September 28th, 2018

(no subject)

In The Coddling of the American Mind, Lukianoff and Haidt, after arguing that not all students have identical interests, and therefore it shouldn't necessarily follow that a disproportionate representation of a particular group in a particular field can serve as evidence of bias against other groups, continue, almost in the same breath:

Note 37 refers to Chang, E. (2018). Brotopia: Breaking up the boys’ club of Silicon Valley. New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin.

I haven't read Chang. But. Isn't it possible that while discarding accusations of hostile and unsafe campus environment because they have first-hand experience of working at universities, the authors too easily accept that there is "toxic culture" in the Valley (which, judging by the social media, is left as fuck and virtue signalling like crazy)?

(no subject)

US politics, broadcast by the world media, is of course a show with the world audience.

And it makes me wonder: where would I fall on the spectrum? Which side would I support?

If I asked myself this question in 2010 or thereabouts, I am sure I would have chosen the Democrats.

Since then I have grown less sure.

The right repel me by the value they place on religion and traditions. On the other hand, as Jordan Peterson pointed out, they put an emphasis on the individuum, and individual rights, which I like (yes, I realize that it contradicts the nationalistic tendencies, which are also more pronounced on the right and which I don't much care for). It is telling that freedom of speech has now become mostly a right-wing issue.

The left call themselves progressives, but instead of scientific or technological progress (which I wholeheartedly support) seem to be more interested in social progress, or social justice (which interest me very little).

The "issues"? The right to abortion — absolutely. Gun control? Not sure; I see valid points on both sides of the argument. Legalization of marijuana? Sure. LGBT rights? Whatever; not interested. Immigration? If I had been among the immigrants, I would have probably supported it; but looking from afar, I can also sympathize with those who want to ward it off, and I am sad to hear that the Spanish-language Latino culture co-exists with the English-language culture instead of being absorbed and digested by it. Muslims? No please (this goes for Christians, observant Jews, etc. as well; but at least I feel some cultural affinity to Christianity). I am not excited about cultural diversity; Western cultural homogeneity is perfectly fine by me, thank you. Taxes? Don't know; haven't followed the discussion closely.

So I do not feel emotionally close to either of the two big parties (or, rather, I side with both depending on the issue). Libertarians, or "classical liberals", as Dave Rubin likes to call them, are interesting, as are anarchists, but they are largely absent from the political arena.