In the process of responding to a commenter, in which the commenter framed his remarks by saying:

“I think that this post crosses the line between HBD and irrational racism.”

Hoste prefaced his response with:

“First off, the word “racism” has no meaning here.”

I think this is the right approach. More generally, when someone uses the word ‘racism’ in a hostile manner, it is fairly straightforward to call them on what they mean by it, or alternately to say it is essentially meaningless and then go on to address any actual substance in their remarks if warranted.

Worth repeating, from a comment here:

“In the world of early 20th century Old Science, a relatively small number of brilliant men, driven by natural curiosity, invented whole new branches of research in an attempt to explain natural phenomena and discover the laws which underlie the physical universe, not to mention human nature.

Now, in the New Science age of the 21st century, the number of scientists has ballooned, with the fragmentation of research fields into esoteric specialties. The capabilities of individual scientists has greatly declined as the number has increased and the emphasis has gone from intense introspection, careful lab work, and artful calculation, to grant writing and facilities development. The modern scientist has become the business equivalent of the committee man. He has almost no personal views on anything; he restlessly travels from one exotic location to another, attending conferences in order to receive the latest consensus view which he could have more easily Googled from the convenience of his office computer.”

(emphasis added)

This post by n/a quoting an article by sociologist Robert Gordon that “virtually all [three-quarters] of the difference in the prevalence of black and white juvenile delinquents is explained by the [average] IQ difference [between the groups]” caused me to ponder the following.

Would (hypothetical) voluntary, targeted eugenics programs implemented starting in the 1960s by the U.S. government vis-a-vis blacks have done more to eliminate the Sub-Saharan-African to European-and-NE-Asian IQ gap in the U.S. than all the government social programs since that time combined?

The main line is “There are too many minorities at my waterpark.”

Shouldn’t that be “I am a minority at my waterpark”?

Patrick Buchanan has a new article up here.

Some interesting claims in it:

– Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked around 1964. Ever since, the national average has been in an almost unbroken descent.

– A few years ago, the SAT people retooled the test to produce higher scores. Now there are more 1600s, but the national average continues its decline.

– The gap in SAT score averages between blacks and Hispanics, and Asians and whites, endures.

(One possible conclusion from this, since immigration was opened up in the U.S. around 1964, the same year SAT scores peaked, is that immigration of largely Hispanic peoples has contributed to its lowering. It’s also possible that blacks in the U.S. started taking the SAT around that time in larger numbers, which could have contributed to its fall. I don’t know.)

Buchanan then goes on to claim that:

“No two kids were ever created equal […] As the parable teaches, each of us is given different and unequal talents.”

Buchanan here is talking about natural differences, probably genetic. This reminded me of a comment by someone on a blog thread, I can’t remember who, that people who advocate diversity tend to loathe the idea that there really is diversity. You would think that embracing diversity would lead to double-joy at the idea that there is also diversity that isn’t just cultural or environmental, but also genetic, but no.

In a way this makes sense. If you believe that all diversity is just environmental, then you can also believe that any problems that occur at first, can be changed by removing the undesirable diversity. If you believe that a certain important aspect of diversity isn’t easily amenable, then you might be much more skeptical of importing diversity into your country (or whatever).

Buchanan continues by saying:

This campaign to equalize test scores among unequal students is utopian and unattainable, and amounts to a scam by the education industry.

How many times have they promised progress? And how many times have they delivered?

This reminds me of something Nassim Taleb said in response to predictions made by an IMF official at a recent conference:

“I told the audience that the next time someone from the IMF shows you projections for some dates in the future, [ask] to show us what they PROJECTED for 2008 and 2009 in 2004, 2005, …, and 2007.”

I think similar skepticism is warranted with many (implicit) claims made by people in the education industry.

Worth repeating from an article by Richard Hoste on a book by Sir Francis Galton:

Galton’s three qualities that lead to eminence are intelligence, zeal and capacity for hard work.

 

 

Pinker’s review articulates the sense I had while trying to read Gladwell’s Blink. Here’s a key paragraph in Pinker’s review:

An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of “homology,” “sagittal plane” and “power law” and quotes an expert speaking about an “igon value” (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aperçus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.

I felt like Gladwell didn’t really understand what he was talking about. Pinker’s review gives credence to that sense.

Pinker also gives a partial, indirect answer to my previous question (why are people like Gladwell drawn to what Sailer calls ‘IQ-denialism’?) here:

The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition. For an apolitical writer like Gladwell, this has the advantage of appealing both to the Horatio Alger right and to the egalitarian left. Unfortunately he wildly overstates his empirical case.

People like believing things are changeable – luck and opportunity. As Pinker correctly notes, this underlies certain tendencies of thought on both the left and right. (Similarly, people also like to believe they don’t have to do a bunch of analytical stuff, and can just rely on their intuition.) In this sense, Gladwell is just writing to the crowd, which of course explains why his books have been relatively popular.

Steven Pinker, in his response to Malcolm Gladwell’s response, says:

What Malcolm Gladwell calls a “lonely ice floe” is what psychologists call “the mainstream.” In a 1997 editorial in the journal Intelligence, 52 signatories wrote, “I.Q. is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational, economic and social outcomes.” Similar conclusions were affirmed in a unanimous blue-ribbon report by the American Psychological Association, and in recent studies (some focusing on outliers) by Dean Simonton, David Lubinski and others.

Sailer comments on this, saying that:

IQ-denialism is the “rotten core” (to use Stephen Jay Gould’s phrase in a more accurate context) of the modern conventional wisdom. He who says A must say B, as Lenin liked to say.

