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u/The_Fooder · 21 pointsr/slatestarcodex

My kid just started at Montessori pre-school last month. We had all of the same concerns and observations. I can add a few things, all anecdotal...


TL;DR: lots of qualitative data; no quantitative data; long-read


Part 1: My oldest


First, I have a college aged kid and a toddler (life is crazy). When the 20yr old was pre-k aged, I was essentially broke and sent her to a pretty normal, school-based, pre-k. The pre-k was in the basement of a Montessori school and was probably influenced by it, but was definitely not Montessori. From there she went on to a parochial Kindergarten and then to suburban public school for the rest of her pre-college career. She now is a 3.6-ish GPA junior at U of I, so academically, she did fine (not outstanding, but good enough).


The issue, however, in my opinion, was all of the non-academic stuff: low self-esteem, a seeming lack of stake in the outcomes, an inability to make life choices or long-term plans, lack of functional skills (i.e. knowledge of banking and credit, time management) and a general fragility a la Haidt. I was not pushing college on her, but it ultimately seemed like the right call, partly because there was no other plan, but largely because she needed to get out from under her parents and take some responsibility for her future. So far it seems that this has been effective in that she has really started blossoming into a person who has interests and takes initiative and hasn't had an issue with her academics.


The difficult thing to suss out is if any of her success or failure modes had anything to do with pre-k. Maybe? A little bit? Most of the difficulty in her teenage years might be due to a healthy dose of normal juvenile issues coupled with a major personal disruption during her high-school years with her mother's living situation. She definitely seemed to regress somewhere around 14 or 15 and I'm happy that she's getting back on-line, so to speak.


Part 2: My Youngest

That said, my plan for the current kid is a bit reactionary, but largely influenced by my personal circumstances. First, I'm in almost the opposite financial situation and able to absorb both college and pre-k costs, which, 20 years later seem to have sky-rocketed across the board. All formal options (excluding home day-care/pre-k) in my area seem to be in the range of $1-1500/mo. There are probably more affordable options but I haven't researched them. The Montessori was less expensive than the day-care she had been in from 9 months to 2.5 years.


Second, I have a lot more experience with kids and raising them this time around (in addition to child rearing, I've also been a teacher and a youth worker--I like kids and generally prefer them to adults). I'm able to envision the whole school career in a way I couldn't before, therefore it's easier for me to see where the mile-markers are. Also, my wife, child and I have a pretty good, high trust relationship going on. Everyone has a stake in the family functioning and there's little fussing, disobedience, or histrionics; it's really mostly pleasant and fun. I think this has a lot to do with us being older parents who are able to easily align ourselves with the child. To contrast, when my other daughter was little, I was 25 and in a rock band...I had goals and desires that weren't always aligned with hers. My guess is this will have a far bigger impact on my youngest daughter's outcomes than pre-school or even elementary school. Stable home life is no joke!


While, it will be another five years before I have a reasonable gauge of how it went, it seems ok right now, but not amazing. The teacher we were going to have left the school suddenly just prior to us starting and the school's founder and administrator is running the classroom. For some reason my kid has a beef with her and it's a bit of an issue. (It's also an opportunity where I get to teach my toddler that one of the most valuable skills we can learn in life is how to get along with people we dislike). We're going to stick it out and see what happens next, but if my kid still seems to hate it a few months from now, we're going to try something else.


Part 3: What Other People Have Told Me


I've heard plenty of good stories about Montessori, I've also heard that it doesn't work for all kids and the school will tell you if they think your kid needs the structure a more formal school provides. That said, I have two other direct examples of Montessori education.


The first is my coworker who attended Montessori as a kid in the 90's. His trajectory was Montessori pre-k, public school k-12, State University with Masters in CS to a cushy programming gig in the financial sector. He was also an Eagle scout, plays a musical instrument, is an avid gamer and, IMO, a very thoughtful, if soft spoken fellow. He seems to be popular in his group of friends and possibly even the Alpha of his pack (just an observation from going to a few of his parties--he's no 'Alpha' in the strict sense).

He said that he doesn't remember much about it but that it was fun and easy. He thinks his parents had more to do with his upbringing as they were very focused on him hitting certain age appropriate goals (ex. Eagle scouts). My take-away is that there's no telling if it had any benefit.


A second, ex-coworker has his daughter in Montessori at either Kindergarten or 1st grade level and they intend to continue with her at least through elementary. They are avid fans and the mom is very active with the school. Their daughter loves school so much she now takes supplemental classes--on the weekend-- at Northwestern University. In their area, there are Montessori High Schools, so it's possible for their kid to stay in Montessori all the way through to college if they so choose.


The anecdotes they told us were that once some sort of Montessori inflection point is reached, if the kids are put back into public school, they are so far ahead of their peers in terms of discipline and precociousness that school becomes a boring mess where they are surrounded by buffoons. I have no idea how true this is, but I can imagine that if Montessori were successful this would be the expected result.


