Blog, the dark of ages past!
This is the semimonthly open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. I will be in the Bay Area from about 2/21 to maybe 3/7. I’ll see all of you who plan to be at Miranda and Ruby’s wedding there; otherwise I hope to get a chance to see some other people as schedules allow. If there’s interest in an SSC meetup, I could tentatively try scheduling such for the afternoon of Sunday 3/1 somewhere in Berkeley. If there’s interest I’ll give a firmer date later on.
2. Comment of the week is the whole discussion of gender equality in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe. But I also need to praise everyone who continued the coffee shop gag in the comments. A very few among my favorites were Hayek, Heidegger, various economists, gwern, Thomas Schelling, various Chinese legalists, G.K. Chesterton, Nick Bostrom (1, 2), Enrico Fermi, various Islamic philosophers, Terry Tao, Nick Land, Alicorn, and various biologists.
3. Some people seem to have gotten genuinely upset about some of the recent discussion of IQ, on grounds something like that if high IQ is a necessary ingredient of some forms of academic success and they’re lower-IQ than other people, then they are bad and worthless. I strongly disagree with this and think it gets the reasoning exactly wrong, and I hope to explain why. But work has been pretty crazy lately (no pun intended) and I might not get the chance to write it up for a little while. Until then, please do me a favor and just take it on faith that you are a valuable human being who is worthy of existence.
4. Many of you probably know Multiheaded. My statistics say she is the most frequent commenter on this blog (pushing me down to second place) and we all acknowledge her heartfelt Communist comments as, um, things that exist. What you may not know about her is that she is a trans woman who lives in Russia, which is not known as a very safe place for trans women. She’s planning to escape to Canada and claim refugee status. Most of the steps of the plan are in place, and we have a few people in the Canada rationalist community willing to host her for a while, but she is asking for some money to help with travel and living expenses. She’s set up a GoFundMe account with a target of $2500. If there’s any doubt about the story, I can confirm that Ozy and I have known her for a long time and she’s kept her biography consistent longer than I would expect anyone to fake; also, her IP address does trace to Russia. Multi intends to pay as much as possible forward eventually with donations to effective charities. I intend to donate, and I hope some of you do as well.
Remember, no race and gender in the open thread, EXCEPT that I will permit, this time only, discussion of Hyde & Mertz (2009) because it’s interesting and I want to know what other people here think about it. Everything else can go over to Ozy’s place.