Tell the Truth

My favorite thing about living in the 21ˢᵗ century is that nobody can stop me from publishing whatever I want.

I mean this in the most literal sense. I can log onto a free blogging platform via Tor and no government in the world could deanonymize me. I might even do this already and there would be no way for you (or anybody else) to know.

Different countries have different levels of freedom. I have friends who live under authoritarian regimes who would literally be disappeared by the secret police if they declared their political views outright. They say “it’s dangerous to express my views publicly” but they never say “I’m an independent thinker”. The only people I know who claim they’re scared to express independent thought live in the United States where freedom of the press is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

People tell me they’re worried of being cancelled by woke culture. I think this is just a convenient excuse for laziness and cowardice. What are you afraid of saying? That there are personality differences between men and women? Women consistently score higher than men in agreeableness and neroticism.

These findings cannot easily be attributed to self-report artifacts, as McCrae and colleagues (2005) have replicated them in observer reports of FFM traits across 50 cultures.

Gender Differences in Five Factor Model Personality Traits in an Elderly Cohort: Extension of Robust and Surprising Findings to an Older Generation

Are you afraid to say that there are significant heritable intelligence disparities between ethnic groups? It’s the obvious conclusion if you think critically about US immigration policy.

“87.2% of Indian-American adults in 2010 were foreign-born[1].” US immigration policy makes it very hard for natives of India to immigrate into the United States. It’s so hard to get an H1-B visa that a young hardworking ambitious Indian data scientist who reads this blog[2] told me about how working for a US company was “unrealistic”. If most Indian-American families immigrated recently and recent Indian immigrants to the United States are smarter than average Indians then one of the following statements must be true.

  • Recently-immigrated Americans from India are smarter than average Americans.

  • Average Americans are smarter than average Indians.

Intelligence is more than 50% heritable. US immigration policy does not distinguish between heritable intelligence and non-heritable intelligence. If there is a difference in intelligence between these populations then at least 50% is likely to be heritable. I am willing to bet money that the average IQ of descendants of H1-B visa holders is (or will be) higher than the IQs of both the average American and the average Indian. I’d be happy to be proven wrong. I would prefer to live in a world without ethnic differences in IQ. But I do not believe that is the world I live in.

I would love to be proven wrong about the gender-personality connection too but that won’t happen if I keep my conclusions to myself.

If you work for Cyberdyne then you should use an alias when you say bad things about Cyberdyne so you don’t get fired. If you live under an authoritarian regime then you should behave appropriately. Neither excuse applies to most readers of this blog. Denying reality hurts social justice. Epistemic rationality is a prerequisite to instrumental rationality.

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    People who read Less Wrong tend to be good engineers.