24 Comments

I read your OK list and it generally aligns with the "right wing." No, not everything of course but if I saw that list on a random piece of paper, I'd think it was an evil conservative who wrote it. To me, you are more focused on labels than substance. It's amazing how deep the contempt and aversion is to anything labeled right. It's unhealthy and more importantly, counterproductive. There won't be a restoration of sanity until people can focus on principles and polices rather than labels. Once something gets left-coded, it becomes permissible and the new civil rights cause (e.g., polyamory and the demand for state recognition of these relationships), but if it's right-coded, it's oppressive (e.g., polygamy).

It is amazing to me how every single disillusioned leftist/progressive/liberal/Democrat is so hyper-focused on gay marriage. Gays are like 3-5% of the population and I'm sure the percentage who actually get married is low (I'd love to see the actual figures) yet this is the hill you choose to die on. It is the non-negotiable and you'd rather see it everything destroyed rather than give in on this. I do admire commitment to principle but this stance strikes me as incredibly foolish and ignores how we got to where we are in the first place.

Why is it so abhorrent to you that some people believe civil unions for gays is fine but marriage is for the straights? I believe it's because we live in a world of equalitarianism where to acknowledge any differences is dangerous because once acknowledged, those differences would be used to justify different treatment or standards of groups. Men and women are not the same, just as gay relationships are not the same as straight ones are the same.

Also interesting how immigration is non-negotiable too. It's the trinity - abortion, gay marriage and immigration. You could get every single thing you wanted on your list but if the political party wanted a moratorium on immigration for the time being, limited abortion to the 1st trimester with very limited exceptions for the 2nd trimester and permitted civil unions but retracted gay marriage, you fight to make sure they never won. Culture war uber alles.

Expand full comment

None of the items in that list seems right wing, to me they sound libertarian. I also don’t see why you complain so much about leftists supporting gay marriage, to me gay marriage is not something I even care about either way, but someone being hyper focused on people who are hyper focused on sone issue are just as bad as the ones they complain about. Any techie that is against immigration is hypocritical, most American tech companies are lead by and depend on immigrants, and some of them maybe gayly married, I don’t know or care.

Expand full comment

If I'm hyperfocused on it, it is because I'm forced to be. Gay marriage was supposed to be the end of the gay rights movement, but it was only the beginning. Now LGBTQI++ is everywhere. At my children's school where elementary kids must learn about gay marriage and two mommies, at my job where I'm told we must support drag as it's under attack, at the downtown where stores have progress pride flags in their window, at the town hall where a pride flag flies. Don't blame me for noticing. Blame others for shoving it down my throat at every single turn.

Expand full comment

90% of the immigration issue is low IQ people from Latin America (low IQ people from the Middle East/Africa in Europe).

But tech people obsess over the Indian guy they work with at Google even though its a total side issue.

But admitting that the real problem with immigration is dysgenics and race would be a bridge to far that would get you unpersoned.

Expand full comment

There is a lot of ambiguity about the terms right and left wing. My personal favorite lens is that the right wants to compete and the left wants to cooperate. But of course both sides do both things in practice.

In any case, the list strikes me as right-wing intellectual elitism, as opposed to right-wing cultural populism. Right now populists dominate the right, so the intellectual elites want to rebrand themselves. But this is definitely not a left-wing ideology.

Expand full comment

I agree with all of your points, and I find myself more reactionary/red/conservative than gray but I share the technological emotions/tendencies/beliefs as most grays do. As you say at the end "Culture war uber alles" but do you think grays should have a stance on the culture war or just remain as technologists and be agnostic to the Culture War that rages between Reds/Blues? Or is it more of a case where Grays will have to have a stance, or their own custom stance, on the culture war so that others fully accept them as an independent group rather than a subgroup of Blue/Red or a mixture of the two? Great comment!

Expand full comment

Grays have social views like everyone else. They can try and stay on the sidelines but as I've realized, those who want to be left alone will always be forced to fight back against the proselytizers.

Expand full comment

Why exactly should Elon be a national hero? My wife absolutely hates him due to his personal life and might otherwise lean Gray if not for that. In general, the stated Gray positions are too male.

In addition, I would go for the "Everyone is a bit racist" position rather than "No one is actually racist".

Expand full comment

I don’t know about hero but SpaceX, Starlink and Teslas are pretty big achievements and bringing more free speech to Twitter, also good. Personal life? Has lots of children? With strange names? not with one wife? smoked weed on Rogan? Sold all his houses and works all the time? Which billionaire has a better personal life?

