Friday assorted links


#4. Aren't norms and exclusion really the same mechanism? We exclude people who don't obey social norms... in order to enforce social norms. The punishment for disobeying the groups norms is usually exclusion, isn't it?

I think the point here is -

- If norms are strictly enforced, everyone follows them. So there is less discrimination against low class / low caste people who wouldn't follow the norms if left to themselves, thus allowing themselves to be singled out as odd men out.

- In the absence of norms, some follow the standards, some don't. And those who don't cause raised eyebrows and are victims of prejudice.

I can vouch for Hanson / Cowen's key thought here using examples from India.

- Dalits in North India are less discriminated against as they speak a language very similar to that of the upper most castes. And often their religious habits / dietary habits are not radically different from several other upper / middle castes. As the cultural norms are more widespread in the north, Dalits stand out less and face less discrimination.

- Dalits in Southern India in contrast stand out more, as their religious habits / language dialects / diet etc are more markedly different than say the upper castes. So it is not merely the Dalit tag which is a handicap here, but also their cultural "foreign"ness. Stronger and more widespread prevalence of Sanskritized vocabulary, vegetarian diets etc in Southern India could possibly mitigate discrimination against dalits.

"And often their religious habits / dietary habits are not radically different from several other upper / middle caste"

I mean, who cares about Truth, just follow the lemming in front of you and everything will be right. It is sad to see that there are entire nations in thrall to Satan and his fallen angels.

I was expecting you, Thiago!

And "Brazil expects everyone to fulfill its duty" - Admiral Barroso, during the War Against the Paraguayan Aggressor

I guess you are what to expect when you're expecting.

I am what one expects when one doesn't know what to expect. I am the night.

In the absence of norms, some follow the standards, some don’t. And those who don’t cause raised eyebrows and are victims of prejudice.

Isn't this internally inconsistent. If non-norm followers are being punished, then the norms are being enforced. It's like you're saying something like "This permissive culture means that women who have illegitimate children will be frowned upon!"


What I mean is -

Scenario 1 : Norms are formally enforced. Eg : Prohibition. Or dress codes in offices. So everyone follows them, whether they like it or not. There is less discrimination.

Scenario 2 : Norms are not formally enforced. So some employees wear formals to office, Some wear sneakers. Some wear shorts or sport tatoos. In this environment, these cues get picked up and the "non-norm following" guys face a lot more soft discrimination than in Scenario 1.

Ok, I guess I just think of norms as rules which are not formally enforced (by definition). If you go by that definition , and change Hanson's theses to fewer formal rules (laws and governance) means more informal exclusion (social norms), it makes a lot more sense.

What we need is more Dravidianization Shrikanth. Why should South Indians, who arguably have an older and richer heritage, lose their identity that sets them apart to become part of the backward (culturally and economically) North Indian sanskritic culture?

Haha. South India has a highly aryanized culture. More brahminical than North India in most respects. By brahminical, I don't mean the caste. But the world view - to which most people adhere. Universalization of the high culture of the land is what will drive homogenization and also reduce caste conflict.

"Why should South Indians, who arguably have an older and richer heritage"

Just not true. Civilization was introduced in the South by north Indian immigrants. Even Sangam era texts talk of migration from the north. Agastya the great Tamil sage in the Sangam texts was a Brahmin who also features in the Vedic texts.

And the Sanskritic texts of Vedas, Upanisads, Aranyakas, as well as the early versions of the Itihaasas, are all much older than even the oldest Dravidian Sangam texts.

South India should be proud of its Vedic heritage which has been sustained in the Deccan, long after its decline in its place of origin - the North Indian plain.

People are often excluded for being different even if they haven't violated any norms.

A lot of differences ARE norm violations.
Being gay is a violation of a norm against sex with or attraction to people of the same sex.
People with Aspergers pretty much are defined by inability to understand and obey informal social norms. Offending people by not understanding what you should or shouldn't say and when. Not knowing when to change the subject in conversation.
Transvestites violate norms against wearing clothing of the opposite sex.
Other sorts of differentness/oddness are defined by failure to obey certain social rules like style of dress and behavior. Someone who is a "goth" and goes around in heavy black eye makeup and black clothing, for example.

#4 What's the problem exactly?

I think Robin wants us to be more Danish, peek out the windows, watch the neighbors, gossip the violations.

When I saw Tyler's link, my first thought was 'the commenters aren't going to actually read this."

"Consider this another weak argument for relying more on stronger norms, law, and governance. That could let us rely less on exclusion locally. And mix up a bit more."

You don't get stronger norms, rather than law and governance, without busybodies to do the work of snooping them out.

You don't get law and governance without busybodies either.

True, but I imagine conservatives seek the benefits of "norms, law, and governance" with less of the latter. Liberals vis-versa.

Independent minded folk might apportion responsibility with greater flexibility.

I think they flip sides depending on the issue. Conservatives love to formalize rules like who you are allowed to date, and liberalize like to formalize rules like how much you're allowed to charge for gasoline. Maybe there is some bias towards conservatives liking formal rules more, if you define conservatives in the more traditional sense where they're the opposite of libertarians. Libertarians prefer informal everything.

