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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Republican and Democratic County Deaths

Charles Gaba has been covering this ruthlessly, every week, since the get-go.

The death-by-ethnicity data is jaw-dropping.

Forbidden thoughts rolling around my head:

- I've been trying to make it through The Divide. It's bleak as fuck. It basically makes the point that the West has cruelly exploited all other economies since the advent of capitalism, and that while there might have been a brief, shining period from 1945-1980 where we could pretend we haven't been, it was all pretend. Capitalism corrupts, absolute capitalism corrupts absolutely.

- Jared Diamond's ostensible reason for writing "Guns, Germs and Steel" was because someone on Papua New Guinea wanted to know why the fuck white people were in charge. Diamond's answer was guns, germs'n'steel - Western Europe dominated because we had the right kind of resources. This flies in the face of Niall Ferguson's Civlization: The West and the Rest, which argues that Europe won because we outsmarted everyone else, which is racist AF. Hard to credit smarts when the Conquistadors had warhorses and the Americans had nothing to domesticate.

- Jonathan Haidt's Righteous Mind argues that rational, self-interested, freedom-loving liberals - basically western civilization - aren't normal at all, and that most of civilization really cares a whole lot more about whether you offend God or not. He's got lots of data points. His argument, fundamentally, is that you have to meet people where they are and most people aren't at Cogito Ergo Sum

- And then I got to A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century and the authors' basic point is that Dawkins fucked everything up with memetics, it's stupid to argue nature v. nurture because they're both evolutionary pathways regardless of mechanism, behavior is heritable and the social structure we create is every bit as much of an evolutionary adaptation as language centers and they go out of their way to point out that nobody has been able to talk human evolution with any seriousness for a hundred years because, frankly,

Western civilization is evolutionarily superior.

I mean, why did the Europeans wipe out the North Americans? Same reason the Cro Magnons wiped out the Neanderthals. Same reason Army Ants wipe out Carpenter Ants. Same reason crows outcompete ravens. There are limited resources and you gotta catch 'em all.

Heather Heying and Brett Weinstein would likely argue that MAGA-heads are evolutionarily inferior to Jonathan Haidt's "WEIRDs" except they're on Team Horsepaste.

So I don't fuckin' know. I guess the Republican majority is plague-proof.

Quatrarius  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

it's been hard to talk about human evolution for about a hundred years because fascists and the horsepaste crew use it to veil "hate the other" behind a sheet of science, and the dogwhistles are yet too shrill to make out in the rationalist's ear

"Survival in our earliest societies depended on leveraging the advantages of our sex differences, but today even the concept of biological sex is increasingly dismissed as offensive. The cognitive dissonance spawned by trying to live in a society we're not built for is killing us."

you have to be a wormed up shawty to understand it unfortunately so it makes you sound like a crazy person to point it out

it's nonsense

Quatrarius  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

these people are on the mectin bandwagom because motherfuckers are too inept to understand that it makes the "no guys, I'm actually on the left" mask slip when you go full retard, to put it in an un-PC enough way to make it seem like my problem with this shit is about substance and not being offended by the scary unpopular ideas

it's eurocentrism and ancient ugly conservatism masked as smart counterculture science for the new generation against the woke elite

kleinbl00  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right, which was pretty obvious the minute they got their Bell Curve on. For me, the curious discussion is "is culture an evolutionary adaptation?" I suspect you could probably debate that without involving Jordan Peterson. It isn't necessarily a racist dog-whistle conversation, although I will gladly admit it could go there entirely too easily.

The basic nugget of my thought process was 'can the behavior that leads to vaccine denialism be categorized as heritable?' Because if so, it's clearly maladaptive. Is there a "survival of the fittest" in that chart full of dead white people? 'cuz it sure ain't full of our traditional scions of "western civilization."

nil  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Because if so, it's clearly maladaptive. Is there a "survival of the fittest" in that chart full of dead white people? 'cuz it sure ain't full of our traditional scions of "western civilization."