Expand full comment

That and most people outside of 'The West' are much more racist (as we Westerner's would define it) than the average westerner so the point on racism should be minimized. Not "No one is racist, Everyone is a bit racist, etc." but somehow lump that into the meritocracy portion, delete the "we aren't racist/sexist etc." (as that places you within the frame of the far-lefties) and just stick with "we hire/promote/support people based on their skills". Just a thought though.

Expand full comment

Everyone is biased and therefore prejudiced. There used to be a dissection between prejudice, bigotry and racism but now it's all collapsed into one term.

Expand full comment

I like Elon but find his multiple marriages and children out of wedlock to be a moral issue. Yes it's great he loves children and is pro-fertility, but his way is not the way for everyone else.

Expand full comment

Gray Tribe is not great branding. Sounds like old/decrepit at best, ill-defined/wishy washy at worst.

Truth Tribe (to steal Vivek branding) is a better approach. Tech advances based on solving problems, correcting errors, better explanations, unlocking resources, turning scarcity into prosperity. Code, hardware, apps, systems either works or it doesn't. No lies, no excuses, just the truth of function. Govt should be like that-- works or it doesn't Truth tribe stands for low latency, high fidelity, increasingly efficient, Moore's law type step-changes in governance.

Vivek could lead this party now that I think about it.

Truth Tribe needs to win over four cohorts: 1. Olds (the real Gray Tribe), 2. Registered Voter Immigrants (Mexicans mainly), 3. Mid-Rights (Abortion tolerant, Bloated Govt/Deep State hating), 4. Mid-Lefts (Market tolerant, Crime-hating).

1. Win the olds by cutting everything to guarantee Social Security and Medicare + Warp Speed the miracles of Small Molecule therapies-- Truth stands for tech stands for not only promises kept for wages paid in but also rolling back the clock on aging as part of Medicare-- rejuvenate the gray voter base.

2. Win the Mexicans/Latinos by A. closing the border by any and all means (DeSantis/RFK Jr/Trump campaign promises but actually do it)-- show the power of tech efficiency to get this done fast, cheap, and humanely, B. Give all undocumented in the country a window to come out of the shadows and register and then divide into groups (a)that need to return and will be first in line to be let in on work visas, (b) training programs for mid-skill jobs like nursing-- graduates get jobs plus work papers, those that don't go into group (c) low-skill labor pool with migrant visa and (d)an upskill program for documented immigrants and their kids. Documented and registered voter (citizens) don't love the open border and they really don't love the degrowth and high-crime policies of Dems, but no Republicans never even try to persuaded them. They are natural constituency for a Truth-telling party-- they left the chaos of their homelands mainly because of the lack of economic opportunity and crime caused by lying politicians.

3 & 4 can both be won by shrinking govt, lowering taxes, preserving medicare and ss, and not being soft on crime. Winning the olds and Latinos will win the Mid-rights (who love the olds' varies) and Mid-lefts (who love the immigrants, or say they do anyway).

Tech is truth. Truth is tech. A third-party led by Vivek.

Expand full comment

Average Hispanic IQ is in the low 90s. Some dark skinned groups are in the 80s. Most of Latin America is similar.

As such on average Latin American immigrants are going to be below average earners and net recipients of state assistance. Amongst some of the darker skinned cohorts this will be particularly acute. This explains why the GOP has mostly captured between 20-40% of the Hispanic vote and its highly correlated with the white admixture of the voter, it's what one would expect given the genetics.

The Dems will always be able to outbid the GOP on government handouts, of which people at that IQ level will be net recipients. And they can add to that specific racial set asides. I predict the GOP will never top 50% of the Hispanic vote for this reason.

The good news for the GOP is that immigrants hate immigrants. People left Latin America to get away from other Latin American's, and immigrant communities are most hard hit by the negative externalities of new immigrants. We've run a live experiment the last few decades and being anti-immigration doesn't seem to hurt the GOP at all with Hispanics (it may even help).

The GOP should continue to try to win over Hispanics, but unless they go more socialist then the Dems they aren't cracking 50%.

Expand full comment

I'm no IQ expert, but I agree with the conclusion that legal immigrants are natural constituency of any political movement that is pro-growth, closed border, pro-security/safety.

