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January 11, 2003

This should be good for a laugh

Whacking Day notes this piece of Islamic 'scholarship' titled 'The real ideological root of terrorism: Darwinism and materialism'. I'm surprised that Lew Rockwell hasn't linked to it yet.

Posted by razib at 11:38 PM | | TrackBack

It's a girl thang

This article titled Where the girls aren't in The New York Times seems a bit schizo. Check this out:

Mr. Schleunes believes that girls' reluctance about computer science -- their eagerness to stay with ''editorial'' functions -- is a consequence of social conditioning. He wants to get girls past ''the societal stuff that goes on'' about boys' and girls' interests. ''It's not good to ignore the talent of half your society,'' he said. ''We are importing computer scientists from other countries because we can't get enough. Is that a good thing in the long run? If this is a field we would prefer to dominate as a nation, we should be developing more women in the field.''

A nice paean to the idea that it is society's fault, mixed in with a little mild nativism (kind of like the appeals to suffrage). Now check out this patronizing section:

Last year, Mr. Schleunes conducted a personal case study by retooling the Advanced Placement curriculum, which he thinks turns off a lot of potential students. ''It's obviously not serving girls if they represent only 12 to 15 percent of the students taking the classes,'' he said. ''The environment isn't girl-friendly. Intelligent, creative girls want to do larger-scale programs that actually do something. They don't want to look at a logarithm that deals with a math thing and how we're going to apply it. They don't like puzzle problems -- or they don't exclusively, and yet that's a lot of what the Advanced Placement test is about.''

As I've said many times-the whole problem with women and technical fields (math & science yes, but also auto-mechanics and what not) is that in my experience, women aren't wowed by technique. They don't play with the computer, going where no teacher has assigned homework before. Many of these articles emphasize that it needs to be more "practical" and "social," basically, prioritize the end products of technical fields rather than the esoterica that exists as layers of abstraction between the undergirding principles and human interface. There is a role for those who don't find the theoretical underpinning captivating, but there's no reason to be snide about geeks who find it absorbing either-otherwise, journalists would still be writing up their pieces on typewriters.

Additional thoughts: I don't mean to imply that didactic methods remain frozen, but these sort of articles seem to imply that the subject that is being studied is almost secondary to the self-worth that the students might gain from mastering them. Certain subjects-those that are heavily math-loaded or have obvious testable outcomes imply boundary conditions in how they can be taught. This is especially true of lower-level courses that present uncontroversial material that is not open for discussion-my freshmen level chemistry sequence for instance had very little debate, but some of the molecular biology and genetics seminars I took later on involved quite a bit of discussion of various alternative models to explain phenomena. The key is you still have to go through the less exciting lower division courses to have any understanding of the more interesting topics in a seminar. That's what disturbs me about the article talking about how women like to see the large-scale completed programs rather than dealing at the level of individual modules or subroutines (and this tendency recapitulates itself in any of these stories, there is a berating of the attention to technical minutiae and detail that “nerds” tend to display, but is considered peculiar in the general culture). Programmers do plenty of slapping together modules, off-the-shelf-code, etc. (Visual Fill-in-the-Language). But when a problem arises that you have to debug, or you have to go in and stitch the modules together, you need to know the basics of programming on a finer level than high-level architecture. Those who put together large and interesting programs always have to build on smaller pieces of code designed and written by someone else. There is no free lunch. The ultimate aim of having some level of parity might be laudable in certain professions, but one shouldn’t change the standards or methodology to attain that goal.

Posted by razib at 09:00 PM | | TrackBack

Merry Old England

From The Economist:

Check out the original article if you have a subscription. Here is a snippet:

The scale of the problem is horrifying (see charts), particularly given that black West Indians start off at primary school with better literacy and numeracy skills than any other ethnic group. How to explain this depressing trajectory? “This is still a question which courts a lot of controversy,” says Marian FitzGerald of the London School of Economics. “It is complex and politically sensitive. Nobody wants to be seen to be ‘explaining away' discrimination.” Broadly speaking, opinion divides between those who blame racism among whites, and those who think there's something bad going wrong in the culture that black boys are brought up in.

Posted by razib at 08:18 PM | | TrackBack

January 10, 2003

Some old time Gene Expression

Godless Capitalist, Gene Expressor emeritus, forwarded me this document. Select the bionculars in the menu, type (the "find" feature for Acrobat Reader) "QTL" and read the article titled A winning combination under the heading MULTIFACTORIAL GENETICS. Even if you don't have a technical background, the gist is pretty obvious. Here is a snippet:

A QTL study would typically begin by identifying two populations that differ in the quantitative trait of interest, mixing the two genomes by genetic crossing and then looking for genomic regions that segregate with differences in the quantitative phenotype.

Here is Godless' text from the e-mail:

the application to humans is conceptually trivial, somewhat technically challenging, but doable within a year or two with a lot of money. there's one obvious quantitative trait to look at too...

