On not ceding the truth to racists

One of the most important reasons not to tell ourselves pretty lies about unpleasant realities is so that we do not hand evil people the power of being the only ones who are willing to speak the truth.

In my last post, I gave my readers an intelligence test based on John Derbyshire’s deliberately provocative article about The Talk: Nonblack version. I am pleased to report that more commenters passed the test than I expected, engaging and critiquing Derbyshire’s survival advice rationally rather than foaming at the mouth in fits of political correctness. This shows that my readers are brighter and saner than Derbyshire’s former employers at National Review Online – but I already knew that.

In the debate that followed, only a small number of exceptionally stupid people averred that I am or might be a racist myself. A rather larger number accused of me of holding to a standard for “racism” and “racist thinking” that is too narrow, because I reject ever describing as “racist” people who speak beliefs that are factually justified – even if those beliefs are negative about specific racial groups and even if they are expressed with intent to provoke. I hold that truth should be considered a sufficient defense against charges of racism just as it is against slander and libel.

But because Derbyshire pointed at unpleasant statistics about criminality, violence and IQ, and described the logical consequences of those statistics in unsparing detail, many commenters were willing to condemn him as a racist even though they conceded that his fact base is largely sound and there is no evidence that his errors (if any) are dishonest. I even had one person defend this expansive definition of “racist” on the grounds that this is how almost everyone understands the word.

I am writing to argue that such a loose definition of “racist” is a dangerous mistake.

Imagine that you live in a universe X where the following claim is true: “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.”, but this fact is suppressed from public discourse and unmentionable. It will not matter to the rest of my argument whether that claim describes our universe.

Now suppose you have spent all your life in universe X being told that black people are just like you, and no more likely to be criminals than anyone else. Until one day an actual racist, a bigot, a person who has a fixated hate of black people, says to you “They’re lying, and I can prove it. Look at this abstract from the Uniform Crime Reports!”

And you see the evidence, and absorb it. The first question you’re going to ask, if you have even one brain cell working, is “What else have the ‘anti-racists’ and the diversity enthusiasts been lying to me about?” And the bigot will have answers, many of which are fantasy and bullshit and bizarre distortions of history. But even his fantasy and bullshit will be credible to you, because he began by showing you a truth that nobody else was willing to speak.

Nobody sane wants to hand power and credibility to neo-Nazis or the Christian Identity movement or Confederate revanchists or any of the other tiny clusters of bigoted wack jobs at the fringes of American politics. But that is exactly what we do every time we tell pretty lies about race. It is exactly what we do every time we use “racist” as a verbal cudgel against people who deviate in the slightest from politically-correct thinking. And it is exactly what we do when we honk endlessly about the need for a “national conversation about race”, then run the likes of John Derbyshire out of town on a rail for speaking honestly.

To avoid putting bigots and racists on the right and truthful side of the argument, we need a strict definition of “racist” claims as those which (a) prejudice individual judgment of individuals, and (b) are based on false generalizations. We cannot allow true generalizations to be considered racist. If we do that, either (a) we can no longer condemn racism as such, or (b) we get stuck in a situation where we’re not allowed to notice that white men can’t jump and black men can’t swim, wondering why our our sports teams aren’t “balanced”, and falsely ascribing to bigotry what arises from natural differences in distributions of ability. And the poison spreads.

Only the haters and creeps and race-hustlers of all colors win under either of those outcomes. So please do not give evil people the gift of being sloppy in your thinking and your language.

Oh, and if you’re wondering whether you actually do live in Universe X? Do some googling. Be prepared not to like what you find.

395 thoughts on “On not ceding the truth to racists

  1. I have wondered, since the Trayvon Martin shooting, if it were possible, given the data gathering we have now, to provide the following on a real time updated web site.

    1) Use icons that look like the ones used on restroom stalls for gender.
    2) One row of icons per day, so 366 this year, and 365 in a non-leap year.
    3) Column A: Ethnicity of a murderer. Change color of icon from pink to tan to brown.
    4) Column B: Silhouette of a murder weapon.
    5) Column C: Ethnicity of the murder victim. Change color of icon from pink to tan to brown.
    6) Column D: ZIP code where the body was found.

    And somehow (assuming that doing so would be permitted by DA offices), link back to the police reports.

    Hell, I could mock this up in Excel. Someone who knows AJAX and JSON might be able to get the site to update automatically if they knew where to grab the data. The trick is getting the data.

    Wonder how much you could sell advertising banners to gun shops for…

  2. My only critique of what you just wrote is that I would strengthen a qualification slightly.

    Our own dialog about race is not uniquely American, but it does color our perception of statistics, so “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime” is not quite how I think about things, at least when it comes to my own perception of having a defining ‘slice’ between racism and realism.

    A statistic like that not something you can generalize to black people outside the US.
    So if there’s any way to prove I’m not a racist I can say that I acknowledge that American blacks have problems, but that I totally dig Kenyans. (and I do!)

    In south America, no doubt, a high percentage of hispanic people commit the crimes simply due to the majority being hispanic.

    Secondly sub-population problems are not uniquely american. Certainly all of south america has similar issues with the original indian populations that Americans do.

    Iraq had issues with the Kurds, and vice versa.

    Bosnia, Serbia, etc, etc.

    Then I bring in my definition of crime…

    To be perverse, I’m pretty sure that white people dominate white collar crime.
    What they did was violent to the lives of thousands.
    And the executives of Enron deserved to be locked in the public stocks, spat on, peed on, and left with their corpses left to dry in the public square, for months.

    I’m not incidentally arguing with anything else you wrote, just the subtley of thinking this problem is unique…

    I too would like to see society tackle these sorts of issues head on, with eyes unblinkered.

  3. >From what I can tell, strip out the hyperbole and what this page says is largely true, despite the dodgy web design and perhaps questionable motives of the people behind it.

    Perfect example. Yes, their facts are largely correct – I’ve explained some of this history on the blog. And the site iconography is a none-too-subtle clue to both Christian Identity and neo-Nazi connections.

  4. An excellent lesson on critical thinking, debilitating self-censorship, and passively ceding the battlefield to the enemy. Your critique is even more daring because it is centered around the hot button social taboo of speaking openly and honestly about verbotten race issues.

    That said, it seems to me that hive-aversion to politically incorrect speech is but one aspect of a larger phenomenon. A rather large cohort of people have acquired the habit of perceiving the world as they wish it would be rather than accept reality as it exists. This is not a good survival strategy either for the individual or the species.

  5. >So please do not give evil people the gift of being sloppy in your thinking and your language.
    By what standard do you use to determine if a person is evil or not?

  6. I enjoyed the fact that most commenters were trying to analyze his individual claims and prescriptions. That approach is refreshing regardless of the conclusions reached, because it demands careful reading and reasoning, unlike the pious hand-waving that usually accompanies a heresy. Sure, there were still a few pious handwavers, but not many.

    I also think it’s encouraging that most of us who did find logical errors in Derbyshire’s list seemed to zero in on the same ones, namely 10h and 10g, which were surely his weakest claims. That we were able to do so without characterizing the author as an obvious racist is a bonus.

  7. >By what standard do you use to determine if a person is evil or not?

    That’s not a can of worms we need to open, unless you are unwilling to admit that neo-Nazis are evil.

  8. This shows that my readers are brighter and saner than Derbyshire’s former employers at National Review Online – but I already knew that.

    That’s debatable. They might just be navigating a basic survival scenario of their own. Their ex-employee’s article is bad for business, regardless of whether or not they agree with him and regardless of whether or not he’s right. Risk aversion strategies don’t stop in the dark alleyway or on the lonesome road; businesses practice it too.

  9. “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.”

    Where did you find the stratified data?

  10. >Where did you find the stratified data?

    Universe X. Do your own digging in this one, you’ll believe the results more.

  11. @esr
    > That’s not a can of worms we need to open, unless you are unwilling to admit that neo-Nazis are evil.

    I assumed he meant, “what makes them evil.” I guess your answer (or a large part of it) would be their proposed solutions, but I am not so sure.

    For me, much of it stems from the fact that the Neo-Nazis who hold these beliefs tend to be in the lower intelligence pool themselves (75-90 range), and are vying for the brand of unearned social advantage that they accuse their black counterparts of coveting (hence the “socialist” component of “White National Socialism.” I have had a couple of unfortunate run-ins with this sad lot in my lifetime, and they were both reminders of how evil, stupidity, impulse control and economic failure are usually intertwined.

  12. >how evil, stupidity, impulse control and economic failure are usually intertwined.

    Assuming you mean poor impulse control, yes. Quite.

  13. A question unrelated to anything in particular – would it be possible to have the Comments RSS show more than ten posts? Or maybe have a paged “all comments” view, if wordpress can support it.

  14. “Imagine that you live in a universe X where the following claim is true: “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime”

    Correction: Imagine that you live in a universe X where the following claim is true: “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime…. And imagine that cops are trained to racially profile. And that District Attorneys are more likely to take a black person to trial. And that a jury is more likely to convict a black man than a white man for the same crime and more likely to give a harsher sentence when convicted. And that black people are more likely to be portrayed in media as being violent.”

    There. Got that racist, cheery-picked statement cleared up.

  15. Also, I think there are edge cases of evil (maybe JAD is a good example of this) where they may not quite fall into the I.Q. basement with the Neo-Nazis, but they nevertheless seem to want to acquire some additional unearned prestige and privilege by virtue of their race, whether or not they personally deserve it. I think that JAD’s argument about “first rank researchers” on a previous thread is a good example of a telltale sign. Derbyshire’s point 5 regarding Fields Medal winners seemed to neatly disarm the kind of small-bore racial argument JAD was trading in. The high end of I.Q. distribution is sparsely populated as is, and when you factor in other variables (time, desire, opportunity, etc) it doesn’t provide proof of anything, except that certain individuals appear to get an ego boost out of having the same skin color as David Mumford.

    That’s why I was a bit disappointed to see the author then resort to 10g. After I read point 5, I assumed Derbyshire was going to stick to large numbers only, which would immunize him against charges of racism. 10g is still suspicious to me because of the reasons I mentioned before.

    I’m not sure if that means I failed the test or not. I don’t think I failed, though, because I think my reasons for suspicion on that one are rational.

  16. For those who don’t believe the statistics, I’d suggest listening to your hindbrain. Walk into an all-black neighborhood as a white person, and ask yourself – do you feel safe? You don’t, not really. The sad truth is that almost every single member of my family has been a victim of a black on white violent crime (in all cases unprosecuted, and in many cases life-threatening in degree), and always when in violation of one of these heuristics the Derb suggests. Of course we’d never admit this in polite company, and I’m almost even afraid to comment on this site anonymously. Such is the degree of self-censorship that exists.

    Perhaps the core of what people like Eric and Derb are getting at may be just this. If the NY Times columnist Charles Blow wants to sit down and write an article about how he was mistreated by a white police officer, and so instinctively mistrusts many policemen, it’s a fine social commentary (he wrote something along these lines a few months back). But if you write essentially the same thing about black neighborhoods, you’re racist.

    Personally I think the race problems we have in this country will only truly be over when a black leader says it’s an embarrassment that whites are afraid of black neighborhoods. That’s not to say this is the only problem, or even the biggest problem right now- but a wide acknowledgement of this unpleasant reality is definitely a missing piece.

  17. “Until one day an actual racist, a bigot, a person who has a fixated hate of black people, says to you ‘They’re lying, and I can prove it. Look at this abstract from the Uniform Crime Reports!’”

    Uh-huh… (affirmative) Okay, so, if said “actual racist” said something accurate does that mean he’s right in this instance. I think so. Does it make him always right? I doubt it. He’s right in this instance even if he normally acts like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrOls6647MQ

    I should point out that this guy is wrong in this instance because Steve Hindi, the guy he’s talking to, is Caucasian (i.e.: “white”).

    Alright, so let’s substitute this Derbyshire guy. He points out that “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.” Since I’ve read that before, I’m pretty sure it’s true. I also know that there is more to social injustice than “socioeconomic level.”

    What about “The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen.”

    Obviously he’s not racist, right? But then later on in the same article…

    “Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.”

    What do I make of this basic contradiction? I’m told in essence, “Oh, you can’t say he’s racist as long as this advice is based on correct facts…” The contradiction doesn’t matter, huh?

    Then I click on the link that implies one of these correct facts and find instead an anecdote… in which the survivors counsel the exact _opposite_ of what he does in the text that refers back to them. Is that a correct fact?

    So, I find a shameless contradiction in this man’s writing, linked to a “factual assertion” that is both specious and different than what he implicitly claims, and if I thus conclude that maybe Derbyshire is a little bit racist, then my “definition of ‘racist’ is broken in a very specific and serious way” and all this discovery and my pointing it out is “vigorous handwaving.”

    Eric, tell me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t this a worthwhile point? :

    “Regardless of whether the truth is being spoken by a racist bigot or Jesus Christ himself, it is still the truth and the standards by which it should be measured do not change.”

    Terry

  18. The reality is that the definition of a word is not the purview of any person, group or class of people. Not you, not academics, not dictionary publishers nor the government (excluding legal definitions in the context of law). The meaning or a word is in how it is used by the populace. Language, and the evolution thereof, is the most democratic process in human civilization.

    If you want to use a word with a strict definition, you need to define it strictly, beforehand. (I think you did.) Then, any misinterpretation becomes the fault of the listener or reader.

    Many people use the terms “prejudice”, “discrimination”, “bigotry” and “racism” almost interchangeably. Only one of those words relates to race or ethnicity.

  19. Anyone who trusts a cop is stupider than one who trusts a random black man. Cops are more uniformly aggressive, dishonest, and often just plain vicious. And impossible to defend against.

  20. @Terry Wilson
    …in which the survivors counsel the exact _opposite_ of what he does in the text that refers back to them

    I have issues with 10h. But while I don’t think his anecdote proves a statistical reality, I don’t find that the survivors’ counsel dispels what little argument is actually there. Derbyshire could easily claim that they have been victimized twice — first mugged by reality, then coerced by the exact same social pressures that cost Derbyshire his NR job to ignore that reality. Someone would be hard-pressed to argue it too, considering how swiftly he was abandoned by his former employers.

  21. “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, commit over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.”

    Assuming that we do live in this universe, would the more appropriate way to state this be

    “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, [are criminally charged with ] commit[ing] over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have [criminally charged with] dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.”

    The point I am trying to make is that, to me, this statement does not quantify how much crime is carried out by blacks, it quantifies how much crime blacks are charged with carrying out.

    There is a fundamental assumption, true or not, in the statement, that all races are treated equally in how they are prosecuted when they commit a crime.

  22. @esr
    One last thought, at the risk of spamming:

    I am writing to argue that such a loose definition of “racist” is a dangerous mistake.

    A few months ago, while browsing your back catalog, I read a piece about narrowly defining torture and flipped through some of the comments. I recall that the most intense critical posts seemed to arrive at the opposite conclusion: that the true danger was in defining the term, for fear that a novel, unpredictable form of evil would occur outside of the margins. So, rather than do the tough intellectual work of coming up with the best definition, they preferred not to define it at all. This struck me as a case study in irrationality: the notion that keeping a definition intentionally vague would act as an amulet against undefined evils lurking somewhere in the mists. Its magical thinking at its best/worst.

    My guess is that the same people seek to keep definitions of terms like “racism” and “sexism” intentionally vague and borderless, in case they encounter something new that they have a political need to vilify. In any event, Orwell would have had a field day with the P.C. crowd and their fuzzy word usage. He might have even given up socialism, after witnessing its many rotten postmodern fruits.

  23. @Grantham,

    I guess you’re right there. Of course, both of us and The National Review take more basic issue with 10h we don’t even need to click on his link to assert. IMHO, if I were his boss at the NR, the question wouldn’t have been whether he got sacked, it would be the transcript of the exit interview and the statement announcing it, both of which would probably be a lot longer if it were up to me.

    Terry

  24. Eric, did you means a and b in the inclusive sense (logical OR), or a and b in the intersection sense (logical AND)? I ask because holding generalities to apply to an individual, even when one has the opportunity and reason to learn about the individual strikes me as racism, even if the generalities are true.

  25. >The first question you’re going to ask, if you have even one brain cell working, is “What else have the ‘anti-racists’ and the diversity enthusiasts been lying to me about?”

    Indeed, that is why I quit reading Gould after reading his “review” of The Bell Curve. I had some disagreements with it, which is one of the reasons I read the review after reading the book, but it was not a review but a vicious and consciously dishonest hatchet job – there was no way Gould could have honestly believed what he wrote was accurate. Once I have found someone’s writing is dishonest (or too stupid) on some point that I know something about, I avoid them for things I don’t know about – if someone is dishonest on one thing, how do I know they aren’t lying again where I might not be able to recognize it.

    Several years later, after I got on the internet, I discovered that I had, indeed, been earlier bamboozled by his Mismeasure of Man, which I later realized was the source of several of my doubts about The Bell Curve.

    For those commenters expressing doubt about the rule for avoiding being a Good Samaritan, I have known several people who were robbed in just that way during the 1990s beside highways inside the Capitol Beltway, including one on US Rte 1, less than a mile outside the University of Maryland.

  26. >Eric, did you means a and b in the inclusive sense (logical OR), or a and b in the intersection sense (logical AND)?

    I meant the more restrictive sense. I agree with you.

  27. Many people use the terms “prejudice”, “discrimination”, “bigotry” and “racism” almost interchangeably.

    With such results that, for example, they will take hearsay and rumor and use it to prejudge guilt in a shooting, and think of themselves as standing against prejudice.

  28. Another OT: I’m in the market for a cheap (<=200 USD), low power computer with documented hardware (as in, I could write my own drivers). A mobile device is fine as long as I can connect a large monitor to it. Can anyone offer suggestions or suggest a better place to ask? I'm only asking here because people around here seem to be into the mobile space (I own a dumbphone).

    The Raspberry Pi is looking good, but no documentation for the GPU. :-(

  29. @Steve M

    Good point, I’m blushing for not having thought of that. The law can be enforced in a discriminatory manner, and this will come back in the crime statistics. Good eye, keep it up!!

    Terry

  30. “The point I am trying to make is that, to me, this statement does not quantify how much crime is carried out by blacks, it quantifies how much crime blacks are charged with carrying out. There is a fundamental assumption, true or not, in the statement, that all races are treated equally in how they are prosecuted when they commit a crime.”

    Um, OK, but if there were a disproportionate level of criminal prosecution of blacks due to racism, and thus black criminals were more likely to go to prison than white ones, wouldn’t there be a disproportionate number of white criminals running around loose, committing more crimes? And wouldn’t that likely make white neighborhoods more dangerous than black ones?

  31. >What do I make of this basic contradiction?

    The contradiction exists only in your mind, not in what Derbyshire actually wrote. The entire scope of point 10 is advice on default behaviors when you have no individual information/. You fail test question 1. Again.

  32. @Terry Wilson

    I’m no fan of censorship, but I’m a big fan of the marketplace of ideas. NR was well within their rights to sack Derbyshire, as the ideas he presented doesn’t suit their conservative brand. They’re just as well within their rights not to hire someone like Paul Krugman or Van Jones to replace him.

    I’m not sure if my issue with 10h is as basic as yours. I do find it a morally repellent suggestion for personal reasons (members of my own family would suffer from a widespread adoption of it), but my rational objection to it is that ut fails to provide any useful data to back it up. As the article and link stand, I could defeat it with a single instance of a white crook suckering a Good Samaritan.

