Monday, April 30, 2012

Some Advice for the Young Non Neurotypical Woman

Earlier this month I wrote
part of an ongoing thread which has provoked quite a bit of useful discussion and which has hopefully been useful and encouraging to our readers.
One reasonably consistent theme here at the Chariot is, where possible, we try to offer encouragement, valuing it higher than the jeremiad, which we feel also has its place.  Call it a theory of comparative advantage of blogging---others can better carry other tones for which we are less suited.

This discussion, advice for the young non-neurotypical woman, is offered for both encouragement for those falling within or tangentially related to this particular demographic as well as for an aesthetic sense of completeness of this ongoing discussion.  It is certainly not added out of any sense or obligation of sexual equality, for we do not believe in such, believing that man and woman are complementary, not equal, in any real way other than in intrinsic value to their Creator.

First off, we're going to presume that you want marriage, family, and children.  If you don't, this will be of decidedly less practical usefulness to you.  If you're wondering why you should want such a thing, and your wondering is an actual request for information and not merely rhetorical, feel free to ask.  We're not inclined to attempt to convince you to do anything that is actually not in your best interests in the spirit of 'taking one for the team'.  Those who read here often will know that sort of appeal is distinctly out of character for the Chariot.  Any such exhortations can be best made believer to believer within the context of a personal relationship or through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Next, let me put several things to you straight:
As a woman, your position in the Marriage and Sexual Marketplaces (typically abbreviated MMP and SMP respectively) is determined almost entirely by your physical attractiveness as viewed by men.  You can do a few things beyond this to improve or worsen your position, but this is the major determiner of how the markets treat you.
As a woman, the men who you will generally be able to attract for long term relationships leading towards marriage will be of very similar percentiles in the MMP/SMP to you.  That is, if you're in, say, the 75th percentile of attractiveness, you're probably going to get men pretty close to the 75th percentile of status as measured by women interested in you in that way.
Note that as a woman, you'll ALSO get men above that level of status interested in you for short term relationships, 'pump and dump', and/or one night stands.  I strongly recommend that you exercise extreme caution with these men, even if you have no particular religious or ethical position barring you from such activity.  It is simply put, not in your best interests.  Your body is designed to emotionally bond to the men that you have sex with, in a way considerably more intense than is the case for men.  You've probably heard/been told that you always remember your first kiss.  This is true, but it is more true and more important as regards your other firsts.

Now, you might ask, WHAT IS STATUS?  Status is a nebulous thing for men---nebulous enough that an entire sphere of blogs has grown around the topic.  Status sweeps up such things as economic power (both present and imputed future power), height, perceived defensive and offensive physical capability, physical attractiveness, swagger, social ability and dominance, and much more.
Here's the easy answer though---being a non-neurotypical woman you're probably considerably less adept at such estimations than your neurotypical counterparts---a man who is, say, 80th percentile in status typically has a long term girlfriend or wife who is around the 80th percentile of attractiveness.  A woman's attractiveness is really easy to estimate for an honest observer.  If you really can't make such an estimate, just ask some of your male friends---they're likely to give you honest appraisals of OTHER women.  From there you can easily work backwards.
As a non-neurotypical woman, you are likely to have a lot more male friends than female ones.  This is because men are decidedly less offended by the fact that your gut doesn't respond in precisely the same way that theirs does than are women.  Even a really bad emulation is often more than enough.  You're not in the same boat that your non-neurotypical male counterparts are in this case.  You probably need to work on developing at least a few friends with more girly girls though.

I am not going to mislead you with happy talk, your position owing to your multidimensional hypergamy is a difficult one to satisfy.  This is because your gut almost certainly wants a man at least as smart as you are and with a status level comparable to your attractiveness level.  Funny how the guys who are your friends are often objectively perfect according to your lists, but just don't seem to 'do it for you', isn't it?  I'm not going to tell you to do sacred meditations to free you from the chains of your hypergamous instincts.  If you can actually do that, grand, but my experience is that very few people can and way more people think that they can than can actually do it at that.  So my advice here is on how to find those rare creatures that your gut will be happy with.

For a woman in your demographic, college is your BEST opportunity to find a suitable husband by far.  This is especially true if you were prudent enough to select your college with a strong eye towards having a large pool to select from of men that have the attributes that you want.  At the low end, a lot of state flagship institutions have honors programs with honors dormitories wherein pretty much everyone contained within is at minimum 2 sigma, with tons of three sigmas and a few four sigmas as well.  This is a positively EXCELLENT place for a woman of your nature to shop, because one key component of your hypergamy requirements is easy to satisfy.  Your mission in dating is to find a man who could be interested in marrying you who your gut likes enough to want to marry, and to close the deal with him.

So how do you find a man who is suitable.  The first part is to be attractive.  Because of the relatively recent wave of obesity, you can put yourself into an excellent position here with a fairly tractable amount of effort.  This is because on the order of half of your competitors are significantly overweight.

So get thee to your campus gym.  Take some of your male friends with you.  Having a partner for such things makes it easier for you to commit to your regimen and actually get it done.  Also, I'm going to let you in on another secret aid you can use.  Most universities have actual classes you can take, usually S/U, in things like tennis, weight training, martial arts, etc.  Taking a few of these will allow you to use your academic discipline (if you're like most non-neurotypicals, you've got NO shortage of such discipline relative to your peers) instead of your general or physical reserves of discipline.  Taking one of your male friends with you will also in many cases give him the advantages of apparent preselection in the eyes of other women, if you're not interested in him in that way (read, he doesn't measure up to your gut's standards).  One other thing:  going to the gym with a man over the period of months, which is long enough to reap most of the 'newbie gains', will inform your gut of some of the big reasons why you would want a husband in the first place.  You will be truly shocked as to how strong even that tall, thin geek has apparently become---reality has that effect often times.  There is a large constellation of potential futures wherein you REALLY want to bind the loyalty of such a creature, just a word to the wise.
If you do this, you can nearly assure yourself of around the 75th percentile of attractiveness, and guys WILL be attracted to you, even if you're seriously geeky with exceptionally bad neurotypical emulation.
At this level, it is pretty feasible for you to manuever them into asking you out while making them think that it is their own idea.  If your sights are set on another non-neurotypical though, you will probably have to be more blatant---their emulation probably isn't good enough to properly interpret your signals (things like playing with your hair, touching him unnecessarily on the arm, pointing your legs at him, invading his personal space with plausible deniability, and the like).  For such guys I suggest actually talking to them directly about the subject.

