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  #651  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:47 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. jp View Post
I also think genetics plays a role in people from west africa being among the best sprinters, and people from Tibet being able to extract more oxygen from thin air, Bushmen being short, etc.
Eh, maybe. The effects of environmental pressure might be reflected in genes, sometimes.

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Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
But the analysis of populations becomes less and less useful as you zoom out, and less and less useful as you classify arbitrarily. The black race is both zoomed out quite far and also quite arbitrarily defined (to the extent it is defined at all).
There is no black clade. As for any negative correlation between dark skin and high intellect, I don't see a genetic mechanism for it. It's arguable that some very light-skinned people stay indoors out of the sun and read a little more? And bring up the average? Maybe? Eh....

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
So yes, absolutely: let's make sure all black kids get to go to schools with good facilities, with new textbooks, programs to provide them meals (not just at school, but food they can take home, like my wife does at her school for her disadvantaged students), even laundry washing facilities. But if parents and students are happy, yet test scores stay low, let's leave it alone and stop accusing teachers of undermining their students due to racism because they fail to squeeze blood from a turnip.
OK, this bit I can agree with. Now, who thinks the Department of Education is going to do what you say because of Charles Murray?
  #652  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:49 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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My god, the Bernheads never give it up. Just don't go on a shooting spree like that Hodgkinson feller, k bud?
"Bernheads"? You mean progressives? Yeah, we don't like being told to lie back and take it, especially not from some McCarthyite who helped Trump into the White House.
  #653  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:55 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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A point of agreement! Progress. [ETA: referring to the earlier post.]

Let's be real: the Dept. of Education isn't going to do things I would want until 2021 at the earliest. But after that point, I will be lobbying for them to more away from the punitive NCLB models, as well as all the other initiatives that throw teachers unions under the bus.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-18-2017 at 11:56 PM.
  #654  
Old 06-19-2017, 12:17 AM
Stringbean Stringbean is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Eh, maybe. The effects of environmental pressure might be reflected in genes, sometimes.
Always. To suggest otherwise is willful delusion.
  #655  
Old 06-19-2017, 12:50 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is online now
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
I would be kinder to Peter Duesberg than that. He's a great scientist with one utterly deadly blind spot.
Emphasis on deadly. Say what you will about Wakefield, but his testimony hasn't led to hundreds of thousands of deaths (yet).

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 06-19-2017 at 12:50 AM.
  #656  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:50 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Originally Posted by Salvor View Post
I want a ubi, in part because I think modern society is increasingly rewarding people with greater aptitude in our capitalistic economy. So one of my near term solutions is not to try to make all groups equally likely to be physicists, it's to redistribute to minimize the downsides of not winning the genetic lottery, regardless of race. As a consequence of this, since I think black people have a lower average iq, they will get a disproportionate benefit from this kind of intervention. Is that me saying fuck the blacks, it's not societies fault so let people wallow in the gutter?
I can agree with you on policy, this far. But it does sound like welfarism with "soft bigotry" again. Pay the negroes their welfare, but don't tell them they can get too high.

Also, we tried this before, you remember. Then Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich trashed it. I'm not sure that's at all relevant; I just want to complain about Bill Clinton, really.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Yes, and I've repeatedly acknowledged that. It is my view that they should be seen as the default group of humans, where most of the variety in the genome lies, and groups like East Asians and Northern Europeans should be seen as the much less diverse, more homogenous subgroups whose individual characteristics include higher IQ. It's not hard to imagine that a group intrepid enough to push that far away from home would be self-selected for intelligence, nor that they would face greater environmental pressures once they were far into the hinterlands.
They would have been working with a narrower gene pool to start, though. That goes the other way. And then of course they presumably suffered malnutrition in environments far from the cradle of mankind. Even later, whites and Asians turned over the ages into less adventurous stay-at-homes, swamping the early "adventurous" advantage. And who says adventurers are even smarter than anyone else? Humph!

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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
[...] I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. But there are a million possible explanations for why, on average, black students may be less likely to succeed. I've offered a handful in this thread already -- others could include differing expectations by teachers (which isn't a slam on teachers -- teachers are victims of racism in society as well, and all of us, including teachers, are likely to have unconscious biases that we aren't fully aware of), lower self-worth and beliefs in the possibility of success (demonstrated by studies that show that black children are more likely to choose the white doll as the "good doll" over the black doll, or similar) which could be caused by seeing subtle signs of white supremacism all over society; and lesser trust in authorities and traditional institutions, including educational institutions. There are many, many other possibilities.
[bolding added]

I would expect these are major, major influences. In my own life, I know what it is to have certain handicaps including poverty; not to quite fit in with the dominant culture; and eventually decide that one can't make it in certain career paths geared toward a different, privileged, subculture. And I had people trying to tell me I was smart. Growing up being told, "You ain't shit"? Easy to give up. I'm pretty sure white basketball prodigies do this too.