  33. >Good point, I’m blushing for not having thought of that. The law can be enforced in a discriminatory manner, and this will come back in the crime statistics. Good eye, keep it up!!

    Anybody who thinks that enough discrimination to produce a 4:1 distortion in violent-crime statistics could continue to exist under today’s civil-rights laws and eager diversity enforcers needs to be smoking a better grade of drugs. We’re talking violent crime here – armed robbery, murder and rape, not the kind of civil-order or drug offenses or firearms-law violations that bad cops use to hassle mooks.

  34. @esr

    “The contradiction exists only in your mind, not in what Derbyshire actually write. … You fail test question 1. Again.”

    Reading comprehension: Fail
    Use of proper tense (or is it a typo?): Fail

    “Anybody who thinks that enough discrimination to produce a 4:1 distortion in violent-crime statistics could continue to exist…”

    Okay, okay, fair enough. But: “when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance” doesn’t refer to violent crime, and /that’s/ the sort of stuff they use to hassle mooks.

    Hey, maybe this is an illustration of your point, what happens when we “hand evil people the power of being the only ones who are willing to speak the truth.” Isn’t such a distortion the sort of self-serving “truth” an evil person would utter?

    Terry

  35. @Grantham

    Good one! Anywhey, I suppose it doesn’t matter to Eric how basic my issue with 10h is, because it’ll only exist in my mind.

    Terry

  36. Derbyshire is a self-admitted racist : “I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one, and those things are going to be illegal pretty soon, the way we are going.” [1]

    Based solely on the evidence in his The Talk article: he recommends statistics based techniques for forming judgments about people he does not yet know. That’s the very definition of prejudice. Since he recommends using skin color to form these pre-judgments, he’s advocating a racist approach.

    the question you should have asked is: is racism OK? Because clearly Derbyshire thinks so, and your tone suggests you do too.

    In any case, I think you went a little wrong in setting up this question as a test of intelligence. Because youvso obviously failed to work through the problem logically, it calls into question whether you should be in charge IQ testing.

    [1]http://collectedmiscellany.com/2003/11/an-interview-with-john-derbyshire/

  37. >Derbyshire is a self-admitted racist

    We discussed this in the previous thread. I think his ‘racism’ is a snook being cocked at bien pensants. He doesn’t think or act like a racist; he’s got a Chinese wife, and he’s not fixated on any racial group being inferior.

  38. Out of the last 44 presidents our nation has had, 100% of the black presidents have raised the national debt more than all of the white presidents combined.

  39. While I read your last post, I did not consider it useful to participate because…. ‘We have a problem of definitions here.’ How does one define human races when what we are actually describing are “population clines” in the process of remixing. Sometime in our species history, race formation started but has since stopped as population movements have reconnected isolated populations centuries ago. There are no distinct human races from an evolutionary and biological viewpoint.

    When physical characters (phenotypes) like skin melanin content form a continuous poisson distribution, how does one decide where to segregate one ‘race’ from another? If Obama is more than 50% ‘white’, which is quite likely considering population mixing in east Africa, why is he considered black ? Exactly which phenotypic characters are used to segregate ‘black’ from ‘white’? How tan do I need to get to be considered ‘black’ and why are people from southern India not black ?

    You must change your arbitrary classification of populations to more accurately reflect reality, esr, and I have no proposal as to how one does that.

    I am a racist, of course !!

    Off topic, a nice video lecture on CO2, isotope ‘fingerprints’, and climate change:
    atmospheric Physicist M. Salby

  40. > Good one!

    Well, I don’t know if it was a “good one”, since I wasn’t trying to score points or arrive at a certain conclusion, just to investigate the issue further. All I did was search for “Good Samaritan robbed at road side” without any including racial or any other demographic keys, and I found a white offender almost. I assumed that I would — despite the (factual, unavoidable) disproportion of criminality among the races, whites still constitute enough of a demographic majority that their number of crimes will still be very large in almost any given category.

    Even among murderers, where blacks have an obviously disproportion of per capita offenders, 46% of the total murders will still be committed by whites. If violent murder is something that preoccupies your list of fears, and your solution is to voluntarily segregate yourself from the black race, your next most rational survival step might be to keep a wary eye on your white co-workers, and on members of your own family.

  41. “…and I found a white offender almost immediately,” is what I meant to type. Sorry.

  42. The most insightful thing I’ve read in a while. To which I will add:

    A while back I’ve come to believe that most members of the talking professions(1), whose primary output is primarily characterized by “a complete indifference to what is real”(2), are physically incapable of understanding that there exists an objective reality which cares not a whit about their “narrative”. They literally can’t or won’t comprehend that no matter how many racing stripes they paint on a turtle, on race day it will “unexpectedly perform worse than anticipated”.

    (1) Politicians, journalists, etc.
    (2) Bullshit

  43. The definition of “rascism” is by some not just held to a loose standard, but hold it to such an extreme that it has lost all meaning. A year or two ago there was a very large public discussion of rasicm on the popular blog of a prominent SciFi author. The discussion was surprisingly well behaved and contained a wealth of useful conversation from all points of view. However what I ultimately came away with was that many (seemingly intelligent) people held such a different idea of the definition of rascism that we might as well have been speaking completely different languages that just happened to use the same alphabet of letters.

    The term, as it was repeated expressed and defined, was essentially a tautology: iff you are a member of a non-minority race then you are a racist. There were no conditions; it does not matter what you think, or what you do, or how you behave; it only matters what race you are born with. There is no way to ever escape being a racist if you are not a minority member no matter how hard you try or how good your heart. I understood many of their points, but was shocked at just how different the language we were using. When a word is a tautology then it has lost all meaning. So you have members of one group who fear being called a racist for what they think it implies, and another group who define it so broadly that it ultimately means nothing at all.

  44. esr wrote: “Be prepared not to like what you find.

    Actually I was very happy with what I found – namely that the odds of being murdered by a black person is very, very small, even if I violate all of Mr. Derbyshire’s advice. The fact that I would be significantly more likely to be murdered by a black than a white assuming I associated more or less equally with blacks and whites, is interesting at some level, but not particularly useful given the low likelihood of being murdered by anyone, regardless of race.

    Given what I found, I can only consider Mr. Derbyshire to be either racist, innumerate, or so extremely risk adverse that he’s a coward.

  45. @ESR “We discussed this in the previous thread. I think his ‘racism’ is a snook being cocked at bien pensants. He doesn’t think or act like [what ESR calls] a racist; he’s got a Chinese wife, and he’s not fixated on any racial group being inferior.”

    Alternate theory: He’s internalized the “dangerously insane” definition of racism.

  46. @Daniel Franke:

    The GuruPlug is one of the things I’ve been looking at. Not sure if I can connect a display or headphones to it though.

  47. Given what I found, I can only consider Mr. Derbyshire to be either racist, innumerate, or so extremely risk adverse that he’s a coward.

    I have to admit, that the first group I consigned him to was “coward”, but I’m not going to pretend it was a purely rational reaction. He does come off sounding a bit like a coward to me, but I accept that my standards might be inordinately high due so my life experience, and that I probably posses certain advantages/adaptations that blind me to his plight. Racial identification may indeed be the best and most reliable survival tool that Derbyshire has in the toolbox, and “cowardice” is arguably the best survival strategy around (at least at the individual level), so it’s hard to argue that he is an irrational actor. It’s somewhat less hard to argue that there are other rational actors who don’t follow all of his rules, but are still better adapted for both individual and genetic survival.

  48. @PapayaSF: Don’t be taken in by that white slavery stuff. If you read the contemporary descriptions of pre-Civil War southern life, you will not see stuff about white people toiling as slaves on the plantations. Even if you believe the figures on that website, add them up and they don’t come near the *millions* of black slaves. Whatever white slavery existed, soon disappeared into history, while black slavery went on and on, supported by the notion that blacks were another race, fit only for such toil.

  49. True, LS, there were more black slaves, but white slaves weren’t merely a rare oddity. There seem to be a number of good sources (i.e. well-reviewed books from university presses) supporting the idea that they were far more common than generally thought: common enough to change the simplistic picture of slavery that most of us are taught in school.

  50. Excellent, well thought out, factual, and from my 63 years of experience advice we should indeed share with our children. I have had almost a point for point this discussion with my daughter at that critical age of 14 and it has saved her life, fostered mental well being, and spared her untold trouble. Also since she was a USNA graduate and 11 year Naval Surface Warfare Officer in the fleet this information was fundamental to engage and be functional as a Strike officer. I followed these same points almost verbatim all my life and so far have benefited immensely. I have perhaps mislabeled this information due to 60′s and 70′s white guilt college brain washing propaganda as “Statistical Bigotry”.. It may be interpreted as racist by Liberal Progressive idiots but this information is critical survival information. Other courses of action will get you killed, seriously injured, raped or worse.

  51. I said:
    >He does come off sounding a bit like a coward to me.

    I’d just like to point out — before some other clever bastard here does — that the cowardice of Derbyshire’s advice was mitigated for me by the courage it likely took to submit such a work for publication, especially when the author knew full well what it would mean for his career prospects and reputation. So Derbyshire’s piece presented a Rorschach blot of courage and cowardice to me. I think it is an interesting work to base a test on, though I’m not as convinced as Eric that intelligence is the only trait being tested (or that it’s even the most reliable trait being tested).

  52. @Deron

    The term, as it was repeated expressed and defined, was essentially a tautology: iff you are a member of a non-minority race then you are a racist. There were no conditions; it does not matter what you think, or what you do, or how you behave; it only matters what race you are born with. There is no way to ever escape being a racist if you are not a minority member no matter how hard you try or how good your heart.

    Sounds like they were kafkatrapping people

  53. >Don’t be taken in by that white slavery stuff. If you read the contemporary descriptions of pre-Civil War southern life

    All the accounts you’re talking about postdate the demographic transition from a slave stratum mainly English and Irish to a slave stratum mainly black. What happened was that the Caribbean system, where slavery was racialist and slave status had been equated to black skin almost from the beginning, got exported north into the U.S. for the brutally practical reason that white people worked as field slaves died in the heat. The boundaries of the transition are fuzzy but it seems to have been underway by 1705 and complete by 1820 or so.

    You are correct that the total number of white slaves was never more than a fraction of the later black slave population. This was due to a shift from agriclture dominated by small mixed-crop farming to large cotton-monoculture plantations producing on an industrial scale for export, primarily to textile mills in the English Midlands. That’s why we don’t hear stories of “white people toiling as slaves on the plantations”; the plantation system required and coevolved with Caribbean-style slavery.

    The racialist justifications of the “peculiar institution” were an extremely late development, barely visible until after 1830 and not fully developed until 1850 or so. But it came to dominate Southern thinking so thoroughly that the early period of Anglo-Irish slavery was (probably deliberately) forgotten.

  54. >So Derbyshire’s piece presented a Rorschach blot of courage and cowardice to me.

    I don’t understand the argument that Derbyshire is a coward. His advice seems quite similar to the street skills I developed living in Philly, and I think we can dispose of the notion that I was a coward by observing that (unlike most University City whites) I was actually willing to go to places like Powelton Village on various errands. And I wasn’t a trained fighter or armed then, either; I just knew what to watch for and how to stay out of trouble.

  55. “For those who don’t believe the statistics, I’d suggest listening to your hindbrain.”

    Um, isn’t that exactly the opposite of what esr is suggesting?

  56. >Um, isn’t that exactly the opposite of what esr is suggesting?

    Yes, but I see what he means. He’s saying that if you don’t believe the statistics – which tell us that American violent crime is almost entirely a phenomenon of the minority-populated areas of large cities, with everywhere else having crime statistics resembling Switzerland – you should go to one of those places with your sensor gain dialed to max. He’s quite right; it would be…educational.

  57. ESR

    I have no problem making judgments about individuals based on the individuals themselves unless this is hard to come by. Then I follow Derbyshire’s advice (well, most of it anyway).
    Now, I will easily admit that neo-nazis are evil in their ideology. However, I believe I agree with a major plank of “neo-confederate” thinking that Lincoln was an evil tyrant and that by the laws of classical international law and the Constitution being a compact among states, that the Confederacy was perfectly in the right in trying to secede…legally. Obviously slavery was immoral and reprehensible.

    Now, would you call me evil?

  58. Apologies for the garbled first sentence. I meant I would make judgments about individuals based on information about the specific ones, and absent that I would use Derbyshire’s rule-book.

  59. >Now, would you call me evil?

    No. The argument that the Confederate states had the right to secede is not without substance. But the legitimacy of that action was destroyed, in my opinion, by the fact that they did it to protect chattel slavery. The revisionism holding that they bolted on anti-federalist principle with slavery a side issue is, in my judgment, false and mendacious.

  60. ESR

    I agree with you that any _moral_ legitimacy they had was destroyed by their intentions. However, classical international law doesn’t give two hoots about “intentions.” Of course you could reject classical international law like most of the world does today (modern international law is a joke).

    I also share the “neo-Confederate” belief that slaughter of 600,000 men to free the slaves muddies the water of supposed moral clarity when it comes to the Civil war. BTW I share the same belief about Truman nuking Japan.

  61. Two wrongs don’t make a right. A more correct course of action, arguably, would be for the Union to invade and conquer the southern states, in order to stamp out slavery and this is shaping up to be a distinction without a difference, isn’t it? Well, I guess the difference is it wouldn’t set a general anti-secession precedent.

  62. >Well, I guess the difference is it wouldn’t set a general anti-secession precedent.

    Yes, and I am rather sorry that the Confederates discredited the idea; if they hadn’t it might have served as a check on Federal power.

    But I will waste no tears on people who died defending chattel slavery. That was evil. They chose their side and earned their deaths.

  63. Eric, of all the non-science you’ve touted on this site, the bugaboo about race and IQ is going to get you in the most trouble.

    This is one of the top links I found when I googled for “race and intelligence”: http://www.skepdic.com/iqrace.html

    Seems as good a place to start as any.

    Now here’s a troubling nugget of information: you know that Western civilization you keep celebrating? Well, the Senegalese physicist, anthropologist, and linguist Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop did decades of research and has pretty conclusively proven that Western civilization was founded by black people — ancient Egyptians to be exact. And that these ancient Africans, the first to civilize, were genetically, culturally, and linguistically related to groups which can even today be found dispersed throughout Africa. In Diop’s two-cradles theory, what we know as Western civilization is actually more of a tumourous Greek outgrowth of the Egyptian civilization — considerably more militaristic, survival-oriented, and driven towards conquest and rape of precious natural resources than its parent civilization to the south.

    And, quite unlike the race-IQ nonsense, Diop’s work has gone essentially unchallenged by the scientific community.

    All the intellectual gifts you now enjoy have been bequeathed upon you by a people you have deemed intellectually inferior. On average, of course. Quite a doozy, eh?

  64. >Western civilization was founded by black people — ancient Egyptians to be exact

    Riiight.

    Jeff’s been into the brown acid again, I see.

  65. > Actually I was very happy with what I found – namely that the odds of being murdered by a black person is very, very small, even if I violate all of Mr. Derbyshire’s advice.

    The probability of being robbed and or assaulted by a large group of black people if you violate any of Mr Derbyshire’s advice is quite high. There are certain quite large areas and times where it is close to 100% if you are a white female.

  66. I think there’s a proper (c) on your list of racist claims.

    Ones that are based on true> generalizations, but which are being treated as being universal, rather than a generalization.

    It is true that US black people get lower scores on average in IQ tests. That does not mean that you can treat Neil DeGrasse Tyson as stupid because that is based on a true generalization.

  67. And that these ancient Africans, the first to civilize,

    When did Iraq move to Africa, exactly?

  68. My definition of racism would be:

    1. Institutionalized discrimination based on racial characteristics of a people. (say apartheid)
    2. Organized violence or violent acts targetted at a particular race. (say Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht)
    3. Systematic hate speech targetted at a particular race and designed to provoke violence or dicrimination against said race. (Nazi Julius Streicher is a good example of this)

    Of course, genocide is at a different level altogether, but is often preceded by very powerful racism of the kind I referred above.

    The reason I state this is that my personal opinion is that individuals cannot be racist by default, unless they indulge is systematic violence or hate speech/propaganda against a particular race, but often mere strong prejudice is termed racism by our great media (everywhere in the world).

  69. Video about why you shouldn’t talk to the police– America has a system which adds up to railroading people who get arrested. Throw in plea bargaining, and it’s clear that statistics about who gets convicted has a great deal to do with who gets suspected rather than who’s guilty.

    Eric, your point that poor black neighborhoods are actually dangerous (more dangerous than equally poor white neighborhoods? I haven’t seen statistics) is interesting, but I wonder if some fraction of that is a justice system which convicts people almost at random– in other words, not only are innocent people convicted, but guilty people aren’t caught.

    As for Derbyshire, one thing that’s getting lost is that this probably isn’t advice he actually gives his children. He was attempting to write a satire of the talk black parents give their children. It’s interesting that the black version is “be very careful around the police”– it isn’t “be afraid of all white people”. It doesn’t include any morally wrong advice like “don’t be a good Samaritan”. It doesn’t include “ignore all information other than race”. What was he satirizing?

  70. Dave Taht on Tuesday, April 10 2012 at 7:13 pm said:
    > A statistic like that not something you can generalize to black people outside the US.

    Actually, you can, provided you use black in the sense of subsaharan ancestry, rather than merely black skin. Almost all majority black (subsaharan ancestry) countries are extremely violent, and the ones where there is a bit of law and order, usually have law and order only because the guys in charge are apt to chain wrongdoers into the shape of suitcase and feed them to the crocodiles.

    The high black level of violence extends across all cultures and language groups.

    The distribution of criminality, the standard deviation, is substantially lower for blacks than whites, but the mean is substantially more criminal. This means that murder, though the most reliable statistic, is not a good indicator of black criminality. Assault, theft, vandalism, and mob violence are better indicators, being closer to the mean of black behavior.

  71. > @ESR “We discussed this in the previous thread. I think his ‘racism’ is a snook being cocked at
    > bien pensants. He doesn’t think or act like [what ESR calls] a racist; he’s got a Chinese wife, and
    > he’s not fixated on any racial group being inferior.”

    > Alternate theory: He’s internalized the “dangerously insane” definition of racism.

    Gripping hand theory: He is a materialist and he took a test, the IAT, which told him he prefers whites and Asians. Then he was brutally honest about it.

    Yours,
    Tom

  72. esr> The entire scope of point 10 is advice on default behaviors when
    esr> you have no individual information!

    I wonder what you made of the fact that race is the only statistic Derbyshire appears to need to inform his default behavior. He discusses no other demographic information that might be useful when he doesn’t know the individual. Can’t you make valid inferrences about his mindset from what he is not saying?

  73. - “I wonder what you made of the fact that race is the only statistic Derbyshire appears to need to inform his default behavior.”

    ESR reads into this an assertion that race remains a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out. I argued that this is, at best, an assumption that Derbyshire failed to examine and has no evidence for (if he’d thought about it, he would have written about it, surely).

  74. Steve M:

    You cannot say “Black people, at roughly 12% of the U.S. population, [are criminally charged with ] commit[ing] over 50% of the U.S.’s. violent crime – and when you stratify by socioeconomic level they still have [criminally charged with] dramatically higher levels of crime, delinquency, and other measures of social deviance.”

