What Vox Day Believes

Vox_Day_by_Tracy_White_promo_pic

Vox Day

I just had a conversation with the devil.

Well, from what people have been posting, he seemed like the devil. But I know how the internet can be. Mitt Romney at one time was the devil. Now, I think he’s been degraded in those quarters to janitor of the hot place. Yeah, that one Romney who is out raising tons of money to help fix blindness among the poorest of the poor, that evil son-of-a-gun.

So when I saw there was a new head honcho in town, I decided to see what he was all about.

I did try reading various posts on the internet, but after a dozen or so of those, I realized it would just be easier to go to the source. And so I went to Vox Day’s website and clicked the contact link, which popped up an email.

I asked Day if he’d mind answering a few questions.

He agreed.

What you will read below is our conversation, arranged for easy reading.

Why am I doing this?

Well, who doesn’t want to scoop the devil? But beyond that, I agree with George R. R. Martin: internet conversations that are not moderated to maintain a tone of respectful disagreement are a bane upon us all. Actually, Martin said they were part of the devil’s alimentary canal, but I didn’t want to confuse the topic.

So I’d read a number of posts that Day had made and others folks had made about Day and saw all the bad juju going back and forth. And I wanted to know what this guy actually believed. Once I understood that, if I disagreed, then I could disagree in a way that I think is actually productive.

We talked about some of his views on two subjects—race and women. Are his ideas provocative? Well, you need to know what they are before you decide.

Conversation

Brown

Vox,

I’m following the conversation about the Hugos. Many of the conversations claim you are a racist and misogynist. Knowing how labels and slurs can magically become fact, I wanted to go to the source and understand what it is you truly believe. I’ve done some reading on your site. I’ve seen attack pieces such as this http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Theodore_Beale#cite_note-real-ass-13.

But it’s all so scattershot and snippets out of context. I’m wondering if you might answer some questions. If so, my first questions are about your views on race.

  1. Do you believe Black Africans have, in general, less genetic potential for intelligence than White Europeans?
  2. Do you believe the same for the darker Asians like those from India or Indonesia?
  3. Which genetic group has the highest genetic potential for intelligence at this time?
  4. You mention three genetic groups here http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/01/more-highly-evolved.html. Are you talking about Europe/Asia, Africa, the Americas?

Day

Hi John,

My response to those who claim I am racist or misogynist is simple: why do you reject science, history, and logic? It is not hateful to be scientifically literate, historically aware, and logically correct.

  1. Pure Homo sapiens sapiens lack Homo neanderthalus and Homo denisova genes which appear to have modestly increased the base genetic potential for intelligence. These genetic differences may explain the observed IQ gap between various human population groups as well as various differences in average brain weights and skull sizes.
  2. Yes, East Asians have been observed to have considerably higher IQs than Southeast Asians.
  3. The Chinese. Their average IQ is higher than the Ashkenazi Jews, who are genetically a refined group of Semitic-Italian crosses. To be more specific, the highest average IQ is found in Singapore.
  4. No, the genetic groups are the Homo sapiens sapiens/Homo neanderthalus crosses, the Homo sapiens sapiens/Homo neanderthalus/Homo denisova crosses, and the pure Homo sapiens sapiens. These broadly align with Europe, Asia, and Africa, but not exactly.

You may find this to be a useful reference on the intelligence front: https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/intelligence-a-unifying-construct-for-the-social-sciences-richard-lynn-and-tatu-vanhanen.pdf

Brown

Let me see if I’ve captured your overall approach. You feel it’s important to examine and conduct science without regard to political correctness. For example, if Vanhanen and Lynn say IQ is genetic, you feel the most appropriate thing to do is not attack them for being racists, but simply examine their data and conclusions dispassionately. It’s important to question it. Argue with it. Try to falsify, as we do with any other scientific claim. But not dismiss it simply on the basis that it doesn’t agree with our what we feel is morally right. Correct?

Day

Yes. Science and history and logic exist regardless of whether we are happy about them or not. We have to take them into account.

Brown

It appears the Lynn & Vanhanen book suggests the genetic IQ differences were caused, not by Homo crosses, but by natural selection operating in colder climates over long periods of time. Can you provide another reference that discusses the DNA tracing and IQ correlation of the various crosses?

Day

There are many articles on the Internet about DNA and IQ, I suggest you simply search them out and read a few. The data is conclusive, the rationale explaining the data is not.

Brown

I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you said the rationale explaining the data is not conclusive. What do you mean by that?

Day

Regarding rationale, the data is beyond dispute. But we cannot explain why the data is the way that it is, we can only construct various explanatory hypotheses. Historical explanations are, for the most part, scientific fairy tales, literal science fiction.

Brown

I read your comment to Jemisin about African exposure to Greco-Roman culture. It seems you’re suggesting societies can’t make large change their culture (values and beliefs) over a few generations, or within one generation. Is that what you’re claiming? It doesn’t seem like you’re making a genetic-intelligence argument since 1,000-2,000 years seems too short for any type of significant evolution. Of course, if it’s a cultural argument, then I don’t see how it’s possible to say it’s impossible for a bunch of Jemisons to accomplish this since she was raised with the Western culture. Confused on your base point here.

Day

Yes, I am claiming that societies are incapable of moving from full primitivism to full civilization within the time frame that primitive African societies have been in contact with what we consider to be civilization. It is a genetic argument. It takes that long to kill off or otherwise suppress the breeding of the excessively violent and short-time preferenced. African-American men are 500 times more likely to possess a gene variant that is linked to violence and aggression than white American men.

Brown

Two more questions. It doesn’t sound like you’re against immigration per se. You just think that if a society wants to continue, they need to breed. Right?

Day

I am against large-scale immigration, particularly population-replacement immigration. Limited immigration, no problem.

Brown

I suspect someone is going to wonder if your ideas on race and IQ and violence mean you favor some type of eugenics program. So let me ask you: do you believe in selective breeding or sterilization? If so, would that be to promote the Homo crosses you think are better? Or just any trait from any group you think is superior?

Day

No, I am not a eugenicist. I oppose forced selective breeding and sterilization. However, I also oppose dysgenic and dyscivic social policies, which is presently what we have across most of the West.

Brown

As much as I want to ask more about what you consider dysgenic and dyscivic policies, I think it would just lead to another topic, which would lead to another. Let’s talk about your views on women. Here are my initial questions.

  1. Do you believe a country is better off when women cannot vote?
  2. Do you believe a country is better off when women are not afforded equal education opportunities as men?
  3. What are the top topics of education do you think would be beneficial for women?
  4. I’ve read this post http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2012/06/scientist-beats-up-pz.html. It sounds like you think the main objective of a country or culture with regards to women should be to reduce female promiscuity (not necessarily male promiscuity) and increase the number of children each female bears. Is that correct?
  5. Referring to that same post, are you saying that genital mutilation and acid burnings are legitimate ways to treat women? Or are you saying that they are bad things, but that the societies that do such things have lower female promiscuity rates and higher fertility rates, and so it’s a small price to pay?

Day

  1. Yes, in a representative democracy. However, note that I favor universal direct democracy and the jury is out there.
  2. It depends. It increasingly appears that a society is improved by widespread female education through high school, and harmed by it beyond that level. If you look at the demographics, a society that sends its women to college stops breeding. How this is supposed to benefit a society, I do not understand.
  3. Again, it depends. If a society is demographically dying, then yes, it had better do something to get its birth rate up or it will cease to exist. This isn’t rocket science. If a society is stable or growing demographically, it has no need to concern itself with such policies.
  4. You appear to have misread the post. PZ Myers claimed that there was no rational case to be made for the Taliban’s activities. I responded by demonstrating that the Taliban’s behavior is entirely rational, it is merely the consequence of different objectives and ruthlessness in pursuing them. But the mere fact that I am capable of observing a logical syllogism does not mean I share the assumptions involved or advocate the conclusion. Considering that the Taliban defeated the Soviets and appear to have outlasted NATO, I think it is remarkably stupid to dismiss them as irrational simply because they are willing to defend their way of life.

Brown

Even though it appears I misread the exchange with PZ Myers, your answers to 2 and 3 suggest you prioritize fertility rates as the main goal a society should have towards women. As long as the population is stable or growing, you feel a society can examine other goals or objectives. But only if those goals or policies do not negatively impact the population rate. Correct?

Day

Yes. The NATIVE population rate. Immigration is used to cover up demographic decline, but it changes the nation.

Brown

Okay, what’s the reason you feel women shouldn’t vote in a representative democracy? And do you think only certain types of males should vote?

Day

The reason women shouldn’t vote in a representative democracy is they are significantly inclined to vote for whomever they would rather f***. Hence the studies about height and hair being relevant to US presidential politics. That’s why women’s suffrage was pushed by the Communists and why it is the first plank of the Fascist Manifesto.

In a representative system, yes, only certain types of males should vote. And before you leap to any silly conclusions, please keep in mind that I have lived most of my life in political systems where I am not allowed to vote. Voting does not equal maximizing freedom and liberty.

Brown

First, what types of males do you think should vote in a representative government and what’s the main reason why?

Second, do you believe large numbers of males will vote based on sexual attractiveness as well when females are running for office?

Day

Men who demonstrate sufficient long-term orientation and a willingness to put the national interest above self-interest.

No, men aren’t wired the same way.

Brown

How would you identify the types of men you mention? Military or law enforcement service? How would you determine who had a long-term view of things?

Day

I have never given any thought to how such men would be identified. Every method is bound to fail in time.

Personally, I’d like to see direct democracy tried. We now have the technology, and it would be MUCH harder to corrupt than representative democracy. At least we don’t know exactly HOW it would fail.

Brown

Vox,

This has been really helpful to me. I think it would be helpful to others wanting to understand you. Agreeing, of course, is a different matter. But that’s a different subject. Would you be okay with me posting this conversation on my site?

Day

Sure, do as you see fit. The usual suspects will have their own hissy fits, but that’s of no concern to me. I find it amusing when people tell me they disagree with some of these things. Do they not understand that it is not me with whom they are disagreeing, but reality? Why people can understand that if pandas don’t breed, they will go extinct, but fail to grasp the same thing is true of nations is beyond me.

Comments

You will notice I wasn’t trying to challenge his ideas. Does that mean I agree with them lock, stock, and barrel?

No. I’m very skeptical about a lot of them.

But as I stated above, before I agree or disagree with someone, I need to understand them. And the best way to understand someone is to ask questions, listen, and verify I’ve understood accurately. The worst way to understand is to start with an attack.

