Lion of the Blogosphere

Lion’s four-part system for understanding how the world works

1. HBD (human biodiversity)

There are three legs to HBD;

a. Differences between races. This explains why some races underperform or overperform others in a diverse society, as well as explaining differences between nations.

This would be the least important part of HBD were it not for the fact that current moral thinking makes a huge deal out of racism. Racism is considered to be extremely evil, and different group and individual outcomes caused by HBD are instead blamed on racism.

b. Differences between men and women. Sex discrimination is also defined as evil by today’s moral arbiters, and as with racism, group and individual outcomes caused by HBD are blamed on sexism.

Additionally, because relations between men and women are such an important part of how society is organized, HBD-caused differences between men and women help to understand this part of society.

c. Biological/evolutionary basis for behavior. Our instinctive human behavior evolved to help us have as many grandchildren as possible in a pre-industrial or even pre-agricultural society. As such, they often cause illogical thinking and produce suboptimal results in a modern technological society with a post-scarcity economy.

2. Value transference. Most economists stuck in an eighteenth century mindset (when Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations) believe that most money is earned because value is created. But in a post-scarcity economy, the majority of work is value transference work, work that doesn’t create any value but just transfers the value created by others.

As I’ve stated many times before, if you want to understand how and why businesses make a profit, don’t read an economics textbook, read Michael Porter’s book Competitive Strategy (or one of the many derivative books).

The irony of business “competition” is that businesses are competing to get themselves into a position where they have a monopoly and they no longer have to compete.

Value transference is tied to winner-take-all economics, because the natural state of things is for a small number of people and companies to be big winners based on transferring the value created by others to themselves.

3. Relative wants. It’s said that humans have unlimited wants, which is mostly true for the vast majority of people.

There’s an evolutionary basis for this. In pre-industrial times, there were often famines in which those with the least resources died, thus evolution favored the genes of those who desired and accumulated more stuff, which could then be used to barter for food in times of famine.

This is also related to our desire for status. In times of famine, the people with the highest status (the king, the people just below the king in the hierarchy, etc) were never the ones who starved to death.

Today, in the United States, no one starves to death (in fact, poor people have the opposite problem of being too fat) because the United States is a post-scarcity economy. Thus our biologically programmed desire to accumulate stuff and have higher status is a suboptimal leftover from earlier times.

Most economists fail to see or understand relative spending and relative wants.

For example, everyone (OK, not everyone, but a lot of people, especially people with a lot of resources) want a summer home in the Hamptons, but because there is less real estate in the Hamptons than there are people who want to summer there, not everyone can afford to buy a house there. And no amount of economic growth or lower taxes will ever change that. If everyone’s net income increased by 10% because of economic growth or lower taxes, then the price of houses in the Hamptons would increase proportionately, and those who couldn’t afford a house there before still would not be able to afford one.

The local governments in the Hamptons could vastly increase the number of houses by changing zoning laws, but then there would be an influx of middle-class people and it would no longer be exclusive or highly desired by the rich and they’d find some other place (for example, Martha’s Vineyard) where they want to summer but can’t afford to.

4. Religion and groupthink. Many people wrongly equate religion with belief in supernatural beings. Better definitions of religion leave out the supernatural part. Here’s a suggested definition: “A cultural system of beliefs, behaviors, practices, ethics and societal organization that relate humanity to an order of existence.” In pre-scientific times, religious thinking tended towards belief in and worship of supernatural beings, but use of the word “supernatural” is our way of looking down on others. Believers in religion don’t see their beliefs as “supernatural,” they just see the true way that things are (from their perspective).

Religion is obviously a behavior that is programmed into us by evolutionary biology. So just because a large percentage of people in developed nations reject the traditional religions like Christianity (because they just seem too stupid in light of our modern scientific understanding of the world) doesn’t mean they have ceased religious thinking. The religious thinking is just diverted into other beliefs that currently are not classified as “religion” because they don’t involve worship of supernatural beings.

Belief in global warming is an example of a post-supernatural religious belief.

Groupthink is the tendency for people to believe whatever other people believe. It’s why people believe in religion (everyone else believes in it so it must be true!), but explains a lot more than religion. Groupthink is only obvious to outsiders. Insiders, who believe the groupthink, don’t realize it’s groupthink.

There are some rare individuals, like myself, who think a lot more logically than the average person and are highly resistant to groupthink. Although even I once succumbed to believing in libertarian economics, which is definitely a form of religious thinking.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Biology, Economics, Religion

120 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. good on lion. except he might’ve noted that famine is a neolithic phenomenon. pre-agriculture, no one ever starved. so unlimited wants has had at most 8,000 years to evolve and a lot less in most of the world.

    nick car(r)away seeds

    April 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    • I think people have always been selected to be greedy. That’s one reason we’re prone to obesity, because prehistorically it made sense to consume as much as possible & store what you didn’t need as fat.

      pumpkinperson

      April 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      • People in hunter gather tribes could have stored dried meats and plants. Supposedly drying meat predates cooking it.

        Magnavox

        April 1, 2017 at 5:16 pm

  2. Wow, this is one of your best posts ever, though i would have expanded the HBD section to include tribalism & ethnocentricism which i think motivates a lot of people just as much as money & status, which i was pleased to see you recognize as two independent desires!

    I still don’t get why global warming is a religion even if you think it’s pseudoscience. Our critics would say HBD is a religion.

    I also wish you would make your value transference theory more scientific/systematic so there was some objective way of know who was creating & who was transferring

    You could almost define intelligence as the cognitive ability to engage in valuable behavior (either for yourself or society) & then instead of IQ tests being divided into verbal vs spatial or verbal vs math, they could be divided into value creating abilities vs value transference abilities

    pumpkinperson

    April 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    • “I still don’t get why global warming is a religion even if you think it’s pseudoscience.”

