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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Cleanup on Aisle 88

Amy Harmon published a piece in the NYTimes the other day, Can Biology Class Reduce Racism and then posted a link on Twitter.

Which of course meant that Trump supporters and racists (but I repeat myself) came crawling out of the woodwork and all over her thread. Several of the Twitter accounts jumping on Harmon were the same ones I fought over the Donna Minkowitz article in The Nation. So I jumped in again to do battle.

Or as I like to call it, "Cleanup on aisle 88."


And that "88" is not just hyperbole.

A large proportion of the Twitter accounts that showed up to attack Harmon are standard right-wing race science proponents and many of those love Trump, but there were a couple of blatant anti-Semites in the mix like this charming specimen, an anti-porn crusader called "Totally DSA For Life" who likes and retweets another extremist anti-Semite called "Polygonal Groyper." They seem to think there's a connection between pornography and Jews.

I guess they all got tired of Gab and decided to come back to Twitter.

However, amongst the verbal mayhem, one of the anti-Harmon mob did make a point about a recent post here that I feel the need to take seriously.

He pointed out that in my post "Race Science: Not Even Wrong" the average ancestry mix for "Hispanic" did not add up to 100%. I had noticed that - I got the ancestries from the Carl Zimmer article in the NYTimes and then poked around trying to find anything online that provided data on the remaining 10% of average Hispanic ancestry but was unsuccessful and then just let it drop.

Clearly the laziness of race science is contagious.

So I decided to do what I could to address the issue, and after all, what race science lacks in precision it makes up for in imagination. So let's have more fun with race science.

The Carl Zimmer article references a 2014 study published by Cell.com entitled The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States. One of the authors is David Reich, whom race science proponents persistently and erroneously believe is one of them.

The paper only displays European, African and Native American ancestries for Latino populations, and nowhere in the text did it mention other ancestries.

However, 23andMe published an article on Latino Ancestry and had this to say:
The one thing that genetic testing won’t tell you is whether or not you are Latino or Hispanic. That’s because people from Latin America typically are a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. 
You might also find Middle Eastern, East Asian and Ashkenazi ancestry folded into your results. And as much as it is in the DNA, that rich mixture of ancestry is also embedded in the art, music, and food that make up Latino culture.
I couldn't find anything about the percentages that "Middle Eastern" "East Asian" and "Ashkenazi" contributed to the mix, but this is race science and doesn't have to be precise.

Now as always with race science, there are inconsistencies in both "race" groupings and IQ claims. I mentioned three in the post "Race science: Not even wrong" and here they are again:

Richard Lynn (via Rushton)
  1. East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) 105 
  2. Europeans 100
  3. Inuit or Eskimos 91
  4. South East Asians 87
  5. Native American Indians 87
  6. Pacific Islanders 85
  7. South Asians 84
  8. North Africans 84
  9. Sub-Saharan Africans 67
  10. Australian Aborigines 62
  11. Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert 54
  12. Pygmies of the Congo rain forests  54
The Bell Curve
  1. African American 85
  2. Latino 89
  3. White 103
  4. East Asian 106
  5. Jewish 115
Ruston and Jensen
  1. Jewish 113
  2. East Asian 106
  3. White 100
  4. Hispanic 90
  5. South Asian 87
  6. African American 85
  7. sub-Saharan African 70

Now although Lynn makes distinctions between East Asians and other kinds of Asians, the Bell Curve and Rushton and Jensen can't be bothered and there's no way of telling how to prioritize these competing categorizations because as the Winegard brothers and Brian Boutwell tell us, you can mix and match classifications in any way that works for you.

So I'm going to take the East Asian rating of 106 and put the Jewish rating at 114.

Middle Eastern is a problem since none of the race science ratings use that term, so I'm going to have to go with Richard Lynn's term "North African" with a rating of 84.

OK now we are ready to lay out all Latino ancestries in the next post.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Apologists for Quillette & Race Science

The Nation has published Donna Minkowitz's piece on Quillette Why Racists (and Liberals) Keep Writing for Quillette.

I knew it was coming because Minkowitz contacted me weeks ago to ask me about information I had posted on this site.

Overall the article covers most of the bases, although I was disappointed Minkowitz didn't mention Kevin Drum's defense, in Mother Jones, of Quillette race science as displayed in a review of Angela Saini's "Superior" in Quillette.

One of Quillette's editors Jon Kay of course denies Quillette's promotion of race science, and once again uses the Drum article to try to paint Quillette as a centrist enterprise.



I hope you're proud of yourself, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones.

Of course Pinkerite responded to Drum's piece: Yes, Kevin Drum, Quillette is defending phrenology.

The responses to Minkowitz's article demonstrated a high percentage of Quillette and race science fans are also supporters of Trump.

And then there are the allegedly liberal apologists for Quillette like Zaid Jilani.


