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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Did Christina Hoff Sommers suddenly forget all about James Damore?

Back in 2017 Google engineer James Damore published a memo on a Google company discussion board claiming, among other things, that women were intellectually inferior to men at STEM subjects. 

The memo has its own Wiki page which includes (my highlight):
The company fired Damore for violation of the company's code of conduct.[2] Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, but later withdrew this complaint. A lawyer with the NLRB found his firing to be proper;[3][4][5] however, such a decision is not legally binding.[6] After withdrawing this complaint, Damore filed a class action lawsuit, retaining the services of attorney Harmeet Dhillon,[7][8] alleging that Google was discriminating against conservatives, whites, Asians, and men.[9][10] Damore dismissed his claims in the lawsuit to pursue arbitration against Google.[11]
Harmeet Dhillon - where have we heard that name before? Of course, Harmeet Dhillon is also Andy Ngo's lawyer.

It appears that Harmeet K. Dhillon, Republican National Committeewoman, is the lawyer of choice for the Intellectual Dark Web whenever they have a controversial issue.

Anybody who has read the memo can see Damore indisputably claimed that men had better tech abilities than women, biologically:
I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.

So imagine my surprise when my inbox had this retweet by Christina Hoff Sommers the other day.

I keep forgetting to unfollow Sommers on one of my Twitter accounts that she hasn't blocked. Getting a tweet almost every morning from professional misogynist Christina Hoff Sommers is sapping my will to live.

Meghan Daum, who appears to be a second-string member of the Intellectual Dark Web, apparently has not heard of Larry Summers, Steven Pinker, or James Damore, who all do believe that women have inferior math abilities compared to men, biologically.

But of course we know that Christina Hoff Sommers has heard of them, and has written in defense of both Larry Summers and James Damore.

So why does Sommers seem to agree with Daum's ignorance-based claim that "no serious person has ever said it's about ability"?

1. Is this a sign that the Intellectual Dark Web has decided that it's no longer about "ability" and instead plans to emphasize female "preferences" which are both factors attributed by James Damore to women's lesser STEM achievements?

2. Maybe Sommers, at age 69 is starting to show signs of losing it, intellectually, like other senior members of the Intellectual Dark Web and forgot why she considered James Damore a "truth-teller"?

3. Is this an example of "weak pinkerism" as I described in the previous blog post - when it suits the IDW, they pretend they don't believe the extreme hereditarian things they claim to believe when they think they have a friendly audience?

4. Or is it about the grift?

One of my all-time favorite articles about the Intellectual Dark Web is - although it was published before Bari Weiss popularized the term in May 2018 - The Free Speech Grifters by Mari Uyehara in March 2018. The piece includes a perfect description of the grift-loving soul of Christina Hoff Sommers:
At Lewis & Clark Law School, Sommers found what seems to be her favorite kind of audience: a disruptive one. Prior to the speech, activists handed out flyers labeling her "a fascist," among other hyperbolic charges familiar to anyone who has spent time on a college campus. When she attempted to give her talk, a handful of students, led by a blonde ringleader in a black "Stay Woke" jacket, disrupted it with chanting about comrades while holding up a cardboard sign that read "No Platform for Fascists." It was a Ben Shapiro wet dream. As the ringleader yelled, "Black lives matter," Sommers turned to the camera euphorically grinning from ear to ear. Here it was: the money shot.
Could it be that Sommers supported James Damore not because she has bothered to pay attention to what he actually said in the memo, but because it's her job as part of the wingnut welfare ecosystem that pays her to hate women, and also because she loves the grift so much?

It could be a combination of several.

But it's clear that Christina Hoff Sommers is not overly-concerned about intellectual integrity. Which is likely why she makes a living taking money from Koch and other plutocrats to be a shitty third-rate intellectual.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Weak Pinkerism and Strong Pinkerism

The title of this blog post comes from the infamous Ezra Klein-Sam Harris debate about race science.

Klein said:
My working theory is that there’s a strong version and a weak version of Murrayism, both are represented in the conversation, but though the strong version is emphasized in the presentation, there’s been a retreat to the weak version upon challenge...
Harris's response was:
Actually, there is a real version and a fictional one. Here’s an article on that:
Harris is citing the absolute garbage Quillette article by the Winegard brothers "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" in which they defend The Bell Curve by saying Charles Murray was onto something by claiming the reason for African American underachievement is black genetic intellectual inferiority. I explain some of the problems with that and their related Quillette article about race and racism here.

In other words, there is no "Two Bell Curves" which is to say a "real" version and a misrepresented version, in spite of the claims of the Winegard brothers, Sam Harris and Steven Pinker. Both Bell Curve critics and the Winegards agree, Charles Murray holds that genetics is the cause of African American failure to thrive. The actual difference is that critics don't agree with Murray and the Winegards that this is so.

To be precise the Winegards say, in defense of the hereditarian position:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap.
So the claim that The Bell Curve is misrepresented by its critics is a straight-up lie

Pinker seems to be a fan of Barack Obama, in spite of the fact that Obama is also a harsh critic - for the same reason as every other critic - of The Bell Curve.

But back to weak and strong Murrayism. Klein is talking about a phenomenon that PZ Myers has described concerning disputes with evolutionary psychology proponents (see Myers indispensable  dissection of evolutionary psychology here) - such as Jerry Coyne:
There is also a tactic I really dislike; I call it the Dignified Retreat. When criticized, evolutionary psychologists love to run away from their discipline and hide in the safer confines of more solidly founded ideas. Here’s a perfect example (from Coyne):
…the notion that “the fundamental premises of evo psych are false” seems deeply misguided. After all, those premises boil down to this statement: some behaviors of modern humans reflect their evolutionary history. That is palpably uncontroversial, since many of our behaviors are clearly a product of evolution, including eating, avoiding dangers, and the pursuit of sex. And since our bodies reflect their evolutionary history, often in nonadaptive ways (e.g., wisdom teeth, bad backs, the coat of hair we produce as a transitory feature in fetuses), why not our brains, which are, after all, just bits of morphology whose structure affects our behaviors?
You know what? I agree entirely with that. The brain is a material product of evolution, and behavior is a product of the brain. There are natural causes for everything all the way down. And further, I have great respect for psychology, evolutionary biology, ethology, physiology, anthropology, anatomy, comparative biology — and I consider all of those disciplines to have strong integrative ties to evolutionary biology. Does Coyne really believe that I am critiquing the evolved nature of the human brain? Because otherwise, this is a completely irrelevant statement. 
Evolutionary psychology has its own special methodology and logic, and that’s what I criticize — not anthropology or evolutionary biology or whatever. Somehow these unique properties get conveniently jettisoned whenever a critic wanders by, only to be re-adopted without reservation within the exercise of the discipline. And that’s really annoying.
And we can see Pinker defending himself from the Guardian article by using the same technique as Coyne - reverting to the weak version of evolutionary psychology, by pretending that all he is saying is that men and women are not exactly the same, while leaving out his claims that women have evolved to be weaker at STEM subjects than men, that women do more housework because of "sex differences" or that a bile-spewing, professional misogynist crackpot like Camille Paglia is a reasonable feminist, as opposed to Gloria Steinem, whom Pinker contrasts unfavorably to Paglia in The Blank Slate.

