Comment author: Daniel_Eth 14 February 2017 06:03:55AM 2 points [-]

Obviously different people have different motivations for their donations. I disagree that it's a straw man, though, because I wasn't trying to misrepresent any views and I think risk aversion actually is one of the main reasons that people tend to support causes such as AMF that help people "one at a time" over causes that are larger scale but less likely to succeed. MIRI's chance of success wasn't central to my argument - if you think it has basically zero net positive then substitute in whatever cause you think actually is positive (in-vitro meat research, CRIPSR research, politics, etc). Perhaps you've already done that and think that AMF still has higher expected value, in which case I would say you're not risk averse (per se), but then I'd also think that you're in the minority.

Comment author: AGB 14 February 2017 08:28:10PM 3 points [-]

For a third perspective, I think most EAs who donate to AMF do so neither because of an EV calculation they've done themselves, nor because of risk aversion, but rather because they've largely-or-entirely outsourced their donation decision to Givewell. Givewell has also written about this in some depth, back in 2011 and probably more recently as well.

Key quote:

"This view of ours illustrates why – while we seek to ground our recommendations in relevant facts, calculations and quantifications to the extent possible – every recommendation we make incorporates many different forms of evidence and involves a strong dose of intuition. And we generally prefer to give where we have strong evidence that donations can do a lot of good rather than where we have weak evidence that donations can do far more good – a preference that I believe is inconsistent with the approach of giving based on explicit expected-value formulas (at least those that (a) have significant room for error (b) do not incorporate Bayesian adjustments, which are very rare in these analyses and very difficult to do both formally and reasonably)."

Comment author: Kerry_Vaughan 09 February 2017 09:13:51PM *  9 points [-]

Hi Richard,

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I work at CEA on the EA Funds project. My thoughts are below although they may not represent the views of everyone at CEA.

Funding new projects

I think EA Funds will improve funding for new projects.

As far as I know small donors (in the ~$10K or below range) have traditionally not played a large role in funding new projects. This is because the time it takes to evaluate a new project is substantial and because finding good new projects requires developing good referral networks. It generally doesn't make sense for a small donor to undertake this work.

Some of the best donors I know of at finding and supporting new projects are private individuals with budgets in the hundreds of thousands or low millions range. For these donors, it makes more sense to do the work required to find new projects and it makes sense for the projects to find these donors since they can cover a large percentage of the funding need. I think the funds will roughly mimic this structure. Also, I think Nick Beckstead has one of the better track records at helping to get early-stage projects funded and he's a fund manager.

Donor centralization

I agree with this concern. I think we should aim to not have OpenPhil program officers be the only fund managers in the future and we should aim for a wider variety of funds. What we have now represents the MVP, not the long-term goal.

EA Ventures

I was in charge of EA Ventures and it is no longer in operation. The model was that we sourced new projects and then presented them to our donors for potential funding.

We shut down EA Ventures because 1) the number of exciting new projects was smaller than we expected; 2) funder interest in new projects was smaller than expected and 3) opportunity cost increased significantly as other projects at CEA started to show stronger results.

My experience at EA Ventures updated me away from the view that there are lots of promising new projects in need of funding. I now think the pipeline of new projects is smaller than would be idea although I'm not sure what to do to solve this problem.

Comment author: AGB 13 February 2017 07:13:04PM 7 points [-]

Just to give a perspective from the 'other' (donor) side:

I was excited about EA Ventures, partly because of the experimental value (both as an experiment in itself, and it's effect on encouraging other people to experiment). I also agreed with the decision to cease operation when it did, and I think Kerry's read of the situation basically concurs with my own experience

Also, as Kerry said, I think a large part of what happened here was that "the best projects are often able to raise money on their own without an intermediary to help them". At the time EA Ventures was running, EA was (and may still be) a close-enough community that I was finding out about several of the opportunities EAV was presenting via my own network, without EAV's help. That's not at all to say EAV was providing zero value in those cases since they were also filtering/evaluating, but it meant that the most promising charity (in my opinion) that I heard about via EAV was something I was already funding and keen to continue to fund up to RFMF/percentage-of-budget constraints.

Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 28 December 2016 10:15:34AM 2 points [-]

The way your fundraising page represents how much money CEA is trying to raise confused me. First of all, you switched between representing amounts in either dollars or pounds. This isn't a big deal, but I thought I'd just let you know it's momentarily jarring when the amount being requested switches so much. I think readers can convert currencies well by themselves if need be.

Anyway, it says the CEA is seeking $3.1 million as its 'Minimum Target' for how much its seeking to raise. But that's the minimum target CEA is seeking to expand beyond its current scope of activity. It says in the budget summary the amount CEA needs to raise to cover the continuation of its regular suite of activities in 2017 is £ 1,860,517. As of this writing, that comes out to $2,277,905. It took me a while to figure out the ~$2.3 million figure was to continue ongoing operations, and guessed the ~$900k USD remaining would be for the ambitious expansion of more speculative but successful projects, like marketing, EAGx grants, and EA chapter grants. But I noticed that's already accounted for in the budget summary as well.

