Proposal for Immigration and Assimilation

If we're bad at assimilation, then immigration is dangerous.

If we're good at assimilation, given modern communications technology, we should be able to assimilate people living in other countries. They can learn English and Western values online. They can access our books, TV, radio and online or mail-based educational courses from their own countries.

Therefore I propose the following immigration policy: only let in immigrants who already assimilated before immigrating.

There's no need to let in unassimilated immigrants and then try to assimilate them after they're here and hope it works.

Assimilation has a failure rate. If we assimilate them in their home countries, the failures can stay there instead of already being here. And even with a low success rate, we can still assimilate a larger number of people than we actually want to bring here (we can still pick and choose the best ones).

If you want to come here, prove it first by assimilating yourself remotely.

What if someone doesn't have access to the internet, or there is some other obstacle, so they don't have the opportunity to assimilate? Too bad. Life isn't fair. Our immigration policy should benefit our country by only taking people who found a way to already be a good fit before coming here (there are enough of them that people without internet access are not our problem).

Also, the best thing we can do to help underprivileged foreigners is to spread Western values to the whole world. We should be making it clear that Western values – the ones that originated with the Greeks, then the Romans, then the Western Europeans – are the only ones that bring peace and prosperity. Other countries can help their own underprivileged by adopting capitalism and limited government, by favoring economic and personal freedom, and by having a government which protects men from violence instead of violently oppressing its people.

There are a lot of people in the world. They can't all come here. Foreign countries need to improve. That's the only way to help everyone.

The U.S. needs to improve as well. It's in real danger from anti-Western ideas that have gained popularity internally. Bringing in more people who don't have Western values is making that problem worse. That problem is threatening to destroy the most civilized country, which is the best able to lead others to freedom and prosperity. It's in the interest of all men of good will, in all countries, that America remains a free and prosperous country that is capable of sharing good ideas with others.

America should be spreading its values to other countries, not bringing other values here. Sadly, a lot of the problem is that America is currently exporting anti-American values. The "intellectuals", media and "cultural elites" are predominantly anti-American. But thanks to the internet, anyone can help, regardless of where they live, by learning English and studying the ideas that made America great in the first place, and then communicating, explaining and teaching those ideas. The world needs fighters for ideas – the American ideas that came from Europe that came from Rome that came from Greece. Those ideas about reason and liberty are the only civilized ideas the world has ever known.

Also, immigrants are no threat to a free country. Immigrants with other values become a problem when the government meddles in men's lives, restricts liberty, fails to protect law and order, and redistributes wealth. Help fight the intellectual battle to save the U.S. from the authoritarian ideas of a giant, all-controlling government and we could then be in a position to reasonably (instead of suicidally) consider a more generous immigration policy.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)

Blizzard's Speech Suppression

Blizzard Gives 6-Month Ban To College Team That Held Up 'Free Hong Kong' Sign

Blizzard banned some US college Hearthstone players from competitions for 6 months after they held up a sign reading "FREE HONG KONG, BOYCOTT BLIZZ”. They did this on purpose, as a statement, after Blizzard banned a Hong Kong Hearthstone player for a year, and made him forfeit like 10k of prize money, for a pro Hong Kong statement, and also fired the two casters involved.

Blizzard wasn’t sure what to do at first and delayed a decision, but has now decided that it does want to punish Americans for their political speech in America that is in agreement with American values in general. It’s not even offensive speech in America, it’s just offensive to foreign communists.

Blizzard’s justification for the bans is:

a general rule that states the company can punish players for “engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

This is an extremely generic, subjective rule. One can’t predict in advance what will be punished or how much it will be punished. A government with laws like this would be an oppressive tyranny. This is rule of man, not rule of law.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (2)

Deplatforming and Fraud

Update: This page has become a place to post cancel culture examples, including e.g. mandatory PC training at your job. It's not strictly limited to deplatforming examples.


Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, PayPal and other companies have repeatedly advertised that they are politically-neutral open platforms. All are welcome. They’re for everybody. This fraud violates existing free-market-compatible laws, as I'll discuss below.

Then they ban, moderate, demonetize and censor people, and bias search algorithms, for a variety of biased reasons, including especially to persecute right wing political ideas. I’ll call this general issue “deplatforming”. It’s about not letting certain non-favored persons/ideas use the platforms in the standard, (allegedly) publicly-available way.

For those unfamiliar with or doubtful of the relevant facts, I’ve included an information section below.

The public debate over this issue has two main sides.

First, most of the left is cheering as their enemies are attacked.

Second, most of the right, along with some people on the left with greater integrity, say that free speech is important, tech companies are an important part of modern life, and we need government regulations to make things fair.

A third, smaller group are free market advocates say private companies should be able to do whatever they want, even if it’s politically biased, and the government should leave them alone. They often say this despite having right wing ideas themselves. They say it despite being part of the oppressed group.

What’s missing is a pro-free-market, anti-deplatforming group. That’s my position. It’s important that the free market is compatible with solving the deplatforming problem. This isn’t a failure of capitalism. Anyone who cares about freedom and classical liberalism should be interested in how it can address a problem like this; don't assume minimal government and capitalism are inadequate.

As a free market advocate, many people expect me to say that private companies can do whatever they want and the government should stay out of it. I think deplatforming is a horrible problem, but don’t my principles require me to accept it?

I find most free market people insufficiently regretful regarding their support of deplatforming. They don’t say how horrible it is, and they wish there was anything to be done about it, but their hands are tied. They don’t seem to mind much. I think many have some partial leftist sympathies.

There’s a better way to view the issue. There’s something bad going on. I dislike it. And most of the proposed solutions are statist. So then what? Give up? No! The first thing to do is consider free-market-compatible solutions. Classical liberalism is a sophisticated, nuanced political philosophy which should be able to deal with problems like this. Can it? No one seems to have checked.

In the free market, the initiation of force is prohibited. This includes threat of force and includes fraud. False advertising is fraud. Advertising being a neutral platform, while not being one, is fraud. These companies should be sued. We don’t need new regulations. We need the most basic legal protections that would also exist in a minarchist society (minimal government society, aka nightwatchman state).

These companies don’t follow the rules in their own Terms of Service. That’s fraud. They are telling the public the rules are one way, but acting a different way.

The ongoing fraud has been revealed by many sources including Project Veritas (e.g. Google Document Dump). More sources are below.

Why are companies flagrantly violating the law and no one seems to notice and they aren’t losing all their profits to lawsuits? Because they have special government privileges. They’re being protected from being accountable under the law. They aren’t fully private companies. They hire tons of political staffers and lobbyists. They have friends in high places. They have political pull and receive favors. They aren’t operating in a free market context. Rather than making new laws to control these companies, we need to abolish special privileges granted by the government to a favored elite.

People tell right wingers to make their own competing sites. If you don’t like these companies, beat them in the free market. There are a few problems with this. First, having a larger user base is a huge advantage in social media. People want to be on the sites their friends are on. And why do these companies have such a head start? Because they fraudulently lied about their political neutrality so people didn’t see the need to compete with them earlier on. Second, they are still lying today which reduces the interest in alternative sites. If they openly said they’re biased against Trump voters, more people would recognize the bias and switch to a new competitor. But they still lie to their users. And third, there’s the banking problem.

The worst problem related to deplatforming is not access to social media platforms for sharing ideas. It’s access to the financial system. You can make your own blog or other website to speak your mind (deplatforming by domain registrars, webhosts, etc., has begun but isn’t very bad yet). But what if you’re being prevented from selling your work online? What if your fans can’t donate money to support you? What if you can’t sell merch? How can you compete in the free market if you don’t have the ability to participate in the market online?