In this stage, the goal is not to trick someone. It’s not to convince them that they’ve contradicted themselves. It’s not to prove any point.

It’s to hear them out. And if there are things that don’t make sense, to ask questions of clarification.

But what do I think about his ideas?

Well, let’s look at them.

Scientific Inquiry

I have to agree with his idea that we should try to look at science dispassionately. I think it’s dumb to reject someone’s science simply because the results offend our sensibilities.

We reject science because there are issues with the data, or the experiments, or conclusions. We reject it because it doesn’t fit with the observations. Or because we can’t replicate the results, or because it fails to predict as it claimed it could. But we only hurt ourselves when we reject it because it doesn’t fit our current political beliefs.

Okay, fine. But what about his views on race and women?

The Rhetoric of Offense

Well, they’re bound to rile feathers. And Day sometimes seems to go out of his way to state them in a way he knows is offensive. I didn’t feel he did that with me. But if you read the links above, you can see he does employ it with others.

Here’s my take on this. The rhetoric of offense is different than the rhetoric of explication. The latter is meant to explain. The former’s goal is to cause injury. It has no interest in sharing ideas. It only has interest in injuring someone, either to try to gain relief from an attack or to beat someone into submission, or because seeing folks get all riled up provides amusement.

A good portion of Day’s posts that I’ve read, admitting it’s nowhere near exhaustive, seem to contain a lot of the rhetoric of offense. And I think this dramatically undermines his ability to get others to consider his ideas, let alone believe them.

Sure, the attacks might bring like-minded folks to his side. But, for the most part, it does not provide the ground in which insight grows. Offense closes both parties off to challenges, biases, and ideas. It closes them off to new information. And new information is such an integral part of learning.

Some people say that tone shouldn’t matter. For example, you may lace the fact that the earth revolves around the sun with expletives, or say it to me sweetly, but the fact remains that the earth revolves around the sun. So asking for a more respectful tone is an ad hominine attack, a logical fallacy. It has nothing to do with the argument.

But here’s where I believe the anti-tone folks go wrong. Offense changes the message. When you call me a jackass, you’ve selected to promote one message over another. It doesn’t matter if you’ve couched your attack in a well-reasoned point because you have decided to no longer communicate your point. You’ve decided to communicate the offense instead.

Can’t we do both?

Not really. It’s like playing a country western tune of reason softly in the background while shoving a 110 decibel speaker blasting an annoying alarm in my face.

It’s like taking the statement “the cow jumped over the moon” and saying “the the the the the the the the the the the the the the” followed by a barely audible statement of the rest. All the receiver hears is “the”. And that’s what they respond to.

This means there’s no fallacy at play because there is no argument being communicated. Instead, you’ve communicated an attack. And invited a response to precisely the same.

If the speaker wants someone to consider his ideas, then he needs to speak in a way that invites consideration. I know, you can do that, and the receiver may still go into what sometimes feels like “a hissy fit.” We see this all the time, don’t we? Communication is indeed a two-way street. However, if the guy who was trying to explain decides to switch and respond with an attack, that’s his choice. But don’t call it explication or reason or conversation.

Day was perfectly polite to me. And I know it’s incredibly difficult sometimes to not attack when being attacked. I know his ideas, even when stated reasonably, will rile some folks. But it’s also true that he sometimes loads his communications with things he knows will offend. Things meant to injure and ridicule. Things which show little regard for others. I find it counterproductive. I think it’s wrong. But I also condemn the same tactic from the other side. And, yes, there is probably a time to use the rhetoric of offense, but that’s for another post.

Okay, but what about his beliefs, John?

Votes for Women

Do you agree it would be better for our nation if women didn’t vote?

No.

I’m not convinced men aren’t affected by charisma. What? When males get in a group, all are equally popular? Or popular only because of their ideas, not their looks, money, power, physical prowess, etc?  Nor am I convinced that women can’t be long-term thinkers. I haven’t seen any science that supports that idea. And my personal experience has been just the opposite. The women I know think a lot about the future. Furthermore, when I include women in councils, we usually come up with much better ideas.

Now Day might suggest there’s science to look at. That’s his prerogative. I’m incredibly skeptical. But I think the most productive thing to do in reaction to his claim is to gauge whether you think it merits serious consideration. If it does, or if you’re curious, examine the evidence and report your results. If it doesn’t, just say you haven’t seen anything to suggest its worth looking into further.

Education for Women

What about his idea that the most important thing for a society is to maintain the population, which means the most important thing for a woman is to have babies, and that education undermines this and therefore should be avoided?

In one way, he’s right. If you want to maintain a certain population, you do indeed have to breed.

But if that’s your goal, I don’t see education in general as the determining factor. Mormon women have, as a group, much more education than the average female in the United States AND they have more babies. Lots more. I don’t think it’s education per se. I think it’s the values and beliefs some education fosters.

Some data on Mormon education and family sizes: http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/publications/education-scholarship-and-mormonism and http://www.pewforum.org/2009/07/24/a-portrait-of-mormons-in-the-us/#4

Race and Intelligence

What about his ideas on race and IQ?

There are some groups that are taller on average than others, some that are shorter. On the face of it, I don’t see why some groups might not have a genetic disposition to more of one kind of intelligence and other groups less. I haven’t looked into this much. I don’t know anything about Homo sapiens sapiens, Homo neanderthalus, Homo denisova, and the various crosses.

However, I do question if IQ isn’t more about nutrition and early learning. I wonder if IQ tests really measure intelligence or just one type of problem solving. And I’m skeptical that it’s really that big of a difference. Maybe it is. I admit my ignorance and curiosity on this topic openly.

Race and National Success

What about his claim that Homo sapiens sapiens, which he claims are what we find in Sub-Saharan Africa ancestry, have more genes for violence than we do up north and so can’t at the present time build as successful a society?

This one makes no sense to me. I don’t see a difference in violence levels. Like the Romans weren’t violent? Or the Germanic tribes? Hitler and all those that followed him didn’t do violence? Napoleon and his armies? I don’t see how we selected against violence and short-term thinking. I’m incredibly skeptical of these claims.

Now, it could be he needed more space to lay them out. After all, I wasn’t asking for evidence or a full treatise. Only what he believed. But as it stands right now, I’m betting the types of violence he’s looking at are driven more by culture than anything else. And I don’t believe people are genetically predisposed against democracy.

Frankly, the ideas laid out in Guns, Germs, and Steel seem more predictive to me about what makes peoples successful than Homo crosses. But of course I’m always open to new information. However, even if this claim is true, it’s a fallacy to peg each member of a group to the average. People lie along a bell curve for all sorts of things, and it might be that any one person or community or even nation might actually have less of this than another from a different group.

Bottom line

Vox Day wasn’t the devil, dang it.

He is someone who espouses a couple of ideas that I agree with and a number that seem flat out wrong to me. He appears to be someone who enjoys the rhetoric of offense. I may investigate some of his claims. I may not. I am new to the topic of genetics, and am curious. Whatever I do, I found it useful to try to see for myself what the man believes. One thing that he and I agree on is how we should react to claims made with the purpose, not to offend and injure, but to expand our knowledge.

Now, I have no idea what types of comments this post will bring. Please note that I did not ask Day for his sources, or to lay out all the evidence he feels backs up these beliefs. That’s much too big for this post. You can certainly share your ideas and the science you find compelling. But this is my site, and by golly I request that if you post and want to express disagreement, that you disagree respectfully. Name calling, high-octane expletives, etc. will not fly here. Any post that fails to avoid this will be deleted. You can certainly try again, but if any prove unwilling to abide by this rule, I’ll simply block you to save myself some time.

I am much more interested in a discussion here than attack and offense.

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152 Responses to What Vox Day Believes

  1. Jake Kerr says:

    There are words, and there is flawed reasoning, and then there is the impact of those words. You hit the nail on the head by criticizing Beale’s comment that women shouldn’t vote because they have biases toward tall handsome men. What about corresponding bias within men? And this is the crux of the matter: Beale takes single research data points and applies them to complex systems in a way which is not supported by the data. Women prefer tall men. But in the absence of competing influences, such a point is meaningless. Maybe they prefer rich men more than tall men? And maybe they prefer smart men more than rich men? And maybe they prefer funny personable men more than all of the others? And taking all of the various data points and looking for a broad conclusion is still impossible, because isolating all of the influences is nigh impossible.

    Still, for Beale, if women like tall handsome men, there are no other data points of merit.

    So there is flawed reasoning based on incomplete or biased assumptions of data. This makes one then ask: Why does Beale make this mistake and what impact does this thinking have?

    Well, I can’t speculate why all of Beale’s interpretations of incomplete data on complex subjects tends to lean toward a male-dominant, Western-centric bias, but as the bias I presume mirrors Beale’s own background, my best guess is that it is based on a cultural preference for his own “kind,” as it were.

    The impact is ultimately seen in the adoption of such thought. As it is now, Beale is considered a fringe crank. His only real exposure is via the relatively irrelevant politics of SF fandom. I mean, seriously, the Hugo debacle didn’t even make it to the front page of Reddit. So Beale’s kind of harmless. Like a minor league David Duke.

    But, for the sake of a thought experiment, let’s assume that Beale becomes a thought leader or he rallies others to be his vanguard using less “give offense” language (to use your phrase).

    Then we have a situation where his flawed logic leads to true horror. Women lose the right to vote, which would elevate communal good (as seen by his peers) over individual liberty. I could do a similar rundown of his other biased interpretations of incomplete data, but the common thread here is that Beale is a Libertarian’s nightmare. Individual liberty subsumed for a nationalist agenda.

    Which leads me to my final point: The only way that Beale’s opinions are not anti-Libertarian is if you believe that those you are forcing by violence to not vote or have fewer rights (ostensibly women and Blacks) do not deserve individual liberty. And that is ultimately the horror that people see in Beale. His beliefs (again, based on single data points generalized to explain complex systems) lead to the tyranny of women and some minorities.

    • Nate says:

      Jake… except you missed the part where Vox said, twice, that he favors universal direct democracy… a system where everyone would vote on everything. Sounds libertarian to me.

      When talking about limiting the vote he was talking about doing so in the context of system he doesn’t even support.

      • Gaelen says:

        But supports prohibiting women from voting in the system we actually have. . . . . And he wasn’t sure about direct democracy either.

    • dc.sunsets says:

      Jake, your understanding or (small l) libertarianism is too inaccurate for words. Libertarian philosophy as espoused by its modern representatives and early progenitors rejects political activity entirely. Libertarianism could no more be subsumed by a nationalist agenda than Carl Watner’s Voluntaryists be subsumed by Murder, Inc.

      This is not to mention that equating the right to vote with individual liberty is a complete inversion of thought from Bastiat to Mises and Rothbard to Higgs. If you can point to a system where expanding the franchise led to more liberty (not a system of political spoils, a la Title IX, but actual liberty of the “less red tape, fewer detailed laws, a shrinking of the state’s overarching regulatory behemoth”) I’d be interested in see it.

      Liberty and politics are mortal enemies. Universal suffrage simply led to where we are today, a place where people pull voting levers based on which charismatic charlatan promised them the most swag to be taken by force from unnamed (but deserving) victims.

    • bob k. mando says:

      oh, bravo, well done.

      *standing ovation*

      Vox directly says “note that I favor universal direct democracy” and all you hear is “don’t allow the women and homies to vote”.

      even though the voting rights of Blacks ( or any other nominal minorities, including East Asians ) weren’t even discussed in this article.

      which follows flawlessly from your thought experiment in which a ‘thought leader’ is held hostage to the purported ideas of his followers.

      Individual liberty subsumed for a nationalist agenda.

      this statement is simply incoherent. also, amusing.

      i suppose you are also sent into paroxysms at the thought of the internationalist agenda?

    • Hong Hu Shi says:

      First, that was interesting, John, and thanks.

      Then we have a situation where his flawed logic leads to true horror.

      I think this is a fair heap of hyperbole. Can you honestly say that not getting to vote is “true horror”? Especially when that now-non-voting group consistently voted for less individual liberty?

      • Wes S. says:

        We make a huge fetish out of voting, and hide from ourselves that (at least here in the US) very few of our votes actually count for anything any more. But, of course, you are a horrible, horrible person if you say that.

        Examples: I live in Texas, and in 2016 my states electoral votes are going to go for whoever the Republican nominee is. Doesn’t matter who I support, or who i vote for, or even if I vote at all. The result is already baked into the cake, and everyone knows it, but no one dares to admit it.

        Likewise, everyone who lives in California knows that their presidential vote is going for the Democrat nominee, no matter who that is, and no matter whether they like it or not individually.

        Good grief, it’s not just the presidential race – last election, out of 435 congressional seats, barely 40 were considered competitive – in many, there wasn’t even an opponent on the ballot. That means for 90% of the country or thereabouts, the votes don’t count for squat – the system runs itself.

        And yet we love to tell ourselves what a horror it would be if some people were denied the right to play in this fake little pantomime show we call voting.

      • John Brown says:

        Wes,

        It’s true that a single vote doesn’t make any difference in winner take all systems when you have lasting majorities and large numbers of people. At the same time, if it matters so little, then who cares if we let everyone vote?

        I think if you want to enfranchise voters better, then you don’t do winner takes all. You’d have to do a proportional representation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation.

      • John Brown says:

        Wes,

        It’s true that a single vote doesn’t make any difference all by itself in winner take all systems when you have lasting majorities and large numbers of people. At the same time, if it matters so little, then who cares if we let everyone vote?

        I think if you want to enfranchise voters better, then you don’t do winner takes all. You’d have to do a proportional representation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation.

    • Brian says:

      Speaking of single data points, are you drawing your conclusions about the totality of Beale’s view on these matters from just this one article? If so, I might suggest that you are underestimating the amount of data he’s bringing to his conclusions.

      For my part, I am skeptical of several of his conclusions, but I’ve read his blog for a couple years now and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the man, it’s this: he is not short on willingness to engage in the minutiae, and if he’s got an opinion, it is likely grounded in a robust set of relevant data. This doesn’t make him right, and it doesn’t make his ideas on some of these subjects salient, but it does make him formidable as a debater.

      As a final thought in response to what you’ve said, I believe you’ve overstated the reach of your premise in saying that his ideas would lead to “tyranny” for certain groups. Of course, perhaps there are other ideas in your mind that lead you to this conclusion, which I think is likely given human nature, but just based on what you’ve said, it is not a logical necessity.

      Cheers.

      • John Brown says:

        Um, read my post again. I freely admit I haven’t looked at evidence. The purpose of this post was not to arrive at the truth of his beliefs. Also, I never mention “tyranny” or anything like it. I don’t know where you’re getting that.

      • Hong Hu Shi says:

        Not you, John; we’re following up Jake’s message above, which states that Vox is operating off a single data point and would lead to tyranny over women.

      • Brian says:

        As Hong Hu Shi says, my comment was to Jake. I think that, overall, you did a commendable job with your interview. It is appreciated.

    • Kevin Cunningham says:

      I agree that in some instances Mr. Beale extrapolates to an illogical conclusion, but you might forgive him this excess as you indulge in the same behavior. Many of us have beliefs that lead us to draw conclusions that are not completely supported by the facts. Our individual experiences also cause us to extrapolate limited data, to what seems to others to be unsupported understandings. For example, my personal experiences of who is likely to commit crimes in New York city is not in agreement with movies that show a preponderance of roving white street gangs with mohawks, so I believe–based only empirical evidence–that roving white street gangs with mohawks are not actually responsible for the crime rate in NYC.

      I also propose a thought experiment. Those who post comments do not rely on hypotheticals that are based on “flawed logic.”

      I find it interesting that you conjecture others will be influenced by his ideas, whether they be rational or erroneous. Are we to understand that there are a preponderance of easily influenced individuals, unable to differentiate between his opinions or marching orders? Perhaps my living near a city has avoided me the opportunity to observe pitchfork-wielding villagers.

      As to your final point, nowhere in his answers did Mr. Beale advocate violence to achieve change in the political system or culture in general. He posits several times a belief in direct democracy, a system which seems unlikely to deprive women of suffrage in that there are more actually slightly more women than men. So who are these people who are experiencing the horror that they may be deprived of their liberty under a system that allows everyone the right to vote? I don’t see women and some minorities being subject to a tyranny of any sort when women and some minorities are in fact the majority in our country and would be able to electorally overwhelm any of those with a “male-dominant, Western-centric bias.”

    • FedUp says:

      “Still, for Beale, if women like tall handsome men, there are no other data points of merit.

      So there is flawed reasoning based on incomplete or biased assumptions of data. This makes one then ask: Why does Beale make this mistake and what impact does this thinking have?”

      I always keep my eye out for Strawman arguments. Way too many people seem to prefer to hit strawmen, rather than actual opponents (and of course real ideas). Here we have a classic. “Let’s start with the assumption that someone I disagree with must think a particular way.”

      “Well, I can’t speculate why all of Beale’s interpretations of incomplete data on complex subjects tends to lean toward a male-dominant, Western-centric bias, but as the bias I presume mirrors Beale’s own background, my best guess is that it is based on a cultural preference for his own “kind,” as it were. ” This one is particularly amusing. Beale is relatively open about his life — he is of American Indian descent, and living in Europe. One of the problems with Strawman arguments — reality tends to bite back when ignored.

      “The impact is ultimately seen in the adoption of such thought. As it is now, Beale is considered a fringe crank. His only real exposure is via the relatively irrelevant politics of SF fandom. I mean, seriously, the Hugo debacle didn’t even make it to the front page of Reddit. So Beale’s kind of harmless. Like a minor league David Duke.” Another classic, the ad hominem attack. Perhaps there are people who find such attacks valuable, but for me it is just a warning sign that the user is attempting to avoid the merits (if any).

      And of course, like any good Strawman argument we have the terrible consequences, attributed not to the straw but to the actual opponent:
      “Then we have a situation where his flawed logic leads to true horror. Women lose the right to vote, which would elevate communal good (as seen by his peers) over individual liberty. I could do a similar rundown of his other biased interpretations of incomplete data, but the common thread here is that Beale is a Libertarian’s nightmare. Individual liberty subsumed for a nationalist agenda.”

      All of this of course leads to the final point:
      “Which leads me to my final point: The only way that Beale’s opinions are not anti-Libertarian is if you believe that those you are forcing by violence to not vote or have fewer rights (ostensibly women and Blacks) do not deserve individual liberty. And that is ultimately the horror that people see in Beale. His beliefs (again, based on single data points generalized to explain complex systems) lead to the tyranny of women and some minorities.”

      I must admit I found this final point amusing. Note that in the main post, we see Beale arguing for direct democracy, specifically including women. Which rather suggests that the line of argument Jake assumes Beale would take is not at all real. Which is after all where strawman arguments normally lead.

      • Dante says:

        “The only way that Beale’s opinions are not anti-Libertarian is if you believe that those you are forcing by violence to not vote or have fewer rights (ostensibly women and Blacks) do not deserve individual liberty.”

        These positions are not inherently anti-libertarian. He believes, for example, that in a representative democracy women shouldn’t have the right to vote because they favor security over liberty to a much greater extent than what men do. If libertarianism is about maximizing freedom in a given society and you know that a certain subset of the population is in favor less freedom and greater security then it logically follows that maximizing freedom means that subgroup shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

        If limiting one freedom, women’s right to vote, leads to greater freedom for everyone, including women, then that is a good thing.

      • jayn says:

        So removing the vote from women – that is, removing from 50% of the population the choice of what kind of government they would like – is INCREASING women’s freedom? You plan to increase their freedom by removing their freedom to participate in their own destiny? Your logic does not resemble our earth logic.

    • BigGaySteve says:

      George Clooney put off marriage partially because he knew that his ability to make a bad movie that still have tons of gold diggers in the seats would be ruined by doing otherwise. You may argue about the size of the gold digger vote but not its existence. Those pushing for gay alimony are the gay gold diggers & gay divorce lawyers. Any BGLTQREADYFORHILliarY that pays more in taxes than it receives from the government knows feminists have so destroyed marriage its not worth getting. Career women and bottoms are both on the bad side of supply & demand so they will always want more government redistribution.

  2. Brad R. Torgersen says:

    John, this took real courage on your part. You went to the lion’s den. You have touched the untouchable. And risked the wrath of many in the process. I think Vox says some things I don’t agree with. In some cases, I strongly disagree with. But I am glad you gave him a chance to answer some questions in a neutral forum — if for no other reason than to make the man behind the infamy a little bit plainer.

    • Karim says:

      To be honest, what’s come across, in a neutral forum, is that Day’s ideas are, to keep it civil, delusional. The Puppies would do themselves a huge favour publicly, explicitly, and clearly distancing themselves from the association…even if, for a lot people, the battle’s already lost.