Part 4: Conclusion


To sum up my feelings about all of this, I'd say that let your wallet be your guide. In terms of pre-K, I sincerely doubt that Montessori will forever impact your child in such a way that you'd regret not sending them. Other pre-k programs seem to be just fine at acculturating children for school and the long-term academic and personal benefits seem modest at best; I'd rank things like diet, rest, exercise and family cohesion as higher.


That said, if your plan was to keep the child going through some sort of alternate education system (i.e. alternate to U.S. public schooling) then you might see some real gains starting around elementary school and possibly rolling off around middle school. These benefits would be mostly in terms of personal development, which should prepare them for more rigorous academic study in a field of their choosing.


There seems to be little downside to Montessori, but the upside is hard to gauge at the pre-k level. If placing you child in Montessori causes familial strife, ex. long commutes, financial burden, then I doubt the cost outweighs the benefit. It's also important to understand that Montessori has fairly high expectations of the parents and your buy-in is important as well.


Let this little rant be the first entry in my diary of a Montessori educated child circa 2020 and I can follow up with observations in a few years after I've accrued some more experience and data.


u/Stefferi · 25 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Every time I read these they become worse. Let's concentrate on some thing I noted this time:

>For example, it is very easy to include God or gods in one's definition of church. In that case, we throw out Buddhism, which is surely a legitimate religion. I assume your version of separation of church and state includes separation of Buddhism and state. Mine sure does. And what about Scientology? Shouldn't we have separation of Scientology and state? I'm guessing you'll sign up for this one as well.

...Buddhism, as the great majority of Buddhists worldwide practice it, is in no way contrary to the existence of gods, quite the other way around. An argument has been made that the whole idea of Buddhism as an atheist religion is mainly the result of a relatively recent process of interplay between (South) Asian nationalists and their state-building projects and British post-Enlightenment intellectuals projecting their own values on an exotic religion. Don't know enough to say, but seems plausible. Likewise, I can't say my theological knowledge of Scientology is vast, but according to Wikipedia, it is a theist religion:

>Scientologists believe in an "Infinity" ("the All-ness of All"). They recite a formal prayer for total freedom at meetings, which include the verses "May the author of the universe enable all men to reach an understanding of their spiritual nature. May awareness and understanding of life expand, so that all may come to know the author of the universe. And may others also reach this understanding which brings Total Freedom ... Freedom from war, and poverty, and want; freedom to be; freedom to do and freedom to have. Freedom to use and understand Man's potential – a potential that is God-given and Godlike." The prayer commences with "May God let it be so."[51] [52]

Scientologists affirm the existence of a deity without defining or describing its nature. L. Ron Hubbard explains in his book Science of Survival, "No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable." Instead of defining God, members assert that reaching higher states of enlightenment will enable individuals to make their own conclusions about the Supreme Being.[53]

Okay, is that important? Yes, because at this point, Moldbug's argument is basically "Yes, you could defined a church through belief in a God or gods, but what about Buddhist and Scientology, then? Huh? Huh" which, at the very least, rests on very thin ice... and then Moldbug starts taking this badly founded argument and expanding it to an entire worldview.

Another thing that I've thought many times but really only now conceived: how parochial Moldbug's worldview is. The second entry is based on the notion that maybe American revolution was a bad thing - possibly a mindblowing thing to someone who has grown up amidst American patriotic mythos, at most an interesting thought experiment to basically everyone else. There's a whole country to the north of US that was basically founded on the principle that American revolution was a bad thing and which Moldbug does not mention once. United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada continues to exist, contrary to:"Loyalism gives us an extremely foreign perspective of the present world. There are no other Loyalists in 2009. So, when we think as Loyalists, we have no choice but to think for ourselves."

Of course, current Canadians, or Canadian Loyalists, don't probably support the same values that the original Tories who went to Canada did, but that brings me to another point - a rather common habit of taking one movement at point A (hundreds of years ago), then finding a descendant of that movement at point B (now, or may be a few decades ago) and then going "See, it's the same thing!" For instance, here Moldy takes Puritans and the current American mainstream ideology - and, indeed, a case can be made that there's a continuity; certainly American patriotism is in many ways built on what originally were Reformed movements inside and outside the Anglican church and the foundations of current American liberalism are in many ways built on the mainline Protestant variety of this ideology.

However, that would ignore the complete shift in Protestant thinking that modernism brought, how fundamentalism was specifically a reaction that aimed to return Protestantism back to its "fundaments" from mainline's changes, how American patriotism was also affected by Deist and Christian-Deist enlightenment thinking, how current liberalism is also the child of progressivism, populism, Catholic social gospel, reform Judaism etc. and so on. But that's complicated! "Modern Left is Puritans, that's that" is easier and punchier.