      Michael Crichton has an excellent answer to that question:

      http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/2818/Crichton-Environmentalism-is-a-religion.aspx

      I urge you to read the whole thing. But to summarize, Crichton summarized Environmentalism this way:

      “There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

      Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday—these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don’t want to talk anybody out of them, as I don’t want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don’t want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can’t talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.”

      Mike Street Station

      April 1, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      • So we can’t worry about destructive new technologies because it sounds too much like the book of genesis and is therefore religious? Theres a lot of mythology in the world, how much you wanna bet some of your deeply held supposedly non religious beliefs can be mapped onto some of it?

        Magnavox

        April 1, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      • Do people deny the other, completely uncontroversial, kinds of pollution? Because accepting Crichton’s logic means you can’t accept that other stuff either.

        Magnavox

        April 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      • I read Michael Crinchton’s whole article. It starts out saying “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

        I think think the rest of the essay reflects that. There is no question that the 1962 book “Silent Spring” exaggerated the dangers of DDT, but that does not mean that DDT is harmless or that it was not being over utilized. Crinchton states that DDT “did not cause birds to die”. DDT has been linked to bird egg shell thinning which caused population decline. Ok, if the shell cracks before the bird hatches, that is not technically causing birds to die. Also other things beside DDT probably cause bird shell thinning. Bald eagle populations recovered after DDT was banned. Crinchton states DDT is not carcinogenic, which is somewhat stronger than the science actually is, but the case that DDT is carcinogenic is not as strong as it has been represented. DDT probably should not have been banned, but it should have been used much more carefully than it was being used and the replacement chemicals are probably not really safer.

        Crinchton also points to recent studies that indicate inland ice is increasing in the Antarctic faster than the glaciers near the cost are melting. This means on whole Antarctic is actually decreasing sea level by 0.23 mm per year. However, sea levels have been rising anyway. This just means something else is causing it. The rate at which the glaciers near the coast are melting has been going up and the Antarctic could be a net contributor to sea level rise in 20 or 30 years if nothing is done.

        mikeca

        April 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      • yeah especially when so many climate change ‘skeptics’ are libertarians and libertarian leaning folks, it really is funny to watch them accuse things of being a non-secular religion. they would know.

        james n.s.w

        April 1, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      • “accepting Crichton’s logic means you can’t accept that other stuff either.”

        I don’t think so.

        destructure

        April 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    • “I still don’t get why global warming is a religion even if you think it’s pseudoscience.”

      Because calling something you disagree with a religion makes it seem a lot more convincing and important than just saying that you disagree with it.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    • “I also wish you would make your value transference theory more scientific/systematic so there was some objective way of know who was creating & who was transferring “

      I agree that it’s poorly defined. And I suspect that when he finally defines it that I won’t completely agree with his definition.

      destructure

      April 1, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      • I thought of an oversimplified but scientific proxy for Lion’s value creation concept:

        Relative value creation = Average IQ of occupation/average SQ of occupation

        SQ standing for sociopathic quotient (could be measured by the psychopathy checklist or some similar scale )

        So CEOs with a mean IQ of say 115 (higher in big companies ) and an SQ of 115 (the most sociopathic profession) would have a value creation score of 1.0

        By contrast nurses who average IQs of maybe 100 but SQs of maybe 85 (one of the least sociopathic professions) would have a value creation score of 1.18

        Scientists who maybe average IQ 120 but SQ 100, would clock in at 1.2

        The logic of this formula is that IQ & sociopathy both independently cause income, but the former creates value while the latter steals it, so the higher the ratio of the former to the latter, the more value a profession creates relative to its income

        pumpkinperson

        April 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

      • PP — It’s too easy to label CEO’s psychopaths and claim it’s a bad thing. I’m not sure psychopathy is always bad for business. It might be if they’re stirring up trouble because they lack self-control. On the other hand, it’s good if they can make tough decisions. Sometimes you have to make decisions that adversely affect people. That’s why it’s called business instead of charity.

        destructure

        April 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      • Psychopaths only care about themselves and not the team, the company, the group, etc. Psychopaths become CEOs by selfish competition against other managers which hurts the company.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  3. “anti-competitive business practices” are only partially illegal. branding, product “differentiation”, marketing are legal. with the exception of commodities, perfect competition only obtains when government forces it, when government forces commoditization. imagine how efficient health insurance might be if government required all policies to meet certain minimum requirements and required all health insurance companies to publish their price for the minimum (commodity) policy. a lot more efficient. the more complex the product the less competitive the market in the product.

    it’s the stupidity stupid.

    which has done more harm? islam or the religion of “free market capitalism”? the latter. and it isn’t even close.

    nick car(r)away seeds

    April 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    • no system has created more prosperity for the average person than free market capitalism. no system has created more misery for the average person than communism.

      destructure

      April 1, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    • > the more complex the product the less competitive the market in the product.

      Scott Adams refers to this as a confusopoly.

      ScarletNumber

      April 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

  4. GENIUS SUMMARY.

    how do we get more people to read this??

    rivelino

    April 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    • Lion’s already done his work. Now it has to get picked up by a more “mainstream” writer who reads this blog. That’s how idea-dissemination functions today.

      S.J., Esquire

      April 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      • lion needs to publish on his own and get **himself** into the mainstream, like mike cernovich has.

        rivelino

        April 3, 2017 at 8:58 pm

  5. 1a. Intelligence is an individual trait. Intelligence certainly is partially inherited, but various environmental factors have strong influence also, like childhood lead exposure.

    Different races have different average IQs, but when you hire an employee you are not hiring a race, you are hiring an individual. The racial differences in IQ scores are small and don’t make that much difference in real life. Asians average higher intelligence, why did European nations build empires around the world and occupy parts of Asia rather than the other way around. There is far more to success in life than IQ scores.