The banks and credit card companies are highly government regulated. And they have pressured sites like Patreon and PayPal to deplatform right wingers. And when Gab tried to build a Twitter competitor, they found it very difficult to get any banking partners. Patreon competitors have also had huge difficulties getting banking access to enable their users to send money online to fund content creators. For most types of business, getting banking is easy. Banks and payment processors compete for your business. They want to be widely used. But right wing people online are being treated differently by financial companies which are considerably more government-controlled or government-influenced than Facebook or Google is.

My position is that I wish we had a free market. A free market would solve this problem because there would be serious consequences for fraud. We aren’t even close to a free market. Free market advocates tend to recognize this fact in general. They recognize e.g. that the U.S. healthcare market (including before Obamacare) is not even close to free market, capitalist healthcare. They recognize how involved the government is in the universities. But with deplatforming, the government’s role seems to be widely overlooked.

The main takeaway here is simple but widely ignored. Given the facts about the situation (which most people don’t know much about), Google, YouTube, Twitter and so on are guilty of blatant, massive and ongoing fraud. We don’t need new laws or regulations, we need to enforce the most basic and capitalism-compatible laws.

Deplatforming Info

For those who haven’t been following the public information about deplatforming much, here are some examples:

"Twitter stands for freedom of expression," Dorsey declared. "Twitter stands for speaking truth to power." Dorsey is CEO and co-founder of Twitter. Just from accounts I was following, Twitter deplatformed Heartiste, Real Peer Review and American Renaissance.

"I'm almost a free-speech absolutist." said Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare, an internet infrastructure company that deplatformed the Daily Stormer for political reasons.

Kudos to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for defending free speech at a tough moment. There are many articles attacking Zuckerberg for being too favorable to free speech. Meanwhile Facebook deletes, censors and deprioritizes (lowering the traffic they get) right wing groups and ideas.

There is some non-political, largely-unexplained deplatforming too, contrary to publicly claimed policies. E.g. Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.

Sam Harris Drops Patreon, Citing 'Political Bias' Likely Inspired by SPLC's 'Hate Group' List

Google "Machine Learning Fairness" Whistleblower Goes Public, says: "burden lifted off of my soul”, from Project Veritas, which I found as the 15th search result on YouTube for project veritas google whistleblower. It’s so low due to search algorithm bias, which ironically is one of the topics of the video.

Twitter banned a psychiatry expert for sharing his professional research conclusions (for political reasons).

Jared Taylor was the first victim of a new YouTube deplatforming campaign.

I Was Fooled By The Promise Of The Internet:

Domain registrars promised that I could “own” my little corner of the web with a domain name, and now my domains can be seized by a faceless bureaucracy. Google told me to create the best content I could to be ranked highly in their search engine, but then they manipulated their algorithms to lift dull corporate propaganda above my own. Twitter promised that I could share any thought that came to mind, and after I spent years doing so, they changed their mind and will now ban me if I make fun of an obese feminist. YouTube said I could upload engaging videos that viewers love, and even make money doing so, but then they demonetized most of my videos, put others in “limited state,” and banned me from live streaming for three months because I asked if women who wear chokers want to be treated subserviently. Disqus offered me a service to allow the community at Return Of Kings to discuss what was on their mind, but they banned the site because they didn’t want us to discuss certain things. Amazon said I could publish books on their platform and even make a living as a writer, but then they banned the paperbook and ebook editions of nine of my books with no explanation why. Paypal said it would be easy to add payment processing to my site, and then later showed how easy it is to ban me for political reasons.

I’ve covered deplatforming in newsletters, e.g. after Charlottesville and re Twitter censoring Canary Mission and Gab and about the banking/financial forces behind deplatforming (sadly and ironically, the Nick Monroe Twitter thread in the newsletter is no longer readable because Twitter deplatformed him. And the Thread Reader App archive of it is hidden by Twitter in the replies behind a warning saying “Show additional replies, including those that may contain offensive content” and then the content is deleted from their site anyway. But it’s still on the wayback machine.).

