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Posts Tagged ‘K-strategy’

Utilitarianism Is A Repugnant Conclusion

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Utilitarianism forms the basis of our current society, which is that we do whatever achieves the greatest happiness for the greatest number as they judge it and report. This runs into collision with an ethical argument first put forth in 1984 by Derek Parfit which became (deservedly) known as the repugnant conclusion.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains the failure of utilitarianism in terms of population:

In Derek Parfit’s original formulation the Repugnant Conclusion is stated as follows: “For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better even though its members have lives that are barely worth living” (Parfit 1984). The Repugnant Conclusion highlights a problem in an area of ethics which has become known as population ethics. The last three decades have witnessed an increasing philosophical interest in questions such as “Is it possible to make the world a better place by creating additional happy people?” and “Is there a moral obligation to have children?”

We might view population as the metaphor, and the real question as, “which is better, excellence for a few or mediocrity for many?” In other words, are we aiming for quality or quantity, and if so, are we willing to sacrifice quantity for quality. The idea of utilitarianism is itself entirely quantitative, so we can see where this leads for the utilitarian idea

Parfit’s first and fatal error in attacking this question was to go full-metal Jeremy Bentham. In the proud tradition of scientific socialism, Bentham attempts to put a value metric on happiness. Parfit compounds this wrong further by partaking of the math-nerd version of Spirit Cooking. He uses the Benthamic concept of measuring happiness at the highest population number where H >= 0 for the individual person.

It gets to his choice of ethical systems. Parfit executes a moral decision-making model by using utilitarian ethics: do the greatest good for the greatest number and you will be less wrong. This misses the point entirely. No matter how sophisticated you make it, no matter how many silver-dollar words you describe it with, utilitarian ethics define morality on a basis of what makes the individual person “happy.” Therein lies the rub.

What makes an individual happy depends heavily on what sort individual you’re talking about. In world full of individuals like Trick Daddy, this reduces the epitome of morality to what fills a man’s stomach and stimulates his sex organs.

When I approach this problem, I’m thinking deontologically. As Omar put in on an episode of The Wire, “A man’s gotta have a code.” Rather than cribbing Jeremy Bentham, I would use Isaac Asimov’s methodology instead. Getting the toolbox out and tinkering with Psychohistory from The Foundation series, I came up with a different standard by which we can optimize human population.

Asimov worked as a chemist before his sci-fi blew up and he could earn a living writing articles for Playboy instead. A lynchpin concept in the study of physical chemistry involves a mathematical application of probability theory called statistical mechanics. Statistical mechanics estimates physical (or chemical) behaviors of a substance based upon a distribution of characteristics of individual molecules, atoms or particles contained in the substance. Asimov modified this intellectual framework to plant the theoretical axiom that a historian could start predicting the future history of a civilization based upon characteristics of that entity’s human population.

This leads me not to work towards an optimal population size at all. You don’t reproduce to fill up a cubicle farm. You also don’t cut people off of God’s psychopathic rugby football club just because you run out of jumpers. It’s not the size of the population in question that determines the good. It is the quality. Are these people intelligent? Are they industrious? Do they love their God and love their neighbor? Do they produce or do they mooch? Do they contribute or do they steal? Are they shiny, happy people? Who gives a rat’s rear-end unless they can honestly provide the correct answers to the first five questions?

So how many people do I order the good people to go forth and breed? He doesn’t. The correct question involves how good of a job can you do at g-loading them for war against powers and principalities and then how effectively and diligently are you working at optimizing that potential. Half of being good at mathematics is to know when to stop estimating based on knowledge you cannot yet possess. Sometimes Old-Fashioned Kentucky Windage gets you closer to hitting the target than obsessing over dialing that sight on your weapon with a nail.

