Almost Autumn Edition
"The cultural argument would be that too many high-skill immigrants will transform the nature of American society in unpredictable ways since they will capture the intelligentsia. "
If only it were so. God knows that the American intelligentsia, such as they are, have completely failed to do, think, or say anything worthwhile in a long time. Their current enthusiasms like "anti-racism", BLM, and transgenderism, are so mind numbingly stupid that they could be replaced by the Chippendales at no loss.
Sadly, the available evidence, and you, Razib, have provided much of it, is that the immigrants are more likely to join the parade than they are to replace it.
Good morning, Razib.
On the subject of religion, I would like to share my interest in this book:
It looks at various arguments for the existence of god and locates them all in a deep cognitive layer. Thus religion seems to be something we can't live with and can't live without.
This morning I also came across an article that proposes the use of skull shape to trace admixture between us and other hominins. Craniology is making a comeback?
And hey one last wish I may have expressed already: really hoping some day method questions of how to use DNA evidence to complement historical linguistics can become a little more broken down and digestible for us amateurs.
Thanks as always!
"China’s Property Market Has Slid Into Severe Depression, Real-Estate Giant Says. China has serious structural problems. I wouldn’t bet against them, but there are severe economic and sociological headwinds."
History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes (https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/01/12/history-rhymes/)
You probably were not reading the financial press in the 1980s. I was. I remember articles about the Japanese economic boom with titles like "How do you turn the darn thing off" positing that the Japanese had discovered the secret to an infinite economic boom. At the very end of 1989, the Nikkei index topped out at 38,915. It then began to drop. It bottomed in March 2009 around 7,055. It has recovered a bit since then. It hit 30,000 in September of 2021 fell through the fall and winter and is around 28,000 now. That is a whole generation of not making money.
What will happen in China? I don't know. But, I do know this. Trees don't grow to the sky. Not even in China.
Are there any works you know of that explore atheism more directly from a cognitive, genetic, or evolutionary perspective? To paraphrase from a clubhouse you did, either the atheism of those who seem less visually observant or those who are super chill. The only things I have seen are kind of tangential and seem to look more at lack of agency attribution towards things, people, and processes in autism spectrum folks.
Maybe in the GoT world outbreeding depression >> inbreeding depression.
I'm trying to imagine the genetics that would lead to this: very low mutational load, and each of the areas are completely sealed off from each other for a long long time, long enough so speciation starts to occur?
read "The Rise of the New Puritans" By: Noah Rothman. it was pretty good.
the essay by the CCP defector making the rounds this past week was the best thing I've read about China recently.
Are you pumping some Noah Smith up in here? R u fn serious? I work for the FAANGs, and these incompetent, lying, frauds we have as H1Bs are taking over the most powerful companies in the country -- utterly destroying morale, undercutting American IP with cheap knockoffs, and selling your biometrics to the NSA without a second thought. These folks have zero knowledge or interest in the US Constitution as the pinnacle of civil society. And you would entertain more of this full blown invasion and looting? You dig your own graves, homies. Shall we have droves of Africans do Indian manufacturing in India at a cheaper price point?
I, like much of the country, would like to see a more Swiss attitude on visas and trade -- and I'd let the CEOs know I'm serious by arranging a few car accidents at 90 day intervals until the supply chain is stateside and every available American apprentice is trained. Then we will discuss who is high skilled.
The silver lining of this level of tone deafness, on the brink of a historically unprecedented collapse, is that it will only accelerate a loss of confidence, a circling of the wagons, and a return to nativism.
Really, I'd like to go on TV and interview some H1Bs and some folks in WV and see which the American people would rather have working at their Fortune 500.
On thé religion front, you might add Leora Batnitzky’s “How Judaism Became A Religion” as it delves into one of the few religions that survived Antiquity (where religion was conceived of as something quite different than it is today). As the West’s (pardon the expression) ur-religion, understanding Judaism’s development strikes me as a good entrance way to understand its off-shoots, namely Christianity and Islam.
Personally, I have concluded that the difference between religions comes down to the view that my miracles happened and yours didn’t. But this too reflects a fairly modern conception religion as rooted in belief and dogma rather than practice and ritual. To say that Jehovah and Allah are the same is an altogether different statement than to say Zeus and Jupiter are one and the same.
Religion continues to fascinate, I think, for the reason that once our brains evolved to wonder about unknowable as such as death, its meaning and consequence, religion filled in the blanks in increasingly satisfying ways (from the greyness and forgetfulness of Hades to an afterlife contemplating God with the assurance of personal resurrection). Additionally, religion served a political function in justifying the ruling hierarchy in the context of the never ending battle of control over primordial chaos.
To me, a question of interest is how a desert storm god ultimately gained purchase over peoples from vastly different climes and customs. Perhaps the books you cite will shed some light.