If you want to give yourself a few more percentiles, there are other things you can do.  First, find an OLD home economics textbook.  I recall one I saw back in the early 1980s.  That textbook will tell you how to properly match clothing and the like to your skin tone, hair color, and eyes.  This is a much better guide for you than what is presently fashionable and for a lot less effort expended (I knew a lot of girls that studied fashion magazines more dilligently than I studied Calculus back in the day).  Keep your hair reasonably long, at least shoulder length.  Shoot for hair that screams touchable.  Upwards of 90% of guys really like that.  Don't be afraid to wear skirts and dresses, in fact I suggest doing so regularly without any particular occasion.  Doing so reminds men that you are a woman.  You are likely to notice a distinct difference in the way men treat you when you're dressed up a bit.  I suggest reveling in it and acting appreciative.

Now, for the guys on your radar, I suggest looking at them through the eyes of charity as Christians would understand it.  Look at both their present selves AND their likely future selves if they had you as a girlfriend or wife.  What you really don't want to do, at least not terribly often, is to get a man who, by the mere act of being his first real romantic relationship, is suddenly promoted in the eyes of the other girls of the world into being way out of your league.  So moderate your fixer-upper tendencies here---I had a friend in college who had this as a regular syndrome with her boyfriends.  Aim at one that you believe you can reasonably keep.  One sneaky way to do this would be to make him your gym partner and to do some of your basic remedial work on him while he's firmly in your 'friend zone', but to keep open the prospect of promoting him should your gut wake up one morning and decide that he makes the grade.  You can also, through the power of preselection, help your male friends obtain their first girlfriends.  You don't have to talk them up or even matchmake to make this happen, just be attractive and seem to like him and be seen with him.  That's all it takes, this is the most effective propaganda technique going and neurotypicals are totally vulnerable to it.  You are likely resistant to it, but make no mistake, you're probably NOT immune to it.  You'll probably find that when that geeky friend of yours gets a girlfriend via your plausibly deniable assistance, that your gut suddenly finds him more attractive than it did before for some reason.

So once you've got your boyfriend, your task is to determine if he's suitable for you for the long term.  If he's not, you don't want to date him too long, because he's preventing you from finding the man who IS.  There's also the consideration that, if he IS suitable, you need to make the sale.  Given your circumstances, you want to aim at getting married even younger than I customarily recommend (for neurotypical women, I think 23 is a good age to shoot at being married by, you should use the peak of your attractiveness to men to get your husband).  Because this is unusual, the sale is harder.  You're asking him to essentially forever forswear the possibility of any other women in the SMP/MMP for you.  He's probably also a very smart guy---I mean, if he wasn't, you'd probably not be interested in him, right?  So the offer you make him has to be an attractive one indeed if you want him to take it.  So here's what I suggest:

1.  Be attractive.  It's hard to overestimate the power of this.
2.  Be respectful.  Never talk down your boyfriend to other women, or for that matter, don't talk down your ex-boyfriend(s) who weren't suitable to be promoted to husband.  If anything, help them find partners more appropriate to them.  Never talk down men as a gender.  Convey that you like men in general---you do right?  If not, why is it that most of your friends are men?  Praise them occasionally, they need that like plants need sunlight, and they're likely to appreciate it also.  Get them to do you favors every so often also, and be grateful and appreciative when they come through for you.  This will make them like you better, especially if they're mostly neurotypical men.
3.  Work on winning over their friends, especially their really close ones.  If his best friend talks you up, he'll update his priors in a way favorable to you.  Even if you're not into the sorts of games or whatever they play, there's no reason you can't occasionally bake and bring a batch of cookies or brownies.  Baked goods are powerful, and they pierce most emotional or psychological defenses, and they're not that hard to learn to make.
4.  Display the capability to be a good wife.  If he knows that you're fully capable in the tasks that are the usual division of labor in  a marriage, he's more likely to seriously consider you in that way.
5.  Be trustworthy with him.  If you've got any collateral indicators of your likely trustworthiness in a marriage (like parents and grandparents that have no history of divorce, actual religious devotion, or the like), make sure he has ample opportunity to infer such. 
6.  If you've got a good family, make sure that he gets a chance to understand that fairly early on.  A smart man knows that when he marries a woman, he also marries her family. So if your family is a good one to marry into, make absolutely certain he knows that.
7.  Be affectionate with him but I strongly recommend you retain your important firsts until marriage.  Make certain he knows how you feel about marriage and that you have ZERO intention of holding him in painful celibacy (or what Paul would call 'burning with passion')  for a prolonged period of time.  Make it clear that your husband will not be refused or disrespected.  You'll find that if men know that you're a virgin, that they will treat you differently.  In such cases the belief that you're saving yourself for your future husband (which might be the man in question himself) is credible relative to the alternate belief that 'she doesn't want to sleep with me because she's not really into me as much as the guy(s) she slept with previously.  Understand this, a man WILL infer something from the fact that a previous boyfriend got further with you than he has, and it's not an inference you want him to make.  Consider very very carefully the favors you grant.
8.  Be straight with him about marriage and the risks of such.  Indicate a willingness to go for a covenant marriage if such is an option given your faith background (several states in the US have them, they're essentially an imperfect approximation of marriage 1.0).  Also indicate a willingness to lay down a prenuptial agreement that is fair to both parties and to any children of your prospective union.
9.  Be straight with him about your desire for children and your timetable for such.  If your plan is to work outside the home until the designated time to start having children and to thereafter be a stay at home homeschool mom, make sure he's on board with that.  If you've done the first 8 things, getting buy-in here shouldn't be that hard.
10.  Be straight with him about your expectations as regards division of labor and the way of living for man and wife.  Be very wary of any significant cultural or religious distance between you and your future husband.  It matters, a lot.

Do this and you've a good chance of escaping the fate of the bare branches we've discussed in previous posts and you're likely to have children and grandchildren to brighten your old and middle ages.  Your position is substantially more difficult than it is for most women, but fortunately for you, they have as a class made enough unforced errors that you can turn the situation around to your advantage.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Unexpectedly Lower Economic Growth, Will it Be Unexpectedly Revised Downward Again?

It seems every piece of bad economic news in the past 3-4 years has been 'unexpected'.  The only thing totally expected is that every unexpected piece of negative news will be unexpectedly revised downward after publication.
Should Romney prevail in November, perhaps the MSM will actually start to do some real economic reporting again?  Debt to GDP also clears 100% unambiguously in Q1, and the additional debt to economic growth clears $2.50.

Meanwhile Spain is downgraded significantly.  It is likely to be an interesting summer, in the Chinese sense.

