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Apr 3, 2017

Diana S. Fleischman is an evolutionary psychologist, currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. Her interests include sex, disgust, veganism, utilitarianism, effective altruism, polyamory, and genetics, among other things.

Show notes with timestamps:

0:00 - 00:30

How we met on Twitter, how to make friends online, dissecting our online impressions of each other. Our weird ideological histories and intersections. Academics and drug use and talking about it on the internet. A thesis about the new ideological fracturing; the alt-right, etc.

00:30 - 00:50

Diana’s experiences with the vegan movement; the milquetoast Science March. Is “intersectionality” predictive? Diana’s view of how the left is changing, on smart people leaving the left and people with nuanced views being ejected. My thesis that there is no mass media or mainstream anymore.

Diana reviews the idea of personality, the Big Five traits. Most people are not very open to experience. Are apparent ideological differences really just due to a bunch of different lexicons and/or sociological differences? Lefties open to global warming science, not open to other science (GMOs, etc.). The problem of epistemic hygiene and disgust. Why are we so paranoid and afraid of each other when our society has never been more pacified? How evolutionary psychology explains the prevalence of signaling in politics. Very interesting exchange of hypotheses on this point, about what causes this to increase or decrease, and how it may or may not be changing. One has to be disagreeable to update; how Diana has lost a lot of friends many times but most people don’t want to do that. How I think this is changing on the left.

00:50 - 1:20

Debates about IQ and leftist denials of hierarchy. Partisan sorting. How ideology can be rational and at odds with the truth, at the same time. How social partners want to make each other really weird so there is less competition for their attention. Why it feels good when someone tells you a secret. Marriage; hierarchical polyamory vs. anarcho-polyamory. How polyamory makes healthy competition. Diana’s personal arrangements. Why I like monogamy and think pleasure is bad. It’s hard to think clearly and be honest when you’re trying to get laid. My interest in radical transparency, which Diana thinks is dumb. How sex could facilitate honesty.

Social media as escape behavior, how to manage this. Kink and sociopathy. How to use social media dopamine as a propeller of disciplined work, which you then reinvest into social media, and so on. Diana becomes more fluent when arguing. How we both leverage social media exchanges for more purposeful writing.

1:20 - 1:54

Here is when things get a little bit dicey. I asked Diana if “human biodiversity” is a racist dog-whistle or a real thing? Diana laid out a lot of arguments and cited a lot of evidence, and we had a long back and forth about this and its implications. Diana recommended the article “On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism,” an explicitly anti-racist case for "human biodiversity." I don’t know much about this stuff and I’m still processing the conversation to be honest. As if this wasn’t difficult enough, I also asked Diana about mental health and transgenderism. I’m just going to leave it at that. Definitely one of the more intense and politically challenging conversations I’ve had on this podcast so far.

3 Comments
  • almost two months ago
    Mark Hummel
    Nice conversation. Your vestigial leftist mental gymnastics are heroic, but utterly counterproductive. Keep talking to evolutionary and social psychologists (Haidt it my new man-crush), economists and rationalists and you will soon put your neo-Marxist personality disorder behind you. You're obviously a smart guy. Don't waste any more of your time (or social capital) on the left. As is stands today, it is the most dysfunctional, rationality-deprived, neurotic, and emotionally stunted group of people on the planet.
  • over two months ago
    Michael Petco
    So, having listened to the entire podcast I have to say it was interesting hearing thoughts and ideas that I don't subscribe to and although there were times where I questioned my own beliefs and it made me uncomfortable it was still worth doing and I'll probably continue to do so in the future. Considering left Anarchism considers right-wing libertarianism to be complete hogwash (that would be me) i still found it tolerable as a discussion. It's within the realm of actual policy that I don't believe any of this is possible because your beliefs DO have an impact on people's lives.


    Overall solid discussion. Despite having desplorable names like Sam Harris and Bill Baher thrown around like they actually have any intellectual clout.
  • over two months ago
    ronald Reagan
    I listened to the entire podcast...now it's time for a shower. Get Nancy.