Fourth thing is a general comment on neoreaction in general - the biggest reason why the whole movement was a flash-in-the-pan affectation of the few intellectuals was that the original reaction was, essentially, very much a religious movement expressing in the political arena its fear of Enlightenment usurping religion as the main source of societal justification, and much of neoreaction has been at most culturally religious. It just doesn't work! You might as well try to build a movement that's re-establishing the Caliphate - not due to any sort of a belief in Islam, but due to a belief that it just would form the best societal structure to do... well, whatever you want it to do.

u/werttrew · 11 pointsr/slatestarcodex

A really detailed analysis of the most common 4-digit pin numbers. More than 10 percent of all passwords are 1234.


This four-square graph plants Slatestarcodex in the realm of “insightful/serious” and places Reddit at “boring/trolling.” So, where does that place a subreddit devoted to SSC, then?


At the recommendation of several people in this sub, I bought James C. Scott’s Seeing Like the State and wow, it is indeed fantastic.

A good review by J Bradford Delong here

Some highlights for me so far:

u/yashkaf · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Hey, I'm the author :)

I really appreciate your comment, it's both insightful and charitable. But, I will only admit to half the accusation. Everything I write about dating is 100% true as far as I can see it, but it's not 100% of the truth.

For example, I don't talk a lot about demonstrating high status to women even though it's a critical part of relationship success and somewhat unfashionable to talk about openly. When I express skepticism about things like pick-up and "game" I'm not lying, I actually think that while those approaches work on some women and for some form of relationships, they're counterproductive for people like me.

On the other hand, I did stand up for a while and performed at comedy festivals. And I always brought women I was dating to those, because making a room full of people laugh is a powerful demonstration of my intellect and status.

The reason I don't write about it isn't that I'm afraid of "mass society" so much as that those subjects are actually much harder to write about, and I'm less confident in what I think I've figured out about them. I think that the simpler advice that I'm giving is more immediately useful to a lot of people, even if it's incomplete.

One day I'll read The Mating Mind and write the post you're looking for :)

u/veteratorian · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Not g (maybe?) or gap related, but it seems education improves IQ generally.

Stuart Ritchie, intelligence researcher and author of Intelligence: All That Matters has a paper here the abstract of which I will quote below:

>Intelligence test scores and educational duration are positively correlated. This correlation can be interpreted in two ways: students with greater propensity for intelligence go on to complete more education, or a longer education increases intelligence. We meta-analysed three categories of quasi-experimental studies of educational effects on intelligence: those estimating education-intelligence associations after controlling for earlier intelligence, those using compulsory schooling policy changes as instrumental variables, and those using regression-discontinuity designs on school-entry age cutoffs. Across 142 effect sizes from 42 datasets involving over 600,000 participants, we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities, of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education. Moderator analyses indicated that the effects persisted across the lifespan, and were present on all broad categories of cognitive ability studied. Education appears to be the most consistent, robust, and durable method yet to be identified for raising intelligence.

u/Ken_Obiwan · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

>with the rise of feminism and the normalization of female sexual agency, women are much more likely to seek out "alpha" males for casual sex — attractive, dominant men who don't necessarily have a provider vibe, but are good in the sack.

Sure, but there's also the widespread use of birth control, which influences women to prefer less masculine partners. So what gives?

I think a bigger issue is that the modern world is turning men in to wusses. See The Demise of Guys. A combination of porn and video games has rendered modern men anxious, distracted, and unable to pursue long term goals. Testosterone levels seem to be gradually dropping, possibly as a result of chemicals like BPA. (I suspect that anti-androgens like BPA are also responsible for the increase in assigned-male-at-birth people realizing that they're actually women. The rationalists are at the forefront of this wave because they're more introspective, nerds are lower testosterone in general, and the rationalist community isn't judgemental toward trans people.)

Most modern males read as "disgraced social outcast" to women because they have trouble maintaining eye contact and conversing naturally with them. Any man who doesn't have this problem is labeled an "alpha" by the PUA community. In the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, you'd need some honest signalling of high genetic quality (symmetrical face, superior hunting abilities, height, high verbal intelligence that allows you to easily make people laugh, etc.) in order to enjoy unusual success with women. (Note that the characteristics I mentioned correspond only loosely with the PUA notion of "alpha" behavior, which is supposedly of utmost importance with women. Also note that "alpha" behavior doesn't seem like an unusually honest signal of genetic quality. Lots of male wild animals behave in a very feral, "alpha" way. If human women really were programmed since time immemorial to value "alpha" behavior over all else, we probably never would have self-domesticated and formed civilization in the first place.)

u/EnigmaticPM · 10 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Scott Adams calls this the 'Moist Robot Hypothesis'. Like a dog being trained, he views people as machines (or moist robots) responding to stimuli. Instead of fruitlessly trying to motivate yourself he advocates changing your environment to reinforce the behaviors you desire. I think this is the basic idea that Perry is advocating. And they both recognise that you act as the 'owner' setting the incentives and the 'dog' being trained.