Clayton Cramer links a youtube video laying out a number of the budgetary themes we've put forward here at the Chariot of Reaction.  Honestly, I think the video is, if anything, overly optimistic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Interesting News from Wisconsin

Apparently in just 6 months, over 100k citizens in Wisconsin have applied for concealed weapon permits and had one issued to them.  The expectation for the full year was 125k, so it's likely that this will be substantially exceeded.  The population of the state is around 5.7 million, so it's likely that the fraction of the population with WI CCW permits will be in the 2-3% range, maybe even as high as 4% depending on how reciprocity works in WI (an awful lot of states honor Utah permits, for instance, so a lot of people who never have even been to Utah get one of theirs).
This implies that the CCW density within the state of Wisconsin is likely to be pretty substantial by the end of the year.
It is, IMO, no accident that you pretty much only see mass shootings in areas with very low (usually 0 because of specific laws) CCW density.

Apparently clothing fashions intended to faciliate CCW has percolated up in awareness to hit the NYT.
Very interesting indeed and speaking to the increasing CCW density in the various states.

Update 2:

Speaking of the devil and Utah permits, the above story demonstrates what can happen when CCW density is fairly high.  A Utah CCW holder derails a stabbing spree in a grocery store in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Modest Proposal to the Supreme Court Regarding Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Clearly, you can not trust admissions offices to comply with the intent of your rulings.  Witness below:

So here's a suggestion, tell the admissions offices that they are inherently suspect, much like was done to Southern states regarding civil rights.

Tell them that they may promulgate whatever admissions rules they want, with several provisos:
1.  All of the metrics MUST be quantifiable, and judged independently
2.  All of the rules for selection MUST be published and publicized at least one year before implementation
3.  Civil service/tenure protections for all employees in said departments are hereby revoked permanently.  If the public doesn't like your definition of merit, they can fire your ass at will. 

Basically you can set the rules however the hell you like, but they have to be totally transparent and as  nondiscretionary as is practical.  You also have to be able to defend them publicly without any institutional protection. 

So, if you thought that you wanted to avoid too many pencil-necked grinds, you could add NFL combine-like metrics to your selection index.  40 yard dash time, maximum press of whatever type you like, 30 mile march time, whatever you like.
Say you want leaders or joiners?  Ok, you can give points for leadership positions in organizations, you can even scale it according to the size of said organization if you like.  But Model UN and FFA and JROTC all have to be on the same scale.
Say you want an attractive student body?  Ok, you can include things like BMI, 'Hot or Not' Scores, or the like.  But any discretion (as is the case in 'hot or not') must be your own.
Say you want academic or artistic excellence?  You can give points for placing in various competitions, for gpa, for SAT/ACT scores, or the like.  But guess what, you have to publish EVERY jot and tittle that you use.  Your formulas have to be published and have to be computable by anyone who can use an Excel spreadsheet.
Say you want large alumni donors?  Fine, but the amount of dollars to points has to be laid out EXPLICITLY, and guess what, you've got to defend it in public without institutional protection.
No holistic bullshit.  Transparency, accountability, and no discretion involved. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Obama, Romney on Steroids?

Is it just me, or is Obama like Romney on Steroids?

Romney may have put a dog into a rooftop car carrier...
Obama ATE dogs...

Romney went to a church that at one time considered Blacks to be Spiritually Inferior...
Obama went to a church that hates white people

Romney meddled with the health care system in a single very liberal state
Obama did more than meddle in the whole nation's health care system

Romney has polygamy in his family within 2 generations
Obama has polygamy in his family within 1 generation

Any other such comparisons?

I know that the Mormon church has an internal mutual aid apparatus that is apparently pretty effective.

Anyone know if Romney or his wife have been active within it?

Friday, April 20, 2012

For Greater Glory Opens Today, In Mexico

The rest of us will have to wait until June 1st in the US and probably a few months thereafter elsewhere.

Any regular movie attendees here?  Have you seen trailers for 'For Greater Glory' in the theater, or is it solely a youtube thing still?

Apparently it's doing quite well in Mexico.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Implications of Cochrane's "Spell Checker" Narrative

As promised in the last post, let's return to the implications of Cochrane's narrative.
For the sake of having a tractable beast to grapple with, I'll summarize it:

Most of the genetic component of whatever capability you have is based not so much on which genetic variants you have, but the number, severity, and positioning of the minor mutations you have accumulated, courtesy of your own insults and the total accrued mutational load of your ancestors.
So, under this narrative, people who are smart for genetic reasons are just less damaged than people who are average, or in some cases, just damaged in different ways.

He therefore says that if we could 'spell-check' a person's genes, that we could expect very significant improvements in their performance in a host of ways.  This would be akin to doing some maintenance and repair to an old ship that is barely running---a lot of low-hanging fruit is probably available for the picking.

Now, in order to implement this sort of thing, we need not just READ capability on genes, which we have at the semi-productized level (PGD screening for single gene defects is available now), but also WRITE capability (and of course, knowing what to write, to spell-check one needs to know how to spell in the first place). 

If this narrative turns out to be the substantively correct one, I don't see any huge insurmountable technological obstacle to implementing it.  One learns what an undamaged copy of gene X variant Y looks like by inspecting lots of different people's versions of it, and you can infer what a pure copy of it should look like, in a similar manner to defect metrology in semiconductor manufacturing development (where if you had a gold copy for comparison, you wouldn't need to do the development in the first place and even once you master the process, you STILL have defects and have to throw away some of the chips you manufacture).

Also, this narrative would tend towards working on existing people in addition to prospective ones.  The only advantage PGD patients would have is the vastly smaller number of cells that would require spell-check.  So this poses questions of when do I cease to be me as well as when do children cease to be 'mine'.

Let's say Cochrane develops a spell checking engine that uses a tailored virus to accomplish damage control---going through your cells and fixing them progressively to the proper spec for whatever genetic variants you happen to have.
Let's stipulate that his technology is good enough that you experience around a 10% improvement in general functioning, by taking out a reasonable amount of the trash that you've accumulated.  Are you still you?  Maybe you can run a 40 yard dash a little faster and you're somewhat healthier with a few years more expected lifespan, and improvements in your brain are on the order of 5 points of IQ or so.

I'm inclined to say, yes---with the hedge that at some point, quantitative improvements take on a qualitative character.  People who have major dysfunctions corrected---for instance, thyroid regulation---often experience greater effects than these and I've not seen them lament that they are not 'Themselves' anymore, nor have I heard such reports from those around them.
I'd be less confident if the improvements were much larger though---for instance, say a person went from the equivalent of an 70 IQ to a 160 IQ---would anyone recognize them?  Would they recognize themselves?  Would their soul depart and be replaced by another?  At this point, we just don't know.  This is far outside of our realm of experience.  The insights gained from this research tread on theological as well as scientific grounds.  Is the idealized version of you still you?
Looking at the PGD case, it raises the question, is the idealized version of your son still your son?

