Open Thread: Education and Survival

Really dumb people are too dumb to commit as much crime as mildly dumb people
Graph of IQ vs crime — Really dumb people are too dumb to commit as much crime as mildly dumb people

Hey guys, I have a cold. Boo. How are you?

Today’s theme is education. You probably know already that I’m pretty positive toward both public/private schools and homeschooling; I think which you should chose depends a lot on a person/family’s individual situation.

But what could we do to improve these systems? (Imagine you are given free-range to design a system from scratch.) What would you add or subtract? Would you change the focus or style in some way? (Do you have any specific recommendations for books or curriculum materials for children?)

One thing I find lacking in the modern school system is a clear path to a job. A highschool diploma ought to qualify a person for many low-level jobs, but as a practical matter, it’s basically crap. A college degree ought to qualify you for the average higher-skill job, but even still, there’s a big disconnect between getting the degree and getting the job. I’ve known people with degrees from very nice schools (HYPS-MC) who have still struggled to get good, regular employment. And many people end up working in fields well outside of what they majored in. That’s not horrible–life happens–but it does make me question what the whole point of spending 4 years and $$$ on a degree in the first place was. (If it’s signaling, we could do signaling a lot cheaper.)

Scheme of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill, the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.
Scheme of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill, the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.

Anyway, I was thinking about survival as a skill, man-vs-wild style. How to hunt/fish/trap/gather your food. How to build a shelter. How to signal SOS. Basic woodworking? First aid, navigation, swimming, boating. What would you add?

Relatedly: how to start a business and actually make money. How to fill out the necessary related forms.

How would you go about teaching that/finding people to teach it? We’re in cub/girl scouts, but I find those basically useless; I don’t think my kids have learned so much as to tie a knot there in the past 3 years. (Don’t get me wrong, they’re still having fun. They’re just not about to come home with freshly killed dinner anytime soon.)

I hate the phrase "Red pill" because it's dumb, but something similar to this was my red pill moment. This isn't about justice; it's about being mad that they aren't allowed to murder us without consequences.
I hate the phrase “Red pill” because it’s dumb, but something similar to this was my red pill moment. This isn’t about justice; it’s about being mad that they aren’t allowed to murder us without consequences.

I hear people say, “kids are natural learners, we shouldn’t force them to learn!” Well my kids are naturals at learning Minecraft, but they think multiplication is lame.

So I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

Some interesting Links:

Walruses try to play with seabirds. No word yet on if seabirds play back:

Behavioural analysis based on detailed observations, photography and video recording showed that the most common types of walrus behaviour toward a bird were approach by surfacing and splash, approach by surfacing and hit and attack from below. Immature individuals initiated 82% of encounters. … Walrus encounters with live birds showed a very low rate of bird kill. … Object play in wild walruses is reported for the first time.

The porbeagle shark plays with seaweed:

This stocky shark is often included in studies on whether or not sharks play. That is because several observers have reported seeing porbeagles in groups of up to 20 individuals manipulating and tossing about floating objects, including lumber and seaweed. They seem to engage in such activity for no apparent reason other than to pass the time.

Okay, comments o the week:

Leuconoe brings up an argument I hadn’t even thought of before regarding corn, potatoes, and exchange with the New World:

The effects of the exchange were various, on the one hand it brought deadly illneses to the new world that killed tens of millions on the other it brought many forms of food to bouth worlds that saved hundreds of millions from starvation. Chinas population grew from 150 to 400 million because of introduction of new world crops. What would have hapened to this people without the crops? They would have died from malthusian limits or killed by their parents.

There were many other excellent comments, but I think I will highlight infowarrior1‘s question and follow-up (after I said it seemed inefficient):

I have a question. Do you regard war as eugenic or dysgenic as it currently stands?

Then why are humans and chimpanzees designed to war in the 1st place if its so inefficient?



34 thoughts on “Open Thread: Education and Survival

  1. Why is multiplication important? We have computers for that. In minecraft on the other hand you have to be creative, to understand a new, strange environment, cooperate with other players – all valuable real world skills ;-)


    • Aside from it being just one example of “things that are annoying and not very fun to learn,” it’s much slower to input simple multiplication problems into a calculator than to solve them yourself, and you are much more likely to end up believing incorrect results due to having no basic idea of what the answers should be.