Some more examples from the open politics discussion on Curiosity (this website):

  • Roosh’s private account banned from Instagram.
  • Heartiste deleted from WordPress.
  • Michelle Malkin post deleted on Facebook.
  • An Objectivist defended deplatforming.
  • David Horowitz restricted on Twitter.
  • Borderless video had delayed processing, then was taken down, on YouTube.
  • Facebook deleted a Paul Joseph Watson post consisting of the single word “honk” because it referenced a right wing political meme.
  • Koch Brothers Team Up With George Soros, Patreon and Airbnb to Fight Online Extremism (fighting online extremism is code for deplatforming).
  • Pinterest whistleblower told Project Veritas about their political bias. Then YouTube deleted the video after it had a million views. One consequence is that the link to the video in my email newsletter archives, which can’t be edited, is now broken.
  • Vdare article with non-classical-liberal tech censorship response.
  • I answer Alan Forrester’s question about what fraud Facebook has committed (part 2).
  • Apple threated to kick Parler (a Twitter competitor) off their app store unless Parler banned some people. Apple also blocks some channels on Telegram.
  • Reddit quarantined the The Donald subreddit and suspended Veritas’ account.
  • YouTube officially fraudulently lied that we apply our policies fairly and without political bias.
  • I commented on fraud and deplatforming on the House of Sunny podcast.
  • Wikipedia has biased editing, e.g. an example related to Jeffrey Epstein.
  • A gaming channel got banned at a million followers on YouTube and had to start over.
  • Links to collections of examples of Google and Facebook censorship.
  • Cloudflare deplatformed 8chan.
  • Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell got suspended from Twitter for sharing a video showing people making violent threats against him
  • Owen Benjamin has been deplatformed by YouTube and others.
  • Games Done Quick speedrun marathon deplatforms people for MAGA hats.

This is just a small sampling of deplatforming info. There’s far more. Post more in the comments below. I’ve posted, as the first comment, a list of deplatforming related links that Justin Mallone gathered earlier this year.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (482)

Fraud and Big Companies Supporting Fraud

As a followup to my post on Deplatforming and Fraud, I’m going to share two examples of other frauds which were supported by large tech companies (Airbnb, Apple) but aren’t related to deplatforming. I think this will help people better understand what fraud is and that our society has inadequate mechanisms for dealing with fraud.

Airbnb’s Fraud

So, a journalist runs into scammers listing places to stay on Airbnb. They defraud her and she has to stay in a hotel. Full article. Then:

When I asked about the status of my refund, [the scammers] ghosted, which led me to contact Airbnb. Though I had been moved to a flophouse and then told to leave early, Airbnb only refunded me $399 of my $1,221.20, and only did so after I badgered a number of case managers over the course of several days. The $399 didn’t even include the service fees Airbnb charged me for the pleasure of being thrown out on the street.

Airbnb is a party to fraud. It should have been easy to get a full refund. They are protecting and profiting off fraud. Their policies aid fraud. They are playing the middleman and substantially siding with blatant fraud.

Why doesn't she chargeback the whole thing on her credit card? I think the reason is simply that Airbnb would blacklist her as punishment for getting her money back in case of fraud. Without Airbnb in the middle, putting effort into it, the fraud couldn't succeed.

Why doesn't she sue Airbnb? That'd be quite hard. Should it be hard? No. They are blatantly a party to blatant fraud.

In a more capitalist world, with a better legal system that better protected individuals against fraud, stuff like this wouldn't happen. Airbnb would predictably get sued and lose, repeatedly, until they stopped participating in fraud. The people suing would find it adequately cheap and easy, and their payouts would more than cover their legal fees and the hassle, leaving them better off than if they hadn't sued.