    Because that is NOT what the statistics say. The national level statistics deal with convictions, not charges.

    If you stamp your feet and insist “That CANNOT BE” then you’re part of the problem. If you have *statistics*, not allegations, that demonstrate that what is being reported is not what is going on, then by all means let’s have that discussion, let’s not just assert that the numbers are *significantly* wrong (of COURSE they are wrong 100% of statistics contain errors. The question is HOW wrong) because it makes us feel better about the world.

    I recognize there is a problem that at first glance *appears* to be racially based. I don’t think it is. I think it’s multi-culturalism. A big part of culture is how we relate to each other. Language, tone and volume. Which words we use to whom and who we DON’T use them around. I would *never* say to a friend “What’s up Mother Fucker” with my wife, or any female or lady around. Yet in some parts of the US it’s a perfectly normal greeting in mixed company. Maybe not with your Mom around, but still.

    Everything from gait to eye contact is culturally driven. When two people from different cultures meet there is always some friction because of this. Add in things like diet (which influences body odors, skin color[1] and build). Also things like what clothing is worn and how.

    We miss-read stuff from other cultures all the time. We’re wired to relate to OUR cultural norms, and in White America[2] we try really hard to give others slack. But what we CANNOT do (at least most of us) is stop that internal positioning.

    We *all* hear footsteps behind us and glance back.

    And I don’t care WHAT the Wrong Rev. Jackson says, he’s not relieved to see a white guy. He’d MUCH rather see a black kid with properly fitting blue jeans, a well maintained polo shirt tucked in, and a pair of docksiders on his feet to a pasty faced skinhead with a swastika tattoo’d on his forehead and rusty silver toe-caps on his boots.

    And so would *everyone* here. Including Mr. Donald.

    ronm0817: I’ve been shooting a STI here in Australia, and frankly that bait stinks and I can see the hook. Can’t wait to get back CONUS and shoot my plastic pistols again. Guns that run and run and run without tuning or extractor issues…

    Jeff:
    The author of the Skepdic entry either has NFC what is measured in an IQ test, or is, like you, deliberately muddying the waters based on their own agenda. Intelligence is not the primary mental determinate of a “successful” life. Executive Function is turning out to be a LOT more important. It does *help* to be a good problem solver, but being able to maintain focus on medium and long term goals will get you further than merely being clever.

    As to your claims that Western Culture came from Egypt and that Egyptians were black?

    Let’s take three steps back. You know why we use the term “blacks”, right? First there was the term Negro. Which referred to “Negroid”, which is the “race”. Look here http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Meyers_b11_s0476a.jpg note there are (english translations of the colors here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoloid_race) at least 4 distinct (I’m not including Australian Aboriginals in this) “negroid” sub-groupings AND NONE OF THEM are very predominate in Egypt.

    In other words you could use a laxative.

    [1] Don’t believe this? If you don’t eat a lot of carrots, bell peppers of various colors and such, take a picture of your skin next to a white and a medium grey piece of paper, then eat buckets of vegetables containing carotenoids and see if the color changes. Also check (if you can) your resistance to getting sunburns)

    LS:
    Chattel Slavery, among other kinds still exists today and is legal in a very few (mostly Muslim) countries. Including slavery of Caucasians.

    We, as humans, have not outgrown the notion of slavery, we just have a (majority) in stronger nations who find it distasteful, and we can force the rest of the world (mostly) to follow suit. As soon as the power of Western Europe declines (demographics is destiny) and if America follows a brand new generation will be fitted for chains.

    [2] for lack of a better phrase.

  75. So, the underlying claim of both threads is that criminal behaviour is related to race, and that that is a perfect example of an “unspeakable truth”, right?

    Please correct me if any of the following points is wrong:

    a) no correlation between ‘criminal behaviour’ and DNA has ever been found.

    b) studies in the more specific area of aggressiveness have found strong correlations with non-genetic factors such as hormones, which change dramatically through life

    c) the strongest evidence in favour of a racial basis for criminal behaviour are the US crime data, and those are not replicated in other countries with strong black minorities.

  76. “Because that is NOT what the statistics say.” Well, technically, you don’t know what Universe X’s statistics say. Maybe they have a reliable way to measure crime rates that is able to control for an what is, here in this universe, an unknown and unknowable level of bias in police and courts.

  77. Er, I think I missed the point you were making and directed my counterargument the wrong way. I’ll try again:

    “Because that is NOT what the statistics say. The national level statistics deal with convictions, not charges. ”

    Whether they deal with convictions or charges, neither is necessarily a reliable proxy for actual incidence, considering there’s no realistic way to factor out if any of the following are true A) police more likely to arrest black people B) prosecutors are more likely to prosecute black people C) jurors are more likely to convict black people. Any one of these could skew the numbers by an unknown and unknowable amount. (And, yes, it’s unfalsifiable. Tough break, sometimes the universe doesn’t give you convenient independently measurable variables.)

  78. Please correct me if any of the following points is wrong:

    a) no correlation between ‘criminal behaviour’ and DNA has ever been found.

    The way you put it, I have to assume you meant something completely different, because there’s no possible way you could seriously advance that point. Psychopathy, which is extremely strongly genetically influenced, and maleness, which does appear to have some correlation with DNA, are strong causal predictors of criminal behavior. Additionally, the correlation between race and criminal behavior in the United States has already been mentioned upthread. I don’t think that most here construe therefore that race causes crime, but the causal relationship is irrelevant to the question of whether a useful correlation exists.

    b) studies in the more specific area of aggressiveness have found strong correlations with non-genetic factors such as hormones, which change dramatically through life

    That’s a complex claim, and it fails because hormones aren’t non-genetic.

    c) the strongest evidence in favour of a racial basis for criminal behaviour are the US crime data, and those are not replicated in other countries with strong black minorities.

    Derbyshire and most here aren’t arguing that criminal behavior has a “racial basis”, i.e., that being black inherently predisposes one toward criminality. The argument rather is that a whole package of factors, which appear to be strongly concentrated among the (urban) black population, are linked with crime.

  79. LOL I can’t quite decide if Jeff Read is trolling. He can’t NOT be trolling, right? right?

    If you mean am I being dishonest, nope. Dude really did live. In his work he cited Greek sources, like the historian Herodotus, describing the Egyptians as being nearly as dark as Ethiopians and curly-haired. He also did melanin analysis on Egyptian mummies and found their skin melanin to have been consistent with modern blacks.

    Of course the influence of Egypt — mathematics, writing, architecture and engineering, agriculture — on the surrounding Mediterranean region is not much in dispute even by mainstream scholars. Where you will find contention is in the assertion that the Egyptians were culturally African and exhibited a black phenotype. Western scholars have tried to fudge the race lines a bit, casting the Egyptians as Caucasoid, perhaps proto-Semitic or proto-Indo-European, miscegenating with Nubians to the south. When Diop and Théophile Obenga presented their work at the 1974 Cairo Symposium, none of the Caucasoid-theory supporters offered much in the way of counter-evidence. Some of them changed their minds.

  80. @Random832> ESR reads into this an assertion that race remains a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out.

    That’s fine as far as it goes. Race does remain a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out. But even so, why act on race alone? Why wouldn’t Derbyshire ask any statistical question about “everything else” to inform his default behavior towards people? It is one thing to say that race makes a difference. It’s quite another to imply it’s the only thing that makes a difference—which is what Derbyhire does by not discussing any other demographical information.

  81. “We cannot allow true generalizations to be considered racist. If we do that, either (a) we can no longer condemn racism as such, or (b) we get stuck in a situation where we’re not allowed to notice that white men can’t jump and black men can’t swim, wondering why our our sports teams aren’t “balanced”, and falsely ascribing to bigotry what arises from natural differences in distributions of ability. And the poison spreads.”

    I would argue that in the politically correct world that pointing out facts, positive or negative, against a protected group is already ongoing and has been ongoing for a while now.

  82. It’s quite another to imply it’s the only thing that makes a difference—which is what Derbyhire does by not discussing any other demographical information.

    Only to somebody intent on reading that into his essay a priori. Factor X’s being a useful predictor of some outcome isn’t generally taken to mean that it’s the only such predictor, and in the case of violent crime, the age and sex of the potential perpetrator matter very much. You’re committing the exact same error in reverse, however, by implying that factor Y (a compound of age, sex, SES…) is the only thing that makes a difference, when factor X (race) is clearly in the mix as well.

  83. Regardless of all the Egyptian culture speculation and other anthropological bullshit about the past. The DerbyShire Rules are just good rules of wise conduct. I feel very confident in the advice and have zero guilt about the functional conduct conclusions therein. The ancient past is not the issue here it is rather the plain facts of the West African based Neo-Tribal tendency to violence we see every day with this segment of our population. I for one recommend all children of impinging societal groups with that segment get that counseling for self preservation especially women. The key is functional interaction not whether it is founded in historical fact. Who cares! Like the commenter from Philly am acting in a particular safe way with Blacks in any case. As I said earlier Statistical Fact based conduct is empirical and has no need to be “First Principal” based The years have proven my personal experience to be correct in many many situations.

  84. “Race does remain a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out. But even so, why act on race alone?”

    Is it race? Or is it the race’s culture? Is there some psychological reason why a black male is more prone to violence than a white male? Or is it because the influences to which he was exposed to growing up have taught him that being a black male means he’s going to be more violent? In having the the “talk” with your children, are you just preserving that statistic?

  85. “Race does remain a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out. But even so, why act on race alone?”

    If find all this talk about race foolish. Did the statistics account for differences in upbringing, culture, and living environment (peers)?

    Children from East Asian families consistently outperform USA “Caucasian” children in school and on IQ. East-asian children are also significantly less “criminal”. This difference is consistent even when you take into account socio-economic strata.

    I have never seen this used by any white person to argue “whites” are inferior to “asians”. But the statistics are clear.

    So why should “white inferiority” be non-racial, but not the same type of statistics for black people from the USA.

  86. Regardless of sustaining that tendency to violence by having that talk. I see no reason to compensate for the Black Male’s Violence with my actions. Let him modify that tendency as a societal learning experience we all have to make in order to smoothly enter society.

    Fie on all this lets help them out of their ways, We have 50 year on going experiment started with the Great Society fostered by the Democrats and it is a massive failure. Our country would have been better off doing nothing then creating the dependence on welfare we have perpetrated on the black race. They have lost their inherent dignity and self reliance as a result and this exacerbates the tendency to violence.

  87. “I have never seen this used by any white person to argue “whites” are inferior to “asians”. But the statistics are clear.”

    Ignoring your use of the word “inferior”, which hasn’t been used here either… you haven’t been looking.

  88. @Random832
    “Ignoring your use of the word “inferior”, which hasn’t been used here either…”

    Obviously, I was wrong. Lower IQ, violent, and criminal is something different than inferior. And I also cannot look very well from this distance. Only the loud voices carry to here.

    (I know there are rather a lot of voices in Asia saying whites are inferior, and these most definitely use “inferior” and not an euphemism)

  89. My point was, I’ve seen the claim that higher average intelligence in east Asians is real and genetic _on this blog_.

  90. @Random832
    “My point was, I’ve seen the claim that higher average intelligence in east Asians is real and genetic _on this blog_.”

    OK. The problem with such claims is that we are rather ignorant what IQ and intelligence actually is, and even more about how any relevant genes respond to the environment. Where “environment” includes all non-genetic factors, starting in the womb.

    To get an idea. The highest heritability is found in length: 60-80%. Does this mean children have the same height as their parents and grand-parents? Does this also mean children of short Japanese are short too when they move to the US from Japan? Neither.

    Heritability is a completely empty concept:
    For identical twins, all differences are environmental. If the environment is kept perfectly identical, all differences are genetic. But we never know when the environments are identical because we never know what the relevant environmental factors are.

    And in-between, we can manipulate environmental differences to get any outcome.

  91. >Eric, your point that poor black neighborhoods are actually dangerous (more dangerous than equally poor white neighborhoods? I haven’t seen statistics)

    Most victims of crime by blacks are black themselves. Pretty straight-line deduction from that.

    >I wonder if some fraction of that is a justice system which convicts people almost at random

    Doubtless. But think about this: There’s a 4:1 disparity in violent crime rates. Do you think you could chose any percentage of erroneous convictions that would produce that large an effect? I don’t. Also remember that the statistics on arrests and convictions are supported by victimization surveys; lossage in the justice system are factored out in the latter.

    >It doesn’t include “ignore all information other than race”

    I wonder how many more times I’ll have to point out that Derbyshire didn’t say that. His article says to use race as a proxy when you don’t have individual information. You fail question 1.

  92. @esr:
    >I don’t understand the argument that Derbyshire is a coward.

    Since we don’t live in a naked, featureless void or laboratory, we must take Derbyshire’s qualification for point 10 (which you and I both noted to be the key paragraph of the article) to mean “under otherwise equal real-world circumstances.”

    With that in mind, consider the following ceteris paribus encounter:

    You see a person on the side of the road. She appears to be wounded or incapacitated in some way and is crying out for help. She is:
    - approx. 5′ 5″ tall.
    - approx. 120 lbs.
    - approx. 65 years old
    - wearing an inexpensive blue dress, glasses, costume earrings and a pair of well-worn black sneakers.
    - asking for help in English.

    Those are your constants, and race is the variable. That is all you can tell without further investigation. If one follows Derbyshire’s advice in 10h, you will play the Good Samaritan to the white version and not the black version. I submit that such a person is a coward, and I think almost anyone here or elsewhere would agree.

    I think the better question might be, would Derbyshire personally shrink from an accusation of cowardice or would he testify it’s a good survival strategy? Hard to say, judging by this work only. I do wonder what he might think of my ceteris paribus example, and what (if any) objections he might have to it. Moreover, would Derbyshire betray his own advice and help both women? Or is he so generally risk-adverse that he might not help either? He is, after all, presumably giving advice about the real world, not about a theoretical one, even if there is a component of satire to it.

  93. The thing is, somewhere along the line, the word “discrimination” became viewed as bad in the public eye. Which is idiocy: we discriminate in everything we do, down to the choice of which shirt to wear today, and what we have for breakfast.

    Yes, discriminating PURELY on race or gender or any other single point is not bad, it’s stupid. But in face of documented and verified statistical universes of data, choosing to ignore it for purely politico-social reasons is not only dishonest, but dangerous. Of course, claiming an inadequate statistical universe is truth also has it’s problems, but the discussion of Anthropocentric Global Warming is something for another day. . . .

  94. >I wonder what you made of the fact that race is the only statistic Derbyshire appears to need to inform his default behavior.

    There are several possible explanations, ranging from “Derbyshire is objectively correct – if you do a cluster analysis, race will dominate” to “Derbyshire is a bigot.” But crime statistics suggest that Derbyshire is correct to a good first approximation, which is as much as we can expect for advice on making snap decisions in potential threat situations.

  95. Contemplationist on Wednesday, April 11 2012 at 1:29 am said:
    “However, I believe I agree with a major plank of “neo-confederate” thinking that Lincoln was an evil tyrant and that by the laws of classical international law and the Constitution being a compact among states, that the Confederacy was perfectly in the right in trying to secede…legally.”

    “…and if the right of any one State to withdraw continued to exist at all after the ratification of the Constitution, it certainly ceased on the formation of new States, at least so far as the new States themselves were concerned. It never was possessed at all by Florida or the States west of the Mississippi, all of which were purchased by the treasury of the entire nation. Texas and the territory brought into the Union in consequence of annexation, were purchased with with both blood and treasure; and Texas, with a domain greater than that of any European state except Russia, was permitted to retain as state property all the public lands within its borders. It would have been ingratitude and injustice of the most flagrant sort for this State to withdraw from the Union after all that had been spent and done to introduce her…”

    U.S. Grant – “Memoirs”

  96. As for ancient Egyptians, we have countless examples of tomb paintings and sculptures, all (AFAIK) showing them to have a skin color close to present-day Egyptians. Blacks are depicted, too, but often (again AFAIK) as slaves. I had not previously heard of Diop, but Bernal’s “Black Athena” nonsense has been pretty thoroughly refuted.

  97. >a) no correlation between ‘criminal behaviour’ and DNA has ever been found.

    Here are three facts for you to think about.

    (1) Measured propensity to criminality varies inversely with IQ. Stupid people aren’t as good at modelling the consequences of their behavioral choices.

    (2) If you segregate by constant IQ levels, the racial disparities among measured propensity to criminality pretty much vanish.

    (3) The better we design studies of the heritability of IQ, the higher the heritability looks. Recent results from separated-twin studies peg it at over 80%.

  98. >That’s fine as far as it goes. Race does remain a significant factor even when everything else is normalized out. But even so, why act on race alone?

    Because you need to make a snap decision in a potential threat situation. Makes complete sense to choose a conservative heuristic that is robust in the presence of limited information.

    People seem to be needing repeated reminders that Derbyshire isn’t writing a generative model of social behavior. He’s giving survival advice.

  99. @Jeff Read: So, the Egyptians were black, huh?
    I can’t wait to get some Jewish guys together so we can invade a black nationalist convention and demand reparations for 400 years of slavery and degradation. Where’s our 40 cubits and a camel?

    All together now:
    “When Israel was in Egypt land, let my people go….”

  100. My goodness Eric, these race politics threads are the gifts that keep on giving!

    To stoke the fires a little (and in answer to your “intelligence test” question 4), here’s a shorter Derbyshire:

    -
    “Blacks” are dumber, more violent and more criminal than “nonblacks” and so should be avoided on principle. The smarter ones can be quite useful though.
    -

    Boiled down, isn’t the messaging delivered by Derbyshire’s piece pretty much just garden variety bigotism?

    Your spirited defence of the noble right to speak unpopular truths might carry more weight if you hadn’t nailed your colours to this particular mast.

  101. >Is it race? Or is it the race’s culture?

    For Derbyshire’s purpose the difference doesn’t matter. Remember: survival advice!

  102. >Your spirited defence of the noble right to speak unpopular truths might carry more weight if you hadn’t nailed your colours to this particular mast.

    Well, it wouldn’t be much of a defence if I’d chosen a popular truth, would it?

  103. “Doubtless. But think about this: There’s a 4:1 disparity in violent crime rates. Do you think you could chose any percentage of erroneous convictions that would produce that large an effect?”

    If bias exists at all three levels (police, prosecutors, and juries), the ratio of the skew only needs to be cuberoot(4):1, which can be made up of both erroneous convictions (arrests) and erroneous acquittals (non-arrests, non-prosecutions) of white people.

    This obviously doesn’t tell the whole story, since it only takes one level to have an erroneous “acquittal”, but all three to have an erroneous conviction)… I have my doubts that this can be measured at all. (If we had a better process, why wouldn’t we use _that_ to decide who to put in jail?

    Do these statistics also factor out (possibly uncaught) multiple offenders (who only count one towards any question of what percentage of a population is more likely to commit crimes, but count many towards number of crimes)?

  104. “For Derbyshire’s purpose the difference doesn’t matter. Remember: survival advice!”

    It does if you can look at what someone’s wearing. But in a world full of naked strangers, I guess you can’t.

  105. >I had not previously heard of Diop, but Bernal’s “Black Athena” nonsense has been pretty thoroughly refuted.