    Immigrants to the US are not random samples of people living in their country of origin. The Vietnamese boat people went through hell to get out of Vietnam and to the US. Many died trying.

    America has thrived because it was willing to accept smart, hard working people from all over the world and give them a better chance to succeed here than in their country of origin.

    Focusing on IQ difference between races is pointless. What is the average IQ difference between people born in silicon valley and people born in Kansas? What difference does that make?

    Silicon valley build its success because it is a magnet for the best and brightest from around the world. It does not matter where you were born or what color you skin is, if you can contribute, silicon valley accepted you.

    mikeca

    April 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    • When you import people randomly in to the country (which most of our immigration policy has been) you ARE talking about race, not individuals. European immigration in the 19th century worked out because a random sample of Europeans is a high IQ sample. Africans imported during slavery were a disaster because it was a random sampling of a low IQ group. Vietnamese are extremely friendly and relatively bright. The boat people didn’t work out because they “went” through hell. They worked out because they were Vietnamese. Not also that Vietnam’s low IQ minority, the Hmong, have not been nearly as productive. Unless you have a merit based immigration system, race is EVERYTHING.

      PerezHBD

      April 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    • “Immigrants to the US are not random samples of people living in their country of origin.”

      Slaves weren’t a random sample either. Was American prosperity, over the long term, improved or reduced by the importation of slaves? How about for Jamaica?

      We are presently taking some of the best and many of the worst. Recently, probably more of the latter than the former.

      “America has thrived because it was willing to accept smart, hard working people from all over the world . . ”

      Japan and Germany have thrived, and Britain and Sweden before recent times, for following an exact opposite strategy. If you want to engage in a comparative analysis by looking at countries who were less selective (average IQ wise) look at Brazil as a good exemplar. Want to be Brazil?

      Curle

      April 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    • HBD denier!! Outstanding individuals from different races and cultures have children and grandchildren, and the progeny will tend to revert to the mean over time. So group differences absolutely do matter even in the instances of individual outliers.

      Andrew E.

      April 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      • That’s an incorrect understanding of regression to the mean with respect to HBD

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      • So the regression to the mean thing is often misunderstood. My understanding of it is that IQ has both a genetic and environmental component. If someone from a lower IQ population has a high IQ, it’s likely that it mostly comes from environmental factors. However that person’s kids will inherit his genes, not his non-shared environment, so they’ll regress to their population’s mean IQ some.

        But if you have selection, then the genetic IQ of the population can raise over time, meaning the population will regress to a higher mean. So it’s not like regression to the mean permanently locks some populations at a low IQ. If they have selection, they can make their mean IQs higher too!

        alex2

        April 1, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      • “If someone from a lower IQ population has a high IQ, it’s likely that it mostly comes from environmental factors.”

        IQ is mostly genetic, so no, that’s false. If someone has a high IQ, it’s from high IQ genes.

      • alex2, immigrants come in groups, live among those like them and generally marry among them. So there isn’t any selection going on even though selection can raise a population’s IQ. The handful of non-Western immigrants that come out of these immigrant populations and go on to silicon valley or Ivy League or whatever and do interesting things doesn’t change the fact that we’d been better off without this immigration.

        If we were only taking a few dozen really impressive people from around the world each year and they came here, achieved great things and intermarried then there is an argument that we get the benefits without too many costs. But that’s not the way it works and mike knows that.

        Andrew E.

        April 1, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      • It is true that high IQ members from low IQ populations have more of an environmental component in favor of their high IQs. But their IQ is still predominantly caused by genetic factors.

        GondwanaMan

        April 2, 2017 at 7:47 am

      • Regression to the mean happens anytime there’s an imperfect correlation predicting y from x. It doesn’t matter whether the parent-child correlation is genetic or environmental, as long as it’s imperfect, regression will occur. And the IQs of parents of smart kids regress just as much as the IQs of kids of smart parents.

        pumpkinperson

        April 2, 2017 at 8:50 am

      • “IQ is mostly genetic, so no, that’s false. If someone has a high IQ, it’s from high IQ genes.”

        My understand is that there’s also a lot of non-shared environment, i.e. noise.

        Please correct me if I’m wrong, since I’m not an expert in this area.

        Alex2

        April 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      • If someone has a high IQ, it’s caused by high IQ genes.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    • Mike, you make a lot of really smart comments, but that it is not one of them.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    • What trait isn’t an individual trait? People grasp that part intuitively; it’s thinking in terms of differences between group means that gets people emotional and defensive.

      Jokah Macpherson

      April 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    • America has thrived because it was willing to accept smart, hard working people from all over the world and give them a better chance to succeed here than in their country of origin.

      How trite. And completely wrong.

      Camlost

      April 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    • Focusing on iq is explanatory, not prescriptive.

      Joe

      April 1, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    • “Intelligence is an individual trait. Intelligence certainly is partially inherited, but various environmental factors have strong influence also, like childhood lead exposure.”

      The more you equalize an environment, the more hereditary differences matter. As you get lead out of people’s water and put iodine in their diets, genetic differences matter more and more.

      “Different races have different average IQs, but when you hire an employee you are not hiring a race, you are hiring an individual.”

      Partially true. It should be noted that high IQ individuals from low IQ races tend to have children who face a steeper regression to the mean than high IQ individuals from high IQ races.

      That said, this point is largely moot when it comes to immigration policy. When Muslims come to Europe and Central Americans come to the US as refugees, you never hear immigration activists call for host countries only accept individuals who score at least on the 85th percentile on the SAT or Raven’s Progressive Matrices. We’re supposed to accept them en masse, and if we’re worried about accepting a whole lot of dummies, we’re just paranoid racists.

