Saturday, April 25, 2009

What the blog is about: In an earlier post, a reader completely missed my joke and claimed that the main purpose of my blog is to show that NAMs are innately inferior. Because we live in such hysterical times, you have to explain every little thing or people will assume the worst.

My goal is to show that the idea that groups are interchangeable is incorrect. Differences are real and enduring. That's not to say that the differences are necessarily genetic. I hardly talk about genes at all, but I am arguing that whatever the mix of nature and nurture, the data show that: 1) the differences are real, and 2) they are enduring.

Let's use an important example. Even the APA says the black-white IQ gap is real and consequential. Even if it were 100% the result of non-genetic differences, it's a difference that is hundreds of years old. It's not going anywhere. As Steve Sailer emphasizes, social scientists have been studying how to teach children for a century, and we still don't know how to make kids smarter.

So, my focus is not innateness, but am I trying to prove inferiority? I'm skeptical that there is any such thing as instrinsic superiority and inferiority. Religion teaches that there is intrinsic goodness, but I don't think in those terms here.

For the purpose of this blog, I assume that notions of superiority are man-made ideas. If we choose our values, then we can figure out which groups perform the best, but it is a choice. If we place a value on coordination, foot speed, or singing ability, blacks appear to be the best. If a sense of humor and intelligence are thought to be crucial characteristics, it looks like Jews are at the top of the heap. If you value health and live on top of the Andes, large lungs are superior lungs.

The value underlying my analyses is, what helps America thrive? Elites tell us that Hispanic immigrants will help the country succeed. I'm not so sure about that, and, in fact, I'm having a hard time finding any statistics which make Hispanics look good. (Since we're talking about notions of superiority, if we take nature's view and value reproductive success, Hispanics are superior.)

The country is so PC now, looking at how groups differ is just not done, but those differences have a profound effect on what the country is like. I care about the success of the country and don't care what respectable people think.

16 comments:

John Derbyshire said...

Ron: I hear this a lot. "Your particular [common-ancestry] group may not be good at THIS, but you're real good at THIS! See, it all comes out in the wash!"

I think it's disingenuous. Some big old human groups are good at nothing much that matters in modern society. I'd offer the Australian Aborigines as an example. There are of course SOME very smart and capable members of that group -- there's plenty of variation within any big population -- but way too few to sustain any kind of rational modern society without major help.

That is not a reason to be unkind, or to abandon humane values, or to abandon anything; but if it's true, it's true, and wishing it untrue won't make it so.

And while not a reason to be unkind, the recognition of group inequality none the less makes it EASIER, for many people, to act unkindly, and more probable that governments of an ideological inspiration will enact unkind policies in furtherance of their ideological programs.

So the race panic of the modern West, while irritating and ludicrous in so many ways, and likely founded on false beliefs about the natural world, is not altogether unreasonable.

Ron Guhname said...

John: Agreed. I think it does help group relations to believe, "We're all the same."

If I were king, I would: 1) be very selective about immigrants because the consequences are significant; 2) see the end of the Left exploiting differences to blame whites to gain political advantage; 3) impose an assimilation model and see the end of multiculturalism; and 4) have race-blind laws and policies.

I suppose people like me have a responsibility to explain how, if differences are real, we can avoid abuses.

I don't think we need to make a big deal about differences, but I blame much of the problem on the Left. I probably wouldn't be that interested in race except that I've been spent two decades in academia getting psychologically assaulted. I'm like a battered wife.

People should be judged individually, but as long as liberals obsess about race and spin fantasies, they have to be answered with the facts.

Anonymous said...

People should be judged individually, but as long as liberals obsess about race and spin fantasies, they have to be answered with the facts.
If a man is carrying a gun and you have never interacted with him before, race is a very good guide as to how much danger you are in.

Ron Guhname said...

Anon: Yes, I'm not arguing that race should never matter. Individual information is much better than a risk factor, but at times you only have access to the risk factor, and it's rational to use whatever information you have.

Beastmaster said...

I agree with John Derbyshire. Eventually, as was done in the past with religions, people will attempt to classify and compare.

1- What are the characteristics that improve the utility of a society?

2- What are the characteristics that harm the utility of a society?

3- What race has more of 1 and less of 2? Presumably they will be called superior, even if just materially.