    Indeed. The “Black Egyptians” ax-grinders manage the remarkable feat of being sillier than Nazi racial anthropology.

  106. @ esr
    > For Derbyshire’s purpose the difference doesn’t matter.

    Given that Derbyshire’s piece was written at least in part as a response to (and possibly even satirising) the “black” version of the talk, I think an honest evaluation of Derbyshire’s purpose needs to countenance the possibility he is not giving genuine “survival advice” at all but instead is prosecuting a contrarian case.

  107. >With that in mind, consider the following ceteris paribus encounter:

    I suspect Derbyshire would help this person even if black. If I am modeling his thought processes properly, her being wounded and female would count as “individual information”. Remember how much of his survival advice is about blacks in groups.

  108. Some people on this thread have questioned whether there really is a difference in crimes committed by race given that prosecutors and police may be biased against blacks. Unfortunately that theory is a lot less tenable when you examine the ratio of black incarceration to white incarceration by state — see http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_stateratesofincbyraceandethnicity.pdf for 2005 stats.

    The US incarceration rate in 2005 was 412 per 100,000 white, 2290 per 100,000 black. That’s a 5.5:1 ratio. Now let’s look at states, starting with Texas. Wow, they do lock up more people in Texas — 667 and 3162 respectively. But that’s a 4.7-to-1 ratio. How about Mississippi? Alabama? Are those states right wing enough for you? 3.5 to 1 (their black incarceration rate is significantly less than the national average). Georgia? 3.3:1.

    Now let’s look at blue states. We expect the more liberal states to lock up fewer people, and in fact they do — Massachusetts tosses fewer people of all races in gaol. But their black-to-white ratio is much higher than the national average, at 8.1:1. Maryland? Right at the national average. New Jersey? 12.4:1. Illinois? 9:1.

    So if the disparity in black incarceration is due to racism, we’re left trying to explain why Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois are more racist than Georgia, Texas, and Alabama.

  109. Because you need to make a snap decision in a potential threat situation. – no, you are making a decision you have significantly more time for. You only need to make a “snap” decision when you’re in an _actual_ threat situation – until then, you have enough time to at least look at everything in front of you rather than a single binary flag based on one aspect.

    Even with the worst of your statistics, these “potential” threat situations (isn’t every situation? why ever leave your house?) don’t develop into _actual_ threat situations often enough for the expected cost of taking an additional second to be significant at all, unless you are a complete and total coward. Derbyshire would have you believe that there are people faking car trouble on every mile of every highway every day.

  110. >Here are three facts for you to think about.

    so the link between ‘criminal behaviour’ and (genetically) heritable factors is low IQ. I suppose that as evidence you refer to the data discussed in ‘the Bell Curve’ and subsequent discussion, right?

    Ok, that much is clear, and is much more convincing than the high testoterone hypothesis (which would not explain criminal acts committed after, say 24/30 years of age).

    There are two things I still don’t get, though.

    First, the “measured propensity to criminal behaviour” – what is that ‘propensity’, and how can it be measured? And yes, as one commmenter pointed out above I’m skeptical that ‘criminal behaviour’ can be defined eplicitly in a testable manner.

    Second, why should blacks systematically have low IQs? Only those with low IQs were taken as slaves?

  111. @Floyd: Does this remain true when you control for [young adult male, since I'm guessing this is uniformly the vast majority of the prison populations across all states] population percentages of the states? I’m not dismissing you, I’m honestly curious.

  112. >I think an honest evaluation of Derbyshire’s purpose needs to countenance the possibility he is not giving genuine “survival advice” at all but instead is prosecuting a contrarian case.

    I think you’re half right. All interesting behavior is overdetermined, and I’m pretty sure Derbyshire is doing both things.

  113. @Floyd Sorry, I missed the “per 100k”. However, this difference isn’t really explained by the other theory either, so it’s just an interesting bit of trivia rather than disproving that police/judicial/etc bias is part of the problem.

  114. ” If I am modeling his thought processes properly, her being wounded and female would count as “individual information”. ”

    Your model does not allow points 10g or 10h to exist at all, since you _always_ have that much individual information in those cases (and 10g is explicitly about gathering more individual information, and you should NEVER make snap decisions for elections). So your model of his thought processes is incorrect, or at best incomplete (and in both cases inapplicable to 10h which was the example).

    So, what is your model of why he wrote #10h?

  115. >so the link between ‘criminal behaviour’ and (genetically) heritable factors is low IQ. I suppose that as evidence you refer to the data discussed in ‘the Bell Curve’ and subsequent discussion, right?

    Yes. These facts are well known to psychometricians and criminologists, though seldom spoken in public because the political cost of doing so is so high. There are also indications that time preference and susceptibility to addiction are both important in criminality and heritable, but neither is as important alone as IQ. The combination of low IQ and poor impulse control is particularly predictive of criminal behavior.

    >First, the “measured propensity to criminal behaviour” – what is that ‘propensity’, and how can it be measured? And yes, as one commmenter pointed out above I’m skeptical that ‘criminal behavior” can be defined eplicitly in a testable manner.

    Like IQ itself, there are technical disputes about how to measure it, but if you look at results from a large basket of proxies it turns out that changing proxies changes the measure relatively little. A major reason for this is that criminal deviants are also highly deviant along other measurable axes – rates of alcoholism, accident-proneness, and incidence of auto accidents.

  116. >One of the most important reasons not to tell ourselves pretty lies about unpleasant realities is so that we do not hand evil people the power of being the only ones who are willing to speak the truth.

    There is a problem here. The position you (esr) support has already been pushed beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse (by Marxists, passive aggressive people, competitive altruists, deluded idealists, or whoever). Use of the word “evil” closes off discussion in the same way. Your opinions are portrayed as evil, just as you would portray supporters of particular types of racial discrimination as evil.

    You can agree with what I just said without agreeing with what follows. I support ethnic nationalism for practical reasons. It is more likely for separate ethnically homogeneous societies to come into existence, and they are more likely to be stable, than some society where race is not viewed as something important, and people are judged wholly as individuals.

  117. >So, what is your model of why he wrote #10h?

    Probably he was thinking of an unwounded young black male. I’ve actually been in that situation while traveling with friends. We helped, but we were in the best possible situation to mitigate risks – there were four of us, we were all senior students at a martial-arts school, our instructor was present and almost certainly carrying a concealed firearm (this was before the second death threat, so I wasn’t yet carrying routinely myself). If I had been alone and unarmed I would have thought twice and twice again – yeah, I can fight empty-hand, but it’s stupid to assume a potential assailant is unarmed.

  118. Sorry to respond to the same comment three times, but…

    @Floyd: “So if the disparity in black incarceration is due to racism, we’re left trying to explain why Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois are more racist than Georgia, Texas, and Alabama.”

    Why not? You just made the assumption (and I went along with it) that this was absurd, but maybe they are – this could be anything from “racism was somewhat effectively reduced in the reconstruction period” [implying exercise of federal power against racism is effective] to “east coast / northern states have always been more racist” to “democrats are more racist”. The last one is certainly a claim not unfamiliar to this blog.

    I don’t see how these disparities could be explained by saying that some states _aren’t_ more racist (in police/prosecutorial/judicial ways) than others. It might also be interesting to see the breakdown of violent vs non-violent-drug vs non-violent-other.

  119. (re #10h) “Probably he was thinking of an unwounded young black male”

    Okay, so is the threat model that there’s not actually any car trouble, or that someone who does actually have car trouble and need assistance would still assault someone who stops for them?

    If the former… does that actually happen, like ever? It seems so out of left field; it surely can’t be more than one for every thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand actual broken down cars

    If the latter… well, again, does that actually happen, like ever?

  120. It’s occurred to me before that this may also be a significant propagation vector for anti-Semitism (at least in America).

    The (goyish) public concept of the Holocaust seems to mostly consist of keywords–”Auschwitz”, “gas chambers”, “six million”. Nuances like “Auschwitz was a work camp”, “gas chambers accounted for only a minority of the deaths”, “most deaths occurred outside Germany”, “there’s a big difference between Operation Reinhard and everything else”, or even “six million other people were murdered too” are not just unknown, they’re actively dangerous to talk about. The result is that the straw-man, zeitgeist version of the Holocaust, “the Germans killed six million Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz,” is technically wrong in every single claim it makes.

    Anyone who points this out immediately gains cred with anyone willing to do the (trivial) research necessary to verify it, and we’ve carefully designed our society so that the only such people will all be raving anti-Semites.

  121. >Okay, so is the threat model that there’s not actually any car trouble

    I think so. Remember, we’ve had a commenter report personal knowledge of several robberies like this…on the Capitol Beltway, IIRC.

  122. @Floyd McWilliams
    The US incarceration rate in 2005 was 412 per 100,000 white, 2290 per 100,000 black. That’s a 5.5:1 ratio. Now let’s look at states, starting with Texas. Wow, they do lock up more people in Texas — 667 and 3162 respectively. But that’s a 4.7-to-1 ratio. How about Mississippi? Alabama? Are those states right wing enough for you? 3.5 to 1 (their black incarceration rate is significantly less than the national average). Georgia? 3.3:1.

    Now let’s look at blue states. We expect the more liberal states to lock up fewer people, and in fact they do — Massachusetts tosses fewer people of all races in gaol. But their black-to-white ratio is much higher than the national average, at 8.1:1. Maryland? Right at the national average. New Jersey? 12.4:1. Illinois? 9:1.

    So if the disparity in black incarceration is due to racism, we’re left trying to explain why Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois are more racist than Georgia, Texas, and Alabama.

    One thought: when reading a book about firearms law and crime in the United States, I found an interesting statistic. (The book in question was likely Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control by Gary Kleck and Don Kates.)

    In rural America, murder rates among the pale-skinned is slightly higher than among the black-skinned.
    In urban America, murder rates among the black-skinned are much higher than among the pale-skinned.

    I didn’t chase down the sources on this claim. I also haven’t seen it in many other places. Still, I don’t think it’s inaccurate.

    Question: What is the ratio of urban to rural black-skinned population in Georgia/Texas/Alabama? What about in Illinois/Maryland/Massachusetts?

  123. “So if the disparity in black incarceration is due to racism, we’re left trying to explain why Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois are more racist than Georgia, Texas, and Alabama.”

    The reason is that there is more ‘white crime’ in Georgia, Texas and Alabama. There is simply more crime in the south, than in the rest of the US. I’ve mentioned this before; blacks are ethnic southerners. They carried their southern culture with them when they migrated to northern cities. It’s a big factor to keep in mind when considering crime statistics.

  124. @Grantham
    —-case—-
    You see a person on the side of the road. She appears to be wounded or incapacitated in some way and is crying out for help. She is:
    - approx. 5? 5? tall.
    - approx. 120 lbs.
    - approx. 65 years old
    - wearing an inexpensive blue dress, glasses, costume earrings and a pair of well-worn black sneakers.
    - asking for help in English.

    Those are your constants, and race is the variable.
    —-

    I like this, because it got me thinking how I would react to a similar situation in real life (and I have: in the spring of 1998 a woman fairly matching this description (she was a bit heavier, taller, possibly older (I didn’t ask) and white) fell down in her back yard. I helped her back into her house and spent about an hour making sure she was otherwise okay (by her own standards, at least; I hope my own body doesn’t degenerate that much before its functionality is ended entirely.)

    Under such circumstances, I consciously ask myself, “Does this look like an ambush?” In examining this problem, I don’t even think of race. I’m thinking where are her hands, where’s the nearest cover, do I know if there’s anyone there? It hasn’t occurred to me yet to look for sniper perches, but it would in time of war. (BTW, I did go through this process way back when I was actually faced with this situation, although it was far more primitive than it is now that I’ve read Curt Rich’s /Drive To Survive/ among other things.)

    What is clear to me is that Raymond and Derbyshire both have some learning to do regarding statistics, how to use them, and how they really don’t help you think all that much unless you’ve made them yourself, in which case they will be manipulated to reflect how you think, and will only be objective if you already think objectively. In that case, you will almost certainly find out fascinating new things.

    Now, I want to add one thing to Grantham’s ceteris paribus for all to consider:

    What if you knew, beyond all shadow of doubt, whatever her race might be, that this English-speaking 5’5″ 120lb 65 year old young lady in the nice blue dress was a…

    …lawyer?

    Terry

  125. esr wrote: “I don’t understand the argument that Derbyshire is a coward. His advice seems quite similar to the street skills I developed living in Philly, and I think we can dispose of the notion that I was a coward by observing that (unlike most University City whites) I was actually willing to go to places like Powelton Village on various errands.

    My comment was that cowardice was one of the possibilities to explain the advice he gave. And what you just wrote here further clarifies it.

    A violent crime has at least one actor, but it also has a place. I don’t know Philly very well and have no idea what or where Powelton Village is, but from what you wrote I can surmise that it’s a dangerous place. I don’t know if it’s “black” or not, but I now know that it’s probably dangerous.

    If asked to boil down Derbyshire’s advice into two word, those two words would be “avoid blacks”. Sure, it’s much more complicated than that and he adds plenty of nuance, but the takeaway for anyone predisposed to following Derbyshire’s advice would be exactly that since people generally don’t keep multi-paragraph mental notes. They would boil it down into something much simpler.

    Let me propose some alternatives for advice that Derbyshire could’ve offered:

    1. Avoid dangerous areas if the risk of being in those areas outweighs the benefits.

    2. Avoid dangerous areas.

    3. Avoid dangerous areas, and by the way, the density of black people is likely to be higher in those areas than would be explained by random chance.

    4. Avoid areas frequented by blacks.

    5. Avoid areas frequented by blacks because they might be dangerous.

    (1) is neither racist nor cowardly and is about as rational as you can get.

    (2) is somewhat cowardly. For example, for some it might make sense to forgo the great job in a dangerous area, while for others it might not. To not even consider taking the job because it’s dangerous, is irrational cowardice (in my opinion).

    (3) is possibly racist and somewhat cowardly. The information about race has nothing to do with the action (avoiding the area) and the fact that race information is thrown in without purpose seems to indicate an over emphasis on race.

    (4) is racist.

    (5) is close to a simplified version of Derbyshire’s advice. This is what I consider to be either racist, innumerate, or cowardly (or possibly he’s just trying to yank people’s chains – in which case he succeeded fairly spectacularly with his employer). Consider his “(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally”. So if I’m in a store in a mall in a reasonably nice neighborhood with adequate security and a “concentration” of blacks walks in, I’m to somehow avoid them? To be safe? Forgot the shopping I was doing and leave? Of course not. It’s safe because the place is safe and it’s almost certainly going to stay that way after the “concentration” of blacks arrive. The only person who would leave such a situation is a bigot or a coward. If one considers most of his points in (10), it becomes clear that it’s really the place that matters, not the mix of people. Going to a jazz/blues concert where the audience is mostly black is probably not dangerous. Going to a park in a wealthier part of town that blacks also picnic at (sometimes in high “concentrations”) is probably not terribly dangerous either. And so forth.

    Derbyshire could’ve offered (1). Instead, he essentially offered (5) (yes, yes, with some nuance). (5) doesn’t make him look good in my eyes.

  126. >I suspect Derbyshire would help this person even if black. If I am modeling his thought processes properly, her being wounded and female would count as “individual information”.

    Maybe. But my point is, there’s no evidence for this conclusion to be found his actual words, and guessing what his thought processes about mitigating co-factors (which he studiously avoids) wasn’t part of your test. We were asked to grapple dispassionately with the parameters and advice that he actually gives us (which I believe I did), while accepting the information he provides to be factual (which I do). In his point 10 — which we both agree was the key point of the article — he purposefully avoids any mention of gender, age, S.E.S. and any other data points that might mitigate the strategies of 10a-10i. We don’t live in a sterile lab. There is always “individual information” to be gathered, whether it’s the person who “accosts us” on the street, the one who asks us for a jump in the parking lot, the group of lads having a drink at the end of the bar, etc. If we are allowed to assume that he’s excluding the old, the very young, the wealthy, the well-spoken, the female, the injured and infirmed, then we’ll eventually arrive at the elephant in the room: almost all of Derbyshire strategies are only rational when they are applied to young, poor black men. If so, why didn’t he say so?

    It’s worth noting that black women share the same proportionally higher rate of crime (including rate of violent crime) compared to white females that black men do to white men, and I’ll assume Derbyshire knows this as well since one of his citations includes this data. So even if I was doing some mind reading of my own, I would still have to assume that his default position would be to not help the black woman, because he never suggests otherwise, and qualifiers like “female” and “male” do not appear anywhere in the text. You yourself noted what a careful writer he is. If we are asked to assess his work plainly and non-emotively, then we also can’t assume we can read his mind whenever it’s convenient to do so (i.e., defending him from accusations of cowardice) — that’s what those people with the knee-jerk reaction of branding him a “racist” are doing, after all.

  127. esr> People seem to be needing repeated reminders that Derbyshire isn’t
    esr> writing a generative model of social behavior. He’s giving survival advice.

    While you’re at it, maybe you want to remind Derbyshire of that, too. Contrast what you just said with his bullet point 10g: “Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.” How is this survival advice? This conclusion only follows if you accept Derbyshire’s earlier claims as, well, a generative model of social behavior. He isn’t just trying to teach people street smarts here.

  128. Last time I found myself playing Good Samaritan I quickly regretted it. Escaped unharmed; he was more of a town crazy angling for sympathy than a hardened criminal. Not that it matters but the guy was white.

    Derbyshire’s advice is sound if you apply it to sketchy-looking characters in general. I’ve been to places where the black people are gangstas — potentially very dangerous but predictable compared to the whites, who are on a whole new level of WTF. The melanin content of their skin is really quite a small factor, if it’s a factor at all. Derbyshire may have included his standard disclaimers in his article, but he is still purveying racist memes by giving the skin color issue undue attention and focus.

  129. “Derbyshire could’ve offered (1). Instead, he essentially offered (5) (yes, yes, with some nuance). (5) doesn’t make him look good in my eyes.”

    This. And ESR has been far too eager to defend him by granting his unwritten (and **therefore probably unexamined**) assumptions (such as, here, the assumption that a safe place actually does become more dangerous if a large number of black people arrive) as though it were obvious that even if they’re not actually correct, he surely must have thoroughly considered them found them to be in line with his (unshared) observations, and anyone who doesn’t think so fails the test.

  130. As for this business about Derbyshire dealing only with “snap, life-or death survival” decisions, I’m not sure why anyone is advancing it, even if they didn’t conclude Derbyshire is a racist. For instance, how are 10c, 10f and 10g snap survival tactics? 12 certainly isn’t either, and 13-15 are precisely the opposite of fast decision-making, advising a contrived long-term strategy for gaining social advantage (granted, those three items struck me as so surreal that I think they must be a misguided attempt at comedy).

  131. Also: “This is what I consider to be either racist, innumerate, or cowardly” – It can’t _not_ be racist if it’s one of the other two, because either of the other two alone should introduce the same error to evaluating all situations, not just situations involving black people. At best, it’s innumeracy or cowardice magnifying a slight racial bias into more significant racism.

    For example in #10h: If he were just a coward, he wouldn’t stop for the white guy, either.

  132. > Remember how much of his survival advice is about blacks in groups.

    As far as I can tell, 10a-10e are all variations on the same theme: Avoid large numbers of black strangers anywhere you encounter them. 10b-e come off as redundant and Seuss-esque (“I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox”), and in my opinion none of them differ enough from 10a or each other to be itemized in the same node (that’s what I meant by “firing every bullet in the gun and then throwing the gun”). 10f-10i is all advice all about individuals or small groups — the accosting hustlers, the damsels in distress, the black city councilmen, etc.

    In his pursuit of laboratory purity, Derbyshire’s 10h doesn’t make allowances for the number of blacks, how old they are, what gender they are, whether they are injured or infirmed etc. This is just a survival game with race as the sole differential. Therefore, we must assume that the black lady on the side of the road is proportionally more dangerous than the white one, and we advised told not to help her. He doesn’t say “be more wary” of distressed blacks, as he does of black politicians. He says, “don’t help them.” It is binary.

  133. @Random832 We should definitely examine our casual stereotypes about the different regions of America. And there is a lot of racism in Boston and Chicago … but even granting that there are many anomalies to explain. I’ve spent time in the Midwest and that region does not strike me as especially racist. Yet Iowa is the state with the highest disparity at 13.6. Minnesota is at 9.1. And of course we’d have to explain the District of Columbia’s ratio of nearly 20-to-1.

    @karrde I don’t know the urban-to-rural demographics, but I do know that Texas is very urbanized (two cities of America’s top 10, and several other big cities), Georgia has a city that is top 12 or so, and Mississippi and Alabama do not have large cities. Yet they all have incarceration ratios that are lower than the national average.

    @LS Is Colorado a Southern state? Oregon? These states have white incarceration rates higher than Virginia, Tennessee, or Arkansas.

  134. >So if the disparity in black incarceration is due to racism, we’re left trying to explain
    >why Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois are more racist than Georgia, Texas,
    >and Alabama.

    I’ve argued before (not here) that the north in general has more problems with racism and racial tension than the south, despite the stereotype to the contrary. While the south definitely has more outspoken racists, my experience has been that the north is vastly more segregated and with less cultural mingling and interaction, misunderstandings and conflict are more likely to arise.

  135. I no longer consider the word “racist” to mean anything. Hence I don’t care if people call me that. It has been beaten into meaninglessness by those who exploit guilt. I know what I am, I know that I’m not a bigot. If some black person wants to call me racist before getting to know me, I would laugh in their face.

  136. I am writing to argue that such a loose definition of “racist” is a dangerous mistake.

    More than that. If that is the definition of “racist”, then what is wrong with being one? I am perfectly willing to “admit” to being a racist if that is its definition, and I would regard anyone who was not a racist as either insane or possessed of a perverted morality. There’s nothing magic in the word “racist” that makes it something to be ashamed of; it’s the meaning of the word that makes it wrong, and if the meaning changes then it loses its wrongness. But if we do redefine the word, and therefore say that it’s OK to be racist, then what happens to actual racism? Do we come up with a new word for that, which will remain taboo? If not, then without a word to distinguish it from new-style, rational racism, it too will lose its taboo and become acceptable, and that would not be a good thing.

    We see the same thing with terms like “intellectual property”. If breaking copyright is stealing, then someone who sees nothing wrong with it is only a short step away from actual stealing. Ditto for “statutory rape” and (as Whoopi Goldberg put it) “rape rape”.

  137. But even his fantasy and bullshit will be credible to you, because he began by showing you a truth that nobody else was willing to speak.

    This is also why actual lies about the Holocaust should not be spread. It is not true that the Nazis turned Jews into soap, so we shouldn’t say they did. Even though it would be totally in character for them to have done so, the fact is that they didn’t, so the story is “fake but accurate”, and repeating it means that when someone is told the truth by a neo-Nazi they will be inclined to believe his lies too.

  138. Winter > If find all this talk about race foolish. Did the statistics account for
    Winter > differences in upbringing, culture, and living environment (peers)?

    Probably not. For what it’s worth, I remember reading a response to The Bell Curve by Thomas Sowell long ago. In it, he debunked the notion of a correlation between crime and intelligence on the one hand and genetic ‘blackness’ on the other. His evidence came from looking at immigrant communities from Africa who came here after the Civil War, either by way of the Caribbean or directly from Africa. The correlation vanishes for them, even though they are genetically ‘more black’ than the descendants of American slaves. (Disclaimer: I’m generally not a fan of Thomas Sowell’s. He has written so much think-tank sludge that I cannot comfortably vouch for his statistics. But since he’s a prominent conservative, I do vouch for the fact that he is not a slave to liberal political correctness.)

    The increased statistical violence level in the Black community, then, does seem to be a cultural thing. Not that the distinction makes any difference to people who just want to stay out of trouble in an iffy neighborhood.

  139. SteveM said: “There is a fundamental assumption, true or not, in the statement, that all races are treated equally in how they are prosecuted when they commit a crime.

    (And Dallas said a similar sort of thing, only far less reasonably worded.)

    I think the issue here is not that ESR somehow assumes something along the lines of “cops are never bigots and DAs are totally fair” – I suspect that, with his experience of the world, he’s well aware that cops are at least as likely to be as anyone else, and that DAs often seek convictions over justice.

    The problem with that as a counter-argument to the stats is in two parts:

    A) To get us back to the “ideal”* state where black people in the US are no more likely to commit a crime than whites or asians or any other group, the level of bigotry involved would have to be staggering, and far in excess of what there’s evidence for. Given that the rate – which nobody seems to be questioning, and which resembles what I found the last time I checked the Federal reports – is about four times the population proportion, that just doesn’t seem tenable. Either they’d have to be inventing Fake Crimes to convict innocent black people of at an astounding rate, or ignoring real crimes in the other ethnic groups by a similar proportion – and plenty of arrest records suggest whitey gets arrested if he assaults someone, too.

    * Ideal, I say, because – without any sarcasm – it would be ideal if race had no correlation to crime.

    B) In trying to (on what I assume are perfectly commendable motives of opposing bigotry) deny the former via tactic A, we (and this echoes what ESR’s been saying about not ignoring an unpleasant truth, because then you can’t change it) end up ignoring the utterly toxic facets of some parts of urban black culture in America.

    It’s not universal, and it’s not deterministic, but it’s sadly real. The glorification of criminality, the idea that scholastic excellence is race-treason, all of that – it all adds up to a giant disadvantage for black kids inculcated with it from youth. And if it’s “not real”, then one is left with the task of explaining why so many adult black men and women see it and rail against it, and explaining the popular culture echoes (or direct incidents) showing it.

    If we seek to deny excess crime from the urban black population in the US because it makes us feel bad to talk about it (because we reasonably don’t want to sound like some horrible asshole Klansman bigot), we are thus utterly unable to attack causes of it.

  140. Correction of my earlier post: It was in Ethnic America (1981) that Sowell said these things. And his evidence comes from Caribbean Blacks only. Of course, I can’t rule out that he said similar things in responding to Murray and Hernstein’s Bell Curve.

  141. >Of course, I can’t rule out that [Sowell] said similar things in responding to Murray and Hernstein’s Bell Curve.

    I don’t believe he has. I follow Sowell’s work pretty closely. I generally keep an eye out for people trashing The Bell Curve – doing so is a pretty safe indicator that their judgment is either faulty or likely to be overwhelmed by political biases or both. Sowell does not have these defects.

  142. >If we seek to deny excess crime from the urban black population in the US because it makes us feel bad to talk about it (because we reasonably don’t want to sound like some horrible asshole Klansman bigot), we are thus utterly unable to attack causes of it.

    It’s worse than that. We create a no-win situation: the only people able to speak the truth are asshole Klansman bigots.

  143. The Bell Curve has been mentioned several times so far. What is the book about?

  144. >The Bell Curve has been mentioned several times so far. What is the book about?

    In a nutshell, how IQ is the single most predictive statistic we can gather about people. Book does an extremely good job of explaining that, and the consequences. Most of the data and theories in it are pretty uncontroversial, if you’re a psychometrician.

    The main goal of the authors is to argue that a society run by a high-IQ elite is making it increasingly difficult for people with subnormal or even average IQs to thrive. They plead for simpler rules – they attribute a lot of crime to the increasing cognitive complexity of making an honest living due to (for example) paperwork-intensive regulatory hurdles for small businesses.

    The book attracted huge flak, though, because they didn’t shrink from discussing what everyone inside the field knows. There are differences among the mean IQs of racial groups large enough to have public-policy consequences. The cognitive complexification of economic life has especially bad consequences for black Americans. I believe the authors intended this as a counsel of compassion, but it was widely read by stupid people as bigotry.

  145. Do you have a PDF of this work? Sounds interesting but if I need to buy it, it’ll be at least a day or two before I begin consuming it.

  146. tmoney said: I’ve argued before (not here) that the north in general has more problems with racism and racial tension than the south, despite the stereotype to the contrary. While the south definitely has more outspoken racists, my experience has been that the north is vastly more segregated and with less cultural mingling and interaction, misunderstandings and conflict are more likely to arise.

    - Like I keep telling you, blacks are ethnic southerners.
    Back around 1970 or so, when there were popular paper publications called “magazines”, you would see a lot of articles where some black man or woman would write about how they were born and raised in the north, lived there all their life, but then moved down south and were amazed at how they felt more at home there. They got along with all the people better, etc…

    Of course they got along better. They were in their own culture. Part and parcel of the southern culture is the idea that the world is divided into black and white people. As I’ve explained, this was necessary to support slavery. The blacks believe it, and so do the southern whites. When a southern white sees a black person ‘acting black’, he just accepts it as the way things are.

    Not true in the north (which means the west, as well). Up here, you see blacks acting differently, and you wonder, “What’s wrong with them? Don’t they know how bad things can turn out if they drop out of high school or engage in petty crime, or….?” We expect blacks to grow up, go to school, get good grades, get a job, support a family, etc., LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. That’s the difference. We are NOT racist. We do NOT believe that blacks are a separate race that can live their lives by different rules. The basic rules of living are the same for all.

  147. And you point is with this shaggy dog anecdotal tale? If this is a refutation it is pretty damn weak. Silly Liberal BS.

  148. The Bell Curve is available in a Kindle edition. If you have an iOS or Android phone or tablet you can read it on an app. You can download an app to a PC or Mac. There’s also a browser plugin.

  149. @ronm0817

    Thomas Sowell argues LS’s point in Black Rednecks & White Liberals.

  150. ESR, going back to you pointing out that we’re talking about violent crimes here. Do keep in mind that the war-on-drugs creates an environment where violent crimes become necessary to enforce that market as they have no legal recourse.

    Now, exactly how much black violent crime can be blamed on the war on drugs, I don’t know. BUT, it does add socio-political reasons why violent crime rates among blacks could be so much higher then that of whites vs genetic ones.

    And certainly, the crushing poverty that leads one into resorting to the black market can have cultural causes vs genetic ones.

    If we’re looking into the genetics and race averages of crime on an even playing field, we’re going to have to narrow it by economic class. What are the percentage of whites compared to blacks living in x amount of poverty. Then compare the proportion of criminal activity.

    Frankly, I think the biggest reason of low intelligence and juke behavior among America’s blacks is their own culture. That sort of thing is hard to break out of. And, thanks to the welfare system, there’s little reason to. Have lots of illegitimate babies and refuse to work is the easiest path to putting food on the table for the women. And most of the men having no solid influence don’t have the discipline to hold down a job, so they resort to the violent black market and the gang culture that surrounds it.

  151. On a personal note, I live in Charleston, West Virginia. Here, there are about an even number of whites and blacks in our projects. And having lived there, I can tell you from personal experience, that the whites are no more intelligent or well socialized or less criminal then the blacks. The cultural fucks kids minds from ever developing in the first place.

  152. A number of thoughts.

    The practice of slavery destroys the value of free labor. A slave gets minimal food, clothing and shelter from the slaveholder. The owner of multiple slaves needs little surplus from any one of them, so the slave works more cheaply than a free man.

    The various slave states recognized this and tried to minimize slave competition with free labor by forbidding the teaching of slaves to read, or a skilled trade. Such laws were regularly flouted; the advantages to both master and man were too great.

    The lousy return on his labor discouraged effort by free men in unskilled and low skilled work. Like the slave they did just enough to get by.

    Today government adds payroll taxes and compliance costs to all labor. A dishwasher hired for a week costs nearly as much in paperwork as a skilled technician employed for a year. This raises the cost of low end labor in the formal economy above its value to many employers. This has the same effect as raising the minimum wage. It increases low end unemployment.

    Notice that we have a thriving informal labor market.

  153. Ironically, people who like The Bell Curve tend to be conservative, even though its most straightforward public-policy consequence would be to justify a more progressive income tax: To the extent that high income is a premium on inherited intelligence, high taxes won’t reduce the tax base. After all, people can’t dim their wits at will to avoid the tax. The conservative and libertarian case for low top marginal income tax rates depends on income being a result of effort, which earners can reduce when taxes get too high. The Bell Curve, if taken seriously, severely undermines that.

    I don’t remember if Murray and Hernstein draw this conclusion themselves—maybe not. Still, the popularity of The Bell Curve among conservatives suggests to me that they, too, fail to understand it.

  154. Intelligent people (and rich ones) certainly can and do avoid taxes. There are scores of legal ways to do so, and what stops them from applying their intelligence to that?

  155. I haven’t read the Bell Curve, but the idea that IQ predicts success throws me off a bit. IQ predicts scholastic ability rather well, but is virtually useless beyond that. While I’m not going to drop numbers here, because broadcasting my tested IQ makes me feel simultaneously egotistical and profoundly insecure, my own IQ is quite high, but I work as a janitor and have a terribly average academic record owing to my unwillingness to invest effort or attend class and my delight at completing assignments while my teacher was collecting them.

    I knew people in school who had higher IQ’s who I wouldn’t trust with anything of any importance. They were too damn stupid for that trust.

    I cant imagine how IQ tests and a distribution of their scores could constructively effect public policy. “Smart” people don’t always succeed and “dumb” people don’t always fail. More regulation, if that is what is suggested, will not fix anything. It seems like any such policy, like affirmative action, it will simply deepen racial resentments and send us deeper down the rabbit hole of creating a problem and pretending its a solution.

  156. @Thomas Blankenhorn

    I think that a more “progressive” tax system would do nothing to fix the problem outlined in The Bell Curve. It would only increase the incentives for corruption by giving those with a lot to lose more incentive to protect it.

    It would make the problem worse by adding incentives to increase the complexity of the system.

    The urban poor in the USA are SOL, particularly men.

    Many boys, aside from social pressure to not ‘act white’, cannot tolerate school as well as girls, so girls get much more out of school than they do.

    A man can’t get a job because what he can do isn’t worth paying for in the formal economy. Because he have no economic power he can’t provide for women and children. If he manages to attract a woman he often sponges off her. This doesn’t last long because a woman quickly tires of a shiftless nogood.

    He is practically forced into the underground economy. This is not a path to success. Most drug dealers live with their mothers.

    Throwing money at it won’t fix things.

  157. I’m sorry, Bob and PapayaSF, but microeconomics-101 is very firm about the deadweight loss of taxation. If the supply of the thing being taxed is inelastic, there is no deadweight loss. The supply of work effort is elastic, the supply of inherited intelligence is not. Therefore, to the extent that income inequality reflects hereditary-intelligence inequality, progressive income tax rates incur no deadweight loss.

  158. Chris Rock, who ought to know…. has the stones to say this out loud!

    Who’s more racist, black people or white people? It’s black people! You know why? Because we hate black people too! Everything white people don’t like about black people, black people really don’t like about black people. There’s a civil war going on with black people right now and there’s two sides, there’s black people and theres niggas. The niggas have got to go. Every time black people want to have a good time, ignant-ass niggas fuck it up. Can’t do shit without ignant-ass niggas fucking it up? Can’t keep a disco open for more than three weeks? Can’t go to a movie the first week it comes out – because niggas are shooting at the screen. I love black people, but I hate niggas.

    You can’t have shit when you around niggas, you can’t have shit. You can’t have no big screen TV! You can have it, but you better move it in at 3 in the morning. Paint it white, hope niggas think it’s a bassinet. Can’t have shit in your house! Why?! Because niggas will break into your house. Niggas that live next door to you, break into your house, come over the next day and go, “I heard you got robbed.”

    You know the worst thing about niggas? Niggas always want credit for some shit they supposed to do. A nigga will brag about some shit a normal man just does. A nigga will say some shit like, “I take care of my kids.” You’re supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? “I ain’t never been to jail!” What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!

    Niggas hate knowledge. Niggas will break in your house – wanna save your money? Put it in your books, cuz niggas don’t read.

    I’m tired of this shit – your kids can’t fucking play nowhere. Every year the space gets smaller…Fee-fi-fo-figga, boy I hate a nigga. I’m tired of this shit, tired, tired of this shit…Niggas are singin’ welfare carols.

    If a friend calls you on the telephone and says they’re lost on Martin Luther King Boulevard and they want to know what they should do, the best response is ‘Run!

    And I don’t care where you are in America, if you’re on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there’s some violence going down.”

  159. . . . and although Eric no doubt dislikes progressive income tax rates, or indeed any taxes at all, I think he would recognize this as another illustration of his general point: The microeconomics of the situation are what they are. Whether we approve of their political implications is irrelevant.

  160. But you are not taxing an inelastic supply of inherited intelligence, you are taxing the fruits of the labors of people with inherited intelligence, which is a very different thing. Those labors are quite elastic.

  161. Of course they got along better. They were in their own culture. Part and parcel of the southern culture is the idea that the world is divided into black and white people. As I’ve explained, this was necessary to support slavery. The blacks believe it, and so do the southern whites. When a southern white sees a black person ‘acting black’, he just accepts it as the way things are.

    Where are you from? All my firsthand experience tells me otherwise, and this sounds like the sort of pretentious snottiness I’d expect from a NYC or California academic.

    I’m sorry, Bob and PapayaSF, but microeconomics-101 is very firm about the deadweight loss of taxation. If the supply of the thing being taxed is inelastic, there is no deadweight loss. The supply of work effort is elastic, the supply of inherited intelligence is not. Therefore, to the extent that income inequality reflects hereditary-intelligence inequality, progressive income tax rates incur no deadweight loss.

    Strawman. The argument isn’t that high income earners work more stupidly, it’s precisely that they put less time into their work (thus reducing economic productivity).

  162. @Thomas Blankenhorn – still, unless you are proposing setting tax rates _directly_ based on intelligence (you’re taxed for IQ*0.2% of your income), your argument is ridiculous. It might actually be ridiculous unless you’re proposing actually taxing based on intelligence only (you pay $50 per IQ point).

    And it’s probably not hard to cheat an IQ test for a lower score… and monitoring for that has disastrous policy implications.

  163. > Those labors are quite elastic.

    Right. An intelligence market may yield mean results on the micro level, but the predictability of net taxable income based on available I.Q. supply would put you back in the smoky room with the old Soviet politburo, trying to figure out your next five-year plan. Unless you have a well-tested I.Q. to GNP conversion rate that we don’t know about, I smell an I.Q. bubble ripe for popping.

  164. Evidently, I’m not communicating clearly. Let me try again.
    (1) Our productivity is partly a product of work effort, partly a product of intelligence.
    (2) Our supply of work effort is elastic—it will decrease with increasing tax rates.
    (2 b) As a consequence, we forego opportunities for mutual gain between ourselves and the buyers for the fruits of our labor. Economists refer to this effect as deadweight loss.
    (3) Our supply of intelligence is inelastic. This factor of our productivity will not decrease with increasing tax rates, and will not add to the deadweight loss.
    (4) If The Bell Curve is right, intelligence accounts for a greater part of our productivity, relative to effort, than if The Bell Curve is wrong.
    (5) Therefore, The Bell Curve being right would mean that the case for greater progression is stronger than if The Bell Curve is wrong.

  165. PS: I’m checking out for today. I’m new to this blog. I don’t want to wear out my welcome prematurely by hijacking this thread.

  166. Wish there were threaded comments here.

    @PapayaSF on Tuesday, April 10 2012 at 10:04 pm said:

    “Um, OK, but if there were a disproportionate level of criminal prosecution of blacks due to racism, and thus black criminals were more likely to go to prison than white ones, wouldn’t there be a disproportionate number of white criminals running around loose, committing more crimes? And wouldn’t that likely make white neighborhoods more dangerous than black ones?”

    and

    William O. B’Livion on Wednesday, April 11 2012 at 8:33 am said:

    “Because that is NOT what the statistics say. The national level statistics deal with convictions, not charges. ”

    In my mind, these two positions are very similar and present a line of thinking is worth discussing. My response is long because it has to be.

    In case you do not have the patience or the time, the TL:DR version looks like this

    If at any of point in the justice system – when crime is reported, when the crime is investigated, when charges are pressed, when prosecutions are filed, when sentencing recomendations are made, when judges and juries make sentencing decisions, and a myriad other intermidiate steps, if at any point is the justice system, there is a disparity in how criminal justice management activity is carried out across races then bias is inserted.

    Stats at this point cease to tell solely about crime and race.

    The stats now tell about the crimes, race and most important of all, the governance of the criminal justice system in one huge ball of wax and the different flavors, colors and scents in there cannot be separated.

    At this point, it is my humble opinion that at this point, blanket assertations about statistical evendence on race and crime, on which the arguments presented here rest, can no longer be made.

    And here is the longer version where I attempt to support my statement.

    There are again at least 3 hidden premises in the arguments presented by @PapayaSF and @William O. B’Livion that need to be unpacked.

    1. The assumption that conviction rates are a more honest/accurate measure of crimes across races. This is worth saving for last.

    2. Crime levels remain the same if enforcement is the same across all races.

    I would argue that making this assumption is risky because there is no data to support the position that level of crime is a zero-sum game: i.e. asserting the position that if one race is not committing the crimes, another one is to ensure that crime remains at the same level.

    We simply do not know if crime is a zero sum game.

    Crime levels may go up or go down. But without data, we have no idea and all is conjecture.

    More on this in a bit.

    3. The assumption in the inference that @PapayaSF’s statement makes about the net outcomes in neighborhoods of discriminatory treatment in prosecution: this statement addresses only one of many possible net outcomes (let’s call it what it is since this entire debate is about defining things). I will enumerate other possible outcomes shortly.

    The statement I refer to is “black criminals were more likely to go to prison than white ones, wouldn’t there be a disproportionate number of white criminals running around loose, committing more crimes”

    I want to bring together all the issues above in one thread by proposing that one question that may helo with attempting to deal with all this is:

    What does the definition of similar levels of processed through the criminal justice system across races looks like assuming that there is disproportion in the way races are treated.

    I used the phrase “processed through the criminal justice system” for a specific reason that will become clearer in an argument I will follow up with below.

    Even more important is this question coming right out of that:

    What does the resolution of this disparity look like?

    Assuming that there is a difference in the way that races are treated, does it mean the net effect is that that all whites are processed through the criminal justice system in the same way blacks are disproportionately treated or does it mean that all blacks are processed through the criminal justice system in the same way whites are?

    Following this train of thought through to the bitter end, 4 use cases arise with 8 outcomes that can be generalized to some extent to 3 final positions worth considering explicitly (all the other ones are edge cases in my mind because they do not have a huge impact in final stats but I would love to be corrected if I am wrong):

    - if the position that whites were processed through the criminal justice system at a lower rate for similar crimes is assumed to be true and races are now treated exactly the same where blacks are now processed through the criminal justice system in the same way whites are then you now have a lot of blacks who would previously have been convicts not gaining that label. White stats remain the same. Overall though, crime stats are lower with similar numbers across races although the same amount of crime is being commited since fewer blacks are being processed through the system.

    - if the position that whites were processed through the criminal justice system at a lower rate for similar crimes is assumed to be true and races are now treated exactly the same where whites are now processed through the criminal justice system in the same way blacks are then you now have a lot of whites who would previously have been convicts not gaining that label. Black stats remain the same. Overall though, crime stats are higher now with similar numbers across races although the same amount of crime is being commited since more whites are now being processed through the system

    - if the position that whites were processed through the criminal justice system at a lower rate for similar crimes is assumed to be false then races are now being treated exactly the same i.e. blacks are now treated in the same way as whites then stats remain what they are now – blacks are in fact commiting much more crime than whites.

    I had to make some assumptions about certain aspects of the issue to carry out this thougtht experiment since I am making an attempt to be empirical:

    1. Overall crime rates across the races are the very similar or the same

    To me, this position is the bone of contention and is at the core of the issue at discussion here.

    I want to make the assertation that there is no emperical evidence anywhere about true crime rates.

    Read that carefully.

    All the stats available anywhere, it does not matter where, are about processing for crimes through the criminal justice system, not actual crimes commited.

    There are crimes that happen that never make it to police, prosecutors or jury. Mobster beats up mobster and they shake hands and leave. Company finds employee pilfering stuff and they let it slide or they fire the offender without prosecuting. Spouse beats on spouse and the oppressed refuses to press charges. White collar executive embezzles billions from the consumer side of a bank to prop up the investment side and criminal charges are not pressed, street level drug dealer administers a beating to a foot soldier as a form of discipline and there is no report to the police.

    The crimes occured: just because they do not get to the police does not change the fact that they are crimes.

    And then there are other “victimless” crimes that happen everyday and never make it to the criminal stats at all – gambling, prostitution and drug use.

    Remember, the statements being made are about crimes and race.

    2. Police and prosecutors know about all crimes/at least know about crime in the same proportion across races and bring them forward for prosecution in the same proportionacross all races.

    The thinking here is self evident I hope ;it was the point of my first post.

    3. Judges / juries decision-making is impartial across races.

    If judges and juries make decision about crimes in the same proportion across all races, we are still good to go.

    If judges and juries do not convict at the same rate, again, final stats are tainted.

    Crime is processed into the justice system to become stats in multiple ways – crimes are reported and investigated, they are then prosecuted, they are then tried and those commiting the crimes are then sentenced.

    This series of steps is what I referred to as “processing through the criminal justice system”.

    At each and every one of these steps, there is an opportunity to introduce racial bias that affects final stats on which this whole debate are predicated.

    If at any of point in the justice system – when crime is reported, when the crime is investigated, when charges are pressed, when prosecutions are filed, when sentencing recomendations are made, when judges and juries make sentencing decisions, and a myriad other intermidiate steps, if at any point is the justice system, there is a disparity in how criminal justice management activity is carried out across races then bias is inserted.

    Stats at this point cease to tell solely about crime and race.

    The stats now tell about the crimes, race and most important of all, the governance of the criminal justice system in one huge ball of wax and the different flavors, colors and scents in there cannot be separated.

    At this point, it is my humble opinion that at this point, blanket assertations about statistical evendence on race and crime, on which the arguments presented here rest, can no longer be made.

  167. >IQ predicts success throws me off a bit. IQ predicts scholastic ability rather well, but is virtually useless beyond that.

    That belief is utterly wrong. Read the book.

  168. At each and every one of these steps, there is an opportunity to introduce racial bias that affects final stats on which this whole debate are predicated.

    This is the point I am trying to make. A 4:1 disparity seems absurd, but it’s not so absurd if each step drops more white criminals (proportional to minority criminals) like a giant leaky funnel. The “should be lots of white criminals running around” argument falls down since each new crime represents a new trip through the funnel, and if they don’t reoffend they don’t contribute to the argument.

    The justice system is a leaky funnel by design. Better a thousand criminals go free, an all that. The question is simply whether it is _more_ leaky for white criminals than for other groups.

  169. It’s well-established that most criminals re-offend. I just don’t think that you can use “racism” in the criminal justice system to explain the vast disparity in not just arrests and convictions, but the well-known fact that black neighborhoods are likelier to be more dangerous (for anyone of any race) than white neighborhoods. For one thing, the criminal justice system employs vast numbers of blacks. Are they all in on the racism that supposedly prefers to drag blacks into the system, vastly out of proportion to their numbers? I don’t think so.

  170. @Milhouse:

    > If that (the ‘loose’ one) is the definition of “racist”, then what is wrong with being one?

    Exactly, and I think that’s what Derbyshire may be trying to do, neutralize the term. Own it, render it ineffective, like Americans did with ‘Yankee’. “That’s racist; you’re a racist!”. “Well yeah, race differences are real, 12%, 50%, IQ 85, 100, 105, 112 blah blah blah, so yeah I’m racist”.

  171. @Vaspasian
    > IQ predicts scholastic ability rather well, but is virtually useless beyond that.

    To a great extent, life is an IQ test.

  172. Eric,

    If the consensus regarding “The Bell Curve”—outside of academia—is that the book is racist and that the authors are racist, what made you believe that most people would not believe that Derbyshire and yourself are not racist after publishing these posts?

    Think about it … An extremely well researched book, with great data supporting it, with arguments and conclusions full of compassion for all groups of people and all individuals, uncontroversial among pertinent academic circles (with the exception of a couple of misguided leftist biologists), vindicated by a committee of independent researchers that re-evaluated their data and analysis, and yet still called racist and bigoted by the general population … vs your blog.

  173. IMHO, if I were his boss at the NR, the question wouldn’t have been whether he got sacked, it would be the transcript of the exit interview and the statement announcing it,

    Considering that he was never employed by NR in the first place, and therefore has not been sacked, your entire fantasy disappears. There was and could be no “exit interview”.

  174. he recommends statistics based techniques for forming judgments about people he does not yet know. That’s the very definition of prejudice.

    No, it’s the definition of rationality. If you have no specific information about an individual, statistics are all you can go on. As Walter Williams wrote, if a Bengal tiger enters a room you’re in, you don’t stop to determine whether it might perhaps be tame; you play the odds and get the hell out of there. You’ll be right more often than you’re wrong.

  175. As Walter Williams wrote, if a Bengal tiger enters a room you’re in, you don’t stop to determine whether it might perhaps be tame; you play the odds and get the hell out of there. You’ll be right more often than you’re wrong.

    Misconstruing intuition and other human mental processes as being based in statistical theories is one of the major mental diseases of our time.

  176. If violent murder is something that preoccupies your list of fears, and your solution is to voluntarily segregate yourself from the black race, your next most rational survival step might be to keep a wary eye on your white co-workers, and on members of your own family.

    Not really. The oft-quoted statistic that people are more likely to be killed by those they know than by strangers depends on the fact that criminals are often killed either by other criminals or by their would-be victims, both of which are “known” to them. The odds of an ordinary person being killed by a family member, or by a coworker in a non-criminal enterprise, are quite low.

  177. >… vs your blog.

    I was aware of the problem. I’m just not constructed to allow that sort of headwind to stop me. Koestler’s rule: “One should either write fearlessly what one believes to be true or shut the hell up.”

  178. The racialist justifications of the “peculiar institution” were an extremely late development, barely visible until after 1830 and not fully developed until 1850 or so.

    This racial justification for slavery developed as a direct result of the success of the abolition movement. Until the late 18th century hardly anyone thought there was anything wrong with slavery, so there was no need to justify it. It was almost universally thought only right and just that people can be owned; most people are owned by themselves, but like any other piece of property one might lose ownership of oneself and find oneself owned by someone else. This was believed even by most slaves Most slaves had no objection to the institution of slavery, and didn’t want to see it abolished; they just didn’t want to be slaves themselves. Then the abolition movement took off, and suddenly the slave-owners had to come up with a moral justification for what they were doing, and the one they eventually settled on was racism.

    One consequence of this was a serious deterioration in the status of free negroes, particularly in Louisiana, where they had previously been socially and legally equal to low-status whites. If the natural status of the negro was to be enslaved, then the existence of negroes who were not slaves, and who were indeed of relatively high social status, could not be tolerated. This means, of course, that those blacks were victims of abolitionism.

  179. Western civilization was founded by black people — ancient Egyptians to be exact.

    Ancient Egyptians were white. Poof goes your argument, and that of the quack you got it from.

  180. This same syndrome is creating a danger in Europe.

    The immediate problems and long-term threat posed by large numbers of unassimilated Moslem immigrants are obvious.

    But the bien-pensant Euro elite absolutely refuses to acknowledge the problems and threat. Many of them openly pander to Moslem bullies. Even European conservatives are mostly neutered in this area.

    The people who are willing to speak out frankly are often white nationalists and fascists.

    I see only two possible resolutions to this situation. The Euro elite may continue in its folly, but retain control over the state apparatus and security forces, until “the frog is boiled”. Or the Moslems will overreach, and provoke a violent reaction among the Euro population, led by racists and fascists, who will take power to carry it out.

  181. Almost all majority black (subsaharan ancestry) countries are extremely violent, and the ones where there is a bit of law and order, usually have law and order only because the guys in charge are apt to chain wrongdoers into the shape of suitcase and feed them to the crocodiles.

    Almost all countries, historically, have been like that. And how do you explain the exceptions, such as Botswana?

  182. This might introduce a different perspective on “crime” and “violence” in the USA:

    Raise the Crime Rate
    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/04/raise_the_crime.html

    Crime has not fallen in the United States — it’s been shifted. Just as Wall Street connived with regulators to transfer financial risk from spendthrift banks to careless home buyers, so have federal, state, and local legislatures succeeded in rerouting criminal risk away from urban centers and concentrating it in a proliferating web of hyperhells. The statistics touting the country’s crime-reduction miracle, when juxtaposed with those documenting the quantity of rape and assault that takes place each year within the correctional system, are exposed as not merely a lie, or even a damn lie — but as the single most shameful lie in American life.

  183. Misconstruing intuition and other human mental processes as being based in statistical theories is one of the major mental diseases of our time.

    We’re aware of the base-rate fallacy. It’s exactly what’s being argued against here.

  184. @Rich Rostrom
    “The immediate problems and long-term threat posed by large numbers of unassimilated Moslem immigrants are obvious.”

    The intensity of the outcry seems to correlate very well to the number of “muslims” in higher education and business. And the outcry is already shifting towards Eastern European immigrants.

    We should remember that Apartheid was introduced in South Africa when non-whites started to climb the socio-economic ladder. And the push for Apartheid came from poor white workers who seemed to be horrified by the prospect of seeing the lowest, non-white, rank of the ladder rising above them.

    The same movement is seen in Europe. It is the lowest socio-economic strata that cannot compete with cheaper immigrants or well educated children of immigrants that massively support the anti-immigrant movements.

  185. When I wrote:
    “””Because that is NOT what the statistics say. The national level statistics deal with convictions, not charges. “””

    I was specifically referring to your addition of [are criminally charged with ] and [criminally charged with].

    Now, onto the content of Steve M’s post:

    One thing folks are missing here (in a forest for the trees kind of way) is that we are talking about a fairly narrow range of crimes here, violent crimes and murder.

    In the general case for violent crimes it’s very easy for me to complain that I got beaten and robbed by ale quaffing 6’4 viking, and the popo ARESSTS a 5’10 inch black kid pullin’ on a 40 of schlitz. However this is going to cause problems when I point out that no, my attacker WAS NOT BLACK.

    This might be less of a problem for murders, and until recently rapes were often used as an excuse to throw a bruther in the hoosegau, but a 4:1 ABSOLUTE ratio?

    Using the off the top of my head math, there are about 5 times as many whites in the US as blacks. That means that we’re really looking at about a 20:1 ratio when adjusted for the population.

    As the Kids Say “O. RLY?”

    I think there *is* bias in the justice system, which is one reason you see the disparity in incarcertation rates between the south and the north. I got called for Jury Duty in both San Francisco and a larger town in the midwest. In both places there were a LOT more blacks than the national average.

    Blacks, as a whole aren’t the ones committing the crime, it’s a small cohort of young, unattached males.

    You know who *really* suffers for the crimes of blacks? Other blacks.

    And they’re REALLY pissed about that. A white kid, to a white jury might get a second chance. A black kid to a white jury, if he’s got a lawyer, might (depending on the crime) get a second chance. A black kid and a black jury? Yeah. Jail time baby. And if you have a black or two on a jury who speak out in deliberations, kids going away.

    No one wants random violence and mayhem in their neighborhood except those who prey on human misery.

    It’s not the skin color, it’s the culture. Unfortunately stupid fucking white kids have bought into the “Gansta Rap” culture making it VERY lucrative. And trendy.

  186. Er, not to take away from the rest of your point, but… a lot of statistics have been mentioned by a lot of different people in this thread, and I don’t recall a 4:1 ratio being specifically described as not being adjusted for population size.

  187. “Until the late 18th century hardly anyone thought there was anything wrong with slavery, so there was no need to justify it. It was almost universally thought only right and just that people can be owned”

    Millhouse I have a very hard time believing this. I believe it to be common knowledge that slavery was not a factor in the (Western European) medieval economy. Most European nations abolished slavery well before the 18th century. It was in the 15th century that the Church abolished slavery of Christians.

  188. > I believe it to be common knowledge that slavery was not a factor in the (Western European) medieval economy.

    That would depend on whether or not you consider serfdom a form of slavery.

  189. @SteveM,

    I looked up the FBI-UCR, and found lots of data. The crime for which racial data is recorded best is homicide.

    Of events known to the Police, about 37% of homicides are done by Black offenders, 30% by White offenders, and 27% by offenders of Unknown race.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl03.xls

    This number must include many cases which never went to trial. Does your analysis assume that all such statistics come from cases that go to trial? From what I can tell, the FBI collates reports of crimes known to police from all over the country. Not all of them result in a trial.

    I don’t say that this brings out hard-and-fast data, but it is data that is believable.

    On the side of victims of homicides, Blacks suffer homicide at a per-capita rate of approximately 15 per 100000. Whites suffer homicide at a rate of approximately 2.65 per 100000. (It’s kind of hard to hide or misclassify a dead body. There are many other pieces of criminal statistics that can be misclassified or misfiled…)

    The FBI data shows that for cases in which race of victim and offender are known, homicides are primarly done intra-race.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl06.xls

    This, plus the social/cultural data outlined above by William O’Blivion and PapayaSF, gives me reason to believe that the FBI data is somewhere near the real value.

    But if you assume that the stats are meaningless, you can come to any conclusion you want.

    I don’t assume that the stats are perfect, but I do assume that they point in a direction which can be compared with other data observations.

  190. >The odds of an ordinary person being killed by a family member, or by a coworker in a non-criminal enterprise, are quite low.

    So are the odds of a white Amercian being killed by a black American. In fact, if you look at the data, you see it’s much smaller. This models common sense and anecdotal evidence quite nicely.

    In our quest to be “un-P.C.” let’s not ignore the real facts.

  191. >I don’t believe he has. I follow Sowell’s work pretty closely. I generally keep an eye out for people trashing The Bell Curve – doing so is a pretty safe indicator that their judgment is either faulty or likely to be overwhelmed by political biases or both. Sowell does not have these defects.

    he has written a critical review of the Bell curve (or at least, one widely perceived as critical): ‘Ethnicity and IQ’.

    In it, IIRC, he argued that what the book got wrong is that the low IQ found among US blacks does not correlate with race.

    he claims that blacks’ underperformance in IQ tests is concentrated on abstract questions, and that this, in turn, is not an exclusive characteristic of blacks in North America, bot of other social groups outside mainstream society as well, such immigrant jews to the US in the 30s.

  192. @Correcting myself…

    The percentages of murder offenders by race are 32/38/28 for White/Black/Unknown in 2010. I had looked up 2009 and 2010, gave the numbers for 2009, and linked to the page for 2010.

  193. Grantham, limiting things to murder helps in getting hard statistics, but of course Derbyshire’s warnings apply to the far-more-common non-lethal black-on-white crimes of robbery, assault, etc.

  194. @Milhouse:

    This means, of course, that those blacks were victims of abolitionism.

    That doesn’t follow, and I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out why.

  195. >he has written a critical review of the Bell curve (or at least, one widely perceived as critical): ‘Ethnicity and IQ’.

    I’ll have to find that. Almost all of the criticism of The Bell Curve I’ve ever seen is PC bullshit, but I would listen to Sowell’s critique respectfully.

  196. “That would depend on whether or not you consider serfdom a form of slavery.”

    @kn I don’t because:
    - Serfs had specific obligations fixed by custom.
    - A lord could not casually punish a serf in the same way that a master can whip his slave.
    - Serfs could not be bought and transported to a new locale.
    - My impression is that there was not a sustained effort to return runaway serfs the way there was in the South to capture runaway slaves. A serf could go to a city and become free after some time.

    Now I am not familiar with, say, Russian serfdom, so maybe there were forms of serfdom that were pretty bad.

  197. >- A lord could not casually punish a serf in the same way that a master can whip his slave.

    Broadly true west of the Rhine. East of the Rhine serfdom got rapidly nastier as you moved eastward.

  198. Whether you consider serfdom as slavery or not, the institution was a dead letter in England by the 1500s. (Various laws about it stayed on the books much longer, but they could not be enforced – English juries simply wouldn’t vote to condemn people to serfdom any more.)

    esr has posted an accurate description of the history of ‘the peculiar institution’ upthread a ways, though I would add that the hardening of racial attitudes took place decades before the time he gives. One data point I can add, though, is:

    In 1715, in South Carolina, there was trouble with the Indians, and the colonists raised a militia consisting of 500 whites and 500 blacks. This was probably the last time that the whites would willingly put weapons into black hands. Anyone have a later date?

  199. PapayaSF, he specified black-on-white murder, not me.

    But it is worth investigating and discussing. For instance, if we lump all violent interracial (black-on-white) crimes statistics together and average them across 2001-2003, we come up with a annual figure of 654,500. So, despite the unquestionable high disproportion of black crminality, a generic white American has a 0.2% generic annual risk of being the victim of a violent crime committed by a generic black offender. Meanwhile, the chance of a white person being murdered by a black offender (250/yr avg) is obviously much lower at 0.00008%. Granted, the chances of a generic black being victimized or murdered by a generic white is smaller still — even vanishingly so. I suspect this is why, in their zeal to find a good white-on-black murder story to exploit for the election season, mixed-race Floridian George Zimmerman was the best that Obama campaigners and their media lapdogs could come up with (though, they are doubtless on the prowl for another one to invent a “nationwide epidemic”, so expect another sensationalized incident soon)

    But bear this in mind: regardless of whether the standard is black-on-white or white-on-black, these are all tiny numbers. Compare interracial murders to, for instance, the average number of car crashes resulting in injury (3,000,000/yr) and vehicular fatalities (42,679/yr) over the same period. What might we think of a Derbyshire who, for instance, pointed to these statistics and recommended that we never drive a car?

    That is why I brought up the subject of cowardice. The article calls to mind the old debate about how to tell the difference between bravery and stupidity. If we look at “cowardice” from a purely rational standpoint, it can appear indistinguishable from intelligence and survival instincts. But evolution also entails many direct actions and risk-adverse behaviors throughout the animal kingdom that homo-sapiens have deemed so cowardly as to be socially unacceptable (i.e. the herd of 100 zebra leaving their sick, their elderly and their young to be devoured by 6 lions.

    Since humans also evolve — acquiring traits that are beneficial and discarding ones that aren’t — why is it that history and literature records so very few “proud cowards”? One would think there would be more, since cowardly behavior serves to enhance our survivability and perhaps even to showcase our intellect. Yet no one likes to be called a coward, or to be quietly thought of as one.

    Bear in mind, I’m not saying anyone who subscribes to Derbyshire’s advice a coward. I doubt that esr is one, and I think it’s possible that Derybshire himself isn’t one. But apart from gauging intelligence, which Eric claims his test about the article does, I think that one’s reaction to several aspects of Derbyshire’s advice might be testing something else that has nothing to do with racial bigotry. Derbyshire is, in essence, declaring himself a “proud coward”. By doing so, he is quite possibly attempting satire (I tend to think he is), and overexaggerating his advice to emphasize the disproportions of the data. But if we take him seriously — that is to say, if we think 10h is practical advice along the lines of “don’t stick your finger in an electric socket” — then we must assume he would view similar survival data with dispassion, and give proportionally similar advice (i.e. “Never drive a car; never live within ten miles of a road, etc). In other words, a Practical Derbyshire (as opposed to a satirical one) is staking his claim on the where he thinks the risk threshold should be when deciding whether or not to undertake certain actions, based on the statistics presented.

    For him, the threshold is apparently quite low (0.2%, in many generic cases). Also, he doesn’t mention the specific rewards I might be trading up for my slightly enhanced survivability. For instance: if I strictly followed 10d, I might miss Bird Parker and Dizzy Gillespie blow at Billy Berg’s… or my own wedding reception, for that matter! I hardly knew any of those people. So, even if we accept his questionable notion of caeteris paribus (…”in the many cases where you have nothing to guide you but”), his risk/benefit analysis missing critical economic data.

    Whatever one might think of Eric’s intelligence test (I happen to think it’s pretty good, if flawed for its absence of a false-positive test), interpretation of Derbyshire’s own advice will likely test qualities apart from intellect, such as risk-aversion, RPD and empathy.

  200. @LS
    > Anyone have a later date?

    I guess you mean pre-Revolutionary War?

    Otherwise, it would obviously be the Revolutionary War (Salem Poor, Crispus Attuks and all those guys). After that, the Civil War, then WWII then Vietnam, then… well you get the picture. :)

  201. > But bear this in mind: regardless of whether the standard is black-on-white or white-on-black, these are all tiny numbers. Compare interracial murders to, for instance, the average number of car crashes resulting in injury (3,000,000/yr) and vehicular fatalities (42,679/yr) over the same period.

    The difference is that we dominate cars, while blacks and Muslims dominate us. The problem is not that the violence kills many people, but that it works.

  202. @Grantham: Wrong denominator. I would have a .00008% chance of being murdered each year just for living in the US as a white person. The odds per black person i met would be higher, and per white person would be lower. Simpson’s paradox plays hell with any attempt to conclude anything here really. Just as an example I mentioned on another board: It’s possible to have blacks be under or equally punished by every jurisdiction, have an equal offense rate, but appear to be over punished in the overall summary, if locales which have a larger than average black population have a harsher conviction rate overall (but still harsher to whites than to blacks). It was here but you would have to expand some comments to find it.

    The simplest mathematical analogue: Given rates A/B, C/D, and E/F, the overall rate is (A + C + E)/(B + D + F), while the average rate would be (A/B + C/D + E/F)/3. The two will almost never be the same value. People nonetheless love to interpolate from the overall rate. I’m not sure the average rate is always better in all cases, but it’s generally better.

  203. Err, not “Crispus Attuks”… that was the guy in the Boston Massacre. I guess I was mixing him up with Ed Hector(?)

    Anyway, depending on the criteria (pre-or-post republic, loyal or rebel, alaves or freemen), I think it was actually the Brits (under Dunmore’s command) who next armed blacks en masse, though I don’t think much came of it. Next it was Washington, though under the color of the Militia Law only freemen could serve.

  204. > I would have a .00008% chance of being murdered each year just for living in the US as a white person.

    Let’s say for a moment that is true. So what? Either “killed by X” or “killed by black person” represents a vanishingly small risk, compared to many other risks, which was my point.

    > The odds per black person i met would be higher, and per white person would be lower.

    Sure, but who is quantifying the number of black people you meet to find out the real ratio (number of blacks met/ number of times victimized)? Without it, the most accurate determinate of risk is probably the overall risk.

  205. In it, he debunked the notion of a correlation between crime and intelligence on the one hand and genetic ‘blackness’ on the other. His evidence came from looking at immigrant communities from Africa who came here after the Civil War, either by way of the Caribbean or directly from Africa. The correlation vanishes for them, even though they are genetically ‘more black’ than the descendants of American slaves.

    But this ignores the fact that voluntary immigrants and involuntary immigrants are two different subgroups of the greater population of “black” people. Those that were selected for involuntary immigration were the losing tribes in battles/raids, while the voluntary immigrants are people who decided the US was a better place to live than $COUNTRY and could get a visa to do something about it.

    I have long contended that the “Ellisian” mindset encourages people to feel invested in their community, while the “Goreean” mindset is one of resentment. “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us!”

    As was pointed out upthread, the group differences that correlate with skin color in the US don’t necessarily have anything to do with genetics. Much can be attributed to cultural influences, but it doesn’t change the truth of the correlation. And unless and until these differences can be openly discussed, there is no chance of repairing the culture.

  206. @grantham: Quick question. Do you understand why Simpson’s paradox means it’s possible for each instance of criminal investigation to absolutely not be racially biased but for the overall rate to appear to favor one race over another? In short, do you understand that Simpson’s paradox means it’s not actually possible to logically prove a system is biased based on an overall rate? If so, you should also understand why I’m automatically skeptical of any argument based on overall odds to prove particular points. I suppose I did read something into your comment that wasn’t intended however, for which I apologize.

  207. > The difference is that we dominate cars, while blacks and Muslims dominate us.

    Please keep your sexual peccadilloes to yourself, James.

  208. > Bear in mind, I’m not saying anyone who subscribes to Derbyshire’s advice a coward

    Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted, as for example most of Detroit. The number assaulted is low is because whites have been ethnically cleansed out of those areas.

  209. > Do you understand why Simpson’s paradox means it’s possible for each instance of criminal investigation to absolutely not be racially biased but for the overall rate to appear to favor one race over another?

    Of course, but I wasn’t trying to demonstrate system bias. I was trying to demonstrate proportional risk and how it pertains to rational decision-making. I thought I was pretty clear about that. If we are to evaluate Derbyshire’s risk threshold based on (and only on) his own supplied criteria, most people would think it was quite low for non-hermits, and in many cases probably too low to constitute practical advice about Universe X.

  210. >Anyone have a later date?

    In 1865 the Confederacy raised black military units in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off defeat. I’ve been unable to pin down an exact number but the web sources say “several thousand”.

    The implications of this for the “peculiar institution” were well understood at the time – how ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they have stood up and fought as men? But the South was desperate.

  211. > As was pointed out upthread, the group differences that correlate with skin color in the US don’t necessarily have anything to do with genetics.

    Indeed, no one country can be evidence that it has something to do with genetics. If, however, we compare populations of subsaharan ancestry in a wide variety of countries with a wide variety of cultures …

  212. @karrde
    “Of events known to the Police, about 37% of homicides are done by Black offenders, 30% by White offenders, and 27% by offenders of Unknown race. ”

    This statement is not accurate, the stats are not about crimes reported, they are about “offenders”, whatever that means.

    Your statement makes the mistake of assuming the stats that come out of conviction rates reflect the true level of crimes committed.

    The whole point of my comment was to make the point that they do not.

    A more accurate way to make the statement might be

    “Of events known to the Police[, that investigators find enough evidence about to pursue, that prosecutors choose to try, where judges and juries find a guilty verdict, from the set of all crimes committed] about 37% of homicides are done by Black offenders, 30% by White offenders, and 27% by offenders of Unknown race.”

    Note, I did not check your calculations.

    Second quote from @karrde
    “This number must include many cases which never went to trial. ”

    Again, this cannot be true.

    doctrine in the US is “presume innocence until found guilty“. This to me means that to be labelled an offender, you must be tried and found guilty.

    The site has an “offenses known to law enforcement” data set that probably reflects what you are looking for.

  213. @Grantham: Those that fought at Bunker Hill were free men. When Washington took over as commander of the Continental Army, he (as a slaveholder) didn’t like the idea of black soldiers at all, but they were already in his army, so he went along with it. He later observed that they made good soldiers; it changed his mind about blacks and slavery. He was the only founding father to free his slaves, though he did it posthumously.

    @esr: Every source I have seen mentions Confederate proposals to put black troops in the lines, but they all were shot down (for obvious reasons). They used slaves only to dig trenches, etc.
    Where did you see that?

  214. @LS
    > He was the only founding father to free his slaves, though he did it posthumously.

    No he wasn’t. Even the aristocratic Jefferson freed several slaves as part of his will. As for the rest, I already knew all of that. Not sure what I wrote that you are arguing against.

  215. > Bear in mind, I’m not saying anyone who subscribes to Derbyshire’s advice [is] a coward

    >>Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted…

    Okay, a slight amendment: I’m not saying anyone here is a coward besides James A. Donald. In addition to being a cartoonish racist, he seems to be a prototypical coward who is afraid of his own shadow.

  216. esr> I’ll have to find that. Almost all of the criticism of The Bell Curve I’ve ever seen is PC bullshit, but I would listen to Sowell’s critique respectfully.”

    Oh, I thought you already have, based on your earlier response to me. Sowell’s original article, Ethnicity and IQ, appeared in the February 1995 issue of The American Spectator. The American Spectator’s website appears to serve it, albeit behind a paywall. Alternatively, you can read it for free if you dig it out of html-hell first. And I do mean “html-hell”. After you click on the article’s link in the table of content, the site makes you download the PDF one page at a time by hitting the “next page” button for each. And as if to add injuy to insult, the table-of-contents link points to the second-to-last page before the beginning of the article, so you have to click the next-page button twice before you can actually start to read. You have been warned!

    Somewhat more accessibly on the web, Sowell has written three Op-Eds under the title “Race and IQ”. A Google search for “Race, IQ” will deliver them to you. The persistent theme is that Thomas Sowell dislikes the politically correct emoters trashing the book. But he still thinks its reasoning somewhat shoddy. He uses nicer words for “shoddy”, but if you tell two statisticians that they’re making freshmen mistakes, that’s pretty devastating.

  217. Hmmm. . . . I’m seriously questioning my long-term memory now. True, Sowell’s review of the Bell curve is indeed critical, and his Townhall articles do talk at length about race and IQ. But they don’t say much about the Bell Curve—only that it’s “the most misrepresented book of our time”. My memory must be mixing up Ethnic America, The Bell Curve, and Sowell’s articles, all of which I’ve read at about the same time 10 years ago. I’m not proud of it, but memory loss at 43 is an interesting thing to behold.

  218. >In addition to being a cartoonish racist, he seems to be a prototypical coward who is afraid of his own shadow.

    Cartoonish racist I grant you, but I don’t think “Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted…” is evidence of cowardice. If anything he understates the case; it’s throwing away your life to be caught alone and white in much of Detroit according to my friends there, and having lived in West Philadelphia I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone into thinking parts of West or North Philly are much safer.

  219. “Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted…” is evidence of cowardice. anything he understates the case; it’s throwing away your life to be caught alone and white in much of Detroit according to my friends there, and having lived in West Philadelphia..

    I’ve lived in both districts, as well as in North Baltimore, The Bronx, South Brooklyn, and other neighborhoods where my number of novel interracial contacts per day was perhaps as high 300 per day. Certain areas at certain times is so incredibly vague as o be meaningless, and about as insightful a statement as “The difference is that we dominate cars, while blacks and Muslims dominate us.”

    I agree that defending carefully worded statements of fact is one thing is important. Defending any vague, laconic garbage spewed from the mouth of an obvious racist is quite another. I don’t think that refusing to cede truth to racists means giving them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what he wrote, and neither of you addressed my question about cowardice,

  220. Sorry for typos above.

    To be clearer about why this statement is useless:

    Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted.”

    That’s one Hell of a lot of qualifiers for a logical statement containing sound, practical advice about Universe X. I doesn’t seem a statement worth defending, especially given the source.

  221. “doesn’t seem a statement worth defending, especially given the source.”

    That’s the problem. The truth of a proposition is independent of its proponents. I hear that Hitler believed the earth to be round.

  222. @Grantham: I didn’t think we were arguing; the essential difference, which I did not make clear enough, is that between slaveholders willing to arm their slaves, and free blacks in the north.

    Oh, on Jefferson, Sally Hemmings had made an agreement that their children would be free. This quite a difference from Washington’s emancipation of all the slaves that *he* owned.

    For those interested: Washington did not personally own all the slaves at Mount Vernon. Many were owned by his wife, Martha. Also, Washington’s will stipulated that those he owned would continue to serve Martha during her lifetime, and only be freed upon her death. This caused quite a lot of consternation in the family, since it meant that Martha would be surrounded by slaves that knew that they would be free…should anything ‘unfortunate’ happen to her.

  223. >That’s the problem. The truth of a proposition is independent of its proponents.

    That’s correct. And we have an obligation to defend the sound arguments of those we dislike.

  224. @LS, From what I’ve read, Jefferson freed Hemmings’ brothers during his lifetime, and several of her relatives posthumously (two sons and three extended family). I only used him as an outlier example (he was the least likely to do so, given his station and aristocratic ways). Founder Ben Franklin also freed his slaves during his lifetime, and others like Hamilton, never owned slaves and openly reviled the practice both pre and post-Revolution.

  225. @LS
    > This caused quite a lot of consternation in the family, since it meant that Martha would be surrounded by slaves that knew that they would be free…should anything ‘unfortunate’ happen to her.

    No doubt… talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!

  226. > The truth of a proposition is independent of its proponents. I hear that Hitler believed the earth to be round.

    Sure. But JAD’s statement didn’t exactly meet the rigorous standards of “the world is round.” More like “any world might be round if a certain sailor navigates it at a certain time of day.” It’s vague trash, sorry.

  227. Grantham: Regarding the whole ‘cowardice’ issue fueled by the low absolute probability of being murdered, whether by a white or a black person, I must point you here. I daresay you’d find the rates among white people who carelessly frequented dangerous black neighborhoods without the sort of street wisdom that is (most of) Derbyshire’s post would be much higher.

  228. >>Any white who goes into certain areas at certain times will probably be assaulted…

    > Okay, a slight amendment: I’m not saying anyone here is a coward besides James A. Donald. In addition to being a cartoonish racist, he seems to be a prototypical coward who is afraid of his own shadow.

    You know full well what locations near you are forbidden to whites on pain of violence, and you stay out of those areas, just as you refrain from saying things that Muslims might disapprove of.

  229. @Tom Dickson-Hunt

    Sorry, the link you sent me to just has a bunch of cartoons. What is it with cartoons, today?

