The antidote to copy-paste

The copy-paste fallacy is a favorite one among stupid smart people. It consists of seeking policy solutions to problems whose deep roots are inextricably enmeshed in that vicious bio-cultural tangle. Programmers understand that no matter how clever and powerful a piece of code you’ve designed, it requires the right kind of hardware to run on. The copy-paste fallacy may be pithily summarized as seeking software solutions to hardware problems. A good antidote to this fallacy is contained in the profound insight of Anthony de Jasay: Constitutions are either ineffective or unnecessary. This is more than just a slightly higher-brow version of the folksy truism that “Locks are for keeping honest people out.” The latter applies at the individual level, while de Jasay’s aphorism applies to nations. He might as well have been speaking HBD*-ese: politics is (proximally) downstream from culture, culture is (proximally) downstream from biology. The ability to uphold a constitution is rather far downstream from biology.


* PTT used to link to as a useful and comprehensive HBD resource. Currently, the site appears to be blank and up for grabs. Investigating.


Good zingers by Zman


In a different age, Mike Cernovich would be a lawyer with an office behind a Vietnamese nail salon at the strip mall. Milo Yiannopoulos would have been working children’s birthday parties as a clown, who made the adults uncomfortable. Michael Avenatti would be selling real estate or used cars.

We’ll admit to a twinge of jealousy, since our American Kulturgefühl is sufficiently developed to appreciate, but not to produce such mordant bites of sardonic contempt. Stick to this genre, Zman, and lay off the social(ist) commentary! Although we’ll fully sign on to this bit:

At some point, survival will require dealing with people like Michael Avenatti. If after a quick trial, he is hanged in a public square, the dynamics of society would quickly change.

Useless idiot

Useful idiot was a term applied by cynical commies to Western lefties who were unwitting pawns in commie propaganda campaigns. Now that Putin’s Russia is in some ways freer than decadent, capitalist USA — I’m pretty sure a Russian baker is allowed to refuse to bake a gay wedding cake — it’s not clear the term is any longer applicable. What about its more mundane cousin useless idiot? Amy Harmon is a prime exemplar.

Give da motha functor a Fields!

If DeNeil deserves a Nobel, why not a Fields for da Functor? (Just checked up on her again — not only has she not produced any new mathematics, but even her SJW activism blogging has stalled.)

Prompted by you-know-who’s post on yet another article of the magic-sauce-of-diversity variety. The prominent mathematician Richard Taylor is quoted: “How much further forward might mathematics have gotten today, if we had attracted that talent?” — and an anonymous commenter of Sailer’s makes a couple of astute points. First, talented mathematicians hate to be bothered with this sort of nonsense and will try to make the annoying, ignorant, innumerate journo-hack go away as quickly and painlessly as possible. Second, mathematicians have an aversion to telling outright lies (with notable exceptions) and so Taylor’s rhetorical question is actually content-free. As anonymous puts it, “His answer to his own question might in fact be, `Are you shitting me? Ha ha ha!'”

We’ll go one step further. A guy with Taylor’s intelligence and resources would be a fool not to attract all that untapped black mathematical talent through a nation-wide search — and watch those Millennium Problems get knocked down one by one. That he’s choosing to invest his time and funding in other projects speaks volumes.

The NYT piece makes a perfunctory nod in the direction of the crimethink explanation (“Some people claim that there are not many black research mathematicians because African-Americans are not as intelligent as other races.”) — without even bothering to counter or dismiss it, as we all know that intelligence couldn’t possibly explain any real-world achievement, much less mathematical. Do you still not see the point of researching race and IQ, Sam Harris? PTT’s in mala fide offer remains in force:

PTT would even be willing to cut a deal with the disparate impact adherents. We would be willing to compromise our freedom of association absolutism in exchange for outcome-based quotas that are required to be in line with on the most up-to-date HBD research. For example, if a position calls for an IQ level of over 140, then relative proportions of accepted applicants should be measured against the over-140-IQ — rather than the general — population. Engage in all the bean-counting you want, but respect Science!

And now some commentary from an Anonymous of our own:

I know exactly one exceptionally strong black mathematician alive today. He’s phenomenally good, but there’s just one of him. When he was on the job market, I was worried he might get torn limb from limb in the feeding frenzy. Before him, there was David Blackwell. Also exceptional — but one like that comes along only once every two generations or so. In other words, just the sort of thing various Bell-Curve-type models would predict. Which couldn’t possibly be right, because fat tails and Szemeredi.

