Sunday, December 28, 2008
The General Social Survey asked 1,128 whites how many days in the week they get angry about something. Here are the means by political orientation:
Mean days that the person is angry
Extremely liberal 2.53
Slightly liberal 1.42
Slightly conservative 1.49
Extremely conservative 2.04
Extremely liberal 2.44
Slightly liberal 1.32
Slightly conservative 1.45
Extremely conservative .93
While extremely conservative guys fit the stereotype, it's liberals who are angrier. The pattern is especially clear for women. Very conservative women are the calmest of the bunch.
Now, how do we explain this? Anger comes from the perception that one is not being treated fairly, so perhaps liberals are the type of people who see themselves as frequent victims of injustice.
So there is a message here for libs: chill people, anger's not good for you. Do yourself a favor and look for something positive.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Did anyone ever check how many Hispanics voted for Bush in 2004, according to the GSS? Even though Steve Sailer was debunking the exit poll-based 44% right after the election, I still see pundits give that number.
The GSS is also useful since we can look specifically at Mex-Ams--the Hispanic group that really matters here. It gives the number 37.4%.
Bush is held up us a model Hispanderer, and in his best year he can't even get two-fifths of the vote? And Juan "They're all children of God/Race is off the table" McAmnesty can't even manage one out of three? And every Republican strategist and even so-called right-wingers like Palin have all answered the question of what went wrong in 2008 the same way (in unison, like robots): We failed to get the Hispanic vote.
Just like all those black voters (also natural social conservatives), they'll be joining us Any Day Now.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Dona nobis pachem.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Fat and happy
The Steveosphere has been chatting about fat, so I thought I'd chime in. There are two ideas I wanted to test: 1) that fatter people are happier; and 2) that they're lazier.
General Social Survey interviewers looked over respondents and recorded whether they thought they were below average, average, above average, or considerably above average weight. I omitted non-whites since their numbers were too small.
The top two graphs show how happiness varies with weight. Among men, the skinny ones are not as happy. Men of average weight are happiest, but the fatties are pretty close.
Among women, the trend is clearer: the fatter, the happier.
Now, on the laziness question, I picked work status for people from the age of 30-55. (Next time, I might look at other indicators).
Looking at the third graph, the skinny guys are least likely to be working full-time; the really fat dudes are second.
Once again, weight is more important for women. As the rotundness increases, so do the hours at work. Notice how the skinnies have the most homemakers. They probably used their thinness to bag them a productive husband. (Lots of thin part-timers too).
So, the data here do not support the idea that fat people are lazy and miserable. Perhaps happy people worry less about their weight. The world is a good place whether I'm narrow or wide.
What's up with thin men? Not happy because they're too slight--a feminine quality? More neurotic?
I imagine that more fat women need to work because they don't have a man to support them, or because they must bring more income to the marriage bargain to compensate for being unattractive. Or they're just lower-income types and need the money more.
This blog is devoted to getting the facts out and to stating things boldly, but I condemn the mistreatment of anyone and everyone. I'm against hatred, animosity, and ill will of any kind.
The data show again and again that groups differ, but groups are one thing and individuals another. When dealing with a person, focus on his actions, not which group he belongs to. The best way to know what he is like is to find out what he is like. It's a wise policy to always treat people with respect, whether they deserve it or not. It's hard for someone to treat you like a jerk when you don't reciprocate.
Probably the most controversial thing I do here is to document social problems in the Hispanic community. I worry about the well-being of my country, but it is not my intention to demean anyone. There are millions of Latinos who are more moral, more intelligent, more accomplished, and more attractive than I am. As I wrote before, I am in favor of people coming to the country who make a net contribution to its success.
Now I can go back to sleep.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
One of my favorite things about mass is the chance to sing and to listen to the organist play classical music. If you're a singer like I am, you know how satisfying it is to exercise those pipes once in a while, but if you're not a professional and think that the karaoke circuit is a little pathetic, where do you ever get a chance? In the car? You look like a crazy person. Even in church, a guy who is in the choir or who sings in the pews feels a little funny, but at least it's legitimate.
My friend got me started in high school. He tried to persuade me to join the school choir--I told him it was gay. He twisted my arm and reminded me that Bono is a singer. I agreed to visit one time. We walked into a large room, and there were about 40 girls and 5 guys. I signed up immediately and was awash in females for the next two years.
But I digress. Back to the question. I looked at General Social Survey to see if the share of blacks ages 18 to 25 who go to church at least almost every week--you're going to have to go at least that often to be in the choir--dropped in the late 70s or early 80s:
Percent of young blacks attending church nearly every week or more
No evidence here. The numbers bounce around a little because sample sizes are not large, but the story here is one of stability over the past four decades. But since rap was created in the ghetto, let's try to focus on urban blacks (those living in the largest 100 SMSAs):
Percent of young urban blacks attending church nearly every week or more
Same basic story. Along with rap, the crack-related crime wave of the 80s was not preceded by a drop in religiosity.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Illinois, for example, gets a moderate score because of people like Abe Lincoln who were born in the south, but then moved north and putatively took some southern culture with them. This might explain Lincoln's almost fighting a duel with James Shields. Mountain states like New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada are other examples of states with moderate southerness scores. According to Gastil, early populations laid down the foundations of culture which have endured to some degree until the present time.
I looked at all counties with at least 250,000 people in 2000 (N =220) and calculated the correlations between southerness and a number of variables that might be influenced by culture.