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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That the non-biological category "black people" just so happens to align with some genetic grouping that includes a lower likelihood of genes for high intelligence is another possibility, but there's no actual evidence in the form of what these genes are, and how prevalent they are in various populations -- and the Scarr study (which I linked to earlier in this thread) directly refutes this hypothesis by showing that black children with higher levels of African ancestry score exactly the same, on average, as black children with lower levels of African ancestry.
Which wipes Charles Murray's thesis out. Thanks for playing!

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I would actually be fine with that, if the school reform activists would also wait and see. But they have already ddecided that it is axiomatic that the inner-city black kids with low test scores have just as much innate potential for the kind of aptitude measured in those tests as the white kids out in the suburbs have. They proceed from that axiom to the theorem that the test scores only differ because educators are "failing" these students. If they would stop making that unfair smear of dedicated and hardworking teachers and administrators, I would be more than happy to drop the whole thing.

[snip]

And there are un fact a lot of black teachers and administrators who do believe the "reformers" are insisting on an unreasonably high standard. These black educators are apparently guilty of that "soft bigotry of low expectations" themselves.
I don't think this is about genetics so much as cultural difficulties. I could brainstorm the following hypotheses:
  • low performance arising possibly from racial alienation and low expectations,
  • maybe poor nutrition,
  • maybe lead poisoning in cheap substandard housing,
  • parents with lower educational achievement of their own, deriving from their parents having to work longer hours.
Genetics are an easy answer, but not really a necessary nor particularly likely one.

I snipped this next bit out to respond to separately:
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Straw man. I made it clear that I believe in Gardner's multiple intelligences, and that I consider it unfair that standardized tests zero in on certain ones that advantage white and Asian kids. I would consider a jazz legend like Art Blakey to be every bit as much of a genius as Stephen Hawking.
Wow. At the risk of sounding like a tool, I think your blue eyes maybe aren't so smart. Hawking was seen as impressive because he came up with stuff that only a few highly educated specialists claimed even to understand. As cool, clever, and highly skilled as Art Blakey was, I don't think that "A Night in Tunisia" is at the same level of arcaneness.

Meh, no, I'll let that slide. I see your point. Hawking is Hawking not because he was intrinsically smarter than Art Blakey (or, say, GIGObuster), but because of the field he chose to focus on and the length of time that he did. The fact that both his parents went to Oxford and he was even born in Oxford probably made a difference as well.
  #657  
Old 06-19-2017, 06:40 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Oh, forgot to add, I don't really agree with the stuff about genetically engineering cleverer children. I think human gene variation doesn't have that much to do with relative cognitive development anyway. And I have seen Gattaca. Bleh!

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I am right there with you, but this is going to be politically radioactive for some time before it creeps in through the back door of a gradually expanding notion of what qualifies as a genetic disease.
Yeah, the problem is, I can see people deciding that being musical is a genetic disease. (Heh.) Where will the next Mingus or Blakey come from when the Puritans try to use CRISPR to abolish jazz? You forget, people are stupid hateful shits who downgrade the intelligence of the Other.

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Originally Posted by Ale View Post
For example, according to Steven Pinker the average IQ of men and women is about the same, but among men the ends of the curve are over represented, which as he puts it it means more geniuses but also more dumbasses; however the way this would manifest itself would be that, rather than seeing a 50-50 ratio of men and women throughout fields were smarts are the ticket the ratio would begin to skew in favour of men at some point near the top of the scale (having been against before). Of course some people would pay more attention at that top of the chain and call bloody murder, but what about all the dumbasses balancing the equation at the bottom? Is it better, as a group, to have an even distribution of intelligence or to have extreme outliers?
What I like about this is the implication that maybe this kind of curve is true for white people as well. So "white people" get Hawking, Kepler, Einstein, Feynman, and Newton, but also more extremely pudding-brained people. Of course this longer, flatter bell curve will be even stronger in blue eyed people, whereas black-eyed people will have a shorter, steeper bell curve, tending toward the median. This of course would go some way to explain the remarkable career of Congressman Paul Ryan. [/bad joke]

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
This just shows that you don't understand where I am coming from at all, which is pretty much the same as Sam Harris--and, from what I could tell on this podcast, Murray as well. I would never dispute that environment plays a huge role (here is where I'm a little bit at odds with Sam, in knocking that down to as low as 20% by saying genes play "50-80%" of the role in IQ).
Wait, are you saying 50-80% or is Harris? That's a really, shockingly out there number.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
For example, let's take Yo Yo Ma.
You think there's a cellist gene? What does that even mean?