The MLK full stop

is what I do when, in the middle of an otherwise eminently reasonable piece, I encounter a cringeworthy homage to MLK. Latest example:

Students came to school for their social life. The system had to be resisted. It was never made explicit that it was a “white” system that was being rejected, but it was implicit in oft-made remarks. Youngsters would say things like, “You can’t say that word, that be a WHITE word!” It did no good to remind students that some of the finest oratory in America came from black leaders like Martin Luther King

The rest of that piece — at least before I stopped reading at the word “King” — is a standard mainstream Conservative narrative, careful to steer clear of any race-realism (and, seeing as it deals with the problems plaguing American education, woefully incomplete as a result). It’s interesting to note that public worship of MLK is now an exclusively Conservative™ ritual; indeed, his colorblind agenda is downright reactionary by modern SJW standards.

Kudos to KDW

It’s exceedingly difficult to capture the essence of what makes a good writer — both in general, and when commenting on a particular one. As with any aesthetic judgment, in large part it must come down to “I know it when I see it”. But it’s not all gut: technical skill and overall erudition are clearly a prerequisite. Kevin D. Williamson (yes, that one) is a good writer. If you get nothing else out of his latest NRO column, you’ll at least come away acquainted with yet another Marxist-Freudian social critic on the required reading list.

But KDW’s true forte is the genre of sardonic contempt:

“Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” is, at 16 syllables, a mouthful. The day before yesterday, she was “Sandy,” a pleasant-seeming young woman who liked to dance, worked in a bar, worried about her family, and chafed that her advantages and elite education (Boston University shares Case Western’s academic ranking and is significantly more expensive than Princeton: Is there a more appropriate preparation for life in Washington?) left her struggling, obscure, and unsatisfied. And so she set after glory and personal significance in politics, to which she is relatively new — the hatreds and grievances she dotes on are obvious enough and familiar enough that one assumes she has been in possession of those for some time. They are not newly acquired.


And so we have the grand game of make-believe and moral dress-up, in which Field Marshal Sandy rallies her troops on Twitter in the service of a half-organized bouquet of slogans and prejudices that no mentally normal adult — and there are still a few of those around — takes quite seriously. The purported goal of the great national deployment isn’t the point — the deployment itself is. It is an excuse for a great deal of noise and running in circles and excitation and displays of Very High Moral Seriousness that is its own reason for being. Sandy’s war is not a struggle over the future of Earth — it is only a struggle over the future of Sandy, and all the other Sandys out there in the great vast wilds of America, waiting tables at TGI Friday’s or grinding away in the obscurity of some master’s program in women’s studies, sure that however things were supposed to turn out, they weren’t supposed to turn out like this, a mess of loneliness and pointlessness, all dressed up for battle with nowhere to go and no comfort but Netflix and Facebook and Twitter, little fixes of dopamine just strong enough and frequent enough to keep the addicts upright and sedated enough that they do not begin asking the really difficult questions and demanding answers.

(We admit to a certain bias here, since sardonic contempt is more or less PTT’s default style.) KDW left a detail out of his portrait of AOC, which we think is of some relevance: her looks. Namely, she’s easier on the eye than, say, mathbabe. This had to have played a role in her political success: how else would she stand out from the masses of Lindas?

Andrew Sullivan: delicious irony

We never expected to find ourselves applying the adjective “delicious” to Andrew “RawMuscleGlutes” Sullivan, but this is just too rich:

[…] gay men are defined by our attraction to our own biological sex. We are men and attracted to other men. If the concept of a man is deconstructed, so that someone without a penis is a man, then homosexuality itself is deconstructed. Transgender people pose no threat to us, and the vast majority of gay men and lesbians wholeheartedly support protections for transgender people. But transgenderist ideology — including postmodern conceptions of sex and gender — is indeed a threat to homosexuality, because it is a threat to biological sex as a concept.

The gay-vs-trans intersectionality battle is proceeding apace (our money is on the hairy nutsack), but Sullivan’s chutzpa takes second place only perhaps to Jonah Goldberg’s. It is Sullivan, after all, who holds the dubious prize for having done the most to normalize and mainstream homosexual marriage. Do you remember all those snarky call-outs to the haters to chill the fuck out over gay marriage? [Example:

If You Are an Individual Who Believes Gay Marriage or Homosexuality in General Is Wrong for Religious Reasons, and Wish to Continue Expressing Those Beliefs:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

Got that? In. Any. Way.]

So having spent the better part of the 90’s arguing that gay marriage will in no way undermine traditional marriage, Sullivan is now fretting about transgenderism undermining homosexuality! The tranny agenda is, of course, societal suicide — but Sully’s tears make the poison pill go down more smoothly.