So, pardon me for saying so, but I'm confused as to what CEA's intentions are with the 'Minimum Target' and 'Growth Target' for Growth(?). I think I'm missing something, or the document doesn't make clear, which items in CEA's 2017 budget would the funding from these targets, if reached, be used for. Could you please clarify?

Comment author: AGB 28 December 2016 08:58:26PM 2 points [-]

Second this. I'm guessing part of what's going on in the $3.1 versus £1.8 is to do with reserves, but would be useful to get confirmation. Also, the google sheet linked doesn't have numbers that I can line up with anything else in the blog post, I think because it has numbers for CEA UK only and ignores CEA US (but that's speculation)?

Comment author: AGB 24 December 2016 01:42:00PM *  16 points [-]

Thank you for the top level post. It's much easier to engage here than on the various comment threads.

I have some clarifying questions about your claims, and in particular I would like to have a better understanding of where and why you disagree with Givewell's/AMF's read of the situation. You say that they are simply ignoring these issues, implying that they would agree with you if they paid attention. I don't think this is true, as detailed on a point-by-point basis below.

However hard they work, they can’t make enough nets to combat the malaria-carrying mosquito. Enter vociferous Hollywood movie star who rallies the masses and goads Western governments to collect and send 100,000 mosquito nets to the affected region, at the cost of a million dollars. The nets arrive, the nets are distributed, and a ‘good’ deed is done.

It seems the implied premise here is that 100,000 nets is more than that region actually needed? For example if the region needs 200,000 nets per year, only currently has 50,000 being manufactured per year, and some foreign donors distribute 100,000 nets per year, then I would have thought there was a lot of room for the local factory. This goes double if the donated nets are targeted to the poorest areas, while the factory presumably will prefer to sell to the richer areas.

Far from Givewell ignoring this issue, they pay a lot of attention to how many more nets affected regions can usefully absorb in their analysis of AMF's Room For More Funding. They conclude that there is huge scope for more nets that AMF is unlikely to get close to filling any time soon, see below quote. If you disagree with them on this concrete level, it would be worth saying why.

I agree that if we get anywhere close to filling local net gaps, it's likely not worth displacing local capacity, or at the very least we should seriously weigh the downsides of doing so. Though unless I'm missing something the most obvious solution to this would be for AMF (or whoever) to buy the nets locally, it seems like the origin of the donations isn't actually the problem here, just where the nets are manufactured.

Dr. Renshaw roughly estimated that there will be a funding gap for 100 million nets in 2018-2020. She estimated that the gap in Nigeria would account for a quarter of the total gap, or about 25 million nets. This assumes that funders other than the Global Fund (including AMF) will maintain their current level of support for LLINs in this period. Dr. Renshaw believed that less funding from the Global Fund would be available for LLINs because of changes in the way it is structuring its funding.

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with your planners versus searchers quote. AMF does a lot of things that sound like a 'searcher' in your dichotomy. They look for local distribution partners whose methods vary by country, and also follow-up to check whether the nets are actually being used. Nor does it pick countries and areas at random, but rather on the basis of its assessment of need and in at least one major case in response to a request. Can you clarify more why you consider this a 'planning' approach?

The NMCP has been working with AMF for a relatively short period of time. Their working relationship has proceeded relatively smoothly thus far, especially since AMF has shown willingness to negotiate and compromise on some areas to conform with the country's specific scenario

AMF told us that it has been receiving more funding requests since it started funding larger distributions,8 and notes that its largest commitment so far—10.6 million LLINs in Uganda in 2017—was made in response to an in-bound request.

Finally, reading your first two criticisms I was inclined to suggest Give Directly as something you might be willing to support. So I read your third section with interest, but I don't think I understand it.

[Give Directly] simply [does] the work for a community, instead of building capacity and increasing autonomy and dependence. This is great for the organization, since it ensures that the community will need aid forever, by destroying the infrastructure that the community previously used to make a living. If you get rid of the need for structures which produce food, or organizations which provide jobs, they will go out of business, so that when the community will be unable to return to them when the aid money eventually dries up.

I'm very confused by this section. For instance, by what mechanism do you propose Give Directly gets 'rid of the need for structures which produce food'? Unsurprisingly, giving people extra cash increases the amount of money they spend on food (among many other things):

Treatment households consumed about $51 more per month (95% CI: $32 to $70) than control households.209 About half of this additional consumption was on food.210 This additional consumption also included increased spending on social expenditures and various other expenditures.

Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 22 December 2016 07:36:26PM 0 points [-]

I think the arguments in favor of meta are intuitive, but not easy to find. For one thing, the org's posts tend to be org-specific (unsurprisngly) rather than a general defense of meta work.

Huh, there is a surprising lack of a canonical article that makes the case for meta work. (Just tried to find one.) That said, it's very common when getting interested in EA to hear about GiveWell, GWWC and 80K, and to look them up, which gives you a sense of the arguments for meta.