We in the USA live in an over-regulated world with too many laws covering everything, and people can get in legal trouble over dumb stuff. But at the same time, we also live in an under-regulated world where there's too little law and order. The basic elements of a minimal government which protects against violence, threat of violence, and fraud, are not actually functioning very well. (Mainly the issue is for fraud. I think our protections against violence, while imperfect, work reasonably well.)

The article shares specifics of Airbnb's unreasonable actions supporting fraud in this case and in many other cases.

Apple’s Fraud

This one is my own story from a couple months ago. I made some in-app purchases in the mobile game Archero, by Habby, from Apple's app store. A few days later, Archero had major technical problems. Although it's a single player game, it requires an internet connection to communicate with their servers for anti-cheat reasons. Their servers were unstable and frequently down. It was frustrating to try to use the game because it was broken so much. I stopped playing. I waited a few weeks and expected the problem to be fixed. It wasn't, and I eventually moved on to playing a different game.

About a month after their game was broken, Archero sent out an in-game message to all players (or maybe just US players, I don't know what's going on in other regions) saying sorry for the technical problems, they are now fixed, here's a couple dollars worth of in-game currency as an apology. Over the next month, Archero sent out four more similar messages, each claiming they had now fixed the problem. I know it wasn’t actually fixed for two months but I’ve stopped checking. Maybe the fifth announcement that they’d fixed it was finally true instead of lying. Their subreddit has lots of complaints and memes about the ongoing problems. I observed the problem on multiple devices and with multiple internet connections, and many other people also had the same issue.

After it wasn’t fixed for several weeks, I contacted Apple and asked for a refund since I hadn't gotten to actually use what I paid for. They told me to contact Habby for customer support. I did. I waited over a week. There was no response at all.

I followed up with Apple and they told me they wouldn't give me a refund. I asked why. I got a non-answer. I asked why again. Non-answer. I asked why again, for the third time. Apple escalated my case to a supervisor on their own initiative. The supervisor did not say why I was ineligible for a refund and told me the case was now closed, final answer. I asked why again and also asked what would happen if I did a credit card chargeback. Apple responded to the allegedly closed case with a non-answer that still didn't tell me what their refund criteria are, what aspect of my case disqualified me for a refund, nor what their chargeback policy is. I asked again about a chargeback and received no response from Apple. This is ridiculous, unfair, and dissimilar to refund policies I experience with major companies in general. It violates my reasonable expectations, based on Apple’s advertising (including all public communications like their website and support documentation), of what sort of customer service would be available (that means Apple’s advertising/public-communication is fraudulent).

I did not chargeback Apple with my credit card for fear that they would punish me, e.g. lock my iCloud account or block me from future App store purchases. Those outcomes would be far worse for me than losing the money.

So Habby got my money by fraud. The only reason they kept it was because Apple played middleman and took their side. Apple was a party to fraud. I think Apple getting in the way of refunds is a significant part of what a lot of shadier app developers are paying for when they give Apple a 30% cut.

If all refunds for Archero have to go through Apple, then it’s Apple’s responsibility to know about Archero’s server problems. Apple won’t investigate the details of particular games, even though they are in charge of dealing with monetary transactions about those games, and Apple tells me to contact Habby for support, but it’s Apple controlling refunds and therefore Apple who needs to deal with it. If Apple’s policy was “developer offered no support and ignored customer, so we’ll issue a refund” it’d be OK, but Apple will refuse refunds when developers have broken apps and completely ignore customers.

Of course, having technical problems with your game servers isn't fraud in and of itself. But they advertised that I could play the game and I could buy things and use them to play the game. They failed to live up to that. So they should give me a refund since I didn't get what I paid for. Refusing the refund makes it fraud. They didn’t provide what I paid for and didn’t give me my money back. The combination is breach of contract and fraud. It’s fraud by Habby because they deceived me into believing they would honor their (implied, unwritten) contract with me that I’d get to experience certain gameplay in return for the payments. It’s fraud by Apple because they deceive the public by pretending to have civilized, law-and-order-compatible dispute resolution mechanisms for their app store, but they don’t. Habby also commited fraud by continuing selling the game throughout their technical problems with no warnings or disclaimers.