A related idea that both Perry and Adams touch on is that it's more effective to be systems driven not goals driven. Don't focus on "I'm going to run a marathon", focus on incentivising yourself to go running four times a week. Focus on "I'll write blog posts every Tuesday and Thursday" over "I'm going to make Scott Alexander look like an amateur." Perry describes this as the difference between “getting things done” from “doing things.”

The practical implications will be different for everyone however it means acting as the owner to understand the reactions to stimuli (diet, incentives, sleep routine, emotional states, etc) and then setting up processes / systems that reinforce the positive behaviours and disincentivise the negative. The general idea Adams words:

> Take a volunteer and ask him all of his favorite sensations. This could range from the taste of his favorite food, to foot massages, to sexual stimulation, to warm baths, to his favorite song. Then spend a few weeks showing the volunteer a particular and not-too-common object whenever the positive sensations are applied. For example, you might pick a sock monkey as your object because you don’t see them often, and they don’t carry with them any sort of special association beyond generic fun. After two weeks of intensely associating sock monkeys with favorite sensations, the volunteer’s brain would make a permanent connection. Thereafter, any time he wanted to turn a bad mood into a good mood, he would look at his sock monkey and his brain would execute its happiness subroutine. It’s safer and quicker than pharmaceuticals. The only risk is that the volunteer might fall in love with his sock monkey. But I’m not judging.

This has high cross over with the ideas of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is considered pseudo-scientific by many. NLP practitioners call this 'anchoring'.

If you're interested Adams goes into some detail on what this practically means in his book 'How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big'.

u/SincerelyOffensive · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

This is a great idea. Please definitely post your list when you've got it compiled.

In addition to some of the other books that have been recommended, I suggest the slightly more unconventional 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed for a rather interesting look at a period in ancient history that I think is generally poorly covered. ("There were some civilizations like Egypt and Sumer, and they rose and fell, and look, it's Aristotle!") It really helps contextualize a lot of the ancient Mideast - who coexisted and what their relationships were, not just who was the Big Dog one after another.

It will also help break up the monotony of all the other books reading the same, because it's not organized like a traditional history book: instead it's organized almost like a play, with a cast of characters, a "prologue" and "epilogue," and several "Acts" describing key sequences of events! Despite that, the author is a pretty well regarded archaeologist at GWU, and it was published by Princeton University Press.

u/BarnabyCajones · 13 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Woo hoo! Friday thread! What have people been reading / playing / watching?

This week, I read White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. And I read about half of Days of Rage. I've really enjoyed both of them and would recommend them. I'm on an Exit-vs-Voice + what-happens-when-people-are-radicalized kick right now (I read a book about John Brown and also Kill All Normies last week, along these same lines).

And, I played through most of the old SNES game Actraiser this week with my kids watching. My daughter preemptively jumps out of anxiety right before I jump in the game, which is really cute but pretty distracting if I'm doing hard jumping puzzles and she's right next to me.

I like mixed mode games like Actraiser and wish there were more of them - it has side scrolling platforming and an overhead kind of SimCity-Lite mode, and neither of them are especially strong for the genres they're in, but the fact that I get to go back and forth between them helps keep them from wearing out their welcome. (I would put games like the NES games Guardian Legend and Blaster Master in this general category as well). Actraiser 2 abandoned the split mode thing and was, I think, much the worse for it.

u/Midnighter9 · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

It's pretty remarkable the extent to which nearly every uncharitable thing that has ever been said about neocons - that they're closeted Trotskyites, think-tank ideologues, hucksters, just completely alien to any conservative tradition and indifferent to any real American concern - has been vindicated to some degree or the other in the Trump era. I'm not just saying that to be snide, because Boot (even more so than Rubin or Kristol or anyone else) is a rather stark and remarkable example of it - quite recently he was incensed when, in reaction to one of Boot's tantrums, Ross Douthat gently suggested that Boot was never a real conservative - he was always just an interloper with his own agenda, a "democratic imperialist" who wrote reams in praise of an imperial vision that sent thousands of Christian boys (and girls too; that's what sets America apart from the barbarians) from the heartland to die for reasons that still aren't quite clear to most people.

Boot protested that ok, he admittedly never cared about what social conservatives wanted, but he supported some other non-FP things that conservatives also supported. But when in Rome, you have to do at least some of the things the Romans do, and Boot would have a better case that he wasn't just going through the motions of conservatism-signaling if he hadn't just written a book tracing the "corrosion of conservatism" to Barry Goldwater - this after years of calling Goldwater a principled conservative who would have been appalled by Trump. Now of course you don't have to read Barry Goldwater if you want to claim you're conservative or a right-winger -- I outright refuse to read Barry Goldwater -- but the fact is that a lot of the "principled conservatives" are big fans of Barry Goldwater, up to and including Ronald Reagan himself. Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, George Will, all those guys in the tweed suits and bow-ties at cocktail parties who fret about the capital gains tax, the fabled pre-Trump Republicans whose party has been hijacked - Goldwater is a big part of their mythology.

