The Daily View, 3/1/2024: Twitter Edition

Item #1:

Africa has a higher all-cause mortality, as evidenced by a much lower life expectancy compared to elsewhere, so it’s not surprising or unexpected that this holds for obesity too. Trying to disentangle obesity deaths from non-obesity deaths is tricky though, much like dying of Covid vs. dying with Covid. The same things that kill obese people, like heart disease, also kill non-obese people. If someone dies of heart disease at 76 and is obese compared a mean national life expectancy of 78, how much of a role did the obesity play compared to age? This can explain why people are much more worried about dying of cancer but not of obesity. The causality is much more clear-cut with cancer. Cancer can easily cut your life in half and no warning.

Item #2:

So many people, on either side of the aisle, want to believe this wishful thinking narrative that there is an oversupply of college grads whose degrees will go to waste. The 70% figure he gives is misleading. He conflate grads with students. ‘Some college’, according to the BLS data, confers zero benefit or wage premium over a high school diploma. The percentage of American adults with degrees has increased gradually over the years but it still a minority, suggesting no acute oversupply.

The college premium is not just about the type of job, but also a much lower unemployment rate. College grads are typically at an advantage for jobs of all skill levels, even jobs that do not require degrees.

It’s not so much being in the top quintile or not, but rather the abrupt decline of income by not having a degree. No degree means a huge decline in lifetime earnings compared to having a degree, irrespective of being in the top quintile or the middle.

Item #3:

He is confusing many things. Trust, talent, productivity, and strength are not the same thing. If strength is defined as resilience, then the evidence shows diversity may have a stabilizing effect by attenuating societal unrest even if people feel less trustful of each other. Lower social trust is a feature , not so much a bug, if the goal is to promote stability. Homogeneous societies are a hotbed of unrest and destabilization. Despite increasing diversity in the US over past century, crime keeps falling, save for the occasional spike like in 2020. America has less political unrest compared to more homogenous countries/regions. The major incidents of unrest over years, like the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, or the English Civil Wars, were between populations that were ethnically or racially homogenous or cut from the same cloth. It was basically rich whites vs other rich whites.

Ireland, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, etc. despite being more homogenous all had more incidents of unrest over the past decade compared to the US. In the US the unrest is short-lived and sporadic, compared to those aforementioned countries in which the unrest is worse, more frequent, and goes on longer. The George Floyd riots lasted a few months on and off, but was not as bad as the Ireland immigration protests, which almost two years later are still ongoing. By comparison, the Jan 6th protests lasted just hours.

Item #4:

From 2016-2021 Trump-era economic populism dominated online discourse. Richard Hanania, with his brand of acerbic commentary that combines HBD with realpolitik, found unexpected success catering to the neglected brand of high-status conservatism and centrism that rejects such populism. What the pragmatic-right lack in numbers, they make up for in influence, as discussed in more detail in Socially Optimized Positions, Authenticity, and Weirdness. In terms of influence on discourse, a single high-status/IQ/SES reader is equal to hundreds of low-status/IQ/SES readers.

This caters to the likes of Marc Andreessen, David Sachs, and other high-status, wealthy centrists who are anti-woke but also anti-populist. This style of conservatism harkens to neoconservatism, in rejecting populism and the victimization and conspiratorial thinking that otherwise dominated pre-2021. Same for the rise of the Musk-approved HBD-left/center, like @eyeslasho and @cremieuxrecueil.