It seems the important question is: why do people like Gladwell want to deny the importance of IQ? Then, how can those concerns be addressed, or are they valid?

At HBDBooks, Richard Hoste quotes Kevin MacDonald as saying:

“The main thrusts of Jewish activism against European ethnic and cultural hegemony have focused on three critical power centers in the United States: The academic world of information in the social sciences and humanities, the political world where public policy on immigration and other ethnic issues is decided, and the mass media where “ways of seeing” are presented to the public.”

Sabril, a commenter, sarcastically responds:

“Lucky for places like Sweden that they have essentially no Jews conspiring to push liberal policies on immigration and such.”

Hoste responds with:

“As far as why Sweden and other European countries are more PC than the US, part of that can be blamed on the fact that those states have histories of more centralized governments. Thus, the insane elites are able to do much more damage. Italy has always had a week national government, and they’re less PC than other Europeans. American liberals always had the constitution in their way. They would eventually ignore the document piece by piece, but they couldn’t do it all at once.”

Quotidian, another commenter, responds to Sabril’s comments in general with:

Commenter Sabril is a highly dishonest Jew who cannot be trusted. He is best ignored.

Sabril’s specific point above seems pretty straightforward and important. Countries with fewer Jews have more liberal policies, therefore Jews per se aren’t to blame. Although I recognize that some people have (ethnic) motives which determine the views they tend to take, and Sabril might be ethnically motivated, this is a view that I also have considered. So saying someone like Sabril is Jewish, so the point doesn’t need to be discussed, isn’t sufficient.

(Quotidian’s point can also be applied against himself. Perhaps he wants to find a cause that isn’t with the group he identifies with, and so is disinclined to give Sabril’s reason due process.)

If people want to say the problems stem from Jewish elite liberals (JELs) because those elites are Jewish (as opposed to their tending to be liberal due to their intellectual propensities, historical geographic concentration in the U.S., or whatever, where other liberals would have done the same things if JELs weren’t around), then there needs to be a robust response to Sabril’s basic kind of point.

Hoste above says it’s because Sweden’s government is more centralized than the U.S. The basic idea seems to be that:

1. If a state is more centralized like in Sweden’s case, ideas generated elsewhere (as by JELs) or locally be elite liberals (ELs) could then be more quickly disseminated through a state, by its own ELs.

This could be one part of a response. Another aspect he lights upon is:

2. The U.S. has (or used to have) a strong Constitution that limited the political and judicial elites’ abilities to push forward liberal changes. (Partially, I assume this is because the Constitution slows down the development of a centralized federal government.)

Other possibilities:

3. Countries like Sweden historically have had less exposure to HBD, and so are more easily taken in by theories that downplay it. (I don’t think this is right, as their elite liberal tendencies extend to categories beyond HBD.)

4. Countries like Sweden are more influenced by other English-speaking countries, such as the U.S., which in turn do have a large number of ELs and JELs.

5. Countries like Sweden are smaller (in terms of population), and so have less of a ‘native’ cognoscenti which compete with (bad) ideas generated elsewhere. Countries like Italy, Spain, or France have greater cultural “centers of mass.”

As far as MacDonald’s basic argument above about liberal influence as distinctly Jewish influence (and not generic liberal influence), my guess is something like this:

1. Jewish-Americans (JAs) tend to be more intellectually successful. This leads to them disproportionately becoming elites who have influence over intellectual currents.

2. JAs also tend to take certain liberal views because they tend to be intellectually successful.

3. JAs tend to take or create certain liberal views because of their ethnic identity and historical motives.

1., 2., and 3. causally reinforce each other, and are difficult to separate.

My guess is that the U.S. would have had significantly less movement towards the liberal end without the JELs who started becoming prominent in the early 20th century. My guess is that the force would have been diminished to 7/10 or even 5/10s of what it was. This wouldn’t have merely slowed the progress of liberals by 7/10s or 5/10s. My guess is that the political trajectory of the U.S. and the rest of the world would have been significantly altered.

This is because in politics you often need a critical mass to achieve forward movement. Political change is very much a vector of political forces, some opposing, some adding. At 7/10s or 5/10s, my guess is that many political battles would have been lost by liberals, to the extent that the political tide of the last 50 years may have been in a completely different direction. Without the influence of JELs in the U.S. and Europe, my guess is that not just the U.S. but the West’s political trajectory in the past 50 years would have been significantly attenuated in the liberal direction.

Having said that, one can appropriately diagnose the source of various EL ideologies, or the animating principles, and many of these may, in fact, come from specific Jewish concerns. I don’t know. Once it comes to actual argumentation, however, elite liberalism (ELism) has to be dealt with on its logical merits. This takes careful, patient documentation and logic (appeals to emotion are important, but one without the other is typically insufficient, especially when dealing with other elites). Trying to argue, as Quotidian does, that an argument’s originator is of Jewish identity or ancestry, and therefore should not be listened to, is not going to help much in conversing with elites who might otherwise be open to critiques of various points in ELism.

A robust response to Sabril’s basic point would be useful, if in fact there is a robust response available. If people such as Quotidian want to blaim ELism on particularly Jewish sources, they need to offer such an account, not merely engage in ad hominems.

In a column linked to here reviewing John Derbyshire’s We Are Doomed, Sailer notes that one problem with his coinage of “Non-Asian Minorities” (NAMs) is that:

NAMs won’t be minorities [in the U.S. and various other countries] all that many decades longer.

Perhaps Non-Asian Majorities? Slightly awkward English, confusing because it uses the same acronym but also convenient for the same reason …

What about Non-Europeans-and-Asians, or NEAs (pronounced “neys”, as in what legislators say when voting against something)?