The Sigma Point

Study hard. Be a good girl. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

You would do anything, Donovan.

Readers will note that this blog has drawn quite a bit more on personal experience and thoughts than it used to. That has been partly intentional, and partly unintentional.

I’m not too worried. This focus has led to some posts that I’m quite proud of, and it spices up these walls. Still, it’s something that should at least be acknowledged.

This isn’t to say that it’s going to be toned down, of course. It’s quite fun to let these little tidbits of my personality soak into my writing.

I think it has become increasingly clear (and not just to me) that the theme of this blog is “Fragments”. Sometimes that means fragments of an abstract nature, dealing with complex ideas. Sometimes it means drawing on personal experiences to develop certain concepts. Sometimes it means riffing on something I did in real life to make a point.

Fragments that may or not be part of a greater whole.

Speaking of fragments, quite some time ago I wrote this, claiming the term “Sigma Point” and proposing a big, grand idea. I never did get around to discussing it. Quite a pity. Part of that was that I am somewhat disorganized and I never did get my notes in order. Here’s a step toward remedying that oversight. Buckle your seatbelt, because this is going to get abstract:

  • The teleology of society is to perpetuate inequality
  • Cycles of upward and downward income mobility exert various cultural and biological selection pressures on the population
  • Assortive mating leads to genetic differences among higher class and lower class members of society (all societies develop some sort of social strata eventually)
  • What effect does this have on behavior? Need more data to know
  • Psychopathy. Does it get more prevalent over time? Or does it simply get rewarded more the more a society ages? Intuition is that the more corrupt a society a is (in the sense of Tacitus: having more laws, but also in having more and more intricate rules and social rituals), the more power and resources psychopaths will be able to acquire
  • Inclusive institutions (re: Acemoglu & Robinson) will almost always turn into exclusive institutions given enough time (note that this does not overlook that the reverse can also happen)
  • “Sigma Point” = that time in which society is run by a small group of elite who possess genetic, financial, and political resources that cannot be touched by the rest of the population. Imagine if the 1% of the 1% (of the 1%) literally had everything (gini coefficient of ridiculous) and were able to run circles around the masses such that they (the masses) were always doing exactly what the elites want them to do

Admittedly, these are just some of my notes (not all…there’s a good chunk still hiding away in my notebooks), they aren’t organized in the right order, and they don’t exactly flesh out the relationships between these things (basically, the idea is that as time goes on, these developments all reinforce each other, allowing societal entropy to develop at an exponential, not linear, rate), but I figure this is a good start. I’ll write more about all this if there’s an audience for it. I’m putting it out here now so that anyone who wants to can take the concept and run with it. There’s only so much I can do, after all.

Is it still a rough idea? Of course. I didn’t exactly work on it anywhere near as much as I said I would. Still, I think at this point it’s better to throw what I have out there than continue to keep sitting on it. Ten and a half months is plenty of time to procrastinate.

How accurate is this model? Like I said, it’s rough. Very rough. It requires quite a few prerequisites (social mobility, some form of assortive mating [even if not widespread, though this would limit certain affects, even if not all of them]…etc). Still, societal entropy, even though it can take different paths depending on the civilization, does seem to have a few principles in common (or at least, a few principles that occur more often than others).

Pushback on this would be appreciated, of course. Hell, if anyone kills the concept entirely, it might even be a bit of a relief.

Oh, and because I’m on a roll with throwing stuff out there, I’ll let this slip as well: I finally figured out the final answer to “What is Neoreaction?”. The only problem? It ties too much in with a bunch of work I’ve done under my real name, so discussing it here would put up too many dots that could potentially be connected. C’est la vie, am I right? I’ll try to leak the idea out somehow, but it might take some semantic trickery. Or just some strange e-mails with no context. We’ll see.

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9 thoughts on “The Sigma Point

  1. Chris B 04/30/2015 / 1:51 AM

    Regarding the elites being untouchable by the rest of society, this is always the case. The rest of society is nothing more than a canvas on which elites operate. If the incentives are there, they will unleash hell to leverage the masses against each other. Of course the elites are not as smart as they think. Smart compared to the masses who are basicly cattle, but not smart enough. Nor do they possess sufficient tools or freedom to make society as they wish. They can only unleash and direct chaos.

  2. Aeoli Pera 05/01/2015 / 12:22 PM

    This is a good idea. Tastes like an inflection point in time.

    I have a clarification to propose regarding this point:

    >Psychopathy. Does it get more prevalent over time? Or does it simply get rewarded more the more a society ages? Intuition is that the more corrupt a society a is (in the sense of Tacitus: having more laws, but also in having more and more intricate rules and social rituals), the more power and resources psychopaths will be able to acquire

    In R-selected social dynamics, psychopathy is more akin to a scalar multiplier on the effects of intelligence and charisma, such that whatever the expectated outcomes are for a certain level of intelligence and charisma, a psychopath will experience those effects much more than a neurotypical person of comparable intelligence and social grace.

    For illustration, an unintelligent and graceless psychopath will run afoul of unwritten social rules much more often and egregiously than a neurotypical of similar character. An intelligent and charismatic psychopath will be raised on the shoulders of every crowd he happens to walk into, and be made their king.

    Mind that R-selection presumes an atomized society lacking long-term intimate bonds.

  3. Aeoli Pera 05/01/2015 / 12:26 PM

    >The teleology of society is to perpetuate inequality

    This reminds me of the competition between gravity and entropy in cosmology (which I only understand at the popsci level). If you’re getting into human chemistry this might be a good perspective from which to start elucidating the dynamic forces.

  4. hating 05/04/2015 / 11:00 PM

    The only way to affect the elites may be suicidal violence. Oswald, McVeigh, Atta.

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