Keeping up with the FITs, 2-11
Gurri on Biden; Scott A. hearts prediction markets; Kling hearts Randall Collins; Loury and McWhorter on recent kerfluffles; Matt Shapiro and Razib Khan; N.S. Lyons and Katherine Dee
In my opinion, this is a case of an internal monologue that keeps leaking out into the public square. The audience is Joe Biden. “We reached out 19 times,” “our patience is wearing thin,” “I have probably outperformed”—like many persons of a certain age whose grasp on reality is slipping, the president manifests a peevishness, even anger and certainly denial, against the facts that give evidence of an inexorable decline. That includes stranded Americans, the unvaccinated, his political opponents and the terrifying maelstrom, whose roar he can surely hear, that is the form of reality itself.
A grim prophecy follows. But I can’t extract a proposition to bet on.
On the topic of betting on predictions, Scott Alexander writes,
The US is becoming the North Korea of forecasting. Every other civilized country allows prediction markets. In a perfect world, they could ignore our constant own goals and move on without us. But because America has a disproportionate share of money, users, coders, and entrepreneurs, a US-less prediction market ecosystem won’t be living up to its potential. That means decreased ability to gather and process information and worse decision-making worldwide.
If people are deprived of embodied interactions, we can expect they will be more depressed, less energetic, feel less solidarity with other people, become more anxious, distrustful, and sometimes hostile.
This seems to have occurred. Even prior to the pandemic, researchers were claiming to have found these sorts of effects of social media on people, especially teenagers.
A montage of the comic and podcast host using “the n-word” several times over the years went viral last week. John [McWhorter] raises the point that he [Joe Rogan] wasn’t directing the word at anybody, he was citing it. There’s a difference between hurling a racial slur at someone and uttering a racial slur in order to discuss it. The word itself should not be off limits for the purposes of discussion, and we both think that anyone who simply can’t bear to hear it in any context needs to grow up.
Their positions on the controversies involving Ilya Shapiro, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rogan align with mine.
Matt Shapiro talks with Razib Khan. About Khan—and yet another kerfluffle—Shapiro writes,
I’ve never seen Razib exhibit any prejudice, show any antipathy to anyone (except for those monsters who murdered the Bangladeshi atheists), and yet people were denouncing others for associating with him because they say he associated with other bad people. This two degree cancellation is new and novel and, if that is the direction we are headed, we are in for a very bad time in the next decade.
the Internet elevates some people as “doers” and most of us as “passive experiencers.” The “doers” are the “fan objects”; the rest of us are the fans, remixing or challenging their content in some way. This binary, I think, also explains the rise of people who have affinity-based identities as opposed to experience-based identities.