Which brings us to Pinker's discussion with Krugman. Welcome to Weak Pinkerism which appears, I suspect, because even Pinker can't help but notice that Krugman is a strong opponent, and Pinker doesn't want to risk a rhetorical ass-kicking.

...it's a great time now to live in New York if you can afford a place, which is the problem.
But housing costs aside, there was a period when social order really did break down to a very important extent.
We did go from being from a city that was pretty safe, was never completely violence free, but it was a pretty safe place in the early 1960s.
It became an extremely-- well, maybe not by the standards of the Middle Ages or Stone Age societies, but by modern standards New York became a very dangerous place, and peaking in the 1980s. 
There was a real sense in which life in New York for lots of people became a lot worse.
There was a period when dystopian books and movies, Escape from New York, that sort of thing, was [INAUDIBLE]. That wasn't coming out of nowhere. That wasn't a fantasy. That was driven by what seemed to be the very real collapse of social order in America's greatest city.
Now, that has turned around. And these days, New York is, once again, a very safe place...
And so you ask, what did we do? Why did things go so wrong, and what did we do? What made them go right again? And indeed, there's been a great deal of research.
And I think the answer, with fairly high degree of confidence, is we have no idea, that there are interesting stories of all kinds. But fundamentally, we don't know why things got so much worse. And we certainly don't know why things got so much better.

I don't happen to agree with Krugman in this rare instance. I think we do know why things got bad, and the Rick Burns documentary New York gets it right when it points out that after the mid-1950s the jobs started to leave New York City.

And as anthropologist Marvin Harris will tell you, at the same time New York was losing jobs, poor blacks were moving in, escaping oppression in the Southern states, seeking low skill factory labor. But factories were leaving town, and meanwhile the jobs that were increasing - office work - were taken by white women, who were often better-educated than poor Southern blacks, and were entering the job market in unprecedented numbers.

It was a combination of these factors that lead to high black unemployment and black crime at a time when New York City was struggling to keep it together due to a shrinking tax base caused by middle class flight.

Here are some factors that caused NYC to recover: controlling debt in the 1970s; Southern "country" blacks began to acquire new modern workplace skills and integrate into city life with the aid of anti-discrimination law and affirmative action policies; the job market expanded in the 1990s thanks to computer technology; the lure of a car-based suburban lifestyle soured for many; birth rates dropped; women started spending the money they were earning as well as paying taxes; and new foreign investments by the 1980s which Krugman mentions elsewhere in the discussion.

That's the cultural materialist explanation.

Steven Pinker has his own eclectic explanation.

He spent pages of "Better Angels" making a case for his theories that dirty hippies and low marriage rates for blacks were critical causal factors in the breakdown of New York City social order.

That was strong Pinkerism. But in a room with Paul Krugman he retreats to weak Pinkerism - suddenly he is content to let Krugman claim we don't know the answers.

Now, could it be that Pinker has changed his mind about the magic of marriage and dirty hippies but doesn't want to admit he was wrong? I think that's a possibility. But as Phil Torres noted about Pinker and his IDW buddies:
They facilely dismiss good critiques as “hit jobs” and level ad hominem attacks to undercut criticism. And they refuse — they will always refuse, it’s what overconfident white men do — to admit making mistakes when they’re obviously wrong. 
Although there are women members of the IDW and they also refuse to admit when they've been obviously wrong, as the odious Christina Hoff Sommers demonstrated recently. I'll talk about that next.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Steven Pinker: Marriage is Magic

I am posting this edited version of a post from my personal blog from February 2018 because the discussion between Pinker and Krugman got me thinking about it.

I will explain more in a near-future  blog post, in which I will be referring back to this post.

Conservatives believe that marriage is the cure for poverty. As Jonathan Chait writes in The Atlantic How Marriage Became the Republican Answer to Inequality:
...a Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, headlined, “How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married,” sanctifying the role of marriage as official Republican party-line response to poverty and inequality... 
...One can debate the degree to which the absence of marriage results from a lack of economic opportunities versus the degree to which it causes them. Liberals emphasize one interpretation, conservatives the other. 
But even if we assume the correlation runs entirely in the direction asserted by conservatives, there is no way to read the data and conclude that marriage amounts to the entire economic gap, or anywhere close. To take one example, an adult mother is more than twice as likely to be poor if she grew up poor but with two parents than if she grew up non-poor with a single parent:

It seems that growing up in poverty is more likely the cause of impoverished motherhood than growing up with a single mother.

But as we will see, Steven Pinker, like conservatives, isn't too concerned about demonstrating actual cause and effect when it comes to marriage.

In the chapter "The Civilizing Process" where Pinker started out with an infrastructural approach to social changes, he switches back to sociobiology/evolutionary psychology.

He writes:
...as Daly and Wilson have noted, “any creature that is recognizably on track toward complete reproductive failure must somehow expend effort, often at risk of death, to try to improve its present life trajectory.”  The ecosystem that selects for the “dad” setting is one with an equal number of men and women and monogamous matchups between them. In those circumstances, violent competition offers the men no reproductive advantages, but it does threaten them with a big disadvantage: a man cannot support his children if he is dead... 
...The idea that young men are civilized by women and marriage may seem as corny as Kansas in August, but it has become a commonplace of modern criminology. A famous study that tracked a thousand low-income Boston teenagers for forty-five years discovered that two factors predicted whether a delinquent would go on to avoid a life of crime: getting a stable job, and marrying a woman he cared about and supporting her and her children. The effect of marriage was substantial: three-quarters of the bachelors, but only a third of the husbands, went on to commit more crimes. This difference alone cannot tell us whether marriage keeps men away from crime or career criminals are less likely to get married, but the sociologists Robert Sampson, John Laub, and Christopher Wimer have shown that marriage really does seem to be a pacifying cause. 
Those last two sentences are exactly what Marvin Harris was talking about, quoted in the last post on this subject: "Eclecticism consists of the refusal to state what generally determines what."