      • Cogitans says:

        I disagree, the sort of group Mr. Torgersen is engaging with will not care if he distances himself from them. They only care that he, and others like him, do not kowtow to their way of thinking. He is facing individuals who are literally arguing that his marriage to someone of another race than his somehow makes him racist. I am a white married to a minority who has had the same bull thrown my way. Guilt by association has to stop because all it does is shut down conversations. If there are people who are unable, or unwilling, to differentiate between the sad puppies slat and the rabid puppies slate it isn’t Mr. Torgersens fault or issue. It is the issue of the people unwilling to exercise critical thinking.

      • Karim says:

        Cogitans,

        I’m going to argue your points one by one.

        They only care that he, and others like him, do not kowtow to their way of thinking.

        As I’m unsure whom you are referring to:

        a. If it’s re:racist marriage, I agree that the view is delusional. I say this as a functioning, sane human being, but, if you need that extra credibility, also as the offspring of a mixed race marriage. I think GRRM’s blog posts make it clear there are bigots and people with bad attitudes on both sides (see:Requires Hate/Winterfox).

        b. If you’re addressing the perceived liberal slant in recent Hugo ballots which “necessitated” the Sad Puppies slate to begin with, I’d suggest reading GRRM’s “Where’s the Beef?”. Because there isn’t a slant at all.

        But:

        If there are people who are unable, or unwilling, to differentiate between the sad puppies slat and the rabid puppies slate it isn’t Mr. Torgersens fault or issue. It is the issue of the people unwilling to exercise critical thinking.

        You’re arguing for my point. I’m saying they should make it a point to separate themselves from Mr. Day: his slate, and the politics which on some level informed it. They already should have, actually.

      • carbonel says:

        You think Vox Day’s arguments, as expressed herein are delusional. Including that funny notion that scientific evidence should not be held hostage to religious dogma politics. Good to know.

        What if I decide that your opinions are delusional? Does that mean I can request every decent person disavow you and distance myself from you before their programmes or art can be accepted? Because that would be very interesting, don’t you think? I could have fun with that.

        Re: That patronizing “where’s the beef” post by GRRM… You’ll want to limit your usage to readers who both admire GRRM and are swayed by arguments-from-authority. Otherwise, Mr. Martin’s “I didn’t see it, so it never happened” post is only going to torque your interlocutor off. Victim-blaming rarely goes down well.

      • Karim says:

        Objective data is beyond dispute; Day’s interpretation leaves something to be desired. This applies go GRRM’s post as well; he dismantled the “liberal slant” myth using transparent data. It’s not about subscribing to authority. The difference is that GRRM’s conclusions make sense.

        Feel free to distance all decent people from any art of mine you come across. Let me know how fun it is, too. I want postcards.

  3. Nate says:

    I had a rather epic debate with Vox over our blogs once on economics. I love the guy. But what you have to keep in mind with Vox is… the rhetoric of offense as you call it is actually a defense mechanism he’s developed over years of being attacked. When writing he lays deliberate traps. These traps are designed to make those people who skim until offended jump. That way he can easily weed out those who just want to yell Racist! at him from those who actually want to discuss the ideas.

    on a specific note… remember Vox didn’t say “women shouldn’t vote.” he was said women voting in representative democracy is sub-optimal… but he also said twice that he doesn’t favor representative democracy at all but direct universal democracy. In other words… he thinks everyone should get to vote on everything.

    Anyway thanks for doing this. It was fun to see someone actually dare to communicate with Vox. The man isn’t hiding anything. He isn’t lying about anything, and he isn’t out there stalking the internet harassing anyone. He said what he said about NK only after she’d said much worse about him for years.

    Somehow that almost always gets ignored though.

    • Biff says:

      “When writing he lays deliberate traps. These traps are designed to make those people who skim until offended jump.”

      Otherwise known as “trolling”.

      • Brian says:

        One would need more than your simple assertion to define trolling as such…and, in fact, the jury (that is, definitions of trolling that can be easily found on the internet) would seem to disagree.

        Trolling seems to equal “argument for its own sake” (that would be the loftiest possible definition). While what Vox is described as doing would be more like “refining the conversation by weeding out bad actors”. Those are hardly comparable.

      • Nate says:

        That is a very astute way of describing it John. People who complain about Vox’s antics are short sighted in the sense that they don’t realize its actually a method of raising the level of discourse… not lowering it.

        Look at some of the debates and discussions that have taken place at his blog. The place is absolutely fantastic when it is at its best.

      • Gina says:

        How do you troll on your own blog?

      • Joshua says:

        How do you troll your own site? No, it’s not trolling.

      • Brendan Coffey says:

        No, he’s trolling the people (like me) who come to his site when one of his incendiary posts inevitably comes up in the news. Which is fine; it’s his site and he can say what he likes, and it’s a good way to generate traffic. But let’s not be disingenuous here.

      • carbonel says:

        Aaaaand you could not rise to the bait, pay attention, figure out where he’s made an error by accepting a false premise, or failed to connect a correct premise to the next one in the chain or some combination of the above.

        And then call him on it. As Mr Brown has amply demonstrated here, Mr. Beale will respond to civil inquiry with civil discourse. I have found that such discussions with an opponent outside my weight class (rhetorically speaking) do wonders for clarifying my own ideas; what I believe and why I believe them. Especially if I very strongly disagree with them!

        So, when you write that Vox Day is deliberately trolling you, it says rather more about how your mind works than perhaps you’d care to reveal. But it doesn’t have to. You’re always welcome to join us on the intellectual freedom side of the force.

  4. Robert G. Evans says:

    It’s been said by more than one observer that, if iodine supplements were made widely available and used in sub-Saharan Africa, that the mean IQ of the populations there could be boosted by as many as 10 percentage points. Nutrition does play a part – – but genetics seems to, also.

    • BigGaySteve says:

      Just think of what Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany could have contributed to civilization advancements if only Iodine was added to salt before 1924. Goiters where common in Swiss and Bavaria.

      Today they are trying to teach Africans how to make evaporative cooling pots like the tour guide in ancient Pompeii displays. George Washington was the richest man of his day & the proud owner of an ice cream maker. However GW got sick several times on bad water and ate less ice cream in his lifetime than someone on welfare eats by age 10.

  5. Shimshon says:

    No offense, but while commendable to seek actual dialog, John, by doing so, didn’t risk any sort of wrath by Vox or the Dread Ilk at all. However, the jury is still out on whether he will face the wrath of those who do believe Vox is the devil. Be prepared, John.

    “What about corresponding bias within men?”

    Please. While men do have their own biases, voting on the basis of perceived hotness is not one of them. And, if you were reading, you’d note that Vox even advocated that suffrage be restricted to a limited subset of men. Does that not sufficiently address your question?

  6. YOHAMI says:

    Bravo.

  7. Josh says:

    This was an excellent interview. You did a job of asking questions and follow up questions for the purpose of getting information. Well done.

  8. Jack Gauss says:

    Thanks for this, John. You showed class and courage.

  9. John Cobalt says:

    Seems to be perfectly fine viewpoints as a base. I suppose that we would have to triple verify before implementing laws in regards to it though. His views are a lot more sensible then #KillAllMen, that’s for sure.

  10. Tom Nichol says:

    John,

    You need to ask, “Why does Vox use the rhetorical approach in is blog?” When you look closely, he only uses it AFTER he’s been the target of rhetorical attacks. Up to that point, Vox will engage much as he as done with you, but as soon as the, “You’re a big poopy head!” comments are launched, the gloves come off.

    One can’t battle the rhetoric with dialectic reasoning. The emotional driven person is usually not capable of reason and can only reply with insipid SJW labels.

  11. SarahT says:

    “People lie along a bell curve for all sorts of things”

    Bell curve?

    Tooting the dog whistle already, are we?

    Sad to see this. You should be ashamed.

    • redacted says:

      We already knew the “if [keyword] then [shame]” trick. Good luck in your continuing encounters with facts and reality.

    • John says:

      Ah, I see what you did there Sarah . . .
      Laid a little doggie pretzel in the middle of the road so someone will come along and step in it. Oh, sharp and its time for me to fetch my tinfoil . . . look out reason, in coming! 😉

    • John Brown says:

      I have no idea what your comment means. You’ll need to explain it better.

      • Jeff Alexander says:

        _The Bell Curve_. 1994 book about how much of a role genetics plays in intelligence. Widely criticized as racist.

      • murph says:

        “The Bell Curve” by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein was a badthink book about badthink questions such as “Are there differences in IQ between ‘racial groups’. Any mention of ‘bell curve’ is prima facie evidence that one is a vile racist….or something like that.

        Any attempt to explain it’s relevance in terms of mathmatics is just more coded hate speech

        Basically you can take any of the SJW talking points about LC and Vox and substitute “Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein”, and you wont need to go into the archives.

        Of course, if you go into the archives you will see that the present kerfluffle isn’t anywhere near to being a new phenomenon

  12. Gray Rinehart says:

    Well done, John. It’s amazing what we can learn when we take the time to talk, and when we are able to cultivate some level of dispassion. I tip my hat to you, sir.

    All the best,
    G

  13. Jeff Stehman says:

    John, I appreciate the post and your approach to it. Just to focus on one small part of it, anytime I hear someone use the term “IQ” without an explanation, I wonder what they mean by it.

    It’s been 30 years since my psych classes and almost as long since I was involved in Mensa. Maybe things have changed, but back then IQ was considered a very hand-wavy, difficult to isolate thing. Mensa literature said IQ tests were a poor judge of intellect, but the only way they had to quantify it.

    When I took my qualifying tests, the guy sitting across from me finished first in every test but one. I was the first to complete that one, and it was the only test in which others complained about how hard and unfair it was. The test? Making change on cash transactions, something I had a few thousand hours of experience with as a teenager. In other words, I’d been trained to take that test.

    (As an aside, of the two IQ scores I received that day, the higher one put me in the second percentile, and the lower one–which included the change-making test–put me in the first percentile. So I’m on uncertain ground when people talk about IQ, but when people talk about absolute scores with no reference–which is the norm–I find it completely meaningless.)

    Based on my casual science-podcast listening, I’d guess that these days discussions involve types of intelligence are more meaningful than those involving general IQ.

    • Baron Adventurer says:

      Actually, so-called “types of intelligence” a la Gardner have been largely discredited within the academic/ scholarly cognitive testing community. Every passing year, more and more evidence accumulates for a “G-factor” which underlies and unifies intelligence. You can verify this yourself by spending a bit of time reading the papers coming out of the field.

