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.

3,840 thoughts on “Open Thread

    • The difference is that white identity wasn’t created out of being persecuted but out of persecuting others. That is a rather massive difference. Still, the psychology is basically the same. People tend to persecute others out of fear of being persecuted.

      And in persecuting others, they become even more paranoid about being persecuted in return. Many white populations live in utter terror that one day they might be treated as they, their governments, and their ancestors have treated others. This is a very real fear and will likely prove true. Blowback is not a fun experience, especially as it tends to harm everyone in its path, those deserving of it and those not.

      But I’d make clear that what is happening now is fundamentally no different than what happened during earlier periods of imperialism when multiculturalism, conflict, and violence dominated large populations for centuries… until some new social order helped create new social identities, such as separate ethnic groups slowly having a nationality forced upon them, eventually the old ethnicities at most being faint memories..

  1. Just to repeat something I saw a few weeks ago in this sub (and if the original poster sees this feel free to take credit), but Hillary marrying Bill was definite a poison chalice for her politically. It meant that she became one of the biggest nepotism cases in the country by going from being first lady to a popular Democratic President to getting parachuted into a safe Democratic Senate seat without actually having to develop any political competencies whatsoever (like campaigning for example). And worse, it meant that all sorts of tendencies and habits that she has (like her love of sycophants) never actually got corrected at a stage where it could have done a load of good.
    In my more heated moments I’ll say that without Bill, Hillary would be a relatively successful corporate lawyer who couldn’t get herself elected to a local office. But honestly, I do think that if she hadn’t had the brand right off the bat, she might have been able to develop along a more natural career path that would have at least made not hilariously incompetent.

    • That isn’t surprising. It’s not that there aren’t many highly desegregated schools in the Deep South. That is typical of many public schools, such as those I attended in South Carolina. But because of desegregation, the Deep South has large numbers of private schools that have remained fairly white.

      This is how the mixing of race and class allows racism to be maintained. Discrimination and biases created an economic divide that has made it difficult for blacks to move up the economic ladder. And because private schools maintain high costs, they keep out most blacks who are being kept poor.

    • This is the exact kind of paper I’m constantly criticizing. And it’s a great example of what Richard Harris discusses in his book, Rigor Mortis. One could spend every hour of one’s entire life shooting down bad science like this.

      I looked more into Chiao’s research. Basically, she took one correlation between data in genetic research and data in psychiatric research, but noticed the correlation often didn’t apply. Instead of dismissing the correlation as not representing genetic causation (that there is no “depression gene”), she posited yet another genetic causation of collectivism/individualism that interfered (arguing that the “collectivist gene” overpowered the “depression gene”). When one correlation doesn’t work, keep throwing in correlations until you get the ideological conclusion you’re determined to find.

      Correlations are just correlations. Most correlations are meaningless. And Chiao never was able to prove her correlations were meaningful. She couldn’t prove a direct causal mechanism, other than vague speculations that can’t be observed firsthand. Besides, her statistical analysis apparently is shoddy, a major problem Harris points out in research like this. Harris notes that most biological scientists have a weak grasp of statistics because biological sciences has been the field people went into if they wanted to do research but wanted to avoid statistics, causing many statistically spurious results.

      “While it is a pleasure to see Chiao and Blizinsky test hypotheses relating to the evolutionary origins of behaviourally implicated genes, there are a number of flaws in their methodology which call their findings into question. In particular, neutral evolutionary processes that might account for the observed patterns in serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) allele frequencies are not adequately explored and rejected. In the absence of this, the case for natural selection (including more complex gene-culture co-evolutionary processes) changing national-level allele frequencies is weak, and a null hypothesis of no selection, or neutrality, should be retained. We make this argument by reviewing relevant literature and re-analysing Chiao and Blizinsky’s data together with published human population genetic data. […]

      “While Chiao and Blizinsky’s hypothesis is compelling and deserves further examination, we feel that it is not supported by the current data in light of these analyses. Further study would benefit from a larger number of independent samples and controls for underlying population structure (e.g. [22]).”

      “To start with there’s the placement of individualism and collectivism, together with family loyalty, in binary opposition. Unless you accept the cliché of there being no ‘I’ in ‘team’ as a sociological law, this is clearly nonsense. Then there’s the related assumption that because Western societies are, on the whole, less family-oriented they must be more individualistic, that’s also very dubious unless individualism is taken to mean something close to what the sociologist Emile Durkheim described when he spoke of ‘the disorganised dust of individuals’ emerging with modern capitalism at the turn of the last century (4).

      “But I’m getting ahead of myself and the paper itself addresses such concerns in only the most facile manner. Essentially, the study examines the influence of a gene which codes for a protein regulating serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter – a chemical which brain cells use to communicate with each other – and is particularly implicated in mood control. The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) acts on the gene’s protein product, the serotonin transporter.