But weren't the best and brightest doing this before the Nazis came to power? Scientific explanations will roll on despite innate goodness. Ultimately the white man will feel that he MUST KNOW. The best thing religion has to offer is not innate goodness, but rather eternal imperfection, the sense that you may not be God's darling and cannot know for sure.

BGC said...

John Derbyshire said: "And while not a reason to be unkind, the recognition of group inequality none the less makes it EASIER, for many people, to act unkindly, and more probable that governments of an ideological inspiration will enact unkind policies in furtherance of their ideological programs."

The extensive work of Thomas Sowell on this topic has convinced me that 'unkind policies' - such as genocide - are more likely to be enacted against 'superior' groups: Hitler and the Jews being the best known example (Jews being more economically successful than average, despite being discriminated-against).

In particular, it is middle class/ 'middle men' groups that seem to get persecuted most - by a 'populist' alliance of the ruling elite with the majority lower class population.

Among the many examples Sowell gives are the Indians in Uganda, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Chinese in Malaysia. Perhaps Rwanda is another example?

So, I think that this idea that nasty policies will be enacted against an 'inferior' group because of its inferiority may be an exception rather than the rule.

For example, the best performing middle class minority in the USA today are perhaps the Mormons. I hope the Mormons thrive and take a greater role in the US governance, but it is fairly plausible that as they become more obviously successful, Mormons may trigger jealousy and resentment, and suffer significant formal persecution.

Indeed, I think this scenario is much more likely than official US government policies against NAMs. (But I hope I am wrong.)

Ron Guhname said...

BGC: Interesting points. You're right that people don't need to perceive a group as inferior to persecute it. Or rather, the
inferiority is constructed differently: they are devious, greedy, subversive, etc.

But it also seems clear that claims of "they are less civilized" were used to: justify slavery in America; treat Amerindians unfairly; justify colonialism by Europeans; persecute groups like Gypsies and to attempt to enslave Slavs by the Nazis.

These examples in no way suggest that Caucasians do this more. They, more than others, have pushed universalism. The belief that we're the real humans and other groups are less than that seems to be an universal justification for unfair treatment.

apollonian said...

[Dear comrade at Inductivist: I feature specific issue of induction (as below-copied), and I thought I'd send u a sample, below-submitted. Thanks much for all ur attn and advice. A.]

* * * * *


Inductive Logic: It's Good For Our Health, Survival
(Apollonian, 11 Apr 09)

Well comrade Nivius (see NiviusVir.wordpress.com, "2 More Savages...," 10 Apr 09), consider the actual meaning of the term, "stereo-typing"; what does it really mean?--isn't it really a form of the word, "generalizing"--which itself is synonymous with "induction"?--so isn't it really a matter of correct inference and induction, necessary parts of science?

For example, if u see one horse with four feet, then another and another, doesn't the inductive conclusion begin to offer itself: "golly, I think ALL horses have four feet"? So, it's just a matter of thinking consistently for one's safety. Negroids are and can be dangerous animals--IT'S PROVEN; look, we can see for ourselves--that's mere matter of inductive logic--it's just good science.

Same inductive process goes for Jews: "THEY'RE ENEMIES, stupid."

And it's what Homer, and Plato, and St. Augustine, and Machiavelli, and Hobbes, and Darwin, all those wise white men, all teach us: life is war; life sucks; life is a dangerous thing, comrades.

But enemies tell us that "morality" should trump reality and truth--"it's not nice to suspect Jews or negroids--or whoever."

Yes, it's a "morality," all right--arranged and contrived to serve someone's purposes and interests. "U cannot be anti-semitic"--so who's interests does that serve?

Thus it is we're given the choices--(a) to being wise and heeding science and inductive logic--(b) or being stupid and being "moral," ignoring that necessary induction, and logic, and self-interest.

CONCLUSION: And thus we see the only real and true "morality" is what's consistent and logical for induction and ALL THE REST OF REALITY--a "realistic morality"--the morality of HONESTY in accord with TRUTH and reality; it's what our wisest and best of our ancestors tried to teach us. Honest elections and death to the Fed. Apollonian

BGC said...

RG said: "But it also seems clear that claims of "they are less civilized" were used to: justify slavery in America; treat Amerindians unfairly; justify colonialism by Europeans; persecute groups like Gypsies and to attempt to enslave Slavs by the Nazis."

