structural differences play a big role in the appearance of varied sexual behaviors.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-12-06T01:24:24.882Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Otherkin (or transgenderism, as discussed in previous posts) is an identity. It refers to who you are. Homosexuality is an orientation. It refers to whom you desire.

And this distinction is relevant because?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-12-06T02:02:49.625Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I covered that in my responses to RichardKennaway in this same thread. I can see you're refusing to understand this issue. I'm done discussing with you.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-24T02:21:49.689Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If non traditional arrangements are unworkable then they die out,. Why be afraid of things you think are doomed to fail? Why oppose things that work?

Also, I'd be much more willing to tolerate them if there were schools I could send my children to where they weren't encouraged to "find of if they're gay" or "find out if they're trans".

Why? Because it's all imprinting? Heterosexuality is right because it is an inherent default, yet, so un-inherent that the rumour of an alternative will convert people?

Also if progressives are so in favor of "allowing other systems to operate", why to they freak out whenever some hamlet in the Bible Belt decides to teach creationism?

There's a difference between teaching creationism and teaching only creationism.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-25T00:59:50.681Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

If non traditional arrangements are unworkable then they die out,. Why be afraid of things you think are doomed to fail?

The question is what they'll take out with them when they do fail.

Why? Because it's all imprinting?

Not all imprinting but there's certainly some of that.

Heterosexuality is right because it is an inherent default,

No, heterosexuality (and monogamy) is right because it is an effective system for raising children.

yet, so un-inherent that the rumour of an alternative will convert people?

It will convert some people and cause others to mess up their lives. Also what these "find out if you're gay" programs are doing is much more than "a rumour of an alternative".

Also note how you've shifted from "please allow these other systems to operate" to "let us expose all children to these other systems".

There's a difference between teaching creationism and teaching only creationism.

Well even the former causes progressives to totally freak out.

[Edit: fixed, thanks OtherDavid].

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-25T22:19:47.090Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The question is what they'll take out with them when they do fail.

Indeed. So provide some evidence they'll take anything out.

No, heterosexuality (and monogamy) is right because it is an effective system for raising children.

There's no logical connection between "X is effective at Y" and "X is mandatory on everybody".

The existence of celibate priests , spinsters and other non breeders has not historically destroyed any societies.

It will convert some people and cause others to mess up their lives. Also what these "find out if you're gay" > programs are doing is much more than "a rumour of an alternative".

Evidence...evidence...and evidence?

(And notice how anomalous your claims are. In every other case, everybody, including conservatives, can understand the difference between teaching-about and teaching-to. Nobody thinks telling kids about Henry VIII will turn them into wife murderers)

Also note how you've shifted from "please allow these other systems to operate" to "let us expose all children to these other systems".

Nothing has changed.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-26T03:50:33.915Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

And notice how anomalous your claims are. In every other case, everybody, including conservatives, can understand the difference between teaching-about and teaching-to.

Um actually we do, the issue is that progressives what to do the latter.

Nobody thinks telling kids about Henry VIII will turn them into wife murderers

Depends on how it's taught. If the teachers emphasized Henry VIII's behavior as a positive example, they would turn some kids into wife murderers.

Frankly even teaching about will some kids into wife murderers, but the number of such kids is so small that its not worth worrying about (compared with the positive effect of giving the kids a more accurate map of reality.)

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-26T10:36:15.079Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Um actually we do, the issue is that progressives what to do the latter.

Evidence?

Frankly even teaching about will some kids into wife murderers,

Evidence?

comment by wedrifid · 2014-11-26T12:06:38.735Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Evidence?

Start here.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-26T13:24:51.602Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

And that's evidence of what? That persuasion is possible? That persuasion is persuasive (special .lu in marketing...)? That some extra bad kind of persuasion is happening in classrooms?

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-25T03:35:08.967Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

even the latter causes progressives to totally freak out.

I think you meant "even the former."

That is, I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to traditional lifestyles and belief systems that we are not even willing to allow them even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

Am I mistaken?

(To be clear: I am not interested in debating the merits of teaching creationism, teaching only creationism, encouraging heterosexuality, encouraging non-heterosexuality, etc. But if I've misunderstood you and you actually meant what you said in that last sentence, I'm intrigued.)

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-25T03:48:01.829Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think you meant "even the former."

Yes, sorry typo fixed.

That is, I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to traditional lifestyles and belief systems that we are not even willing to allow them even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

I assume you meant to put "creationism" for "traditional lifestyles" in that sentence.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-25T04:26:45.050Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't, actually. But if the argument you're making applies only to creationism and not to traditional lifestyles more generally, I'll be interested to learn that as well.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-25T04:31:59.948Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't, actually.

In that I case have no idea what you're talking about in the grandparent.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-25T22:05:05.408Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some examples:

I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to creationism that we are not even willing to allow it even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to treating one-man-one-woman families as a particularly valuable sort of family unit that we are not even willing to allow it even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to treating heterosexuality as intrinsically superior to homosexuality that we are not even willing to allow it even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to assigning social roles based on gender that we are not even willing to allow it even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

And so forth.

If I'm still unintelligible, I apologize for my lack of clarity and am happy to tap out here.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-26T03:52:07.017Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think the way the argument you're making is supposed to go is that progressives are so inimical to creationism that we are not even willing to allow it even to be discussed, which is why we freak out when anyone even tries to discuss them.

This was the argument I was making in the relevant paragraph.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-26T05:53:11.551Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Understood.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T23:49:19.242Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is a work of art.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T08:54:23.360Z · score: -4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I'm guessing the mentality behind this comment is, "oh my god, this guy dares to question transsexualism? that's eviiiilll".

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-20T09:45:05.527Z · score: 7 (11 votes) · LW · GW

The mentality behind it appears to me to be "that statement is such a blatant misdirection it is amazing".

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T09:52:53.455Z · score: -4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The mentality is, "wait, why aren't you openly admitting you're evil?"

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T13:49:05.397Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The more I think about it, the less sense this thread makes. You have openly admitted that you and your own private Idaho are not Cathedral2014!Good, loudly and clearly, for years. Why would I bother pretending like you're hiding it?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T13:52:00.695Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T13:32:31.299Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Uh, no? I thought it was a brilliant turn of phrase, aesthetically speaking. Sister thread is way off track.

comment by Toggle · 2014-11-18T04:42:06.271Z · score: 15 (19 votes) · LW · GW

It's curious to see the frequency of posts that start with "I am not a neoreactionary, but...". (This includes my own). If I'm not mistaken, they seem to outnumber the actual neoreactionary posts by a fair margin.

I think a call for patriarchal racially-stratified monarchy is catnip around here. Independently of its native virtues, I mean. It's a debate that couldn't even happen in most communities, so it's reinforcing our sense of LW's peculiar set of community mores. It's a radical but also unexpected vision of a technological future, so it has new ideas to wrestle with, and enough in the way of historical roots to reward study and give all participants the chance to learn. And it is political without being ossified in to tired and nationally televised debates, with new insights available to a clever thinker and plenty of room to pull sideways.

For that reason, I'm a little worried that it will receive disproportionate attention. I know my System 1 loves to read the stuff. But System 2... Enthusiastic engagement with political monarchy- pro or con- is not something I would like to see become a major feature of Less Wrong, so I think I'm going to publicly commit to posting no more than one NRx comment per month, pending major changes in community dynamics.

comment by Scott Alexander (Yvain) · 2014-11-21T08:02:34.760Z · score: 22 (22 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with Toggle that this might not have been the best place for this question.

The Circle of Life goes like this. Somebody associates Less Wrong with neoreactionaries, even though there are like ten of them here total. They start discussing neoreaction here, or asking their questions for neoreactionaries here. The discussion is high profile and leads more people to associate Less Wrong with neoreactionaries. That causes more people to discuss it and ask questions here, which causes more people to associate us, and it ends with everybody certain that we're full of neoreactionaries, and that ends with bad people who want to hurt us putting "LESS WRONG IS A RACIST NEOREACTIONARY WEBSITE" in big bold letters over everything.

If you really want to discuss neoreaction, I'd suggest you do it in an Slate Star Codex open thread, since apparently I'm way too tarnished by association with them to ever escape. Or you can go to a Xenosystems open thread and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

comment by JenniferRM · 2014-11-23T21:33:14.711Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I believe that the parent and grandparent should be the first two comments someone reads when visiting this article on the "Best" setting.

Here is the current open thread on Slate Star Codex if you want to vote with your feet to move NRx comments over there. I link so that Yvain doesn't have to :-)

Please do not upvote my comment here or comment in response if you agree. Instead, please vote on other comments to express agreement, so as to bring about the suggested outcome.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-18T05:23:50.828Z · score: 17 (19 votes) · LW · GW

For that reason, I'm a little worried that it will receive disproportionate attention.

Worried? This is the only place I've even heard of it. This place gives the very false impression that it's something that matters to people out in the real world.

Edit: the only exposure elsewhere ive had is when a friend who is a conisseur of bizarre stories about silicon valley shenanigans he can laugh at linked me to some article called 'geeks for monarchy'. He was 100% sure the writer had been trolled and found it hilarious.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T14:32:29.096Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

No, this was the troll post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/02/a-reader-writes-of-his-experience-among-the-dark-enlightenment-types.html

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-19T16:37:21.737Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hadn't seen that one (as previously stated). That is indeed a funny troll. However, my friend found the reporting in the geeks for monarchy article so outlandish that he was sure someone was putting a credulous writer on.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T09:35:19.957Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Straightforwardly equating NRx with monarchy is a very surface-level (mis)understanding.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T11:34:53.212Z · score: 4 (34 votes) · LW · GW

I think a call for patriarchal racially-stratified monarchy is catnip around here. Independently of its native virtues, I mean. It's a debate that couldn't even happen in most communities, so it's reinforcing our sense of LW's peculiar set of community mores.

Personal opinion follows. Contest it if you like, but your chance of swaying me by arguments without giving very hard evidence is low.

The fact that this is "catnip" for LW-ers is a bad thing. We ought to be giving neoreaction about as much credence as we give Creationism: it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning, and should be dismissed, not discussed to death.

comment by Prismattic · 2014-11-18T14:46:10.997Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Creationism was discussed to death long before Lesswrong existed, which is why people downvote attempts to rehash it as a waste of everyone's time. To the extent that Neoreaction is something different than plain old Reaction, a) it's a relatively new memeplex, so if it's bad, someone has to do the work of swatting it down, and b) when the Neoreactionaries aren't busy reviving obscure archaic words for their own jargon, they're using Lesswrong-style jargon. You run the risk of outsiders pattern-matching LW and Neoreaction together either way. I'd prefer the association be "Lesswrong is a place where neoreactionary ideas are discussed and sometimes criticized" than "Lesswrong is that place that sounds very similar to Neoreaction minus the explicit politics".

That being said, there's ample discussion already on Slate Star Codex, and I wouldn't want to see it crowding out other topics here.

comment by James_Ernest · 2014-11-21T06:54:01.154Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

when the Neoreactionaries aren't busy reviving obscure archaic words for their own jargon, they're using Lesswrong-style jargon

I believe the fact that neoreactionaries make frequent use of LW jargon is down to more than a founder effect.

There are multiple aspects to the LW memeplex that perform significant legwork in laying an epistemological foundation to mug intelligent social liberals with reality, which is close to the defining trait of neoreaction. To wit,

  • Physicalism, determinism, a universe Beyond the Reach of God; the universe is capable of arbitrarily deviating from wishful standards of fairness and equality, there are no cosmic attractors towards justice, humans can be effectively damned beyond redemption by biological variables outside the loci of moral agency.
  • Generalised optimisation systems; once you understand these, the leap to criticism of democracy as a massive cybernetic failure mode is almost trivial.
  • Game theory, for the public choice extension to the above.
  • A deep epistemology of taboos, which form the Dark Matter of democracy, around which our governing narratives swirl otherwise inexplicably.
  • Beliefs as constraints on expectations, versus belief as attire; this in itself is sufficient to generate enough conflict with official truth to put one far beyond the Overton window.
comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:36:22.008Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

That being said, there's ample discussion already on Slate Star Codex, and I wouldn't want to see it crowding out other topics here.

I keep hearing people say this. This is a rationalist site; why hasn't anyone gone out and generated some statistics?

comment by Prismattic · 2014-11-21T01:16:23.660Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand which half of that sentence you are objecting to, or what statistic in particular you would be looking for.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-21T02:47:21.807Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"crowding out"

comment by Prismattic · 2014-11-21T04:52:59.413Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, but I didn't say this had already happened. I said it is something I would not want to see happen in future. Possibly you were just using my comment as a convenient anchor for a point you were already prepping for someone else, but it doesn't really make sense to address it to me.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-20T13:07:09.114Z · score: -3 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I'm pleased to see more neoreaction here. This post makes me confident to come back.

Lesswrong needs to use rationality to speak out against the social justice warriors more. We need more rationalists to explain Gamergate and other initiatives. SSC and Ozy come out in favor of Gamergate and Eron Gjoni for example. Politics need not be the mind killer with showing sufficient working.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T07:48:24.483Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

a) it's a relatively new memeplex, so if it's bad, someone has to do the work of swatting it down,

Really? Because most ideas are bad, and that by default includes most new ideas, so I don't see why a new "memeplex" shouldn't justify itself rather than having a right to be taken seriously.

I'd prefer the association be "Lesswrong is a place where neoreactionary ideas are discussed and sometimes criticized" than "Lesswrong is that place that sounds very similar to Neoreaction minus the explicit politics".

Out in the world, LessWrong is more closely associated with Peter Thiel's brand of libertarianism, and gets all the flak and critiquing usually given to techno-libertarianism.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T08:17:35.108Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Because most ideas are bad, and that by default includes most new ideas, so I don't see why a new "memeplex" shouldn't justify itself rather than having a right to be taken seriously.

That horse has already left. Neoreaction is a thing now.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T08:41:25.438Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Among a self-selected group of nerds on the internet, yes. Whenever it gets noticed by larger society, said society reacts (ahaha) with revulsion. This is both as it should be, and as the neoreactionaries predict, but the point is that I don't think it's going to grow beyond the usual demographics of nerd-focused extremist movements.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T11:11:49.325Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are "nerd-focused extremist movements" a thing? I can't think of any other examples.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T12:17:46.314Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

As a matter of fact, extremist movements often seem to target or arise-from the educated sections of the middle-class...

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T13:21:39.608Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

So... 'nerd' means 'educated middle class'?

And by this definition, haven't some movements grown beyond this demographic?

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T20:48:23.684Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

which is why people downvote attempts to rehash it as a waste of everyone's time.

People have posted about creationism on LessWrong?

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-18T14:57:57.328Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"Lesswrong is that place that sounds very similar to Neoreaction minus the explicit politics".

That's only an observation that could be made by someone who knows what neoreaction sounds like. On the other hand by having LW posts about neoreactionary ideas anybody reading LW comes into contact with them.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T20:56:34.628Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Would you prefer that I had not posted for that reason?

In general, t seems...backwards to restrain the things the community talks about out of concern for how others will view the community as a result. Sort of like declaring a police state to protect the nominal freedoms of a Constitution. Shouldn't we talk about whatever interests us?

That said, in this particular instance, the OP is very contentious, with a significant of votes and just barely over 50% positive. It is something that at least many members of this community don't want to hear about.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-18T22:12:34.394Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Would you prefer that I had not posted for that reason?

Yes, but not very strongly. Given that your post is overall it positive karma it's however alright. Karma votes show you whether a majority thinks your post has a place or hasn't. Votes decide what threads have a place in discussion and which haven't.

Sort of like declaring a police state to protect the nominal freedoms of a Constitution.

Online communities are not states with guaranteed freedom of speech.

In general, t seems...backwards to restrain the things the community talks about out of concern for how others will view the community as a result.

It's not only about the perception of outsiders. It's also about what the people in this community think.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T23:54:24.081Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Online communities are not states with guaranteed freedom of speech.

Yes. I was making a poor analogy. Isn't the value of lesswrong that we are able to explore ideas things that are not admissible elsewhere for lack of interest, lack of training, or direct aversion? (This is obviously contestable. I invite you to contest it.) If the fundamental value of the community is compromised out of concern for its reputation, then the reputation is of increasingly less value.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T14:58:42.351Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't the value of lesswrong that we are able to explore ideas things that are not admissible elsewhere for lack of interest, lack of training, or direct aversion?

If you read the about page, that's not how LW statement of purpose is phrased.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T15:36:27.568Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To quote the About page

Unlike some skeptics, Less Wrong users don't automatically reject odd ideas and sometimes endorse them.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T15:50:42.969Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In this case "automatically" rejection would be a poor description even in the case where NRx is more discouraged.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T00:06:49.224Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

For a long time, LW was the only place you would read this stuff outside the tiny NRx blogosphere.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-19T01:40:41.378Z · score: 9 (21 votes) · LW · GW

it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning

Well I've been looking around NRx for a while and have seen a lot fewer false facts then in the "mainstream" sources. Do you have any examples of NRx false facts.

As for "bad ethics", If you define "bad ethics" as ethics that go against the current Progressive possition then yes NRx has "bad ethics". Of course by that definition any one who had 1994!"good ethics" has 2014!"bad ethics" and conversely, similarly someone who has 2014!"good ethics" like will turn out to have 2034!"bad ethics" and conversely, [Edit: and someone pointing out certain true facts has "doubleplusungood ethics"].

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T07:39:41.326Z · score: 1 (19 votes) · LW · GW

As for "bad ethics", I you define "bad ethics" as ethics that go against the current Progressive possition then yes NRx has "bad ethics".

Right and wrong are not defined by factional allegiance.

similarly someone who has 2014!"good ethics" like will turn out to have 2034!"bad ethics"

Dear God, I hope so! 2014 is barbaric! Have you even seen how many people are hungry, thirsty, sick, ignorant, enslaved, or debt-peons? Have you even bothered checking how much raw misery there is?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T05:24:47.815Z · score: 5 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Dear God, I hope so! 2014 is barbaric! Have you even seen how many people are hungry, thirsty, sick, ignorant, enslaved, or debt-peons? Have you even bothered checking how much raw misery there is?

Um, that's not what 2034!"bad ethics" means. That is in fact precisely the attitude that makes you 2014!"good". Obviously I don't know which of your attitudes will make your current self 2034!evil but some possibilities. (Note these are all from different event branches.)

1) Do you believe people's job should have a relation to their skills? That makes you a 2034(branch A)!evil abelist.

2) Do you believe your job should have any relation to your preferences? That makes you 2034(branch B)!selfish.

3) Do you believe people should be free to say "Allah doesn't exist"? That makes you a 2034(branch C)!evil Islamaphobe.

4) Do you believe parents have any responsibility towards the upbringing of their children? That makes you a 2034(branch D)!patriarchal oppressor.

I could invent more scenarios, but you get the idea.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:01:38.796Z · score: -2 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Except that 100% of your scenarios are based upon the concept that politics dictates ethics.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:40:36.784Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That there are many things that are considered good in 2014 but will no longer be considered good in 2034 is a standard progressive position.

comment by Salemicus · 2014-11-20T11:43:31.245Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but progressives always imagine that their views that will be vindicated in 2034. and their opponents' cast out. They never seem to consider the possibility that their current views will be regarded as wrong/outdated/evil, and those of their opponents (or possibly some as yet unknown view) triumphant. This pathology is not unique to progressives, but seems to be worse among them, because of their self-image as being "on the right side of history."

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:07:41.611Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Except that, once again, I am not defining right and wrong by political faction. You are.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T09:45:51.559Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

In that case how are you defining "right" and "wrong" are you using when you make the claim the neoreaction is based on "bad ethics"? If the answer is "whatever feels wrong to eli_sennesh", you might want to look into how you came to have those feelings.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T10:15:47.156Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I posted an explicit statement of a moral system I'm willing to call my current view waaaaay up in the thread. Go use that algorithm, and then explain to me how neoreaction isn't bad ethics.

It appears to me that neoreaction has a severe problem talking to ethical naturalists in general, as it founds itself on a strong ethical antirealism that doesn't allow for ordinary-realist nor constructivist ethics, instead considering all available concepts of right and wrong to be mere cultural and material contingencies, thus yielding a fundamental imperative to preserve one's existing cultural "values" at all costs. Add the (frankly bizarre, given the circumstances: if nothing is true and everything is permitted, what's so bad about Cthulhu?) view of "progressivism" as corrupting, and then add the normal human impulse to consider Purity-Poison as a moral axis, and you've got the basics of neoreaction.

The problem being, it all only hangs together if you assume both the normative relevance of the Purity-Poison axis to attack "progressivism" (scare-quotes because today's conservatives get tarred as "progressives"), and the view of all morals and values as culturally relative.

Of course, I think I might be mixing Caroline Glick with neoreaction here, but she's practically a neoreactionary who evolved outside the San Francisco futurist community anyway.

So before you can really make this point you want to make, you have to conclusively prove not merely that some political party or another fails to represent "real" ethics (for the record, I'm a pragmatist-socialist politically, and thus consider myself at home in none of the mainstream parties in any country where I can vote), but that realist ethics are in the general case impossible.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T21:10:04.171Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

This is a bizarre and uncharitable misreading, and it ought to be clear that this is so from not only the contradiction you point out, but also the number of Christians in neoreaction.

First of all, ought-statements can't be grounded completely in is-statements, but they also can't be grounded completely in other ought-statements. Many disagreements that will appear to the progressive as normative in character are actually descriptive. (I wonder if this is related to progressivism's retreat into deontological rights-talk, which does make it a moral argument -- but deontology, while useful for some things, is hopelessly absurd as an actual grounding for ethics.) Is Roissy a deontologist, a utilitarian, or what? Who knows? -- his disagreements are generally descriptive ones, and, since the ethical systems that humans in similar cultures and circumstances(1) actually use generally give similar outputs to the same inputs(2) (except for unrealistic edge cases like the trolley problem), it doesn't really matter.

Second, go look at the Hestia Society's motto. The groundwork for one of the neoreactionary positions (though there isn't only one, and this particular one isn't limited to neoreaction) follows easily from a rejection of both Whig history and anarcho-primitivism: if civilization is vastly preferable to savagery, but the continued existence and advance of civilization is not guaranteed by the World-Spirit, present-morality maximizers pose a serious threat of unwittingly making tradeoffs that will be disastrous later, by weakening the foundations of civilization and contributing to collapse. Even if progressivism is a present-morality maximizer, it has not established -- and (because Whig history) is incapable of establishing -- that it is not making these tradeoffs. To even ask that question is to leave progressivism.

(Yes, this is one of those permanent states of emergency that leftists sometimes rail against -- but it's not as if they don't have their own.)

  1. Roissy is an educated Western urbanite, and IIRC Jewish.

  2. Similar enough for moral discourse to be possible without immediately collapsing into philosophy.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-21T12:06:15.355Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

... What are you talking about? Who's Roissy? You appear to have responded to the wrong comment, written an irrelevant rant, and dragged in your voting brigade to receive +6 points.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-21T13:45:15.234Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What? It's a perfectly valid response to your claim that neoreaction is filled with moral anti-realists who are obsessed with arbitrary value preservation. Also, Roissy is Heartiste.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T16:51:43.068Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It doesn't seem a valid response to me, since it doesn't explain why neoreactionaries actually think, why they think it, and how they justify realism about their own views (that is, why they think neoreaction is true for all rational humans and not just plausible to a small clique). It mostly just attacks "progressives".

comment by JenniferRM · 2014-11-23T21:15:22.309Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have upvoted for asking good questions :-)

If it helps, I think maybe you are thinking of "neo-reactionaries" and "progressives" as being a local modern phenomena, perhaps even just happening in the comments of this article.

If you post a PDF in the thread with your own idiosyncratic ideals, that serves for you to describe what you mean and stand for and think is good, and functions as the "ground" of a debate that you're willing to defend.

On the other hand, nydrwacu is coming at this from the perspective of a deeply-read aspiring expert in the practicalities of political semiotics. I think, for example, that his reference to a capitalized "World Spirit" is a reference to Hegel's concept of a Weltgeist which was widely known in the past, and explicitly used as a concept under which to organize actual historically existing political factions. If you were "against the Weltgeist" it had a simultaneously factional and practical meaning that was necessarily related both to meta-ethical doctrines and to propaganda processes that bound factions into social machines with many real world consequences that can themselves be judged.

When you said "neoreaction has a severe problem talking to ethical naturalists in general" (presuming pointing with the word "neoreaction" to speakers in this thread as "neoreaction") nydrwacu responded by pointing to actual "neoreactionaries" (not "I'm not a neoreactionary but I read them sometimes" but full fledged ones) who are not LWers and not in this thread (like Roissy and the Hestia Society) who appear to have some grounding in "naturalistic ethics". However their naturalistic ethics are grounded in things other than something with historical continuity with the faction that used the Weltgeist in their rallying cries...