Posted by razib at 11:53 PM | | TrackBack

Oh so sinister!

I was flipping channels and I stumbled onto the introduction for the PBS show NOW hosted by Bill Moyers. There was a voice-over set against some video of Grover Norquist, and for a second I thought he was some demon, the tone was so foreboding. Then it switched to Howard Zinn-and the cadence became light and adulatory. Not that conservatives don't demonize liberals either-but two wrongs don't make a right, and liberals often assert that it is the Right that is not fair-minded or objective.

Posted by razib at 09:06 PM | | TrackBack

Keep Your Laws Off My DNA

If you read enough feminist newsletters and websites you'll eventually come across more than a few childfree by choice defenses. Setting aside the question of why brilliant, succesful, allegedly fulfilled women are feel the need to defend their choices so vigorously, their reasoning offers a clue as to why discussion of genetic factors in intelligence, talent, and personality must be suppressed.

The typical defense is that the world is already overpopulated and that people who refrain from adding to this problem are more level-headed and foresighted than those who have children anyway. This is frequently followed by admonitions that everyone who wants children shop for them at foreign orphanages instead of adding to overpopulation with a do-it-yourself project.

GNXP followers and most other thinking people know that overpopulation hysteria is about 30 years out of date. And the anti-white racism that this argument hints toward by encouraging white couples to adopt brown babies instead of polluting the world with their own racist DNA cuts no ice with most whites under 30 who have born the brunt of affirmative action, quotas,
and other anti-white campus policies. However, the crux of this argument hangs on the shibboleth that All Races Are Created Equal.

This Brave New World and White Parent's Burden can only succeed in Lake Wobegone. If a child born to any Lagos prostitute will graduate from Harvard Medical School as easily as a Park Avenue scion named Benjamin Rabinowitz, if they both have a good secondary education and the tuition on hand, then the high-IQ childfree feminists are at least half-right even if their overpopulation theories are baloney.

But, if intelligence is highly heritable, and thus closely connected to race, not only are their racial theories in the dust bin, but their childlessness is a
net loss to society. In a purely Darwinian sense, by taking their high-IQ genes to the grave with them they are living antisocial, counterproductive lives. Although the genetic problems common in Third World adoptees are now being acknoweledged, the logical leap that healthy, intelligent, hardworking people should have children for the good of society would make childless feminists "feel guilty". As liberalism promises a guilt and shamefree existance for those who renounce the evil powers of racism, sexism, and homophobia, this must be avoided at all costs, even at the expense of scientific truth.

Are people fortunate enough to be born at the right tail of the bell curve obligated to pay for their dumb luck by having a lot of babies to keep our complex society going? Clearly the decision to have a family is an intensely personal one that is fraught with emotion and subject to influences over which one frequently has little control. Do we owe society our high IQ genes in the next generation of the cognitive elite? Such a question will discomfort some libertarians, the kind who believe that the individual has no obligations to society beyond obeying the law and staying off welfare. Pre-September 11th, Steve Sailer shot down their open-border hallucinations with the genetic/financial inequality argument. Does the genetic inequality argument extend to increasing social pressure on high IQ people to marry and have large families?

I'll be the first to acknowledge that the ramifications of the Death of the Blank Slate will result in the greatest philosophical upheaval since the Enlightenment. Also, let me make it clear that as a Christian I believe that human beings have souls, and that we are more than just our genotypes. Certainly, the childless can contribute greatly to human societies, as they have for centuries. But in terms of Darwinian fitness, a fundamental genetic reality independent of and preceding human societies, the childless are irrelevant. As I've stated, I have no idea where to go from here, but the sooner we address these issues the better. But if our primary goal is to avoid hurting people's feelings we'll never even approach a resolution. We may as well start here. Let's hash this out. I invite every possible perspective.

Razib adds: from the message board....

"humans don't have sex to have babies, they have babies because they enjoy sex."

it's not often that razib is this spectacularly wrong!

Posted by duende at 10:37 AM | | TrackBack

New ways to get your government check

Prediction: In my lifetime (I'm 22) blacks will suffer a huge employment crisis. With their on average higher IQs and stronger work ethic, Hispanics will drive at least 50% of blacks out of the private sector. Along with an re-expanded welfare system, government jobs will be increasingly offered as a sop. Black employment even now is heavily concentrated in the public sector, but in ten years it will be very hard for whites to get government jobs. The top levels will be heavily white, but the mid-level white government worker will dwindle, even if a lot of make-work jobs are created to accomodate unemployable blacks. This will certainly change the face of the D.C. area, but it will also make the government workforce more pervasively leftist and more socialistic in its work ethic as it elevates the right opinions and community service over performence. As for what non-black Americans will think of a primarily black government workforce, all I can say is that average Americans will have a lower opinion of government workers than they do now.

Razib adds: Latinos are marginalizing the working classes of other races throughout the West because of their willingness to work at lower wages and longer hours. I visited Kentucky last spring, and there were actually English speaking white women changing the bedsheets. Surreal.