So let’s talk reproductive strategy, not numbers. You’ve got two choices: r-strategy or K-strategy. So if you want to flood the zone, and hope that one or two them don’t wind up as casualties, you, like the rabbit or salmonella, choose r-strategy:

Those organisms described as r-strategists typically live in unstable, unpredictable environments. Here the ability to reproduce rapidly (exponentially) is important. Such organisms have high fecundity (glossary) and relatively little investment in any one progeny individual, they are typically weak and subject to predation and the vicissitudes of their environment. The “strategic intent” is to flood the habitat with progeny so that, regardless of predation or mortality, at least some of the progeny will survive to reproduce.

If you want your children to run with the big dogs and not once have to back down from life’s pissed-off grizzly… then breed fewer, breed better, breed K-strategy:

K-strategists, on the other hand occupy more stable environments. They are larger in size and have longer life expectancies. They are stronger or are better protected and generally are more energy efficient. They produce, during their life spans, fewer progeny, but place a greater investment in each. Their reproductive strategy is to grow slowly, live close to the carrying capacity of their habitat and produce a few progeny each with a high probability of survival.

Thus the repugnant conclusion ultimately pollutes the environment rather than solving the problem of how best to populate it. Earth’s K is not purely a function of how many? Ask “How abusive?”, “How needy?”, “How resilient?” and “How anti-fragile?” Essentially, reproduction should be informed more by the Deep Ecology of Arne Naess and not the shallow, mathematically sloppy socialism of Jeremy Bentham. That to me is a conclusion that is far less likely to make the man of intelligence and honor toss his cookies.

r-Strategy Living Arises From Society Assuming Responsibility For Individuals

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

We have been writing about K and r strategies and their influence on politics for many years now, but recently, thanks mostly to The Anonymous Conservative blog, this idea has gained momentum.

Over at VDARE, Lance Welton attempts to deconstruct European pathological altruism using K/r strategy theory:

Race differences in ethnocentrism are almost certainly (partly) a matter of historical evolution to a different kind of environment.

…We all sit somewhere on this spectrum, relatively closer to r or K, and this is true of nations and races. In a highly unstable but plentiful environment, such as pathogen-rich Africa, more people adopt an r-strategy. They must live fast because they will die young and unpredictably. As such, they are evolved to invest their resources in sex and have as much sex with as many people as possible. They create weak social bonds, only develop small and unstable social groups, and are highly aggressive and impulsive. All of this is designed to be able to deal with sudden, violent problems.

As the environment becomes more stable, it reaches its carrying capacity for the species. This makes it harsher and more competitive. This results in a move towards a K-strategy. You live slowly because you can better predict the future, making investments in it worthwhile.

While undoubtedly there is a genetic basis for populations choosing an r-strategy, another possibility comes to mind: the nature of civilization itself converts groups from K-strategy to r-strategy by adopting a policy of universal exclusion, thus subsidizing those who would not naturally be welcome that society.

The primary challenge to civilization comes from externalization. This takes two forms; first, the habit of people to pass along the costs of their activity to the group, in the form of socialized cost; and second, the tendency of individuals to externalize their thinking process to ideology, economics, rules, laws, popular social notions and bureaucracy.

When a civilization decides to assume responsibility for subsidizing those who are not naturally included, it shifts from rewarding a K-strategy to encouraging an r-strategy. No longer does it matter whether or not you get anything right; what matters is that you get along with others, which means deference to whatever the herd is fascinated by or fears at that moment.

Equality is the forerunner of this mindset. Equality correlates to the demands of a rogue cell in a body. This cell wants to be able to act against the interests of the body as a whole organic entity, but still be able to participate in the wealth and power of that body. Individualists form groups, known as collectivists, who demand equality for all.

At the heart of the problem is socialization itself. When people make decisions socially, they are thinking in an r-strategy mindset instead of being focused on reality, purpose and meaning, which are K-strategy decisions. For this reason, civilizations die because they become individualistic, and through doing that, remove their K-strategy focus and revert to third world social order.

The cause of rising inequality is liberalism

Friday, May 8th, 2015

american_women_ad_1973

The left operates like a bad codependent relationship, constantly generating new crusades to keep its membership base together. Like a fish without active gills, it must keep moving forward in order to stay afloat.

Of the most recent crusades, the most interesting is the War on Inequality. It has not yet begun, but is waiting in the wings especially in the USA were an out-of-the-closet socialist, Bernie Sanders, is running for President. Right now, we have the early stages of the war, which is the victimhood narrative requirement of mourning and self-questioning over “rising inequality.”

Assuming that we take these figures at face value — and we should not, since the liberal method is to choose anecdotal examples, cherry-pick data to avoid contrary viewpoints, and then declare broad conclusions from a tiny sample size — America is becoming a place where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

More interestingly, the middle class appears to be eroding.

gini_coefficient_united_states_1913_to_2009

Many will point out that, since liberals are the party of egalitarianism and conservatives the party of results, the two will differ. Indeed, both care about inequality, but conservatives see it as a Darwinistic method while liberals see it as The Enemy, as this article discusses:

Inequality is the major theme of the American political debate because inequality is the major theme of the policy debate between the two major parties. The conservative economic agenda at the federal level is built around reducing the portions of the tax code that fall most heavily on the rich and spending that flows most heavily to the poor, and at the state level, to shift the financing structure of government onto the most regressive tax base. The liberal agenda has pushed in the opposite direction.

It is true that liberals talk explicitly about inequality much more than conservatives do. But to conclude that inequality is simply an issue that liberals care about far more than conservatives do (like greenhouse gas emissions, say) is mistaken. The agenda of both American parties is centered on firm beliefs about inequality. The main difference is that Democrats are more prone to frame their inequality-reducing policies as such, while Republicans (understandably) prefer not to frame their inequality-increasing policies in those terms.

Ignoring the obvious fallacy — that allowing a natural process to occur by not instituting “progressive” taxation is not increasing inequality but revealing its actuality — the summation is roughly correct. Liberals want wealth transfer to create equality, conservatives do not.

As said earlier in the article:

In 1972, the neoconservative intellectual Irving Kristol defended existing income inequality on the ground that it simply reflected the natural distribution of human ability. “Human talents and abilities, as measured, do tend to distribute themselves along a bell-shaped curve, with most people clustered around the middle, and with much smaller percentages at the lower and higher ends …” he argued. “This explains one of the most extraordinary (and little-noticed) features of 20th-century societies: how relatively invulnerable the distribution of income is to the efforts of politicians and ideologues to manipulate it. In all the Western nations — the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Germany — despite the varieties of social and economic policies of their governments, the distribution of income is strikingly similar.” This was a comforting story for the right. The level of inequality in the United States happened to be a perfectly optimal reflection of the talent of the populace.

In other words, because our media no longer uses complex terms, Social Darwinism: the idea that income should reflect ability and the best should rise, and that others will do better — a broad tide will raise all boats — if power, wealth and culture are in the hands of the more competent. This idea offends liberals to their core because it points out the contradiction in egalitarianism, which is that there will always be disparate results because there are differing abilities, and thus that attempts to create “equality” amount to parasitism on the more competent in order to subsidize the less, in reversal of evolution itself.

Now that we see where the different sides stand, let us look at the two questions before us, namely whether inequality is rising and whether the middle class is disappearing. As with all writings on this site, I will use a combination of pure logic and unfiltered history. Pure logic means that we analyze a situation by its causes and effects alone, using what we know of logic to point out where some preclude others. Unfiltered history means that we remove the politicized conclusions from the events of the past and look at what actions caused what results. The two, pure logic and unfiltered history, work in parallel because they use essentially the same method, which is the scientific method outside of the linearizing analysis of a laboratory which looks at a single factor of thousands and invents reasons why it should ignore the rest of that context, thus rendering itself fallacious for social, political and cultural discussions.

To an observer a thousand years from now, it will be clear that “rising inequality” is a case of focusing on a detail and missing the background. What has happened in the United States is not that inequality has risen, but that the population has changed in two ways. First, it has shifted from majority Western European (“WASP” in the vernacular) toward majority third world and fringe European under liberal immigration policy, and second, it has been altered by liberal social policy, which has changed focus from a K-strategy focused on strong families to an r-strategy focused on third-world style mass subsidy and absence of stable family, religion and culture.

Since the end of the second World War, which completed the arc of European wars beginning with the French Revolution and ensuing Napoleonic wars, the West has turned down an increasingly liberal path. Unlike previous liberal incarnations however, its liberalism has been of an economic rather than ideological nature, meaning that it follows a financial guideline instead of a purely moral one. Thus unlike the Soviets it does not dive into pure socialism, but funds socialism through capitalism, and unlike the French it does not regulate social mores directly, but relies on the free market media industry to make conservative notions taboo. This is probably what Francis Fukuyama called “the end of history” simply because it is the most effective form of authoritarianism ever created.

During the French Revolution, one of the cries of the Revolutionaries was for “internationalism,” or the idea that all workers worldwide were in solidarity by social class and not national origin, so national boundaries should be abolished. This idea lives on as multiculturalism, diversity and other synonyms for what is essentially racial pluralism. It appeals because it tears down social standards, and for no other reason. Revolutionaries always destroy social standards because their goal is to replace multi-tiered hierarchy with a giant mob following ideology and a strong leader to keep that mob pointed in the right path. There is no other term for what they do than “breakdown,” and liberals spend most of their time denying that (for the purposes of this article, “liberal” and “leftist” mean the same thing, just as Communist and Socialist are differences of degree not different philosophies — a Communist is merely a Socialist who recognizes that in order for People’s Utopia to come about, it must have strong authoritarian power).

In the United States, starting with the Hart-Cellar act in 1965, immigration has shifted toward third world populations. These are different from first-world populations not in “skin color,” as the popular media alleges, but culture and biological abilities. If the third world could have produced what the first world did, it would have done so, and colonized the first world instead. This is pure logic: every species struggles for supremacy, and every population aims to be as powerful as possible, with those who cannot do so being ground down under their wheels, part of the process we call “evolution” or “Darwinism.” There was no lack of trying in the third world to reach military supremacy, as the Mongol invasions and Muslim raids that provoked the Crusades show us. The West achieved stability of society and higher average IQs and beat them out, despite being severely threatened by them, especially by the Mongol raids which may have several centuries later provoked colonialism as a means of avoiding a repeat of those brutal years.

The people coming into the United States now are almost all already of mixed-race as most third-world populations are, and generally of lower IQ. Not surprisingly, IQs in the West have dropped 14 points in the last century. Those figures do not tell us when IQs fell, but a logical inference is that recent immigration has something to do with it. That alone explains inequality, which is that if you take a thriving first-world population and import a third-world population which lacks the ability to achieve what that first world population did, the third-world population will remain poor and thus statistically inequality will rise. Factor into that cultures based on endurance of dysfunction rather than fixing it, and you see a society where only a few will have any wealth but they will have many customers for whom what they do is witchcraft or magic.

Leaving that aside, as it is politically taboo to mention, it is worth mentioning what has happened since 1965 under liberal social programs. Casual sex has become the norm; stable families the rarity. This means that people are more neurotic, less able to commit and less likely to be stable themselves. In other words: they are more dysfunctional (or “less functional”). This also explains inequality. Add to this the rising tax burden to support Great Society and New Deal programs which like zombies rise from the dead because it is seen as gauche, ignorant and uncultured to vote against them, and we can see where the situation has broadened. Even worse is what we have done to education, which is taking it from “competitive” to “participative,” such that any degree except a graduate or professional school degree is officially worthless. To have a $70k job now the average person must be extraordinarily lucky, or put down $200k for schooling through age 27.

