We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Ten of these

yir_toledo1Toledo, Spain. January 2015

yir_riga2Riga, Latvia. January 2015

yir_athens3Athens. Greece. February 2015

yir_baalbekBaalbek, Lebanon. February 2015

yir_parisParis, France. March 2015

yir_brusselsBrussels. March 2015

yir_liege22Liege, Wallonia. March 2015

yir_nm12Kelmis, Former condominium of Neutral Moresenet. March 2015

yir_ned33Vaals, Netherlands. March 2015

yir_aachen8Aachen, Germany. March 2015

yir_eupen7Eupen, German Speaking Community of Belgium. March 2015

yir_PomerolPomerol, France. April 2015

yir_krakKraków, Poland. May 2015

yir_slovRužomberok, Slovakia. May 2015

yir_lithuaNida, Lithuania. June 2015

yir_leipajaLiepaja, Latvia. June 2015

yir_szezSzczecin, Poland. June 2015

yir_hering3Heringsdorf, Germany. June 2015

yir_hamburgBad Segeberg, Germany. July 2015

yir_brussels2Brussels. July 2015

yir_antwerpAntwerp, Flanders. July 2015

yir_BaarleBaarle-Nassau/Barle Hertog, Netherlands/Belgium. July 2015

yir_bredaBreda, Netherlands. July 2015

yir_vvVama Veche, Romania. August 2015

yir_bulgDurankulak, Bulgaria. August 2015

yir_norwayVikøyri, Norway. August 2015

yir_targuTârgu Mureș, Romania. September

yir_ediEdinburgh, Scotland. September 2015

yir_berlinTempelhof, Berlin, Germany. October 2015

ir_iomRamsay, Isle of Man. October 2015

yir_stmalo2St Malo, France. October 2015

yir_istanbulIstanbul, Turkey. November 2015

yir_slov1Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia.November 2015

yir_malmoMalmo, Sweden. December 2015

yir_copen1Copenhagen, Denmark. December 2015

yir_shang2Shanghai, China. December 2015

Not much time for blogging

IMG_20151208_115318

I am away in foreign parts and thus there may be delays in moderation and content…

Lee Jussim on stereotypes

Claire Lehmann describes some of the work of contrarian social psychologist Lee Jussim:

It appears that descriptive stereotypes are a crutch to lean on when we have no other information about a person. When we gain additional insights into people, these stereotypes are no longer useful. And there is now a body of evidence to suggest that stereotypes are not as fixed, unchangeable and inflexible as they’ve historically been portrayed to be.

So, it would appear that “we” make use of stereotypes exactly as I make use of stereotypes (or as I try to), as crude first approximations, rather than as the last word. Bigotry, it has always seemed to me, means not having no prejudices, but rather having prejudices which you are unwilling to alter, when faced with circumstances which do not fit your prejudices. And it seems that “we” think like that also.

Good to know. My thanks to Bishop Hill for telling me about this piece.

Having written all of the above (apart from the thanks to Bishop Hill), I see that the previous posting here is also about stereotyping.

And how about adding a freehold property qualification too…

In 1971, the United States ratified the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.

The idea, in those Vietnam War years, was that 18-year-olds, being old enough to be drafted, to marry and to serve on juries, deserved a vote. It seemed plausible at the time, and I myself have argued that we should set the drinking age at 18 for the same reasons.

But now I’m starting to reconsider. To be a voter, one must be able to participate in adult political discussions. It’s necessary to be able to listen to opposing arguments and even — as I’m doing right here in this column — to change your mind in response to new evidence.

This evidence suggests that, whatever one might say about the 18-year-olds of 1971, the 18-year-olds of today aren’t up to that task. And even the 21-year-olds aren’t looking so good.

Glenn Reynolds

Well you did ask for this!

This is just too good not to share :D

more-government

So… will the extraterrestrials be Ferengi?

When the aliens stop trifling with crop circles, bumpkin abduction, and indelicate probes and finally introduce themselves to the rest of humanity, will they turn out to be partisans of central planning, interventionism, or unhampered markets?

B.K. Marcus

Because things are far too serious at the moment…

Here I am, sitting in Arkham, eating pungent octopus salad left overs and looking at the wife as she gets uglier and more fish-like by the day, pining for her home town of Innsmouth. Meanwhile, across the ocean, all my limey chums seem to be sharing a collective freak-out over dodging an Ed Miliband shaped bullet. It is all depressingly… serious.

So I was going to write something really interesting about Japan, just to change the subject…

… and when I remember what I was going to write, I will let you know.

Wrong, wrong, wrongety-wrong, wrongbert, wrongble and wrong

A little over a year ago I asked the following question:

Has the day come when election polls are nearly always right?