Posted by duende at 08:27 AM | | TrackBack

Roche Update

1) Someone claiming to be Andrea Roche (Miss Ireland 1998) indicates on the message board that she's 1/4 Indian-so there's a lot more milk in that coffee than I'd stated. The IP address is from Ireland, though it could be a leprechaun for all I know (a leprechaun with a monkey side-kick to keep the Indo-Hibernian theme going!)

2) Someone on the message board found a much better picture of the lady in question-she looks a bit like Isabelle Adjani it seems.

3) And here's a link to Leprechaun Software. Now, why would a company that seems to have a slant toward security use such mischevious beasts as their mascot?

Posted by razib at 05:04 AM | | TrackBack

January 09, 2003

Of pietas, Roman and American

Jason Soon of Catallaxy Files links to this article in The American Conservative by neo-Luddite William Lind on the rising techno-paganism engulfing the West. Yeah, you read that right! Techno-paganism! (OK, I created the term, but that's what he's saying) I suppose I am a techno-pagan of sorts, a man of the Right that rejects the Old Time Religion (Christianity, or in my case Islam) and embraces the wild and uncharted future. On the other hand, I temper my enthusiasms with the maxim, "evolution, not revolution." Change is inevitable, as is heat death, but how we respond to it is in our hands.

In the vein of the article linked to below on the "secularists" and the Democratic party, I must remind everyone that there are those on the Right who aren't Christians or Jews, but secularists and pagans. Our numbers are minimal, and we are invisible at the grassroots level, but I remember reading years ago that Republican primary voters who did not consider "religion important in their lives" were all hyper-wealthy, in fact, the wealthiest of the different groups of primary voters (Republican and Democrat, all were rather affluent compared to the average American, but non-religious Republicans have stratospheric asset levels).

The most prominent of the Heathens of the Right was H. L. Mencken. Despite his anti-Semitism and racism (ah, but I must excuse him by reminding everyone that his views on Jews and blacks were no more offensive than Maggie Sanger's-they were even mildly progressive for their age, opposing lynching for instance, but vilely racist in today's context, with their skepticism of equality in fact if not before the law), he is a hero to libertarian leaning conservatives (myself included, though I might better call myself a conservative leaning libertarian). More machiavellian types who follow Leo Strauss are also often personally irreligious. There is a reason that Marvin Olasky called the Neo-Conservative followers of John McCain The Party of Zeus-he viewed them as pagan patriots, who would take the Christ out of the Right and replace it with the graven image of the Flag [1]. In England, Norman Tebbit, one of Maggie Thatcher's senior lieutenants has long mixed a combative atheism with a reverence for all things British.

I am no village atheist. I respect religion and enjoy exploring its ideas and history to better understand humanity. But in the end, believers and unbelievers shall part, each one pitying the other. The believer will assert that with the death of the gods so dies decency, all things would be permitted. The unbeliever would recoil, and wonder what sort of man is his believing brother that goodness may only be compelled by a deity's demands.

Let me end with a link to Roger Scruton's Decencies for Skeptics (I've linked to this before), he a conservative and a pagan unbeliever at that. I do not endorse everything he says, he is of an older generation, so the pieties of his youth are not those of mine, but the religious should never forget that there are those who believe that we walk in decency's shadow without trembling before the Lord.

[1] There is some irony in this-the Kristols have both been active in defending social and religious conservatives from the excesses of other New York intellectuals. Years ago Irving wrote what I thought was a very tendentious article asserting that Jews had done better under Christians than pagans (warning of the rising post-Christian paganism), while William has been at the forefront of attacking the New Bioengineering, defending ideas about the sacredness of the soul that are most prominent today in Christianity. The irony in William's position is that his Jewish religious tradition seems to be more in favor of a utilitarian approach to the New Bioengineering, while Christianity, intoxicated by the dualistic ideas of ancient pagan Neo-Platonism has evinced an almost mystical aversion to it.

Posted by razib at 11:47 PM | | TrackBack

Conversation on White Nationalism

Frontpage Magazine has an interesting Symposium on White Nationalism. One of the participants is Carol Swain, the author of The New White Nationalism in America. I read it, and it's a very interesting book. She is very balanced (in that she presents different sides) and thorough (the book's scope is very wide, and delves into much of the same material as The End of Racism by D'Souza). Two things I would quibble with her: in the introduction she says that those who want a frank discussion of race should not even think about speaking of genetic differences, and she also has a naive belief in the power of Christian universalism (and I think she underestimates the contempt that much of the liberal white elite has for Christianity).

On the first point-Jamie Glazov who moderated the symposium above asked if we can proceed forward as a nation that values equality before the law if we speak of genetic differences. Anyone that reads this blog knows that the phrase equality before the law is a hot-button of mine. I have argued constantly that empirical results from studies of individual or group differences do not refute the basic normative idea of equality before the law. But there is a more important point-what if the progress of genetic science points clearly to a difference between groups or individuals in key capacities? What exactly would we do if we did not even entertain the possibility?