FYI Archero is a popular game which has been promoted by Apple and Pewdiepie. Some article says Archero earned $8,500,000 revenue in its first month alone. There are other articles with large numbers too. Either most customers are satisfied and they could refund the justifiably unsatisfied customers and still have a large profit. Or, in the alternative, they got a large portion of their millions of dollars by fraudulently tricking customers into thinking they’d get a gaming experience that they would not get.

Bonus Apple Story

One more quick story about Apple. Over 10 years ago I bought an Apple laptop, with Applecare, along with an Apple Cinema Display. Their website advertised that the Applecare for the computer would also apply to the display without having to separately purchase Applecare for the display. The display broke after the standard warranty but within the Applecare period. Apple refused to repair my display. They said the special deal only applied to desktop computers (or some set of computers that didn’t include the one I’d bought). I had records showing their website had advertised that the deal did apply for the computer I bought. That had apparently been an error. Over the phone, Apple absolutely refused to fix their error and repair my display. I talked to multiple people, escalated it, was assertive, had proof, and was refused service.

The money was a big deal to me back then. I wrote a letter to Apple complaining about the incident (and documenting again that I was correct), on paper, and mailed it to them. Apple responded to the letter by solving the problem for me and repairing the display. People should be aware that writing letters can get problems solved.

I’m not going to send a letter this time (I didn’t even phone in either, which would be too much hassle, I interacted with Apple over email about Archero). It’s significantly less money at a time when I have significantly more money, so it’s not that big a deal to me. I have better things to do. And the case is less clear cut. It involves a third party who didn't make specific guarantees, in writing, about the availability of their game – whereas Apple had literally posted, in writing, on their own website, a specific offer regarding the display purchase. And Apple is a bigger company now, with more unreasonable, evasive support people, and I’m not confident that a letter would solve the problem.

Conclusion

The Airbnb scammers are blatant criminals who can only get away with it due to Airbnb’s support. I doubt Habby are knowingly criminals on purpose. I doubt they think of it that way. But they’re committing some fraud that they can only get away with because of Apple’s support.

Our legal system makes it too hard to hold Airbnb or Apple accountable, which enables ongoing violations of basic capitalist law and order to continue. This is similar to how there is ongoing fraud by tech companies related to deplatforming, which they are getting away with, but could not get away with in a classical liberal society which had fewer laws but actually enforced the most important laws (that we have too, but don’t enforce well enough), in particular laws about fraud and following contracts.

I think it’s especially gross when standard mechanisms for solving these problems, like chargebacks, are prevented because of a company like Apple or Airbnb playing middleman for fraud, so it’s not possible to directly chargeback the company you have a problem with. (Credit card companies in my experience, and by reputation, are very customer-friendly, and it’s easy to get your money back over stuff like this. They basically demand that merchants keep customers satisfied. But Airbnb is sheltering scammers from that demand and Apple is sheltering Habby from it.)

We need a legal system that makes it easier to successfully do small lawsuits for fraud, with meaningful punitive damages. E.g. $10,000 punitive damages on $100 actual damages, plus legal costs, would add up after many lawsuits and would give individuals the incentive to sue. When many individuals sue over fraud like this, as should be fairly easy to do in a reasonable legal system, companies will change. Similarly it shouldn't be that hard to sue e.g. Facebook if they delete one of my posts or groups on their website contrary to their advertised non-politically-biased policies or terms of service.


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Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (4)

Ignorant Protestors

Most of the protestors/rioters are ignorant dupes being lied to by people and groups like CNN, Soros, AOC, NYT, and their teachers and professors. The people who run BLM are racist, Marxist liars who are trained (by people like Alinsky and his followers) to lie because the only goal is the revolution and the power to achieve it.