(Or at least that's what they claim... For myself, I think neoreactionaries are in some sense just "super-ultra-progressives" if their own theories are applied to them in ways they might object to.)

A deeper issue here might be that neo-reactionaires have explicit theories about political categorization processes themselves (how they work, when they disgree, how to use them, etc), and one of their categorization techniques is socio-political cladistics.

Thus, if you use a Weltgeist-like justification, and are clearly influenced by previous Weltgeist-using political thinkers, neoreactionaries will sometimes lump you cladistically as all being part of the same unfurling memetic-political process that they can read about in history books and try to do bayesian updates thereby.

This is itself a somewhat controversial orientation. It is politically essentializing and can cause people to feel insulted when the descriptive process is applied to them with results they don't like based on history and people they don't even know about... if they didn't put the word "Weltgeist" in their personal statement of beliefs how can they be held responsible for the actions and consequences of people who did?!

However, despite the shortcomings of cladistic analysis, you can see that operating at this level of abstraction might be appealing to a certain kind of smarty-pants. Also, it has at least the virtue of creating a pre-stated data-based solution to some games of reference class tennis that might otherwise happen in political debates.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-24T09:09:58.624Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's nice, but it seems to support the preconception I held, not refute it: neoreaction is all one elaborate game of "kill that faction/clade we don't like!" and, when called to offer positive evidence in favor of their own particular set of truth-claims... they don't even seem to make particular truth-claims, let alone offer positive evidence to justify those claims.

I don't particularly give a damn about the factional games. Just offer a set of truth claims and their justification, and then we can talk.

comment by satt · 2014-11-20T01:43:18.280Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

We ought to be giving neoreaction about as much credence as we give Creationism: it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning, and should be dismissed, not discussed to death.

If this were as obvious to the rest of LW as it is to you, I think neoreaction would already have been dismissed by us.

Something like 95% of LWers self-classify as social liberals. Why would such a phenomenally non-socially-conservative group fixate on neoreaction unless it had some surface plausibility? (Prismattic observes that neoreaction is relatively new, and uses our jargon. I think the former fact doesn't actually explain much, because new a-priori-unappealing-to-LW ideas are surely being born all the time, yet we don't hear about them. That neoreaction uses bits of LW argot is probably more relevant, but it's hard for me to imagine it being the whole explanation. Would a serious creationist last long here just because they larded their comments with our jargon?)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:15:44.345Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Something like 95% of LWers self-classify as social liberals.

Regrettable! I'd hope more would have the good sense to be Communists ;-).

Why would such a phenomenally non-socially-conservative group fixate on neoreaction unless it had some surface plausibility?

Because people are often attracted to things which offend them, like Republican Senators and homosexual prostitution ;-). This is pretty obvious if you model LWers as human beings rather than Bayesian utility maximizers.

That neoreaction uses bits of LW argot is probably more relevant, but it's hard for me to imagine it being the whole explanation. Would a serious creationist last long here just because they larded their comments with our jargon?

That depends. Was he once a spokesman for the Singularity Institute?

comment by satt · 2014-11-21T01:08:38.387Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Regrettable! I'd hope more would have the good sense to be Communists ;-).

At least you can console yourself with communism's infinite growth rate since our first survey!

Because people are often attracted to things which offend them, like Republican Senators and homosexual prostitution ;-). This is pretty obvious if you model LWers as human beings rather than Bayesian utility maximizers.

It may be "pretty obvious", but does it work as an explanation? Other socially conservative ideologies (like the mainstream US conservatism represented by "Republican Senators"; Nazism; and old-school, pre-Internet reaction) haven't captured LW's attention as neoreaction has, despite landing in the same category of "things which offend" social liberals. (And I'm not even considering left-wing ideologies fitting that criterion. I've yet to see any Holodomor-denying Stalinists here, for instance.)

That depends. Was he once a spokesman for the Singularity Institute?

Ba-dum-tssh!

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T19:09:21.842Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

That depends. Was he once a spokesman for the Singularity Institute?

I was media director and also came up for the idea for Singularity Summit, yes.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T00:04:37.569Z · score: -26 (56 votes) · LW · GW

The fact that this is "catnip" for LW-ers is a bad thing. We ought to be giving neoreaction about as much credence as we give Creationism: it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning, and should be dismissed, not discussed to death.

I note (and others have noted) that SSC, although hosting the definitive NRx takedown, still puts NRx ideas in the sphere of things to be discussed calmly with steelmanning; whereas it reacts with actual disgust and lack of philosophical charity to feminism, social justice, Tumblr, etc. And that Yvain was literally surprised to find himself becoming more right-wing after hanging around neoreactionaries, i.e. that he was picking up his ideas from his friends.

comment by Scott Alexander (Yvain) · 2014-11-21T07:09:01.738Z · score: 49 (49 votes) · LW · GW

I've been advised to come here and defend myself.

If you haven't been watching closely, David Gerard has been spreading these same smears about me on RationalWiki, on Twitter, and now here. His tweets accuse me of treating the Left in general and the social justice movement in particular with "frothing" and as "ordure". And now he comes here and adds Tumblr to the list of victims, and "actual disgust" to the list of adjectives.

I resent this because it is a complete fabrication.

I resent it because, far from a frothing hatred of Tumblr, I myself have a Tumblr account which I use almost every day and which I've made three hundred posts on. Sure, I've gently mocked Tumblr (as has every Tumblr user) but I've also very publicly praised it for hosting some very interesting and enlightening conversations.

I resent it because I've posted a bunch of long defenses and steelmannings of social justice ideas like Social Justice For The Highly Demanding Of Rigor and The Wonderful Thing About Triggers, some of which have gone mildly viral in the social justice blogosphere, and some of which have led to people emailing me or commenting saying they've changed their minds and become less hostile to social justice as a result.

I resent it because, far from failing to intellectually engage with the Left, in the past couple of months I've read, reviewed, and enjoyed left-leaning books on Marx, the Soviet economy, and market socialism

I resent it because the time I most remember someone trying to engage me about social justice, Apophemi, I wrote a seven thousand word response which I consider excruciatingly polite, which started with a careful justification for why writing it would be more productive and respectful than not writing it, and which ended with a heartfelt apology for the couple of things I had gotten wrong on my last post on the subject.

(Disgust! Frothing! Ordure!)

I resent it because I happily hosted Ozy's social justice blogging for several months, giving them an audience for posts like their takedown of Heartiste, which was also very well-received and got social justice ideas to people who otherwise wouldn't have seen them.

I resent it because about a fifth of my blogroll is social justice or social justice-aligned blogs, each of which get a couple dozen hits from me a day.

I resent it because even in my most impassioned posts about social justice, I try to make it very clear that there are parts of the movement which make excellent points, and figures in the movement I highly respect. Even in what I think everyone here will agree is my meanest post on the subject, Radicalizing the Romanceless, I stop to say the following about the social justice blogger I am arguing against:

[He] is a neat guy. He draws amazing comics and he runs one of the most popular, most intellectual, and longest-standing feminist blogs on the Internet. I have debated him several times, and although he can be enragingly persistent he has always been reasonable...He cares deeply about a lot of things, works hard for those things, and has supported my friends when they have most needed support.

(DISGUST! FROTHING! ORDURE!)

I resent it because it trivializes all of my sick burns against neoreactionaries, like the time I accused them of worshipping Kim Jong-un as a god, and the time I said they were obsessed with "precious, precious, white people", and the time I mocked Jim for thinking Eugene V. Debs was a Supreme Court case.

I resent this because anyone who looks at my posts tagged with social justice can see that almost as many are in favor as against.

And I resent this because I'm being taken to task about charity by somebody whose own concept of a balanced and reasonable debate is retweeting stuff like this -- and again and again calling the people he disagrees with "shitlords"

(which puts his faux-horror that I treat people I disagree with 'like ordure' in a pretty interesting new light)

No matter how many pro-social-justice posts I write, how fair and nice I am, or what I do, David Gerard is going to keep spreading these smears about me until I refuse to ever engage with anyone who disagrees with him about anything at all. As long as I'm saying anything other than "every view held by David Gerard is perfect and flawless and everyone who disagrees with David Gerard is a shitlord who deserve to die", he is going to keep concern-trolling you guys that I am "biased" or "unfair".

Please give his continued campaigning along these lines the total lack of attention it richly deserves.

comment by Cyan · 2014-11-25T01:24:06.818Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a SSC fan and highly sympathetic to SJ goals and ideals. One of the core LW meetup members in my city can't stand to read SSC on account of what he perceives to be constant bashing of SJ. (I've already checked and verified that his perception of the proportion of SJ bashing in SSC posts is a massive overestimate, probably caused by selection bias.) As a specific example of verbiage that he considers typical of SSC he cited:

And the people who talk about “Nice Guys” – and the people who enable them, praise them, and link to them – are blurring the already rather thin line between “feminism” and “literally Voldemort”.

When I read that line, I didn't take it literally -- in spite of the use of the word "literally". I just kind of skipped over it. But after it was pointed out to me that I ought to take it literally, well... "frothing" is a pretty good description.

I remain a SSC fan, but I'm less likely to just blank out the meaning of these kinds of things now.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T08:47:39.208Z · score: 3 (17 votes) · LW · GW

No matter how many pro-social-justice posts I write, how fair and nice I am, or what I do, David Gerard is going to keep spreading these smears about me until I refuse to ever engage with anyone who disagrees with him about anything at all.

Have you considered that you should stop bending over backwards to get SJW's to like you since it's not going to happen anyway?

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-21T23:17:40.232Z · score: -45 (49 votes) · LW · GW

This is a frankly boggling rant I have no intention of engaging.

comment by 27chaos · 2014-11-22T00:50:01.582Z · score: 6 (18 votes) · LW · GW

k

comment by V_V · 2014-11-19T20:10:30.897Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Yvain admits that he had negative personal experiences with feminists that may have left him prejudiced. It's a bias, but at least he is aware of it.

Biases aside, I think that many people, including Yvain, are concerned by the large political influence that SJWs can exert.
NRx, as wrong as they might be, hold virtually zero political influence at the moment, hence debating them is just an intellectual exercise.
SJWs can influence mainstream media, college policies and even legislation. They are perceived as hostile towards straight white men, and especially towards geeks (nerds, sci-fi fans, gamers, etc.). For people belonging to these groups, political opposition to SJWs is a matter of self-preservation.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T20:19:47.717Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

large political influence that SJWs can exert

Today's example.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T20:33:04.134Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Not so. This guy might describe himself as a "pickup artist" and even work with Real Social Dynamics, but much of the community considers his 'methods' to be quite disgraceful. (Note that RSD itself is among the most reputable pickup groups nowadays, regardless of this particular controversy.) And SJW's (in the Tumblr sense) had little to do with him being barred from entering so many countries.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T20:40:42.321Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

considers his 'methods' to be quite disgraceful.

And why should the gracefulness of his methods matter for the purpose of granting a visa?

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T20:48:29.806Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Why shouldn't it? Julien Blanc is not a UK citizen, he's an alien national who wishes to do business in the UK by teaching his methods there. Entering the country is a privilege, not a right.

comment by V_V · 2014-11-21T00:47:10.952Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Entering the country is a privilege

Check your privilege! XD

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Anyway, yes, a government has the sovereign right to deny foreign citizens the possibility to enter the country, but it needs legal basis to do so. It's not like any random clerk at the visa office can turn you back because they don't like your face.
I don't know what legal justification they used to keep Julien Blanc out, but given the type of people that the UK has let in its territory, I guess it was probably quite unusual.

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2014-11-20T14:21:24.750Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Entering the country is a privilege, not a right.

Fair enough, but are we applying this standard uniformly, given the fact that e.g. Rotherham happened.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T20:54:40.693Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

We are not talking about the rights of a sovereign government. HM Government can bar, say, anyone with a moustache from entering the UK and it would be fully within its rights.

comment by rkdj · 2014-11-19T06:54:21.494Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

whereas it reacts with actual disgust and lack of philosophical charity to feminism, social justice, Tumblr, etc

http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/04/20/social-justice-for-the-highly-demanding-of-rigor/

comment by Dahlen · 2014-11-21T02:08:17.984Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

It's about the difference in quality of debate. Their manifold flaws notwithstanding, at least most neoreactionaries are articulate (Moldbug almost esoterically so). SJWs on the other hand feel entitled to go apeshit on you -- to hell with convincing and productive debates.

The steelmanning is due to the fact that neoreaction is a strange composite of a few very good things (originality, aesthetics, appreciation for virtue) dispersed in an extremely toxic medium of hatred, drive for dominance, and undue confidence in the rightfulness of their own ideas. (Most of neoreaction only makes sense from a sociopathic perspective). A mind that is wise and cautious in judgment sees the good along with the bad and figures out these guys can't quite be total sociopaths if you listen to them talking about what they like and strive for (and besides some of them can put up a strong case for their position), and so proceeds to attempt to filter the good ideas from the hateful drivel. A productive discussion may sometimes ensue; NRs may be quite hateful, but their natural habitat is the ivory tower rather than the sewage system that is the comments section. If you want far right low level trolling, there are better places for that.

By contrast -- I don't know what your experience was with SJWs, but this is how it was for me -- SJWs do nothing but low level trolling. They aren't going to give you anything you can conceivably desire out of the discussion (not even timely exit); they just want to fight. It's a great stretch of imagination to connect their verbal abuses to that one trait that psychologically distinguishes left from right, tenderness of heart. It's not difficult to see how they can be even worse than NRs at endearing themselves to one. The fact that they managed to exasperate Scott, who comes off as a supernaturally patient person in general, is a fact that should bear some consideration.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T00:56:26.825Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Tumblr!social_justice and Tumblr!feminism (note the Tumblr! part) are not political ideas, though; they're more closely described as echo chambers (whoops, sorry, I meant to say "safe spaces", of course.) where meaningless duckspeak is endlessly repeated - so reacting with disgust and ridicule to them is arguably appropriate given LW's and - plausibly - SSC's goals. Neoreaction at least makes the grade as something that's (marginally) politically relevant. Which is still not saying much, of course.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T07:41:57.100Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

While Tumblr is of course awful, the simple answer is for Yvain to treat Tumblr as I treat neoreaction: close the browser tab and move on with life, good riddance to bad nonsense.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-19T11:16:36.670Z · score: 24 (26 votes) · LW · GW

When I close the browser tab with neoreaction, I have a decent chance of never meeting a neoreactionary in my real life, so the problem is solved. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about Tumblr!feminists. They are also rare, but I have already had the "pleasure" of meeting three of them. (Twice, they have cost me a female friend, because they were a friend of the friend, and have successfully convinced my friend that I am an evil person, because I happen to have an Y chromosome, which is a huge red flag for them. The third time, they have publicly accused my friend of being racist, when she dared to say that some traits correlate with certain genes, in a group of people who previously said more or less that genetics is a burgeoise pseudoscience.)

Unlike neoreaction, feminism happens to be a topic in real life (one could even call it a billion dollar industry, if we include all the government money spent on gender studies, female-only projects, etc.), so its perversions have a real impact. Many people spend a lot of time online, and if they meet the Tumblr version first, some of them will conclude this is the true version.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T23:37:51.296Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

What country do you live in that allows you to think these things only exist on the internet?

comment by othercriteria · 2014-11-19T04:13:01.248Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

echo chambers [...] where meaningless duckspeak is endlessly repeated

Imagine how intolerable NRx would be if it were to acquire one of these. Fortunately, their ideas are too extreme for 4chan, even, so I have no idea where such a forum would be hosted.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T04:25:02.448Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

so I have no idea where such a forum would be hosted

It may strike you as anarchy, but pretty much anyone can host a forum on the internet for insignificant amounts of money or even for free.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T14:39:09.623Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Imagine how intolerable NRx would be if it were to acquire one of these.

Of course we have one, but it's secret.

comment by Vulture · 2014-11-25T04:24:10.338Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Everyone knows about your 8chan board, bro :P

comment by bramflakes · 2014-11-19T23:18:19.729Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

[deleted]

comment by dxu · 2014-11-19T04:51:40.910Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Having only a passing familiarity with Slate Star Codex, I can't claim to have much knowledge of the context here. However, using information gleaned from this comment alone, I would say that polite steelmanning is probably the default reaction to a lot of things as far as LW readers are concerned (this is obviously and sadly untrue outside of these circles), and that if feminism, social justice, and Tumblr were reacted to with genuine disgust, something probably happened to justify that disgust. If I'm wrong about this, feel free to inform me.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T09:40:36.572Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Where did Yvain state this? I didn't think he had any neoreactionary friends.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T14:21:35.500Z · score: -5 (19 votes) · LW · GW

"In the past two months I have inexplicably and very very suddenly become much more conservative. This isn’t the type of conservativism where I agree with any conservative policies, mind you. Those still seem totally wrong-headed to me. It’s the sort of conservativism where, even though conservatives seem to be wrong about everything, often in horrible or hateful ways, they seem like probably mostly decent people deep down, whereas I have to physically restrain myself from going on Glenn Beck style rants about how much I hate leftists and how much they are ruining everything. Even though I mostly agree with the leftists whenever they say something."

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/04/22/right-is-the-new-left/

"friends" may be an overstatement. But definitely "people whose ideas he steeps himself in". Well done, you have a convert in the making.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T14:41:13.597Z · score: 12 (18 votes) · LW · GW

You specifically said he was "hanging around neoreactionaries". It sounds like a quibble, but it's actually worth knowing the real result. The entire weight of your original statement implied his ideological change came from the people he was actually spending time with IRL. But now in this latest post you admit you were wrong about that, and that's important.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-21T00:56:15.394Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

These things are disgusting. Slate Star is increasing in reasonableness.

comment by HopefullyCreative · 2014-11-18T04:05:51.383Z · score: 14 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed this topic because it introduced me to new concepts. When I clicked on this discussion I hadn't a clue what Neo-Reactionaries were. I knew what a political reactionary is but I hadn't a clue about this particular movement.

The thing that I have found fascinating is the fundamental concept of the movement (and please correct me if I am wrong) is that they want a way out. That the current system is horribly flawed, eventually doomed and that they want to strike a new deal that would fix things once and for all. The recognition is that even if abolished governments will again form. As such they hope to devise a government that is no longer a sham, and structurally will have finally the best interest of the people at its heart instead of selfishness.

What fascinates me about this is some of the discussions about AGI here. Plenty of people apparently feel that eventually agi will rule over us. They essentially are interested in building "a better tyrant." I don't know, give me a thumbs down on this comment if you want but I found the parallel interesting. Of course many ideologies are more alike then people care to admit. For example communism is supposed to be economic and social power sharing and to ensure at the very least everyone's material needs are met. Capitalism and the corporate structure actually aim for the same thing.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T14:56:55.284Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I tend to consider Exit and We Want a King as different theories.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T15:55:49.561Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Exit starts to get close to libertarian/anarchic schools of thought (e.g. seasteading is generally thought of as ancap), which is almost diametrically opposed to We Want a King.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T16:21:16.108Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm. Well, the monarchists think they are going to get some Vetinari style ruler who lets business faire, although that hasn't been common historically.

It looks like I further need to distinguish between We Want Exit, and Everyone has a Right to Exit. The latter fads up to World Government, the former falls apart over biological sustainability.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T17:12:47.903Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It looks like I further need to distinguish between We Want Exit, and Everyone has a Right to Exit. The latter fads up to World Government, the former falls apart over biological sustainability.

I don't understand, surely "Everyone has a Right to Exit" is the opposite to world government? And why is "We Want Exit" unsustainable?

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T21:37:20.725Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Who guarantees the right?

A bunch of mostly male geeks in a boat doesn't look very sustainable to me.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T21:50:35.543Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well, seasteading is certainly not particularly scalable. But while its mostly male geeks now, who knows what the demographics would look like when it gets going?

As for who guarantees the right, well, most countries allow their citizens to emigrate if they want.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T22:45:04.765Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly. Which is why exit is actually about entry.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T11:34:30.533Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

As such they hope to devise a government that is no longer a sham, and structurally will have finally the best interest of the people at its heart instead of selfishness.

Except that they somehow believe no democracy can ever accomplish this goal.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T14:36:57.233Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, because there are fundamentally high time preference incentives in democracy.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T17:05:32.825Z · score: 8 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Since you LinkedIn stalked me and we do look to be associated with common organizations now and in the future, I'm going to restrain my emotions and try to discuss this issue. Instead of, you know, just strangling you through my monitor.

"For the next election!" is obviously a problem with current forms of democratic government. But I do think that if you were honestly trying to address that issue for the good of all, you would at least mention such proposals as commons trusts, if only to argue against them -- but they would be in your hypothesis space in the first place. Instead, "we have a problem in current-day democracy, especially American democracy" is taken as justification for, "It's time for a radical leap back to 1788 France" and other such neoreactionary positions.

To me, this stinks of motivated cognition. What you want is the absolute monarchy, or the seasteading, or the corporatized city-states, or Lord of the Rings, or something; the flaws in democracy are but a justification, not a reason. If you want to have honest discussions about these sorts of things, you can ask that the usual "Holy crap that guy is evil!" reactions be turned-off temporarily (I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum from you, so I know exactly what it's like to get that reaction upon mentioning my politics in polite conversation, especially in the damn-dirty-liberal-capitalist USA), and then come out and explain your real motivations. Until you admit what your real goal is, nobody can do anything but try to clear away the rhetorical smoke your faction is somewhat rudely throwing into the air.

Maybe you have fundamentally decent and honest intentions. Maybe you have fundamentally malevolent intentions but simply aren't configured to perceive right and wrong like the rest of us. But if you keep stinking everything up with obscurantist ranting about how everyone else besides you is both malevolent and insane, others will continue treating your ideological faction as logically rude.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T05:10:30.274Z · score: 2 (12 votes) · LW · GW

But I do think that if you were honestly trying to address that issue for the good of all, you would at least mention such proposals as commons trusts

Following your link, the description is high on left-wing buzzwords and light on actual details. I fail to see why either Michael or my self should waste our time with every crackpot proposal.

Ok, attempting the steelman their proposal it seems to amount to setting up a trust to be managed by a group omni-benevolet trustees. Problems like where these trustees are supposed to come from, how their omni-benevolence is to be maintained, or even the practical details of how the trust will operate are glossed over or given vague hand-wavy answers. Depending on how those questions are answered this trust might even resemble a neo-reactionary state with the aristocrats called "trustees" although there are hints that's not the direction they're going.

To me, this stinks of motivated cognition.

Lol, have you read the site you linked to? That's a good example of motivated cognition. All the statements are of the form "in the trust [buzzword heavy good thing will happen]" with no explanation of what the causal mechanism leading to the thing happening will be. One gets the feeling that their thought process is "[good think] is good therefore in must happen".

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:05:58.031Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Following your link, the description is high on left-wing buzzwords and light on actual details. I fail to see why either Michael or my self should waste our time with every crackpot proposal.

Which is exactly the same thing I normally say to your crackpot proposals, but this time I decided to be nice and actually try talking to you. I won't be so bothered again, since your entire post is basically "lol lefties" instead of actually answering the question as to why you lot seem to jump from "current-day American government is flawed" to "hurrah 18th-century monarchy!" with no distribution over possible solutions, or evidence, or search process in between.

Which rather confirms my hypothesis that it's a case of motivated cognition, and you're not worth engaging.

Ok, attempting the steelman their proposal it seems to amount to setting up a trust to be managed by a group omni-benevolet trustees. Problems like where these trustees are supposed to come from, how their omni-benevolence is to be maintained, or even the practical details of how the trust will operate are glossed over or given vague hand-wavy answers.

Not omnibenevolent: stop strawmanning. Accountable through the court system. When beneficiaries believe trustees are acting against their trust, they file suit, and an expert judge makes the actual decision based on the trust's charter. Just like in all established trusts under current law, some of which are actually-existing commons trusts. Duh.

Lol, have you read the site you linked to?

I had actually wanted to link a Wikipedia page for the subject, but Google yielded none. Alas.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T11:28:43.061Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Eli, I found Scott Alexander's steelmanning of the NRx critique to be an interesting, even persuassive critique of modern progressivism, having not been exposed to this movement prior to today. However I am also equally confused at the jump from "modern liberal democracies are flawed" to "restore the devine-right-of-kings!" I've always hated the quip "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others" (we've yet tried), but I think it applies here.

Do you have a link you can provide which explains your own political philosophy, or something close to it? Since your comments here address exactly the concerns I had in reading NRx material, I'm curious to see where you are coming from.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T12:24:27.593Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have a link you can provide which explains your own political philosophy, or something close to it?

Unfortunately, no, as my own views are by now a cocktail mixed from so many different original drinks that no one bottle or written recipe will yield the complete product.

I've always hated the quip "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others" (we've yet tried), but I think it applies here.

