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The Bully’s Pulpit
Here I think it’s important to look carefully at how institutions organize the reactions of the audience. Usually, when we try to imagine the primordial scene of domination, we see some kind of Hegelian master-slave dialectic in which two parties are vying for recognition from one another, leading to one being permanently trampled underfoot. We should imagine instead a three-way relation of aggressor, victim, and witness, one in which both contending parties are appealing for recognition (validation, sympathy, etc.) from someone else. The Hegelian battle for supremacy, after all, is just an abstraction. A just-so story. Few of us have witnessed two grown men duel to the death in order to get the other to recognize him as truly human. The three-way scenario, in which one party pummels another while both appeal to those around them to recognize their humanity, we’ve all witnessed and participated in, taking one role or the other, a thousand times since grade school.
anthropology  david_graeber  historical_revisionism  primitivism  bullying  institutions  war 
4 weeks ago by perich
More arguments against blockchain, most of all about trust - Marginal REVOLUTION
Auditing software is hard! The most-heavily scrutinized smart contract in history had a small bug that nobody noticed — that is, until someone did notice it, and used it to steal fifty million dollars. If cryptocurrency enthusiasts putting together a $150m investment fund can’t properly audit the software, how confident are you in your e-book audit? Perhaps you would rather write your own counteroffer software contract, in case this e-book author has hidden a recursion bug in their version to drain your ethereum wallet of all your life savings?

It’s a complicated way to buy a book! It’s not trustless, you’re trusting in the software (and your ability to defend yourself in a software-driven world), instead of trusting other people.
econotariat  marginal-rev  links  commentary  quotes  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  blockchain  crypto  trust  money  monetary-fiscal  technology  software  institutions  government  comparison  cost-benefit  primitivism  eden-heaven 
april 2018 by nhaliday
The Only Game in Town | West Hunter
Over on Discover gnxp, Victor said “As far as IQ is concerned, I find such comparisons meaningless. An IQ test devised by members of some African tribe is going to be very different from one devised by Western academics. And I can guarantee that most “Caucasians” would not do very well on such a test.”

I mention this not because it is true or sensible, but rather because it is often said.  I can hardly count the times that I have seen someone make this argument.  The person putting it forth usually thinks of it as utterly crushing.  Another related argument is that there are ‘lots of different kinds of intelligence” – so who can say what really matters?

Well,  I can.   IQ, as measured by IQ scores, is a decent measure of the cognitive skills that you need in order for technical innovation or more routine science and engineering.  It’s generally useful in modern technical civilization. Populations with low average IQ produce very few individuals that are good at innovation. Very few.   If there were one or a few kinds of intelligence that were not measured well by IQ tests, but allowed people with low IQs to accomplish remarkable things –  you’d think we would notice.   We know that they don’t invent railroads or transistors or penicillin:  what comparably important and useful things have they done?
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august 2017 by nhaliday

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