Friday, February 29, 2008
Spengler then recommended watching Nightmare Alley (available online to subscribers at Netflix.com) as a classic example of the American BS artist. I did watch it, and recommend it as well, but no so much for the story of the swindling psychic, but for a message that shows real wisdom for a movie made in the 1940s: the hucksters par excellence are psychoanalysts.
Always interested in precision, I wanted to see what the General Social Survey (GSS) had to say about this group. Compared to all whites, they are three times as likely to be in the highest income bracket. They are four times as likely to hold the single-most prestigious job (according to the GSS) in America--an MD. Their rate of earning graduate degrees is 3 times that of the average.
More than 80% believe that America should take an active role in world affairs. Almost 90% believe we should stay in the UN. More than 80% believe that immigration improves American society, and almost 60% feel that we should either increase or maintain current levels of immigration.
For decades, this group has worked relentlessly to undermine traditional America with its liberal agenda: immigration rights, human rights, anti-racism and anti-Semitism, homosexual rights, affirmative action, economic justice, and feminism.
Oh, by the way, the group is the Episcopal Church of America. (Okay, maybe I cheated a bit on the "ethno" part, but it is true that the ancestors of half of the current members were from Great Britain (GSS)).
I'm sure that some of my drive-through readers think that something is wrong with this Ron Guhname guy because he analyzes so much data on race. If I there is anything to this charge, I respond in the same way the monster would: if you don't like me, blame Dr. Frankenstein. I simply think a lot about what my experience at the university has taught me to be interested in. My professors and now my students are obsessed with race, so what do you expect from me?
Ordinary white society has been trying really hard for decades to forget about racial distinctions, but elites and their only-too-willing minority constituencies won't let them forget. Well, even squishy whites can only take so much "you're the problem" before fighting back. Race hustlers have overplayed their hand, and I suspect that the recent furor over amnesty for illegals is a sign of things to come.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
So, has race become less important to young whites? GSS respondents were asked how they felt about blacks. Answer choices ranged from several degrees of cool, to neutral, to a number of degrees of warm. If race doesn't matter, we should observe more neutrals over time. This is obvious vis-a-vis cool attitudes, but it might be less clear with respect to warmth. If someone says he loves blacks, then race is important to him--he has warm feelings specific to a certain race.
Let's compare 1996 and 2006--the oldest and newest years available:
Percent neutral--ages 18-25
There is no evidence here that, compared to the past, race is less significant to young whites. We can see a shift, however, toward more people with warm feelings:
Percent with warm feelings--ages 18-25
Now, it's not difficult to argue that more warmth is a good thing. Bertrand Russell wrote that love benefits both parties, while hate profits neither. But the point here is that, according to these data, a majority a decade ago did not even claim to be colorblind, and this number has not changed.
If these attitudes predict behavior, then many young people might be voting for Obama because they like him for the color of his skin, not because they have gotten beyond race.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Jews hate opera more than all other white religious groups: Below I list the percent of whites from various religions who really dislike opera, according to the General Social Survey. I was surprised to see that a high-status group--Jews--hate it more than anyone, even more than the much less intelligent Southern Baptists:
Percent who dislike opera very much
Southern Baptists 32.8
United Methodist 13.6
No religion 7.8
To be more precise, fewer Jews are neutral on opera since they are also overrepresented among those who really like it (15.6% versus 4.8% for all Americans).
One would expect an elite group to have a particular fondness for this type of music (in a previous post, I showed that the mean IQ of opera fans was higher than for any other genre) so why are Jews so polarized? Would more folks like it, but visions of Hitler enraptured while listening to Ride of the Valkyries ruin it for them?
This reminds me of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry gets into an argument with another Jew because Larry likes Wagner, but the other guy thinks only a self-hating Jew would listen to that stuff.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The General Social Survey, unfortunately, throws together many of these smalls sects into the generic "Protestant" category, so I will have to use the question about which religion you were raised in, on the assumption that most people do not switch. For some reason, they give a more specific breakdown with this question. Shown below are mean IQs for whites, and I've included some mainline churches for the sake of comparison:
Mean IQ for whites
United Methodists 101.8
Southern Baptists 98.0
Assembly of God 94.5
Episcopalians at the top is a real shocker, and other mainstream churches are also above average. But people who didn't know better might surprised to find that, in terms of intelligence, Mormons are very much like these other groups. They are not similar to Pentecostals or members of the Assembly of God, as the numbers above indicate. You can see a bit of a North-South contrast here, and Mormons are northerners. They are heavily English and Scandanavian.
While you can find exceptions, evangelicals and fundamentalists don't believe in things that, to a mainline Protestant, are completely from another planet, yet these groups tend to have below-average IQs. Mormons, with beliefs that make some people really flip out, are a relatively smart group. There simply is no strong correlation between the perceived strangeness of beliefs and IQ. I'm sure many people think it's crazy to circumcise infant boys, but in case you haven't heard, Jews are smart as hell. (Keep in mind that samples are smaller than they should be for the small churches. Also--while a skeptic can claim that many of the smart folks have left the odd churches of their childhood, research shows that most Americans don't switch, and a child's IQ is positively correlated with that of his parents.)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Since 1973, the General Social Survey (GSS) has asked Americans the following question: "Do you think it will be best for the future of this country if we take an active part in world affairs, or if we stay out of world affairs?" Now, granted this is not an ideal measure of interventionism, but let's see where it takes us, anyway. GSS people were lame and didn't ask the question between 1995 and 2005--only sociologists would take five years to get around to asking an important post-9/11 question.
Support for involvement in world affairs has never been lower--39.2% of Americans in 2006 said we should stay out. We have to go back to 1982 to find a similar number (perhaps Americans were reacting to Iran during that period).