      Foreign language falls more into my category of “Can’t I just use computers for this instead of spending thousands of hours learning it when i don’t even know if it will ever come up in adulthood?”


      • Learning a foreign language (really foreign, not romance language) went a long way in rewiring my brain. That said, I never would have learned it in school (more on that in another comment).


      • Why learn a foreign language when everyone speaks English with an M4 pointed to their head?

        Want to do buiness in Germany? They speak English. Want to do buiness with a German doing buiness with a Chinaman in Japan? They’ll both speak English. Want to help a Hindu order lunch in Dubai? They’ll be speaking English

        Leaning anything but English is more multi-cultural bullshit


      • I grew up in an area with high Hispanic immigration. It was pitched as “those who can talk to more people will have a better shot at employment.”
        Sure, and those who take adderall will have a better shot at employment, and those who willing to have sex to get hired will have a better shot at employment, and those who hack into the computer system and change their grades will have a better chance at employment…
        Yes, let’s make everyone do thousands more hours of work just to get the same jobs they would have gotten before without that work just because we have so many people moving here who don’t even speak the language, instead of, IDK, restricting immigration to people already somewhat fluent?


  2. While war can certainly have eugenic effects in cultures that allow for the victims to take the spoils, modern Western culture has really shunned that in the past hundred years. Whereas war used to result in the stronger more cunning men having more children, now it results in those same individuals dying early while the underclasses are paid to reproduce by the state. The dysgenic effects that result go without saying.

    And as to why, simple evolutionary advantage. A group that kills the men and breeds with the women of a nearby group will be more successful in having more children and having those children reproduce themselves.

    The pacifists all died millions of years ago (or more accurately never existed).


    • Importantly, most wars happen between groups that neighbor each other rather than those who’re separated by large distances. Neighboring groups are likely to be quite similar in various traits because they’re likely to be closely related. Take WWII, where Germany allied with Japan and attacked France and England.

      Large scale conquerings of one group of people by a really different group of people are comparatively rare, though they are significant when they do happen.


  3. I spent a semester in grad school in an education program (I had the notion to become a high school science teacher). Our schools cannot be saved. 90+% of the (non-STEM) curriculum is inherently faith based, and should be scrapped altogether or replaced by actual religious education, while the STEM stuff is over the head of most students.

    Worse, because “education” is important, nobody cares about learning, just about accomplishments that signal learning. I failed a semester of high school calculus because I was bored of of my mind while the rest of the class goofed off and cheated on tests. If we bring back over nepotism in hiring and jobs, education can go back to being something healthy.

    In the near term, teaching kids how to survive without electronics would be priority. The Amish are low tech and healthy, and spending one day a week basically without technology is (a big) part of why orthodox Judaism works.

    Have you read Moldbug on the “dire problem?”


    • Don’t remember if I’ve read that particular Moldbug essay, but automation certainly is dire, probably more dire than outsourcing in the long-run.

      My experience (second hand) with education departments is that they’re shit; I have never heard anything positive about them. They are full of the same excrement as the rest of academia. My experience with teachers is that most of them try very hard given the students they have and the material they’re forced to teach. American test scores are not radically different from other nations’ when you break them down by race, and homeschoolers get similar results to public schoolers, so I’m relatively sanguine on that.

      Still, I think there’s a ton of room for improvement.


      • Well the easy way to improve test scores etc is to stop spending money on attempting to educate NAM and really shouldn’t have any NAM ‘s around either

        Ending all the soical experiments would help as long as being truthful to ourselves about the purpose of compulsory education


  4. War is dysgenic until it’s eugenic. The men most willing to sacrifice themselves for the group (a trait we like) are most likely to die, but if they win, winner take all.


  5. 1.prestate tribal war: The men of the defeated tribe are killed their women taken as slaves

    2.State war with professional armies: Mostly warrior elites-professionals die in this wars. The winning elite takes over land from the defeated elite together with the farming population to tax

    3.Statewars with total mobilization of the male population: Examples are classical Greece or the early-mid roman republic or the 2 world wars. Wars are for territory and control over people and recourses by states but the combat is more intensive and the death toll in the male population is larger.

