Links to Consider, 1/29
Rob Henderson on the social psychology of egalitarianism; Alfonso Peccatiello on immaculate disinflation; Brian Chau and Malcolm Collins; Damon Linker on Curtis Yarvin
even with the power of norms and social pressure, violence is far more common in hunter-gatherer bands than in modern societies. Bands and tribes strongly favor peace, cooperation, and despise conflict, but violent outbreaks are not infrequent.
Perhaps the most important reason for this is that there is no formalized authority.
There is no strong leader or council of elders who have the power to arbitrate disputes. In fact, those who attempt to broker peace are often killed. As a consequence, once a serious conflict arises, there is no truly effective means of settling the dispute.
The most common cause of murder in hunter-gatherer communities involves matters of sex, adultery, or jealousy.
The essay contains insights on many topics. For me, Henderson’s substack is at the top of the hierarchy these days.
The bond market’s base case is immaculate disinflation, not a recession.
A relaxed credit market, inflation rapidly declining to 2% and the Fed cutting rates back to neutral, forward real rates still expected in positive territory and the lack of aggressive insurance bid for recessionary cuts all point in that direction.
Recession: 20-25% probability
Immaculate disinflation: 45-50% probability
Growth regime/higher-for-longer: 30% probability
…The stock market’s base case is that a broad recession will be avoided as the growth downturn is bottoming (also thanks to China) and that we are past peak Fed tightness.
He is extracting market expectations from security prices.
Brian Chau talks with Malcolm Collins on one of Chau’s marathon podcasts. Various people from the new-right flavored tech community have had positive things to say to me about the Collins Institute. I’ve done a bit of web surfing about it, and something rubs me the wrong way. Their vision is too Brave New World-y for my tastes.
Collins’ sociology comes in at about minutes 20-24, and also at minute 48. His philosophy/ideology become clearest around minutes 53-58 minute 68-70, minute 83-84, and around minute 90, when I stopped listening. He still sets off one of my internal alarms.
Yascha Mounk’s Persuasion cross-posts Damon Linker’s essay on Curtis Yarvin.
I think it’s more accurate to say that the country simply isn’t as right-wing as Yarvin and his acolytes would like it to be. But rather than accepting this reality, seeking to move public opinion in their direction through the ordinary process of democratic persuasion, and accepting that the outcome of that effort is uncertain, they prefer justifying the seizure of power and the imposition of their views on the rest of us by force.
I’ll whatabout this and say that the country simply is not as Woke as the Woke acolytes would like it to be, but they seem to be doing a pretty darned forceful job of imposing their views on the rest of us.
But less emotionally, I would say that those of us who are unhappy with mainstream institutions have three choices: try to reform them, try to overthrow them, or try to work around them. I am mostly in the work-around camp. Alternative K-12 schools, a network-based university—that kind of thing. The Collinses are in that same camp, which is why people keep commending them to me.
Substacks referenced above:
Your three-way distinction fails when the purpose of the institutions to certain constituents is made clear. If the purpose of universal schooling, for example, is not 'an opportunity for all who choose it' but instead 'universal orthodoxy' then 'work around' is the same thing as 'overthrow.' That is, if there is anywhere a path around the system, it has been effectively neutered. Same thing with just about anything else that is 'universal' or 'totalizing.' Even something as seemingly benign as 'indoor air quality' becomes a sledgehammer.
Frankly, the moment any authority must be intermediated in each and every human relationship, for the protection of one of the parties...
As Linker is mischaracterizing Yarvin's views, it may be helpful for people to read his reply: