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Nerds Can Be Bees, Too

Jonathan Haidt has a saying: “People are ninety percent chimp and ten percent bee”. It’s supposed to mean that people usually push each other around selfishly to gain status, but occasionally have an ability to come together into a single unified superorganism working for the common good. He seems to reify this more than a little, treating it as a “switch” that can be turned on by certain situations or rituals. He gives lots of examples, but four that stick out for me are patriotism, prayer, team sports, and pep rallies.

They stick out because they’re a pretty good list of the things that most turned me off when I was younger.

I was definitely one of those people who fact-checked patriotism: “America is number one? Really? Then how come Canada has lower crime, lower poverty rate, lower infant mortality, and higher self-rated life satisfaction?” The feeling engendered by an image of an eagle flying in front of the American flag while the Star-Spangled Banner played in the background was a combination of cringing and urge to nitpick.

As for prayer, I distinctly remember putting my very progressive rabbi on the spot about whether God literally existed, and when the rabbi answered something like “Well, it depends how literally you want to take the word literal…” I asked him why we spent so much time praying. He replied that he liked to do things for no reason because he was stupid. Or, well, probably that wasn’t actually what he said, but that is pretty much how my brain remembers whatever weasel answer he gave. I stopped going to synagogue very shortly after that.

Team sports always seemed moderately barbaric. When forced to participate, I treated them about the same way I treat being on call in hospital as an intern – desperately pray that none of the activity happens in an area I am responsible for, frantically try to transfer it to some more qualified person when it does, and make burnt offerings of thanksgiving to the gods of every major world religion when it’s over.

But pep rallies were the worst of all. It wasn’t just that they were celebrations of the kind of guys who would yell incomprehensible things at me, led by the kind of girls who would preemptively tell me they would never date me even though I hadn’t asked. It was just…the inexplicable, horrible noise. Like I’m sure everyone’s had those times when one of the dogs in your neighborhood starts barking, and then that makes another dog start barking, and soon all of the dogs in your neighborhood are barking really loud for no real reason. And I would always think, “Well, it’s not supposed to make sense to me, I’m not a dog.” But pep rallies were the same thing, and I didn’t have that excuse!

So I came out of all this stuff figuring I lacked what Haidt calls “the hive switch”, the ability for the right trigger to take you outside yourself and bring you into ecstatic union with an in-group. And most of the people I most respected felt the same way. It was even a point of pride: “I’m the sort of person who can see through pep rallies and isn’t stupid enough to start screaming with the rest of them.”

And I noticed this same thing in the epic comment thread to my What Universal Human Experiences Are You Missing Without Realizing It. Here are some quotes from readers:

“There seems to be a set of social-emotions that I don’t quite get. Like when people say they’re ‘offended’. The idea of getting fist-fightingly violent over mildish insults, or teary because some symbol has been disrespected is just confusing to me.”

“I don’t get political rallies. You know the ones, where some major politician goes in front of a big crowd and pours on the charisma, and everybody is cheering and shouting all at once? I used to live in Iowa, so I’ve had the opportunity to be in a bunch of those crowds, and the whole thing always seemed… just completely baffling.”

“I’ve never been to a rally, but I also don’t get them. In fact, I find myself actively creeped out by many forms of collective displays of emotion/enthusiasm.”

“I have never been able to take any ritual seriously. As a kid in Church I always thought everyone was just playing along, that nobody actually believed the stuff we were talking about, the same way nobody actually believes in Superman. I always expected someone to break character and then everybody to start laughing.”

“I have never really experienced communal grief. The idea that something like an attack or natural disaster that kills or injures strangers (even if they happen to share citizenship of a country, state, or city with you) or the death of a well-known public figure could elicit an emotion resembling what you feel when someone you know dies does not make intuitive sense to me.”

“I don’t understand or don’t enjoy many group activities, including parties, group conversations, watching team sports (such as football), participating in team sports, political rallies, concerts.”

I have heard a very attractive explanation for this. Being a nerd, goes the explanation, is sort of like autism. And autistic people are missing a lot of the brain’s normal social machinery. So nerds are just autistic enough to be missing the hive switch.

It is never a good idea to underestimate human variation. But this has not been my experience.

Since about age fourteen, I’ve been involved in “micronations”, a weird hobby treading an uncomfortable line between roleplaying game and secessionist movement. Groups of friends come together to design countries which engage in various strange and often confrontational forms of politics and foreign policy.

And most of the teenaged friends who I worked with on this had the same attitudes toward patriotism as teenaged me – it was stupid, Canada was better than America, why do people waste money on stupid flag pins, et cetera.

And we became fanatically protective of these tiny little fake nations of ours, and people who would have sold out the US for a nickel would spend sleepless nights zealously defending the reputation of a country whose population was in the single digits and whose constitutions included sections like “Article Five: Design for a judicial system to go here eventually”.

And I have noticed something similar even out here in the world of countries larger than a backyard. Anyone following the beautiful fountain of drama that is Justine Tunney’s Twitter will notice her relationship with Google borders on the same fervency that marked our micronational patriotism. And then there are the great nerd cults, like Objectivism and the one that I’m not supposed to use in the same sentence as “cult” for search-engine-related reasons.

I remember how back during the 2008 presidential election, when Michelle Obama saw that the tide was turning in Barack’s favor she said something like “For the first time, I feel proud to be an American”. She got a lot of flak about that from the press, but I think she was honest and I think was a perfectly understandable feeling (albeit not the best thing to say if you’re the wife of a presidential nominee). It’s the feeling of going from an out-group you can’t identify with to an in-group you can.

I think the thing with nerds and hive switches is the same. It’s not that we lack the ability to lose ourselves in an in-group, it’s that all the groups people expected us to lose ourselves in weren’t ones we could imagine as our in-group by any stretch of the imagination. We didn’t cheer on the jocks and cheerleaders at pep rallies not because the secret switch in our brain was broken, but because the secret switch in our brain didn’t think jocks and cheerleaders were worth cheering for.

You remember that scene in Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn and his soldiers are marching to the gates of Mordor? And…well…you know the quote:

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand! Men of the West!

That was basically a pep rally. And by god, we cheered. Because Aragorn was worth cheering for.

During my life, I have had two groups I really really feel comfortable saying were my in-groups. The Republic of Shireroth. And the rationalist community. When the Shirerithians played their national anthem, I stood. And when the rationalists had a religious ritual, I prayed.

Once I found my hive switch, so to speak, it’s been easier to appreciate patriotism and religion. Team sports still involves a little too much sweat, and pep rallies don’t mesh well with my auditory processing issues, but I can see in principle how someone might enjoy them.

And I guess you would ask why you would want to. But feeling like you’re really connected to other people, not just in a “they share my goals and seem okay” way but in a “these are my people, we form a tribe or a community or, while on horseback, a horde” way is one of life’s greatest pleasures and also a pretty important subgoal to anything that requires cooperation with other people. The only experience I can compare it to was being a kid and thinking I would never be dumb enough to waste time with crushes and romance, and then growing older and having the appropriate genetic payload unpack itself and tell me that this was a big part of what makes life worth living.

So my advice to anyone else who thinks they’re a hundred percent chimp and totally bee-less is to find an in-group that really is their in-group, then try again.

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565 Responses to Nerds Can Be Bees, Too

  1. perdisinterest says:

    I used to be indifferent/hostile to edm music and rarely enjoy my self in in raves or concerts where everybody’s dancing and chanting in unison to predictable repetitive electronic music.

    Then I took MDMA and it all made sense.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      I’ve heard a couple of claims like that. Did you continue to appreciate it later on when you weren’t on MDMA?

      • perdisinterest says:

        More than before I took it, but not as much as when I was on it.

        Caveat: I think I’m more into rituals (while more or less sober) than you are. I got really into a lot of college rituals like singing the alma mater or participating in homecoming festivities in College. It’s not the exact same thing as a high school pep rally (which I hated) because it was more about continuing a school tradition than supporting the football team (which few cared about).

      • perdisinterest says:

        Another thought: I think even a drug as basic as alcohol can help you feel a part of a collective ritual.

        Haidt said that just about everybody will feel like they’re part of a group just by jumping or stomping in unison. However, that you probably won’t get that if you’re self conscious about it or think “this is stupid” beforehand. Alcohol, by lowering inhibitions, can let you join in the ritual without worrying about how stupid it is beforehand and once you join in, you can get a rush from being part of the collective.

        Ecstasy was different because I felt like was actively pulled towards joining in the rituals whereas with alcohol, the feeling was more “why not?”

        • Desertopa says:

          Even drunk, I can’t imagine being able to feel that sense of unity by jumping or stomping in unison. The amount of alcohol it would take me to be that disinhibited exceeds the amount that it would take to make me feel sick doing it.

          Of course, I do have communities to which I feel a sense of in-group attachment. But even in those I have to stick to rituals that don’t feel, well, stupid.

    • harrison says:

      a similar thing happened when i tried MDMA:

      i hated dancing, and i didn’t understand why anyone would do it voluntarily. then i ate the drugs at a festival, and i danced my ass off for hours.

      i can still get into that state without the drugs sometimes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Once I got into the “having fun while dancing” mode a few times with alcohol, it became way easier to do it without alcohol. Now I can just snap into it. It’s fun and it makes all the social situations where you have to dance so much easier.

        I’m glad. I think “our” culture (not sure which culture I’m referring to, but the sorts of cultures nerds seem to come from…upper-middle class American natives and immigrants I guess?) is broken in this dimension. In a lot of other cultures everyone dances.

  2. Luke says:

    It’s kinda weird that Christian pep rallies (church services, etc.) seemed so natural and non-grating to me during my childhood, and then after my deconversion all kinds of pep rallies (e.g. political ones) felt kind off-putting to me, even pep rallies for things I then supported (e.g. scientific skepticism, applied rationality, or effective altruism).

  3. blacktrance says:

    Even pep rallies for things I like make me feel uncomfortable. For example, I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012, but I’m pretty sure that if I went to a Gary Johnson rally and people started chanting “Liberty! Liberty! Liberty!” or “Gary for President!” or whatever they chant at libertarian rallies, I would have been turned off and would’ve wanted to leave. Descriptions of rationalist solstice don’t appeal to me at all – if I went to one, I expect I’d cringe. So I suspect that this switch is truly missing in me.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      I mean, this is true for me too – even when I was rank and file Democrat I would have hated a political rally.

      I think the difference might be that people randomly shouting slogans at a political rally aren’t my in-group even if they’re the right slogans.

      Do you get a different feeling if you imagine a perfect political party all of whose members agree with you about everything for the right reasons and are good people?

      What about when watching the scene with Aragorn?

      • blacktrance says:

        “Do you get a different feeling if you imagine a perfect political party all of whose members agree with you about everything for the right reasons and are good people?”

        The slogans would be impossible to condense to 2-3 words and would therefore be less slogan-like. But if they somehow managed, I would still feel uncomfortable. Slogan-chanting is inherently a turn-off for me.

        “What about when watching the scene with Aragorn?”

        I feel a kind of aesthetic appreciation for it, similar to that of seeing a beautiful building or painting. It doesn’t feel anything like chanting slogans, not only because it doesn’t make me cringe, but also because it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to get me to go along with anything.

        • Matthew says:

          On the contrary, to the extent that you are immersed in the book/film, it’s trying to get you to go along with rushing into battle at the cost of probably losing your life.

          The problem with sports and politics rallies, is that sports and politics are venues for sublimating the war urge, but with ridiculously silly stakes.

          The motivating speech that makes sense when the fate of the world/your own skin is actually literally at stake is cathartic. But for rationalist-ish people, hearing the same tropes as say, Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech, applied to those who weren’t lucky enough to be present for scoring that touchdown/collecting those signatures just comes off as gauche.

        • Thales says:

          Have to agree with Matthew up there — the stakes couldn’t be sillier. On the issue of having skin in the game, I’m surprised no one’s brought-up team-building at work. Don’t you people have jobs? :p

        • mtraven says:

          Sports are silly. Political rallies, at least for those of us of a certain age, are capable of being about extremely serious life and death issues (whether they are an effective way to address those issues is another matter). I am somewhat amazed to see them casually conflated like that.

        • Matthew says:

          Political rallies, at least for those of us of a certain age, are capable of being about extremely serious life and death issues (whether they are an effective way to address those issues is another matter).

          The sort of political rally I had in mind here is the one where a bunch of people are cheering for their political party to win an election, not The March for Jobs and Freedom.

        • AJD says:

          As you may be aware, it is believed by many that which party wins elections can have life-or-death consequences for many thousands of people.

        • Matthew says:

          I would be one of those people, judging by the fact that I have voted in at least one election every year since coming of age. I still submit that the tone of the events is out of proportion to any reasonable interpretation of the immediacy of the consequences.

          Relatedly, every two years* people in the US decide that this year’s election is the most important in recent history. Yet I’m fairly certain the consquences of election results are not increasing in even a logarithmic, never mind linear, fashion.

          *In the interests of fairness, I do recall seeing one accurate assessment (Kevin Drum? I can’t remember where I saw it) of 2014 as being less significant than usual, but I predict that sentiment will not be the prevailing one.

        • mtraven says:

          You can think of a rally or similar event as a technology (loosely speaking) for getting people whipped into a collective frenzy about something. From the outside, the cause it is aimed at might be important (in which case you might join in) or silly (or wrong or evil of course).

          It happens to be an important technology for getting people to act coherently. Nerds don’t deal well with this kind of thing, but on the other hand, it is not a good thing for nerds to check out of the political process, so they probably ought to learn to enjoy being members of a crowd.

    • Matthew says:

      Me too. I run obstacle races, and while there often a lot of bonding with strangers during a race — clumping in the face of adversity — I still find the pre-race pep talk cringe-inducing.

  4. Matthew says:

    Sigh. I see nothing to disagree with in this post per se, but it’s frustrating, in a way that a lot of LW “improve your life” posts are frustrating, in that it assumes an audience of young, single/childless people with a high degree of flexibility to pick up and go somewhere else if here isn’t working, wherever here happens to be.

    I’d really like to see someone address how to apply these things, when, say, just pulling a set of circumstances out of the hat here, one is a slightly older single parent, stuck in the surburbs, who does not have the option of just quitting one’s job and heading somewhere else where there might be more like-minded people.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      I had never met any Shirerithians in person at the time I considered Shireroth my in-group, and I continued to consider them my main in-group for years even after only meeting a few of them once or twice. Nothing about this requires physical proximity.

      • Matthew says:

        I consider the commentariat of this blog an in-group of sorts, but I strenuously disagree that virtual groups fulfill all the same needs that meatspace ones do.

        Possibly relevant, in that I am several years older than you, is that I didn’t have regular Internet access before going to college, and the utility of the internet even then was less than it is now for finding communal niches.

        • Brian says:

          I would probably definitely go to war for the commentariat. Also, “meatspace”.

        • CAE_Jones says:

          I’m going to say my disability cancels out my relative youth and childlessness, since I pretty much agree completely.

          So far as I can tell, I’m a culture of 1, and that is quite unpleasant. Although, if my culture is unusually passive about reaching out, then I suppose that explains the lack of a group better than the lack of qualified people.

      • ozymandias says:

        I agree that it’s possible to have a purely online ingroup, but at least for me the offline aspect makes things more satisfying.

  5. suntzuanime says:

    The things ordinary folk can be persuaded to take as in-group astound and terrify me sometimes. Apparently while watching Avatar, you were supposed to be rooting for the blue alien giants, even though the people they were fighting against were real live humans.

    • Matthew says:

      I don’t see how ordinary folk are differing from transhumanists here.

      Now, if they’d made a better movie by actually including some moral complexity to the human actions, instead of just, “well, we already ruined our planet, so now we’ll ruin yours,” then it would get more interesting. But I don’t see why it’s strange to sympathize with the aliens when they seem to have the better ethical case.

      (Assuming you are of European descent) Do you find it strange that people sympathize with the native Americans in Dances with Wolves, even though most of the audience is white? I don’t really see the case for distinguishing between not always rooting for your own race and not always rooting for your own species, right or wrong.

      • suntzuanime says:

        Would you root for a rock with a face painted on it over the evil human quarriers who were trying to break it open to get at the unobtanium inside? I don’t see the case for distinguishing between not distinguishing between not always rooting for your own race and not always rooting for your own species and not distinguishing between not always rooting for your own race and sometimes rooting for lumps of stone.

        I mean maybe you’ll bite the bullet and say yes, I’m a racist for not rooting for Rocky, look what an amazing CGI job they did on its tits. But in my opinion, some things aren’t human, even though Native Americans are.

        • Matthew says:

          I fail to see the parallel between the obviously sapient aliens in Avatar and a “rock with a face painted on it.”

          Is this a claim about CGI? That would suggest that the difference between the people shocking you and you is that you have a hard time suspending disbelief.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Neither one is human. Unlike, for example, the humans in Avatar, who were human. I’m asking on what criteria you think it’s appropriate to betray humanity, and if those criteria also extend to rocks. If your primary criterion is CGI tits I can at least sympathize.

        • Matthew says:

          Apparently “not sympathizing with slaughtering other sapients out of greed” equates to “betraying humanity” in your book.

          No, it has nothing to do with tits. Loyalty has to be earned. Dissent is patriotism at the species as well as the national level, when the conflict is unjust.

          If the Smurfs attacked Earth and the audience sympathized with them, then you would have a point.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Is it the greed that’s the problem? How do you feel about breaking rocks out of greed? Is it ok to break rocks in self-defense, but not for greedy mining purposes? What if you need to mine to buy bread to feed your family? What if I draw a face on the bread? Is cannibalism of bread ok if you’re really hungry?

        • Matthew says:

          Since you are, again drawing what to me is a ludicrous parallel between an obviously sapient alien species and inanimate rocks and bread — at this point I think you’re either arguing in bad faith, or there is an unbridgably huge inferential distance between us. Tapping out.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          I am deleting this comment because it is dumb. Sorry. I am furthermore going to report it so Scott might actually delete it.

        • Raemon says:

          Against my better judgment, checking one last time to verify:

          Do you get why some other people here see a difference between a rock and an alien? I.e. you care about the trait “human-ness”, some other people care about the trait “sapience/sentience”.

          I’m not interested in arguing whether one of those traits matters more than the other, but do want to verify whether you at least understand what you’re disagreeing about.

        • mayleaf says:

          (edited to remove claims about morality and discuss in-groups instead after reading your comment here.)

          I think “sapience”/”non-sapience” makes for a better in-group/out-group distinction than “humans”/”everything else”. Rocks aren’t sapient, but humans and intelligent aliens are.

          And even if you disagree, I think it still makes no sense for Na’vi to be in your out-group, because the only real distinction between a Na’vi and a human is one of decoration.

          It’s not just that the Na’vi are a social species with a spoken language and a society that strongly resembles tribal human societies. It’s not just that they have pair-bonded mates and family units that resemble ours. It’s that their motivations, values, and emotions are indistinguishable enough from a human’s that a human could have a successful romantic relationship with one of them.

          The Na’vi are tall, blue humans with tails. We recognize them as human by their behavior, their emotions, and their values — and so we put them in our in-group along with all other humans. The movie informs us that they evolved on another planet and have different genetics from us, but that’s not nearly as salient of a feature as their obvious human traits.

        • suntzuanime says:

          So what you’re saying is that my fellow movie-goers were fighting the hypothetical and saying “ok you’ve stipulated those aren’t humans but come on, if they weren’t human they wouldn’t have such gorgeous tits”? I guess I could buy that. It’s reassuring inasmuch as I already knew that most people have trouble taking ideas seriously, so it’s no new cause to be disturbed.

        • Tab Atkins says:

          Man, what is your deal with the tits? There were male Pandorans too, you know.

          It seems like you still don’t understand what it is you’re arguing against, though. Once again, you appear to be drawing the in-group/out-group line such that humans are in-group and all non-humans are out-group. The people you’re arguing with are drawing it so that sapients are in-group, and non-sapients are out-group.

          By saying “we can sympathize with the Pandorans”, the people you’re arguing with aren’t saying “we think the Pandorans are human, despite all the evidence to the contrary”. They’re just saying “the Pandorans are a group that we can sympathize with directly”.

          Do you understand this?

      • AR+ says:

        Thing is, I do not think that humanity is wrong in Avatar, so I’d root for them regardless. The Smurfs, like human hunter-gatherers of the past, are greedily hoarding vast quantities of idle resources that could be put to far greater use by an industrial civilization.

        • Vanzetti says:

          >Thing is, I do not think that humanity is wrong in Avatar, so I’d root for them regardless.

          Hmmm.

          What made you think humans in Avatar represent the whole of humanity?

    • Vanzetti says:

      >Apparently while watching Avatar, you were supposed to be rooting for the blue alien giants,

      Apparently, you are racist.

      • suntzuanime says:

        The term is “humanist”.

        • Vanzetti says:

          “Avatar” movie is a test. You have been shown people with a few different characteristics and told “these are not humans”. And like the good Nazi that you are, you went rooting for General Ripper at once.

          Congratulations, here’s your black uniform.

        • suntzuanime says:

          That test would have been more effective if the things in the movie were actually humans. In classifying things as human, there are both type I and type II errors. Don’t accuse me of making a type II when it’s you that’s made a type I.

          You should hold onto your criticism until I actually misidentify a human. If I’m such a racist Nazi subhuman, surely you won’t have to wait long.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @Vanzetti *rolls eyes*

          Well you’ve baited me. Let me provide an alternative picture:

          http://blog.jim.com/culture/improbable-caring-as-an-indicator-of-evil.html

          Most of the time people far away are convienently far enough away that it is impossible to do anything for them, but people near you might expect you to do something for them. People far away are however still a good cover for not doing so. So when people praise blue aliens that don’t exist, they are actually just providing an explanation for why they won’t lift a finger to help mankind should it need it and indeed a reason for why their competition (all the humans around them) should be taken down a peg in everyone’s moral system.

          I’m not sure I’m convinced of Jim’s argument yet, but there is a strong reality to the behavior he describes. Steve explains this phenomena in terms of status, Jim thinks this doesn’t fit.

          takimag.com/article/the_self_righteous_hive_mind_steve_sailer/

          What Haidt never quite gets across is that conservatives typically define their groups concentrically, moving from their families outward to their communities, classes, religions, nations, and so forth. If Mars attacked, conservatives would be reflexively Earthist. As Ronald Reagan pointed out to the UN in 1987, “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” (Libertarians would wait to see if the Martian invaders were free marketeers.)

          In contrast, modern liberals’ defining trait is making a public spectacle of how their loyalties leapfrog over some unworthy folks relatively close to them in favor of other people they barely know (or in the case of profoundly liberal sci-fi movies such as Avatar, other 10-foot-tall blue space creatures they barely know).

          As a down-to-Earth example, to root for Manchester United’s soccer team is conservative…if you are a Mancunian. If you live in Portland, Oregon, it’s liberal.

          This urge toward leapfrogging loyalties has less to do with sympathy for the poor underdog (white liberals’ traditional favorites, such as soccer and the federal government, are hardly underdogs) as it is a desire to get one up in status on people they know and don’t like.

        • Vanzetti says:

          @Konkvistador

          I’m just going to make certain you know I won’t read it. Ciao.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @Vanzetti Your loss. Reading people with radically different worldviews is a good source of insight.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Not just his, if he’s ever in a position to choose between breaking a rock and the life of a Republican.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @suntzuanime

          Or if his daughter brought home a Republican for dinner:

          http://theden.tv/2014/05/04/programming-the-two-party-system/

          In 1960, 5% of Americans would have been upset for a child to marry a member of the other party. In 2010, it was 40%. The rise has been steady, with a recent uptick. How much difference between the two parties is there? This is one of the basic choices in life: marriage. America has moved so far into open-minded territory that we have near universal approval of interracial marriage and rapidly growing approval of gay marriage, but nearly half of us do not want our kids to marry one of them. It is a sick result of destroying communal bonds in private life. You might bowl alone, but at a Tea Party rally or Occupy Wall Street protest, you can be amongst friends, you can belong, you can feel part of something.

          Almost makes me want to quip that globally, outgroup vs. ingroup divisiveness is conserved, together with the behaviors that go together with those divisions, only which groups it is acceptable to be groupish about changes.

          Also Republicans are filthy kulaks that deserve a good beating obviously.

        • ozymandias says:

          While I object to people objecting to marrying people of different parties, it seems far more rational than objecting to marrying someone of a different race. An average or even centrist Republican has vastly different values from my parents; an average Asian does not. Bringing home a Republican is a symbolic rejection of what my parents have tried to teach me and hence legitimately upsetting to them.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Doesn’t that sort of imply that the average Republican would have vastly different values than the average Asian and so bringing home an Asian would count, to Republican parents, as a symbolic rejection of what they have tried to teach their child and hence legitimately upsetting to them?

        • ozymandias says:

          I’m sorry, I was unclear. My intended statement is that AFAICT Asians have a value distribution that more-or-less matches that of America in general, whereas neither Republicans nor Democrats do. Since my parents are very Democrat-y Democrats, bringing home a Republican is an implicit rejection of their values.

        • suntzuanime says:

          I wonder what the actual facts are about how race compares to party affiliation as a predictor of values. I’d bet some are better predicted by race, some better predicted by party.

          EDIT: found http://thegrio.com/2012/06/05/pewstudy-political-divide-now-outweighs-racial-class-values-gap/ with a little googling, seems to suggest that in the past race was a better predictor than party, but party has overtaken it recently. Would seem to fit with the original observation that parents have switched to discriminating on party instead of race.

        • Konkvistador says:

          ozymandias: Ethnicity correlate quite well with certain value differences in most places and times in human history. This is also true of the United States of today.

          The example of the Asian partner is misleading, since American distaste for miscegenation was and is focused on black-white marriages. It is silly to pretend different kinds of mixed-race marriages in different places and times where treated the same way.

          The better analogue to politics is bringing home someone of a different religion. This brings me to the interesting observation that if party differences are now as important to people in gauging values as religious differences once where, that perhaps we should have a separation of party and state instead of Church and state.

          Also you are likely exaggerating how different the average Republican is from the average Democrat, they are actually quite similar. The numbers don’t attest to the yawning chasm you imply, despite cultural stereotypes being more in line with the chasm theory than what is measured in polls, but again this is precisely what we would expect in a in group and out group relationship.

          If you read the article I linked to they also cite that people flip flop on key questions depending on if they are presented as Republican or Democrat. Democrats and Republicans don’t care enough about their own alleged values to know them, they just want Green over Blue.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @ozymandias: If @suntzuanime ‘s source is correct and the value gap was larger in the past shouldn’t this imply that ceteris paribus it should push you to consider disapproval of one’s child marrying outside one’s race in say the 1920s as legitimate as you consider modern disapproval of marrying a Republican today?

          Obviously I’m begging the question. But there is a reason I’m doing so. Obviously racial differentiation of such a obvious kind is tabooed today, and we justify this taboo on consequentialist grounds. I’m implying the taboo is a rationalization, especially because we apply it so quickly even when thinking about societies where the consequentalist pay-off matrix was different.

          I wanted to make this explicit, because I want to talk about a belief I’ve acquired over time: The normative grounds behind many of the taboos of the left aren’t in service of abolishing differentiations and hierarchies but just replacing them with different ones.

          That say anti-racism isn’t prominent because it helps African Americans but because it was an easy way for well off white Americans to hurt and out-group lower class white people.

          This perspective I’ve acquired sours me deeply towards the lets project, be it on class, gender, religion, race, orientation… especially since basically all the object level proposals they make are allegedly in service of abolishing differentiation are indistinguishable from the ones those seeking a reshuffling of winners and losers would propose if they were somewhat tactically constrained.

          Imagine if my belief was true and the left really was just that, a set of rationalizations for a different structure that has its own oppressive aspects… If someone has to win either way, why not me and mine?

        • ozymandias says:

          Konkvistador: But we’re not talking about the average Democrat. Probably the 40% who don’t want their child to marry a member of a different party are mostly the most extreme 20% of either party. I agree that people who, say, go to church once a week may have reasonable objections to their child marrying a Hindu. I have no particular intuitions about interracial marriage in the 1920s.

        • MugaSofer says:

          The term is “humanist”.

          It’s “speciesist”, actually. “Humanist” refers to a (poorly-named) set of values, not “rooting for human DNA only.”

        • suntzuanime says:

          Geez, I didn’t mean to logic you so hard you wouldn’t even stand up for 1920s race-mixing. I feel sort of bad now.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @ozymandias: Good point on those likely to object not being extreme members.

          The sheer rise in the number of people objecting, from 5% to 40% over a period of time when we don’t see a comparable rise in political extremism deviating from the center, makes me wonder however.

          If say only 5% objected in 1900 and 40% in 1960s, that would fit much better. It doesn’t seem obvious to me that the difference between the most rightward 20% of Republicans, and leftward 20% of Democrats is greater today than it was in 1965. Let alone great enough to increase the fraction of people objecting eight fold.

          I agree that people who, say, go to church once a week may have reasonable objections to their child marrying a Hindu.

          Right.

          I have no particular intuitions about interracial marriage in the 1920s.

          Ok this is reasonable, I don’t know enough to be comfortable talking about this without thinking more or researching either. Especially because 1920s America wasn’t very homogenous when it came to relevant norms.

          What about a counterfactual but not completely fanciful modern America where 90% of Black people were Democrats and 90% of White people were Republican?

        • Anonymous says:

          Re: the telescopics thing, this strikes me as an instance of Scott’s “culture of death” thing. If a lot of people value human life much more than you do, then on issues where human life or respect thereto is being traded against other values at a rate subject to public controversy (abortion, euthanasia, war, whatever) you may find yourself consistently supporting “death.” But you don’t actually support death (quite the opposite, probably,) you just see some political arbitrage opportunities.

        • ozymandias says:

          I generally try to make a habit, suntzuanime, of not having opinions about things I don’t know shit about, particularly about subjects that people enjoy yelling about.

          Konkvistador: Why wouldn’t you just encourage your children to marry Republicans rather than people with a possibly-inaccurate signal of Republicanism? Republicanism is important because it signals traits which are otherwise less visible. I am less certain about the hypothetical where two races have very very different cultures.

        • suntzuanime says:

          So I guess I sort of have to be the one to stand up for 1920s race-mixing now? It seems to me that the true rejection, which is hard to see if you blind yourself to racial correlates, is that while race may be a solid predictor of values, like political affiliation, it is not a perfect one (again like political affiliation). Some Asians will have atypical values, some Republicans will have atypical values. If you judge someone based on the correlates of a group in which they are a member, you are engaging in “statistical discrimination”. Statistical discrimination does not exactly lead you away from the truth, you will predict a person’s values better if you use the knowledge that the person is a Republican or an Asian, but it will seem unfair to the atypical Asian or Republican who is being treated as a typical Asian or Republican and perhaps being denied a Hispanic Democrat spouse on the basis of values they do not hold. Not All Asians or Republicans Are Like That.

          So far, we have yet to distinguish between the plight of the Asian and the plight of the Republican. But the deal we sometimes make, to balance between the interests of the truth-seekers who want to know the characteristics of the people they interact with and the interests of the atypical group members who want to avoid being misclassified, is that people may only engage in statistical discrimination on characterstics that the person in question has chosen. That way, if the atypical group member gets really fed up with signs that say “long-haired freaky people need not apply”, they can get a haircut and be seen as a fine upstanding young man. This obviously is less of an option when it comes to Asians turning Hispanic.

          There’s a little bit more of a grey area when it comes to characteristics that can theoretically be changed but it’s not clear it’s appropriate to ask someone to, such as political affiliation, religion, and sex. It’s not clear that we’ve worked out a principled way to handle those. But when it comes to unchangeable characteristics like race, we’ve pretty much decided that statistical discrimination is impermissible.

          And that, in a nutshell, is why 1920’s racemixing was cool and good, and why we should all celebrate the anniversary Loving v. Virginia this June 12th. I’m marking my calendar.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @ozymandias:

          I want to emphasize wasn’t promoting the racial norm per se, I was constructing a situation where the racial norm makes, according to the standards you set, almost as much sense. 90% as much sense one might quip. In the hypothetical world race is only slightly less predictive than party affiliation for the allegedly important value differences.

          Why should only a slightly worse norm, get as much scorn as we currently give on what we assume to be a much worse norm?

          Indeed it might be a better norm depending on the details, since in general people can more reliably lie about party affiliation than whether they are black or white.

        • Konkvistador says:

          @suntzuanime: Honestly that post, as well fitting it might be in a different context, struck me as a nervous, slightly off topic, affirmation of belief.

          Are our souls really in danger of suddenly condemning sanctified 1920’s racemixing with the full righteous fury we have demonstrated for diabolical 2010’s partymixing?

          But of course, withholding judgement because we don’t claim to know enough is a worrying sign of damnation in itself. >:)

        • Anonymous says:

          It might be worth distinguishing between a norm being worth keeping/dismantling and its being individually rational to follow.

        • F. says:

          To Konkvistador:

          Sailer is wrong with his view that liberalism is about “leapfrogging alliances”.
          Sailer writes: “to root for Manchester United’s soccer team is conservative…if you are a Mancunian. If you live in Portland, Oregon, it’s liberal.” But do European liberals follow Nascar? Of course not!
          Liberals are very consistent – they always root for the perceived oppressed underdog. And it just happens that white Americans, as an ethnic group, are globally perceived (right or wrong, it’s about perception) to be the global overdog, and therefore, from a white American perspective, liberals have to be anti-themselves. But a black liberal is perfectly allowed to put blacks before whites and still be a liberal; his loyalty doesn’t have to leapfrog, because blacks are perceived to be oppressed by whites. And I could make countless other example like that. European liberals are perfectly allowed to put Europeans before Americans (I know some who are disgustingly racist towards yankees), but not before third world immigrants. Here in Italy, southern Italians are seen as the underdog, so northern liberals empathize with southerners, and southern liberals… also do.
          This also applies to sci-fi – if a powerful human empire fights against a miserable blue alien resistance, liberals sympathize with the aliens, but not if a powerful alien empire fights against a miserable human resistance.
          If sometimes liberals seem inconsistent with the overdog-underdog principle, it’s just because some groups are simultaneously “oppressed” and “oppressor”. For example only few liberals speak against oppression of various minorities in Muslim countries, but that’s because they don’t want to be perceived as being for the American oppression of Muslims.
          As for “soccer and the federal government”, which Sailer says are overdogs in spite of being liberal favorites, soccer is seen as the underdog because it’s the favorite sport of the “rest of the world” which is the underdog relative to America; as for federal government my understanding (I might be missing something since I’m European myself) is that in conflicts between Washington and the states it is the former that favor left-wing policies, if it were the other way around liberals would love the states; here in Europe most regionalist secessionist movements have always been left-wing.

        • ozymandias says:

          Further evidence for that hypothesis: black nationalism and lesbian separatism; there are lots of fights in liberal groups about who gets to count as oppressed (c.f. asexuals, many MRAs), which makes sense if that’s a way of distributing social power.

        • Douglas Knight says:

          1. 40% of each party does not become the leftmost 20% of Democrats and the rightmost 20% of Republicans. It is the leftmost 40% of Democrats and the rightmost 40% of Republicans. You could say the leftmost 20% of the population and the rightmost 20% of the population (except that not everyone is affiliated), but you shouldn’t divide by 2 twice.

          Actually, it is 30% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans, a rare example of the left being more tolerant than the right.

          2. Konkvistador: In many ways the parties were not very polarized in 1960. They were in the middle of switching places (eg, regionally). That process produced a lot of anger, which is what is remembered, but the parties cannot be polarized in the middle of it.

        • nydwracu says:

          The better analogue to politics is bringing home someone of a different religion.

          I’m pretty sure my mother would disown me if I brought home a Christian — not because Christian, but because Christianity is a proxy for having The Wrong Values. She is very much a progressive, and thinks that the only denominations that shouldn’t be destroyed as a threat to the human race / borderline-criminal pyramid scheme are the unaffiliated ultra-hippie Prot ones. (Or the Adventists. I’m not sure about the Episcopalians, or the mainliners in general. Presbyterians get a pass because the other side of the family is Presbyterian and she still seems to be under the impression that they’re mainline, which I doubt.)

          I registered Republican and she flipped out until I explained that I had no intention of actually voting Republican, but that there was just no way in hell that I’d ever register Democrat.

          Anyway, I suspect it’s not so much about values per se as it is about thedes, which tend to be value-loaded. Registering Republican signals against the Democrat thede; bringing home a Christian signals against the progressive-new-atheist thede.

          Interracial marriage is discouraged insofar as race is thede-relevant; I bet one of the reasons interracial marriage approval has gone up [however, I’m not sure to what extent this could be tested, since another reason would be social desirability bias] is that race is less thede-relevant than it used to be. But another reason could be that whites and blacks are no longer the only salient races, and correction to avoid appearing-as-stupid questions kicks in. So if you ask white people, they’ll think of Asians, or some other race that white people would be not perceived-as-unlikely to marry.

          Thede realignment is a thing that can happen: the example I like to use here is the Reagan coalition, with evangelicals forming close alliances with Catholics against the cladistic descendants of mainliners. (This was probably in the works before Reagan. When did abortion become an issue among evangelicals? It wasn’t always.)

