Open Thread

Here is the basic idea of an open thread. This is where a comment, idea, link, or whatever can be posted when it doesn’t necessarily fit the subject matter of any available post. This also can be where people can lodge their complaints or make suggestions, including possibilities for future posts.

Plus, this would be a good place for rants, as I’ll be less discerning in my moderation of comments here. I encourage open discussion. But there are limits. If your comment creates a negative atmosphere or simply lessens my happiness, then it will not be approved. I will use my discretion. Make sure your comment is worthy of your time and my own.

3,177 thoughts on “Open Thread


    Third-party politics is the last stand of world democracy, and as Iceland is about to prove, if people can organize around new ideals which resonate with the population, then they can be elevated and brought into power, if only the establishment system permits their participation. In the U.S. third parties are strictly prohibited.

    • I’m not sure about other countries, but the above quote indicates the problem in the US. The establishment will never permit third party participation or any other serious reform that is needed to make democracy function.

      Democracy can’t be implemented through an anti-democratic system. In such cases, democracy must be forced onto the system by forcing a new democratic system to replace it. That is to say the only option left is revolution, whether peaceful or not.

      We are beyond the point of any hope for reform from within the system. The only question left is: Do we actually want democracy or not? If we do want it, there is only one way to get it. If we don’t want it, we should stop complaining and simply accept what the ruling elite allows us to have.

      It is that simple. Democracy either exists or it doesn’t. We either demand that we have democracy or we don’t. There is no two ways about it.

    • All that ‘gifted’ means is above average expression of human potential. It’s a highly relative standard, as average is determined by a particular population in a particular place and time. A ‘gifted’ person in centuries past or even just earlier last century would seem normal by today’s average, as the average of cognitive ability has been increasing over time. That is to say more people have been expressing more of their human potential. But it doesn’t mean human potential itself has increased. It was always there.

      Most ‘ungifted’ kids probably have the same basic human potential as most ‘gifted’ kids, just different conditions and opportunities leading to different results. Going by what we know so far, we have no reason to conclude otherwise. We know how powerful are the confounding factors: nutrition, healthcare, parasite load, toxins, parents at home, unstressful environment, learning resources available, quality education, etc.

      I’m sure that most ‘gifted’ children just so happen to have grown up under conditions that came together in the right way to elicit their human potential in a certain way and to a greater degree. Even children in the same household don’t have the exact same conditions with one kid having lead paint chips in his room and another doesn’t, one kid was bullied and one wasn’t, one had an effective teacher and one didn’t, one had a severe sickness at a key point in development and another didn’t. Different conditions interact differently with various genetic and epigenetic factors. With epigenetics, something that happened in generations past might get inherited by one kid but not by another, for completely random reasons of inheritance.

      There is no mystery to this. Humans and human environments are complex. If anyone doubts this is true, I dare them to raise their ‘gifted’ child malnutritioned, parasite-ridden, no healthcare, in a toxic environment, with few resources, and without education. Then maintain those conditions for a few more generations or a few centuries and see what are the results. Good luck to them!


    It is a mistake to brush off a primary with huge significance. One where the popular and populist candidate was crushed by so-called democratic institutions and one which seems to presage the death of our dreams for the future, should the struggle for accountability and democracy not continue. To refuse to revisit our past is to settle for the expansion of empire, inequality, and suffering.

        • I didn’t have much opinion of FLW in the past, until a few years ago. I’ve never been a big fan of modernist architecture, Usonian or otherwise. But I did come to appreciate FLW when I went on a tour of one of his houses here in Iowa, at Cedar Rock.

          It was a surprisingly rather small house. What was interesting about it was the design, as everything even the drawers were designed by FLW. It was rather innovative in many ways and he took seriously the idea of compact simplicity. Some of the rooms were so small that it felt like something you’d see on a train, if a train were modernist.

          In many ways, the house wasn’t practical, such as FLW’s dislike of storage space. He believed that if you needed to store stuff then you had too much stuff. It was a house built for rich people who could afford to store their stuff elsewhere. It was really more of a cottage for someone to visit than a permanent residence.

          Ultimately, FLW was more of an artist than an architect and his houses were art objects. Despite or maybe because of his innovative thinking, he was a horrible architect. And I didn’t get the sense that the house I saw was built to a level of high quality intended to last a long time, not that it was low quality either.

          • I went to falling water and kentuck knob. Low to the ground, dark, not very livable. FLW’s architecture is all shit that isn’t very comfortable to actually live in or work it. Especially if you’re tall 😄

            As for ranch houses? I guess they just look like dark prisons from the outside. I dislike the low-to-the-ground and wide aesthetic and it tends to create houses with shitty lighting. at least mid-century houses. i hate 1950’s-60’s architecture including tract homes for the most part/

    • For some reason, last night I actually felt slightly frightened about all this. Frightened to live in the US and the world and basically, for the first time, finding this election frightening

      • Why do you think it suddenly hit you in that way?

        I can’t say I feel any more fear than normal at the moment. I probably felt more fear in the past. I’m now at acceptance, the fifth and final step of the grieving process. But it took me a long time to get here. It was seeing how far both parties are willing to go to promote corruption. The continued strong support of Clinton is what made me lose all hope that this system can be reformed.

        There probably has been no major presidential candidate in living memory that was proven to be as corrupt as Clinton before the election even happened. I wouldn’t argue that she is the most corrupt politician ever, as there are many corrupt politicians. The thing is that most of the time we simply don’t know much about the corruption going on, beyond rumors and rhetoric.

        Even for someone like Nixon, it was only after he was elected that it was proven how truly bad he was. If we knew half of the corruption about Nixon as we know about Clinton, Nixon never would have been elected. Yet it seems no matter what is revealed about Clinton, support for her only grows stronger. That is massively fucked up.

    • There is one thing that is abundantly clear. Misogynists like that are obviously not geniuses and wouldn’t recognize it if it was in front of their face. Conservatives tend to not like geniuses in general, even men, because high levels of creative intelligence tend to go hand in hand with psychological traits of liberal-mindedness. They only like to point out male geniuses when its convenient in support of their low IQ social conservatism.

    • That example was apparently unknown until someone paid close attention to the family letters. Or more likely it’s been known by many for a long time but was simply ignored. When you see one example like that of female genius which seems to have been intentionally hidden, even by her own family, it makes one suspect that there must be a vast number of other examples that where all evidence was destroyed and so we’ll never know about them. The world since time immemorial has been filled with female geniuses who were left at home tending children, were locked away in psychiatric institutes, were sent off to nunneries, or simply died alone and forgotten.

    • I look at stuff like that. I’m amazed at how much we know and yet how much we don’t know. Despite all the research, we are forced into endless speculations.

      “Among the findings of cognitive epidemiology is that men with a higher IQ have less risk of dying from coronary heart disease.[19] The association is attenuated, but not removed, when controlling for socio-economic variables, such as educational attainment or income. This suggests that IQ may be an independent risk factor for mortality.”

      No, it doesn’t suggest that. All that it suggests is that there is a vast number of interconnected and overlapping confounding factors that we don’t know about, don’t understand, or don’t know how to control for.

      Even socio-economic variables are far more complex than can actually be controlled for in studies. There is no aspect of someone’s life that isn’t effected by such factors and so how does a researcher control for every aspect of life? Well, they don’t.

      IQ can’t be an independent risk factor for mortality. That is because IQ itself isn’t an independent factor of anything. IQ is inevitably and inextricably dependent on other factors that contribute to and determine IQ itself.

      This kind of common sense eludes almost all discussion. If we were honest about how ignorant we are, we couldn’t say much of anything about anything, at least not as certain conclusions. Even broader tentative conclusions such as the above quote go beyond the bounds of our knowledge.

      But we humans are never satisfied with the state of our own ignorance. I understand that. Still, we should be honest and self-aware enough to admit it.

    • That is a little more interesting of an article. It still leaves out the environmental factors.

      Being low IQ in a Social Darwinian corporatist society does suck — not that it’s all that much better for most higher IQ people either.. On the other hand, being low IQ in a well functioning social democracy with a strong welfare state would be pretty decent. Then again, that latter kind of society is likely to have a higher average IQ in the first place. Being low IQ would depend on the average IQ and the IQ gap between populations. Being low IQ in a more traditional society with strong social support and social capital from family, kinship, church, and community probably wouldn’t be so bad either.

      Anyway, dysfunctional societies like the US have higher rates of depression and other mental disorders in general, no matter IQ. In a dysfunctional society, it’s unsurprising that those found at the extremes are experiencing greater rates of stress and problems. Bad environmental conditions such as heavy metal toxins are correlated to both higher and lower IQ.

      My own interests lately have been focused on the cultural. That is another area of environmental factors and influences. This relates to my interest in anthropology, consciousness studies, bicameral mind, etc. Culture is hard to understand and yet it is one of the most important aspects. Research and/or theories by Jaynes, McGilchrist, Luhrmann, and others deal with these issues of culture and mental illness.

      Different societies encourage or even require different neurocognitive abilities and habits, including such things as voice-hearing. And those societies will respond differently to those who fall outside of social norms. In one place and time, a person hearing voices would be made a king, high priest, oracle, or shaman. And in another place and time, a person hearing voices would be burned as a witch, banished from a community, or medicated and institutionalized.

      Luhrmann found that different cultures would even shape how voices were heard. In Western countries, voices tended to be highly negative, cruel, and threatening. But in some non-Western countries, voice-hearers weren’t ostracized or stigmatized which led them to having happier and even beneficial relationship to their voices.

      Cultures would also influence IQ. The increase of IQ in many countries came with the increase in abstract thought and fluid intelligence. Until this past century, such cognitive abilities weren’t important for most people in most societies. And that probably would relate to different rates, perception, and social norms about mental illness. In the past, simply being smart and thinking creatively could lead to others deeming a person abnormal.

  3. Being relatively well off white people without souls, we have a family moral code that simultaneously includes maxims “life isn’t fair” and “the world is just”. The first one is known because of course it’s a sign of weakness and naivety, and therefore immoral and worthy of contempt and ridicule, to ask to be treated fairly. Life isn’t fair, and you need to accept that and adapt. The second is known because naturally if you lack something, that’s most likely because you haven’t earned it, so it’s extremely immoral and shameful and a sign of a despicable massively entitled attitude to complain about it. The world is just, you’re already receiving the same fair treatment everybody else is, don’t ask for more than your fair share.

    • Life isn’t fair because those with greater wealth and privilege are treated better. And the world is just because, according to Social Darwinism, wealth and privilege is proof that someone deserves to be treated better.

    • It would make a difference if certain things were changed. We could improve testing to determine who is ‘gifted’, instead of leaving it to be shaped by subjective and systemic biases. Or we could simply make the same quality of education available to all children.

      Another possibility is we could improve all areas of children’s lives, such as ensuring that poor children don’t have to suffer lead toxicity which stunts their cognitive ability. If poor kids had all the same conditions, opportunities, and resources as rich kids, then there would be more ‘gifted’ poor kids and the cognitive ability of all kids would be increased.

  4. Hillary Clinton’s Forgotten Career: Corporate LawyerFor 15 years she defended big companies for the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, a chapter all but excised from her official story
    By Laura Meckler and Peter Nicholas

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—One of Hillary Clinton’s first assignments as a corporate lawyer landed her far from her roots. She helped overturn a ballot measure that increased electric rates for businesses and lowered them for the poor.

    “Instead of defending poor people and righting wrongs, we found ourselves squarely on the side of corporate greed against the little people,” her colleague, Webb Hubbell, later wrote.

    The future presidential contender worked for 15 years as a corporate litigator at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas’s capital, longer than any other position in or out of government. Her portrait still hangs in the firm’s downtown offices.

    Yet that chapter in her life has been all but excised from the official Hillary Clinton story. She hardly ever mentions it on the campaign trail. Her husband skipped past it when telling of her life story at the Democratic National Convention. Until August, it wasn’t even mentioned on her campaign’s official biography.

    It illustrates a pattern apparent through Mrs. Clinton’s career and into this year’s presidential campaign: She emphasizes different roles for different audiences. During her time in Arkansas, she was an advocate for children and families, and a successful lawyer at a white-shoe, mostly male law firm, representing the state’s biggest corporations.

    This characteristic leads many supporters to predict she would build governing coalitions if she becomes president. Opponents, including some on the left of her own party, conclude it means she lacks core convictions.

    The duality was on display in transcripts of paid speeches Mrs. Clinton gave to Wall Street firms before she entered the presidential race. As a candidate, she has emphasized the need for tough regulation of Wall Street. In those addresses, she pointed to the industry’s contributions.