Here is a snippet about the "violence gene," MAOA (full text here):

The study, published in today's issue of the journal Science, was based on 442 boys in New Zealand who were tracked from birth to age 26. The scientists correlated statistics about abuse and mistreatment among the children with variations of a gene that coded for an enzyme called monoamine oxidase A, or MAOA....

What if we find out that there are different frequencies of the variations of MAOA in diverse human populations? The implications for those who want to see it are clear-what will those of us who believe in equality before the law and the presumption of free will do if we stick our heads in the sand and ignore these possibilities? I don't have the answers, I'm not an ethicist, legal theorist or political philosopher, but those who are might have to begin addressing more controversial topics coming out of neuroscience and genetics sooner than they expect.

On the second point about the unifying power of Christianity to forge a common American identity, I'm skeptical, because as they say, America is a nation of Indians (religious) ruled by Swedes (not as religious) [1]. I also think Swain et al., like many black intellectuals, don't understand how much contempt white liberals have for traditional religion (as opposed to a vague spiritualism). The secular liberals who came south in the 1960s bowed their heads when everyone prayed-but from what I know, many liberals who are sympathetic to civil rights and support the black political movement roll their eyes inwardly at these expressions of faith. The true allies in religious universalism are conservatives, who with black Americans still revere the truisms of the Old Time Religion. Try to square that circle....

[1] I don't doubt the sincerity of many of our political leaders in their faith, but even though some Republicans (Tom DeLay) have made noises about rejecting evolution, these sort of issues, the true test of theological fundamentalism, are beyond the outer bounds of the conservative leadership. This is important, because the majority of Americans favor some inclusion of Creationist teaching in the classroom, and 50% are Creationists outright. Of course, I'm not saying this brings out emotions like abortion, but it is an indicator that Creationists are seen as nuts in the elite media, and don't get that much sympathy from elite politicians even though they form half the electorate. I won't go so far as to say that one can not be theologically liberal and a sincere believing Christian, but those that are tend to be hyper-intelligent individuals who have complex ideas about theism (see Borg's theology of panentheism for instance). On the other hand, the vast majority of committed believers are on the conservative edge of theology and more emotional, less cerebral, variant of worship and devotion. And yet somehow, conservative Christians, both black & white, still remain in separate churches and adhere to opposing parties.

Posted by razib at 11:00 PM | | TrackBack

By the numbers

On The Bachelorette yesterday, the average height of the guys was a little under 6'1 (72.78 inches), and the 15 out of 25 that made it past round 1 were about that height too (72.83 inches). Trista, the bachelorette is 5'2. No bachelor was under 5'11 or above 6'3 & 1/2.

Posted by razib at 03:01 PM | | TrackBack

January 08, 2003

The Secular Coalition

The Weekly Standard has an interesting piece on secularist support for the Democrat party compared to conservative Christian support for the Republicans. Of course one difference is that the former is implicit while the latter is explicit. Secularists tend to align with certain policies, but their influence is felt through a multiplicity of PACs and organizations, rather than a "Secular Coalition."

Update: Chris Mooney has a better post on this topic than I.... (one thing that Winkler leaves out-most "Secularists" believe in God, no more than 5% of the American population doubt God, and more like 2% are probably avowed atheists like me. Also, very religious groups like black Americans vote Democratic at a higher rate than Secularists).

Posted by razib at 07:07 PM | | TrackBack

January 07, 2003

Gots a little Oz in me?

This paper indicates that there might be some relationship between the tribal peoples of India and the Australian Aborigines. Well, I might have to lay off on the jokes about Aborigines forgetting about the bow and arrow after they showed up if they're kith & kin....

Posted by razib at 10:07 PM | | TrackBack

Fat people got no reason to....

This article titled Land of the Free, Home of the Fat has an interesting statement:

Some of Mr. Critser's observations are more dubious, like his citation of a survey associating obesity with higher levels of religiosity, or his worry that "assortative mating" ("fat attracting fat") will lead to fat parents producing more fat children. Such bizarre notions, combined with a perfunctory assessment of the ways in which America can combat obesity, distract attention from the very real and alarming problems, discussed in this otherwise absorbing volume, of living large.

I wonder what the author would think about someone like me....

Update: I'm not fat. I was just smirking at what she thought were strange ideas, since I put a lot of stock in assortive mating.

Posted by razib at 09:43 PM | | TrackBack


What do Harvard Classics grads do with their lives? Found the preeminent IT related publishing house.

