How To Prove Yourself Superior

Be the ‘quit’ in equity.

Noah Carl has a proposal:

What we need is a “Resign for Diversity” campaign…

Any academic from an overrepresented group who advocates more “diversity” is directly contributing to the lack of “diversity” by remaining in his position. Assuming the number of jobs is relatively fixed, such an individual is effectively saying, “I want the percentage of academics who have the same demographic characteristics as me to go down, but I am not willing to give up my job in order to achieve that goal. Rather, I want other academics with those demographic characteristics to give up their jobs, or to lose job opportunities.” Needless to say, this is not a principled stance…

If you can’t explain why you haven’t resigned, then don’t expect others to partake in this foolish “diversity” charade.

The goal wouldn’t be to encourage mass resignations; since most people look out for themselves, we shouldn’t expect many to actually resign. Rather, it would be to “get the incentives right” – to internalise the externality of advocating “diversity.” At the moment, white academics who have jobs can go along happily, waxing lyrical about “diversity,” while white academics who don’t have jobs bear the consequences. If those incumbents were pressured to resign, they might start to rethink their ideology.

A longer, more detailed airing of the idea, with much to chew on, can be read here

Also, open thread.

A Fear Of Cheese

A while ago, while grumbling about Thor: Ragnarok, I wrote

With Marvel films, there’s usually a tricky balance of bombastic drama and quipping, and it’s easy to lose that balance and end up with the humour kicking the legs out from under any dramatic tension… [In Ragnarok,] the humour is for the most part formulaic and repetitive. A character says something cocky or pompous and a deflating pounding or misfire or pratfall ensues. This is repeated later, and then repeated again, and again. This is the joke template of the whole film. And if everything is essentially a set-up for some more rote goofiness, another gag like the one you saw five minutes ago, the stakes and drama ebb away, along with any goodwill, resulting in a film that feels much longer than it actually is.

With that in mind, and via Ace, here’s a related and more detailed rumination by Just Write. On cinematic bathos, or dramatic knee-capping.

I Don’t Think Goodwill Is Meant To Smell Like That

More lifting from the comments, where, following this post, we were discussing how to spot good intentions, however dire their actual consequences:

If we set aside the explicitly sadistic and murderous fantasies of Marx and Engels, and Lenin and Trotsky and all the others, I suppose we have to ask whether the claim of benevolence and altruism, or the delusion of such, signifies actual benevolence and altruism, or whether it can be used as camouflage, a fig leaf, for something else entirely.

What if someone - say, a politician and supposed intellectual - wants to confiscate even more of other people’s earnings and wants to do this regardless of whether such confiscation would have the social benefits they claimed it would have, even if it makes their stated objective impossible. Are we to trust in their self-image as a person of unassailable virtue?

And what about these guys here, the ones who want to compel us to live more simply, as they conceive it, and who claim, apparently in all seriousness, that not permitting us to own the “dispensable accoutrements of middle-class life,” including “cars, holidays, electronic equipment and multiple items of clothing,” will make us “better neighbours,” “better parents” and better people? Do you trust their stated motives - of “healing” us, and curing us of our acquisitiveness - and do you trust their self-image as benevolent and just?

And when a Guardian columnist rages against a random family in the neighbourhood, about whom she knows nothing beyond the size and amenities of their home, and then exults, proudly and in print, at the thought of that random family’s downfall and suffering, and at the thought of the “aggressive redistribution” of their belongings, and that Guardian columnist tells us how pleasing this will be and that she just “can’t wait,” are we to believe that her motives are selfless and high-minded?

Readers are invited to fathom the intentions in play behind each of the above examples.

Elsewhere (239)

Uri Harris on the ideological hegemony of the social sciences: 

[In a survey of the political preferences of social psychologists,] there were almost as many people who chose the furthest possible point to the left as there were who chose all the conservative points, the centre-point and the most moderate left-of-centre point combined… People that freely self-identify as far-left in the abstract, in other words irrespective of specific political issues, seem to me to be signalling something: that they are committed to an ideology. The fact that such a large portion of the most influential people in academic social psychology do so suggests that this ideology is entrenched in their field.

Which in turn suggests that what they’re actually doing may not in fact be science.