Also, I would actually prefer that the arguments against also be org-specific, since that's typically more decision-relevant, but a) that's more work and b) it's hard to do without actually being a part of the organization.

Anyway, even though there's not a general article arguing for meta (which I am surprised by), that doesn't particularly change my belief that a lot of people know the arguments for but not the arguments against. This has increased my estimate of the number of people who know neither the arguments for nor the arguments against.

Comment author: AGB 23 December 2016 06:56:46AM 0 points [-]

Sure, I think we're on the same page here.

I'm hoping/planning to plug both of those holes (a lack of org-specific criticism, and the uncomplied general arguments in favour) in the next few weeks, so did want to double-check that there wasn't a canonical piece that I was missing.

Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 22 December 2016 05:14:43PM 0 points [-]

I've had conversations with people who said they've donated to GWWC because of high leverage ratios, and my impression based on those conversations is that they take the multiplier fairly literally ("even if it's off by an order of magnitude it's still worthwhile") without really considering the alternatives.

In addition, it's really easy to find all of the arguments in favor of meta, including (many of) the arguments that impact is probably being undercounted -- you just have to read the fundraising posts by meta orgs. I don't know of any post other than Hurford's that suggests considerations against meta. It took me about a year to generate all of the ideas not in that post, and it certainly helped that I was working in meta myself.

Comment author: AGB 22 December 2016 06:18:54PM 0 points [-]

I think the arguments in favor of meta are intuitive, but not easy to find. For one thing, the org's posts tend to be org-specific (unsurprisngly) rather than a general defense of meta work. In fact, to the best of my knowledge the best general arguments have never been made on the forum at the top level because it's sort-of-assumed that everybody knows them. So while you're saying Peter's post is the only such post you could find, that's still more than the reverse (and with your post, it's now 2 - 0).

At the comment level it's easy to find plenty of examples of people making anti-meta arguments.

Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 21 December 2016 07:03:54PM 0 points [-]

At a glance, it seems like most of the meta-traps don't apply to stuff like promotion of object-level causes. That's why Peter Hurford distinguished between second-level and first-level meta, and focused his criticism on the second-level.

I mostly agree, but I think a lot of them do apply to first-level meta in many cases. For example I talked about how they apply to GWWC, which is first-level meta (I think).

80,000 Hours and GiveWell are both mainly doing first-level meta (i.e. we promote specific first order opportunities for impact)

Yes, and I specifically didn't include that kind of first-level meta work. I think the parts of first-level meta that are affected by these traps are efforts to fundraise for effective organizations, mainly ones that target EAs specifically. Even for general fundraising though, I think several traps still do apply, such as trap #1, #6 and #8.

One other quick point is that I don't think coordination problems arise especially from meta-work.

I agree, I think it's just disproportionately the case that donors to meta work are not taking into account these considerations. GiveWell and ACE take these considerations into account when making recommendations, so anyone relying on those recommendations has already "taken it into account". This may arise in X-risk, I'm not sure -- certainly it seems to apply to the part of X-risk that is about convincing other people to work on X-risk.

The points you list under "coordination problems" seem more like examples of why the counterfactuals are hard to assess, which is already under trap 8.

Well, even if each organization assesses counterfactuals perfectly, you still have the problem that the sum of the impacts across all organizations may be larger than 100%. The made-up example with Alice was meant to illustrate a case where each organization assesses their impact perfectly, comes to a ratio of 2:1 correctly, but in aggregate they would have spent more than was warranted.

Comment author: AGB 22 December 2016 07:15:32AM *  2 points [-]

I agree, I think it's just disproportionately the case that donors to meta work are not taking into account these considerations.

What makes you think this? I found this post interesting, but not new; it's all stuff I've thought about quite hard before. I wouldn't have thought I was roughly representative of meta donors here (I certainly know people who have thought harder), though I'd be happy for other such donors to contradict me.

Comment author: HenryMaine 11 December 2016 10:02:02AM 2 points [-]

I think your objections are fair, unlike many of the other skeptics in this thread. But what I am not seeing is you, or the other skeptics, fully updating on the implications of Rotherham (and Cologne, Sharia demonstrations, violence between nationalists and Muslims, etc…).

If events like Rotherham are able to happen, and it’s not an isolated incident, then this hints at the shape of the probability distribution of Muslim immigrant criminality. Additionally, it indicates that the shape of the distribution of police efficacy, and the probability of cities covering up Muslim crime. If you imagine these distributions as bell curves, then Rotherham is at the right tail, but this means that lesser crimes (and police failures) are likely occurring in high Muslim areas across the UK. And in fact, this is occurring: the Wikipedia Rotherham article lists sex gangs in 10 other cities.

I think it’s a mistake to overly focus on particular flawed crime statistics without trying to actually understand what is going between these two cultures. This is why I am emphasizing qualitative measures like video.