    “More thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don’t kill or maim what works,” she said in one speech underwritten by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to a transcript that was stolen from her campaign chairman’s email account.

    Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon pointed to her advocacy work during her Rose years. “From the day she left law school, Hillary Clinton has never stopped being an advocate for children and families,” he said. “This period was among her most active years as Arkansas’ First Lady, when she introduced a new early childhood education program and expanded health access to rural parts of the state.”

    Mrs. Clinton’s years at the firm included some controversy. For one, the roots of the Whitewater affair reach back to her years at Rose when her husband was serving as Arkansas governor. The firm and Mrs. Clinton represented a failed savings-and-loan association run by James McDougal, the Clintons’ partner in the Whitewater real-estate investment, in a matter before state regulators. Whitewater dogged the Clintons throughout Bill Clinton’s presidency, though neither of them was ever charged.

    When her husband ran for president in 1992, her work at Rose sparked questions about whether she had benefited from state business handled by her firm. Mrs. Clinton denied that it had. “For goodness’ sake, you can’t be a lawyer if you don’t represent banks,” she said at the time.

    Two of her best friends at the firm followed the Clintons to Washington. One of them, Mr. Hubbell, eventually went to prison after it was discovered he had stolen from the firm. They haven’t spoken since. “She doesn’t talk to me,” Mr. Hubbell said in a recent interview. The other friend, partner Vincent Foster, committed suicide.

    Mrs. Clinton, known then as Hillary Rodham, joined the Rose Law Firm in 1977. She had followed Mr. Clinton to Arkansas and was teaching at the University of Arkansas law school when he was elected attorney general and planned a move to Little Rock. She had worked with Mr. Foster on a project, and he helped recruit her to the firm, which was founded in 1820 and bills itself as the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River.

    At the law school, she had run a legal-aid clinic for the poor. Many of the Rose firm’s clients were big companies, including three of the state’s largest: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and Stephens, Inc., a brokerage firm.

    In one way, the Rose years reinforce a theme of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign—that she is a pioneer for women. She was the firm’s first female associate, and two years later, its first female partner.

    Although many partners welcomed her to the firm, some initially worried how they would introduce her to clients and what would happen if she became pregnant, Mr. Hubbell recalled.

    When she did have a child, she has said, some partners were surprised that she expected to be paid during her maternity leave.

    Some people who worked with her said her casual dress and look were out of step with Southern women of that era. “Her appearance was much more stodgy and old maid-ish,” said Joe Giroir, one of her partners from that era. “I don’t think she ever had a real feel of Arkansas.”

    Mr. Giroir said there was just one woman in his law school class, and for years he had “misgivings about female attorneys because I felt like their family obligations were going to interfere” with their work. He said he changed his mind after seeing a female lawyer in Houston do a good job with a case.

    Inside the firm, lawyers were split over Mrs. Clinton’s value as a partner, according to Mr. Hubbell and others.

    Mrs. Clinton recruited Amy Lee Stewart to the firm and mentored her. “Whenever I needed anything, wanted to ask a question, needed help with the right angle on a brief, I’d say, ‘Do you have a few minutes?’ ” recalls Ms. Stewart. “She’d say, ‘Come in. Let’s have a cup of tea and cookies.’ ”

    Other colleagues resented Mrs. Clinton’s outside interests and how they limited her billable hours. In addition to time away campaigning for her husband, who was on the ballot every two years, she served as chairwoman of both the Legal Services Corp. and the Children’s Defense Fund and led efforts to revamp Arkansas’s education system.

    “You can say that, well, perhaps from one perspective she wasn’t as productive as other partners were,” says Jerry Jones, a Rose colleague. “But from another perspective, what a great role model. She is able to balance all of these things and be successful at them.”

    As first lady in 1996, Mrs. Clinton gave a deposition as part of a Whitewater inquiry in which she talked about how her attentions were divided in the mid-1980s. “I was engaged in a lot of pro-bono public activities,” she said. “I spent much of 1982 campaigning nearly full-time for my husband. I spent much of 1983 heading up the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, so that my time was not solely devoted to law practice by any means.”

    At Rose, her share of the profits was tied to the business she generated, so her time on outside civic and political activities meant she earned less than other partners. She supplemented her income by serving on corporate boards including Wal-Mart and TCBY Enterprises, the yogurt franchise, both Rose clients.

    She wrote in her 2003 memoir, “Living History,” that she “worried that because politics is an inherently unstable profession, we needed to build up a nest egg.”

    By 1991, she was earning just over $100,000 from the firm, plus another $60,700 from director’s fees, according to news reports at the time. As governor, Mr. Clinton earned $35,000 that year.

    In her 2003 book, Mrs. Clinton writes only briefly about her work at Rose. She highlights a couple of cases, including her first jury trial, where she defended a canning company sued by a man who found the rear end of a rat in his pork and beans. He claimed he couldn’t kiss his fiancée because every time he thought about the situation he would spit.

    Mrs. Clinton argued the man hadn’t suffered any real damages and because the rodent part had been sterilized it would be considered edible in parts of the world. She said the plaintiff won “only nominal damages.” Mrs. Clinton didn’t identify the name of the man or the company involved.

    After that, she rarely appeared in trial. She took on some family-law cases, such as a father fighting for custody of his 6-year-old daughter, and a family that wanted to adopt their foster child, which ran counter to the rules then in place.

    The bulk of her cases involved defending large corporations, a Wall Street Journal review of court records suggests. She represented a supplier of Jenn-Air products in a contract dispute between a distributor and supplier. She represented the cosmetics maker Maybelline Co. seeking to stop a competitor from advertising its mascara as “clean lash” because, Maybelline contended, it wasn’t actually waterproof.

    She defended a company accused of wrongfully terminating an agreement to distribute natural-food products. She represented First Nationwide Bank when it argued that Nationwide Savings and Loan was violating its trademark by using the term “Nationwide Savings.” And when a former employee of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Arkansas argued he had been wrongly denied disability benefits, she represented the company.

    Another partner, Herbert Rule, remembers a case in which a wealthy timber owner left the bulk of his $17 million estate to Arkansas College. When the man died at age 94, his recently hired female caregiver produced another will that left most of the money to her. The firm sued on behalf of the college.

    “At a meeting with the lawyers representing the caregiver, Hillary spoke up after 30 minutes in a loud voice, pointing to the caregiver and said, ‘Everyone knows you told him what to do, and he did it. You told him to change his will, and he did,’ ” Mr. Rule recalled. A long silence and “some muttering” by the caregiver followed, he said. About two weeks later, the case settled, he said, with the bulk of the money going to the college.

    “This was a remarkable example of Hillary’s strategic insight and chutzpah, two of her remarkable traits,” he said.

    The electricity-rate case was already under way when she joined the firm in 1977. In November 1976, the activist group Acorn, which is now largely defunct, had succeeded in getting onto the ballot an initiative, dubbed LifeLine, to lower electricity rates for low-income users and increase them for businesses. It passed.

    The Rose team’s argument was that it amounted to an unconstitutional taking, a line of reasoning Mr. Hubbell credits in part to Mrs. Clinton.

    “We hated seeing her on the other side of the table,” says Wade Rathke, founder of Acorn, who was friends with her husband at the time. “We had never been confronted with the reality of her as a corporate lawyer. But there she was and there we were. We didn’t win this one.”


    October 31

    1783 – New Hampshire State Constitution established
    Article 83 of the New Hampshire Constitution reads:
    “The size and functions of all corporations should be so limited and regulated as to prohibit fictitious capitalization and provision should be made for the supervision and government thereof. Therefore, all just power possessed by the state is hereby granted to the general court to enact laws to prevent the operations within the state of all persons and associations, and all trusts and corporations, foreign or domestic, and the officers thereof, who endeavor to raise the price of any article of commerce or to destroy free and fair competition in the trades and industries through combination, conspiracy, monopoly, or any other unfair means; to control and regulate the acts of all such persons, associations, corporations, trusts, and officials doing business within the state; to prevent fictitious capitalization; and to authorize civil and criminal proceedings in respect to all the wrongs herein declared against.”

    November 1

    1869 — U.S. Supreme Court rules that a corporation is not a citizen
    Corporate attorneys argued before the High Court that corporations were citizens under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Constitution. The Court ruled in Paul v. Virginia (75 US 168) that corporations were not citizens under the Clause (Article 4, Section 2), which states: “The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.”

  6. Here is an example of corporatism. It’s using wealth, cronyism, and lobbyists to exert political influence to decrease competitive free markets and so benefit a particular company. Maybe increased inspections could be beneficial, if it were done in the right way and for the right reasons, but obviously Mylan is simply using this to protect the profitability of their product.

    Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of a Democratic US senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin.

    When she recently spoke with the New York Times, she listed among her top accomplishments the passage of a federal law, the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012, requiring increased inspections of overseas drug manufacturers. […]

    If Mylan didn’t have to spend so much money on Washington politics, maybe it could afford to sell the EpiPens for less money. Or maybe if Mylan weren’t spending so much money on Washington politics, other companies would have an easier time getting government permission to offer competing products.


    In today’s, 25th, Wikileaks release of hacked Podesta emails, one of the notable highlights is a March 2, 2015 exchange between John Podesta and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills in which the Clinton Campaign Chair says “On another matter….and not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails.”

    The email, which may indicate intent, was sent at the same time as the NYT story “Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules” – which for the first time revealed the existence of Hillary’s email server – hit, and just days before Hillary’s press conference addressing what was at the time, the stunning revelation that she had a personal email account, and server, in her home.

    The proposed “dumping” on March 2 takes place two days before the House Select Committee on Benghazi sent Hillary Clinton a document retention subpoena on March 4, 2015, with some hinting the NYT report may have served to tip off the Clinton campaign about the upcoming subpoena. […]

    It is also unclear – for now – which emails Podesta is referring to in the thread, but Podesta adds: “better to do so sooner than later.” We can hope that a subsequent response, yet to be leaked by Wikileaks, will provide more color.

    If the exchange is shown to disclose intent to mislead, it will negate the entire narrative prepared by Clinton that she merely deleted “personal” emails and will reveal a strategic plan to hinder the State Department and FBI “investigation.” […]

    Finally,in a separate email sent out in the first week of March 2015, by Clinton campaign communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, we get yet another confirmation that the president actively mislead the public when he said he didn’t know Hillary was using a private email address


    There are plenty of examples of where countries have been trialling the universal basic income with success. In 2008-2009 Namibia experimented with the world-wide first Basic Income Grant pilot project in Otjivero – Omitara and found that the project led to reduction in poverty, increase in economic activity and improvements in health. A similar series of trials in India produced similar results.

  9. Millet, is a Turkish word meaning Nation, and a model for true multiculturalism. Cities such as New York, which have large Black and Hispanic voting blocks and often are required to provide a balanced ticket (a black, a white, a Latino) often work this way. The area that the Ottoman Empire took over during the late Middle Ages consisted of the Eastern Roman Empire, which had various different cultures such as Greeks and Armenians.
    Each of them belonged to a different religion except that “religion” for them did not mean what you believed but what race you were. Each millet had its own leaders that represented their case in government, and the government had to create racial quotas. Race did not mean like black or white, but more like it means in China like how there’s the Huis, the Hans, the Mongols etc or in Europe where theres the Serbs, the Croats, the Jews etc.
    Islam emphasizes religious toleration and always had a space for people of different religions such as Christianity, Buddhism etc because they are people of the book (follow an ethical code) I am not from Malaysia or Indonesia but I think that, is why they list your religion on your ID card there.
    This is a continuation of multi-ethnic societies in the past such as the Roman Empire, historical India, historical China and historical Russia.
    However, the nation-state concept in 19th century Europe put an end to this and espoused a sort of fictive kinship and founding story for hitherto multicultural societies. Basically the idea was that of going back to “tribes” and this also brought out the “racial purity” thing.
    This was replicated in the US where an assimilationist ethos pressured whites to all assimilate to an idea of “Americanness” or Anglo-conformity, and the way they did this was by putting down nonwhites such as blacks, Asians, Latinos and Indigenous.
    Roosevelt had this speech putting down “Hyphenated Americans”. The thing is, assimilation is only possible for whites because of the process of white privilege (that of ganging up on blacks) unless people of color all mix away and create a tripartite racial system. There is evidence that they’re trying to do that with us today through WMAF. As long as POC like Black people are considered a lower caste, assimlation will never work because it is built upon oppression and genocide. That is also why Asian and Latino antiblackness is such a problem.
    The Roosevelt ideology, aka colorblind racism, sweeps racism under the rug where it intensifies. Because when you’re colorblind ur not allowed to talk about racism. Having a millet style system aka true multiculturalism in the modern sense, allows us to have a conversation about how racism continues to fuck people.
    I agree that a more cohesive and high trust society is really the final goal but that cannot continue to happen so long as people emphasize our differences because of geopolitical issues (such as East West conflict, the neo Cold War, Islam vs Franks [Franks: firangi, farang, are what Asians have historically called whites], exploitation of Africa, dehumanization of Africans) which leads to the disenfranchisement of people of color and the shuffling around of stereotypes such as Yellow / Brown Peril and Antiblackness. Only when there is TRUE justice for all can there be color blindness and the idea of assimilation could even be considered appropriate, period.