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
In short, Ockham's razor cuts pretty sharply against that hypothesis. But sure, it's possible. My particular axe to grind, as you must know by now, is the assumption behind massive amounts of federal funding and policy: that your hypothesis is not only possible but axiomatically true, and therefore that schools that don't achieve 95% "proficiency" on standardized tests are, ipso facto, "failing" and must be reorganized or shut down.
On the contrary, Ockham's Razor says not to needlessly multiply entities. We know there are sociological effects of racism and social alienation. Those are sufficient to to explain test scores and prison populations. It is not necessary to spin unsupported fantasies about how North American blacks are just dumb criminals.

Unless you mean you want to use the Razor on history, go whole hog and say that the Anglo-Saxon planters were right all along and the enslaved were dumb brutes who had it coming; in which case we have to assert that the Irish were dumb brutes also had it coming. I'm not sure what policy should come out of that, but I'm guessing we would have to basically turn the entirety of at least one Midwestern city into slaves for their own good. Sound about right? No?

Of course that's ridiculous. Why would we assume that people who promulgated polygenism and normalized kidnapping persons for undercompensated labor really had some deep and true folk knowledge of racial potential?

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Right. Sam mentioned something along these lines: that just as a fact of probability, it would be astonishingly, vanishingly unlikely for different populations who evolved other characteristics differently, to maintain absolute parity on the distribution of the heritable components of IQ.
"Absolute" is prejudicial. It serves a rhetorical purpose. It's probably more like nearly perfect parity than absolute parity. Or just "parity." Why is that any stranger than local human populations maintaining parity on the distribution of working thumbs, or range of hearing, or the ability to see the color green? Especially since the greater proportion of cognitive development happens in the experiences of a functioning, intact, conscious brain with sufficient stimulation and nutrition? Variation in cognitive ability is mostly due to non-genetic factors anyway, and if you think otherwise, just try neglecting a child of genius parents by mostly leaving him alone in the woods for a formative year or two.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I'm not quite that libertarian. I believe we should put a thumb on the scale in terms of outcomes, especially for groups of people (like African Americans and Native Americans) who got so much taken away from them and their ancestors through force. But I want us to boost outcomes through direct means like cutting checks, providing nutritious food, etc. Not by insisting that teachers produce the same test results in Camden as other teachers produce in Morris County. Nor by insisting on some set percentage of high-IQ jobs (engineers, "quants", etc.) be set aside for African Americans.
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
So even if these kids are coming to school just having been affected by lead and low birth weight, even if those reasons are not at all genetic, it's still not on the teachers to magically overcome this and get their aptitude up to 95% proficiency.
OK, these paragraphs I think I can agree with.

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Originally Posted by Salvor View Post
Did other complex traits do that like height? Do the Dinka people have the same height as pygmy people? And if not, is that more than likely based on different frequencies of alleles that contribute to height in addition to environmental factors?
Oddly enough, I think differences in height between local populations are now thought to have more to do with things like diet and infectious disease than genes as such.

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Originally Posted by Salvor View Post
I feel like I'm being too long winded here, but this is pretty basic stuff. Traits vary, and over time they can have clusters of higher or lower concentrations in different populations, even if there was no positive selection for a trait, just through random chance and separation you could easily get some population differences with enough time.
Sure. What sub-populations see in the near infrared? Or lack the ability to cross their thumbs all the way across their palms? Or are all physically handicapped in some way? I mean "surely" variations could have developed, so we can assume they did! e_e

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Chinese calligraphy is beautiful, but extremely inefficient with a steep learning curve. And the lack of past or future tenses makes it impoverished, kind of "telegraphic" or "Tarzan/Tonto" speech. (I honestly don't see how you can express yourself carefully and precisely without not just basic past and future tenses, but others like pluperfect and future conditional.)

English also is inefficient, with too many synonyms and ridiculously random spelling/phonics. But it does have the advantage of grammar that is not as complicated as the otherwise elegant Romance languages.

Russian is good, with its clear, precise orthography and its elimination of unnecessary words like articles and the present tense of "to be". But I'm not so sure declension is a great idea. [snip]
Complains about Chinese lacking tenses, and Russian having declensions. Then picks English over Spanish, which has relatively regular spelling, more tenses, and non-declining nouns. I can't even.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I didn't demand anything. I started a thread for people who were interested to discuss a podcast episode. No different from starting a thread for people interested in discussing a certain movie. Go ahead and start a thread for your podcast, and anyone interested in listening and discussing it can join you there. Or, if it's like this thread, a bunch of people will crash the thread despite not being interested in listening.
You opened a Pit thread. You basically asked to be piled on.
  #658  
Old 06-19-2017, 11:23 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
maybe lead poisoning in cheap substandard housing
I tried to raise this repeatedly, but was met with dismissal, even snorts of derision. It appears, actually, that blacks may be more sensitive to the effects of lead.

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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
And I have seen Gattaca. Bleh!
Great movie!

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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
It's probably more like nearly perfect parity than absolute parity. Or just "parity." Why is that any stranger than local human populations maintaining parity on the distribution of working thumbs, or range of hearing, or the ability to see the color green?
The thumbs thing is silly. But do you have a cite for the claims of parity for range of hearing, and color perception?