Southerness index (Pearson correlation coefficients)
Okay to hit a drunk man who bumped into your wife .78*
Household gun ownership .65*
Homicide rate .49*
Suicide rate .36*
Percent Republican .24*
Alcoholic liver disease mortality rate .21*
* significant at the .01 level, one-tailed test
Guns and violence are closely related, but even alcohol abuse and suicide are significantly associated with southerness. I suspect that the percent Republican correlation is weak because the sample is limited to populous counties, so the range of the share of the population that is Republican is not as wide as it would be for all U.S. counties.
Some of the correlations would be smaller if we adjusted for percent black. Of course, sociologists--the braver ones, anyway--like to explain black violence in terms of "southerness." The others either say that the races do not differ in violence, only in being arrested for it, or that the social system is so unjust, it makes blacks go crazy and take out their anger on convenient targets. (They fail to mention, however, that their own theory implies that whipping up blacks with hypotheses of being exploited will likely contribute to the problem).
Monday, December 08, 2008
He's gotta a big head. You know what THAT means....
Okay. I couldn't resist. Make of it what you will. This German condom institute invited men online to measure the length and girth of their penises. More than 10,000 men from 25 European countries submitted their measurements. I correlated the means with national level IQs taken from Sailer's table of Lynn's data. Here are the numbers:
I expected that I'd find nothing or perhaps an inverse correlation, but wow, a positive one. Does God have to give it ALL to some guys??!!
Sunday, December 07, 2008
"White trash" folks are good for something other than cannon fodder
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The rise and fall of the black singer
Thursday, December 04, 2008
But I noticed that the judges picked by RS were men by three or four to one. It is clearly a male dominated industry. Not only are the judges men, they tend to be older, and the list shows a real preference for the 50s-70s. That's not simply bias: many people including myself think that music was better then.
Anyway, perhaps the long list of male artists reflects male bias or the traditional expectation that women would give up careers for family.
I looked at those who made the list who were born in 1960 or after, and the ratio shifts dramatically. While four guys made it onto the list--Bono, Cobain, Rose, and Yorke--five women made it--Houston, Aguilera, Bjork, Carey, and Blige. Three guys were just a year or two too old--Prince, Jackson, and Morrissey--but even with them, male dominance is not what it used to be.
And this squares with my own experience: I haven't counted, but the gender split of the young singers I listen to now is roughly 50/50. Maybe there are more relaxed female singers now--the kind I usually like (e.g., Corinne Bailey Rae).
The girls seem about as good as the guys at singing these days. The creative types are still largely men--notice how most of the women I listed are known for their voices--but I suspect the gap is smaller now. The gender revolution of the past half century has, I suspect, exposed us to more female talent. The problem is that what folks, male or female, are creating ain't what it used to be.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
It's getting better all the time
People used to be more indulgent about affairs, at least for men, but now they are much more approving of sex before marriage. I'm not thrilled with either era, but if you're going to be free sexually, I would prefer that you do it before children are involved. We traditionally make a big deal about divorce, but it's breakup of any sort with children involved that's the problem.
People seem to put marriage on a high pedestal now. Higher status people are thinking about how it's the institution where our precious children are raised and how they will be ruined or saved depending on the parenting, while lower status folks will start families without marriage, but still see it as an ideal they hope to eventually have.
And once you finally get married, you've got to get it right (although our expressive individualism makes that difficult). Does Hollywood have something to do with the idealization of marriage? Sailer has writen about the pro-family messages found in some films.
Can we attribute the moral improvement to feminism, to a greater concern for the treatment of women, like we might with attitudes towards wife beating and rape? Damn, I hate giving fems credit for anything. Is it due to a greater desire for couples to have an authentic relationship; to have real honesty?
If you're inclination is not a moralistic one like mine, keep in mind that society's condemnation of cheating benefits us beta males by making it harder for the alphas to have multiple women. If you're an alpha, why are you reading this dumb blog when you could be out on the prowl?
Monday, December 01, 2008
The authors write that, while the use of general mental ability tests raises adverse impact and legal concerns, businesses can avoid bias by using the EIS in the hiring process. They cite studies reporting that the use of emotional intelligence tests to aid the personnel selection process is on the increase.
It is just too easy to imagine this test becoming a commonplace in human resources departments. A test where women and poor minorities outperform men and whites??!! Give me one of those! Disadvantaged groups getting hired in large numbers without preferences??!!
Teamwork is so important now, and interpersonal skills are so essential in our service economy. It is an intelligence test of sorts, right? Plus, in this age of Oprah, it is just so great to focus on feelings! And if it doesn't help productivity, who cares?!
I can see it all now....
Sunday, November 30, 2008
So, if a person is raised in a religion but then loses his faith, does he becomes more nihlistic? Is he more likely to break the law?
The General Social Survey asked people about their current religion and the religion of their youth. Here are mean nihilism scores:
Mean nihilism score
Raised in a religion, still has one .32
Raised in a religion, none now .76
No religion as a kid, has one now .47
No religion as a kid, none now .56
Losing one's faith is associated with more nihilism. People raised with no religion do better, but, as we saw in the previous post, belonging to a church currently is best.
And what about bad behavior? I'd like to look at crime, but the question was not asked in the year that childhood religion was. Let's look at attitudes toward cheating on taxes:
Mean wrongness of cheating on taxes score
Raised in a religion, still has one 3.14
Raised in a religion, none now 2.90
No religion as a kid, has one now 3.10
No religion as a kid, none now 2.88
Those who have abandoned religion have basically the same mean score as those who were raised without it. People who have always belonged to a church disapprove of cheating on taxes the most. No evidence here anyway that people who turn away from religion become antisocial.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Belief in God and Nihilism
Are non-believers more likely to think that life is pointless? I've posted on the topic before but spent little time on it.