    • Millet sounds interesting. That might be the first time I’ve heard of it. It would be quite different from the Anglo-American and the Latin American systems. It’s harder to see how it would work in a country like the US where populations are so mixed up. There has been too much ethno-cultural destruction and melting pot assimilation at this point. Even the races are decreasingly less divided by cultural differences.

  10. It reminds me about the nationalities system in Communist societies as well which is why some people are baffled when they hear about for example the Miao nation or the Zhuang nation in China and think they are nation-states like in the western sense…
    Moreover, do you think a millet style system can work in the US and other anglosphere societies that have historically dealt with an assimilationist ethos rather than explicit multiculturalism as in societies that emerged before the european nation-state movement of the 19th century, and are more traditional for people of color?
    I rather prefer a “millet” system over the way we’re headed, which is a tripartite racial system similar to Steve Sailer’s nightmares of how Latin America works. Where whites are on top, pure POC or blacks are on bottom and various types of hapas, intermediates like Asians or Hispanics, or whatever caste du jour is in the middle.

  11. The last thing is I think the most important thing. It is parental malpractice to raise a submissive child in America. Parenting that is too strict, that causes a child to have fear, to submit — will train that child to submit when they are older — and they will do so to the one they think has the highest authority. Which just so happens to be white. It is a SERIOUS mistake to teach kids to be too obedient, to always respect others (they must be taught to ALWAYS “respect themselves” in every interaction, regardless of the other person’s status/authority). Asian parents stupidly apply parenting techniques from back home. This, even though they are in a foreign country different from the one they’re familiar with – which should automatically make them intellectually curious about how their parenting style ought to be adapted to the reality of the new country’s social topography. Despite this circumstance, they read and think EVEN less about parenting than white parents. My brother for example, received far too strict parenting; he demonstrates alot of the sycophancy towards whites that I see in Asian females. I’ve come to think that his learned submissiveness, is a carry over from childhood; from believing one has a lack of agency, an insecurity of a social nature– this insecurity later on results in white worship- since it results in one thinking one has to yield to the person with the most authority in any given situation. It is A MISTAKE to raise Asian women in America the way they are raised in Asia. It should be criminal.

  12. When the Ellis Island European immigrants came to the US, they were absorbed into a discourse of straight line assimilation where they assimilated into a collective idea of whiteness.

    However, immigrants of color assimilate into a lower social status that is a baked-in part of the US social order. For many immigrants of color, immigration brings lower status for example higher incarceration and lower graduation rates of 3rd gen Black and Hispanic immigrants.

    For immigrants of color, a different strategy, that of segmented assimilation and the ethnic model of advancement, is often necessary.

    • If we lived in a just and moral society, those who take advantage of the disadvantaged would be lucky to be put in prison. What they really deserve is to be publicly tortured and executed. We shouldn’t tolerate such evil. That it is motivated by profit makes it worse.

  13. Holy fuck both choices are literally equally bad!
    Like, there’s literally NO lesser evil!

    I’m literally picking between validating the alt-right or WW3 with russia/pivoting to asia turning it into another middle east!!!

    Whyyyyyyy oh whyyyyyyy

  14. I’m not a neurodiversity advocate, but I wonder how much mental illness and alternative ness is socially constructed and contextual. For example due to ADHD I’ll never be a model student and I’ll never be the star student in conventional schools, but humans didn’t exactly evolve to sit still 8 hours a day either…

    I am reminded now of Bérubé’s arguments concerning the social construction of disability now, hahaha. But basically on how disability can be constructed based on situation. For example, a deaf person is not disabled when in a context where hearing is not needed. Of course there’s plenty of criticism of these views, but that’s the gist.

    When I was in Japan one girl had double time on exams because she has dyslexia. But throughout most of human history, the vast majority of people couldn’t read anyway, and written language itself is a human construct. So would she have been disabled 100 years ago when most likely, everyone around her was illiterate?

    According to the DSM, mental illness and neurodiverse conditions are only diagnoseable if they cause significant issues. Which begs the question… if there is nobody there to observe and to pathologize, whether or not the disorder exists…

    My sensitivity to surroundings and sudden changes in it, hyper-awareness of others, heavy visual-spatial orientation, easily-distracted, constant rocking and fidgeting when sitting, and constant movement (my mom literally laughs because I will suddenly get up and walk around at any random moment. At dinner, whatever) might be good if I’m doing something where I have to be on the move and constantly alert for sudden changes in surroundings, for one. Like hunting or playing whack-a-mole.

    It’s why I haven’t bothered with ADHD medication. I just think there’s nothing wrong with the way I am. I’ll only start if it actually starts hurting my life (fired from jobs) but so far I’m high functioning, I’ll just never be someone parents brag about in suburban society.

    I mean I tend to show up late for things and I often forgot to do my homework and had to scribble something right before in grade school, but I still graduated high school with around a 3.7 unweighted GPA. And I haven’t dropped out of college.

    • “According to the DSM, mental illness and neurodiverse conditions are only diagnoseable if they cause significant issues. Which begs the question… if there is nobody there to observe and to pathologize, whether or not the disorder exists…”

      Somewhat opposite of deafness are voice-hearers who hear what others don’t hear. Many of these people are otherwise normal. It causes them no problems. They simply hear voices that are disembodied and that they don’t identify as their own.

      There has been an organized movement by these people to be accepted, not seen as mentally ill. According to the DSM, auditory hallucinations are considered a way of diagnosing mental illness. But many voice-hearers prefer to see it as a natural potential within humans and some turn to Jaynes’ theory of bicameralism to support their view.

      If a voice-hearer could be considered normal, then why must we diagnosis and medicate something as simple as the behaviors identified as ADHD?

      Maybe we should make society conform to people, instead of making people conform to society. That is a thought I’ve had for a long time and it goes way beyond any arguments for neurodiversity. We live in a society that practically treats even poor people as somehow abnormal, as a way of rationalizing away social problems. But maybe our society is the problem.


    By the mid-1980s, Arkansas was an important staging post in the Contra War against Nicaragua being run from Washington. One scheme for maintaining a cover-up for Oliver North’s network was, it appears, played out in the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas occupied by a young Bill Clinton.

    Among the occupants of that same mansion was buddy Young, the man in charge of Clinton’s security. According to court documents filed by Terry-Reed, a former CIA asset involved in North’s Contra resupply effort, Young was a pivotal figure in a case designed to land Reed in prison not long after Reed had walked out of an arms-for-drugs operation in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he had been working with CIA man Felix Rodriguez.

    Arkansas’s role in the Contra War and in an arms-for-drugs supply network goes back to the early 1980s and the airport at Mena. A federal investigation aided by the Arkansas State Police established that Barry Seal had his planes refitted at Mena for drug drops, trained pilots there and laundered his profits partly through financial institutions in Arkansas. Seal at this time was in close contact with North, who acknowledged the relationship in his notebooks and his memoir.


    Last July, the DOJ – under Clinton/Obama asset Loretta Lynch – decided not to prosecute anyone on Emailgate. And yet FBI director Comey – who nonetheless stressed Hillary’s “extreme carelessness”– turbo-charged his no-denial mode on another investigation, as in the FBI “sought to refocus the Clinton Foundation probe.”

    Soon we had Clinton Foundation FBI investigators trying to get access to all the emails turned over in the Emailgate investigation. The East District of New York refused it. Very important point; up to 2015, guess who was the US attorney at the East District; Clinton/Obama asset Lynch.

    Enter an extra layer of legalese. Less than two months ago, the Clinton Foundation FBI investigators discovered they could not have access to any Emailgate material that was connected to immunity agreements.

    But then, roughly a month ago, another FBI team captured the by now famous laptop shared by Huma and Wiener – using a warrant allowing only a probe on Weiner’s sexting of a 15-year-old girl. Subsequently they found Huma Abedin emails at all her accounts – from to the crucial This meant not only that Huma was forwarding State Dept. emails to her private accounts, but also that Hillary was sending emails from the “secret” to Huma at

    No one knew for sure, but some of these emails might be duplicates of those the Clinton Foundation FBI investigators could not access because of the pesky immunity agreements.

    What’s established by now is that the metadata in the Huma/Wiener laptop was duly examined. Now picture both teams of FBI investigators – Clinton Foundation and pervert Wiener – comparing notes. And then they decide Huma’s emails are “relevant”.

    Key questions apply; and the most pressing is how the emails were deemed “relevant” if the investigators could only examine the metadata. What matters is that Comey certainly was made aware of the content of the emails – a potential game-changer. That’s why one of my sources insists his decision to go public came from above.

    The other key question now is whether the DOJ – via Kadzik? – will once again thwart another investigation, this time on the Clinton Foundation. Senior, serious FBI agents won’t take that – massive euphemism – kindly.

    The FBI has been on the Clinton Foundation for over a year. Now, arguably, they are loaded with evidence – and they won’t quit. Winning the presidency now seems to be the least of Hillary Clinton’s Bonfire of Scandals’ problems.

  17. Thanks for links. Just recently I was thinking maybe to look into the gifted scene as a place to belong, but the endless veering into NR from many just puts me off again. So for now I just stick to ADHD scenes.

    “). Secondly, there is a sort of cumulative intelligence. Interactions and collaborations make heighten people’s abilities and make them do better work than they are capable of individually. Problems like Fermat’s conjecture or Poincare’s conjecture were thought about by great minds before but were only solved in the recent past.”

  18. Seriously. When I made too far into the IQ scene I inevitably end up sprinting out of there as fast as I can. And my natural disdain for authority and elitism roars back.

    ”I don’t agree that today’s scientists are more “dull” than in the past. First of all, the talent pool is much larger, the social mechanisms that identify ability and sort people are more pervasive and far-reaching than before – more smart kids will get channeled into college these days than into say a blue-collar job.

    Second, I doubt great scientists lack in Conscentiousness – they may be absent-minded or disorganized in other areas of their life, but when it comes to serious work, I doubt anyone can get by without being organized and detail-oriented – there’s simply too much information to deal with otherwise. In my field, economics, some of the most brilliant, “maverick” economists are also famous for being neat freaks when it comes to keeping track of ideas, e.g. Fischer Black typed down every conversation he had into alphabetized text files. I can’t imagine it being different in other fields.

    Third, one way to raise the general IQ requirements in a field is to make it more mathematical. Economics, of course, has gotten tremendously more mathematical in recent decades, but has it resulted in more “revolutionary” science? On the contrary, a common complaint is that the math has sucked all the common sense out of it. (To be fair, it’s also cut down on a lot of squishy verbal hand-waving arguments).

    Finally, I think that many fields are simply harder, take more time to learn than before – there’s simply more cumulative stuff to know before you can get to the research frontier. Again, speaking of economics, the amount of coursework (mostly math) that you have to know has expanded tremendously, with the result that students who aim to get into good schools have to plan their courses starting in sophomore year, or take a couple more years getting a master’s degree. I don’t know how it is in physics or math – can students get a deep understanding of current knowledge any faster than say 30 or 40 years ago?”

    • The problem with science is that its part of a system and serves that system. It doesn’t matter if they are working in academia or a corporation.

      We are at a time when we need radical and revolutionary new ideas, new frames of thinking, and entirely new ideas. The radical and revolutionary is not going to be funded by big academia, big biz, and big gov. So, where is it going to come from?

      We are facing problems and challenges of the vast complexity never seen before. The system that helped put us into this bad situation isn’t likely to help get us out of it. We need a different kind of system because, as it has been said before, problems can’t be solved on the same level that created them.

      I’m not seeing the solutions that are worthy of the change that will be needed to deal with the coming shit storm. Not that neoreactionaries are going to be any help in saving us from ourselves.

        • That is always the problem with reaction, including in its neo- form. A reaction to a system is always inseparable from the system.

          As Corey Robin explains, reactionaries don’t actually want to destroy and eliminate the system but to remake it in their own image. Their attack isn’t on the system, per se. They are attacking what they see as a weakness within the system in defense of the system.

          They certainly don’t want radical revolution or even progressive reform, although they will co-opt the rhetoric and strategies of both when its useful.