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Vanzetti

          I read the blog post Konkvistador suggested and let me assure you that you missed absolutely nothing. It’s true that it’s beneficial to read worldviews that are different than your own, but only if those worldviews are intelligently articulated.

          This is not the case with blog post in question. It reminded me strongly of the religious apologists who try to use pure logic to “prove” the existence of God by making a series of loaded assumptions and then “deducing” from these assumptions that God must exist (often making logical leaps in the process that even the loaded assumptions do not justify).

          The only difference is that that post uses bad logic and faulty assumptions to justify the belief that leftists are terrible, rather than a belief that God exists. There are many thought-provoking neo-reactionary advocates, but “Jim’s Blog” is not one of them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Liberals are very consistent – they always root for the perceived oppressed underdog

          Many of them have rooted for the Soviet Union, hardly an underdog at the time.

        • AJD says:

          As I think you may be aware, the Soviet Union advertised itself as rooting for the underdog, and some people fell for that.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is hardly anyone who does not advertise themselves that way, as discussed on this very blog.

        • F. says:

          There is hardly anyone who does not advertise themselves that way, as discussed on this very blog.

          I disagree; the blog post you link to discusses the hostile media effect which I agree is pervasive but it isn’t the same thing as believing you’re on the side of the oppressed. The cores of the libertarian, conservative, or neoreactionary viewpoints aren’t about helping the downtrodden.
          The Soviet Union was based on Marxism which was about rescuing the proletariat from oppression. It was a left-wing ideology compared to that of the US.
          Besides, the Soviet Union actually kind of was the underdog compared to the more powerful US.

        • Anonymous says:

          To pick a specific example, the Catholic Church from Jesus through Mother Teresa to Pope Francis cares a great deal about the poor, and how many liberals are falling for that?

          If being weaker than the United States makes you an underdog, then every entity other than the United States qualifies, and the liberals don’t love everything that is not United States equally strongly.

      • ozymandias says:

        The argument is that you are currently deciding who is in your moral in-group based not on things we consider to be morally relevant (i.e. obvious sapience) and instead on things that seem to us to be morally irrelevant (i.e. genetic similarity to you).

        • Konkvistador says:

          Genetic similarity seems very relevant to humans when thinking about the morality of family. When looking at humans other than the small minority of WEIRDoes on our planet this holds even when thinking about the very extended family.

          But besides that nitpick I just want to point out that we have strong evidence that in practice people do decide who is in one’s moral in-group based on things we claim to not be morally relevant. Perhaps even mostly based on such things.

          Among many examples: Replies people give to trolley dilemma, on whether one should push the fat person under the trolley to save several others, vary depending on the *name* of the hypothetical fat person.

          And sure the name might be a proxy for other things, this is assumed by the researchers in fact, but none of those things (race, class, gender,…) seem any better by this standard.

          I think we should assume most people, likely including ourselves, have moral circuitry that works like this. The implications of this go back to the implications of Far vs. Near.

        • ozymandias says:

          Well, yes, there is no point in socializing people to not do something they don’t want to do anyway.

        • Konkvistador says:

          There is a reason I pointed at the the deep conflict of Near vs. Far values as immediately relevant. You have read Robin Hanson on this right?

          there is no point in socializing people to not do something they don’t want to do anyway.

          Which is why repression of homosexuality makes excellent sense.

          I troll, but I’m implying the normativity of suppressing or enhancing our various natural morality processing inclinations is the tricky part, since we always pick and chose, and ultimately these are arbitrary and their normativity dependent on whatever value system one happens to already inhabit.

          On top of this one can have wrong beliefs about what values one holds.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Konkvistador

          That it makes no sense to repress what people don’t want to do, does not imply it make sense to repress any X that people do want to do.

        • Randy M says:

          Konkvistador:”Genetic similarity seems very relevant to humans when thinking about the morality of family. When looking at humans other than the small minority of WEIRDoes on our planet this holds even when thinking about the very extended family. ”

          How to respond in rational-ese? Let’s see…
          Is the preference for family in moral concerns due to genetic similarity, or because it is a local maxima schelling point as a subject for having a preference or duty towards, as a way of sorting out conflicting claims on one’s resources (including time, mental concern, etc.)?

          Due to sexual reproduction, everyone has a family, barring a tragedy, but even then is likely to have an extended family, especially in the ancestral environment. So having an innate, unique obligation to one’s family means that care is likely to be reciprocated. Trying to allocate care towards the most deserving or most needy may be preferable in terms of justice or utilitarianism, but in the end is probably not optimal in human societies due to bias and coordination problems. Whereas if everyone is obligated to look after one’s kin, there is a built in reciprocal care network.

          It may be built upon genetics, it may even at root be due to genetics, but that doesn’t mean it can’t in the end be the most rational method, especially when tempered with other concerns weighted less (ie, “I’ll help my brother before the neighbor, unless my brother has proven himself an unrepentant wastral or the neighbor suffers a greater calamity”).

    • Konkvistador says:

      I rooted for the humans at the time because it was the correct utilitarian choice (with a human civilization of several billion heavily dependent on unobtanium). Also because I like technology. And partially because the move makers obviously wanted me to hate them, I have a tendency to cheer for the person who is obviously actually going to lose instead of the person we are supposed to fear might lose but never does. As a child watching cartoons I felt sorry for Tom and wished he’d just once get to catch Jerry.

      Today I root for the humans for a different reason, that being that I’m human.

      • Leonid says:

        Your past self would have preferred to obtain the insights of neoreaction without experiencing this value drift, right?

        • Konkvistador says:

          Of course.

          I resume your past self would prefer your present self to hold its values as well?

          Terminal value preservation is a hard problem, stupid hominid brains change them all the time just because they learn new things or change social environment.

          Interested where you are going with this! 🙂

        • Desertopa says:

          Although I am not the one who was asked, I’ll note that past-me would not have preferred that present-me have the same values he had, but rather assumed that any values-drift that occurred would probably be reasonable and well informed. Present-me also holds the same position with respect to future-me.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Konkvistador

          Like Desertopa, I consider all my current changes in values to be in line with various meta-values of mine.

          Maybe I’m abnormal, but my values have proven remarkably stable. I’m not sure any value change I’ve ever had has been a genuine value change, rather it has been an attempt to make my existing values more consistant and coherent.

          In terms of taste I still like pretty much the same stuff when I was a kid, although my greater intellect now lets me appreciate it in new ways. And in terms of moral values, most of my changes have come from realizing I was wrong about some aspect of morality and changing so I was right. This wasn’t a change in my terminal values, as I always had “Have correct beliefs about morality” as a terminal value.

          So I wonder if human terminal values really change that often.

        • Leonid says:

          Well, I’m surprised you let it happen. You already understood value drift at that point, right? Did you not notice it happening until it was too late? Did you conciously trade it off?

      • Multiheaded says:

        Today I root for the humans for a different reason, that being that I’m human.

        The blue aliens as actually seen onscreen are still closer to you than a lot of real people whom you (although not many of the reactionaries) would say it’s wrong to murder for the crime of taking up resources. E.g. you probably wouldn’t nuke Saudi Arabia just to take their stuff. If a really alien society of sentinent individuals was depicted, – like, say, the Comanches – I’d probably feel the same as you do.

        As it is, it seemed to me that the whole conflict was stupid as the humans didn’t even need land or dominion, they could just, like, mine out all the unobtanium from underneath or something. Functionally, a genocide to cut costs would be just that, since the aliens are human. Someone should’ve just fragged the silly colonel so that people could keep working the slow way.

        …Oh, I forgot. Capitalism. There are shareholders who have expectations. A shame we couldn’t have an anti-capitalist movie instead of an anti-human one.

      • peterdjones says:

        Theres dependence an dependence. 16th century Spain was kind of gold dependent, but they weren’t eating the stuff.

        Unobtanium was apparently allowing humans to have a cool, spacefaring civilisation, rather than keeping them alive

    • MugaSofer says:

      But the humans were eeevil. They hated trees! Trees, I tell you!

      More to the point, the “aliens” were both human-level intelligent and objectively right. I mean, only because the directer said so (I didn’t like the film), but still. I see no reason not to root for them, if the premise works.

      • Nornagest says:

        The narrative in Avatar was definitely on the side of the aliens, but from where I’m standing both sides were acting like idiots. The humans ignored obvious alternative solutions to the conflict (to say nothing of other revenue streams) because evil colonialism or something; the aliens ignored some even more obvious benefits of industrial civilization because Noble Savage or something. If the intelligent execution of humanlike ethics is our criterion for personhood, they both fail about equally.

        It’s a very pretty movie; it’s effective as propaganda; and I’ve got to admit I enjoyed watching Marines in powered armor wrestling with alien rhinoceri. But it gets painful once you start looking at the plot through a consequential lens rather than as political mythology.

    • Valhar2000 says:

      Okay, I see your mistake here. You appear to assume that “humanity” is a concept set in stone, a group were all automatically a part of.

      In a sense you are correct, of course, because we are members of the human species, but that is not the same as being part of the “humanity” in-group.

      You should not expect any particular person to consider “humanity” their in-group anymore than you should expect any particular high-school student to sincerely cheer for the jocks in the pep rally.

      If you do decide to respond to this comment, could you do me a favor? Instead of restating this assumption, or demanding that I prove its converse, could you try to justify it?

      • suntzuanime says:

        Obviously nothing is good or right, nothing is justifiable, there are no moral truths, nihilism nihilism nihilism. Let’s just get that straight right off the bat.

        As far as why you might hope people would identify with humanity, I had thought humanity was an ingroup that resonated with people. Certainly it resonates with me, and appeals to fundamental humanity have been a big hit in various civil rights movements. “Am I Not A Man And A Brother” and all that.

        Because humanity as an ingroup resonates so much with me, I was disturbed to see how easily my fellow humans could be persuaded by slick filmmaking to betray that group and cheer on the outgroupers who were killing our fellow ingroupers.

        • Konkvistador says:

          As far as why you might hope people would identify with humanity, I had thought humanity was an ingroup that resonated with people. Certainly it resonates with me, and appeals to fundamental humanity have been a big hit in various civil rights movements. “Am I Not A Man And A Brother” and all that.

          Because humanity as an ingroup resonates so much with me, I was disturbed to see how easily my fellow humans could be persuaded by slick filmmaking to betray that group and cheer on the outgroupers who were killing our fellow ingroupers.

          In other words if Avatar convinced you to side with Blue Aliens rather than fellow Humans, you might be surprised at how easily watching The Eternal Jew if made by James Cameron might turn you against Jewish fellow Humans.

          Indeed that pretty much did happen to many viewers.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Certainly it resonates with me, and appeals to fundamental humanity have been a big hit in various civil rights movements. “Am I Not A Man And A Brother” and all that.

          Well, I think the civil rights thing is pretty ambiguous, actually. Yes, things were often phrased in terms of humanity, but:
          1. A lot of the civil rights stuff isn’t careful argument but rather rhetoric, where you don’t worry about distinctions that aren’t relevant at the time (and often you don’t even worry about ones that are). And on Earth currently, “humans” and “things with the properties of humans that we consider to be morally relevant, which are roughly indicated by what we call ‘sapience'” are pretty much coextensional (unless you’re a vegetarian, I guess), and the latter is a mouthful (and nobody but science fiction fans will recognize the word “sapient”). Thus, using “human” in such cases isn’t necessarily very strong evidence that [had they considered the problem of non-human intelligences] they [would have] meant “sapient” (or something like that) rather than “human”.
          2. Some of their rhetoric even suggests this interpretation. E.g. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Notice how it’s of the form “Not by biological characteristics but by behavioral characteristics”, rather than “Not by one set of biological characteristics but rather by a different set of biological characteristics.”
          3. It’s clear that a number of people understood it this way. Look at all the science-fiction stories where species stands in for race, with the anti-speciesist message clearly meant to stand in for anti-racism.

          (On the other hand, maybe all the times the “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech gets quoted as an anti-racist thing should be evidence for the other side! Not counter-evidence for 2 and 3, exactly, but rather evidence for anti-2 and anti-3.)

          But you and Konkvistador make an interesting point: If what’s relevant is not humanity but rather something else, then maybe some humans can lack it. And to be honest I’m not convinced this isn’t the case. I once came across a disability-rights blog that complained about the word “vegetable” being applied to those who are comatose and not going to recover, saying that it dehumanized them. I was a bit puzzled; to my mind, if you’re comatose and not going to recover, then yes, you are in fact still a human, but you’ve lost everything morally relevant. I’m hoping most people would agree with me?

          That’s maybe an extreme example, but I think it shows that this is, to a large extent, an argument over where the line is, and exactly what common features of humanity are morally relevant. I would hope Jewishness is not on the notional table, but if nothing is on it, then, well, we have to count vegetables.

          This is probably a good time to point out that, as both Gwern and Robin Hanson have pointed out, there is a large group of humans who these days we almost all tend to mostly count as morally irrelevant: The dead. I’m wondering to what extent you’d insist on including them… 🙂

        • AndR says:

          People who act like humans is an in-group that resonates with people. That includes humanlike aliens with blue skin.

          Your intuitions will hardly distinguish based on genetic makeup. More likely you immediately classified the smurfs as an outgroup based on political outlook.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @suntzuanime

          The word “human” can mean both “having a human genetic makeup” and “having certain psychological characteristics and values.” This is why if you say a serial killer is “inhuman” your statement has truth value. They may have human DNA, but they lack certain psychological characteristics and values.

          I believe your confusion comes from conflating Human(1) (having human DNA) and Human(2) (having certain psychological characteristics and values). Are the smurfs from “Avatar” human(1). No, of course not. Are they human(2). Yes, of course. They’re as human as you or me.

          So the question is, which definition of human carries moral weight, 1 or 2? I think it’s obvious that it’s 2. The Na’Vi are human in every way that matters. Ted Bundy is not. In a conflict between the two you should side against Ted. Also, will someone please make that movie?

    • Said Achmiz says:

      I also found this bizarre. I was definitely rooting against the aliens (when I wasn’t closing my eyes to fight off the vertigo from the film’s 3D-ness).

      Edit: Buuuut probably not for the same reason as suntzuanime, as (I see upon reading this comment thread) his views on this matter are pretty far removed from mine.

    • peterdjones says:

      What’s scary about it? You might lose support from one group only to gain it from another.

    • I’m fascinated by the way the Harry Potter books got people to empathize with the wizards, who are mildly inimical to humans, and not care much about non-magical muggles.

      • AndR says:

        Oh, that’s simple. Protagonists are the in-group.

      • David says:

        To be fair, it was a series of books about some wizards who were mildly inimical to muggles, versus another group of wizards who were fanatically wizard-supremacist, who were highly inimical to both muggles and to wizards who weren’t highly inimical to muggles. I know which group I’d root for 🙂

        Incidentally, it seems slightly odd to see the word ‘muggle’ being queried by the spell-checker. I mean, I know it’s a made up word from a work of fiction within the last few decades, but it has kind of become standardised as meaning ‘people who cannot perform magic in a fantasy world in which some people can’.

      • Nornagest says:

        The whole point of Harry Potter‘s flavor of escapism is to spend some time in the shoes of someone who with no real effort gets catapulted out of the ranks of the mundane. Hence the cartoonishly abusive stepparents; the crappier the protagonist’s life before, the brighter the contrast after.

        This naturally comes with a little mild contempt for the mundane — after all you’re now better than them, and the plot doesn’t work unless you show it — but contrasting that with another faction that shows active hatred only plays up your superiority. Noblesse oblige, right?

    • Benkern says:

      “Apparently while watching Avatar, you were supposed to be rooting for the blue alien giants, even though the people they were fighting against were real live humans.”

      I know this is not really related to your point, but funnily enough, the micronations community Scott referred to contains within it a blue-skinned race of aliens known as the Safirians… who are generally hated. Go, Bees, go!

    • Deiseach says:

      First, what’s a “pep rally”?

      Second, the only bit of “Avatar” I saw was when I was passing through the living room as my brother was watching it on the cable TV movie channel, and the about two minutes’ worth of it convinced me the giant blue furry people were so wet and drippy, I was cheering on the evil human general as he wanted to exterminate them. So that didn’t work to convince me “Cheer for the blue furry people”.

    • Drake. says:

      The fact that a comment about “Avatar” spawned one of the longest comment threads on this site is probably a more compelling argument for Scott’s thesis than the post itself.

  6. Alfred F. Jones says:

    America is number one? Really? Then how come Canada has lower crime, lower poverty rate, lower infant mortality, and higher self-rated life satisfaction?

    The answer for most of these is that the rate of bad things are higher among certain minorities and Canada has proportionately fewer of them.

    • Max says:

      The answer is that greatness is not measured by how comfortable life is for people, or some microstate like San Marino would be number one. When they save the world from Fascism, put a man on the moon, and invent the Internet, they can talk about greatness.

      • ozymandias says:

        I propose that if you were a citizen of San Marino you would say “greatness isn’t measured by your ability to kill people, it’s measured by how comfortable life is for everyone.” Which is the awesome thing about patriotism. 🙂

      • nydwracu says:

        Inability to distinguish between “I prefer my ingroup because it is my ingroup” and “my ingroup is objectively best” is a problem.

        I like Maryland because I’m from here. But I can admit at the same time that Maryland is horrendously and irredeemably broken and a terrible place to live. The only reason that this doesn’t bother me is that I don’t think these sorts of contradictions ought to be resolved.

        Thede dynamics is weird.

    • ADifferentAnonymous says:

      Sooooo not the point. The point is that most Americans are motivated to accept that America is number one, but Scott was motivated to reject the notion. The actual truth of the proposition is irrelevant, unless you want to argue that the average American is unbiased, believes America is number one only because it is, and would quickly notice if another nation became better.

      • Alfred F. Jones says:

        Since the fact that a proposition is true helps explain why people believe in it, there is less of a need for alternative explanations for why people believe a true proposition than for why they believe a false one. So whether the proposition is true is actually on point. It’s like trying to explain why scientists believe in evolution and why religious people believe in creationism. There’s really no nontrivial explanation for the former beyond “well, because it’s true”. There is for the latter.

        In this case it’s just a Simpson’s Paradox. America is not worse than other countries on a per group basis; it just has a different proportion of groups.

        unless you want to argue that the average American is unbiased, believes America is number one only because it is, and would quickly notice if another nation became better

        There are degrees of bias. I think that bias would prevent the average American from seeing a small difference, but at some point the difference would be big enough to notice. We routinely see, for instance, complaints that this or that country is overtaking the US in some measure.

        I would also guess that if America was seriously worse than other countries, there would be less bias towards it in the first place.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, self-rated life satisfaction is self-rated, whereas revealed preferences are revealed.

      Number of immigrants from Canada to USA: 787,542
      Number of immigrants from USA to Canada: 311,215
      Population of Canada: 34.88 million
      Population of the USA: 313.9 million

  7. The Anonymouse says:

    The jocks and cheerleaders see through the pep rallies just fine. They know it’s dumb, and all for show, and fundamentally silly. They know that no one is just that darn proud to be an East High Armadillo, or whatever. What they also know is that as dumb as so many of these rituals are, they come with real benefits. Like accumulating the social capital that the nerds envy, the social capital that gets them friends and status and… laid.

    The fundamental mismatch is that the nerds–and, full disclosure, myself still mostly being one–console themselves for their lack of social capital in the only way they can: they tell themselves how smart they are. They are smart and mature, and “see through” the farce. Everyone else is so stupid for falling for this stuff.

    It’s a self-soothing technique.

    The jocks see through the rituals, and use them to their own benefit. The charismatics getting the Holy Spirit see through the rituals, and use them to their own benefit. The campus radfems see through the rituals and codewords, and use them–“Lesbian Until Graduation” is a cliche for a reason. The world knows how this works.

    It does make for an interesting re-look at the epic 852-comment “Universal Human Experiences” thread, though. Go back and look: how many of the comments are talking about real neurodiversity, and how much is just nerd posturing of the “I’m too cool to fall for X” variety?

    • blacktrance says:

      I think the causation goes in the opposite direction in the case of jocks and cheerleaders – the rituals don’t give them status, they’re a display of their status. Few are proud to be an East High Armadillo as such, but the rallies aren’t about East High as a whole but about East High’s football players and cheerleaders – they’re the ones being cheered, not the school as a whole. Naturally, they like this. But I expect that their status wouldn’t change noticeably without the rallies.

      As for why people cheer them, some cheer because they like them, but I think the majority cheers because it’s expected and because it gets them out of class. If people stopped cheering, pep assemblies would be replaced by more in-classroom time, and no one wants that (except the people who really hated pep assemblies, like me).

      • Matthew says:

        Wait, there are parts of the country where mandatory pep rallies during school hours are a regular thing? My high school is on this list of the longest-running football rivalries in the country, and we never had rallies during school hours. I never had to attend one of the damn things; that would really have pissed me off. They were purely voluntary things after hours.

        • blacktrance says:

          Unfortunately, yes, mandatory pep rallies exist and I was subjected to them. I suspect that if they weren’t mandatory, attendance at them would fall so low that there’d be no point in having them.

        • von Kalifornen says:

          My son was subjected to them when I made the mistake of subjecting him to public school in a United States upper-middle-class area. They were mandatory, and there probably about five or six a year.

          The most confusing event for him was one related to the senior prom (which seems to now be focused around making a debauched mockery of Late Anno Domini upper-class culture, or its appropriate adoption by the lesser classes). He mistook it for some form of haze, and was then mocked when he tried to dance the polka to a “song” that had as its most recognizable words “What are you going to do with all that love-junk?”. I recalled him to Weltraumburg at once.

        • nydwracu says:

          Unfortunately, yes, mandatory pep rallies exist and I was subjected to them. I suspect that if they weren’t mandatory, attendance at them would fall so low that there’d be no point in having them.

          My high school’s pep rallies were not mandatory. I was one of probably less than a hundred people out of three thousand who didn’t go. Many of the rest didn’t go because they had detention.

          (I still had a better time with the people who didn’t go than I would have had I gone.)

      • Valhar2000 says:

        Few are proud to be an East High Armadillo as such, but the rallies aren’t about East High as a whole but about East High’s football players and cheerleaders – they’re the ones being cheered, not the school as a whol

        Are you sure this is correct?

        I don’t remember what my source is for this right now, but I had read that people often participate in these things precisely because they are for the group as a whole (that’s why they talk about one school beating another, instead of one group pf players beating the other group). While the jocks get a far greater proportion of the glory, everyone gets a little bit, so the more glory is generated in total, so to speak, the more each participant gets.

        The same phenomenon can be seen on my other occasions where people will fanatically support one candidate or group over another in a competition that does not really involve them: elections, wars, operating systems, phones…

        • blacktrance says:

          They talk about one school beating another, but everyone knows the reality of one school’s jocks beating the other school’s jocks, and even pep assemblies recognize it by celebrating the jocks in their actions, despite the words being “Go [School name]!” And if the jocks win, they get a little glory (unless they win the state championship or something), and everyone else is largely oblivious.

    • Vanzetti says:

      >The jocks see through the rituals, and use them to their own benefit.

      Are those the same people who kill each other after football matches, or are you talking about some supernatural jocks who control the universe?

      • Randy M says:

        Maybe he refers to some portion of the 99.9% that don’t kill each other? Or am I missing a whole lot of dead teenagers?

    • Oligopsony says:

      Nerds don’t see through (most of) their own rituals, so my feeling is that (the majority of) non-nerds (usually) don’t either.

      • Konkvistador says:

        +1

        Outgroup – stupid, cringe-worthy and pointless
        Ingroup – meaningful, engaging

        However. I think that if you apply Hansonianism to The Anonymouse’s model it works quite well.

        The people involved don’t need to see through the rituals consciously, just the evolved mechanism that pull their levers need to be triggered by the social environment.

        Example: The Nerd’s brain perceive being enthusiastic at pep rallies is a bad way for them to get laid, they see participating in a ritual for a local meet up group with normative polyamory still isn’t a great shot but it is good enough to flit switches.

        If a Nerd’s or the Jock’s fortunes and social envrionment changed radically their ingroup would as well, to an almost arbitrary extent.

    • ozymandias says:

      As a campus radfem, I assure you, campus radfems actually do believe the shit we’re saying.

      • MugaSofer says:

        How can you be sure you’re not the only one? *twilight zone music plays*

        • Anonymous says:

          Anthropics!

        • ozymandias says:

          If I have been subjected to all those tedious discussions about how Alison Bechdel is Problematic and the people didn’t even believe she was Problematic, I will be deeply upset.

      • AJD says:

        Wait, “radfem” in the sense ‘trans-excluding’, or some other sense I’m not familiar with?

        • Nornagest says:

          The “radical” in “rad[ical ]fem[inist]” means “deconstructionist or revolutionary [regarding gender roles]”, not “extreme”. As a flavor of feminism it does tend to be correlated with various types of ideological extremism, but it doesn’t imply them, nor does it necessarily imply the exclusion of any particular group.

        • Randy M says:

          If you don’t want to be seen as extreme, at the least don’t call yourself radical.

        • ozymandias says:

          The name’s been around for forty years, we can’t change it now. (Also I’m technically not a radical feminist, I’m a liberal feminist, but I am very influenced by radical feminist theory.)

    • Ghatanathoah says:

      I wonder if the Flynn effect is at work here.

      Maybe in the past Pep Rallies used to work on most people. However, the Flynn effect has now made everyone nerdy enough to see through them.

      • Nornagest says:

        Nerdy does not mean intelligent. Intelligent does not mean nerdy. I’m not sure intelligence is very strongly anticorrelated with susceptibility to group bonding rituals, either, although I’m less confident of that.

        On the other hand, something seems to be pushing rates of autism up, too. It might just be happening on the diagnosis side, but if it’s not, then a higher rate of subclinical autism-spectrum symptoms does strike me as the kind of thing that might make mass rallies less attractive as tools of social influence.

        • nydwracu says:

          I’m not sure intelligence is very strongly anticorrelated with susceptibility to group bonding rituals, either…

          Neither am I. Neither intelligence nor nerdiness.

          I once went to a summer camp that selected for intelligence. The culture there was… well, they had a very large number of traditions, and they defended them strongly, and saw great value in their preservation, and even had an unofficial-but-generally-recognized social circle (with its own place in the dining hall and everything) one of the purposes of which was to preserve the traditions and spread them to the newcomers. (I’m not sure if I was part of it or not, but people outside it thought I was.) They had dances every weekend, the tracklist of which was about half determined by tradition — the ‘canon’ was mostly just what was popular enough to be played when the place started up.

          One of these dances was held outside. I had to go to the bathroom, which was in a building directly behind the field where the dance was; when I came back, one of the canon songs was being played — one associated with a certain dance where everyone makes two lines and forms a tunnel that people run through. Coming back and seeing about 90% of the attendees (some people didn’t go to the dances, and others were standing in circles off to the side talking; but most participated) in one large formation — well, I understood a lot of things then that I hadn’t before.

          Most of the people who went there talked about how life-changing and so on it was — partially because it was selected for intelligence, but I bet most of it has to do with the fact that it was the first time they’d ever been able to participate in a tradition that they fully bought into. Sure as hell was for me. (There were multiple sites; they all shared a certain core of traditions, but the inventory varied. At some, tradition was weaker; it was my impression that these sites were generally less liked. At some, tradition died out over time; this was followed by mass migration away from those sites to the ones that preserved it. There was one site where tradition died out near-completely: the people who had maintained it were disorganized and didn’t manage to spread it and the site management was actively hostile to it. The maintainers all aged out at the same time; two or three years later, attendance had gone down so low that the site was shut down.)

          There’s an entire dimension of human experience that’s practically absent today. This is A Problem.

          (I wonder how many other people who went there are going to pop up after I post this. No way in hell am I the only one.)

  8. Anthony says:

    Communal grief:

    Phyllis Patterson, the person who invented the Renaissance Faire, just died. As most of my social universe is involved in, or tangent to, the Renaissance Faire, my facebook feed is *full* of expressions of gratitude and remembrance, and the like. I haven’t commented on it at all, because while I’m very, very glad to have found the Faire in my teens, and still enjoy the spinoffs (which go in some odd directions – the number of people at BDSM gatherings who also “do Faire” is a bit unnerving), my direct memories of Mrs. Patterson are all somewhat negative.

    So I get the communal feeling, and I’m seeing the hive switch being thrown in people who often seem not to have such a thing, while my hive switch hasn’t been thrown, even though I know I have that instinct.

    • J. Quinton says:

      The same sort of deal happened with me when Frankie Manning died. There was this communal grief in the dance scene that just didn’t happen to me. I personally found that ironic since I grew up in the same neighborhood that he did in NYC; probably one of very few people in the modern lindy hop scene who can claim that credit.

      This weekend is the celebration of his 100th birthday and there are a lot of dance scenes that are having special dances in his honor. Still not getting the community switch firing, even though I enjoy dancing a lot.

  9. Piano says:

    One more thing that neoreaction and traditional education help with.

    In such a system, they know their place, and they know the system “works” and is “legitimate” and they thus hone their skills in support of the system, so there is no question of whether patriotism and group action are squicky or worth supporting. The hierarchy exists to anti-fragile-ly support itself (rather than tear itself apart), so the more amped up Those With Different Proclivities are in their own pursuits, the better the system is for everyone, and everyone knows this. It doesn’t take 20+ years for a nerd to learn how to party and fight and get excited about something.

    In such a situation the “given” Thing Worth Defending and Fighting For is actually worth defending and fighting for, and you don’t have to spend all those years finding your own (you spend it figuring out and developing *how*).

    The easiest, though not easy, thing to do on the margin to improve the current situation is to segregate school classes (and not recess/mealtime) by gender, to allow the natural proclivities and hierarchies to form much earlier.

    I’m beginning to feel that a lot of “irrationality” at the individual level can be “cured” by an “arational” society that takes the irrational individual for granted. I can’t wait for proper intelligence/personality augmentation and singularity, but baseline prep for everything from the Negentropy Alliance to the NoCoZo to Caretakers to Keter is looking neoreactionary right now. Pax archailectica depends on it; don’t make us rewrite the prophecies.

    • MugaSofer says:

      In such a system, they know their place, and they know the system “works” and is “legitimate” and they thus hone their skills in support of the system, so there is no question of whether patriotism and group action are squicky or worth supporting.

      Well … does the system actually work?

      Also, from an evolutionary perspective, what incentive is there to “know your place” if your place is “nerd who doesn’t get laid”?

      • ozymandias says:

        Perhaps you could develop alternate hierarchies? i.e. a low-status nerd could be like “actually, intelligence is way more important than athleticism, I am high-status intelligent person” and look down on jocks. Fill the low-status group in each individual hierarchy with people who are of moderate or high status in their own groups. This already sort of happens. (Unfortunately I am not sure how to solve fair distribution of sex in this system.)

        • Konkvistador says:

          aiiiieee “Fair Distribution of sex” is a problematic framing for a discussion that lead to terrible terrible things from a Radical Feminist perspective no?

          I think I just got triggered because of lefty memes I carry, this doesn’t happen often.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Not just radical feminism, I think…

        • von Kalifornen says:

          I think that this can end up being really dysfunctional — look at the “neckbeard” phenomenon and some of the other failures of nerdyness. As long as people cannot entirely withdraw into subcultures, they have to deal with a world that does not accept their felt status (this seems to be more or less the kernel of the unfortunately heavily body-shaming neckbeard stereotype) and that is a problem.

          I think it gets better at maybe the second level of alternate-ness, say jocks ->nerds->Bright Young People. Although bright young people seem to be the default high-status group sometimes these days, in a world where moderate nerdyness is considered normal.

          (First time through I read “fair distribution of sex” as “having rough gender equality in each subgroup” rather than “fair distribution of sex acts”, even though Ozy is unlikely to mean use “sex” to mean the former. There is no lower level of misery than a quasi-MRA (the resigned type, not the angry hateful hopeful type) scheming up a method for state redistribution of sexual favors, or, god help us, actual love.)

        • von Kalifornen says:

          I think that this can end up being really dysfunctional — look at the “neckbeard” phenomenon and some of the other failures of nerdyness. As long as people cannot entirely withdraw into subcultures, they have to deal with a world that does not accept their felt status (this seems to be more or less the kernel of the unfortunately heavily body-shaming neckbeard stereotype) and that is a problem.

          I think it gets better at maybe the second level of alternate-ness, say jocks ->nerds->Bright Young People. Although bright young people seem to be the default high-status group sometimes these days, in a world where moderate nerdyness is considered normal.

          (First time through I read “fair distribution of sex” as “having rough gender equality in each subgroup” rather than “fair distribution of sex acts”, even though Ozy is unlikely to mean use “sex” to mean the former. There is no lower level of misery than a quasi-MRA (the resigned type, not the angry hateful hopeful type) scheming up a method for state redistribution of sexual favors, or, god help us, actual love.)

        • ozymandias says:

          …Isn’t it obviously bad that some people get more sex and love than they know what to do with and other people don’t? I mean, most of the ways I can think of to solve this problem are evil, but it is still a very sad situation.

        • In re fair distribution of sex: I don’t think it can be made actually even if you respect consent, but I wouldn’t at all mind living in a society where it was considered unacceptably rude to say that sex with some people is disgusting.

          In other words, no group efforts to make some people into low-status non-partners.

        • Oligopsony says:

          In re fair distribution of sex: I don’t think it can be made actually even if you respect consent, but I wouldn’t at all mind living in a society where it was considered unacceptably rude to say that sex with some people is disgusting.

          Agreed, assuming you meant to exclude 1) those who can’t consent and 2) particular pairings we want to taboo because of power dynamics. (Actually I can’t think of, though this could very easily just be a failure of the imagination, any widespread expression of sexual disgust that isn’t these or related to mere looks. Do you have things in mind other than the latter?)

          • I think the consent/power dynamics issue is different. I haven’t seen anyone saying that drunk women are too disgusting to have sex with, and there are probably reasons that such a campaign wouldn’t be a good idea.

            All the social pressures to exclude people from sex that I can think of have been appearance-based– too fat, too old, handicapped, wrong race…..

            Some racial prejudice in this area (prejudice against Asian men and against black women) seems to be about appearance indicating personality, but the appearance/personality thing is probably a spectrum.

            Homophobia is sort of appearance-based, but perhaps not quite in the same way.

        • Oligopsony says:

          aiiiieee “Fair Distribution of sex” is a problematic framing for a discussion that lead to terrible terrible things from a Radical Feminist perspective no?

          I think I just got triggered because of lefty memes I carry, this doesn’t happen often.

          See, this is why I would have a drink with you or Nydwracu, and not, uh, certain other of your comrades. 🙂 There’s hope for you yet, Samo!

        • Zathille says:

          ‘There’s hope for you yet’

          I know I’m probably taking this too seriously, but this is a pet peeve of mine in discussions, it sounds so incredibly condescending and even mean-spirited. If one believes oneself to be right and others to be wrong, one argues, not signals pity over the other’s ‘folly’ and a hope they’ll ‘see the light’.

          It’s a subtext that I read into some texts a few too many times and am rather tired of. I hope this is not interpreted as a personal attack, for I certainly don’t intend to direct it at anyone in particular but I think it’d be necessary to point this out. I’m not the only one bothered by it, am I?

        • Oligopsony says:

          My intention was to be chummy (I feel like the two of us have had enough positive interactions in the past for this to be acceptable) but in retrospect I can see how it an be read as condescending.

          I’m serious about that beer by the way. (Actually I think Nydwracu has mentioned that he also lives in [the same county as I do], so that may be a live possibility.)

        • Oligopsony says:

          I think the consent/power dynamics issue is different. I haven’t seen anyone saying that drunk women are too disgusting to have sex with, and there are probably reasons that such a campaign wouldn’t be a good idea.

          People do often express this for the underage. Also I feel like the incest taboo is worth preserving for power dynamics reasons, even if that’s not why we feel disgust at it.

          • Fair enough– now that you mention it, I have seen some examples of “How can an adult want sex with a teenager?”, where I think the implication is personality rather than appearance.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          (this seems to be more or less the kernel of the unfortunately heavily body-shaming neckbeard stereotype)

          Speaking as a fedora-wearing lardass neckbeard who has no beard, has a BMI of 18.0 and doesn’t wear fedoras, I was utterly unaware that neckbeardness was about body-shaming. I thought it was just like calling someone “retarded” or a “faggot”.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          My intention was to be chummy (I feel like the two of us have had enough positive interactions in the past for this to be acceptable) but in retrospect I can see how it an be read as condescending.

          As has been discussed on this blog before, the fact that it can be read as condescending is a large part of why it works as being chummy! Basically, you can’t really evaluate the intent of a statement like that without social context.

        • nydwracu says:

          No matter where on the internet I go, I run across a bizarrely large proportion of people from Maryland. What the hell.

          (It is less of a thing here than just about anywhere else, but it is still very much a thing. Good lord, there is no escape, is there.)

        • Anthony says:

          Unfortunately I am not sure how to solve fair distribution of sex in this system.

          Encourage similar numbers of women to value the alternate social hierarchies as there are men in each one. If 10% of men are D&D players, that’s only a problem if significantly fewer than 10% of women are into male D&D players.

