1. This needs to be weaponized. I argue with liberals often, and if there's one thing I'm convinced of, it's that most political conversations with liberals have to take place at the bumper sticker level. iacovatx's point about Fuzzy Trace Theory reinforced my initial reaction, which was that this concept will provide odd and incomprehensible to most people without a very simplistic way to convey it without losing too much of the significance of it. It needs its own vocabulary and manual of arms.
2. This needs an arsenal of sources at the ready. I'm not familiar with Evolutionary Biology, except in passing, but once this makes contact with more well-read progressives, they'll panic, demand sources and try to tear them apart. Aside from your book and website, what general background sources would you recommend to help develop understanding of this concept? (From a biological and not necessarily political viewpoint, at least at first.)
As a side note, spearing progressives with an Evolutionary Biology line of attack will do bonus rhetorical damage, as they are deeply wedded to the 'conservatives are anti-science and anti-evolution' idea.
I have invested a lot of time and energy into this, so it is solid.
You are right about weaponization. I am good when it comes to understanding mechanisms, but I cannot easily process how to make something into a soundbite. It is a known weakness I am working on. So far, the picture of the wolf and the rabbit is about a condensed as I think I can make it. The real utility of this for now will have to be in understanding how Liberals debate. Over time, once it spreads, it will have a deeper, more pronounced effect on the fight.
r/K first was introduced in The Theory of Island Biogeography by MacArthur and Wilson, Princeton University Press. Lots of papers on it, and it is still being published upon very recently. The main modification since then has been the idea that r/K is density dependent. This si actually helpful, since as I have discussed elsewhere, that explains Libertarianism nicely. r/K is in every major textbook, and still taught in every Bio 101 class today.
There has been a strange periodic drive to discredit it in the field, which will pop up in a single zealous individual here and there. Indeed, a year ago a guy even showed up on Wiki, seized control of the r/K page, and rewrote it to say r/K had been discredited and was wrong. Immediately a bunch of professors went to the talk page to bitch, since it is still taught actively in every bio 101 class, as an introduction to evolutionary ecology. Nothing like a student telling you what you are teaching is wrong, according to a guy on Wiki. They are still fighting with him, and the talk page is emblematic of what I am discussing. Most scientists are cool with r/K but every so often a guy comes in, seemingly obsessed with this little theory, trying to say it is totally wrong.
This leads me to suspect several individuals along the way saw this all long before I did, panicked at the implication and tried to discredit r/K preemptively. It survived, even when a guy did some work linking r/K to race (which was very unpopular in academia at the time). r/K lives because it works, though it is now seen as more general, and when you get into the field, they will now do a comprehensive analysis of the entirety of a species’ Life History Traits, to generate a specific picture of it and its relationship to its unique environment. This is mainly because you run into species which break the rules occasionally due to specific nuances of their environment favoring a deviation in traits.
But if you have two groups, which adhere perfectly to the r and K models, it is pretty clear you are looking at adaptations to resource availability. If these are strategies, that is what changes everything.
You are right about the progressives panicking. For sources on the research behind this, go to http://www.anonymousconservative.com/modern.pdf
One problem will be presentation. You need to do it a certain way. I have noticed an amazing evolution of my presentation of this over the last year. I don’t know the material any better, it is just a familiarity with how to present it clearly, and knock the Lib down with one shot, IN A WAY WHICH APPEALS TO THE CROWD. They want a dialog, to make it look like you have left a lot unanswered, or are making it up on the fly, but if you know how to hit them with an answer which answers not only their question, but any question they can think up, they become very dejected, and you will get no resistance. Unfortunately, you not only have to know the theory, but have experience bumping heads with them, so you know what questions are coming, and deal with them before they arise. But if you do, it is incredible. They do not want to be bunny rabbit people.
The biggest problem will be getting Conservatives to see its importance, and move it into the mainstream. It will get there on its own, because it is viral. Once you see it, it infects your mind, and there is no forgetting it. And you will tell someone else at some point. But I would guess it will take a few years to gradually infect everyone on our side, since those who see it are Mechanists who study the world, and not social butterflies who spread stuff mindlessly. That idiotic Gangham Style video just cleared a billion views on youtube, because Social butterflies spread it to each other. People who see this don’t generally operate like that, so this will be slower, unless somebody knows how to get it in front of everyone at once.
But once it is seen, it will hit the debate like a sledgehammer.
As a side note, spearing progressives with an Evolutionary Biology line of attack will do bonus rhetorical damage, as they are deeply wedded to the ‘conservatives are anti-science and anti-evolution’ idea.
I think that may be the worst part of it to them. Liberals seem instinctively to see this, in a Way Conservatives don’t. Perhaps because they see the social status implications of it, and the potential it has to out-group them. But having to deny science is a nice touch.