I think immigrants supporting non-Dem candidates would spark cognitive dissonance in a lot of laptop class types who praise diversity and supposedly love immigrants (even though dem policies dooms legal immigrants to be a perpetual servant class with their big state policies). Might even swing them to vote for truth rather than the collectivist fiction.

Either way it's a steep climb out of the giant crater we've dug for ourselves by trusting the state to be competent and act in the best interest of citizens, rather than being thoroughly incompetent and utterly corrupt.

Not sure there's much hope other than teaching folks who can to be sovereign individuals (wealth and health) and to form families and have kids, build land-based community, and lead both their families and community to health and wealth.

As for IQ correlated tightly to ethnicity, not sure it matters since it's individuals that matter and make all the difference. Most people of all groups are sheeple, no matter their IQ. Few are leaders and those tend to be high IQ no matter their skin color.

Can you link to the IQ studies that you are referring to?

Expand full comment

Erik - in future installments, it would be great to hear your thoughts on what political formula (in Mosca's sense) you think ought to define the Gray Tribe. By "political formula," I mean a clear view about who has the right to rule, and what legitimates that right. I see both the Blue Tribe, and to a lesser extent the Red Tribe, as having clear answers to this question, but not (yet) the Gray Tribe. I will tip my hand and say that I am persuaded by Mosca that a clear and persuasive political formula is a precondition for any meaningful political movement, which is why (to your point above) libertarians never win, since their answer to "who should rule" is the non-answer "no-one."

In your list of Gray Tribe positions above, I see a lot of "others shouldn't rule us in ways we dislike," but not much "here's why we (and not others) should have power, and here is the standard by prospective members of our coalition should be judged and ranked."

Expand full comment

I think the implicit ‘here’s why we should have power’ is that some people are smarter/more competent and those people have a right to power.

Expand full comment

I like the breadth of ideas at the bottom as each of them could be expanded into policy platforms that would allow for further proliferation of gray-groups. Ex: on schooling, we don't believe in indoctrinating our children we believe in teaching them diverse languages, having them engaged in sport (fitness), teaching them history with a purpose and developing inside them a standard skillset that will allow them to be whatever they want in life, law/tech/business/medical/sports/artistry/etc while being dramatically more intelligent and informed than others.

Expand full comment
Jan 28·edited Jan 28

IMO the "Grey Tribe" has become more and more right-coded in recent years... I remember reading Scott Alexander describing the "Grey Tribe" as being a "subset of the Blue Tribe" in his "I can tolerate anything except the outgroup" post like 10 years ago, but IMO it's become clear that the"Grey Tribe ", while clearly being different from the "Red Tribe", is closer to them than to the "Blue Tribe"... you can see it in the comments here or in ACX, or with people like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel clearly becoming Right-wing in most of their professed political views... I'm not saying that the "Grey Tribe" will necessarily be subsumed by the "Red Tribe", but IMO as long as culture war issues dominate the political conversation, the "Grey Tribe" will be seen as being right-coded by most people, particularly by those on the "Blue Tribe", while I would think that the "Red Tribe" will increasingly see the "Grey Tribe" as their allies, even if they disagree on some stuff that's pretty important for the "Grey Tribe", such as AI and Transhumanism...

Expand full comment

Stop illegal immigration first. Then reform legal, maybe increase numbers of desirables. Stop illegals first. Reps under Reagan tried amnesty plus better border, got amnesty, worse border, more illegals. Stop illegals first.

Expand full comment

In the past year "the right" passed school choice in several red states. The grey tribe passed nothing in no states.

The year before the "the right" overturned COVID tyranny in red states. The grey tribe did nothing to affect COVID policy in Silicon Valley.

I think the grey tribe needs to get some legislative accomplishments. Mostly it just talks about what it doesn't like in big tent movements that are capable of getting 51% of the votes and doing something.

Expand full comment

> While electricity accounted for only 3.3% of U.S. freshwater consumption in 2013, it has accounted for as high as roughly 40% of all freshwater withdrawals dating back to 2000 as seen in Fig. 2, which makes them susceptible to drought-related shutdowns or breakdowns if the lake or river water supply experiences subpar rainfall for extended periods. [4] Furthermore, this means that nuclear power plants are susceptible to changing climate conditions. For example, in 2007 a drought in the southeastern United States led to the shutdown of many thermal electricity generation plants, including one nuclear power plant, which had to shut down its operations due to lack of water which caused high discharge temperatures.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/styles2/

Expand full comment

Who is gonna make these t-shirts tho??

Expand full comment