The General Social Survey asked 2,367 people if they agree with the statement that life does not serve any purpose. The graphs show the answers by church attendance (top) and belief in God (bottom). We can't pay too much attention to those who agree or strongly agree with the statement, especially among non-believers, because sample sizes are extremely low. A better way to approach it is to calculate means:
Mean nihilism score
Never attends .73
Doesn't believe in God .64
These numbers indicate that there is a tendency for the irreligious to find life lacking in meaning. To get a better sense of the strength of the relationship, I calculated the correlations: it's -.13 for church attendance and -.16 for confidence in the existence of God.
More often than not, I find that religiosity is related to good things, but the strength of the correlations is always disappointing. If intense religious commitment has only a weak impact on outcomes, this seems to me evidence that beliefs and values in general are not broadly powerful. Biology and material incentives are probably much more potent for most behaviors.
I'm not saying that culture never matters. For example, I strongly suspect that alcoholic liver disease mortality rates are very low in Utah County, Utah because the Mormon church tells its adherents that God commands them not to consume alcohol. Most do not drink, so they don't get hooked, and don't ruin their livers. So we should look for where worldviews have consequences, but in competition with powerful forces like genes, we shouldn't be too surprised when we find that beliefs and attitudes don't matter much.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So congrats, Steve. I know you're just catching your breath, but how about another? Maybe one on how PC stupidity is ruining not only America, but the whole world?
Do all country club Republicans think like tards? Her argument reminds me of the reaction after 9/11: "Al-Qaeda has attacked us. Let's get Saddam!"
Here are quotes from her column and my responses:
"In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle."
Yes, surveys clearly show that moderates went for Obama because the GOP panders to born-agains. The prospect of The Great Depression 2.0 had nothing to do with it. And don't give me the "Palin Screwed It Up For Us" argument. If there are people who decided against the Republican ticket because of Palin, it was because they perceived her as being stupid. They never got past that. The lesson there is to pick candidates who instill confidence, not that evangelical candidates are losers.
"Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can't have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting."
Right, nursing home residents speak in tongues, but young people have nothing to do with all that stuff. All those born-again clubs I see on campus are just anomalies. Here are the percentage of people who say they are born again by age group (GSS):
Percent who are born again
60 plus 35.9
That's 18 million born-again young adults. The only young people Kathleen is aware of are the ones she reads about in the New York Times.
"The young will get older, of course. Most eventually will marry, and some will become their parents. But nonwhites won't get whiter."
Exactly, all those black and Hispanics reject the GOP because it's too religious and anti-science. And evangelism is a wacky, white thing:
Percent who are born again
Parker calls for a new Republican base. Perhaps secularists? A whole 20.6% of those who never attend church voted for that famous holy roller Bob Dole. All we have to do is kick out the oogedy-boogedy Christians, and the secularists will come running.
New York City Republicans should become the center of the party. That there are six of them and 100 million born-agains isn't the point; the NYC-ers are way cooler.
(By the way, I'm not an evangelical. Not even close.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I found a study of American students by Lynn (Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 271-273, 1996) which reported spatial IQ scores for whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Using WORDSUM, I calculated mean IQs for each of the four groups and then estimated a correlation across the four groups. It was .98. Admittedly, it's an N of 4, but the results are reassuring nevertheless.
Ethnic power index
Non-Jewish whites 1,142,643
American Indians 761,674
Same story. Keep in mind that my approach assumes that the three factors are of equal importance.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
But I haven't analyzed power. If immigrant groups are ethnocentric enough, large enough, and smart enough, they can dominate and potentially exploit the rest of us.
Following this line of thinking, I used General Social Survey data to calculate standardized scores for important racial/ethnic groups for the following three factors: 1) degree that people think of ethnicity first when considering social and political issues; 2) mean group IQs; and 3) the size of the ethnic group. I summed the three standardized scores, which gives equal weight to each factor. Here are the summed scores from most powerful to least:
Ethnic power index
Non-Jewish whites 1.79
American Indians -1.94
Asians at the top is a big surprise--they don't seem to be a big player currently--but the reasons for the high number are clear: their high IQ and high ethnocentric scores (not as "Asians" but as Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indians, etc). On the one hand, the number exaggerates the situation since this group is made up of many diverse groups. Chinese Americans may identify strongly with their group, but as far as I know, there is no Chinese-Asian Indian organizing. On the other hand, the high number points at least to high potential power, and sticking with the Chinese/Indian example, there are unlimited numbers of potential immigrants from those countries.
Non-Jewish whites have a high number obviously because they are the giant in the bunch. They do not rise to the top because there is very little ethnocentricity among this group. (You can find some among Italian, Irish, and Polish Americans). If whites were as ethnocentric as Asians, their total score would be 4.70.
Jews have a high score because of a very high mean IQ along with moderate ethnocentricity.
The low mean IQs of blacks and Hispanics give them low power scores, and the Latino number is lower because they are less ethnocentric. Their population would have to grow dramatically to make them a real power player.
I included American Indians for contrast. They are way below everyone else because they have low scores on all three dimensions--even ethnocentricity. (Now that I think about it, I should have excluded the whites who say their ethnicity is Native American.) Moral of the story: do not allow yourselves to become like American Indians.
(Question: do you think I should have assumed these factors operate in a multiplicative way?)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Only an unreasonable person would argue that it's okay to abort this 22 week old fetus. The argument gets a little more complicated as we move closer to conception, but as far as I'm concerned killing this baby is murder (with the one exception of taking its life saving the life of the mother).