      “The racial differences in IQ scores are small and don’t make that much difference in real life. Asians average higher intelligence, why did European nations build empires around the world and occupy parts of Asia rather than the other way around. There is far more to success in life than IQ scores.”

      Only a handful of people insist that IQ is the only thing that matters for success, and they usually end up changing their opinions within a few months. Conscientiousness, creativity, and ability to cooperate matter significantly and probably vary among races as dramatically as IQ.

      “Immigrants to the US are not random samples of people living in their country of origin. The Vietnamese boat people went through hell to get out of Vietnam and to the US. Many died trying.”

      This is why it’s unethical for First World countries to promise migrants from the Third World they will be accepted if they embark on long, perilous journeys. Thousands of people drowned trying to reach Australia until Australia made it clear that migrants reaching Australia would be sent home. All of the migrants who die trying to reach Europe are something immigration activists in Europe must answer for. They’re the ones with bloody hands.

      “America has thrived because it was willing to accept smart, hard working people from all over the world and give them a better chance to succeed here than in their country of origin.”

      If America took in no more immigrants after 1800 and we had English and German-Americans settle the West, and they had five children instead of three (as Erdogan would put it), the US today would be about as powerful and wealthy today as it is now. America succeeded because we had England’s sterling legal tradition, but had a continent to ourselves, instead of an island.

      Really, is there anything about American culture that is so much better than English culture? Hardly. America became more powerful than England in the 20th century because we had more people, more resources, and more land than England.

      “Focusing on IQ difference between races is pointless. What is the average IQ difference between people born in silicon valley and people born in Kansas? What difference does that make? Silicon valley build its success because it is a magnet for the best and brightest from around the world. It does not matter where you were born or what color you skin is, if you can contribute, silicon valley accepted you.”

      The problem is, Western countries are not being asked to just accept the best and the brightest for select industries. We’re being asked to absorb whole groups of people en masse who have radically different cultures from ours and have low average intelligence.

      Sid

      April 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    • “The racial differences in IQ scores are small and don’t make that much difference in real life.”

      Part of HBD is understanding that there are racial traits other than IQ, such as innate propensity towards crime, corruption, altruistic behavior, etc.

      For example, Han Chinese are extremely corrupt and low trust, which is why they have cities of millions of people without a working public transit or hospital system, and why you see Chinese proles pulling their pants down in public voiding their bowels. There is a total lack of commonweal orientation- just look at all that smog. They are slightly better at SAT type tests after intense test-prep, but it’s obvious that they have other qualities, and lack some of our better qualities, which make their countries pretty nasty places. One of their strength is their strong ethnocentrism. Chinese people do not believe in diversity or multiculturalism, and simply due to this they may outcompete Westerners, despite their obvious failings.

      Another example, we have many Chinese nationals in the US, working in important industries like defense and engineering. The American security industry is surprised when they commit espionage and provide all these state secrets and blueprints to the Chinese Government. They must think us idiots, but they are just more ethnocentric. A Chinese person will always be Chinese first, whereas a Westerner doesn’t think like that.

      The above is impossible to explain to a person who is a religious follower of modern progressive thought. It is quite literally heresy.

      jjbees

      April 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      • I find the Ashkenazim, similarly to East Asians, with lower empathy levels than White gentiles.

        JS

        April 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      • Ashkenazim are extremely altruistic . JS is an idiot!

        eyaldavid

        April 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    • Could it be that Europe did better than Asia in spite of a lower average IQ because they had a more libertarian economic system? Can you explain it otherwise? I think a nation’s success comes from a combination of economic freedom, human differences as explained by HBD and natural resources. A country will be successful if it has all three and won’t be successful if it’s missing all three. Two out of three or one out of three, it may or may not succeed depending how strong it is on what it has. For example, Hong Kong had no natural resources except maybe a good location on shipping routes but had high levels of economic freedom and a very intelligent population. It became wealthy. Zimbabwe only has one out three. It has the same natural resources it had when it was Rhodesia but is poorer with fewer high IQ whites and less economic freedom than it had previously. The natural resources don’t make up for the glaring lack in the other two areas.

      Mark G.

      April 1, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      • Europe did better because it was at constant war with neighbors. That will always spur tech growth.

        map

        April 2, 2017 at 2:16 am

      • Why do some countries have more economic freedom than others? The root cause is differences in personality/behavioral traits.

        GondwanaMan

        April 2, 2017 at 10:48 am

    • Lead pain hasn’t been used in 30 years, but people get stupider all the time.

      Mort

      April 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      • Funny typo!

        Jokah Macpherson

        April 1, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    • Focusing on iq is explanatory, not prescriptive. (I mean, it doesn’t have to be prescriptive. Once you accept the explanation, you’d probably want to have some prescriptions.)

      Joe

      April 1, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    • “America has thrived because it was willing to accept smart, hard working people from all over the world and give them a better chance to succeed here than in their country of origin.”

      If leftists such as yourself really gave a shit about poor people from other countries then you wouldn’t want to steal their best and brightest. While those who immigrate may be better off. The hundreds of millions left behind will be much worse off.

      destructure

      April 1, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    • “Focusing on IQ difference between races is pointless. …”

      It’s not pointless because ignoring them leads to bad public policy. Like trying to fix “bad” public schools which are not actually under performing once the average IQ of their students is taken into account. Or making algebra a high school graduation requirement under the false assumption that anyone can learn algebra if they make a reasonable effort.

      James B. Shearer

      April 2, 2017 at 2:29 am

    • “The racial differences in IQ scores are small and don’t make that much difference in real life.”

      ROTFLMAO.