I will also advance another argument: my case about European destabilization does not hinge on a national increase in crime rates. I believe that local conflicts are sufficient enough to be a problem. I am basing this view on studying the breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars in Kosovo and Bosnia, a history that I don’t think anyone else here has studied.

One of the catalyzing events of the Bosnian war was a wedding attack on Serbs by Muslims:

Serbs consider Nikola Gardović, a groom's father killed at a wedding procession on the second day of the Bosnian independence referendum, 1 March 1992, in Baščaršija, to have been the first victim of the war.[40] The Sijekovac killings of Serbs took place on 26 March and the Bijeljina massacre (of mostly Bosniaks) on 1–2 April. Some Bosniaks consider the first casualties of the war to be Suada Dilberović and Olga Sučić, both shot during a peace march on 5 April at a hotel under the control of the Serbian Democratic Party.

The conflict started with small-scale violent events, which turned into a genocidal war that killed over 100k people. The EU is much bigger than Yugoslavia, it contains nukes, and it is much more strategically relevant between the US and Russia.

Utilitarians don’t understand rule-of-law, because they are focused on blunt measures of the number of people affected, without taking into account the second-order effects of reprisals, feuds, and tribal tensions reaching a boiling point.

So it’s not just the crime rate across the country that matters, it’s also local intensity of crime. Could this lead to large-scale sectarian conflict or civil war? I think it’s less likely in the UK, but more likely in other European countries like Germany, France, or Sweden.

But back to crime stats. You are right that crime rates in general have been falling in the UK, but you agreed that statistics of crime reports have flaws. So let’s try to find some other data to resolve this, since it’s data you want.

Rather than looking just at homicide, or at all crime, this article claims that sexual offense were up 36% and violent crime was up 27% in 2015.

However, this is still crime reports, and these are sensitive to police recording methodology, size of police force, and policing effort. Furthermore, Muslim immigrations are still a minority of the UK population, so trends among non-Muslim groups might mask Muslim crime.

A better approach would be to try to find crime by ethnicity, crime by religion, or crime by immigrant nationality. Unfortunately, I can’t find those exact stats (probably because they would be incendiary), but we do have some proxies.

  • Muslims are 20% of the inmates in maximum security prisons in the UK, but 5% of the population, overrepresented at a factor of 4. In France, Muslims are 70% of the prison population and 8% of the general population, overrepresented nearly by factor of 8.

  • We have stats from some countries for crime by immigrant nationality. Muslim countries top these charts.

This article takes data from Scandinavian government reports and finds that foreign-born individuals, particularly from Africa and West Asia, committed several times more crime. For example, here is Sweden:

A report studying 4.4 million Swedes between the ages of 15 and 51 during the period 1997-2001 found that 25% of crimes were committed by foreign-born individuals while and additional 20% were committed by individuals born to foreign-born parents. In particular, immigrants from Africa and South & Western Asian were more likely to be charged of a crime than individuals born to two Swedish parents by a factor of 4.5 and 3.5 respectively. In regard to rape, the report revealed that immigrants were 5.5 times more likely to be charged of rape than individuals born in Sweden to two Swedish parent, although the category of immigrant was not broken down by country of origin in this report

This article which I linked to took official Denmark statistics and constructed this chart, where Somalians were found to commit rate at 16x the rate of the native population.

Let’s take stock:

  • Initial priors were towards integration problems for Muslim immigrants due to Western/Muslim history of conflict (e.g. Barbary Slave Trade), cultural differences, and ethnic cleansing during breakup of Yugoslavia. Many people in this thread have no sense of the history of Western and Muslim relations.

  • High profile criminal events and clashes (Rotherham, Cologne, Sharia demonstrations, no-go zones, terrorist attacks) reinforce these priors. We both agree that these events are happening, though we’ve quibbled over the details of no-go zones.

  • Your experience in Tower Hamlets and falling UK crime rates was weak evidence against my hypothesis.

  • Muslim overrepresentation in prisons in Europe, and disproportionate offense rates elsewhere in Europe show that indeed Muslims immigrants are committing higher levels of crime, and nearly an order of magnitude higher than native for some subgroups. This makes the UK crime trends look confounded.

So there the overall direction of this evidence is in favor of the priors of Western-Muslim conflict. And I’ve only summarized a small amount of the evidence.

My arguments about elevated Muslim immigrant crime rates fueling destabilization in the UK are still in play, though I will concede that Germany, France, and Sweden are likely at much higher risk. The best argument against my case would be that European governments are strong enough, and European nationalism is weak enough, that a cycle of reprisals and civil unrest can never get started (unlike Yugoslavia): native European just learn to live with high rates of crime, eventually becoming persecuted minorities in their own countries.

What would falsify my argument? Since my argument is drawn from a wide variety of evidence, it would take a wide variety of evidence to contradict it, ideally evidence that isn’t tainted by the state trying to hide the egg on its face. Examples: Farage recants, or some of the videos I’ve linked to were shown to be staged.

