Keeping up with the FITs, 1/20
Tyler Cowen on living remote; The Zvi on schooling remote; Harvey Mansfield on Trump; Sullivan and Rufo; Hanania's FITs tour; FAIR links on declining rationality
Reminder that FITs stands for fantasy intellectual teams.
You live in a city for culture, for sex, and to marry well.
I would add “to go to Israeli dance sessions,” but that’s me. One lesson to draw, which seemed obvious to me years ago, is that the biggest challenge with “start-up cities” or seasteads and the like is that no one wants to commit to moving there until they know who else is committed to moving there.
If we can get them using Khan Academy during that time, great, let’s do that. If we get them all a copy of The Iliad, or a chess set, even better. A tablet with Hearthstone loaded is acceptable in a pinch. Play some audio books and great works of music. Have them play the great classic computer games. Let them frolic in the park or play a ballgame. Give them gainful employment and let them learn a trade as an apprentice. So many choices, all of them good. This isn’t hard. Education isn’t magic. Childhood is magic.
It seems as though “remote learning” is an inferior option. Maybe sending kids to school is also an inferior option? As a thought experiment, imagine what you would do with your children if there were no state-provided day care, but the money that went for it went to you instead.
Yascha Mounk interviews Harvey Mansfield, who has an interesting perspective on Donald Trump.
Trump is therefore in a way more democratic than we are. He's more authoritarian, which means sort of arbitrary or whimsical, changes his view and insists on it. He's more authoritarian, but that's just what democracy is, when it isn't made moderate and deliberate by constitutions. So he's the underside of our system. And he's the very kind of enemy that we were warned against at the very beginning.
. . .He's a kind of consequence, if you want to say, of the increasing democratization of our country, and this is something that I think one can really worry about: increasing democratization, which means forgetting that there is such a thing as tyranny of the majority.
Andrew Sullivan interviews Christopher Rufo. Strongly recommended. Rufo’s story of the emergence of CRT is that there are three layers. At the core is a small group of Marxist revolutionaries. Around them are liberals who feel powerless to oppose a movement that uses the rhetoric of “diversity” and “inclusion” and “anti-racism.” And around them are all of the ideologically neutral people who don’t want to get and the wrong side of Human Resources or online mobs.
Robert Wright talks with Richard Hanania. The free link may be elsewhere. Hanania is on a FITs tear, speaking in Austin with Bryan Caplan and Razib Khan.
Finally, my links include The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism’s weekly links, which include Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s weekly links.
Language is getting less rational. That's the gist of new findings from researchers at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Indiana University. Their study—"The rise and fall of rationality in language," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America—found that the past 40 years have seen a shift from the language of rationality to the language of emotion.
…The rise of reasoning words like determine and conclusion and the decline of intuitive words like feel and believe could be seen starting around 1850 and lasting until the late 20th century. But over the past 40 years, this trend reversed, as words associated with intuition and emotion were used more frequently and words associated with fact-based arguments were used less frequently.
Don’t tell anyone I said this, but gender is a likely factor. The more that we elevate women in academia, the more that written words will come from women, which means that more language will reflect empathizing rather than systemizing. And I feel that men will increasingly conclude that we have to use sentiment-words in order to get with the program.
Wright and Hanania link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsVA77iLkyo&t=6s
I thought Cowen's "living remote" thing missed the obvious point that there's a vast difference between living in a city and living in a big elite coastal city.
For instance, sure, if you want to move to the middle of nowhere in Indiana, there won't be Israeli dance classes. On the other hand, this does exist in Indianapolis. https://www.israelidanceindy.com
When I moved from NoVA to Indy, the property values were such that I went from having a mortgage to buying my home outright. Traffic is better, I have a huge increase in available time. I'd argue that governance is notably better in Indiana. Schools and school choice seem better. Pretty much everything a person would want to actually live seems better. Basically, moving from a huge metro area to a moderately sized metro area was a huge increase in practical wealth for me.
Randomly too, I've always though it'd be a great tool of economic development to break up the bureaucracy of DC by physically relocating major agencies to cities doing poorly. Like, relocate 75% of the IRS to Detroit.