Keeping up with the FITs, 4/9
Richard Hanania on having kids; Michael Huemer on evil; Tyler Cowen on changes since 1950; Kling on Luca Dellanna; Glenn Loury with comedians (superb!)
Hertz argues that since people are having smaller families, we need to ask ourselves how to replace the meaning they used to find in children, siblings, and cousins by encouraging them to find ways “to care for people who are not necessarily linked to them by blood.” To me, this sounds like asking “how can we enjoy eating in a world where we have dulled our sense of taste?” or “how can we enjoy sexual pleasure after we’ve castrated ourselves?” Blood relations, and the pair bonds that help create them, are not one form of social connectedness we can just exchange for something else once we don’t want to bother with the hassle of getting married and making babies anymore. Procreation and family formation are the evolutionary reasons love exists in the first place, and there is little to suggest that we can replace these things through government sponsored initiatives that seek to connect us to those we are not either having sex with or related to.
An under-discussed problem with today’s floofy genders is that they run contrary to having children. I’ll bet that in the long run a person’s life will be more fulfilling with grandchildren than with gender-reassignment surgery.
a certain portion of people (disproportionately male, btw; see https://fakenous.net/?p=2223, https://fakenous.net/?p=2207) have a relatively low threshold for feeling hostility toward other people. I.e., it doesn’t take much to get them angry or feeling as though violence is called for. These people don’t know why they feel this, and they usually don’t even know that there’s anything wrong; to them, their high level of aggression just seems normal.
(ii) Because of this background aggression, when they hear a belief system that tells them that violence and other harm directed at some person or group is called for, these people feel attraction.
The Census data shows that of the nation's 10 largest cities in 1950, only New York City and Los Angeles went on to have larger populations in 2020. The other eight -- Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, St Louis, Washington, D.C., and Boston -- all saw their populations fall in the following seven decades.
This is even more striking when you consider that the entire U.S. population more than doubled over this period. I think it is important to remember that as of 1950 manufacturing production workers were the largest occupational category, and as of 1950 inner cities in the Northeast still hosted many large factories. For example, St. Louis was important in automobiles, shoes, and of course beer.
Since 1950, productivity in manufacturing has increased so rapidly that even though we produce more today, we use a smaller work force in that sector. The big northeastern cities of 1950 consequently lost a lot of jobs. New York and LA compensated for the loss of manufacturing jobs by expanding in finance and entertainment.
Air conditioning was another factor. The population gains in the South and Southwest would not have taken place without it.
Finally, suburbanization affects the numbers. Some of the Northeast cities gained population if you look at the entire metropolitan area. But the cities as defined by their political boundaries lost people to the suburbs. LA and NY are more broadly defined geographically than St. Louis or Detroit. LA and NY contain sections that in other cities would be defined as suburbs.
Our beliefs are affected by our desire to affiliate with others. When the affiliation is strong, the beliefs are strong:
The more costly it is to hold and express a belief, socially or financially, the more loyalty it generates within the few sharing it. p. 175
To me, this suggests the mechanism holding cults and religions together. Their shared costly beliefs are a binding force.
There is much of interest in the review, and in the book itself.
Glenn Loury, Coleman Hughes, and Roland Fryar take to a stage along with several comedians, to talk about free speech and comedy. Self-recommending, as Tyler would say. Must-see TV. About minute 27, Fryar says that comedians are the best social scientists. Around minute 49, they discuss the issue of corporate leaders needing a backbone. Around minute 52, Sam Jay gives a stirring speech.