          Since at least some of the alternate social hierarchies actually signal value as a long-term mate (there was a Dilbert about this, I think, but I can’t find it); encouraging young women to think about long-term mating choices while young would help. So would some of the elements of the neo-reactionary/anti-feminist program.

        • Army1987 says:

          Actually I can’t think of, though this could very easily just be a failure of the imagination, any widespread expression of sexual disgust that isn’t these or related to mere looks.

          Intra-generational incest?

        • ozymandias says:

          Anthony: …and men to be into the things women value too, surely? Cheating and polyamory aside, for each man who is not dating anyone there is another woman who is not dating anyone, which seems to suggest that sex/love maldistribution is not necessarily a gendered problem.

          Hrm. Now I’m wondering if there’s a gender imbalance in the contentedly single.

          I’m not actually sure that, outside of high school, being unable to find a partner is correlated with long-term mating value. Anecdotally, many of the people I know who have a hard time getting partners are *also* people who work shitty jobs or are long-term unemployed, are mentally ill, etc.

        • Piano says:

          @all y’all

          “Fair distribution of sex” is solved by Christian marriage.
          Y’all make epicycles look like platonic solids…

        • suntzuanime says:

          Not exactly, even during marriage’s heyday you still had men struggling to find a wife and women struggling to find a husband. Shakespeare wrote some funny plays about it.

          That said, marriage did a lot better towards it than the system we have today.

        • von Kalifornen says:

          Speaking as a fedora-wearing lardass neckbeard who has no beard, has a BMI of 18.0 and doesn’t wear fedoras, I was utterly unaware that neckbeardness was about body-shaming

          It’s not mostly about body-shaming, but that sort of thing always gets brought into it.

          Honestly, a lot of it seems to be about people who feel entitled to a favorable status exchange rate between subcultures

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          feel entitled to a favorable status exchange rate between subcultures

          hrm, can you unpack that for me?

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Piano

          Obviously when someone discusses fair distribution of sex they implicitly mean “fair distribution of sex that doesn’t have as many stupid and annoying problems as Christian marriage.”

          Saying Christian marriage solved the problem is would be like going to one of the inventors of the internet and saying that their actions were pointless because print books already solved our information technology problems.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Fair distribution of sex has the same issues with personal freedom that fair distribution of wealth tends to. Not surprising that people who imagine they’ll find themselves part of the 1% any day now are not fans of the idea.

          Of course we’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure out how to preserve some semblance of individual freedom while still mitigating the horrors of the economic marketplace. We haven’t spent nearly as much effort on the horrors of the romantic marketplace, partly because people are even more attached to their romantic hypocrisies than to their economic ones.

        • Multiheaded says:

          Not surprising that people who imagine they’ll find themselves part of the 1% any day now are not fans of the idea.

          That’s rather snide and asinine. I’m in the 1% of wealth globally (as are you), but I’m a big fan of aggressive redistribution, or preferrably a different distribution in the first place, or just ending the existing upward redistribution. I’m never going to have the 1% sex life, nor would I want to desire it, but I’m aghast at anything beyond the most careful, positive-sum nudges, even if it was targeted exclusively at benefitting women.

          Anthony:

          Since at least some of the alternate social hierarchies actually signal value as a long-term mate

          = “But I’m such a nice guy!”

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah
          That’s an insulting implication there, I’m sure the others would agree.

          And there are far fewer “stupid and annoying problems” with relationships in a society that strongly enforces Christian marriage than in one that doesn’t.

        • ozymandias says:

          Piano: “Legalize marital rape” fails the evil test. (My apologies if you don’t support marital rape, but when reactionaries talk about Christian marriage that is IME part of what they mean.) Enforced monogamy solves the problem if the primary cause of people being unable to find romantic-sexual partners is that polyamory and cheating allowing very attractive people to date more than one person who are not dating anybody else. However, I’m not sure that that’s actually the case.

        • Creutzer says:

          Socially enforced long-term monogamy is also helpful if the cause of the problem is that people live in serial monogamy and just stay single until a high-quality mate becomes free (and are also prone to ending relationships when they feel they can do much better in terms of mate quality). Which does seem to be the case.

        • peterdjones says:

          @piano

          Having one chance to find the one person to spend the rest of your life with may fewer problems, but by crikey it is one big problem.

          • Slow Learner says:

            Good point Peter – I’m youngish, and I’ve already seen one Christian marriage fail. Unless the two parties to it substantially re-think their attitudes to relationships and sex (specifically change to considering either sex outside marriage, or divorce and remarriage, or both to be morally acceptable) they have no more chances at successful relationships for the rest of their lives.
            That’s hardly an optimal system, and these two did everything “right”, they didn’t exactly jump into marriage just to get laid like some evangelical Christians of my acquaintance.

        • Piano says:

          @ozy Marital “rape” doesn’t exist under Christian marriage, because in your vows you give extended consent, and you withdraw that consent via divorce. If you don’t want to give such extended consent to some person, then you don’t get married to that person. If you want to have “marriage” without such extended consent, then you don’t call it marriage. More here: http://freenortherner.com/2014/05/16/marital-consent/

          You don’t have to be very attractive to cheat or participate in polyamoury…

          Yeah, adultery, of which serial monogamy is a type, and polyamory, or allowing the top X% of guys to get enough women that the bottom Y% of guys are lifelong bachelors with no children and thus much less personal interest in the future state of civilization, are terrible things. Re-introducing the stigma against unmarried people beyond their mid-twenties would force people to quickly find the best person to marry. A giant failure mode is ugly people still being unwilling to marry each other, but then you just up the stigma or encourage them to go into childcaretaking roles or anything that gives them a visceral sense of something beyond themselves.

          • Slow Learner says:

            Marital rape is rape. Not recognising it as such means your structure is fundamentally broken, so even if it has other good points (which I don’t particularly feel it does, but YMMV) it isn’t going to work on a societal level.

        • Piano says:

          @Slow Learner
          I doubt they thought thoroughly about those consequences before they divorced. Traditional Christian society would have made sure they did a hell of a lot of thinking before they went and through everything away rather than worked through their difficulties as they promised in their vows.

          • Slow Learner says:

            They aren’t divorced, they’re separated, but they separated on solid grounds of the marital relationship being non-functioning. It would be much better for them if they did not believe that marriage was a once-only, for-life deal.

            Edited to add: in a traditional Christian society, they would probably be compelled by social pressure to live together, even though that made them both miserable. That wouldn’t actually help anybody, and would harm two people who, if they can get their heads straight, can both have another try at finding a relationship that they can make work.

        • Creutzer says:

          That’s a good point, peter, but I suspect that, at least under the right cultural circumstances, the problem of finding a partner for life is more solvable than the problem of finding N partners in succession to cover a reasonable proportion of your life with relationships. At least for the people that we’re concerned with, i.e. the terminally unattractive.

          But the problem of marriages where one party may later on cease to desire sex (or, worse, desire the opposite) is, of course, catastrophic. I expect it would go away to a small extent when people would lose the “Can I do better?” mentality, but there will still be cases, and having people enter into contracts that allow future versions of themselves to be raped is going too far.

          I don’t know. Honestly, I believe this whole complex of problems to be fundamentally unsolvable because reality is Unfriendly.

        • Nick T says:

          I think this discussion would be a little clearer if “polyamory” weren’t being used to refer to any situation where people have multiple partners, as well as the more common meaning of a particular probably-atypical minority subculture. “The top X% of guys getting enough women that the bottom Y% of guys are bachelors” definitely isn’t what I see among the poly-identified folks I know, but I don’t take that as strong evidence about what happens in other social groups, especially but not only non-poly-identified ones. The fact that people bring it up so often makes me think it does happen sometimes.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Piano
          >Marital “rape” doesn’t exist under Christian marriage, because in your vows you give extended consent, and you withdraw that consent via divorce

          Rape isn’t just about consent. If someone’s twin brother has sex with that person’s wife while pretending to be her husband that is still a rape, even though she consented under the mistaken belief that he was her husband.

          If someone enters into a marriage and gives “extended consent” under the mistaken impression that their marriage will be a happy one, they are entitled to refuse sex when they learn they are mistaken, even if they haven’t finished filling out the divorce papers yet. And if a society applies social pressure to stop that person from getting a divorce they are aiding and abetting in rape.

          > Traditional Christian society would have made sure they did a hell of a lot of thinking before they went and through everything away rather than worked through their difficulties as they promised in their vows.

          It didn’t and it wouldn’t. People make huge commitments stupidly and without thinking all the time. If you actually think that people would always do that much thinking you are vastly underestimating human impulsiveness and stupidity.

          There is a reason we weakened the power of traditional Christian marriage. The problems it created were worse than the ones it solved. The “romantic inequality” it created is a problem, but, as they say “A sign of success is that you get better problems.

          > that the bottom Y% of guys are lifelong bachelors with no children and thus much less personal interest in the future state of civilization

          The idea that men are primarily interested in the future of civilization because of their children is the worst sort of pop evolutionary psychology “just so story.” I love ev psych, but hate seeing it used like this. Humans maintain an interest in civilization because of a complex set of incentives and culture that is not terribly related to having children. (In fact, if you believe in AGW and that conservatives have more children, it seems like having children is inversely correlated with benefiting future civilization).

        • Piano says:

          @Slow Learner
          Read the link I included.
          “if there is non-consent, there is no marriage”
          If you think that the sex you are having with your now-not-husband/wife is rape, then you’re not married anymore and you should inform them.

          That said, if it’s not possible to rape yourself, then it’s not possible to rape your partner in marriage (under the Christian view anyways).

          In a sense, it’s possible to rape yourself, but hopefully only once. Say that you get a bit to drunk one night by yourself and, against your sober judgement, do a lot of meth for the first time. One possible outcome is that you lubelessly masturbate for hours on end, and wake up the next day (or the day after that) with severely-chafed, desensitized, and possibly otherwise injured genitals, and a ton of regret. Did you rape yourself? Yeah, I’d say so. Is it your own fault? Yeah, you should know how drunk you can get and what you can do, and if you don’t know then don’t test yourself when you have meth around. What’re your options now? 1) Kill yourself in shame (e.g. divorce), 2) Forgive yourself, get rid of the rest of the meth if you have any, and don’t drink by yourself (i.e. work with your husband/wife so that terrible sex doesn’t happen again.) Anything else is knowingly self-destructive.

          • Slow Learner says:

            Non-consent in a relationship – what does it matter if it’s in marriage or outside it? Rape is rape, and a relationship structure that doesn’t just allow for rape but allows the rapist to feel justified* is pretty terrible.

            *If you claim that marriage = consent, and withdrawing consent ends marriage, that means that society, and abusers, will view those who remain married despite abuse as consenting to their own treatment. Society is crap enough at dealing with abusive relationships, we really shouldn’t make it worse!

            Edited to add: I’m not even going to touch the idea of “self-rape”. Comparing drunken idiocy that only affects yourself, to having your safety and agency stripped away by another is ludicrous, they aren’t even in the same ball park. Your religion might speak poetically about “one flesh”, but there are still two people walking around, who are legally and morally separable for at least some purposes, including considerations of abuse and coercion.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah
          “learn they are mistaken, even if they haven’t finished filling out the divorce papers yet.”

          I’d say you’re divorced (in the eyes of “God”/the Church) as soon as you inform your wife/husband of your intent to file for divorce. That solves that problem.

          “People make huge commitments stupidly and without thinking all the time.”
          That’s why you shouldn’t be the only one with the decision in who you marry. You’re parents should be, as they know better.

          “The problems it created were worse than the ones it solved.”
          I’m still not convinced.

          “Humans maintain an interest in civilization because of a complex set of incentives and culture that is not terribly related to having children.”
          Citation needed.

        • ADifferentAnonymous says:

          ‘Extended consent’… no.

          My understanding is that there will be times a woman does not want sex, and being forced to have sex at these times would be horrible. (It seems to be different for men, though maybe penetrating vs. receptive partner is actually the right distinction). Requiring that extended consent be part of marriage would result in lots of this horror and would be comparable to allowing physical violence (which you could also call ‘extended consent’).

          Probably the closest thing I could tell you to imagine, would be if marriage required you to give your wife extended consent to peg you at any time.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Piano

          >I’d say you’re divorced (in the eyes of “God”/the Church) as soon as you inform your wife/husband of your intent to file for divorce. That solves that problem.

          I think we have some semantic problems obscuring the discussion and need to break down our terminology.

          Ozymandias’ original objection to Christian marriage was that it would encourage “marital rape.” I gather that the problem that Ozymandias said would result was that there would be situations where two people are legally married and then one of them forces the other to have sex against their will, and that a situation where Christian marriage was the norm would make it harder for the victim to escape.

          Your response was “in that situation those people do not count as ‘married’ because one of them doesn’t want to have sex.” Note that that does not in any way solve the problem that Ozymandias was worried about. All it does is change the definition of what happened from “marital rape” to “normal rape.” I think we can both agree that our goal should be to minimize rape, regardless of whether the prefix “marital” is appropriate to attach to it.

          >That’s why you shouldn’t be the only one with the decision in who you marry. You’re parents should be, as they know better.

          Not always. The incentives for parents are different than they are for offspring. The offspring is typically most interested in a fulfilling personal relationship and less interested in things like spousal status, money, etc. The parents do not get to experience the fulfilling personal relationship, but they do get to experience the status, money etc, so they are likely to emphasize that at the expense of relationships.

          Don’t get me wrong, many parents genuinely love their children and are loving enough and morally decent enough to overcome those incentives and do what’s best for their children. But it’s still a problem.

          >Citation needed.

          There are several bits of evidence in favor of this. One is that number of children is not heavily correlated with lack of elements of social decay like crime. Parts of Asia and Europe with low birthrates are also some of the safer places on Earth.

          Another is that, as I mentioned before, having a large number of children in some cases negatively correlates with opposition to trends that are destructive to society’s future (ie conservatives have more kids and are less environmentalist, I also wonder what the correlation between fertility and worrying about Global Catastrophic Risks is, I suspect it’s low).

        • Piano says:

          @ADifferentAnonymous In sex itself, consent is “extended” until one party wants the thing to stop (at least temporarily). Same thing for Christian marriage, only you’re not afforded the “temporarily” part.

          No one is being forced to have sex. I’m not sure where you’re getting that.

          Pegging can’t produce children…

          @Ghatanathoah

          No one is being forced to have sex. Where are you guys getting this?

          Your current will, or ‘ma feelings’, are the last thing that matter, anywhere.

          If you make a big promise, and you go back on that promise, you should expect to be committing social suicide. If having to follow through with a plan, despite your current feelings, is “rape”, then having to work late nights because a deadline you set a while ago is coming up should be called “work rape”, and having to pay back that jackass who loaned you some money a while back should be called “financial rape”, and having have sex with your husband/wife when you’re personally not in the mood should be called “sex rape”. All those denotations are equally insane and demonize basic social contract.

          (Also, if you don’t know what turns off your husband/wife, and you don’t know how to redirect their energies, then now is a good time to learn.)

          Regarding parental input, assuming your parents are traditional and desire to have awesome grandchildren, they have a vested interest in who you marry, and how that marriage goes, and deserve some input.

          Regarding having children obviously making you more concerned about the next generations and the future of the planet: Conservatives either don’t believe in AGW, or don’t think it’s a bit deal, or think (rightfully) that on net it’s actually a positive. And, If you deliberately marketed Global Catastrophic Risks to conservative people in a way that the felt that they could actually do something about it, I’m sure that they’d be more concerned about it than liberals are. And, if you consider immigration a National Catastophic Risk, then conservatives obviously care a lot about them.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            >Pegging can’t produce children…

            So what? We’re talking about sex, not having children.

            >No one is being forced to have sex. Where are you guys getting this?

            I was under the impression that Ozymandias brought up the idea that people would be forced to have sex and you blithely dismissed it. However, now I am under the impression that Ozymandias brought up the idea of people being physically forced to have sex and you mistakenly believed that they were talking about people feeling social pressure to have sex in a loveless marriage.

            To clear this up, I am pretty sure the “marital rape” Ozy was worried about consisted of a wife not wanting to have sex and her husband employing physical force to make her and otherwise abusing her. The concern Ozy had was that a society of Christian marriage would create severe penalties to the woman for leaving such an abusive person, and that it would not be able to recognize that she was an exception and would still cast dispersions on her for getting divorced. Based on my knowledge of history this is a valid fear.

            >If you make a big promise, and you go back on that promise, you should expect to be committing social suicide.

            No. If you mistakenly make a big promise in good faith, realize you can’t fulfill it, and own up to your mistake you do not deserve social opprobrium. Owning up to a mistake is hard enough without receiving social disapproval for making it.

            A society where owning up to a big mistaken promise is social suicide would be a disaster. Everyone would constantly be miserable because they wouldn’t be able to escape any mistakes they made. Any time someone promised too much at work instead of owning up, delaying and doing a good job they’d turn in a half-assed job on time. You own up to the mistake, learn from it, and move on. You do not suffer massive ostracism.

            Humans are simply too limited in their foresight and rationality to reliably keep every promise they make. Instituting massive, unreasonable penalties for breaking a promise is pointless cruelty. Punishments for failing to keep promises, especially ones that appear to have been made in good faith, should be as merciful as possible.

            >Regarding parental input, assuming your parents are traditional and desire to have awesome grandchildren, they have a vested interest in who you marry, and how that marriage goes, and deserve some input.

            But again, since they are only interested in results that are visible to them they are likely to inflict massive harms on you that are not visible to them to maximize visible results. It’s sort of like Bastiat’s “Seen and Unseen.”

            You notice parents doing this today with children and media exposure. If the child gets to watch a TV program they really want to watch they’ll get hours and hours of enjoyment from it. If the program may contain something sexual or scary the parent might have to spend a few embarrassing minutes explaining sex to their child or a few annoying minutes demonstrating that there is no monster under the bed.

            An ethical parent would realize the hours and hours of potential happiness for the child outweigh the small risk of a few embarrassing or annoying minutes and let the child watch the program. But many parents don’t do this. They censor anything and everything from their children to avoid a slight chance of this. They inflict massive costs on their child for minimal benefit to them.

            > Conservatives either don’t believe in AGW, or don’t think it’s a bit deal, or think (rightfully) that on net it’s actually a positive.

            I agree that AGW itself is overblown (I personally find the increase carbonic acid content of the oceans CO2 causes way scarier) but conservatives have been opposed to the majority of environmental legislation, even those that history seems to have vindicated.

            In general the evidence I find strongest though, is the lack of correlation between childbearing and prosocial behaviors. People who are antisocial and contribute to social decay oftentimes seem to have a large number of children, and the youngest countries in the world are typically third world.

            I suspect that Robin Hanson’s “Near Mode and Far Mode” explains this. When people operate in “Far Mode” we tend to be more altruistic and idealistic and unconcerned with day to day things like children. Since the future of civilization is typically processed in Far Mode thought everyone tends to regard it altruistically. We don’t need any extra selfish motivation from having personal descendants.

            The conservative notion that liberals live in the now and are unconcerned with the future of civilization is a baseless stereotype, much in the same way the liberal stereotype that conservatives are all racists is baseless. They are both insults used to tar the enemy, not real empirical predictions.

        • ozymandias says:

          ADifferentAnonymous: Uh… men can not want to have sex too…

          Ghatanathoah: Nope, my objection is that neoreactionaries keep saying that Christian marriage means you can no longer say “no” to sex, and I think that is an incredibly evil position. In fact, sometimes I want to say no to sex *and* not be divorced.

          Piano: I agree that if you are married, especially in a monogamous marriage, you should be GGG. However, there is a REALLY BIG AND IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE between “you should try to make sure your partner is sexually satisfied” and “you are not allowed to say ‘no’ to sex.” Having sex after you have said ‘no’ literally causes a rate of PTSD higher than that of combat veterans. It is not the same thing as having to work late nights!

        • nydwracu says:

          Having one chance to find the one person to spend the rest of your life with may fewer problems, but by crikey it is one big problem.

          http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/05/are-arranged-marriages-better/

          (low sample size, but…)

          If you mistakenly make a big promise in good faith, realize you can’t fulfill it, and own up to your mistake you do not deserve social opprobrium.

          The traditional view is that marriages are contracts, not just promises, isn’t it?

          You notice parents doing this today with children and media exposure.

          Sometimes for better reason than what you give — my parents did this when I was growing up, but out of concern for socialization / the values implied in the media (my father banned the Simpsons because he said it glorified stupidity), and now I think that they were right to do so — and they didn’t go anywhere near far enough, and could’ve saved me a lot of effort if they’d been stricter about it.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Nydwracu

            You could actually interpret this study as supporting the modern Western method of marrying, divorcing, marrying again and so on. Instead of starting at 70 and falling to 40 you start at 70, get divorced when it falls, and then reset and go back at 70.

            I don’t know whether that would balance out the brief massive unhappiness the divorce proceedings cause, but it seems quite possible. Plus if we spread this research we could start encouraging people to marry for love, divorce amicably once interest starts to fade, and marry for love again! 🙂

        • Piano says:

          @ozy
          I totally forgot to mention that “rape” within a marriage is not grounds for divorce, so you’d better have another correct reason (excessive violence?), and yet another good reason for bringing it up during foreplay/sex.

          You’re totally allowed to do a variety of things to temperarily discourage your wife/husband from having sex with you, but your wife/husband, if in their right mind, are allowed to disregard that.

          If such things happen, work to fix the marriage so they don’t, and so that you can both actually enjoy each other.

          If sex with your husband/wife, however “non-consentual” (but with no other violence involved), is comparable to being shellshocked, then A) why the fuck did you marry each other and B) bullshit.

          Also, remember that whatever technicalities of Christian marriage you don’t agree with, a society with it is a clear net-positive over a society without it.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah

          The point of sex is to have children and the join husband and wife as one for the purpose of continuing to raise them. Sex for the explicit purpose of pleasure, in any form, is a perversion of that (in that it’s a terrible misdirection of a sacred type of action), and pegging is obviously explicitly for pleasure.

          If the divorce as actually the husband’s fault (e.g. he beat her), then it’s right for her to get the children, alimony, and the community’s full support in raising her now-fatherless children. That’s what used to happen, albeit divorce was obviously rarer so this wasn’t that much of a concern.

          Ah, I should qualify. Social suicide for breaking marriage. Temperary but extreme disapproval for missing a deadline (as usual). Social punishment scales appropriately with the significance of the promise broke. The point stands that marriage is significant and that if you cause divorce, you should expect to lose your children and all your social support structures.

          There’s a simple solution to that society: only make promise you are damn sure you can keep. People today make promises willy nilly. If they were actually enforced (i.e. formalism), then attitudes would appropriately adjust.

          > But again, since they are only interested in results that are visible to them

          Nope. You also want a great legacy that lives on in your decendents. Most of those decendents you will hopefully not see (assuming a lifespan of 80ish years).
          Also, yeah, your parents suffered for you, you should “suffer” a bit for them. Being an adult is hard.

          > TV
          If you let your kids watch TV, you don’t matter, so whatever.

          Curated media is a gift to the child…

          > childbearing

          That’s because lots of conservative prosocial behaviors are not allowed today. The KKK is a prosocial, community-oriented organization, but in order to save face, many conservatives who would love to be part of ethnicity-centric organizations are unable to. The Cathedral (or whatever) has destroyed non-liberals ability to form community. It’s not the work of conservatives. Conservatives have a stronger sense of disgust and of ingroup/outgroup, so if we’d fucking let them have their ingroup, they’d show us how community is done, but we won’t, so they don’t. And then we blame it on them. Wonderful.

          > The conservative notion that liberals live in the now and are unconcerned with the future of civilization is a baseless stereotype, much in the same way the liberal stereotype that conservatives are all racists is baseless.

          1. The stereotype is not baseless, and 2. Being racist is nothing to be ashamed about. Both are true, but only the first is an insult.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            >The point of sex is to have children and the join husband and wife as one for the purpose of continuing to raise them. Sex for the explicit purpose of pleasure, in any form, is a perversion of that (in that it’s a terrible misdirection of a sacred type of action), and pegging is obviously explicitly for pleasure.

            The point of sex is whatever the person having it wants it to be. Only thinking beings have “purposes.” Objects and activities do not. Purposes are something we assign to activities, not the other way around.

            Morally speaking, any activity that satisfies a nonmaliciouis preference is moral and anyone that thwarts it is immoral (all other things being equal). So it’s immoral to stop people from having sex for pleasure if they would prefer to and moral to help them do so.

            >The point stands that marriage is significant and that if you cause divorce, you should expect to lose your children and all your social support structures.

            Again, under some circumstances that seems like a disproportional punishment motivated by vindictiveness. Only a short-sighted or desperate person would ever get married under such a system.

            >There’s a simple solution to that society: only make promise you are damn sure you can keep.

            No one can ever be 100% sure of anything, so that would mean no one would ever make any promises ever.

            >Also, yeah, your parents suffered for you, you should “suffer” a bit for them.

            On the other hand, you could argue that your parents are responsible for creating all your desires in the first place. Imagine someone forcibly gets you addicted to heroin and then works hard to give you heroin. You wouldn’t say “You suffered to get me heroin, so now I’ll do what you want.” Of course, this line of reasoning leads to antinatalism, which is also kind of crazy.

            >Being an adult is hard.

            Telling someone to give up something pleasurable is a great way to fake maturity. Since mature people often give up something pleasurable to achieve a greater good, you can sometimes trick people into thinking they’re mature by encouraging them to give up something pleasurable for a lesser good. But they’re not mature, they’re just stupid.

            Making yourself miserable and unhappy does not make you mature. Acting like a stereotypical adult does not make you mature. Being an adult can be hard, but putting hardships on yourself for no good reason doesn’t make you an adult, it makes you a pretentious child.

            >If you let your kids watch TV, you don’t matter, so whatever.

            Replace TV with books or any other media it’s the same difference. And TV is awesome, most of the arguments against it are junk science by people who are trying to signal that they have higher social status than the TV watching plebeians.

            >Curated media is a gift to the child…

            Most parents are paranoid lunatics when it comes to media. Children can handle pretty much anything the media dishes out.

            >That’s because lots of conservative prosocial behaviors are not allowed today. The KKK is a prosocial, community-oriented organization, but in order to save face, many conservatives who would love to be part of ethnicity-centric organizations are unable to.

            We have church groups, rotary clubs, the boy scouts, groups of sports fans, etc.

            Few conservatives would ever want to be part of an ethnicity-centric organization, certainly not the KKK. They realized that liberals were right and racism was wrong and ethnicity is not a morally worthy way to associate. Anti-racism has basically been incorporated as a part of conservatism now.

            >Conservatives have a stronger sense of disgust and of ingroup/outgroup, so if we’d fucking let them have their ingroup, they’d show us how community is done, but we won’t, so they don’t.

            If you’re referring to Haidt’s moral foundations, what it shows is that some, conservatives tend to have such a strong hatred for those who disgust them and such a strong loyalty to ingroups that they delude themselves into thinking behaviors that harm outgroups and harm people who gross them out are moral. It’s like a person who betrays a coworker at the office and convinces themselves that their victim was a horrible person who had it coming. These conservatives (who do not represent all conservatives, mind you) don’t differ morally from liberal, they just pervert morality so that they can deceive themselves into thinking their immoral behavior is okay.

            Besides, we let them have plenty of other organizations (not that they’d want the KKK anyway) and they aren’t any better than liberals. Churches, clubs, etc do okay, but they’re nothing spectacular.

            >1. The stereotype is not baseless, and 2. Being racist is nothing to be ashamed about. Both are true, but only the first is an insult.

            It is baseless. Most conservatives are not racist. Activists succeeded in convincing them that racism is wrong and conservatives owned up to their mistake. I think the Flynn effect may be partly responsible too, as people got smarter they started to see through the self deceptions that convinced them that racism was okay.

            As for whether racism is something to be ashamed of, I would say that racists are a lot like pedophiles, as long as they don’t act on their urge to do evil to other people and recognize the things they want to do are immoral they have nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, racism is objectively worse in terms of the level of harm it has done, but that is water under the bridge at this point and the racists of the present aren’t morally responsible for the sins of the racists of the past.

        • ozymandias says:

          According to NISVS, 62.6% of women who were raped in an intimate relationship experienced at least one symptom of PTSD. Obviously, far fewer people contract PTSD than have a single symptom of it, but I think it still serves to indicate that rape within an intimate relationship is deeply distressing and possibly not something that we as a culture should be encouraging.

          I mean, I have no intention of marrying anyone who wants to rape me (nor do I wish to rape anyone), but given that I am deeply puzzled why it is important to reactionaries. From my perspective, it’s sort of like saying “it is integrally important to marriage that you should be allowed to break your partner’s bones! It is horrible that progressives have destroyed our long tradition of breaking bones in marriage!”

          Also while catholic sexual ethics do teach that non-procreative sex is immoral, me and the Wife of Bath are somewhat skeptical about how much that descended to the general population.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah

          People, especially women, are unable to love as much (or at all) in successive relationships. That would be a pretty quick cycle, if you didn’t fall out of it entirely. And what about the kids and the stability that they need?

        • Piano says:

          @ozy
          I ctrl-f-ed for “Post” and “PTSD”, but didn’t find anything.

          There are ton’s of symptoms of PTSD, many more than one of which is required to be diagnosed. So, I’m not buying it.

          Why the focus on rape? That’s a question you should ask yourself rather than us. Just because it’s a point of contention, doesn’t mean it’s our side’s intention for it to be a contention.

          Why does it matter, though? Marriage matters, sex is integral to marriage, and thus the criteria for continuing or ending a marriage, particularly those related to sex, matter. The concept of long-term consent is intuitive to me, because it clearly supports civilization and order.

          Breaking bones is violence, and is in no way integral towards marriage. The closest thing I can think of is Jews and circumcision, which is violent and unnecessary and yet they’re passionate about it, at least enough to keep the tradition. It’s more a tradition for the sake of the tradition (stupid), rather than tradition for the sake of order and civilization and the future (yay).

        • ADifferentAnonymous says:

          @Ozy: That was a pretty horrible and idiotic generalization I made, but the point I was trying to get at is that, to my understanding, unwanted heterosexual sex for a man is typically nothing like unwanted heterosexual sex for a woman. Don’t know if we have PTSD numbers on this.

          If I imagine what it would be like if a woman could demand sex from me, it seems… not quite traumatic. Whereas if I imagine a man being able to demand sex from me, or a woman being able to peg me, my feelings seem much more in line with how women tend to feel about unwanted sex.

          @piano There are a lot of humans who can’t accurately give extended consent. Sometimes, they just won’t be in the mood, no matter how attracted they generally are to their partner. It’s an empirical fact that being required to have sex at such a time is generally horrible. They will not find a person such that there will not be times it would be traumatic to have sex with them. I believe this class of people includes basically all straight women. You say that if sex with your spouse can ever be traumatic you shouldn’t be married. I reply that this is exactly why no one should ever be married by your definition of marriage. (But I think you’re making an implicit assumption that if you put a little effort into finding the right person you’ll probably find someone it’s always okay to have sex with. I’m saying this assumption is false. Let me know if you concur that this is the crux of our disagreement.)

          You compare having to fulfill a marital contract in this way to having to fulfill an employment contract by working late. To make the analogy line up, you would first have to replace working late with something traumatically awful. Then your proposal would be equivalent to establishing that all employment contracts allow the employer to demand that you do this awful thing at any time. (Granted, being unemployed and being unmarried are not identical, but if you’re banning extramarital relationships then making something a precondition of marriage is pretty coercive to most people).

        • Piano says:

          @ADifferentAnonymous
          “Traumatic” is relative. Seeing your friend get shot is in a different territory than having sex with your husband when you’re “too tired”. I profess you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

          If sex is that bad, become a nun, or travel and figure out if you’re just not compatible with the men in your area. The “traumatically awful thing” is getting your shit in on time, no matter what that shit is and no matter what else you and other people in your life would rather you be doing, and yeah, that’s how it works, especially in more corporate environments.

        • Nick T says:

          Ghatanathoah:

          Morally speaking, any activity that satisfies a nonmaliciouis preference is moral and anyone that thwarts it is immoral.

          This works really badly in the presence of external costs.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Nick T

            >This ignores the possibility of externalities,

            I edited to add “all other things being equal.” Thanks for catching that.

        • Piano says:

          @ADifferentAnonymous
          “Traumatic” is relative. Seeing your friend get shot is in a different territory than having sex with your husband when you’re “too tired”. I profess you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

          If sex is that bad, become a nun, or travel and figure out if you’re just not compatible with the men in your area. The “traumatically awful thing” is getting your shit in on time, no matter what that shit is and no matter what else you and other people in your life would rather you be doing, and yeah, that’s how it works, especially in more corporate environments.

          @Ghatanathoah
          You’re right on morals and purpose. I should have said “Christian morals” and “Biblical/Christian purpose” or “That’s what people should think is it’s purpose, and probably would in a more traditional society, because that’s what works.”

          > Only a short-sighted or desperate person would ever get married under such a system.
          Or a person who knew they were going to work their damndest to make the marriage work and raise awesome children.

          > 100%
          “Pretty damn sure” means whatever is reasonable for the situation at hand. Not 100%. And because it’s not 100% you can make calculations and tradeoffs.

          > Heroin
          If you feel that way about your parents, then you don’t owe them anything, but then think about your own future grandchildren. Most people don’t feel that way about their parents.

          > Telling someone to give up something pleasurable is a great way to fake maturity.
          And it’s also the metacontrarian truth.

          > But they’re not mature, they’re just stupid.
          If they aren’t actually achieving a greater good, then yeah, fuck the losers. But children and a better world are greater goods, so traditional parents are probably not stupid.

          > putting hardships on yourself for no good reason doesn’t make you an adult, it makes you a pretentious child.
          If you see no good reason to “struggle” your way to an approximately-awesome family, then please don’t impede those who do.

          > TV
          I agree with Nydwracu that I would have appreciated a lot more curation of my media consumption as a child. If anyone here who children of their own feels differently (or some other sensible barometer for actual maturity), then please speak up, because I think such a position is rediculous.

          > KKK
          For hilarity, please ask someone who prides themselves on their conservativism if they “realized that liberals were [correct]”.

          > Disgust
          I mean that conservatives are more easily disgusted by things, and when the things they they disgust are people, those people are probably the outgroup.

          > Other community
          Head over to Dalrock to see how “conservative” churches are doing. Hint: they’ve all been coopted by liberals and feminists.

          > Flynn and racism
          Wut.

          > Racism
          Racism is a (correct) interpretation of the science of human biodiversity. Pedophelia is the desire to fuck little kids. These things are different…

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            >Or a person who knew they were going to work their damndest to make the marriage work and raise awesome children.

            No matter how hard they worked they would never live up to the standards of the system I think you are proposing.

            >If you feel that way about your parents, then you don’t owe them anything,

            I don’t feel that way about my parents, but I wanted to point out that there are good counterarguments to the idea that you owe your parents for what they did for you. I personally feel that instead of trying to figure out who owes who we should just assume neither owes the other anything and be utilitarian about it. If a sacrifice by the parents benefits the children more than it harms the parents (or vice versa) it’s good, if it doesn’t it’s bad.

            >But children and a better world are greater goods, so traditional parents are probably not stupid.

            Yes, but our society is wealthy enough and smart enough now that we can probably get the same parenting results with less sacrifice. Expecting parents to make the same amount of sacrifice that parents in the past did may be counterproductive. In fact if anything parents are probably sacrificing too much, making huge investments in their children with little payoff. Google “helicopter parents.”

            >If you see no good reason to “struggle” your way to an approximately-awesome family, then please don’t impede those who do.

            I see plenty good reason to do so. But I also see good reason to do some research and planning first to see if maybe there’s some way to get the same results without as much struggle. Trying to find a way to get the same results with less effort is not immature.

            >I agree with Nydwracu that I would have appreciated a lot more curation of my media consumption as a child.

            I loved television. I loved books more, but I loved television. Every Saturday I would watch TV from 6am to 12pm and would not budge for anything. I still look back on it very fondly and find that a lot of the cartoons I watched made me more imaginative and thoughtful (although it may be that my penchant for overanalysis caused them to have more pronounced effect on me.

            My parents did curate my media, probably more than the average parents. In retrospect I realize that it caused me to miss out on some fun things, like console games and the Simpsons. Their curation grew weaker with each child, each of my 3 siblings got more media exposure than I did. As a result of that my youngest brother is….also a fairly intellectual and thoughtful person who reads a lot and develops scholarly interests in things.

            >For hilarity, please ask someone who prides themselves on their conservativism if they “realized that liberals were [correct]“.

            I don’t think they’ll say that explicitly, but they will acknowledge that racism was wrong. Racism died out astoundingly fast in the USA. I think it’s analogous to the way liberals realized conservatives were right about socialism being terrible. Both sides were persuaded by events and by the opposing side, but don’t want to admit it.

            >I mean that conservatives are more easily disgusted by things, and when the things they they disgust are people, those people are probably the outgroup.

            I agree with you. I just believe that acting on such disgust is usually harmful and immoral and that instead of coming up with rationalizations for why it isn’t they should just admit it. If you want to see your neighbor naked you shouldn’t come up with all sorts of reason why it isn’t immoral to install cameras in her air ducts, you should just admit your desire is harmful if acted on and not do it.