Posted by razib at 04:26 AM | | TrackBack

The Moors and Spain

The Moors of Al-Andalus intermarried heavily with the native Spaniards (Mozarabs), not to mention their Slavic slaves. But there have been suggestions that the possible genetic imprint on southern Spain by the Muslim conquests was minor (as marginal as the Visigothic legacy). The following study from The Human Races Archive (which you should visit at least once a week if you have an interest in archaeogenetics and its affiliated fields) might seem to negate that position:

The highest frequency of haplotype 5 (68.9%) was previously observed in Berbers from Morocco, and it has been established that this haplotype is a characteristic Berber haplotype in North Africa. The relative frequencies of haplotype 5 distribution show a geographical gradient of decreasing frequency according to latitude in Iberia: 40.8% in Andalusia, 36.2% in Portugal, 12.1% in Catalonia, and 11.3% in the Basque Country; such a cline of decreasing frequency of haplotype 5 from the south to the north in Iberia clearly establishes a gene flow from North Africa towards Iberia.

Of course, another reasonable explaination is that southern Iberia and northern Africa have always been closely affiliated racially (just as there are swarthy Andalusians-there are red-haired Berbers). No wonder Antonio Banderas could play an Arab in The 13th Warrior.

Posted by razib at 03:37 AM | | TrackBack

January 06, 2003

Ireland-no longer so merry

Over on the message board someone doesn't seem to see the benefits of immigration to Ireland.

Immigration+assimilation+Ireland has resulted in....

Samantha Mumba-half-Zambian, of the beautiful breasts:

Former Miss Ireland, Andrea Roche, half-brown (South Asian, and the one on the left obviously):

Don't you think they look like Andrea Corr (high forehead and facial features), sometimes described as the "most beauitful woman in Ireland":

Update: The actress Rhona Mitra is also half-Indian (Bengali) and half Irish. That should give her an explosive personality....

Posted by razib at 11:43 PM | | TrackBack

On liberalism-black, brown, yellow and white

A can of worms has been opened-and we are all dancing about on shades of degree. First, we need to define the object in question, liberalism.

The term is twisted and torn to shreds by every political faction there is. But, by liberalism, I mean the broad political tradition that has been ascendant in the West after World War II and had its genesis in the 18th century amongst mostly British philosophers and politicians (English and Scottish) [1].

For me, liberalism is most typified by the rule of law, wedded to equality before the law (it is this second part that is so difficult to maintain without eroding the other foundations I believe). The process took centuries, but today even kings and presidents are accountable to the judicial system in liberal nations (in theory-but practice must always begin with such principles). Two other essentials tend to be some level of representative democracy tempered by inviolable liberties (The Rights of Englishmen). The cocktail is mixed to various degrees in the panoply of nation-states that lay claim to the liberal mantle.

As a libertarian I have grave concerns about the social democratic tendencies in other parts of the Anglosphere, but I believe that Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom are easily given places under the umbrella of liberalism. The nations of the European continent I will equivocate more-but compared to other regions of the world, such as Latin America or Africa, they are also havens of liberalism, though different strands (contrast Italian political quasi-anarchy with French dirigiste).

Then there are other nations where the liberal tradition is younger-budding and maturing before our eyes. Estonia, Taiwan and Senegal are a few examples I can think of. We do not yet know if they will be liberal nations, for I believe that cultures are shaped by generations, not 10-20 years of stability. Nations become liberal when their populace never remembers the memory of tyranny, never consider any alternative aside from broad liberties (legally enforced segregation was the norm 50 years ago in much of the nation, but today we would never think of turning the clock back). I suspect the Taiwanese will be ever vigilant for at least a few generations, even without the threat of "Red" China.

Now, to the more explosive question, are some races by nature more liberal? This is a difficult question to answer, and generalizations will tend to be easily refuted within the axis of human experience. For instance, as Jon Jay Ray has pointed out, northern Germany went from the relative chaos of the 30 Years War, to strict Prussian discipline by the 19th century that some would argue culminated in the regimentation of the Third Reich, only to be later forced into a liberal model by the conquering powers after World War II. In fact, in the United States, Americans of German ancestry are with the English the most numerous of the many ethnos that have formed its polity, and seem to have not brought any repressive "Hunnish" sensibility to its politics.

Certainly, the Soviet tyranny, and the soft-authoritarianism that dominated much of southern Europe until the 1970s, stands as a counter-point to assertions of natural white liberalism [2]. It might be better to generalize that Germanic, specifically Anglo-Saxon, nations are better suited to liberalism at this point in their development. Today's generalizations are yesterday's falsehoods (Today [pre-1998]: Confucianism is good for East Asian capitalism, Yesterday: Confucian values hold back individual initiative).

Nevertheless, let us look to East Asia, an economically prosperous region that some have asserted is naturally uncongenial to democracy. Lee Kwan Hew, Singapore's senior statesman, has asserted that the Chinese are not capable of accepting liberal democracy (and he is friendly to race realist ideas). He has created a clean efficient and bureaucratic city that is the jewel of Southeast Asia that stresses order not liberty. And yet, since 1987, Taiwan has engaged in raucous liberal democracy and seems to have accepted the peaceful transition of power between parties that is one of the hallmarks of liberalism. South Korea too has been successful in this experiment. Hong Kong lacks democracy, but it does have rule of law.

