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Links to Consider, 9/14
Martin Gurri on the elite bubble; Erik Hoel on thin prediction markets; Matthew Crawford on post-WWII sexual psychology policy; Harold Robertson on systems degraded by Midwits
In an interview, Martin Gurri says,
So they have come to the habit of basically believing that everything that’s good for them politically is good for our democracy, and they live in this bubble. And it never occurred to them if they said to the American public, we’re going to have this disinformation governors, it’s going to govern your information, that a lot of Americans are going to go, what are you talking about? And I think the response by the public and by the opposition, and many outlets, caught them by surprise. To them, it is just a self-evident good.
He talks about the justification for censorship that is used by progressive elites in the non-profit sector, government, and journalism.
It basically suggests pretty explicitly that the vast majority of the public are lambs that can be led to the slaughter by these wolves. And of course the head wolf is Donald Trump, but Elon Musk is not too far behind. These are people who by basically telling persuasive lies can bamboozle millions into acting against their own interest and that the role of government therefore is to intervene in the conversation.
the influence of virality on prediction markets looks impossible to avoid, since the volume of any given prediction market will be extremely sensitive to what is trending online, and the necessity and ability to constantly create new markets (as more events to predict crop up) means that most prediction markets will be low volume anyways, since there will be so many of them. Note that this ability to spin up additional speculative low-volume markets on demand looks almost exactly like how people would find or invent new small market cap cryptocurrencies to promote, and most of these ended up as scams (even if they weren’t purposeful ones)
You can expect a market to aggregate information effectively only if there are some informed traders. They can only be informed if there is some usable information out there. Hoel is predicting that prediction markets will sprout up over topics that most people know nothing about, and yet people will trade in them, anyway.
Lasch writes that in the early decades of the 20th century, liberals convinced that the mass of their fellow citizens were impervious to reason believed they “would either have to master the new techniques of advertising and propaganda, … or seek to minimise the influence of public opinion on policy, … and see to it that policy – making was conducted exclusively by experts.”
Crawford claims that in the aftermath of World War II, some elements of our government became convinced that the way to stave off fascism was to cure people psychologically of the problem of repressed sexuality. Sexual restraint, which had long been praised, was in the 1950s re-cast as part of the Authoritarian Personality.
we see the ground laid for a novel politico-cultural consciousness. It would become apparent only in the next cohort, the Baby Boom, perhaps because this consciousness required a generation of conditioning by government therapy and activist social science to achieve: we are groovy astronauts of the libido (as against our repressed parents).
Pointer from Rob Henderson.
These days, I’m coming across a lot of writing on the issue of male-female relationships. There may be a number of reasons for this. It could be that writers are somewhat exhausted by political topics. It’s hard to write with fervor about a Biden-Trump rematch. There seems to be something wrong with the environment for forming relationships, and I see people struggling to put their finger on it. I myself do not have a clear set of convictions, other than that you ought to appreciate the number of people my age who are happy because they are grandparents.
In another pointer from Henderson, Harold Robertson writes,
Promoting diversity over competency does not simply affect new hires and promotion decisions. It also affects the people already working inside of America’s systems. Morale and competency inside U.S. organizations are declining. Those who understand that the new system makes it hard or impossible for them to advance are demoralized, affecting their performance. Even individuals poised to benefit from diversity preferences notice that better people are being passed over and the average quality of their team is declining. High performers want to be on a high-performing team. When the priorities of their organizations shift away from performance, high performers respond negatively.
…In complex systems, declining competency results in catastrophic failures.
Have a nice day.
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