Against Murderism | Slate Star Codex

Source: Against Murderism | Slate Star Codex

An exploration of three possible definitions of “racism”.

As usual, the answer is that “racism” is a confusing word that serves as a mishmash of unlike concepts. Here are some of the definitions people use for racism:

1. Definition By Motives: An irrational feeling of hatred toward some race that causes someone to want to hurt or discriminate against them.

2. Definition By Belief: A belief that some race has negative qualities or is inferior, especially if this is innate/genetic.

3. Definition By Consequences: Anything whose consequence is harm to minorities or promotion of white supremacy, regardless of whether or not this is intentional.

Part of the problem we have in society is that we can only directly observe the third, and we’re not always very careful about correlation and causation.

For example:

Consider some business, let’s say a daycare center, that we know discriminates against black job-seekers. If we ask them why, they say “Because black people are criminal”. This sounds like just about the most typical and obvious example of racism possible.

But there’s actually a lot of really good scholarship on this exact situation, and it helps provide a different perspective. It starts like this – a while ago, criminal justice reformers realized that mass incarceration was hurting minorities’ ability to get jobs. 4% of white men will spend time in prison, compared to more like 16% of Hispanic men and 28% of black men. Many employers demanded to know whether a potential applicant had a criminal history, then refused to consider them if they did. So (thought the reformers) it should be possible to help minorities have equal opportunities by banning employers from asking about past criminal history.

The actual effect was the opposite – the ban “decreased probability of being employed by 5.1% for young, low-skilled black men, and 2.9% for young, low-skilled Hispanic men.”

In retrospect, this makes sense. Daycare companies really want to avoid hiring formerly-imprisoned criminals to take care of the kids. If they can ask whether a certain employee is criminal, this solves their problem. If not, they’re left to guess. And if they’ve got two otherwise equally qualified employees, and one is black and the other’s white, and they know that 28% of black men have been in prison compared to 4% of white men, they’ll shrug and choose the white guy.

Is this racist? Is this “statistical discrimination”? Describe it with whatever word you want. The point is that they have understandable motives (don’t hire criminals to take care of the kids), accurate beliefs, and in their shoes you might do the same. More important, once you give them the tools they need to solve their problems without racial discrimination – you let them see applicants’ criminal histories – they have no further desire to discriminate and your problem is solved.

If you tried to solve this by sending these people to sensitivity training, you would fail. IF you tried to solve this by firing these people, then the people who replaced them would have the same incentives, and you would fail again. If you try to solve it by realizing that racial animus has no role at all in this scenario, and daycare owners just want to do what’s best for their kids, then you can provide them with the tools they need to do that, and solve the racial discrimination at the same time.

One problem with attributing consequential and incentive-driven behavior to racist motives is that it’s a very good way to alienate people who might otherwise be sympathetic to your cause. If I have to choose between being called a racist or incurring serious harm because I wanted to demonstrate my virtue, I may well choose being called a name. And once I’m being called a racist, I have no real incentive not to adopt the whole package.

For example, and this is important, I’m seeing the term “alt-right” used the way people use “fascist” — a label meaning “someone I disagree with”. But the people I’ve seen stepping up as spokescritters for the alt-right actually are racist. If people are being saddled with the label because of a failure to toe the leftist party line, there’s a chance they will decide they might as well adopt the alt-right platform, racism and all.

To be clear – I am not saying that racism doesn’t exist, I’m not saying that we should ignore racism, I’m not saying that minorities should never be able to complain about racism. I’m saying that it’s very dangerous to treat “racism” as a causal explanation, that it might not tell you anything useful about the world, and that’s a crappy lever to use if you want to change behavior.

And I’m not saying that it’s not useful to think of some of these things as places where there’s an opportunity for racial change. If a daycare owner is really interested in redressing racial inequality, they can hire minorities even if it’s against their incentives and self-interest (although it’s unclear why the owner should prefer that opportunity to other opportunities, like donating some of their profits to the NAACP.)

And I’m not saying that there will never be a case that’s impossible to break down into non-racist motives. Heck, I’m not even saying there aren’t some honest-to-goodness murderists out there. But I am saying we should at least try. Not because it’s necessarily costless. Not because there isn’t a risk of false negatives.