      See: Detroit, Michigan.
      See: Africa.

      hard9bf

      April 2, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      • I was born in Detroit, Michigan. The city went down hill after I moved out when I was 3.

        mikeca

        April 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

    • The problem is not that HBD research itself is racists, the problem is that racists misrepresent the results of HBD research to justify their racists views.

      mikeca

      April 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

  6. Tens of millions of Americans can’t afford proper healthcare, tens of millions more are living paycheck to paycheck struggling to make ends meet. The US isn’t even remotely close to being a post scarcity economy.

    If we were truly post scarcity, there would no longer be a problem with open borders as there would be infinite resources.

    Otis the Sweaty

    April 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    • Yes, I too have pointed out that we don’t have a post-scarcity economy, that post-scarcity is the purview of science fiction writers and “futurists” (people who predict the future but are always wrong,) but Lion just ignores such arguments and keeps stating that we have a post-scarcity economy.

      Hermes

      April 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      • A Basic Income is possible in the United States, thus this is a post-scarcity economy.

      • Only if you’re a woman or NAM. White males don’t get basic income.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        April 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      • A Basic Income is possible in the United States, thus this is a post-scarcity economy.

        LOL, right, just assert that it’s “possible.” That solves everything. What are you going to do, give 300 million people $20k per year? That’s 6 trillions dollars per year, nearly twice the current federal budget. Where’s that money going to come from?

        Hermes

        April 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      • Basic income will not be implemented in America anytime soon, for reasons of what I have elaborated.

        Extraterrestrials are always invading liberal centers in the Sci-Fi realm. The same reason that wealth and status attract strivers to certain cities.

        JS

        April 2, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      • Fake scarcity economics have now taken hold in the form of real estate in expensive liberal centers as form of status signaling. Anyone who doesn’t live in one of them is deemed a loser, because they can’t afford it. Furthermore, no one cares if you live in a McMansion in Staten Island.

        Everything else is post scarcity!

        JS

        April 2, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      • “Only if you’re a woman or NAM. White males don’t get basic income”

        Social Security Disability

        Mike Street Station

        April 3, 2017 at 7:52 am

    • It may even be giving the US too much credit to call it a post starving economy. But if it’s post anything scarcity related that’s it.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 11:41 pm

  7. Lion, collect your posts and greatest hits comments under these 4 topics and publish the book already.

    Robert

    April 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

  8. the marketing is so easy. just not for sell-out/corporate dems.

    every time a free market fundamentalist spouts his bs say…

    allahu akbar!

    identify the freedom caucus with al-qaeda.

    it’s fair, because the freedom caucus is worse than al-qaeda.

    nick car(r)away seeds

    April 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

  9. I take global warming seriously. Is it man-made? I don’t know, but I lean toward that explanation. As a former skeptic myself, I seriously doubt that the religious and conformist parts of my brain have compelled me to believe in global warming.

    It is patently obvious that the earth is indeed heating up. The Arctic ice cap and most of the world’s mountain glaciers are in steady retreat, and there’s plenty of photographic evidence. This fact alone should be enough to make a believer out of anyone who’s not committed to thinking that global warming is a scam. When I learned there’s plenty of physical evidence for climate change (damn, I hate that expression), I changed my position. Simple as that. If most climate scientists are convinced that the problem stems from fossil fuel consumption, I’ll at least acknowledge that as a possibility.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Stealth

    April 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    • “It is patently obvious that the earth is indeed heating up. The Arctic ice cap and most of the world’s mountain glaciers are in steady retreat”

      Of course the earth is heating up. Its been heating up since the last ice age ended over 10,000 years ago. In fact, 10,000 years ago you’d be standing on a glacier a mile thick. So the real question is this — which man-made technology ended the last ie age???

      destructure

      April 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      • Of course the earth is heating up. Its been heating up since the last ice age ended over 10,000 years ago. In fact, 10,000 years ago you’d be standing on a glacier a mile thick. So the real question is this — which man-made technology ended the last ie age???

        Of course it changes naturally, but scientists state that this current change has no discernible natural cause. I don’t know for sure that they’re right, but I do believe them.

        Stealth

        April 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      • “scientists state that this current change has no discernible natural cause”

        I think you mean “POLITICAL scientists state…”. And many of those who pass for real “scientists”, are actually activists, beholden to following their political beliefs rather than the uncertain scientific facts on the table.

        Follow the money and the power. Go read some actual scientists who have no dog in this race. Start with the Professor Emeritus himself, Richard Lindzen.

        Ye shall know them by their rhetoric. As long as they are talking “consensus science” and “deniers” they have no legitimate claim to speak on behalf of “science”.

        Ultimately, even their own projections show an indiscernible effect on temperature 80 years from now even if we were to put in place all their crazy schemes. And of course we spend trillions each year for this (more than dubious) outcome.

        gda

        April 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    • No, global warming is obviously a religion. Thankfully, right-wing talk radio show hosts are too smart and independent-minded to buy into the propaganda. Leftists just want to assault the one true god, the Free Market. When will people understand that the Invisible Hand will raise everyone’s standard of living if we just open the cuffs.

      Vince

      April 2, 2017 at 9:40 pm

  10. There’s a big flaw in this “value transference” thinking. Most people (including CEO’s, hedge fund managers, etc) get paid based on the value they produce. But your mistake is to believe that the value they produce is to the society. NO. It’s something that has value to someone. Period. For example, one could say that a hedge fund doesn’t add much value to society (they do add liquidity and help in price discovery, but that’s beside the point). Hedge funds charge big fees not because they add value to society but rather because they add value to the investors. That’s it. The CEO of a pharma company might actually do a strategy that hurts the people in society, ie, lobby to block competition, increase prices, etc. He’s not paid because of this value to society. He’s paid because he adds value to the investors. But the investors got their money by adding value to some others, potentially way in the past. In other words, there’s a recursive property of the value created that you ignore. People arguing for “social justice” are (purposefully) doing the same mistake — trying to tie value added to society and not to the beneficiary, which is only a small segment of society.

