Thursday, June 27, 2002

Why I support the RPI Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

Why I support the RPI A while back godless capitalist wrote about why he opposed the Racial Privacy Act. I found myself torn-on the one hand, I agree that it makes collecting data rather more difficult. On the other hand, the general color-blind thrust of the Racial Privacy Act appealed to me. Godless' most damning criticism was that RPI will weaken the ability to make judgements about the possible differences between races. He is perhaps correct that non-governmental organizations will take up the slack and use it as a hammer for their own distorting agenda. But I think he overstates his case. Our case has been mostly made insofar as the symptoms have been diagnosed. I believe the opposition just refuses to acknowledge the sickness. The fact is that social science data can be sifted and resorted in whatever way sheds favorable light on the ideology in question-that the government does it doesn't shield one from bias (note how the government allows people to check all their racial ancestry on the CENSUS, but assigned multiracial people to the "minority" group to please the liberal racialists). The difference will be that now the biases will be more obvious-and perhaps people will be more attuned to it. Another point is that the RPI itself will only have a limited affect on racial statistics. Prior statistics will still exist, and one can collect large samples from states like New York, Florida or Texas where it isn't in force. How much more social science data do we really need to convince people about race differences? We've had decades of a consistent 15 point gap between blacks and whites-spanning Jim Crow, desegregation and the rise of the black middle class. And yet the dominant position still remains that the gap is an artifice of social discrimination and oppression. What will really convince the opposition-what they'll have a harder time dismissing-are genuine structural differences (neurological) between races on average in the neocortex itself. The reality of medical and health issues being affected by race will convince many on an everyday level as the genetic frontiers of treatment advance. The possible connection between certain alleles and intellectual ability or behavioral tendency, and the likely differential frequencies of these alleles in population X vs. population Y, will convince people. A few hundred more studies on IQ differences or differential academic performances won't add much to our case, the return is just not worth the price. And what is the price? The price is more government control over our lives as individuals-over our legal and political status being subsumed into corporate (race, gender and class) entities that act as mediating institutions between the individual and the state. Knowledge is power-and the more official information the state has, the more power it has. I will grant that power can be used for the good, but I must state that I believe that Acton was right, power does corrupt and our current spoils system is the logical final step toward a culture and a political class concerned with numbers of particular groups rather than the inherent rights of the individual. The rejoinder is that we will still know that blacks are 10% of the population, but only 5% of college students via third-party surveys. But as we've noted, these studies can be contested, and it will be far harder to set quotas on private studies than governmental sanctioned numbers that speak with a certain neutral authority. The government will be forced to cease situational application of universal laws when it is unable to ascertain the state of matters on the ground. Now, it is true that I believe that races are different. I also believe that private organizations-individuals or corporations-should be able to take race into account in their everyday decisions. But why do I favor ignoring its reality in the case of government? The government is an extension, an embodiment, of the concept of law, and law should be blind. The fact is that human beings are not equal in a host of traits. But before a judge we are all granted the same privileges and handed the same penalties. Our genes may "predispose" us to violence-but there is an a priori assumption that one is still responsible for one's actions. The government may still believe that racism needs redressing-that justice must be served. But without targets painted by its own surveys-how can any political body execute the race-conscious agenda without being asked if it is being arbitrary? Evolution, our biology, has progressed without government intervention. We don't need it now-what we need to do is starve the beast of its sustenance, and what is nurturing it in the end is information.

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
The Evolutionists
The Creationists
Of Moths and Men
The Language Instinct
How We Decide
Predictably Irrational
The Black Swan
Fooled By Randomness
Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
Darwin's Cathedral
A Theory of Religion
The Meme Machine
Synaptic Self
The Mating Mind
A Separate Creation
The Number Sense
The 10,000 Year Explosion
The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
The Origins of Virtue
Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
The g Factor
The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
Defenders of the Truth
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
The Classical World
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
History of Rome
How Rome Fell
The Making of a Christian Aristoracy
The Rise of Western Christendom
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
A History of the Byzantine State and Society
Europe After Rome
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity
The Barbarian Conversion
A History of Christianity
God's War
Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Sacred Chain
Divided by the Faith
The Reformation
Pursuit of Glory
Albion's Seed
From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
China in World History
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Great Arab Conquests
After Tamerlane
A History of Iran
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language
A World History
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Human Web
Plagues and Peoples
A Concise Economic History of the World
Power and Plenty
A Splendid Exchange
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
The Ascent of Money
The Great Divergence
Clash of Extremes
War and Peace and War
Historical Dynamics
The Age of Lincoln
The Great Upheaval
What Hath God Wrought
Freedom Just Around the Corner
Throes of Democracy
Grand New Party
A Beautiful Math
When Genius Failed
Catholicism and Freedom
American Judaism

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