      • Just remember, that a lot of the people at the forefront of screwing us over, are the ”gifted” people NRs trot as the saviors

  19. I would certainly hope that ”consciensciousness” is important in medical science, at least for those actively working with patients. LOL

    • I doubt anyone is arguing conscientiousness doesn’t have a place. The problem would only be when it becomes so dominant that it doesn’t allow a place for other traits used toward other beneficial purposes and results. There is many areas of scientific research and theoretical work, even within the medical field. Some would require more conscientiousness, but not all.

    • I know. I saw that post. I’ve learned to take what is interesting and leave the rest. But after a while it can seem like a waste of time. That is why I stopped visiting hbdchick, despite her sharing some interesting info. It can get tiresome, all the neoreactionary crap. Some of those neoreactionaries are decently smart people, but it’s too bad they waste their intelligence on some backward, often simpleminded, and plain whacky theories.

  20. In terms of value judgements and goalposts and such… I notice NRs will pretty much always move goalposts around to make white men top dog 🙂

  21. You know, we know, that a fixed mindset isn’t a good thing. Americans fall into it a lot. But I wonder if the extreme opposite… is it good? I think going really far the other way also opens its own can of worms.
    For example, I did ballet as a kid, and I’ve had people tell me I should be a gymnast because I’m short. But, I also have very little spinal curve. Like, my bone structure and spine is just that way. Humans have a natural “S” curve right? But mine is quite straight. This makes it so that no matter how much I stretch, I cannot bend backwards, do a proper bridge or seal stretch, to save my life. So I could never do ballet moves that requires bending backwards well, and my parents often berated me for it, and I blamed myself a lot for everything I didn’t do optimally, in whatever life…
    And now I get formally diagnosed with ADHD. But what if I had went on blaming myself for everything? I already had the self esteem of a brick, and for me and many people, it is actually being acknowledged as having difficulties that has “freed” us instead of assuming we can “work harder.”
    I’ll put it this way. On one extreme, you have all these people who never try or hate themselves and assme they’ll never be capable. That’s a fixed mindset and it problematic. On the other hand, you might have a retarded kid who is berated and ends up hating himself because he can’t learn calculus, and that is harmful to him to just assume he needs to work harder harder

  22. “The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the worlds’ central banks, which were private corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups.”
    Carroll Quigley, “Tragedy and Hope: A History of The World in Our Time”


    The struggle to abolish slavery was long and difficult. Even as abolitionists seemed to have won, by passing the 13th and 14th Amendments, counterattacks were being prepared. Corporations were pronounced persons in 1886, and in 1896 black people were declared to be sub-persons. In the 20th century we have seen the emergence of wage-slavery on a massive scale. We must ask ourselves: Are corporations to be our masters? Or are we to be free? What price are we willing to pay for our freedom, and what price do we pay now for our ongoing subjugation?

  24. Sounds like any immigrant story. Though not looking white complicates thing because you don’t just “blend in”

    • Blending in or assimilating isn’t always a choice. People blend in or not because of how others perceive, judge, and label them. As for assimilation, some people in US history have been forced to assimilate against their will while others have been refused the opportunity to assimilate. We have a country where people are supposed to stay in their category, whatever that is.


    In addition, the leaked page showing national results, another page on the FTP servers appear to show the Presidential election results state by state. These results show Clinton winning in states like Texas (42%-40%), Florida (44-40%), Pennsylvania (44-40%), and South Carolina (44-39%), all of which are “battleground” states as well as must-wins for Clinton.


    Nothing exemplifies this disconnect between the establishment and ordinary Americans more than the astonishing plan of President Obama and the business lobby to cram the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal through the lame-duck Congress after the election. The United States has run trade deficits unprecedented in the annals of time. Our trade deals have cost jobs, undermined wages, and devastated communities. Defenders say they benefit the nation generally, and the winners could or should recompense the losers. But they never do. Instead, global corporations fix the rules to gain access to cheap labor abroad, while stashing their profits overseas to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) embodies the stacked deck. It was negotiated in secret of, by and for the global corporations. Michael Froman, Obama’s trade representative who shepherded through the deal, comes, no surprise, from Citibank. Obama argues that the TPP is about free trade and leveling the playing field, but the TPP isn’t really a trade deal—tariffs are already low. And it doesn’t level the playing field: It cuts special deals for global investors, including their own private legal system that gives global corporations rights that no citizen or small business enjoys.

    Both Clinton and Trump oppose the TPP. It was exhibit one in the populist argument made by Bernie Sanders. Leading environmental, consumer, labor, citizen-action, and human-rights groups are organized against it. The white working-class voters who flocked to Trump’s banner loathe it.

    Yet, bizarrely, first thing after this election is over, President Obama, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate and the business lobby are planning to launch a full-court press to drive the TPP through a lame-duck session of Congress. Editorial boards will chime in. Former presidents and secretaries of state will be trotted out in support. Froman is already wheeling and dealing in the back rooms.

  27. “Election Day”
    by William Carlos Williams

    Warm sun, quiet air
    an old man sits

    in the doorway of
    a broken house–

    boards for windows
    plaster falling

    from between the stones
    and strokes the head

    of a spotted dog

  28. Here is what I just posted to Facebook, the first social media post I’ve made since September:

    This is my prescient commentary from two years ago on this day. Reading it now, my words sound like a prediction.

    Democrats had many opportunities to deal with their own problems and corruption, but chose not to do so. They ignored and dismissed the righteous outrage of those being harmed. Now they will suffer the consequences of being thrown out of power.

    Partisan Democrats and mainstream liberals have been banished to the wilderness. Let’s hope they do some serious soul searching.

    That was in response to this comment from two years ago:

    We do live in interesting times right now. No doubt about it.

    When you look at polls, the vast majority of Americans have a negative opinion of most of big government and most big biz corporations. Yet our entire society is ruled by both, and the collusion between both keeps growing.

    At some point, the negative opinions of the American people is going to hit a critical mass and turn into an outrage that can’t be suppressed or ignored. The longer those in power attempt to suppress and ignore it, the worse the outrage will get.

    Something has to give. The present system of power isn’t sustainable.


    The rise of Donald Trump is the product of the disenchantment, despair and anger caused by neoliberalism and the collapse of institutions that once offered a counterweight to the powerful. Trump gives vent to the legitimate rage and betrayal of the white underclass and working poor. […]

    A bankrupt liberal class, as was true in Yugoslavia when I covered the war and as was true in Weimar Germany, is the great enabler of fascism. Liberals, in the name of the practical, refuse to challenge parties that betray workingmen and –women. They surrender their values for political expediency. Our [failure] to build a counterweight to the Democratic Party after it abandoned the working class with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 was our gravest mistake.

    Hillary Clinton embodies the detested neoliberal establishment. […] If we do not defy the neoliberal order, championed by Clinton and the Democratic Party elites, we ensure the conditions for a terrifying right-wing backlash, one that will use harsh and violent mechanisms to crush the little political space we have left.

    The tactic of strategic voting begs the question “Strategic for whom?” Our money-drenched, heavily managed elections are little more than totalitarian plebiscites to give a veneer of legitimacy to corporate power. As long as we signal that we are not a threat to the established order, as long as we participate in this charade, the neoliberal assault will continue towards its frightening and inevitable conclusion.

    Alexis de Tocqueville correctly saw that when citizens can no longer participate in a meaningful way in political life, political populism is replaced by a cultural populism of sameness, resentment and mindless patriotism and by a form of anti-politics he called “democratic despotism.” The language and rituals of democracy are used to mask a political system based on the unchallenged supremacy of corporate power, one the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism.”

    We must build structures of open defiance to the corporate state.


    Democrats once represented the working class. But over the last three decades, the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising big money from corporate and Wall Street executives, and getting votes from upper-middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

    While Republicans played the race card to get the working class to abandon the Democratic Party, the Democrats simultaneously abandoned the working class – clearing the way for Trump.

    Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and jobs.

    Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

    They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with a simple up-or-down votes.

    Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22 percent of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to fewer than 12 percent today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

    Both Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated.

    The unsurprising result has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. That created an opening for demagoguery, in the form of Trump.

    Donald Trump has poisoned America, but he didn’t do it alone. He had help from the GOP, the media, and the Democratic Party.

    The pertinent question now is: What, if anything, have these enablers learned?

    • Here is the reality that race realists and eugenicists are afraid to face. For all the research done, barely anything can be explained by genetics alone, even simpler issues like obesity.

      As for complex issues like intelligence and violence, genetics research has so far been mostly useless. Even the correlations shown don’t prove causation and, even if causation is assumed, it would still only explain at best a tiny fraction of what is going on.

      “However, despite the extensive list of successes, a few signs were emerging that the paradigm was wrong. Most of the gene discoveries for common diseases turned out to be interesting in terms of biology, but the more we discovered the less useful each new gene became in accounting for the disease, since each gene is of tiny individual effect. For example, the 30 or so genes discovered for obesity, even when combined, account for only 2 per cent of the disease.”

  31. sorry:
    Race divides, but class unites.” This is demonstrably false. It was first falsified on the eve of WW I. Marxist parties like the Italian Socialist Party urged workers to refuse to fight in the capitalist war. However, the workers were nationalists first and last, and the socialist members of the various European parliaments voted for war. Famously, Mussolini, who in 1914 was a leadier in the Italian Socialist Party, was expelled from the Party because he favored Italy’s entry into the war on nationalist grounds. He went on to found the Fascist Party, which was a nationalist socialist party.

    The failure of the workers to follow class interest led to the formation of the Frankfurt School, which de-emphasized the role of the workers in the revolution. The modern Democrat Party, which is a socialist party, is openly contemptuous of workers.

    Whites could divide along ideological lines as long as Whites were a dominant majority. The country was 85% White in the 1930s when Guthrie was singing his songs. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians and Jews have always voted as racial and ethnic blocs against the White majority, and they have constituted a loose anti-White coalition for as far back as one can see. As Whites slowly decline into minority status themselves (albeit the largest), they, too, will vote as a bloc defending White interests. Whether the anti-White coalition persists or separates into what even today are mutually hostile groups remains to be seen.

    Racial and ethnic groups are mutually hostile because of genetics and evolution. It is not a learned reaction. Large multi-racial, multi-ethnic empires like the US are inherently unstable and eventually all collapse. They can be held together either by overt force exercised by a dictator or prince (always temporary, but often of long duration) or by the unconscious intimidation of an overwhelmingly dominant majority. The US has until now followed the latter option. The former option is our temporary future.

    • That is a simplistic view. Racism isn’t the same as nationalism. And neither is genetically determined.

      The English kingdoms and Germanic tribes were separate populations that didn’t see themselves as having a common race. That was particularly true in England with Scandinavians, Germans, and French mixing with various populations of Celts/Basque, Picts, Welsh, etc. The English Civil War divided along those separate lines. It took a millennium of population mixing and political development before a national identity developed.

      In terms of national identity, a country like the US is maybe where England was 500 years ago. But just start a world war and all the races will gladly fight the enemy. German-Americans were particularly.eager to fight the German Nazis, in order to prove their American patriotism.

    • Articles like that are pointless. It’s speculation based mostly on ignorance. Whatever advances we make as a species will probably not fit our expectations. It’s almost guaranteed that we are wrong about most things we believe about IQ, human potential, and what have you.

  32. Planet of the apes!

    As fangio said already, collective intelligence has become more than an abstract concept – more and more papers have more and more authors, and Nobel Prizes are increasingly awarded to teams rather than individuals. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there in the end – the collective intelligence of a bunch of 1,000s might be well beyond that for us lowly 100-200s. But…
    This speculation seems predicated on the idea that there is a single gene that does a single job – find the gene for intelligence, amp it up, and suddenly you’ve got new phenotypes with no changes other than heightened intelligence. The reality, though, is that genes work in networks to do a multiplicity of jobs. So adjustments made to achieve a desired outcome can also result in a wide range of unexpected and potentially highly undesired additional outcomes. Sociopathy. Physical deformity. Congenital defects. Who knows? Bottom line, though – you’re massively unlikely to make that kind of major change to the human neuronic system and not have some pretty major problems to deal with. And…
    We don’t actually know what the mechanisms for intelligence are – does intelligence come from the shape of folds in brain tissue? From the density of neuron connections? From a certain chemical balance? Something else? Some combination of all of these things? Without knowing what intelligence actually physically is, there’s no way to determine its upper limit. It might well be that no genetic manipulation can result in a phenotype with a 1000 IQ.

    Finally, as long as we’re treating the ethics of genetic modifications as merely “something we’re going to have to think about at some point,” the more interesting question to me is whether we could raise the IQ of other species to human-like levels. We know a 200 point IQ is physically possible in a human being, so why not pull an Algernon and imbue that same cognitive level on a mouse (or chimp or elephant)? The ethical issues still abound, but at least this seems to be something that is squarely within the realm of the possible.

