Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trumped

Timur Kuran writes about the phenomenon he calls “preference falsification”: people tend to hide unpopular views to avoid ostracism or punishment; they stop hiding them when they feel safe. When something breaks the spell and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers. Kuran calls this sudden change a “preference cascade”. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis recently tweeted: “Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly.” What he describes is preference falsification, but if people stop hiding, it will become a cascade.



A new theory by cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is garnering attention. Grounded in evolutionary psychology, it is called the interface theory of perception (ITP) and argues that percepts act as a species-specific user interface that directs behavior toward survival and reproduction, not truth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Equilibrium

Margaret Talbot, a political annalist, made the point that a politician in the US should be racist, preferentially anti-White.  Sanders’s commitment to recapturing some of the white working-class males that the Democratic Party lost in the Reagan years won’t necessarily help his candidacy; indeed, it could hurt his quest to connect with minority voters. As he’s found, emphasizing class over race can get a progressive in trouble.

Black Nationalists made the point that Racism is stronger than Sexism. Identity politics led me to vote for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because I liked his policy positions. I saw a black man with a black wife and children and I needed to believe he would work better for me than his predecessors. I have no intentions of defending my choice to help elect a quasi-liberal black man over a conservative white man: I did so to try to slow the bleed of black people. It would seem only natural, then, that Hillary Clinton would be the logical choice for me in this year’s election. After all, she is a woman, as I am. She is also a Democrat, so I should identify with Clinton over her male Republican opponent. But I don’t.

And because Black nationalists are not alone... In the wake of Trump’s surprising election victory, hundreds of white nationalists converged on the capital to herald a moment of political ascendance that many had thought to be far away. Intellectual leaders of the movement argue that they are trying to realize their desire for a white "ethno-state" where they can be left alone.

Asian-Americans also want a piece of the pie. Although a 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities, to Andrew Lam colleges should grant an advantage to blacks and Hispanics because they continue to face barriers to equal access and opportunity, the same is not true for whites, so there is no reason they should have preference over Asians in college admissions. Not surprisingly, the platform for this propaganda is The New York Times, the media corporation where Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, is the top shareholder.

Identity Politics is Racism; and it leads to a inevitable Balkanization of society; and maybe that is the equilibrium state of every human society.