Hereditary or Not

It’s also funny how people don’t understand the insanity of the way genetics is viewed in this country. Weight is supposedly completely genetic. So is mood. So is absolutely any mental state or condition.

But academic capacity is absolutely 100% not. Instead of being in any way hereditary, it’s 100% a consumer good. It’s all about “school funding” or tutors.

Nobody else in the world sees it that way. And by “it”, I mean all of it. Weight, mood, intelligence.

More on Jewish Intelligence

Of course, there’s immediately a bunch of superstitious Jews piping up with, “Who, us? Nah, we are as dumb as doorknobs. Stoo-pid. My third-grader only speaks three languages and even got an A- in math yesterday. We are all hopeless dumbtards like that. Move along, nothing to see here!”

The fear of attracting attention is as Jewish as academic excellence but I don’t understand why people are so sore on the subject of intelligence. Nature prevents too high a concentration of any trait in a single group. There are few things genetically riskier than two Ashkenazi Jews procreating. Try setting up a meeting with a family planning geneticist and see the light go out of his eyes when you say, “yes, we both have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.” That and cultural pressures result in Ashkenazi Jews marrying outside their ethnic group at historically unprecedented rates. So the genetic intelligence is spread around. And the cultural worship of knowledge and academic excellence dissolves towards the norm.

High Intelligence

Twitter is collapsing with outrage because a NYTimes columnist noticed that Ashkenazi Jews tend to have high intelligence, both because of genetics and because of culture.

It’s funny that they are so upset over somebody else’s intellect yet the easy solution of getting off Twitter and trying to read a book instead doesn’t occur.

I Finished Surveillance Capitalism!

It’s a great, great book but it should be 300 pages shorter, for sure. To say that Zuboff’s writing is repetitive is like saying that Trump isn’t always extremely tactful. I kept thinking my Kindle was on the fritz because it felt like I was reading the same page over and over and over again.

This is the reason why most readers of this great book don’t get to the end. And it’s such a shame because not only is this absolutely, hands-down the best non-fiction book of the decade but the last three pages are absolutely stunning, unexpected, and wonderful.

In these last pages, Zuboff tells us that surveillance capitalism is not really capitalism at all. Surveillance capitalism uses the rhetorical devices of the massively successful neoliberalism in order to… destroy capitalism. It masks as neoliberalism but it isn’t. Zuboff demonstrates how the very foundation of what Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek understood as capitalism is destroyed by the surveillance mode of existence.

This is a fascinating argument that I need to keep thinking about. It looks like Zuboff us saying that the surveillance anti-capitalism (which would be a better name for it) is enamored of the idea of planned economy and that the chaos of what we know as a free market (or a free anything) is its enemy. Which is why China is at the forefront of this surveillance system.

As I said, this is all condensed in 3 pages at the end, although the whole book leads you to this conclusion without stating it so bluntly until the very end.

Illusion of Importance

I think at least some of the wailing about how “Trump is the worstest; Nazism is here” is owed to people not wanting to recognize how little politics matters any more. It’s scary, and they shield themselves from the realization of how little they suddenly matter by pretending that the opposite is true.

“This is the most consequential election of our times!” they yell when it’s the exact opposite.

There’s clearly very little actual difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

Obama’s greatest actual achievement was a massive gift to the massively rich health insurance industry. And yes, some regular folks benefited, too.

Trump’s greatest actual achievement was a massive gift to the corporate world in the form of tax cuts. And yes, some regular folks benefited, too.

Either than that, the differences are cosmetic. And this will be increasingly the case with whomever we vote for. Which sucks so we posture and pretend like we still matter.