  33. The main problem I have with the overall tone of the article, is that it seems to make the implicit assertion that scientific impact is based solely, or at least primarily, on IQ. However, it is a well documented fact that the differences of the contributions of the two genders or different ethnicities to science, are different far beyond any existing or assumed differences in IQ.
    Other factors seem to be much, much more important.

    • There are thousands of differences that matter. And thousands of confounding factors. Even IQ (among other tests) can’t be taken by itself, as it is a proxy for numerous other things: nutrition, toxicity rates, healthcare, school funding, class privilege, social capital of wealthy communities, stereotype threat, etc.

    • As always, I’m unsurprised. I’m glad it’s getting attention. But nothing will change until the federal government passes a law against such discrimination. Institutions rarely are capable of implementing self-reform.

      • People are questioning the status quo in general, but I think they are questioning it in the college system too. 10 years ago this didn’t get much attention or sympathy, it was just the status quo. Kind of like how slavery was, or burning heretics, etc. For some reason we’re in another rift of the status quo.

        Elite schools are losing their luster as more people are questioning the college status quo itself due to the debt crisis. i think only the tech schools like MIT and cal tech are being spared, as I think people increasingly see elite schools as elitist bubbles with sheltered/coddled kids and PC run amok honestly.

        It seems public perception of “elite” schools and students has shifted from smart people or rich idiots to this. Ex:

  34. Gien the flynn effect since the 50’s wouldn’t those scientists be much lower now?

    The SMPY kids were also from the 70’s and a specific group that was specially nurtured. And professorships and other positions do not necessarily require genius ability. So if they were helped by their abilities, it wasn’t necessarily their abilities that made them “better” than the others.

    The ability to do well on the SATs is also partially a function of knowledge. A kid, no matter how smart, not exposed to the math will not do well.

    • “Gien the flynn effect since the 50’s wouldn’t those scientists be much lower now?”

      That was my first thought. And consider even earlier when IQ tests were first administered. Back then, the average scientist probably wasn’t all that brilliant compared to the average IQ today. Yet science still plodded along with the development of new discoveries and theories. Most scientific research is rather boring and basic, not requiring genius.

      “The ability to do well on the SATs is also partially a function of knowledge. A kid, no matter how smart, not exposed to the math will not do well.”

      That is a major difference between the SATs and IQ tests. The latter is divided into two kinds of measured intelligence, only one of which is based on learned knowledge.

      What is significant is that the area where IQ has increased for all populations is fluid intelligence, which has less directly to do with education. It’s fluid intelligence that would have the most to do with genius — in terms of insightful pattern recognition, original thinking, and innovative problem-solving

  35. ““This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study. For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications.”

    But cultural biases seem to be at work as well. Nieli highlights one of the study’s more remarkable findings: while most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.””

    This provides statistical confirmation for what alumni of highly selective universities already know. The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren’t racial minorities; they’re working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions. Inevitably, the same underrepresentation persists in the elite professional ranks these campuses feed into: in law and philanthropy, finance and academia, the media and the arts.”””

    • If this is the case, it would be true of minorities who live in rural areas and states. There still is a large non-urban minority population that always gets conveniently ignored. Also, most poor and working class whites live in urban areas, not rural areas. So, whatever the data shows, this explanation wouldn’t make sense.

    • That article expresses thoughts I’ve had many times before. People would quickly get used to a new system. How long did it take feudal serfs, indentured servants, and racial slaves get used to a different kind of work? I’m sure they quickly adapted.

      Did the slave suddenly without work find that they had lost all meaning in life? Probably not, just as long as they had food to eat. And interestingly freed slaves knew how to grow and gather their own food. It actually required laws to force slaves to stop living off the land and be forced back into new forms of semi-slavery.

      You could tie basic income to some kind of sense of work. Maybe there would be a requirement for a certain number of hours applied, if not to employment, then to parenting/childcare, volunteering, neighborhood gardening, community organizing, civil/public service, military enlistment, continuing education, or professional training. You simply have to demonstrate you are doing something that resembles productivity, self-improvement, or contribution to society.

      In the Star Trek vision of the future, no one has to work by necessity and yet it seems like people are all the time doing things that more or less appear as work. I suspect that is how it would be.

      Most humans, specifically in the US, get easily bored and want a sense of meaning and participation. I’m fairly sure humans would easily find new ways of ‘working’. There has never been a moment in all of human existence where most of the population simply stopped working. Even laidback hunter-gatherers living in great abundance don’t mind work when necessary, although they feel no need to create artificial work just to keep busy.

      We forget how bizarrely unusual is the capitalist system of ‘work’.

    • Plenty of non-whites are obsessed with the culture wars. Take issues of violence, gangs, and drugs. In black communities, there were demands and support for tough-on-crime policies among important segments such as older blacks and middle class blacks.

      There has always been a class conflict within minority populations that typically plays out as a culture war, with the wealthier minorities looking down on the poor minorities as problematic or even inferior. Among blacks, this also has involved colorism where the wealthier blacks are the lighter their skin tends to be.

      Remember that black leaders supported Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime bill. That was the same policy that Bill promoted with dog whistle politics. He framed the whole issue when he gave a speech about it at Stone Mountain, the most famous site of the founding of the Second Klan and of a Confederate memorial. And he gave that speech with black prisoners shackled behind him:

      Culture war and class war have always been inseparable. Even among whites this has been true. The culture wars have their roots in not just the Second Klan but also eugenics. The target of all that was often poor whites, especially ethnic immigrant populations. Their ethnic culture was considered inferior, and so that culture needed to be destroyed and the people forced to assimilate. This involved, besides immigrant restrictions, other actions such as English language-only laws, mandatory public schooling (private schools at the time were often run by ethnic groups), alcohol Prohibition, etc.

      The culture wars were often quite literal, in being a war between distinct cultures. Over time, this became sybmolized by certain issues that carried the same connotations as the old culture wars. The focus on family values, abortions, alcohol, drugs, etc was a way of framing the issue based on assumptions, even if sometimes false. They were meant to target the poor, but the aspiring middle class often got caught up in the machinations. That is what has happened with the war on drugs.

      All of this is because we’re afraid of facing class issues and dealing with economic problems.


    The author veers dangerously close to the solution before veering off into incoherence. Of course, there was never a question of civility no matter how much the author uses that term. He whines plaintively that this is a matter of him being “suppressed” from talking about racism and calling it out- no you’re not, relax. You’re just being asked to do so more persuasively and be a better communicator.

    Imagine if the same outrage manifest in media coverage about the ideas of microaggressions and safe spaces pioneered by marginalized people had been marshaled against stubborn implicit racial biases and resistance to multiculturalism among whites, or if the useless term “racially charged” in media descriptions of racist things had been replaced with something more potent, like “racist.”

    If only…..If only……I hear this a lot from the conventional Left. If only the media were to give Hillary a more fair shake. GTFO of here. The media didn’t do everything right, but the mainstream media did plenty to aid Hillary, and plenty to savage Trump (and Clinton’s democratic competitors, hello Sanders and Lessig.) This was one of those odd elections where the GOP candidate was made of teflon; attacks that would have ended anyone else’s candidacy barely scratched him- but it was not for lack of trying.

    And if you read through the newspaper or watch news on TV – you’ll see plenty of stories in favor of multiculturalism. These ‘usual suspects’ are doing everything they can to take the blame off their tired, failed form of communicating and putting the blame anywhere, misrepresenting the constructive criticism of those who realize we need to adapt, and basically engaging in all the childish name-calling and stigmatization of those who disagree — essentially the same techniques that didn’t work during the election.

    This kind of write-up typifies the stale conventional liberal approach to race. It is a very mentally lazy article; sure it references age-old anti-lynching “work” and drops words like “stigmatization” and waxes eloquent about the “uncivil burden of bigotry” but it actually doesn’t say anything. He just blabs on with PoC school buzzwords , ultimately drawing a conclusion on “civility” that actually has very little to do with the critiques.

    This is fairly common with conventional liberal activists (white or black) in response to more pragmatic activists. If you look at Drum’s original article bringing up these issues, far-left type- Angus Johnston responds with a rebuttal that has little to do with Drum’s argument. The Atlantic piece by Friedersdorf which the OP article ( (Vann Newkirk) references favorably, says as much; about Johnston’s rebuttal, Friedersdorf, he says:

    This critique, as well, is weirdly, uncharitably unresponsive to its target’s actual argument.
    I feel the same way about Newkirk’s write-up. He wages war entirely against a strawman.

    A gem from Friedersdorfs’s article:

    “But the left has got to see its own culpability more clearly…..The coalition that opposes Trump needs to get better at persuading its fellow citizens and winning converts, rather than leaning so heavily on stigmatizing those who disagree with them,” Friedersdorf writes. “Among other problems with wielding stigma, it doesn’t work.”
    Yes, very much this.

    The insularity and biases at work here are a significant reason that the academy, and growing parts of the press who mistake its subculture for conventional wisdom, are increasingly unable to reach anyone that doesn’t share an educational background many intellectuals now think of as normal but that is, in fact, unusual even among college students in the U.S., never mind the rest of the world. Why does this insular subculture think stigmatization of this sort will succeed beyond it?

    Could not have said it better.

    When it comes to public forums, the term ‘white supremacy’ has next to zero value. It doesn’t mean anything. You could perhaps talk about white in-group bias; or favoritism of whites or between whites. Terms that normal people use. With all respect to those who come from a very academic understanding of race, this approach fails the most basic test of salesmanship, and that is common context.

    The primary failing of people like the author is that they don’t know how to persuade anyone who doesn’t already believe what they do. If they were in the private sector as a salesman, where they would actually be held accountable, they would be fired within the first month. If I take how little he actually communicated in the article; I could read a write up on an altright blog like Heartiste or RightStuffBiz – and as much contempt I have for the authors, they are at least exhibiting some original thought and possess some kind of (pseudo) logical coherence and insight. Or they’re not: personally ihink their logic is sloppy too, but the fact that the left’s just as guilty of sloppy logic and emotional appeals doesn’t exactly weaken the altright, does it?. The OP’s article is full of invective against “bigotry” and arguments for “civil rights” but no one is quite sure what specifically he’s talking about. Does he even know what the word “empowerment” means – which he uses so much?

    For years, the conventional liberal crowd has thrown buzz words around and referenced this work and that work, creating a veneer of sophistication, but without communicating anything, achieving anything, or even understanding what they’re saying.

    Someone please explain to Newkirk here how deconstructing AltRight’s ‘false solutions’ on things like trade and immigration in a way that can turn people against them & see them as charlatans has ZERO to do with civility or incivility. How taking the time to teach people how to see through smokescreens truly eviscerates the AltRight- like showing them how immigrant crime per capita is actually LESS than native-born crime per capita. That communication burden is on us. But people like Newkirk don’t want to hear it. They want to “KEEP IT REAL” and scream out “Dey be Racis” and think that’s actually going to carry the day. The leftist PoC coalition “succeeded” in an era where there was NO ORGANIZED OPPOSITION. Now there is. And what they’ve got won’t cut it. We want to adapt and be more persuasive. Of course their petulant outbursts at those thinking critically of their strategy is par for the course; it’s part of what got us into this problem in the first place.

    Old school ID politics activists and allies came up in an era of Irresponsibility. That is – they could spew garbage and no one would take offense. Those days are over but their habits are ingrained. Now they see the consequence of their over-reach, in the creation of altright, and they want to continue alienating the majority against minorities because they’re “hardcore dude” – if they want to tell the average person he’s a “white supremacist” and you think that will do more harm than good, it’s because you’re an UncleTom, of course! Old-school POC activists have the persuasive ability of old-school white nationalists – which is to say- none. They have their same level of self-awareness as well.

    Before you can constructive effective propaganda, you have to actually understand what the opposition is doing. Until I see an insightful deconstruction of how Trump injected race into a topic like trade, or see a clever concise rebuttal to The Wall, I just refuse to take anyone else seriously who thinks they know what they’re doing. I mean- it’s a joke; Trump is not that bright but he’s more versed at persuasion than his critics. Including those that scoffed at Trump when he first announced, who scoffed again when he became nominee, who scoffed at every gaffe assuming he was done. As I explained in gory detail, dumbing things down in labeling AltRight as NeoNazis won’t work. When AltRight basks itself in the cover of policy like trade and immigration, your screaming “racist” will fall on deaf ears; just like it did this election. Think harder.