            >Head over to Dalrock to see how “conservative” churches are doing. Hint: they’ve all been coopted by liberals and feminists.

            In the parts of Michigan I used to live in there were lots of organizations with conservative values that were doing just fine last time I checked.

            >Racism is a (correct) interpretation of the science of human biodiversity. Pedophelia is the desire to fuck little kids. These things are different…

            Okay, this might be another semantic issue. I consider racism the normative position that states:

            1. It is totally okay to inflict massive harms on people of other races in order to gain comparatively small benefits for your race.
            2. Other races deserve your hatred, regardless of how they behave.
            3. We should force people of different races to not socialize even if they want to.
            This is obviously wrong. Anyone who acts on these beliefs and desires should be ashamed of themselves.

            You seem to consider racism to be believing in certain research that says the comparative average cognitive abilities of different races differ in some ways. I agree that that is another common definition of racism in our culture, but I don’t think it is as common or as important as the one I used. I personally am far more skeptical of that cognitive science research than you, but if you believe it honestly and in good faith you need not feel ashamed.

        • nydwracu says:

          You could actually interpret this study as supporting the modern Western method of marrying, divorcing, marrying again and so on. Instead of starting at 70 and falling to 40 you start at 70, get divorced when it falls, and then reset and go back at 70.

          I call troll.

          Most parents are paranoid lunatics when it comes to media. Children can handle pretty much anything the media dishes out.

          You’re thinking “sex and violence”, not “subtle patterns leading to decidedly suboptimal socialization”. Stop doing that. There’s sex and violence, and then there’s “lack of concern for physical appearance signals intelligence”, or “if you don’t have casual sex you’re a boring idiot square and if you don’t have lots of casual sex you’re low-status”, or “there are two kinds of people, nerds and jocks, and the two are eternally opposed and hate each other forever and it is impossible to be intelligent without avoiding physical activity”, or “all men are either Bart, Homer, or Ned Flanders, and it’s okay to be lazy and stupid because everything magically works out in the end”.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @nydwracu

            >I call troll.

            I wasn’t trying to troll, just pointing out you can draw a conclusion from that study other than that arranged marriage is good.

            >You’re thinking “sex and violence”, not “subtle patterns leading to decidedly suboptimal socialization”.

            I’m think most of those patterns are already present in society, television tends to base its tropes on real life, not the other way around (there are a few harmless exceptions, like disco). I think you’d have to totally cut someone off from society itself to stop them from being exposed to those things and I don’t think television aggravates that exposure terribly.

            For instance, I’m pretty associating sexual promiscuity with high status has been around since literally the dawn of humanity. And I don’t think nerdy stereotypes made nerds hate physical activity and dress funny. I think that those are side effects of having a nerdy personality type.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah
          IF parents work hard at the right things, and society supports them in that, then families will work.

          You owe your parents approximately what your children will owe you. Your desire for the success of your children’s marriages is the same desire that your parents have of you, and both should be respected. Duty exists, and “blood is thicker than water”, so these things shouldn’t be taken lightly in the name of some nebulous Equality or Fairness.

          Helicoptering isn’t sacrificing, it’s aging mothers with nothing to do seeking any validation they can. Husband today are pussies in general, and schools don’t have the authority anymore tell parents to fuck off when they start hovering, so no one has any power or agency except bored moms, and we know the kind of stuff that happens when a lot of women get bored (Feminism).

          You would have been better of doing something else rather than watching TV. Most of everyone would. Imagine having “overanalyzed” great literature and films etc. rather than late 20th century childrens cartoons.

          > I don’t think they’ll say that explicitly, but they will acknowledge that racism was wrong.
          Please actually go out and try this before continuing.

          Regarding disgust, recall Eliezer’s parabal about the iron being hot/cold and the proper emotion being stress/calm. Same thing, sometimes disgust is the proper emotion, and sometimes non-disgust is. Acting on your non-disgust is just as “bad” as acting on your disgust.

          Regarding churches, become a member of one today and you’ll see what’s happened.

          Regarding racism: I’m not sure how 1 is relevant; for 2 if other races are a minority in your community and/or if you were there first, and if it would be better for everyone if they moved over somewhere else with their own people, then it’s proper to encourage that; and 3 should probably be encouraged for people of IQ under 120 because it in general it sucks (and if your youth want to act like another ethnicity rather than their own, then something has gone terribly wrong, and it might have to do with immigration). If you live in a homogenous society, then there is no place for racist idiots (the majority of people, despite self-profession) to develop actionable racism, and things are peachy. More intelligent people can better cover up their inherent racism, and thus make inter-racial relations able to be conducted smoothly.

          (That brings up another cause of Liberalism. Those in the Cathedral are generally high-IQ and are able to cover-up their natural and beneficial prejudices, so then covering-up prejudice becomes a high-status, then after a few generations and some self-denial and some forgetting, “actually” having no prejudices becomes high status.)

          But yeah, racism is good and inherent and helps order and civilization. The trick is to minimize its negative effects and maximize the positive effects, hence ethnostates. This is what I mean by “taking human nature as granted, and building a society around that, rather than the other way around.”

        • von Kalifornen says:

          @Ialdabaoth: Subcultures that are on amicable terms with each other usually seem to be able to recognize and transfer each other’s status. People who are perceived as fitting the neckbeard stereotype often seem to expect that their status in a small and *highly* atypical subculture must transfer to *every* other subculture, and sometimes display aggrieved entitlement when this doesn’t happen. Esp. consider, say, video gaming where skill or knowledge is considered completely valueless outside the subculture, or people who expect their fashion choices to be respected. Honestly I think this is at the root of many of the common nerd social failings.

        • Multiheaded says:

          This fucking thread about rape is making my blood boil.

          I… *gulp*

          I am coming out as pangender.

          That’s right. I don’t fucking need to imagine how a woman could feel about rape, or patriarchy in general. All the horrible and omnipresent misogyny that I’ve seen in my life was against me directly, too, and I could never, ever say anything.

          Piano, you’re a rather horrible fucking person but I still wouldn’t wish upon you what you wish upon women!

          I’m fucking serious. I’ve been (also) a girl all along. I was so keen on denying this to myself because I didn’t want to be wrongly a pigeonholed as MtF – I’m a dude, I want to express some masculinity occasionally too, I’m attached to my genitals! – but at the same time I’m more than “effeminate”, I’m feminine.

          And I could never, ever, ever say anything. It all hurt me tremendously and I had to pass off my reaction as empathy and concern for others. But I’ve had a 100% selfish motivation in hating misogyny too. Now I want to say it publicly for the first time: it’s about me! It’s about me damn it! I exist, and I want to live as myself!

          I need a drink.

        • peterdjones says:

          @piano

          Your views on consent and rape are chilling. Does a blushing virgin bride know what her extended consent was consenting to?

          You have any evidence for the clear benefit of Christian marriage? Who gets sayin that?

          While were on the subject, where are the positive benefits of racism?

          PS you are very close to converting this former centrist to far left SJW hood.

        • Piano says:

          @peterdjones
          Check out some other explanations about extended/standing consent before you have such a reaction.

          http://ask.fm/AnarchoPapist/answer/112279401698

          http://www.biblestudy.org/question/can-husband-rape-wife.html

          http://www.christianlibrary.org/authors/Jeffrey_W_Hamilton/LVarticles/SpousalRape.htm

          Note that I don’t fully support it myself (in the abstract at least), and I’d probably be the first person to run off to the anarchocapitalist nation once it became stable, but spousal “rape” with minimal violence being legal is something that totally makes sense for a proper Western Christian nation.

          > Does a blushing virgin bride know what her extended consent was consenting to?
          Yeah, if not, her dad fucked up.

          > You have any evidence for the clear benefit of Christian marriage? Who gets sayin that?
          It’s the foundation of Western Christian societies…

          > While were on the subject, where are the positive benefits of racism?
          For one: people like people who are like them, thus allowing near-family-like (because a race is an extended family) levels of intimate communication, that are specific to races. Silencing racism and allowing multiculturalism means that people have a much harder time relating to each other. I think heartiste made a great post about this about a month ago, about people of different ethnicities sitting on public transit, but everyone being deathly silent and asocial. Obivously there are tons of other benefits, I’m not gonna look them all up.

          > PS you are very close to converting this former centrist to far left SJW hood.
          Anything is better than being a centrist; you’ll be more entertaining, too.

          @Multiheaded
          Regarding pangender: there are two kinds of people who are allowed to say that they are “pangender”: girls in middleschool (because they’re 13), and extremely smart individuals who abstain from being public about it.

          • Slow Learner says:

            I get the feeling both you and AnarchoPapist have a seriously flawed understanding of consent.
            I’ll just focus on his, if I may.
            He approaches consent in a sense where consent is given for some future period, like “I consent to have sex with you tonight”, or “I consent to have sex with you at any point in our marriage”.
            And here’s the rub: if consent really worked like that, marital consent really would just be an extended case of ordinary consent.
            However, consent is both specific and momentary. It is specific, in that one may consent to PIV sex but not anal, to kissing but not sex, etc. It is also specific in that one may consent to sex with this person, but not with that.
            And it is momentary. You may consent to being penetrated, then between one thrust and the next decide that you no longer consent. Once you communicate the change, it is on your partner to withdraw or commit rape.
            So I cannot now consent to have sex with my wife tonight. I may consent to kissing now, expecting us to have sex later, but just as one Parliament is not bound by the decisions of a prior Parliament and cannot itself bind the next, I cannot decide now that I will consent to have sex later and thus strip myself of the power to consent – or withdraw consent – later.

        • ozymandias says:

          Hey, Multi, welcome to Team Nonbinary. 😀 We should totally have welcome giftbaskets.

        • ADifferentAnonymous says:

          @Multiheaded If my attempt to head off men who can’t relate to female experiences was hurtful to a person-identified-by-society-as-a-man who can, I’m sorry. I look forward to your perspective in future comments! (This commentspace is where I learned that different perspectives really can be valuable, that’s not just a liberal applause light).

          @piano I disagree with the empirical assertion that unwanted sex is comparable to unwanted overtime work. For some people, including a lot of men, probably including me, and possibly including you, it is, but for probably most women it really isn’t.

          I’ve absorbed this assumption deeply enough that I’m not sure where to look for evidence I can present to you; I hope others here can do that better.

          @SlowLearner: Entirely true, but you’re sort winning the battle by definition; we still need to justify why we use that notion of consent rather than AP’s. I say this is because extended consent leads to lots of suffering due to the fact that lots of people simply can’t ever be sufficiently sure that sex won’t be terrible five minutes in the future, let alone twenty years.

        • Multiheaded says:

          @Ozy: thanks!

          @Anonymous: that’s totally fine! And yes, I will attempt to describe my perspective when commenting on sexism/misogyny in the future.

          @Piano: you’re attempting to delegitimize nonbinary genders in the same comment where you gleefully advocate legally raping and hurting women. Do you not see how being a cartoonish scumbag can backfire?

          P.S.: the racism stuff is really characteristic of many of your kind: a more sophisticated way to be an ignorant, fearful savage in the name of “preserving civilization”. My parents had a nation where multiculturalism worked really really well; for various reasons it was ruined. I can’t help but see racists as howling savages at the gates. The more pretentious, the more disgusting the howls.

        • Piano says:

          @Multiheaded
          Not delegitimize, just depublicize, especially w.r.t. children. Maintaining a sense of order and normalcy, even and especially when you yourself are disordered and/or not normal, should be expected.

          I’m not advocating rape, and especially not hurt/violence in general (see the my response to ozy’s broken bones comment).

        • Multiheaded says:

          @Piano

          Unlike pretentious middle-aged fascist nerds, children are generally flexible, imaginative and open-minded; they understand that “order and normalcy” are a social construct and easily accept ideas about gender different from a spurious fantasy of 1950s America.

          You don’t actually see women as human. You think they’re lying to you about their lives and experiences, and every woman writer who ever spoke out against marriage-as-slavery must be lying too. This is the only thing that allows you to pretend what you’re advocating is “not as bad” as rape.

        • Xycho says:

          This thread is actually slightly disturbing, so I’m glad there’s somewhere it could be discussed without becoming an outright flame war…

          However. Piano, you’re outmoded. That’s the most carefully chosen word I’ve used in a long time, I think. You talk about homosexuals, pangender individuals, and various other groups of human beings as if they have a duty to hide or downplay their beliefs and identities, so what I’m about to say isn’t an alien concept to you: what you are saying makes a lot of people very uncomfortable, and while I wouldn’t ever suggest that I have the privilege of telling you not to think it, you really, REALLY ought to keep it to yourself.

          Multiheaded, we shouldn’t live in a society where what you just did constitutes bravery, but it does. If we ever meet, I’ll buy you that drink.

          (Edit to add something on topic): I do believe in relationships where one partner is given the right to demand sex from the other, but they come with (not necessarily physical) contracts, agreement, and very much informed initial consent. There is also a nice, solid, safeword-shaped backing out clause if the demandee ever decides the relationship needs renegotiating. Same actually goes for breaking bones, as mentioned above, though that’s a bit less sane than is usually intended. Advocating a form of semi-permanent marriage (divorce is only recently not something attached to massive social stigma) where similar privileges are extended without such safeguards or full information is pretty close to advocating mind-control and abuse.

        • Piano says:

          @Multiheaded
          > children are generally flexible, imaginative and open-minded
          In other words, impressionable.

          > Social constuct
          Most things can be thought if as social constructs. Social constuct doesn’t mean “we can change it when we want”, and children should not be give the impression that it does.

          > Women
          Both women and men are fully human…
          I asked for clarification on PTSD stats; that’s not calling any one a lier. (If it is, then lesswrong hasn’t done anything for anyone).

          > marriage-as-slavery
          For both parties, marriage is a lot like slavery. Both parties voluntarily sell themselves into a a pseudo-slavery with each other, and that’s perfectly fine and actually awesome because of what comes out of that relationship.

          Slavery itself is just a social tool. Sometimes it’s the tool for the job, and sometimes it’s not.

          @Xycho

          > Outmoded: 1: not being in style; 2: no longer acceptable, current, or usable
          I’m assuming you mean the first one. That’s exactly right. Lesswrong, and by extention (I think) this blog is a safe space for people to discuss disturbing/uncomfortable things dispassionately. This conversation would be incredibly uncalled-for almost anywhere else, but here it’s fine and encouraged (Someone’s gotta do it, and if not the not the “rational” abstract thinkers, then whom?).

          It totally makes people uncomfortable, and that’s good. I think that my words are a net force towards civilization and order, rather than progressive disorder. If that’s not the case, then I’ve misspoken and I’d appreciate questions for clarification (as people have been doing).

          I’ll sort of break a point to serve as a case for it: I could totally be non-totally-cis/binary/het/etc. myself, and I would fully support the place that I was best fit for in a proper traditional neoreactionary society. The point is that I (hypothetically) choose to keep my mouth shut for the sake of children and the future of civilization, because I view that as much more important than the ability for me to fully express my own personal desires.

          I’d like to re-iterate that an LGBTopia might actually work (on a city-state level), and that if it did I would visit occasionally and be a good neighbor. But, right now, I’m putting most of my eggs into traditional Western Christian society.

        • Xycho says:

          @Piano: I meant it in both senses, actually; the general social response is so overwhelmingly negative that ‘generally unacceptable’ is valid.

          “because I view that as much more important than the ability for me to fully express my own personal desires.”

          Ah, OK. We have a perfect values inversion, then. Partly because self-expression and resistance to nonconsensual enforced change in personality (expressed or otherwise) are at the top of my personal morality tree, but also since I view chaos and heterogeneity as being aesthetically pleasing (occasionally morally questionable, and generally discomfiting, but aesthetically pleasing and desirable nonetheless).

          That’s not even touching on the fact that apparently you’re invoking a deity into the issue (unless by ‘Western Christian’ you mean ‘Western traditional Christian-style’), which puts it so far outside my ability to model your mind I don’t know where to begin. I view religion, both organised and disorganised, with approximately the same level of confusion as you might experience if you encountered a community who informed you they believed that the UN is entirely staffed by talking chlorine-breathing lizardmen in suits.

        • Piano says:

          @Xycho

          Don’t invoke values, that’s stupid and dangerous http://nyansandwich.info/values.html, and don’t talk about aesthetics unless you think they trump morality.

          I mean “Western Christian” quite literally, deity and all. But that doesn’t mean that I myself believe in a deity. My personal beliefs may be entirely different than those which are best for society and which I will support.

          If you’re confused about something, that’s your fault and you should search for the most convincing argument for it. That’s what I did. I wasn’t convinced of the veracity, yet, but of the efficacy and degree to which it’s actually a great force for civlization and order.

          I would entirely support that community, if it meant they’d support my newly-minted pet war against the UN. If I could send off 1000 IQ80 rednecks to the NYC UN center, all screaming “Die Lizard Scum! Die Lizard Scum!”, that would be hilarious and might actually start off the most significant “progress” towards sane politics in centuries.

          Beliefs are tools. If you inflict your own personal whims on others, you’re a tool. If you’re a good little machine elf during the day, then we can party during the night that is singularity on the DMT that is transcendence, but it’s 10:20am and you’re acting like you quit smoking a week ago so shut the fuck up and help me with this proposal for that big client this afternoon.

        • ADifferentAnonymous says:

          I don’t think it’s useful to tell piano he doesn’t consider women human, since I’m pretty sure it feels to him like he considers them human.

          To try to actually reach you… Piano, if I agree to perform a similar soul-search that you specify, will you make an honest effort to discern whether your reasoning about psychology of consent is motivated by convenience?

          That is, most of us on this thread are telling you that extended-consent marriage would frequently lead to sex-that-has-the-same-terrible-psychological-effects-as-rape-whether-or-not-you-call-it-that. This is a consensus belief in the modern world. I don’t know exactly what evidence or logic leads you to this conclusion.

          But in some of your arguments I see glimpses of the notion that the state of affairs we claim would be too messy. That is, people must mostly be able to make long-term judgments that someone will be ok to have sex with, because it would be inconvenient/messy/impossible to organize society/etc. otherwise.

          I suspect this error in your epistemology, and so I ask you to look for it, with the understanding that if this error is present it should be corrected, with a Litany-of-Tarski attitude that if your thinking is biased in this way, you want to discover that it is biased in this way.

          As I said, I offer repayment in kind. Let me know if you accept my deal.

        • Piano says:

          @ADifferentAnonymous
          Of course it’fs motivated by “convenience”. Order and survival sometimes requires squickily ignoring peoples feelings.

          My main point is that a society with Christian marriage is better than one without. The negatives that come with Christian marriage, whatever you think they are, pale in comparison to the negatives that you get by not supporting it. If the survival of western civilization requires husbands and wives to be in your view “sub-human” (I disagree, obviously), then so be it. Grit your teath and make it as pleasant as possible, but don’t go ignoring the main comparison and then tell me that you’re the rightious one.

          Lets get actual data on actual-PTSD-via-sex of societies with Christian (or at least traditional) marriage vs those without.

          Yes, inconvenient/messy/impossible/disordered/eventually-suicidal/etc. It’s not an error.

          If, ceterus peribus, Christian marriage in a society leads towards a higher rate of actual-PTSD-via-sex, then I desire to believe that that is true, if it leads towards a lower rate than I desire to believe that that is true. Currently I think Christian marriage comes out way on top, even if every not-exactly-enthusiastically-consentual sex act during marriage resulted in full-blown PTSD.

          If the difference in rates of actual-PTSD-via-sex tips the total balances “current and future total/average/whatever/etc. awesomeness for humankind/conscious-beings/whatever/etc.” into Universalism/Progressivism’s favor, and out of neoreaction’s, then I desire to believe that that is so. I think it’s ludicrous to imaging that the scales are so close that the rate would make a difference.

        • Xycho says:

          Hm. Thank you for that link, it was rather interesting. I stand by what I said, though: we really do want fundamentally incompatible things. I do not believe that neoradicalists are likely to achieve much of a position on the world stage, or I would be actively working against them/you, as the results of a successful attempt at applying NR principles to any portion of civilisation greater than a family or two would render the world either extremely dull (if it were to be fully successful in removing conflict) or impossible to move freely within without rapidly switching apparent beliefs (if I am not a neo-nazi, and the neo-nazis hold Hawaii, how do I go to see Mauna Loa?). Many of the things in which you believe are orthogonal to the factors present in the world which I most enjoy. For example:

          – Order in social situations – This bugs me aesthetically (chaos and confusion are considerably more fun), morally (implies heavy social-contract style manipulation of individuals) and practically (people just don’t work like that unless you really hammer at them).

          – Traditional gender roles in marriage – again, aesthetically boring, psychologically questionable (just the length of the thread above indicates the degree to which trying to re-institutionalise this would cause distress to all parties), and either has to be enforced, limiting emotional expression, or not enforced in which case the reality would very rapidly dissociate from the theory.

          – Separation by ideology – tends to result in more, not less, conflict. It might actually be quite interesting to see the result of this, but if you’re going for stable, ‘concentrate all the crazies and prevent evaporative cooling by exclusion of members thus tarred from everywhere else’ is probably not the way to go about it.

          – Nonconsensual nonconsensual [sic] sex within marriage, and similar implied socially enforced slavery-type situations – Morally bugs me in the queasy way that suggests I need new vocabulary for specific sorts of ‘wrong’. Aesthetically distasteful; it’s predictable and grubby.

          I do indeed believe that aesthetics trump morality (though isn’t that really a moral position, somewhat extinguishing itself?) – I will cheerfully do or countenance things I believe to be wrong if I also believe them to be interesting or entertaining, but not if they are merely productive or useful. Consequently I’d fully support you in your use of the exemplary redneck community, as I agree it would be hilarious to watch, but not only would it be wrong to manipulate people in such a manner, you pretty much entirely missed the point of that example which is that the mindset that would produce such a belief is essentially opaque.

          I have gone looking for evidence for God. Then I went looking for deities in general, having concluded that I didn’t much care for the Judeo-Christian sort of god anyway. I have found nothing, in any scripture or myth, that I have been able to subject to attempted falsification. Nor, as far as I can tell, has anyone else. I have tried with ESP, multiple fields of psychokinesis, anything I could find that would provide evidence of the supernatural, because I would dearly love to be superman. Nothing. Unless I or someone else can reproducibly strap it to a slab and dissect it, metaphorically speaking, it doesn’t exist, so until the Randi prize is successfully claimed by a cleric I will continue to regard the religious and spiritual with tolerant confusion.

          I would be rather pleased to encounter a deity, though I would do my utmost to ensure that the encounter was terminal for it (would you willingly let a being powerful enough for the description of ‘god’ to apply continue to exist, given the current state of the universe?) Thus I find that I cannot form a model of a mind which A: believes that a deity exists, and B: believes that given A, the correct response is obedience rather than deicide.

          I don’t understand your last paragraph. I don’t smoke, and I’m not sure what relevance it has.

        • ADifferentAnonymous says:

          I think you misunderstand my charge of motivated epistemology. I’m not ‘accusing’ you of wanting a society that actually works, that’s obvious. I’m suggesting that you’re assigning higher probabilities to more convenient possibilities, that is, engaging in (the subtler, probabilistic version of) “organizing society would be hard if these claims are true, therefore the claims must be false”.

          And now you claim that your ideal of a Christian society is independent of how bad unwanted marital sex is. Have you considered ways to try to get the benefits of Christian marriage while reducing the unwanted sex? If you haven’t made a real effort, you aren’t taking the possible harm here seriously. (And I can think of two potential improvements off the top of my head which you may not agree with but really ought to have at least considered, even given your assumptions).

          But I also see that Christian marriage is only part of our disagreement–you consider liberal civilization either impossible or unthinkably horrible, whereas I think it’s pretty promising. I have little to add to that debate here, though.

        • Piano says:

          @ADifferentAnonymous
          “organizing society would be hard if these claims are true, therefore the claims must be false”.
          Which claims, specifically?

          “Have you considered ways to try to get the benefits of Christian marriage while reducing the unwanted sex?”
          Yeah, things like men and women planning for marriage since childhood, so they know what’s up; and training men to be masculine and women to be feminine, so mutual attraction lasts much longer than between, say, the androgynous “men and women” of today. Christian marriage inherently does a ton of stuff to bring husband and wife amicably together, as that’s the entire point, to make “one flesh” and raise a family together.

          @Xycho
          People are attracted to aesthetics that “work” for them. If you were in a society that formally and effectively ordered, then “order” would be your aesthetic. If you stopped believing that the current disordered system “worked”, you’d change your aesthetics on a dime. I had a great aesthetic shift when I finally “got” neoreaction.

          So, your aesthetics don’t matter. At all. They’re whimsical and will change depending on your environment.

          Institutionalizing or re-institutionalizing anything makes at least someone distressed. So, pissing a particular person off is irrelevant.

          Replaces crazies with “intelligent neoreactionaries” and that’s essentially the plan, in the form of a university, and that model has a storied history of success.

          I bet nonconsensual sex outside of marriage also bugs you.

          Beliefs opaque? So what?

          If you spent the entire time looking for something falsifiable, you wasted a lot of time. God is not about evidence, it’s a manifestation of a particular feeling. I haven’t been able to feel it, that’s all.

          The last paragraph was a metaphor of you being antsy and picky about things largely beside the point/project of somehow making humanity survive another generation closer to the singularity, which will hopefully be worth it.

        • blacktrance says:

          What’s the point of saving Western civilization if it means it’ll be reactionary? It’s not worth saving, in that case.

        • Piano says:

          @blacktrance
          Why not?

          Remember, I’m not a neoreactionary, more of a pre-negentropist (conveniently), I just think a neoreactionary framework is our best shot at preventing social-level x-risks before the singularity.

        • blacktrance says:

          Because the good things about Western civilization are individualism, personal autonomy, rationality, empiricism, those sorts of things. That’s not to say that Western civilization is entirely comprised of them – it’s not a monolith. But if preserving the other things requires cutting back on or throwing away these good things, then it’s not worth it – it’s not just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it’s throwing the baby away to preserve the bathwater.

        • Piano says:

          @blacktrance
          Right. That’s not all of Western Civilizaiton. What you’re describing is ancapistan, which is where most of the rest of my eggs are placed. Still totally reactionary, but will most definitely work only for an intelligent population (which requires economic versions of some neoreactionary morality/policy, e.g. some sort of de facto immigration policy rather than a de jure one.)

        • blacktrance says:

          By “individualism” I mean not only political individualism but individualism in social norms as well. People being treated as individuals, rather than as members of a race, gender, or caste, people not owing anything to anyone simply because of membership in a group (like the groups “family”, “parents”, “fellow citizens”…), etc.

        • Piano says:

          @blacktrance
          That’s still ancapistan, where you can choose to have no thedes or social ties, except for money, and still thrive, if you’re smart enough (which you most definitely are). Most people don’t want to fully give up their thedes and social ties, so something which respects that, e.g. a more traditional society, makes a lot more sense.

        • Xycho says:

          @Piano: That’s an unfounded assertion and one which I firmly believe to be false. I do not believe that a disordered society ‘works’ – it’s confusing, and distressing, and inefficient, and much, much more fun to watch than an ordered one. I do not include living until the singularity, or humanity doing so, in my interests; if humanity seems likely to still exist after my death I shall be mildly disappointed. (Thank you for clarifying that that is your actual goal, by the way. It helped explain a lot about your previous expressed preferences – you’re looking for long-term survival and stability, while I’m hoping for TOTWAWKI before the end of this century, as I do not believe that immortality is possible and I’d rather not exist in the middle of human history).

          I am less bothered by rape outside marriage (which is essentially just one pinnacle of violence) than I am about rape within marriage (which has overtones of mind-control and repetitiveness). Both are irredeemably unpleasant, but the latter is more disturbing.

        • Piano says:

          “I do not include living until the singularity, or humanity doing so, in my interests; if humanity seems likely to still exist after my death I shall be mildly disappointed.”

          So you’re openly suicidal about humanity and civilization. No one should ever listen to anything you have to say regarding any of this, ever again. (Side note: Holy Shit. Really??) I think that’s fair and reasonable.

          “I’m hoping for TOTWAWKI before the end of this century, as I do not believe that immortality is possible and I’d rather not exist in the middle of human history.”
          So, you’re openly a selfish bastard why would put his own silly fucking aesthetic preferences above the lives of billions of people. On behalf of seven billion living people and possibly trillions of future living people: fuck off and die.

          Considering that I only have the emotional capacity of a single person, there is literally no possible way for me to overract at you, and everything I’m saying is at least nine orders of magnitude more polite than it could/should be able to be.

          If you and everyone who thought like you committed suicide, then regardless of the pain and suffering of all your friends and families, it would be better for humanity than if you kept on living and publically speaking your views.

          “I am less bothered by rape outside marriage (which is essentially just one pinnacle of violence) than I am about rape within marriage (which has overtones of mind-control and repetitiveness). Both are irredeemably unpleasant, but the latter is more disturbing.”
          Again, fuck your aesthetics, and your desire to make impossible calculations that could help drastically improve humanity. At least pretend you care, throw in a “PTSD” or “Trauma” or even “Utility”, but get out of your own fucking head and your own feelings, and start thinking of actually walking in other people’s shoes (and you guys lecture ME on empathy, really??).

          If you’re on this blog, then you’re obviously smart enough to have at least some non-negligable effect on the future of humanity. If the effect you bring to the table is a negative one in greater magnitude then the emotional suffering of a few dozen people, the please kill yourself.

          If I’m mistaken (likeliest mistake is misinterpreting TEOTWAWKI), then please clarify, but this is fucking ridiculous.

        • Xycho says:

          “So you’re openly suicidal about humanity and civilization. No one should ever listen to anything you have to say regarding any of this, ever again. (Side note: Holy Shit. Really??) I think that’s fair and reasonable.
          So, you’re openly a selfish bastard why would put his own silly fucking aesthetic preferences above the lives of billions of people. On behalf of seven billion living people and possibly trillions of future living people: fuck off and die.
          If you’re on this blog, then you’re obviously smart enough to have at least some non-negligable effect on the future of humanity. If the effect you bring to the table is a negative one in greater magnitude then the emotional suffering of a few dozen people, the please kill yourself.”

          Suicidal? No. There’s a big difference between throwing someone onto the train tracks, and standing back to watch when you come across them already tied down.
          Perhaps you can follow my chain of thought:

          1 – I believe that given the direction the human race seems to be taking, we are more likely than not to experience near-total extinction (the end of the world as we know it) within the next millenium. UFAI, nuclear war, asteroid impact, virulent disease… there are plenty of options.
          2 – I believe that I am unlikely to live to the end of this millenium, particularly not awake.
          3 – I do not experience grief, or at least nothing which matches the description given by others.
          4 – I DO experience culture-scale schadenfreude.
          5 – As we are the only sentient species in the universe, as far as we can tell, our ceasing to exist will be one of the most important and interesting events imaginable, so I would REALLY like to be there when it happens.
          6 – Therefore I am somewhat invested in everyone who has enough leverage in terms of money or intelligence to make a difference, including myself, backing well off and just waiting to see what happens if nobody is steering the ship.

          I recall a character in one of Alicorn’s fictions having a conversation along the lines of “When did you decide you had the job of saving the world?” – “When I realised nobody else was doing it.”
          All that is necessary is for nobody to make that leap.

          If we hit the singularity, chances are 5 will literally never happen. (I assign a >90% probability that most of the research resources of any post-Singularity civilisation would be focussed on preventing the eventual heat death of the universe, or whichever alternative proves most likely). Moreover, it is strongly implied that I would be forbidden from subsequently simulating the event (I might find myself edited not to even want to).

          “Again, fuck your aesthetics, and your desire to make impossible calculations that could help drastically improve humanity. At least pretend you care, throw in a “PTSD” or “Trauma” or even “Utility”, but get out of your own fucking head and your own feelings, and start thinking of actually walking in other people’s shoes (and you guys lecture ME on empathy, really??).”

          Aesthetics weren’t much to do with that paragraph. I see a significant difference in terms of likely psychological outcome between a seriously unpleasant event (rape) and a seriously unpleasant situation (a marriage in which rape is common). (I have no idea what impossible calculations you’re referring to). I won’t ‘pretend I care’ – I can appreciate damage done and argue against it on generally-used terms without actually having strong feelings about the situation. I have empathy, what I lack is sympathy, which is not a prerequisite for understanding pain. As it happens, the latter situation would be a psychological prison, and therefore mind control (see below), so I do care. If I’m interpreting ‘care’ the same way you are, anyway.

          My morals are based on what I know to be right in the society most people I’m likely to encounter want, since that’s the most useful form of ethical system I could find, while my aesthetics are based on how I feel about situations. (Plus an overarching term for ‘stay outside of people’s heads, regardless’, since mind control is both wrong AND disgusting) Perhaps I could better describe the latter as a deity-free religion, since you stated that such things are manifestations of feelings.

          At this point I think I’m going to bow out of this conversation. It’s becoming aversive, and I’m fairly sure that arguing at length in public is gauche.

        • Multiheaded says:

          @Piano: A post by David Furtelle in response to support for marital rape from one of your scumbag pals.

        • Piano says:

          @Multiheaded
          Aside from one link about trauma, that was a very long-winded wowjustwow.

          I’d make sure to re-read what FN said here: “All that being said, this should not be taken as encouragement to take your spouse if the spouse is saying no. Your spouse may be sinning and consenting, but it would not be the loving thing to do and might be sinful in itself.”

          From https://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/wiferape.shtml I see “Women who experience wife rape suffer long lasting physical and psychological injuries as severe or more severe than stranger rape victims.” But there’s no citation for that sentence. If you dig through the sources at the bottom of the page there and find the relevant parts that justify that sentence, that would be great.

          The other main source, http://www.rainn.org/pdf-files-and-other-documents/Public-Policy/Issues/CONNECTIONS_IPSV.pdf is I think the same one ozy posted, and I searched for “ptsd” and “trauma”, but found nothing. If either you or ozy can find the relevant parts in that paper (if there are any) that justify that main point of contention, again that would be great.

          Thanks for bringing that link to my attention, but I don’t think we’ve gotten any closer to the facts, unfortunately.

      • Ialdabaoth says:

        …Isn’t it obviously bad that some people get more sex and love than they know what to do with and other people don’t? I mean, most of the ways I can think of to solve this problem are evil, but it is still a very sad situation.

        I’ve found that it’s only “sad” if you don’t harden your heart and take on a radical “just world” philosophy – which is precisely what most people DO in regards to the topic.

        I.e.: if people don’t find you attractive and loveable, the problems is YOU, and that is in itself objective proof that you are unworthy of love.

        • Randy M says:

          Having such an outlook is not the only valid point of view, but it is the one most amenable to improving one’s own situation.

          • That depends on whether one can figure out why one isn’t attracting love and then change the relevant traits.

            If one doesn’t believe the traits can be changed, it’s a recipe for despair.

        • Randy M says:

          Can you give an example wherein it is easier to change society to value your traits versus modifying yourself to have, or appear to have, the trait in question?

          One cannot become twenty years younger, true, but it is easier to appear younger than to make a significant fraction of men desire 45 y.o. women vs 25 y.o. women.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Having such an outlook is not the only valid point of view, but it is the one most amenable to improving one’s own situation.

          Only in certain circumstances. Oftentimes, the thing that makes one unlovable is sending out the wrong dominance / status signals, and “I am unattractive and unworthy of love” reinforces that feedback loop.

          Likewise, what do you do when the explicit things you need to change are:

          – Lose weight (but I’m 5’9″ and 135 lbs?)
          – Shave that damn beard (but I don’t have one?)
          – Stop leering at us women (I didn’t even notice your presence; I was busy drawing a picture?)
          – Stop being so forward and aggressive (but I haven’t even talked to you yet?)
          – Stop being so passive and just tell us how you feel (but you just said to stop being so forward and aggressive?)
          – Stop acting like you’re “owed” sex (but when did I ever act that way?)
          – Stop oppressing women (I’m trying, but you won’t even tell me how?)
          – Stop demanding that we explain your sins to you (Okay, so what you REALLY want is for me to just go away; why didn’t you just says so?)

        • Randy M says:

          Ah I see. Yes, I interpreted the unreasonable expression in the comment more reasonably, but probably less realistically. Okay, let me amend my previous statement: “It isn’t useful to see oneself as inherently unlovable, but it is useful to study what traits one has that makes it more or less difficult to attract romantic partners, whereas it is probably useless entirely to dream up sexual redistribution schemes that require society to change to improve one’s situation.”

        • ozymandias says:

          Believing that you’re really hot and everyone wants to date you, whether or not this is true, tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Both because confidence is sexy and because you bounce back quickly from rejection. Also, taking dating advice from feminists if you’re a socially awkward man is probably a bad idea.

        • Oligopsony says:

          Also, taking dating advice from feminists if you’re a socially awkward man is probably a bad idea.

          Eh, worked for me. (I admit that Ial is a few sigmas further out, but in his case I think focusing on “dating advice” is far too narrow-scope to mean anything.)