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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Variation in cognitive ability is mostly due to non-genetic factors anyway, and if you think otherwise, just try neglecting a child of genius parents by mostly leaving him alone in the woods for a formative year or two.
This was addressed many times, including by Harris and Murray, who talked about even the best corn seeds doing poorly if planted in the desert. "Necessary but not sufficient" is the key concept here.

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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Complains about Chinese lacking tenses, and Russian having declensions. Then picks English over Spanish, which has relatively regular spelling, more tenses, and non-declining nouns. I can't even.
I did not pick English over Spanish.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-19-2017 at 11:24 PM.
  #659  
Old 06-20-2017, 11:39 AM
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My god, the Bernheads never give it up. Just don't go on a shooting spree like that Hodgkinson feller, k bud?
Somewhat off topic, but I've noticed that Hillary supporters have pejorative names for Sanders and Trump supporters (Such as "Bernie Bros" and "Deplorables") but I haven't heard the term "Hillary Sister" or "Hillaryhead" thrown about by those on the Bernie wing of the party. We certainly have criticized Hillary, but we don't insult people who voted for her.

As a fellow Democrat, I politely request that you return the same courtesy.
  #660  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:20 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Bernie himself is not a "fellow Democrat". That aside, I remember seeing this kind of complaint a few times during the campaign, and it's pretty hilarious. "Bernie bro" is an insult applied from without, by Sanders critics. "Bernhead" is not. It comes from hard-core Bernie fans themselves, calling themselves that. You know, like Deadheads?
  #661  
Old 06-20-2017, 02:00 PM
Blalron Blalron is offline
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Bernie himself is not a "fellow Democrat".
No, but he caucuses with them. He votes with them. Maybe he doesn't have that magical "D" after his name, but he's still on the left wing of the political spectrum. Even though you hate him, I bet you'd still side with him over Trump.

Quote:
That aside, I remember seeing this kind of complaint a few times during the campaign, and it's pretty hilarious. "Bernie bro" is an insult applied from without, by Sanders critics. "Bernhead" is not. It comes from hard-core Bernie fans themselves, calling themselves that. You know, like Deadheads?
Sorry, I didn't know that. I just remember you once compared Sanders to Robespierre of the French Revolution. Based on your posting history, I interpreted it as a term of abuse, and not a term of endearment.
  #662  
Old 06-20-2017, 02:25 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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No, but he caucuses with them. He votes with them.
Yes. And he attacks them. He calls them corrupt. He paints them as weak-kneed pawns of Wall Street. He sours millions of left-leaning young people (like my 17yo son) on the party, weakening its strength among the very same cohort we need to counter all the crotchety old white folks on the other side.

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Originally Posted by Blalron View Post
Even though you hate him, I bet you'd still side with him over Trump.
Sure, but that's a low bar. The list of people I'd side with over Trump is long and includes many Republicans. If the general election ballot featured Bernie vs. Romney, I'd vote Romney. Same goes for Kasich, Huntsman, or Fiorina.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-20-2017 at 02:27 PM.
  #663  
Old 06-20-2017, 05:28 PM
Blalron Blalron is offline
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Yes. And he attacks them. He calls them corrupt. He paints them as weak-kneed pawns of Wall Street. He sours millions of left-leaning young people (like my 17yo son) on the party, weakening its strength among the very same cohort we need to counter all the crotchety old white folks on the other side.
On the contrary, we're trying to save the Democratic Party. The Clinton/Obama corporatist wing has had it's chance. Look what it got us. Trump is President. The GOP controls all three branches of the federal government, and the state legislatures of 32 states. Time for some new leadership in the party. We tried it your way, and your way has failed. I'm willing to roll the dice on a new strategy.
  #664  
Old 06-20-2017, 06:23 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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I'm sure that's exactly what McGoverniks were saying in 1972, including the Clintons and Gary Hart, all of whom were stung enough by that wipeout to tack to the center strategically.

And what the Bernie crowd never seems to understand is that the DNC is not ultimately defined by its DC leadership, but by the state parties who elect the DNC members who select those leaders. If the Bernie wing wants to change the DNC, throwing a fit every four years during a losing presidential primary fight isn't going to get 'er done. You will have to go and join all the county parties and attend regularly, help organize soup dinners and July Fourth parades, get your people elected to leadership positions at the county level. Then from there, you get your people elected to leadership positions at the state level.

Then and only then, if you pull that off in enough states, you can take over the DNC. But I see no sign of that happening. My college town was lousy with Bernie stickers last year, but at the county party meetings, everyone was for Hillary. Most were over 50, but the few young people were also Hillary backers. I have heard the same story from several others around the country.