    All cycle long we heard about immigrants and undocumenteds causing violence and the need for border security. Never once did I see someone break down AltRight’s arguments, its assumptions, and demonstrate why they were erroneous; and if so, then perhaps the real energy of the argument was about race-baiting. Point out that the crime rate of American born here is higher than immigrants. You have to knock down their protective walls- the facade of policy; not just pretend people can see through it. People can do that once you’ve calledout that this shouldn’t rank anywhere higher than our other crime-fighting priorities; in fact the cost per life saved would be considerably less. AltRight’s attack strategy has been a steel fist in a velvet glove; the velvet glove is the policy argument. They use it to make it sound as though their policy prescriptions are race-neutral and are about “stimulating the economy” or “national security”. All I heard the Left say was “American doesn’t build walls” or “That’s racist”. And people rejected those arguments.

    On trade, why didn’t anyone ever point out the silliness of dwelling on Mexico and China, when the trade with EU imports/exports in nearly a trillion dollars. Quite a bit larger than Mexico. Does Trump/AltRight want to admit we have “bad trade deals” with the EU? Does their omission of that aspect suggest that they are trying to use Trade to play on racial resentments towards non-whites as opposed to seeing it as a legitimate concern as far as public policy? The old-school PoC Left was always two steps behind the altright. They could not effectively disarm them through argumentation; they flailed wildly and missed. Over and over again.

    AltRight is using a degree of sophistication – and it’s not that sophisticated but it’s not something the old-school PoC coalition has been effective at combating.

    • As you know, I live in a liberal college town. It’s majority white, but with a growing minority population. The percentage of minorities at the university is much higher than in the non-university population. I occasionally hear about some rally being led by students or a forum that is being promoted by the university. Typically, the framing of the event is tired, ineffective mainstream liberal rhetoric. I doubt any of it achieves much of practical value.

      You only have to take a short drive from the university and you’re in rural farmland. That is where you’ll find many working class whites and some severely poor whites living in small towns and trailer parks, surrounded by fields of corn and soy. Despite not being far in distance, Iowa City and the surrounding rural areas might as well be two different worlds.

      If such a divide can exist at the local level, it’s unsurprising that even greater divides exist at the national level. Very little genuine communication is happening, at least across particular demographic divisions. There is something about disconnection along class lines, but there really is something about the rural/urban divide. It sounds like Trump may even have won much of the rural Hispanic vote, and so it isn’t just rural whites. Plus, Trump got about a third of the Hispanic vote in general, along with about a third of the Chinese-American vote.

      There is definitely something that the mainstream left, specifically the liberal class and the minority middle class, just doesn’t comprehend. They have no excuse, though. It’s easy to figure out much of this simply by listening to old MLK speeches. MLK understood why economics matters and he understood how to communicate.

    • I’m not sure I follow. What do you see as different? Doesn’t this fit into the ongoing helicopter parenting and such? The economy is even more competitive and high pressure than in 2001. This article wouldn’t describe the average kid, but it does seem like a still accurate description of those attending upper level colleges.

      • I don’t go to an elite school, though my school is a pretty well regarded public. I grew up in a academically compeititve, middle class to affluent area that sent kids to ivies each year though, so I know a lot of kids at those schools.

        I’d say the big difference between the Gen X kids here is that the current crop of kids isn’t, as the author calls them, “rosy” or positive in that way. There is no exploding economy ready to lap kids up, and while elite kids are still going to wall street there isn’t the same optimistic view of the world. The helicopter parent thing is as big as ever though, but instead of making the apolitical, complecant kids as the article mentions, kids these days are mostly cynical about the status quo and honestly, quite mentally fragile. I guess it comes with helicopter parenting and being sheltered? Also instead of being apolitical, kids tend to be quite political, sometimes in a cringey way (see the safe spaces, hardcore ID politics, stuff.)

        The big guy in the black skeleton shirt was my classmate in Japan last summer:

        • I see what you’re saying. I would point out one thing, though. You wrote:

          “I’d say the big difference between the Gen X kids here is that the current crop of kids isn’t, as the author calls them, “rosy” or positive in that way.”

          The first wave of Millennials are usually considered having been born in the early 1980s, although some define it as early as the late 1970s. Either way, they would’ve begun attending college in the late 1990s. So, by the time this article was published (2001), a few years of Millennials were already in college.

          Having been born in 1975, I was near the tail end of GenX. Those born a few years after me still shared much GenX experience and sensibility. But certainly at least by 1980, very different conditions were arising. That was apparent for me in high school. My senior year in 1994 represented a sea change in American society. Even schools began operating differently. That was years before 9/11 and a new atmosphere of fear was developing. Schools were beginning to be more tightly controlled. If you graduated high school and started college in the late 1990s, you were well into a different social and political world.

          In the years immediately prior to the 9/11 attack, it was a period of transition. It wasn’t the world I knew growing up and yet it wasn’t quite yet the world that would develop. Even the media began changing dramatically over the 1990s. It was the rise of right-wing talk radio, Fox News, MTV without music, growing presence of internet, etc — none of which was particularly apparent when I was still in high school, but had become a force by the early 2000s.

          What those 2001 college kids thought about the world certainly had little to do with what I and my friends thought about the world. I don’t remember either optimism or pessimism being a prevailing attitude. There was a growing unease in the early 1990s, but it expressed as apathy and indifference. There was no major protest movements at that time or at least none that the mainstream media paid much attention to. The Seattle WTO protests didn’t happen until 1999. The main political focus when I was a young adult was about geopolitical issues, such as the ending of the Cold War and conflict in China. Besides that, all there was were the culture wars and there really wasn’t much to that at the time, just people with too much time on their hands looking for an excuse to be upset.

          Yes, “Being apolitical is a Gen X stereotype”. But in some ways it was an accurate stereotype, in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s. There simply weren’t major political issues like there are now. There were no major wars, hot or cold. The first major terrorist attack that happened on American soil was the McVeigh bombing which happened the year after I graduated high school. Before that the political world seemed calm and boring compared to today or compared to decades earlier. It was hard to get too excited about politics back then or so it seemed to many young adults at the time. Even the Gulf War with its Operation Desert Storm wasn’t much of a war, not even politicians taking it all that seriously, as it was more of a chastising of a former ally who was left in power after the fighting stopped.

          It was a time when there was no sense of there being a real enemy and genuine threat to Americans. For many years, the US dominated the world with almost no serious challenger in sight. During that period, most American politics seemed meaningless partisan squabbles, as the stakes were so low in many ways. Economic problems were already becoming apparent, but the economy nonetheless remained stable and was growing. It was hard to imagine where it was all heading, since at the time it felt like it could go on like that forever, nothing much getting better or worse.

          It’s strange to look back on it now. In the period of 1999-2001, an entirely new situation had arisen. The dark mood became overbearing in those years before 9/11. The terrorist attack just pushed it all over the ledge.

          About the issue of apolitical students in the article, I’m not sure what that would have been about. That was not an apolitical time for the country. I wouldn’t have thought that too many young adults would have been apolitical in 2001. That was after Nader ran in 2000 and the Supreme Court elected Bush. The year before that was the WTO protests. In the early 2000s, the protest movements were developing.

          Maybe students at elite colleges were apolitical, but everywhere else in the country apolitical attitudes were becoming less common. I suppose it might have taken longer for the changing political mood to filter up into the elite colleges. Those elite kids I’m sure had more of a psychological and economic buffer from the larger world.

          It was easy to be apolitical in the early 1990s, but it was getting harder over the following decade.

          • I suppose it might have taken longer for the changing political mood to filter up into the elite colleges.

            Maybe. i was born in 1994 so I wasn’t really aware of things at that time. Many people think helicopter parenting is such is also not representative of Americans at large, but it mainly the suburban affluent mainstay. What sgifted the mood in the late 90’s? ANy specific event of just, well, “bliss” doesn’t last forever.

            Your geenration was also the generation of Grunge, so clearly y’all had opinions towards society.

            The Culture Wars seemed to explode into the world in the 90’s, that seems to be the case. The polarization of the country concerns me and as we know, it’s gotten worse

          • I think the truly elite kids (the ones from generational elite families, ex, the Bushes, Trumps) are doing what they usually do, but the economic and political weariness has long ago filtered into the Upper Middle Class at elite school. These are the kids who grew up comfortable but realize that their kids and them as adults will not be able to live that same life, and the increasing college madness and anxiety is a symptom of that. The door to the affluent is rapidly narrowing and people are frantic.

            Social Media is probably one of the biggest things that seperate smillennials from Gen X, it seems. Especially younger milennials like me.

          • “Many people think helicopter parenting is such is also not representative of Americans at large, but it mainly the suburban affluent mainstay.”

            I guess it isn’t representatve. I really have no idea the demographic breakdown of parenting styles. I do know some working class people who are helicopter parents. Then again, I live in an area of the country that isn’t typical.

            There is one thing I do notice. Part of helicopter parenting is never allowing kids go anywhere by themselves. Helicopter parents have been driving their kids everywhere. I’m not sure exactly when that started.

            The mood began shifting sometime probably around the time of the school shootings in the mid-to-late 1990s. Violence rates were dropping that decade, but a few incidents of mass violence was obsessed over by the MSM and sent the public into a tizzy. The newly created Fox News and right-wing talk radio used it as part of their culture wars, as if the world was in decline because of a lack of parenting.

            The thing I noticed is that kids being chauffeured and escorted all over the place was, at least around here, largely a white phenomenon. For many years, I stopped seeing white kids walking to school and riding their bikes around neighborhoods. But there was always large numbers of black kids out and about without adult supervision, and no one called the police or child services about them. People only freaked about unprotected white children, because they are a shrinking natural resource as whites become the new minority.

            Still, fear-mongering can only last so long. People eventually catch on that the fears have nothing to do with reality. Besides, it’s just tiresome to live in fear all the time and people eventually want to return to normal life. These past few years, I’m slowly seeing an increase in white kids being outside without parents.

            “What sgifted the mood in the late 90’s? ANy specific event of just, well, “bliss” doesn’t last forever.”

            The late Cold War set the stage. There was an odd mood developing that was amplified by the ending of the Cold War. Even in the 1980s, the Soviets didn’t seem like a real threat any longer. People figured that if nuclear war hadn’t happened decades earlier, it wasn’t likely to happen, not between the USSR and the US anyway.

            Without a foreign enemy, there was still a sense of anxiety. The economy first began its decline in the 1970s and by the 1990s large parts of the population were hurting, even as the middle-to-upper classes remained disconnected. There was a sense that something was wrong, but the mainstream media rarely reported on the problems that were actually effecting people’s everyday lives.

            That anxiety needed an outlet. There was growing paranoia about religious cult brainwashing, Satanic child sacrifice, child sex rings, etc. The culture wars grew out of multiple moral panics and none of it had much to do with reality. There were some real things going on, though. Starting in the 1970s and not caught until the 1996, Ted Kaczynski was mailing bombs to people involved in modern technology. A year before that was the largest terrorist attack on US soil at the time, the McVeigh bombing. Also, there did seem to be an uptick of school shootings in the 1990s, although there had been fairly regular school shootings across the entire 20th century.


            At the same time, violence in the country and schools was decreasing in the 1990s. Despite the few school shootings that the media (especially right-wing media) obsessed over in the 1990s, you were more likely to be injured or killed from random violence in the prior decades. It’s quite likely that the only reason there were as many school shootings in the 1990s is because of copycat killers who were being influenced by the media reporting. It was also a time of increasing popularity of cable, talk radio, and the internet. Maybe the new media atmosphere was warping the public mind.

            “The Culture Wars seemed to explode into the world in the 90’s, that seems to be the case.”

            It seemed that way, but it had been building. In the decades before that, the right-wing had been been heavily investing and organizing through religious colleges, mega-churches, televangelism, think tanks, lobbyist groups, front groups, etc.

            Much of this suddenly became apparent in the 1990s because the new media sources had this large network of resources and power behind them. The right-wing created the most effective echo-chamber and media bubble that has ever existed. It was a propaganda program that polarized large swaths of the population.

            “The polarization of the country concerns me and as we know, it’s gotten worse”

            Still, as it is shown, most Americans aren’t ideologically polarized. But the minority who are polarized have outsized influence. Part of their power comes from demoralizing the rest of the population, such as continuously forcing horrible candidates and demanding they choose between evils.

            “Social Media is probably one of the biggest things that seperate smillennials from Gen X, it seems. Especially younger milennials like me.”

            The closest thing to social media when I was younger was talk radio. It was the social media. Much of talk radio is listeners calling in. But even with that, it never had the power seen with present social media.

            Like many families, my family didn’t have cable, not until both of my brothers had left the house and I was in 11th grade. No one I knew talked much about the internet, despite my dad having it as a professor.