When you are in a society with rape gangs attacking thousands of young girls, you have an uphill battle to rescue its image. I think a lot of people in this thread, would benefit from reflecting more on what it means when this can happen in a society. It took me more than a year to process this information, so I totally understand why lots of people in this thread are having trouble grappling with it.

Anyway, I hope this long comment will convince serious readers that this is a nontrivial subject that deserves further investigation. I would highly encourage people to do their own research. If indeed governments engage in risky large-scale social engineering, and then cover it up when it goes wrong, then that has pretty serious consequences for EA.

Comment author: AGB 18 December 2016 05:01:07PM *  1 point [-]

I just wanted to reply to deal with one factual claim:

A better approach would be to try to find crime by ethnicity, crime by religion, or crime by immigrant nationality. Unfortunately, I can’t find those exact stats (probably because they would be incendiary).


We have stats from some countries for crime by immigrant nationality. Muslim countries top these charts.

Um, no? Here's from the link above:

Poland: 4742

Romania: 3952

Lithuania: 2561

Ireland: 2503

Jamaica: 2323

India: 1902

Somalia: 1384

France: 1384

Italy: 1357

Portugal: 1202

Not a lot of Muslim countries there, in particular Pakistan and Bangladesh are notably absent. Yet here's the top 10 countries for overall population of foreign nationals in London from Wikipedia.

India: 262,247

Poland: 158,300

Ireland: 129,807

Nigeria: 114,718

Pakistan: 112,457

Bangladesh: 109,948

Jamaica: 87,467

Sri Lanka: 84,542

France 66,654

Somalia: 65,333

And in another entertaining example of MSM bias against immigrants, note how the Mail describes one in four London crimes being committed by foreign nationals as an 'immigrant crimewave', even though over 35% of London's population is foreign-born. Also, even that claim was originally exaggerated; see the correction at the bottom.

That's likely the true reason you were struggling to find these stats by the way; incendiary stats about immigrants are easy to find, the more prosaic ones highlighting that they are less likely to commit crime than native-born people tend to be buried in government reports (until an outlet like the Mail decides to report them and just deliberately mislead people about their relevance).

Comment author: HenryMaine 10 December 2016 09:45:48AM *  0 points [-]

Mass immigration is the general policy that I am criticizing. The migrant crisis is the latest manifestation of these bad policies.

Let's address your points in turn:

  1. Whether concern about Muslim immigration motivated Brexit

Your claim is that Brexit wasn't about a culture clash with Muslims because most immigrants to the UK are non-Muslim EU, and Brexit may not stop Muslim immigration from outside the EU.

First, if other EU countries naturalize Muslim refugees and give them EU passports, then those Muslims would be able to enter the UK.

Second, those details are not how voters think. I am seeing Brexit as a protest vote against the establishment, and one of the reasons for this protest vote is mass Muslim immigration (among other things). Here is my basis for this claim:

  • The Leave campaign used the possibility of Turkey entering the EU to bolster their case. If Turkey entered the EU, then EU immigrants would be Muslim.

  • Farage heavily criticized Muslim immigration. He argued that remaining in the EU would put British women at risk of sex attacks like those on New Year's Eve in Cologne, and many other European cities. He described the Cologne attacks as a "nuclear bomb."

  • Farage used signs like this, which definitely put Muslim immigration at the forefront.

  • Muslim populations have a very different culture and crime rates, so priors for a culture clash are high.

Even if concerns about cultural clashes with Muslims did not motivate a large percent of Leave voters, it could still be the case that those concerns did motivate many of the influencers behind Leave. I say this because mass immigration in Europe—with Rotherham and Cologne in particular—are motivating the alt right in the US, which influenced the election of Trump due to having an outsized reach. If the failures of multiculturalism in the UK are affecting US politics, then they are definitely affecting UK politics.

Of course, if you ask people in polls, they are going to under-report their concerns about mass low-skilled Muslim immigration because they don't want to be seen as racist. We know from the Shy Tory Factor and Shy Trump Voter effect that people will under-report politically incorrect opinions. Since many Western countries are totalitarian states full of thought policing, and critics of Muslim immigration can result in visits by police, then it's no surprise that opinion polls are failing to capture how populations actually feel.

  1. On media in the UK, it's interesting to hear that they are mostly anti-immigration. Of course, the Mail and Sun are lower in prestige than the Guardian, which is leftist.

  2. Law-and-order breaking down

Thanks for describing your experience in Tower Hamlets. Obviously, it would be better for my case if you were more worried, or if official crime rates there were increasing. However, I still plenty of evidence that law-and-order in European countries, including the UK, is decreasing.

Let's start with Tower Hamlets itself. I did some searching, and I am seeing articles like these:

Tower Hamlets Taliban: Death threats to women who don't wear veils. Gays attacked in the streets.. Excerpt:

Paul Burston edits the gay section in the London listings magazine Time Out. ‘In the past few years there have been more and more reports of homophobic incidents in Tower Hamlets, often involving attacks on gay men by gangs of young Bangladeshis,’ he said.