The typical protestor/rioter doesn't know anything and is being exploited by leftist oppressors who are taking advantage of them and don't care about their best interests. They don't care about improving policing and improving the lives of blacks in the inner cities; they are the elites responsible for those problems (these are Democrat-run cities with problems like Democrat-supported police unions and teachers unions that prevent reforms and prevent firing bad cops and teachers).

The foot soldiers in this assault on law and order are largely young people who have been misled by mainstream authorities their whole lives. And they've been forced to go to school and be immersed in highly pressuring social hierarchies there. They bear some guilt and responsibility for their actions, but they are not the enemy. The top level leaders and true believers are the enemy, which are only a small part of the uprising. We must stop the rebellion against civilization but also find some kindness and forgiveness in ourselves to help reintegrate the fools back into civilized society.

See my article on how antifa is a cult which uses abusive tactics to "recruit" and control members. And see the Discover the Networks article on antifa.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Message (1)

Godless Protestors/Rioters

One of the many issues with the protest/riot leaders, and many of the followers, is that they don't believe in God. They don't believe in a higher power, truth or law above themselves (some sort of objective truth of physical and moral reality doesn't adequately serve this role for them either). They are arrogant and think their own reason should rule the world. They overestimate their wisdom and knowledge like the French revolutionaries.

I say this as an atheist. Atheism is dangerous. It's one example of the more broadly dangerous mindset of the revolutionary who thinks he's wiser than the traditions of his society.

If you're going to be an atheist or seek large change, you ought to actually read books, study, learn, debate, etc. Want to rely on your own reason? Develop it yourself. Don't just trust professors and other authorities.

No, learn more than that. You haven't done enough. People do so little and call it being educated and think they're done. And they're so intolerant of disagreement, debate, and being questioned.

Tell you what. If you think you learned enough to believe a bunch of radical athiest outlier beliefs, give an overview of what you did to learn it in the comments below and I'll ask you a some questions to check for holes in your studying.

Or stick to common sense and traditional values and beliefs just like your religious neighbors, and then being an atheist isn't such a big deal. Which traditions? The ones that built America (and more broadly Western civilization starting with the Greeks) and made it great.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)

We Can't Outlaw the Mainstream

Suppose hypothetically that approximately all parents are child abusers. And you're a political leader. You can't just arrest the all the child abusers or take all their kids away because who is gonna raise the kids instead? The foster parents or social workers or orphanages are no better – they too are part of the same culture that mistreats children. You can only realistically target the bottom couple percent of bad parents, that way if you get those kids to be raised by even 20th percentile quality parents it's a significant upgrade.

In principle, you think child abuse is unacceptable. Parents must not e.g. hit their children. Physical violence violates the children's right and is abuse. But if 99% of parents hit their children, there isn't much you can do about it besides trying to educate people. You can share better ideas with books, articles, lectures, etc.

So although something is unacceptable in principle, if too many people are doing it wrong, it's hard to take direct action to fix or change it. For lots of practical purposes, you can't have standards for society that 99% of people (or even 30% of people) can't meet. You can't arrest 99% of 30% of the population or sue them all into oblivion or whatever. You can only do that to small outlier groups, not to the mainstream, or you're just creating a civil war.

It's similar with the rioters/protestors today. There are too many. It's too popular. Yes they are crossing lines into initiation of force. In a better world they'd be stopped so that I could safely walk along any public street in the country with a MAGA hat and speak my mind. But arresting or otherwise forcibly controlling so many misbehaving people is unrealistic in this world.

One potential solution is to arrest and punish a small fraction of them as examples. If you have really draconian punishments for a few of them at random, maybe you can scare the rest into stopping. This is kinda like how armies used to hang a few deserters to discourage other people from deserting. There were armies where over 50% of the soldiers would like to go home and stop fighting, but harsh enforcement against a few people was scary enough to keep the rest in line. I don't like this strategy with suing a few people for sharing music and movies online, and I don't like it with the protestors/rioters either. It's harsh and unfair to some unlucky people who get made examples of. It's mean and it alienates the people it intimidates into obedience. It doesn't seek to actually get them on our team/side.