Compare the sexual rules. Now to 50 years ago. There are no rules now but the likelihood of losing your job because of some behavior is higher.

No rules create situations where the most rigid and unreasonable get ascendance. Weimar to Nazi.

There are no rules, yet most of us manage to keep our penises inside our trousers during working hours and our hands outside a coworker's pants. Thank you very much.

I am wondering, is the risk of losing one's job for offending Blacks is higher now than under Jim Crow? Maybe you need more strict rules to regulate what people say.

4. It is interesting that I was discussing this old blogpost with another MR reader just yesterday and also shared it among my friends!

1. Regarding "Radicalism of the American Revolution" -

I guess Wood is a liberal. Someone like Forrest MacDonald might argue a bit differently. I think it is fair to say that a lot of what we read in the Federalist papers is pretty conservative doctrine by today's standards. So I am not sure about the radicalism here.

Also when we discuss Founding Fathers, we need to specify which one we are talking about. I don't think Washington and Hamilton were radicals. Jefferson on the other hand was a lot more radical.

1. On second thoughts about the Gordon Wood book, I guess what he meant was - the revolution was highly radical for its time, though many of its basic tenets seem fairly conservative 250 years later.

But I have a question - weren't the American Revolutionaries fairly conservative when compared to Oliver Cromwell (who preceded them by a century and a quarter) and Simon De Montfrot (who preceded them by over 5 centuries)? Those guys would probably regard the American Founders as center right moderates.

#2: CBC is blocked for me at work, but Uber for goalies sounds like a (small) winner of an idea. When I played rec league hockey in high school/college, games were always being sabotaged because one of the goalies didn't show up.

Brazil has lots of apps for goalkeeper supply.

1. Why should I give a flying fig what this person read in 2017? Because Tyler needs to promote Medium?

How much effort does it take not to click on the Link ? Certainly less than to write a comment.

But I was impressed that a "non-famous" person read so widely.

What are you? The hall monitor?

Because Tyler thought it was an interesting list? Did you not know that this is Tyler's blog?

So that is it. As puppets, we must dance to his tune..

His blog, my comment.

Pay attention. Plot against America: According to Foreign Policy,
"Beijing Builds Its Influence in the American Media
by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

How a California-based Chinese-language newspaper amplifies China’s message."

Amerjca may be foing Communist as we speak.

Stop trolling or you will be banned again.

If they strike me down, as Mr. Obi-Wan Kenobi, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.


Yes, I shall.

Aren't most all countries somewhere along the oligarchy spectrum?

5. How does Erdogan's mind work? Is he the first guy in recorded history to hold the view that high interest rates cause high inflation?

Actually I see lots of people, like the Fed, thinking that they can raise interest rates and not have inflation fall, which is almost the same thing.

"I think it’s important to get people into these research spaces who look more like those under study". Why is Harvard happy with such racist filth? Would they approve of a Nazi saying that Aryan Germans should preferably be written about by Aryan Germans?

There's good reason for Godwin's Law.

well done

4. Sixty years ago mass media consisted mostly of newspapers, books, and radio. There were considerable difference between different regions of the United States. Traveling 60 miles was enough to come to a place where people did things differently. Businesses, schools, and the military has to accept people from a wide variety of backgrounds and integrate them if they wanted members. Often humans were excluded on the basis of racial appearance, sex, and religion, but if you were a white male you could wear the uniform, follow the rules, and shave the worst edges off your local accent and be accepted. And it was considered a fact of life that "new recruits" would have some rough edges and would require a period of training and adjustment.

But as American culture became more homogenized thanks to visual media and increased mobility, rough edges became less of an accepted fact of life and more a source of shame. As the pool of people who knew the majority social norms from childhood on grew, using difference to exclude those who didn't fit in from the get go became more common. This increased the importance of following norms and fitting in. As a result, today most Americans are more likely to work for someone else -- the norm, than to open a corner store. That is left to recent immigrants who do not fit in.

This seems insightful; thanks for it.

Thank you for the compliment. I could give you more of my outsider insight into America, but since you liked that last bit perhaps I should stop there.

What I wrote above is something I think has happened here in Australia, but in a much weaker form. And I'm glad it's weaker, because it allows me to give the Prime Minister the finger and not lose my job. I can also constantly mock Germany on the company website without getting in trouble, because screw Germany. They had their chance not to invade Poland in 1939 and they blew it. And we can say Merry Christmas all we want because Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Sure, there is Christmas the religious holiday, but they're not the same thing, so when we see Americans complaining about it they always come across as imbeciles to us.

I can guess at the reasons why Australia turned out different from the US, but they are only guesses. And I expect Americans looking at our culture could find one or two things about us to poke fun at. Or they would if they were any good at humor.

American here. I completely agree with you. The PC culture and virtue signaling status games the lead to people losing their livelihoods and reputation are cancerous.

I just found your site and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.In any case I'll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon

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