But ultimately, we have to look at Japan, with its 50 year rule by the Liberal Democratic Party for a more multi-generational example. The Japanese are a politically apathetic people from all encounters I have had had with them personally (as well as being religiously apathetic, indicating that there is little controversy at their parties!). They follow the forms of democracy, but seem less imbued with public spirit than Westerners would expect given that they are now stakeholders in their society through universal franchise. Japan is a relatively orderly society that does have rule of law. Though there have been laws on the books that mandate equal treatment of the sexes since the occupation period, they are regular ignored when they conflict with cultural sensibilities. It would seem then that Japanese political traditions rest lightly upon the substrate of the culture.

And yet no one must deny that there have been changes. The Japanese are no longer warlike, and the fact that a small population of Westerners have intermarried and settled down in Japan indicates that its quality of life is comparable to that of the West. One can look at the German state, with its confessional mixing (state support of established Churches, also present in England), restrictions on abortion, speech and political organization (when the latter are outside the bounds of "democratic" discourse), and wonder if the Germans have changed much either. Their corporate "social market economy" seems have to have taken dollops of liberalism, but tempered it with Germany's own sensibilities and traditions of communal negotiation and compromise that dates at least back to the era of Bismarck and his confrontations with the National Liberals.

German or Japanese political traditions are to me somewhat on the outer edges of liberalism. It seems that liberalism serves almost as a means toward expression of their own cultural particularisms, rather than being a neutral abstract framework for individual action and competition. Be as that may, it may be that these are the sort of compromises that liberalism will have to make if it is to "End History" and become a universal civilization.

So will liberalism be destroyed by multiculturalism and race-mixing? The Germans and Japanese that live in the United States (far more of the former of course) seem well adapted to liberal traditions. But one must always be cautious. Hawaii for instance, for decades dominated by Asian-American Democrats, has become a "machine politics" state that was rife with cronyism (on reason for a recent Republican victory in the governor’s race by a white woman). On the other hand, one could say the same until recently (or even now) of Irish dominated Massachusetts.

I would simply ask for caution tempering our intellectual courage (yes, me included). We can not truly say whether East Asians would or would not become "liberals." Certainly the Koreans, Taiwanese and to a lesser extent Japanese have become "more like us," but immigrants from the mainland seem far less influenced by abstract ideas and more driven by economic considerations (similar to immigrants from Mexico).

More later.

[1] Yes, the United States of America was its first great unabashed experiment, while Frenchmen like Montesquieu had some influence. But humor me when I say it was a Brit-thang.

[2] Spain, Portugal and Greece were all autocracies until the past generation. Italy was a democracy, but one with a thriving Communist party as well as a post-Fascist party. One suspects that Italy's democracy owed much to the fact that it had sided with the Axis powers and so authoritarianism could no longer be allowed to remain dominant.

Posted by razib at 03:33 PM | | TrackBack

Symbiotic Celebrity Boxing

Disclaimer: I'm not homophobic and I don't have a problem with gays. But I think this is damn funny!

Andrew Sullivan is kicking John Derbyshire around, right on schedule. For those have you who haven't followed this little feud, Sullivan has been pissed off at Derb for quite a while. It goes like this: Derb makes a witty, sly, deliberately offensive, Prince Philip-type soundbite that is insensitive and unabashedly true. Despite his surrounding such one-liners with sensible, if less hilarious, commentary, Sullivan takes them out of context and makes Derb sound like Sir William McCordle. Derb makes a policy of remaining stoically silent. Fans of both authors hate the rival and love their man even more. A fairly profitable arrangement for both, and boistrous entertaiment for me, but I must comment on a paragraph that is the source of Sullivan's current wrath:

"In National Review again, Derbyshire recently described looking for a place to live in the New York suburbs:
'One time we got off the train in a town that was pretty solidly
black. It took us about five minutes to figure this out. Then we went
back to the railroad station and sat half an hour waiting for the
next train.'

He justifies this by citing a range of statistics about why black neighborhoods tend to be worse off than others. "Are we racists?" he asks of himself and his wife. "Depends what you mean," he answers. "

In Sullivan's mind, Derb not wanting to live in a mostly-black neighborhood is bitter, evil, hatred. I think this is just the simplistic position of a bachelor with no wife and children to protect from the "statistics" that he thinks barely important enough to mention.

But as I mentioned, these little skirmishes are too much fun to knock. Archetypally, its an utter classic: The tweedy, crunchy, somewhat bilious English conservative against a Boy George look-alike. I can't say who'd win, but if they showed this on Pay-Per View I'd shell out the bucks.