It's not surprising that Boot finds a friendly audience in Jonathan Chait, the nutter who thinks Trump has been a Kremlin agent for the last 30 years, but it is surprising that even the disgruntled Republicans who say they sympathize with Boot haven't read what he's been saying or tracked the "evolution" of his views. Joe Scarborough, for instance, wrote a blurb for Boot's new book praising Boot as "a conservative inspired by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.......rightly offended by the excesses of Trump's Republican Party". This despite Boot's own admission that he'd never read anything Goldwater had written before Trump became President, that he lied for years about reading Goldwater, and when he finally got around to reading Goldwater, he came to the conclusion that Goldwater was a race-baiting lunatic who sowed the seeds of Trumpism.

u/guzey · 19 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Good self-help books are underappreciated. They can provide the push needed to us in critical moments of our lives, e.g. to overcome short-term pain / excessive risk-aversion when making an important decision, and let us change the fundamental frames / instill useful mantras into our lives, changing our trajectories significantly. These two self-help books definitely changed my life, providing both motivation and timeless advice:

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odd by David Goggins

I recommend these to all my friends and everybody who read them so far loved them (note that for max effect probably best to space them out and to first read Adams and then Goggins a few months later).

u/Vivificient · 10 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> is because my ability to focus for non-trivial stuff has been completely shot by years of doing nothing but surf the web (literally), I'm having a hard time getting anything systematically done, even basic reading.

Here's a method that doesn't work very well:

  • Visuallize long-term goal for your life

  • Think of how much smarter you need to be to fulfill the goal

  • Collect large stack of books (or websites) with information you think should be in your head

  • Try to read and memorize all the books

  • Lament your lack of willpower

    Here's a better method:

  • Visuallize long-term goal for your life

  • Figure out specific short-term goals (not abstract self-improvement goals like "read a book", but specific accomplishments like "write a program to do x")

  • Aggressively search books (and websites) for the specific information you need for each step of the short-term goal, ignoring everything else

  • If you get curious about something else from your stack of books, go ahead and read it only until your curiosity is satisfied, then go back to your goals

    > rationalism is appealing both by virtue of the people I've been meeting and the practical effects it has been having for me on the occasions that I've managed to use it. But I'm more than a little intimidated by the SSC backlog: there's so much there! And that's just SSC. I have no idea where to begin.

    It is likely a mistake to think that rationality will be a philosophy that will change your entire life by virtue of reading things. There is a lot of very interesting material to read in the "rationalsphere", but most of it is not self-help material and you may be disappointed if you expect it will all be highly applicable to your daily life.

    What you will find is a lot of material that can help clarify your thinking and give you more knowledge about many intriguing domains. The "Sequences" (long series of blog posts collected into an E-book) by Yudkowsky are the standard resource that much of this community has read (or pretends to have read). If you have not studied science, probability, psychology, and philosophy, then it is pretty eye-opening stuff! Like taking a seminar course from a brilliant but highly eccentric professor. That said, some of it is boring or hard to read, so just skip around and follow the hyperlinks to the parts that interest you.

    If the main thing you have done for the past two years is to browse websites, then you must already know that reading good material is compulsive and so I am not sure what is stopping you from spending all your spare time reading the entire archives of LessWrong and Slate Star Codex. Either you are enjoying it and you keep reading, or you are not enjoying it and you stop.

    HOWEVER, if you are trying to force yourself to read through the annals of Rationality because you think it will fix your flaws as a person, or make you a genius, you will probably be disappointed.

    If you are really looking more for a self-help book of how to change your life with logic and rational behaviour, a decent one is How To Fail At Almost Everything by Scott Adams.
u/yumbuk · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

I've gotten pretty good results by following The Mind Illuminated. The book recommends a 45 minute daily meditation if you have time for it, but I've had good results even with ten minute meditations.

With practice, you can train your brain to be better at not losing focus on whatever it is you were intending to focus on, but it does require establishing a habit to set aside time to practice.

On that note, I've found Beeminder to be an effective tool to establish such a new habit.

u/Swordsmanus · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> If I want to learn more about this stuff, where do I start?

Not sure if it covers all that you're asking for, but if you want to get a solid base on intelligence and the research on it, here are a few good starting points published in the last year.

160-page digest: Intelligence: All That Matters

Textbook: The Neuroscience of Intelligence (Cambridge Fundamentals of Neuroscience in Psychology)

u/rarely_beagle · 4 pointsr/slatestarcodex

I think a model that takes a few variables into account could perform pretty well over time and space. Central in this model would be history of being occupied. Also important is harshness of environment encouraging cooperation. Another aspect would be whether or not a Dictator's Handbook scenario is in effect. Often this takes the form of a local leader allowing a foreign power to provide skilled labor and capital equipment to help the country extract resources. In this scenario, the local government's primary job is to use payoffs and/or threats to prevent the local population from interfering or demanding a cut.