So my impression is that either there is something about that group that leads them not to understand how the internal small-d democratic apparatus of the party works, or--less charitably--maybe they don't really care. Maybe they can't be bothered to put in all that effort and week-in, week-out commitment, but just want to take an extortionist shortcut: "You boring old geezers better get to work and remake the party the way we want it to be by 2019, or we'll throw another tantrum and give it to the Republicans again. Real nice party you've got here: shame if anything happened to it." That about the long and short of it?
  #665  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:43 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Your grasp of English is so piss poor that you can't even use the word 'the' correctly. You're really in no position to be snarky about SlackerInc's grasp of French, or any other language.
Spoken like someone who has never studied a foreign language.

Much like SlackerInc clearly knows nothing at all of either genetics or childhood development, not even at a junior high school level; given that he thinks a correlation to maternal IQ specifically would point to genetics.
  #666  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:58 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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You should never call anyone a bigot before you have read their book.
I've read about two pages of Mein Kampf. Is that sufficient to call A. Hitler a bigot, or...?

ETA: On those pages, he was whining about "bow-legged Jews." But hey, maybe that was irony! e_e

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Originally Posted by nachtmusick View Post
No I didn't.

Are you telling me I shouldn't read that book? What if, for whatever reason, I decide I want to?

Would you burn all copies of that book so as to prevent me from reading it?

As long as we are starting a fire, how about we throw Charles Murray's work upon the blaze? Or Sam Harris's?

Surely society would benefit if these foul ideas were expunged in the flames.
Wow, that's not what we thought you meant. Calling someone a bigot is not the same as burning his bigoted book.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 06-22-2017 at 01:01 AM.
  #667  
Old 06-22-2017, 01:46 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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But liberals are afraid to say that, and instead take the quixotic position that the real threat (a la "Handmaid's Tale") is conservative Christianity. The latter is no picnic, mind you. But it's centuries ahead of the ideology so prevalent in the Muslim world.
You were raised atheist, right? You don't know whereof you speak.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Sure, but that's a low bar. The list of people I'd side with over Trump is long and includes many Republicans. If the general election ballot featured Bernie vs. Romney, I'd vote Romney. Same goes for Kasich, Huntsman, or Fiorina.
Then you're "conservative," though perhaps not a "movement conservative."

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Then and only then, if you pull that off in enough states, you can take over the DNC. But I see no sign of that happening. My college town was lousy with Bernie stickers last year, but at the county party meetings, everyone was for Hillary. Most were over 50, but the few young people were also Hillary backers. I have heard the same story from several others around the country.
My county's mass meeting was mostly Bernie supporters. Granted, we may been an exception in the state; but I'd speculate that many places with a combination of a lot of manufacturing and weak local union leadership were the same way. We even had an independent show up who chose to join the party and go to the state caucus for Bernie. How many of those did the Hillary side have? How many independents have been becoming Democrats since 1992? How many Democrats have been becoming independents in that time?

But hey, maybe the New Atheists will show us the way! Sure! Bunch of cocky Aspie internet atheists who tell black people that they're too dumb to be educated and denounce people from the Middle East & North Africa as savages. Big help.

Hey, you know what? I'd be content to let you and Sam Harris take the Democratic Party brand, anyway. Put his name on it. Make him its face! Right there in the best Anglo-Saxon nationalist tradition with Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. You can be the party of Indian Removal and Manifest Destiny again. I bet David Duke will join! You might even get more votes than the party of Pelosi, Clinton, Schumer, and Obama! You'll still lose, mind. I just want you losing over in your own deluded white nationalist corner, while real progressives, who know that Brave New World is not a progressive prescription, start over with a Labor Party or something.

Dummkopf.
  #668  
Old 06-22-2017, 02:52 AM
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One thing I know, foolsguinea is damn sure that while skin tone and height are genetically heritable intelligence isn't.

Color me convinced. Creating special exceptions for feel-good political expediency is always the firm ground of reason.
  #669  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:03 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Height (mostly) isn't genetic, though. It's pretty much a function of nutrition * height of the mother.

At least on the "population group" level, it isn't genetic. Netherlanders born in the Depression were very short. Netherlanders today are very tall. Same genes, different diet.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 06-22-2017 at 06:07 AM.
  #670  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:50 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Telling yourself that slavery happened to the blacks because they were too dumb to stop it is, in fact, "creating a special exception for feel-good political expediency." (What inferiority led to the Shoah, by the way? Or the enslavement of the Irish? Or the Balkans War twenty years ago?)

It's nonsense to say, "Well, of course we expect differences." Please, point to racial differences in color perception, or hearing range, or the sugar content of breast milk. Or number of phalanges on extremities, or number of teeth. Where are the Storm Giants? Where are the men with their faces in their chests? Centaurs? Merfolk? All of these were expected by the ancients, surely they must exist, yes?