'No porn or prostitution': Islamic extremists set up Sharia law controlled zones in British cities. Islamic radicals were putting up signs proclaiming Sharia zones in Tower Hamlets, among other places:

Choudary, who runs the banned militant group Islam4UK, warned: ‘We now have hundreds if not thousands of people up and down the country willing to go out and patrol the streets for us and a print run of between 10,000 and 50,000 stickers ready for distribution.

Now let’s look at clashes with Muslims elsewhere in the UK:

This video from Luton shows Muslims with Sharia signs, and telling the reporter that she is going to go to hell (full documentary. Here is a another video from Luton where Britain first walks through the town holding a cross, and they get attacked by Muslims. Note that this kind of civil unrest would not show up in homicide statistics, which suggests that it’s the wrong metric.

Clearly cultural conflicts are emerging. The homicide rate may not reflect this. In general, I would expect under-reporting of all Muslim crime. Additionally, note that one of the criticisms of the lack of integration is that entire neighborhoods become parallel societies, or even “no go zones”, which enforce their own Sharia Law. If natives don’t report Muslim crime because they don’t want to seem racist, or the cops brush it off, and if Muslims themselves don’t engage with the police and report on crime in their own neighborhoods, then this will distort the crime reports. The Mail claims that 20% of inmates in maximum security prisons are Muslim, while 5% of the population is.

The rise of Sharia Law in Europe is also an example of degrading rule-of-law: the law of the land is being replaced. While I am glad to hear that you don’t feel in danger in Tower Hamlets, the environment in the UK looks pretty bad. Sharia parades, Rotherham, Muslim patrols, and scuffles with EDL and Britain First: it’s too much dirt to explain away. If you had tried to predict this reality just a few decades ago, people would have called you a right-wing lunatic.

Finally I will address your comparison to American crime rates:

while British Muslims might be more violent than your average Briton (though controlling for income seems important here), they still appear to be safer than your average American.

Comparison to American crime rates is confounded because America is a highly multiethnic society of groups with very different rates of criminality. Highly violent urban populations skew US crime statistics (which is rarely taken into account in the debates about gun control). If your reference point for a peaceful society is US crime rates, then your standards are too low.

European countries are undergoing an unprecedented experiment of social engineering, enforced by threatening the reputation of dissenters. If it goes wrong, the entire EU could break up, experience local civil wars, or even wider conflicts. The level of ethnic strife and cultural strife that is considered acceptable, the rise of Muslim mayors with foreign values ruling over Europeans in their own countries (e.g. Lutfur Rahman) in Tower Hamlets, and Sadiq Khan in London), and mass rape by imported voters would have been considered unthinkable in the past, yet all these things are now firmly within the Overton Window as acceptable costs of multiculturalism to get those precious, precious leftist votes. An external perspective might see this as a disaster.

Comment author: AGB 10 December 2016 04:23:46PM *  5 points [-]

Even if concerns about cultural clashes with Muslims did not motivate a large percent of Leave voters, it could still be the case that those concerns did motivate many of the influencers behind Leave.

I certainly grant that this influence-via-influencers argument seems like a more-plausible causal mechanism, though also seems difficult to falsify so I'm not sure how much weight to put on it.

Of course, if you ask people in polls, they are going to under-report their concerns about mass low-skilled Muslim immigration because they don't want to be seen as racist.

Under-report? Sure. But the 'shy Tory/shy Trump' effects are generally only on the order of a few percentage points while for the world to really look the way you say it looks, they'd have to be under-reporting by huge margins. What reason do you have for thinking that? Is it a falsifiable one? I ask because it seems kinda unreasonable for you to say 'people are highly concerned about Muslim immigration in particular', I say 'no they aren't, see survey'. and you say 'ah well obviously huge numbers of people are really concerned, just don't want to admit it'. If direct survey data doesn't convince you otherwise, what would?

Since many Western countries are totalitarian states full of thought policing, and critics of Muslim immigration can result in visits by police, then it's no surprise that opinion polls are failing to capture how populations actually feel.

You just gave many examples of high-profile politicians criticising Muslim immigration. Many newspaper columnists criticise it daily (remember, the mainstream newspapers are right-wring/anti-immigration here). Those people don't get arrested. So I don't know exactly what that man did to merit a police visit, but it seems clear that either (a) it was more serious/threatening than that or (b) that particular police force is particularly over-zealous. Without more details it's hard to judge. But either way it's not something the general population has to worry about or would worry about.

Incidentally, the article you link to here is a great example of why I don't consider Breitbart a reliable source. It states* that 1,000 refugees were being relocated to a tiny island of 6,500 people, but if you check its source for that number then you discover that actually the refugees are actually being spread across the whole of West Central Scotland.

*"The tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, which had a total population of just 6,498 in 2011, is expected to take in around 1,000 Syrian migrants"

"More families are set to arrive on Bute over the next few weeks, which will bring the total to 28 adults and 31 children, topping up the small 6,300-strong population. They are among the first of about 1,000 refugees who are to be re-located around the west central area of Scotland after the British Government agreed to take a total of 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020."