Famously, in the last US presidential election, Nate Silver correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. His prediction for the election before that was correct for 49 out of 50 states.

Both times, I had hoped it would turn out otherwise. My hopes had been a little higher than they should have been because of the residual glow from the Shy Tory factor, first exhibited to a dramatic extent in the 1992 UK general election and still apparent, though in lesser degree, for several elections after that. I had known about that factor in my guts before that election, from listening to people on the tube, and had correctly guessed the final result would be more Conservative than the polls claimed. As the results came in I did not rejoice that the Government would be Conservative, but I did rejoice that the Chattering Classes had been confounded, their bubble burst, their conversational hegemony broken open and their flary-nostrilled noses put out of joint. Yeah.

Unfortunately not-yeah since then. I haven’t eaten a hearty post-election breakfast with schadenfreude sauce about the polls for many a year now. George Bush winning in 2004 was splendid fun, of course, but it was no great surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. The polls had given him a consistent small lead for months before the election.

Betteridge’s law of headlines strikes again. That day had not come. The polls in the General Election of 2015 were wrong, wrong, wrongety-wrong, wrongbert, wrongble and wrong.*

As was I, but least I had the nous to put in a question mark.

So, elections just got interesting again. Goody! But none of the articles I have yet seen adequately explain why the Shy Tory effect was successfully allowed for by the pollsters in the UK General Elections between 1992 and 2015, only to burst forth again now, nor why political polling in the US has generally managed to factor in Shy Republicans just fine. Except for the 2014 midterms.

The one place where the UK polling companies did fairly well this time round was Scotland, although they still underestimated the scale of the SNP’s triumph. Wishful thinking led me to suppose that the estimates being chucked around of 48 seats for the SNP were exaggerated; in the event they were too cautious. Going back to 2011, it is part of Scottish Nationalist mythology that the victory of the SNP in the Holyrood election of 2011 was completely unpredicted by the polls. However the very last polls were quite close to the actual result when it came to the constituency vote, but much less close when it came to the regional vote in the Scottish Parliament’s semi-proportional voting system. Probably the polls recorded a shift of opinion in the last few weeks of the campaign, which is all you can ask of them. When you think about it, polls cannot predict anything; the people who look at them do that. The final polls for the Scottish referendum were out by a not-bad 5% or so, in the usual direction of underestimating the small-c conservative side.

All in all, a British or American polling company attempting to sell its wares to interested political parties or news organizations on May 6th 2015 could have made a fair case that they were on top of the Shy Tory problem. So what happened on May 7th? What will happen on November 8th 2016, and will we have any idea beforehand?

*This is funny but nothing to do with this post. Americans and people under 50: don’t ask.

Everything you ever needed to know about trigger warnings and safe areas

TW2_L115A3_sniper_rifle

Trigger warnings, eh? Well now you know! You are welcome. This public service announcement was brought to you by samizdata.net

What happened to this alleged eclipse, then?

Either astronomical phenomena don’t apply to Essex, or the guys doing the sacrificing to Huitzilopochtli were really hard at work.

A contender for the most idiotic remark on social media… ever

Ok, this had me re-reading it several times as I was not sure if I was misunderstanding something. Someone called Max Fisher was taking exception to this.

mind_boggling_stupidity

The replies are pretty amusing.

My year in travel

yir_barcelonaBarcelona, Catalonia. January 2014

yir_wawa1Warsaw, Poland. January 2014

yir_senakiSenaki, Georgia. January 2014

yir_denhaagDen Haag, Netherlands. February 2014

mosc4Moscow, Russia. March 2014

yir_londonLondon, England. April 2014

yir_vilnius2Vilnius, Lithuania. May 2014

yir_brest2Brest, Belarus. May 2014

yir_krakowKraków, Poland. May 2014

yir_jerusalemJerusalem. May 2014

kirzatluzaKirzat Luza, Samaria. May 2014

pal3Sebastia, Palestine. May 2014

yir_jasKdumin, Judea and Samaria. May 2013

yir_israelZihron Ya’akov, Israel. May 2013

yir_belBelgrade, Serbia. June 2013

yir_srpskaIstočno Sarajevo, Republika Srpska. June 2014

yir_mostarMostar, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. June 2014

yir_hvarStari Grad, Hvar Island, Croatia. July 2014

yir_turdaTurda, Romania. July 2014

yir_chisinauChisinau, Moldova. July 2014

yir_odessaOdessa, Ukraine. August 2014

fuc2Fiumicino, Italy. September 2014

yir_carthageCarthage, Tunisia. September 2014

yir_rubicSavignano Sul Rubicone, Italy. October 2014

yir_sanmarinoSan Marino. October 2014

yir_brightonPeoples Trotskyist Republic of Brighton. November 2014

yir_biertanValea Viilor, Transylvania. December 2014