Friday, November 12, 2010

Link Love for Default User

Default User writes, inter alia:

Φ, you say: “If what I write doesn’t describe you, then I’m not talking about you.” That’s OK because I doubt anybody cares. And, for God’s sake, get a proper name. I mean “Φ,” do you think you are Prince?

‘Tis true:  my aesthetic is a mess.  I write under a Greek pseudonym on a blog with a Latin name and an English URL, and my avatar is a fictional TV trial lawyer as acted by a homosexual.  None of these has any obvious connection to the other.

Clearly I’m befuddled beyond measure.


Robin Hanson joins the growing list of writers who find wisdom in the Unabomber’s manifesto.  He also writes great posts on the politics of voting, civility and breast cancer:

One obvious difference is that being anti-breast-cancer is framed as being pro-women. Thus one can insinuate that folks who resist social pressures to support the campaign are anti-women. Since folks fear seeming anti-women much more than seeming anti-health, a breast-cancer campaign can tap into far more social pressure than can an exercise or sleep campaign.

Think pink gets much of its energy by offering a way for folks to be indirectly political; one can seem pro-women, and insinuate that others are anti-women, while only ever explicitly talking about health and medicine. AIDS awareness gets a similar political punch; one can talk only health, yet insinuate that others are anti-gay. Much of medicine is not about health, but about showing that you care, in this case caring about the right political groups.

Megan McArdle summarizes arguments against the corporate income tax.  My favorite:

There are already substantial disincentives to shelter your income in a corporation.  Every time I suggest this, I get a lot of people arguing that people would simply funnel all their expenses through a corporation, and avoid paying income taxes.  These people are unaware that there are already substantial reasons to do this now, because corporations can deduct all sorts of things that people can't--rent, cars, utilities, non-mortgage interest payments, and so forth.  So why don't people do this? 

Because the IRS won't let them, that's why.  While owners of corporations do manage to chisel at the margins, the smart ones don't funnel their whole personal budget through the firm, because doing so is a sure route to an audit and a hefty fine.  You can argue that we need to beef up the rules, and maybe we do.  But there's no reason to worry about wholesale abuses of the system, because the IRS is already reasonably adept about ferreting these out.

Roissy shows “Modern Marriage in One Picture”:

Via Steve, an excellent article by Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard.  The last section is a detailed history of Singapore’s 30 year effort at reversing its collapsing fertility rate.  As you will see, Singapore approached the problem with kind of coordinated focus that America reserves for land wars in Asia, and its failure will be sobering to those of us concerned about America’s shrinking white population.

A couple of months ago, somebody I read posted a YouTube (I think) link to a very well done two-part video on the role that mortgage lending played in the financial collapse, equipped with very nice graphics.  I watched part one, but somewhere lost all links to the video.  If anyone can point me to it again, I’d sure appreciate it.


Default User said...

I presume that you got the joke, but just in case some readers may not:

The post linked was a joke post based on the sometimes stupid comments that bloggers or commenters throw at each other during a blog war.

[The idea was to drive readers to my lightly trafficked blog. It seems to be working bwahaha]

Thanks for the link.

Justin said...

Phi, Singapore is very different than the U.S. Most importantly, it is populated by Asian women. The most oppressed group in history, no? Given freedom, they are like, hell no.

We are passing through a great evolutionary event. Those women who don't enjoy being mothers are removing themselves from the gene pool, voluntarily.

The race that has the most women who enjoy being mothers will win this game. America is well-positioned here.

It's an odd paradox of women's lib, thats for sure. The more women are free to choose their reproductive destiny, the more heavily selected the "maternal instinct" will become.

It is guaranteed to produce a society of women who prefer to be mothers, over time, ie it will improve the birthrate. The birthrate has already rebounded from the low of the 1970s.

Ours, yours and mine personally, is the first generation affected by this selection process. Everyone born since the 1970s was born to women who CHOSE to be mothers. This is unique in history, and is sure to have a big impact, we will probably see it if we live to be great grandparents.

Places where women traditionally got the shit end of the stick will take the longest to get through it, and will suffer the most population decline in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Jon Last is a favorite of mine and I like to him pretty regularly on HC. Population issues are of a particular interest to him. He actually has a tab on his blog that links to his posts on the subject. His commentary on entertainment is rarely-to-be-missed.

Anonymous said...

We are passing through a great evolutionary event. Those women who don't enjoy being mothers are removing themselves from the gene pool, voluntarily.

This is one of the important things when we look at polls about how parents are unhappier than non-parents. Rather than suggesting to me that everyone would be happier without children, it suggests to me that there are probably more people out there that would be happier if they didn't reproduce than childless couples that would be happier with kids.

I do think it's worth noting, though, that there's not a hard number of women that want kids and various social/financial incentives have a pretty strong impact. I am not seeing, as Justin is, a future in which everyone sorts happily. I am seeing a future in which those with the means (both innate and material) to explore the world avoid children which would hunker them down while those without the means have children due to the diminished opportunity costs.

Φ said...

Well, intra-nationally, we're probably selecting for low-impulse control! But opportunity cost is an obvious factor from Last's analysis.

If I can add some nuance to the issue of whether being a parent makes people happy, there is a paradox in the polls that show a great deal of satisfaction in parenthood yet lower life satisfaction among parents. I don't consider my investment in my children so much an issue of what makes me happy so much as what makes my life well lived. To the extent this is a heritable trait (probably mediated by religiosity), then its the one being selected for.

Anonymous said...

Well, intra-nationally, we're probably selecting for low-impulse control

That's a factor, I am sure, but mitigated somewhat by the wide availability of abortion. A lot of low-impulse-control babies from women of means are... taken care of.

Jehu said...

The reactionary side of the blogosphere is multiplying pretty well lately. It is part of our reactionary plan for victory :-)

Justin said...

I agree with that last Trumwill comment. While on the surface it appears that lack of impulse control is being selected for, I think we should remember that that type of single mom often breeds at very low numbers, meaning they usually have only one child. Settled families breed in higher numbers, which, as you mentioned, selects for religiosity and maternal/paternal instincts. I am optimistic, long term.