Being a reactionary Christian, I don't honestly worry terribly much about this, as God has already promised me an even more idealized version of my body post-resurrection than Cochrane could ever hope to deliver and assured me that it will still be me, just more so.  So technology which simply hopes to repair some of the effects of the degradation post-Fall hardly threatens me.

But for a hint as to what sort of opposition that said technology would encounter if this is the correct narrative (in question) and should it be developed and productized (almost certainly if the first premise is true), I invite you to ask the question....who....whom.
I'm sure the Second Sigma, for instance, would gin up all sorts of reasons that the protocol is evil if it looked likely to reduce their effective advantages and position in society.  I'm also certain that the usual suspects in love with Death (and frequently also, with Sin who is the mother of it), would find reason to howl at the prospect of even a 10 year extension of average maximum lifespans.
Let them howl, should the center hold, their sound and fury will signify nothing.  Betting on a technology not being developed and used when the prerequisites are present is, IMO, a fool's wager.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Children of Who, Exactly?

Commentator Anonymous raises some fruitful questions in the comment section for

I've been considering a question lately of great personal importance. Perhaps I'd like to frame it first.
Lots of people here would probably consider genetically enhancing their kids once the technology is at the level necessary. I've been wondering lately what "your kid" means. It's pretty straightfoward in a natural birth. But if you start changing the genes, to what extent does the fact that the base material was yours still make the kid yours?
What is the difference between a substantially genetically altered child from your sperm and a child from another man's sperm?

As an aside, it is probably a good idea to pick a pseudonym for such communications.  It doesn't even have to be unique, I have several that I use in non-overlapping domains.
I made a first pass at an attempt to address our esteemed commenter's questions, but I think to do it justice, it will require a post, perhaps more than one.

Let's start by discussing in a cursory fashion the genetic enhancement technologies that are likely to show their heads in the decades to come.  There are two big narratives out there insofar as how people inherit capability X.  The first is typified by the article below---specific genetic variants contribute pluses and minuses to said attributes, possibly with some weird nonlinear or multiplicative effects.  This is the big meta narrative behind the human genome project as it applies to what we term genetic 'enhancement'.
(Article describes several single gene variants that are associated with larger/smaller brains and higher/lower IQ)
The second narrative comes to us by way of Cochrane, although it has a long pedigree.
This narrative is basically that it isn't so much the variants of the genes that do the damage but rather the accumulation of mutational load.  Applied to intelligence, it would imply that a 'spell checking' protocol---probably akin to the defect detection process used in semiconductor manufacturing---would result in very substantial improvements to that capability.  People with higher intelligence, in this narrative, mostly just have genes in that area that are just less broken by mutational vandalism.
This, by the way, is a REALLY old narrative---most ancient cultures believed that they were the inferior descendants of much more awesome ancestors, who typically had much longer lifespans and were more capable in a host of ways.

The good news is that it is likely that we'll have a much more clear picture of the extent to which each of these narratives is true fairly soon now that sequencing has found its own analog of Moore's Law.

If the answer is mostly the first narrative, we'd expect to see productized implementations of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis deployed, probably in the 2020-2030 timeframe.  They'd probably evolve into some sort of best 1 of N protocol, where the prospective sperm and eggs were filtered according to the best information available.  Would a child born of this protocol be still yours and your spouse's?  I'm inclined to think so.  You'd expect to see this a lot for children who are already born using IVF and other fertility treatments, making them likely the beta and alpha testers of said protocols.  It's also exceedingly unlikely that such technology can be stopped politically since there's no bright line to form a useful Schelling fence behind.  You can talk about remediation (good) versus enhancement (bad), but the line between them is very blurry indeed and there's every incentive to blur it beyond recognition.  Plus it is unstable from an engineering standpoint, every enhanced child creates pressures for more to enhance theirs as well.  Such a process is already used if memory serves for Tay-Sachs, so it's unlikely that the genie could be crammed back into the bottle even should we wish it.
Philosophically, on this, say you selected one combination of sperm and egg from, say, 25 possibilities.  All of them came from you and your wife, so the child born of it is still obviously yours.  You've loaded the dice, but God still casts them.  I bet you loaded the hell out of the dice when you selected your mate too, you scoundrel, I know I did.
How much 'better' on average would such children be?  Honestly, I don't know, but does it really matter?  If you were to exceed the Duggars and went ahead and actually had all 25 potential children, and one was clearly 'superior' insofar as you or society deems to define it would there be any innate evil in this?  I don't think so, and I think most parents with large families understand that some of their children 'rolled better than others' even though the proverbial dice were the same.  None, in as much as I know, have called for the Handicapper General.

The second narrative is far stickier in its implications if it is the dominant one, frankly, even if it has equal weight to the first in practice.  I believe I'll give it its own post.  As I alluded to above, it has some distinctly Antediluvian overtones to it.  It raises serious questions, not just of when a child ceases to be 'yours' but where does the boundary of 'You' versus 'Not You' lie.  I'll wrestle with that in another post, when I am less fatigued.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dungeons and Dysgenics?

This post obviously isn't intended to lay the issue of dysgenics at the feet of Gary Gygax, who after all, had six children.  I chose the title simply because Dungeons & Dragons and similar games which are always associated in the popular imagination with same was such a cultural force for those growing up north of the second sigma back in the early 1980s.

Among the smart people who I knew and shared social circles with growing up, in one respect I seem to be a fairly significant outlier.  Most of this group has passed 40 now, so it is appropriate to take stock as opposed to simply saying 'let's wait and see'.

That respect is that I have children.  Two presently, three with fairly high probability, and four is probably at more than 10-20% probability.  Of most of the rest of the people that I knew growing up and in college that are beyond the Second Sigma, very few have children, especially the women.

This isn't to say that all of those that I know who are beyond the Second Sigma are barren---indeed the engineers I know from work and several other reactionary bloggers in similar orbits actually have fairly sizable families, often exceeding that of my own.
I'm scratching my head right now---trying to think of anyone I know who is beyond the Second Sigma, has children, and isn't a fairly hardcore religionist.  I know a fair number of very smart atheists, both of the high and low church varieties, but I've not seen any issue from them, so to speak.  I'm not used to effects frankly that seem THIS binary in nature, not when we're talking about real people and not figures and lasagnas etched and baked into silicon.

