THE BELL CURVE & the blogsphere

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I’ve been working & dealing with the fact that my laptop fried this weekend (getting used to working my clunky desktop back up until I can get the laptop situation figured out). So I’ve missed out on the big debate that sprouted this weekend about THE BELL CURVE & racism and IQ and all that….

So, see here Charles Murtaugh’s opinion, Matthew Yglesias, Kevin Drum, Atrios, Brad Delong, 6th International, Nathan Newman, Kieran Healy….

Not much I’m going to say right now, don’t have the time, but perhaps later. I’m sure GNXP readers can have fun on the boards of these sites.

Update:

Unlike most of those who discuss the Bell Curve, I’ve actually read it, and I found it fascinating and well-written. It is regrettable that Murray and Herrnstein were known to have racial views, and even more regrettable that race was mentioned in the book. This turned debate about the book’s main ideas to discussions of race, which are nearly always emotional and unproductive.

By far the most important idea in the book was independent of race entirely – the strong and strongly researched link between intelligence and social behaviour. (Most of the book analyzes data from a long-term study of Caucasians.) The fact that low intelligence is a leading indicator of criminality, violence, lack of civility, and poor parenting was suspected before but has now been clearly shown. The implications are significant for policymakers, philosophers, pundits, and thoughtful people everywhere, particularly in a world where the average intelligence level is steadily dropping.

I urge anyone interested in these issues to actually read the book, it is well worth your time even if you are unconvinced by or opposed to the authors’ views.

Ole

P.S. I am personally so concerned about the unfortunate combination of dropping intelligence with the correlation of low intelligence to poor social behavior that I’m writing a book about it, to be called Unnatural Selection. Please see http://w-uh.com/ if you’re interested…

11 Comments

  1. Just went to Atrios, who I had never perused, and looked at the comments following his link to one of Fred Reed’s pieces – and all I can say is, I see more and more why Fred hightailed it to Mexico. The level of discourse in this country just gets lower and lower…

  2. And who were those lonely IQ champions that set this spark a-blazing?

    (Ok that’s probably an exaggeration, but everyone on the right and left wouldn’t be tripping over themselves to attack ‘the bell curve, at such a random point in the book’s history, if no one had publicly defended it.)

  3. props 2 u malloy-props…. :)

  4. After seeing Jason’s eloquent response to Scott at Yglesias’s blog, I am convinced the left is/will lose this debate over IQ. Seeing Atrios’s cumbersome rejoinder on his blog or Mac Diva’s histrionics wherever he goes, I am more convinced of that. No doubt the left will still be potent enough to scare the sh@t out of many timid IQ researchers, but this will only work in places like the US, where we actually give a sh@t about PC. As Godless predicted, this debate will really be won in countries like China that have the intellectual capital and, soon, the economic firepower to do serious GE- and, for better or worse, a much less regard to its ethical considerations.

    The left will figure out the growing irrelevance (due to demographics and other economic factors) of the US/EU- not necessarily now but very likely within this century. What the (bleep) will the left do when no one cares or can do anything about their causes?

  5. Unlike most of those who discuss the Bell Curve, I’ve actually read it, and I found it fascinating and well-written. It is regrettable that Murray and Herrnstein were known to have racial views, and even more regrettable that race was mentioned in the book. This turned debate about the book’s main ideas to discussions of race, which are nearly always emotional and unproductive.

    By far the most important idea in the book was independent of race entirely – the strong and strongly researched link between intelligence and social behaviour. (Most of the book analyzes data from a long-term study of Caucasians.) The fact that low intelligence is a leading indicator of criminality, violence, lack of civility, and poor parenting was suspected before but has now been clearly shown. The implications are significant for policymakers, philosophers, pundits, and thoughtful people everywhere, particularly in a world where the average intelligence level is steadily dropping.

    I urge anyone interested in these issues to actually read the book, it is well worth your time even if you are unconvinced by or opposed to the authors’ views.

    Ole

    P.S. I am personally so concerned about the unfortunate combination of dropping intelligence with the correlation of low intelligence to poor social behavior that I’m writing a book about it, to be called Unnatural Selection. Please see http://w-uh.com/ if you’re interested…

  6. Fun Charles Murray Factoid:

    I met his daughter once. She’s half-Thai.

  7. he has two that are half-thai. he once said that they are just like any other american girls, except they are better looking since they are eurasian! btw, their mother is of chinese thai extraction….

  8. What’s up with white male race-realists and their asian wives?:

    Brand, Derbyshire, Rushton, Murray…

    Is it that people who think about race are more likely to fetishize it so that it becomes an important factor in their mate selection, or is it that race-realist idea of superior asian intellect , that sends them looking for that quality Eastern DNA for their children? Or is it just that scientists and intellectuals are more likely to be skinny nerds, so they have to head toward frailer pastures? (the only one of those who I’ve seen a picture of is Derbyshire, and he looks like a skinny nerd)

    PS- (Somewhat related), Did anyone read the comment box on Atrios’ 1st Bell Curve post where the troll Mac Diva told Murtaugh that his marriage to an asian wife was the equivalent to a slave-owner sexually abusing his slaves? It was among the most fucked-up things I’ve read anywhere. Mac Diva has a lot of nerve shouting hate at anybody.

  9. Or is it just that scientists and intellectuals are more likely to be skinny nerds, so they have to head toward frailer pastures?

    ..And of course, will naturally pair-up with smarter people. My mother went to Cornell in up-state NY, and, it seemed the entire student body was comprised of East Asian women.

  10. i don’t know if murray qualifies as a nerd, he’s soft spoken, but not particularly slight or robust. look up rushton’s pic at his uni-he looks a bit sinister in it….

  11. look up rushton’s pic at his uni-he looks a bit sinister in it….

    Probably not as sinister as he looks in Rolling Stones Professors of HATE, where they photoshop him into a cathedral-headed goblin.

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