Pro-choice folks might respond that these types of abortions rarely happen; only 1% of all cases or a total of 16,450 were fetuses 22 weeks or older last year. Well, in 2007 the national total of all murders was 15,707--743 fewer deaths than from these types of abortions.
I don't need to go into all the ways this country frets over our homicide problem and how many resources are devoted to its reduction. Hands are wrung over all the the dead drug dealers, but only right-wing nut jobs like me care about abortion. Plus, murder is usually something like two idiots arguing over 20 bucks, while late-term abortions are industrial slaughter.
And women are not having these kinds of abortions to save their lives:
"In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), collected questionnaires from 1,900 women who were at abortion clinics procuring abortions. Of the 1,900, '420 had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks.' These 420 women were asked to choose among a menu of reasons why they had not obtained the abortions earlier in their pregnancies. Only two percent (2%) said 'a fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy,' compared to 71% who responded 'did not recognize that she was pregnant or misjudged gestation,' 48% who said 'found it hard to make arrangements,' and 33% who said 'was afraid to tell her partner or parents.' The report did not indicate that any of the 420 late abortions were performed because of maternal health problems." ["Why Do Women Have Abortions?," Family Planning Perspectives, July/August 1988.]
The main reason for these abortions is stupidity, and those involved are criminals.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Concerned about AIDS, researchers asked people if they have done any of these things in the past year: IV drug use, exchanging money for sex, anal sex without a condom, or getting treated for a STD. Here are the percentages by race/ethnicity:
Percent with risky behavior in past year, N = 192,186
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 4.0
American Indian 3.8
Other race 3.2
No surprises here, except to those folks who believe that Hispanics are short, tanned white people.
Innumerate readers, no doubt, will say, "All these numbers are small and close together, so we can say that for practical purposes that all groups are the same."
No, what the numbers say, for example, is that the prevalence of high-risk people among Hispanics is roughly double that of Asians. Adjusting for group size, there are two Hispanics for every one Asian at risk of HIV infection. According to this article, the lifetime economic cost of one HIV-positive person is close to one million dollars.
The more Asians we invite to the country, the more the HIV/AIDS problem will be reduced. If we want a bigger problem, let's keep up all the immigration from Latin America.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"That reminds me - I need to buy more bookshelves. A stack of books fell over the other day, and another one is threatening to follow. Horrible mess.
"Oh, and my partner keeps spreading her Phd research material all over the floor - what a mess.
"Our friends must think we're total losers.
"If only our place could be more like our neighbour's house - shelves are filled with well dusted trinkets. They have a set of rather cute little figurines of cats playing."
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Liberals and sloppiness
Whites, N = 1,790
I've been around professors for many years. Many of them have filthy offices and seem to take pride in their slovenly ways. They are horrified at the thought of having neatly combed hair. (Liberal) popular culture picked up on this a long time ago and continues to celebrate personal disorderliness. (According to research, a disregard for personal hygiene is a sign of mental disorder).
General Social Survey interviewers ask their questions in people's homes. In 2000, they also recorded how clean the respondent's place was. The top graphs summarizes cleanliness by political views. Conservatives keep a tightier house.
In case you suspect that this is due to the messiness of the homes of poor minorities, look at the bottom graph for whites only. The pattern remains.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Reason number one: Looking at NYT exit polls, we see that 57% of them voted for McCain, and the share voting for the Republican has ranged from 56 to 74 since 1980. A majority of them reliably support our side and thus should be rewarded with the party's loyalty. Democrats reliably get moderate majorities (with the exception of 1984) so we owe the middle nothing.
Reason number two: You might counter that since BAs are the base, they can therefore be taken for granted. The fact is that this group swings about as much as moderates. The range of the swing for born-agains since 1980 is 18 points; it's 22 points for moderates (and the low end of the swing for the latter was caused by the anomaly of Perot). Not only do BAs swing alot, they are notorious for staying home if they are unenthusiastic, and they can decide elections if they get fired up (as in 2004).
Reason number three: Once again, you might respond that, unlike moderates, they are a small group. In 2008, they are 38% of the electorate versus 44% for moderates. Yes, I know that some of the BAs are blacks, but so are some of the moderates. Add to this that BAs are growing. In 2004, white BAs were 23% of the electorate; now they are 26%.
Reason number four: The Republican track record is better when we put up non-moderates. Reagan garnered 59% of the vote in 1984. A weak candidate, Bush II was elected two times. Moderates are losers: Ford, Dole, McCain. Bush I was a one-termer who owes his victory to the non-moderate Reagan.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Republican 2004-2008 losses--percentage points
Dick Morris claims that these number show that Palin helped rather than hurt McCain by losing fewer women.
Asians and especially Hispanics turned away from McCain more than whites. Is this evidence that angry immigration restrictionists like me turned of non-white voters? Maybe.
60 plus -3
Obama pulled away more young people and not many older voters.
Midwesterner Obama gained more from the West Coast--whiterpeople effect? More Hispanic voters?
Less than high school -14
High school -6
Some college -7
College graduates -4
Obama attracted the bottom and the top more than the middle.
White Protestants -2
White Catholics -4
Attends church at least weekly -5
More evangelicals and frequent churchgoers abandoned the Republicans. Religious blacks? Idealist whites? No evidence here that evangelical whites are racists. By the way they are a HUGE share of the electorate (38%). We need them like oxygen.
Less than 15k -11
Once again, the bottom and the top liked Obama. Maybe many of the poor are blacks. Whiterpeople disease is prevalent among rich people, and perhaps some were turned off by Palin? It's a big loss.