Anyone care to take a crack at an overarching theory explaining these observations, or to add more data points?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is It Just Me, Or Is There No Way The Left Would Tolerate What Is Standard Practice in NYC in the South?

So apparently, in NYC, there are schools all the way down to the Kindergarten level that are 'all gifted' (i.e., 97th percentile plus only).  This isn't terribly surprising except for one thing---they're PUBLIC schools where admission is by exam.  This has predictable consequences in terms of 'disparate impact', but since it is NYC, they get away with it.

Where I grew up, in Florida, if you tried this your adult:student ratio would skyrocket from all of the federal law enforcement minions that would descend, blackening the sky.  But somehow, in NYC it is all kosher? 

We can take from this 'prima fascist' evidence that the Left isn't about any coherent universalist ideology, but rather all about Who...Whom.  In the South if you want a school like that you have to pay hardcore private school tuition and they still growl at you about 'diversity'.  In the Pacific Northwest, you're still looking at hardcore tuition, but mostly a blind eye will be turned to your 'appalling lack of diversity'.

I have a dream, where one day who...whom conflicts will be settled through honest and straightforward slugfests of self-interest, free of the sanctimonious scolds who insist that everything be laundered through mendacious universalist cant.  I have a dream, where anyone attempting to claim the moral high ground was scrutinized brutally, and, whenever found lacking, vigorously mocked if he was lucky.  As bad money inevitably drives out good, so does counterfeit morality drive out the Real.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hypergamy in Multiple Dimensions: So Many Bare Branches

Writing this particular post is difficult for me.  In contrast to the subject in
I was, and remain, very fond of all three of the individuals involved, although geographical distance and basic prudence keep my communication with them very infrequent.
But they all three illustrate an important point, which I'll try my best to make.

I've always had a strong preference for smart girls, and these three are all very smart.  Not a single one has a single child though, which is something that makes me sad.
The first, let's call her woman A, makes me the least sad.  When she was in her early 20s, she would have rated around the 55th or so percentile in terms of attractiveness for women her age (which today would unfortunately equate to around the 70th percentile because obesity among women has increased so much since the late 80s and early 90s).  She's a very smart girl, about three sigmas, and fairly neurotypical as well.  She had no significant mental instability or physical dysfunction and a fairly decent level of non-neurotypical tolerance.  She got married to a fellow PhD in her area of research and has done pretty well for herself.  But she has no children, and she's a bit older than I am.

The next, keeping with convention we'll call her woman B, is probably the smartest woman I've met.  She's 4 sigma, direct observation over extended periods of time as well as psychometrics confirm this fact.  Back in her early 20s, she would have rated around the 45th to 50th percentile in terms of looks, but the fact that she was close to (actually about 5 pounds shy of) her ideal weight would push her into the 60th percentiles today.  She was also miles and miles from neurotypical---probably less so than I am, and her emulation capability wasn't very good at the time.  This likely accounts for the fact that most of her friends were guys in those days---men are satisfied with a far coarser emulation of neurotypical than are women.  Long term matchmaking prospects for her were pretty tough, and she never married and never had children.  A common thread with her was non-neurotypical boyfriends that she'd keep for a year or so which would, with the improved confidence and status gained from having their first real relationship, trade her in for a prettier girl.  The SMP and the junior version of the MMP---call it the long term relationship marketplace, is incredibly brutal that way.  Raise a man's status by 10 percentiles or so, by making him less inept in male-female relationships, and he'll often/usually go looking for a hotter girlfriend.  Most of the time he won't even realise that this is what he's doing.

The last is one I find genuinely tragic.  Woman C was a three sigma neurotypical, like Woman A, who was her best friend.  But Woman C is a rare creature---she is a self-aware neurotypical.  Yes, she has a rationalisation hamster, but that fell beast is bound in adamantine chains.  Somewhat stereotypically, she's also a writer and poet, and, in my judgment, one that doesn't suck (for those less familiar with my style, that is high praise).  She was a very pretty girl in her early 20s---around 75th percentile as I'd reckon it by the standards of the late 80s/early 90s, which would equate to 90-95 percentile by today's standards.  Like woman A, she had no psychological or mental instability and, as I mentioned before, she was and is self-aware.  Hypergamy in multiple dimensions hit her HARD though, especially as the distribution of attractiveness changed in her 20s and early 30s.  You see, a long term match for her when she was close to the 75th percentile was fairly doable, in fact I can easily see several scenarios that might have easily come to pass that would have made that happen.  But a low 90s match in her position would have required some Divine intervention (which yes, I do believe happens, just not often enough for most people to hope for it as plan A).  Consider:
She's going to want a man at least as smart as she is and he's going to have to be 90-95 percentile in status as reckoned by other women.  Let's look at the options

3 sigma neurotypical or non-neurotypical with relatively effortless flawless emulation capability
First off, this is rare.  Second, all of the men I know in this category are really high status---i.e. higher than 95th percentile.

I'm sure that the 4 sigma neurotypical must exist, but I've never met him or her.

I've also never met a 4 sigma non-neurotypical with an effortless flawless emulation capability---effortless but not flawless, yes, or highly energy-intensive but flawless, yes again.  But I've never seen both in the same package---maybe I'll get there myself by the time I'm 60 or 70.
In my experience, I've never seen someone in this category in that status range----80s yes, what VoxDay would call a beta or Roissy would call a 'greater beta'--I know several of them.

So she's trying to thread a very difficult needle, and never quite managed it.  The world did not and likely will never receive any children of hers.  It will have to content itself with her books and poems.

So here we have it, three very smart women, one marriage, absolutely zero children.  Unfortunately, this isn't all that uncommon a story for women in this range.  I shudder to calculate a TFR for women at or above the 3rd sigma.

Update (regarding commenter KK):
For an look at the distribution of weight for women with fairly recent data
Note especially the percentiles,  presently the 50th percentile woman in her 20s is north of 25 BMI.  21 BMI is, IMO ideal (interestingly enough, women agree that BMI 20-22 is optimal for women).  While there are a few women out there who have BMI >25 that can give a plain Jane at BMI 21 a run for her money, that number is vanishingly small (and many of them work as figure models for plus sizes).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some Encouragement For Homeschoolers

My wife and several of her fellow homeschool moms took the little ones to OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) a couple of days back.  Apparently, while there, my wife noticed that the place had a very high concentration of homeschooled kids and that OMSI, like quite a few other similar places (for instance, the Oregon Coast Aquarium at Newport has homeschool-only events, even sleepovers) has a fairly significant cultural penetration by homeschoolers.