Both direct occupation and DH quasi-occupation would create a conflict between the best interests of the citizenry and the best interest of its rulers. Any increase in power of the government could result in decreases of leverage of the population. In this scenario, paying taxes, cooperating with onerous regulations, and providing information to the government could be legitimately seen as a betrayal. This would explain Seoul's unusually high anti-social punishment rate (Japanese Occupation).

I would be very curious how 1760 Boston would have scored on this test. The Boston Tea Party sometimes confuses children because it is a stark example of authorities praising anti-social punishment. Also note Greece's 20th century hardships and Omman's precarious sovereignty given Iran and SA's machinations in the area.

From wikipedia on the ongoing Qatar diplomatic crisis:

> Trump's public support for Saudi Arabia emboldened the kingdom and sent a chill through other Gulf states, including Oman and Kuwait, that fear that any country that defies the Saudis or the United Arab Emirates could face ostracism as Qatar has.

u/jplewicke · 11 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Not quite self-help, but a dedicated meditation practice based on Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha has definitely been transformative over the past year and a half. It's taken a tremendous amount of effort and going through some emotionally and existentially gut-wrenching times, but I'd still say it's worth it on the whole in terms of being able to actually work through some stifling self-limitations. While it worked for me, I think that there may be a gentler path to the same point possible from working with the r/streamentry Beginner's Guide and The Mind Illuminated.

u/RandomIncel · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

Are all dating apps really that bad? I know there are a lot of scam web sites out that, but I know a few men who have successfully used dating apps. I know the odds are stacked against men on them, but they seem like they could work if you look okay and have a decent job. I am planning on trying some once I loss more weight and fix my appearance a bit.

You thoughts on PUA are largely the same as mine.

I am hesitant to suggest this, but I do like parts of the The Red Pill. They can be very misogynist and often have what I think is an exaggerated view of how things really are. I do like some of the self improvement aspect of the red pill.

Not sure how useful this would be, but I have been reading the Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller. It is not a dating or PUA book, but I feel like it has helped me understad why women act the way they do.

u/zsjok · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

inspired by but not the same.

Also Turchin expanded sdt but it was developed by Jack Goldstone

Basically he incorporated sdt into his analysis of historical societies and state breakdown and tested it with historical data.

The best book to start with Turchin in my opinion is this

Its a non math book which verbally lays out his theories and mainly focuses on historical empires but I think its necessary to fully understand Ages of Discord

Its easy to understand and absolutely profound, for me the most important book i have ever read

u/Gen_McMuster · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

High doses reccomendations were based on flawed research on people who weren't producing enough natural melatonin. That dosage will just blow out your natural production of the hormone.

An effective dose is measured in the Micrograms and is best taken about 5 hours before you want to go to sleep instead of right before bed. Scott even wrote a good summary of the state of research on it. Here's the dosage I use

u/whenihittheground · 8 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Oh you would probably enjoy this book:
The Secret of Our Success

Also fun fact: The US dropped the A-Bomb on Japan and thus thrust the world into the atomic age before Watson and Crick discovered what our own DNA looked like. @_@

u/FutilitarianAkrasia · 8 pointsr/slatestarcodex

An anthropology professor at Harvard, Joseph Heinrich,
wrote a book on this topic (and others) that I strongly recommend.

Henrich, Joseph (2016). The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species, and Making us Smarter. Princeton University Press

Here is an interview with Tyler Cowen about his book.

Most people say that the change was pushed by the catholic church during and especially after the fall of the roman West, so it can't have much to do with roman law.

This theory is actually pretty popular in hbd circles. Steve Sailer used in early aughts to explain why american state building efforts in Iraq were doomed to fail.

HBDchick blogged a lot about this.

u/Enginerd · 6 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Since nobody seems to have mentioned it already, I would recommend Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind. There's a lot in there, part II is most similar to this essay, he comes up with a theory of moral foundations, for which classical liberals essentially use 3 (care, fairness, liberty) and conservatives all 6. The "care/harm" foundation sounds a lot like empathy, "authority/subversion" sounds a lot like discipline.

u/atgabara · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

Got it, I'm assuming you're not in the US (otherwise:

One other thing you can try in the meantime is splitting the pills in half (or into four). Assuming they're not extended-release/time-release, splitting them physically in half should safely give you roughly half the dose (even if you split into four and the doses end up being 0.5mg/1mg/1.5mg/2mg due to inconsistent distribution, all doses should be safe/better than 5mg. But more likely it will be more like 1mg/1.3mg/1.3mg/1.4mg).

u/nickel2 · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> High-skilled 2nd-gen immigrants are indistinguishable from native blue tribers.

Sure... if you know New Haven and you see that comment about "sketchy crowds" you might guess she's prejudiced against more than "white trash."

>Okay, but at this point, what's the difference between your position and plain racism? Like, you're not demonstrating any evidence for this position (like the HBD folks do), you're not admitting other races are superior to whites (East Asians), you're just saying other ethnicities are probably evil when they aren't dumb. Or at least, that's what it sounds like to me.