What genetic differences do we see in population groups again? Lactose tolerance, melanin concentration, and sickle-cell trait are specific positive environmental adaptations. Other than that: Eyelid shape? Earlobe shape? Shape of the maxilla? Whoo, yeah, some real meaningful differences there.

As I said upthread, we can explain differences in cognitive development in environmental ways without resorting to genes. A correlation with maternal IQ, specifically, points away from genetics and toward nurture. Do I need to explain Mendel to you? Ockham's Razor implies that there may simply not be any meaningful genetic difference.

This interview with James Heckman (linked I don't know how many pages ago) is really interesting, and a lot more so than the wild speculating about genes and race:
https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publi...-james-heckman
He says there are real differences in ability, on the individual level, that derive from early childhood nurture.

When something looks heritable, there could be a difference from family culture, from something happening in gestation, from epigenetics, sure. A straight-up bunch of "smart genes"? I still don't buy it.

Even the researchers recently talking about finding genes linked to intelligence aren't really convincing, and I doubt they're really entirely convinced. What was that quote again?
From https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/s...elligence.html
Quote:
In the new study, Dr. Posthuma and her colleagues limited their research to people of European descent because that raised the odds of finding common genetic variants linked to intelligence.

But other gene studies have shown that variants in one population can fail to predict what people are like in other populations. Different variants turn out to be important in different groups, and this may well be the case with intelligence.

“If you try to predict height using the genes we’ve identified in Europeans in Africans, you’d predict all Africans are five inches shorter than Europeans, which isn’t true,” Dr. Posthuma said.
Think about the implications of that. Even genes for height aren't consistent in other populations. Do we actually know what we're doing with genetic analysis, or are we mostly kidding ourselves?

Also:
Quote:
In a significant advance in the study of mental ability, a team of European and American scientists announced on Monday that they had identified 52 genes linked to intelligence in nearly 80,000 people.

These genes do not determine intelligence, however. Their combined influence is minuscule, the researchers said, suggesting that thousands more are likely to be involved and still await discovery. Just as important, intelligence is profoundly shaped by the environment.
So, yeah. This is very exciting for them, but it's also very preliminary. This is still less than a clear win for the genetic heritability of g.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 06-22-2017 at 06:55 AM.
  #671  
Old 07-12-2017, 03:38 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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New article on Charles Murray:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/...-murray-odious

Apparently Murray is much, much worse than even I thought:

In his book "Human Accomplishment"
Quote:
he attempts to prove using statistics which cultures are objectively the most “excellent” and “accomplished,” demonstrating mathematically the inherent superiority of Western thought throughout the arts and sciences.
Quote:
Murray purports to show that Europeans have produced the most “significant” people in literature, philosophy, art, music, and the sciences, and then posits some theories as to what makes cultures able to produce better versus worse things. The problem that immediately arises, of course, is that there is no actual objective way of determining a person’s “significance.” In order to provide such an “objective” measure, Murray uses (I am not kidding you) the frequency of people’s appearances in encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries. In this way, he says, he has shown their “eminence,” therefore objectively shown their accomplishments in their respective fields. And by then showing which cultures they came from, he can rank each culture by its cultural and scientific worth.
Murray discounts anything produced by black people (except for Duke Ellington -- the single one that gets mentioned), including all genres of music produced by black people:
Quote:
Before 1950, black people had invented gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, samba, meringue, ragtime, zydeco, mento, calypso, and bomba. During the early 20th century, in the United States alone, the following composers and players were active: Ma Rainey, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, J. Rosamond Johnson, Ella Fitzgerald, John Lee Hooker, Coleman Hawkins, Leadbelly, Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Son House, Dinah Washington, Thelonious Monk, Muddy Waters, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Memphis Slim, Skip James, Louis Jordan, Ruth Brown, Big Jay McNeely, Paul Gayten, and Professor Longhair. (This list is partial.) When we talk about black American music of the early 20th century, we are talking about one of the most astonishing periods of cultural accomplishment in the history of civilization. We are talking about an unparalleled record of invention, the creation of some of the most transcendently moving and original artistic material that has yet emerged from the human mind. The significance of this achievement cannot be overstated. What’s more, it occurred without state sponsorship or the patronage of elites. In fact, it arose organically under conditions of brutal Jim Crow segregation and discrimination, in which black people had access to almost no mainstream institutions or material resources.
None of these people count as significant to Murray. My god, what an asshole.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-12-2017 at 03:38 PM.
  #672  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:40 PM
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Funny how my similar point about black musicians was treated as though it was an insult or backhanded compliment at best.
  #673  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:56 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Funny how my similar point about black musicians was treated as though it was an insult or backhanded compliment at best.
It wasn't remotely similar. You, without any genetic evidence, divided up different races/ethnicities into different supposed inherent competencies/abilities/geniuses; Murray, without any evidence of any kind, dismissed any achievement of any kind by black people (except for Duke Ellington), and was rightly excoriated for it.

