Why Don’t People Like Good Discussion Formats?

The stuff below is adapted from an FI post. A poster asked why people don’t like higher quality written discussion formats, and prefer to just talk in-person instead. I replied:

I think a lot of it is: basically, for most people who engage in them, “intellectual discussions” serve a similar function in their life to discussions about sports or recent movies etc. There’s not some big distinction in their mind, where there’s some social fluff topics and some stuff they really care about. To them, its basically all stuff to talk about over lunch or at the bar. And maybe something you can try and impress others with by dropping some prestigious quotes/references. For most people who engage in them at all (a pretty small slice of people already), “intellectual discussions” are the raw material for certain sorts of common social interactions. That’s the primary purpose. Such people primarily are social-valuers, not idea-valuers.

People don’t expect to make big progress or learn things from intellectual discussion. They expect it to be something like: “oh you read/like Rand? Yeah, I don’t like her much. Have you read Rawls? I like Rawls. (some quote from Rawls to impress you). Good talk.” But with more social vibes added.

Now consider the perspective where social interaction is the primary purpose of the intellectual discussion. How would someone with that perspective react to a proposal to take the discussion to a written format like private email or a discussion list? Well, such formats take away the primary value they get from the interaction. Such formats remove the social part. The discussion becomes more about just the ideas. So from the perspective of a social-valuer, such a proposal is actually counterproductive. It defeats almost the entire point of the activity for them. So of course those people are not going to do that.

BTW I’m not claiming they care zero about the ideas and topics. They care a little. It’s not a zero value to them. But it’s not primary, because if it were, they would use more effective methods for learning about and discussing ideas…

I remember being super naive about how people approached ideas and intellectual topics. Like people would say they were an Objectivist and I would believe them, but then they thought that compromise in one’s work was necessary and inevitable. And people would say they liked discussing ideas but they didn’t seem to have much interest in actually doing that. I even believed common cultural stuff that said universities were some kind of intellectual place.

Big picture, i think if you’re used to the seriousness that Elliot brings to discussing ideas, it can be super easy to fool yourself about the honesty and integrity of random people you meet who claim to have some interest in ideas. Cuz anything less than Elliot standard just seems kind of bizarre and pointless, and it seems really weird that people would lie about having interests.

BTW, I think it’s easier to fool yourself about other people’s honesty and integrity in engaging in intellectual discussion if you stay within certain standard social guardrails. Like people might seem reasonably engaged if you engage in some pointed back and forth arg-and-counterarg a bit, but if you start going meta and bringing up more methodological issues, they’ll get irate/confused/bored pretty quickly. It’s a bit like they’re acting. The scene has some superficial plausibility if you stick to your lines, but once you start going off-script, oh boy…

Was Amazon Censoring Conservative Author Lauren Southern’s New Book?

Yesterday, Amazon searches were not pulling up Lauren Southern’s new book Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.

At the time of these screenshots, it was already marked by Amazon as a BESTSELLER on the US Amazon site:


Now observe what happens when I searched for “Lauren Southern” (without quotes), in All categories:


Some random Lauren, a cookbook, T-shirts, etc.

How does the author’s native 🇨🇦Canada🇨🇦 do? No quotes around name:


Much better here!

Before I finished this post, a search (without quotes) for “lauren southern” on the US Amazon site started giving a prominent result on the first page for her new book. But “lauren southern” with quotes still did not find the book.


A search for another author in quotes for comparison:


There’s a lot of political bias on the part of various big companies. Twitter famously censored Milo. Amazon has been accused of bias itself.

I’m not sure what caused these search problems. But whatever the reason, having messed up search results for a new bestseller on one of the biggest retail sites, for even part of day (especially right before Christmas) can have a big impact on sales. So even if its just incompetence, its a disgrace for Amazon. And if its intentional that’s even worse.

The Modern Left’s Anti-Trump Violence & Hate

LAST UPDATED January 4, 2017

The modern Left’s narrative is that they are standing up to violence, racism, sexism, and hate.

In fact, the modern Left is the primary instigator of violence, racism, sexism, and hate in America.

The left’s demonization of Donald Trump as the next Hitler (when he is, in fact, a moderate) has created an awful cultural environment. In that environment, many people think it’s fine to engage in violence, threats of violence, intimidation, and hate directed at Trump, his voters, the GOP, and even innocent children. In that environment, people seeking to advance a political agenda or even just get attention feel free to flagrantly lie about being attacked by evil Trump supporters. In that environment, rich celebrities condemn white people — and especially white women — as a group over a political disagreement.

This is all fucked up.

Below I provide evidence, with a focus on violence, threats, lies, and racism that have occurred in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Comment below if you know more examples. I’ll be updating this for a while.