What I would say in reply to this is:

A) Dissolve "democracy", and not just in the philosophical sense, but in the sense that there have been many different kinds of actually existing democracies. Even within the deontological, arbitrary restriction, "ONLY DEMOCRACY EVER", one can easily debate whether a mixed-member proportional Parliament performs better than a district-based bicameral Congress, or whether a pure Westminster system beats them both, or whether a Presidential system works better, or whatever. Particular institutional designs yield particular institutional behaviors, and generalizing across large categories of institutional designs requires large amounts of evidence.

B) Dissolve "democracy" in the philosophical sense, and ask: what are the terminal goals democracy serves? How much do we support those goals, and how much do current democratic systems suffer approximation error by forcing our terminal goals to fit inside the hypothesis space our actual institutions instantiate? For however much we do support those goals, why do we shape these particular institutions to serve those goals, and not other institutions? (Asking that last question in the form of "If states are democratic, why not workplaces?" is the core issue of democratic socialism, and I would indeed count myself a democratic socialist. But you get different answers and inferences if you ask about schools or churches, don't you?)

C) Learn first to explicitly identify yourself with a political "tribe", and next to consider political ideas individually, as questions of fact and value subject to investigation via epistemology and moral epistemology, rather than treating politics as "tribal". Tribalism is the mind-killer: keeping your own explicit tribal identification in mind helps you notice when you're being tribalist, and helps you distinguish your own tribe's customs from universal truths -- both aids to your political rationality. Lastly, yes, while politics has always been at least a little tribal, the particular form the tribes take varies through time and space: the division of society into a "blue tribe" and a "red tribe" (as described by Scott Alexander on Slate Star Codex), for example, is peculiar to late-20th-century and early-21st-century USA. Other countries, and other times, have significantly different arrangements of tribes, so if you don't learn to distinguish between ideas and tribes, you'll not only fail at political rationality, you'll give yourself severe culture shock.

D) Learn to check political ideas by looking at the actually-existing implementations. This works, since most political ideas are not actually perfectly new. Commons trusts exist, for example, the "movement" supporting them just wants to scale them up to cover all society's important common assets rather than just tracts of land donated by philanthropists. Universal health care exists in many countries. Monarchy and dictatorship exist in many countries. Religious rule exists in many countries. Free tertiary education exists in some countries, and has previously existed in more. Non-free but subsidized tertiary education exists in many countries. Running the state off oil revenue has been tried in many countries. Centrally-planned economies have been tried in many countries. And it's damn well easier to compare "Canadian health-care" to "American health-care" to "Chinese health-care", all sampled in 2014, using fact-based policy studies, than to argue about the Visions of Human Life represented by each (the welfare state, the Company Man, and the Lone Fox, let's say) -- which of course assumes consequentialism.

D1) This means that while the Soviet Union is not evidence for the total failure of "socialism" as I use the word, that's because I define socialism as a larger category of possible economies that strictly contains centralized state planning -- centralized state planning really was a total fucking failure. But there's a rationality lesson here: in politics, all opponents of an idea will have their own definition for it, but the supporters will only have one. Learn to identify political terminology with the definitions advanced by supporters: these definitions might contain applause lights, but at least they pick out one single spot in policy-space or society-space (or, hopefully, a reasonably small subset of that space), while opponents don't generally agree on which precise point in policy-space or society-space they're actually attacking (because they're all opposed for their own reasons and thus not coordinating with each-other).

D2) This also means that if neoreactionaries want to talk about monarchies that rule by religious right, or even about absolute monarchies in general, they do have to account for the behavior of the Arab monarchies today, for example. Or if they want to talk about religious rule in general (which very few do, to my knowledge, but hey, let's go with it), they actually do have to account for the behavior of Da3esh/ISIS. Of course, they might do so by endorsing such regimes, just as some members of Western Communist Parties endorsed the Soviet Union -- and this can happen by lack of knowledge, by failure of rationality, or by difference of goals.

E) Learn to notice when otherwise uninformed people are adopting political ideas as attire to gain status by joining a fashionable cause. Keep in mind that what constitutes "fashionable" depends on the joiner's own place in society, not on your opinions about them. For some people, things you and I find low-status (certain clothes or haircuts) are, in fact, high-status. See Scott's "Republicans are Douchebags" post for an example in a Western context: names that the American Red Tribe considers solid and respectable are viewed by the American Blue Tribe as "douchebag names".

F) And finally, a heuristic that tends to immunize against certain failures of political rationality: if an argument does not base itself at all in facts external to itself or to the listener, but instead concentrates entirely on reinterpreting evidence, then it is probably either an argument about definitions, or sheer nonsense.

G) A further heuristic, usable on actual electioneering campaigns the world over: whenever someone says "values", he is lying, and you should reach for your gun. The word "values" is the single most overused, drained, meaningless word in politics. It is a normative pronoun: it directs the listener to fill in warm fuzzy things here without concentrating the speaker and the listener on the same point in policy-space at all. All over the world, politicians routinely seek power on phrases like "I have values", or "My opponent has no values", or "our values" or "our $TRIBE values", or "$APPLAUSE_LIGHT values". Just cross those phrases and their entire containing sentences out with a big black marker, and then see what the speaker is actually saying. Sometimes, if you're lucky (ie: voting for a Democrat), they're saying absolutely nothing. Often, however, the word "values" means, "Good thing I'm here to tell you that you want this brand new oppressive/exploitative power elite, since you didn't even know!"

H) As mentioned above, be very, very sure about what ethical framework you're working within before having a political discussion. A consequentialist and a virtue-ethicist will often take completely different policy positions on, say, healthcare, and have absolutely nothing to talk about with each-other. The consequentialist can point out the utilitarian gains of universal single-payer care, and the virtue-ethicist can point out the incentive structure of corporate-sponsored group plans for promoting hard work and loyalty to employers, but they are fundamentally talking past each-other.

H1) Often, the core matter of politics is how to trade off between ethical ideals that are otherwise left talking past each-other, because society has finite material resources, human morals are very complex, and real policies have unintended consequences. For example, if we enact Victorian-style "poor laws" that penalize poverty for virtue-ethical reasons, the proponents of those laws need to be held accountable for accepting the unintended consequences of those laws, including higher crime rates, a less educated workforce, etc. (This is a broad point in favor of consequentialism: a rational consequentialist always actually considers consequences, intended and unintended, or he fails at consequentialism. A deontologist or virtue-ethicist, on the other hand, has license from his own ethics algorithm to not care about unintended consequences at all, provided the rules get followed or the rules or rulers are virtuous.)

I) Almost all policies can be enacted more effectively with state power, and almost no policies can "take over the world" by sheer superiority of the idea all by themselves. Demanding that a successful policy should "take over the world" by itself, as everyone naturally turns to the One True Path, is intellectually dishonest, and so is demanding that a policy should be maximally effective in miniature (when tried without the state, or in a small state, or in a weak state) before it is justified for the state to experiment with it. Remember: the overwhelming majority of journals and conferences in professional science still employ frequentist statistics rather than Bayesianism.

EDIT: Holy crap, this should probably be its own discussion post.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T15:21:38.113Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

EDIT: Holy crap, this should probably be its own discussion post.

Yup.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T09:21:20.626Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't Israel an ethnonationalist state with a strong implicit hierarchy?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T10:03:26.474Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ethnonationalist democratic state with a weak implicit hierarchy, actually. Did I ever claim present-day Israel is morally optimal?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T10:07:21.347Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

No, but I find the juxtaposition of Marxist universalist ideas being fervently communicated by those who enjoy the economic and social benefits of an ethnostate to be amusing.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T11:50:52.974Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Fair enough! And I would say we've got several social transformations to go through (ie: a general increase in the level of education and an improvement in methods of government) before we can actually abolish ethnostates.

(It should be stated: I'm a consequentialist, and an objective consequentialist. This means that when things accomplish net good (up to my understanding of "good"), I endorse them, even if they "smell bad".)

So yeah. For here and now with actually-existing people in actually-existing societies, ethnostates seem to be our best heuristic for making democratic, egalitarian societies actually work, instead of degrading into a civil war between tribal clusters (which, I think, is precisely what you're so afraid of). That doesn't make them terminally valuable, but it does leave them instrumentally useful.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T12:13:26.129Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

No one said ethnostates were terminally valuable, necessarily, but yeah. I wonder what the Tumblr contingent's reaction to your last paragraph would be. You're basically saying ethnos is so important that multicultural states fall apart, and that ethnostates are the best pragmatic form of government.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T12:44:00.618Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

That's not a historically or spatially universal "best"; it's not optimal. It's "the best we can do given the historical and geopolitical contingencies as they actually are right now." I don't think you even need transhumans or something to have non-ethnic states actually work, you just need to break out of the "Jihad vs McWorld" paradigm of geopolitics.

(Speaking of silly leftists, the man who wrote Jihad vs McWorld concentrated most of his ire on McWorld, since he was writing in the '90s and did not think jihad would become a severe problem. I think we can both say, on this one: what an idiot!

But the bigger question is: if he implicitly supported racial and religious chauvinist movements against capitalist globalization, does that make him, and by implication the entire left-wing "antiglobalization" movement of the '90s and 2000s, reactionary, or some other form of right-wing?

I would say, yes, at least in effect, in the same sense that "pacifism is objectively pro-fascist". You?)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T21:13:54.630Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What historical and geopolitical contingencies would allow for the development of a better pragmatic form of government than ethnostates?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T21:29:02.275Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Singapore is not an ethnostate.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T23:44:49.496Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Singapore is a step up from most countries, but I still wouldn't want to live there -- sure, it's safe and not communist, but as far as I've heard, those are its only redeeming values. Since there are safe ethnostates that aren't communist, that still looks like a superior model.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T01:15:18.370Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

but I still wouldn't want to live there

Me neither, but I think in general NRx likes Singapore -- does it not?

In general, ethnostates look like a Europe-specific phenomenon to me.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-21T02:56:27.938Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Me neither, but I think in general NRx likes Singapore -- does it not?

Because they're libertarian and from American cities.

Libertarianism leads them to fail to look beyond "safe and not communist"; being from American cities leads them to think that's a high bar. Which it is for America, but America's political situation is insane.

In general, ethnostates look like a Europe-specific phenomenon to me.

In addition to Japan and China, both Koreas and Mongolia.

(North Korea and Mongolia aren't counterexamples; they were Communist puppet states.)

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T03:19:24.209Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Libertarianism leads them to fail to look beyond "safe and not communist"

I am not sure what you are getting at, can you expand..?

both Koreas and Mongolia

Both are states now, but historically their statehood varied.

In any case, I can see the advantages of a single ethnicity, I'm just not sure that they override everything else.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T21:20:00.777Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am not sure what you are getting at, can you expand..?

@sarahdoingthing would be able to explain this better than I can, but Moldbug consistently ignores questions of social life, identity, and the rites.

Safe is preferable to unsafe, and not communist is preferable to communist -- and the possibility of a social life is preferable to atomization, and a stable identity is preferable to anomie and lack of context, and so on.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T02:20:40.337Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Japan. Also China for a looser notion of "ethnostate".

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T02:30:40.108Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True. China, actually, is a stronger example since Japan is nicely isolated geographically.

And speaking of pragmatic forms of government, Japan, um, has problems. China, too, of course.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-21T08:55:39.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

China, actually, is a stronger example since Japan is nicely isolated geographically.

Until western contact, China had no other state of comparable power to define itself against.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T22:49:40.033Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not only that, they also are a relatively recent phenomenon. The Austro-Hungarian Empire wasn't an ethnostate either. AFAICT ethnic nationalism mostly dates back to Romanticism.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T21:48:04.031Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It can be argued that the U.S. is not an ethnostate either.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T23:45:40.693Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

No "it can be argued" about it -- it isn't. And its resulting failures should be obvious.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T23:49:13.843Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"The U.S. has numerous failures" is beyond dispute. "The failures of the U.S. are caused by its unique multicultural, multiracial, and multinational characteristics" is a lot harder to defend.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T01:11:42.593Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How about "some failures of the US are caused by some characteristics of races and cultures in the US"?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-21T02:05:14.941Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Then it becomes a trivial statement, the scope of "some" being adjusted to the preconceptions of every individual reader.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T02:17:45.199Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, as it should, because unless you want to go into specifics there is no statement both true and general that you can make.

Note, though, that the "standard" view says "no failures of the US are caused by any characteristics of races and cultures" (with the possible exception of white men being just evil) :-/

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T13:41:07.688Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

No, I think that's a disingenuous usage. I also don't understand how pacifism is "objectively pro-fascist".

In the book, he uses Jihad as a stand-in for traditional values everywhere, not just Islamic Jihad.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T14:00:42.525Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I also don't understand how pacifism is "objectively pro-fascist".

Google the phrase. Orwell wrote an essay on the matter.

In the book, he uses Jihad as a stand-in for traditional values everywhere, not just Islamic Jihad.

No, as a matter of fact, he uses it as a word for a new style of increasingly irrational chauvinist movements, not for "traditional values" in any sense that an ordinary conservative would recognize.

Of course, if you're willing to include Islamism in your term for neoreactionary traditional values... I'm willing to take this as further evidence that neoreaction is a terrible idea.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T14:02:54.233Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Islam is certainly not neoreactionary, because neoreactionary refers to the descendants of a certain circumscribed intellectual group that developed from Moldbug in the Bay Area.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T14:10:33.250Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So is merely not in theory...never mind about the practice.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T14:16:52.577Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Problems like where these trustees are supposed to come from, how their omni-benevolence is to be maintained, or even the practical details of how the trust will operate are glossed over or given vague hand-wavy answers.

There are real word examples, including such delights as the BBC and NHS.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T13:44:59.176Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A common, but shallow point. Thefallacy is equating democratic government with elected officials. Most democracies have second chambers , civil services and other added to lengthen time preference. Yes Minister is all about an elected pol being unable to budge the long term plans of his ministry.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T15:41:56.339Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

They essentially are interested in building "a better tyrant."

"God" is a more appropriate name.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-07-14T17:59:47.534Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why do ancaps and ancaps even argue? The only way I can see anarcho communism being realised is via reform from contemporary society to increasingly libertarian then anarcho capitalist society. Then, potentially, but unlikely, a voluntarist society, then unlikely, but also potentially, an anarchocommunist society.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-19T23:21:01.232Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Neoreaction confuses me so much.

On one hand, interesting, and seemingly true and useful ideas about the nature of memetic drift and the role of the university, the pitfalls of attempting subversion of the dominance heirarchy, the virtues of handing certain things over to an elite, the flaws of democracy, the virtues of homogeneous communities, the virtues of particularism, and so on.

On the other hand, I'm unable to understand the logical steps from that to "and therefore white is the best race, patriarchy is a better system, the Enlightenment was misguided, we need a single dictator, let's bring back the Victorians and King Leopold"

I think I could call myself a neoreactionary if the meta-principles were applied without the object-level principles. I'd say the "elites" I support are the maligned "liberal elites" of the university, the "particularism" I support is my particular mostly egalitarian Enlightenment values.

If I let myself give in to the psychogical feelings that NRx, particularist, anti-egaltarian arguments stir within my heart, I get "Ra ra let's patriotically beat the tribal drums of the Nerdy Liberal Elite's superiority over the superstitious, non-egalitarian, cognitively inferior out-group as we are clearly the natural rulers". (I don't actually think this, I'm describing the mechanisms of the tribal sentiment. When NRx's make sensible arguments about natural rulers taking over and establishing heirchy, I nod along, but I'm naturally imagining lefty sex positive pseudo-egalitarian academic people like myself at the top of that heirarchy implementing horrifyingly progressive ideas and producing equality in opportunity and comfort, if not raw decision making power, for those who cooperate. I certainly don't imagine the White Male Christian King Leopold types ruling anything, and if they did rule I'd see it as rightful inevitable natural law that they be displaced by my own tribe, which will tend to succeed anyway because it is smarter and better.)

...as far as I can tell that's pretty much NRx, except that I'm applying the principles to my own in group (which is what you're actually supposed to do AFAIK, except for that my own in-group isn't the NRx in-group), which makes it not NRx at all?

If anything, if I put on my Neoreactionary-Lefty hat I see the NRx-conservatives as the pesky revolutionaries who are not following their own advice, going against what is clearly the natural order of things, let's ban them from our forums and socially shame them for Triggering and Being Offensive so as to not pollute our homogenized monoculture. It's only with my Enlightenment-Lefty hat's "free speech/principle of charity/tolerance/diversity's advantages outweigh drawbacks" memeplex (which ultimately wins out) that I see any reason to entertain to them or give them space to do the whole metacontrarian skit with in the first place - at least concerning the race/sex stuff. I'm perfectly happy taking the meta stuff, it's great.

This is sort of paradoxical, because if I assumed the NRx-Lefty's attitude from the start I would never have heard of NRx, whereas Enlightenment-Lefty's attitude risks conversion to NRx-Lefty after exposure. I'm not sure which hat-viewpoint this fact is an argument for.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:29:27.915Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I think I could call myself a neoreactionary if the meta-principles were applied without the object-level principles.

The meta-principles apply to the object-level principles, but I don't think it's possible to figure that out from Moldbug alone. I'll try to provide the details if anyone wants them, but the general idea is that your tribe's values have been shaped by institutional constraints -- your predecessors had the goal of capturing power and the spoils thereof, and made whatever arguments were useful toward that goal, and now you actually believe all of those things.

I don't think this is a complete picture. I haven't had the time to investigate this as much as I would like, but I suspect that there's also some ideological inheritance from the self-justifications of the later stages of the British Empire. (Macaulay. Idea of Progress.) It's possible to come up with an explanation of your tribe's imperialistic tendencies without drawing on this, but I doubt that omission can be genealogically justified.

our homogenized monoculture

...and yes, your tribe does have imperialistic tendencies. What homogenized monoculture? There are many reasons I don't and can't call myself a neoreactionary, but I completely agree with them here: your people should not live under the same government as mine. You have never had a homogenized monoculture, and you never will until New England is no longer part of the United States.

I keep encountering mindsets like this among your tribe: my people don't exist as long as you don't have to remember us, and when you do, we're aberrations who need to be wiped from the face of the earth. (I have in fact heard Yankees advocate the genocide of my people. Yes, I do mean genocide. In the most literal possible sense.)

I also agree with neoreactionaries about Woodrow Wilson and FDR -- if German hadn't been wiped out in this country, we'd be behind a language barrier from you. (For certain values of 'we' that include me and exclude most of 'us' -- there's not that much kraut blood in the South. But my grandmother spoke it fluently, and I think natively, and the other side of my family is from what used to be a German-speaking area. Oh well.)

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T07:31:28.033Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What homogenized monoculture?

In that specific sentence, I was actually referring to Lesswrong as it was before neoreactionaries became a Big Thing. Pretty much everyone agreed on everything back, and all disagreements were highly productive disagreements in which people changed their mind.

After the NRx came in we've had useless arguments, downvote stalkers, and so on really hurting the signal to noise ratio.

(By the way, that sentence is not an attack on NRx, but a proof of one of its principles - that homogeneity is useful. I'm also harking back to a golden age. My entire attitude right now feels a lot like the Shield of Conservatism, only it's not protecting the conservatives.)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T20:18:19.574Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

By the way, that sentence is not an attack on NRx, but a proof of one of its principles - that homogeneity is useful.

Well, yes, I've been saying this from the beginning -- the word "neoreaction" fucked everything up. If you don't have a word for the whole cluster, each point can be argued; if you do, pro- and anti- become two factions, and you get the usual factional conflicts.

In particular, the strategy I suspect Nick Land was playing by was a mistake. Trying to create a faction and make it as loud as possible works in academia; not so much anywhere else.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-22T20:44:07.403Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Trying to create a faction and make it as loud as possible works in academia; not so much anywhere else.

It's the SOP for politics. "When bad men combine, the good must associate." (Edmund Burke, 1770)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T21:21:04.364Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How many successful political factions have gone out and given themselves names, and how many were only named by their enemies?

What, for example, do the 'cultural Marxists' call themselves?

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-22T20:38:01.030Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

After the NRx came in we've had useless arguments, downvote stalkers, and so on really hurting the signal to noise ratio.

As it was foretold of old.

Perhaps LW is vulnerable to getting sidetracked into futile discussions of NRx in particular because a lot of the LW memeset is shared with a lot of the NRxrz. Indeed, the NRxrz pride themselves on their clear-sighted rationality. From within, the participants think they're having a rational discussion, while from without it resembles no such thing, it's just politics as usual.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T21:29:04.087Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yup. Foretold many times, actually. We even talked about Walled Gardens and such. I'd place a fairly high probability that many of the founding members would view LW as a lot less interesting now - not because of Reaction, but because of the net total politics.

LW doesn't downvote to indicate disagreement. They upvote whenever an argument is phrased in an interesting way even if they disagree entirely. NRx is interesting. In short, LW are the "open minded progressives" to NRx's Open Letter.

All of which would have been fine, actually, if it didn't increase the total amount of time in useless arguments. The main thing of value that was lost was Total Amount of Homogeneity (and well, I suppose the acquisition of a bunch of people who really like talking about politics doesn't help).

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-24T11:09:55.765Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose liking to talk about politics is the core of the problem here. Merely giving a name to a political faction is a package fallacy already.

For example, why are we debating "neoreaction", instead of tabooing the world, replacing the symbol with a set of specific statements, and debating each statement separately? By debating "neoreaction" we have already failed as rationalists, and what we do then is just digging the hole deeper.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-23T17:27:57.336Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The main thing of value that was lost was Total Amount of Homogeneity

Or you could call it a win in diversity.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-05-30T10:06:32.467Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

useless arguments, downvote stalkers, and so on really hurting the signal to noise ratio

You are actually wrong on the timeline, the genderwars and the Social Justice movement, came here and produced these symptoms first.

One can plausibly credit the formation of Neoreaction as a direct result of a feeling of persecution and tightening of the acceptable domain of rational investigation on this site, it caused many to leave and seed a whole new blogosphere where once there was just Moldbug.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2015-05-31T21:20:07.154Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose it could be so. It doesn't matter really, since the end result is the same. Still, I doubt it because Lesswrong is overwhelmingly left wing (and continues to be according to the polls - the right wing and NRx voices belong to just a few very prolific accounts.) And pretty much all the founding members of Lesswrong and, going back further, transhumanism in general, were of a certain sort which I hesitate to call "left" or "liberal" but... - socialists, libertarians, anarchists, all those were represented, and certainly many early users were hostile to social justice's extremeties, which is to be expected among smart people who are exposed to leftie stupidity much more often than other kinds of stupidity... but those were differences in implementation. We all essentially agreed on the core principles of egalitarianism and not hurting people, and agreed that prejudice against race and gender expression is bad (which was an entirely separate topic from whether they're equal in aptitude), and that conservatives, nationalists, and those sort of people were fundamentally wrongheaded in some way. It wasn't controversial, just taken for granted that anyone who had penetrated this far into the dialogue believed that these things to be true.... in the same sense that we continue to take for granted that no one here believes in a literal theist God. (And right now, I know many former users have retreated into other more obscure spin off forums, and everything I said here pretty much remains true in those forums and blogs.)

But I'm less interested in who broke the walled garden / started eternal september / whatever you want to call it (after all, I'm not mad that they came here, I got to learn about an interesting philosophy) and more interested in the meta-level principle: per my understanding of Neoreactionary philosophy, when one finds oneself in the powerful majority, one aught to just go ahead and exert that power and not worry about the underdog (which I still don't agree with but I'm not sure why). And, homogeneity is often more valuable than diversity in many cases, that's something I've actually kind of accepted.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-05-31T23:22:24.257Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

And pretty much all the founding members of Lesswrong and, going back further, transhumanism in general, were of a certain sort which I hesitate to call "left" or "liberal" but... - socialists, libertarians, anarchists, all those were represented, and certainly many early users were hostile to social justice's extremeties, which is to be expected among smart people who are exposed to leftie stupidity much more often than other kinds of stupidity... but those were differences in implementation.

That's not exactly right. Moldbug did comment on OvercomingBias in the days before there was LW. This community came into contact with neoreactionary thought before LW existed. Michael Anissimov who funded MoreRight was MIRI's media director.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2015-06-02T23:59:48.576Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Huh. Oh right. I knew about the Moldbug thing, and I still said that.

I'm wrong. Mind changed. Good catch.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-01T00:40:01.144Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And, homogeneity is often more valuable than diversity in many cases, that's something I've actually kind of accepted.

I have actually strongly argued for the benefits of ideological diversity in a rationalist site several times.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2015-06-02T23:56:47.464Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I mean, I still value diversity by default. Valuing homogeneity is something I've kind of come around to slowly and suspiciously (whereas before I just assumed it was bad by default.)

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-01T00:37:17.426Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The early OB/LW community didn't have a leftwing vibe, it had a strong Libertarian vibe. Also at the end of the day leftie radicals like to point out that liberal =/= leftist.

Yudkowsky has written articles for Cato, a site considered unbearably right wing libertarian by some.

