John weighs in on r/K selection theory

There is an interesting discussion going on over at ScifiWright on the merits of Anonymous Conservatives r/K selection theory as applied to civil society. It is certainly an interesting dicussion.

John kicked it off with

A social cue is a sign or ritualized symbol used to tell the members of the group what the group consensus thinks about a given matter, and discourages or encourages behaviors that offend the consensus by small or large signs or rituals of shame or praise. The term social cues is less well known but slightly clearer than the term peer pressure, because, by and large, obedience to the thinking of the group is voluntary. Rather than being pressured or intimidated into following the wishes of the opinion-makers in a group (it is never, despite what the opinion makers claim, the wish of the majority), most members of a group are eager to discover the group consensus so that they might make a great show of public obedience to it, and being uttering the saccharine and false and fawning statements needed to flatter the opinion makers, hence maintain position in the social pecking order, or even to rise.

Why do authors and creators cheer on censorship, even informal, which cuts against their own profession and even their own liberty?

The fact is that I have never heard of any of the science fiction writers who support these so-called Social Justice Warriors except for John Scalzi, an obscure writer who writes mediocre Star Trek fanfic. He is hardly a paragon of creative genius, and he is the most creative of the lot.

So, first, they have nothing to lose, since censorship would only improve their works.

Second, they think like herbivores. Herbivores live in an environment where one does not struggle to chase down prey to eat. It takes no particular courage to sneak up on a blade of grass. The meadow is full of grass, and the herbivore is always welcoming to new grazing-mates because the larger the herd, the more targets exist for the predators to prey on, and the safer each individual.

The herbivore instinctively like the anonymity of the Internet, the conformity of the herd, and — here is the important part — the lack of cooperation and discipline needed by a pack-hunting animal to hunt in a pack. In humans, cooperation comes from a sense of honor, and discipline comes from obedience to the laws.

The herbivores need neither for their grazing, and so the rock bottom foundation of law, that is, the desire to avoid being a hypocrite, in them is absent.

So, no, they never think about what it would be like to have similar censorship imposed on them. The herbivores never once assume the laws will be applied in an evenhanded fashion.

If they were censored, the herbivores were scream to raise the roof. Indeed, they are like to scream about censorship even when they are not being censored.

Another, shorter, way of saying the same thing, if I may quote myself: Expect no consistency from any Progressive. Logic is not their strong suite.

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I don’t generally put a lot of stock in evolutionary psychology as such, so much of it seems like silly hand waving but at the same time there seem to be some valid insights. I think most of my skepticism of it stems from my genearl skepticism towards the sort of over reach it seems to engender