Anti-Trump/Anti-GOP Violence, Vandalism, Arson, Violent Threats, Incitement & Intimidation

January 4, 2017

White Man Kidnapped, Gagged, Beaten By Racist Black Anti-Trump Gang

December 2, 2016

Man Harassed for “Build the Wall” Shirt (video)

November 23, 2016

THREAT: ‘Abort Pence’: UNC Protesters Block Traffic, Demand ‘Action’

November 22, 2016

VANDALISM: Blue-haired Woman Arrested for Scrawling Anti-Trump Graffiti on Government Buildings

November 19, 2016

INCITEMENT: Students at High School in Texas Perform Skit Portraying Assassination of Trump

November 18, 2016

THREAT: Anti-Trump Protest Speaker Says to “Make the NRA Regret Giving Us the Right to Bear Arms”

November 17, 2016

VIOLENCE: Anti-Trump Protester Punches Officer in Face in San Diego

VIOLENCE: Breitbart Round-up of Ten Violent Actions Against Trump Supporters

November 15, 2016

THREAT: Ohio Man Charged with Threatening Assassination of Trump

November 14, 2016

VANDALISM: Anti-Trump Vandalism and Fire in Florida
Note: link no longer works and was excluded from Archive.org’s Wayback Machine :\

THREAT: Writer of ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Raging Bull’ Pens Post-Election ‘Call to Violence’

THREAT: Fox News Coverage of Trump Assassination Threats on Social Media

November 13, 2016

VIOLENCE: Trump Supporters Attacked By Communists In Austin

THREAT: CEO Threatens to ASSASSINATE TRUMP With Sniper Rifle

November 12, 2016

VIOLENCE: Man Attacked on NYC Subway for Wearing Make America Great Again Hat

THREAT: Sign at Protest at Trump International Hotel in DC Calls for Rape of Soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump

November 11, 2016:

VIOLENCE: Female anti-bullying ambassador, 23, arrested at Trump Tower protest for pushing man, 74, to the ground in fight over the new President-elect

VIOLENCE/VANDALISM: Anti-Trump Protest In Portland, Ore., Turns Destructive, Declared A Riot

VIOLENCE/VANDALISM: More on Portland Riot

November 10, 2016:

VIOLENCE: Man Attacked Violently in Chicago for Voting Trump

VIOLENCE: 11-Year-Old Boy Attacked & Put in Crutches for Voting Trump in Mock School Election

VIOLENCE: High School Student in California Attacked After Expressing Support for Trump on Instagram

VANDALISM: Anti-Trump Rioters Vandalize New Orleans Monuments

VANDALISM: Protestors Kick In Windows At Republican Party of Virginia Headquarters

INTIMIDATION: Baltimore Reporter Threatened by Anti-Trump Protesters

VIOLENCE: Collection of Many Violent Acts During Oakland Protest Courtesy of Pamela Geller

ARSON: Protesters Smash Oakland Police Department Police Car and Light it on Fire During Protest in Oakland

ARSON: Protesters Engage in Arson in Oakland Protest

ARSON: More Arson in Oakland

November 9, 2016:

THREAT: Anti-Trump Protester Says “People Have to Die” on CNN

October 28, 2016:

VIOLENCE: Black Female Homeless Trump Supporter Attacked While Defending Trump’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

October 17, 2016:

INCITEMENT: Project Veritas: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies

VANDALISM: Local GOP office in North Carolina firebombed

September 13, 2016

VIOLENCE: British Man Pleads Guilty To Assassination Attempt on Donald Trump

June 3, 2016:

VIOLENCE: Trump Supporters Attacked and Assaulted by Protesters in San Jose

Hoaxes and Suspected Hoaxes by Anti-Trumpers

December 21, 2016

Black Man Burned African-American Church, Painted ‘Vote Trump’ On The Walls

December 20, 2016

Hate Hoax: Pro-Trump Babson College Students Cleared of Harassment Claims

December 15, 2016

Muslim college student made up Trump supporter subway attack story to avoid punishment for missing curfew

December 5, 2016

Hate Hoax: Villanova Student Withdraws Trump Voters Attack Claim

November 23, 2016

Chicago-area College Student Faked Anti-Gay Notes from Trump Supporters

November 18, 2016

Massachusetts Man Admits to Fabricating Hate Crime Report About Two White Men Saying U.S. is “Trump Country” and Threatening to Lynch Him

November 12, 2016:

Reason.com Says There’s No Post-Election Trans Teen Suicide Spike

Reason.com round-up of Trump-Related Hate Crime Hoaxes

November 11, 2016:

Claim that the KKK marched on a bridge in North Carolina to celebrate Donald Trump’s presidential victory is FALSE According to Snopes

Alleged Post-Election Attack on Gay Canadian Filmmaker UNPROVEN According to Snopes

Muslim Student In Louisiana Admits She Fabricated Story Of Hijab Attack By Trump Supporters

November 10, 2016

Police Say No Support of Racial Incident Involving Trump Supporters Harassing Black Woman at Delaware Gas Station

Leftist Racism and Sexism Related to Trump

November 14, 2016

Dem Strategist Mocks Trump Supporter Beat Up By Mob: ‘Oh My Goodness, Poor White People!’

November 11, 2016

Lena Dunham Blasts Self-Hating White Women with ‘Violent Privilege’ for Voting Trump

Samantha Bee: White People Ruined America

YouTube Feminist Says Election Results “Textbook Fascism” and curses White America

November 9, 2016

CNN’s Van Jones: This Election Was A ‘Whitelash’