I'm OK with being called racist. At this point it's clear to me that blue-tribers consider that to be the worst non-violent crime, worse than lying or cheating. Not so for me. A little prejudice is adaptive. That's why it's so common.

Of course they don't have (incontrovertible) evidence for their position, nobody's gonna get funding for that kind of thing these days (GWAS results will bring this whole argument crashing down in less than a decade). BTW I don't really read any of them besides Cochran-Harpending as those two are the only people of this time who actually know what they're talking about and are willing to write about it. Stephen Hsu too though he only writes esoterically and rarely gets into technical details on any topic. Emil Kirkegaard is decent too though not nearly as sharp or credentialed as Cochran. The co-authors of this essay are competent as well (from the GxE research I've seen by some of them) and clearly have some balls to throw out even the more haphazard hypotheses in public.

There are plenty of studies showing correlations between Euro ancestry (in Latin America, African-Americans, other places) and various life outcomes. There are studies showing it's not mediated by skin color so it's not because of colorism (independent assortment is a thing).

Not saying anything about superiority in any sense. I'm basically certain this is gonna be the Chinese century at this point (and am reading up to prepare for it). US upper middle-class may be too far gone. Economists tend to point toward the individualism-collectivism axis (1, 2) as a reason for the "Great Divergence," and these days Americans are all a bunch of conformist cowards while the Chinese are hungry as shit. I don't think of whites as the "master race." In fact, I think we've gone through 200 years straight of moderate dysgenics; not enough to explain the Asian-Euro IQ gap (and the Japanese went through their demographic transition a while ago but still score higher) so maybe we have an edge on some other factors, but it's going to be tough to stay competitive.

The idea that we should have a prior in favor of no difference is ridiculous. Only possible if you're heavily invested in social justice over truth normatively. It's been long enough with low gene flow and the differences in social structure all over the world (gene-culture coevolution) are manifest if you know any history.

For phenotypic evidence, see this behavioral econ study. The methodology is a little spare and the results not totally consistent but the fact that all the East Asian countries top one measure of dishonesty, including Japan, suggests to me it's not just a matter of comparative development. Or read this on the guilt-shame distinction. I don't know if that distinction carves reality at its joints and I don't know how you could end up selecting for honesty or "guilt," but it might be a thing. Or look at this on tax cheating. Self-reported ancestry is wonky (the type of person to identity with their English side and the type to identify with their Irish side are probably gonna be different), but maybe the Know Nothings had a point or two?

Also if you click through on that link next to "Big 5" in one of my earlier comments you'll find Nisbett notes that 2nd-generation immigrants converge some with NW Europeans on his novel personality measures but still differ noticeably. He still thinks the difference is environmental (I guess mediated by family), although I think he basically admitted the Ashkenazi-Euro gap was genetic at some point even though everything else is environmental which is kinda funny.

Or I can look at my own experience. The professors at my top 10 uni think the honor code is a joke. Don't think that was true back in the 50s. The math team at my high school got rocked by a massive cheating scandal too (why the hell would you cheat in an extracurricular of all things?). I know somebody who plagiarized an entire final project from alumni for a class in their major and is now going to a top 4 grad school in their discipline. I don't think they even know entirely why they're doing a PhD. Just "paid education."

In general my suspicion is that, in the iterated prisoner's dilemma that is life, NW Europeans tend toward playing C, while other groups tend to play D to varying degrees (more integrated immigrants are better but the gap will get smaller not disappear). You can fix that by just letting go of some freedoms (like honor codes), but it's a cost regardless.

As someone who tries to be an upstanding citizen and wants to raise my kids that way I would prefer for things to not shift toward a defect-heavy equilibrium. It might be hard to herd large masses of people with different preferences into one polity and still make things work.

I would think it would be smarter in the long run to stop pushing for the policies that are pissing people off than to try to suppress the response with moral haranguing. Tyler Cowen is a dilettante but it still might be worth it for you to read "The Complacent Class." The final passage is interesting and mostly references this book on the late Bronze Age collapse.

Pangloss wasn't right. All is not well with the world and Trump is not the worst of it. He is an epiphenomenon not a cause. The past half-century may have built the US and Europe into powder-kegs and the next 50 years are going to be far more interesting than the last. I don't have enough data yet but I have a bad feeling and I see rot.

u/SomeGuy58439 · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Recommended reading: Peter Turchin's War and Peace and War where he spends quite a bit of time discussing this idea originally from Ibn Khaldun.