            Media was rather limited back then, primarily network tv along with magazines and newspapers. In the 1990s, I was largely oblivious about what was going on in the world because media wasn’t constantly in your face.

            “The current crop of elite kids is more politically active. Also probably helicopter parent and sheltered derived, but it seems, more intolerant of other opinions and more, um, entitled and spoiled. There’s more PC these days, maybe.”

            I was thinking about why that would be the case. It probably has to do with growing inequality. Research has shown that it even has an effect on the upper classes. Everyone, even the elite, begin feeling more stress and uncertainty.

  37. Of course class is in play as well. Race is a form of class, and class is racialized, both as an identity and as a financial reality. The thing is, the situation of people, in terms of class, has always been distorted by the persistence of race. For instance, NE Portland’s Albina neighborhood is historically black, now predominantly white. NE Portland has the worst air quality of any neighborhood in the inner-city as a legacy of racism, which justified placement of certain industries and a major freeway through that quadrant. Now, white Portlanders of the gentrifier class are struggling to figure out what to do about this problem. At it’s origin, it’s a race problem. Just as welfare was unchallenged for the most part when welfare was known as “Mothers’ Aid,” established to serve white “damsels in distress” and then challenged and reformed once blacks won equitable access to welfare, to the detriment of poor single parent families generally among whom a majority are white, NE Portland’s air quality problem is one in which the dehumanization of black people caused Portlanders in general to forget that we all ultimately breath the same air.

  38. And Trump has excellent instincts on playing on people’s fears. “Radical Islamic Terrorism” kills fewer people per year than drunk driving- by an order of magnitude. Yet Trump has made people think Muslims terrorists are lurking around the corner and the greatest threat we face. He knows that fear conditioning is based in the amygdala (the mind’s emotional processing unit), not the prefrontal cortex (logical thinking). Trade with EU is north of a trillion; there is protectionism; there is the European Commission constantly fining and suing American companies like MSFT and Google. But hardly any outrage.
    Very little in recent history in America prepares us for the emerging AltRight; they may need to remove Alt from their name with an increasing number of talking heads and official politicians taking up their views. Any dim bulb crying out “it’s always been this way” needs to be slapped and set straight. We are on a dangerous course and whatever foreign fear-mongering is exploited by this new guard may find its way to Americans who happen to resemble those “foreigners” Americans are taught to resent.

    • Also, Arabs and Muslims in the US represent a disproportionate percentage of people working in the medical field. A white Christians is most likely to be shot by another white Christian. Certainly, they are more likely to be treated by an Arab and Muslim than shot attacked by one. But of course such fear-mongering has nothing to do with rational analysis of objective data.

    • I’ve made that observation before. The political right is obsessed with being politically correct and forcing it onto others. Policing language has always been a key tactic on the right, and they are far more effective at it than the left, at least in the US.

  39. I think kids in suburbia often get very mixed messages. I’ve written about it specific to Asian Americans, but there’s also a lot of mixed messaging on general white suburban kids. Namely, helicopter parenting, everyone is special, particupation trophy culture is paired with zero-tolerance and no room to fall down. It’s like a perfect example in why just as dehumanizing is bad, pedastalization is equally bad. Kids in suburbia are elevated, but with that, the fall can be harder. They have no room to fall.

    “The answer is simple. All the things that we’ve heard about the trophy generation are exemplified in that picture. The caption, however, isn’t just about a kid (maybe drunk) doing stupid things. The caption should be that we didn’t hold them accountable at ironically the same time we demand zero tolerance. The piece that is missing is that at the same time we were passing out trophies we became increasingly intolerant of people who make stupid mistakes. We have created what is called the “double bind.” The double bind is defined in the Free Dictionary as “a type of personal interaction in which one receives two mutually conflicting verbal or nonverbal instructions or demands from the same person or different people, resulting in a situation in which either compliance or noncompliance with either alternative threatens one of the needed relationships.” Many of those who damaged light poles and cars, or who end up drunk in a stranger’s living roome, have no idea what it means to experience consequences. Millenials (i.e. the wrapped-in-cotton generation) have been protected and excused and coddled and defended to the point that many haven’t learned to accept responsibility. At the same time, we insist on zero tolerance and “throw the book at them” responses when they stumble.

    Back in the day, we did stupid things, took our lumps and accepted responsibility, but at the same time the costs didn’t seem to be a high. We can’t have zero tolerance without teaching accountability and responsibility for one’s actions. It came to me one night as I fretted about a student who has likely derailed career plans with a stupid decision that will now show up on background checks that are required for a job application. We have seen this happen not once or twice but several times in the past couple of years. Career ending decisions made before the career has even started. Zero accountability partnered with zero tolerance has created confusion, mixed messages and a double bind for this generation. “

    • In the past, kids did stupid things all the time. A criminal record from when was younger didn’t mean as much back then. It was assumed kids got drunk and did stupid things. One of the differences is that people have so much more information accumulated about them and that info is so much more easily accessed by prospective employers. Plus, the job market has become more brutally competitive and those looking for work have less leverage. It’s the perfect storm for young people being fucked over.

      • On academic culture and the admissions hooha, I think, as suburban cultuyre is also one where kids strategize to get into elite colleges, which uniquely to America, have extremely opaque, subjective, and un-transparent criterion, is that this further encourages kids to be risk averse instead of, well, being teenagers and trying and experiencing life through trial and error. Because admissions to elite schools pretty much require that you do everything right on paper, and hence you can’t risk getting a B and such. Modern academic culture tends to reward early blooming teenagers with high conscientiousness and agreeableness.

        Once I visited a selective school, and on a back of the chair before me in the auditoruium were various inspriational quotes. One was that a famous scientist nobel prize winner at the school got a D in his HS chemistry course. All I ould think was, why are you telling us this when it’s blatantly obvious that you’d never admit a kid with a D on his transcript unless daddy donated a building, or he could make a REALLY convincing and extraordinary sob story?

        • “Modern academic culture tends to reward early blooming teenagers with high conscientiousness and agreeableness.”

          That is a precise definition of conservative-minded personality traits that highly correlate to what is seen in the mainstream as moderate-to-conservative politics, which would include the establishment of both parties. This isn’t an education system that is open to strong liberal-mindedness. And any strongly liberal-minded person who manages to get in will either have to learn to become more conservative-minded to survive or will drop out.

  40. If you are not a social scientist academic but a layperson, its easy to interpret current rhetoric as a huge double standard against whites, men, etc, for example

    For people talking about “shaming people for not caring” or “privilege” if you are not an social science academic, it’s easy to feel like they’re saying that only whites, only white men, etc, are supposed to care about others before themselves, for example

    I said that to my prof once over email. Like, prof, you probably care more about your own kids than other peoples kids, should I shame you for that?

    “Some people will look at the system that put them ahead in the race and say ‘sweet, whatever it takes to win’ others will see it as unjust and try to fix it. Can I shame someone for being white? No. Can I shame them for not caring that the playing field is uneven and they are doing nothing to fix it?”

    You seem to have a good heart. But ultimately, most people are just out for themselves, whether it’s Trump supporters, Occupy, BLM, feminists (including womanists and intersectional feminists) etc. Certainly, most people will put themselves and people they perceive as closer to themselves first. “Who to care about” is prioritized based on perceived distance from the self. That’s pretty much how I feel about it. We all say a lot of nice sounding fluff but most of us don’t have the ability to fight for real equality between all groups. It goes against the selfishness and tribalism and solipsism that is human nature. That’s why I think we all have to check each other.”

    Meh. As you said, most people who aren’t studying this stuff aren’t thinking about society at large, but their immediate lives and issues. I think shaming ppl for that is counterproductive

    I don’t like how sjws also seem to think being oppressed is somehow virtuous. Which is a very Calvinist think to think, but they probably don’t wanna hear that 🙂

  41. When it comes to public forums, the term ‘white supremacy’ has next to zero value. It doesn’t mean anything. Social justice lingo like “male privilege” and “white privilege” comes from graduate school (less than 10% of people have postgraduate education). It is aimed toward people with a social sciences undergraduate background. When these terms are thrown around to teenagers and to regular people (60% do not have a tertiary degree) and maybe STEM folks, finance folks, then they do become toxic because it sounds like “oh, you’re a man/white/etc, you’re automatically a sexist/racist/etc”. This is not the original intention of such language. You could perhaps talk about white in-group bias; or favoritism of whites or between whites. Terms that normal people use. With all respect to those who come from a very academic understanding of race, this approach fails the most basic test of salesmanship, and that is common context.

    • There are many biases that exist within demographics that form reality tunnels, often along with media bubbles and echo chambers. This is particularly true when the mainstream society is tilted in your direction. It’s harder for the underprivileged to be equally disconnected in this way because the entire mainstream culture around them, especially media, is controlled by and represents and gives voice to the wealthier, well educated, etc. It’s easy for academics, along with other well educated professionals, to forget that the vast majority of the population still doesn’t have any college education.

  42. my observation is that Gen Xers are ripe for questioning the system, when not from privilged backgrounds. Aka most of them. But the ones that worked out well within the “system” tend to talk a good game about social justice issues and are often well intentioned, but can’t really see beyond the system they benefit in, in any really original way

    • Part of that is personal experience. Fewer GenXers benefited as much from the system as did Boomers and Silents. The older generations lived during a time when everything was getting better, but all that GenXers ever knew was a world steadily getting worse.

      That is particularly true for young GenXers such as myself, since from the moment I was born income began stagnating for the average worker and dropping for those further below. This shows up in a ton of data for GenXers with high rates (starting in childhood) of abuse, victimization, homicide, suicide, poverty, homelessness, lead toxicity, etc.

      All of this was viscerally felt by GenXers, even as the mainstream media either ignored it or blamed GenXers for the world they were born into. Older generations simply couldn’t comprehend that anything had changed. From an outside perspective, the dark mood and critical attitude of GenXers seemed like a character flaw.

      There were still some GenXers who through privilege or luck managed to escape all of the worst effects. Yet even for them the shifting atmosphere shaped their experience. Even the older generations reacted to this shifting atmosphere, although this often meant seeking scapegoats.

      That said, I’d argue that other demographic differences (class, race, etc) are greater than even the generational divide. If you are wealthy and privileged enough, you’re unlikely to experience or see what is going on in the larger world, even to your own generational cohort.

      The changes that happened, of course, hit poor minorities the worst. That is something hard to understand for most whites and wealthier minorities. For a few generations, minorities as a group were experiencing upward economic mobility. Then in a single generation, the economic rug was pulled out from under GenXers who were working poor minorities.

  43. Hmm. Noticed Trump is thinking about getting rid of NATO (he called it obsolete) and making peace with Russia. Do you think this will end US hegemony?

    • I heard something about that. But I didn’t look further into it. I have no idea if Trump ever means anything he says and, if so, what exactly he means.

      Getting rid of NATO and (I assume) essentially making Russian into an ally would transform the global order, whatever the results would look like. It’s hard to imagine that Trump would either want to or be able to dismantle the military-industrial complex that has a stranglehold on our government.

      But more power to him in ending US hegemony. He sure wouldn’t make happy the political establishment, the deep state, and the corporatist power structure. His plutocratic cronies probably wouldn’t be happy either. Unless he has plans for creating an even more authoritarian system that benefits the wealthy and powerful.

      • That’s my question. Why would he want to do this? He’s super rich, but I think even he could see the dangers of doing this for his own benefit. He would see that he would make so many very powerful eneimes if he were to do this. I don’t know. maybe he’s too much a bout himself. I could only see being friendly with Russia helping make himself richer and maybe oil companies like Exxon Mobil. (That Rex Tilelrson guy used to be CEO of Exxon.) But to sell out so many powerful interest? No way.

        • I wish I knew his motivations. Many people wish they knew, Republicans most of all.

          He apparently stated that he is going to guarantee healthcare insurance for all US citizens. That sounds potentially more leftist than the ACA, depending on exactly what he has in mind. Maybe Trump is crazy enough to actually do some of the things he promises. That would be interesting.

          It’s unlikely he could accomplish much in this direction of overthrowing the present order. But he could really screw things up for certain powerful interests. It doesn’t require him to be selfless, as his self-interests might be idiosyncratic. He already has money, fame, influence, connections, and now even more power. He has nothing he needs to gain that he doesn’t already have.

          I’ve always wondered if he is playing a game for his own purposes, maybe even deceiving those around him. If nothing else, he knows how to manipulate people. That appears to be his one great talent.

          Then there is another possibility. Even Trump might not know what he is doing or why he is doing it. I’m sure he isn’t used to having to explain his motivations and justify his actions. He might do many things simply because he can and he is curious to see what would happen.