If you're a paleo like me, that's good news, but the bad news is that we are still a minority. Other surveys show that a clear majority of Americans want the troops to come home soon from Iraq, but that doesn't mean that most people want us to pull back the empire in general.
Iraq is a total mess, and yet I am amazed over how many moderates and conservatives have embraced John 'Make it a Hunderd' McCain. In a discussion the other day with a friend who is a huge McCain supporter, I asked him what do I get for the $9000 I have to pay in taxes for Iraq, and why do we need all these bases all over the planet? He answered, "Did you watch Spiderman?" I nodded yes, and he spoke as if quoting the Bible, "With great power, comes great responsibility."
So, my prediction is that the person who will win over our current generation of voters in November is the candidate who quotes the most comic books.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
So, this makes me wonder if athletes are, as a group, politically conservative. Off the top of my head, I can think of more famous Republican athletes--Gerald Ford, Jack Kemp, J.C. Watts, Steve Largent--but then there is Bill Bradley on the other side.
The General Social Survey asked 1,210 white Americans two questions: whom they voted for in 2000, and how well the term "athletic" describes them. Below, I compare those who said "very well" and "not at all":
Percent who voted for Bush in 2000
Athletic men 63.5
Unathletic men 46.7
Athletic women 62.5
Unathletic women 54.9
The difference is more striking for the men--I'm getting a mental image of the wimpy liberal guy here--but athletic women are also more likely to vote Republican. There weren't enough blacks to analyze, but based on the few cases, it looks like the percent of them that votes Democrat falls into the 80-90 percent range if they're athletes. Evidently, there is some connection between sports culture and conservatism.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The best I could do was a question about how warm do you feel toward blacks. Answers ranged from very warm (1) to very cool (9). I calculated the means for each of the nine divisions of the country for whites who voted for Gore in 2000. I subtracted the means from 9 so that high scores would indicate the most warmth toward blacks (N=1,442).
Mean score of warmth toward blacks
New England 5.63
East North Central 5.61
All white Gore voters 5.56
West North Central 5.51
Middle Atlantic 5.41
East South Central 5.25
West South Central 5.22
South Atlantic 5.18
These results, overall, support the idea that white Democrats are most positive toward blacks in regions with few blacks. The South is cool, while New England, the Mountain states, and the Pacific region are warmest. The West North Central (WNC) region (SD, ND, MN, IA, MO, NE, KS), however, doesn't have many blacks but is moderately cool.
The warmest states also tended to vote for Obama, with exceptions like Massachusetts. California is also warm but voted for Hillary, but Hispanic Democrats explain that. The Middle Atlantic states are cool, and have been likely to vote for Hillary. And of course, the cool South has voted for Hillary, except in states with many black voters. So, overall, the idea that white Democrats voted for Obama because of idealistic feelings towards blacks holds up, with the WNC region being an exception.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
But these primaries are just more data points supporting the idea the people just can't be colorblind. Blacks across the country voted for Obama because he's black; race-fatigued southern and northeastern whites cast ballots against him because he's black; Hispanics everywhere voted against him because of his color; and idealist whites from Minnesota to Alaska thought of all the good it will do to vote for a black man.
The question is, is there anyone out there that voted for him, and didn't see race? I don't think so.
Whether genes has much to do with it or not, race has always been a potent social reality, and it will continue to be one.
The 1990s saw more than a 7 point increase over the previous decade, and the gains continued into the 21st century. Let's compare them to white Americans:
I'm not sure why increases are seen for the groups--the white gain might be explained, in part, by increases in mean age (vocabularies expand a bit with age)--but higher IQs indicate that people will thrive, so this is a good sign for Mexican Americans. (Keep in mind that the analysis concerns people born here, so immigrants, legal and illegal, are excluded.)
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Mean number of children
Not surprisingly, completed fertility has fallen over recent decades, and it has done so across all three IQ groups. Unfortunately, during any given period the smartest women have the fewest kids. There is one bit of encouraging news (highlighted in red): the only reversal in the above table is that high-IQ women ended up with more children in this decade than in the 1990s. Evidently, placing top priority on a career has slipped a little.
Update: I compared the mean number of children had by native-born Americans versus immigrants in this decade and found 1.68 and 2.29, respectively. So, fertility went up among smart women in America only because of the high numbers among immigrants.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
In this blog's brief life, the most frequented post by far addressed the question of whether black men prefer white women. My tentative conclusion was that they like light-skinned blacks with European-ish features, but I haven't run across the data to test the idea.
Standing in line at the supermarket last night, I opened the latest issue of Ebony which featured an article on "Who is Dating Who?" [sic]. The magazine also featured other famous couples. I counted 19 couples, and the darkest, most African looking women by a wide margin was Mrs. Barack Obama shown in the top photo. (Evidently, Barry wanted to prove he was black enough when he chose Michelle). She really was an outlier.
Much more common were women like Porschla Coleman who is dating Russell Simmons (shown in the bottom photo). So, my second (unscientific) stab at the same question produces the same results.
This pattern is consistent with my tastes, by the way, only in the reverse direction. Lighter white women can be beautiful, indeed, but beautiful like a painting. It's the darker white women who really stir the blood, as if a little dose of the exotic is necessary. There were few black men with pasty girlfriends. Too much exotic can turn someone off.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
How is it exactly that this guy is supposedly the most the most electable of the Republican bunch when the vast majority of Americans are turned off to the War, while this guy has a obvious hard-on for it (along with wanting to put troops anywhere around the world where there are bad guys)?
The Dems will successfully use this against him, and will portray him (accurately) as a scary warmonger.
I don't need to pursue reasons to not support McCain since there are people who can say it much better than I; namely, the one and only Pat Buchanan.