Over 500,000 population -11
People in towns of populations between 10,000 and 50,000 were one of the few groups to increase their numbers voting for the Republican.
First time voters -15
A large turn toward the Democrat this time around.
Whites, 18-29 -11
Whites, 30-44 -5
Whites, 45-59 -1
Whites, 60 plus -1
Same age trend for whites only.
White men -5
White women -2
Black men -8
Black women -7
Once again, women were not drawn away from McCain as much as men. Palin effect? Security concerns?
Whites, Northeast -3
Whites, Midwest -5
Whites, South -2
Whites, West -6
Northeasterners liked Kerry. Southerners liked Obama least.
Now let's look at changes in the distribution of the electorate. Let's do it in this form: subtract the 2004 share from the 2008 share:
Not much change here. The conservative instinct is to be manly, but women seem to like optimism and positive messages. To become popular, hard conservative truths have to be packaged very carefully. Republicans should always be looking for a Reagan--conservatism with a smile. Women like security, both the tough type and the helping type.
Whites are still the prize that nobody ever talks about. As Sailer tells us, the Hispanic numbers are inflated, but it's probably constant over the two elections, so we can conclude that the Latino share has grown a bit and will continue to grow a bit every four years. To save their long-term prospects, Republicans need to keep fighting illegal immigration in the name of security and law and order, as well as an emphasis on more quality immigrants and less family reunification. White and/or Christian immigrants are most likely to vote Republican.
The message should reassure Hispanic and other non-white citizens that immigration concerns are not about them. I publish a lot of hard facts on this blog, and interested people need to know about them, but the race-hysterical general public must be met where they are at.
60 plus 23-24=-1
Obama IS the new Messiah. He managed to increase the youth share by... ONE WHOLE PERCENT!! I AM impressed.
Less than high school 4-4=0
High school 20-22=-2
Some college 31-32=-1
College grad or more 45-42=3
The American public is gradually getting more educated. Republicans cannot afford to look like the anti-science party.
Pop. over 500k 11-13=2
The suburbs are huge and grew in the past 4 years. Once again, conservatism needs to be principled, but it has got to pick Reaganesque people, not old grumps like Dole or McCain. Myself, I love a real ass-kicker like Buchanan, but the squishy burbs can't handle it.
First time voters 11-11=0
Little things like facts won't get in the way of the inspiring story of Barack Obama, America's greatest president (who is going to get his own holiday before he's even inaugurated) who, like a modern-day Moses, led tens of millions of citizens out of the bondage of indifference and cynicism to the freedom of hope and change.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Using General Social Survey data, I calculated the association between percent black and the difference between the white and black mean years of school across the survey's nine regions. You might assume I would simply look at the relationship between the black share of the population and their mean educational levels, but the problem is that there are fewer blacks in the North, and all races are smarter in that region compared to the South.
To adjust for this, I'm looking to see if the black-white gap shrinks in regions with fewer blacks. The Pearson correlation is .52. In other words, blacks get closer to white levels in places with smaller black populations. For example, the black-white gap is smallest in the Mountain States, the region that has the smallest percentage of African Americans--2.2%.
(Of course, this whole post is premised on the idea that it's good for blacks to stay in school. As you've seen in other posts, some people stay in school too long.)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Out of the mouth of babes.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Mean completed years of education of high IQ Americans
This decade 16.67
No need to worry about fewer smart people getting educated.
It wasn't until the 1980s, however, that the average education of intelligent Americans approached four years of college. In my view, our smartest folks should get a four-year degree, so we're doing a better job for this population than we used to.
But how many high-IQ Americans don't go to college? Here's the breakdown:
Highest degree earned--percentage
Junior college 3.5
High school 20.3
Less than high school 2.3
While the percent going to college is at the highest level in 50 years, the proportion of smart people who do not go is still disturbingly high. Well, we know how things are here in America. Institutional racism is still obviously holding back intelligent blacks.
Oops. I did the calculations, and 92% of the sample of smart students not attending college are white. Only 5% are black, and 3% are some other race. We need some white outreach.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Assuming that I'm correct, let's see which decade had the most rational approach for both blacks and whites. Using General Social Survey data, here is what I found:
Correlation between IQ and years of education--whites
This decade .36
Correlation between IQ and years of education--blacks
This decade .39
First, we see the highest numbers were in the 1950s and 1960s for whites. The system was most rational during that period for that population. It's gotten worse ever since.
For blacks, we see a small increase from the 50s to the 60s, perhaps indicating decreasing discrimination. After that, the numbers have fallen for blacks as well, and currently the correlation is low and similar to that of whites.
If I'm interpreting this correctly, we're seeing more and more blacks and whites stay in school beyond what their IQs would warrant.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Young adults and gay marriage
Unless young people have shifted significantly since the last election, they are not all for gay marriage-it's evenly split. Yes, age is important here, but pundits are exaggerating trends among young adults. I don't know how much stock to put into this exit poll, but supposedly 60% of Californians under 30 were against Proposition 2008. Sixty percent in a liberal state is probably consistent with 50% nationwide.
The culture war is not only among the old fogies.
Oh, and while I'm at it, God bless the Mormon Church for taking a stand on an important moral issue. We need more churches to tell Hollywood, we don't take cues on morality from you. All you alcoholics and sex and drug addicts should be taking them from us.