Do you agree with Murray, or do you agree with me and his critic that these points in his "Human Accomplishment" book are colossally stupid (and racist)?
  #674  
Old 07-13-2017, 01:12 PM
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After seeing how they were mischaracterized in the Vox pieces, I can't say for sure. But do I agree with that (possible straw man) thesis as presented? No. Do I believe Western culture can be objectively shown to be the most excellent and accomplished? No. Do I subjectively believe Western culture is the most excellent and accomplished? Yes, mos def.
  #675  
Old 07-13-2017, 01:18 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
After seeing how they were mischaracterized in the Vox pieces, I can't say for sure. But do I agree with that (possible straw man) thesis as presented? No. Do I believe Western culture can be objectively shown to be the most excellent and accomplished? No. Do I subjectively believe Western culture is the most excellent and accomplished? Yes, mos def.
Aren't you worried that you might be hopelessly biased for Western culture since you are indeed a product and member of Western culture? And how many points do you deduct from Western culture for committing most of the worst atrocities (the Holocaust, American chattel slavery, the Holodomor, other European genocides, etc.) in human history?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-13-2017 at 01:19 PM.
  #676  
Old 07-13-2017, 02:19 PM
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Debatable. Tamerlane, the Khmer Rouge, the rape of Nanking, etc. And large portions of the Muslim world are engaged in an ongoing and enormous atrocity in their brutal subjugation of women.
  #677  
Old 07-13-2017, 02:27 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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You only answered half the question, and that answer demonstrates some likely strong bias to me.
  #678  
Old 07-13-2017, 07:26 PM
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No one lacks bias. But a lot of left wing Westerners (like my mom, who recently urged me to watch Oliver Stone's cringe-inducingly obsequious Putin interviews with her) are reflexively biased against the West generally. The further anything is from containing or representing white, heterosexual, cisgender men, the more virtuous it is presumed to be.

ETA: I realized after posting how white/male/cis Putin is. But he opposes the US, so that is good enough for Stone and my mom.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 07-13-2017 at 07:30 PM.
  #679  
Old 07-13-2017, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
No one lacks bias. But a lot of left wing Westerners (like my mom, who recently urged me to watch Oliver Stone's cringe-inducingly obsequious Putin interviews with her) are reflexively biased against the West generally. The further anything is from containing or representing white, heterosexual, cisgender men, the more virtuous it is presumed to be.

ETA: I realized after posting how white/male/cis Putin is. But he opposes the US, so that is good enough for Stone and my mom.
Why do you keep making these claims that only white supremacists make, yet act like Trump's racism was a bad thing?

The idea that there is prejudice against us white westerners is just fucking false.

I'm reading the shit that shows up on /r/the_donald. Stop it. Stop acting like right wing bullshit to excuse their own racism is actually legitimately true.
  #680  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:18 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
No one lacks bias. But a lot of left wing Westerners (like my mom, who recently urged me to watch Oliver Stone's cringe-inducingly obsequious Putin interviews with her) are reflexively biased against the West generally. The further anything is from containing or representing white, heterosexual, cisgender men, the more virtuous it is presumed to be.

ETA: I realized after posting how white/male/cis Putin is. But he opposes the US, so that is good enough for Stone and my mom.
Oliver Stone's idiocy has no more to do with "left wing Westerners" than any other random left wing idiot in entertainment. This sort of broad-brushing is just ridiculous and sounds pathetic (as well as being totally irrelevant to our conversation).

White hetero cis men are not under attack. We're doing fine.
  #681  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:49 PM
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The idea that there is prejudice against us white westerners is just fucking false.
False that anyone feels that way? That is false. I am a liberal elitist type with liberal elitist tastes. Therefore I read articles and subscribe to podcasts dedicated to stuff like indie/foreign films, "premium" TV (The Leftovers, Fargo, etc.), local/organic cuisine, and so on. I also follow such tastemakers on Twitter. And I promise you, 100%, they throw around "white guy" as a standard epithet. If a show or movie stars an angst-ridden straight white man, much shade is thrown. (See some of the silly histrionics going around about Baby Driver for a perfect recent example.) Heaven forfend the U.S. military ever be portrayed positively. And I mean even with Obama as Commander in Chief. Slate's Culture Gabfest, for instance, had a very hard time with the fact that a movie about a crisis early in Obama's presidency did not treat the Somali pirates, rather than the Navy SEALs who shot them, as the good guys!