        • ozymandias says:

          Huh, that’s interesting. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of feminist advice for men is advice that would totally paralyze me with anxiety if I were a guy, and it does seem to paralyze some guys. What do you think is the difference?

        • Sniffnoy says:

          You don’t need to be anywhere near as far out as Ialdabaoth for it to be a problem. (Consider Scott, who after all wrote a long exploration of the problem on his old blog.)

          That said, it’s probably worth noting that “don’t take dating advice from feminists” is how not to dig yourself even deeper into the trap — not how to get out once you’ve fallen in. Especially because, like, you can’t just ignore the feminists — the problems they’re pointing out are real! I mean, I still want to make sure I’m not doing anything evil, right? So it seems like any real solution would require their input. Just, y’know, not the unhelpful sort you’ll actually get from most of them currently.

        • blacktrance says:

          Also, taking dating advice from feminists if you’re a socially awkward man is probably a bad idea.

          Though I can’t quite say that my success in dating is a result of listening to feminists’ dating advice, I can say that a lot of the stuff they say is good. And I’m definitely socially awkward.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Believing that you’re really hot and everyone wants to date you, whether or not this is true, tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          Provably untrue: For guys, it often leads to being the kind of “stalkerish creep” who won’t take ‘no’ as an answer, because “obviously she’s into me, she’s just confused / playing hard to get.” For girls, it leads to “Tankerbells” – the morbidly obese con-goer with the ‘cosplay’ pixie wings who likes to tacklehug and seducerape all the ‘hot nerd bois’.

        • Creutzer says:

          Can you give an example wherein it is easier to change society to value your traits versus modifying yourself to have, or appear to have, the trait in question?

          Introversion.

        • Randy M: Can you give an example wherein it is easier to change society to value your traits versus modifying yourself to have, or appear to have, the trait in question?

          In some cases, the solution isn’t to change society in general, it’s to move to a different society where one’s traits are more likely to be welcome.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Question for blacktrance and Oligopsony: Are you familiar with what people are talking about when they refer to the things feminists say (especially regarding mating) as “paralyzing”? Like, is what we’re talking about just totally mystifying to you, or do you know what we’re talking about but disagree?

          I mean, I would guess that Oligopsony might, seeing as how this has come up on occasion on LW, but both your responses seem to me to have a sort of “What is there to even talk about here?” implication.

        • Oligopsony says:

          Huh, that’s interesting. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of feminist advice for men is advice that would totally paralyze me with anxiety if I were a guy, and it does seem to paralyze some guys. What do you think is the difference?

          I think what I’ve found helpful isn’t so much concrete-level advice (I mean, “take a goddamn shower” is solid advice, but neither particularly feminist nor anti-feminist) but ways of framing things: of sex as a mutual recreational activity rather than a thing to get or give, about treating women as individuals rather than projecting frustration from one onto the other, &c.

          I should also say that I’m by no means any sort of Casanova, just that I’m pretty much where I want to be: a very satisfying LTR, some fun (above-board, not on the sly) dates on the side, nothing special. Also while people who’ve read my comments would correctly guess that I’m not exactly the life of the party, I’m also not suffering from crippling social anxiety, or physical hideousness, or anything like that. So don’t take any of this as an ad, just my own feeling that feminism has made me happier.

          Question for blacktrance and Oligopsony: Are you familiar with what people are talking about when they refer to the things feminists say (especially regarding mating) as “paralyzing”? Like, is what we’re talking about just totally mystifying to you, or do you know what we’re talking about but disagree?

          Oh, no, I actually understand and to a certain extent “agree,” in the sense that, like, about 90% of dating-thoughts are liable to be something like Oh God What If I’m Doing Something Wrong and feminism can of course give you new things to be (aware that you are) wrong about.

          Like, my reading for the appeal of a lot of Game stuff is that you can relax that a lot if you adopt a stance of Bitches, Who Cares What They Think. It’s gross, but I can empathize.

          But I think feminism also presents opportunities for men to not base their self-worth on upping their notch count, and, like leftish privilege-discourse generally (for privileged folks like myself,) it can reframe things in a way that reduces self-pity, even as it can increase guilt. And while (I think I speak for both sexes here) guilt isn’t particularly sexy, self-pity (unfortunately, often even when deserved) is just a real turn-off.

          (And also ethics are just by definition more important than everything else, but that’s another conversation.)

        • blacktrance says:

          Question for blacktrance and Oligopsony: Are you familiar with what people are talking about when they refer to the things feminists say (especially regarding mating) as “paralyzing”? Like, is what we’re talking about just totally mystifying to you, or do you know what we’re talking about but disagree?

          I can see how someone would feel that the advice is paralyzing – I would expect this kind of paralysis to go along with low confidence in general, or at least with low confidence in sexual/romantic relationships. If you’re thinking “What if I’m doing this horrible thing that the feminists told me not to do?”, it’s understandable that you’d be paralyzed. I’ve never experienced this myself, though, because the feminists’ advice made intuitive sense to me, and I’m generally confident enough to assume that I’m not doing something evil.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          I think what I’ve found helpful isn’t so much concrete-level advice […] but ways of framing things: […] about treating women as individuals rather than projecting frustration from one onto the other, &c.

          It’s probably worth noting that this last one doesn’t really require feminism as such, it just requires, well, the usual liberal “treat everyone as individuals” idea. Gender-neutral morality, as Scott put it earlier. I mean, I can’t agree with his earlier comment that this is sufficient, that we don’t need feminism, but I thought this was worth pointing out. (And I find that following feminist rules often has the result that you end up disregarding women’s individuality, contrary to the goals of those rules.)

          But I think feminism also presents opportunities for men to not base their self-worth on upping their notch count […]

          I have to say, this to me reads like “It’s helpful for me because I’m in the target audience.” If, on the other hand, you’re starting from the model of “the beleaguered girl fending off advances from rabid horndogs every five seconds, just praying to meet one guy that would treat them like a beautiful brain in an invisible body, not even notice that they’re a woman, and just like them for themselves”, well…

          So basically this plays into my usual point that part of the problem is failing to account for other contexts, and always pushing in the same direction regardless of position relative to the target.

          (Tangential thought: One of the problems that always seems to come up when discussing these things is that the feminists simply have no category, no prototype, for people like me. And then, well, you know where this goes — we get lumped in with the “Nice Guys” (™), and then we end up lumping ourselves in with them and them in with us (partly because Occam’s Razor), etc. But this morning it occurred to me that maybe there is a roughly similar pop-cultural figure who could be presented as a figure of sympathy, namely, Simon Tam from Firefly. I mean, it’s not an exact fit, but I think it gets the idea across. I wonder if having this prototype available might help them crystallize the idea.)

          And while (I think I speak for both sexes here) guilt isn’t particularly sexy, self-pity (unfortunately, often even when deserved) is just a real turn-off.

          Yes, but attractiveness barely matters if you’re paralyzed! Maybe if you are only paralyzed enough that you can’t initiate, and are attractive enough that people will approach you…

          (And also ethics are just by definition more important than everything else, but that’s another conversation.)

          I don’t think it’s another conversation at all! A large part of the problem is that so much of what they say is framed as “if you break these rules it can only be because you either hate women or don’t think of them as people”. And as you say, ethics must come first.

          If you’re thinking “What if I’m doing this horrible thing that the feminists told me not to do?”, it’s understandable that you’d be paralyzed. I’ve never experienced this myself, though, because the feminists’ advice made intuitive sense to me[…]

          And this reads to me like “It worked for me because I had sufficient common sense to understand what they meant, even if it wasn’t what they said.” See above. But on the other hand…

          I’m generally confident enough to assume that I’m not doing something evil.

          …but if you weren’t checking yourself against it, then did the advice really influence you? This strikes me as one of those “The bible is a moral book!” “No, you filtered out the immoral parts; the morality is in you, not the bible” type of things. (It’s not entirely analogous, but I think you get the picture.)

          Also, blacktrance, from this and your earlier comments I can’t help but get the impression that you actually, like, filtered out feminists who you disagreed with or who said things that didn’t make sense to you, rather than just bathing in the overall self-contradictory feminist (and pseudofeminist) slurry. We’re not allowed to do that, remember? We’re supposed to “shut up and listen”, as they say. (I feel like widespread use of that phrase in this context is only a few years old, but the sentiment is much older.)

          I mean — I guess ultimately I’m not really disagreeing with the two of you; you were in contexts to find it helpful, I wasn’t. Basically I’m more just disagreeing with the implicit proposition “Existing feminist advice should continue to be promoted and disseminated in a context-insensitive manner.” Which neither of you actually said, to be sure, but I felt it was implied. Obviously, I think this harmful and the advice needs serious fixing, and that the current version should at least be restricted to its appropriate context. I just wish I had any idea what the fixed version looked like.

        • blacktrance says:

          this last one doesn’t really require feminism as such, it just requires, well, the usual liberal “treat everyone as individuals” idea. Gender-neutral morality, as Scott put it earlier.

          If you take “treating everyone as individuals” seriously (and are observant about how men and women are currently being treated), it leads to a form of feminism. Not tumblr SJW feminism, but feminism nevertheless.

          And this reads to me like “It worked for me because I had sufficient common sense to understand what they meant, even if it wasn’t what they said.”

          A lot of feminists say things that are completely wrong, but that’s true of people from any group. Fortunately, Not All Feminists Are Like That. If you try to take advice from different kinds of feminists at the same time, it’s possible to become confused, but that’s why you should think about whether the advice makes sense. Taking advice blindly, whether from feminists or any other group, is a bad idea.

          …but if you weren’t checking yourself against it, then did the advice really influence you?

          I came across much of the advice after I had come up with it on my own. As for checking myself against it, that is (to me) a strange question. Of course I’m doing the right thing, at least to what I know of morality and of states of the world. If I thought it were wrong, I wouldn’t do it. “Checking myself against it” seems as odd a thing to do as checking myself against whether I’m committing murder.

        • Oligopsony says:

          edit: in retrospect, the post I made here was more rude than it needed to be. Sorry!

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Huh, really? I mean, it was basically directed at me, and I didn’t find it terribly rude.

        • Oligopsony says:

          Ah, oops! Perhaps I oughtn’t have deleted it, then, as I think the content was sound. I do try to err on the side of being polite (except when talking with those I have absolute contempt for) since left to my own devices (and sometimes even otherwise) I err in the other direction.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Yes, I wanted to write a response to it. 🙂

        • Multiheaded says:

          @Oligopsony

          of sex as a mutual recreational activity rather than a thing to get or give

          Reminds me on how in Pravic, consensual sex is denoted by an intransitive verb (“to copulate”), and only “to rape” is transitive.

          P.S. it actually has some similarities to the conlang in Scott’s Raikoth.

        • Creutzer says:

          Reminds me on how in Pravic, consensual sex is denoted by an intransitive verb (“to copulate”)

          Reminds me on how in English, “have sex” is an intransitive verb (phrase)…

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Quick point:

          self-pity (unfortunately, often even when deserved) is just a real turn-off.

          By my understanding of revealed ethics (used in the same sense as “revealed preferences”), there is no such thing as ‘deserved self-pity’. By apparent definition, if you are self-pitying, you do not deserve pity, but DO deserve whatever might have happened to you, regardless of what it is.

        • Oligopsony says:

          The more positive term used in the psychological literature is “self-compassion.” (You may find this a helpful reframing in some ways.)

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          The more positive term used in the psychological literature is “self-compassion.” (You may find this a helpful reframing in some ways.)

          I wish I did. In my experience, being compassionate to yourself when others want you miserable is a recipe for inviting more violent measures to keep you miserable. Self-compassion is dangerously close to self-respect, which is pretty much a death sentence when you’re powerless at the bottom of the hierarchy.

          Once you’re NOT powerless at the bottom of the hierarchy, you don’t really NEED self-compassion, since you are typically surrounded by people who you can trust to see you as at least marginally worthy of compassion and assistance (ahhh, privilege).

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Well, since Oligopsony deleted his comment, I’ll have to reply only to blacktrance (finally getting back to this)…

          If you take “treating everyone as individuals” seriously (and are observant about how men and women are currently being treated), it leads to a form of feminism. Not tumblr SJW feminism, but feminism nevertheless.

          That parenthetical is quite important here, isn’t it? 🙂 But I suppose I’d essentially agree. What I meant is that this doesn’t even require any special observation; it’s just basic from the principle itself.

          A lot of feminists say things that are completely wrong, but that’s true of people from any group. Fortunately, Not All Feminists Are Like That. If you try to take advice from different kinds of feminists at the same time, it’s possible to become confused, but that’s why you should think about whether the advice makes sense. Taking advice blindly, whether from feminists or any other group, is a bad idea.

          I came across much of the advice after I had come up with it on my own. As for checking myself against it, that is (to me) a strange question. Of course I’m doing the right thing, at least to what I know of morality and of states of the world. If I thought it were wrong, I wouldn’t do it. “Checking myself against it” seems as odd a thing to do as checking myself against whether I’m committing murder.

          In that case, I have to say that either A. you’ve missed a lot or B. you inhabit way more reasonable feminist places than I used to. Like, it’s very nice to say that you shouldn’t follow anyone blindly, but following them blindly is pretty much what they require of men, in multiple ways. I don’t claim that this is deliberate, just that this is the combined effect of what they do.

          I mean, there’s the obvious dissent-stifling mechanisms, like how as a man you’re instantly under suspicion if you disagree in any way, and if you disagree too much you’ll be called a concern troll and you’ll risk being “kicked out of the garden”. (Why do I like to say I’m “not a feminist” when I clearly agree with them on so many things? Partly, because I’d rather be called a monster than a concern troll.) But I assume you’re familiar with these sorts of things — not to mention that they’re not really unique to feminism — so I’m not going to focus on them; and this sort of thing can perhaps be mitigated just by finding more reasonable spaces.

          Instead let’s talk about the more particularly feminist things that demand blind adherence. Well, OK, a lot of this has obvious generalizations beyond feminism, but it’s not as universal as the things above.
          1. You could be committing offenses you don’t know about. Women have problems that you don’t recognize. You might not realize that you’re causing a problem, and when told about the problem you may be skeptical that it’s really a problem, but that’s because you’re priveleged. They are problems, and you need to stop doing them. [Recently there’s been the popularization of the word “microaggression”, but this is a lot older than that.]
          2. You could be committing offenses unconsciously. Many of the bad things you do are things you do in daily life, on autopilot. Being a good feminist requires constantly monitoring yourself — restructuring your ordinary unconscious interactions and not living on autopilot anymore.

          Now, (1) and (2) by themselves aren’t actually enough to demand blind adherence by themselves (and are things I agree are actualy very real concerns that should not be dismissed), but when you combine them with the generic awfulness of not being allowed to question things? Guess you’ll just have to follow blindly. And even where people aren’t quite as unreasonable as that, the way to acknowledge (1) and (2) but not be blindly adherent also requires acknowledging tradeoffs — something most people have never learned to do. (See below.) Point is, feminism sets itself up to be a moral authority — you have to listen to it (not just claim to listen to it but never check yourself against it) if you want to be good person.

          Where it really gets nasty is when the above is combined with the assertions that such unknowing violations can only be due to, like, being a terrible person (“misogyny”, “not thinking of women as people”). (I find it really ridiculous when people claim that e.g. “misogynist” or “racist” is just a neutral descriptive term. The word’s already loaded! You can’t undo that!) Now this is obviously self-contradictory, admittedly — it’s incoherent to simultaneously claim that such offenses are both things that well-intentioned people might to without realizing it, and indications that you must just be a terrible person. And I’m not sure that anyone really claims it simultaneously, but both are claimed at separate times, and when you’re far enough down the rabbit hole, you don’t even think to question it anymore. Really, though, things should well be stopped before they ever get that far (once it’s gotten that far you’re in a terrible position no matter what), and right now the feminist movement is pretty good at getting people to that point and horrible at stopping them from getting there.

          Also quite terrible is (3.): “Shut up and listen” — not necessarily the phrase itself but the general sentiment, which is older and more widespread. Because what this does is set up all women (or at least all women who aren’t obviously anti-feminist) as moral authorities. Which is absurd! If you’re a moral authority, you need to be very scrupulous with what you say, because people will act on it. Most people are not that scrupulous most of the time, and to confer authority on them without their knowledge or consent, to turn their ordinary statements into authoritative ones, to elevate personal preferences to moral law — all this yields predictably disastrous results.

          I mean, sure, OK, you escaped the worst of the guilt because you’re pretty confident in your moral judgment, but A. a lot of people are not, and for them something should be done; and B. precisely for the reasons detailed in (1) and (2) above, it’s not at all clear to me that such confidence is justified. I don’t disagree that (1) and (2) are real concerns; I just think that that means we need to talk about such things — and, where our interests conflict, negotiate — rather than just yield everything and follow blindly. Because evidently men have problems that women don’t generally recognize as well; in that respect, the situation is less asymmetric than they claim.

          Hell, even if such confidence is justified for most people, it can’t be justified for everyone, because evidently there are actual bad people and misogynists out there. Do you want them to be just as confident in their moral judgments as you are? You admit you never actually checked your actions against feminist principles; is that what you want them to do as well? I mean, OK, yes, I do want myself and other people able to be confident in my moral judgments, because otherwise we just end up with endless guilt (not unlike Catholic guilt). But I want to be justifiably confident, because I’m pretty sure I’ve actually taken everything into account — not just confident because I haven’t thought to doubt myself.

        • Desertopa says:

          Way down the chain from the comment that this is actually a reply to, but

          “Oh, no, I actually understand and to a certain extent “agree,” in the sense that, like, about 90% of dating-thoughts are liable to be something like Oh God What If I’m Doing Something Wrong and feminism can of course give you new things to be (aware that you are) wrong about. ”

          To me, far more than giving specific things to be afraid of being wrong about, the paralyzing effect of feminist memes was the *non*specific things I worried about being wrong about. What instilled me with fear were not the item lists of things not to do which I would see and think “Oh no, I’ve done that!” (because I bent over backwards to be careful, I avoided all the behaviors that anyone would think to put on a list,) they were the constant disclaimers that the lists were not exhaustive. And the reminders that people are offended by different things, and the onus is always on the person doing the offending not to, not on the person who is being offended to change their preferences.

          I was always careful, but carefulness need not to, and by all means shouldn’t lead to paralysis. But being careful is never enough to prevent all mishaps, when you’re dealing with wildly varying thresholds. What really became paralyzing was being constantly reinforced in the perception that acting with good intentions, exercising caution, and being considerate of others’ responses wasn’t good enough. If I ended up offending someone regardless, it wasn’t merely an unfortunate accident, I was *at fault,* and if I completely and gracefully acceded to any sort of rejection rather than attempting to defend the propriety of my actions, and the person continued to be offended anyway, then the sympathies of the communities where I was seeking guidance would mostly lie with the people who had suffered offense, no matter how extensively I had tried to prevent it.

          While not all the members of those communities would have ascribed to such an explicit formulation, this was the practical upshot, since with the Just World Fallacy laid over the constant preoccupation with guarding women from the unwanted advances of men who lacked respect for their personhood, absent a balancing interest in the concerns of men, the idea of a man being unjustly lambasted for failing to intuit a woman’s idiosyncratic preferences *even after acceding to those preferences and withdrawing all advances,* would seem unworthy of serious consideration.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Desertopa: Well said.

      • peterdjones says:

        The usual incentive to adopt a humble Omega stance is to avoid being something worse, like being beaten/killed/expelled.

        Of course, in the kind of cosmopolitan and civilized countries that NRs don’t like, there are plenty of opportunities for forming alternative hierarchies.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Of course, in the kind of cosmopolitan and civilized countries that NRs don’t like, there are plenty of opportunities for forming alternative hierarchies.

          Which I’ve always had a sneaking, dirty suspicion was part of the appeal of neoreaction – give the unworthy nowhere to flee, and they will be forced to abject themselves before you.

          • That sounds pretty accurate to me. I’m not sure how much it’s malice, and how much it’s a fantasy of how nice it would be if everyone were aligned in the same direction.

        • Zathille says:

          I think you may be a tad uncharitable about them, the applause and boo lights don’t make it much more convincing (“cosmopolitan and civilized countries which they hate”). I cannot myself contest what you say with an actual argument duo to my own ignorance of their positions, however, the implication that one who disagrees politically has subconscious malicious intent is just poisonous to discourse. For all its faults, the Wikipedian heuristic of ‘Assume good faith’ is a good one, in my view.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Zathile,

          I am not sure wheth.er you’re disagreeing with ialdabaoth, myself or both.

          If you can think of a boo light way saying “not based on violence”, I would be glad to hear it.

          Likewise “allowing more than one way to do things”.

          Personally, I am pretty much waiting for the NRs to explain themselves in away I can understand.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          I think you may be a tad uncharitable about them

          To be fair, I am extrapolating from EXPLICIT statements made by Piano, James, and the Radish.

        • nydwracu says:

          How non-obvious is it that exit is considered a key value? Apparently more so than I would’ve thought.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          How non-obvious is it that exit is considered a key value? Apparently more so than I would’ve thought.

          EXTREMELY non-obvious, especially when discussing interracial relations. “These people are better off when enslaved / we’re better off when we’re allowed to kill them” seems overtly hostile to the idea of voluntary exit as a key value.

        • Creutzer says:

          Very non-obvious indeed. What kind of exit, anyway? Surely not just emigration?

        • Oligopsony says:

          I’m only aware that exit is an NRx value because they say so; I wouldn’t have inferred it from object-level positions. At an object level NRx seems to endorse some varieties of exit (racial/other discrimination in the private sphere, anti-imperialism, seasteading, markets except under conditions A B and C, &c.) while supporting other kinds of restrictions on exit (preservation of involuntary communities based on birth, marriage for the long haul, state-sponsored apartheid, &c.) Abstracting from the correctness or lack thereto of these themselves, this is of course fine – pretty much no one outside of the most hardcore libertarian wants to rely on exit exclusively (and even then maybe not; I haven’t really thought that through.) But it seems to me that, at the level of actual social processes, the sorts of “cultural disintegration” (whether seen as good or bad) NRx complain about are actually a function of the expansion of exit, and that at the level of philosophy, NRx could be better characterized as anti-voice than “pro-exit.”

        • nydwracu says:

          “These people are better off when enslaved / we’re better off when we’re allowed to kill them” seems overtly hostile to the idea of voluntary exit as a key value.

          Where does the second part come from? I don’t recognize it.

          The first part is complicated, at least in Moldbug, and I doubt I can explain it properly, but I’ll try. For Moldbug, there’s a difference between exit and entrance: you should always be able to exit a patch, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be another patch that will take you. Slavery is nanogovernment, and nanogovernment is what you do with people who no patch will take — that is, who don’t have enough of the relevant type of agentiness (he uses the example of the severely mentally retarded, who won’t be able to support themselves or make intelligent decisions no matter what — a family friend had a child who turned out to have some sort of serious mental issue that fit the above criteria, and they had to… sue the state, I think it was, in order to retain custody of him — which Moldbug would call a form of slavery) to be accepted by a patch.

          But what you might be thinking of is his belief that governments should be judged solely on their quality of governance, and not based on whether the government is run by the same people-group as the governed. This is the point of his defense of colonialism: objection to colonialism qua colonialism is objection to a government’s being run by a different people-group than that of the population it governs, and who runs a government is irrelevant (or just not necessarily relevant) to its quality of governance.

          (I’m not sure yet, but I think I disagree with that last part.)

          at the level of actual social processes, the sorts of “cultural disintegration” (whether seen as good or bad) NRx complain about are actually a function of the expansion of exit

          How so? (And what sense are you using ‘exit’ in here?)

        • Oligopsony says:

          If not for the difference in prose styles I would be tempted to accuse Piano of being James’ sock.

          How so? (And what sense are you using ‘exit’ in here?)

          Migration from small towns to big cities and from poor countries to rich. No-fault divorce. Meetup. Shorter-term employment. The end of state-enforced segregation. &c.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Nydarwcaus
          Ok. So reaction sayys you have a right to exit, but no right to entrance, and if you end up dead starving or enslaved, due to lack of Entrance, who cares.,

          Progressiveism says you have rights period. You can relocate if you want, but you wont be expelled. You will be encouraged to be as useful as you can,and if you can’t be useful, you will starve or be enslaved.

          Reaction is better because…

        • Multiheaded says:

          @peterdjones:

          you have a right to exit, but no right to entrance, and if you end up dead starving or enslaved, due to lack of Entrance, who cares

          The reactionaries, including moldbug, usually reply to that last one with insufferably snide suggestions that any individual progressives, if they really pretend to care about the fate of some useless wretches, ought to make their own (shitty, un-euphoric, Mountain-Dew-lacking) fiefdom and take in all the huddled masses yearning to break free.

          I’m hardly exaggerating at all: “I don’t care about life-unworthy-of-life, and if you do, that’s your problem to solve” is how it goes. They literally say they don’t care if the people they can’t empathize with live or die.

          @Ialdabaoth:

          Which I’ve always had a sneaking, dirty suspicion was part of the appeal of neoreaction – give the unworthy nowhere to flee, and they will be forced to abject themselves before you.

          This too. They hardly even bother to hide it. This calls for an examination of what in the modern tech industry and its memes makes it so easy for neoreactionaries to blend in; see e.g. Peter Thiel’s preening. Christ, it’s one step from loud-and-proud assholes like him to many of our friends here.

        • Oligopsony says:

          I’m hardly exaggerating at all: “I don’t care about life-unworthy-of-life, and if you do, that’s your problem to solve” is how it goes.

          Agreed, we should get on that. *sharpens hammer, sickle; puts in order for 50,000 tons of pig iron*

        • Zathille says:

          Considering how I’ve only come across references to such opinions here and there were no citations, I’m not convinced this is an accurate portrayal of the NRx position.

          From my impressions, which may be mistaken, is that yes, there are exit rights but no guarantee of entry, sort of how a private company works: You can quit at any time, but to be hired, you must fulfil certain criteria. The criteria in question varying depending on the community, thus, the possibility of ‘progressive’ or multicultural enclaves is very real. I think they just expect those to be dysfunctional, is all.

          I’d like to hear if this is an accurate summary of their position on this question, I think this thread lacks charity in terms of describing it. Speculation about the ‘true intentions and motives’of someone who disagrees with one is just something that really, really should be avoided in any discussion.

        • Multiheaded says:

          @Zathille:

          I find your lack of aggression disturbing. Aren’t you supposed to be a Trot or something? Bro, is your hate even pure?

        • Oligopsony says:

          It is good to hate the enemy; it is bad to be mistaken about the enemy.

          (That said I remember some quotes even from the devout Catholic wing of NRx saying “yeah we should let them starve it would be morally acceptable and also eugenic” – I can go quote-digging later when/if I have the time/energy, in the meantime, feel free to distrust this as bad and possibly uncharitably-filtered memory.)

        • Multiheaded says:

          It is good to hate the enemy; it is bad to be mistaken about the enemy.

          Oh, absolutely, and I myself am pissed at how liberals always misconstrue them; I was just trying to imply that further doubt about their desire to see undesirables metaphorically driven off a cliff is in bad faith given the heaps of circumstantial evidence.

          Re: that evidence itself – well, I’d go searching on Twitter, but ugh ew fuck’em. At the very least, Konkvistador almost certainly said something oh-so-edgy to that extent several times, but might be slightly embarrassed to repeat it in mixed company.

        • Zathille says:

          @Multi: I like to keep my identity small, furthermore, if one believes the NRx’s assessment to be incorrect, why worry so much? Why the aggression?

          Maybe it’s due to my experience on 4chan. I’ve seen many people on there complain about Tumblr, SJWs, /pol/ and such, the impression I’ve got is not that the hostility was towards their ideas, but their attitude of identifying with a position and proceeding to argue in a very aggressive, sometimes tribalistic way, which annoyed people.

          An attitude which, unfortunately, even the comments in this blog sometimes resemble, I’m certainly not guiltless when it comes to contributing to that.

          So, to answer your question, yes, but likely not in the sense of identification. I’ve read some Marxist literature, am studying Economic sciences, the history of economic thought and delving into a variety of schools of thought, an experience complemented by my online browsing as well.

          To put it short: I consider the preservation of a cool-headed discussion environment instrumental in assessing arguments from all sides, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. When I see people going ‘People who think X are callous and inhumane’ or ‘People who think Y are hacks unworthy of time and consideration’ and the end result is just people with more entrenched positions, unwilling to discuss their differences, everyone’s all the worse for not having an accurate map of what the differences between their positions are.

          Maybe I’m just going ‘muh dialetic’, but I find it ideal when people can treat one another with respect despite their differences.

          Edit:
          @Oligopsony: What is the instrumental value of such hate? Also, if one does not have an accurate mental model of who the ‘enemy’ is, what makes one classify them as such in the first place?

          Also, political blog comments sections tend to be really rather toxic no matter the alignment. If we were to use those as circumstantial evidence of ill-will, we’d think the Earth has been in a constant civil war ever since the blogosphere came into being.

        • Oligopsony says:

          Ah, here we go:

          So my basic feeling is that we are quite far from out of practical ammunition in turning back dysgenic fertility. Someday we may be, and perhaps I’ll be arguing for heading for hills. Culturally, I already am arguing for that. But my Catholic conscience forbids me from entertain certain aggressive eugenic policies. Letting people starve to death because of their stupidity isn’t one of them.

          (I must be pretty good at this because of the “About 30,400 results” for {“nick b steves” eugenic moral starvation}, the one I remembered in particular was the very second link. Charming lot, they.)

          @Oligopsony: What is the instrumental value of such hate? Also, if one does not have an accurate mental model of who the ‘enemy’ is, what makes one classify them as such in the first place?

          Perhaps we can operationalize “hate” here as “motivation to oppose,” in which case I think the value is trivial (though perhaps this is too breezy an operationalization – if you can oppose while radiating the light of purest metta, more power to you. Also hate can definitely cloud your vision, &c.

          As to your other question, yes, that is one reason not to misunderstand the enemy. (That said of course you can have reasonable confidence that someone is the enemy while still crucially misunderstanding them in other ways.)

          As for issues of medium, NRx is almost by definition all blog posts, blog comments, and tweets. Of course this may well explain a lot of its nature, and it may well be (I should certainly hope) that its participants are far more morally competent in meatspace.

        • peterdjones says:

          @multiheaded

          Yeah, I get that NRs don’t want solve the problem of basic individual rights, it’s just that that’sa terrible way of selling
          a philosophy….join our utopia, which will be better because .scum like you will be be marginalised, enslaved or expelled.

          And I get that it’s not real politics. .NR makes me realise how skilled maintream conservatives are at selling to the masses a system that is not geared to their interests.

          Instead of real politics, it is more like a virtualised version of a shooting spree, optimized for the wimpish malcontent. Instead of shooting the people you don’t like, you just imagine them crushed under your brogue in your fantasy world.

      • Piano: “Traditional Christian society would have made sure they did a hell of a lot of thinking before they went and through everything away rather than worked through their difficulties as they promised in their vows.”

        Traditional Christian marriage when and where?

        I thought that, biblically, the only grounds were divorce– with no pause for thought required.

        • Piano says:

          Grounds for what were divorce? I’m confused.

        • Nornagest says:

          As far as I know, Catholicism (and pre-Reformation Western Christianity in general) traditionally allows for divorce only on grounds of infidelity and doesn’t allow for remarriage at all, a stance which seems consistent with what I remember of the New Testament. (It does recognize civil divorce to a limited extent, but that’s a modern development and thus probably haram from a NRx perspective.)

          That’s not true for all traditional religions, though, even within the Abrahamic sphere; Islam for example provides ritual procedures for divorce, which has actually grown less common in the modern era. It does treat it as a last resort, though, and it’s easier for men than for women.

        • Piano says:

          @Nornagest
          “haram from a NRx perspective”
          NRx perspective: If you’re in a traditional Christian state, do what the correct traditional Christians say.
          NRx is a meta-position. Talking about traditional Christianity, which I’ve been doing, is object-level and really has nothing to do with NRx other than the fact that it’s a specific tradition.

          So, yeah, there are other religious traditions that treat things differently. I only focus on the Western Christian tradition, because that’s the one most relevant to me.

    • von Kalifornen says:

      Does this even care about gender? We separate young men and women only when teaching them about social poise and the arts of romance.

      • Piano says:

        Boys and girls have different proclivities that should be nurtured separately. There are many ways to divide up children, gender is just the most evenly-split easy-to-identify and significant way to divide them.

        • Slow Learner says:

          Wrong wrong wrong.

          Being divided from girls did me harm both socially and academically, which took me several years to recover from once I had left my single sex school and was living and working in mixed company.
          Academically because even at a selective entry school with excellent results I was bullied for seeming too clever – I spent years deliberately giving wrong answers to some questions in class to appear less clever.
          Socially because despite being cis-het male and hardly metrosexual, I have always most easily formed close friendships with women, and so being in an all-male environment left me without close friendships for several years until a group gradually coalesced in which I fit.
          Additionally, I absorbed toxic memes about women, relationships and sex which, while present in the wider culture, were more concentrated in a single sex environment and had less counter-evidence. These caused me problems once I escaped the single-sex environment.

          There may be people for whom sexual segregation works, but I am not convinced that they are very numerous, and even up to university level, those places that have segregated accommodation see much more dysfunctional behaviour than those with mixed, because when the common factor of a group is “We’re all [gender]”, this causes group members to emphasise stereotypically [gender] behaviours to an unnaturally intense degree, and most of the stereotypical behaviours are pretty fucked up in the first place.

        • Being in a mixed sex school doesn’t prevent being bullied for being too smart.

        • Creutzer says:

          Still, sex segregation in school does strike me as a really bad idea. Apart from the fact that it screws over people who have an easier time making friends with the other sex (who include Slow Learner and myself), it seems likely that it would lead to even more vicious status battles – as if the whole school system didn’t do enough already to encourage those. The reason being that children/adolescents of the same sex are in a more direct status competition, hence in a unisex class, there will be more people who will find it necessary to assert their superiority over you more strongly.

          There is, of course, also the cost of making the other gender foreign to you and giving you no practice in interacting with them.

          Now, one might suspect that absent members of the other gender who need to be impressed, people will not feel the urge to establish their status so forcefully in the first place. But my prior for this is low, so I won’t believe it without being some some good evidence, and the effect would, in my opinion, have to be very strong in order to outweigh the costs.

        • Slow Learner says:

          No Nancy, I wouldn’t expect a mixed environment to prevent bullying of any form. I would however expect it to alleviate bullying of this particular kind. It would also, more selfishly, have helped me by granting me more social cover as I would have had more friends.

        • Piano says:

          @Slow Learner
          You live up to your name.
          Read every the words in parentheses in this sentence that I wrote: “segregate school classes (and not recess/mealtime) by gender”. The school itself is not segregated, just class is. That solves what you’re pointlessly complaining about.

          • Slow Learner says:

            Yeah, no. Interaction inside lessons is just as important as socialising outside them, and you create and reinforce the very same boundaries by segregating only in class time, just less intensely than full segregation.
            Setting for different lessons is ok and permits cross-socialisation, streaming is not; and streaming by gender is much less defensible than streaming by something actually relevant to schooling like academic results.

        • Creutzer says:

          Right. Because no socialisation and social perception happens during lessons or short five-minute breaks between lessons in which classes don’t intermingle, and so Slow Learner’s and my objections totally don’t apply. Oh, wait… Why did you think segregating classes was a good way to allow “natural hierarchies” to develop, again?

        • Piano says:

          @Creutzer
          Socialization is still allowed, just not during instructional time.

          @Slow Learner
          Ideally, there’d be little “interaction” during class/lessons, but that requires teachers to have enough status that students respect them enough to shut up and try to please the teacher with high quality work.

          “Streaming is bad”? You and everyone else of your approximate IQ should commit suicide, how’s that for streaming? Without streaming, the less able slow down the more able, and you eventually get to the point where tards are “accomodated” into normal schools and everyone is miserable. Without proper streaming, students have to unnecessarily deal with things that are irrelevant to their own learning, such as boys having to give a shit about girls’ feelings when Stop Your Bullshit And Do Your Fucking Times Tables Goddamnit is “inconsiderate” and “unacceptable”.

          Teaching geniuses and retards in the same hemisphere disallows proper compassion for the retards and proper education of the geniuses. Teaching boys and girls in the same classes has turned everyone into androgyn robots who are afraid to express their own masculinity and femininity, respectively, because it was forced out of them in school for being insufficiently androgynic. This is plain as fucking day.

        • Xycho says:

          Having spent my entire secondary (i.e. teenage) schooling in an all-male boarding school, I would like to rebut @Slow Learner’s point; it was an excellent, supportive and minimum-stress environment although it effectively arrested my personality for most of a decade. It did perhaps help that while there was bullying at my school, to bully someone on the basis of being smart would have been somewhere between unthinkable and social suicide. That’s sufficiently rare that it’s probably enough information for any similarly-educated Brit to know precisely which school I attended.

          I (as most self-obsessed teenagers do) found myself a fascinating object of study, particularly as I was already well informed as far as evo-psych went by the time I hit puberty, and consequently kept fairly consistent journals of my own behaviour and attitudes. I noticed (and duly suppressed for social reasons) an increase in libido but otherwise they didn’t appreciably change, as far as I could tell, from age thirteen to nineteen.