Race and the lottery
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I suspect the association is weaker than in the state data for at least two reason. Criminologists are skeptical about comparing levels of crime across nations because criminal justice systems are so different. I agree. Frankly, I don't trust data from countries like Zimbabwe--one of the 36 cases. If the country is excluded, for example, the correlation becomes -.53. (If I find time, I'll use World Health Statistics data which is more reliable.) In addition, this is a very diverse set of countries. There are probably many other factors (e.g., level of socioeconomic development) that play an important role, thus diminishing the impact of IQ.
One problem is that criminologists never examine macrolevel relationships. I cannot recall a single published study that assesses the relationship across geographical units. (I'm sure they are out there somewhere--I just haven't seen one).
I used Audacious' estimates of state-level IQs and correlated this with homicide rates averaged over the years 1999-2005. (Homicide is a rare event--criminologists routinely aggregate over several years).
The size of the Pearson correlation? It's -.80!!! That means that 64% of state-level homicide rates is explained by average differences in IQ. Even percent black explains only half the variance.
For example, New Hampshire has a mean IQ of 101, and 0.6 homicides per 100k population per year. By contrast, Louisiana's IQ is 95, and the homicide rate is 9.7.
So why are these results so much stronger than those found in individual-level studies? Well, macrolevel studies typically reduce measurement error, thus strengthening the correlation. In addition, studies typically focus on minor offenses, like delinquency, and it might be that IQ plays a more important role in serious crime.
According to research, most violence is mutual combat, so it won't usually happen unless two idiots cross paths. The higher the density of morons, the more frequent the occasions where conflict escalates into violence. Plus, a community of dolts might generate of culture of aggressiveness which would exacerbate the problem.
Unfortunately, mass immigration from low IQ countries is increasing moron density, so in the long run we can expect a more criminal society.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
How many hardcore pro-lifers vote Democrat? As a Catholic, I sometimes meet other members who believe that abortions should not be legal, but who nevertheless vote for Democrats. The most common argument seems to be that they are not one-issue voters. (I imagine that frequently the other issue they have in mind is their wallet).
The General Social Survey asked 1,262 Americans if they thought a woman should be able to get an abortion after being raped. The bottom graph shows that 29% of people who answered no still voted for Kerry. That's a pretty hardcore position on abortion, so I'm surprised to see even that many people vote for a pro-choice candidate.
How does that compare with an abortion-on-demand woman voting for a Republican? The top graph shows voting percentages by answer to the question, "Should a woman be allowed to get an abortion for any reason?" (Sample size is 750.) Thirty-three percent of woman who have this extreme position on abortion voted for Bush anyway. It looks like hardcore pro-life voters are about as willing to set their view aside when voting as strongly pro-abortion women are.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Let's attempt a test. The General Social Survey quizzed respondents with eleven basic science questions. I regressed their quiz scores on years of education and a measure of IQ. Here are the results:
OLS unstandardized coefficients (standardized coefficients in parentheses)
Years of education .038 (.107)
IQ .034 (.425)
N = 222
To give you an intuitive sense of the results, the model predicts that if you have an IQ of 100 and complete 12 years of school, your predicted science score is 8.6 (out of a 11). If you have the same IQ but finish 16 years of education, you're score is 8.9--not much of a difference. If, instead of being a high school grad with a 100 IQ, you have the same level of education but an IQ of 125, your predicted score is 10.2--a big improvement over 8.6.
I sometimes get the feeling in the classroom that I'm just going through the motions. Students learn plenty, but it's clear that it doesn't stick. These data are consistent with that impression. I'm inclined to think that a GREAT deal of time and resources are wasted. For many, college might do little more than condition students to adopt liberal values.
Oh how the country genuflects to that sacred idea--education. Unless it produces real, useful results, I say bullshit.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Knee-jerk multiculturalists, of course, assume I'm a racist and that I want no Hispanics to live in the country. Hispanic citizens enjoy every right I have, and are just as much an American as I am. Admission to this country should be based on an individual's ability to make the country a better one.
A recent example of this is Tito the Builder. An immigrant from Colombia, he's worked hard and now owns a construction company. As a partisan, I'm also glad to see that he's a conservative--the politics that productive people who are comfortable with traditional America often adopt.
Now, some reader will probably find something that makes Tito look bad, but I only use him as a symbol of what I am talking about. I couldn't care less that a man is brown, or that he speaks Spanish at home. I do care that he makes a net contribution to society, and I do care that he's not the type to tear down what I value about America.
Mean Body Mass Index
(I wasn't able to figure out why their index is different from the one that ranges from the teens to the thirties). Adjusting for height, Hispanics are heavier than others, and the difference is about one-sixth of a standard deviation.
As everyone knows, obesity is associated with a long list of health problems, not to mention eye pollution. Mass immigration from the south is making us a less healthy society.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I'm not going to give you the details. You need to read the book. But I will say that the presidential candidate I've seen on TV and read about in the newspaper for the past two years is NOT the man who wrote Dreams From My Father in 1995. I simply don't recognize the man Steve describes. But the crazy thing is that the author spends most of his time simply putting Obama's abstruse memoir into plain language. The book is not arm-chair speculation; it's a translation.
The man who wrote Dreams is a race man. He lives and breathes to advance the interests of the black race. A literary Louis Farrakhan. Either Obama has undergone a Malcolm X-like transformation in the past few years, or he is a hustler like we've never seen among politicians.
I kept thinking as I was reading, "Almost 500 pages of race obsession in Dreams, and the Republicans can't make anything of it?" Why try to make an association with Ayers or Khalidi stick when it's much, much more effective to associate Obama 2008 with Obama 1995?