Comparison to American crime rates is confounded because America is a highly multiethnic society of groups with very different rates of criminality. Highly violent urban populations skew US crime statistics (which is rarely taken into account in the debates about gun control). If your reference point for a peaceful society is US crime rates, then your standards are too low.

All agreed, I would be horrified if Europe reached American levels of violent crime. But that makes it sound very strange to European ears when Americans talk about 'Law and Order breaking down'. If that's true for us, it's definitely true for you.

But I did also point out (and give sources) that violent crime is at historically low levels within Britain itself, so I can also use the reference point of 'Britain 20 years ago' and get much the same conclusion, which indeed seems a lot more reasonable.

Note that this kind of civil unrest would not show up in homicide statistics, which suggests that it’s the wrong metric.

Agreed. I only used it because I expected you to complain about massive under-reporting if I used anything else; it's hard to massively under-report murders. What metric would you suggest?

While I am glad to hear that you don’t feel in danger in Tower Hamlets, the environment in the UK looks pretty bad. Sharia parades, Rotherham, Muslim patrols, and scuffles with EDL and Britain First: it’s too much dirt to explain away.

Not really, it's quite easy to explain away. I'm going to mirror your 'mainstream media' argument back at you I'm afraid; the mainstream media is right-wring, wants to eliminate those 'precious, precious leftist votes' and bolster support for nationalist politics, and does this by a mixture of making things up, ignoring examples to the contrary, and blowing fairly minor events out of all proportion. There are plenty of examples where the general public's beliefs about the number of immigrants, their rates of criminality, their rates of worklessness, etc. are completely disjoint from reality, and always in the direction that makes the immigrants look worse (I can give many examples to this effect if required, but I'm in a bit of a rush so I won't do it right now). That's what a concerted brainwashing campaign over many years can achieve.

The people most immune to such a campaign are the people actually living on the ground since they can confirm or deny the reports directly, and they indeed tend to be much less concerned than the general population.

Comment author: HenryMaine 09 December 2016 09:09:59AM *  6 points [-]

I cited Breitbart, Daily Express, and Sputnik for quotes from intelligence chiefs. Is there any reason to believe that they would fabricate quotes from public figures?

My article quotes a variety of sources, including perfectly mainstream sources like Reuters, CBS, local Swedish news, and Vanity Fair. I included a link with a large amount of stats on Muslim integration, including Pew Opinion polls and official government reports of crime rates and sexual violence. I also included video footage from 60 Minutes.

Are these sources "unreliable" too? They paint exactly the same picture of Europe as the links from the mainstream sources. For example, I cited a Breitbart article on an attempt to sneak grenades and automatic weapons into Sweden. How do we evaluate this claim? We can look at one of the other links I provided: a Reuters article about Italian police catching a van with 800 shotguns coming from Turkey.

If we are in a world with 800 shotgun shipments was caught (Reuters claim), then this sounds like the same world where a shipment of grenades and automatic weapons was caught (Breitbart claim).

Rather than being unreliable, the general thrust of the alternative media's reporting on the migrant crisis is consistent with mainstream sources. However, these events mostly do not get amplified by the most prestigious blue tribe bubble: NYT, Atlantic, etc... And the ethnic strife, crime, and terrorism in Europe isn't accurately reflected in the opinion pages within the bubble.

To drive this point home, I will bring up a couple examples where the ethnic strife in Europe got so bad that the prestige media was forced to report on it.

Here is a headline from the New York Times on the Rotherham scandal: 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says.

Some quotes from the article:

LONDON — A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

The vast majority of perpetrators have been identified as South Asian and most victims were young white girls, adding to the complexity of the case. Some officials appeared to believe that social workers pointing to a pattern of sexual exploitation were exaggerating, while others reportedly worried about being accused of racism if they spoke out. The report accused officials of ignoring “a politically inconvenient truth” in turning a blind eye to men of Pakistani heritage grooming vulnerable white girls for sex.

Here is the report the NYT is talking about, which was commissioned by the city of Rotherham (due to allegations that the city had known about the child sexual abuse and was covering it up). This report has some startling revelations:

In just over a third of cases, children affected by sexual exploitation were previously known to services because of child protection and neglect. It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators.

So, in addition to large weapons shipments into Europe, we now have poor girls getting doused with gasoline and gang-raped. Let me pause for a second and note how insane this would have sounded 5-10 years ago. And yet, here it is in the New York Times. This only scratches the surface of the ethnic tensions that currently exist in Europe.

Rotherham is not an isolated incident. The Cologne gropings were also so big (estimated 1,200 victims and 2,000 perpetrators) that the media had to report on it.

The establishment media admits that mass sexual assault towards women by Muslim immigrants is happening, and admits that terrorist attacks happen like Charlie Hebdo, Paris, but then drops the ball, and no sensible policy fixes are allowed to happen. Mass migration continues because politicians want it, and the media is in bed with them (consider which political parties the media supports, and which political parties the migrants will vote for).