    Basically if you take this recursive property into account, all your conclusions are invalidated.

    Zack

    April 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    • Good luck trying to reason with Leon on value transference. He refuses to listen because it’s part of his religion.

      destructure

      April 1, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      • Value transference is an observation, not a religion.

      • Not the way you do it. It’s part of your belief system.

        destructure

        April 2, 2017 at 9:30 am

    • According to economics the value created by a hedge fund manager is their income and vice versa. So it’s just circular reasoning to say they deserve the income because it reflects the value they create.

      Lion is trying to get at the much more important concept of externalities.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      • People who believe in libertarian economics believe that if a hedge fund manager earned $100 million, it’s because the value he created is exactly $100 million.

        But actual empirical data shows that, as in investor, your average return is higher with an index fund than a hedge fund. The empirical view is that hedge fund managers are rooking their clients.

      • “But actual empirical data shows that, as in investor, your average return is higher with an index fund than a hedge fund. The empirical view is that hedge fund managers are rooking their clients.”

        This shows a lack of understanding on investments. So you think that hedge fund investors are just stupid, and they just like to bleed money in terms of fees. In fact it’s the opposite. They try to reduce fees as much as possible, and generally they are much much smarter than the average Joe. The issue is that most value that hedge funds add is in terms of risk control. You need to normalize the returns by the risk taken. You mention index funds, but the SPY/MSAP/S&P returns has a sharpe ratio of 0.3-0.4. Bonds, and other instruments give similar ratios, maybe less. With this kind of product you won’t be able to charge any fees in the hedge fund space. In fact, if you’re under 0.6, I don’t think you can raise any money, let alone charge some meaningful fees. Products that have low sharpe and are trending are not even charging performance fee — they generally charge very small management fee like 0.1%. Then you just a little bit better than an ETF. The main misunderstanding which you have and is propagated in the media is to look at total returns and not risk adjusted returns. In your book, if you buy S&P on 2x leverage, then you’re doing great, while in reality you haven’t added any value.

        What I do agree on is that there is pretty systematic shenanigance in the mutual fund business, and that is because the “investors” are 401k people who are clueless. The 401k business is mandated by law (see tax benefits) and regulated heavily. People in that business are more of a rent-seeking types.

        Zack

        April 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      • “There is no doubt that hedge-fund managers have been good at making money for themselves. Many of America’s recently minted billionaires grew rich from hedge clippings. But as a new book* by Simon Lack, who spent many years studying hedge funds at JPMorgan, points out, it is hard to think of any clients that have become rich by investing in hedge funds (whereas Warren Buffett has made millionaires of many of his original investors). Indeed, since 1998, the effective return to hedge-fund clients has only been 2.1% a year, half the return they could have achieved by investing in boring old Treasury bills.”

        http://www.economist.com/node/21542452

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      • “But as a new book* by Simon Lack, who spent many years studying hedge funds at JPMorgan, points out, it is hard to think of any clients that have become rich by investing in hedge funds”

        That’s a different point and I partly agree. The way I look at it is very simple. You have a product of a particular quality. The measure of quality here is sharpe, return adjusted by risk. A 0.3-0.4 you can get by just buying SPY. You can diversify a little more and increase your sharpe a little but not much. You can go further if you start having opinions are a slowly managing your portfolio, but not by much. This is starting to take a serious amount of time now. This is where you buy into trenders, mutual funds, etc, but they can only charge very little because they add very little. Now, there are hedge funds with high sharpe ratios. A 0.6-0.7 sharpe tender like Winton does charge 2 and 20. Better funds than that are starting to be closed because they are capacity limited. 2 sigma has at least 2 funds way better than Winton, but they are closed to new investors, not to mention that they have much higher fees, like 4% management and 35% performance. Even with the high fees, they don’t need nor want more money. Then even better funds are basically kicking investors out. If you have a sharpe of 3 after fees, now you are not going to offer this product, it’s just to good to give it away. So managers invest their own money. Rentec medallion has 5 and 44 percent fees, they kicked outside investors out and they keep it to themselves. Everybody in the industry is doing the same thing — the good products you can’t invest in. So yes, successful hedge fund managers will make money for themselves and maybe for the first investors. Basically, at some point success breads investors out and the manager and employees become the investors. It doesn’t mean that the hedge fund is not adding value; in fact it adds plenty, but if it becomes very successful, it’ll add value to its employees.

        Buffett’s sharpe ratio is around 0.7-0.8. While very good, he’s basically at the edge of being very good and still have investors, ie, not good enough to close to outside investors. This is what you would expect to get from a high quality fund… 0.8. Yeah, not amazing. The other value hedge fund add, but that’s mostly for very big players, is diversification past what you can get from just getting financial instruments.

        Zack

        April 2, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    • Zack,

      That is a distinction without a difference.

      Sure, you can argue that value is created to those who know and appreciate what is being bought, and such value may be indifferent to those not interested in the purchase. But I think Lion is going for something more robust: value-transference is a conspiracy to cannibalize the general public. The fact that this may be known and appreciated among only a few people does not change the argument.

      The only flaw is that “post-scarcity” is a little nebulous, like “rent-seeking.”

      map

      April 2, 2017 at 2:11 am

  11. Agree that the “value transference” theory is probably true, but needs examples and more general fleshing out.

    there is less real estate in the Hamptons than there are people who want to summer there, not everyone can afford to buy a house there. And no amount of economic growth or lower taxes will ever change that

    This is the real gem that I’ve gained from your writing. It cannot be stressed enough. I had this argument, in fact, with a buddy of mine lately – this friend of mine is a real futurist, thinks Tesla is going to take over the world, and during the course of our conversation, he said something like, “So what if robots reduce the need for human labour because they produce everything everyone needs? I just don’t really see that as a problem.”