On questions like Feminism there were quite protracted comment wars long before Neoreaction, for a while early in its history there were more people sympathetic to PUA than Feminism. Even now the consensus seems to have settled on feminist ok-ed PUA not being bad, which is not the mainstream consensus. See gentle silent rape for an early example of rational dating advice for a late example.

I recommend you also check out my early commenting history. I interacted with many core, very right wing, rationalist like Vladimir_M and so on who left later in the history of the site.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2015-06-03T00:02:10.518Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Those examples of departing from left-canon (libertarian, "feminism-isn't-perfect", and "pua is often questionable in practice but not fundamentally bad from first principles") are okay by me. I depart from the left-canon on those points myself and find the leftie moral outrage tactics on some of those fronts pretty annoying. All those things are still fundamentally egalitarian in values, just different in implementation. The homogeneity I was referring to was in egalitarianism and a certain type of emotional stance, a certain agreement concerning which first principles are valid and which goals are worthy, despite diversity in implementation.

(But, as ChristainKI pointed out, Moldbug himself was a commentator, and that predates me, so it's true that the seed has always been there.)

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T08:30:38.522Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I keep encountering mindsets like this among your tribe: my people don't exist as long as you don't have to remember us, and when you do, we're aberrations who need to be wiped from the face of the earth.

Hey now, I'm not actually condoning that attitude. I'm saying that's the attitude I would have, with the NRx-Lefty hat on. In real life I am still Enlightenment-Leftie, half my friends are religious patriotic folk and I've been quite open to interacting with them and hearing their ideas and even dating them. Enlightenment-Leftie and Enlightenment-Rightie co-exist just fine, because of the tolerance thing... the critique of NRx here is that the Enlightenment framework always favors Leftie, which does seem true but I find it hard to complain about that. But NRx-Rightie is not the solution that finally balances things back in the Right's favor, because.... here comes NRx-Leftie, they can use all Cthulhu's leftward pull tricks and they're not nearly as tolerant of Rightie, in any format, and they're not tolerant of those Red, Purple, or Yellow tribes either. (In theory. In practice I'm not sure NRx wouldn't just collapse in all cases.) Tolerance was an Enlightenment value.

I'm not saying regular lefties never advocate these ideas - ultimately, liberals have amygdalas and love in-groups and hate out-groups just like everyone else. But my idealized Rational Humanist Egalitarian who I'm calling Enlightenment-Lefty for the purpose of this conversation doesn't agree with those lefties. Within this conversational framework, those are just Rx-lefties, lacking the self-aware component of NRx. Even within the NRx-Lefty empire, those sorts of people are kind of the proles of the world, understanding the Cathedral doctrine but not really getting the spirit of it all. The NRx-Lefty empire doesn't go so far as to want genocide (eugenics, maybe)... but yeah, they will go ahead and be paternalistic and superior and intolerant.

comment by bramflakes · 2014-11-20T14:15:52.549Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Wait, what is your tribe?

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T07:48:51.113Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

1) People who think a lot and generally care about logical consistency, trending towards high IQ

2) who also have sufficiently understanding of parsimony that God, etc, is just totally out of the question

3) and who generally adapt well to technological advance, often being the people whose intellects are drive it forward

4) who don't base moral judgements off of strong emotional response to things that are "weird", like odd sexualities or profanity, or "threatening", like enemy combatants or opposing ideologies.

5) who have a degree of detachment from their particular situations, and wouldn't vastly put the importance of themselves, their family, or their nation above others. It's okay if they do so in small ways in personal life, but they should be cognizant of the whole universal brotherhood of mankind thing and generally see morality and kindness as something that should be applied to people relatively equally.

So a NRx-Lefty of this tribe believes these things, but also thinks an authoritarian, heirarchical society is the best way to achieve these values. So, people who fall into the tribe and are members of the cognitive elite will sort of rule over everyone else, using military force and propaganda and all that other stuff to achieve these values. They still care about outsiders, but they care in a very paternalistic sense and won't hesitate to override people's stated preferences in favor of what the NRx-Lefty extrapolates their preferences to actually be, since savages don't really know what they want or understand anything.

The bulk of the actual NRx movement would be considered enemies, savages, or subversives within this empire, because they tend to fail steps 4 and 5. Within the empire, it's "okay" to be a human-biodiversity-advocate in the same sense that it's okay to think that people with myopia are smarter and consider that a largely irrelevant fact because we have actual IQ tests that we can use to separate people with with much greater accuracy, but it's not okay in a moral sense to be a particularist who thinks your race should be defended. (Ideological particularism, is, of course, encouraged if it's generally in the Cathedral's favor.)

(Once again, describing, not condoning, an idea.)

comment by bramflakes · 2014-11-23T20:32:01.447Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like the mid-late stage British Empire to me.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-23T22:52:52.698Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

more on that further down the thread

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T21:51:25.345Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, that was directed at nydwracu, I misread the comment nesting loops.

The plurality of American blood comes from Germany, and the descendents of that immigrant wave tend to be Evangelicals, Lutherans, Catholics...I don't know whether this bloodline is actually more likely to follow Guns and God style conservatism, but that seems to be the notion here.

I think if I was going to label nydwracu's comment in one word I'd call it Völkisch.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T20:44:04.922Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Who counts as 'Evangelical'? Colin Woodard's 'Midlands' nation is generally plurality-Methodist. I lived out in Western Maryland for a while, where you can see some Constitution Party signs when election years roll around, and they're Methodists out there, not Southern Baptists.

I'm not sure how trustworthy the census ethnicity data is, since I don't think the Anglos were genocided; I'd trust Woodard before the census data, with the caveat that everything out past Michigan (and possibly including Michigan) had enough non-Anglo Germanic immigrants that it's not really Yankeedom anymore. (Woodard's map is in general not a good guide to current cultural distinctions, but it's not trying to be. The Tidewater region doesn't really exist anymore; in its place, there's the Eastern Corridor, which runs up from northern Virginia (maybe even Richmond) through DC, Baltimore, and Philadelpha to NYC and Boston. Some people call this general region the Mid-Atlantic, but that obscures the difference between the DC/Baltimore area and everywhere else in Maryland.)

And in case I wasn't clear, I do think the "NRx-lefty" attitude is common among progressives.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T22:00:42.817Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know who counts as what - it's pretty confusing, and that's why I just went with Völkisch, since I'm guessing your defining criteria is not really religion or genetics but some mix of culture, ideology, and physical appearance and you know it when you see it and it's loosely German-American.

The thing is, I don't think believe members of the populations you outline actually consider themselves as a tribe, at least not in the ethno-nationalist light that you're using (If they did, there would exist a simple word to describe them). Would you agree that their is a certain artificiality inherent in constructing an ethno-national identity around this group?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-23T04:29:26.206Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It's totally artificial and metapolitically hopeless, just like everything else available to white people in this country, unless they're Episcopalian or something. And the Episcopalians have bigger problems.

As far as I can tell, there is no possible way to solve the problems of identity in this country. Most of the white population is deeply psychologically damaged in a way that is rarely even noticed, and there's nothing anyone can do about it other than maybe join a frat.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-23T07:26:26.973Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Most of the white population is deeply psychologically damaged in a way that is rarely even noticed, and there's nothing anyone can do about it other than maybe join a frat.

Would you care to expand on that?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-23T20:36:21.761Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

See here.

Our civilization contains an absence of a nigh-universal trait that has historically proven itself to be compatible with civilization (and perhaps even beneficial to civilization; certainly the Roman emperors thought it was); that's at least a sign that something else is going on. There are obvious historical reasons for this that don't involve any abstract, instrumental-rationality-seeking processes: the quest to create a totalizing Christianity purified of any 'pagan' influences. (How many of our current rites are German or Irish in origin? Christmas is mostly German -- trees, stockings, etc. -- and... hm, apparently jack-o'-lanterns may actually be English.)

The Pledge of Allegiance was a Progressive Era reform; I wonder if this was part of a general program to try to introduce a civil religion similar to Roman emperor-worship. Mount Rushmore was carved at around this same time, and its main supporter was Peter Norbeck, a Progressive. (And what of the folk musicians?) But I don't think there's very much to work with there; the Roman emperor-cult failed in the end.

Anyway... I don't want to phrase it in the Alain de Botton-style language of pure instrumental rationality; while perhaps the best way to communicate the general points (especially around here), it's likely to backfire. Doing something for the conscious purpose of acquiring whatever instrumental gains are believed to follow from it may undermine the instrumental value of the thing. So perhaps it will be impossible for me to change anyone's mind on this without employing the Mencius-style strategy of reasoning by bringing up shared intuitions/experiences, and that requires a degree of targeting that is difficult to pull off on the internet.

But consider subcultures: why do people join them? What is it about raves, or Dan Deacon's concerts (I've never been to one, but I've heard about them, and read about what he's trying to do with them), or any of that -- and what is it about subcultural identity itself? There may be some degree of psychological sortation going on (though even this would result in a closer approximation to the ancestral environment, where, due to a deeply shared context -- there was an excellent SSC comment on cultural context a few days ago, but I can't find it -- and genetic similarity, most people would probably be more psychologically similar to most people they encounter than is the case today), but it's also about having a sense of identity, which very few things but subcultures and frats can provide.

Frats are an even better example. Most people who join a frat identify strongly with it and see it as a beneficial thing in their lives. Why? (Note that this is despite the hazing process -- i.e. the initiation ritual -- that the consensus frowns upon today. But initiation rituals are cross-culturally common, no?)

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-23T09:03:44.866Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

just like everything else available to white people in this country

Wouldn't go that far. I mean, they could just look at what they actually are, and construct an identity around that. What they actually are has little to do with Germanic heritage, and race is only one of many possible ways to create a tribal affiliation anyhow. I'm pretty culturally removed from most members of both racial group in my family tree, but I don't feel psychologically adrift or anything. (Granted, I might just not know what I'm missing - I do feel pretty good when I meet people who are similar to me in real life.)

Obviously, i's hard for ethno-nationalists, since they are basically contrarians in this society and can only reach "tribe" level numbers via the internet. But it's not hard for most white people. White Americans are a lot more culturally homogeneous than say, Hindus. (Or any large non-Western grouping. Technology homogenizes.)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-23T20:15:57.418Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What are we actually, then, that we can construct an identity out of?


The feeling of missing something only kicks in, I suspect, after the thing that is missed is experienced. A good example is dance: it doesn't really exist in our society outside subcultures, but I thought that didn't matter until I took up contra. (Which I really ought to get back into now that I'm in NYC -- do they even have it up here? It's been something like five years, too...)

Similarly, I first noticed the importance of thedish identity, ritual, and traditions when I went to a very interesting summer camp that had a strong local identity backed up by its own rituals and traditions. Most of what I understand about these things now comes from there.

It had several sites; I attended four. One site was shut down for lack of attendance shortly after the rituals and traditions failed to be passed down, and the strongest site was the one with the strongest traditions. I talked to some other people who, like me, jumped ship from a site with weakening traditions to the site with the strongest traditions, and I got the very strong impression that it was causal: weakened traditions made the site worse at the de facto functions it performed for its attendees.

(One unique sociological factor that existed at the site with the strongest traditions was a semiformal aristocracy dedicated to preserving and teaching the traditions.)

Then again, from what I've heard of Alain de Benoist, he only understands what he writes about on an intellectual level.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-23T22:58:59.661Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In my mind, the tribe aught to be constructed out of people who 1) care about you, which is accomplished through shared experience 2) who understand you - that is, they are similar enough that when you say something, they hear what you meant. There's no vast gulf of un-shared ideas and thoughts and notions that separates you, and inferential distance is short.

I definitely see the importance of having one, but in my experience race is a pretty poor proxy for what I talk about above. Shared culture is better, shared experience is best, and optimally those co-occur. (Genetic) family is a decent method, since you're likely to match in personality as well as culture, but even that is a proxy.

I suspect you are somewhat overestimating the degree to which people in other racial groups identify with each other. Two random Indians in India don't care about each other more than two random whites in America. That's because the "white" category (or the "Indian" category) is too large for tribal affiliations to build up. Granted, they'll understand each other better than they will, say, a Japanese person, but baseline friendliness levels are pretty much set at "stranger". Minority cultures tend to have a different situation, since there is a very limited number of people who belong to their group, so it becomes an easy schelling point for a community to cluster.

Essentially, your tribe should be a group of <200 people, in close proximity, who share a large number of things in common with you in terms of psychology and knowledge. To the extent that people within Western culture are "damaged" by modern life creating a situation where very few people consistently come into contact with more than 1-3 other people (the same people each time), I agree, but I don't see a racial identity as a workable solution at all. Humans really don't form tribes that large in nature, although you can get sort of a hollow illusion of identification by aligning yourself with some sort of abstract concept.

So my answer to "what are we" is basically, [insert church here] [insert small rural home-town here] [insert college here][insert secret-club here], or whatever it is that your social hub is primarily based around. Ideally you can assume people in those groups share a certain understanding with you... and if you don't have that, it's probably because modern life has forced you to trade off that stuff in exchange for mobility, and you should try to find ways to acquire it.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-24T00:59:29.519Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You're right -- race is a poor proxy. The "white race" stuff is regarded by many European ethnats as a bizarre Americanism and a total misunderstanding of the situation in Europe -- and they're right, though some other ethnats try to play it up in order to forge Europe-wide alliances against threats from outside.

That last sentence should make it clear that there are (at least) two different things going on within the concept of thedish identity: shared context/low inferential distance and fostering internal cohesion to avoid the negative effects of failure to coordinate.

As I say in my linked post, the negative effects can be significant -- up to and including total collapse. Here's Glubb:

Another remarkable and unexpected symptom of national decline is the intensification of internal political hatreds. One would have expected that, when the survival of the nation became precarious, political factions would drop their rivalry and stand shoulder-to-shoulder to save their country. In the fourteenth century, the weakening empire of Byzantium was threatened, and indeed dominated, by the Ottoman Turks. The situation was so serious that one would have expected every subject of Byzantium to abandon his personal interests and to stand with his compatriots in a last desperate attempt to save the country. The reverse occurred. The Byzantines spent the last fifty years of their history in fighting one another in repeated civil wars, until the Ottomans moved in and administered the coup de grâce.

One mentioned-but-unnoticed point of the intellectually-serious Right is that some of the political pathologies of the States are caused by similar civil wars. Brecht's Die Lösung applied to democracy: the Blue Tribe fights the Red Tribe by bringing in immigrants who will vote (i.e. participate in a civil war at a remove) for the Blue side. (This probably goes unnoticed because of their support of secession, but that's just not politically realistic in this country, and a return to federalism is unlikely.)

The evopsych ideal is a group of <200 people in close proximity who share a common context, sure. But one can notice that social technologies for super-Dunbar coordination keep getting developed and keep winning -- from subcultures and religions that can provide social capital in a new area (I've heard that this is particularly strong with the Mormons) to nationalism in the New World and the Old to the unification of the Mongols around Genghis Khan.

(If you want a particularly shock-value-optimizing example, consider that it took a combination of immense military stupidity on their part (especially from one country that went and made a journalist into their supreme leader) and the USSR cannon-foddering an entire generation of their population to stop a few incredibly coordinated countries in Central Europe and their one ally in Asia from winning a war against pretty much the rest of the world.)

...Actually, there are three things going on, at least for modern Westerners, though the boundaries (especially between the second and the third) are often blurred.

1) Immediate social context absent mobility. Sub-Dunbar tribe with shared experiences and context.

2) Larger (usually regional or religious) identity that provides overarching cultural context, ritual, and a sense of continuity and meaning, of tradition and the transcendent.

3) Nation-scale identity that operates mostly on the metapolitical plane, allowing for internal unity, coordination, and action on the geopolitical scale.

Where this gets interesting is that the first, 'tribal' form of identity may not be a thede in the usual sense -- I haven't thought very much about this form of identity (which need not rest on anything even approaching explicit identification -- does it?) since I've never seen it either personally or from a distance. But that's not the scale I'm talking about anyway; groups of friends don't fulfill the second form (outside having the possibility for providing small-scale rites), which is what I'm saying is missing.

The third form is also missing, of course, but that's entirely a societal/political problem; individuals can get on fine with only the first two forms, I suspect, with the only consequences being those that arise societally from lack of coordination. (Not that those consequences are in any way minor.)

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2014-11-19T23:27:40.035Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Founder effect, same reason MWI/Bayes-Bayes-Bayes! is a thing here.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2014-11-20T18:39:03.127Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If anything, if I put on my Neoreactionary-Lefty hat I see the NRx-conservatives as the pesky revolutionaries who are not following their own advice, going against what is clearly the natural order of things, let's ban them from our forums and socially shame them for Triggering and Being Offensive so as to not pollute our homogenized monoculture. It's only with my Enlightenment-Lefty hat's "free speech/principle of charity/tolerance/diversity's advantages outweigh drawbacks" memeplex (which ultimately wins out) that I see any reason to entertain to them or give them space to do the whole metacontrarian skit with in the first place - at least concerning the race/sex stuff. I'm perfectly happy taking the meta stuff, it's great.

There is a legitimate fear that Enlightenment-progressive-libertarian-feminist-liberal-universalism is self-undermining in the face of people who would build tribalist-reactionary-patriarchal-tyranny in its midst.

That conflict is not being worked out in the forums of the Internet, though. It is being worked out in actual real-world polities faced with that specific problem. Distant academic comment on it offers fog and ideological confusion, not clarity. Theorists are better off learning about the actual facts on the ground, in places where the conflict between Enlightenment and Reaction is waged with ballots and with bullets, than in spinning castles-in-the-air of theory attempting to link this struggle to everything from DNA to video games.

"Mercy, mercy! We can talk about it, can't we?" — Last words of Theo van Gogh

"I don’t feel your pain. I don’t have any sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because I think you’re a non-believer." — the words of Mohammed Bouyeri, van Gogh's murderer, spoken to van Gogh's mother

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T09:20:46.707Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There is a legitimate fear that Enlightenment-progressive-libertarian-feminist-liberal-universalism is self-undermining in the face of people who would build tribalist-reactionary-patriarchal-tyranny in its midst

Nationalist Reactionary Rightie has that fear because they just don't like immigrants coming in and messing things up. Enlightenment Rightie has that fear and sees themselves as the dogs that protect Enlightenment Leftie sheep from the evil wolves. NRx-rightie disagrees with both of them, and thinks there is no way anyone is gonna ever topple the Lovecraftian horror that is Enlightenment Leftie, and we're all doomed to experience constant violent revolutions and ever more ridiculous post-modernist nonsense if we don't do something. (I'm still not clear on what exactly Doom looks like, but I'm pretty sure civilization collapses at some point and we start over)

Primitive Rx Leftie definitely thinks that there's absolutely no way the Muslims can realistically take over the government by force, and the only biggest threat they pose to Enlightenment society is petty violence and the risk of inflaming the nationalist sentiment, who can take over the government, without force. Crush the shitlords before they get out of hand so we can get back to the Enlightenment.

Enlightenment Leftie says that when people are happy and healthy in life, they don't do bad stuff or turn to extremism in large numbers. We just need to stick to our values of openness and honesty. Trust the Cathedral and technological advance to help people along the path of moral progress, and don't crush anyone. Free speech and tolerance for all, Left, Right, and even those extremest terrorist types.

NRx Leftie agrees mostly with Rx lefty, partly with Enlightenment Righty, and thinks Enlightenment Leftie is naive, but it's not going to be a problem because if things go as planned NRx Leftie has become dictator so now the schools are extremely well funded machines teaching the fundamentals of critical thinking, and they've also had a team of social scientists actively research the most effective religious deconversion techniques and implement them. Hopefully this involves an open and honest dialogue involving asking priests and imams certain pointed questions in front of small children, but they're open to underhand methods like social pressure rhetoric or ridicule if that turns out to work better. Alternatively, it might be more effective to let them keep the religion in an abstract sense (that will unfortunately keep them in the underclass, but whatever,the smarties will figure it out) but research ways to make them shed most of the objectionable values it carries.

The research itself is ideally designed to be an "open secret" - the work is publicly available in the literature and the people who matter get explicit explanations, but otherwise phrased obtusely such that populations who would object to it would find it inoffensive or incomprehensible if they saw it, similar to the treaties given to Native Americans... or phrased such that those who successfully understand end up agreeing, or just a plainly published technique effective regardless of whether one is savvy to it. Or it can be a secret - secrets are allowed, but Enlightenment Leftie things they are dangerous so NRx Leftie tries to avoid them where possible.

Yesterdays Muslims quickly become today's progressive libertarian feminist universalists. A few of them go on rampages and blow up buildings, and the damage is sad but otherwise no one gets angry or cares any more than we'd care if a tribally-neutral sociopath did it. There's no "Muslims are bad" vs. "Let's tolerate them" argument - everyone within the society agrees that religion is just ridiculous fairly quickly and it's kind of laughable if you follow one but it's a cognitive bias most normal humans are prey too, and people divert their attention to outside threats rather than to immigrants. Not that their are that many outside threats, because NRx-Lefties government had no qualms about imperialism and goes ahead and conquers the savages and converts them as described above whenever it's militarily viable and economically expedient, and because NRx-leftie isn't as mean as Leopold it won't take long before the conquered people consider themselves better off and don't even want independence..as far as they're concerned, they've kept their language and cultural knowledge intact, gained technology, are materially better off, and have shed the superstitious beliefs of their grandparents despite still remembering and preserving the beliefs - NRx leftie still "multicultural" in a superficial sense, but is unabashedly particularist when it comes to beliefs about morality and reality. So "outside threats" are people with actual military power...3rd world nations with the potential to become primitive terrorists were either left totally unmolested so that no enmity could develop, or conquered in the least socially disruptive possible way with the help of anthropologists and stuff, educated, and made materially better off than they were before ASAP and then traded with or exploited for resources in the nicest possible way the anthropologists can think of. None of that half-half economic-pressure / puppet ruler / CIA manipulation routine that we do now when our economic interests call for imperialism but our society won't let us.

Enlightenment Leftie is still pretty sure NRx Leftie's government is going to end up evil, corrupt from its original values, ineffective, or collapsing on itself, just like every other attempt to do this sort of thing. But it's a lot like the disagreement between left-socialists and left-libertarian economists - a productive intra-tribal disagreement where "winning" means achieving the common goal, not ending the argument with points for your side. The final consensus isn't necessarily world domination, but it might justify a little bit more elitism and political bias, less tolerance in the University, the Internet, and other places currently left-dominated. It might mean the left lets up on all the self-flagellation and guilty naval gazing whenever power is exerted... or not. I mean, I consider myself pretty tolerant of the Right by "average Leftie" standards and I don't think I'd actually support the Left to move away from my viewpoint in that respect more than it already is.

(Or at least, that's what it would look like if there was a sizable contingent on the left who looked at NRx and thought, "hmm, okay, there are some truths here, I can work with this")

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-23T13:02:30.073Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I don't mean this as critisism, but 'NRx Left' sounds like an excellent opportunity for meta-meta-meta-contrarianism.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-23T20:24:23.405Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

what have i done

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T20:46:35.397Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

NRx-Lefties government had no qualms about imperialism and goes ahead and conquers the savages and converts them as described above whenever it's militarily viable and economically expedient, and because NRx-leftie isn't as mean as Leopold it won't take long before the conquered people consider themselves better off and don't even want independence.

What, like the British Empire? How did that work out?

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T21:35:00.917Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's actually precisely Enlightenment Leftie's qualm.

NRx Leftie says it's different this time, because the British Empire were fairly savage themselves, because they actually didn't value the people who they considered savages as human beings. NRx Leftie said that the British Empire actually worked out fairly well, by some standards. and the bad bits were because the Brits themselves had a savage culture.

Enlightenment Leftie calls bullshit why should it be different this time, and that's pretty much why I don't really buy NRx.

(My inner Conservative-Churchill thinks the British empire was actually a net good and my inner NRx-Right adds that the independence movements triggered by liberalism are what really fucked us over.)

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-23T04:08:33.727Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The British Empire may have been materially a net good, but (as Benedict Anderson points out) it was doomed the day it embraced Macaulay's plan of cultural exterminationism through education.

"Independence movements triggered by liberalism" is a better way to put it than "independence movements", but it's not as accurate as "independence movements triggered by the combination of something involving the creation of an elite class educated in European things, often actually in Europe (or America), and later the Cold War scramble for puppet states between the two superpowers, hence their agreement on the issue of decolonization and probably Washington's shafting of Britain in Suez." Where do you think Pol Pot got his Marxism from? Certainly not Cambodia, and not even the USSR (the Khmer Rouge was a Western ally for a while) -- he got it in Paris, the center of the relevant empire.