Let us also mention rising costs. As social disorder increases, the comfortable middle class subdivisions of the past vanish. Instead, one must buy into a gated community. In the past, people could simply buy homes; now they must buy luxury homes to escape the roiling violence of the permanent social underclasses. In the past, grocery store food was safe and local; now you must go to Whole Foods to get eggs that taste like eggs or bread with fewer than 1500 ingredients. Water was once safe, but now it is Mexico City water, so you must buy filters. Living as a normal human being has become more expensive than middle class salaries can afford, which explains the second question being asked here, which is whether “rising inequality” is a cover story for elimination of the middle class by dysfunctional liberal programs.

I rest my case. The distinction remains obvious: we are engaged in a war of narratives. The left argues we are victims of some external force, whether the shadowy the RichTM or favorite scapegoats like The Jews or The Racists, but on the right, we see the problem as degeneration or the breakdown of our culture, people and individual abilities. This is the real inequality occurring: we are converting the West into another third-world remnant of a once-great civilization, and therefore, the few competent and realistic people are becoming radically wealthy, along with the corrupt of course. The rest are just trying to hang on and are being eliminated by replacement DNA and lifestyles which reward idiotic obedience in order to afford escape from the rising third-world society within our society, which will eliminate them, leaving a vast horde of low-IQ people ruled by a handful of smart plutocrats, as is the case in almost every third-world society. Eventually, the herd will rise up and eliminate even those, leaving only a vast equal mass of mid-80s average IQ and no prospects beyond living in filth, corruption and dysfunction.

Are you third world or first world, in bed?

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Quantity and quality are opposites when it comes to making choices. You can either choose to have a whole lot of something, or a smaller amount but with greater depth, resilience, durability, precision and intelligence. This metaphor extends even to our biological imperative to reproduce.

In humans, this manifests in two different reproductive strategies, or approaches to having children. One can either have a bunch of kids and invest a small amount in each, or have fewer children and devote more time and energy to raising each one. This leads to a split in sexual and reproductive behavior, as described in New Scientist:

She found that men who were judged to be more “masculine” and women who were considered more “attractive”, were likely to be seen as more inclined towards casual sex – and to actually be so (Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 29, p 211).

…It also raises the more fundamental question of why individuals have such widely varying attitudes to sex in the first place. The answer is not simply that beautiful people have more opportunity.

…They found that certain attitudes and behaviours co-vary – people who tend to have more sexual partners are also likely to engage in sex at an earlier point in a relationship, are more likely to have more than one sexual partner at a time, and tend to be involved in relationships characterised by less investment, commitment, love and dependency.

The same split in behavior seen in sexual activity extends to reproductive activity itself. Those who are less promiscuous also tend to be more committed to high investment per offspring, which causes them to spend more energy on partner choice and investment of social capital, or learning from the parents about life, into the offspring, as LRA recounts:

Most recently, an “environmental” r-K theory has been espoused (see Figure 4). Belsky, Steinberg, and Draper (1991, p. 647) succinctly described two diverging pathways: One is characterized, in childhood, by a stressful rearing environment and the development of insecure attachments to parents and subsequent behavior problems; in adolescence, by early pubertal development and precocious sexuality; and in adulthood, by unstable pair bonds and limited investment in child rearing; the other is characterized by a stable and secure childhood and longer lasting marital bonds in adulthood.

  • r strategy: breed chaotically, frequently, and invest little in offspring;
  • K strategy: breed deliberately, with partners for life, and invest a lot in the offspring.

Sluts are innately r strategists, e.g. nonstrategists. Breed like an r, end up producing dumb, narcissistic, reckless children — a path to the third world.

Traditional values (home in first world nations!) emphasize not only K strategies, but finding a transcendent reason to see and amplify beauty in it. We call that love. As it turns out, nature sees it as the path to quality over quantity as well.

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