      “The gene coding for this transporter exists in several variants and these mutations probably affect the transporter’s function. In particular, the gene contains a region that can exist as a short (S) or long (L) allele. Studies suggest that which version you carry may have a subtle influence on mood and behaviour.

      “The paper’s main claim is that collectivistic values flourish among populations where the S allele predominates whereas individualism is associated with the L allele. The centrepiece is a graph on which a measure of individualism-collectivism (vertical axis) is plotted against S allele prevalence (horizontal) for 29 nations (5).

      “You might think that quantifying a false dichotomy as abstract as ‘collectivistic versus individualistic values’ would be impossible. Not so, apparently. The researchers use an index based on ’employee value scores’ conducted around the world by IBM between 1967 and 1973 (6). That’s obviously beyond reproach as a dataset.

      “Most of the data plots on the resulting graph run in a more or less straight line up the vertical axis. In other words these national populations show considerable variability in collectivism-individualism without any impact of the S allele. There are, however, four tightly grouped countries just off this line in the top right. These are China, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea which all have both high collectivistic values and a predominance of the S allele in their populations.

      “Bearing in mind the vertical line that contains the other data plots, this looks like a coincidence to me. Then again, I have only a rudimentary understanding of statistics. I was therefore unable to follow the method that enabled the researchers to show a significant predictive relationship.

      “However, the quantum chemist Dr Istvan Mayer is less of a slouch with stats than I am. By chance, the paper fell into his hands and he decided to check the correlation out and found it lacking. His plain-English commentary, published online, met with a predictably obfuscating response from the authors (7).

      “Now the fun really begins. With their correlation in the bag, the researchers have to show some degree of causation. This is a real poser because the S allele tends to be associated with depression and anxiety – not the kinds of mental states normally associated with people with a tendency to cohesively bound family structures.

      “But, hang on – East Asian countries enjoy lower levels of diagnosis of these mental disorders. Armed with this knowledge the researchers construct the ‘culture-gene co-evolution hypothesis’ of human behaviour – a fabulously circular and occasionally impenetrable theory vainly described in the text as ‘parsimonious’. It says that East Asian cultures have structured themselves collectively to counter the negative effects of the S allele. They have done this very well, which accounts for the lower rates of diagnosed mental disorders.

      “This is not a hypothesis. It is a ‘Just-So’ story concocted to fit known data. But by this point you will not be surprised to learn that the study ekes out another significant correlation; this time between S allele frequency and low mood disorder diagnoses.

      “Taken as a whole, the study is a groaning smorgasbord of bad science. All the classic ingredients are present: arbitrary quantification of reified concepts; confusing statistics; correlation assumed as causation; attention to only a few of myriad confounding variables; conflation of phenomena at the individual and population levels.”

    • [–]dshfjdk 1 point 1 day ago*

      Yes, violence is possible, but I’m more talking about unrest and disruption. First of all, I don’t see any of your goals as achievable, politically or otherwise. The overwhelming majority of people are against this and it simply won’t stand politically or legally. The left has been blind to this agenda up until Trump was elected, but now it’s all out in the open, the backlash is inevitable and has already begun – I’m not talking about Antifa, i’m talking about the political backlash in 2018 and 2020. In essence; this is your moment in the political sun, and you’re focusing on things which cannot be realistically achieved without extreme civil unrest and disruption. But I’m not worried about the Alt-right achieving it’s goals, I’m more concerned about what happens when it doesn’t achieve it’s goals, and becomes politically bankrupt. Eitherway it spells extreme unrest.

      BTW When it comes to picking sides, I’m choosing the side of reason, moderation, humility, human decency, respect, empathy, and basic common sense (none of which are present in the Alt-right). Not ego-driven, scientifically baseless, reactionary ideological absolutism and racial nepotism.

    • [–]Questiori 1 point 1 day ago

      Virtually nothing he complained about when it comes to modernism or American culture has anything to do with “White Identity”. The entire speech could be summed up as “Embrace the alt-right because ( Insert economic/philosophical phenomena unrelated to race here )”

      The most ironic part is that he’s lambasting the “mindless herd mentality” of everyone being an insignificant cog in some giant globalist blob, then contradicts himself by also criticizing individualism, and finally suggests that the solution is appealing to everyone’s lowest common denominator and make them a tiny part in some great white blob instead. There’s nothing consistent in his speech, just a lot of meaningless theatrics.

    • “These are trying times. And its why I don’t like the recent posts on r/Hapas basically saying “we need to redirect our attention from the open racism of the Alt-right, to the hidden racism of liberals”. I don’t deny it exists, but now isn’t the time.”

      I’m a both/and kinda guy. I have enough critical attention to give to them all. There is no need to choose one over the other. For one, they are inseparable. The alt-right is born just as much out of liberalism as out of reaction. It really is a mutated form of liberalism, an expression of the darkest repressed fantasies of the liberal psyche. Besides, liberals have a long history conjoined to authoritarianism, from Whiggish manifest destiny to Progressive eugenics, from New Deal corporatism to New Democratic tough-on-crime policies.