          • It’s possible that some see a coming world war with China. If that is the case, it would make sense that they would want to create a new international order with a new security system. That would be much easier to do with Russia as an ally than as an enemy. Russia becoming a close ally with China would pose a major threat to Western hegemony. This is how Trump’s statements could be interpreted as not anti-globalist nationalism but instead a push toward a new global order.

            But many old school neocons might resist that move because, with Russia as part of that new global order, the control by the United States would be put into a weaker position. This would require the US and Western ruling elites being willing to share power and cooperate with Russian interests. The Democratic establishment seems to be aligned with those old school neocons who mistrust this new strategy. They’d rather continue the proven strategies of that worked during the Cold War.

            That maybe was the one and only significant disagreement between Clinton and Trump. Clinton spent the first two thirds of her life, more than 40 years, in the Cold War. Her political activism began with the support of Goldwater, a right-wing Cold Warrior. That is the (geo-)political order she still is loyal to. Trump seems like someone who couldn’t care less about the Cold War. He probably was happy to see it end, because it opened up business opportunities in former communist countries.

            It appears the Trump vision of a new world order is the most likely to become the new status quo of establishment politics. It simply is an issue of realpolitik. Western countries right now can’t afford to have Russia as an enemy. There are far larger problems looming on the horizon and the political and economic elite understand this all too well, even if they won’t talk much about it in public.

  44. It seemed like certain interest may have very well wanted war with Russia. Do you think some of them thought they could win this type of war?

    Either way, China has a population of 1.2 billion. I guess it wouldn’t matter int he case of a nuclear war. But I wonder if certain said interest have no fear of a nuclear war? Or if they’re willing to take a gamble since it would mean if they didn’t then they would be third rate status in terms of overall world power. Of course they could always take their money and live somewhere else if all else fails.

    • It seems there are some disagreements among the various elites. Some want war and some don’t. Some want Russia as an enemy and others want Russia as an ally. The various sides are attempting maneuver themselves into power and to push their narrative onto the public.

      One group elite seem to be entrenched within the security state and the alphabet soup agencies. Those are the elite that helped Clinton evade full investigation and the threat of prosecution. But there is another set of powerful interests that have formed behind Trump’s victory. Trump wants to drain the swamp simply to fill it up again with new swampy creatures.

      I have no idea what these people know or think they know. I couldn’t say what is motivating them and what they hope to achieve. But I don’t doubt that some of them are crazy enough to gamble with a world war, even with the possibility of nuclear war and biological warfare.

      It’s like the election. The Democratic establishment chose to lose the election instead of losing control of their party to Sanders. It was a conscious and intentionally planned strategy. By doing so, they have kept themselves in the game. The Clinton New Democrats still wield immense power and influence. They will do anything to maintain their position, even if it means pushing war.

      For people like this, everything comes down to power. Even wealth is ultimately about power. These people assume they can’t lose or, if they do lose, that they can ever be personally harmed. They’ve come to believe they are untouchable. So far, they’ve been proven right. Their control has been so complete that they’ve been able to call the shots and avoid any culpability.

      Then again, if the entire global order becomes destabilized, all bets are off. It would be a gamble of immense proportions. There is no way to predict the outcome.

    • Only you’d see the comments that states it’s waiting moderation. It wouldn’t be visible to anyone else. I don’t normally delete comments, as a general rule. I tend to let things stand, unless there is good reason to remove the comments. Those comments weren’t bad comments in any sense. I consider it a worthy topic of discussion.

      • Just like to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and go into detail with answers. Really appreciate that!

        • I think we are at a point where we either become more globalized or civilization as we know it collapses. There are simply too many problems that are global. These problems can’t be solved at the national level — these include: climate change, droughts, food shortages, refugee crises, terrorism networks, threat of nuclear apocalypse, etc. Growing globalization will continue for however long it can last.

          Considering that, what kind of globalization are we going to see?

          I’m reminded that the Star Trek Federation fictionally has its beginnings this century, following global crises that force the development of an earth government. That is what I’d like to hope for, that we could actually move toward a post-scarcity social democracy of that sorts. But even in the Star Trek fictional world, humans nearly destroy themselves as a civilization and a species before getting there.

          I try to fight against overly simplistic cynicism. Despite all the problems we face, there is real progress that has accrued over centuries. I wouldn’t dismiss the momentum of progress. Humans will do their best to not totally destruct. And humans can be amazingly innovative when pushed to the wall.

          What that means in specific details is impossible to tell. I do think many massive realignments and paradigm shifts will happen. They have to happen, if we are to survive. There is no way to accurately predict the probability of what might exist on the other side of that change. I wouldn’t want to try. All I have are my hopes and even those are too constrained by the present to be of much significance.

          I’ll have to declare humility in this state of ignorance I share with all other humans. But it doesn’t stop me from imagining possibilities. I will say this much. I’ve always thought one of the most probable dystopias is that of The Handmaid’s Tale. Then again, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the variety of dystopia that Philip K. Dick was so talented at portraying, Blade Runner being the most famous example.

          What about you? What are your greatest hopes and fears?

          • I really don’t know. Will we be in a world role where China becomes what the US used to be? Will we go back to how it was pre ww2 and each country will have it’s sphere of influence? Could the world be a better or more destructive place if that were to happen? It’s very hard to predict.

            I noticed Trump may pull the US out of the UN. Could this mean the end of the UN? I think a year from now more of these answers will be answered.

          • China is in a do or die situation. They cannot maintain their present situation.

            They have an aging population without enough younger women to provide a replacement population. At the same time, they don’t have the farmland to feed their own people. They are facing inevitable internal conflict when the demographics hit some tipping point. Their only option is to turn back to their authoritarian past of Maoism or to declare war against the West in hope of becoming the new global superpower.

            Western governments will try their best to prevent the worst scenarios from happening while containing China in every way possible. This is why Russia will be key. Russia either has to be eliminated as a major player or made into an ally with the West. If China and Russia combine forces, it will be hard to prevent world war.

            Something will change within the relationship between the governments involved. But it could play out in multiple ways.

  45. Just wondering, do you see a scenario where Russia could be eliminated as a major player that doesn’t involve war?

    • I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine what that might mean. One possibility could be something like basic economic problems that forces Russia to withdraw military forces and focus on internal challenges. But Putin wouldn’t willingly and easily give up on Russia as a major player.

      There are various scenarios such as this that could change the situation for any of the major players, unexpectedly leaving them in a weakened and vulnerable position or simply distracted by other concerns. With Trump’s unpredictability, we can’t guarantee how well the US will be able to continue its role as a major player. We might find ourselves dealing with internal strife and other countries no longer submitting to US dominance.

      Any prediction one attempts to make is dependent on unforeseen events not happening. But we live in such uncertain times that there are too many unknown factors. Climate change, for example, could quickly change the entire global order. Just imagine if there were several years of crop failure in the US while other countries suddenly found themselves having bountiful crop yields. That is the kind of thing climatologists are predicting, as weather patterns such as rainfall shifts.

      The Middle East has been destabilized because of droughts and crop failure. The stability of any of the major players could dissipate in a short period of time, if enough stress is placed on the economic system and social order. No government is immune from these larger threats that are outside their control.

  46. From your readings, do you think of we go another 15-20 years in this current capitalist order that climate change will possibly destroy the earth?

    • Climate change is such a massive wild card. When climate change goes into full gear, it will destabilize multiple regions simultaneously: drought, starvation, riots, wars, collapse, refugees, etc.

      I’d be surprised if those alive right now don’t experience it in their lifetime. To be more specific is difficult, but it is hard to imagine our present trajectory continuing without interruption for too many more decades. Destroying all of earth is difficult. It’s more of a question of whether we destroy ourselves.

      We are already experiencing the largest and fastest mass extinction since the dinosaurs died off. When species goes, ecosystems are stressed and it goes without saying that we depend on ecosystems. Modern civlizations are extremely precarious, as we exist in a rare stable moment of earth’s existence.

      The global population keeps growing. And the consumption per human also keeps growing. There aren’t enough natural resources. And the biosphere simply can’t handle it. The human population reached 7 billion in 2011. It is predicted that we will add another 2 to 3 billion in the coming decades. That growth can’t continue for long without something changing, one way or another.

      Somehow I doubt we are going to become wiser and less violent in the near future. There is going to be violence and bloodshed, mass starvation and conflict like the world has never seen before. If starvation or plague doesn’t decimate the population first, there will be those looking for other ways to decrease the population. We might see a wave of genocides and nuclear bombs wiping out cities or even countries.

      The closest equivalent to a societal collapse in our present world would be the Late Bronze Age collapse, when the earliest civlizations fell like dominoes. Each civilization collapsing led to refugees, fighting, and marauding. That then led to further collapse, until Egypt was the only civilization standing and only because of its geographic isolation. Some argue that it was climate change that caused it.

      • Thanks for the response. I always wonder if the latter half of this current century will be very different than the first half. A lot of talk about things like peak oil and climate change. People have been mentioning both of these a lot more int he past decade I’ve noticed. As you have stated in previous post, human can be very innovative, but I do wonder if will be one with nature again – or at least much more than we are now or if the world will go more into a urban direction.

        • Human innovation is another wild card. Technology is changing so fast. A more positive vision of the future is that, collapse or not, humans will return to a more local lifestyle. Technology is bringing this closer to reality with alternative energy, 3D printers, laser cutters, desalination water systems, urban agriculture, etc.

          We are close to the point where almost any basic need could be taken care of at the local level. There used to be a lot more factories and power plants at the local level and that might become the norm again. Small scale production and community subsistence living might be the future. Humans might learn how to do a lot more with a lot less and still maintain a decent standard of living, especially if medical technology improves.

          It’s possible that this would take the form of city-states. There might be high population density in urban areas. But these will relatively independent and isolated, with only limited trade and travel. Large regions might be entirely depopulated other than for agriculture.

          Can that future happen with the present and growing population numbers? That is the tricky part.

          Climate change could force this kind of thing. Large areas might become less habitable, ecosystems less stable, and weather less predictable. This could require humans to become concentrated into the remaining safe regions that are supportive of continuing civilization.

          Or who knows what. Humans will certainly attempt to be innovative.

    • This kind of thing has been on my mind for a long long time. I was born in 1975. In my childhood, there were a lot of post-apocalyptic movies that came out. It was the dark, cynical mood of the late Cold War.

      One of the first stories I wrote in elementary school was about a post-apocalyptic world where people lived in domed cities. In high school, I wrote an essay about pollution and another about overpopulation.

      So, nothing has really changed in my mind over the decades. Looming global catastrophe has always seemed highly probable.

    • That fits the profile of an internal conflict within government, a struggle for power. I said that you’d know it was getting serious when there is a lot of turnover in the government. Trump will attempt to remove all key figures who aren’t loyal authoritarian followers. But there are some powerful people in government and Trump has not even begun to see them fight back. These people know they could destroy Trump. The trick is how can they destroy him without simultaneously harming the entire government, because they know Trump is crazy enough to take everything down with him.

  47. Here is research that indicates that racism is primarily classism. But the two are inseparable as race issues overlap with class issues. What is interesting is that poor blacks aren’t judged according to stereotypes any worse than poor whites. Where racism might play a role is about who gets perceived as poor. Most Americans probably assume that most poor people are minorities, even though that isn’t true.

    “MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. dreamed that people would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Well, here’s some good news — sort of. Racial stereotypes may be largely driven by assumptions about the content of one’s neighborhood, rather than assumptions about innate racial differences. Psychologists at Arizona State University found that both black and white residents of poor neighborhoods — even if they were personally not poor — were stereotyped as impulsive, opportunistic, less invested in education and their children, and promiscuous. In fact, there were no statistically significant differences in these stereotypes between white and black residents of poor neighborhoods, or between white and black residents of affluent neighborhoods.”

  48. “They decided to take a new, in-depth look at nationwide standardized test data. Using results from the math portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, the Lubienskis compared scores from more than 13,000 public, private and charter schools. The private schools did have higher raw scores. But once they controlled for factors like family income, race, and location, they found that public schools were overall getting better results from their students.

    “The Lubienskis locate the reason in a surprising place: private-school autonomy. School reform advocates have long argued that more autonomy would allow public schools to innovate, and that letting families choose where to send their kids would force schools to improve their game. But the Lubienskis argue that independence and competition may actually be holding back achievement at private and charter schools.”

  49. Maybe someone could share this with Trump and his followers: “The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher.”

    I’ve found it interesting that these past couple of decades, as immigration increased and the minority population has grown, the violent crime rate has dropped. The fact is that most of the violent crime, hate crime, gang crime, and drug-related crime is committed by whites. Did Trump forget to mention that in his campaign?

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