The alternative media is at the forefront of accurate reporting on the migrant crisis, which can be verified through video footage, government crime statistics, and mainstream media agreeing with them on some of the most egregious events (when the event cannot be covered up).

If we are in a world where mass sexual assault is happening, and coverups are happening, and the mainstream admits it, then all of the other claims of alternative media and right-wing media (e.g. Muslim no-go zones, Muslim morality patrols, Sharia Law) suddenly seem much more credible, even if mainstream media denies those claims.

A world where thousands of girls are getting sexually assaulted by Muslim immigrants (admitted by mainstream media), and a world where Muslim no-go zones exist (denied by most mainstream media but verified by video), sound like the same sort of world: they both involve a violent clash of cultures with very different values. Rotherham and Cologne are sufficient to "crack" the multiculturalist narrative that such highly different cultures can integrate safely, and that anyone who disagrees is some sort of racist, right-wing xenophobe. Once that narrative is broken, then other examples of ethnic conflict gain credibility, and it is irresponsible to attempt to baldly dismiss them.

Establishment media—the "reliable sources" who claimed a 90% chance of Hillary winning—faces a crisis of trust. When the mainstream media refuse to honestly discuss reality, when it instead demonizes dissenters, then it's no surprise that people turn towards alternative media, fueling events like Brexit and Trump's election.

Comment author: AGB 09 December 2016 08:57:07PM *  11 points [-]

I agree with Michael that I'm sorry you're getting downvoted; this is pretty detailed stuff that is very helpful for understanding your views.

However, I strongly disagree with your description of Europe at the object level. I'm going to focus on the UK because I have the most local knowledge there and it's specifically mentioned in some of your points (Rotherham, Brexit). So to be specific:

(1) As you appear to acknowledge, concerns about immigration in the UK have skyrocketed over the past 20 or so years. However, this immigration has mostly not been from Muslim countries, rather it's been from EU countries, see link and link. These immigrants from EU countries are overwhelmingly White and Christian. A particularly large number came from Poland. By contrast, most of the Muslims in the UK are ethnically from Pakistan or Bangladesh, where there have been small decreases in migration. That doesn't sound like a world where people are mostly concerned about immigration because of a clash of cultures and specifically a culture clash with Muslims. The fact that many people voted for Brexit on grounds of immigration further supports a different interpretation; blocking EU migration will mostly block White Christian workers from Eastern Europe and do next to nothing to block further immigration from Pakistan and Bangladesh, it's a very odd policy to vote for if you were concerned specifically about Muslim immigration.

And we can also see evidence of this more directly, this survey shows that people feel very similarly about migrants from Eastern Europe and migrants from 'Muslim countries like Pakistan' (I grant they feel slightly worse, as in a few percentage points worse, about the latter), namely they feel positively if they have work and negatively if they don't. Again, this seems highly inconsistent with a massive culture clash along religious grounds; there should be sharp disparities in how people feel about the two groups.

In short, I think the view that UK concern about immigration and voting for Brexit is primarily driven by worries about the inability of Muslim immigrants to integrate is thoroughly contradicted by the available data and by people's own statements on who and what they are concerned about.


Mass migration continues because politicians want it, and the media is in bed with them (consider which political parties the media supports, and which political parties the migrants will vote for).

That might be true in the US, but the mainstream media in the UK, especially the newspapers, are generally pro-Conservative-party (i.e. right wing) and anti-immigration. See chart, and be aware that the Mail and Sun have by far the largest readerships.

(3) You talk about 'law and order breaking down' and elevated crime rates which aren't being talked about. In fact, survey data suggests violent crime is at historically low levels search for "Trends in Crime Survey for England and Wales violence, year ending December 1981 to year ending June 2016.

I happen to live in one of the areas you would probably describe as a Muslim 'no-go' area in Tower Hamlets, which is a part of London with a population of around 300,000, 45% Muslim (highest percentage in London). So as a random aside I checked the crime rate for my area, focusing on the homicide rate since that's where I'd expect the official figures to be best. There's been one in the last two years. If it was the average American homicide rate of 4 per 100,000 per year, I'd expect 24. Apparently you should move.

That's a very tongue-in-cheek comment of course, but quite a decent chunk of the London EA community is based in Tower Hamlets and hopefully that helps you see why the 'country is falling apart' suggestions ring somewhat absurd to them; while British Muslims might be more violent than your average Briton (though controlling for income seems important here), they still appear to be safer than your average American.

(4) Finally, you refer to the 'migrant crisis' in a few places in your writing. This phrase is usually deployed to refer to the crisis resulting a huge wave of immigrants starting in about 2015, but presumably you appreciate that there is this can't be linked to Rotherham; the dates don't line up (Rotherham being 1997 - 2013). So I'm left wondering what you are referring to and would appreciate further clarification on this point.

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