      The cognitive testing community takes a VERY low profile because their findings are usually so upsetting to the popular narrative. I know a few professional cognitive testers and one of them explained it simply as “we know truths the public doesn’t want to know.”

  14. hoopeshype says:

    I came over from Vox tweeting this by the way First time visitor. I’ll check out more of this blog later I like what I’ve seen so far.

    I just want to give my two cents on Vox’s viewpionts.

    >IQ differences among races

    I am inclined to agree with this although I can’t be sure because I’m not informed enough. I don’t think it means it would morally justify racism though like some people think. We’re not allowed to treat for example mentally retarded people poorly because they have lower mental capabilities right? Not to compare people of certain races with mentally retarded people but you get what I’m saying.

    >Immigration

    I think Vox is spot-on about immigration. Like the United States for example, its always had immigration but a mix of different immigrants. Immigration today is dominated by Mexicans. Now there’s nothing wrong with Mexicans but because they’re the dominant group and the immigration of Mexicans to the US is massive, its causing a huge changing of the ethnic makeup. Plus the fact that many Mexicans living in the US have more of a loyalty to Mexico than the United States. (sorry but its true)

    Putting it another way the US has always had a diverse diet of immigrants but now its one kind of immigrant that’s being ingested: Mexicans.

    >Birth rate

    I also agree with his general point. The problem seems like this: women having more equality and getting jobs and careers has been great for women and to a extent society. But a huge downside is the lower birth rate, children being put in daycares instead of being raised by their mothers, etc. This comes at a societal cost but because if feminists nobody is really allowed to discuss it.

    I’m not sure what the solution is to the birthrate problem but I would guess it would involve massive tax incentives for children and stay at home moms. Essentially women need to give up those privileges for the good of the nation. I’m not saying they should be forced but lets understand the stakes here: its the fate of nations. US, Europen nations.

    >women vote for hunks

    I don’t know. I mean I’m the furthest thing from a feminist but even I think that’s unfair. And lets face it men vote for the same bullshit reasons (Bush is just a regular guy you can have a beer with, Guy X just looks more “presidential”). Voting for presidents have always been about superficial things, men and women.

    Also there’s a reason why presidential candidates are raising huge sums of campaign money. Campaign money buys tv ads and tv ads get you votes to a laughably predictable rate. The way tv ads influence male voters is no different than female voters.

    • Cogitans says:

      I’m inclined to agree about the voting comments. I remember back in 2008 when they took quotes on policies they would implement from McCain and Obama but falsely attributed to the other person.

      Almost to a man, and woman, they found that the person agreed with the statement if it was attributed to their preferred candidate even if it had gone against their stated ideological belief.

      Even more damning, they have researched the effect that the presidential debates have on the election and found that it is far lower than previously believed. Meaning that a candidate who was agreed to have done better didn’t see a corresponding increase in their poll ratings.

    • notleftorright says:

      Hoops, you have your facts wrong about immigration.

      According to the most recent immigration statistics, while Mexico may have the largest percentage by country of immigrants, it only has 28 percent or so of the total number of immigrants. India and China were second and third respectively.

      Further, 48 percent of foreign born residents in 2013 were white.

  15. Patrick Baker says:

    Nicely done, John.
    I am a regular reader of Vox’s blog, but do not consider myself one of the “Dread Ilk”, his loyal readers. I read him mostly because he discusses things that interest me (games, publishing, 4th generation war, Sci Fi etc) in a unique, need I say blunt, manner.
    But as you point out, he is far from being Satan.
    I would like to know how is it we (the Western World) have turned into a society that seemingly cannot tolerate extreme or uncomfortable positions from other people?
    Not that long ago the philosophy of life was generally “if it doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg, it is not my business.” (I think that is from Ben Franklin).
    How come we cannot return to that?

    • John Brown says:

      Did we ever really tolerate extreme positions as a whole? In Europe, the wars and bloodshed over the reformations were numerous. In the 1830s and then 1840s, Mormons were mobbed, raped, murdered, and driven from Missouri and then Illinois. Later in that century North and South went to war. Looking at that, it kind of seems we’re a bit more tolerant today.

      • alfanerd says:

        That’s an excellent point. We never did. We only change what is deemed “extreme”.

        In the middle ages, it was extreme to deny the divinity of Christ, and those who did were punished.

        In the 1950s, it was extreme to support communism, and those who did were punished.

        In 2015, it is extreme to oppose gay marriage, and those who do are punished.

        Some people can handle different opinions, alot of people cannot. Those in power invariably allow *some differences* over trifles, but never over their source of power – the divinity of Christ, the evil of communism, or the promotion of diversity…

        Most people follow the dogma of those in power and attack anyone who deviate from it.

      • Dann says:

        Mostly stopped by out of curiosity. The interview provided an interesting look inside the thinking of a polarizing figure.

        I don’t expect that it will change many minds…..

        However, one point of contention is whether or not support for communism is/was extreme. It is extreme. It should signal something negative towards those who support it.

        One hundred innocent civilians murdered by communist states in the 20th century ought to be sufficient to make a rational person to seek to distance themselves from such a bloody ideology.

        And yes…I know that this drags things a bit off topic. But one of those things, was not like the others.

        Regards…

      • Dann says:

        Erg…

        Should read “one hundred million innocent civilians”

        Regards….

      • longandsuffering says:

        Bingo, alfanerd! I’ve been watching these various debates about controversial internet interaction, wondering when someone would put it in the proper historical perspective. You win!

        The struggle for political, social and personal dominance over others, and the efforts to resist those who seek dominance have played out with all these behaviors throughout history. The only difference now is the amount of it we get to see, anonymously, from the comfort of home.

        And in this case, familiarity certainly breeds contempt, for a lot of the common behaviors.

  16. Tim Condon says:

    Kudos to you, John Brown, for conducting an investigation and then—zounds!—writing intelligently and dispassionately about it. Being fair and rational can get you in trouble, but you’ve shown that you’re more interested in truth than staying out of trouble. Thank you for that.

  17. Asher says:

    Here’s my take on this. The rhetoric of offense is different than the rhetoric of explication. The latter is meant to explain. The former’s goal is to cause injury. It has no interest in sharing ideas. It only has interest in injuring someone, either to try to gain relief from an attack or to beat someone into submission, or because seeing folks get all riled up provides amusement.

    It’s the second one for Vox. The only way to possibly handle someone like PZ Myers is to humiliate and beat them into submission that no one else wants to associate with them and their positions. Why? Because Myers complete oeuvre is based on two things: intellectual dishonesty and using social pressure to force others to conform to those dishonestly derived positions.

    You can’t argue with someone like PZ Myers in a substantive and sober way. Your only option is to so publicly humiliate them so that everyone runs from what they say. BTW, Myers is just one example of tens of thousands of very prominent people with whom the rhetoric of offense is the only viable strategy.

    I wonder if IQ tests really measure intelligence or just one type of problem solving.

    My independent conclusion is that IQ tests for an array of mental traits that is key to operating in the context of an advanced and complex civilization. Steven Pinker has offered the same opinion. Logically, this would imply that someone with an IQ measuring 150 today would not have any advantage living 50k YBP and would probably be at a disadvantage.

  18. Asher says:

    @ Jake Kerr

    women shouldn’t vote because they have biases toward tall handsome men. What about corresponding bias within men?

    Men have no corresponding biases. Female sexual attraction tends toward status and power whereas male attraction tends toward youth and fertility. The first has direct political consequences while the second does not.

    Still, for Beale, if women like tall handsome men, there are no other data points of merit.

    That’s correct, they have no merit. Today’s mass media driven politics necessarily focuses on physical image to the exclusion of everything else. For example, the sort of sexy-funny that attracts women is pretty much confined to settings that are far more intimate than an image on a TV screen. Ditto for everything else on your list.

    male-dominant, Western-centric bias

    A female-dominant theory of politics will quickly get conquered because males will have no investment in it and will not be interested in defending it. And a society populated by mostly Westerners with axiomatically going to be Western-centric. Are you surprised that political discussion in China is Chinese-centric? Seriously?

    Beale’s own background, my best guess is that it is based on a cultural preference for his own “kind,” as it were.

    This interest is universal, natural and unalterable.

    Individual liberty subsumed for a nationalist agenda.

    You are operating from the assumption that more voting = more liberty. The conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise and Vox has made lengthy and detailed arguments explaining why this reasoning is incorrect.

    The rest of your comment is effeminate hand-wringing.

  19. James says:

    “Women lose the right to vote, which would elevate communal good (as seen by his peers) over individual liberty. ”

    Voting does not necessarily equal liberty.

  20. Asher says:

    I’m not convinced men aren’t affected by charisma

    Charisma isn’t necessarily a bad thing, e.g. Pericles and Churchill. Charismatic leaders can motivate large-scale pursuit of a desirable social good, such as defense of country. And you seem to be implying that sexual charisma exhaustively subsumes all kinds of charisma, which is definitely not the case. Just because I find myself charismatically drawn to a man doesn’t mean I want him to bend me over and take me.

    When you throw male sexual charisma into the realm of politics you are going to get huge percentages of the female population simply voting with their libido. That simply doesn’t happen with men, unless a party decides to nominate Hayden Panettiere as their running mate. Even then, I doubt most men are going to vote for her based on her sexual charisma because men innately understand that women are attracted to men who lead them, versus being attracted to men they lead.

  21. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the interview. Now let’s see the reactions. I find with most subjects in life, those who stop reasoning, use false arguments, appeal to authority and call names do so because they have lost the debate.
    Most people still think the emperor has nice clothes on.

  22. alfanerd says:

    I’m a fan of Vox Day. I think his ability to face relentless opposition in order to challenge the dominant narrative is one of the most important and precious things we have in our society. I commend you for reaching out to him and giving him a fair shot at expressing his opinions

    I happen to believe he is generally correct on most of his points. I’m sure that many of his opinions could use a few tweaks, and the search for truth should always be informed by a dispassionate evaluation of the evidence, but his views certainly correspond more to my lived experience than the current progressive dogma does.

    What I do find particularly problematic however is this great fear, commonly seen amongst progressives, and nicely exemplified by Jake Kerr’s post above, that “His beliefs will lead to the tyranny of women and some minorities.” I find this view particularly short-sighted and intellectually dishonest.

    If his beliefs are correct, they should be adopted. If his beliefs are incorrect, they should be rejected. To adopt or reject them based on their presumed effect on minorities is ridiculous.