In retrospect, this shouldn't be terribly surprising.  Homeschoolers have terrific amounts of flexibility in their schedules and seem positively drawn to cultural institutions that don't suck.  Apparently those institutions like them a lot also, probably because as I've pointed out before, homeschooled kids are much less annoying on average than public schooled kids.  A lot of them even have intellectual curiosity, which makes the job of museum curator/attendant/babysitter a lot more entertaining.

As to why this should be important and encouraging, ask yourself this:

Who is it that tends to volunteer at such places?  Lots of retirees and wives of rich guys is who.  Oh, and teenagers of wealthy families that are burnishing their college applications with volunteer hours.  Having those groups develop a first hand appreciation and affection for homeschooled kids is decidedly to our advantage.  These are groups that punch above their weight politically.  Having them at least unwilling to participate in any crusade against homeschooling may help buy sufficient time to become politically unassailable.  Memberships at such places are often very good deals as well, and frequently you can get one like my wife's friend has (2 parents, plus 3 adult visitors and up to 10 kids with kids under 3 not counted against that limit).  Between several families, you can have similar memberships at multiple institutions at very reasonable prices (my wife's friend got hers via a groupon).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Recommendations for Romney

It looks pretty certain now that you've got the Republican nomination, unless it turns out you're a secret polygamist or something equally absurd.
Therefore your next task is to get a running mate.
I'm going to caution you against the urge to grab a Hispanic, Woman, or Black.  None of these options will likely play well for you.  Rubio would probably play the least badly of those three if you just feel totally compelled.
Instead, go 'boring'---IE a straight white man with children, with a small twist.  Get Rand (not Ron) Paul.  Rand will give you most of the positives that Ron would, with much much less baggage.  You'll likely inherit a fair bit of support from the Paulites in general by doing this, especially if you sweeten the deal.  Here's how you sweeten the deal:

Seriously tone down the rhetoric on 'invade the world'.
Talk up substantially the notion that the 50 states are laboratories of democracy and they need to be allowed as free a hand as possible, but that some of the things cooked up in a given state are NOT suitable for national export (read, Romneycare).  You've said previously that you'll immediately issue waivers to Obamacare to all 50 states if elected.  You need to repeat this message.  Because of the Massachusetts health care example, you need to be extremely clear as to your intentions.  Also, this would be an excellent opportunity to 'dog whistle' to the marijuana legalisation/decriminalisation crowd that you have no intention of using the federal government to override their initiatives in their states should they manage to get them passed.  Here's a line you might sharpen up:

My administration has no intention of getting involved in what should be a state or local criminal or civil matter, especially when such is the manifest will of the voters of that state.  I don't believe that the purpose of the federal government is to bully the states.

Finally, I hope you've got a thick skin.  You're going to need it.  The kitchen sink is going to be thrown at you by the MSM.

They've started attacking your wife already.  This is actually a good thing for you.  Stay at home moms actually aren't all that rare and they'll remember this insult LONG after everyone else has forgotten.  Women have a long memory for insults and slights, something I'm sure you're aware of having been married for a long time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Example of the Sorts of Economic Charts that You'd See if a Favored Democrat Weren't President

Numbers like the U3 and even the U6 are manipulated like crazy, and always revised upwards after the big announcement.  This number is harder to fudge.  Prior to 2008, about 62-63% of the population had jobs.  Now 58-59% do.  We call this a recovery?

Don't worry, should Romney win the election, the press will suddenly remember that there are numbers that are far less bogus than the ones they customarily report when someone they like is in office.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What to Expect This Summer

I predict an increasing tide of information about Mormonism this summer.  Expect Romney's faith to be put under the media microscope once the nomination is formally secured (I think it's basically certain now).
I expect lots of propaganda making it clear that Mormons are NOT Christians, will be put forward, although not directly by Obama---he'll launder it through surrogates.  It may actually be some of the highest quality theological discussion in the public sphere in a long time, truth be known.

I predict at least one big riot this summer, with at least heavy racial overtones.  I predict that Zimmerman will be charged for SOMETHING but acquitted.

I predict that the price of gas will stay well over $4 in most of the US.  I believe that this number will be the key to Romney's victory.  I believe that Romney will fight harder for the presidency than did McCain.  Perhaps he believes he is the man of the Mormon 'White Horse' prophecy.  I believe that you'll see the Mormons put together a very impressive 'ground game' that will only be recognized by the MSM in retrospect.

Please note that none of these predictions claim Divine Revelation and thus the stones concession will not be open.
Well, that was quick
Looks like Santorum is dropping out of the race.  Gingrich is still technically in, but has cut back his staff and campaign pretty drastically.
Also pretty quick:  2nd degree murder is the charge.  I wouldn't be surprised to see the judge toss the charge in a pretrial hearing, but the jury is almost certain to acquit.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pray For John Derbyshire

Derbyshire has certainly kicked over a hornet's nest lately, by doing what Progressives hate most:  Telling the Truth that they all know is true but can not bear to hear said.  If it weren't more tragic, it'd almost be funny in a cartoonish manner.  Demonstrating that they can not meaningfully engage or refute him, they instead point and sputter.

I'm not here today to talk about what he said though, or what is said of him.  Suffice it to say, nearly every one of Derbyshire's manifold critics has zero moral standing to criticize him, having lived their lives as if they believed every chapter and verse of the theses that he has nailed to the Cathedral door.  Here's a hint for the columnists:  if you live your life by Derbyshire's code, and not just in a 'spirit is willing but the flesh is weak' kind of way, you are damning yourself when you excoriate him in public.  There is an alternative---when you have no standing and have no real argument...just...shut...up.  That's all it takes.

No, what I'm here to speak of and implore you to pray for is Derbyshire the man.  Derbyshire has cancer, and he's an old man.  His chances of continuing to walk among us and write for our edification for long are not good.

Pray for his health, pray for him to be gathered to the Father should that fail, and pray for him to be granted the courage to say here I stand, I can do none other, whether Luther actually said that or not. 