          It was only after I moved to university and started spending significant amounts of time with complete strangers (some of whom introduced me to MDMA, which I maintain has permanent effects on the psyche) that I developed an interest in specific other human beings at all (I mentioned that in …Universal Human Experiences…), and immediately discovered depression, panic attacks and social anxiety. Leaving a single-sex environment practically destroyed me – from an emotional development perspective I went through most of my teens in eight months. Being in one, however, was near-perfect, and I firmly believe did my education wonders. Perhaps I’m just a poster boy for institutionalisation, but the fact remains that there are people for whom environments with as few externally imposed variables as possible are ideal.

          • Slow Learner says:

            Thanks for chiming in! I’m afraid to say that based purely on what you’ve said, I would blame your later troubles on compressing all the shit of teenagehood into a few months, and thus indirectly on your segregated schooling. So it may have worked in terms of short term academic success, but it didn’t prepare you for adulthood.

        • Oligopsony says:

          I attended an all-male elite-but-not-super-elite high school and my experiences were almost the opposite: while I can’t claim to have adjusted to college without any hitch at all, the process of doing so was extremely pleasant, while most of my high school experience was not at all pleasant. Nobody bullied anyone else for being too intelligent (indeed, people competed to be seen as intelligent) but that didn’t prevent the environment/student body from being rather brutish in all sorts of other ways.

          (Somewhere at the end of junior year everyone was thrown into a retreat where through some sort of Jesuit magic everyone was induced to cry and talk to each other like people, and after that a lot of the macho bullshit stopped. Not sure why they don’t hold it earlier; maybe it requires some baseline level of objective maturity that younger teens don’t have, or just a few years of familiarity with the other participants, to work.)

        • Xycho says:

          Oh, it certainly didn’t prepare me for adulthood, but that’s not the job of a school. Schools are for education, and their responsibility ends there – attempting to use educational establishments for social conditioning or engineering is a complete misunderstanding of their purpose. My failure to deal with the ‘real world’ was mostly personal; I had the option of refusing to change, and so I didn’t change. It’s entirely probable that had I not been paying such close attention to my own behaviour that it would have drifted much further from my starting point.

          I submit that I traded eight months to a year of near-hell for an exceedingly stable and happy half-decade during which (by the sound of it) many of my peers were confused and miserable. I’ll take that as a win.

        • Nornagest says:

          Schools are for education, and their responsibility ends there – attempting to use educational establishments for social conditioning or engineering is a complete misunderstanding of their purpose.

          The American school system (and many others, such as the Japanese) gets a lot of its organization from the Prussian “common school” model of the mid-1800s. Horace Mann and other advocates of that era were pretty explicit about wanting indoctrination as much as education, though they wouldn’t have seen the two as opposed; in the context of 19th-century nationalism, they’d both have been aimed at the goal of producing disciplined, modern, well-read citizens with a shared cultural background and sense of national values.

          That’s the charitable way of putting it, at least.

        • Scott Alexander says:

          I have noticed a trend of Piano turning almost every topic into very strongly phrased and very non-subtle versions of neoreactionary positions. I have also noticed some, er, unfortunate phrasing, like:

          ““Streaming is bad”? You and everyone else of your approximate IQ should commit suicide, how’s that for streaming? Without streaming, the less able slow down the more able, and you eventually get to the point where tards are “accomodated” into normal schools and everyone is miserable.”

          “A woman being attracted to a masculine man is noble. Homosexuals are “fucked in the head”, to speak rashly. Being attracted to androgynous people is half that. This.”

          “@Slow Learner. You live up to your name. Read every the words in parentheses…That solves what you’re pointlessly complaining about.”

          “@all y’all “Fair distribution of sex” is solved by Christian marriage. Y’all make epicycles look like platonic solids.”

          Therefore, Piano is banned from commenting on this blog – him, his children, and his children’s children – for one month

    • peterdjones says:

      “Actually is worth defending” ….any evidence for that?

      • Piano says:

        Yeah, cuz otherwise you Exit to another school/society and curse your parents/yourself for putting you in a shitty school/society.

        Obviously possible today, but respecting Exit as a value, as nrxethnocitystatecorporgarchies inherently do, makes it easier.

        Most of the time if you don’t find the system Worth Fighting For, is because you’re purposefully disconnecting yourself from it. Now in that sorry state, your choices are either Exit, be a loner, or work (with others, obviously) to find your part in the system and thus make it personally Worth Fighting For; and in a society where you can’t physically survive being a loner, you succeed either way.

        • peterdjones says:

          OK. So “actually is” means “will seem to be because I implicitly chose it by not exiting”.

          Question: If I want to exit into a civilised multicultural society, do I get the option?

          Point: NRs seem to think that monocultures lead to robustess due to lack of internal dissent. This isn’t even true about internal dissent, since there can be disagreement about details among those who agree on basics. And it doesn’t begin to cover robustness again external threats. The basic problem facing any polityis that you don’t know what is going to happen next. A hammer based monoculture is not going to be robust, because not every problem is they are to encounter will be a nail. .NRs are intent on recreating a syndrome of excessive narrowness and inflexibility known to have led to the downfall of many ancient societies. For instance, the Easter Islanders, whose solution to every problem was “build another statue”.

        • Piano says:

          @peterdjones
          > OK. So “actually is” means “will seem to be because I implicitly chose it by not exiting”.
          No, it means you actually are, or you’re in the wrong place and you should do something about it, or you’re an insufferable loner and don’t matter.

          > Question: If I want to exit into a civilised multicultural society, do I get the option?
          No, because they don’t exist anymore.

          Ethnostates are pretty damn stable. Human consciousness, even within an extended inbred family which is a race, is varied enough for “monoculture” or “x-based”, for any single thing x, to not be a proper way of describing it.

        • peterdjones says:

          @piano

          Exit of minors seem to be a problem.

          Who gets to say whether civilized societies exist? Not me, apparently.

          Your point about Monoculture is the onene….there is always one.per post…that’s massively in need of evidentiary support.

          I can think of ethnically unmixed states that have long been dominated by stronger, ethnically mixed neighbours, such as Finland. I can think of ones that have alternated between aggression and internal strife such as Japan. I can think of ones that have been on the receiving end of ethnocide like the Caribs and Tasmanians…

          Where’s the pattern?

        • Piano says:

          @peterdjones
          A recent point about ethnic “monoculture” not actually promoting monoculture: http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/spiders-diversity-and-seduction-oh-my/

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            In regards to the study on spiders and monocultures, I do not find it at all surprising. When I read Judith Harris’ “The Nurture Assumption” it was full of studies of human beings that said similar things (i.e a group becomes more conformist around a competing group).

            Fortunately humans are probably not in danger of becoming cringing conformists due to ethnic diversity. Another thing I learned from that book is that humans are not spiders. We are considerably more adaptable. We do not have one personality. We have many personas that we adopt depending on which social situation we are in. We act differently around close friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, etc.

            So a human in a multi-ethnic society might be fairly conformist in a situation where they have to deal with unfamiliar people from another ethnic group. But as soon as they leave that situation they can easily drop their conformist persona and become a radical free thinker.

            Another piece of data relevant to this topic is the current efforts of the Norwegian military, who have sexually integrated their ranks so completely that it’s quite possible for a man and a woman to bunk in the same room in the barracks:

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/25/norwegian-army-sexual-harassment-claims-fell-after/

            Needless to say, doing this created more camaraderie between men and women and reduced sexual harassment. This is because women were previously housed in separate rooms, and were a separate, competing group. Once things were integrated though, they became all part of the same group. People were no longer as willing to sexually harass the opposite sex because they weren’t a different group, they were part of the team.

            The lesson we can learn from this is that the tendency of different groups to align and compete against each other can be overcome, and it is quite possible to make people reassign their group alignment from a small group to a larger combined one.

            Needless to say, I think that people who try to emphasize and accentuate group differences, whether it be a SJW on the left or an HBD on the right, are being counterproductive to the goal of achieving a peaceful, free, and harmonious society.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah
          “Fortunately humans are probably not in danger of becoming cringing conformists due to ethnic diversity.”
          I’d say we totally already have, and it starts young, in school. There is more that you can teach to a single apple than you can teach to all the apples in the world (without anyapple getting offended, of course), so the more different people we’ve got in classrooms, the less variety of things people are allowed to learn. Obviously this has already been happening and is old news.

          “But as soon as they leave that situation they can easily drop their conformist persona and become a radical free thinker.”
          So why not drop the foreplay/middleman and just encourage them to leave that situation (e.g. create ethnostates)?

          “We have many personas that we adopt depending on which social situation we are in.”
          This was also mentioned in the article or one of the top comments, I think.

          > Sweden
          Sweden has been on the forefront of turning men into women and women into men, of course none of them want to fuck each other. The men are probably sexually satiated by their new cuddle-by-proxy.

          If you have an example of civilians from a not-already-totally-fucked country, that would be interesting to analyze. But, Sweden? Really?

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            >I’d say we totally already have, and it starts young, in school.

            This is about having a conformist personality, not about knowing lots of different things. It’s entirely possible to be an ignorant nonconformist. The thing you’re bringing up is a problem, but it’s not the same problem as conformity.

            >So why not drop the foreplay/middleman and just encourage them to leave that situation (e.g. create ethnostates)?

            Because multiethnic states have other advantages, the most obvious being a shared economy and greater ease of trade. Other obvious benefits include no possibility of interstate trade barriers or warfare and the greater ease of coordination a united government gives. If multiethnic states have these advantages, and they do not cause the problem of conformity, then they are better overall.

            Plus if multi-ethnic states stay together long enough it’s not uncommon for the ethnic groups in them to stop thinking of themselves as different ethnicities. See the way Irish, Italian, and Jewish Americans are today versus in the 1800s. A multiethnic state is obviously better if it leads to greater brotherhood between ethnicities.

            >Sweden has been on the forefront of turning men into women and women into men, of course none of them want to fuck each other. The men are probably sexually satiated by their new cuddle-by-proxy.

            I never mentioned Sweden, the article was about Norway. But your statement about Sweden is wrong, according to this NIPH study:

            “For both genders the total number of sexual partners had increased by aprroximately three partners since a similar study conducted in 1967.”

            “The study concluded that nearly all Swedes between 18 to 74 are or will be sexually active. ”

            “The study found that the age for the first experience of sexual intercourse was getting younger.”

            http://www.rfsu.se/en/Engelska/About-rfsu/Resources/Statistics–Facts–Sweden-/

            You may be confused by Sweden’s lower birthrate and assumed that because it had less births, it also had less sex. This appears to be false, the true explanation is tons of protected sex.

            As for this supposed feminization/masculinization of Swedish men/women, I suspect what is actually happening is deflanderization. That is, in many cultures there is strong peer pressure to act more like a stereotypical member of your group instead of like your real self. In more liberal, tolerant cultures this pressure is lifted, so people start acting like real people instead of like stereotypical men/women. This is probably why Sweden has high happiness ratings, people are acting the way they want to act instead of the way people of their gender stereotypically act.

            Edited: To remove a section that said nothing important or relevant.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanothoah
          “a shared economy and greater ease of trade.”
          I don’t think those are obvious benefits, especially since you haven’t specified what trade specifically would be easier. People in a multicultural society are less trusting, so just because things don’t have to go over an official border doesn’t mean that trade will be easier. There is no one set of business practices that all cultures could or should abide by.

          Warfare too is transferred inward, so that everything is a “low level civil war”. Just because people arn’t killing each other in an organized war doesn’t mean that there doesn’t exist internal conflict, and it certainly doesn’t mean that people aren’t killing each other anyway.

          Multiethnic states with an average IQ below ~110 are suicidal, and those with avg. below IQ ~120-125 will always be better off as a single-ethnic state(s).

          ” A multiethnic state is obviously better if it leads to greater brotherhood between ethnicities.”
          Unfortunately it leads towards less brotherhood within ethnicities, which is more important.

          Ah, I mistyped/read (I’d say sweden and norway are about equally fucked, though.).

          “people start acting like real people instead of like stereotypical men/women.”
          Okay, everyone is trans inside, good to know.

          Increased partner count doesn’t necessarily mean that women/men aren’t becoming less feminine/masculine. I don’t know how you’d easily tell sexual attraction apart from increased cultural encouragement to have many sex partners. A study determining either of those over the course of decades would have to be very carefully done, and even then it probably wouldn’t actually prove what the study said it did.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            >I don’t think those are obvious benefits, especially since you haven’t specified what trade specifically would be easier.

            I’m talking about the fact that you don’t need an immigration visa to hire someone of a different race in a multi-ethnic society.

            That alone is huge. Now, you shouldn’t need an immigration visa to hire anyone, ever, but at least the total amount of people you can hire is greater in a multi-ethnic society than it would be in one where so many potential workers were stuck on the other side of a useless and arbitrary border.

            >People in a multicultural society are less trusting

            People are, at worst, slightly less extroverted in ways that Putnam refers to as “social capital.” This doesn’t necessarily extend to business relationships. At worst it makes networking slightly harder, but not nearly as hard as a border would. The gains in getting rid of borders far outweigh any losses in social capital.

            >just because things don’t have to go over an official border doesn’t mean that trade will be easier.

            The fact that tons of people try to immigrate from other places to trade their labor is very strong evidence that borders make trade harder.

            >Warfare too is transferred inward, so that everything is a “low level civil war”.

            This would suggest that crimes of violence would increase as a society becomes more diverse. This is far from the case in the USA, and most of the world, where the crime rate has been falling as diversity has been rising. You could even argue that diversity decreases crime, although I suspect that this is actually two different trends rather than a case of causation.

            Furthermore, calling something a “civil war,” even a “low level” one is insulting to all victims of real civil wars. It also carries the quasi-Marxist (and false) assumption that people’s actions are all taken to benefit their favored groups and that crimes are for the purpose of advancing group interest, rather than personal profit. And we all know that’s not the case.

            >Multiethnic states with an average IQ below ~110 are suicidal, and those with avg. below IQ ~120-125 will always be better off as a single-ethnic state(s).

            Again, false. Some of the richest and most powerful states in history have been multi-ethnic. For instance, today the USA, Singapore, and New Zealand are all fairly successful countries and all are multi-ethnic. Far from suicidal, these places are growing and flourishing.

            And many of these places were successful even in the past, when the average IQ for the whole human race was much lower. This, incidentally, is another good reason to have multi-ethnic states. If environmental factors have resulted in one ethnicity having a lower IQ, and economic prosperity can ameliorate those factors, it makes sense to have a higher-IQ group there to help out and accelerate the increase in prosperity.

            The whole important of IQ in general appears to be overblown by the HBD right. It seems more like an excuse to promote separatism rather than something that one would attach that much value to if one didn’t already value separatism for less noble reasons.

            >Unfortunately it leads towards less brotherhood within ethnicities, which is more important.

            Again, most of Putnam’s social capital stuff doesn’t seem very important in the grand scheme of things. It seemed like mostly minor stuff, like joining clubs and engaging in petty socializing.

            And even if “social capital” is value, the decline won’t always last forever. Oftentimes in a few decades the different ethnic groups will start thinking of themselves as one ethnic group. You can see this in America with the different European populations who were originally considered different ethnic groups, but are all now just “white.”

            >Okay, everyone is trans inside, good to know.

            That’s a bit of an exaggeration. What I was saying is that there is sometimes strong social pressure to act more like a stereotypical member of your gender than you naturally would. If that pressure is removed people will act less stereotypical.

            However, this is not a forced “feminization” or “masculinization.” It’s people acting more like the people they want to be.

            >Increased partner count doesn’t necessarily mean that women/men aren’t becoming less feminine/masculine.

            You specifically said “of course none of them want to fuck each other.” You were implying that becoming less masculine/feminine decreases sexual activity and partner count.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanothoah
          You shouldn’t be hiring someone from a different country. People in multicultural societies trust each other less, on average, and this matters. People shouldn’t be trying to be hired by people in other countries. Low-level “civil war” is a perfectly apt term for many areas of the US. Most actions are for the purpose of advancing group interests, of which most personal interests are one part. Singapore is avg. ~110 IQ so it’s fine. The US isn’t growing or flourishing right now. I don’t know much about NZ’s growing or flourishing, which is mild evidence towards it not being very significant. In a multicultural society, lower IQ groups harm higher IQ groups more than higher IQ groups help lower IQ groups. With ethnic divisions, this is not the case. If you view your most important thede as simply “joining clubs and engaging in petty socialization”, then you don’t understand ethnicity at all. Declines can continue essentially forever, if the last loser’s mental faculties decline slow enough for him to suicide via the heat death of the universe, essentially transhuman post-left-singularity, which is what your philosophy ends up as. People’s beneficial natures should be encouraged and their negative natures should be discouraged. Cultural encouragement of promiscuity has been greater than the uglification of their people’s appearance and personality. This is the end of the paragraph.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano
            >You shouldn’t be hiring someone from a different country.

            If I am in a position to hire someone my prime goal should be to hire someone who is best for the job, regardless of nationality. My secondary goal should be to hire whoever needs the job most, providing their skill level is approximately the same as the other most qualified people.

            >People in multicultural societies trust each other less, on average, and this matters.

            Not as much as the huge benefits people reap from ease of trade. Also, I think that Putnam’s study might have been about neighborhoods, not societies, it’s possible to have a multicultural society with monocultural neighborhoods. Besides, it’s possible over time for two cultures to fuse into a monoculture.

            >US isn’t growing or flourishing right now.

            It was growing and flourishing in the past when the average IQ was much, much lower than it was today (because the Flynn effect hadn’t happened yet), but there were still sizable ethnic minority populations. Obviously this indicates that multiethnic societies with average IQs lower than 110 can succeed.

            >In a multicultural society, lower IQ groups harm higher IQ groups more than higher IQ groups help lower IQ groups.

            Really? Who do you suppose would be more likely to suffer worse, a European deported to the USA, or an African American deported to a randomly selected part of Africa? If your thesis is true the European would be more likely to suffer. I find that unlikely. Of course, there are probably other confounding factors, but I think it’s still pretty telling.

            And really, where are you getting this IQ data from? Because I should tell you that I find analyses of race and IQ from neoreaction/paleocon sources to be about as trustworthy as analyses of the impacts of free markets from anarcho-syndicalist sources, analyses of the health benefits of eating meat from animal rights sources, or analyses of the safety of GM crops from environmentalist sources.

            >People’s beneficial natures should be encouraged and their negative natures should be discouraged.

            Yes, obviously. But I find that modern culture is more effective at doing this in the past. For instance, look at the massive outcry against bullying today. Most of the methods people are trying to combat it are poorly thought out. But the fact that the concern exists at all is astounding. In the past bullying was considered normal human behavior that we shouldn’t try to stop. People simply care more and are less unpleasant today. They suck at putting that caring into action, but they do care.

            >Cultural encouragement of promiscuity has been greater than the uglification of their people’s appearance and personality.

            Uglification? People are more physically attractive today than ever before, mainly due to advances in health care. And they have better personalities as well, in part because of the deflanderization I was describing before. Men less likely to be domineering jerks and women are less likely to be dependent and needy.

            Have you ever seen some old show set in the 50s, where there’s some party and the husbands all talk to each other and the wives go off to talk to each other somewhere else? That’s becoming far less common today because wives and husbands typically share interests. They’re actually attracted to each other for deep and noble reasons like shared interests and compatible life goals, rather than shallow and ignoble reasons like being attracted by the others feminity/masculinity.

            Also, I don’t know about you, but I find androgyny sexy. I find stereotypical femininity sexy too, but one isn’t sexier than the other, they’re two different kinds of equally sexy sexiness.

            I suspect that the Typical Mind Fallacy is behind a lot of perception of nonstereotypical men/women as not sexy. For example, if you’ve ever read that blogger who used to be called Roissy and is now called Heartiste you will immediately notice that he is a pretty sad human being. He seems to lack any ability to connect to women as people and share in the joy that comes from being in a relationship with a strong person who is your equal and who you have more in common with than attraction to their sexual attributes. I think that he mistakenly thinks that everyone is like him and that therefore everyone must find nonstereotypically gendered people unsexy. But what he doesn’t realize is most people are nobler than that.

            Unfortunately, a lot of his ideas have caught on in the conservative blogosphere, even among people who don’t share his personal failings. This is because there are many people who compartmentalize their minds, so they don’t realize that cool idea they heard from that blogger contradicts their personal experiences.

            >This is the end of the paragraph.

            ???

            Edited to add another point about gender (the one that mentions heartiste).

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanothoah
          > Ignoring nationality
          wut
          > Putnam
          who
          > the past
          produced the present
          > individual
          I said groups
          > IQ data?
          Google
          > against bullying
          wat
          > health care
          can’t fix bone structure
          > masculinity not noble
          explains a lot
          > i’m semi-fucked in the head
          cool, I’m not
          > ???
          !!!

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            who

            Putnam is the guy who did the study that showed that there might be lowered trust in multicultural societies.

            >produced the present

            You stated that multicultural societies are not successful if their IQ is too low. I pointed out that if this statement was true then America should not have succeeded the way it did in the past. This indicates the present stagnation has some other cause.

            >wat

            That was just one example about how people are nicer than they used to be.

            >can’t fix bone structure

            Actually it can, with some surgery. But there are lots of other ways to be ugly beside bad bone structure (bad skin and teeth for instance) that health care has fixed.

            >masculinity not noble
            explains a lot

            I didn’t say being masculine was ignoble. I said being attracted to someone just because they were masculine was ignoble.

            >i’m semi-fucked in the head
            >cool, I’m not

            If I understand correctly you’re saying that people who strenuously argue against NR ideas are “semi-fucked in the head.” I suspect that it is more likely the case that NR ideas are just terrible and poorly thought out.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanothoah
          All you need for tech advance is a decent smart fraction, which we and other countries had. Very smart people can get along better with other cultures than others, because they can better consciously hide racism etc. A woman being attracted to a masculine man is noble. Homosexuals are “fucked in the head”, to speak rashly. Being attracted to androgynous people is half that. This.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Piano

            >All you need for tech advance is a decent smart fraction, which we and other countries had.

            We didn’t just advanced technologically. Our whole economy and society grew. And if we hadn’t had a nonsmart fraction to do menial jobs the smart fraction would have had to do them and not had time to advance technology. It’s basic Comparative Advantage.

            >A woman being attracted to a masculine man is noble.

            It is if she’s attracted to other things in addition to his masculinity. Being attracted to someone purely for their sexual characteristics is generally considered to be “shallow.” Shallowness is not regarded to be a noble trait, to say the least.

            >Homosexuals are “fucked in the head”, to speak rashly.

            I’d dispute that. I’d say that if a person’s desires are fully ego-syntonic then they are not “fucked in the head.” As far as I know most homosexual’s desires are ego-syntonic.

            >Being attracted to androgynous people is half that.

            If you mean that finding androgyny attractive is halfway to being homosexual, that is simply not true. That theory would predict that homosexual men are primarily attracted to effeminate men, but in fact homosexual men are often attracted to manly, masculine men. In fact, in the unlikely event you know anything about Japanese gay porn, you’ll find that gay porn with androgynous men (yaoi) is targeted towards women, whereas gay porn with masculine men (bara) is targeted towards gay men.

        • Piano says:

          @Ghatanathoah
          Everything you’ve said is true.

  10. Oligopsony says:

    Randal Collins, in Interaction Ritual Chains, attempts to explain basically all human behavior – including that of the standoffish nerds – as successful-ritual-participation-maximizing (and has a decent operational definition of what makes a ritual successful.) It’s absurdly ambitious and reductionist, which can be taken as warning or praise according to taste, though my own are in the latter direction, hence the recommendation.

  11. Mike Blume says:

    I think I must be weirdly-normal on this axis. I was in marching band in high school and we participated in all the football games and I expected to hate that and I *loved* it, and I yelled a *lot* and was *known*, known even by non-band people for yelling a lot at football games, it just turned out to be this desperately-needed outlet for manic energy.

    • von Kalifornen says:

      I’ve always been disgusted by American high-school athletic patriotism, but when I attended university I found it much better, and marching bands were one of the main things I found better.

  12. ozymandias says:

    I think my brain is abnormally good at being a bee. I am an enthusiastic patriot, I really really like religious services even for religions I don’t believe in, I very much enjoyed the one political rally I’ve ever gone to, and a lot of what I get out of e.g. concerts and conventions is that sense of unity in the in group.

    And I still got nothing out of pep rallies. Pep rallies are terrible.

    • Konkvistador says:

      What is a pep rally?

      • ozymandias says:

        A horrid thing where they take you out of class and make everyone scream for an hour about how great their school is and how their football team is going to win. The cheerleaders and color guard generally perform, and sometimes there are allegedly humorous skits. I really hope there is some vitally important hidden education going on here, because otherwise my estimation of the sensibility of American education is going below its already low level.

        • Deiseach says:

          I’m not going to say “We don’t have that over here” because (a) I’m out of school so long, who knows what modern Irish education is like and (b) possibly some of our schools (e.g. the ones which are fee-paying, what passes for posh in Ireland, and heavily into rugby) do, but –

          – we don’t have cheerleaders or colour guard(?) here, nor marching bands, nor any of that; I don’t know whether that means the American educational system provides more opportunities than the Irish one, or whether the American system (as it looks to an outsider) is so much about social stratification and hierarchy and conditioning pupils to slot into the same niches when they go out into the ‘real world’.

          I mean, the Irish educational system isn’t any great shakes either, but possibly because we don’t have the population density to have secondary schools with huge numbers of pupils, (average size of a secondary school in Ireland would be 500+ pupils and most would be around 300), I don’t think we get the same pressures.

        • Nornagest says:

          or whether the American system […] is so much about social stratification and hierarchy and conditioning pupils to slot into the same niches when they go out into the ‘real world’.

          I don’t think there’s much of a case for relating American high schools’ (admittedly bizarre) infatuation with setpiece sports and their various appendages to any real-world social niches. Being a jock is remarkably bad at preparing you for anything other than being a jock — the burned-out ex-quarterback endlessly reliving his high-school glory days is almost a cliche over here. Same goes for most other high-school social cliques; even the nerds, from what I recall, were more about media than any usefully nerdy skills. I suppose you could read them as a way of inculcating broader cultural roles, but only in a loose and highly abstracted way.

          On the other hand, I do think there might be a case for relating them to certain kinds of nationalism. It wouldn’t be too far off to model American high schools as a kind of microstate, with their own forms of patriotism and interstate rivalry and highly ritualized conflict; participation in group ritual would then be valued as a proxy for the same in adult life. Given their roots in the Prussian school system, some of this is probably even deliberate.

        • Anthony says:

          Being an ex-jock seems to be pretty good preparation for a career in sales or other fields where success comes from schmoozing, though that may not be a very deliberate part of the program.

          Irish (and English) schools likely have less of the more militaristic-looking “school spirit” phenomena, because American education very deliberately apes 19th Century German patterns (those Germans being so very progressive, doncha know).

      • Anonymous says:

        Try youtube.

      • Konkvistador says:

        Ok I think I approximately know what they are now. Thanks.

      • peterdjones says:

        Penalties are unknown in the UK….which “works” for me.

    • Randy M says:

      Is there some social or educational good for all that hoopla? Is generating school spirit done in order to reduce fighting and other in-group dissention, or to distract from the coercive nature of the educational system, or is it just that schools are run by people who fondly remember their time in them, including pep rallys and the like?

      • a person says:

        They’re supposed to be fun, I think. I’m personally not against taking an hour off school once a month for everyone to have fun together.

  13. Max says:

    Always found it funny when “nonconformist” nerds/geeks turn into crazy fanboys of some comic book or cult(!) film and its creators. Trekkies, Whovians, you know what I’m talking about. Not to mention religious evangelism of some internet browser or operating system.

  14. Darcey Riley says:

    I’m really glad you wrote this post, because it describes my experiences perfectly. Growing up, I also had no interest in sports, pep rallies, etc. I never felt collective pride when my school’s sports team won, and I never felt collective grief when something bad happened to something in my town. I also didn’t really belong to any social group. In elementary school, I was a complete outcast. In high school, I had a very close group of three or four friends, but we were mostly united in that we were all outcasts.

    College was the first time that I felt like a member of any in-group. I felt like I really, truly belonged at the University of Rochester. Other Rochester students were like me; they loved learning for its own sake, not for the status it brought, or the stability of a future career. And they dressed similarly to me; I tended to wear the most convenient thing possible, a t-shirt and jeans with my hair in a low ponytail. At most other schools, that probably would have instantly marked me as a nerd who didn’t care about social things, but at Rochester I looked completely normal.

    As a result, for the very first time in my life, I found myself wanting to imitate my peers, instead of differentiating myself from them. In high school the factions were punk, goth, preppy, etc., and I deliberately wore clothing to signal that I didn’t belong to any of these groups. In college, though, I was proud to dress like the other students. Also, in high school, I avoided slang and used literary vocabulary instead. I did this because I wanted to elevate myself above my peers; I always felt like I was the only one in my honors classes who really cared about learning, and not just about getting As so I could attend a prestigious college. But in college, I found myself adopting my friends’ slang (particularly the word “legit”).

    To this day, I have a ton of group loyalty to the University of Rochester. I feel pride when scientists there make important discoveries, even though I had no part in them. I pay close attention to any news that mentions the city of Rochester, even though I no longer live there. I feel solidarity with other people who lived in Rochester, even if they didn’t go to the school. But I still wouldn’t go to a pep rally for a University of Rochester sports team, because there weren’t any. Rochester was a place for people like me, and so of course we didn’t have pep rallies!

    • Michael says:

      “I felt like I really, truly belonged at the University of Rochester. Other Rochester students were like me;”

      Do you mean that you identified with any random student? In my case, I only identified with a handful of other students from my math program.

      • Darcey Riley says:

        Not every single student, but if I looked out at a crowd of students, I felt like I belonged, and these were other people like me. It wasn’t as strong as the affinity I felt to other students in the CS program, but I definitely felt something.

        This contrasts with how I feel now in my grad program; walking around campus, I feel distinctly out of place. Did you feel actively out of place at your college? Or was it more that you just didn’t care about the other students there, except for those few in the math department? (Neither answer will lead me to any conclusion about you; I’m just curious.)

        • Michael says:

          Hm, I didn’t pay much attention to other students. I did a math-econ degree and had an office in the math department, so I bonded more with the math students (there were six of us, so a smaller cohort probably played a role). I recall that the econ students were less intellectually curious, so I found them boring.

          I’m in grad school now too, and I have the same experience as undergrad. It seems like it’s just hard work to filter out and find the intellectually curious nerds.

  15. Max says:

    “And then there are the great nerd cults, like Objectivism and the one that I’m not supposed to use in the same sentence as “cult” for search-engine-related reasons.”

    Exactly. Libertarian Michael Shermer wrote an article about Objectivism, called “The unlikeliest cult in history.”
    And you know something’s wrong with Less Wrong when they use the codeword “phyg” in place of CULT to hide the association.

    • MugaSofer says:

      … why do you know this, exactly?

      It’s because they worry a lot over whether something they do risks becoming a cult, and they don’t want to choose between that and Google connecting them to the word.

      Is trying not be a cult a cultish thing to do?

    • nydwracu says:

      Wrong? It’s great! It’s a selection mechanism providing the right social context for people who would have a much harder time getting a social context any other way. ‘Cult’ just means ‘particularly strong ingroup claiming to be formed around a certain set of teachings’, so as long as there are people who can state disbelief in the core teachings of LW, it’s not a cult.

      I don’t believe in the AI stuff, but it has proven itself to be instrumentally useful — in generating useful work, but also in creating a thede with a useful selection mechanism for membership.

      (edit: if I wanted to be really evil I’d coin the term ‘phyg’ for ‘thede using value-loading as a selection mechanism without requiring belief in it’, but I am only mildly evil, so I will not.)

      • peterdjones says:

        You think there are people in the group who can express strong disbelief? I don’t.

        Cult means ingroup, it means damaged thinking, and it means exploitation.

        Maybe you think some people can’t get the advantages f group membership without paying the price.

        Maybe you haven’t noticed the costs.

        I don’t know.

        • ozymandias says:

          I think the only intellectually respectable position about the Singularity is agnosticism. I think MIRI is about as effective an organization to donate to as the Catholic Church. I am concerned about various toxic ideas floating around the LWsphere. I am fairly open about these beliefs. About three-quarters of my friends are Less Wrongers; I’ve participated in various lesswrongy communities in and out of meatspace. My dissenting opinions have been treated with respect and kindness. How many cults is that true of? Heck, how many ideologies is that true of?

        • peterdjones says:

          Agnosticism isn’t strong disbelief.

        • Nornagest says:

          Aside from a debating society, I doubt any group with political alignments of any kind would pass the “strong disbelief” test. I don’t, for example, think a video-gaming community need give polite deference to the views of Jack Thompson or his followers to be taken seriously as a forum.

        • nydwracu says:

          You think there are people in the group who can express strong disbelief? I don’t.

          Eh, I just did, so we’ll see.

          (Admittedly, I wouldn’t put much effort into arguing for that strong disbelief, but I wouldn’t even if I didn’t see the AI stuff as instrumentally useful — it doesn’t strike me as important. If AI isn’t developed soon, a few people are out of money that they put toward ensuring the development of FAI / prevention of UFAI that may-or-may-not end up being used to generate advances in decision theory / meta-ethics; the biggest risk is that evaporative cooling will turn it into a cult if the value-loading can’t be replaced or seen as merely instrumentally useful, but that’s not likely to happen in a time-range that I care about.)

          Also, in the aforementioned Grognor comment:

          XiXiDu regularly posts SIAI criticism, and it always gets upvoted, no matter how wrong. Not to mention all the other posts (more) disagreeing with claims in what are usually called the Sequences, all highly upvoted by Less Wrong members.

        • Creutzer says:

          I also don’t believe in the AI stuff either, although I find the work in decision theory and mathematical logic interesting, to the extent that I can follow it.

          I’m also a metaethical antirealist and have said so during a discussion at a LW meetup in the US with no adverse consequences.

          All I have seen indicates that the broader LW community is remarkably good at not excluding people for not believing in certain propositions. This is a very non-cultish feature.

        • peterdjones says:

          Creutzer , I don’t know why you think admission of metaethical antirealism would be a problem. Just about very position is extant on LW,and just about every position has been embraced by EY at some point.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Nydwracu

          XiXiDu is not at all welcome nowadays.

        • Creutzer says:

          Admission of metaethical realism is not trivial in a group where subscription to some form of utilitarianism and interest in effective altruism is so prevalent, which it is in the group where said meetup happened.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “strong disbelief”, by the way. Would strong disbelief in LessWrong’s “standard” ethics be that we should all be mean to people? Would strong disbelief be that all work on FAI is a wasted effort and should stop? In that case, requiring the possibility of voicing strong disbelief to prove that a group is not a cult is an absurd demand. It would mean that the group accepts members who are actually inimical to its goals. And surely the complement of “cult” is not “self-sabotaging group”.

          By the way, Alicorn was at least at some point known to subscribe to deontological ethics. I don’t know if she still does.

        • peterdjones says:

          There is nothing to stop an ethical antirealist being .sn altruist or utilitarian.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Peter, can you possibly state just what exactly it is you are claiming about Less Wrong, rather than just the category-membership statement it “is a cult”? Because it doesn’t seem to be clear to anyone else here.

        • Nornagest says:

          XiXiDu is not at all welcome nowadays.

          His 30-day karma is positive. I do see a couple of posts that have been downvoted below the threshold — I’d guess for repeatedly presenting the same intuitions as evidence — but he’s not exactly getting run out of town on a rail.

      • I’m dubious about the AI stuff, too, but I agree about the instrumental value of LW, and also of rationality training.

        Who’d have thought it would take this baroque roundabout project of FAI to get people to be serious about teaching and applying such things as the sunk cost fallacy and writing down what you’re thinking about?

      • Oligopsony says:

        (edit: if I wanted to be really evil I’d coin the term ‘phyg’ for ‘thede using value-loading as a selection mechanism without requiring belief in it’, but I am only mildly evil, so I will not.)

        You just did. >:]

  16. AR+ says:

    Does your ability to appreciate patriotism and religion extend to the point of adopting them, or at least considering adopting them to some extent?

    Following some reflection on concepts I learned from Less Wrong, I recently began to seriously consider conversion to Mormonism for the cultural advantages. Allegedly, they have a lot going for them. This is not something I’d have ever previously considered, since I consider theism in general to be obviously false, so obviously I would never join a group that proclaims theism to be true. But now with the concept of Belief as Attire, I can appreciate that the things they “believe” are mostly only beliefs in the sense of proclaiming loyalty to a group, so it actually isn’t a problem that my anticipated-experiences beliefs are purely atheist, right?

    • James James says:

      I have considered this but not seriously. I’d have to fake belief in God and interest in Mormon theology, which I don’t want to and don’t think I could. It’s not clear what the causal mechanisms are, so it’s not clear that it would work. And I’d have to give them 10% of my income — no thanks.

      • Randy M says:

        Just out of curiosity, do you have insurance of other forms? Tithing a church could be seen as a form of social insurance.