First Pinker says we cannot tell whether marriage keeps men away from crime or if career criminals are less likely to get married. And then says marriage seems to be the cause.

As Louis Menand in his review said: "Having it both ways is an irritating feature of "The Blank Slate."

And there he is doing it in "Better Angels." You can't say we don't know if marriage is the cause or effect and then in the very same sentence say it seems to be the cause. If you have decided that something is the cause, you argue for it. What kind of rhetorical bullshit is that, to say "we don't know" and then declare we do know in the same sentence?

But the notion that marriage civilizes men would appear to be wrong to anybody who gives it two seconds of reflection, and especially in view of Pinker's argument that violence has been declining since the rise of the nation-state and capitalism.

Throughout most of recorded human history women have been compelled by custom and economics to get married. The prohibitions, especially for women, against sex outside of marriage combined with limited economic options made marriage unavoidable for most women. So most people got married throughout most of human history. It doesn't appear to have had any impact whatsoever on how men have behaved.

And in fact, as most sentient adults know, marriage rates declined in the latter half of the twentieth century and are at the lowest rate, right now, in the history of the United States.

Demonstrating, contrary to Pinker's claim, there is no causal connection between marriage and violence.

In Pinker's "History of Violence Master Class" at Edge in 2011 he offers these charts:

And FactCheck.org provides this chart based on FBI data:

Pinker doesn't provide any marriage statistics for this time period - they would show immediately that marriage was declining at the same time violence was. It's easy enough to find such charts, like this CDC-sourced chart via the Washington Post.

I edited  and combined the murder and marriage charts to match up the time-spans and it becomes even clearer.

This doesn't prove that marriage was the cause of the murder rate, of course, but it damn sure proves marriage was not the cause of the decrease in violence.

Pinker doesn't seem to have noticed any of this. He writes:
The women's rights movement has seen an 80 percent reduction in rape since the early '70s when it was put on the agenda as a feminist issue. There has also been a two-thirds decline in domestic violence, spousal abuse, or wife beating, and a 50 percent decline in husband beating. In the most extreme form of domestic violence, namely uxoricide and matricide*, there's been a decline both in the number of wives that are murdered by their husband's and the number of husbands that have been murdered by their wives. In fact, the decrease is much more dramatic for husbands. Feminism has been very good to men, who are now much more likely to survive a marriage without getting murdered by their wives.
Like alt-right Claire Lehmann, Steven Pinker seems to believe in the mighty power of feminist rhetoric to make vast changes in socioeconomic conditions, so he doesn't bother to look at the connection between marriage rates and violence.

As a feminist I'd love to believe that what I say is so influential, but the actual change in domestic violence was thanks to the no-fault divorce laws. The first was enacted in 1969, signed into law by Ronald Reagan. Feminist rhetoric was still a subcultural phenomenon, and it's unlikely more than a small percentage of women called themselves feminists in 1969.

As with women working outside of the home, feminism was the result of no-fault (aka "unilateral") divorce, not the cause.

It was the change in divorce laws that saved women's lives - not only from their husbands but from themselves, as indicated in this chart from the paper ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Effects of Divorce Laws on Suicide and Intimate Homicide':

But Steven Pinker, in the eclectic tradition, doesn't seem concerned with whether something is a cause or an effect, which makes his theories useless.

*it says "matricide" on the Edge web site but I assume Pinker meant "mariticide."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pinker vs. Krugman Part 2

Brown University made their recorded debate between Steven Pinker and Paul Krugman available (I only just now discovered it) and so as promised, this is part 2.

I have included the transcript here. Both the audio and the transcript end 3 minutes before the video.

I will be responding to this soon on Pinkerite.

In the meantime, can't resist responding to Pinker's latest weasel words. He wrote a letter to the Guardian complaining about how they portrayed his views of women, the last part of which he says:
I do disagree with the 1970s-era assumption that women’s equality depends on their being biologically indistinguishable from men: fairness does not require sameness. Vince’s observations that the distribution of women’s traits overlaps with those of men’s, and that individuals should be treated according to their talents and choices rather than their gender, far from contrasting with my views, could have been taken from the pages of my 2002 book The Blank Slate.
But what he means by women and men "not being biologically indistinguishable" which, in general principle, few people would disagree with in the first place, is that women have evolved to be inferior to men at STEM subjects.

Pinker also apparently believes that women evolved to be more interested in housekeeping than men.

In The Blank Slate Pinker characterizes Camille Paglia, a vicious professional misogynist  (and fan of NAMBLA) who believes women are hapless, helpless losers as a "feminist."

Knowing this should give you a good idea of exactly where Steven Pinker stands on women's issues  as on virtually any other - he is an absolute two-faced WEASEL.

The best review of The Blank Slate ever was in the New Yorker: What Comes Naturally by Louis Menand. Menand was the first reviewer, as far as I am aware, who noted a pronounced Pinker tendency of "having it both ways."

One of Steven Pinker's favorite "feminist" thinkers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Race, genetics and pseudoscience: an explainer

More from the good guys

by Ewan Birney, Jennifer Raff, Adam Rutherford, Aylwyn Scally
Human genetics tells us about the similarities and differences between people – in our physical and psychological traits, and in our susceptibility to disorders and diseases – but our DNA can also reveal the broader story of our evolution, ancestry and history. Genetics is a new scientific field, relatively speaking, merely a century old. Over the last two decades, the pace of discovery has accelerated dramatically, with exciting new findings appearing daily. Even for scientists who study this field, it’s difficult to keep up. 
Amidst this ongoing surge of new information, there are darker currents. A small number of researchers, mostly well outside of the scientific mainstream, have seized upon some of the new findings and methods in human genetics, and are part of a social-media cottage-industry that disseminates and amplifies low-quality or distorted science, sometimes in the form of scientific papers, sometimes as internet memes – under the guise of euphemisms such as ‘race realism’ or ‘human biodiversity’.