The Elite Progressive Nightmare About Stand Your Ground

We're seeing a lot of heartburn in the media about 'stand your ground' laws presently.  I suspect that there's an elite nightmare behind a lot of this sudden attention.  Consider this:
A small band of minority youth (read, 16-21 year old large males) are being loud and obnoxious in a public transit vehicle---perhaps light rail.  An 'evil white man' with a CCW permit, emboldened by the fact that he has tactical dominance should he need it, confronts them, asking them to pipe down and lay off the obscenity.  They react negatively to his 'disrespect' and attack him, and he shoots all of them dead.   He is not charged due to 'stand your ground' laws.  Repeat this scene several times and the social dynamic will change.  That's what I suspect they're afraid of---ordinary people might not have to meekly submit to intimidation.  There's an analogous scene in Star Trek IV, where Spock uses his nerve pinch on a skinhead biker looking guy with a ghetto blaster radio who is annoying everyone on the bus (obviously there's racial reskinning going on here a la Law & Order to avoid raising a racial uproar), and the audience, both in movie and in the theater goes wild with applause.  We saw a lot of the same sentiment surrounding Bernie Goetz.  Flash mobbing is a lot less fun when your victims can shoot back with looser rules of engagement.  We should stand our ground on 'stand your ground'.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Facing Reality on the Deficit, Why the Problem Won't Be Solved

The above link demonstrates a very interesting reality:  no matter what the Federal Government has done in terms of taxes, they get right around 19% or so of GDP.  That's really quite amazing when you think about it, considering the extremely high marginal rates that persisted throughout much of this period.  What it tells us is that the economic and political systems have strong negative feedback effects that draw tax revenues powerfully to around this level.  It means that any expectation of solving the deficit problem long term by raising taxes is extremely unlikely to get much traction.

So if we can't reasonably expect to get more tax revenue as a fraction of GDP, we can cut spending right?

Here's the deal there:  yes, you can cut all kinds of stuff, like, for instance, our subsidization of both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, various agricultural subsidies, the NEA, etc, and you probably should, if only to demonstrate that you're serious about living within your means.  But these things are small fry.
The elephants in the room are defense, medicare/medicaid, and Social Security.  If you actually wanted a balanced budget next year---and make no mistake, unless you plan to balance the budget next year, you'll never balance it (most plans backload the pain until a much later election cycle and the cuts mandated never actually seem to happen)---you would have to savage these three areas so badly you couldn't get elected dogcatcher.

Should you decide to elect Romney, as it is looking like he's going to be the nominee, it is quite likely that he will reduce the deficit, a little bit.  But it'll still be a VERY positive deficit and the debt/GDP will continue to grow and grow.  Should the fed have to raise interest rates, you'll start to feel that more and more.  Should you keep Obama he'll probably keep the deficit right about where it is at, so you'll simply spiral a bit more quickly in your debt/GDP rise.  Neither Ryan nor Paul's plan will solve the problem either, and they're both politically DOA anyway. 

Simply put, nobody will do the right thing because nobody has the incentive to do the right thing and every incentive to harshly criticise even woefully inadequate half-measures.  But for the fact that we're the world's reserve currency, the matter would have already come to a head.  How long will it take for it to come to a head?  It is very hard to say, but I would watch the ongoing processes in the so-called PIIGS nations very closely.  I'd also consider diversifying my portfolio to include such things as gold, silver, lead, and brass.  Judging by the markets and news stories, lots of Americans seem to be doing this anyway.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

That Which Reaction Would Destroy, It Must First Desacralize

One consistent theme here at the Chariot of Reaction is the desacralization of the edifices of the Cathedral.  Although allegedly secular, the Cathedral most assuredly uses a 'sacred' status of many of their beliefs and institutions to shield them from direct assault. It is by breaking the legitimacy and loyalties surrounding them that we make them vulnerable to destruction, albeit often more self-destruction than anything we few can muster.

Consider education, probably the central node of the Cathedral.  One reason why we advocate and support homeschooling here so much, even, or perhaps ESPECIALLY by elements of the left and far-left, is because homeschooled kids, by the mere fact of their existence, desacralize the public education system in the minds of the population.  They undermine that norm, especially when they succeed.  There is no more dangerous class to the cathedral than the set of homeschool moms.

Consider the Judiciary, another major node---and one I often liken to a diode or a one-way ratchet.  By degrading the esteem that it is held in, mocking it and holding it up to ridicule, we make direct assault on it thinkable (e.g., widespread jury nullification and impeachment for no other reason than we don't like their decisions).  The truly beautiful thing is that the Judiciary is helping us along right now.  In many of its decisions this year, no matter how they decide unless they can somehow pull a Solomon, their prestige will be badly bruised.  I just love hearing Obama talking smack to them about Obamacare.

Consider also the Media.  Trayyon continues to pay us dividends long after his bones have been interred.  The media's esteem is shrinking rapidly.  Hopefully there will be a series of incredibly expensive lawsuits against them over their handling of the case.  I know how good reactionary jurors should rule in said cases, don't you?

Consider the once mighty 'anti-racism'----i.e., anti-whiteness.  Yes, it still has the power to punish, but it has no moral suasion left in it.  Carry on the ridicule and mockery, and where possible, aid the punished.

Consider lastly the civil service bureaucracy.  Our worsening balance sheet will eventually give us an opportunity to put paid to them once and for all.  When you speak of the 'spoils system', you no longer get regurgitation of the old turn of the 20th century progressive arguments anymore from Joe Public.  They know that the system IS the problem.  Give them time, and they might even be willing to talk about alternate systems that have historically sucked less.

The Cathedral is rotten, and most of its priests are just going through the genuflections, counting the days before retirement.  This decade presents the opportunity to consign it to the ash heap of history.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Election Year Gift From Our Friends to the North

Apparently the Canadians have seen the writing on the wall and won't look to the US as the sole buyer of its oil any longer, and, more importantly, will cease to sell to the US at discounted prices.  Will this affect the spread between Brent and WTI?  It seems likely that it will raise US oil prices and gas prices at the pump this summer, just in time for the elections.

Of course what I'm curious about is how the devil did we get the Canadians to give us discounts in the first place on a quantity as fungible as oil?

I have to say I'm favorably impressed by Harper's plain talk about the vital interests of his nation:

“We have taken a significant price hit by virtue of the fact that we are a captive supplier and that just does not make sense in terms of the broader interests of the Canadian economy,” Harper said. “We’re still going to be a major supplier of the United States. It will be a long time, if ever, before the United States isn’t our number one export market, but for us the United States cannot be our only export market.

“That is not in our interest, either commercially or in terms of pricing.”

“We cannot be, as a country, in a situation where our one and, in many cases, only energy partner could say no to our energy products. We just cannot be in that position.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Some Advice for the Young Non-Neurotypical Man

The question has been asked, in comments and other channels---what can I do, as a non-neurotypical, to raise my status?  Typically this question is asked in the context of the sexual and marriage marketplaces, although it's a relevant question in nearly any sphere involving human relationships.