Franklin Einspruch on free speech and the prattle of Lindy West: 

West possesses a mysterious gift of psychic progressivism that lets her see into the hearts of men and unearth the real intentions behind their stated ones. Or so it would seem. These men are only pretending to care about freedom of speech, for example. They really want to harass marginalised people for having opinions… “They’re weaponising free speech to maintain their cultural dominance,” she says, obsequiously quoting Anita Sarkeesian, another psychic progressive. That flushing noise you hear is the sound of productive dialogue disappearing into the rhetorical toilet. Identitarians like West have never grasped that it is impossible to found a good-faith discussion on bad-faith premises such as these… The irony of [West’s] essay is that its main point – that all this defence of free speech is really about deflecting criticism – is coming out of a camp of left-identitarianism that spent much of the last decade answering criticism with charges of bigotry.

When not deliberately knocking sleeping passengers with her in-flight luggage and boasting about it in articles for feminist publications, and then complaining that no-one wants to sit next to her on a plane, Ms West, a “fat activist,” shares videos of herself eating biscuits. 

And Ace’s CBD on the obliviousness of the protesting class:

At the Impeach Trump March in Chicago 7/2/17, a group of protesters applaud a speech comprised almost entirely of Adolf Hitler quotes given by Shad Daley. This was 20 seconds after saying they need to fight fascism. After the speech, the organising member of was desperate to get Shad more involved.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.


Ordinary people are perfectly comfortable with the idea that some people are smarter than others. They’re perfectly comfortable [with the idea] that what we call smart gets you kinds of jobs that you can’t get otherwise, all that kind of stuff. It’s the elites who are under the impression that “Oh, IQ tests only measure what IQ tests measure, and nobody is really able to define intelligence,” and this and that, “it’s culturally biased,” and on and on. And all of these things are the equivalent of saying the Earth is flat. These are not opinions that you can hold in contest with the scientific literature.

Sam Harris has a long and wide-ranging discussion with Charles Murray, spanning the taboos of IQ, social stratification, the poisonous effects of identity politics, the pros and cons of a universal basic income, and how Donald Trump became a weapon against a disdainful establishment.

Dr Murray’s adventures among the campus Mao-lings have been noted here previously

Valuable Knowledge

Human capital is the ability to create the material things that constitute wealth… A classic example: In the 1970s, Uganda decided that the Gujarati population, from India, were just too wealthy and controlled too much of the economy. The Ugandans expelled them and wouldn’t let them take their wealth with them. And so the Gujaratis arrived, mostly in England, destitute. Meanwhile, the Ugandan government had taken over all of this material stuff. A few years later, the Gujaratis were prosperous in England, and the Ugandan economy collapsed. Because they didn’t have people who knew how to do what the Gujaratis were doing. It’s also one of the problems of trying to finance things by confiscating the wealth of the wealthy. All you can confiscate is the material wealth. You cannot confiscate human capital.

Thomas Sowell on wealth, poverty and Flat Earth economics:  

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But I’m So Much Slimmer In My Mind

Retail giant Hammerson is now taking down mirrors from its Birmingham Bullring, Bristol Cabot Circus and Croydon Centrale malls in a bid to boost the confidence of female shoppers. Alex Thomas, regional marketing manager for Hammerson, said: “One of the main reasons people come to our shopping centres is to buy clothes, whether that be a brand new wardrobe or a one off item for a special occasion. We want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and confident when trying on clothes, so that’s why we’re trialling banning the mirrors.”

Yes, you read that correctly

Lunch Money Surrendered

The Council of the District of Columbia approved legislation Tuesday that would pay residents in the nation’s capital for not committing crimes.

No, really

First reported by the Associated Press, the bill penned by Democratic Council-member Kenyan McDuffie gained unanimous approval from the D.C. Council. The legislation, called the “Neighbourhood Engagement Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2016 (NEAR Act),” would establish an office to identify as many as 200 residents annually who are at risk of committing violent crimes or becoming a victim of such crimes. The individuals would be instructed to participate in life planning, trauma informed therapy, and other programmes; if they comply and do not commit crimes, the individuals would receive a stipend. The legislation was based on a Richmond, California, programme that pays individuals who participate as much as $9,000 annually.

Mr McDuffie describes his bill as “bold and innovative,” “a step in the right direction,” and “working to prevent crime by treating its root causes.”

Update, via the comments: 

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Avoiding Squalor

Isolation almost invariably means poverty and backwardness. You’re not aware of how the basic things of life are done differently in other parts of the world, and so people who are isolated will keep doing things the same way for centuries or thousands of years. For example, when the British landed in Australia, they found the Australian aborigines living at a Stone Age level. The aborigines had no idea of iron. Australia is one of the great sources of iron ore in the world.

Thomas Sowell discusses retrogressive culture, the importance of geography, and leftism versus success: 

Previously. And before that. And Sowell’s book The Vision of the Anointed is pretty much a must-have.