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What We've Discovered So Far: Mind Viruses are Fake
A layman summary of recent results, part 1
Over the last month, I’ve put out 4 original exousiological studies:
In the following set of articles, I will summarize the results for a layman audience, and then I will discuss the collective implications of all the new information considered together. This article is part 1, so I will summarize the first paper above.
Pareto vs. Mind Viruses: The Woke are Hypocrites
The idea of this study is simple. There are two competing views of ideologies: the first, the idealist, states that ideologies are informative. They causally effect the behavior of an ideologue. It is from this view that we get statements like “the spread of Marxism caused the Bolshevik revolution.”
In this view, ideas take on a life of their own. They spread as replicators in a memespace beyond our material reality — like demons, they infect the minds of their victims and cause negative behaviors. Some call them memes, some call them egregores, and some call them mind viruses.
Books become of central importance when analyzing the evolution of mass behavior and society. And from this we derive the historical method of someone like James Lindsay. According to Lindsay, what is responsible for the rise of leftism? Activist scholarship. The magic power of the pen. The pen births the mind virus which infects the society:
Pluckrose and Lindsay explain how our core civic values are under assault from cult-like ideologies derived from nihilistic “postmodern” intellectuals from France, like Foucault and Derrida. Many find this very hard to believe, because it is so well disguised from the public, but its results are all too much in the news. These consequences include cancel culture, victimhood culture, and the Red/Blue state culture wars, with Trump ever eager to magnify and exploit the ensuing societal resentments and animosities and political gridlock.
For Lindsay, and for idealists generally, the chain of historical causation goes like this:
Academics summon an egregore using the pen as a magic portal to memespace. Examples: Locke births Liberalism, Marx births Marxism, Paul births Christianity, Foucault births Wokeism.
The ideas, taking on a life of their own, possess the public as demonic egregores. Neither genes nor material conditions have changed; the public is the same, but the words they are exposed to are different. People are fundamentally what they read.
The material consequences manifest: Red Terror, French Terror, Cancel Culture, Crusades.
Thus Lindsay, as the historian, must only explain the behavioral shift with a set of books originating some time before the shift. These books need not be widely-read or informative. They can be abstruse polemic read by a few. In fact, the books that Lindsay blames are exactly this. I have proven that their readership rate cannot account for behavioral changes in the population at large.
This view, is, of course, too convenient. The historian need not count anything. Everything is words, and people are blank slates. My alternative hypothesis defenestrates the verbally tilted historian from his heaven of spoken language into the lake of mathematics, statistics, economics, and genetics.
Selfish utility maximizers, which are most of the population surely do not want this. But, in seeking the truth at any cost, it must occur and the idealist view must be put to rest. Therefore, this month, we have begun the construction of the scientific replacement of the idealist historical method.
This replacement is motivated by the Paretian view. This states that ideologies are not informative; rather, they are signals generated to satisfy intrinsic desire. What appear to be ideologies, books, slogans, and all, are actually downstream of genetic and economic conditions.
Under this view, the Lindsay method is reduced to a simple case of mistaking correlation for causation. Perhaps an uptick in woke books precedes an uptick in woke politics. The idealist assumes this is cause and effect; the scientist looks for a third factor C, which causes the uptick in both woke books and woke politics.
Thus, for scientists, the historical chain of causation looks something like this:
Extrinsic factors cause genetic drift or new economic incentives.
New signals-as-books emerge as people attempt to satisfy their new desires.
New politics also emerge as people attempt to satisfy their new desires.
The scientific historian therefore must quantitatively trace the extrinsic factors related to the event in question, such as the rise of wokeness.
But how do we show that the idealist view is wrong? Easy — we use the scientific method. By comparing the expected observations of both views to reality, we can discover which one is correct.
Why would we want to do this? We have already debunked James Lindsay’s specific claims. But we don’t want to have to do this ad infinitum for every idealist that comes out of the woodwork. We need a general result that says, roughly speaking, that books simply do not play a causative role in the historical process.
We can do this in one of two ways: inductively, and deductively. The inductive route would be to show that books have never once in human history played the role that idealists claim that can play. This makes it very unlikely that they will ever do so in the future. The deductive route examines individual behavior and psychology and shows that, based on the results, aggregates of human beings will never be controlled by book egregores.
We went for the deductive route. We asked, what must be true about human behavior under the idealist theory, and how does that differ from the Paretian theory? An answer popped out: if books can exert power, then they can get people to do things that they didn’t already want to do. In other words, if ideas are powerful, people should be able to be convinced to engage in costly behaviors because of those ideas, despite knowing intrinsically that the behaviors are obviously costly.
If ideas can only get people to engage in behaviors that benefit them, ideas aren’t doing much at all. People naturally want to do things that benefit them. They don’t need ideas for that. Ideas might coordinate actions, but they don’t cause desire. But the fundamental question of “whence [new political behavior]” is “why are they benefitted by that now and not before?”
But if ideas do cause desire, if they do create wokeists, as opposed to merely coordinating them, then they should be able to get their infected victim to go against their own biological fitness for the sake of the mind virus. If wokeism has a mind of its own, if it has its own power, then it can make people under its influence spread the meme at the expense of their own genes.
The Paretian view says this is nonsense and that something like wokeism must ultimately be a collective action movement aimed at maximizing the fitness of woke genes, by asserting the dominance of said genes and redistributing resources to those genes. Therefore, self-professed wokeists will not engage in behaviors that reduce their biological fitness. The idea is a tool of the body, not the other way around.
We therefore asked n=100 people 3 pairs of questions: is being gay good, do you encourage you young adult kid to be gay, is sex work good, do you encourage your young adult kid to try sex work, and are drag queens good, and do you take you kid to drag queen shows. p1 was the probability that they engaged in risky behavior given they did not claim to think it was good; p2 was the probability they engaged in the behavior thinking it was good. ps was the probability that upon meme exposure a person who did not do the behavior before would begin to engage in the behavior. It was calculated as ps = (p2 - p1) / (1 - p1).
This, combined with another result showing people who think racial integration is good not living around blacks more frequently, indicates that mind viruses are essentially fake. The average ps value was 0.01. The mind virus view predicts ps values above, say, 0.50, even as high as going on 1.0.
Propaganda in general sucks. Consider the success of Top Gun at recruiting for the military.
A naïve estimate of the proportion of people who can be mind-virus’d is about 1% of the population. 99% therefore are not susceptible to mind viruses, and so mind viruses must not play a causal role in human history.
We know from this that nobody was fooled into being race egalitarians. It’s costly behavior and they know better than to bear the costs themselves. They must intrinsically like the idea of forcing equality (but viewing it from afar), or they must be going after covert gain. Either way, if books could make people woke, they could make people live around blacks and persuade their kids to engage in sex works. But books cannot do these things, so books cannot make people woke. Woke books must be written by already woke people, and to the extent that anybody reads them, those people were already woke to begin with.
Still don’t believe me? Try reading Herbert Marcuse and see how dry, boring, and dumb it is. It won’t give you a mind virus. The data shows this.
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Make sure you subscribe to stay tuned for upcoming articles explaining my findings relating to the ACTUAL origins of leftism/wokeness. Hint: it turns out it’s probably mutational load and to some degree globalist economic incentives.