Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, November 11, 2016

revenge of the Morlocks

Well, now, this is interesting:

And herein lies the seeds of speciation: a difference in a trait that genes influence – intelligence – affecting reproduction patterns. Coupled with policies of exclusion – building a wall, breaking up families to deport undocumented immigrants, targeting specific religious groups unified by their ancestry – the population sorting that may begin over the next four years could, with time and if sustained, alter the segregation of gene variants in a way that sets us on a path toward an unstoppable divergence.

I hope that as a nation we can accept, heal, reach out, and “be on the same team” as President Obama eeked out yesterday. But right now, the gash seems too deep to mend anytime soon, especially if the aforementioned actions of exclusion and discrimination actually emerge from the current state of shock and division. Here is the best description I’ve read of the sad basis of the Trump campaign and soon-to-be administration.

So much things to say, to quote Bob Marley, but I’ll try to restrain myself. And before I go further I will note, just for the record, that Trump really is scientifically illiterate and I fear that his advisors will be as well, and that that will surely lead to problems, though perhaps not the worst ones we will face from a Trump administration. Onward:

Ricki Lewis thinks that we may be headed towards “unstoppable genetic divergence,” that Donald Trump will be the chief progenitor of this separation, and that the primary criterion by which this separation will be effected is intelligence. All the smart people will be on one side of the Great Wall of Trump, and all the stupid people on the other side.

And yet all this will be accomplished by the will of the Stupids. Which suggests, on Lewis’s own account of things, that beyond a certain point — let’s call it the Trump Threshold — intelligence may not be adaptive. Indeed it may be maladaptive, as suggested in Idiocracy. So if you want to belong to the species that will succeed in the long run, you should probably start trying to get dumber now.

Lewis takes the title of her post, “Donald Trump and the New Morlock Nation,” from H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, a book she hasn’t read. (But she saw the movie. And looked up the book’s Wikipedia page.) I, however, have read the book, and when I read Lewis’s post, one passage from it came to mind:

The Upper-world people might once have been the favoured aristocracy, and the Morlocks their mechanical servants: but that had long since passed away. The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards, or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship. The Eloi, like the Carolingian kings, had decayed to a mere beautiful futility. They still possessed the earth on sufferance: since the Morlocks, subterranean for innumerable generations, had come at last to find the daylit surface intolerable. And the Morlocks made their garments, I inferred, and maintained them in their habitual needs, perhaps through the survival of an old habit of service. They did it as a standing horse paws with his foot, or as a man enjoys killing animals in sport: because ancient and departed necessities had impressed it on the organism. But, clearly, the old order was already in part reversed. The Nemesis of the delicate ones was creeping on apace. Ages ago, thousands of generations ago, man had thrust his brother man out of the ease and the sunshine. And now that brother was coming back changed! Already the Eloi had begun to learn one old lesson anew. They were becoming reacquainted with Fear.

5 comments:

  • At the same time we are always evolving, the process is typically slow, slow, slow to the point of being unnoticeable until quite a long time has already passed from the point of divergence. If we have indeed passed an inflection point, it surely occurred long before the last election cycle. Blame lead-based paint, among other things. You suggest it yourself: a book she hasn’t read, but she saw the movie (the potboiler version from a few years ago?) and looked up the book’s Wikipedia page.

  • Ugh.

    Well, riffing off the actual book (which I admittedly have not yet read but I think I'm already more informed thanks to this post), one thing that does greatly trouble me is the fact that prosperous cities in Blue America that are producing new jobs are often pricing their housing out of reach of those that would like to migrate to take advantage of those jobs. That's what comes to mind when I read "man had thrust his brother out of the ease and the sunshine."

    Also thanks thanks for posting A Walk After Dark on Tuesday. It helped.

  • Ah yes, The Grapes of Sour by the "intelligent" loser.

    I love the savor of hot liberal tears in my morning coffee. Tastes like Victory.

  • And now it would seem Lewis has disappeared the post...

  • Interesting that liberals are avoiding from ascribing the results of this election to the explanations they'd get from ordinary voters. It's the sheer corruption and dishonest of Hillary, as illustrated by week after week of exposes that even the liberal media could not silence, that turned voters off.

    Trump didn't win the votes of the stupid, as they seem to be claiming. For all his many flaws, he got the votes of those who want government to be honest, effective, and not pushing itself into every nook and crany of their lives.

Post a Comment

[Basic HTML tags can be used in this comment field.]