Monday, November 4, 2019

The Better Angels: Damn you Keith Moon

And here you thought the Beatles
were all about peace & love
Reposted (with minor edits) from "Heavens to Mergatroyd" personal blog originally posted Feb. 25, 2018.

The crime wave of the 1960s - it was the hippies' fault.

Or as Steven Pinker says in his Better Angels book:
...I think Wilson was on to something when he linked the 1960s crime boom to a kind of intergenerational decivilizing process. 
He rules out infrastructure determinism:
The backsliding, to be sure, did not originate in the two prime movers of Elias’s Civilizing Process. Government control did not retreat into anarchy, as it had in the American West and in newly independent third-world countries, nor did an economy based on commerce and specialization give way to feudalism and barter. 
because he's going for both the primacy of ideas to drive behavior:
...the psychological change toward greater self-control and interdependence—came under steady assault in the counterculture of the generation that came of age in the 1960s.
and the socio-biological magic of marriage:
Together with self-control and societal connectedness, a third ideal came under attack: marriage and family life, which had done so much to domesticate male violence in the preceding decades. The idea that a man and a woman should devote their energies to a monogamous relationship in which they raise their children in a safe environment became a target of howling ridicule. That life was now the soulless, conformist, consumerist, materialist, tickytacky, plastic, white-bread, Ozzie and Harriet suburban wasteland. I don’t remember anyone in the 1960s blowing his nose into a tablecloth, but popular culture did celebrate the flouting of standards of cleanliness, propriety, and sexual continence. 
Pinker does offer some other ideas, but the most obvious reason for the existence of hippie attitudes in the 1960s - the Vietnam War - is mentioned just in passing:
After having been steadily beaten down by the informalizing process, the elites then suffered a second hit to their legitimacy. The civil rights movement had exposed a moral blot on the American establishment, and as critics shone a light on other parts of society, more stains came into view. Among them were the threat of a nuclear holocaust, the pervasiveness of poverty, the mistreatment of Native Americans, the many illiberal military interventions, particularly the Vietnam War, and later the despoliation of the environment and the oppression of women and homosexuals. The stated enemy of the Western establishment, Marxism, gained prestige as it made inroads in third-world “liberation” movements, and it was increasingly embraced by bohemians and fashionable intellectuals. Surveys of popular opinion from the 1960s through the 1990s showed a plummeting of trust in every social institution. 117
Pinker doesn't consider the Vietnam war, which ended in 1975, as a major driver of young peoples' attitudes. Perhaps because he is Canadian and never in any danger of being drafted. (Although what's Charles Murray's excuse?)

But he has plenty to say about naughty rock and roll album covers and Keith Moon.
One could trace the reversal of conventions of propriety on album covers alone (figure 3–17). There was The Who Sell Out , with a sauce-dribbling Roger Daltrey immersed in a bath of baked beans; the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today, with the lovable moptops adorned with chunks of raw meat and decapitated dolls (quickly recalled); the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet , with a photo of a filthy public toilet (originally censored); and Who’s Next , in which the four musicians are shown zipping up their flies while walking away from a urine spattered wall. The flouting of propriety extended to famous live performances, as when Jimi Hendrix pretended to copulate with his amplifier at the Monterey Pop Festival. 
Throwing away your wristwatch or bathing in baked beans is, of course, a far cry from committing actual violence. The 1960s were supposed to be the era of peace and love, and so they were in some respects. But the glorification of dissoluteness shaded into an indulgence of violence and then into violence itself. At the end of every concert, The Who famously smashed their instruments to smithereens, which could be dismissed as harmless theater were it not for the fact that drummer Keith Moon also destroyed dozens of hotel rooms, partly deafened Pete Townsend by detonating his drums onstage, beat up his wife, girlfriend, and daughter, paid a thug to break the fingers of a keyboardist of the Faces for dating his ex-wife, and accidentally killed his bodyguard by running over him with his car before dying himself in 1978 of the customary drug overdose.
So where did all this mayhem come from? Apparently it was just a seemingly randomly-timed mass decision:
Many young men decided that they ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more and, instead of pursuing a respectable family life, hung out in all-male packs that spawned the familiar cycle of competition for dominance, insult or minor aggression, and violent retaliation. The sexual revolution, which provided men with plentiful sexual opportunities without the responsibilities of marriage, added to this dubious freedom.
I've already dispensed with the idea that more marriage = less violence. Marriage rates were quite high in the 1960s and marriage and violence rates both dropped together since then. But Pinker thinks marriage is everything, especially for African Americans:
...A large proportion (today a majority) of black children are born out of wedlock, and many grow up without fathers. This trend, already visible in the early 1960s, may have been multiplied by the sexual revolution and yet again by perverse welfare incentives that encouraged young women to “marry the state” instead of the fathers of their children. 
But let's go back to that Beatles album cover that so deeply shocks Steven Pinker. This is from a Rolling Stone article:
Against his better judgment, Livingston ordered the sleeve into production. Three quarters of a million albums were printed, with a reported 60,000 copies sent to media contacts and retailers in advance of the June 15th release date. Predictably, most balked at the gory cover. "Word came back very fast that the dealers would not touch it. They would not put the album in their stores," Livingston said. Lennon, however, remained defiant. "It's as relevant as Vietnam," he said during a press conference at the time. "If the public can accept something as cruel as the war, they can accept this cover."
Notice the reference to Vietnam.

And at the time of the photo shoot in March 1966 three of the four Beatles were married and in three years Paul McCartney would marry the woman who would be his wife for the next twenty-nine years, ending with her death from cancer.

We can see how feeble Pinker's marriage-centric view of male behavior in the 1960s is because when it comes to explaining the lessening of crime, he drops it completely and has to fall back on eclectic incoherence:

First it's infrastructure:
So how can we explain the recent crime decline? Many social scientists have tried, and the best that they can come up with is that the decline had multiple causes, and no one can be certain what they were, because too many things happened at once. 154 Nonetheless, I think two overarching explanations are plausible. The first is that the Leviathan got bigger, smarter, and more effective.
 Then it's just, people got tired of crime.
The second is that the Civilizing Process, which the counterculture had tried to reverse in the 1960s, was restored to its forward direction. Indeed, it seems to have entered a new phase. By the early 1990s, Americans had gotten sick of the muggers, vandals, and drive-by shootings...
Steven Pinker really didn't like 20th century pop culture. He thought modern art was crap and he thought that rock and roll music was grungy and disrespectful and decivilizing.