    Facts are one thing. Values are another. Our task is to assess the facts, decide of our values, and create a society which recognizes facts and promotes our values. For myself, and I suspect for Vox Day, whatever the facts are, our values do not allow for the tyranny of minorities.

    Perhaps more importantly, to do the opposite and let our values dictate what the facts are will actually lead to greater suffering, not just for “minorities” but for everybody. We can cheat reality a little bit, a couple of times, but it always comes back to bite you.

    Right now progressives are the dominant group and hold about 100% of cultural power. People want to follow the progressive dogma and signal to others that they are “progressiver-than-thou”, facts be damned. It is very rewarding to promote blacks/gays/women and to insult whites/heteros/men. Vox Day is pointing out the flaw in this view, and I am extremely thankful he has the courage to do so.

  23. Zoot Fenster says:

    Good interview. Kudos for going direct to the source. Several years ago, I started at the same point with questions and skepticism. The science of genetics is fascinating and challenges a number of conventional social beliefs.

    VD has always responded in a consistent manner to the other person’s attitude. He responds in kind to those that attack with rhetoric, but no facts. He has rational and logical discussions with those who seek rational and logical discussions.

    • bob k. mando says:

      VD has always responded in a consistent manner to the other person’s attitude.

      not necessarily true. i’ve flagged him on multiple occasions for trolling. both me specifically ( he was telling me i was a retard because i was trying to ask why he was asserting that Fascism and National Socialism were completely different ideologies … he went radio silent after i called him out with Boxxxy
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bMLrA_0O5I
      ) and the VP readership in general ( claimed that there are lots of blonde, light skinned Italians in Sicily and that the people get darker as you move north through the boot … you know, nearer to Austria. where lots of people have the surname ‘Tedeschi’ ).

      but, yeah, you evade his trolling hooks and he’ll play pretty straight with you.

  24. Zippy says:

    On the race/IQ thing.

    1. Lots of people want to argue that intelligence is highly differentiated, so you have different kinds of intelligence — “storytelling intelligence,” “visio-spatial intelligence,” “verbal intelligence,” etc. Or they will lump qualitatively different capacities with intelligence and claim they are different forms of intelligence. Like “emotional intelligence” or Howard Gardner’s ridiculous set of multiple intelligences (which he doesn’t seem that interested in studying in any concrete way.)

    The problem is nearly all forms of actual intelligence are positively correlated. Sure, some folks have more verbal intelligence while others are better at math (and vice versa), but the existence of “g” is pretty well proven.

    And g correlates very very well with all sorts of outcomes. Income, chances of going to prison, even your chance of getting into an automobile accident. And that scales up — a city where the average IQ is 105 will be a more pleasant place to live than a city where the average IQ is 90. (It’s an open question as to whether a group with an average IQ of 90 can actually maintain a city.) In fact, if you control for differences in IQ, the black/white income gap goes away. Actually, blacks make a tad more at the same IQ levels. Being a black person in America with an IQ of 125 is a pretty easy gig right now.

    Of course IQ tests aren’t perfect, and of course they miss all sorts of interesting things. But in general smarter is better, and IQ tests do a good job of measuring smarts. IQ is the best predictor of job performance, with conscientiousness being second.

    One (partial) exception to this, by the way, is people with very, very high IQs. Not based on those stupid online IQ tests (which give flatteringly high results) but people with real measured IQs over 150. They are sometimes so beaten down by the whole school thing that they tune out or become rebellious.

    2. Sure, some early childhood stuff matters. You want to make a kid profoundly retarded, regardless of his or her genetic potential? Easy! Lock the kid in a box for the first 12 years of life, not exposing said kid to any linguistic input. Unlike Tarzan, real feral children don’t do well at all.

    Likewise, you can reduce a kid’s IQ by systematic starvation or by fortifying his breakfast cereal with lead. Getting rid of leaded gasoline may well have been one of the most beneficial environmental policies ever.

    It’s easy enough to reduce IQ. So I guess one way to close the racial gap would be to make all the white and Asian kids eat the leaded breakfast cereal. Aside from the damage to the individual kids, the ensuing collapse of civilization would be a lot of fun for fans of Mad Max.

    But does that mean that kids are like molten plastic, easily molded into little geniuses? Sorry, no. Twin and adoption studies show that exposure to highly stimulating upper middle class environments produces, well, . . . a little. The biggest environmental change you can make is changing the whole family, and it doesn’t appear to make that much difference to adult outcomes. It may speed some kids up a bit — at seven, the intervention looks great. But by the time they’re 20, not so much.

    Some of the folks who are into this whole race/IQ thing are a bit noxious as people. But the evidence is overwhelming.

  25. Asher says:

    Here’s the thing I can say about having witnessed Vox interacting with a vast array of people: he will mirror the level of civility you offer him. Always. The problem comes in that people conflate incivility with disagreement, for example, taking offense to the very notion that female suffrage is mistaken. This is a position, it is either correct or incorrect but, in itself, is not uncivil.

    Most of the responses to Beale’s position, here, is that the position is, itself, fundamentally uncivil. These responses, themselves, are almost uniformly uncivil and, in return, Beale answers this incivility with the rhetoric of offense. Note, that the genesis of this sort of exchange lies in the perception that opposing female suffrage is fundamentally uncivil.

    • Brian says:

      That is a very astute point. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • BigGaySteve says:

      I was actually surprised by how civil and accepting Vox’s site is compared to gay media when you do not follow the narrative. Simply posting on most gay sites that “Apple’s CEO should stop crying for a boy cot of a place that wont serve pizza and cheap booze at his wedding, until he stops gleefully engaging in commerce with nations that behead gays” will get you deleted & banned. The only thing I have been insulted for doing is owning a glock, the Barbie doll of hand guns.

      The only gay media that covered a story, that lame stream media totally ignored, of a serial killer of gays in 3 states for religious reasons was GayPatriot. Mohammad Ali Brown (black moslem) was caught 2 weeks after the Ferguson Liquor store robber was killed by Officer Wilson.

      • HdHammer says:

        ” The only thing I have been insulted for doing is owning a glock, the Barbie doll of hand guns.”
        But come on….that’s just begging for an insult.

      • Vince Binder says:

        Ragging on a gun because it’s popular is silly, although I’ll grant you, the fanboy’s do inspire a certain amount of ridicule. I don’t own one because I don’t like their grips. (haven’t tried the newest) and I have a fondness for 1911’s – which is a gun I never recommend to anyone.

      • John says:

        Come on, only if its pink with pearl gray grips . . . are we getting off-target here guys?

      • Gunnutmegger says:

        A Glock serves a genuine need, and functions reliably out of the box without gunsmithing.

        Barbie dolls do not meet that criteria. And neither do 1911-pattern handguns.

      • John says:

        Not as well as my Kahr PM9 but who cares . . . time to turn on your laser maybe and find the target or maybe not . . .

        By the way, Host John, nice job. I’m sticking around seems you favor discussion before percussion or concussion. Thx

      • John Brown says:

        🙂

  26. Michael Z. Williamson says:

    Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence. Vox is Aristotelian in temperament, choosing deduction over experimentation in many cases.

    And as you appear note, he presents as a troll in his forum for the egoboo.

    • FedUp says:

      “Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence.”

      What a stunning statement for a supposedly educated person to make.

      • bob k. mando says:

        you think that’s bad, wait til you see Mad Mike frothing at the mouth about circumcision.

      • Richard F. Weyand says:

        Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence.
        Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) American inventor, engineer
        “Kettering’s Law,” from address before American Society of Mechanical Engineers (c. 1944)

      • BikerDad says:

        Except that what he said is, in fact, perfectly defensible.

        Logic, reduced, is simply a chain. IF you get your a prioris wrong, or otherwise make some little mistake, one can flow seamlessly and logically to the wrong conclusion, with great confidence. Any programmer is painfully aware of this dynamic, unless they are a total noob.

        Logic depends on the inputs. GIGO.

    • Brian says:

      You can’t actually mean what you just said with your first sentence, because it can’t even be logically defended. It is, at best, a humorous quote that would look good superimposed on a picture of Mark Twain.

      Or are we to suppose that because logic “is an organized way of going wrong with confidence” that you either a) eschew logic entirely because it is fatally flawed, or b) go wrong with confidence in some disorganized fashion?

      You could, of course, more logically state that it is eminently possible to begin with erroneous premises, thereby arrive at untenable logical conclusions, and proceed to point out where Beale has done so, but this would mean that you’d have to actually engage at the level of premise rather than conjecture, projection, and ad hominem.

      Perhaps you are capable of such and just strategically chose the rhetoric of offense? If so, would that also make you a person who “presents as a troll for the ego boost”?

      Food, as they say, for thought…

      • Beolach says:

        He didn’t say logic is _only_ an organized way of going wrong with confidence. It is completely possible to be perfectly logical, and still come to false conclusions. Just as it’s possible to have fallacious logic, but still come to a true conclusion.

        Which does not mean that logic is worthless in the pursuit of truth – it is extremely useful. It’s just not wholly sufficient by itself.

    • Nate says:

      “Vox is Aristotelian in temperament, choosing deduction over experimentation in many cases.”

      That’s a curious thing to accuse the man of in the comment section of an interview where he advocated adopting universal direct democracy as an experiment.

  27. bob k. mando says:

    I’m not convinced men aren’t affected by charisma.

    how nice. now maybe you’d like to point out where Vox asserted this?

    you do realize that one of his most favorite quotes is MPAI ( most people are idiots ), yes?

    Nor am I convinced that women can’t be long-term thinkers.

    how nice. now maybe you’d like to point out where Vox asserted this?

    Second, do you believe large numbers of males will vote based on sexual attractiveness as well when females are running for office?

    *pinches bridge of nose*

    women are attracted to a wider array of social, emotional and visual cues than men are, but in general women prefer men who have money, intelligence, status and social influence as well as physical appearance. sometimes, in spite of physical appearance ( Anna Nicolle Smith and J. Howard Marshall only being one of the most extreme examples of this ). you’ll note that many of those attributes listed don’t typically get maximized ( rock stars tend to jump the line ) until a man is in his 30s to 50s.

    you know. when they tend to be running for political office.

    the ‘height and hair’ criteria come into play because political opponents are nominally equivalent on the rest of the female attractiveness metrics simply by being placed on a stage next too each other.

    that you don’t LIKE this is purely irrelevant to the FACT that pollsters know that women have been voting this way since at least the notorious Kennedy-Nixon debates. and it actually seems to go back to Harding, the first nominee post-suffrage.