I'd translate loosely as "socially cohesiveness" / "tribal loyalty".

u/streamentry · 16 pointsr/slatestarcodex

The Perilous State of the University: Jonathan Haidt/Jordan B Peterson
>I recently traveled to New York University to talk with Dr. Jonathan Haidt about, among other things, disgust, purity, fear and belief; the perilous state of the modern university; and his work with Heterodox Academy ( an organization designed to draw attention to the lack of diversity of political belief in the humanities and the social sciences. Dr. Haid is Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business and a social psychologist. He studies the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. He has been described as a top global thinker by both Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines. Dr. Haidt is the author of three books: The newest is The Coddling of the American Mind: How Bad Ideas and Good Intentions are Setting up a Generation for Failure ( The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion ( The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom ( His writings on diversity viewpoint for the Heterodox Academy are at (

u/jaghataikhan · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

I'm not done with it yet, and some of it may be outdated, but I'm rather liking Paul Fussell's Class:

u/saladatmilliways · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> This is rationalism?

Reading people who have object- and meta-level views you may disagree with? Yes. I wouldn't hesitate to read The Emerging Democratic Majority if I were interested in their methodology as opposed to just a couple of soundbites that I heard repeated elsewhere in the blogosphere when the book first came out.

u/habitable_planet · 4 pointsr/slatestarcodex

>At the National Policy Institute conference, the writer F. Roger Devlin gave a talk on why young Norwegian women in Groruddalen, outside Oslo, preferred dating Somali and Pakistani gang members to ethnic Norwegian boys-next-door. “The female instinct is to mate with socially dominant men,” he explained, “and it does not matter how such dominance is achieved.”

There is something surprising here though. The native Norwegians are wealthier than the Somali/Pakistani immigrants, and all else equal wealth is generally associated with social dominance. If you look at history, in basically every case the group that's wealthier is considered socially dominant over the less wealthy group, and women go for wealthy men. So what gives?

My theory: In this case, wealth is associated with high-speed Internet, which leads to porn overuse, which leads to social awkwardness. There have been anecdotes about this online for a long time, but research is finally starting to come out. This is why "women like bad boys" has just recently become such a meme: the average male in our generation is much worse with women than the average male of previous generations. That leads to r-selected mating behavior among women who are targeting the fraction of the male population that managed to survive the introduction of high-speed internet porn unscathed.

u/aeschenkarnos · 48 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Paul Fussell, "Class".

The specific styles of dress etc are somewhat out of date however the underlying principles of human class distinction (primarily, supervision and control vs self-determination) have remained current for the last few thousand years.

Here is a discussion I found that contains a lot of quotes from "Class", and also recommends another book, Michael Lind's "The Next American Nation".

u/hypnosifl · 0 pointsr/slatestarcodex

The Buddhist post of his I found memorable was this one, which was largely a summary of the book The Making of Buddhist Modernism by David McMahan. Does the meaningness guy add significant ideas of his own about "the orientation Buddhism has taken in North America" in other posts, or is it basically more publicizing of the thesis of McMahan's book?

u/adiabatic · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

They have an incentive to. It seems to be working.

Also, this passage, I'm told, got a standing ovation at the end of it:

> But now we are being tested again by a new wave of immigration larger than any in a century, far more diverse than any in our history. Each year, nearly a million people come legally to America. Today, nearly one in 10 people in America was born in another country; one in 5 schoolchildren are from immigrant families. Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within 5 years, there will be no majority race in our largest State, California. In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States.

u/Swag_Bro_420 · 6 pointsr/slatestarcodex

This book could be what you're looking for. It's more of a survey of IQ research in general, not HBD, but it does touch on racial differences.

u/SwiftOnSobriety · 46 pointsr/slatestarcodex

The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right is 288 pages and was published on Tuesday, so I'm guessing Kavanaugh is more "convenient foil" than "impetuous" for him leaving the right.

u/Rabitology · 14 pointsr/slatestarcodex

We're not in the end times; the Millennial generation is simply at the same age the Boomers were in the 1970's. The Boomers were horribly destructive at that age, and the Millenials are simply repeating the behavior of their parents. Eventually, people will get hate-fatigue and it will be Morning in America again.

u/booktaku · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Disclaimer: I don't know anything.

On Vietnam: really? From what I've gathered, I've thought up to now that American forces were pretty brutal at times - leading to accounts such as this

I'm taking this bait because you're making a very serious claim: that American failure in Vietnam (among other countries) was, I repeat, solely due to a lack of sufficient brutality by Western forces. That's somewhat testable, and I'd be interested to learn more.

u/wiking85 · 0 pointsr/slatestarcodex There was pretty horrific brutality, the equivalent of a Mai Lai massacre every week of the war. Millions of civilians were killed. In Vietnam the only potential 'game change' would have been invading the North and shutting down the NVA bases/recruitment centers. The reason that wasn't done was because of fears of fighting China again as was the case in Korea...which given their performance against Vietnam right after the Vietnam war (conflict over the Vietnamese invading Cambodia and toppling Pol Pot) shows that they were a paper tiger at the time. Still, given the rate of casualties was much higher for the US in the Korean war vs. Vietnam, I could see how the politicians were deathly afraid of fighting the Chinese again for political reasons (high body counts were not politically popular), especially just to secure Vietnam.