He claims to be a member of the Baby Boom generation but he sounds like their grandparents.

And in his hurry to dismiss The Who as a bunch of hooligans, he misses the artistry and the social commentary of their music. One of their most popular songs "Won't Get Fooled Again" was
...originally intended for a rock opera Townshend had been working on, Lifehouse, which was a multi-media exercise based on his followings of the Indian religious avatar Meher Baba, showing how spiritual enlightenment could be obtained via a combination of band and audience.[1] The song was written for the end of the opera, after the main character, Bobby, is killed and the "universal chord" is sounded. 
...in an April 2006 editorial for Time magazine, retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Greg Newbold referenced the song, labeling it an "antiwar anthem" that "conveyed a sense of betrayal by the nation's leaders, who had led our country into a costly and unnecessary war in Vietnam.
Seems like everybody but Steven Pinker gets the connection between 1960s pop culture and the Vietnam War.

The lyrics to "Won't Get Fooled Again" are also illuminating:
The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again, no, no
And it made for a hell of a live stage performance. They all had dramatic stage personas except of course The Ox (bassist John Entwistle.) The video of "Won't Get Fooled Again" below features Pete Townsend at his most loveably manic. Don't miss his yelling "do yah" at the audience after the line "you know that the hypnotized never lie" at minute 3:43 and then minute 7:50 when Townsend takes a running leap into the air, lands on his knees and slides towards the camera.

If they were to make a Who biopic today Townsend would definitely have to be played by Adam Driver.

 Keith Moon died at 35 and John Entwistle died at 57 but Daltry age 74 and Townsend, 74 are both still alive. They certainly got plenty of exercise back in the day.

And here is a performance of "Happy Jack" by the Who with nice footage of a wailing Keith Moon.

Enjoy, evo-psycho buzzkills!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Steven Pinker praises fact-checking- and fails at fact-checking - in the same article

Oh the humanity
The sleazy Michael Shermer of course promotes the supremely annoying Steven Pinker by giving him yet another chance to whine about how people are mean to the promoters of race pseudo-science:
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s behavioral scientists like Arthur Jensen, Hans Eysenck, Richard Herrnstein, Thomas Bouchard, and Linda Gottfredson were disinvited, drowned out, and in some cases physically assaulted. On the right, for example, is a 1984 poster announcing a talk by the evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson, which improbably called him “The Prophet of Right Wing Patriarchy” and invited students to “bring noisemakers.” So when it comes to intolerant repression of non-leftist ideas, don’t blame the Millennials or the iGens. Contra Billy Joel, we Baby Boomers did start the fire—which is not to deny that it is now blazing out of control.
I think Billy Joel is Pinker's idea of the quintessential Baby Boomer era rock star - I've documented on my personal web site how much Pinker detests the Who, the Beatles and punk rock. In fact, I even guessed Pinker's interest in Billy Joel in February 2018 when I asked:
I don't know what Pinker was listening to post-1960s. Billy Joel maybe?
Now I don't know of anybody who condones physically assaulting even the most noxious proponent of race science, but I'm sure you can find some who do. Just as college students have been known to do stupid things and believe stupid things - but what the IDW does is try to portray college students and even anonymous randos, via its Free Speech Grifter project, as representatives of those who oppose the history-denying mess of race science,

Of the poor disinvited martyrs mentioned by Pinker in the passage above, Eyesenck, Jensen and Gottfredson are known to have received funding from the white supremacist Pioneer Fund:
In recent decades, the Pioneer Fund has funded most American and British race scientists, including a large number cited in The Bell Curve. According to Barry Mehler, the leading academic critic of the fund, these race scientists have included Hans Eysenck, Robert A. Gordon, Linda Gottfredson, Seymour Itzkoff, Arthur Jensen, Michael Levin, Richard Lynn, R. Travis Osborne, Roger Pearson, J. Philippe Rushton, William Shockley and Daniel R. Vining Jr.
And Herrnstein, as co-author with Charles Murray of The Bell Curve has used studies paid for by the Pioneer Fund.

These are the people who Pinker worries about. The blatant racists who hide behind a weak facade of "science."

This is what Linda Gottfredson is up to now - rating "races" by intelligence with white supremacist Stefan Molyneux.

And no literary output from the IDW is complete without a fact-check fail. Pinker asserts:
 ...many of them draw their power from another principle articulated by Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
There is no evidence that Abraham Lincoln "articulated" this - notice Pinker uses quotations as if he got it directly from a speech or other legitimate source. And Pinker even mentions, favorably, fact-checking sources in this article!
Even everyday fact-checking has been has been revolutionized by the urban legend tracking site snopes.com and by Wikipedia, which is now 80 times the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica and pretty much as accurate.
According to Quote Investigator:
In 2003 and 2005 the history of the quotation was analyzed in articles printed in the Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association of Springfield, Illinois. The 2003 article noted that by 1904 some individuals began to claim that Lincoln had used the expression in a speech in 1858. In 1905 two newspapers, “The Chicago Tribune” and “The Brooklyn Eagle” gathered and reviewed information, but the question remained unsettled. Over time other witnesses came forward; however, no contemporaneous written evidence from the 1850s has ever been discovered. Human memories of events that transpired forty years in the past are notably unreliable. 
 In conclusion, Jacques Abbadie should be credited with the interesting precursor statement in French. QI believes based on current evidence that Abraham Lincoln probably did not employ this well-known adage.

Perhaps Pinker has decided it doesn't matter whether he is justified in attributing those words to Lincoln - it's been established that Pinker feels that misrepresenting the words of others is a completely acceptable practice.

After the promotion of race science, I'd say hypocrisy and intellectual sloth are what unites the Intellectual Dark Web. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

From Shockley to Winegard - race science keeps recycling the same old arguments

I recently came across the full text of the William Shockley interview in Playboy - it can be seen here in PDF format. The interviewer, Syl Jones, recounts connecting with Shockley by phone and then in person:
... Never once did he ask my race or make any kind of racist remark, and he had no idea I was black. I didn’t tell him, because I was hoping for a confrontation. In October 1974, I got my wish.  
When a white photographer and I showed up at Stanford for the interview, Shockley instinctively reached to shake the photographer's hand with the greeting, ‘Hello, Mr. Jones.’ It was a wrong guess that seemed almost to stagger him. Obviously stunned by my blackness, he insisted that I submit to one final test, concocted on the spur of the moment concerning the application of the Pythagorean theorem to some now-long-forgotten part of his dysgenic thesis. Somehow, I came up with a satisfactory explanation, and Shockley had no choice but to grant me the interview. Since that day, he has consistently viewed me as ‘the exception that proves the rule’ of black inferiority, a designation that he, in all innocence, believes is true.