    “The campaign also drew on Harding’s popularity with women. Considered handsome, Harding photographed well compared to Cox. ”

    as for height alone, there’s actually an entire wiki page devoted to that:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights_of_presidents_and_presidential_candidates_of_the_United_States

    you’ll note that, post suffrage, post Wilson, the taller candidate has won 16 of 24 elections with 2 more elections having been between candidates of the same height and 2 more having a delta of an inch or less.

    this is a significant change from Wilson and prior elections when 12 of 33 elections went to the taller man with 2 being men of the same height and another 2 being an inch or less in delta. 3 were uncontested, although at 6′-2″ Washington was a giant of a man for his time. they don’t have heights for the loser in 4 of the old elections.

    men, otoh, value youth and beauty ( which is in large part a function of youth ). few indeed are the women who can be characterized as beautiful or ‘sexually desirable’ over 40. Angela Merkel? Hillary Clinton? Madeleine Albright? it is to laugh.

    so to sum up, regardless of the exact proportion of men who conform to MPAI, the idea that they’re going to vote in any significant numbers for female candidates based on their desirability is absurd.

    the women candidates for whom this would be an issue would be dismissed simply as too callow and inexperienced to make a serious nominee. the same as the men of similar age, <35.

    • Craig says:

      Surely this is testable: do women vote for the taller candidate to a greater extent than men vote for the taller candidate? If they do, how large is the difference — enough to have a significant impact on elections? I doubt it, but if anyone can point to contrary data I’d certainly be willing to look at it.

  28. Skeptical of your Skepticism says:

    “No. I’m very skeptical about a lot of them”

    +

    ” and a number that seem flat out wrong to me”

    Why don’t you offer to debate him and see if your beliefs can stand up to scrutiny?

    • John Brown says:

      Debate? Skepticism simply means I have questions, reservations, and doubts. Before I could debate I’d need to examine evidence. My comments were meant, not as a refutation, but as a report of my first reactions.

      • Brad Andrews says:

        You should go through the full logic, even if only in a thought story, for the positions you find so wrong or at least the ones you are skeptical with. Take multiple paths in your exploration.

        Doing this will quickly show that few things in life are strictly binary.

        One example would be the area of women’s suffrage. Look at the arguments at the time. Which proved accurate, those in favor or opposed? That would be one example.

        I listened to part of the Federalist Papers recently and was not surprised to find that reality proved many things accurate (for and against). Do the same in other areas instead of just parroting modern PC thoughts.

  29. Mark A. says:

    Thanks John – just a note of explanation re: the tone Vox often takes. He’s been very clear on multiple occasions that he believes that responding to an emotionally-loaded questions or attack with passionless logic is a losing proposition. So if you come at him with rhetorical guns blazing, he’ll roll out the nukes in response. If you seek to give offense, he will offer it in return at a much higher volume. So if you’d sought to conduct your discussion here couched in insult or deceit, you would have received the kind of response he gave to – say – NK Jemisin. He would have actively tried to offend you in reply and he would have matched your insulting tone with an injurious one. He’ll amp it up. every. single. time.

    But if you seek civility and discourse absent an agenda, he’ll provide that in response – as he largely did here. Disagree with him while remaining calm and debating the actual data and you’ll get the Vox you see above. Controversial? Sure. Insulting? Not so much.

  30. Baron Adventurer says:

    This was well done piece and I applaud your open-mindedness in speaking with him.

    When Vox writes, “African-American men are 500 times more likely to possess a gene variant that is linked to violence and aggression than white American men,” he is referring to MAO-A, the gene that encodes the enzyme monoamine oxidase A, which is related to aggression. 5% of young African American men surveyed in a National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health carried the 2R version of MAO-A, subsequently known as the “warrior gene” because of its correlation to aggressive behavior. Only 0.1% of European-American young men carried the gene, hence the “500 times more likely”. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18212819

    This study, and many of Vox Day’s other views on the cultural impact of genetic differences, are discussed in depth by the recent book “Our Troublesome Inheritance,” by Nicholas Wade (former Science Editor for the NY Times).

    Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” and Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve” are also very informative in terms of presenting unpleasant data points that contrast with more positive narratives of the human condition.

    PS It should be clear from the above that when Vox wrote, “It is not that I, and others, do not view her [NK Jemsin] as human, (although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens),” he was actually saying that Jemsin was a more pure strain of homo sapiens sapiens than Europeans, who are actually hybrids with neanderthals. I am sure everyone who claimed otherwise will rush to apologize to him.

    • BigGaySteve says:

      Please note that the warrior gene is oddly mislabeled. Anyone looking into it would give it the more appropriate name of “belligerent a-hole gene” as it give no benefit in fighting. The most liberal of liberal cities had queens crying when the San Francisco Gate published the demographics of bashings and other crimes. Blacks make up only 5% of SF but commit over 60% of SF crimes. PC queens clutched their pearls and cried on their fainting couches that revealing such data was worse than the actual crimes against gays.

      SF is so liberal that they passed a law just to harasses a lawmakers ex boyfriend that had an arts & crafts workshop in his garage. SF cops also wont bother investigating any crime short of murder where both victim and criminal are participants in the victim category Olympics http://ij.org/in-san-francisco-it-s-illegal-to-store-your-own-stuff-in-your-own-garage

      • Baron Adventurer says:

        I totally agree. It’s a badly-named gene. I was just reporting the facts!

        Shocking stuff about San Francisco.

      • BigGaySteve says:

        Usually the most shocking things for STR8s about SF is the public sex or all the homeless. I might be a bit jaded but what did you find shocking the crime stats, that people would rather be victims then talk about crime stats or that liberals are petty busybodies? The SF cops are just doing what the Rotherham UK cops did ignoring little girl rapes by moslems to avoid being called names.
        I don’t live there now but the only thing I found shocking about SF is how little time it took to prove me right about guys using smart meters to see when their exes are taking showers. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/california-governor-residents-face-fines-500-day-long-showers/ This link doesn’t carry water for the liberals.

      • Joshua says:

        I might be a bit jaded too, or at least cynical, but I don’t find any of the three of those surprising.

    • perlhaqr says:

      Is he the “former editor” because he wrote the book?

    • EH says:

      5% is 50 times more than 0.1%, not 500 times. Which of the three numbers {5%, 0.1%, 500} is incorrect?

  31. Paige says:

    A long time ago I was looking into the men’s rights movement in order to write about it on my blog. I ran into Vox Day and was instantly pissed off. But he was very interesting on a lot of different subjects, so I kept reading.
    Since then I have seen that he simply has no ability to be subtle. His style is harsh and at first he seems close minded. But I have seen his point of view change on more than one subject. He is shockingly open minded froi a man so hard nosed. He seems to have zero concern for what we think of his ideas. No thought is off limits just because people will scream that only the evil ones think like that. He doesn’t care. In most cases Vox Day is far more open minded than his haters. And they really are haters.
    Congratulations for being brave. As you already pointed out, some people will now think you a blasphemer for treating Satan fairly. And for the recorded he still pisses me off.

    • bob k. mando says:

      No thought is off limits just because people will scream that only the evil ones think like that.

      *facedesk*

      WHY should a thought be ‘off limits’ just because some retard is going to throw a screaming temper tantrum?

      you know, SF, which USED to be the genre of Dangerous Visions ( Ellison ) and ‘the literature of the taboo’ ( Aldiss, paraphrased ) has really gone off the road into the ditch.

      • Paige says:

        I loved Harlan Ellison and his Dangerous Visions anthologies. Just maybe that is why I enjoy Vox Day even as he pisses me off. I’m a Christian yet a short story that tells of man hunting down God (his creator) because man is now more powerful than God. That was one of the best short stories I have ever read. And yes that is what SF should be dangerous and often offensive because of it.

      • John Brown says:

        Name calling is off limits. Watch the tone, Bob 🙂

    • BigGaySteve says:

      No one can agree on what thoughts to forbid . You reminded me of an ex that thought liberty meant the right to have sex in public, but who called the cops after we broke up to tell them I add tri sodium phosphate to my laundry. It was removed from laundry/dishwashing detergents but you can still buy it in the hardware/ cleaning/ paint sections.

      Which would you rather your neighbor enjoy public sex or nice looking clothes?

  32. Michael says:

    I’ve been lurking in Vox’s blog for years now, and I think I was able to comment maybe once or twice. I was interested in this man who was obviously intelligent yet obviously wrong about so much. In fact, being a Christian, the only thing I seemed to agree with him on is his views on theism.

    But what I learned from following his blog for so many years now is that the guy knows his stuff. People criticize him without even knowing what he’s actually said or done because this or that guy from the internet says he’s a crank who had said such and such offensive things. But what I often find is that the people who say Vox is a crank also seem to be the usual personalities who wake up in the morning actively searching for something to be outraged about.

  33. John Brown says:

    I’m going to be out to pick up my lovely daughters from the airport. If your comment is not approved for a while, you know why.

  34. Truman says:

    And the bigger question is does it matter in literature?

    If Vox or those published by him write great stories (he’s on my to read list but so are about 300 books so I haven’t read any of his works to judge) should we judge the story based on the author’s beliefs?

    Sure I might not want to buy his works but there are libraries where I can read them for free.

    For the sake of hugos or any other award content not character should be the sole premise of judging.

    • Brad Andrews says:

      I would bet you would find his books as compelling as any others if you would leave out predispositions.

      His Throne of Bones series has a bit too much going on and it can take some time to wrap your head around it all, but it is a compelling world. The shorter stories have merit too.

      I have not read his Science Fiction stuff, but I have read enough of his writing and the works of others to know that he is not the horrid writer some claim in a knee-jerk fashion.

      I am fairly close (though not identical) to his philosophical views, but that is not a requirement to like his fiction. I am sure I disagree with the politics of many of the science fiction and fantasy writers I have read. I didn’t let that jump (for the most part) into the story so I could still enjoy it.

    • Nate says:

      It should not matter. But politics is everything to Left… and to the Left everything is political. The Right tolerated this view for a long time. Recently however… in numerous ways… the Right has decided to play by some of the same rules.

      The result… is… messy. Entertaining… but messy.

    • BikerDad says:

      For the sake of hugos or any other award content not character should be the sole premise of judging.

      I’m going to disagree. It doesn’t matter how good of a writer he was, Che was a vile, unrepentant mass murderer who should never receive an award. There is such a thing as “beyond the pale”. To declare otherwise is as absurd as saying that content doesn’t matter at all.

