Q&A: Does your methodology work backwards from a presumption? (Sigh. Critique is Everywhere.)

A Question From Benjamin Uraminski

Curt, your underlying methodology seems to work backward from a presupposed solution, similar to an algebra problem. In this instance, it having already been decided upon that everything is inherently sexual so that the missing variables which reinforce the preconceived notion appear obvious to one who holds those beliefs.

I notice this particular Freudian-esque and neo-Darwinist methodology, that everything is inherently sexual, a lot in the modernist thought patterns.

To draw another analogy: how is this inherently different than the methodology of a paranoid, believing that everyone is out to get him, interpreting the facts his sense-perceptions supply to him, to reinforce the preconceived notion that, everyone is, in fact, out to get him?

Well, Ben, I am going to assume that you’re asking a serious question. :) Even if you fall into psychologizing (authoritarianism, ridicule, gossip, ad hominem) rather than criticizing the argument itself.

Either the argument possess explanatory power, and survives criticism or it Doesn’t. In the case of both Testimonialism and Propertarianism that is going to be very hard. And to criticize aristocratic egalitarianism will require only that you justify deceit and favor dysgenic reproduction. Which is a preference, I admit.

As for ‘working backward’ the answer is that I started with the very real problem of cooperation (See Axelrod et al), and constructed Propertarianism from rational incentives in in the face of opportunity costs. And like a good analytic I used every available bit of scientific evidence I could find to criticize it. When I understood that Haidt had pretty much identified the causes, and that I could map them to conflicts over the allocation of property rights, then it wasn’t difficult to use the work in his bibliography to develop the rest of Propertarianism: I expressed moral statements in the AMORAL language of economics.

As for psychology, the reason it seems like psychology is that it replaces authoritarian psychologizing(pseudoscientific) with a much more sophisticated and nuanced means of describing human thoughts as incentives rather than experiences. So to some degree (by accident) I do think that Propertarianism and Testimonialism fully replace authoritarian/totalitarian/equalitarian psychology, by extending economics (observations of demonstrated preference) to include the first principles of economics: incentives to cooperate. And in doing so I explain demonstrated political preferences in voting as a division of moral perception knowledge and labor. This is pretty profound really. And one of the best tests of it, is that the explanatory power appears to unite all fields of inquiry under a very simple set of premises starting with the need to acquire.

As for your analogy to Algebra, the differences is that numbers cannot make layer upon layer of intertemporally perishable normative contracts any more than hydrogen and oxygen can choose not to bond, where people can. As such we can exchange what appear to be violations of those first principles if in the aggregate we benefit.

As for methodology, which methodology are you talking about?
Testimonial truth?
Propertarianism?
Aristocratic Egalitarianism?

I am pretty sure Testimonialism will survive as the definition of truth proper from which all others are derived. That’s probably one of the most important insights into truth in the past century. It completes Critical Rationalism / Critical Preference.

To defeat Propertarianism would require some very substantial and what appears unlikely changes to the history of man’s development. (as we say, the framework of social science is evolutionary biology).

To defeat aristocratic egalitarianism is a matter of preference, although I argue that if one built a high trust truthful polity, that they would all evolve into aristocratic egalitarian polities over time.

So these arguments are defeat-able, but they’re defeat-able on fairly sophisticated grounds.

But then again, Marx built an enormous edifice on a lie (dialectical materialism) and a falsehood (labor theory of value). So maybe I made similar mistakes.

But like Marx, those mistakes will require ratio-scientific arguments not pseudoscientific (psychological gossip and shaming).

(Sorry for throwing the tease in there but I couldn’t resist.)

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/Tuo3H

Interviews

Red Ice Radio (Sweden)

The Right Stuff

    1: The Daily Shoah 22: “A Propertarian Brunch”
    http://therightstuff.biz/2015/03/02/the-daily-shoah-episode-22-a-propertarian-brunch/

    2: The Daily Shoah 35: “Doolittle Does It Again”
    http://therightstuff.biz/2015/06/02/the-daily-shoah-episode-35-doolittle-doesitagain/

Counter-Currents Radio 6/26/15 “Interview with Curt Doolittle”
           http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/06/interview-with-curt-doolittle/

           Topics include:

    1. Curt’s background and education
    2. Why truth-telling is the secret to the success of European society
    3. How Europeans have lowered the costs of truth-telling and raised the costs of lying
    4. The emergence of rhetoric, philosophy, and science
    5. The importance of imagination in science and the necessity of criticism to winnow out pure fancies
    6. The subversion of truth-telling in science and politics
    7. Why the 20th century became the era of weaponized pseudoscience
    8. Political correctness vs. truth
    9. How we might restore truth-telling in politics and science

    Note: regrettably, I lost some audio around the 31 minute mark, but fortunately Curt’s narrative remains intelligible. We will have to fill in the gaps in future conversations.