We should try because it’s the only alternative to having another civil war.

 

 

Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam

Source: Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam

Well, first of all, did they?

The veteran journalist Wes Vernon wrote about Grant’s research in this area, in an article entitled, “The Marxist Roots of the Global Warming Scare.”

The big event, as Grant called it, was a Moscow conference in January, 1990. As Time magazine described it, “At a meeting of the Global Forum in Moscow in 1990, when he was still Soviet President, Gorbachev proposed an organization roughly analogous to the International Red Cross to contend with environmental problems that cross national boundaries.” Among the guests and speakers was then-U.S. senator and future vice president Al Gore.

Talk about “collusion” with the Russians! Where was the FBI investigation?

The collusion took place through the Global Forum and various United Nations conferences, including the Earth Summit of 1992, giving rise to the concept of “sustainable development,” another way to describe socialism.

Grant wrote, “Protection of the environment may be used as a pretext to adopt a series of measures designed to undermine the industrial base of developed nations. It may also serve to introduce malaise by lowering their standard of living and implanting communist values.”

Grant predicted how this campaign would proceed, using “nightmarish” pictures of floods, scorched earth, disease and death, unless drastic action was taken at the international level to curb industrial activity in the capitalist West.

She said the campaign would be driven by Moscow’s sympathizers or dupes in “science,” academia, “and the slavishly obedient Establishment media,” all for the purpose of forcing the United States and other Western countries “to accept measures and regulations harmful to the Western world.”

In short, for communism to succeed, capitalism would have to be portrayed as based on exploitation—but not of man, as the old Marxist theory held. Rather, capitalism was now exploiting the earth! The whole purpose of this dogma has been to inhibit global capitalism, the only system that has proven capable of meeting the growing needs of expanding populations. But this time the claim was that human economic progress threatened the environment because of the capitalist model on which it was based.

Says who?

Don’t take my word for it. When Natalie Grant Wraga died in 2002 at the age of 101, The Washington Post recognized her expertise as a Soviet expert, noting that she was “born in czarist Russia, saw great upheaval in her native land and became an expert in unmasking Soviet deception methods for the State Department…”

But the Post would not admit that fact in today’s political climate.

The liberal Economist magazine wrote, “She was perhaps the only person alive in the West who could claim such an intimate knowledge of Russian political thinking, from tsarist times to the collapse of the Soviet Union.” She commented, “Many people are studying the past, but very few are studying the present. Keep your eyes open and your ears open.”

Minimum Wage Laws are Destroying Jobs — Just as Predicted – Larry Elder

Source: Minimum Wage Laws are Destroying Jobs — Just as Predicted – Larry Elder

In the ’60s my parents opened a small diner near downtown Los Angeles. As a child, I watched my parents sitting at the kitchen table, discussing their plans for what they considered a huge expansion of the business — hiring a dishwasher. But my parents kept putting off the decision, in large part because of a proposed minimum-wage hike. This would’ve made the additional employee, as I recall my parents concluding, “too expensive.”

This brings us to the impact of recent minimum wage hikes in California. The owner of a small restaurant told me that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti invited several small business owners to city hall to discuss the impact of a proposed minimum wage hike. Several brought profit-and-loss statements. Each business person, the small restaurant owner said, tried to convince the Democratic mayor that their profit margins were too small to take the wage hike without laying people off, cutting hours or raising prices, which usually means a falloff in business.

At the end of the meeting the mayor simply said, “I feel confident that you can absorb the cost.”

A new study by two researchers, one with Mathematica Policy Research and the other with Harvard Business School, focused on “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay area.” The researchers concluded that “a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit.” They wrote: “The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage.” So the most vulnerable restaurants — the more “affordable” ones — appear to be the most hurt by a minimum wage hike.

In January, the East Bay Times reported that 60 restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area had shuttered their doors since September. Even the mighty have fallen. The Fresno Bee recently wrote: “Joining San Francisco’s restaurant die-off was rising star AQ, which in 2012 was named a James Beard Award finalist for the best new restaurant in America. The restaurant’s profit margins went from a reported 8.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent by 2015. Most restaurants are thought to require margins of 3 and 5 percent.”

