Exceptional Immigrants and Paul Graham

Apparently this blog still has an audience for short posts, so I’ll put my two cents on a recent controversy which has been lacking common sense.

A lot of ink has been spilled about Paul Graham’s essay where he begs for increased immigration into the US. His argument is that Silicon Valley need more geniuses, so please give us 1 million more Indians a year. Or something.

Now Graham is a good writer, and tends to make sense, but he doesn’t make any here. You can read Sonic Harm’s slightly incoherent rant to get a measure of how pissed people are.

The thing is, there is no need to refute Graham’s argument. Graham’s knows he’s made an unfalsifiable point, so there’s no point asking for data to rebuke his point. Graham says that Silicon Valley runs on geniuses, and these are evenly distributed around the earth. You disagree? Racist! You don’t think Silicon Valley runs on geniuses? Ignorant! You disagree with both? Ignorant Racist. QED.

There’s a much better way to answer his point. Doesn’t he represent the engineers? The get-things-done crowd? The people who actually make things unlike the evil politicians? Well, why don’t you make an actual proposal for a new immigration policy?

It isn’t that hard. We had a discussion among the Elders and it came up pretty quick: make a new immigrant visa for genius programmers, only available for people who are to be paid 200k+ per year. I say ramp it up; if these guys are so good, make it 500k+. Graham and his guys will make sure that only the real geniuses get through the interviews, and if they’re that good, surely 500k isn’t too much. The future of the nation depends on them, right? Then pay.

Why didn’t Graham propose this? Because he’s full of shit, obviously. All he wants is code fodder for his Incubator. And if he doesn’t, all he needs to do is make a concrete proposal on how to get quality, and not quantity.

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11 Comments.

  1. Exceptional Immigrants and Paul Graham | Reaction Times - pingback on January 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm
  2. Hilariously, the one country which both produces an unusually high percentage of programmers worth over $200K a year and pays them less than the US average? Graham shit on it this summer: http://pando.com/2014/08/05/graham-and-suster-square-off-over-israel-and-gaza-as-tech-industry-increasingly-pays-attention-to-the-real-world/

  3. You are not the Aristocracy. He is the Aristocracy. He already has read Mencius, he already knows history. The people around him actually run the world and make wealth, do you really think your little naive world-view is so powerful that you see something he does not?

    If he makes a concrete proposal people will eat him alive you idiot. He actually has to play ball with the real world as it exists. How will get execute your half-assed plan?

    • How will he get to execute your half-assed plan?* Does any one even win in your world view?

    • Why don’t you learn to read first.

      • I did read correctly. From what I understand it’s still incorrect. If your response is actually warranted then a few things in your last paragraph make it ambigious if you’re not just being difficult.

        I’ve seen people around him talk about this proposal a lot and give presentations and such and you seem to specifically lack either the domain knowledge, or you’re just shoveling standard NRx fodder.

        • You’ve seen people give presentations about how the US needs Open Borders real soon now or else Silicon Valley is going to be outcompeted by Bangalore.
          And that’s proof that they are the Real Aristocracy whose dicks we should all suck because they Create Wealth. Oh and because they’ve read Moldbug. Or the actual Mencius. Or something.

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