(To take the Benedict Anderson hypothesis further, onto very speculative and shaky ground: could it be that decolonization arose out of the same impulse as Italy's misadventures in colonialism? In Italy's time, any serious nation had an empire; after WW2, any serious nation had its own state, except 'nation-states' couldn't exist because of pre-existing attachment to administrative boundaries among the elite, those boundaries having shaped their life far more in practical terms than native culture or ethnic identification. Also legibility reasons that Anderson doesn't mention AFAIK: precisely named and delineated boundaries that aren't accurate will be preferred over accurate boundaries that have yet to be drawn, because 1) the former is much more practically knowable and able to be acted upon by an organization than the latter, 2) the former are available and the latter aren't. Compare the use of states in America.)

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T21:37:05.478Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty well until the British lost faith in their own culture.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-23T02:01:04.706Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming for a moment that's what actually happened, when in history do you locate that event?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T18:57:30.017Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There is a legitimate fear that Enlightenment-progressive-libertarian-feminist-liberal-universalism is self-undermining in the face of people who would build tribalist-reactionary-patriarchal-tyranny in its midst. That conflict is not being worked out in the forums of the Internet, though. It is being worked out in actual real-world polities

I don't see the current (=last one-two decades) geopolitics as fitting this narrative. I think they fit much better the narrative of a late-stage empire falling into decadence and so unable to enforce Pax Americana well any more.

The idea of bringing civilization, that is "Enlightenment-progressive-libertarian-feminist-liberal-universalism", into the midst of savages, that is "tribalist-reactionary-patriarchal-tyranny", on M-1A Abrams main battle tanks is called neoconservatism, funnily enough, and it didn't fare too well in reality.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2014-11-20T20:42:39.672Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Despite being American myself, I don't see the frontier between the Enlightenment and reaction as being an American military front.

The situation in Europe — including the resurgence of fascism in Greece, the emergence of Putin-Stalinism, and the various national conflicts over Muslim immigration and the status of immigrant communities with violent anti-woman, anti-dissident, or anti-free-speech practices — looks much more like a "clash of civilizations" to me than the current generation of American overseas adventurism does.

What is delivered by tank is not civilization; it is resource extraction.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T21:09:52.607Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

including the resurgence of fascism in Greece, the emergence of Putin-Stalinism

You linked that to "legitimate fear that Enlightenment-... is self-undermining" (emphasis mine).

The Greek fascism is a reaction to the excesses and failure of a semi-socialist crony-capitalist corrupt state. Putin is partly a reaction to the same and partly just business-as-usual for Russia. The conflicts in e.g. France, etc. over Muslim immigrants are pretty clearly tribal conflicts on the basis of "these weird people don't even look like us, have strange customs, and, most galling of all, are unwilling to recognize their cultural inferiority".

So I am not sure where this Enlightenment meme complex (which you clearly think is a positive thing, not leading to failures of corrupt states) is undermining itself.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-20T20:04:24.993Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The idea of bringing civilization, that is "Enlightenment-progressive-libertarian-feminist-liberal-universalism", into the midst of savages, that is "tribalist-reactionary-patriarchal-tyranny", on M-1A Abrams main battle tanks is called neoconservatism, funnily enough, and it didn't fare too well in reality.

In all fairness, what neo-cons brought to "tribalist-reactionary-tyrannies" was nothing more than a cargo-cult imitation of democracy. No effort at all was made to introduce even the classical-liberal institutions that modern Western polities are fundamentally based on, let alone anything close to libertarianism or Enlightenment values.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T20:12:50.153Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

nothing more than a cargo-cult imitation of democracy

That's because a cargo-cult imitation is all that you deliver on an M-1A tank.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-20T08:32:08.804Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

On one hand, interesting,

On the other hand, I'm unable to understand the logical steps from that to "and therefore white is the best race, patriarchy is a better system, the Enlightenment was misguided, we need a single dictator, let's bring back the Victorians and King Leopold"

That's because you're mistaking the other hand as logically following from the first one.

A political platform is about a preferred set of rules and institutions - you can logically get there in more than one way, and illogically get there too.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-20T02:32:11.274Z · score: -1 (27 votes) · LW · GW

I'm unable to understand the logical steps from that to "and therefore white is the best race, patriarchy is a better system, the Enlightenment was misguided, we need a single dictator, let's bring back the Victorians and King Leopold"

Don't forget straight up denying the existence and/or legitimacy of gender identity issues.

It's quite simple. It's not logic. It's just that it's mostly written by white straight men who are convinced they would naturally make the best masters.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-22T22:28:25.813Z · score: -5 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I am not white. If you do not believe race realism then you are equivalent to creationist. There is no magic in evolution.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-19T21:27:34.889Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Naturally, Moldbug has something to say on this, at least for those with libertarian sympathies:

Perhaps the best and most succinct statement of the reactionary philosophy of government - especially considering the context - was this one:

Truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as anybody whomsoever; but I must tell you their liberty and freedom consists of having of government, those laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having a share in government, sir, that is nothing pertaining to them.

Where the context he was referring to was:

KING CHARLS
HIS
SPEECH

Made upon the
SCAFFOLD
At Whitehall-Gate,

Immediately before his Execution,
On Tuesday the 30 of Ian. 1648

http://anglicanhistory.org/charles/charles1.html

This points to the fundamental conundrum that libertarians are just now starting to grapple with. In a polity where it is a given that "to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men", you can have some expectation that democratic, representative government is a decent means to secure your freedoms. It is a means, and not an end in itself.

Libertarians largely have the motivations of Thomas Paine with regard to government:

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

We don't want to vote. We don't want to participate in government. Not really. We don't want to run other people's lives. Run your own damn life, and leave me alone to run mine.

But when the polity changes, increasingly populated by those who do want to participate in the domination of the lives of their neighbors, and to be similarly subjugated themselves, what then?

Whether it's one vote, one time, or a vote every other year, if the result is always increasing subjection, what's a libertarian to do?

Moldbug went down the libertarian -> anarcho capitalist -> reactionary path. I see it as a recognition that despite anarcho capitalist hocus pocus with respect to markets to the contrary, violence is a natural hierarchical location based monopoly - a government. So his answer is to respect the reality of power, and sweep aside ideologies that make the outcome worse than what honest human livestock ranchers would devise. I'm not convinced on that score, but Moldbug would hardly be alone in being able to provide a compelling critique while providing a less than compelling alternative.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-03-19T13:16:34.772Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The issue is, I don't see NRx providing a clear difference between monarchy and modern demotic dictatorship, and clear ways of preventing the first from sliding into the second.

I've read Hoppe years ago, so far I remember I have not seen a solution to that. The only thing I remember is that a king si really really sure his heirs will inherit so he has a vested interest in not screwing up a country. But such sureness of inheritance means the people really consent to monarchy that is in practice a democracy.

Furthermore I don't understand the whole idea of starting on top, i.e. designing a form of government, instead of starting in the bottom, like the morals and culture of the age.

I mean, for example, if monarchy is so much more desirable then it is obvious why we don't have it: because we as a people became more depraved and not worthy for it e.g. having too much envy.

Another thing I don't understand in these designs is that they are about drawing rules when in reality it is possible to act outside the rules, this is called revolution or coups. Thus a realistic political philosophy cannot simply say if everybody accepts these rules all will be right. The very first political philosopher, Aristotle, wanted to figure out which rules are simply the more likely to obeyed, as in, the least likely to lead to coups and revolutions, the least likely to cause behavior outside the rules. It seems NRx like everybody else is simply trying to find good rules today. This is a really short-sighted. BTW aristotle's solution was a kind of democracy where the rich have more votes. We have this, in practice (the rich buy votes).

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-03-21T23:24:46.394Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

First, I haven't read much of NR literature beyond Moldbug, and my post was mainly aimed at the tie in between him and libertarianism. When you don't expect to have the numbers to win by voting, what then?

I don't see NRx providing a clear difference between monarchy and modern demotic dictatorship

I don't see Moldbug as interested in demotic dictatorship. The lack of support in the "demos" is the problem.

Furthermore I don't understand the whole idea of starting on top, i.e. designing a form of government, instead of starting in the bottom, like the morals and culture of the age.

I think the premise is that they don't have the numbers, and are unlikely to get them.

because we as a people became more depraved and not worthy for it e.g. having too much envy.

Envy and lust for power. The Master Slave impulse is a problem on both sides.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-03-23T09:05:31.907Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Master Slave impulse is a problem on both sides.

I don't think so... I think it is more like the ego-driven feeling of "why is he better than me?" the issue not directly being power, but rather giving someone power being a strong signal they are "better".

The problem of the ego is something I have been trying to figure out for about 15-17 years now. This can mean two things, either I am knowledgeable about it, or I developed a strong bias seeing the problem of the ego everywhere, even where it does not apply. So it is a topic I can be very right or very wrong about but little in-between. By the problem of the ego I mean I had some exposure in the Buddhist approaches of how the human psyche works, and quickly realized that the problem of modern people is not as much desire or anger, but more like vanity/pride. For example, a huge reason why we are atheists is not simply because it is irrational, but because theism demands a sense of knee-bending humility and submission that goes right against todays culture and mores.

Take this example. Scratch the gay-marriage debates and what you find is that the primary motivation is not securing pragmatic advantages for gays but rather not making them feel like second-class citizens. A grand social approval / validation. So there is this huge motive today that people absolutely loath feeling second-class or less worthy than others. This is some sort of a pride and I think this lurks behind a lot of political stuff today. One is that elected politicians are servants (ministers) of the public hence cannot feel superior to it. The idea being being uncomfortable with having rulers who could be said in some sense superior or more worthy. This is not so much envy as hurt pride.

This is difficult to discuss on LW because the whole process of Rationalism means setting aside this kind of pride, and probably most of you did it unconsciously long ago. Because with this kind of pride self-improvement through the outside view would not be possibble.

Is it clear what I am driving at? This is such a well-know problem to me that I don't really find the best words to express them, I belly-feel the problem of the ego since I realized at about 20 that me being rebellious against my parents at 16 was not about the limitations they set to me being too stringent, but more like the hurt-pride feeling how the eff they have the nerve to set me limits and give me orders, do they think they are better than me, that kind of think (around 20 I realized this issue through Buddhist meditation techniques and now am 37)

I don't see Moldbug as interested in demotic dictatorship. The lack of support in the "demos" is the problem.

The issue is still what is the difference. Some dude says now I rule and you shut up. How to tell if it is proper monarchy or yet another dictator?

comment by seer · 2015-03-28T04:50:54.931Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The issue is, I don't see NRx providing a clear difference between monarchy and modern demotic dictatorship, and clear ways of preventing the first from sliding into the second.

For starters a monarch doesn't have to spend most of his effort manufacturing democratic support, thus he can actually focus his effort into governing the country.

A more concrete way to see the difference is that under a monarchy most people aren't expected to participate in politics or hold political opinions, the attitude you captured rather well in your post here. Under a demotic dictatorship, all people are required to participate in politics and form their own political opinions, and those opinions had better mach the dictator's/today's cathedral consensus.

We have this, in practice (the rich buy votes).

Except they don't. Buying votes is illegal. Thus in order to buy votes you have to ensure that said law won't be enforced against you, witch requires that you have the right connections. Which means to have power you must constantly be playing signaling games to maintain those connections.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-03-30T09:37:13.130Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The issue is, I don't see NRx providing a clear difference between monarchy and modern demotic dictatorship, and clear ways of preventing the first from sliding into the second.

For starters a monarch doesn't have to spend most of his effort manufacturing democratic support, thus he can actually focus his effort into governing the country.

That doesn't explain the difference between a monarch and a dictator, as requested. Once a dictator has suspended elections, they don't need democratic support either.

Under a demotic dictatorship, all people are required to participate in politics and form their own political opinions, and those opinions had better mach the dictator's/today's cathedral consensus.

That means that means that they have less time, not that the dictator does. The dictator doesn't need to manufacture assent, they rather need to quash dissent...as would a monarch, as many did. NRxs just assume that Monarchy will work effortlessly, because that's their desired conclusion.

comment by seer · 2015-03-31T04:56:14.418Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That doesn't explain the difference between a monarch and a dictator, as requested.

The question was specifically about demotic dictatorships. As for dictators in general, that depends on how the dictator legitimizes his rule.

The dictator doesn't need to manufacture assent, they rather need to quash dissent...as would a monarch, as many did.

Monarchs had a lot less dissent to quash. For example, the dress code at Versailles required all men to carry swords. Compare that with a modern president, good luck getting close to him with so much as a pocket knife.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-03-31T09:02:28.572Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The question was specifically about demotic dictatorships.

No kind of dictator has to generate democratic support. Demotic dictators are supposed to justify themselves by generating ideological support, but that doesn't actually distinguish them from real world monarchies, because of all the ideology about God Put Me on the Throne,

Monarchs had a lot less dissent to quash. For example, the dress code at Versailles required all men to carry swords.

OTOH, the Star Chamber.

comment by seer · 2015-04-01T02:28:39.048Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Demotic dictators are supposed to justify themselves by generating ideological support, but that doesn't actually distinguish them from real world monarchies, because of all the ideology about God Put Me on the Throne,

"The People Support Me" is a lot easier to falsify then "God Put Me on the Throne", thus you need correspondingly more oppression to keep anyone from falsifying it.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-04-01T09:39:03.833Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Or you can manufacture consent, in both cases. Monarchies have not been free of oppressive violence, any more they they have been fire of memmetic engineering.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-03-30T07:36:19.446Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But all these features were also true for the dictatorships toppled say in the Arab Spring. Or Franco. People were not expected to be engaging in politics, support was not manufactured etc. Still there was unrest and instability.

Putting it differently, from the Aristotelean stability-first angle the question is why and how would people accept it, when there is empirical fact they don't accept it in dictatorships.

As far as I can tell these kinds of demonstrations and unrest have two factors. One, students, intellectuals who care about things like freedom of speech: basically, with some cynicism you could see it they want a piece from the power cake. Perhaps a system that would offer them clear paths to power could defuse it, but being rebellious still feels more virtuous and empowering than repeating official propaganda for a chance of promotion and a sinecure so the only system I can imagine that could secure their support would be itself pretending to be perpetual rebels: welcome to the "Cathedral". Lacking that, you could shower honor and money on young intellectuals and still they would find rebellion more virtuous and empowering. A second factor is the basic simple hunger-revolt urges of the masses when and if the rulers manage to screw up the economy. You could see both factors in the Arab Spring, the mass-hunger-revolt being the muscle doing the pedaling behind it and the rebellious students and young intellectuals the steering brain.

It would be fascinating to do an in-depth study of student and young-intellectual rebelliousness. It looks like something invented in the 1960's, but Stefan Zweig in The World of Yesterday mentioned it existed in Vienna as far back as his youth1900, but weirdly enough, it was a proto-Nazi type of student movement, basically nationalist students getting drunk and starting fights in the name of some pan-German union. One of the weirdest and most scary facts of early 20th century Europe is that students were above-average likely to participate in proto-fascist movements. From these two data points one could speculate that it may be an ancestral urge, basically young males not wanting to be ruled by the silverbacks, and ape or caveman level status competition. Around the world, youth radicalism was visible in 1908, visible in 1848 and so on. Any monarchy should need a surefire way of dealing with that (i.e. give them power and prestige but also make it as romantic, virtuous and empowering as a revolution) to be seriously considerable.

Buying votes is illegal.

Come on. Spending money on making a candidate or party attractive and advertised buys votes. Not literally but in the sense of increases the chance of people voting for them.

comment by seer · 2015-03-30T08:05:55.189Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

But all these features were also true for the dictatorships toppled say in the Arab Spring. Or Franco. People were not expected to be engaging in politics, support was not manufactured etc. Still there was unrest and instability.

The claim is that it is more pleasant to live under a monarchy or rightist dictatorship, where you're at least allowed to keep to yourself.

One, students, intellectuals who care about things like freedom of speech: basically, with some cynicism you could see it they want a piece from the power cake. Perhaps a system that would offer them clear paths to power could defuse it, but being rebellious still feels more virtuous and empowering than repeating official propaganda for a chance of promotion and a sinecure so the only system I can imagine that could secure their support would be itself pretending to be perpetual rebels: welcome to the "Cathedral".

Yes, the neoreactionary claim is that in that kind of intelligentsia environment people win based on their ability to signal piety (or virture) eventually the memes will evolve for maximal apparent piety. This is bad (or very bad) because at some point signaling piety becomes orthogonal to actually being good ideas. You wind up converging on ideas that super-stipulate human inbuilt values. When the pious ideas prove impractical this get's blamed on not everyone being sufficiently pious, thus the least pious must be purged.

One of the weirdest and most scary facts of early 20th century Europe is that students were above-average likely to participate in proto-fascist movements.

Scarier then the large participation of students in proto-communist and actual communist movements?

Around the world, youth radicalism was visible in 1908, visible in 1848 and so on.

Jim's proposed solution to this problem is based on restoration England:

1) Require an oath of loyalty to the official religion to serve in government and especial teach at colleges, so you don't get radical professors radicalizing students.

2) If possible make the official religion as boring as possible, so smart people are encouraged to focus their energies on productive tasks, like business or science, rather then attempting to create ever more pious versions of the official religion.

Come on. Spending money on making a candidate or party attractive and advertised buys votes. Not literally but in the sense of increases the chance of people voting for them.

The studies I've seen suggest that once you've spent enough money so that the average voter knows how the candidate is, you hit diminishing returns fairly quickly, at least from regular advertising. Of course, if you are friends with the editor and can have him put a favorable spin on the actual reporting, that's different. And it also relies on connections, not money.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-03-30T08:27:36.517Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Scarier then the large participation of students in proto-communist and actual communist movements?

Yes, given that Soviet-type communism and fascism are roughly equivalent, but not all were Soviet-types, the roots of communist ideologies are about small kibbutz type tribes being collectivist, not totalitarianism. Really, one of the biggest unfairness and inaccuracy here is equating all communists with Sovietism, Leninism. The roots of the movement are egalitarian tribalism in the form of workplace collectives, not tyranny. Anarcho-communist always existed, anarcho-fascism needed to be invented by Jack Donovan, it wasn't always a thing, this is the primary difference.

The claim is that it is more pleasant to live under a monarchy or rightist dictatorship, where you're at least allowed to keep to yourself.

Maybe there is a value mismatch here, I think that stability is the No. 1 requirement, something pleasant yet under constant threat of rebellion is worse than something crappy but crawling on and on without big upheavals.

Jim's proposed solution to this problem is based on restoration England:

Yes and it worked because the system is still there, and there were no puritans and levellers, despite the ability to export them to colonies. Oh, wait...

What is even the point of proposing anything that was vulnerable to getting torn down? Maybe if you don't value stability as much as I do... I find democracy stable roughly the same way as hip-hop battles prevent street battles, or recruiting youths into boxing gyms prevent them fighting on the street: a election campaign, election fight channels the tribal or ideological energies that would threaten social violence, revolution etc. into peaceful fighting it out.

This is really a no-brainer... knowing what tribal assholes humankind is, we need simulated tribal warfare in politics to discharge energies. Election campaigning is one, and that requires democracy. What are others?

What I would change is the rhethorics of democracy. It is not about consensus decision making, it is simulated civil war, optimates and populists fighting for the votes.

comment by seer · 2015-03-31T04:44:53.805Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, given that Soviet-type communism and fascism are roughly equivalent, but not all were Soviet-types, the roots of communist ideologies are about small kibbutz type tribes being collectivist, not totalitarianism. Really, one of the biggest unfairness and inaccuracy here is equating all communists with Sovietism, Leninism. The roots of the movement are egalitarian tribalism in the form of workplace collectives, not tyranny. Anarcho-communist always existed, anarcho-fascism needed to be invented by Jack Donovan, it wasn't always a thing, this is the primary difference.

I don't see what this is supposed to mean. In any case tribalism is just as much, probably even more, a part of human nature then collectivism.

What is even the point of proposing anything that was vulnerable to getting torn down?

Everything is vulnerable to being torn down. The question is how vulnerable, and how well it works in the mean time.

Maybe if you don't value stability as much as I do... I find democracy stable

Look at all the attempts to build democracy in the third world. Also, if you want stability, the Austrian and French monarchies lasted far longer then any democracies have so far.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-03-31T07:16:01.070Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am seriously weirded out by this discussion... how is it hard to understand conditions change? One of weirdest aspect of NRx is the complete lack of cultural conservatism - by that I mean the largely politics-independent changing of mores, atittudes, the kind of stuff e.g. Theodore Dalrymple bemoan. That political institutions require a culture that is compatible with them. Engaging in from-the-above system-building as if society was a computer and a political system a program, an algorithm, just find the right one and it gets executed. This social-engineering attitude. Where does this come from? I mean, how is it hard to see there are cultural conditions as prerequisites and indeed the same way democracy does not work well for tribal societies in Africa, the same way monarchies cannot work well in societies where everybody's minds are full of ideas that were received from radical intellectuals? How is it hard to see how different cultural conditions were: those monarchies required that the population be religious and see the monarch as divine ordained. It also required that populations should be fairly uneducated and thus not influenced by radical intellectualism. It required the lack of widespread literay, fairly expensive book printing and distributing technology that does not deliver seditious flyers into the hands of cobblers and so on.

What weirds me out here is the general engineering attitude that systems of politics are primary and culture is at best secondary. Where does this come from? A bunch of programmers and engineers who have little respect for the humanities and incredible power education and the written word has on human minds?

Systems are absolutely secondary to culture, to me - I am mostly humanities oriented and suck at math, and my programming is largely just scripting so I am no hacker - this is more than obvious. For example the reason France is still a more or less rich and functional country is the other France: that everything that was invented there in politics did not have much effect beyond Paris, that e.g. Catholic peasants of Gascogne lived a largely politics-free existence where their lives were mainly determined by cultural norms (work, pray, marry, work, work even more, pray, die) and politics and government was a remote thing one occasionally pays taxes to but is not relevant to daily life. They don't even talk the same way (oc/oil languages). And despite all the bullshit from Paris France works largely because these rural cultural norms were effective. Politics could not make them worse. But they also cannot make them better. If cultural norms are bad, you cannot build a good political system. If they are good, it takes a lot of effort for a bad system to ruin it. I am not saying culture is non-reducible, but certainly as hell non-reducible to politics. To other factors maybe. Politics is 100% culture-reducible, culture determines even what political concepts mean.

In short, I find it a huge blind spot in NRx to engage in systems-building and consider culture only an afterthought.

Why, with a good enough culture you could basically afford to be anarchist and not worry about political systems at all!! That was roughly Tolkien's idea. The Shire hardly needed any government at all, because their cultural norms were productive and peaceful and honest. THIS is a huge lesson you guys totally don't understand, apparently.

comment by seer · 2015-04-01T02:20:21.780Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One of weirdest aspect of NRx is the complete lack of cultural conservatism - by that I mean the largely politics-independent changing of mores, atittudes, the kind of stuff e.g. Theodore Dalrymple bemoan.

Um, those changes are not politics independent. These changes are being caused by various political forces.

Politics is 100% culture-reducible, culture determines even what political concepts mean.

And where does culture come from?

comment by [deleted] · 2015-04-01T08:58:15.260Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And where does culture come from?

Adaptation to circumstances.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-03-31T13:38:26.391Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One of weirdest aspect of NRx is the complete lack of cultural conservatism

Have you looked for culturally conservative NRxers?

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-03-30T09:48:14.099Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The claim is that it is more pleasant to live under a monarchy or rightist dictatorship, where you're at least allowed to keep to yourself.

Is it supposed to 'be a fact that you are more likely to be allowed to keep yourself, under a monarchy or rightist dictatorship?

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T13:16:23.183Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Whether it's one vote, one time, or a vote every other year, if the result is always increasing subjection, what's a libertarian to do.

Realise it isn't increasing subjection, outside your imagination.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-22T19:49:08.325Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Denial? Yeah, that's an option.

A number of libertarian outlets are stressing withdrawal. Just let politics go and focus more on evading state power and exercising the freedom you have left than on trying to affect the political process.

Moldbug is in some ways the extreme version of that - stop pretenses of freedom and consent and formally recognize your subjection, so that the rulers have less interest in doing idiotic and destructive things to maintain their power. No voting, just obedience. I don't think that works, but that seems to be his logic.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-23T18:44:09.762Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You are just repeating the same evidence free point.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-24T19:46:31.635Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If I had, you'd still be in the lead for evidence free points.

Your replies to me have been two evidence free meta assertions about me. Why do you find me such a fascinating topic of discussion?

But in actual fact, I took the opportunity of your information free comment to elaborate on my original theme, sharing my observations about libertarian outlets and my analysis of Moldbug's position.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-18T05:16:05.110Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I am an Aristocratic Egalitarian/'neoreactionary' because of Curt Doolittle. He has by far the most well developed piece of work in the Dark Enlightenment. I had developed a good amount of the Burkean sentinments myself and from Taleb, but I wasn't quite sure. Moldbug tipped me over, and then I found Aristocratic Egalitarianism. I'm probably somewhere between Thiel, John Gray,Taleb, Curt. + Influences from Machiavelli and Isaiah Berlin. With Elizier and Robin as well of course.