It's so galling. I stick with that crowd because I have no interest in watching NCIS or American Sniper, or trying to take away people's healthcare for that matter. But the reflexive anti-Americanism (again: predating Trump, who deserves every possible "anti" there is) drives me nuts sometimes.
  #682  
Old 07-13-2017, 09:00 PM
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White hetero cis men are not under attack. We're doing fine.
Sure, if you are content to hang out in mainstream or right wing spaces. If like me you feel most comfortable in educated liberal spaces, you're expected to wear a hairshirt and constantly denounce everything about your identity, or you will be castigated and shunned from that community. But then I don't want to go hang with the rednecks, the libertarians, the MRAs, the dudebros, or the boring mainstream guys. So it does feel like being under attack, from the "cool kids" whose opinion counts.
  #683  
Old 07-13-2017, 09:44 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Sure, if you are content to hang out in mainstream or right wing spaces. If like me you feel most comfortable in educated liberal spaces, you're expected to wear a hairshirt and constantly denounce everything about your identity, or you will be castigated and shunned from that community. But then I don't want to go hang with the rednecks, the libertarians, the MRAs, the dudebros, or the boring mainstream guys. So it does feel like being under attack, from the "cool kids" whose opinion counts.
What incredible nonsense. This sounds like the fantasies inside the minds of right-wing radio hosts. Real world liberals don't act like this. No liberal has ever pressured me to "denounce everything about my identity".

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-13-2017 at 09:44 PM.
  #684  
Old 07-13-2017, 10:47 PM
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What incredible nonsense. This sounds like the fantasies inside the minds of right-wing radio hosts. Real world liberals don't act like this. No liberal has ever pressured me to "denounce everything about my identity".
Fine, not everything. One is probably enough. Occasionally lament either your white, male, or straight privilege and you should be fine. Denouncing U.S. foreign policy (even under Democratic administrations) can't hurt either. Unless you commit an unforgivable sin, like arguing with a progressive POC about race, with a female feminist about women's issues, or with a GLBTQ person about, well, GLBTQ issues. In such a case, there is no saving you. Same if you criticize BLM, college suppression of free speech, or Muslim oppression of women, gays, or freethinkers. Abandon all hope, ye who enter there. The crowd I'm talking about has nothing but contempt and outrage for traditional straight white male liberals like Jonathan Chait (a favorite of mine).

(And I can prove the examples I gave upthread, like the Slate deal.)
  #685  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:10 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Fine, not everything. One is probably enough. Occasionally lament either your white, male, or straight privilege and you should be fine. Denouncing U.S. foreign policy (even under Democratic administrations) can't hurt either. Unless you commit an unforgivable sin, like arguing with a progressive POC about race, with a female feminist about women's issues, or with a GLBTQ person about, well, GLBTQ issues. In such a case, there is no saving you. Same if you criticize BLM, college suppression of free speech, or Muslim oppression of women, gays, or freethinkers. Abandon all hope, ye who enter there. The crowd I'm talking about has nothing but contempt and outrage for traditional straight white male liberals like Jonathan Chait (a favorite of mine).

(And I can prove the examples I gave upthread, like the Slate deal.)
The crowd you're talking about sound like maybe a tiny fraction of one percent of all liberals. Why worry about such a tiny group? I've committed all the supposed sins you've listed here, and I'm doing just fine with the liberals I interact with. So is Chait, by the way.

Sent from my KFAUWI using Tapatalk
  #686  
Old 07-14-2017, 06:00 PM
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I don't know what percentage they are IRL, but in the most visible and influential online spaces, they are legion. From a Gawker piece with the headline "Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet":

Quote:
Chait, like many liberal commentators with his background, is used to writing off left-wing critics and reserving his real writerly firepower for (frequently deserving) right-wingers. That was, for years, how things worked at the center-left opinion journalism shops, because it was simply assumed that no one important—no one who really matters—took the opinions of people to the left of the center-left opinion shop seriously. That was a safe and largely correct assumption. But the destruction of the magazine industry and the growth of the open-forum internet have amplified formerly marginal voices. Now, in other words, writers of color can be just as condescending and dismissive of Chait as he always was toward the left. And he hates it.
As do I.

Sure, Jon Chait still has a job, and likely always will. But I'm not sure another generation of writers like him are in the journalism pipeline, or would get prominent platforms if they were. So the prescriptive/proscriptive voices I'm talking about serve to undercut people like Chait now, and--more ominously--to phase them out as a significant part of the conversation in the future. Not good.
  #687  
Old 07-14-2017, 06:37 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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I don't know what percentage they are IRL, but in the most visible and influential online spaces, they are legion. From a Gawker piece with the headline "Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet":



As do I.

Sure, Jon Chait still has a job, and likely always will. But I'm not sure another generation of writers like him are in the journalism pipeline, or would get prominent platforms if they were. So the prescriptive/proscriptive voices I'm talking about serve to undercut people like Chait now, and--more ominously--to phase them out as a significant part of the conversation in the future. Not good.
Sounds like sky is falling crap. So Chait got criticized. So what? Why is that so awful? It's good that there's lots of diversity of opinion on the left. It's good that liberals are comfortable criticizing other liberals. I see absolutely no reason to believe that center left writers are in any danger of losing their voices.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-14-2017 at 06:37 PM.
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