The interview is also posted with approval on the web site of Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, contemporary hereditarian.

Several statements by Shockley sound exactly like the race science gang associated with Quillette:

Comparing human races with dog breeds:
"It might be easier to think in terms of breeds of dogs. There are some breeds that are temperamental, unreliable, and so on."

Jews and Asians are the most superior:

...American Jewish scientists are an outstanding fraction of the scientific community and on a per-capita basis are represented, I think, at least ten times higher than is the population as a whole. American Orientals are also overrepresented.

Although Shockley does introduce his own term "raceologist" that appears to be a synonym for race science.

And one that astounded me:
SHOCKLEY: ...My research on statistics shows that the spouse-killing-spouse it—then, certainly, widespread mortality rate is about thirteen times higher per capita for the blacks than for whites. I don’t believe the same thing occurred with the American Orientals at the time the power structure was saying that they couldn’t buy houses in the same area as other back during World War Two. people in California, 
PLAYBOY: Certainly, you’re not comparing that of black Americans. Blacks have been exploited in America for generations.

Demonstrating that race science arguments never change, they just get recycled generation after generation. Because the argument between Shockley and Jones in Playboy sounds almost exactly like the exchange on Twitter that I had with Quillette's favorite race science monger (with brother Bo), Ben Winegard, who has since blocked me:

It couldn't be any clearer that the only way that race science can succeed is to erase all knowledge of African American history. To compare what happened to them to any other mistreated group is absurd.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The "cockroach" strikes back at the shamelessness of Steven Pinker, Michael Shermer and friends

When members of the IDW aren't patting themselves
on the back for their civility, they are insulting people.

Phil Torres made some very well-justified criticisms of the work of Steven Pinker, noting Pinker misrepresented the work of others, and as a result, Pinker and his buddies Jerry Coyne and Michael Shermer insulted him for it and then claimed misrepresentation was no big deal.

This all went down back in January. I wrote at the time:
Even though I've recognized for many years that Steven Pinker is a weasel, I was astounded. "so what?" I was going to write my own response but found this piece by Olle Häggström via Phil Torres' Twitter feed. I admit I was relieved to find it. Pinker's dismissal of Torres' valid point was so shameless I wondered if I misunderstood somehow.
But no, Pinker really is that brazen.

And now Torres has a piece in Salon telling the story himself: Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and the epidemic of annoying white male intellectuals

Torres writes:
Shermer’s (cockroach) tweet is notable for a couple of reasons. First, not only does it contain a personal attack, but the personal attack is overtly uncivil. That’s a bit humorous given that Shermer, as well as Pinker, are famous for accusing progressives, especially those who care about women and people of color, of “incivility.” For example, in May of this year, Pinker tweeted:
Are you concerned about the growing illiberalism, incivility, intellectual conformity, and repression of debate in today's universities? Join us at the meeting of the society set up to encourage viewpoint diversity and constructive debate on campuses. I’ll be giving the keynote.
But Pinker did nothing to call out Shermer for his patently crude, puerile behavior, which has also included calling people he disagrees with (seriously) “namby-pamby bedwetters” and (seriously) “losers.”
But of course Steven Pinker is a hypocrite, supporting the careers of actual right-wing operatives (and race science promoters) Steve Sailer and Razib Khan while claiming that Stephen Jay Gould's scientific opinions about sociobiology and evolutionary psychology should be discounted because Gould held left-wing opinions.

Meanwhile Shermer published an article recently in his Skeptic magazine Shedding Light on the Intellectual Dark Web which of course Steven Pinker promoted in a tweet.

It should be no surprise to anybody who has tracked the carelessness of the IDW, Shermer gets things wrong. He states:
The Guardian sardonically pronounced (in its headline) the IDW to be the “supposed thinking wing of the alt-right,” featuring a photograph of Alex Jones, mentioned by absolutely no one as being part of the IDW.4
Yet Shermer makes clear in the same article, before this passage that he is aware of the importance of Bari Weiss's naming of IDW individuals in her article:
In the May 8, 2018 issue of The New York Times the editor and writer Bari Weiss introduced the world to the “Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web,” which she described as “an alliance of heretics” who are “making an end run around the mainstream conversation.”1 These heretics, she noted, are “iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities” who were “purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought.” In response, their sweep around what Weiss described as “legacy media” included podcasting, blogs, social media, YouTube channels, and public speaking. 
Included in this initial cohort were the mathematician Eric Weinstein (who coined the IDW label), the podcaster Joe Rogan, the neuroscientist Sam Harris, the talk show host Dave Rubin, the evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, the psychologist Jordan Peterson, the conservative commentators and authors Ben Shapiro and Douglas Murray, the anti-extremist activist Maajid Nawaz, the feminist activists and authors Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christina Hoff Sommers, the magazine publisher Claire Lehmann, the neuroscientist and sex researcher Debra Soh, and I (Michael Shermer). As the conversation continued past Weiss’ New York Times feature, other intellectuals were added to the assemblage, including Steven Pinker...
The Weiss article does mention all those names that Shermer does, and which I bolded. But the article also explicitly mentions Pinker, in spite of Shermer's incorrect claim that Pinker was added to the IDW after the Weiss article. Weiss also mentions Charlie Kirk, Abby Martin, Candace Owens, Charles Murray and Kanye West.

Now is Shermer just careless or did he deliberately leave Pinker out because Pinker is counted as IDW in the exact same passage as Alex Jones? (My bold emphases):
“There are a few people in this network who have gone without saying anything critical about Trump, a person who has assaulted truth more than anyone in human history,” Mr. (Sam) Harris said. “If you care about the truth, that is quite strange.” 
Emphasis is one problem. Associating with genuinely bad people is another.
Go a click in one direction and the group is enhanced by intellectuals with tony affiliations like Steven Pinker at Harvard. But go a click in another and you’ll find alt-right figures like Stefan Molyneux and Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich (the #PizzaGate huckster) and Alex Jones (the Sandy Hook shooting denier).
It is crystal clear that Weiss is including Molyneux, Yiannopoulos, Cernovich, Jones and Steven Pinker under the umbrella of "Intellectual Dark Web." She may be using Pinker as the respectable exemplar in contrast to the motley crew - but she is indisputably including all of them as members of the IDW.

