Discover more from In My Tribe
Keeping up with the FITs, 7/31
Tyler Cowen on the NIH; Ian Rowe on the moral dyad; Erik Torenberg on elite hypocrisy; Andy Kessler on EA
A trio of congressional Republicans wants to know why a committee tasked with oversight of the National Institutes of Health hasn’t met since 2015.
In general, the oversight and audit functions of government are at best under-powered and at worst a joke. I suggested changing that with my COO/CA proposal.
Robert Pondiscio writes about his colleague Ian Rowe,
Rowe says he wrote Agency “to help a rising generation realize that they have the power to shape their own destiny, even in the face of life’s inevitable obstacles.” But the book deserves and will likely find an even more eager audience among those of us in education who know in our bones that the victimhood narrative Rowe deftly dismantles is nihilistic, separatist, and simply untrue. Too often, he writes, “young people’s efforts to develop agency are thwarted, sometimes tragically, by the very people and institutions with the power and moral responsibility to propel their lives forward.” This is an emphatic rebuke to failure-fetishists in education, particularly those whose gospel preaches “a bleak vision of individual powerlessness against insurmountable and systemic forces.”
Pointer from the FAIR substack. What readers of The Mind Club call “moral dyad theory” says that we have a tendency to describe a moral situation as one in which one person has all agency and no feelings while the other person has all feelings and no agency. Rowe is trying to describe disadvantaged young people as full human beings, having agency as well as feelings.
This is the ultimate luxury belief: wanting average for everyone else while wanting the best for ourselves. We see this everywhere: Elites advocate for public schools that disavow gifted programs for the poor while simultaneously sending their own kids to fancy private schools with gifted programs galore. Elites advocate for defunding the police while living in gated communities with private security. Elites throw a fit about getting homeless people off the streets, while moving to neighborhoods where they will never see any homeless people.
…elites promote body positivity — the idea that being overweight is healthy — while being most obsessed with maintaining perfect health. Elites promote sexual independence and polyamory, yet themselves are most likely to be monogamous in stable long-term relationships. Elites complain about overpopulation and carbon footprint, but they’re the ones having the most kids and inflicting the largest carbon footprint.
If you have beliefs that lead to harm, you are better off inflicting them on others than living by them yourself. That is a scary thought, but it is something to contemplate. Among other examples that come to mind are politicians who violated their own COVID restrictions.
I don’t care if altruists spend their own money trying to prevent future risks from robot invasions or green nanotech goo, but they should stop asking American taxpayers to waste money on their quirky concerns.. .
There are only four things you can do with your money: spend it, pay taxes, give it away or invest it. Only the last drives productivity and helps society in the long term.
Indeed. It seems to be a fad among 21st-century billionaires that they come up with grandiose “missions.” See Peter Thiel or George Soros or Bill Gates or Samuel Bankman-Fried. Heaven preserve us from such missionaries.