    Of course, instinctively, most people *don’t* see that as a problem until they realize that there will ALWAYS be relative things, towards the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy, that not everyone can have, and therefore there will forever need to be ways to distinguish society’s “winners” and “losers”.

    S.J., Esquire

    April 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm

  12. Your relative wants section contradicts your statement that we live in a post-scarcity society. There’s a scarce amount of desirable real estate, not just in the Hamptons, but in general.

    That probably wasn’t true in pre-scarcity societies, such as those of American Indians. Relatively few people, and a surfeit of land, game, etc.

    As for global warming belief as a religion, it’s definitely a belief system, but I think religious people tend to be more consistent about their beliefs. Global warming believes act like global warming isn’t happening, judging by their real estate choices.

    Dave Pinsen

    April 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    • Your relative wants section contradicts your statement that we live in a post-scarcity society. There’s a scarce amount of desirable real estate, not just in the Hamptons, but in general.

      Yes, I wonder why Lion thinks, given that competition for wealth in order to buy a house in the Hamptons would persist were everyone’s net income to increase by 10% because of economic growth or lower taxes, if everyone’s net income increased by 10% because of a universal basic income, competition as it applies to groceries, or gas for your car, or a cup of coffee at Starbucks or whatever, would somehow become irrelevant. If everyone has more money, Starbucks or grocery chains are just going to raise their prices (so their executives can out-compete other companies’ executives to earn enough money to buy a house in the Hamptons.)

      Hermes

      April 1, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    • Noone denies Venice is sinking but houses in venice are still incredibly expensive. Markets only reflect so far into the future.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    • Exactly. We’re post scarcity when it comes to phone apps and potato chips. We over produce ridiculous stuff that no one needs. We place no limits on it. We do place artificial limits on spatial allocation, via exclusive zoning and building codes. We’re not post scarcity when it comes to accessible safe/reliable/working/available space in tier-one cities, where most of the value transference industries are located… not to mention where the highest concentrations of sexually attractive women are located, who a VERY scarce!

      Rippen Van Winkelstein

      April 2, 2017 at 9:05 am

      • Overabundance–i.e., non-scarcity–of food has led to the obesity epidemic, which causes scarcity of sexually attractive women.

        Hermes

        April 2, 2017 at 4:13 pm

  13. “It’s why people believe in religion (everyone else believes in it so it must be true!)”

    Not at all why people believe in God.

    Lion of the Turambar

    April 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

  14. ive heard companies like amazon be described as monopolies, but how does that work for e-commerce companies where the barriers to entry are presumably so low?

    james n.s.w

    April 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    • Amazon isn’t a monopoly, it’s just a scam. They sell dollar bills for 99 cents, which is tough to compete with, but also doomed to failure. Bezos and friends have already cashed out billions, though.

      bobbybobbob

      April 1, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      • They only sell below cost when they’re trying to break a competitor. The rest of the time, they sell higher profile products at low prices, and lower profile products and accessories at slightly higher prices.

        Dave Pinsen

        April 2, 2017 at 1:26 am

    • But barriers aren’t low if amazon is exploiting economies of scale. brand loyalty, search engine rankings, etc.

      Magnavox

      April 1, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    • Why do you presume the barriers to entry are low? Because websites are cheap to build and host?

      That means nothing if no one knows your website exists.

      Amazon has invested tens of billions of dollars into electronic and physical infrastructure (warehouses, robots, servers, etc.). Those are all barriers to entry for competitors. As is the strength of its brand, its web address known by half the planet, its supplier relationships, etc.

      Bezos didn’t become the second-richest man in the world by building a business with no moat.

      Dave Pinsen

      April 2, 2017 at 1:24 am

      • Amazon has no real cost advantages or competitively entrenched position. They just do a lot of fraudulent “non-GAAP” accounting to make it look like they’re incinerating less cash than they are. It’s going to come to tears (same story with Uber and snapchat and others) but the insiders are already stinking rich.

        bobbybobbob

        April 2, 2017 at 9:25 am

      • That’s like saying that Coke and Pepsi don’t have any advantage because anyone can manufacture a cola.

      • No, it’s like saying Coke and Pepsi have been selling at below cost for years and engaging in all kinds of shenanigans to disguise their financials. When they are ultimately forced to sell Coke and Pepsi at the same price their competitors have to charge, market share and the debt structure falls apart.

        bobbybobbob

        April 2, 2017 at 3:11 pm

  15. For your readers who are accountants and tax professionals:

    Tax Preparation Businesses are a SCAM, the same reason why many practice areas of the law are a SCAM. Fake make work is another name, albeit less sexier sounding, of the term value transference.

    I once had a guy came up to me and say “your work has no value to society”, interestingly, this man’s son was a MIT student.

    JS

    April 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    • “a. differences between races … ”

      I’m currently in celebration mode, because my Indian neighbors who’ve been tormenting me for almost two years have moved out. Early on, one of their friends dumped some trash in a nice planter outside. So I left a reasonable note on his new 428 to the effect please don’t do that. So in apparent ethnic solidarity, my neighbor and his roommate began a campaign of regular littering around the place. Unbelievable how low class these computer jockeys were.

      Mort

      April 1, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    • Tax prep for individuals is a scam. For large businesses, the definition of income and the determination of what jurisdiction it gets taxed in is necessarily complex. And accountants for such business do more than tax work.

      But for employees, there’s no reason the government can’t calculate your taxes for you and just have you review them and sign off if you approve or submit revisions if you contest it. They know about all of your legal income and capital gains anyway, because they get reporting from your employer and financial institutions. That’s how it’s done in some other countries. It’s not done that way here because the tax prep companies lobbied to keep the status quo.