By "non-white contributors" Jilani is referring to Coleman Hughes, kept around by Quillette to attack black people, most notably to argue against slave reparations, a move absolutely adored by rightwing media

In September of this year Hughes wrote an article in Quillette in which he attempted, I believe, to avoid the embarrassing fact of Quillette's support for race science by creating an otherwise pointless dichotomy of past-lens vs gap-lens:
The question of black progress, therefore, is less a matter of weighing the reality of progress against the reality of regress than it is a matter of looking at the same reality through two different lenses. Through one lens, progress means reducing the size of black-white racial gaps; let’s call this the gap-lens. But through another lens, progress means improving black outcomes relative to where they were in the past; let’s call this the past-lens. 
The rationale for choosing the gap-lens is this: if not for our racist history, the racial gaps we observe today would not exist. That history includes not only two and a half centuries of chattel slavery, but also the many and varied Jim Crow era policies, from school segregation to redlining, that prevented blacks from taking advantage of the American dream. To measure the width of a racial gap, this view holds, is to measure the depth of America’s failure to redress that history. What’s more, if we fail to close statistical gaps between blacks and whites, then we would be surrendering ourselves to live in a permanently racially-stratified society, a society in which—even if everyone were doing better than their parents—whites would hold more economic power than blacks in perpetuity.
The reason it is important for Hughes to claim we should stop talking about "gap-lens" - which is the difference between African American well-being and white well-being - is because per race science, the gap exists due to African American genetic inferiority.

By focusing on "past-lens" one only compares the well-being of African Americans of the past to that of African Americans at present and avoids the embarrassing fact that race science considers Claire Lehmann to be likely more intelligent by nature than Coleman Hughes.

If Hughes can get his readers to agree we shouldn't think about "gap-lens" he can avoid having to think about Quillette's race science position at all.

And Quillette's race science position is so firm it has its very own race science proponent on staff, as can be seen in Quillette's "Team" listing: Bo Winegard.



Winegard, along with his brother Ben wrote an article for Quillette that is much-beloved by members of the IDW, Sam Harris and Steven Pinker, "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" in which it is falsely claimed that critics of The Bell Curve have misrepresented The Bell Curve's hereditarian position on race and IQ.

More importantly, the article demonstrates the strict hereditarian view of race and IQ which rules out all other reasons for Black-White intelligence testing results gap except genetics. I guess we could call that gap-lens:
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. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
As Minkowitz responds:
Actually, there is a wealth of data showing that better education and higher incomes lead to higher IQ scores across racial groups.
Only a fool or a race science stooge can deny that Quillette is very clearly devoted to promoting race science.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Race Science: not even wrong

Pinkerite attempted race science recently in a two part series, but the more recent post on Charles Murray has inspired me to do it again.

In the Murray post I quoted a five-year-old article by Carl Zimmer in the NYTimes entitled "Black? White? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier" which includes this statement about Latino ancestry based on genetic testing by 23andMe:
Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African... 
And this inspired me to have another go at race science.

Now we know how important Jean-Philippe Rushton is to the world of race science. Rushton was cited eleven times in The Bell Curve.

Rushton published an article for white supremacist VDARE in 2007 called Indians Aren't That Intelligent (On Average),

He's referring to South Asian Indians. Sorry leading race science proponent from Bangladesh, Razib Khan.

In that same VDARE article Rushton uses Richard Lynn's race calculations:
East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) obtain the highest mean IQ at 105. Europeans follow with an IQ of 100. Some ways below these are the Inuit or Eskimos (IQ 91), South East Asians (IQ 87), Native American Indians (IQ 87), Pacific Islanders (IQ 85), and South Asians and North Africans (IQ 84). Well below these are the sub-Saharan Africans (IQ 67), the Australian Aborigines (IQ 62), the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, and the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests (IQ 54).
Notice that there is no "Hispanic" category mentioned. But elsewhere in the article Rushton cites (returning the favor) The Bell Curve:
There are large inequalities in average IQ scores between groups. Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve reported that the average IQ for "African" Americans is lower than those for "Latino", "White", "East Asian", and "Jewish" Americans (IQs = 85, 89, 103, 106, and 115, respectively, pp. 273-278).
So The Bell Curve race categorization scheme includes "Latino" but does not include "Native American."

Then in a 2010 paper Rushton and Arthur Jensen (Jensen was cited by The Bell Curve 24 times) use this race classification scheme:
 Jewish (mean IQ = 113), East Asian (106), White (100), Hispanic (90), South Asian (87), African American (85), and sub-Saharan African (70). 
As we know thanks to Quillette's staff race science proponent Bo Winegard, his brother Ben and their co-author Brian Boutwell, race science says you can sort "groups" any which way that is convenient for you. Clearly Jensen and Rushton abide by this.

So let's do the math of Hispanic ancestry combined with race science IQ claims.

ANCESTRY
IQ CLAIM
%
WEIGHT
WEIGHTED AVG
European (White)
100
65.1
0.651
65.1
African (Black)
85
6.2
0.062
5.27
Native American
87
18
0.18
15.66



TOTAL
86.03

So the IQ should be 86 based on ancestry (and race science claims of genetic IQ) rather than the claim of 90 based on the demographic category "Hispanic."

Once again race science has failed.

But considering how incoherent its classification schemes are, I think it's more accurate to say race science is not even wrong.

UPDATE: I've reworked the numbers with the remaining average Latino ancestry to get closer to 100% and turns out race science is even more wrong (and not-even-wrong) than I thought. Starting at Cleanup on Aisle 88.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Charles Murray and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


The paper can be found here.


Kirkegaard gets a mention at the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Emil Kirkegaard, who edits (Wikipedia) frequently under the username Deleet, is a research fellow at Richard Lynn’s Ulster Institute for Social research and the co-founder of the online pseudojournal OpenPsych.
Although according to RationalWiki:
He is permanently blocked from editing Wikipedia,[21] having misused the wiki to spread his racist nonsense. He has since whined about Wikipedia deleting his pseudoscientific writings on race.[22] 
Kirkegaard gets his own profile on RationalWiki which notes:
As well as running Openpsych, Kirkegaard is the current domain owner of Mankind Quarterly, a white supremacist journal.[23][24]
Kirkegaard is also an author in Mankind Quarterly, listed as the author or co-author of fourteen articles, although some with the most interesting titles like Race Differences, a Very Brief View returned a 404 error. Although those articles that were available only provide an abstract without logging in to see the entire PDF. And I'm not about to pay $68 for a membership to Mankind Quarterly.

I confess I didn't read the Kirkegaard paper promoted by Murray past the abstract because the abstract makes clear that it is a standard specimen of race "science" -
Our sample (k = 16) comprised 84,897 Whites, 37,160 Blacks, and 17,678 Hispanics residing in the United States. We found that White, Black, and Hispanic heritabilities were consistently moderate to high, and that these heritabilities did not differ across groups. At least in the United States, Race/Ethnicity × Heritability interactions likely do not exist.
As I have mentioned many times, the term "Hispanic" has little to do with ancestry. Kirkegaard & co. appear to try to handle that by using the term "race/ethnicity" which is typical of the imprecision of race science. The term Hispanic refers to language. Anthropologist Maxine Margolis (I will have her interview online here ASAP) who specializes in Brazilian culture, mentioned to me that Brazilians don't consider themselves Hispanic because they speak Portuguese. But of course based on US demographic categories they would be counted as Hispanic or Latino, terms that are used interchangeably in practice.

If the Kirkegaard paper tells us anything it tells us about people grouped by United States demographic categories. In other words, politics, not science.

Notice that in his tweet Murray states: "...until we have large genomic databases from the principle populations."

But genetic testing services like 23andMe and other commercial enterprises already are building up genomic databases, and the response of race science to the information discovered by all that genomic testing is to ignore it because it is not what race science wants to hear, as discussed in the NYTimes by Carl Zimmer:
On average, the scientists found, people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.  
Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African... 
In spite of Murray's expression of interest in "large genomic databases" I think it's unlikely that race science will ever bother with testing subjects for genetic ancestry because it would be exponentially more work than the typical race science "study" and as we know:

race science is lazy

Fun fact, Kirkegaard linked to Pinkerite back in November:
People keep asking me about the state of the art re. evidence for physiognomy, so here’s a brief review. 
Phrenology used to be considered legit, and then eventually people realized it was all bogus. Since then, it is usually brought up an example of how science goes wrong in terms of stereotyping, and references to it are used to attack people who don’t agree with Aristotle that the brain is mainly used to cool blood — which is to say, to attack people who study brain size, shape etc. and relate this to differences in human psychology, chiefly intelligence. Some examples of such attacks can be seen here, here and here.
The link is to Yes, Kevin Drum, Quillette is defending phrenology and the main focus of the article is described in the title.

Kirkegaard suggests that critics of hereditarianism believe that "the brain is mainly used to cool blood" and this is funny because it is race science which harkens back to previous centuries for its foundation, including phrenology.

Kirkegaard has of course blocked Pinkerite on Twitter because race science proponents' cowardice is second only to their laziness.

Another fun fact: according to the RationalWiki entry on Kirkegaard:
Kirkegaard was born in Denmark in 1989,[26] but in 2018 moved to the US. A pseudointellectual he has described himself as a "polymath", "scientist", "geneticist", "philosopher" and "psychologist",[27][28] when he isn't any of these things and his only qualification is a BA Linguistics from Aarhus University. In 2019, Kirkegaard moved back to Denmark.[29]
At the present time, Kirkegaard describes himself on his blog as "Scientist etc."

Monday, December 2, 2019

How to do race science part 2


So we have established that although race science proponents may retreat in some circumstances to the position that IQ scores are the result of genetics and environment, a move I call weak pinkerism, in fact what they really believe is revealed under strong pinkerism circumstances, as when they appear before a Koch-funded organization or write for Quillette.

In an article in Quillette, recommended by both Sam Harris and Steven Pinker called "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" Ben and Bo Winegard write:
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. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
They clearly rule out all environmental explanations.

And this suits the mindset of the kind of people who favor race science explanations for human behavior because if you admit that both genetics and environment play a role in IQ scores, you have to explain how much each plays a role and then you have to make a serious effort and do actual work.