Problem with the gene-centric view of evolution espoused by Dawkins in this case is the genetic material is the only real thing trying to survive. Not history, not civilization, not culture, just those chemicals, and if you view it like that, you can just as easily notice anti-vax people tend to procreate more and at younger ages than the head of the CDC or whatever. At that point the cruel hand of nature couldn't care less if you died at 45 from Corona, you left behind eight grandchildren and two or three adult children meanwhile the doc who's the same age as you has one young child.

So they didn't make it to old age but they arguably served their evolutionary "function" and this is why I hate evopsych. If all we have are individual survival, group survival, and the future, it'd be impossible to know the degree to which the genes are truly manipulating individual beliefs and if collective brutalities, economic exploitation, and dying young isn't a convoluted attempt to get humans space faring as fast as possible before the sun engulfs the earth. And that's basically philosophical determinism and I'm tired.

kleinbl00  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah that flies afoul of the grandma hypothesis, the gay uncle theory and all the other patchwork bits I've seen evolutionary biologists throw at culture to see what sticks. Yeah, if you have kids already your genetic code lives on, but if they're cruising from petty theft to petty theft and growing up Slums of Beverly Hills-style, my posse at Exeter still gonna outcompete 'em even if they are dimwitted hemophiliacs.

Haidt argues that humans should be modeled as 90% chimp 10% bee because if you look at cultural responses to strife, they are not independent and self-serving, they're all about the hive. From that perspective, "I shot my load, I am evolutionarily successful" isn't a compelling argument.

Throw Jon Ronson, Yuval Hariri, Dan Ariely and David Graeber in there and you get a few other thoughts:

- "sociopaths" are basically what Neanderthals were. That 10% ant is the part that you get from language centers and an affinity for a tribe, and the tribe's pooled specializations and innovations are your reward. The ability to pool risk and reward across family groups is what let the cro magnons outcompete the neanderthals.

- "culture" is what allows you to turn anyone not in your tribe into neandethals to outcompete. By allowing individuals to select their tribal affinity, cultures can evolve and outcompete each other.

- "corporations" are a form of culture, and since the dawn of neoliberalism, a sociopathic one. The evolution of neoliberalism was the evolution of sociopathy in an environment that does not punish sociopathy.

- "social media" works because it short-circuits that tribal instinct. In essence, Facebook is a sociopathic corporation whose food group is "people with a 'bee instinct' weak enough to be subverted by a socialization 'trap.'" If you want to compete with Facebook, you compete on their terms.

I find it intriguing to think of "evolution" as something culture can do. It gives you handles on behavior that you would lack otherwise. Facebook, for example, experiences no evolutionary hardship from launching QAanon or the anti-vax groups - they become just another form of gene expression, if you will. A lack of genuine cultural affinity is then demonstrated to be a cultural maladaptation: your friends and family say vaccines prevent illness, Facebook says it's Bill Gates microchipping you for the Zionists, you believe Facebook.

Jonathan Haidt leans heavily on Hume, who was big on naturalism, which - and I'm no philosopher - seems to be the polar opposite of determinism. I dunno. There was a Week cover waaaay back in 2020 (proposal: 2021 shall hereafter be known as 2020.1, 2022 as 2020.2 etc until we're back to something that isn't one endless year with twelve seasons - fuckin' Winter Is Here y'all) that pointed out something I myself had noticed: liberals in crocs wore masks before they had to, and MAGA hats hated them for it. To me? That was the moment where cultural behavior suddenly became evolutionary behavior. It's been thumping about in the back of my mind ever since.

EVERYTHING is wrong with Fascism in the United States. I don't mean that from a moral standpoint I mean it from an evolutionary standpoint. It does not make you richer, it does not make you safer, it does not make you happier, it does not increase your chances of breeding. It is peacock feathers without the pretty. SOME aspect of MAGA-head fascism is going to evolve into something else, and it will outcompete Alpha-MAGAness the way Omicron stomped Delta stomped Alpha.

And in my view, the Chattering Class can't move beyond HitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitlerHitler

And I think we'd be better served if we looked at the problem more closely.

b_b  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Apropos of nothing, I lived across the street from Charles Gaba for 5 years. He's a weird, probably autistic dude who rarely mows the lawn. Basically exactly the dude you'd expect to be into data. When I find out he was the Charles Gaba and not a Charles Gaba I was kind, oh that makes sense.

kleinbl00  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I love this.