I’m sure you’ve already heard about this, since he’s a pretty big deal in any online circles I travel in. Regardless of what Education Realist thinks, Scott really is one of the best thinkers and writers online and basically everybody stood to benefit from him. I personally met him briefly once, and while that doesn’t actually affect my opinion of what happened, I feel obligated to note that he’s perfectly nice in person. I’m late in blogging this because so many other people have already covered this (many of them linked in the Reddit thread Scott links from his post), but since I recently blogged the end of The Reality Based Community and considered but neglected to note the end of Bleeding Heart Libertarians (admittedly less important as its main contributor immediately launched a new group blog)*, but the main thing I wanted to note here was the earlier (and undiscussed, as far as I know) deletion of Gabriel Rossman’s twitter account.

I had previously linked to other things by him, and his author page at Code and Culture is still up, but he was far more active on Twitter (which has largely displaced blogging, and I suppose I’m in denial about that applying to me even as I hold out as the last blogger who hasn’t connected their blog to their Twitter account) for better or worse. I won’t link to his handle, because someone else seems to have snatched it up after he deleted it. I know some people periodically delete their accounts to force themselves off of that hellsite, but given how unusually crazy things have gotten and the context in which he works, I worry that he deleted his account out of fear. Gabriel, if you’re doing alright and care what rando bloggers think, you can comment without a Twitter account here, or more privately send a message to the email listed on the about page.


* Update 07/02/2020: Since I discussed the end of BHL above, I should note that other contributors (including at least one also at 200 Proof Liberals) have started the group blog Radical Classical Liberals. Via Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy.

UPDATE 07/25/2020: I suppose I ought to have updated this post three days ago when I read (via MR) that Scott has unhid his old posts (although the blog still has the old look and doesn’t display the number of comments for each post).

Shortly before he removed his blog I’d made a comment on another post which got caught in the spam filter. I used to frequently use this blog to host comments of mine which got removed or were too link-filled for other sites. Since I kept the contents of that comment on my computer, I might as well post it here now:

No, that’s not what I’m saying. If you read my comment carefully, it was granting the EXISTENCE of historical racism but said nothing about whether racism actually CAUSES anything. Epiphenomenal racism would be uninteresting, and elsewhere I have pointed to (the original comments I linked to from there are gone so here’s the internet archive) the income of sharecroppers after the Civil War vs the “income” of slaves as evidence that a shift toward a relatively less racist policy had real benefits for the formerly enslaved. But even granting that racism can be A cause of income differentials between groups, it does not follow that it must be the ONLY cause. You need to do a lot more work to prove that.

It’s not merely that immigrants didn’t have their “property immediately confiscated”. Property is a stock, and income is a flow. And “the subsidy of history” is weak relative to that ongoing flow. For example, the descendants of those who won in the Georgia Land Lottery didn’t wind up that different from their neighbors, whereas immigrants who showed up with nothing had descendants who pushed into the elite.