    Each type of warfare should be inspected separately. (What follows is pure speculation)

    1: Selects for traits like aggression and cunning as well as bravery and in-group loyalty with hatred for the outgroup in men and attraction for victorious strong men in women.

    The men who have most of the above survive and get other tribes women while women who are most able to cope with their new surrounding if captured/nurture children fathered by the killers of their husbands/fathers/brothers and develop affection for said killer and his tribe will have higher chances of survival and having children that survive.

    2.Complicated, on the one hand the most violent and poor men often get into the professional armies and die off from battle and (more often) from illness which would select for less violence in men. This might be a factor that is no less important for the pacification of Europe and China as the execution of criminals. Also when a territory changes hand the chances to survive for the typical civilian are higher for those who can get on good terms with the conqueror and don’t throw themselves at his professional troops to (in most cases) be butchered. Which again selects for less impulsivity/violence. On the other hand the elite of such societies is in most cases a military elite (see European nobility, the “men of the sword” who ruled the Muslim world, the Indian Kshatriya or the pre Song Chinese military elite. There is always a paralleled priestly/ideological elite but it is the warriors who do the actual ruling.) People who get into such an elite are prone to be violent and warlike, on the other hand intelligence is often also required since they have to command men in war and in administering their possessions. This elite tends to die a lot but also to produce a lot of children who can survive into adulthood. Thus this type of war mostly selects for peacefulness/orderliness but also a bit for intelligence.

    3.The more educated/intelligent tend to more often become administrators or officers but while the survival rate for administrators is high that for officers is usually much lower than for the footsloggers (leading men into battle gets you shot). In WW1 in the Russian army your chance to die as an officer was 2 times that of an enlisted man. Some 12% of the British army’s ordinary soldiers were killed during the war, compared with 17% of its officers. Thus I have no idea if the more intelligent get killed more or less during a war, especially if one considers that many of the more intelligent manage to evade conscription altogether.
    Since the most warlike tend to volunteer early and get themselves into danger such wars would select against their traits as well.

    Now wars of type 1 were the most common in human history and had probably the greatest genetic impact, followed by type 2 and with type 3 being very rare, probably having the smallest impact.

    Sorry for my bad English.


  6. btw I didnt say weather any of this types of war was eugenic or disgenic because I think different people will see diferent things as eugenic or disgenic.


  7. It’s head cold week, so I’m case my rambling comments were incoherent, the issue with American schools is that the curriculum is horrific, cut with the fact that we don’t vary the difficulty of the curriculum enough for the range of students we have. Also, crazy urbanization and density make it impossible to teach things in their appropriate context to the dramatic majority of our increasingly narcissistic youth.


  8. Rigorous logic and rhetoric training should definitely be taught. I think a huge majority of the bullshit we’re fed through our media would be laughed down with a quickness if everyone had at least a basic understanding of argument, debate, rhetoric, logic, and proofs.

    Additionally, math can’t be scrapped. It isn’t so much about multiplication or long division (TEDIOUS!) as it is about learning new ways to think and solve problems. Realizing that finding X can lead you to solutions in other areas of life can change your whole approach to math. It should be taught that way, as a life skill, rather than Something You Just Have To Get Through.


      • The masters of the art were, of course, Aristotle and Socrates, and Aristotle’s book, “The Art of Rhetoric” still holds true today. Basic philosophy, of course, builds deduction and rhetoric, but only if you can discuss it with someone who’s been there before you, you know? Descartes (personal favorite), Marcus Aurelius, and Clausewitz are amazingly good, but only if you have someone to bounce thoughts off of.

        Start with simple word puzzles at an early age, and teach discourse as you go. Correct vague sentences by deliberately misunderstanding, to train the mind to recognize that dissonance. Around the teenage years start with basic philosophy and Aristotle, and discuss how it applies as they age, finally culminating in a requested articulation of their own beliefs.

        Simultaneously teach algebra and calculus (calculus seems to inspire horror in everyone, even though all other math is dependent on it) and move on from there. Some math you could probably do without (Geometry, for example), and scale it up as far as they’re willing to go.