Which is why, in spite of their professed interest in genetics and human ancestry, when it comes to actually determining study subjects' genetics and ancestry, race science simply uses existing government demographic categories and calls that "race" - even in the case of Latinos (aka "Hispanic') who can be many different combinations of ancestries as explained by 23andMe:
The one thing that genetic testing won’t tell you is whether or not you are Latino or Hispanic. That’s because people from Latin America typically are a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. You might also find Middle Eastern, East Asian and Ashkenazi ancestry folded into your results. And as much as it is in the DNA, that rich mixture of ancestry is also embedded in the art, music, and food that make up Latino culture.
How do I know they don't do any genetic testing? Because the kingpin of biosocial criminology, Kevin Beaver, told me so in an email. But I would have guessed it anyway because genetically testing subjects for those occasions when you want to make claims about race and IQ would take a lot of work.

As we know, race science is incredibly lazy.

We also know that race science considers differences in IQ test scores to be genetics-based, although sibling birth order tests say otherwise.

And we know they think genetics and IQ are sorted by race even though they have no system of identifying human races - not even a system that they agree on, amongst themselves.

Although the Winegard brothers and Brian Boutwell want you to know that is perfectly fine.

OK let's do some race science.


Jean-Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen are two of the most influential race science proponents.



I went to the trouble of comparing state demographics and state average intelligence rankings and came up with this spreadsheet. While there was no consistent connection between black percentage of population and state average IQ, what really struck me was that Hawaii had such a high Asian population - 35% - and yet ranked 47 out of 50 states. Remember Rushton and Jensen (along with every race science proponent I have ever seen) believe Asian IQ is higher - genetically - than any other "race." 

The hereditarian wasn't ready to give up yet though:



But remember we are doing race science here, and according to leading race science lights Ben and Bo Winegard and Brian Boutwell, one can go ahead and group races in any way that is "useful"
One might start with five continentally based categories (i.e., Caucasians, East Asians, Africans, Native Americans, and Australian Aborigines) and then add more categories as one’s analysis becomes more granular (e.g. Ashkenazi Jewish, Mizrahi Jewish, and so on). These categories aren’t real in some metaphysical sense, but they are useful, and they do have predictive value.  In this, they are like many other constructs in the social sciences such as self-esteem, intelligence, and agreeableness. They represent traits that cluster together; they predict outcomes; and they can be quantified.



So here is how I figured it, per the tenets of race science (in the first tweet below it should be "above" not "about.")







So in conclusion, even with the loose, sloppy standards of race science itself, we have failed to predict IQ scores across a state by knowing the state's demographic mix.

I say in the last tweet that "hereditarians discover environment" but although they may hand-wave any problems with their race/IQ system by saying environment counts for something, in practice they will always go back to the strong pinkerism of genetics-only, so clearly described by the Winegards and Boutwell. 

Because it would take a lot of work to explain where genetics ends and environment begins and that's not something hereditarians have any interest in doing because....

race science is lazy.

Like Gudetama. But not as cute.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

How to do race science part 1

Pinkerite is not a scientist. But that's OK because you don't have to be a scientist to do race science because it's not actually science, in spite of it being promoted as science by the Intellectual Dark Web via Quillette.

As I keep trying to tell the various philosophers, academics, biologists etc. that I follow/follow me on Twitter, if there's one thing you can say about race science is that it's incredibly lazy. It takes race ideas dreamed up primarily in the 19th century and uses them as a basis on which to tack poorly thought-out claims about 21st century life.

The highfalutin' scientific literates on Twitter are constantly trying to talk actual science with race science proponents and that inevitably leads to the real scientists talking past the race science proponents, while giving race science proponents the flattering but mistaken impression they are doing actual science. 

For example, as PZ Myers explained so well, hereditarianism (an umbrella term I am using to cover both evolutionary psychology and race science) doesn't use all of evolutionary theory, but rather only one of its four mechanisms, "adaptation."

So biological scientists and race science proponents don't mean the same thing by the term "evolution" since race science only includes 25% of evolutionary theory.

Which means that "evolutionary psychology" is mis-named. It should actually be called something like "strict-adaptationist psychology."

Stephen Jay Gould critiqued the evolutionary psychology over-use of adaptation in his argument with Steven Pinker in 1997 in an exchange of letters in the New York Review of Books.

Hereditarians believe virtually every facet of human culture is a genetic adaptation. This is so extreme that someone claiming on Twitter to be physicist Allessandro Strumia (who became notorious thanks to his misogyny) insists that like physics, the reason that men dominate wine production is because women have evolved to be less interested in wine production.


I suspect it really is Strumia but I have no way to prove that for certain. If it really is him, his belief that women's career choices are genetic, uninfluenced by patriarchy is even more absurd since he comes from Italy which has some of the most patriarchal attitudes towards working women in Europe.

So last week I got into an argument on Twitter with a race science proponent. The argument started when someone pointed out that IQ scores in the United State vary by state. I immediately thought of what race science proponents would claim, since studying them for several years has taught me all too well how they think.

I knew they would claim that the reason for the difference was the percentage of African Americans in the population - the entire raison d'ĂȘtre of race science is to claim black people are innately inferior to all other kinds of people. One of their major hypotheses for this is Northern Superiority. Which is easy enough to poke holes in by me, a non-scientist and antagonize Steve Sailer, leading race science proponent and also not a scientist, in the process.

Now you may think my characterization of race science thought processes sounds unfairly simplistic. But no, it is not unfair as this race science proponent demonstrated in the middle of the discussion.



Now this aeglmu is an anonymous Twitter rando and while she clearly has faith in the hereditarian view of human IQ she also switches to weak pinkerism with the "at least partly explain" bit.

For as Ben and Bo Winegard, the Quillette race science twins demonstrated in their strong pinkerism  "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" the main line of hereditarian thought holds that the Black-White IQ score gap  is exclusively genetic. I can't see how this passage from the piece can be interpreted any other way:
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. 
The Winegards completely rule out all environmental variables. And the Winegard article was approved and linked-to by major IDW hereditarians Steven Pinker and Sam Harris.

So based on the loose and lazy intellectual guidelines of race science, Pinkerite attempted race science on Twitter. I will share that in the next post, How to do race science part 2.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Claire Lehmann hits the big time

Claire Lehmann portrayed by the great Steven Brodner
I believe her pants are on fire.

The founding editor of Quillette, the right wing’s highly influential answer to Slate. Lehmann publishes members of the “intellectual Dark Web”—academics, journalists, and tech entrepreneurs who defend debunked race, gender, and climate science.
She even gets her own caricature by distinguished illustrator Steven Brodner.

The piece by Sam Thielman includes Lehmann in a rogues gallery with Kochs, Bin Salman, Murdoch and Trump.

And just think, not long ago Lehmann was spending her time contributing to Rebel Media and attacking people like me for criticizing the race science promoted by Quillette authors like wee little graduate student Bo Winegard. This tweet is from February 2018. Lehmann blocked my personal account on Twitter right after this. 


Please note Bo Winegard was in his mid-30s at the time Claire Lehmann defended him against "bullying" by a nobody with a blog and a Twitter account.

Razib Khan and Bo Winegard (@EPoe187) have both been mentioned many times on this blog.

I didn't actually boast about "getting Khan fired from the NYTimes" - I mentioned I played a role in the NYTimes offer to Khan being rescinded after Jamelle Bouie (among others) wrote about Khan's race science career. Bouie linked to a post on my personal blog written about Khan. I had been keeping tabs on Khan ever since he interviewed Steve Pinker on Khan's Gene Expression web site in 2006.

And the comparison of Khan to Winegard doesn't work - Khan got "fired" from the NYTimes when word got out about Khan's race science - my criticizing Winegard's race science on Twitter was hardly going to get him fired from Quillette - in fact, it's his advocacy of race science that most likely endeared him to Lehmann, and lead to his becoming an occasional contributor to Quillette and now apparently a member of the staff.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Strong pinkerism and Koch funding

Steven Pinker recently gave the keynote speech on "the nature of academic controversies" for the 2019 Fire Faculty Conference and doubled-down on his "intelligent alt-right" comments originally made as part of the Spiked tour in 2017.

Pinker's message, yet again, is that universities are responsible for the extremism of the alt-right.

After spending a lot of time in the speech declaring his liberal bona fides, Pinker says, near the end (thanks to the Youtube automatic transcript):
...the regressive left is an incubator of the alt-right and I say this from some painful experience when I have seen some former students of mine who have gravitated to the alt-right because they see what happens in universities when positions such as that there may be sex differences or cultural differences are immediately squashed the people voicing them are punished and their reaction is well you can't handle the truth they tend then to form their own self-contained bubbles and in which far more extreme and radical and unsubtle positions and gain a footing can fester unchallenged because they're in their bubble academia is in its bubble and so in cases like sex differences police shootings and the advantages and disadvantages of capitalism you can get extreme versions cultivated in alt-right and other non academic circles precisely because these are debates that don't take place in refereed forums in which the flaws and the extreme versions can be pointed out and mitigated so let me sum up some of us are more controversial than others  admittedly some of us are extremely  controversial despite what at least I would consider to be relatively moderate positions...
This is an example of "strong pinkerism." As I noted, when Pinker is in a room with people who might not agree with his more extreme opinions, he reverts to weak pinkerism, as when he declined to argue with Paul Krugman on whether or not we know why New York City was such a violent place in the 1960s, in spite of the fact that Pinker spent pages in his "Better Angels" book claiming it was the fault of dirty hippies and blacks not getting married.

Pinker's original defense of the alt-right was presented as part of a tour funded by Charles Koch. A Koch-funded event is the perfect place for strong pinkerism. They want Pinker to blame universities for the worst evils of the world.

Which is why a FIRE event is another perfect place for strong pinkerism.

FIRE - Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is heavily funded by Charles Koch, according to the invaluable Sourcewatch web site:
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. FIRE's known funders include:
  • Adolph Coors Foundation: $45,000 (2012, 2015)
  • Bradley Foundation: $1,490,000[9]
  • Charles G. Koch Foundation:$955,561 (2008-2014)
  • Claude R. Lambe Foundation: $740,000 (2005-2007)
  • DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund: $1,372,500 (2012-2015)
  • Jaquelin Hume Foundation: $235,000 (2001-2011)
  • Randolph Foundation: $62,000 (2009-2011)
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation: $355,000 (2012-2014)
  • Searle Freedom Trust: $300,000 (2008-2013)
Koch is especially interested in promoting the view that universities are too left-wing as part of the Koch attempt to capture American universities as documented by the NYTimes:
As early as 1990, entities controlled by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch were given a seat on a committee to pick candidates for a professorship that they funded, the records show. Similar arrangements that continued through 2009 gave donors decision-making roles in selecting candidates for key economics appointments at the Mercatus Center, a Koch-funded think tank on campus that studies markets and regulation. The appointments, which also created faculty lines at George Mason, were steered to professors who, like the Kochs, embraced unconstrained free markets.
Koch doesn't donate money to FIRE out of the goodness of his heart, it's part of his political campaign against liberalism. And Pinker is one of the favorite useful idiots of Koch. Which is why he emphasizes his liberal bona fides - to give cover to the fact that FIRE is a NOT a non-partisan quest for fairness but rather a project of right-wing plutocrats who have no interest in fairness or justice whatsoever.

This is one of the reasons why Steven Pinker is so annoying - his utter lack of intellectual integrity, which is the source of the constant see-sawing between weak and strong pinkerism.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Rebel Media Contributor Timeline & Quillette's damaged reputation

I came across this fascinating item on a site called Datawrapper:
Rebel Media Contributors Timeline
Start dates for each contributor's tenure are cleaned up from the Wayback Machine's caches of the Rebel Media masthead list. The first cached copy is from February 15th 2015, which is the same day that the Rebel posted their first YouTube video. The most recent copy of the list that is mapped is a cached copy from May 17th 2019. End dates from this data have been adjusted based on a variety of sources; these can be found in the data sourced below.
It's interesting to note that Claire Lehmann had already founded Quillette in October 2015, and became a far-right Rebel Media contributor in March 2016, after starting Quillette.

In spite of Quillette's attempts to brand itself as centrist, Lehmann was not at all concerned that her connection to far-right Rebel Media, with its roster of extremists like Faith Goldy and Gavin McInnes would reflect badly on Quillette, in the early days.

A Quillette fan recently complained about Quillette critics on Twitter:


As much as I would like to take credit for "permanently damaging" Quillette, I think Quillette damaged its own reputation by hiring rightwing operatives like Andy Ngo and promoting race science from the very beginning as can be seen in a Quillette article from November 2015 in which "biosocial criminologist" Brian Boutwell whines about pushback he's seen against the race science bullshit he promotes.

But I think the major source of Quillette's reputation damage comes directly from attacks by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. And I don't think he could reasonably be described as "leftist cultural power."

But no matter who gets credit for Quillette's reputational damage, it seems that Quillette is still on a downhill slide, if Graphtreon's statistics are accurate, with a 33.3% drop in patrons for YTD 2019.



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I think I triggered Steve Sailer

Pinkerite has of course never been a fan of Steven Pinker's former pal, Steve Sailer, and has always freely expressed contempt for him both on this blog and right to his virtual face on Twitter.

So imagine my surprise to find Pinkerite has been blocked by Steve Sailer on Twitter.

I can't say what, for sure, finally triggered Sailer, although I can't help but suspect that it might have something to do with the Northern Superiority Hypothesis.

The "Northern Superiority Hypothesis" (I came up with that name) is the foundational belief of race science and was apparently devised in the 18th century. Originally it simply held that humans who live in colder climates are more intelligent than those who live in warmer climates. Then after Darwin and the Out of Africa theory race science proponents began suggesting that humans coming out of African adapted through increased brain power to cold harsh weather.

Richard Lynn has been the most prominent contemporary champion of Northern Superiority, publishing his thoughts on the topic in the white supremacist Mankind Quarterly.

There are many problems with the hypothesis, but I'll focus on two, because they relate to Steve Sailer.

First - why did anybody leave the virtual paradise as described by Richard Lynn?
The life style of present day !Kung bushmen in the Kalahari desert provides a useful insight into the relative ease of securing food supplies for hunter gatherer peoples in tropical latitudes. As described by Lee (1968), women go gathering plant foods about one day in three, and men go on hunting expeditions for about one week in three. This is sufficient to provide food for the whole group, including infants, children and the old. The rest of the time can be spent relaxing about the camp. For these peoples the problems of obtaining food supplies are neither time consuming nor cognitively demanding.
Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it? Why would anybody ever want to move away from such a place? I have never found any proponent of the Northern Superiority Hypothesis discussing why anybody would want to move into a cold harsh climate on purpose.