I've posted quite a bit on this topic, and I'll expand some of my remarks here.  As a special consideration to the non-neurotypical reader, I'll focus most heavily today on those things that are amenable to quantification.  One thing I've noticed is that non-neurotypicals without good emulation capability are particularly frustrated whenever given advice that begins with the word 'just' in 'just do x' or 'just be y'.  I try to avoid that when I write, but a lot of what I've written has been about intangibles, largely because that's where the biggest return on investment generally lies.  But today, let's talk tangibles.

One obviously has to recognize that each individual person will have a different 'schedule of improvement' on various attributes and capabilities.  Some people, for instance, will find it decidedly easy to improve their raw physical strength but will find physical grace nearly impossible to achieve to any great degree.  As always, you'll have to play the cards dealt you.  You may never rival Conan, but it's likely that you could be stronger.

Physical strength, or the appearance thereof, feeds into status.  The nice thing about strength if you're not neurotypical is that it is quantifiable.  You'll also probably find that you'll make extremely rapid gains for 3 months or so before you start advancing on a much slower curve (people that do this a lot call those 'newbie gains').  There is some evidence also that lifting weights regularly may raise your testosterone levels, which is also associated with improving your status.  From experience, let me tell you that people view you in a different frame when you're 6'3 and 160 pounds or so with an average person's strength vs the same height and about 200 pounds with approximately twice that level of strength.  Another thing you'll notice is that human beings have as extreme a variance on strength as they do on intelligence---for instance, men at the Olympic class in lifting are frequently 5-6x as strong as the average Joe.  What should you shoot for?  My suggestion is to grab those 'newbie gains', and allocate enough maintainence efforts to maintain them.  This is likely not your primary capability but it can be a decent secondary.  Some useful benchmarks---being able to pick up, toss, carry, etc any woman light enough to be attractive to you, this is attractive to a lot of women, even really smart ones, on a primal level.  Being able to military press your own body weight (or bench 1.5 times that) is considered excellent, and it's probably right around the point of diminishing returns unless you're a footbal player or something---Tim Tebow is, if memory serves, about 1.5 to 2x that strong.  I've noticed that an awful lot of things peak in terms of the status improvement that they give you in women's eyes right around 2 sigmas from the mean (i.e. right around the top 2%).  I'm not sure why that is so.  But again, Mr. Non-Neurotypical, this is purely quantifiable.  You can even crack out Excel and start running regression analysis if that's your thing.  Basic familiarity with the gym will also help you talk with people outside your 2 sigma range of interaction, by providing you with metaphors and sometimes useful contacts.

The next suggestion is very tangible, but not as quantifiable.  Learn to dance.  I suggest couples dances with a fair degree of structure---you're a non-neurotypical, the structure works with your limitations, you'll be more comfortable with less structured variants once you have more familiarity in general.  Lots of the Latin dances are good and Swing isn't bad either.  But learn to dance.  Lots of girls really like to dance---this is one I regret not expending more energy on when I was younger, despite having all the grace of a battleship.  But if your build is such that the first item has a poor schedule of improvement, you can get quite a bit of mileage here. 

Learn to play an instrument, preferably a highly portable one.  The best bang for the buck has got to be the guitar---you can work either classical or electric depending on your bent.  Even bad garage band quality will earn you a fair number of points.  I should have gone here rather than to the piano.

+++Administrivia Note+++

I've disabled the comment word verification for the time being.  Spam has never been a big problem here at the Chariot.  Should it become necessary, I'll reenable it, but I suspect that a lot of folks find them very annoying as they're getting harder and harder to discern.  Apparently spam bots are getting better at decoding them.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Divide the Swag in a Way Favoring My Group or Disfavoring Our Rival Groups

One of my wife's friends works at an afterschool program in our area.  Talking with her briefly about what she does, it came up that their staff spends an extremely large fraction of their energies and time taking care of a very small fraction of their students---in this case, the 'special needs' kids.    So perhaps 2/3 of the resources here are being used on perhaps 5% of the kids.  It struck me just how precious little actual debate there is over this---the 5% in this case has its resource allocation absolutely mandated by statute, and the 95% has to be content with whatever is left over.  In the present climate for governmental swag at the state and lower levels, most groups face declining budgets---read, a lower share of the smaller amount of spoils collected from the taxpayers.  So why is this, and do we actually want this?

It seems to me that there are lots of different schemes that could be used to allocate said loot, with lots of purported justifications and advocate groups.  It also seems to me that none of these schemes has any particular mandate from Heaven.  Accordingly, they all ought to be fought in a slugfest of self-interest, but instead, because of the scourge of universalism, we must endure the sophistry of sanctimonious scolds.

For your consideration, here is a reasonable subset of those schemes

We should allocate the loot in roughly equal proportion to all of the customers (i.e., the kids)---an attempt at an appeal to fairness in the equality of opportunity sense

We should allocate the loot in rough proportion to what is paid in by the guardians of said wards---hardly anyone makes this argument because of the scourge of universalism, but it's really a simple argument of giving each group what is due it in a contractual/corporate sense

We should allocate the loot according to the ratios most likely to give us prosperity in the future---essentially a utilitarian idea in the oldest sense, you rarely see this sort of argument anymore but it wasn't uncommon before the 80s, typically advanced for spending more on the most talented or advantaged students

We should allocate the loot so as to close the gaps between the most talented and the least (i.e. the opposite of the previous scheme---typically a semi-Rawlsian sentiment)

We should allocate the loot so as to favor my group or to hurt the groups that my group competes against most for status (IMO, by far the most common scheme when you pierce the veil surrounding it)

As I've mentioned, God doesn't give a damn which of these schemes one adopts.  Pretty much everyone in a modern Western society is rich beyond the dreams of anyone in Jesus' day, so whatever scheme we adopt is just the squabbles of the insanely wealthy.  So let's leave the moral language out---it doesn't belong and using such language for inappropriate purposes greatly diminishes its efficacy when you actually need it.

So how SHOULD we divvy up the spoils?  In my opinion, it should be a straightforward slugfest of group and self interest, with no group immune to the scheming, alliance-trading, and tawdry quid pro quo.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Encouraging Developments in Texas

Hopefully the faithful will see this contractor's actions and disproprotionately favor him in future dealings.  Hopefully the faithful will also disfavor those who do not act likewise.  It'd be interesting to see how a case like this would proceed in court---essentially a business telling another, we won't do business with you because we think you're evil.  If the courts allow free association or ignore it in such cases, it also points a way to keeping businesses that the population doesn't like out of their neighborhood---insist that local contractors not accept the jobs for it under threat of boycott themselves if they do....