Shermer co-authored the piece with Anondah Saide and Kevin McCaffree. Maybe each thought one of the other two was going to handle the fact checking.

As if that isn't bad enough, the Shermer article counts vicious, toxic, professional misogynist Christina Hoff Sommers as a "feminist activist."

Christina Hoff Sommers, a member of those champions of civility the IDW,
and a "feminist activist" per Shermer, joins with professional misogynist
and NAMBLA fan Camille Paglia to insult and dehumanize Lena Dunham

Even worse the article fails to mention that what ties this allegedly "diverse" group together is their agreement with hereditarianism, specifically evolutionary psychology and race science.

It's just like Phil "the cockroach" Torres writes in his latest Salon piece:
...the entire IDW movement is annoying. It’s really, really annoying — its champions misrepresent positions without their (mostly white male) audience knowing, and then proceed to “embarrass” the opposition. They embrace unsupported claims when it suits their narrative. They facilely dismiss good critiques as “hit jobs” and level ad hominem attacks to undercut criticism. And they refuse — they will always refuse, it’s what overconfident white men do — to admit making mistakes when they’re obviously wrong. I am annoyed, like Robinson, mostly because I expected so much better from the most popular “intellectuals” of our time.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Eyes on the Prize

Before there was the much-needed 1619 project in the New York Times, there was the documentary, produced in the 1980s, about the Civil Rights movement "Eyes on the Prize."

It's especially important now, when the IDW is working to erase American history in order to maintain that black under-achievement is the fault of black genes.

The amount of racist vitriol stated on-camera in interviews from the 1960s - which is still within living memory - and stated without shame - offers not only empirical evidence, but the visceral intensity of the hatred felt by anti-Civil Rights whites. A hatred based on their belief that black people didn't deserve the right to vote.

In "Eyes on the Prize" we see members of the "White Citizens Council" - a member of which promoted the use of the word "equalitarianism" against integrationists. A term that Quillette's own Bo Winegard likes to use and for the exact same purpose although his enemies are not civil rights workers but people who criticize his feeble race science hypotheses.

I've cued up part 5 of Eyes on the Prize to where it introduces the White Citizens Council.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Get off Jerry Coyne's lawn, whippersnappers

Jerry Coyne, Steven Pinker's fanboy recently seen defending the IDW project to negate history, wants you to know he'll have none of this slang nonsense:

1.) “tea” as in “gossip” or “dirt”. “Spill the tea” is now the equivalent of “tell all” or “spill it”. The Urban Dictionary gives an example:
“Girl, did you know Renee is having ANOTHER baby? And the babby daddy is the same guy who she found out has been cheating on her!”
“OMG, spill the tea on that drama!!!!”
An example from this article in HuffPo:
to wit:Demi Moore’s new memoir is giving you all the tea you could possibly want about her life and then some.
This is odious. Why can’t they just say “juicy details” or “gossip”. The word “tea” here is the verbal equivalent to virtue flaunting—it’s “I’m with-it” flaunting. I have no use for such people.


"spill the tea" derives, like much of American slang, from African American vernacular

How dare they invent a term of which a race science-promoting old white man does not approve!

Just wait until he hears about that "jazz"!
A strange word has gained wide-spread use in the ranks of our producers of popular music. It is "jazz," used mainly as an adjective descriptive of a band. The group that play for dancing,  when colored, seem infected with the virus that they try to instil as a stimulus in others. They shake and jump and writhe in ways to suggest a return of the medieval jumping mania. The word, according to Walter Kinglsey, famous in the ranks of vaudeville, is variously spelled jas, jass, jasz, and jasez; and is African in origin....
Later on the article references the poem "Congo" which can be heard, read by author Vachel Lindsay here.

Click here to enlarge and read the article "The Appeal of the Primitive Jazz" from The Literary Digest, 1917. I found it online here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Outline article on modern phrenology

How might phrenology - original or modern -
explain the biologically-endowed
predilections of the sumptuary scofflaw?
I already liked the article in The Outline entitled People keep trying to bring back phrenology, especially this sentence:
Lately, the term “phrenology” most readily invokes the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” — that loose network of hack popular scientists and race realists who consider themselves, bizarrely, to be in the business of “questioning orthodoxies” with the reactionary propaganda they promote to a blinkered audience of acolytes for profit.
before I realized they'd linked to Pinkerite in this one:
In part, this is because Quillette, the online magazine prominently associated with the intellectual dark web, has literally defended phrenology
I'd never heard of The Outline before. According to its about page:
The Outline is a new kind of publication founded by journalists and storytellers. We want to help you understand the world better, feed your curiosity, challenge your assumptions, and show you something new.
We’re dedicated to telling the right stories for right now, and our coverage is focused on the increasingly complex confluence of culture, power, and technology.
The problem with phrenology and its descendant "biosocial criminology" should be obvious after a brief moment of reflection: to understand criminals you have to understand what is classified as crime. Even hereditarians must admit that the concept of "crime" and systems of punishment do not exist in nature.

Things that have been criminal in the past include the theater, dancing and wearing clothing that was too fancy. And today, in some places, homosexuality and women traveling without official male permission are crimes.

And then there are studies like this one:
We found that, compared to their share in the population, blacks are almost twice as likely to be pulled over as whites — even though whites drive more on average, by the way. We also discovered that blacks are more likely to be searched following a stop. Just by getting in a car, a black driver has about twice the odds of being pulled over, and about four times the odds of being searched. Hispanic drivers, overall, are no more likely than whites to be pulled over, but much more likely to be searched... African Americans are much more likely to be searched after a stop than white drivers, but less likely to be found with drugs, guns, alcohol or other forms of contraband after discretionary searches.
But like all hereditarians, biosocial criminologists seek to eliminate all forms of knowledge, especially the historical record, to prioritize knowledge based on genetics and "evolution."

Or rather, their form of evolution which is to say one in which only natural selection - "adaptation" - counts as PZ Myers explains in this important and useful video.

And recently the queen of hereditarianism, Claire Lehmann was seen on Twitter demonstrating the IDW desire to eliminate history.

This discussion happened close to or on Columbus Day (it's an effort to track Lehmann's tweets because she's blocked Pinkerite.) It makes me wonder if that set Lehmann off because in the good old days the "empirical enterprise" of history ignored or downplayed the atrocities committed by European explorers like Columbus, but more recently, thanks in large part, I believe, to the work of Howard Zinn, the atrocities are less likely to be ignored.

