Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


Quod Libet: Why recessions happen. AKA The Austrian theory of the business cycles, made easy. It really should be obvious. All those math-geek economists should be flogged.

hbdchick: Why Europe? She quotes a wonderful book on how in Europe, the Church declared war on clannishness and won, in China the Buddhist monasteries declared war... and lost to Confucian clans.

Andor Jakab: Made famous by his Why I don't give you a job, do yourself a favor and read his whole blog. Hungary is quickly devolving into Third World status it seems. I should be cheering for Hungary's new dictator, but Moldbug is right: populism is as ugly as democracy. Its the same thing really.

Zhainan was very kind and posted a short post on how atheism is unsound. I'm not sold in that mysticism is onto something but I'm open to the idea.

Roosh on Scandinavian collectivism. Roosh is a fine man who is doing a lot of evil; but he knows it, and I always enjoy reading his conflicted writing. And I can't help feeling a tiny bit of schadenfraude when seeing him fail, trying to do what some part of all of us really wants to do.

No-sword on Japanese pronouns. Japanese basically has no pronouns, but a set of words which are used to refer to oneself or others depending on the hierarchy of the moment. So much for language universals and HNU.

The Social patologist: Americans are overworked. Damn right they are.

On the same topic, I dug up a link at Zhainan's to a pretty insightful blog, 6 Heretics way. This quote struck on this post struck me:

Already, the 40 hour workweek is a myth.

People in salaried jobs commonly put in 12-16 hours a day.

A monthly salary is a blank check for an employer: the employee ends up working as many hours as they possibly can. The employer then gets to hire less people.

Furthermore, no one creating a job wants to have their best worker work only 30 hours in order to share time with someone less competent. Equal distributions of jobs or hours can’t work in an unequal marketplace.

What really happens then is that only the most desirable people end up with real work to do while most of the rest of the population is underemployed or idle. The elite employers and employed won’t support an unskilled, unneeded, disruptive underclass forever.

Indeed, this statement rings very true to me. I think we could still fix our workforce by drilling them into proper behaviour, but computing is making large swathes of the Bell Curve useless, besides domestic service. But who wants servants with so many cool appliances around?


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  • Japanese basically has no pronouns, but a set of words which are used to refer to oneself or others depending on the hierarchy of the moment. So much for language universals and HNU.

    Actually, such differences between languages constitute, if anything, evidence in favor of HNU. Japanese kids raised in English speaking countries grow into perfectly good native English speakers, demonstrating that such vast linguistic differences are due to environment after all. Generally, to my knowledge, there aren't any documented cases where kids from one ethnic group would be incapable of picking up the language of another with full grammatical accuracy. Whatever neurological differences might exist between human populations, evidently they don't affect the parts of the brain dedicated to language processing.

    As for language universals, I don't think anyone has ever argued that the Indo-European pronoun system is among them.

    • Point taken. I do have heard the argument though. The Japanese pronoun system is pretty unique after all.

      Also do Papuan kids raised in English achieve 'full grammatical accuracy'? I wonder.

      • I don't remember ever reading an account of kids adopted by a remote ethnic group who would make foreign-sounding grammatical errors even though they were raised as native speakers. (And consider that humans perceive even very subtle grammatical oddities as strikingly alien -- one wonders about the evolutionary reasons why this perception is so well-honed.)

        I don't think this has been checked for every combination of ethnic groups and languages, although I'm sure that for English, test-cases could be found for nearly all ethnic groups above a certain modest size. Of course, there's always the possibility that some small and remote group might be exceptional, but it does look like the grammar-processing hardware has been unchanging in humans for a very long time.

  • Chomsky's theories got a free pass to celebrity status due to political maneuvering, not due to the linguistic quality of the theories. I'm too tired to rant about Chomsky today, that will have to wait for another time.

    As for the atheism versus mysticism thing, by all means, post more. I'd like to hear about your approach. Aretae describes himself as a mathematically trained atheist; Xamuel is a math guy, but I don't think he's particularly atheistic. If I knew your educational background I might have an easier time persuading you.

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