        Sorry that that’s so vague, I think a curriculum almost needs to be tailored to the student, Vulcan style.


  9. I have young children and my wife is homeschooling them. Outside of a core competency in math, writing, reading, scientific literacy, et c., I have two things that are important for me in their curriculum.

    I want them to participate in team sports so they learn to not give up, to be aggressive as needed, to work in teams, and to be able to assert themselves physically. All skills that have applicability in the office and throughout life — gorilla posturing, however slight, happens a lot in offices…. Additionally, I wish to ingrain them with a habit to do a minimalist routine of free weight strength training patterned after Body By Science [] (read BBS.. Master Mangan says so.) Once a week, 1 set only of 6-9 reps to failure on each of bench, squat, bent row, shoulder press, curl, deadlift, weighted pull-up ( hung from karate belt), in that order, for strategic use of muscle chains and muscle group restings. I do this and I currently lift between 6-9 reps of squat at 275 lbs, deadlift at 315, bench at 255, curls at 125. I could do better with a different routine, but the minimalism allowed me to do that routine while working at a demanding high tech firm, getting my Masters in Computer Science, and having 3 children at the time. Anyways, I want to ingrain exercise in their life even after team sports is done.

    Secondly, I want them to learn the piano starting at age 8 (below that is a waste of time according to my old, crusty, straight-shooting band teacher), and then join the public school band program when it starts at age 10 for them. My google-foo can’t find any empirical intervention studies off the cuff that show that music helps with mathematical, but I seem to recall running across one at one time. The second reason to join band is the cohort of kids is normally of a higher caliber. I remember being surprised how many of them got into my engineering department during college.

    One last item is their reading routine. Anytime Greg Cochran ( talks about a canon of books, they get added to the eventual reading list for my kids. John C Wright’s reading lists as well. The boys alone will suffer through Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”. My girls will not be exposed to that depth of the vile.


  10. MMA and combat/ contact sports
    High schools ends at 16
    Trade school for 2 years or college afterward/ while learning basic light infantry skills
    Separate the boys and girls.
    Lots of pro White education, race realism etc

    Liberal bent on education has failed. White men must understand job #1 is to dominate the world around them, that violence is the golden rule etc etc.


  11. I find it hard to give a concise answer to what I think education should be, since a lot depends on the context. What I plan to do if I homeschool my not-yet-school-age children is not exactly the same as how I’d set up the education system if I were supreme dictator, which isn’t quite the same as what I’d do if some billionaire gave me money to start my own private school… And none of those are much like what I did to earn a paycheck when I was a public school teacher…

    My imaginary private school is the one I’ve articulated the most, since my possible homeschool plans are highly kid-dependent… Basically, variation on one room school, with individual pacing, a fairly strict but basic curriculum, but nearly unlimited free time if you get that done. That’s my biggest complaint when I look at possible schools: it all seems to be either totally progressive or totally strict. I want to see 3rd-5th graders memorizing the multiplication tables (in an appropriate manner, which isn’t necessarily flashcards or such) but also having a leisurely but polite lunch and lots of unstructured play time. And kindergartners should have maybe a few scattered math and phonics lessons, time to sing songs and finger paint, and the rest mostly unstructured. What I see, though, seems to be either trusting that kids will organically intuit spelling rules and long division but lovely arts and playtime, or forcing 5-year-olds to sit for hours doing worksheets. Worse, some of the public schools I see seem to combine the lackadaisical academics with the lack of free play and overly structured time for young kids… Now, of course, this is where my imaginary private school differs from my imaginary role as supreme dictator, since I’m willing to believe that for some people, lots of structure for young kids might be appropriate. I do have to wonder if the statistics about free time and later life results are merely a correlation due to nice wasps liking to give their kids lots of freedom… Long story short, I’d like to see something like very basic math and reading requirements which are actually kept at something like arithmetic and decoding plus maybe 6th grade level comprehension and anyone who can pass that can opt out of school past that point at their own peril. Of course, this is in my supreme dictator version, so I’d have the rest of society structured so that dropping out once basic numeracy and literacy are achieved isn’t a lazy way out… Details to come.


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