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/dO73Z

Q: “What is Your Position on Slavery?”

Well, I suppose I have to be impolitic here and just go with the truth.  But let me prevaricate a little bit and remind all that my job is to make amoral (non moral, non-introspective) arguments.  So I am not going to satisfy your moral intuition’s needs for confirmation in this essay.

SLAVERY?
Cooperation between relative equals is so disproportionately rewarding that it is difficult not to make use of it.

Cooperation is not universally valuable, even if possible, because at some point the differences between the parties mean that there is nothing of value that they can exchange (the degree to which this is pervasive in the world is why we end up with classes and castes.) (

Cooperation is not universally possible because if there is a marginal difference in suppression of free riding (parasitism) then agreements that yield productive results are not possible. (Russia/Iran)

Cooperation is not possible if the others are not capable of cooperating (Pygmys).

Cooperation is sometimes undesirable if cooperation may lead to one’s eventual extermination. (this happens even if you will eventually be out-competed by what appears to be mutually beneficial cooperation.) (american indians)

Cooperation is not possible if the other party is intent on your displacement, conquest, conversion, out-breeding, or extermination. (Palestinians)

Paternalism (managed evolution / colonialism / rule) of those who are either not valuable to cooperate with, or not possible to cooperate with, or deadly to cooperate with can possibly provide returns if you can afford to produce them.

Paternalism (managed evolution / colonialism / rule) is only preferable if in the long term, you do sufficient good and insufficient harm, that the population, once evolved, will not harm you, and will persist in trading with you, and you will obtain long term rewards from that cooperation. (India)

If Paternalism (managed evolution) is not possible because the others are not capable of cooperation, or you cannot afford to evolve them, and you can ignore them, then ignoring them is the cheapest solution.

If you cannot ignore them, cannot evolve them, and cannot cooperate with them, then you can conquer or exterminate them.

If you cannot afford to conquer or exterminate them, then they will defeat you.

Therefore;
– We can exterminate those who threaten us.
– We can resist conquerors and superior competitors.
– We can trade with peers.
– We can evolve non-peers.
– We can protect (treat as pets) the non threatening.
– We can ignore those who are irrelevant.

The problem with slavery is that it’s very expensive to police sentient creatures whose dominance hierarchy we cannot assume leadership of.

Any potential slave is of better utility in the voluntary organization of production (the market) than he is in the involuntary organization of production.

It’s fairly expensive to take care of pets. (Pygmys, Primitives). But the alternative is to lose all future potential from them, and often, lose the value that they bring to existence. (Giraffe’s and Elephants).

It’s fine to make pets from non-sentients as long as we don’t cause them to suffer – even if they would prefer to be independent, sometimes the alternative to being a pet is extinction (tigers).

It is very hard to imagine non-threatening sentients that we cannot ignore.

So in this list I cannot see the wisdom of involuntary slavery, unless somehow we make the case the slavery is a less expensive alternative to extermination. (And that, I think, is a hard argument to make. Bullets are cheap after all.)

Now if we were to return to agrarian poverty in the next thousand years, the economics of slavery MIGHT invert. (although that is hard to imagine). We forget that serfdom emerged out of a labor shortage, and starvation may have increased further without it as a means of the involuntary organization of production.

Moreover, humans have the same problem with slavery as we do with random abuse, with domestic abuse, with animal abuse, and even with abuse of physical commons, and normative commons:

in-group people who do that are dangerous to us as well.

So I don’t want to see slavery (in the plantation model, not the greek model) because I understand that it leads to retaliation.

If you want to raise people as pets and treat them as pets, you know, I am not so sure I have a problem with that.

If you want to raise people through paternalism, I am not only ok with it, but it appears to be necessary.

If you want to exterminate people, I am perfectly OK with that, as long as it’s because they are impossible to cooperate with and survive.

