Slate Star Codex and the rationalists

Rick first alerted me to the end of the popular rationalist blog Slate State Codex. Then it was all over my internet. I have never been a huge fan of the rationalist community, mostly because they don’t do history very well, but this is a big deal. It has also produced some great conversation on … Continue reading Slate Star Codex and the rationalists

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 9 of 9)

Conclusions Systemic racism is hard to find. Its most obvious and most widespread instance seems to me to be affirmative action in all its forms. It’s a device that discriminates against many to the benefit of others, based on ascribed, unchangeable characteristics such as sex and race. It was originally designed to favor African Americans … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 9 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 8 of 9)

Reparations To my mind, the inheritance of slavery, segregation, and other forms of discrimination against African-Americans means that something is owed to the descendants of slaves irrespective of the current reality or existence of “systemic racism.” All emotions carefully kept aside, refusing to subscribe to present-day irrationality, I am persuaded that if I looked into … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 8 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 7 of 9)

Do blacks have more police encounters than whites? In 2015, the percentages of whites and blacks who experiences police initiated encounters with the police were equal, a little over 10% each. (Bureau of Justice Statistics.) These rates seem to debunk a popular alternative narrative appearing in the Boston Globe, among other liberal sources, that claims that … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 7 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 6 of 9)

The Justice System; Police Brutality I will mostly bypass now the important issue of possible systemic racism in the in administration of justice itself. I mean charging, convicting and sentencing, which may or may not each involve a systematic (systematic) racial component. Here again, I think the relevant research exists and it has not caught … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 6 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 5 of 9)

Finding Systemic Racism in Employment, Housing, Education, Access to Government. It seems to me that systemic racism should (almost by definition or lack of it) bear upon all aspects of life, with four having special importance. First, I see employment, which affects often profoundly, the quality of one’s life. Second, I would consider housing, same … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 5 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 4 of 9)

A Public Torture-Killing What directly prompted this essay (actually, several years in gestation) is a barbarous act that took place on May 25th 2020 in Minneapolis, that was thoroughly filmed by bystanders, and that triggered several weeks of peaceful protest nation-wide, but also of arson, of looting, and of other acts of rioting. Here is … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 4 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 3 of 9)

Historical Guilt What could induce enough guilt in numerous enough Americans to lead to an acceptance of the belief of racism without racists? I have in mind here, specifically, white Americans. For this relative outsider (again, I am an immigrant), the answer is obvious: white America has never really digested, assimilated the true story of … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 3 of 9)

An aspirational paradox

In general, contemporary society disparages people extremely focused on their careers, labelling them as “careerists.” No real objections are presented; instead there is simply a vague simmering contempt for “careerists.” When an anti-careerist manages to articulate an objection, it is usually couched as a social justice problem: careerists cause unfair societies by being ahead of … Continue reading An aspirational paradox

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 2 of 9)

The Vanishing of Personalized Racism Not long ago, in my lifetime, racism in America consisted of tangible actions against members of a given physically recognizable group motivated by their belonging to that group. The actions could be individual, such as slurs proffered by a stranger in the street, or variously collective like a company’s deliberate … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 2 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 1 of 9)

Foreword This is a freewheeling and personal essay on the term “systemic racism.” It’s not an empirical study but it’s mindful of facts. It blends my observations as a rationalist with my frankly conservative leanings. I am a religiously indifferent conservative of the constitutionalist, small government breed. I judge representative government the very best we … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take (Part 1 of 9)

Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take

by Jacques Delacroix jdelacroixliberty@gmail.com Foreword This is a freewheeling and personal essay on the term “systemic racism.” It’s not an empirical study but it’s mindful of facts. It blends my observations as a rationalist with my frankly conservative leanings. I am a religiously indifferent conservative of the constitutionalist, small government breed. I judge representative government … Continue reading Systemic Racism: a Rationalist Take

Automated law enforcement and rational basis

Does law enforcement need a human touch? The Supreme Court of Iowa says no. The Court recently decided that automated traffic enforcement (ATE) does not violate the Iowa Constitution. The Court, however, did take some time to address an important topic in constitutional jurisprudence: the nature of rational basis review. Rational basis is a test … Continue reading Automated law enforcement and rational basis

Summing up: the year of irrationality

Brandon says I’ve got one last chance to write his favorite post of the year. But it’s the end of a long semester and I’m brain dead, so I’m just going to free ride on his idea: a year end review. If I were to sum up the theme of this year in a word, that word … Continue reading Summing up: the year of irrationality

From the Comments: What *are* the institutions that promote rational ignorance?

Rick answers my question: Let’s go a step further than institutions: Instincts.* Our ancestors survived a dangerous natural environment by taking on genetic strategies that allow us to use our big-old-dolphin-brains in clever ways, but that falls short of perfect Spock-ness. We are easily excited by certain things and will often answer easier questions than … Continue reading From the Comments: What *are* the institutions that promote rational ignorance?