    • It’s good that ever more books, articles, and studies are coming out about such things. But it is hardly new. People have been talking about this problem for as long as I can remember.

      President Jimmy Carter in the past has called the United States a banana republic, which is one of the most damning accusations that can be made against a self-proclaimed democracy. And before him, President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex.

      There is the problem. Few people seem to take these statements and warnings seriously, for if we did there would already be a revolution. When multiple presidents can be ignored about the state of the country they were president of, then who will be able to get heard and his words heeded?

  2. Anecdotally, as a college student the black classmates I know also resent clinton.

    “There’s no reason to assume it wouldn’t be close to Clinton’s totals. That urban black voters preferred Clinton doesn’t mean they disliked Sanders, and – anecdotally – my under-40 black friends here in Philly resented Clinton”

    • If Sanders and Clinton had both been candidates running against each other, I bet Sanders would have won. I’m sure Sanders would have gained more votes among younger and lower class minorities. He might even have won the majority of minority voters.

      Clinton wasn’t as strong among minority voters as the Democratic Party liked to pretend. Minority voters supported her, as they would have any Democratic candidate in opposition to a Republican candidate. But that is no great accomplishment, as it was true of previous Democratic candidates.

      That doesn’t mean most minorities either liked or trusted Clinton. And it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have preferred to vote for someone like Sanders who is even stronger in support of policies that would have helped minority communities.

  3. @xin05: In the a2x thread, you talked about how this was especially a time for AM and AW to come together because of rise of ethno-nationalism. This is so true, because one of the core causes of all this ethno-nationalism and “populism” has been a massive redistribution of wealth and influence from the West to the non-West, particularly Asia.

    It doesn’t take much imagination to see how anger against the “1%” can easily be diverted into nationalistic/racist resentment from all political sides

    Also, about this populist hatred of cosmopolitanism or “globalism”… I wonder if we AsAms just grew up with the ingrained sense that we were always going to be on the move. My extended family is scattered all over the world and that was perfectly normal to me growing up. My parents now live on the other side of the planet, and at most, I’ll probably get to see them a couple of weeks a year at most. Meanwhile, you’ve got white people who think it’s too daunting to move within their own country and seem to be demanding that prosperity just roll into whatever town they happened to be born in.

    • I don’t think American problems have much to do with an unwillingness to move. Americans have always been a highly mobile population. But when there are no better job opportunities elsewhere than where one lives, why would someone seeking employment move when there is no advantage in doing so? What led Americans to move in the past were mostly economic. It’s simply a different world right now. Even so, Americans still move around quite a bit. And there is fairly large population of Americans all over the world.

  4. somehow these fucking people expected the world’s population to be poor for the rest of eternity

    The far right’s idealization of the 1950s is disgusting enough. But when the far left starts yearning for that same decade in an economic sense, I want to ask them, “do you realize how poor my grandparents’ country was at that time period, and that America’s wealth and power were largely predicated on that imbalance? Is that your progressive utopian vision?”

    I know they sincerely don’t mean that, but they don’t seem to think things through. I can easily picture them travelling through Vietnam and wistfully thinking, ‘Geez, wasn’t this country so much more beautiful before all these ugly factories and apartments were built?’

    yea to the right the developing world is full of barbarians waiting to destroy civilization

    to the left they see the developing world as an amusement park created for their pleasure

    • It doesn’t seem clear to me that most Americans have much opinion at all about the rest of the world. I suspect that most people everywhere in the world are too concerned about personal and local concerns to sit around thinking about other people in other societies. When the average American feels nostalgic about the past, it is simply a desire to have a good job like their parents or grandparents had. That is about the extent of the thought process.

  5. No doubt about that. As long as political systems revolve around quantity of population there’s no question that being the majority is the ideal solution, maybe even the only solution? Being the largest minority doesn’t work because there’s still a majority above you and guess what the majority will always try to bring you down. Having the power in numbers can’t be underestimated, quality over quantity doesn’t apply when it comes to “””””demuhcracy””””.
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    • I didn’t find gauge symmetry hard to understand lol

      Never liked school though. Including science and math. Or school in general

  6. I’m so many voters did feel threatened by social change, but not consciously. Most who do feel that way probably wouldn’t admit it, perhaps not even to themselves

    I’m somewhat weird in this regard. I don’t actually judge people who voted trump based on that alone. I’m very critical of establishment liberals but I general don’t label who is my friend or not based on how they voted (if they vote.)

    • She’s being patronizing as fuck to voters from marginalized groups honestly. If she were honest she would know that people from marginalized identities generally don’t vote much at all; they weren’t rallying behind clinton like a monolith. Most people aren’t so abstract in their style to put her ideals over concrete concerns

  7. How stupid do you have to be to actually think white women as a whole loved clinton of that trump’s stupid comments would be enough to sway them? Have the ever considered that not everyone thinks like them?

    Shit, most women don’t even call themselves feminists

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