From my reading I would say that the justification of black slavery in the USA by inferiority was a late-phase post hoc justification for an already-existing state of affairs - because when US slavery began slavery was a universal throughout all knwn human history, and did not need to be justified.

Amerindians is more tricky. The main infliction on them was clearly accidental - disease.

But some of this argument is distorted by the fact that all societies used to regard other societies as alien and inferior - perhaps this is spontaneous to humans. SOme modern people like to imagine that they have moved beyond this - and a perhaps handful of individuals may have done so - but clearly this is not the case if actions are examined.

Furthermore, modern universalism is still an experiment - and may well be incoherent and unsustainable.

silver said...

My blog discuss the issues raised here racially explicitly. Try it and you'll see it's not so scary.

Because I got my start among the intellectual "hardcore" of racialism (try Majority Rights -- you can handle that crowd, you handle anything) the commenters it has attracted thus far have been the WN variety. (I may have to delete them to improve the image a bit, even though I personally don't have a problem with them.)

Jewish Atheist said...

My goal is to show that the idea that groups are interchangeable is incorrect. Differences are real and enduring. I think that's a reasonable goal followed by a true statement.

The problem is how quickly people make the leap from "there is a significant, enduring gap between the AVERAGE IQ of whites and blacks" to "black people are dumb and violent -- let's get rid of them!"

All of the blogs which focus on racial differences from a (supposedly) objective standpoint are infested with commenters who are haven't just made that leap, but made it and then kept running.

And even you, who is much more fair than your commenters, makes that leap too often: "I'm having a hard time finding any statistics which make Hispanics look good."

There are times to look at demographic groups statistically and there are times to look at people as individuals. If we're trying to reevaluate affirmative action or figure out who's at risk for Tay Sachs and Gaucher's disease, fine, statistics are a useful tool.

But why judge millions of people statistically when we don't have to? If you care so much about IQ, why not advocate IQ tests for immigration rather than racial tests? It won't be popular and you won't succeed, but the same can be said of your proposed racial tests. (By "racial tests" I just mean, no more immigrants of race X.) Is it that hard?

Then there's the problem of selectivity. You frequently make assumptions that we should judge Hispanics or blacks a certain way because of the statistical differences in crime rates. But when have you advocated judging, e.g., MEN, on that basis?

The difference between men and women on violent crime completely dwarfs the difference between blacks and whites. I mean, it's not even in the same ballpark. Yet you and your commenters constantly say bad things about blacks and hispanics, but never have a bad word to say about men.

This leads me to believe that you start with your prejudices and then search for statistics to validate them, rather than starting with the numbers and working from there. The very fact that this subject is the whole purpose of your blog kind of indicates a perhaps unhealthy obsession with race.

I mean, yeah, people of West African descent are probably better at jumping and sprinting, but how many blogs are devoted to their superior athletic prowess? Probably very few. It's just something you bring up when you want to show it's not *only* negative characteristics you recognize, even though those are the ones that most interest you.

Pin said...

"The difference between men and women on violent crime completely dwarfs the difference between blacks and whites. I mean, it's not even in the same ballpark. Yet you and your commenters constantly say bad things about blacks and hispanics, but never have a bad word to say about men."

Of course this is absolutely WRONG. If JA actually read through FACTS instead of talking out of his behind we would live in a better world.

"Blacks are as much more violent than whites (four to eight times) as men are more violent than women. Just as police stop and question men more often than women, they stop blacks more often than whites."
http://www.globalpolitician.com/23411-race

Your post was a big NOTHING. Emotional outburst. No wonder liberals get so riled up about what we say. If I believed the nonsense that JA does, then I would be annoyed too.

"I mean, yeah, people of West African descent are probably better at jumping and sprinting, but how many blogs are devoted to their superior athletic prowess?"

Who the hell CARES about sports? The dysfunctional pathology of blacks is what is constantly ignored. Everything they touch turns to crap. So, yeah, blacks may be less intelligent and much more violent, less time orientated, well then thats certainly not important now is it?

Homework assignment for JA.
The preeminent science magazine, Nature, is currently having a hotly controversial debate about whether scientists should study race. Read through not only the arguments put forth by top editors on its main site but also the comments. This topic is not just being debated by obscure angry people on blogs but by highly paid scientists. If you don’t like us then go argue over at Nature.com. We aren’t wearing tinfoil hats.

Ron Guhname said...

@ JA
"If you care so much about IQ, why not advocate IQ tests for immigration rather than racial tests?"

You bring your own biases to the table where you see what you want. I've written a number of times that immigrants should be selected on an individual basis, and that my blog is RESPONDING to claims that Hispanics as a group are the same as everyone else, and that it's bigoted to say otherwise.


"But when have you advocated judging, e.g., MEN, on that basis?"

Once again, you are ignoring what I drone on about all the time: this blog is a RESPONSE to liberals. If they were denying that men have a high crime rate or were blaming a high rate on women, I would respond to that. Liberals are not disingenuous on everything--just those things that suit them politically.

By the way, you exaggerate the male-female gap in comparison with the black-white gap. They're not THAT different.

"This leads me to believe that you start with your prejudices and then search for statistics to validate them, rather than starting with the numbers and working from there. The very fact that this subject is the whole purpose of your blog kind of indicates a perhaps unhealthy obsession with race."

I have never denied that I bring an orientation to the blog--you'd have to be retarded not to see it. But that's a good thing. I'm honest and open, in contrast to all the mainstream social science I am RESPONDING to that claims objectivity. Anyone claiming impartiality is naive or a liar.

But at the same time I respect data and report what I find. I'm very open to changing my mind if I see good data for it. It is my hope that, for example, that my suspicions are wrong and that Hispanics successfully assimilate as other groups have done.

But my approach is to confront all the lefty PC BS I have to live with every day on campus. I've explained time and time again that this blog is a reaction. I'm only thinking about race a lot because academia is. Race is now the CENTER of my discipline. My approach is defensive. I never thought for a second about race until college. When they stop, so will I.

Anonymous said...

The problem is how quickly people make the leap from "there is a significant, enduring gap between the AVERAGE IQ of whites and blacks" to "black people are dumb and violent -- let's get rid of them!"I'm glad you've begun to admit that you have a problem. But really, it's completely obvious that you skim everything you read and pay even less attention to comments than you do to the original posts. So you're really not in any position to make numeric-sounding assertions about what fraction of Ron G's commenters support the genocide you're always fantasizing about.

(And calling yourself "Jewish Atheist" on a cluster of blogs about politics, biodiversity, psychometrics, and social ethics is like calling yourself "NASCAR Fan" at a site on American auto racing. At least attach a number to your nym, like "Jewish Atheist #32,451".)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I was a little harsh on JA above. I have to admire a guy who calls his blog "Jewis Hat Heist". I understand that Jewis hats are among the most sought-after, and consequently best-guarded and hardest to steal.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ron:

Once again, you are ignoring what I drone on about all the time: this blog is a RESPONSE to liberals. If they were denying that men have a high crime rate or were blaming a high rate on women, I would respond to that. Okay, fair enough.

Liberals are not disingenuous on everything--just those things that suit them politically.As opposed to... nobody?

By the way, you exaggerate the male-female gap in comparison with the black-white gap. They're not THAT different.Actually I have no idea what the numbers are. I was just assuming. Always dangerous. :-)

I have never denied that I bring an orientation to the blog--you'd have to be retarded not to see it.Okay, good, so what are we arguing about?

But at the same time I respect data and report what I find. I'm very open to changing my mind if I see good data for it. Me too! And I realize that about you. That's why you're one of the few conservative/paleo/whatever bloggers I read.

But my approach is to confront all the lefty PC BS I have to live with every day on campus. I've explained time and time again that this blog is a reaction. I'm only thinking about race a lot because academia is. Race is now the CENTER of my discipline. My approach is defensive. I never thought for a second about race until college. When they stop, so will I.Again, fair enough. Sorry if I came off as harsh or antagonistic. I just see so much hatred in the comments sections of some of these blogs. (I'll admit I don't always remember which comments are from which blog, yours, Half Sigma's, or Sailer's.)

To be fair, you've also made some incorrect assumptions about me. For example, I realized just the other day that you seem to believe I deny any existence of racial differences, which is not true. The APA report you alluded to convinced me a couple years back.