        • nydwracu says:

          One of the draws to fraternal societies back in the days before insurance policies were common was that they’d serve a similar function to insurance, so there was a time when that analogy was more apt than you think.

        • Randy M says:

          How do you know how apt I think the analogy I chose?

        • nydwracu says:

          Well, if you knew about that (or something to that effect that I don’t know), I’m wrong. But I figured it wasn’t very likely — estimated that the odds of anyone here knowing a particular fact about the history of a type of institution that hardly exists anymore in the social environments I’d expect this place to be drawing from was going to be pretty low.

          (I think I wouldn’t have cared enough to investigate the history if I hadn’t spent two and a half years in a college where you had to walk past a Masonic lodge in order to get to the convenience store.)

        • peterdjones says:

          There is lot to be said for contractually binding forms of insurance, given that the alternatIve will likely not pay off if your hypocrisy is exposed.

        • Alrenous says:

          “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the primary sources of health care and health insurance for the working poor in Britain, Australia, and the United States was the fraternal society.”
          http://freenation.org/a/f12l3.html

          “Before the rise of the welfare state, they were rivaled only by churches as organizational providers of social welfare. By conservative estimates eighteen million American men and women were members in 1920 at least three out of every ten adult males. While fraternal societies differed in ethnicity, class, and gender, most shared a common set of characteristics. In general, this included a decentralized lodge system, some sort of ritual, and the payment of cash benefits in times of sickness and death.”
          http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/lodge-doctors-and-the-poor

    • Desertopa says:

      I would caution heavily against this. Mormon society has some definite strong points, most of all if you’re very much a “bee” sort of individual by nature, but it’s also *very* discomforting and stressful for people who fail to fit in in any respect.

      You know all those ads which show wholesome people doing fun or exciting-seeming things, and they proclaim “I’m so-and-so, and I’m a Mormon?” These kinds of ads belie, and may be created specifically to address, the basic fact that when you are a Mormon there are all sorts of things, things widely seen to be respectable or valuable in broader society, which you simply can’t do without backlash from the community.

      I’ve known more bitter ex-Mormons with horror stories than I have members of any other religious group, and keep in mind that Mormons are well into minority status in this country.

      You might check out the book Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin for more background on this (it’s not the only piece I’ve read that discusses these matters by any means, but it’s the most recent and the only where I can easily retrieve the name.)

      • AR+ says:

        I’ll check that out, thanks. My personal experience with the disproportionately large number of Mormons on my submarine (US Navy) seems to indicate that it’s not that bad, but I am still at the stage where I’m just saying, “It is worth getting much more information about this before rejecting the idea.”

  17. Jack says:

    I think of political rallies like mind-altering drugs: I love the effects on me in extreme moderation, but I’m scared that I’ll end up actually believing whatever I’m chanting. (Which is sometimes necessary, but I’m usually more scared by dogmatism than apathy, even though both are real dangers.)

  18. MugaSofer says:

    But pep rallies were the worst of all. It wasn’t just that they were celebrations of the kind of guys who would yell incomprehensible things at me, led by the kind of girls who would preemptively tell me they would never date me even though I hadn’t asked.

    Wow. I am … desperately ungrateful, aren’t I? That’s awful. So thankful I don’t attend your highschool.

  19. Valhar2000 says:

    the one that I’m not supposed to use in the same sentence as “cult” for search-engine-related reasons

    Would someone be kind enough to tell me what this means?

    • Konkvistador says:

      No, you are wrong.

      Scott is referring to LessWrong. See for example this post’s use of Phyg as Rot13 for cult.

      http://lesswrong.com/lw/bql/our_phyg_is_not_exclusive_enough/

      • Randy M says:

        Indeed, people who call themselves Sith Lords (tongue in cheek?) probably don’t get ruffled feathers at being call cultish.

    • Max says:

      From the RationalWiki entry on Less Wrong:

      The site has been accused of being a personality cult of Eliezer Yudkowsky, and does not reflect the other essayists who have become almost as influential. Cultishness is heavily discussed on the site, both by Yudkowsky and others.[31] Amusingly enough, this led to some search engines suggesting “cult” as a related term to “Less Wrong” … in response to which, some users started using the code-word “phyg”[32] to mean “cult”.[33]

  20. Sniffnoy says:

    This whole post strikes me as really oddly framed. Like, I’m not sure if this is what you intended, but since you start out with the chimp/bee contrast, and then say that nerds are rarely bees, this seems to be suggesting that nerds are usually chimps. But I think your ordinary nerd would say “I’m not a chimp, I focus on things that matter, not stupid things.” As described at the top they seem more like the bees! OK, sure, we’re terrible at coordinating, and we know that people say we are terrible at coordinating, but despite this we still don’t think we’re terrible at coordinating because we mostly don’t recognize the value of coordination. But in terms of “focusing on doing good”, “bees” still seems more appropriate than “chimps” (even if “chimps” is more appropriate in terms of how we ultimately end up going about it).

    And then, making the whole thing weirder, your examples of bee-ness — both for nerds and otherwise — aren’t even really examples of people coordinating to get things done, they’re just examples of people cheering for their in-group. Which is often helpful for that, sure, but shouldn’t be identified with it. The nerd would probably maintain that they can get things done as a group without any cheering. And I don’t think they’d be wrong — a lot of the hard part isn’t recognizing an in-group, it’s recognizing the importance of coordination and mechanisms for such.

    It seems especially odd to me that you bring up natural disasters, but then instead of talking about people rapidly coordinating to help those who’ve been hurt, you talk about feeling mass grief about it! That doesn’t seem to meet the “bee” description very well at all. So while you’ve got a real point to make here — nerds are not nearly as different from ordinary people as we like to claim we are — I don’t think this “chimp/bee” thing is a good way of framing it. It just doesn’t seem to fit what you’re talking about.

  21. von Kalifornen says:

    I think there’s a third aspect of this: Betrayal by reality, and hope. America, at least, has far too much bad history no matter where you stand or who your family is.

    I know a young man who in his youth detested American patriotism, and all other such things as you have described. And yet he became the most ardent supporter of the Heilge Kaiserreich der Weltraum, too ardent for my taste, because we were new and people were hopeful, and we hadn’t had to make any hard choices yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, I have no idea what a “Heilge Kaiserreich der Weltraum” is supposed to be (found nothing with google, guess it’s partof some kind of roleplaying or micronaton make-believe game?). If it’s supposed to mean something like “Holy Empire of/in Space” and it’s not intentionally butchered Geman, I’d suggest “Heiliges Kaiserreich des Weltalls” (of space) or “Heiliges Kaiserreich im Weltall” (in space).

  22. Said Achmiz says:

    But wait. Didn’t we have this discussion about that very thing in your last link, and didn’t we talk about how you shouldn’t claim that all people have the need for this sort of thing? On that comment thread, a whole bunch of people on Lesswrong expressed their disgust and horror at the very notion, not only of participating in such a thing, but at the very thought that their beloved, dear, very-much-ingroup rationalist community would have events like this! So… I’m afraid I don’t buy it.

    • Sniffnoy says:

      Yes, this is a good point.

      EDIT: Tangentially, am I the only one who is uneasy with the following:

      The only experience I can compare it to was being a kid and thinking I would never be dumb enough to waste time with crushes and romance, and then growing older and having the appropriate genetic payload unpack itself and tell me that this was a big part of what makes life worth living.

      Like, am I the only one who found the experience of being, y’know, modified as a teenager absolutely horrifying; who ultimately made peace with it by saying, well, it’s not really harmful; who is still kind of horrified that this happened, that we just allow this to happen, that hardly anyone ever expresses says it shouldn’t happen; and who finds the statement that “this [is] a big part of what makes life worth living” to be similarly horrifying?

      • Vanzetti says:

        >Like, am I the only one who found the experience of being, y’know, modified as a teenager absolutely horrifying

        What about being modified as a pre-teen? As a baby? As a fetus? We are being modified all our lives. I’d wager the modification of old age is much more horrifying.

        >and who finds the statement that “this [is] a big part of what makes life worth living” to be similarly horrifying?

        I think most teenagers discover sexuality as something potentially positive, a source of pleasure they knew not before. In other words, a pure gain. Maybe your experience was different.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          What about being modified as a pre-teen? As a baby? As a fetus? We are being modified all our lives. I’d wager the modification of old age is much more horrifying.

          I’m only discussing value modification here, so I’m not really seeing the relevance. I suppose I may have been a little unclear there; sorry about that.

          I think most teenagers discover sexuality as something potentially positive, a source of pleasure they knew not before. In other words, a pure gain. Maybe your experience was different.

          I'm going to leave aside the question of my own case and just point out that this basically fails to address the whole "value modification" thing. Like, what you are saying works as an argument that if your old value system was hedonistic, then you shouldn't have a problem with this modification; but it doesn't say anything about non-hedonists.

        • Vanzetti says:

          @Sniffnoy

          Look, it’s not like you were 100% free to pick your own value system at birth, and then at some point evil puberty came and started to mess with it against your will.

          In other words, if you have problems with the external world modifying your internal state, well I got bad news for you. 🙂

        • Sniffnoy says:

          True enough. I mostly just wish people would be a bit less cavalier when it comes to accepting this and considering it a good thing. And would like to point out that not everybody just goes along with or is necessarily OK with the result.

        • Vanzetti says:

          @Sniffnoy

          All I wanted to say, your Lovecraftian horror at the blind and relentless external force reaching inside you and changing your mind and body should not be limited to puberty or, indeed, to anything particular. The whole universe is this force.

          Basically, we are living inside Cthulhu.

      • Konkvistador says:

        Standard value preservation arguments apply, so indeed it very much is horrifying from the perspective of one’s old values, but very much necessary from the perspective of one’s new values.

        I think a very rational very intelligent child in a transhuman society that had the technology to safely prevent puberty from doing this, would use such technology.

        • ozymandias says:

          Anecdata; When I was a child I was fairly horrified at the prospect of falling in love with, ew, boys and would have probably used such technology to turn into an aromantic or a lesbian.

        • The Anonymouse says:

          You see the same sort of reaction in child-free communities (the reaction that Ozy describes). Being a parent is something many people are horrified at the idea of, until they become one. And then many look back at their previous ideas with the amusement of dissipated naivete.

          Of course, this doesn’t happen to all, but it is certainly non-negligible. (Anecdata: it certainly happened to me.) Enough so that the CF folks of my acquaintance /loathe/ the common “Aww, how cute, you’ll understand when you grow up” comments they draw, and those parents who throw out those comments correspondingly condescend just as many of us condescend to the little girl who swears she’ll never go near “those icky boys.”

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @ozymandias

          I kind of wonder if those were your younger self’s true values.

          I personally skipped the “girls are icky” phase because I realized that the thought processes used to generate it was “it is acceptable to hate people for being physically different from you.” I realized that this was a horrible ego-dystonic thought process that was contrary to my values and from then on rejected it.

          I wonder if your younger self could be persuaded the same way.

        • Creutzer says:

          Being a parent is something many people are horrified at the idea of, until they become one. […] Of course, this doesn’t happen to all, but it is certainly non-negligible.

          This has a disturbing implication that a non-negligible number of people take action to bring about a state of affairs that they are horrified at the idea of.

        • The Anonymouse says:

          Re: Creutzer:

          This is true, but I would argue it’s more unfortunate than disturbing (if disturbing necessarily implies some level of surprise). Many people are horrified at the idea of being in a car accident, but a non-negligible number of them drive drunk. Many people are horrified at the idea of being a parent (altogether, or at their current age, or with the person they are having sex with), but a non-negligible number of them fail to use the appropriate safeguards.

      • B_For_Bandana says:

        I distinctly remember being horrified at the prospect of my values just changing against my will when I learned about sex and sexual attraction before puberty. I remember in elementary school when we watched one of those briefing videos on our changing bodies that that was my main concern. The teachers did Q&A afterward, and while the other kids asked pretty much the questions you would expect, mine was, “But why do you just start liking girls all of a sudden?” which, at ten, was the closest I could come to putting my objection to value-modification into words. The teachers didn’t really get it, understandably.

      • Hainish says:

        No. You’re not the only one.

      • Benquo says:

        Permitting a child’s body to transform them into a fundamentally different person is the babyeating thing to do.

      • Deiseach says:

        As a person whose “appropriate genetic payload” never did unpack itself (and it’s not likely to, at this late stage in my life – I won’t give exact age, but I’m long past my thirties), yes – I have to say, the “a big part of what makes life worth living” is exactly the kind of thing that grates on me.

        I suppose I should just shuffle off to my dark, dank corner and rue that I am not having a life worth living because I’m not one straw interested in boyfriend/girlfriend/othergenderfriend/nogenderfriend?

        I won’t blame Scott, though; if he enjoys it, good luck to him, I just would ask he try to sound less like the greeting card manufacturers, florists, and hotels flogging ‘dinners for two/romantic getaway breaks’ on St Valentine’s Day when he does mention it 🙂

        • peterdjones says:

          Most people don’t have much idea of alternative things that make life worth living, because they just default to the default thing.

        • Matthew says:

          I think you underestimate the enviable nature of your position.

          For reference: I have an interesting job, hobbies I enjoy, am in better health than 99.9% of the population, and even have children from a previous (admittedly nightmarish) marriage. But I have both a really high libido and a really strong pair-bonding instinct, and there is no question for me at all that if I spend the rest of my life alone, it will not have been worth living. This is the sort of thought that keeps me awake at night. (Like Ialdabaoth, I like ’em young, so every passing day it feels a bit more hopeless.) There is quite literally nothing that can make up for the pain of romantic loneliness.

          I’m glad your life is worth living without romance. But I assure you, it isn’t a trope created by Hallmark. Some of us really are like that.

      • CAE_Jones says:

        Like, am I the only one who found the experience of being, y’know, modified as a teenager absolutely horrifying; who ultimately made peace with it by saying, well, it’s not really harmful; who is still kind of horrified that this happened, that we just allow this to happen, that hardly anyone ever expresses says it shouldn’t happen; and who finds the statement that “this [is] a big part of what makes life worth living” to be similarly horrifying?

        You are not the only one.

        Right up until just before the major changes started, I didn’t think of it as something horrifying, because I was thinking in terms of memes like “it’s not the outside that counts” and the power of the mind (the naive, “even when your hormones are out of whack and your circulation is horrible and your prefrontal cortex has atrophied, you can just CHOOSE to PUT YOUR MIND TO success, and you will succeed” kind). Then I watched a video of me at age 2 (my long term memory is pretty good, so before doing this I could still relate to the me in the video; yes, there were discrepencies between my memory and the video, but they were mostly minor details), realized how much I’d changed *without* puberty and the high school social environment. And I’ve pretty much stayed perpetually horrified ever sense. The biologically-enforced changes that followed immediately thereafter received most of the focus of my negativity, since, unlike how I’d changed before and after, it is nontrivial and extremely costly (where remotely possible) to self-modify around those.
        I find it very difficult not to rant for a few pages, now that the subject has been broached.

      • Matthew says:

        Since the replies to this comment are skewing heavily toward agreement with you, I’m going to interject here just to preempt the possible misperception that your feeling is a human universal.

        I never went through or understood the “girls are icky” phase that other people had. I understood that girls were interesting in a way that boys weren’t from age 4, had my first crush at age 5, and started puberty at age 9. (Having enlightened parents, I’d been given a book beforehand, so it wasn’t a surprise, even though it hadn’t been covered in school yet.) Although my oldest memory is from age 2 years 10 months, I only really have memories from age 3.5 or so. I had almost no time as a person who wasn’t interested in the other sex, so I wouldn’t have felt like I was losing an identity.

        • Elissa says:

          I, too, had romantic feelings of the can-I-be-your-girlfriend variety in kindergarten. I discovered masturbation quite early (although I didn’t start having orgasms until closer to puberty), and from the time I knew what sexuality was I wanted to be good at it and was pretty sure it would be fun times.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Yes, other people gave examples of this back during the missing human universals thread.

          Perhaps I should be honest about why I made that post — I mean, pretty obviously it was a call for agreement. The reason I made it is because — well, I don’t really hang out on LessWrong so much these days, but it’s a position I don’t really see taken within the LW-sphere; the opposite position, that this is not horrifying but rather obviously right, is the standard one there, and in all my time there I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone claim otherwise. I wasn’t so much trying to convince people they should be horrified as to say, “Hey! This is not obvious!”

        • Creutzer says:

          It seems there is a lot of variety in this area. My own development does not align was any that has been mentioned. As far as I remember, I was asexual as a child, but didn’t have a girls-are-icky phase, either. I was basically gender-blind until puberty.

          I remember that my pre-puberty self simply didn’t believe that its values would change in that regard. It seems that it expected to remain asexual, which it was wrong about. But in a different way, it could be said that it was right: I didn’t experience puberty as a radical value modification, but rather as the development of a compulsive disorder. It was only many years later that I first endorsed romantic feelings.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          To be clear, when I spoke of being “modified”, I was specifically referring to the whole mating (sex/romance/whatever) thing, not the ending of “the-opposite-sex-is-icky” (which I’m not sure I ever really had). Honestly I always just assumed that “the-opposite-sex-is-icky” was basically just a childish ingroup/outgroup thing and that people would grow out of it regardless of puberty. Do we know anything about the attitudes of eunuchs towards women? If them considering women to be “icky” (as opposed to just, y’know, not having any desire to mate with them) was a common thing, I haven’t heard of it, but this is pretty far from topics I know anything about.

      • Sarah says:

        Sure, I went through the “oh god what’s happening” phase, but even at twelve it felt a little forced — I had to admit that puberty was basically working properly. I went through Our Bodies, Ourselves and Freud and The Female Eunuch and braced for the worst, but the sailing was almost disappointingly smooth. Later I learned evo-psych and that was more disturbing, but not quite the blow it is to most people. The purity most smart people are horrified to lose, I didn’t even know about until well into adulthood.,.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          The purity most smart people are horrified to lose, I didn’t even know about until well into adulthood.

          Sorry, could you elaborate on this? I’m less than clear on just what you’re saying here.

        • Sarah says:

          There’s a common pattern where idealistic, intellectual young people meet evo-psych and shudder. “Wow, we’re all violent, status-seeking, hypocritical, even me; there is no righteousness in human nature.” The horror of being an ape.

          I didn’t really get the full force of that horror, because I had never viewed myself as acting according to pure impartial principle. I didn’t feel I had any “innocence” to lose. So I don’t have that experience of horrified learning that people aren’t perfectly principled.

          It’s like that line from Exiles.
          “You have that fierce indignation which
          lacerated the heart of Swift. You have fallen from a higher world, Richard, and you are filled with fierce indignation, when you find that life is cowardly and ignoble. While I . . . shall I tell you? I have come up from a lower world and I am filled with astonishment when I find that people have any redeeming virtue at all.”

          Not that I’m really Robert Hand. But I play him sometimes. The world’s Richard Rowans need a little pushback now and then, even though I’m fundamentally on their side.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Sarah

          I count myself lucky for never experiencing “evo-psych shock.” I attribute this primarily to two factors:

          -I was exposed to it extremely early due to my childhood obsession with biology and science fiction. I loved stories about aliens that acted strangely because they evolved differently, so thinking from an evo-psych perspective was something I was conditioned to due.

          -My Lutheran upbringing conditioned me to consider it impossible for humans to act perfectly moral and not find it surprising when people sinned. It was also helpful in helping me quickly get the concept of “akrasia” and realize that the economist’s doctrine of “reveal preferences” was hogwash.

          When I went to college I was frequently surprised by how resistant people were to evo-psych and how they were profoundly disturbed by ideas I considered common sense.

        • Oligopsony says:

          I also took to evo psych when young and did not experience any “shock.” Later I abandoned it, but not for anything more optimistic.

        • Nornagest says:

          I read Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape when I was about ten. About all I can blame it for was a temporary fondness for spinning evolutionary just-so stories.

      • Ghatanathoah says:

        I didn’t find puberty horrifying, but your post has made me start to wonder if I somehow escaped being heavily modified by it.

        I still like everything I did when I was little. I love dinosaurs, candy, superheroes, aliens, fast food, and moral philosophy. I sometimes enjoy these things in more complex ways, but that’s because I’m smarter, not because of puberty.

        There’s the whole sex and romance thing, but that wasn’t that big a change either. When I was little and read shows with romantic plotline I empathized with the characters and thought that such a relationship would be positive and I wouldn’t mind developing the ability to experience that in the future. My relationship with my gf doesn’t seem especially different from any friendships I had in the past, we’re essentially just close friends who have sex sometimes (to be honest I find it kind of baffling that someone could become romantically involved with someone who wasn’t their friend first).

        My experiences have made me believe that “growing out of something” is not in fact a value modification caused by aging. Rather it is an unconscious attempt to signal maturity by cultivating tastes in things stereotypical older people like. However, your experience seems to be different in this regard. I had previously thought I retained my childhood interests by being immune to peer pressure, but maybe I’m just immune to the mental effects of puberty.

        • Slow Learner says:

          I agree with the standard of relationships usually and most naturally starting with friendship, but I nonetheless find relationships to be qualitatively different from friendships in ways that aren’t just about sex, so would not describe my wife as someone who is a close friend I have sex with sometimes. I mean, she is a close friend, you don’t need details about our sex life, but there’s more going on than that and I am going to struggle to express what.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Slow Learner

          On further introspection I might feel something akin to what you are describing, which is that I feel like my gf is less replaceable than a friend. As in, I would consider losing my relationship with her to be a much bigger disaster than losing my relationship with a friend I was quite close to, and that I would find developing a replacement relationship with someone else to be much harder on me emotionally.

          I suppose I have this sort of feeling that romance is sort of “friendship plus.” Once I developed a sufficiently strong friendship with my gf she got “promoted” from friend to significant other. That promotion entailed a few perks, like stronger emotional ties, but wasn’t that qualitatively different from our previous relationship.

          • Slow Learner says:

            I see friendship and romance as being closely related but not identical. Romance, to me, requires either friendship or the potential for friendship; becoming romantically involved with someone will increase my feelings of friendship towards them. Becoming closer friends with someone may, or may not, engender romantic feelings towards them, and this uncertainty persists even if the friend in question is someone I find sexually attractive and believe would probably be relationally compatible with me.
            So in one direction the relationship is strong and direct; in the other it is less strong and may not occur at all.
            How does that compare with your experience?

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            I have noticed a phenomena somewhat similar to the one you describe, where I see some female friends as romantic prospects and some as not. I think the common denominator is that the friends I feel romantic towards are ones who I sense I would feel very comfortable discussing my emotional life with. There is some part of their personality that makes me feel that such a discussion would be both safe and productive. When this “comfortableness” is combined with friendship and common interests romantic attraction results.

        • Creutzer says:

          I have discovered that there is variation in the way people perceive their own transtemporal identity. You’re apparently one of those who feel they are still in some relevant sense the same person that they were as a child.

          I’m at the other end of the spectrum – I feel that I am in no way at all the same person as my child-self. In fact, I’m not even entirely clear about to what extent this is a spectrum or a binary distinction, and if it’s a spectrum, how people are distributed along it. I only have anecdotal data points from friends and acquaintances.

          I find the friendship-romance distinction, or lack thereof, quite interesting, too. For me, there is no qualitative distinction here. I’ve had sexless friendships that were as close and non-replaceable as relationships (quite generally, I consider my friendships to be very non-replaceable), and my relationships always start off as friendships. The pattern of jumping into a relationship after less than a month of meeting is completely incomprehensible to me, as is the practice of immediately categorising people of the opposite gender into potential friends vs. potential partners. (Although these two are again not necessarily paired; I know someone who also has no strong friendship/relationship distinction and does jump into sexual relations very quickly.) All the while, I do have a qualitative distinction between limerence and ordinary “liking somebody”.

          Sometimes I wonder if I don’t have an exaggerated impression of human variation in all of these respects; but evidence for the psychological unity of mankind just refuses to surface. All I find is more and more points on which humans are so different as to be thoroughly incomprehensible to each other.

        • nydwracu says:

          (to be honest I find it kind of baffling that someone could become romantically involved with someone who wasn’t their friend first)

          I find it baffling that someone could become romantically involved with someone who was their friend first.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @nydwracu

            That makes sense, I’ve long noticed that other people are not like me. But I do have trouble understanding their thought processes. How exactly do you perceive someone who is not your friend, but is a romantic prospect? Wouldn’t you at least think that they’d make a great friend if the whole romance thing didn’t work out.

            I wonder if one of the reasons divorces and breakups are common is because so many people are not like me. If you’re someone’s friend first that means you’ve already established that person as someone you get along with, even without romance. There’s less chance of unpleasant surprises later and it protects against romance fading.

          • Slow Learner says:

            This. It’s like the meme that ex-partners shouldn’t be friends – I don’t get it at all, I’m friends with all my exes, and my wife is friends with all of hers, and that works for us…but apparently for some people that’s almost incomprehensible?

        • ozymandias says:

          I suspect some of the difference here might be between people who experience limerence and people who don’t.

          For me, I want to have sex with most of my close friends, but I don’t necessarily want to date them; I only want to date people I experience limerence for, which is a much smaller subset.

        • Creutzer says:

          I suspect some of the difference here might be between people who experience limerence and people who don’t.

          It’s a reasonable suspicion, but unless I’m completely misunderstanding myself, I’m a counterexample. I experience limerence, and still I don’t have this strong potential friend/romantic prospect divide.

    • Alexander Stanislaw says:

      Yes you’ve expressed your distaste for rituals before. However, I notice that Scott’s post is titled “Nerds can be bees” not “all Nerds should be bees”. Are you saying that events like this shouldn’t exist? Or are you saying that some people just don’t like events like this? The latter is entirely compatible with Scott’s argument.

      • Said Achmiz says:

        I’m saying that many nerds can’t be “bees” (ugh, this terminology really is bad). And don’t want to. (And are right not to want to, imo.)

        This is definitely relevant to my view that such events shouldn’t exist*, but that wasn’t the point of my comment.

        *Actually, that’s not even my view, my view is more complicated than that, but let’s not restart that discussion here.

        • Alexander Stanislaw says:

          “’m saying that many nerds can’t be “bees””

          Which is entirely compatible with Scott’s argument.

          “And are right not to want to, imo”

          Which is totally not compatible with Scott’s argument. But if you don’t want to talk about it right now then very well.

          But don’t accuse Scott of saying that all nerds should be bees.

        • Creutzer says:

          “’m saying that many nerds can’t be “bees””

          Which is entirely compatible with Scott’s argument.

          Well… Bare plurals in subject position (“nerds”, as opposed to “some nerds”) are generally read not existential, but generic. Generics do permit exceptions, but not if the exceptions are “many”. And besides, it’s always worth pointing out the existence exceptions when they are non-trivial.

          And for what it’s worth, I have reason to believe that I’m one, too. I share Said Achmiz’s sentiments about this whole stuff. In fact, I’m not even sure I qualify as a nerd. Which would make me a non-nerd who can’t be a bee.

        • Said Achmiz says:

          Alexander Stanislaw, what do you even mean by “should be bees”? Who brought “should” into the discussion? It sure wasn’t me. Honestly, I don’t understand what it could even mean in this context, to say that someone “should” be a “bee”. (Does it mean — should, all the time? Should, at specific times? Should, at least sometimes? I don’t even know.)

          So of course I’m not accusing Scott of saying that.

          As for the other thing — Creutzer addressed that.

          What I am “accusing” Scott of is implying that all (or close to all) nerds do have this sort of need and desire for collectivized expressions of fanatical emotion, etc. His last line (“my advice…”) is especially problematic in light of the discussion I linked in my top-level comment. Consider:

          Some People in the Rationalist Community (SPRC): Let’s have rituals and so forth!
          Non-Bees in the Rationalist Community (NBRC): The horror! Please don’t do this! We hate it! 🙁
          Scott: From your reaction, I conclude that the rationalist community must not really be an in-group for you. Go find another in-group.
          NBRC: *feel excluded, dismissed, and generally sad*

        • nydwracu says:

          I once had a strong aversion to ‘beehood’, which I think arose from the fact that I had no thede-affiliation strong enough to bring it about.

          There’s a bit in Mozi — though I’ve only gotten this secondhand through lectures and reading Mencius [the real one, not Moldbug], so I could be getting the details wrong — where he talks about expanding the circle of empathy through the practice of empathy with those closer to oneself. Understanding ‘beehood’ seems to require a similar process, though it’s complicated by the prevalence of anti-‘bee’ messages in our society. Or at least it did for me: I didn’t understand ‘beehood’ until I started acting like a ‘bee’ and then saw from outside the ‘beehood’ of a thede I was in. (As I said many comment-chains upthread.) You don’t understand it until you’ve experienced it — and until you’ve noticed that you’ve experienced it.

          We’ve all heard the heuristic, I think, that one ought to be suspicious of claims of universality of something strongly pushed by the culture from which the claims originate. This applies here. Maybe there’s some truth in the claim — and it had to have originated from somewhere — but it’s likely to be much less true than is thought.

          I suspect that some of the people who think they’re incapable of ‘beehood’ are in the same place I was when I thought I was incapable of it — and I can understand the early-20th-century society-as-unit thing now, and the impulses underlying it, so, ah, it didn’t last.

  23. I’m on the autism spectrum, and think I really *am* lacking in that switch. None of the groups I consider “my people” (the Liberal Democrats, parts of Doctor Who and comics fandom, Beach Boys fandom, campaigners for electoral reform) has ever made me feel like that. I hope to God none ever do.

  24. Salem says:

    It’s supposed to mean that people usually push each other around selfishly to gain status, but occasionally have an ability to come together into a single unified superorganism working for the common good.

    I definitely have this “bee-like” part in me, but I suppose the difference is that I almost never see this as “a superorganism working for the common good.” With very rare exceptions, “bee” activities are, at best, a waste of time (prayer, pep rallies), normally negative (political partisanship, feminism), and sometimes disastrous (pogroms, gangs). So although I can sometimes lose myself as a “bee,” when I realise what I am doing I become repulsed, and so I try to stay away from those things.

    • Sniffnoy says:

      I think this is the usual nerd way of looking at things, and also reinforces what I said above that “bee” seems the wrong label for what Scott is discussing here.

  25. Julia says:

    Yes. I have no hive-ness about organized sports but realized I do have it for organized dancing. Rapper sword dance is a traditional English dance with five people who weave figures with flexible steel swords. (example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74hFA7-xryY)

    I remember the experience of team-ness, of being physically close and closely coordinated with four other people, being novel and enjoyable, which surprised me.

    • Randy M says:

      Did you mean to say Rapier, or is it in fact a dance of rapier wielding rappers, which would be fascinating on a homophonic humor level.

      • Douglas Knight says:

        The etymology is obscure. Some say it was originally a tool for making noise in distinct raps.

  26. Michael says:

    As a jock-nerd, I’ve never had a problem with participating in team sports, but I’ve never understood patriotism, prayer, or pep rallies.

  27. spandrell says:

    Oh, so you’ve just proved that nerds aren’t just some weird but harmless group of people with a brain handicap that makes them unable to enjoy crowds; nerds are normal but smart people who are actively hostile to their country and community and instead root for communities different from the ones they were born into.

    Good stuff Scott, good stuff.

    • Zathille says:

      I’m not sure, it struck me more as non-identification and/or indifference, a far cry from actual hostility.

    • peterdjones says:

      ..or certain social groupings aren’t too welcoming to them….and it s not like countries and communities are really real things…they go away if everyone stops believing in them.

      • Randy M says:

        You seem to be confusing physical for real, which seems to be poorly optimized for predicting reality.

        • peterdjones says:

          Since I said really real, I’m not. Countries and communities are real enough for some purposes, but it is not evil to withdraw your subscription.

        • Randy M says:

          Sure, okay. I noticed you said that they go away if everyone stops believing in them (and presumably realizes everyone else does too, and presumably the people with guns and resources act on their new lack of belief rather than their old power-enhancing social consensus), which is technically true in the same way it is true that one enters orbit by jumping high enough.

          Your comment about it not being evil to withdrawl your subscription brings to mind the recent conversation about what debts one can owe without explicit consent, and the in-group loyalty morality criteria that it is suggested that progressives lack.
          Actually, the “you didn’t build that” line of argument would indicate that liberals especially would hold that withdrawing your membership from society at this point (this point being some time after you have been raised by other members of it) cannot be done without discharging a debt of some kind.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Randy

          Everything you say is true of countries, none of it is true of other social groupings. You don’t owe anything to co immunities you didn’t elect to join, or which don’t want you to.

        • Randy M says:

          They were used interchangably throughout the thread. It is interesting to detangle what makes them different, though, since both are mere ephemeral concepts.

          Why does one owe a debt to a country but not a community? Because the laws of a country have enabled one to live a privleged life (to whatever degree one has had a life above the absolute baseline)? But surely, since laws are mere consensus backed up with arbitrary enforcement mechanisms (of which other communities have access to certain forms (social ostrcism) and not others (licit violence)), and other forms of community contribute to these norms (like state & city laws, or social customs of a neighborhood or family) on can owe a debt to them as well, proportionally smaller (or concievably larger!)?

    • blacktrance says:

      nerds are normal but smart people who are actively hostile to their country and community and instead root for communities different from the ones they were born into

      Yes, nerds are great, we know. 😛

  28. Liz says:

    I identify with all of the lack-of-feelings identified in the comment thread, but I’m also actively creeped out by serious fandoms, any sort of emotional X-is-better-than-Y allegiance disagreement, and Less Wrong. I’ve been to some effective altruism meetings and meetups, and I find being among like-minded people a little weird and very boring.

    However, I think this is a little bit intentional. When I was fifteen I was really into progressive politics, but I eventually figured out that partisanship was making me stupid. I became thoroughly disgusted with some of the positions I had held and avoided groupiness after that.

  29. Ialdabaoth says:

    Interestingly enough, my enjoyment of such group-bonding activities is directly proportional to my internal perceptions of net contribution to the group (which if I’m not careful, gets proxied by my hierarchical position within said group). I.e., I only feel good about rallies if I believe they are in some way praising *ME*, and only if I also happen to believe that my actions were legitimately praise-worthy.

    This *DOES* seem to have the side-benefit that such rallies strongly motivate me to contribute positively to group goals.

    • Benquo says:

      I think you might have meant:

      My enjoyment of such group-bonding activities is directly proportional to my hierarchical position within said group (which if I’m careful, gets rationalized as my internal perceptions of net contribution to the group).

      😉

      • Ialdabaoth says:

        My enjoyment of such group-bonding activities is directly proportional to my hierarchical position within said group (which if I’m careful, gets rationalized as my internal perceptions of net contribution to the group).

        I would very much NOT like to mean that, but now I’m going to spend most of today doing meta-N level self-introspection and self-loathing and selfishness-purging, instead of actually getting work done. 🙁

        • Benquo says:

          Oops?

          FWIW I don’t think there’s anything wrong with valuing, among the many things one might value, honor.

          Better to acknowledge it as one of the things you like, and learn to discipline and refine your love of honor and direct it towards the highest and best sorts of honor, than to hide it from yourself, forcing it to sneak into and corrupt your other motivations to gratify itself.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Actually, I DO value honor – very highly. But to me, honor is nobles oblige – you have your position in the hierarchy BECAUSE it’s your ass on the line.

        • Creutzer says:

          Well, that’s alright, you just have to choose your groups by how they assign social status. If you join groups that assign status based roughly on members’ contributions (in some relevant sense), you’re fine: you can get to be high-status (which is likely the source of the enjoyment) and feel good about it because you’re high-status for the right reason.

          Why the renaming of social status as “honor”, though?

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          Because “honor” is not merely social status – “honor” is that subset of social status which is directly earned through non-coercive actions.

          Plenty of social status can be awarded through accident (being attractive, being born into the right family [but see below!], etc.) or through coercive means (bullying and manipulating your way to the top) – “honor” is that portion of social status which is (or is perceived to be) earned through things we like to call ‘merit’ and ‘hard work’.

          Honor is not itself merit/hard work, because it’s possible to do both and yet gain no status from doing so. Honor is not itself social status, because it’s possible to have social status through luck or coercion. But honor is the part of your social status that the community agrees (correctly) that you gained through doing things for the community’s benefit, and which the community demonstrates that it respects. All of the rituals and practices around ‘honor’ are the process by which ‘honor’ is signaled between the individual and the community.

          Honor can be multi-generational, as well – “my family’s honor” is actually a legitimately valid concept, if your family has a reputation in the community for having done things for the community’s benefit, just like your “personal honor” is your own reputation for doing things for the community’s benefit. Which means that yes, honor must be defended and protected, by demonstrating that you care about your reputation for doing things for the sake of the community. Originally, “doing things for the sake of the community” literally meant “picking up a sword and putting your ass on the line so the marauding pagans next door don’t burn down everyone’s crops”, which is how honor got linked strongly to military service and knighthood and feudal tradition. Of course, those concepts get twisted and mutated over several hundreds of years, until eventually we get the absurdities of 17th-19th Century Europe – but the core concept of honor, as I try to implement it in my own life, is “demonstrate that you are willing to put your ass on the line for your tribe, demonstrate that they benefit from you doing so, and demonstrate that you expect to be respected for it.”

        • The Anonymouse says:

          This is the best definition of honor I have yet heard.