In San Diego, voters approved an $11.50 per hour minimum wage for 2017, up from an $8 minimum wage in June 2014. This is an increase of 44 percent — in just two and a half years! The San Diego Union Tribune recently reported: “Evidence has emerged of an economic dark side to San Diego’s decision last year to vault over the state minimum wage — it may have already destroyed thousands of jobs for low-wage workers even as higher pay helps tens of thousands of others.

“Consider the restaurant industry, for example, which economists study because it relies on low-wage workers, yet generally faces no foreign or out-of-state competition. Amid an abrupt slowdown in growth, nearly 4,000 food-service jobs may have been cut or not created throughout San Diego County from the beginning of 2016 through February of this year.”

The now-defunct organization called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now came to California years ago to gather signatures on a petition for a ballot measure to increase minimum wage. Incredibly, ACORN sued the state to exempt itself from the then-current minimum wage and overtime laws. In its filings, ACORN said, “The more ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker — either because of minimum wage or overtime requirements — the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.” Can’t make this stuff up.

When George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, left the Senate, he bought the Stratford Inn, a small Connecticut inn and restaurant. It went bust and he blamed, in part, the very kind regulations he passed as a politician devoid of business experience. “I wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee,” said McGovern. “… I learned by owning the Stratford Inn is that legislators and government regulators must more carefully consider the economic and management burdens we have been imposing on U.S. businesses. … Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can’t pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.”

As for the mayor of Los Angeles, it should be noted that he worked on a Ph.D.at the London School of Economics. But at this famed institute, Garcetti did not study economics. He studied “ethnicity and nationalism.”

Makes sense.

Spare Me The Principles Lecture – Kurt Schlichter

Source: Spare Me The Principles Lecture – Kurt Schlichter

I think it was mildly amusing that some loud right-wingers spent a minute disrupting a bunch of New York liberals’ conservative murder porn party.

….

Now, there is a coherent and reasonable argument that hitting back liberals with a taste of their own medicine – that is, inflicting upon them a microscopic fraction of what they have spent decades inflicting upon us – is a bad idea. People I respect and who are friends adhere to this view. I’ve listened to their opinions – because they have earned my attention – and they are wrong.

From the comments:

It is often true that the worse the evil side behaves, the worse the good side must behave to be able to defeat the evil.

How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne | The Art of Manliness

Source: How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne | The Art of Manliness

Further Reading and Resources on Situational Awareness

Podcast: Situation Awareness With Patrick Van Horne: We talked with Patrick Van Horne about how situational awareness skills can be used beyond the battlefield.

Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. Patrick has spent his career researching and teaching situational awareness to Marines through the Marine Combat Profiling system that he helped create. This book, coupled with the articles at his site cp-journal.com and a personal interview with him went a long way in helping answer my questions.

www.cp-journal.com. This is Patrick’s company website. He has tons of free content that provides insanely useful information on developing your situational awareness. If you’re looking for something more structured, he also offers online courses.

“Toward a Theory of Situation Awareness” by Dr. Mica Endsley. Dr. Mica Endsley is the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Air Force. While Dr. Endsley’s paper is pretty technical, she does a fantastic job explaining the minutia and nuances of situational awareness that helped clarify a few things for me. I highly recommend you check it out.

Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making by Gary Klein

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

What is $15 minimum wage doing to Bay Area restaurants? | The Fresno Bee

Source: What is $15 minimum wage doing to Bay Area restaurants? | The Fresno Bee

The result of one early experiment in a citywide $15 minimum wage is an ominous sign for the state’s poorer inland counties as the statewide wage floor creeps toward the mark.

Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.

As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.

A recent study by Michael Luca at Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca at Mathematica Policy Research found that every $1 hike in the minimum wage brings a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a 3.5-star restaurant on Yelp! closing.

Another telltale is San Diego, where voters approved increasing the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour from $10.50, this after the minimum wage was increased from $8 an hour in 2015 – meaning hourly costs have risen 43 percent in two years.

The cost increases have pushed San Diego restaurants to the brink, Stephen Zolezzi, president of the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, told the San Diego Business Journal. Watch for the next mass die-off there.