Clearly Zinn's work still bothers the far-right, the people who believe in the supreme glory of European culture, as shown in this recent piece on the Federalist, a publication by Ben Domenech (fired three days after being hired, for plagiarism, from the Washington Post), and which is funded by... nobody knows.

John Jackson in his Fardels Bear blog, notes the same hostility to history from another member of the IDW as well as his fanboy Jerry Coyne:
Coyne, Pinker, and the like object, not to postmodernism but to history. Thomas Kuhn wrote of scientists’ “textbook histories” of science; those little potted histories you might find at the beginning of an undergraduate science textbook that recount the great achievements of the field. These achievements, Kuhn wrote were “seldom in their original form,” which means that those histories were designed to trumpet scientific success without being bothered with what really happened in science’s past. This is the kind of history preferred by Coyne who actually recommends Pinker’s account of the Enlightenment which real historians of the Enlightenment find completely unsupportable (also here or here). Or see my treatment of his caricature of the history of science he presented in the Blank Slate. 
But to truly understand the wrong-headed anti-history project of the IDW we need to read Razib Khan, who has been encouraged by Pinker:
If we removed all the history that we take for granted we’d be amazed that the indigenous peoples had so little demographic impact, and, that the larger numbers of people of partial African ancestry did not move into the general “white” population. 
"If we removed all the history" - that's what the IDW is aiming for.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Quillette on a downhill slide

Quillette, the modern phrenology publication, has always been crap. This was predictable since it was founded by one of Ezra Levant's alt-right content creators, misogynist race science proponent Claire Lehmann.

For a brief while there, things were looking good for Quillette. But all during 2019 things have been going downhill.

It should be noted that Quillette's Patreon account does not display its numbers so Graphtreon, whose dashboard for Quillette can be seen below, uses an estimate.

It's interesting to note that Quillette's patron numbers are on a sharper decline trajectory than its donations. Which means a more concentrated funding base for Quillette, and probably a higher percentage of plutocrat funding. We know that Quillette does get funding directly from a right-wing Australian plutocrat, Mark Carnegie, and from others (my guess is Koch) whom Claire Lehmann has declined to name.

Even if Quillette received no funding via Patreon, it's likely it would continue to be supported thanks to wingnut welfare. But it is still encouraging to see that more people are catching on to how very little use Quillette is for anything other than disseminating right-wing opinions and support for race science. And we mostly have Nassim Nicholas Taleb to thank for raising awareness about Quillette.

Another fun fact - when you type "Quillette" into Google, this is what you get. I think the growing group of Quillette opponents on Twitter, in addition to Taleb, deserve credit for "quillette phrenology."

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Another race massacre & the ongoing IDW project to erase African American history

Pinkerite has written about grifter James Lindsay, author at Quillette in the past, focusing on his refusal to admit who paid him to run the "grievance hoax" and his bizarre conspiracy theory that women's studies are sleeper cells created to "rot society from within."

This tweet demonstrates his commitment to one of the primary tactics of the IDW:  deny the history of African Americans, a history inextricable from racism.

Erasing African American history is necessary to maintain the IDW position that failure to thrive by black people in the United States is not due to legal and extra-legal injustice over four centuries, but rather African Americans' own innate lesser intelligence and criminal tendencies, a belief promoted by a network of individuals in criminology departments in colleges across the United States.

Note that in this tweet Lindsay doesn't express criticisms of the author or the content of the book - he objects to children being told about racism, period.

And this is perfect timing for Lindsay since the New York Times just ran, the day before, a story about yet another massacre of black people by the white majority, an atrocity I'd never heard of. From the story:
One hundred years ago this week, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history unfolded in Elaine, Ark., a small town on the Mississippi. Details remain difficult to verify. The perpetrators suppressed coverage of the events, and the victims, terrified black families, had no one to turn for help. In fact, local police were complicit in the killing of untold numbers of African-Americans.
Pinkerite has noted the fact that there are far more of these race massacre incidents throughout American history than is generally recognized. And considering how under-reported even horrifically violent incidents are, it seems reasonable to assume there are many others that have not been recorded at all, because they merely resulted in looting of African American wealth and prospects for creating wealth. The excellent 1619 project details the systemic fraud used to rob African Americans.

The NYTimes article about the Elaine massacre includes this:
Families of union members found no welcome when they returned to their homes. The wife of Frank Moore had hidden for four weeks. When she came back to her neighborhood, a plantation manager, Billy Archdale, told her “if she did not leave, he would kill her, burn her up, and no one would know where she was.” Most of those who survived found their homes emptied of possessions that appeared in white peoples’ homes.
Another tactic used by the IDW is to suggest that exactly because African American history is full of so much injustice, those who discuss injustice are blind to what's really important - genetics - as Sam Harris said to Ezra Klein:
 you are unwilling to differentiate scientific fact and scientific data and reasonable extrapolations based on data, from past injustices in American history, these are totally separate things —
Harris, one of the more respectable members of the IDW (in contrast to people such as Stefan Molyneux and Mike Cernovich) is pushing the idea that American history should be "differentiated" from scientific fact, data and "reasonable extrapolations."

John Paul Wright, criminology professor at the University of Cincinnati, explained the thought processes behind the IDW's hereditarianism like this:
...evolutionary theory helps explain why race-based patterns of behavior are universal, such as black over-involvement in crime. No other paradigm organizes these patterns better. No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths.
The only way the hereditarian explanation can win is to erase the most important alternative explanation for "black over-involvement in crime."

The NYTimes article about the Elaine massacre includes this passage (my highlight):
On Oct. 7, Colonel Jencks declared the insurrection over and withdrew his troops. He brought the men and women deemed insurrectionists to the Phillips County jail in Helena. On Oct. 31, a grand jury indicted 122 black men and women for offenses ranging from murder to night riding. A jury convicted 12 black men in the murders of three white men, even though two of the deaths had occurred from white people accidentally shooting each other in a frenzy. The “confessions” of the black men had been secured through torture. Black people were thus blamed, sentenced and jailed for their own massacre.
That is the goal of the Intellectual Dark Web: to blame black people themselves, via the wrong-headed, adaptation-essentialist hereditarian version of "evolutionary theory" for the results of centuries of oppression.