Sure, Obama uses convoluted language, but you can string phrases together, or as I teach my students: paraphrase. For example, Obama said the Nation of Islam is not the way for blacks to go only because it's not practical. It's not wrong to hate whites? Not wrong to hate Jews? Not wrong to believe that only blacks matter? Not wrong to believe that whites are the creation of an evil scientist--hairy-assed, blue-eyed devils?
Now, it might sound like Steve's book is a simple retelling of Obama's life. That alone would be an important contribution since most people are totally ignorant about the basic facts. But Prince is much more. I was surprised that the author turned it into a work chock full of psychological insights about the probable future POTUS. I pray to God that Obama is not going to work out his personal hang-ups on us, the American public.
Steve himself says the book might not have much influence on the public because it's too intellectual. I'm not going to inventory all the gems for you. Get off your butt and get the book yourself here.
And make a generous donation, dammit!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Who's comfortable with genetically modified foods?
From what I have read, GM foods are perfectly safe. These findings surprise me a bit: My impression was that whiterpeople types and a lot of Europeans are opposed to this practice, and while there are a lot of extreme liberals who won't eat GM food according to the top graph, the overall pattern shows that smart, educated people tend to be more comfortable with it.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
OLS unstandardized coefficients, N = 1,838
Liberal vs. fundamentalist -.098
Moderate vs. fundamentalist -.109
Frequency of church attendance .022
(all effects are statistically signficant at the .05 level, two-tail test)
So how are these numbers interpreted? Let's do it this way. The model can be used to predict the percentage who voted for Bush, given a set of characteristics. Here are four combinations:
Predicted percent voting for Bush
Fundamentalist, never attends 66.0
Fundemantalist, attends more than weekly 83.6
Liberal, never attends 56.3
Liberal, attends more than weekly 73.8
A fundamentalist Christian who never goes to church was less likely to vote for Bush than a liberal Christian who goes all the time.
There is much attention paid to the fundamentalist streak among Republicans, but less attention paid to the fact that many who vote Republican are moderate or liberal Christians who are serious about their religion. As is usually the case with religion, behavior is more important than status: whether you are fundamentalist are not is not as important as how devoted you are to your particular brand of Christianity.
Fundamentalists are a minority of Christian Republicans. To be precise, 62.2% of Christians who voted for Bush in 2004 were moderate or liberal believers.
It looks like those who expect a really big turnout from folks likely to vote for Obama are generating a large Obama/McCain gap; those with more conservative methodologies show a somewhat tighter race.
All polls show Obama ahead, and if we go by the two polls that were closest in 2004 (at least those I am familiar with)--Investors Business Daily and Rasmussen--Obama is ahead by 4 or 8 points, respectively. The probability is very high that Obama will win. Go out and vote, anyway, all you Republicans, but you'd better start asking yourselves today how you need to change to win next time around.
Let me offer a first suggestion: return to the conservative view that people are inclined to be naughty and therefore need to be policed. Government stinks at most things, but it is pretty good at cracking heads with night sticks. And nobody needs the occasional crack on the head more than our economic elites.
Libertarian, schmibertarian. I, for one, am pro-police. The irony was intensely rich when I saw anarchist Bill Ayers on Fox News yesterday calling the frigging police to get protection from those oh so scary journalists. The guy who tried to kill NYC police officers. Truly rich.
Those Chicago cops should have cracked Billy Boy on the head.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I proudly cast my vote today for Mr. Patrick J. Buchanan. He's such a stud, he can serve as his own vice-president. He sends the exact right message: abortion sucks, mass immigration blows, and American empire can bite me.
IQ and voting
Also, you gotta love all those folks with IQs of 56 who voted.
While I'm at it, you never know when the black hats are going to come and get me, and I might have to take down my blog in order to keep my job. If you send me an e-mail, I can keep a list and send out my data analyses in place of a blog.
And this "Ayers is a leading education scholar" is nonsense. I knew of Ayers years ago, but as a terrorist, not a serious scholar. I've never run across his work on education or juvenile justice in anything I've ever read. That's probably because I stick to serious, quantitative research, not Marxist drivel.
(By the way, "education scholar" is an oxymoron.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Percent who voted in 2004
White males 65-74 73.9
White males 75+ 72.8
White females 65-74 71.0
White females 45-64 69.9
Black males 65-74 68.2
White males 45-64 67.4
White females 75+ 65.6
Black females 45-64 65.3
Black females 65-74 64.9
Black males 75+ 62.4
Black females 75+ 60.2
Black males 45-64 59.2
Black females 25-44 58.9
White females 25-44 56.9
White males 25-44 51.2
Black females 18-24 48.7
Black males 25-44 48.0
White females 18-24 45.5
White males 18-24 39.8
Black males 18-24 39.0
You can see that age is the biggest factor: the elderly are much more likely to vote. Race and gender are less important. More women vote at young ages, but more men do at older ages.
I estimated OLS coefficients where the dependent variable is voting in 2004, and a number of predictors are included (General Social Survey data):
Standardized OLS coefficients, N = 2,349
Church attendance .18*
Political orientation .02
* p < 05, two-tail
The person who is most likely to vote: educated, frequent churchgoer, older, and higher income. These factors favor Republicans. Not so sure about the educated? Here are the percentages for 2004:
Voted for Bush in 2004
Less than high school 41.6
High school 49.7
Junior college 52.1
The pattern holds for the lowest four categories, with post-baccalaureates being the exception.
But the reason I post this is that I watched Sunday as some woman pundit on MSNBC told Pat that it was beneath him to suggest that race was a factor in Powell's decision. She almost passed out, his words were so shocking.
Here is Powell's answer to the race question posed by Brokaw:
"If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans should be proud--not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world."