Another potential solution is to only punish the much smaller group of leaders and true believers, not the masses of mostly-ignorant (but not totally innocent) dupes and fools. This seems to me like roughly what should happen. And punish people who cross major lines (that not many people cross) like severely beating someone up.

But if we mostly aren't punishing the rioters/protestors, then what do we do when they are causing trouble? How do we get them to stop? Maybe they'd listen to reason more if we had better explainers and teachers as political and cultural leaders, but we don't. The good guys here aren't all that wise and are contributing to the problem too.

So that's hard. The protests/riots are too mainstream and widespread, they're too big a part of society. And to make things harder, the opposition is wrong and flawed in lots of ways (but the opposition is more civilized and better at not being a puppet of uncivilized causes).

Are there things wrong with police policies? Yes. Does racism exist? Yes. But the protestors don't know what the flaws with police policy are or what changes should be made. And it isn't being explained to them very well either. They don't even know who is in charge of the police. It's the leftists they voted for who are behind lots of the problems. They're yelling at the wrong people. But not many are trying to share key info and talk about e.g. the role of unions in not firing bad cops. And the mainstream media puppet masters are sharing misinformation and they have so much control over communication channels that it's hard to speak to the protestors/rioters and give them better info.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (4)

Reform Requires Reason

The protestors/rioters broadly seem to assume if they demand stuff vigorously enough then it'll happen. What's the premise? That people are just being bad on purpose. That they could do better and refuse and just need to be pressured.

The protestors/rioters are broadly ignorant of how hard it is to run a police department or government better. They have no idea how to do better and haven't really thought about it. They assume that good policies are easy to come by and the issue are motivation, bias, tribalism, etc., not facts, logic, paperwork, etc.

They are looking at this as a social issue about a clash between different social groups each pursuing own agenda (the agenda is thought of as greed and self-interest for their opponents, but disinterested altruism and kindness for themselves). They aren't looking at it as problems of logistics, scheduling, budget management, writing good training curriculums, communicating better with the public about what laws and policies make sense, and so on.

They think the reason things aren't better is the people with high social status and power don't care about the people with low social status. So they just have to circumvent regular social climbing by forming a mob and exerting strong pressure to get their demands heard. They just have to be pushy so they can't be snubbed anymore.

They have no idea that organizing a society is hard to do as well as we're currently doing it, let alone better. They are contributing ~nothing to rational reforms and aren't trying to and have no idea that better ideas are needed. They aren't trying to read books like Bureaucracy. They aren't trying to study statistics to better understand crime rates and their correlations to e.g. race or income. They aren't trying to consider downsides of proposed new policing policies and how to figure out new policies that will actually work without breaking a bunch of stuff that works now. They don't understand the difficulties police face and don't care to. And they certainly aren't studying unions as a major force that blocks reforms.

It's hard to do great but we could do somewhat better pretty easily if so many of the protestors themselves, and their (partials) fans/allies, would stop voting in bad people over and over. They have no idea what the sources of problems actually are, nor which of the problems they see in the world are real (some are!) or imaginary (some are this too!). They just blame capitalism and racism.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (6)

Riots Aren't Popular

The protestors/rioters are less popular and mainstream than they think they are.

It's partly because, just like most people, they tend to interact with people similar to themselves.

But it's more than that. They scare people into not voicing dissent. The left in general suppresses disagreement enough that some people won't speak openly to pollsters, let alone to lefty coworkers/friends/party-goers/social-circle-members, let alone to the sort of lefties who'd join a BLM protest/riot. We saw this with Trump losing in the polls but winning the election. We also see it in China where most people say they support the CCP but if they had safe, secret ballots they'd vote the CCP out.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)