If you want a coherent framing point that is articulate, well stated, and non-obscurant Aristocratic Egalitarianism is it. You don't have to have hate in your heart to be NRx. It can be forward and positive, and it is mostly. However, before that it is.... 'sober'. There is no eliteness without appreciation and paternalism. It's not people's fault for how nature rolled the dice for them and it wasn't say high intelligence or executive functioning; no matter what the kids say. Being blessed with a lot of ability comes with the responsibility and that also means that people who are very intelligent but do not have responsibility are strictly looked down on in my point of view.

If it helps, I used to be an ultra-leftist & I'm not white and I can accept what every one is saying. Nyan/Nick Land is a good example of forward looking persons. Check out nickbsteves, and the people over at Social Matter.

By the way, the futarchy is way less cogent as a viewpoint than any of the plural viewpoints in 'NRx'. I chose to reframe around Curt because he can just say it and get it over with. He has convinced me of how class, race, and environmental value loading deeply influences the way you state things. I must insist every one check out his work.

http://www.propertarianism.com/2014/11/11/newest-most-precise-definition/ http://www.propertarianism.com/reading-list/

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T16:40:01.325Z · score: 3 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Any chance of translating those from the original Moldbuggese?

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-19T11:40:39.320Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

None of the books in http://www.propertarianism.com/reading-list/ was written by Moldbug.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T14:53:27.667Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was looking for a summary of the summary, not the opposite.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-18T19:58:46.144Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what you're asking for. At first glance, seems like a poseur insult.

comment by RowanE · 2014-11-18T20:55:05.371Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Moldbug is notorious for a jargon-heavy and hard-to-read writing style, which your comment is being compared to in a request for a clarified version.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-18T21:06:22.285Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Glossary:

NRx - Outer Right/New Right/Vague, fluid, and shifting community of associates, including people who do not like the term 'neoreaction'. Alternate Name: Antiquarian Modernism via Nick Land @ xenosystems. Everything else: http://www.propertarianism.com/glossary/

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T15:09:15.877Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not really. Burkean sentinments isn't in that list.

From the outside it's not clear what "I chose to reframe around" means.

I can guess at "forward looking person" but I'm not quite sure.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-20T02:11:14.467Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Burkean sentiments is used by plenty of writers. If you can't figure it out then it's your fault.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-20T09:14:19.974Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The point isn't that I can't figure out who Burke happens to be when I run a google search. The point is that it would be possible for you to write in a way that easier to understand for everyone instead of Moldbuggese.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-20T18:32:04.824Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Burke is an extremely famous author and people use Burke all the time. Edmund Burke. People do NOT use Akrasia/In-group/outgroup/status/ all the other absurdities. If you can't be expected to figure it out it's your fault.

My writing style is completely different than Moldbug's. But my utter distaste for those posers that represent such hubris considering themselves so advanced in knowledge above most other people, but cannot be expected to do any amount of work themselves is just the same.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-20T19:03:58.040Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

People do NOT use Akrasia/In-group/outgroup/status/ all the other absurdities.

That's local jargon. If you use local jargon that's generally doesn't need an explanation. On the other hand you were the first person to use 'Burkean sentiments" on LW. In general if you use terms with aren't common in a field, it makes sense to explain them or replace them with more easily to understand terms. Especially as the thread title asks for an explanation for beliefs.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-22T00:26:32.329Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Look, plenty of people use Burkean. You're over-reacting, and you're wrong. Give me a break. Please save this and look back at it at a future date.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-22T12:19:27.188Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not reacting strongly. I'm simply pointing out that you choose language that's not as accessible as it could be.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:30:43.877Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Nyan/Nick Land is a good example of a forward looking person.

Those aren't the same person.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-20T07:57:32.983Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm well aware they aren't. Just missed the s there.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T21:19:49.350Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

and from Taleb

Is that Black Swan/Fooled by Randomness Taleb?

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-18T21:22:01.682Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. Also see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2392310

People have a lot of distorted opinions about him, so make sure to check the appendix recommended readings etc just to get an accurate idea of him.

comment by shminux · 2014-11-18T02:00:29.373Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

IANANR, but from what I heard they tend to start by reading Moldbug, who does make a few interesting points not usually found elsewhere, then proceed to listen to Michael Anissimov, who apparently makes similar points, but more accessibly. And once you are infected with the memes like The Cathedral and Demotism, moreright.com starts making a lot of sense. Nyan_Sandwich does not post here anymore, but he used to particiapte a fair bit, including a few highly upvoted articles in Main... until NRxia got the best of him.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T02:03:10.400Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

That IANANR is an acronym and that I figured out what it means immediately, makes me laugh.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-02T10:20:29.326Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I thought up a second way to explain this.

I discovered outright lying, not just incompetence, in several areas of the social sciences. This lead me to try and figure out the drivers of corruption of the social sciences. Eventually I hit upon "scientism" being used to manufacture consent in democratic societies. I also discovered how scientific governance as exists in the form of modern technocracy was a sham used by the powerful to eliminate possible rivals, under the pretense of empowering the weak. The key thinker explaining this dynamic is Bertrand de Jouvenel.

I eventually came to the opinion that this same drive for deception, one could call it the "ingsoc" drive, isn't a strange feature just of Communism and Nazism but was present in FDR's regime as well. It metastized universally in the 20th century. Epistemically liberal democracies were no healthier than the other two major forms of mass opinion derived legitimacy.

This lead me to the conclusion that my priors on political theory, economics, culture and ethics had been spiked in a nasty and systematic way. Then I went through a long process of taking the priors of peoples living before the age of mass consent being considered the golden standard for political legitimacy and started updating them one step at a time going through history up until the present era. A key step in this process was the writing of Thomas Carlyle.

Mencius Moldbug was a useful companion in this process, but the source material he draws on is even more powerful. It takes longer to read tho.

comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2016-01-02T17:01:18.078Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that the political beliefs of citizens living in democratic societies come about via a process that we have no reason to believe is truth-tracking, but why should past thinkers such as Carlyle be much better? By what measure has he been shown to be a reliable guide on political/sociological questions?

comment by blogospheroid · 2014-11-19T16:01:00.289Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I went from straight Libertarianism to Georgism to my current position of advocacy of competitive government. I believe in the right to exit and hope to work towards a world where exit gets easier and easier for larger numbers. My current anti-democratic position is informed by the amateur study of public choice theory and incentives. My formalist position is probably due to an engineering background and liking things to be clear.

When the fundamental question arises - what keeps a genuine decision maker, a judge or a bureaucrat in government (of a polity way beyond the dunbar number) honest, then the 3 strands of neo-reaction appear as three possible answers - Either the person believes in a higher power (religious traditionalism) or they feel that the people they are making a decision for are an extended family (ethnic nationalism) or they personally profit from it (Techno-commercialism). Or a mix of the three, which is more probable.

There are discussions in NRx about whether religious traditionalism should even be given a place here, since it is mostly traditional reaction, but that is deviating from the main point. Each of these strands holds something sacred - a theocracy holds the diety supreme, an ethno state holds the race supreme, a catallarchy holds profit supreme. And I think you really can't have a long term governing structure which doesn't hold something really sacred. There has to be a cultural hegemony within which diversities which do not threaten the cultural hegemony can flourish. Even Switzerland, the land of 3 nations democratically bound together has a national military draft which ties its men in brotherhood.

A part of me is still populist, I think, holding out for algorithmic governance to be perfected and not having to rely on human judgement which could be biased. But time and time again, human judgement based organizations have defeated, soundly, procedure based organizations. Apple is way more valuable than Toyota. The latter is considered the pinnacle of process based firms. The former was famously run till recently, by a mercurial dictator. So, human judgement has to be respected, which means clear sovereignty of the humans in question, which means something like the neo-cameralism of Moldbug, until the day of FAI.

comment by ShardPhoenix · 2014-11-18T06:54:51.340Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not a neoreactionary as such (eg I'm pretty skeptical of monarchy), more of an anti-leftist. I see NRx as the best relatively coherent movement against the left due to it critiquing the flaws of the left in what I see as a more intelligent and perceptive way than typical conservatives do.

I think I found it via Moldbug at first.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-18T09:17:44.285Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

(eg I'm pretty skeptical of monarchy)

Have you read Steve Sailer or Nick Land? Anissimov isn't the whole of NRx, and most of the others have there own ideas about their preferred form of government.

comment by ShardPhoenix · 2014-11-18T10:38:14.289Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Steve Sailer is one of my favourite bloggers but I dunno if he'd consider himself a reactionary exactly. Nick Land I've mostly heard rumours about him having crazy ideas.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T04:34:43.636Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My impression is that Land decided a long time ago to side with 'intelligence' in the abstract, in a sense that inevitably led him to antihumanism, and that he supports neoreaction insofar as he sees potential in its proposals to unchain institutional intelligences that he thinks are more worthy of support than anything human.

(I think he should look into the Italian Futurists, try to grok the aesthetic of them and the things around them and see what sorts of things they'd come up with. It's not that far from capitalism to war, for one. But I don't think it's too likely that he will; even if Moldbug hadn't reinforced the belief that nothing interesting ever came out of anything that had anything to do with the losing side of that particular war, the taboo there is still strong.)

comment by hedges · 2014-11-19T09:52:52.379Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

In these discussions, I often find myself writing a long text describing my beliefs and why I am not interested in defending or spreading them. At that point, I usually stop writing and start over, like I did now.

I'm willing to label myself as neoreactionary because neoreaction better describes our current society than leftism. In a future world I might look at neoreaction as the most accurate description of a certain time period. Neoreactionary beliefs could be easily rendered irrelevant with transhumanist advances.

The reason I value neoreaction is because it gives me – in my personal life – an edge. This is also the reason why I am not interested in defending or spreading many neoreactionary beliefs.

Beliefs I've developed that are common in neoreaction are by far the ones that have contributed the most to my personal happiness.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T11:04:18.843Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The reason I value neoreaction is because it gives me – in my personal life – an edge. This is also the reason why I am not interested in defending or spreading many neoreactionary beliefs.

Unless you want an edge over other LWers, would you mind elaborating which beliefs have benefited you and in what way?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-17T22:54:44.791Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

What is a "neo-reactionary"?

comment by Capla · 2014-11-17T23:04:25.126Z · score: -1 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I am no expert. I hope there are others here who can explain better than me, since I'm just going to link you to wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactionary

comment by Capla · 2014-11-17T23:54:36.562Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What are the downvotes for? If I don't have great understanding, should I say nothing?

[Not a rhetorical question.]

comment by knb · 2014-11-18T00:17:59.325Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't downvote, but linking to a rationalwiki attack post about neoreactionaries isn't a good way to inform people.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:19:31.640Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well, I suppose that should be obvious. I had read the page some months ago and didn't bother to reread before linking. Sloppy mistake.

Thank you.

comment by gwillen · 2014-11-18T00:20:50.317Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I think people downvoting you may not have realized that you were the original poster, and thus may have thought you should not reply at all if you didn't know more. (Since you are the OP I think your reply is justified in answering "as best you know, what exactly is it you're asking us about?")

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:27:32.809Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well, maybe there's a lesson about posting on topics that I don't know much about (even if the post are questioning). Are there mores regarding that?

comment by gwillen · 2014-11-18T00:35:10.452Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Posting questions is totally reasonable. There is the option to post to Open Thread instead of Discussion, which would give your post less prominence; but there's been a push towards posting more things in Discussion recently because it wasn't getting that much traffic.

It's good to do a certain amount of background research, but you've clearly done some, and I think it would be bad for us to discourage people from posting questions without doing "enough" research, where "enough" is some hazily-defined large amount.

The fact that this is a political topic might weigh a bit more in favor of doing more research before posting about it, since political topics are more likely to cause conflict.

It's also worth noting that, despite the name, RationalWiki is not closely aligned with LessWrong, and in fact the two are often at odds and do not always have a lot of respect for each other. It's an understandable mistake.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:37:26.486Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well I have read RW page on LW and on Eliezer, which aren't very nice, but I was under the impression that they are generally a, you know, rational resource.

I'll do better vetting before linking.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2014-11-18T02:14:58.485Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

They're rational on subjects that Progressives are rational about.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T23:58:50.825Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. I once went to the RW article about human biodiversity hoping to find a non-ridiculous rebuttal of some HBD ideas, and it sounded like “These people say that Asians are smart but have small dicks, Africans have big dicks but are dumb, and Europeans are just right! How silly is that? LOL”.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T09:09:41.415Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

My muse is inspired:

The clowns of RationalWiki
Are ever so clever and witty
They say "LOL!" and "Hur!"
And sometimes "Fer shurr!"
And their acme of wit's "tiny dicky!"

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T08:25:44.725Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Well I have read RW page on LW and on Eliezer, which aren't very nice, but I was under the impression that they are generally a, you know, rational resource.

My personal judgement: they're a bunch of clowns.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-19T11:48:08.903Z · score: 15 (19 votes) · LW · GW

Technically speaking, they are politically mindkilled undiscriminating skeptics. They make a list of things they don't believe (sometimes for good reasons, sometimes merely for associating them with a different political tribe), and make fun of them. They use "rationality" as an applause light, but not as modus operandi. They are usually correct in situations where being correct is trivial for a generally educated person. That is already better than a great part of internet, but people can also do much better.

comment by Larks · 2014-11-18T01:03:32.037Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately they managed to overcome nominative determinism.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:29:57.189Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This was spur of the moment, but I thought others might be interested in what responders might have to say.

comment by knb · 2014-11-18T00:22:40.262Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Linking to a rationalwiki attack post on a subject isn't really a good way to give people an understanding of that subject.

comment by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2014-11-18T00:11:28.421Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd guess that the OP is too vaguely formulated and additionally loosely political. It is not trolling but standards are high here you know.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:13:14.422Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ok. Is there a way that I could have made it better, or is the topic better left alone?

comment by Username · 2014-11-18T00:17:33.225Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You could have put it in the discussion thread.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T00:25:01.584Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I defer to FiftyTwo, but this article give a good intro in a few sentences.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T22:32:42.864Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Here is an excellent rant about things that make NRx look attractive.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-21T01:08:07.672Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Quite a rant, but why do you think NRx would be any better?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T01:17:08.454Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

NRx at the moment is mostly about the critique of the existing political order. That's the part that resonates, while the prescriptive parts are both more contentious and more, I don't know, "abstract".

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-21T13:33:32.548Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Second thought-- that rant is from a Left point of view. It's "people are being hurt for no reason, this is intolerable", not civilization is falling apart from lack of virtue."

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T15:53:11.356Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

that rant is from a Left point of view

I am pretty sure the author would disagree.

It's "people are being hurt for no reason, this is intolerable"

I think you're misreading it. One of the major points in this rant is:

The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.

As to "civilization is falling apart from lack of virtue", that looks strawmannish to me and doesn't resemble NRx positions.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-21T15:57:05.736Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"The system is not fixable because it is not broken."

This is an argument I've seen from leftists. I may have seen some version of it from the right.

As to "civilization is falling apart from lack of virtue", that looks strawmannish to me and doesn't resemble NRx positions.

Oh my, but the universe is generous!

comment by bogus · 2014-11-21T13:57:31.474Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Consequentialism is not a "Left" point of view. Also, many leftists hold some "virtues" sacred; consider recycling. It doesn't matter that all the tediously "recycled" garbage ends up in the same landfill, the point is to uphold the virtue of caring for the environment.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-25T13:21:02.668Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

all the tediously "recycled" garbage ends up in the same landfill

Cite?

comment by bogus · 2014-11-25T19:32:46.470Z · score: -6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Cite?

C'mon, next time you spot a "recycling" truck, just follow it for a while and see where it's going. Sorry to disappoint you, but you might as well be asking for a "cite" that Santa's not real.

(And of course, I'm not talking about special cases. Everyone "recycles" their china and cutlery after use - but that's because the stuff is actually valuable!)

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2014-11-30T18:30:20.594Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What country are you talking about? All of the major ones that recycle? If so, here is your chance to backtrack to a more reasonable position.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2014-11-24T11:27:15.552Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It doesn't matter that all the tediously "recycled" garbage ends up in the same landfill, the point is to uphold the virtue of caring for the environment.

Really? I would expect that most pro-recycling people either don't know that the garbage ends up in the same place, or have an expectation that the separated landfills will come in the near future.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-25T00:41:28.224Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I would expect that most pro-recycling people either don't know that the garbage ends up in the same place, or have an expectation that the separated landfills will come in the near future.

That's true, of course a large part of it is that they don't want to know.

comment by Daniel_Burfoot · 2014-11-19T14:14:02.503Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Here is a simple argument for NRx: 1) democracy automatically produces communism and 2) communism is very evil. Proposition 2 is not very controversial. Proposition 1 just comes from extrapolating the trend line of government control over the economy out another couple of decades.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T22:23:29.783Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

1) democracy automatically produces communism and 2) communism is very evil.

The paradigmatic cases of the evils of communism are Russia and China. Neither country was ever a democracy. The third paradigmatic monster of the 20th Century, Naziism, did arise from a democracy, but was not communism.

What is the X you are referring to, that democracy produces, and that produces evil, and what are the examples?

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T21:57:40.818Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

1) democracy automatically produces communism

That's historically funny given that Marx argued that democracy can never produce communism.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-19T21:17:53.850Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Is that extrapolation justified?

comment by Daniel_Burfoot · 2014-11-19T21:48:24.815Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't say it's obvious, but here a graph of US government spending over time. It seems basically monotonic.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T09:07:14.638Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Monotonic as a percentage of GDP? Meaning the government will be 100% of GDP in finite time?

comment by satt · 2014-11-20T02:33:43.018Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't even go that far. I think it's reasonable to set aside the oscillations in the 1950-1980 period and call that bit basically monotonic, but WWI & WWII still wreck any underlying monotonicity (and arguably the Great Depression and Great Recession do too). Moreover, since 1975, the overall trend looks basically flat to me except for the Great Recession bump at the end.

Moving to my own country, I find an even stronger negative result: over the last 60 years the overall trend in public spending's share of GDP has been flat. (That, I must admit, surprised me a bit; I would've expected the government's share of spending to swell a bit over time because of aging populations and state provision of education & healthcare, which suffer from Baumol's cost disease. But apparently not.)

comment by [deleted] · 2015-05-30T09:54:46.709Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The intro to the rationalist neoreactionary blog the Future Primaeval sort of captures this:

It has not been apparent until now, but this is actually a group blog, composed of a small group of people with similar ideas which are very different from everyone else's. For various reasons, we've decided to leave our previous projects and start a new blog dedicated to theoretical and practical inquiry into lifestyle, politics, philosophy, and social science. Welcome.

As thinkers, most of us got our start in a community dedicated to the art of human rationality. There we crystallized our appreciation for reason, evidence, and awareness of one's own capabilities and limitations as a human thinker. We came to believe that there are better ways to think, and began to strive to train ourselves in them. We've since moved beyond that foundation, throwing out and replacing pieces of the philosophy as they were found faulty, placing a greater emphasis on political ideology and well-tuned intuitive judgement over feigned neutrality and formal methods. Still, the core commitment to sanity guides us.

In our studies, this commitment to sanity eventually came into conflict with the acceptable range of ideas on politics, social science, history, and lifestyle. The truth, we discovered, was generally ancient, harsh, inevitable, and to the extent that it impinges on the human political spectrum, very, very right wing. These are not the ideas that ingratiate one with the fashionable set, so we keep them to ourselves except among trusted friends or under the cover of anonymity, but our values demand that we face the truth, and speak it.

So this is The Future Primaeval; our attempt at unearthing, documenting, and integrating into our lifestyles and models of the world the timeless truth that lurks beyond history, that always comes back to collect from those who deny it, and that will shape the future of human civilization.

We will occasionally deal with matters traditionally called politics, such as the analysis of human institutions, contemporary social movements, and controversial hot topics, but make no mistake, we are not here to influence the next election or to have the King's opinions for him. Our ambitions are both bigger and smaller than that; to train in the difficult art of sanity, to develop and study the science and myth of human civilization, and to apply these insights to our own lives and domains, so that we may seek the favour and avoid the wrath of the Gods.

We will strive to be consistently clear, insightful, useful, and correct, if not always original or timely. We welcome serious criticism and pointers to things we may not have considered, so please do get in touch. Some of our previous work meets the purpose we've set for ourselves here, so it will be polished up and reposted in time. We hope that you will get as much out of reading this blog as we do writing it.

comment by magnushansen · 2014-11-30T17:26:32.234Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was always intrigued in the racial policy of NRx, how do NRxaries define race for their purposes, and how that factors in to their overall ideology? Also appreciated if any NRxaries can recommend me some good reading on the above topic to update my priors?

comment by advancedatheist · 2014-11-18T02:49:36.619Z · score: 0 (14 votes) · LW · GW

If you think seriously about what living a lot longer than current norms would have to mean, then you'll realize that everything familiar to you now will eventually vanish, and new things will take their place. Then those things will vanish as well, and other things will take their place. Just keep iterating.

Consider how much of the currently familiar things in our social world originated in an intellectual experiment in the 18th Century called the Enlightenment: democracy, egalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, feminism, secularism, individualism and so forth. Do you think the social innovations based on these ideas have gotten locked in as a permanent part of the human condition? I wouldn't assume anything of the sort.

In fact if I survive long enough, it wouldn't surprise me to see "regression towards the mean" in human society after a few centuries. The people of the world in the 24th Century might wield amazing technologies by our standards, but their society could have more in common with premodern, pre-Enlightenment societies than the ones we've known as products of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.

I feel sorry for the feminist women in cryonics who don't see this as a distinct possibility of the kind of Future World which would revive them. They might find themselves in a conservative, patriarchal society which won't have much tolerance for their assumptions about women's freedoms.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-18T14:36:29.814Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

If you think seriously about what living a lot longer than current norms would have to mean, then you'll realize that everything familiar to you now will eventually vanish, and new things will take their place.

Older readers of LessWrong will know that it doesn't take that long.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-18T17:40:24.285Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

In my 40's I was damn near grabbing people and shaking them and saying "Things change!"

After a while, I got bored with saying that, and also came to the conclusion that if you haven't lived through things that you thought were basic going away, you don't know what it's like.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-18T15:02:44.730Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Some of us are finding that things are only beginning to get close to what we always wanted.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-18T22:01:11.581Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

originated in an intellectual experiment in the 18th Century called the Enlightenment: democracy, egalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, feminism, secularism, individualism and so forth

... Actually all of those ideas are considerably older than the Enlightenment, and can be traced to Antiquity and beyond.

comment by satt · 2014-11-20T03:24:13.331Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Egalitarianism in particular jumps out as an odd entry in that list, since anatomically modern humans probably spent most of their evolutionary history in hunter-gatherer bands appreciably more egalitarian than sedentary civilizations.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-18T17:37:56.689Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Prediction is hard, especially about the future.

It's possible that feminists and MRAs will wake up to find a matriarchal future.

Or gender (if any) will come to mean something very different from what we're used to. Once humanity starts bioengineering itself, the range of possibility opens up tremendously.

My bet is that if cryonics works, the future will divide into home era cohorts, and the vast majority of people from earlier times may be living in reasonable comfort but will have very little power. A few highly adaptable people may be able to get up to speed to join the current culture.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T08:32:56.510Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Or gender (if any) will come to mean something very different from what we're used to. Once humanity starts bioengineering itself, the range of possibility opens up tremendously.

You mean there are people who don't just shape-shift their apparent sex depending on the precise situational combination of their current mood and what they want to signal? Goddamn you lot are weirdos ;-).

Although the conservation-of-mass issue gets awkward: you can either be a scrawny male but a healthy-looking female or a healthy-looking male and a rather overweight female, or be kinda awkwardly lithe in either form. Or you can go to the bathroom and store the extra unwanted mass when female, but really, there's only so much biological nanotechnology can do against basic physics.

(EDIT: Yes, I did make this up on the bus one day when thinking of things future people might consider good ideas that we'd consider unutterably bizarre, and was indeed waiting for an opportunity to post it ;-).)

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:44:23.868Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Um, if you have the ability to arbitrary rearrange your cells, they're likely more loosely attached to each other than those in animals. In any case you should be able to process raw environmental material to grow.

I have thought about possible future societies that aren't based on biological reproduction. Most of the examples in scifi fall apart after a little MoR-style pocking (their main flaw is keeping certain aspects of the setting the same as ours even if those aspects no longer make sense). The two that seem stable are the following:

1) Sentients become pure infomorphs (or ems as Hanson calls them). This abolishes the distinction between memetic and genetic inheritance. Thus "sex" in the sense of recombining "genetic" material is separate from reproduction and resembles having conversations. Reproduction consists of creating a copy of your mind/source code. This resembles the life cycle of bacteria, who exchange information via conjugation but reproduce via binary fission.

2) Sentients are produced in centralized factories, e.g., most children are grown in artificial wombs, or robots produced in more conventional factories. This effectively makes them eusocial with all that implies about their sense of individuality, or rather lack thereof.