        • Matthew says:

          Ialdabaoth:

          Without detracting from the usefulness of your concept of honor, as far as the history goes, I’m pretty sure you’re substituting the myth that the warrior class liked to tell about themselves for the way feudal society actually worked.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          All morality is myth. I’d insert the obligatory Terry Pratchett quote here, but it’s practically cliche at this point.

          The point is, at some point there was an idea of how honor was *supposed* to work; of course, being humans, we inevitably fail to live up to our own noble aspirations. And that myth existed because at some point, before the warrior class was a ‘class’, there was a core of behavior and expectation which *did* work that way some of the time. But as things become encoded and convenient, they get exploited, and then eventually you get to 17th – 19th century Europe.

  30. Sniffnoy says:

    By the way, the “had a religious ritual” link is broken (missing http://).

  31. Nornagest says:

    the one that I’m not supposed to use in the same sentence as “cult” for search-engine-related reasons.

    It’s your blog and I’ll abide by your choice, but the minor SEO benefit of this move has never been worth the local PR problems caused by painfully conspicuously avoiding the word “cult”. Especially after someone thought ROT13 would be clever and we suddenly had a special, ingroup-mandated word for it.

    ‘Cause, you know, that’s totally not culty. I’ll just be over here trying not to remember my Scientologist ex-boss’s linguistic habits.

  32. Baisius says:

    I used to watch that LOTR scene every time our guild charged into battle in Darkfall. (Fittingly, that guild is one of the few in-groups I’ve felt a part of.) Actually, now that I mention it, I wonder how related this is to the stereotype of nerds liking video games. Video game clans/guilds/groups can provide a sense of in-group mentality that, by your reasoning, nerds don’t get in regular social interaction. I know it is a huge reason I enjoy them.

  33. Sarah says:

    I’m also really into “yay team” affiliation.

    I think it might even be fair to say that my political beliefs are “partisan extremist” — I have sympathy for pretty much EVERY kind of extremist, but just can’t stand moderates.

    Some affiliations seem too abstract for me to really get into (America is too damn *big* and diverse to be my tribe; I’ve never gotten deeply enough into computers to be passionate about things like vim vs emacs) but basically, if it involves violently rooting for a side, I’m on board.

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s no bright line between “cult” and “religion”, and maybe not even between “cult” and “culture.” The cults we generally think of as bad are violent or otherwise abuse their members (sleep deprivation, extreme financial obligations). Making people care a lot about something that outsiders believe is silly? That’s just “being a cohesive group of humans.”

  34. Harvey says:

    If you stood when they played the Shireroth national anthem today, you’d be facing a flag you’d never seem before.

    My point being that the group has moved on without you. What it meant to be a Shirerothian when you or I was much more active isn’t what it means today. I could go back, really, but I don’t want to, and your actions show you don’t want to either.

  35. a person says:

    I turned my “hive switch” on this year when I joined a fraternity and it feels great.

    Also one time I got suspended for skipping a pep rally to walk around in the woods.

  36. Joe says:

    Awesome post. One thing that makes it difficult for me to find an in-group is that when people become intimate friends they often use subtext to signal affection. I find it very difficult to recognize subtext and when it is appropriate. I can sometimes pick up on it but I can’t participate in sub textual conversation.I have been told that I am too direct. If I ask for clarification I’m crazy. Maybe I’m autistic or just a little too thick to be part of an in-group?

  37. Ghatanathoah says:

    I wonder if a parallel can be drawn between nerds and between people who don’t want to have sex until they’ve found the right person.

    In both cases we have an activity that is fun in and of itself. However, we have certain group of people who refuse to engage in it unless they believe that the thing that the activity is centered on lives up to some objective standard. In one case it is that someone meets certain standards of “being a good romantic partner” and a “good fit with your personality.” In another it is that something is part of a group that deserves loyal devotion, either because it is more in line with the nerd’s personality, or because the group has goals that really are morally valuable.

    Or to put it more colorfully, nerds are “saving themselves for the right group.”

    So is one way better than the other? Well, in the case of the romantic I don’t think either way is better, I think one person just have different tastes. Ditto for the instance where a nerd won’t get bee-like with a group unless they truly identify with its members.

    But what about the case of not getting bee-like with a group unless the cause it supports is morally good? Well, in that case the nerd is better, because then they’re less likely to go around doing horrible things to people in the name of their group (though they may still do horrible stuff for some other reason of course).

    I also wonder if it’s possible that more people have nerd-like values than one might suspect, and that the reason they get patriotic and excited at pep rallies isn’t because they don’t care if whatever they get bee-like about is “worthy” or not, but rather because they are not intelligent and self-aware enough to realize the thing that gets them excited is unworthy. Considering the fact that intellectualism tends to be negatively correlated with things like patriotism and religiosity, I think it’s a distinct possibility. (Of course, I’m not saying that you can’t be smart and get excited about normal, non-nerdy groupish stuff, I’m just saying that maybe there are some people who appear to value normal non-nerdy groupish stuff, but only do so because they are mistaken about some of the group’s properties).

    • Creutzer says:

      I highly doubt people who want to wait for the right partner to have sex feel no temptation to have sex beforehand and come to believe that they have no sex-drive. So the analogy very much doesn’t hold.

      • Ghatanathoah says:

        I have heard of and met some people who thought they were asexual until they met someone they really cared about (my gf was one). That might be a better analogy.

  38. a “these are my people, we form a tribe or a community or, while on horseback, a horde” way is one of life’s greatest pleasures and also a pretty important subgoal to anything that requires cooperation with other people

    Yes. So I wish y’all got on horseback more!

    I’m feeling like a rather small horde when it’s just me…

  39. Steve Johnson says:

    Your tribe lives in exile.

    Your urges to tear down the cultural cohesion of the tribe you live among are exactly your pro-tribal instincts.

  40. jast says:

    I can’t come up with a single instance of communal ritual that I really have felt part of. It’s not that I hate them; I occasionally take part in some, since it seems like a reasonable thing to do to meet people I can connect to or support some cause. Sometimes even because I like the general atmosphere (concerts and festivals). What’s missing though is the feeling of actually becoming one with the crowd, that others keep telling me about.

    Am I a chimp? I don’t think so; I simply cooperate by default.

  41. Ghatanathoah says:

    I’ve always noticed that the things I get swept up in are more often ideals and concepts, not groups. I tend to only derive excitement from association with a group if I believe it has the sort of ideals I support. Otherwise it is unworthy of my devotion. When I do get excited I do feel the positive emotions Scott describes.

    My tendency to favor ideals over socialization extends to individuals too, not just groups. If my girlfriend and other roommate get into a dispute I will always side with whomever I believe is in the right. Occasionally my gf complains about my taking our roommate’s side; but fortunately she is honest and idealistic enough that when I flat out ask her if she wants me to support her when I think she’s wrong she admits that she doesn’t. Similarly, whenever I hear an acquaintance complain about stranger’s negative behavior I secretly wonder if they are being honest or exaggerating their faults.

    Similarly, while I do feel strong emotional connections with certain fandoms and subcultures, I’ve never felt any of the hatred of poseurs that often comes along with it. I thought that people who complained about “fake geek girls” were scum. And when I heard someone complain that more people like anime than they used to I thought they we insane. It seems like some people care more about the social group the fandom creates more than thing we’re supposed to be fans of. To me this has always seemed like putting the cart before the horse.

    What this makes me wonder is, do nerds experience the sort of bee feelings Scott describes, only from ideas and ideals instead of groups? Is the reason they feel like they don’t need bee feelings because they found a superior substitute?

    • Creutzer says:

      I believe you’re talking about a different thing here. What you seem to be referring to is merely feelings of allegiance, whereas bee-mode is about something more intense. You don’t get that from supporting a friend in an argument despite believing they are wrong, or from taking the right side in an argument despite your friendship.

    • blacktrance says:

      I can think of three reasons why someone might object to new people joining a subculture. First, people worry about the subculture itself changing, through something like an Eternal September effect. The new people joining are different from the old people, and the subculture is changing to accommodate them in ways you don’t like. Second, there’s the concern that content producers will make media aimed at the new people rather than at the old fans. More anime is good, but if less of it is aimed at me, I can still come out behind. Third, there’s the discomfort brought upon by the feeling of expected but unmet association – when you expect certain cultural traits from a person who behaves a certain way, but that person doesn’t have those traits, or that you associate a certain culture and a way of behavior with a “unit” of that culture, but the association doesn’t work with the new people.

      • Anthony says:

        Thank you for summing that up. I’m not huge into typical nerd fandoms, but many of my friends are, and I see that sort of thing all the time.

        The thing I really don’t get is guys in fandoms or subcultures which were almost exclusively male getting all worked up about attractive women joining those same fandoms. Especially when they involve costuming, and suddenly, those guys now get to look at attractive women skimpily dressed while doing their fandom. (This does not seem to happen when only middling-attractive women, especially those who aren’t very socially confident, join.) Hypothesizing, the only thing I can think of is that being ignored/rejected by attractive women in your fandom takes away the one place you could do something fun where you weren’t facing constant sexual rejection, but I’m not close enough to the phenomenon to have any idea if that’s what’s actually going on.

        • Creutzer says:

          Not being part of any such subculture myself, I’m pretty sure your suggested explanation is the right one. Getting to look at attractive women is far from an unambiguously nice thing when you know very well you can’t have them.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Really? I would have simply attributed it to an ingrained idea that “attractive people are Not Like Us”. Hence unless they go to especial effort to prove themselves as ingroup, they’ll be perceived as diluters.

        • Creutzer says:

          But wouldn’t you expect people to be, ceteris paribus, welcoming to attractive people who want to join their group? That they don’t want to be reminded that they can’t have these attractive women all the time by their presence would explain why they are not, in this case.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Creutzer

            I don’t find your explanation at all intuitive. If that were the case, for instance, nerds would hate comics with attractive, sexualized superheroines (since they remind them of attractive people they can’t have) and like ones with unattractive demurely dressed ones. The opposite seems to be true.

            I also personally don’t get it. If I have an attractive friend or coworker who is married I feel no urge to avoid her.

        • Creutzer says:

          I also personally don’t get it. If I have an attractive friend or coworker who is married I feel no urge to avoid her.

          Her being married gives you an excuse; you’re not actually being rejected, so her presence is not a constant reminder of your own romantic inadequacy. Rejection is the way of not getting a woman that counts for the purpose of feelings of self-worth and hope. (Which also covers the case of the superheroine, which I would never have thought of.) I admit I wasn’t clear on this.

          It is also not clear to me that you are sufficiently romantically insecure to be affected by what I have in mind in the first place. Maybe you can easily tolerate the presence of attractive women because you are not in a situation where you have reason to believe that you could not possibly find an even remotely similarly attractive partner.

          Or my theory is just wrong, the mechanism I’m imagining doesn’t exist, and your proposed explanation – that the nerds in question model these women as not actually intending to “really join” – is likely to be correct.

          • Ghatanathoah says:

            @Creutzer

            Still baffled. I’ve never made any attempt to avoid any attractive female classmates, friends, or coworkers, even when I didn’t know whether they were attached or knew they weren’t. Even went I found them attractive but thought acting on it would be unproductive.

            It is possible that I am abnormal of course. One possibility that occurs to me is that I have internalized the “romance is a difficult matching problem” meme so utterly and completely that I do not perceive any romantic failures as personal failings or inadequacies. Instead I perceive them as me happening to be the wrong match. In other words I perceive the problem as me picking the wrong match, rather than me lacking certain positive qualities.

            Now I know that practically this “finding the right match” type of romance isn’t the way romance always works. But I firmly contend that when it does work it is the best possible form of romance. I actually pulled it off it’s awesome. I find that having a mate who appreciates my “authentic” personality far more agreeable than one who appreciates some generic “romantic adequacy” that is not something I intrinsically desire and that I have to expend extra effort to maintain.

          • Another thing to consider is that there might be only a very small proportion of men who hassle good-looking women for being present at nerd venues. Those men cause a lot of aggravation, but they aren’t at all typical, and there’s no point in expecting their motivations to be typical.

        • Zathille says:

          While anecdotal, the experience I’ve had on /tg/ on topics such as ‘girl gamers’ and other phenomena, mostly ones related to fandom expansion, seem to be that they were greeted with suspicion, that the new bundles of sticks were not ‘genuine’ and were merely following a fad.

          There were also people expressing the sentiment of ‘Wow, I suffered ostracism due to my nerdy interests and now that nerds are cool, those who were once ‘jocks’ who laughed at me are saying they were nerds all along? Such poseurs!’

          Edit: Grammar, punctuation

        • Creutzer says:

          It is possible that I am abnormal of course. One possibility that occurs to me is that I have internalized the “romance is a difficult matching problem” meme so utterly and completely that I do not perceive any romantic failures as personal failings or inadequacies. Instead I perceive them as me happening to be the wrong match. In other words I perceive the problem as me picking the wrong match, rather than me lacking certain positive qualities.

          I think that, fortunately, disqualifies you for the purpose of simulating any… romantically challenged person with respect to the issues at hand. 🙂

          However, Zathille’s testimony leads further credence to your theory over mine. To sustain mine, it would have to be assumed that the sentiments expressed were merely rationalisations.

        • nydwracu says:

          If that were the case, for instance, nerds would hate comics with attractive, sexualized superheroines

          There is an important distinction that this misses: comic book characters aren’t real.

          More accurately, there’s a difference between intrinsically-unobtainable and unobtainable-due-to-insufficient-social-competence — this is obvious because porn.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          But wouldn’t you expect people to be, ceteris paribus, welcoming to attractive people who want to join their group?

          Well, what exactly is the ceteris that’s being held paribus here? If your “ceteris paribus” presumes that they know everything about this person, then maybe. (But I think even then the less you cluster in one respect, the less leeway you’ll be afforded in other respects.) But they don’t. So they’ll have to rely on what they can infer. Which might be valid inferences or might be baseless stereotypes.

          EDIT: Also, while I can’t know what you’re thinking, I have to I wonder just how ceteris paribus the ceteris paribus scenario you have in mind really is. Are you imaginging two people who act exactly the same, wear the same clothes, etc., but one happens to be better-looking than the other? If more attractive people don’t act the same way, then you have even more grounds for suspicion.

        • Anthony says:

          Zathille – I understand There were also people expressing the sentiment of ‘Wow, I suffered ostracism due to my nerdy interests and now that nerds are cool, those who were once ‘jocks’ who laughed at me are saying they were nerds all along? Such poseurs!’

          That would be a mechanism in addition to what Blacktrance said above me, but I would expect to see more hostility aimed at socially-competent *men* in that case, and the reports I hear indicate that the women suffer the greatest harassment.

          Unless what’s going on is really, really, really incompetent pickup attempts. But I doubt that even the people who thought Shatner’s “Get a Life” speech was being nice to them are *that* incompetent.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          @Zathille

          Your experience reminds me of a phenomenon Robin Hanson called a “Sacrifice Trap.” Long story short, people who sacrificed a lot for a cause get really mad when things change so that it is no longer necessary to sacrifice as heavily for that cause and newcomers can gain its benefits with minimal sacrifice.

          What you describe sound similar, nerds get bullied for their interests but persevere anyway. Then they get upset when bullying weakens and new people join who don’t get bullied.

          Needless to say, sacrifice traps are another thing that drives me violently insane.

        • Aaron Brown says:

          @Sniffnoy:

          Today I learned that “especial” is an English word. (I was going to make a joke about not having known your first language was Spanish.)

        • Matthew says:

          Are you guys familiar with Zero Charisma? I gather that the plot revolves around a nerd-who-thinks-social-awkwardness-is-intrinsic-to-nerddom who can’t deal with an encroaching cool nerd.

        • Creutzer says:

          @Sniffoy: Yes to your edit, I suppose. What I had in mind was that given two individuals of otherwise comparable qualities, I would a group expect to be more welcoming to the more attractive one. That they are apparently less welcoming in this case is in need of an explanation. This need for an explanation was all the ceteris paribus-sentence was intended to convey.

          Anthony has a good point about the gender difference here… Though I’m not clear on what conclusions to draw from it and what the empirical situation is, anyway.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          What you describe sound similar, nerds get bullied for their interests but persevere anyway. Then they get upset when bullying weakens and new people join who don’t get bullied.

          Or, get upset when new people join who perform the bullying.

          Think of it this way – you were always a social reject because you were unattractive, socially retarded/autistic, and physically unfit. But at least amongst the other losers, you weren’t at the *bottom* of the pecking order. You’ve found a subculture where everyone else has the same level of disadvantages that you have, and thus you’ve built a hierarchy where you aren’t on the absolute bottom.

          Now suddenly attractive, successful, charismatic people are showing up and gentrifying your subculture. Where’s that gonna leave YOU?

        • Sniffnoy says:

          @Sniffoy: Yes to your edit, I suppose. What I had in mind was that given two individuals of otherwise comparable qualities, I would a group expect to be more welcoming to the more attractive one. That they are apparently less welcoming in this case is in need of an explanation. This need for an explanation was all the ceteris paribus-sentence was intended to convey.

          Again, I’m just not sure your hypothetical occurs appreciably often. If we want ceteris paribus, the two people have to only differ in attractivenesss in ways that are outside their control. I’m repeating myself, I realize, but I less than certain that I made this entirely clear previously. If one of them is more attractive because they put more effort into their appearance, for instance, well, that sort of thing can be detected. And caring about your appearance? Ding! Minus nerd points!

        • Oligopsony says:

          I’d disagree that those labelled as Fake Geeks were particularly likely to be bullies, but the concept of “subcultural gentrification” strikes me as a potentially very productive one. Neat, thanks!

        • Earnest_Peer says:

          I think it’s not terribly relevant how likely “fake geek girls” are to bully – bullying popular people is a way to mark yourself more popular either way. (I think? I don’t really know how bullying works popularity-wise.)

          Another explanation that I haven’t seen around here is that beautiful girls code as advertisement (c.f. comic superheroines), and that is what makes them fake – not many things are more fake than advertising. This pre-fake geek girls outcry-video shows that sentiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxUgSWlCoTE

          (By the way, I *very rarely* see people go back to what was said a year ago or so on this. Plenty of people voiced complaints who are now among the ranks of geek girl defenders.)

        • Earnest_Peer says:

          I just realised that the advertisement/superheroine thing overlaps in case of cosplays:
          People know instinctively that superheroines are attention grabs, so if you dress up as a superheroine, that must have been your motivation. That other people might like a female character without seeing her as an ad (because they’re not sexually attracted to her) might not even register as a possibility.

        • Nornagest says:

          bullying popular people is a way to mark yourself more popular either way. (I think? I don’t really know how bullying works popularity-wise.)

          I get the impression that bullying isn’t a single phenomenon that can be glibly summed up in a paragraph, but most of the bullying I saw growing up (as a boy on the West Coast in the mid-Nineties) didn’t come from, and wasn’t directed at, people near the top of the status hierarchy. Typically bullies seemed to occupy middling-to-lowish rungs on the social ladder, and targeted both their peers and people of even lower standing. They came from all sorts of social cliques but usually didn’t excel in them: jocks, yes, but also burnouts and ag kids and even a few nerds, and among the jocks we’d be talking a “second-string lineman” level of talent rather than “star quarterback”.

          It doesn’t look to me like a way to get popular, in other words, so much as a way of solidifying a low or middling position at the expense of the physically or socially weak.

        • Oligopsony says:

          The research I’ve seen seems to suggest that disproportionate amounts of bullying are committed by, and towards, those near the top but not at the absolute top of the popularity chain.

        • Nornagest says:

          @Oligopsony —

          I wonder if we’re dealing with different conceptions of bullying; the intra-clique aggression I remember seems to fit your model, but I also remember it as being lower-intensity than inter- or extra-clique aggression, more common, more about rivalry than domination, and probably less traumatic for its victims (though I might be typical-minding on that last one). An earlier version of my comment mentioned it, actually, but I cut that paragraph because it felt noncentral in this context.

          From a school system’s perspective, though, I can see that being hard to formally distinguish from the cliche of the wrestling team stuffing a hapless nerd into a locker.

        • Earnest_Peer says:

          I talked about bullying popular people, but what I should have said is would-be popular. Beating up on the former king is a lot more fun that just hurting some peasant, whereas beating up on the actual king sounds like a generally risky proposition. (This doesn’t just work for the “fallen from grace”-model, but for being an easy victim when you normally wouldn’t be.)

          And I genuinely don’t know about intra-group bullying being less harmful than bullying outsiders. Maybe true to the worse bad cases of bullying outsiders, but female bullies, who generally bully their friends, create a lack of trust in (female) friendships, which sounds very bad.

        • Nornagest says:

          I don’t have a clue how school-age bullying works for girls, I’ll admit, aside from pop-cultural osmosis.

          [Edit: This got put into moderation? Odd.]

      • Ghatanathoah says:

        Those are all plausible reasons and I don’t doubt that is the reason many people do feel that way. I didn’t get that impression from the person I encountered though, I got the impression they found the idea of a close-knit exclusive group romantic in some fashion and were upset that it was being spoiled by the group growing.

        This makes me wonder why those three plausible reasons have never motivated me.

        For the third reason I think that there are probably two factors. One is that I have a deep and visceral opposition to the idea that “If you are a member of a group you have a moral obligation to act like a stereotypical member of that group,” so if I encounter anyone who is technically a member of a group but not very stereotypical I automatically think favorably of them because they are violated a hate norm. The second reason is that I am attracted to things that are strange and unexpected, provided it is in a safe context, so I find people who don’t act as expected, but are not overly threatening, to be interesting.

        The first reason probably does not motivate me because my fandom is fairly essentialist, I care more about the works I am a fan of than the particular ways my fandom has developed for using them to socialize. So if I find new people to geek out about something with I get excited and go out of my way to accommodate them.

        The second reason is probably that I’m not a purist, I like seeing new interpretations of something I like. (The only time it upsets me is if two radically different interpretations occupy the same internal continuity, in that case I’m a super-ultra purist). I find fans who only find one version of a work of fiction to be valid to be insufferable, especially since their interpretations are often not supported by the text. There are few things I love more than seeing a writer introduce a new work into a canon that completely destroys a popular fan theory without technically contradicting canon.

      • One more reason– small or smallish groups can have a closer social network than larger groups.

      • Nornagest says:

        [Edit: Put this on the wrong level of the comment tree. Sorry about that; feel free to delete.]

  42. Kaj Sotala says:

    I once destroyed a small sci-fi convention because I jokingly said that “Of course the Enterprise D could take on a Star Destroyer.”

    I kid you not, there were fist-fights.

    All because I had started a conversation with “Yeah, I know how to make any gathering of geeks break out into pure hatred and malice, but I don’t want to do that here.”

    They asked. They begged. They pleaded and scoffed.

    So I did it.

    I was not invited back.

    jfargo

    • Kaj Sotala says:

      More generally, the rabid levels of fanaticism that many geeks display towards their favorite book, comic, game, movie, or other fandom seems like the clearest disproof of the “(all) nerds lack the bee switch” hypothesis. (Though of course, the weaker “some nerds lack the bee switch” hypothesis isn’t disproved by that.)

      In an amusing display of how thoroughly people seem to recognize this and then buy into it regardless, Dork Tower recently ran two comics relatively close to one another, one which seemed to condemn this behavior and one which seemed to endorse it (but only as long as you attacked the works of the outgroup, of course); I’m not sure if the author ever realized the irony.

      • It might be relevant to that nerds don’t seem to need ritual to activate their bee switch.

      • Said Achmiz says:

        But it seems significant that to the extent that nerds do this, they do it for works of fiction — not simply groups, not simply the fandoms. And “Star Trek fans suck” just doesn’t provoke the kind of rabid fanatical outrage that “Star Trek sucks” does.

        To the average Trekkie, it’s like: Star Trek fans suck? Sure, many of them do. Bunch of unwashed nerds, the lot of them, with their Spock costumes and their cons. I’m not like that, anyway. I just love the show. Isn’t a great show? Of course it is. Oh yes, that Captain Picard, he is just the bestest dude…

        But… Star Trek sucks?! YOU MONSTER! How could… what… I don’t even… agh! I can’t speak to you EVER AGAIN!

        And so forth.

        • Ghatanathoah says:

          This supports my theory that nerds tend to get beeish over ideas rather than groups.

        • nydwracu says:

          This supports my theory that nerds tend to get beeish over ideas rather than groups.

          I wouldn’t call myself a nerd, nor would I expect to be identified with one, but I’ll point out anyway that I am the exact opposite of this. (I think it’s some combination of natural contrarianism and Anton-Wilsonianism that immunized me to idea-beeism.)

        • Oligopsony says:

          This supports my theory that nerds tend to get beeish over ideas rather than groups.

          Durkheim would say that everybody gets beeish over ideas, but only as a cover for getting beeish about groups.

  43. winking says:

    The in-groups I want to be a part of do not have such grotesque rituals, nor have I ever wanted to subsume my self in a fervent crowd, except when I vaguely feel like being in an unstoppable horde of bladed hatred that destroys everything just for joy of slaughter.

  44. F. says:

    I think that there are 2 distinct traits – the ability to feel like you’re a permanent part of a group, and the ability to lose yourself in team behavior or even a group ritual, even if you might be just tagging along as an outside ally or a guest or an infiltrator.

    You can have the former ability without the latter or the latter without the former.

    When you watch a Tolkien movie and get emotionally involved hearing Aragorn’s speech, you’re just bathing yourself in the crowd, you aren’t really making it a part of your life to be a soldier in a Middle Earth army.

    We don’t have the concept of “pep rallies” in my country but if we did, I can perfectly see myself cheering at one, but can’t imagine being part of a group as an essential part of my identity. Here’s an example: I remember playing soccer a few times in my life, but I don’t understand those who invest so much of themselves in cheering for a sports team that they become depressed when “their” team loses.

  45. Ryan says:

    Vonnegut’s fake religion from Cat’s Cradle is helpful here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokononism

    Specifically 2 concepts:

    karass – A group of people linked in a cosmically significant manner, even when superficial links are not evident.

    granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is “Hoosiers”; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.

    So what “nerds” have is either an instinctive ability to tell the difference between a karass and a granfalloon, or a deep seeded suspicion that all purported karasses are actually granfalloons.

    • Oligopsony says:

      So what “nerds” have is either an instinctive ability to tell the difference between a karass and a granfalloon, or a deep seeded suspicion that all purported karasses are actually granfalloons.

      There is no way on earth that different editions of D&D (&c.) point to different karasses.

      • Zathille says:

        some people on /tg/ would consider one who played D&D, D20, Pathfinder and derivatives to be Granfalloons who are overly attached to their comfort zone and unwilling to try out new systems like Fate, 13th Age, Dungeon World and so on.

        I mean, there are always those who prefer one edition over the other, with a bigger schism between 3.5/Pathfinder and 4E, but there is a reason /tg/ has a meme that reads: ‘TG complaints department, have you tried not playing D&D?’

        There may be several factors involved in this, tribalism and signalling are obvious, but there’s also availability “My friends only know so-and-so system’ and playstyle (which can also affect choice of system), possibly others as well.

        Of course, I don’t wish to give an impression that /tg/ is a warzone, discussions tend to be quite civil (by 4chan standards, but the tradeoff between niceness and sincerity is well worth it). People are mocked for being unwarranted critiscism of another’s preferred playstyle, after all. No such thing as badwrongfun if everyone at the table or over Skype are enjoying it.

      • Multiheaded says:

        Oh come on, surely we can both agree that if anyone’s a fake nerd, it’s the quote-people-unquote who don’t loathe 4E with a passion. I’m totally serious here. Everyone who thought it at all remotely acceptable as a game is a worse enemy of nerddom than the friendzoning m’ladies.

        • Zathille says:

          I’m not sure, playing D&D or tabletops at all seems quite nerdy regardless of system. Just because I don’t like certain systems does not make those who play them less nerdy.

          It just struck me, if Nerds are people whose interests/obsessions elicit ostracism from ‘others’, then wouldn’t that make 4E players, duo to their system’s bad reputation amongst regular nerds, Meta-nerds?

        • Oligopsony says:

          4e is objectively good design and all the arguments against it are “yeah it’s better designed but it doesn’t go along with all the arbitrary additional elements we expect from D&D” aka empty burkeanism aka if you don’t like 4e you are probably some kind of goober that hates gay marriage and also class balance, qed

        • Multiheaded says:

          Now I’m exaggerating for comedic effect, but there are in fact numerous nerdy reasons to hate 4E as shallow, treacherous, violating the game’s spirit while preserving some appearances, etc. To me, it’s like the most annoying and contrived tropes of a tactical JRPG applied in a ham-handedly gamist way that leaves no room for the simulationist and the narrativist.

          @Oligopsony: “class balance” is an insidious Jacobinist-Bolshevist chimera that drives base plebeian scum like fighters and monks to challenge the natural and sublime dominance of their caster overlords.

        • Ialdabaoth says:

          LOL. If THIS is where we’re taking this converation, then check this out: http://open4e.wikia.com

          That link represents 18 months’ worth of my efforts to double-down on D&D 4E’s design decisions. Does that make me a META-meta-nerd?

          In all seriousness: I would love getting some input from people who ‘hate 4E with a passion’, in the hopes that I can maintain a gameist balance without killing its narrativist soul.

  46. FedUp says:

    Ok, I’ve been quiet about this for as long as I could, but this is getting ridiculous.

    Multiheaded needs to go.

    This is a creature which has, habitually and for the last several years at least, systematically and intentionally threadcrapped or derailed any discussion it decided was insufficiently leftist, launched ad hominem attacks as a matter of course (including death threats), and contributed precisely nothing beyond sputtering and the occasional context-free namedrop of a continental marxist.

    Aside from a three day ban absolutely nothing has been done about this, and Multiheaded’s behavior is unchanged while reported comments continue to be ignored completely. If James Donald or that other guy who called you a “dirty tricks man” were disciplined due to their unacceptable ad hominems, what possible justification is there for allowing Multiheaded to remain?

    I get that the blog comments are a community and I more than anyone understand and respect the in-group / out-group boundary as an ethical foundation, but it has long since reached the point where continuing to ignore this problem is in direct contention with the blog’s stated principles. If you’re not willing to deal with this directly, perhaps it would be better to amend the comments policy to make a specific exception so that at least other posters don’t get the mistaken impression that anyone else can behave that badly and expect to remain.

    • blacktrance says:

      To put in my two cents, I think that Multiheaded’s contributions are a net positive. If James and Piano are allowed to continue to post, there’s no case for banning Multiheaded at all.

      • ozymandias says:

        I agree with blacktrance and add that I feel that Multi has improved their behavior in the SSC comments a lot since their three-day ban.

        • coffeespoons says:

          I also agree, keep Multi!

        • Multiheaded says:

          Thank y’all for the vote of confidence. I’ll try to work on increasing the concentration of signal, since for several reasons (one of which I have given in Piano’s thread above) it would be very painful for me to reduce the noise in my input on certain topics.

          I routinely feel horrified and excluded precisely by the discussions that interest me most; and yet I have much less interest in hanging out in some generic leftist space, and, mostly due to a lack of intellectual discipline, can’t step up and participate in the higher-level leftist blogopsphere.

        • Piano says:

          @Multiheaded
          Create a private forum for your kind of non-normative people and mention it once on this blog, once on LW, etc. I’m sure ozy and some other intellectually disciplined people would join. You could more easily control things and e.g. ban people like me, to keep it comfortable and productive in the way that you want it. A private subreddit would be the easiest way to go.

        • Multiheaded says:

          Create a private forum for your kind of non-normative people and mention it once on this blog, once on LW, etc. I’m sure ozy and some other intellectually disciplined people would join.

          I’m already on a private IRC channel that’s very welcoming of me, and it does in fact have several reactionaries who’ve been there longer than me and whom I consider friends, although people like Ozy also drop by occasionally. I just want more activity, and perhaps in a way that’s more open to the public.

        • Piano says:

          Hm. I’m surprised the reactionaries haven’t discouraged you from the whole “more public” thing.

      • FedUp says:

        Let’s make a distinction here; making bad arguments, even ones which are hideously disgusting and immoral in addition to being wrong, is not the problem here. The problem is a pattern of behavior which is destructive to good-faith argumentation.

        Piano’s ideas are offensive to most of the people in our society, but aside from being overeager and perhaps a little tone deaf he’s not really doing anything other than advancing an unpopular line of reasoning. James crosses the line by making personal attacks in addition to his arguments, but again he has been rightly disciplined for it.

        Expressing an “offensive” ideology isn’t any reason to ban someone; being a thoroughly offensive person is.

        • Piano says:

          Hm. Any suggestions/resources for being less overeager and tone deaf? I re-read some of my stuff and kinda see what you mean.

        • FedUp says:

          I think it’s just a time thing; I get exactly the same way whenever I come to a new revelation, giving everyone the hard sell until the enthusiasm wears off and it becomes a normal part of my way of thinking. Presumably it’s the same reason why people who go to another country can’t stop dropping it into conversation for a month or so once they get back.

          On a practical level, mainly I’d just say the solution is similar to basic sales / Game principles: don’t seem desperate to convince people of anything, just being unflappable and self-assured will lead a lot of them to convince themselves.

        • peterdjones says:

          @Piano,

          Do you have a history of “flipping”, going through conversions and paradigm shifts, perchance?

        • Piano says:

          @peterdjones
          Not at all. Politically, I was libertarian then ancap in middle school, and soon gave up/totally ignored politics until I discovered neoreaction stuff a little over a year ago. Religiously, I’ve been skeptical since single digits, an atheist since then, and never militant.

          Neoreaction holds a lot of different “paradigm shifts”, though. But, it’s definitely harder to quantify.

          Ah, another potential “shift” is the whole /r/theredpill thing, but I slowly got into that via Mark Manson, and now only visit it and related blogs around once a week.

          I’d prefer book recommendations over armchair psychoanalysis, though.

        • Multiheaded says:

          the whole /r/theredpill thing, but I slowly got into that via Mark Manson

          What… how… holy hell.

          Q_Q

        • Piano says:

          @Multi
          They’re both part of the whole post-PUA manosphere thing…

        • peterdjones says:

          @piano

          Despite your use of the phrase “not at all”, you confirmed my expectations.

          I asked because I am having a lot of trouble following your epistemology, as well as being 180 degrees awaynfrom your value system.

        • Piano says:

          @peterdjones
          Okay, I’m curious as to what not-“flipping” looks like. Presumably you have such a history?

        • peterdjones says:

          One form is never having a wholesale conversion to a philosophy.

          Another is converting and staying converted,

        • Piano says:

          Hm? Then I’m clearly not a “flipping” person. If I was so 100% sure of neoreaction, there would be no point in discussing it, because I wouldn’t change. And, I’ve stayed “converted” to atheism, and stayed “converted” to ancapism (as neoreaction is a meta-thing around it), for many years now, and I think that the “RedPill” thing is still obviously correct, I just have less of a need for the community now.
          Still confused at this “flipping” thing…

        • peterdjones says:

          People who are 100% convinced of something talk about it to make converts.

          Atheists generally don’t enthuse about Christian marriage.

          A.C. and NR aren’t at all compatible. A.C. is about people succeeding or failing by their own merits and efforts. Reaction
          Is about priveledging or oppresing groups.

        • nydwracu says:

          A.C. and NR aren’t at all compatible.

          There is a very large cladistic contrast between neoreaction and Marxism-Leninism, which is the Truth and the Way: the latter did not develop out of any sort of libertarianism (I tried to be a libertarian when I was in high school because everyone I knew was, but couldn’t get it to make any sense and ended up becoming an EVERYTHING IS TOO BIG, MAKE EVERYTHING STOP BEING TOO BIG instead, much in the manner of J. Arthur Bloom or Front Porch Republic except with more shock-value Confederate flags; I even read Medaille’s distributism book, of which I remember hardly anything now), whereas the former is pretty much post-anarcho-capitalism. Mencius Moldbug is not at all out of the ordinary in practically having a permanent open socket to the Mises Institute.

          It is generally good practice to understand the basics of things before you attack them on a philosophical level.

        • peterdjones says:

          AC = anarcho capitalism

          NR = neo reaction

          I have no idea why you brought Marxism in.

          I have no idea why you brought Moldbugg in. He doesn’t think he is a libertarian. So there is a difference between His Thing and libertarianism.

        • nydwracu says:

          You have no idea why I brought Moldbug into a discussion of neoreaction?

        • peterdjones says:

          I don’t know how Moldbugg proves that A.C. and .NR are compatible. How about addressing my argument that they are not?

    • Oligopsony says:

      I do not have any opinions on the justice of the matter, but without any fellow souls I would probably lack the emotional energy to post here. (Depending on your perspective that may be a good or a bad thing.)

      • Multiheaded says:

        I’d have significantly less will to comment (Der Wille zum Kommentar?) without you. Some here might therefore likewise regard you as attracting undesirables.

    • Multiheaded says:

      “For the last several years”? I only recall being a regular for a year or so… unless you count Less Wrong, where I hardly ever got my troll on.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Your point is good, but everyone else’s point is good as well. I will put Multiheaded on probation. Next time after this he posts something really bad, he gets a three week ban (same escalation I used for James).

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