But as far as I know, slavery doesn’t produce any end worth it’s cost. (Today).

So that is an AMORAL argument fully constructed from rational incentives without appeal to introspection.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine.

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/pBgQc

Science And Philosophy: 2500 Years Of Intellectual History Condensed Into 125 Words.

The discipline we call philosophy and the discipline we call science consist of a set of methods (processes) which philosophical science, the social sciences, and the physical sciences, use to launder existential impossibility, limitlessness, error, bias, imaginary content, wishful thinking, deception, and (objective) immorality (in the domain of the social sciences) from our testimony (speech).

This laundering is achieved by a set of methodological criticisms addressing increasing levels of complexity, of which philosophical science requires the full set of criticisms, social science a subset of those criticisms, and physical science yet another subset of those criticisms.

Those criticisms consist of tests of: Identity, Internal Consistency, External Correspondence, Existential Possibility (Operationalism), Full Accounting (against selection bias), Parsimony (limits), and Voluntary Transfer (objective morality).”

(I suppose a lot of philosophers could read that paragraph and weep – that it took us 2500 years to state it.)

Cheers

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev Ukraine.

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/hfNuf

Art is Criticizable. And Like Morality, It’s Objectively Better or Worse

(worth repeating)

As for art theory it’s pretty simple stuff. You can read every significant tome on it in a month. (I am honestly not sure that Rand’s book isn’t one of the best really, in retrospect. And I don’t think much of rand as other than the children’s book version of philosophy for newbs.)

All art can be criticized on these three criteria
Craftsmanship (skill in use of materials)
Design (aesthetics – skill in associative pre-cognitive patterns)
Content (meaning – skill in associative cognitive patterns)

And, in all three dimensions by these criteria:
Novelty is better (innovation)
Parsimony is better (clarity)
– More information is better (richness or density)
Monumental (level of public/social/political value)
Durable is better (the persistence of the work as a reference is better)
Unique is better (the symbol that captures an excellence of a time and place)
We tend to see these criteria as as ‘excellence’.

Using the three axis, and six criteria, all:
– Craft
– Design
– Art
Can be compared and contrasted if not quantitatively(cardinally) at least qualitatively(ordinary).

You would think not, but opinion in art coalesces just as do theories in science. While one might have one taste or another, it is very hard to study the whole of art history and not come to about the same conclusion as have all the others: These works are clearly better and these works are clearly not as good. But I PREFER these over the objectively better ones as they suit my taste.1

If you try it, sort of by stack ranking any set of art pieces by the criteria above it will rapidly become clear to you that art criticism and scientific criticism are extremely similar endeavors.

This [messes] with the mind of sentimental people who desperately want an internal intuitionistic truth to appeal to – but it’s sad for them. I’m sorry. Carful criticism still defeats your ‘intuition’.

Art is just as open to criticism as any other work of man. There is just a lot of marginal indifference within each strata of work.

It’s very obvious after a while that the communists and socialists and feminists and postmodernists attacked art just as they attacked truth.
‘Cause they desperately wanna lie.


  1. I didn’t expect to love Medieval art, but I do.  I did come to appreciate through economics the struggles of post-photography artists, and I can also appreciate the minimalists, even if I still despise the pop and marxists.  

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/MPgj2

The Meaning of “Incremental Suppression”

(organic common law as a means of incrementally suppressing free riding).

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The logic of the Incremental Suppression of Free Riding via the evolution of the Common Law.

1) Humans acquire at cost and defend what they have acquired at cost.

2) Cooperation is disproportionately more productive than predation.

3) Cooperation is only preferable to predation in the total absence of parasitism. Or, what we call free-riding.

4) Because of the disproportionate value of cooperation, Humans retaliate against free riding even if at high cost ( altruistic punishment) – they protect the institution by severe policing of cheaters.

5) Rules against free riding, either normative or codified in law, prohibit parasitism (free riding).

6) Prohibitions that are habituated in norms or codified in law provide a means of decision making in matters of conflict.

7) Prohibitions against parasitism can be positively expressed as contractual “rights”.

8) Community member (shareholders in the local market) insure one another by suppressing retaliation against settlements of grievances according to norms and laws.