The other possibility is old-fashioned sexual reproduction. I have no idea which of those possibilities will come to dominate.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-19T12:56:50.558Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

One possibility is that body composition becomes less important because it's so easily changed. At that tech level, it probably doesn't have any health implications.

Height might be less significant.

Instead of more mass to be a larger male, how about less density?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T14:43:50.241Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Height and density. I'm a moron. brb, retuning bodily nanomachines.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T21:08:15.700Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What do I have to do to be highly adaptable enough to join the culture that is still experiencing growth? What could I be doing now in order to prepare for that?

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2014-11-19T00:08:29.082Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Tentatively-- try living in a bunch of different cultures.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-19T00:30:19.383Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Seconded.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-18T23:14:40.948Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That sounds like premature optimization to me.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T23:55:37.105Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unquestionably, but it's still fun to ask.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T10:57:09.271Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I feel sorry for the feminist women in cryonics who don't see this as a distinct possibility of the kind of Future World which would revive them. They might find themselves in a conservative, patriarchal society which won't have much tolerance for their assumptions about women's freedoms.

And this is worse than death?

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-18T22:03:10.854Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on how patriarchal the society is. Few women would like to live in, say, Gor. "Please freeze me again while I wait this out."

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T23:00:18.556Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Few women say they would like to live in Gor. But some would. Some live in Gor-inspired relationships now. And maybe people would adapt.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-19T00:02:45.998Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

At another point in the discussion, a man spoke of some benefit X of death, I don't recall exactly what. And I said: "You know, given human nature, if people got hit on the head by a baseball bat every week, pretty soon they would invent reasons why getting hit on the head with a baseball bat was a good thing. But if you took someone who wasn't being hit on the head with a baseball bat, and you asked them if they wanted it, they would say no. I think that if you took someone who was immortal, and asked them if they wanted to die for benefit X, they would say no."

I am aware that some people live in Gor-inspired relationships, that some people are masochistic, that some women want to be dominated, and that more people would like to live that way than those who would care to admit it, or even that those who know for a fact that they would. I still assume these numbers to be small.

Of course people would adapt. That's what people do. That doesn't make it right.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T09:48:46.951Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I still assume these numbers to be small.

In the past, almost everyone thought that one should wait until marriage for sex. Now, almost everyone (in my part of the world) believes in serial monogamy. In both these cases people think that their social norms are in the right. I see no reason not to suppose that if Gor lifestyle became the norm then most people (inc. women) would think it right (not just publically saying that its right).

I see no objective way to say that any of these lifestyles are right or wrong, unless it can be shown to be damaging the children.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-20T00:09:06.146Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What they believe in, or rather, endorse, and what they end up actually doing or wanting to do have usually been at odds. The ideal solution is different for every combination of individual and circumstance: the ideal universal solution is therefore an superstructural (ideological, legal, cultural, etc.) framework capable of running and accommodating any specific arrangement between interested parties. Objectively speaking, I think the only hard and fast rule is "Safe, Sane and Consensual".

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:14:10.711Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think the only hard and fast rule is "Safe, Sane and Consensual".

Except the meaning of all three of those terms is culture dependent.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T09:55:55.919Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Sane" is certainly culture dependent, but consent seem relatively objective.

comment by Salemicus · 2014-11-20T11:57:45.596Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

consent seem relatively objective.

Really?

  • Suppose a 16-year-old agrees to have sex. Is that consent?
  • If a contract is made under "undue influence," did I consent to it? Is that objective?
  • If my agreement is made under coercion, did I consent? What counts (morally) as coercion seems very fraught. Leftists and feminists frequently argue that many seemingly voluntary activities are actually deeply coercive, and use terms like "wage slavery."
  • Suppose I agree to an act, then change my mind later. If the other person carries out the act anyway, did I consent to it? In law, and in most people's intuition, the answer is "it depends."

All in all, it looks very much like "communicated agreement" is the objective fact, and whether that gets upgraded to "consent" depends on a whole host of ethical judgments that are often contentious.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T20:15:13.483Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Consent is more objective than sanity, although there are edge cases:

Suppose a 16-year-old agrees to have sex. Is that consent?

Where I live 16-year-olds can legally have sex! Anyway, assuming things are different where you live, then yes, they can give consent, but their consent does not legally authorise sex.

If a contract is made under "undue influence," did I consent to it? Is that objective? If my agreement is made under coercion, did I consent? What counts (morally) as coercion seems very fraught. Leftists and feminists frequently argue that many seemingly voluntary activities are actually deeply coercive, and use terms like "wage slavery."

Well, yes you did consent. This doen't necessary make everything ok, and it might be better if there was less coersion, but you still consented.

Suppose I agree to an act, then change my mind later. If the other person carries out the act anyway, did I consent to it? In law, and in most people's intuition, the answer is "it depends."

You consented, and then withdrew your consent. If the other person carries out the act before you withdraw consent, then they can't be blamed.

All in all, it looks very much like "communicated agreement" is the objective fact, and whether that gets upgraded to "consent" depends on a whole host of ethical judgments that are often contentious.

I'd say "communicated agreement" is consent by definition. Its possibly a word getting a little overloaded : the word consent can be used as in "Russia consented to hand over 1/4 of her territory to Germany" or as in "Let's have sex!" while these are rather different in most important respects.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T20:48:30.568Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Consent is more objective than sanity

That looks doubtful as you need to be sane to give consent, don't you?

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T21:57:44.002Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think this entire conversation is just getting bogged down as to how do define 'consent' and 'sanity'.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T10:01:04.207Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

consent seem relatively objective.

Is so called "marital rape" consensual since they consented to marry? (Most societies say yes, but lately in has become fashionable in Western countries to pass laws saying no).

What if someone says yes but feels pressured to?

If two drunk students had sex, has a rape occurred? (Yes, according to California's new "Affirmative Consent" law).

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T20:25:39.122Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Is so called "marital rape" consensual since they consented to marry?

A contract where one party permanently gives away all rights (love, honour and obey) seems deeply worrying, but OTOH, I don't think people should take serious vows so lightly. Maybe a middle ground would be that a spouse can refuse sex, but this is grounds for divorce and they have no claim for alimony because they broke their half of the agreement? Either that, or don't use the traditional vows.

What if someone says yes but feels pressured to?

What if someone only robs a bank because of peer pressure? Still guilty.

If two drunk students had sex, has a rape occurred?

It depends exactly what 'drunk' means. If someone is paralytic and can't actually articulate the word 'no' then its rape. But drunk sex is perfectly normal, and if you consent to getting drunk then you are responsible for your actions while drunk.

comment by Ritalin · 2014-11-20T12:08:07.295Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

... Why students specifically?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T16:22:49.458Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Because it is ridiculous with respect to adults and California politicians think they can get away with infantilizing students and treating them like legal minors.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T05:09:12.223Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, I suspect they're hoping to keep getting away with infantilizing that generation even after they leave college.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-22T05:30:56.338Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I am sure they're dreaming of it, but I don't think it will quite work. Not yet, at least.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-21T14:00:51.378Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"So called?" Do you seriously think a wife surrenders her autonomy permanently before the altar?

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-20T09:53:58.833Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would agree that the desirability of the Gor future largely depends on whether its consensual.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T08:28:34.608Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

And maybe people would adapt.

If you are planning your glorious transhuman future on the premise that people will adapt, you're doing it wrong.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-19T09:31:30.883Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think the glorious transhuman future will involve some sort of radical change, probably far more radical than Gor. People will have to adapt - even if they live in groups preserving 2014s norms, completely isolated from outsiders, they will have to adapt to the fact that they can't influence the outside world and that baseline humans will be overtaken in all fields of endevour.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T09:27:24.565Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Furthermore, it will likely lead to many outcomes that people today would complain about and disapprove of.

comment by advancedatheist · 2014-11-18T16:57:58.183Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

No, that just means that these women haven't thought very hard about what living a really long time could mean. Those science fiction writers in the last century who postulated the return of traditional social structures in high-tech societies might have come closer to the reality of life in "the future" than they imagined, and some Neoreactionaries have pointed this out. Refer to this podcast by Richard Spencer, for example:

http://www.radixjournal.com/vanguard-radio/2014/8/15/archeo-futurist-messiah

comment by JoshuaZ · 2014-11-19T01:14:53.470Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'm puzzled by your focus on women. Many men probably don't want to live in a patriarchal society either. I certainly don't.

That's aside from the fact that this really has very little to do with the subject at hand. There's a distinct question of what you expect will happen and what one should try to make happen.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-20T04:11:51.331Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm puzzled by your focus on women. Many men probably don't want to live in a patriarchal society either. I certainly don't.

Thirded. My disquiet comes primarily from the idea of benefiting in status and power from a system that would systematically deny freedom and independent agency and security to half the people I know, and the notion that I would be denied the freedom to take on roles usually assigned to other groups should the situation warrant it.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T11:50:23.385Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Fourthed.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T08:27:26.676Z · score: 2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'm puzzled by your focus on women. Many men probably don't want to live in a patriarchal society either. I certainly don't.

Seconded. Dear Lord patriarchy is unappealing: you "get to" basically enslave a few women and children at the cost of having to spend your entire life on utterly unappealing status and machismo competitions.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:11:55.047Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Dear Lord patriarchy is unappealing: you "get to" basically enslave a few women and children at the cost of having to spend your entire life on utterly unappealing status and machismo competitions.

What do you mean by "status and machismo competitions"? Narrowly defined, in many patriarchal societies this is false. Seriously, read some history. Take a look at say 18th-19th century England. Some men could do many different things from becoming ascetic monks, to becoming gentlemen scientists, to sponsoring works of art, to yes even status and machismo competitions if that suites your fancy.

If you define "status and machismo competitions" broadly then we're mostly doing the same thing today.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-21T14:10:32.274Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I still don't get why you'd prefer to live in a world where women cannot do all those awesome things as well.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:11:46.297Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If you define "status and machismo competitions" broadly then we're mostly doing the same thing today.

Your mistake here was thinking I enjoy what we have today.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T09:27:00.107Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, then you won't be any more disappointed up on waking up in a patriarchy.

comment by TheAncientGeek · 2014-11-22T14:58:27.928Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Of course there were plenty of options...they were post enlightenment societies.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2014-11-18T17:40:06.262Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't be too surprised by the possibility of a future society returning to traditional social structures. I would be somewhat surprised by every future society returning to traditional social structures. Either way, I don't see why this means feminists shouldn't sign up for cryonics.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2014-11-19T06:30:36.039Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I feel sorry for the feminist women in cryonics who don't see this as a distinct possibility of the kind of Future World which would revive them. They might find themselves in a conservative, patriarchal society which won't have much tolerance for their assumptions about women's freedoms.

I haven't really seen much discussion on the intersection of neoreaction and transhumanism. Neoreactionary theories of long-range probable societal trends, like dysgenics or a return to generally pre-Enlightenment social order also tend to assume that humans stay mostly as they are and only get selected by natural evolution. Meanwhile, getting to the point of being able to revive cryonically stored people successfully would probably include a bunch of human condition gamechanger technologies, like an ability to make the whole notion of fixed gender optional on any level (genetics, cognitive architecture, body plan) you'd care to name.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T14:34:45.717Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't really seen much discussion on the intersection of neoreaction and transhumanism.

Is there much other than Michael Anissimov's essay?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T11:18:48.533Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why couldn't post-democratic outcomes exist even if human nature is deliberately reengineered?

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2014-11-19T16:06:24.268Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Why couldn't post-democratic outcomes exist even if human nature is deliberately reengineered?

They could, and there's the are scenarios in the premise where they likely will, but neoreaction isn't just a program of political philosophy for post-democracy. There seems to be much rhetoric and general memetic clustering in NRX around the idea that progressivism will fail because it has outstretched itself trying to re-engineer human nature with cultural conditioning, and that social orders which comply more with fundamentally unchanging elements of human nature are a good political attack against progressivism. The reactionary commenters at SSC seem to like narratives about long-term human decline which tend to rely on nothing interesting happening with human reproduction in many generations from now on.

With technology that can re-engineer human nature, you could have brand new chances to go at the progressive wouldn't-it-be-nice-if-people-were-more-like-this stuff. Then you'd have to start thinking which bits of traditional values are actually good for a general population of agents, and which are just time-evolved kludges around previously unfixable human systematic suckiness. I see a divide opening up here between people who value the idea of a reactionary society of baseline humans in itself, and people who just go for whatever gets things done effectively. Though I guess NRX already has formed subcultural divides.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T16:39:20.619Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In the case of human enhancement, we depend even more greatly on (some subset of) traditional values to maintain societal stability, since the possible dimensions of failure are so much larger.

There's no divide, since for the time being, baseline humans is all we have. "Whatever gets things done effectively" is presently defined as "whatever gets things done effectively for baseline humans".

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2014-11-19T17:32:31.788Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The first priority is the here and now, but people also like to talk about what they expect to see in the next 30 or 100 years. A part of what makes an ideological movement run is a vision of the future, and people seem quite capable of getting into arguments and schisms about the principles of those.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T11:57:43.623Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Why couldn't post-democratic outcomes exist even if human nature is deliberately reengineered?

Why would they resemble the pre-democratic outcomes that advancedatheist says "wouldn't surprise me"? What should even draw "premodern, pre-Enlightenment societies" to anyone's attention, out of the vast and unknown possibilities of a transhuman estate that removes the reasons that those societies evolved in those ways?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T12:13:12.732Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Why would they resemble the pre-democratic outcomes that advancedatheist says "wouldn't surprise me"?

Because some of those, like hierarchy, are game theoretic equilibria that are likely to emerge across a wide range of possible configurations, especially where there are great asymmetries between agents.

What should even draw "premodern, pre-Enlightenment societies" to anyone's attention, out of the vast and unknown possibilities of a transhuman estate that removes the reasons that those societies evolved in those ways?

Are you saying that you think that a vast majority of the possible transhuman futures rest entirely on Enlightenment principles?

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T12:36:08.754Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Are you saying that you think that a vast majority of the possible transhuman futures rest entirely on Enlightenment principles?

No. Are you saying that pre-Enlightenment and Enlightenment principles are the only possibilities? Why should either of these be part of a transhuman future?

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T12:49:02.268Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Exhaustively speaking, societal organizational principles in the abstract tend to be Enlightenment-oriented or not. So, yes, any given transhuman future will have principles of some kind, which will be inspired by the Enlightenment or not. Non-Enlightenment principles (used here to describe every possible set of societal principles besides those based around the Enlightenment) are a rather huge space of possibilities, which cover not only many societies which have already existed, but many millions which may have yet to come to pass. Many "pre-Enlightenment" situations were organic hierarchies, similar to the way nature itself has operated for literally billions of years. "Pre-Enlightenment" does not refer to a specific thing, but a huge space of configurations which do not closely adhere to Enlightenment principles.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-19T13:44:27.538Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

By "pre-Enlightenment" I understand the social arrangements in Europe of the centuries immediately preceding the Enlightenment, which neo-reactionaries see the Enlightenment as a catastrophic falling away from, and which they desire to return to. This is unambiguously what advancedatheist is talking about upthread, and what, for example, Moldbug unfavourably contrasts our present arrangements with. This is a very specific thing, not the huge space that you interchangeably referred to as "non-Enlightenment".

"Pre-Enlightenment" bears the same relationship to "non-Enlightenment" as kangaroos do to non-elephants.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T14:10:08.552Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Viewing reactionaries as wishing to return to a time in the linear past, which evolved organically based on local conditions, and which may not be appropriate to present technological conditions, is mistaken. The goal is not to simply revive a past arrangement but to apply certain traditional principles and spirit to a newer expression of organic principles that is suited to its context. So, when you say "go back to", it's not that simple. Which is why "pre-Enlightenment" seems like an oversimplifying label, to me.

In fact, you could call it post-Enlightenment, since it would be the emergence of structure from an Enlightenment society that may retain some Enlightenment principles while discarding others. Calling any system based on principles aside from Enlightenment ones "pre-Enlightenment" seems like assuming a kind of a priori obsolescence, in effect dismissing it before it's even considered.

In any case, "pre-Enlightenment" does not refer to any specific structure (like kangaroos), but a wide variety of arrangements. Therefore, I see it as more similar to "non-elephant" than "kangaroo".

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-20T14:26:57.556Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The goal is not to simply revive a past arrangement but to apply certain traditional principles and spirit to a newer expression of organic principles that is suited to its context.

...

In any case, "pre-Enlightenment" does not refer to any specific structure (like kangaroos), but a wide variety of arrangements. Therefore, I see it as more similar to "non-elephant" than "kangaroo".

The first quote makes it clear that you do mean something specific by "pre-Enlightenment". Not as specific as, say, "ancien régime France", but nevertheless defined as the positive possession of "certain traditional principles".

Calling any system based on principles aside from Enlightenment ones "pre-Enlightenment"

I am doing the opposite of that, as indeed your first paragraph interpreted me as doing. It appeared to me that you were using "pre-Enlightenment" and "non-Enlightenment" interchangeably, both referring to whatever is not the Enlightenment. And at the end you do claim that "pre-Enlightenment" is a non-elephant, not a kangaroo. If you like, I can analogize it to the class of marsupials, but it still isn't a non-elephant.

You, and Moldbug, and advancedatheist, and every other neoreactionary are putting forward specific views of how society should be structured, specific views which is not merely "something other than the present arrangements". There may be a range of views in the nrsphere, but their doctrines are characterised by what they want, not by what they hate. They do a lot of the hating, to be sure, but they have a positive base of reasons for that.

For example, monarchy and libertarian anarchy are incompatible with each other, and neither of them are Enlightenment structures (as "Enlightenment" is used by neoreactionaries). Are either or both of them compatible with or implied by neoreactionary principles? My reading of neoreactionaries suggests to me that monarchy is, and libertarian anarchy is not.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-20T18:16:06.069Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

...

Read this.

You, and Moldbug, and advancedatheist, and every other neoreactionary are putting forward specific views of how society should be structured, specific views which is not merely "something other than the present arrangements". There may be a range of views in the nrsphere, but their doctrines are characterised by what they want, not by what they hate. They do a lot of the hating, to be sure, but they have a positive base of reasons for that.

Their doctrines are actually more characterized by what they dislike. As I said, NRx is a criticism first and foremost.

For example, monarchy and libertarian anarchy are incompatible with each other, and neither of them are Enlightenment structures (as "Enlightenment" is used by neoreactionaries). Are either or both of them compatible with or implied by neoreactionary principles? My reading of neoreactionaries suggests to me that monarchy is, and libertarian anarchy is not.

Some of the most prominent neoreactionaries are libertarian anarchists.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2014-11-21T08:17:37.087Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Their doctrines are actually more characterized by what they dislike. As I said, NRx is a criticism first and foremost.

Certainly there are far more neoreactionaries than those I have read, but those I have read, including the ones I just mentioned, are arguing for certain arrangements. Their animus towards the present is explicitly based on that. NRx, as I have seen it, is a criticism that explicitly bases itself, as you have done in this thread, on "certain traditional principles" which, to quote your Evola quote, "enjoy a perennial actuality". That is the core of neoreaction. As for the specifics of which cultures are held up as examples to emulate and which as examples to avoid, Moldbug primarily goes to recent centuries to show how things were done better in those days.

Some of the most prominent neoreactionaries are libertarian anarchists.

Perhaps they are, but they have so far not come to my attention.

comment by SanguineEmpiricist · 2014-11-20T18:52:47.295Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but being a wholly negative doctrine is still the "Dissent" in Dissenter. I think it is a mistake to be wholly negative, but that is a community discussion I suppose.

comment by Halfwitz · 2014-11-19T16:16:00.033Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Non-Enlightenment principles

Beware of non-apples

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T16:35:38.387Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

As long as it's clear that the term isn't doing any semantic heavy-lifting here, it's safe in this context. No flattering claims are being made about non-Enlightenment principles in general, just that they correspond to a vast space.

comment by Halfwitz · 2014-11-19T17:55:00.303Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That makes sense, but now that I think about it I don’t find this claim particularly neoreactionary: Enlightenment memes induce a sort of agnosia that prevents the rational design of non-enlightenment social structures. Treating this agnosia will increase the amount of possible social structures we are able to consider and the chances that we will be able to design something better.

What I see proposed are specific forms of monarchy or corporate-like governmental structures. More exotic proposals like futarchy and liquid democracy are dismissed, at least by Moldbug. So pre-enlightenment (or maybe anti-enlightenment) does feel like a better label to my non-expert ears.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T18:02:39.554Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

First and foremost, neoreaction is about a critique. Positive proposals are less frequently discussed and there is great disagreement about them within neoreaction. So, many people involved in neoreaction are involved primarily for the negative critique, and make no commitment to any specific positive proposals.

comment by Halfwitz · 2014-11-19T18:24:38.350Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So the claim isn’t so much traditionalism is great, only enlightenment is worse than traditionalism after controlling for technology? I was thinking of neoreactionaries as deformed utopians, but the tone is more like, “let’s reset social ‘progress’ and then very carefully consider positive proposals.’

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T19:05:58.265Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sort of. Traditionalism is great, though. You have the tone right.

When people see the headline "monarchy!" they're missing the 2-3 years of thinking and 2,000+ pages of reading that go between step 1 (let's reset social progress and then very carefully consider positive proposals) and step 2 (maybe, in some specific contexts, something like a certain class of monarchies would be useful for certain small-to-medium states).

Monarchy is just a tentative positive proposal (with limited potential application) I came to after several years of searching after the Cathedral mind virus had been dispelled. Moldbug seems to have come to something closer to anarchocapitalist seasteading-type city state proposals. Land leans even more anarchocapitalist than Moldbug. So, the positive recommendations vary widely. We are definitely not utopians, and admit our proposals are flawed just like any other.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-19T00:25:12.267Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Can you say more about how you get from "things won't always be the way they are now" to "the possibility is worth paying attention to that things will return to something meaningfully similar to the particular kinds of pre-Enlightenment society that Moldbug, et al, endorse"? (As opposed to, well, basically anything else?)

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-19T02:36:40.921Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think the basic argument is that our society has existed for maybe 1 or 2 hundred years, whereas kings and patriarchy have been around for 5000+, which implies that they have some selective advantage.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-21T13:51:50.110Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That's like saying horseshoe crabs and coelacanths have a selective advantage when compared to bipedal apes.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-21T16:03:30.389Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

That's like saying horseshoe crabs and coelacanths have a selective advantage when compared to bipedal apes.

TBD, ask me again in a million years or so :-/

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-21T21:26:09.688Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Imagine you're choosing which species to try and be 450 million years ago. You could try and be a mammal, or you could try and be a horseshoe crab. If you become a mammal, maybe one day you'll go to the stars! Or maybe you'll wind up like most kinds of mammals, and go extinct. But if you're a horseshoe crab, you'll still be around, pretty much the same, 450 million years later!

I personally would rather be a bipedal ape. But I don't think it's totally unreasonable to want to be the crab.

comment by taelor · 2014-11-21T22:56:06.624Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As an aside, can someone please explain what the deal with reactionaries and crabs is? I feel like there's some context here that I'm missing.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-21T23:27:25.686Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Gnon likes crabs.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-21T21:38:11.301Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Each species is best suited to its own environment. It makes perfect sense to be the horseshoe crab if you don't expect to ever want to walk, breathe air, or pilot a spaceship.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T02:43:58.417Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

which implies that they have some selective advantage.

They had some selective advantage. The world changes.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-19T03:25:13.119Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Also democracy has existed before and democracies tend to have short half-lives.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T02:41:41.711Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

And tribes/bands of foragers have been around for far longer than that. As Robin Hanson likes to point out, recent technological changes have made a "forager" lifestyle and ethic a lot more viable than it used to be - possibly more so nowadays than the "farmer" prototype that was previously favored.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-19T03:53:13.254Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Right, this is the kind of thing I have in mind.

Yes, a century from now we may have discarded the Enlightenment as we've discarded so many other things. We may replace it with feudal monarchies, or (as you say) foraging tribes, or tyrranical empires, or rule by philosopher-kings, or obedience to futures markets, or entirely unregulated capitalism, or a thousand other things.

There are lots of "non-Enlightenment" styles of life; to pay particular attention to one such way of life may be justified, but if so it seems like it has to be justified on some grounds other than "the Enlightenment isn't uniquely stable."

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-19T04:05:45.084Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think that NRx can be disaggregated into two relatively independent parts -- the critique of the current Western political arrangements and the normative this-should-be-so part. It may make sense to discuss them separately.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-20T04:46:27.855Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The problem with that is doing so implicitly encourages those who espouse the this-should-be-so parts every time they are reinforced by seeing the other bits discussed. I REALLY wish there were a way around this, because criticism of democracy and trying to figure out ways around its bad points is a very interesting subject.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T06:39:16.387Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

First, I don't see implicit encouragement as a problem. You're thinking in supply-the-enemy-tribe-with-attention terms which aren't particularly useful.