One reason, from a cultural materialist perspective, and which is at least as plausible as anything dreamed up by race science theories, is that if there was such an easy-living environment for humans, the result, before reliable artificial birth-control, would be a population boom.

The population boom would result in populations expanding into each others' territory and then conflicts over the best territory. The winners got to stay in the best territories. The losers had to move to the lesser territories.

So it's plausible that the people who ended up moving into the harsh climates were losers of territorial competition. So in spite of "biosocial criminologists" like John Paul Wright claiming:
Areas afflicted by crime and other social pathologies are more frequently black than white, and even less frequently Oriental. Part of the reason for these visible and dramatic differences may have to do with the differential abilities of races to organize socially.
In fact it's very possible whites and "Orientals" are the descendants of those who were less able to "organize socially" which is why they lost the war and had to move north into harsher climates. And the people who stayed in Africa were the better organized.

So that's the first problem with Northern Superiority Hypothesis.

The second problem is Neanderthals.

Neanderthals lived in cold weather before humans did. The Northern Superiority Hypothesis holds that intelligence was selected for in cold climates - in other words, in the battle of survival of the fittest, those who were most intelligent lived better and had more offspring than the less intelligent. In survival of the fittest, intelligence, according to Northern Superiority Hypothesis, made you fit in cold weather.

The problem is Neanderthals are extinct. If they were more intelligent than homo sapiens they should still be around if intelligence made you "the fittest." So either intelligence isn't the ultimate determination of fitness, or cold weather isn't such a bane to the stupid after all.

And then there is the problem of purity.

Racialists are obsessed with purity of the blood. Which is likely why Steve Sailer's book (Sailer was offering a PDF version for free on VDare for awhile) is called AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - BARACK OBAMA’S STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE.

You can still get it for free via the Wayback Machine. It's a bargain at twice the price.

DNA testing has shown that virtually all humans living now, except those from sub-Saharan Africa, are likely to have traces of Neanderthal DNA. It seems that the losers of the territorial disputes of the African paradise headed north and had sex and offspring with Neanderthals.

Which means that people with direct sub-Saharan African ancestors are more "pure" homo sapiens than everybody else. Not only more purely human but unmixed with a species that clearly failed the long-term allegedly intelligence-based survival-of-the-fittest test.

And that is why I think I may have triggered Steve Sailer when I tweeted at him:



If this did trigger him it would be really funny. As it happens, according to DNA test results I have more Neanderthal DNA than 74% of 23andMe customers. And it doesn't bother me at all.

It also doesn't bother me that sub-Saharan Africans are more pure homo sapiens than everybody else.

But that's exactly the kind of thing that would bother purity-mongering race obsessives.





Sunday, November 17, 2019

Richard Nixon, just asking questions: "Can well-educated black people teach English?"

The biggest deal in this New Yorker article is Ronald Reagan's blatant racism:
Reagan, who was then the governor of California, gave his opinion of the African delegates to the United Nations who voted against the United States’ position that Taiwan, rather than the People’s Republic of China, should receive U.N. recognition. “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Reagan exclaimed. Nixon laughed heartily and went on to tell the Secretary of State, William Rogers, about Reagan’s outburst...
Nixon's racism and anti-Semitism had already been revealed by previously released tapes.  However from Pinkerite's POV this was most interesting (my highlight):
Earlier that month, Nixon had been explaining to Daniel Patrick Moynihan—an academic who had worked in the White House—about how he had been thinking about how, in his mind, “blacks” just had a hell of a time governing. And that [Reagan’s comments] really said something to him, and that squared with things he was reading about this noxious idea of a connection between I.Q. and race.
Via The Atlantic's Tim Naftali I found the actual audio recording online  and Nixon's discussion with Moynihan starts at minute 1:32:05.

The excerpt I'm most interested in is available on Youtube with a transcript. However I am not linking to the Youtube version because both versions I've found there were posted by racists.