9) The common, organic law allows for the least time lapse between an innovation in the means of parasitism and the construction of a prohibition against this new means of parasitism expressed as new law. As such all laws are discovered. (very important)

10) High trust societies use common law to incrementally suppress all available means of free riding, leaving productive participation in the market as the only viable means of survival.

11) As a consequence, the reproduction of the lower classes is suppressed and the distribution of talents increases along with the innovations in technology. (market eugenics). Thus obviating the need for tyranny and redistribution.

Aristocracy, Egalitarianism, Morality, Nomocracy, Meritocracy, Science, and Eugenic Evolution are mutually dependent.

The diagram shows the incremental suppression of parasitism starting from the suppression of violence through fraud, through conspiracy, through immigration, through conquest.

Only the west succeeded in developing the norm of truth. And without truth telling we cannot have the jury. And without the jury no judge or common law.

Truth matters above all else. Pseudoscience is just Babylonian monotheistic mysticism in new clothes. And this new emperor is naked also.

Truth is enough to rescue the west.  Truth is enough.

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/whSsV

A Hierarchy of Truths

(worth repeating)

A hierarchy of Truths:

  1. True enough to imagine a conceptual relationship
  2. True enough for me to feel good about myself.
  3. True enough for me to take actions that produce positive results.
  4. True enough for me to not cause others to react negatively to me.
  5. True enough to resolve a conflict without subjective opinion among my fellow people with similar values.
  6. True enough to resolve a conflict without subjective opinion across different peoples with different values.
  7. True regardless of all opinions or perspectives.
  8. Tautologically true: in that the two things are equal.
URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/mRpxb

Truth is a Very Expensive Norm – That’s Why No One Else Does It.

(guaranteed to make people angry)(sketch)

HIERARCHY OF TRUTHFUL CULTURES

  • -TRUTHFUL-
    GERMANIC EUROPE (non-ideological)
    ANGLO/AMERICAN (ideological optimism)
    INDIA (utopian idealism and justification)
  • -DECEPTIVE-
    JEWISH (circumstantial truth, dual ethics, framing and overloading: pseudoscience and pseudorationalism and informational asymmetry)
    CHINA (creative lying, obscurantism, and delaying, lying as buying time, avoiding conflict, accumulating strength.)
  • -DECEITFUL-
    RUSSIA (outright lying and cheating, non-contractual, lying as strength,)
    ISLAM/ARAB (denial of reality, deceit and aggression, lying as heroic.)

I need a third dimension because India and SE Asia are hard to fit in a stack. And the more I work at it the more I admire how Hindus really just don’t connect to reality so much as lie.  It’s a totally different mentality.

Source: Curt Doolittle – TRUTH IS A VERY EXPENSIVE NORM – THATS WHY NO ONE…

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/x28WB

Truth: Why is Propertarianism Different?

Because while a number of other philosophers have come to the conclusion that all we must do is tell the truth, no other philosopher has told you how you can tell the truth: by speaking truthfully: by providing the warranty that you have performed due diligence on any speech that you place into the informational and normative commons. And by describing precisely how you can perform that due diligence.

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/wiY5p

Moral Objectivity or Relativity?

Morality is as absolute as mathematics. Everything else is not morality but competitive strategy: contractual variations upon objective morality. Just as all law is as absolute as mathematics but all legislation contractual variation (or command).

The conflation of morality with strategy, and law with command is a long-standing problem in rational philosophy.

The law and morality are identical in content. Group Strategy and Group Contract are merely utilitarian.

Cooperation evolved after individual survival. For cooperation to be rational it must be mutually beneficial. For it to be mutually beneficial it must be (in the aggregate) non-parasitic.

We raise our children, demonstrate kin selection with kin, and we cooperate with non-kin, and we compete with those with whom we do not cooperate.

So:
Productive
Fully informed.
Warrantied.
Voluntary Transfer
Free of Negative Externality of the same criteria
equals
beneficial cooperation.

Morality is an absolute. Norms are merely tactics.
Legislation is not necessarily lawful. Norms are not necessarily moral.

As such, we can measure whether some cultures are more moral than others, by measuring the degree of suppression of parasitism (free riding) that is suppressed by law and norm.

So not only is morality absolute, but the relative moral content of different cultures is absolute.

That this difference determines economic velocity, and economic velocity affords us greater morality (if we choose it) is the more interesting area of inquiry.

Cheers

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

URL:http://www.propertarianism.com/4iwqm