      Dave Pinsen

      April 2, 2017 at 1:36 am

  16. Capital! What triggered the post though?

    Yakov

    April 1, 2017 at 10:27 pm

  17. I’m so sad that Lion is still closed to the idea of global warming. He’s like a lot of right-wing conspiracy theorists in that sense.

    I’m somewhat anti-megacorporations, and if global warming policy helps hamper Big Oil, and forces us to find more environmentally-friendly ways of fueling our economy, then I’m all for it.

    Good article overall, though.

    GondwanaMan

    April 2, 2017 at 5:43 am

    • Big Oil is a myth. As a completely fungible product, no one has monopoly power in the oil industry the way thy do in mobile phones or online shopping.

      And global warming: an unprovable hypothesis, which didn’t come popular because of any discovery in physics or chemistry, but rather because everyone just started believing it, and people just believe whatever everyone else believes without critical thinking.

      The desire to evangelize and covert everyone else into believers, while quashing and punishing any dissent, is how religion functions, not how science functions.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

      • Global warming is hardly unprovable. Denying the globe is warming is simply saying you don’t believe in thermometers.

        Whether it’s anthropogenic or even a bad thing is up for debate, but temperature is not.

        Heyoka

        April 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

      • So, does it concern you at all that everything the global warming people said was going to happen 15 years ago is now actually happening?

        Two in the Bush

        April 2, 2017 at 10:56 am

      • Here’s a list of things that warmists predicted wrong:

        http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/04/top-5-failed-snow-free-and-ice-free-predictions/

      • Oil isn’t completely fungible in terms of usability, and you pay more for a better grade or type. Brent Crude (UK) trades at a different price than West Texas Intermediate (they differ in density and sulfur content, among other things). Desirable products such as gasoline are more easily refined from certain types of oil than others; Middle Eastern origin crudes rank lower for this than Brent or WTI.

        Anthony

        April 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

      • Sour oil is fungible with other sour oil, etc. It’s not based on marketing. No one is going to pay more for sour oil because the seller had better marketing.

      • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Oil

        Apparently there is Big Oil, though. So there is some product differentiation?

        GondwanaMan

        April 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      • Super-major oil companies don’t actually have a competitive advantage, except that they can spread risk around because they are working on so many projects at once and have such a big reserve of assets. If anything, it’s small nimble companies that have the competitive advantage.

        Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the major oil companies had losses in 2016: https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-companies-modest-prize-breaking-even-1491134405

        Companies with monopoly power–like Intel, Apple and Microsoft–NEVER lose money.

      • The whole global warming agenda is all about making white people poor. That’s the whole scam on which this lie is built.

        map

        April 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      • Amazon and walmart sell essentially the same thing as other retailers (exactly the same for name brands), that doesn’t mean they don’t have oligopoly status.

        That said I have no idea how oil companies operate.

        Magnavox

        April 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

  18. I would put the items under HBD in the exact opposite order: behavior stems from evolved mental systems, then individual differences, then sex differences, then group differences. (Not race differences – English and Irish are different from one another. Heck, even English are different from other English from different parts of England.)

    Also, everything ultimately falls under this umbrella, especially religion and group think.

    JayMan

    April 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

  19. I’m never quite sure if dramatic irony is your goal, or just where you end up.

    beancrusher

    April 2, 2017 at 10:26 am

  20. “Yeah especially when so many climate change ‘skeptics’ are libertarians and libertarian leaning folks.”

    This isn’t surprising. Libertarians are defenders of not just certain industrialists but industrial society and mass consumption (and concomitant population growth) in general. This is at odds with preserving nature in a pretty obvious way. So environmentalism is a veiled attack on their ideology.

    Dain

    April 2, 2017 at 3:08 pm

  21. Lion – can you make a similar compilation but for life advice, both big and small?

    E.g., make sure you attend an elite school so you can work in a value transference field; ublock origin was a great recommendation as far as small things.

    anon

    April 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    • After someone said something bad about uBlock Origin, I briefly switched out to other ad-blockers, and they all blocked less than uBlock did, so I went back to uBlock.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm

  22. Lion’s definition of religion ends with the phrase: “…that relate humanity to an order of existence.”

    I didn’t know what that meant at first, but reading about anthropologist’s Clifford Geertz’s similar definition of religion, I believe it could be rephrased this way: …that provides humanity with a purpose (or meaning) to existence, which is not a random sequence of accidental events, but is ordered or structured.

    Mark Caplan

    April 2, 2017 at 11:31 pm

  23. I don’t know much about HBD, but i’m with Andrew on that one. Imagine you’re blond and want a blond child. You are presented with two equally blond people (not tainted !). One is (old rooted family) Swedish and the other Spanish. Which one you’ll marry ? Obviously the Swedish. Even if the spanish were blonder. That’s not to say that the spanish wasn’t blond for her gene, but she could be on outlyer. Except if you could see all familiy, brothers, parents, and grand-parents, and there were all blonds, it is much more secure to marry the Swedish. It must be the same for IQ. If you don’t know the parents IQ, the kid will have an average IQ wich is a product of the parents average IQ and the race average IQ. Even if that children is intelligent because of it’s parents. The conclusion is you can not disregard the group a person comes from except if you know this person background at least for 2 generations.

    Bruno from Paris

    April 3, 2017 at 4:48 am

  24. That’s why jewish even at Harvard should rather mate among themselves than with gentile or asian if they want to keep their high average verbal IQ wich make them so good at extracting value (they transfer value for others and get paid an amount wich is more than creating value but less that transfering value for themselves) in law firms, investment banks and the media.

    Bruno from Paris

    April 3, 2017 at 4:53 am

  25. Readers here may enjoy my jab at Austrian econ over at Splice Today: http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/bannon-is-right-about-austrian-economics

    Dain

    April 3, 2017 at 12:22 pm


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: