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Dec 19, 2022Liked by Richard Hanania, Brian Chau

Richard should make right wing rationalism happen. That’s very funny but a good description. He should make an article laying out the beliefs.

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After finishing the conversation, I want to second this request. Hanania's perception of a burgeoning tech-rationalism-BrahminRight coalition seems accurate to me. I would love to see him flesh the idea out.

The first clue that this realignment was a "thing" was the New Yorker's article on Slatestarcodex: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-inquiry/slate-star-codex-and-silicon-valleys-war-against-the-media. At the time of the article's release, I thought it was well-written enough, but the framing struck me as strange. What does a psychiatrist's blog have to do Sillicon Valley vs. The Media? Why is almost a third of the article on Balaji Srivinasan who has only a tenuous connection to rationalism?

Part of the answer is surely narcissism on the part of the New Yorker. The media seems to love reporting on meta-news (news about the news). So to them, this angle seemed the most interesting.

But in the past year or so, the tech-vs-media culture war framing has seemed more and more prescient. I know it's precarious to get your view of the world from twitter, but it really is striking how tech elites like Paul Graham, Marc Andreesen, and Elon Musk who previously coded as neutral/apolitical are now retweeting memes about declining testosterone levels and First World birth rates. Something is happening.

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Dec 19, 2022Liked by Richard Hanania, Brian Chau

I haven't listened to the episode yet, but I am really excited that you brought Hanania back on.

One thing I appreciate about Hanania is the frankness with which he speaks about class in America (a quality that he shares with his frequent collaborator Rob Henderson). On the one hand, he correctly identifies many of the worst pathologies of the upper middle class--feminization, credentialism--which is a source of a lot of his most insightful commentary. On the other hand, he avoids falling into the all-too-common trap that right-wing commentators can fall into where they valorize the lower classes. The reality is that lower class people are lower class for a reason: they are less smart and have worse impulse control than the upper classes.

Hanania always gets me thinking, so I'm looking forward to this one.

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Wait what? I don't think Hanania valorizes the lower classes at all. https://richardhanania.substack.com/p/conservatism-as-an-oppositional-culture

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deletedDec 20, 2022·edited Dec 20, 2022Liked by Brian Chau
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My bad.

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Well there is something *between* upper and lower. I appreciate Hanania too but have more appreciation for regular guy sensibilities/capabilities. The libertarian self-control aristocracy he's kind of a figurehead for is even less populist than the minoritarian woke and their toxic views of humanity.

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Outside of the envy/precariat frame, i think the analysis of "middle-upper classes trying to be in charge of social justice/everything" misses out on the Shelby Steele "white guilt" frame, which i suppose could certainly come back to bring an imposter, but i do think many feel genuinely guilty

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I think it's definitely an undertone although we could discuss it more. Very related to class anxiety imo

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Dec 30, 2022Liked by Brian Chau

Brian, have you written or talked about optimizing vs. social climbing vs. instinct anywhere else? From the podcast I have an idea about what you mean, but I'd like to hear/read more. Thanks.

Can you be an optimizer without being particularly good at it? What if you just admire optimizers more than social climbers?

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To answer your second question, I don't think these mentalities really depend on ability. It's much more about priorities and what you respect/promote (although in practice these things may be correlated).

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I haven't written much on it. This tablet article is a proto version of it but differs slightly from my present thought:

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/rule-of-midwits.

I plan to write about it much more in a series of book reviews:

https://cactus.substack.com/p/announcing-the-book-review-roadmap

If you don't want to wait, you can get a lot of insight from reading those books, especially the Elephant and the Brain (co-authored by 2x FTNW guest Robin Hanson) and the True Believer.

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Brian Chau

Brian and Richard, 2 big picture comments if you care to read this:

1. Excellent and deep analysis. Lots of outside the box / independent thinking. You covered so many topics, and integrated them well. Loved it.

2. Perhaps a generational thing, but you both use LOTS of throw away words, such as: like, yeah, actually, ah, you know, etc. So many that it is distracting. Wouldn't say this if I didn't highly respect you

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The right object of envy you were striving to find, in my experience, is the highly paid college football coach. They really hate those guys.

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Write that article about promsicuity, honestly. That's interesting.

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I genuinely don't have much to say about it. It might look like this one: https://richardhanania.substack.com/p/why-do-i-hate-pronouns-more-than

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Dec 19, 2022·edited Dec 19, 2022Liked by Brian Chau

Since you deanonymized and use your real name, people can find you rather easily. And you talk about very controversial stuff like race differences. Are you not worried about that?

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If anything I'm spicier in real life. But in both cases, it's much more of a problem for me that I waste time talking to people with literally nothing to contribute (due to conformity or lack of intelligence) and this is one of many things that help me avoid this problem. If anything, the incentive is for me to say more controversial things than I actually believe, which is definitely something I've done in real life before. Hopefully I haven't done very much of that on the podcast.

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The kid is bright but way too young to have any nuanced views on American culture. He is completely ignorant of most things that happened the day before yesterday.

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Jealousy makes a lot of sense within a status/competence hierarchy. But is jealousy the best description of cross hierarchy feelings? I don't think women are jealous of a lot of nerd and man stuff, but they do see it as threatening since it takes away status/attention from them.

You mention something close to my favorite right-left dichotomy: male-production-left vs. female-consumption-right. Men to produce cool stuff will create many different games and hierarchies. Women want to feel safe and valued and thus only care about a single status hierarchy of getting stuff.

The left (women) is not jealous of the right (men), they hate the right for being different than them.

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It seems to me like the left is not very interested in getting stuff though? Hence support of lockdowns, federal medication bans, etc., all measures which result in people (including liberals) getting less and worse stuff.

Maybe "stuff" is broader and includes the status that comes from depriving others, in which case I don't think we differ to much.

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