This is a roundabout way of saying that Powell can't deny that race is one factor. The black pundit, Juan Williams, said on Fox that of course race was a factor. It's simply a fact, but the woman's response shows the race hysteria among whites that I frequently complain about. This ongoing race freakout is a HUGE problem, and it destroys our ability to deal with so many problems.
Monday, October 20, 2008
So, in the spirit of bipartisanship, let's work together find ways to reduce this problem. Let's do it this way: each side can offer up one idea, and we can next find out how effective the idea is.
You first. Expand public support of birth control for needy women, you say? Great, I'm all for the maximum use of contraceptives as a way to lower the abortion rate. So how effective is it? Well, using Guttmacher data for all 50 states, I calculated the correlation between the percent of needy women getting their birth control paid for by the state and the rate of abortion. It's -.22 (not statistically significant at the .05 level). Not very impressive, but hey, better than nothing (maybe).
Now my idea. Shrink, or at least do not increase, the number of counties around the country with abortion clinics. How much of a difference would this make? The correlation across all 50 states is .68. Much more impressive--it explains almost half of the variance--which is not surprising since it is a conservative idea, but let's not try to score points here. Let's hold hands on this one and do both ideas.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Some readers suggested that native Alaskans are not more criminally prone than AIs; rather, many crimes committed by AIs do not result in an arrest because the law is underenforced on reservations.
The General Social Survey asked thousands of Americans if they have ever been threatened or shot at with a gun. I define as American Indian those people who say their primary ethnicity is Indian and that their race is non-white (in order to eliminate whites who say their main ethnicity is AI). Here the percentages:
Percent having ever been threatened or shot at with a gun
American Indians 18.1
I'm assuming that most attacks are intra-racial. (The white offense rate is probably lower since the National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that a substantial share of attacks on whites are perpetrated by blacks. This should not be the case with the more rural and segregated American Indians.) These numbers indicate that gun violence is not higher--or not much higher--among AIs than among whites. This pattern is consistent with arrest statistics.
So native Alaskans still look much more violent than Native Americans.
Now I read this: "A few months ago Vanity Fair ran an article about the discovery that the playwright Arthur Miller, with his third wife, the photographer Inge Morath, 40 or so years ago had a Down syndrome son. Miller promptly clapped the boy into an institution--according to the article, not a first class one either--and never saw the child again."
Typical. All the sensitivity amounts to status manuevering.
Actually, it's pretty smart. He got into Marilyn's bed.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This is why this former liberal can't stand liberals.
But maybe I'll stop telling them this after an incident the other day. Two students were in my office. One was a really nice guy with cerebal palsy. The other was a very attractive young woman who is recently divorced with young children. The three of us were swapping stories, and I learned that this woman gets no child support from her ex, but she loves to go out and get drunk--she appears to be making up for a youth lost to motherhood. She has no money, so she always insists that her friends pay.
You can probably see where this is headed. This girl starts flirting with the guy. He's eating it up and telling stories about what a tough guy he is--you know he hasn't been with a woman in years--and before you know it, she has given him her number, and they plan to go out with her friends the following night. Who do you suppose is going to pay for drinks?
Now I could couple this story with my recent observation that women love Obama--a man who sits in his peaceful way looking on the million babies aborted each year--or I could, of course, mention the Caylee Anthony case, but I'll just end by saying that I won't feel like praising women much in class next time.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Dumb people are sometimes right
In my view, the gut instinct which dumb people are more likely to rely on is sometimes right, while the analytical approach that smart folks have a habit of taking at times leads to mistakes. For example, the General Social Survey asked 901 Americans, "One of the bad effects of science is that it breaks down people's ideas of right and wrong."
The graph above shows that the percent agreeing with this statement tends to decline with increasing IQ, but I would argue that the statement is correct. Now, in terms of logic, science does not undermine morality: facts do not imply values. But the question is asking about cause and effect, not logic, and I think it is clear that science often works like an acid on established value systems.
The values of traditional religion, for example, do not have the status among the Western elites that they used to have, and this is due in part to the advance of science. I don't like to include cultural anthropology and sociology as sciences, but they share the epistemology of the hard sciences, and anyone who has taken even an introductory course in one of these subjects learns that values and norms are arbitrary. They are nothing more than social convention, and could easily be something else. These ideas come from the observed fact that cultures vary a lot.
Now, of course, you can argue that there is more to values than mere convention, but science will never argue that they are God-given, or that they have some transcendent, Platonic status. Science reduces values to a human level.
It looks like unintelligent people intuit this, while that understanding is drowned out in smarter folks as they deliberate over the question. Perhaps many smart people fail to appreciate the irrational nature of humans. Science doesn't corrode traditional ideas of right and wrong through logic: it does so through a psychological, irrational process.
For example, let's assume for a moment that heterosexual monogamy is right. Science has taught us that polygyny has been common among humans and is found among closely related species like gorillas. This knowledge might convince a person that monogamy is not right--it is just one way to organize human sexuality.
Logically, this makes no sense since the observed fact of polygyny does not imply that monogamy is either right, wrong, or neutral. Science doesn't deal in right or wrong, but it has an impact on our definitions of morality nevertheless. Smart people might not see this because they have these models of rational humans which are incorrect.
(It would be nice to see answers for people smarter than those shown in the graph. The people who are disagreeing with the statement in large numbers really aren't that smart, so it could be that they, by their answer, are simply saying that science is good because that's the respectable thing to say. And yeah, I might have just thrown out my earlier ideas. Get used to it: I do that all the time. I still like the idea of smart people using an incorrect model of rational humans, though.)
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