Second, the critical part of NRx doesn't like much more than just democracy. Cathedral is vast and its filaments burrow deep...

comment by taelor · 2014-11-20T19:55:25.361Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

kings and patriarchy have been around for 5000+, which implies that they have some selective advantage.

This implies that they represent a stable equilibrium. Stable does not imply optimal (though depending on your time-prefernces and degree of risk-aversion, optimal may imply stable).

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T11:34:23.194Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Do you think the social innovations based on these ideas have gotten locked in as a permanent part of the human condition?

They should, yes. They're correct, or at least, they're better approximations than we can otherwise create right now.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-18T03:07:53.561Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. But how does this "is" statement become an "ought"?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-18T11:37:20.685Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You know, there are actual investigations into these things.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2014-11-18T14:18:54.022Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Seeking the specific case, not the general case.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T08:32:24.128Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Well, as I said in this same thread, things like egalitarianism, female rights, minority rights, etc. have been found to be normatively binding due to the falsification of the normativity of certain social structures, usually patriarchy, royalty, and religious rule. Upon finding that those things are unjustified, we revert to the default that everyone is equal simply because there needs to be a reason to ascribe difference!

comment by MarkYuray · 2014-11-19T10:22:57.534Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

On what grey planet are you living on that "everyone is simply equal" is the "default"?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T12:16:52.937Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Ethically equal does not mean materially the same. For God's sakes, this is so simple and obvious there are children's books that know it.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T15:23:01.704Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

God probably being the central word in that sentence.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T15:49:07.531Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Pop quiz: explain to me why I should program my FAI to consider materially-different humans to have different ethical weight, to have their values and cognitive-algorithms compose differently-weighted portions of the AI's utility function.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:05:11.215Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Then why restrict to humans? Or animals or that matter?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:22:03.009Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, frankly, because I happen to be human, and because once you get out of animals you cease to see any mental functioning that I could even call subjective valuation. Even if I'm choosing to be omnicompassionate you need to at least restrict to consciously aware creatures.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T17:13:21.456Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's not something easy to answer. I think it might be even on MIRI's open problems list.

comment by blogospheroid · 2014-11-19T17:44:31.630Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not doing so might leave your AI to be vulnerable to a slower/milder version of this. Basically, if you enter a strictly egalitarian weighting, you are providing vindication to those who thoughtlessly brought out children into the world and disincentivizing, in a timeless , acausal sense, those who're acting sensibly today and restricting reproduction to children they can bring up properly.

I'm not very certain of this answer, but it is my best attempt at the qn.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:20:24.813Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good grief. You know, we already have nation-states for this sort of thing. If people form coherent separate "groups", such that mixing the groups results in a zero-sum conflict over resources (including "utility function voting space"), then you just keep the groups separate in the first place.

EDIT: Ah, the correct word here is clusters.

comment by blogospheroid · 2014-11-21T11:19:32.773Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So, is my understanding correct that your FAI is going to consider only your group/cluster's values?

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-21T11:30:27.270Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Of course not.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:04:31.043Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not to mention those who prosecuted and genocided ideological opponents.

comment by blogospheroid · 2014-11-20T04:35:44.455Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that too.

Poland had used a version of that when arguing with the European union about the share in some commision, I'm not remembering what. It mentioned how much Poland's population might have been had they not been under attack from 2 fronts, the nazis and the communists.

comment by MichaelAnissimov · 2014-11-19T10:11:10.949Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This is one of the funnier things I've read this year.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-20T04:02:50.433Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Upon finding that those things are unjustified, we revert to the default that everyone is equal simply because there needs to be a reason to ascribe difference!

You mean like the fact that people have different strength, intelligence, personality, ability, etc.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T08:11:30.037Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Those are not ethical traits. Honestly, there are arguments you could be using that you're failing to use here. Instead, you and your comrades seem to enjoy using the downvote button as a form of evidence.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-19T01:20:54.593Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The point is that it deflates the implicit argument that current norms are "ought"s.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-18T14:49:03.578Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Just like it's wrong to reject old ideas merely because they're old, it's wrong to reject recent ideas merely because they're recent.

democracy, egalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, feminism, secularism, individualism

just happen to work better than everything humans have tried before. Recency has nothing to do with their success.

comment by advancedatheist · 2014-11-18T16:54:07.329Z · score: 5 (11 votes) · LW · GW

"Work better" in what sense? Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that the longevity and "anti-fragile" nature of practices like religion and patriarchy indicate that they work quite well indeed, despite recent efforts to make them go away.

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-19T15:17:57.369Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Where does Taleb argue that patriarchy is anti-fragile?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-18T19:30:26.537Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Their persistence only indicates that those systems are tough and capable of self-maintenance, not that they're what human society needs.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T21:17:20.837Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Star Slate Codex has a great perspective on this. The institutions that are beneficial depend on the context. Are we playing for survival and can't afford risk or are we playing for flourishing and the risk is worth it because the gains outweigh the losses and we can afford to be nice?

http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/03/04/a-thrivesurvive-theory-of-the-political-spectrum/

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T01:14:37.351Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that the longevity and "anti-fragile" nature of practices like religion

Note that 'religion' need not imply theism here. Confucianism is older than both Christianity and Islam, and it's not based on a theistic worldview - instead its focus is on community organizing through rituals and an ethic of care and loyalty. It's worth stating this, because many people here at LW find theism especially objectionable, as opposed to religion persay.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T00:09:14.979Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

We have more people living better than ever before in history, and this is because of the Enlightenment.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-19T00:24:32.032Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The traditional neoreactionary counter is that increased quality of life is due to technological advancement, and that social "progress" has been neutral at best and detrimental at worst.

comment by David_Gerard · 2014-11-19T14:37:51.252Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but if it's not visible in quality of life, and it's not visible in technological advancement ... what quantity is it detrimental to?

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-19T16:10:43.219Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Quality of life. The idea is that without the ravages of modernity, technological advancement would have created an even higher quality of life.

By way of example, consider the 1950s. Their technology was obviously inferior to ours. And yet they had intact families (marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower) and well-paying jobs (a husband's salary alone sufficed to support his entire family, his wife was free to cook and clean and raise the children). Is our quality of life higher than theirs? It's not obvious to me. Even if it is, why is this trade-off necessary? Why can't we have the superior scientific technology of the 2010s and the superior social technology of the 1950s?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T15:47:59.726Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower

That's only desirable if there's strong social pressure in favor of some family models over others. Tolerance of diverse family structures has made marriage less relevant for economic well-being.

wife was free to cook and clean and raise the children

Your idea of freedom is... curious.

comment by Salemicus · 2014-11-20T16:55:13.008Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower

That's only desirable if there's strong social pressure in favor of some family models over others. Tolerance of diverse family structures has made marriage less relevant for economic well-being.

No, that may also be desirable if some family models are more conducive to human happiness and flourishing than others.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T19:03:47.430Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

may also be desirable if some family models are more conducive to human happiness and flourishing than others

That's a valid argument only if this is so biologically. If it's so merely culturally, cultures change.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-22T12:00:51.076Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

a husband's salary alone sufficed to support his entire family

A 2010s husband's salary alone would also suffice to support his entire family if they were willing to live according to 1950s standards. See e.g. Mr. Money Moustache.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-22T17:51:48.650Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I do read MMM, and ERE, and other frugality blogsphere titles. I disagree with your characterization that the difficulty in achieving a decent life today merely reflects an inflation of what is considered decent. First, because it's much harder to get the same kind of job in 2010s that would have been available in the 1950s; a solid, respectable job you easily can get out of high school is not the same as a solid, respectable job you might not even get after wasting a minimum of four years and going thousands or tens of thousands of dollars into debt. That this latter condition holds in modern times can be attributed to academic inflation and increased job competition from immigration and from women entering the workforce, which are all progressive policies. Second, because zero-sum competition for safe housing away from city centers has increased their prices to reflect what a two-income household can barely cover (and, indeed, the increased prices is part of what keeps them safe), not to mention the horrors of commuting (distance from city centers being the other thing that keeps them safe).

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-22T19:04:40.972Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Just to be clear, when you say that it's much harder to get such a job, and that this is due in part to increased competition from immigration and women, what you mean to say is that it's much harder for non-women and non-immigrants to get such a job, because it's correspondingly easier for immigrants and women to get them. Yes?

You seem to additionally be implying that how hard it is for women and immigrants to get jobs isn't a relevant factor in determining the difficulty in achieving a decent life. Yes?

I have no intention of arguing against either of those points here, I just want to make sure I've understood you correctly.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-23T04:05:12.395Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just to be clear, when you say that it's much harder to get such a job, and that this is due in part to increased competition from immigration and women, what you mean to say is that it's much harder for non-women and non-immigrants to get such a job, because it's correspondingly easier for immigrants and women to get them. Yes?

Yes. I am aware of the lump of labor fallacy, and that in theory an increasing number of workers might have economic effects creating more jobs even as said workers take existing ones, ending up with a similar or perhaps even a better job market than existed before the new workers came into the picture. But in practice it seems like workers have increased faster than jobs, and the oversupply of labor has led lower wages, lower non-monetary compensation, and/or lack of jobs.

You seem to additionally be implying that how hard it is for women and immigrants to get jobs isn't a relevant factor in determining the difficulty in achieving a decent life. Yes?

Let's start with women. If you think of the family as the basic block of society instead of the atomized individual, then yes. Under the old model, it was understood that women would marry early (men slightly less early), and that their husbands would be financially responsible for the resulting household and children. If there is a strong job market for men under this model, then most women do not need to work; only the very poor, the widows, the spinsters, and other extreme cases. Instead of slaving away 40 hours per week at work like their husbands did, wives were free to slave away cooking and cleaning and raising the children, which is still slavery, but is a much kinder form of slavery, with a more caring master. Under the new model and circumstances, both men and women perform the wage kind of slavery, and either they perform the household kind of slavery on top of that, or they outsource it, with negative consequences all around.

Immigrants are a different matter. Utilitarians can make a good case that immigration increased total utility, improving the immigrants' quality of life more than it lowered existing citizens'. If you're one of those guys who thinks we should all be sending all of our spare income to Africa, or whatever percentage of our income is realistically psychologically sustainable, I guess this is pretty great, and it's also great if you are one of the immigrants waiting to get in, but it's not so great for existing citizens whose quality of life is being brought to equilibrium with the rest of the world's, or for the immigrants already here.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-23T04:19:41.148Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Home appliances cut down quite a bit on "household slavery". And while you might argue that home-based work is preferable to market work due to having a "kinder, more caring master", the swift demise of cottage industry once early factories became feasible suggests that folks care more about how productive they are than whether they can work from home.

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-23T05:06:44.903Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

And while you might argue that home-based work is preferable to market work due to having a "kinder, more caring master", the swift demise of cottage industry once early factories became feasible suggests that folks care more about how productive they are than whether they can work from home.

I think that was just Moloch.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-23T06:13:44.681Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The folks who were actually around at the time seemed to disagree about that. Plenty of people devised plans for utopian communities where Moloch wouldn't be a factor, but they cared little for household-based work. (Indeed, some of them assumed that you could get rid of households altogether, and just live in large, factory-like collective arrangements under the supervision of some 'uncaring' leader. Of course, modern evo-psych and social anthropology argue against that view.)

comment by TheOtherDave · 2014-11-23T04:29:17.713Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

OK; thanks for clarifying. Like I said, I have no intention of arguing those points (though I probably ought to say explicitly I don't find your arguments convincing), I just wanted to confirm that I was interpreting you correctly.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T20:59:17.253Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

if they were willing to live according to 1950s standards.

Which is generally illegal.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-20T13:54:33.934Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Those marriage rates masked quite a lot of marital misery, and... well, frankly, neoreactionaries just have no right to use the economic structure of the '50s Western long boom as evidence for their ideas. Those jobs were based on the strong-labor, employment-state, and financial repression policies of the post-war governments -- everything reactionaries hate.

comment by drethelin · 2014-11-21T05:55:33.003Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Moldbug has actually talked positively about protectionist, make-work government policies.

comment by Capla · 2014-11-18T03:22:51.926Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm. You have a point. People often think that an overturning the current order is basically inconceivable. History suggests otherwise. However, we live in a technological society unlike any that has ever existed on earth before, and remains to be seen how predicative historical trends are on a post-industrial revolution post-computer revolution world. All we can safely say is that all bets are off.

However, I think we can assume that at least some of the technology will stick around (people still use computers, even if we run out of oil). The question is, How much of our social change is the direct result of the technological change.

Does feminism exist because of birth control? How likely is birth control to disappear? Is patriarchy predicated on physical strength? Does that matter in an economy that's not dominated by agriculture?

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-18T09:00:00.339Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Does feminism exist because of birth control?

Given that birth control existed in Ancient Egypt, I find this unlikely.

You'd probably be on firmer ground asking whether feminism exists because of washing machines. In any case given the effect of feminism on fertility (especially fertility of those with high IQ) it's likely to go away one way or another.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-18T15:05:38.517Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, the situation of women in Ancient Egypt was quite progressive by Bronze Age standards.

Also, are you saying feminists are headed toward breeding themselves out of existence? Human history is well past the age where ideas were only transmitted within the same family. Feminism isn't genetic; it's memetic.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-19T01:24:06.201Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, the situation of women in Ancient Egypt was quite progressive by Bronze Age standards.

And was birth control forgotten after Egypt declined?

Also, are you saying feminists are headed toward breeding themselves out of existence? Human history is well past the age where ideas were only transmitted within the same family. Feminism isn't genetic; it's memetic.

So what your saying is that feminism is a memetic quasi-sterelization virus. Populations eventually evolve resistance to those kinds of viruses.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-19T01:42:15.483Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Women were socially important in Egypt as far as the Ptolemaic dynasty, at least. It didn't fully adopt Byzantine culture until the 5th and 6th centuries CE, and this change was largely fostered by the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. So no, there was no "decline" due to their social system, only a largely unrelated cultural/memetic replacement. (It did fall to the Persians and then to the Arabs shortly thereafter, but by that time the ancient Pharaonic customs had been forgotten.)

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-19T12:56:25.130Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Again, what on Earth does feminism have to do with sterilization? What definition of feminism are you using?

comment by jaime2000 · 2014-11-19T17:54:45.634Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The reactosphere theorizes that feminism is behind the drop in fertility, which has now collapsed to sub-replacement rates.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-11-19T00:02:59.466Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've heard several conservatives teasing liberals for “still living in 1968” or similar.

comment by DNA · 2015-01-01T00:42:27.456Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does being aligned much closer to neoRx count? If so, I confess that my long journey (decades) has gone from its most recent position of being a mindless drone of the "establishment" right wing, steeped early in RC and finshed off in episcopal trimmings. Then after some hayek, regernery(?) And such I followed up with moldbug and the like I had the same epiphany Charlie Brown did on the Christmas special at Dr. Lucy's kiosk:

THAT'S IT !!!!!

It seemed to all make a lot of sense. Unfortunately it all seems so unattainable. Meh.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-11-09T08:16:31.124Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm broadly conservative, but neoreactionary on a few select things - specifically child rights and assisted suicide.

child rights: Tradition is that age of consent is pegged to our best ascertainment of puberty. I reckon with advances in science, that could become a civil issue so that plaintiff's could accuse perpetrators of rape due to inability to consent based on pre-pubescence.

I reckon that age for voting and such should also be lowered to the age of consent after a suitable transition period in which children are no longer expected to be little idiots.

I reckon the threat of pedophilles abusing this system is mostly imaginary.One would imagine that the inefficiencies in this system, with socially non-taboo 'romeo juliet' cases where an 'abuser' is say 1 or 2 years older than a 'unconsentable' young person will become more prevalent and young people will be less inclined to consent to sexual relations with 'predators' anyway.

Additionally, it is important to recognise that some people don't undergo puberty at all, or do so very late. These such people might be 20, and would be not able to consent if you frame the issue as a matter of puberty. Similarly, someone can be 20 and too ignorant to be able to consent to what's good for them either way. I reckon, if for any reason its ascertainable that someone couldn't have been expected by the counterparty to consent in good faith, that's the way to go.

Also interesting fact -

"High rates of child mortality also meant that parents emotionally distanced themselves from their children" (prior to the 18th Century) Wikipedia

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-20T18:00:58.158Z · score: -6 (18 votes) · LW · GW

It has robust answers that hold true. Lesswrong needs to use rationality to speak out against the social justice warriors more. We need more rationalists to explain Gamergate and other initiatives. SSC and Ozy come out in favor of Gamergate and Eron Gjoni for example. Politics need not be the mind killer with showing sufficient working.

comment by blacktrance · 2014-11-22T02:06:34.272Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Supporting neo-reaction because SJWs are bad is a severe case of false dichotomy.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T18:27:12.186Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

If the population of LW were to turn its eye to politics (more, that is, than it already has), I'm not at all sure that you'd get less social justice activism afterwards -- and I say this as someone that's no great fan of the social justice movement in its modern form.

When geeks like us get political, we usually start from cultural background noise and round off to the nearest coherent narrative: that is, the nearest one that can explain all the observations, whether through direct modeling or through some form of self-delusion narrative. That might sound like a good thing, but it's really not; "coherent" in politics usually means "totalizing".

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-20T18:33:03.964Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Do you mean that neoreaction is totalizing, that individual neoreactionaries at least are totalizing?

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T18:35:42.380Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I think many of the narratives that come under the general heading of "neoreaction" are totalizing. I don't think neoreaction as a whole forms a coherent narrative in this sense, although I haven't read enough different neoreactionaries to be totally confident that I'm not just overfitting on a couple of outliers.

I wasn't talking primarily about NRx, though.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-20T21:59:19.817Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This would cancel all speech about politics though, by anyone.

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T22:06:17.270Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure where you're getting that idea. Many schools of political thought harbor totalizing sects: market capitalism has Randianism, socialism has hardline communism. That doesn't make any of them wrong, and it definitely doesn't make them incommensurate in practical terms; it just means that they're attractive, under the right circumstances, to a personality type with a certain set of preoccupations. It also means that they are, potentially, epistemically dangerous, but that's a separate issue and still doesn't mean they're wrong per se.

My original thought was simply that, the personalities and cultural backgrounds of LW contributors being what they are, a strongly politicized LW would produce more SJWs than opposition thereunto. Am I wrong?

comment by polymathwannabe · 2014-11-20T22:56:51.399Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Where are the results of this year's LW survey?

comment by Nornagest · 2014-11-20T22:59:32.858Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It doesn't look like they've been posted yet. Historically they've usually gone up Januaryish.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-21T00:37:30.651Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The tone of Lesswrong is against social justice indulging. It has improved this year in this regard and leading to this post.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-21T23:31:16.883Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If the population of LW were to turn its eye to politics (more, that is, than it already has), I'm not at all sure that you'd get less social justice activism afterwards -- and I say this as someone that's no great fan of the social justice movement in its modern form.

i'm was kind of under the impression that (prior to reactionary influx) most LW just thought social justice issues were obviously true, not worth talking about, and that there are plenty of less intelligent people who are more than happy to fight that battle. You wouldn't expect LW to argue about religion either, for the same reason. Social justice was criticized because it was boring and obvious to agree with it...and that opened the door to reactionary thought to become popular.

After the reactionary influx, we started talking about it more, because now there was a group who intelligently disagreed in our midst.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2014-11-24T00:50:40.123Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It may help in this context to distiniguish generic left-wing/progressive views which may fall into the category you are talking about and "social justice" which has a host of other connotations.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T04:51:55.812Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

i'm was kind of under the impression that (prior to reactionary influx)

What reactionary "influx"? Most of the future Neoreactionaries were here pretty early. The NRx site MoreRight was a spin-off of LW.

LW just thought social justice issues were obviously true

Rather many of them at best considered the SJ mote obviously true.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T21:09:15.535Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I was on LW and overcoming bias for a fair amount of time without knowing they existed, and now it's impossible not to see them - sharp contrast to the present, when people who talk about almost nothing but nrx are disproportionately top contributors. (I don't know how long you were here, but if your username is a reference to what I think it is and marks your time of arrival, you arrived after the Nrx influx. I'm talking about back when Yudkowski was a top contributor.)

Of course, it's impossible to know whether or not NRx were quietly reading and commenting, but if they were, they were quiet about nrx and didn't talk about politics, because LW was not really a politically centered forum. People generally didn't like talking about politics because it was "mindkilling", but whenever people did talk about politics everyone turned out to be either a liberal or a libertarian so there wasn't much interesting to talk about in any case.

I remember when they first arrived it was kind of new and exciting, to have a group that disagreed with us in a language that made sense.

Rather many of them at best considered the SJ mote obviously true.

Fair. I'd actually consider Yvain and Slatestarcodex in general to be a fair representation of my own views and probably that of old-Lesswrong, even though Scott explicitly dislikes SJ and does not identify as a liberal. He does talk about politics a lot more than old-Lesswrong did though, so I might be projecting about what old-Lesswrong's views were. That's just the thing though - it was impossible to tell because no one talked about it.

I'd go so far as to suggest that in any situation where you can identify a mott and bailey, most lesswrongers would hate the bailey.

comment by Azathoth123 · 2014-11-22T21:41:29.222Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I was on LW and overcoming bias for a fair amount of time without knowing they existed

To use an example that recently exploded on twitter Robin Hanson was posting things like this back in 2009.

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T22:14:31.259Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps. I would not have identified that post as associated with "neoreaction" back in 2009, but maybe that's just my lack of awareness. Admittedly, I read Lesswrong a lot more than I did Overcoming Bias, so I might have missed it if it started out in OB.

In hindsight it does seem linked, but Race and Sex portions of NRx were their own Things before they were NRx Things. In my mind it's only within the past 2-3 years that they've joined up with Moldbug's ideas and formed this whole Dark Enlightenment trilogy. (I mean, it might have happened earlier, but it wasn't mainstream on places like, say, Reddit. We had PUA and HBD back then, but we didn't have TheRedPill). Hanson taking a weird stance on gender issues wouldn't have made me thing "Oh, that's the NRx side".

I don't want to move the goal-posts and you did provide an example which was counter to my impression. I was really talking about the overall picture though - the impression of someone who was unaware of NRx and not sharply looking with a political eye, the top contributors, the general content of threads...but i get that it's not really easy to provide evidence for what a "trend" is without actually doing work, so this probably won't be settled.

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-22T05:32:35.308Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

most LW just thought social justice issues were obviously true

I'm pretty sure LW was never that dumb (or gullible).

comment by someonewrongonthenet · 2014-11-22T21:05:12.832Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

?

did you not see the LW census on political issues?

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-23T03:28:07.745Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Being on the political left does not mean thinking that SJ issues are "obviously true".

comment by ChristianKl · 2014-11-23T18:18:29.247Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The LW census did have a question about how people see SJ as a whole.

comment by satt · 2014-11-24T05:47:12.953Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It would probably be useful to go into more detail about the results we're talking about. In 2013, the survey asked people to rate "Social Justice" & "Feminism" on a scale of 1 ("not at all favorable") to 5 ("very favorable"). "Social Justice" got an average of 3.6, "Feminism" 3.8. 61% of people rated "Social Justice" 4 or 5; 58% rated "Feminism" 4 or 5.

I'm not sure those averages & percentages are quite high enough for someonewrongonthenet to conclude "most LW just thought social justice issues were obviously true", but I can see why they see it that way.

Edit: it's also quite possible that someonewrongonthenet, Lumifer, and LW as a whole have different referents in mind when they see the term "social justice".

comment by Lumifer · 2014-11-20T18:40:14.662Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

and round off to the nearest coherent narrative

In the hedgehog/fox dichotomy (see e.g. here) hedgehogs would, but foxes wouldn't. I am not sure "geeks like us" are predominantly hedgehogs.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2014-11-22T01:52:28.724Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It has robust answers that hold true.

Please expand. Please also expand how the rest of your post has anything to do with what is generally taken to mean "neoreaction".

comment by philh · 2014-11-21T19:40:52.498Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

SSC and Ozy come out in favor of Gamergate and Eron Gjoni for example.

Eron, maybe; at least Ozy has supported him. Gamergate, not so much; Ozy has said that ve has no opinion about most Gamergate-related issues, and I don't think Scott has come out in support of it either.

He has probably defended some people who support Gamergate? I'm downvoting you for either failing to make that distinction, or being just completely wrong.

comment by bogus · 2014-11-21T21:39:01.449Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Scott has obliquely said that he doesn't want GG to be discussed on his blog under any circumstances, due to the risk of attracting unsavory and troublesome folks. It's awfully hard to describe that as "support", especially when you compare his attitude towards NRx and yes, even Tumblr!politics.

comment by HBDfan · 2014-11-22T00:33:08.742Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I apologize to Scott if I have misrepresented his views :-( Gamergate is not coherent as it should be.

comment by examachine · 2014-11-18T05:03:34.259Z · score: -23 (35 votes) · LW · GW

Racists. Why does anyone even care about such people? Just ignore them.