Posted by duende at 01:54 PM | | TrackBack

My response to Razib

"I favor Western Civilization not because it is white, but because it is liberal"

As do I. However, it seems clear to me that liberalism works best in largely white nations. High-IQ Asian nations like Japan and S. Korea are not as free as lower-IQ white countries like Great Britain (for now anyway). Godless Capitalist has insinuated that liberty-squelching gun control legislation is primarily due to the disproportionate gun crimes committed by blacks.* In Europe, the disproportionate sex crimes committed by Arab men will surely curtail the freedoms of white Europeans in some fashion. I agree with you that racialism tends to be illiberal. But aren't the concessions of freedom that whites must make in multi-cultural societies to keep crime-prone minorities from running wild just as illiberal?

* That British blacks are disproportionately violent, particularly with guns, is common knowledge. I don't have the dates, but I suspect that the application of draconian gun control measures in the U.K. coincided with increased black immigration from Africa and the Carribrean. Does anyone have dates or stats on this?

Posted by duende at 12:37 PM | | TrackBack

January 05, 2003

Calling all idiot savants!

Salon has an article on Asperger's Syndrome up.

Posted by razib at 08:03 PM | | TrackBack

Criminal problems with cloning

Future Pundit has a great post on the problems that cloning might cause for law enforcement. Must read.

Posted by razib at 05:43 PM | | TrackBack

Pope Julius has the last laugh!

From The Economist via Edge of England's Sword:

...But if you look at Europe as a whole, the small movement back towards old-fashioned virtues in big Catholic countries is far outweighed by the stride the other way in post-Protestant countries such as Germany and Sweden. On average, then, the values gap between America and European countries seems to be widening.

Part of one of my predictions-rather like calling a football game with 2 minutes to go and one team up of 14.

Posted by razib at 03:24 AM | | TrackBack

White America-reprised

Back around Thanksgiving there was a thread about immigration policy that I stayed out of (godless stood up for my peeps so to speak :). Some people suggest a reversion to the old system that was tilted toward northwest Europe. The original rhetoric was that it maintained the national origin balances present at passage of the legislation (in other words, Germany received the quota according to how many Germans where in the United States), but the intent was to curtail southern and eastern European immigration and exclude non-white entrants not already covered by the Oriental Exclusion Act.

On the message board here is a snippet from a post that asks an honest question:

The tendency to self segregate among groups is apparent especially in northern ireland via religion and via nationalism among scottish and welsh people, so why should the English favour Hindu's or Sikh's and just for example cap muslim immigration? Shouldn't policies towards Balkanisation be always resisted?

My answer to this is that my attitude toward immigration is like Bill Clinton's attitude toward abortion-it should be safe, legal, but rare. Revolutions in the ethnic balance of a state are a recipe for disaster-I believe that without any qualification. On the other hand, an explicit national origins or racial quota system for immigration faces the same objections I have for affirmative action: implementation.

For instance, assume that we only allow immigrants from Sweden to enter the United States. 1 out of 8 individuals in Sweden are non-Swedes, often Kurds and Turks that are not part of the mainstream of Nordic society. These individuals would almost certainly be more likely to immigrate than indigenous Swedes. So a racial clause would have to be added. But many Turks and Kurds are not particularly swarthy, and a blonde-dye job would not be especially onerous or noticeable on them. They could be excluded because of their surnames, but surnames can change easily enough. Changing our modern immigration policies to favor Europe would simply shift the burden to the Europeans-they would be swamped by Tides of Color that wanted to use their nations as transit points. Adding a racial aspect would add another layer of bureaucracy and make the law appear ridiculous (the South African race classification system sometimes did ludicrous things such as reclassifying a girl as "Colored" even though she came from an all-white family. It shows the pitfalls of assuming that valid racial generalizations can predict so well on the individual scale) [1].

Change is inevitable, and genes pass between populations. As I have stated before, the character of nations shift under our feet-where 2,000 years ago the Irish were a melange of tribes and peoples (the Gaels ruled over indigenes called the Feirnan Bolgii) who worshiped pagan gods and drank too much, today the Irish are moderately devout Roman Catholics who believe in a divine Jewish God and still drink too much (and speak English!). The Irish are still Irish. On the other hand, the Britons of 2,000 years ago are the ... Welsh, while the Britons of today were the Germans. It is the latter situation that we are trying to avoid if one says that the character of American civilization must be preserved, that the West must continue as an identifiable tradition. Rapid replacement is straightforward in its dangers.

To the specific question of Hindus and their threat to the UK. Do they serve as counterpoint to the British nature and diminish its character? I don't think so, I think that a good historical analogy are the Jews-who have been a productive people that often provide goods and services not normally available (Jews served as instruments of Westernization along what later become The Pale of Settlement, beyond the reach of German merchants and Catholic religion in the lands of Russian Orthodoxy). A substantial portion of medical students and the entrepreneurial class in England are Indian. It could be argued that they are taking the place of British whites-and that is a reasonable argument, but I think life is about trade-offs. Jews, though they were only 1-2% of most European societies often were dominant in the professions and certain specialty sectors (banking, precious stones, etc.) and probably provided services and expertise at a higher level than their gentile competitors. They did little to detract from national homogeneity because they only formed 1-2% of the population, and often were in a constant state of assimilation (the bad joke goes that at the rates of intermarriage with Germans that Jews had, if the Holocaust did not occur, there would still be the same number of practicing Jews in Germany in 2000).