      The SJW’s are right that some character defects disqualify one from consideration in a civil society. It’s their assessment of what is a disqualifying character defect that’s horridly flawed.

      A productive discussion starts by ruling out both extremes, and looks at “what is beyond the pale? What is a ridiculous character standard?”

  35. Steve Moss says:

    Good job.

  36. Tom says:

    A great article, and one that took courage to write.

    Since you mentioned “Guns, Germs and Steel” and seem interested in the subject of genetic differences between groups, let me recommend “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History” by Nicholas Wade. It’s an excellent survey of the research being done in this area, and contains information on many of the points touched on by both you and Vox Day: Amazon Link

  37. Mark Ping says:

    Your counterexample of Mormon women’s education vs. fecundity is a terrible control. Mormons believe deeply in the importance of family and have a long tradition of larger families AND emphasis on education. They’re pretty much the only sub-group of US women who are reproducing at or above replacement rate.

    The education levels and birth rates both have causal relationships with religion. They’re the exception, not the rule.

    • Joshua says:

      The reason for that is that education–i.e., value of intellectualism, knowledge and curiosity for its own sake–is not really what people mean when they say education. It’s really a stand-in for the ideology of having career first rather than family.

      Mormons have none of that. It’s an open joke amongst Mormon women that many of them go to school to get their MRS degrees more than anything else. Education is valued, and yes, for its own sake, but it’s no prioritized higher than family.

  38. Tom says:

    Geez, when I started reading this there were three comments, now there are over 30… you’ve got your work cut out for you….

  39. Jill says:

    The sad truth is men and women are politically manipulable in different ways. That’s why there are different ads directed at them. How very human of men to detect the way others are manipulated, but not how they themselves are. It lacks self-awareness. Utter folly will be the inevitable result. But I am interested in problems associated with all adults being allowed to vote in a representative voting process. The smallest representation pool is the family. It used to be that the household head or property owner would vote for the entire family. Now those votes are split.

  40. Brad Andrews says:

    John,

    One thing to explore is what really brings about more freedom. Is Democracy really as good as it is sold? Can you have freedom without voting?

    Watch that you do not get stuck in modern cliches and instead examine what really is the best. Some conclusions may be quite unacceptable to those in power and harder to stand for publicly, but truth is truth and that is the best aim point.

  41. Christopher Chantrill says:

    Years ago I read that the PRI in Mexico, when it was the one and only political party, used to have a policy for dealing with a young radical firebrand cooking up trouble in the capital city. The party leaders would send the young firebrand off to be governor of a province.

    The powers-that-be in SFF-dom could have done that with Vox Day. But they didn’t.

  42. Asher says:

    Beale’s interactions with Jemisin are an excellent microcosm of his way of approaching things. IIRC, his first mention of her related to her claim that laws in the West are designed to kill young black men and another that when she stepped off a plane in Australia she immediately felt unsafe. He went after her with rhetoric as inflammatory as hers, albeit with substance, unlike hers.

    One of Beale’s specialties is to merge substance-rich reasoning with offensive rhetoric, a marriage at which few are adept. Since most people lack this talent the responses he gets are usually rhetorically inflammatory but substance-free, which makes his interlocutor’s positions look idiotic.

    It’s a fantastic tactic and one I have used since long before I encountered VP.

  43. Joshua says:

    “But I think the most productive thing to do in reaction to his claim is to gauge whether you think it merits serious consideration. If it does, or if you’re curious, examine the evidence and report your results. If it doesn’t, just say you haven’t seen anything to suggest its worth looking into further.”

    This has the unfortunate side effect of leaving unexamined anything of which you are sufficiently ignorant, however.

    Of course, it’s impossible to suggest that everyone have enough specialized knowledge to react to every such question that is likely to cross their path. But it’s important to keep in mind that this epistemological approach only works if you are correctly able to identify the null hypothesis, and not get carried away with, “well everybody knows that…” fallacies.

  44. bob k. mando says:

    so, on this whole ‘men getting their vote swayed by the hotness of the female candidate’ thing?

    Madonna ( 56 ) just sexually assaulted Drake ( 28 ) at a concert.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE56PD0dIvE

    and, for her age, Madonna is smoking hot. i never really cared for her, but she’s thin, in shape, got long hair and a rack.

    somebody want to explain to me again why ‘hot chicks’ are going to be a serious elective threat by distorting the male vote?

    • Asher says:

      Because … Social justice

    • BigGaySteve says:

      Since I have already been excommunicated from the Temple of the Bacon Eating GRINDR Rabbi for the heresy of noticing its not the STR8 White X-Tian Church Going Men that commit crimes against gays, I might as well take a swing at another Sacred Cow. I have had enough STR8 friends & co workers to know that STR8 men want prudes to be their wife , not sluts that pretend to be prudes. They might put a slut into an overpaid secretary position but not one that would have power over them. That’s how you can have a treasurer of a gay “charity” who has collection agencies looking for him due to personal debts.

  45. Alexander says:

    I did a graph of it once, and the conclusion was very straightforward: if you expect to have hot women in positions of power, then have a male king or prince and tell him he can marry whoever he wants, then you get good looking queen consorts: see Spain, Holland, England, and Jordan.

    If you expect to have hot women elected into positions of power, you are going to do much worse. You’ll get the occasional Yulia Tymoshenko (didn’t work out to well for her) or Cristina Fernandez, but on the whole when the electorate favors a woman, looks* don’t factor into it – Angela Merkel, Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir… nobody is going to say they rose to the top because men wanted to have sex with them.

    * Though there does seem to be a correlation between holding political power and a minimum requisite BMI. Men don’t elect women to high office because they want to have sex with them, but they observably don’t elect the female equivalent of Howard Taft, either.

  46. Supernaut says:

    Your counterexample of Mormon women’s education vs. fecundity is a terrible control. Mormons believe deeply in the importance of family and have a long tradition of larger families AND emphasis on education.

    Meh. Mormon’s emphasis on education is directly related to family formation. They send their young women to college to mix, mingle and eventually marry all the return missionaries. Mormon girls go to college at 18, while mormon boys don’t go until they finish their missions at age 20.

    They are the last institution that basically still promotes the “Mrs. degree” plan for young women. Most Mormon women get married, drop out of college and start popping out babies before getting their 4 year degrees. Unlike secular society, Mormon culture promotes this and holds up motherhood and family as a sacred vocation, not Patriarchal oppression.

    The rest of the country send their girls to college to get an education to focus on a career track and to MAYBE consider marriage and 1.2 children after the women have graduated and begun the climb up the corporate human resources ladder.

  47. slarrow says:

    Mr. Brown, my hat is off to you for engaging Vox Day in the manner you did. The shock is that you’re among the few who have.

    The ironic thing is that the more his enemies paint him as some dark, evil, racist/misogynist/badthink flavor of the day, the more it works to his advantage. He mentioned Sun Tzu’s dictum about “know yourself and know your enemy” just last week. Those forays into the “rhetoric of offense”, as you put it, absolutely drive his detractors bonkers. They can’t think straight, and thus they continue to misunderstand, underestimate, and be outwitted by “the devil.” It gives him a tactical advantage, plus he enjoys it. You’d think these purportedly intelligent people would have figured that out by now, and yet they persist.

    You, on the other hand, have showed uncommon good judgment and played above board. So I read your golem story, liked it, and bought Servant. If nothing else, your fair play got you a sale. (On the “visitor/reader/fan/Dread Ilk” scale, I’m probably a daily reader sliding toward fan. Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and the resulting dust-up have given me all kinds of new things to read. Glad to add you to the list.)

  48. BigGaySteve says:

    patrick kelly April 15, 2015 3:51 PM Mr. Brown apparently considers my following comments, still in moderation after others have been approved, to be “Name calling, high-octane expletives, etc. ”
    **********************************
    After he approved my first post the others went auto up. I could post yours but then he would know we are evaluating his disingenuousness. Actually posting it with a link to the taki mag “never trust anyone who has not been punched in the face” article might be good. http://takimag.com/article/never_trust_anyone_who_hasnt_been_punched_in_the_face/print#axzz3XPbfi0Fh
    Actually I will just post like this to honor the standards of censorship.

    • Angus Trim says:

      Hey Steve

      Tell Patrick I have these mats I want to talk to him about. He should remember the reference.

    • John Brown says:

      I’ve been out, BigGaySteve. I’m not obliged to run on your time schedule 🙂

  49. Gary Denton says:

    Thanks for the interview.
    I see you immediately got a lot of Vox Day defenders here.
    I see a crank who supports incomplete theories that support his agenda, except when he doesn’t even rely on any data or theory but his gut.

    • John Brown says:

      Watch the name calling, Gary 🙂 We’re keeping it locked down on this thread.

      • Gary Denton says:

        Name-calling? Crank was a very carefully chosen word.

        I have known cranks and they may be intelligent but they hold outlandish opinions supported by an incomplete understanding of facts they use to try to promote their theories. His genetics theory is junk science and there are other examples you illustrated.

        “Crank” is a pejorative term used for a person who holds an unshakable belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false.[1] A crank belief is so wildly at variance with those commonly held as to be ludicrous. Cranks characteristically dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict their own unconventional beliefs, making rational debate a futile task, and rendering them impervious to facts, evidence, and rational inference.
        Common synonyms for “crank” include crackpot and kook. A crank differs from a fanatic in that the subject of the fanatic’s obsession is either not necessarily widely regarded as wrong or not necessarily a “fringe” belief. Similarly, the word quack is reserved for someone who promotes a medical remedy or practice that is widely considered to be ineffective; this term, however, does not imply any deep belief in the idea or product they are attempting to sell. “

    • Asher says:

      Nothing in your comment even approaches substance.

  50. DissidentRight says:

    Subjective, requiring clarification: “Our nation be better if women were not permitted to vote.” Clearer: “Our nation be more libertarian if women were not permitted to vote”. Yes, that is backed up by essentially all polls and surveys.

    Does race correlate strongly with IQ? Does IQ correlate strongly with socioeconomic status? Yes, of course; this is hardly disputable. What policy implications does this have? If you are a libertarian, none. If you are a non-libertarian who believes that the _cause_ of the racial IQ gap is systematic oppression, there are serious policy implications. However there are excellent reasons to doubt the gap is caused by systemic oppression.

    Finally, the reason race correlates with national success is because IQ correlates with race and countries tend to be racially homogeneous. Ranking countries based on average IQ gives essentially the same result as ranking them based on “success”, just as ranking races based on average IQ does the same.