The transcript is pretty bad so I have to edit it, which is taking a long time, so I will be posting the transcript in pieces. Here is part one. The "Herrnstein" mentioned is, of course, Richard Hernnstein, co-author with Charles Murray of "The Bell Curve." The Herrnstein piece they mention is "I.Q." from the September 1971 issue of The Atlantic available in its entirety here.
        NIXON 
Hello?
     MOYNIHAN 
Good morning, Mr President. 
     NIXON 
Where are yah? 
     MOYNIHAN 
I'm - I'm in New York, writing a speech which I'm going to give today at the United Nations, and give the Russians a little hell, sonuvabitch (laughs)  
     NIXON 
Right, good. You got a minute or is this a bad time? 
     MOYNIHAN 
I do sir. 
     NIXON 
In fact I'm writing a speech and I'm delivering tonight at 7:30 so I'm gonna have to write in the middle of it but it's brief so you can listen 14 minutes - does your retention time that long. 
     MOYNIHAN 
I never-   
     NIXON 
- don't admit it. The reason I called you as a matter of fact - I sort of read things - when I was in Florida going over to Walker's I read with great interest your piece from the UN on Herrnstein's piece, you know, that I passed onto you. Let me say first of all nobody in the staff even knows I read the goddamn article  
     MOYNIHAN 
Oh good. 
     NIXON 
- and nobody in this staff is going to know any better because I couldn't agree more with you that the Herrnstein's stuff and all the rest, this is not -  first nobody must think we're thinking about it, and second if we do find out it's correct we must never tell anybody - 
     MOYNIHAN 
I'm afraid that's just the case  
     NIXON 
- that's right yes now let me add a few things that you can and you might just make some mental notes about it or anything  you want just as  I give you my own views. 
I've reluctantly concluded based at least on the evidence presently before me and I don't base it on any scientific evidence that that what Herrstein says and also what was said earlier by Jensen and so forth is it’s probably very close to truth. Now - 
     MOYNIHAN 
I think that’s where you'd have to be as - 
    NIXON 
- now having said that then you copper that by saying something that the racists would never agree with, that within groups there are geniuses, they're geniuses within black groups,  there are more within Asian groups and incidentally it was a rather neat trick to point out that the Asians are number one and the Caucasians are number two 
     MOYNIHAN 
And the Eskimos -

     NIXON
 
- and the Eskimos are above the whites, which is good - and also your little deal about the English and the Irish. Now that is the best example of the fact this is knowledge but it is knowledge that it is better not to know. At least good God it would cause another war, they haven’t enough damn problems in Northern Ireland now - 
     MOYNIHAN 
Exactly. 
     NIXON 
And basically there are Irish geniuses. 
     MOYNIHAN 
Well I think - got a few Irish presidents. 
     NIXON  
Yeah that's right, well Burke wasn't bad - 
     MOYNIHAN 
Who’s not bad? 
     NIXON 
Something the liberals said. Now so let me say that in getting this knowledge and that's the point that I - and it's a you're welcome to pass this on to Herrnstein as we talk - in getting started tell him I think the reason I have to know it, is that as I go for programs, I must know, that, if that they have basic weaknesses -  and did you read Glaser's piece in Commentary recently?  
     MOYNIHAN 
“The limits of Social Policy” yes indeed 
     NIXON 
And uh, you know he didn't come out against family assistance but he just raised a hell of a lot of questions, but he's well it's already got it in New York and isn't working, and so forth and so on, but you respect Glazer don't you?
     MOYNIHAN 
Oh he’s my very dear friend and - sure  
     NIXON 
Well tell him I read his piece too and - 
     MOYNIHAN 
I certainly will - he feels, what he meant was that the family assistance should not be - we should not expect it to change the world - 
     NIXON 
Yeah - what he meant, what was interesting to me, was that he said that even in Sweden the ultimate example, and in Britain the less ultimate example, that they still have a tremendous emphasis on the work ethic, in other words that going on, going on welfare just sort of ain’t the thing people ought to do. Now that is of course the reason why the work requirement thing is so important here I mean - 
     MOYNIHAN
Damn right. 
     NIXON 
Everybody says well the work requirements is only for the purpose of making these poor poor colored women you know who can't work and with little babies coming every month or it's every nine months I believe, anyway whatever
 the case is you can't make them work. Now that isn't it - the whole point is that - as you well know that the we just not got to sort of get into the psychology, that well at the welfare is a good way of life, that is that there's where the working poor comes in, etc etc. 
 
     MOYNIHAN 
And the point about Family Assistance is it gives us an alternative to welfare as a way of life - 
     NIXON 
- exactly well now coming on to the other points -  when the other side, and here's where I think we have to bear in mind, we’ve got to realize on Family Assistance on anything we do, the limits of Social Policy, if we don't we're going to raise expectations and then have the dull thud that was the problem with Johnson. 
     MOYNIHAN 
Um hm. 
     NIXON 
Johnson's - he took your hard university speech and he carried out a lot of things but he, I really don’t think he did it deliberately, I think Johnson probably convinced himself all this stuff is going to work. You agree? 
     MOYNIHAN 
Can I just say one thing Sir? One of the fascinating things is in 1967 he announced a great program of “new towns in town” to start building around town and you had to deal with the end of it - in 1968, beginning, he sent a message to Congress in which he said “even now a new town is rising on the site of Fort Lincoln in the city of Washington DC.” At that moment not a single Spade of Earth had been turned - but he didn’t know it, he thought it was going on. 
     NIXON 
Now coming to the other point I - a couple of questions - has Coleman demonstrated the fact that where you put blacks, or for that matter under-privileged Chicanos or anybody else - blacks in with whites integrated that it raises the blacks and does not bring down the whites - is that clear? 
     MOYNIHAN 
Yes up to a point- 
     NIXON 
Now the second point I raise then and I raise - this is really hitting at the nerve center - is this true when you have an integrated faculty - let’s take for example where my daughter was teaching (unclear)- or was going to teach. Let's suppose that that you've got a black, graduated from a good black college in the south, teaching English, now do you believe that she can teach English?
More transcript coming ASAP.