Indians currently have low outmarriage rates, though far higher than Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. If the current Indian population base does not go above 2%, I suspect that it will be absorbed in the "British" population, and its place later to be taken by another middleman/professional minority. The character of "Britishness" will change ever so slightly, but it will have evolved rather than being replaced.

My position then is this: let the best and the brightest in. Instead of allowing whole villages into the country, let professionals come who are less likely to gather around ethnic ghettos. Many nations have residual minorities that are absorbed over generations-even ones today considered monoethnic [2]. Racial or ethnic purity is a mirage, but integrity is not a vain or bigoted aim.

Let me finish quickly with a personal reflection. If I was in Bangladesh, my life would be far different. But I would not be destitute. My family has some means and some property, so though I wouldn't have the same level of technological luxuries, I would have the servants and homes that are the trappings of the South Asian middle & upper classes. I think I'm clever enough that I could con myself into a reasonable job where I got paid to do nothing. Bangladesh is a poor and chaotic country, but it has a history of civilization, and the wealthy classes have always found a way to maintain their wealth. But ultimately my life would deal more with figuring out how to screw over the masses of the populace and make sure the bribes get paid to the right people. In the United States, perhaps naively, I believe that my productivity (whether writing small web applications or cranking out mini-essays) goes into the greater society. If a "Race War" developed-I know very well which side I'd be on, and would act accordingly-this is one war where you can't just switch uniforms. I'm more concerned with not letting it get to that point. I want to live in a world where one can be a credit to their nation, rather than race or ethnos. But, to get to that point, I think it is important that we talk about the latter.

[1] There was a case early in the 20th century where an Indian immigrant from Punjab argued that as he was Caucasoid he was eligible for citizen (being "white"). The judge agreed he was scientifically white, but asserted that public perception is what matters and by that count he was not, therefore he could not be naturalized. The point is, I'd rather not have our court system or civil servants have to deal with this sort of situation-it's Byzantine enough!

[2] Japan has a long history of Korean migration and a possible Ainu substrate in northern Honshu. Germany had a large Huguenot population. Spain had a substantial Moorish and Jewish minority. Italy had a large Greek minority (there are still small Greek-speaking Italoit populations). The Franks were Germans. The Scotti were from Ireland, but eventually Celtic culture lost in the battle with the Angles. Many of the "Greeks" expelled from Turkey after 1921 were in fact Turkish speakers who followed the Orthodox faith (and likely the reverse as well)!

Posted by razib at 02:31 AM | | TrackBack

Increase in IQ-there is hope! (?)

Jason Malloy has noted (as has Steve Sailer) that the white admixture of genes into the black American population can not explain the discrepancy between the average West African IQ (~70) and that of American blacks (~85). On a tantalizing note, Lynn did some work in England that seemed to show that the South Asian IQ was about 95 [1]-about 15 points higher than the mean in India. The IQ that Lynn gives for Fiji Indians though is about 85. This does not take into account the different streams of migration (I would not be surprised if South Asians in the United States had mean IQs of 110 at least because of the nature of that migration) and possible dysgenic effects. But an optimist can hope that if Third World nations modernize their IQs will rise. I would like to see how the "Celtic Tiger" now fares after 10 years of economic development (Ireland had the lowest IQ in Western Europe at ~90).

[1] The Indians were higher, Pakistanis and Bangaldeshis somewhat lower. Lynn attributed this to the fact that latter groups were more likely to be recent arrivals with a less fluent command of the language. But the East African exile population probably has more social and genetic capital than typical of South Asia.

Posted by razib at 01:43 AM | | TrackBack

Divine Predictions

1) The 21st century will see the Catholic Church become the de facto Universal Church in western Europe once more as Protestantism declines into relative insignificance. But, as in the late Roman Empire before Constantine's conversion, the Christians will now be just a prominent minority.

2) Indigenous and black Latin America will continue to move toward Protestantism. More European Latin America will remain mostly Catholic, though secularize.

3) Islam will not experience a Reformation-but rather an abrupt Shattering of the old order more akin to the Jewish Haskalah.

4) The American religious landscape will continue to polarize between seculars and believers, with a portion of the populace following the European model, while the majority continue to be devout.

5) Despite the spiritual exhaustion that some predict in the major world faiths, no new religion will give rise to a another civilization (ie; Mormonism)-the age of miracles is over.

6) The Red Sox will win a World Series-the gods are dead. Only a few aging white men in Florida and Arizona will care-the last gasp of the Bambino's Curse.

Posted by razib at 01:17 AM | | TrackBack