  230. James, do you have any racist cartoons you can link me to that prove your assertions? I refuse to accept any more non-cartoon-based responses to my post tonight.

  231. @ ESR

    When you refer to “black people”, do you distinguish between sub-Saharan people (that are mostly have very dark skin) and folks from Egypt, Libya, Morocco, etc. that generally look brown as opposed to black? The people all around the Mediterranean look different than people from, say Nigeria or the Congo – Sub-Saharan or “Black Africa”.

    I believe academics pooh-pooh the following idea now, but if they admit to the existence of races at all, one of the ways of dividing people into races considers folks from, for example, Libya, Egypt, Southern France and Spain to all be dark-brown white people, whereas, people from Nigeria are considered to be “black”.

    US and Caribbean slaves were basically all sub-Saharan black people that were, in fact, close to black in color.

    Does “The Bell Curve” and the difference in IQ between “blacks” and “white people” consider this distinction?

  232. @Tom Dickson-Hunt, which cartoon from your link should I be scrutinizing? I see one about lightning, and another one with stick figures who are talking about the sexual offender registry.

  233. Grantham: The point was the one about lightning. Namely, even though the absolute chance per year of any random person being struck by lightning (being attacked/killed by a black person) is quite low, that doesn’t mean that hiking above the treeline in a thunderstorm (wandering around unsafe neighborhoods without thinking) isn’t dangerous; the reason the statistic is low is because most people don’t do that.

  234. >Does “The Bell Curve” and the difference in IQ between “blacks” and “white people” consider this distinction?

    Not as such. Remember that the book is concerned with conditions in the U.S.; the authors’ interest in difference in racial-group IQ means is distinctly secondary to their main theses about the importance of IQ and the effects of cognitive complexification. The details of African population genetics are well outside their purview.

  235. @LS, From what I’ve read, Jefferson freed Hemmings’ brothers during his lifetime, and several of her relatives posthumously (two sons and three extended family). I only used him as an outlier example (he was the least likely to do so, given his station and aristocratic ways).

    If by “aristocratic ways” you mean simply living beyond his means, particularly due to a fondness for alcohol, absolutely, though it seems that that vice has been successfully democratized. Jefferson expressed a desire to free the slaves at Monticello, but they were mortgaged, and he couldn’t manumit them until the mortgage was paid off. You can make a fair case that he ought to have spent less and saved more to remove the financial obstacle, but his failing was much less callous than is typically presented.

  236. @Tom Dickson-Hunt, If it’s not a problem because almost no one does it, then why does Practical Derbyshire feel the need to give advice? That’s what I meant by comparing his 10h to “don’t stick your finger in the electric socket.” If most people don’t do it, then that is the most obvious reason for a low probability of injury/death, and it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the actual danger involved.

    Lighting has physical properties independent of preference and courage, unlike human interactions. If most people don’t eat haggis, it doesn’t necessarily follow that “haggis is poison.” They may merely be revolted by it. By the same token, if haggis actually is poison, there won’t be any (or hardly any) cases where someone who eats it doesn’t get sick. not so with interracial relations.

    I’ve lived in New York City for eighteen years. At my best guess, I average about 400 human contacts/day (the majority of them as a pedestrian or public transit rider), and approximately half of those are with black New Yorkers. If being among high concentrations of black people was akin (or even close to akin) to climbing hills in electrical storms, I would have been fried extra crispy long ago.

    To make it simple: a fool climbs a hill in an electrical storm. A coward leaves an old black woman bleeding on the side of that hill.

  237. Grantham: Okay, and granted the analogy between black people and lightning storms is not a particularly valid one. My point was basically that it is a logical fallacy to say that because X is a low risk to the average person, you don’t ever need to worry about X at all or consider the possibility of X when you’re choosing a course of action. Regarding black people specifically, the ones I’ve personally met have been pretty much identical to white people with different colored skin, but I have never lived in a large city where there are very unsafe neighborhoods and never plan to.

  238. Grantham wrote
    > I’ve lived in both districts, as well as in North Baltimore, The Bronx, South Brooklyn, and other neighborhoods where my number of novel interracial contacts per day was perhaps as high 300 per day.

    You know, I accused you of being terrified of blacks and terrified of Muslims, and of being a liar.

    You cannot prove you are not terrified of blacks, but you could easily prove you are not terrified of Muslims – if you are not terrified of them.

  239. My point was basically that it is a logical fallacy to say that because X is a low risk to the average person, you don’t ever need to worry about X at all or consider the possibility of X when you’re choosing a course of action.

    But if you look at my post, I never said that, or anything like that. I was just taking Derbyshire at his word — that his advice was generic and caeteris paribus, and that this advice modeled Universe X closely enough to be useful without a cost/benefit analysis.

    One thought I had while reading Derbyshire’s piece was that Marxists often presented their statistical work in a similar way. Absent the comparative risk and opportunity costs, much of the writing feels like rhetoric using data as a shield; his proportions, while accurate, are only alarming in a vacuum. In the real world of mud and bone, there is no caeteris paribus — all else is never equal, and there is always a lot of useful information to process.

  240. > You know, I accused you of being terrified of blacks and terrified of Muslims, and of being a liar.

    You did? I must have missed that, amidst all the other pearls-of-wisdom you’ve been squeezing out of your behind.

    Nevertheless, James, I will take your latest psychotic projections taken under consideration. Tom DeGisi mentioned on the other thread that he is trying to come up with a final question to complete the test, and filter out the loons. I think I will join him. Apart from being an interesting problem, I think it relates directly to the point of the OP.

    G’night gents!
    (and James)

  241. @esr:

    And we have an obligation to defend the sound arguments of those we dislike.

    Only to the extent we’re engaged and knowledgeable and in a position to do so. There’s over 7 billion people on the planet. I don’t have time for all their arguments.

  242. In 1865 the Confederacy raised black military units in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off defeat. I’ve been unable to pin down an exact number but the web sources say “several thousand”.

    The Confederate Congress approved the enlistment of black soldiers on 13 March 1865. The Confederate government evacuated Richmond on the night of 2-3 April – only three weeks later. I very much doubt that “several thousand” blacks were mustered in that short interval – “several hundred” is more likely, and there would not have been time to train them at all.

    For another thing: there were 472,494 slaves in Virginia in 1860 (excluding the counties which became West Virginia). I don’t have the breakdown by age and sex, but if it was the same as the white population, then about 88,000 were men aged 18-45. By 1865, a lot of slaves had been liberated; the practice of treating escaped slaves as “contraband of war” was invented in Virginia in 1861, and the Emancipation Proclamation applied to all of Virginia except seven Union-occupied counties (and two cities). Probably 1/3 had been freed, or were in Union territory,
    leaving about 55,000. Of these, many were in areas distant from Richmond, where the “black Confederates” were mustered. Maybe half would be in and around Richmond (a slave-heavy area, to be sure): say 28,000.

    Then one must estimate what proportion of blacks would refuse to volunteer for Confederate military service – not only because the CSA maintained slavery, but because by that time the Cause was pretty clearly Lost, and because most men would rather not leave their families and get shot at, and what proportion of the remainder would not be allowed to volunteer by their owners (who had to give consent).

    Given all these filters, 700 seems about right.

    The implications of this for the “peculiar institution” were well understood at the time – how ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they have stood up and fought as men? But the South was desperate.

    The measure passed because (as noted above) the situation of the Confederacy was desperate. This was not yet utterly obvious on 13 March; Grant’s decisive spring assault on Petersburg began on 29 March.

    Many Confederate leaders opposed the measure to the end – but Robert E. Lee endorsed it, and by 1865, very few Confederates would argue with Marse Robert.

    Lee recommended that the black soldiers should be granted freedom (along with their families) and also “the privilege of residing at the South.” (Many states had draconian restrictions on the presence of free blacks.) However, the actual law had no such provisions.

  243. I’ve lived in both districts, as well as in North Baltimore, The Bronx, South Brooklyn, and other neighborhoods where my number of novel interracial contacts per day was perhaps as high 300 per day. Certain areas at certain times is so incredibly vague as o be meaningless, and about as insightful a statement as “The difference is that we dominate cars, while blacks and Muslims dominate us.”

    South Brooklyn? Hurts this Brooklyn native’s ears, an archaic term revived by people pretending to a deeper connection with an area than they actually have.

    The line between cowardice and prudence is a personal and subjective one, so I’m not going to go there. I’d remind you that it’s enough to discredit a racist as being a racist. You make your own cause look bad when making unsupported (unsupportable even) claims, even when you’re picking on a racist.

    To turn things around, you seem to be claiming to have lived in every ghetto for 250 miles. Either you’re full of it, or you’ve got some kind of fetish and your accounts are not to be trusted.

  244. This;

    >Nobody sane wants to hand power and credibility to neo-Nazis or the Christian Identity movement or Confederate revanchists or any of the other tiny clusters of bigoted wack jobs at the fringes of American politics.

    Does not sit against this;

    >“One should either write fearlessly what one believes to be true or shut the hell up.”

    Especially when the former is placed with more honour than this;

    >We cannot allow true generalizations to be considered racist. If we do that, either (a) we can no longer condemn racism as such, or (b) we get stuck in a situation where we’re not allowed to notice that [...]

    Why doesn’t it work? Do the counterfactual. What if lying is what would best divest bigot fringes of power? Do you just have to shut the hell up?

    There’s the additional problem that behind any truth is more truths. Block one and you block the whole tree.

    However, the real problem is that seeking truth to do political X causes the truth-seeking to end when X is reached. It cuts off the rest of the branches anyway. I would indicate it as a treatment if I thought the reductio ad absurdum were a disease. I could go on.

  245. South Brooklyn? Hurts this Brooklyn native’s ears, an archaic term revived by people pretending to a deeper connection with an area than they actually have.

    Archaic? Okay, Red Hook and Gowanus, then (or, if you go by the lovely real estate lingo, “Gowanus Heights”). I didn’t mention the neighborhoods because I don’t generally like posting personal info on websites, but esr wanted to get anecdotal about West Philly for some reason. As for my “deeper connection” with Brooklyn, I suppose I had about as deep a connection to those neighborhoods as any other rental shack I’ve lived in for a few years, which is to say none at all. I paid my rent and went to work to get more.

    I’d remind you that it’s enough to discredit a racist as being a racist.

    Probably not. After all, if they can pass the intelligence test, it’s worth exploring what tests they can’t pass, to insure you aren’t surrounded by them.

    To turn things around, you seem to be claiming to have lived in every ghetto for 250 miles.

    No, I’m not. I mentioned a few places I’ve lived with high concentrations of blacks, because esr was offering up anecdotes. I’ve also lived in many places with high concentrations of whites and asians, but that’s not pertinent to the subject at hand. I’ve lived in many different cities (and a few different countries) — in my experience several times the number of places that the average man my age has lived. Early in my life it, that was mostly because of school. Later it usually was for my work, or because of various opportunities that came up. More detail than that becomes too biographical, but I’ll grant you that the notion of being a “lifelong resident” is pretty alien to me.

    Since we’ve lived in New York metro, we have generally moved around a lot because we were renters, by need and desire, where the general idea is to find a better deal around the same time to lease is up (but I’m sure you know that, given your deep and holy native connections to… somewhere in Brooklyn). That said, we’ve been living in the same spot in Manhattan for about six years now, and we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. It’s very nice here: a smattering of blacks maybe, but virtually no hillbillies, rednecks or yokels.

  246. But why distinguish via ‘race’ at all? It’s an unreliable visual indicator of a person, being very much open to interpretation. To use the terminology of the article, how do you determine who is “black” and who is “nonblack” in the first place?

    For you to perpetuate and encourage this arbitrary distinction between individuals by selective use of statistics is quite unhelpful, and makes me rather question your motives here.

  247. >“If the truth will not serve us, what does that say about us?”

    Source for this quote, please? I want to add it to my sig file. Google doesn’t give good hits.

  248. >To use the terminology of the article, how do you determine who is “black” and who is “nonblack” in the first place?

    By looking.

    The existence of edge cases and exceptions does not make a category useless.

  249. Probably not. After all, if they can pass the intelligence test, it’s worth exploring what tests they can’t pass, to insure you aren’t surrounded by them.

    In that case, one would think the test of “whether or not they’re a racist” would be perfect. But that’s just me.

    No, I’m not. I mentioned a few places I’ve lived with high concentrations of blacks, because esr was offering up anecdotes. I’ve also lived in many places with high concentrations of whites and asians, but that’s not pertinent to the subject at hand. I’ve lived in many different cities (and a few different countries) — in my experience several times the number of places that the average man my age has lived. Early in my life it, that was mostly because of school. Later it usually was for my work, or because of various opportunities that came up. More detail than that becomes too biographical, but I’ll grant you that the notion of being a “lifelong resident” is pretty alien to me.

    Since we’ve lived in New York metro, we have generally moved around a lot because we were renters, by need and desire, where the general idea is to find a better deal around the same time to lease is up (but I’m sure you know that, given your deep and holy native connections to… somewhere in Brooklyn). That said, we’ve been living in the same spot in Manhattan for about six years now, and we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. It’s very nice here: a smattering of blacks maybe, but virtually no hillbillies, rednecks or yokels.

    You know at least one place I lived in Brooklyn if you read the other thread on this topic carefully. And no, locals don’t apartment-hop, only transients and transplants do that. It was the same in Boston- I knew a few people who moved every year, from one cheap lease to another, depending on where the bargains were at any given time. But locals never do that. Just so you know.

    Parts of Manhattan can be quite nice. But you have to remember they’re sheltered islands. We’ve all got anecdotes- the first thing I ever did that could be described as a “job” was stocking shelves and occasionally working the register in a small grocery store owned by friends of my parents. In Brownsville. ALL the customers were black (the store owners, and a few others in the neighborhood, were holdovers from before the area had an influx of black folks). I survived just fine, I played ball with the owners’ kids on the street outside the store. All good. But we were known in the area, and we also knew not to wander to where we weren’t known (if you get my point).

    There’s a certain housing project in Cambridge, just off the MIT campus. Just up Main St from Tech Square. Not large, but in 80′s it was a nasty place. Even in small groups you didn’t want to get too close after dark. In the late 90′s it was much better, and single white or asian women could walk past it to get to their boyfriend’s apartment (that would be me) after dark with no more risk than walking down any other city street at night. The point of this particular anecdote, is that with direct knowledge of the area you’d know if it were safe or not- without that knowledge you’d be best off staying away, because as a non-local you wouldn’t know if it were like the 80′s (dangerous) or the 90′s (decent). All you would know is that it looks like a housing project (MAJOR red flag to anyone with experience of American cities, and yes they have a distinctive look) and that black people live there.

    At best all you can do is find anecdotal exceptions. So can I, I’ve lived a few. But I also, through personal experience, know what those are exceptions from, and that Derbyshire’s advice has support in fact.

  250. esr, I believe the quote is from Miles Vorkosigan, of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

  251. Straw man, yet again. Derbyshire is not racist because he gets the facts wrong (let’s leave that question aside), he’s racist because of the behaviour he recommends in response to those facts.

    Your initial premise:

    I reject ever describing as “racist” people who speak beliefs that are factually justified.

    … is not relevant to this argument, and it never was. I reject describing Derbyshire as a racist because he eats cornflakes, or because he drives a Buick, but he is a racist nonetheless.

    Your continued failure to grasp this point has me questioning your intelligence, to be quite blunt.

  252. @Greg
    I knew a few people who moved every year, from one cheap lease to another, depending on where the bargains were at any given time. But locals never do that. Just so you know.

    Like I said, I’m not an expert on “lifelong residency,” and the idea is a little absurd to me. But, I’ve lived in New York since 1994, so I’m not exactly “new to town” either. If you go to any major city or town, there will be neighborhood-ies who stay in one place forever, rental or not. For instance, I know one couple who has rented the same apartment since 1968! Home equity simply wasn’t important to them.

    Parts of Manhattan can be quite nice. But you have to remember they’re sheltered islands.

    Not in the 70′s and 80′s they weren’t! My wife is a native Manhattanite, and she can spin some hair-raising tales from that period that take place in Alphabet City, the L.E.S, the Bowery, and even Soho, all of which were tamed to kitten-softness by gentrification during the 90′s and 00′s. (I know this very well, because part of my work at the time was helping to gentrify them — though, we shall see what will become of these areas now that the fangs of the recession are truly digging in, and all the little boutique joints are shutting up shop).

    The same goes for “Gowanus Heights” (or will they now call this neighborhood The South South Slope, for the sake of even higher rents?). I confess that on my last visit there I found the area almost unrecognizable… for instance, I recall when that monolith on 7th and 4th avenue was a little mom-and-pop bodega and an auto parts shop.

    At best all you can do is find anecdotal exceptions. So can I, I’ve lived a few. But I also, through personal experience, know what those are exceptions from, and that Derbyshire’s advice has support in fact.

    It doesn’t appear that you quite understood what I was actually arguing. It wasn’t about whether the advice has support in fact (it does, and I never argued otherwise.) I was trying to poke up a question about risk-aversion in general: specifically, at what point intelligent, rational choice (which human evolution favors) becomes cowardice (which it does not), and we’d suspect that whether his advice would expand proportionally to other risk areas.

    Try to follow me here: the article is all about Derbyshire giving advice based on certain statistics. It’s basically a PRA gussied up as a provocative satire — or perhaps it’s actually the inverse of that, but for the sake of argument I am taking him at his word that this advice is a dispassionate scientific analysis of fact, under the laboratory conditions of caeteris paribus without any intuition or anecdote applied (although, it’s worth noting that Derbyshire himself betrays this rule in 10c).

    These conditions are very important — as Eric noted in his test, that declaration is the most important portion of the article. So, the degree to which we can decide whether he is being irrationally racist or advising a few rational precaution will hinge on whether we think he would apply the same method to a different risk, and whether we would think the advice he gives is equally rational. In other words, if the risk for doing Y was an order of magnitude greater than the risk for doing X, would Derbyshire’s formula produce proportionally more strict advice.

    That’s why I brought up cars. Thanks to the insurance industry, we have a ton of useful risk information about them. We even have a slew of good, useful data about the number of novel human-car transactions per day for comparison; I can’t find anything similar with interracial transactions, probably because there is no racial-insurance industry. So Derbyshire definitely wouldn’t be a racist if we believe he’d use the same formula to advise us to never drive a car, because it is simply too dangerous to not exceed his risk threshold — we have reams and reams of data proving that so. But, by virtue of proving without a doubt that he is not a racist, he might also prove without a doubt that he is coward, at least in the eyes of the average person who drives a car several times per day.

    If we don’t believe he would give us proportionally more risk-adverse advice about other kinds of transactions, then the question of his racism becomes much a trickier one, in my opinion. It would mean he is applying an additional weight to his interracial transaction risks that he doesn’t supply in the text, and that additional weight might be racial hatred or irrational distrust of black people. That’s also sort of why 10g and 10h stand out so obviously from the rest; they do not seem to follow logically from his Law of Large Numbers stipulation. Without them, I might not have blinked at the rest of his advice.

  253. Not in the 70?s and 80?s they weren’t! My wife is a native Manhattanite, and she can spin some hair-raising tales from that period that take place in Alphabet City, the L.E.S, the Bowery, and even Soho, all of which were tamed to kitten-softness by gentrification during the 90?s and 00?s. (I know this very well, because part of my work at the time was helping to gentrify them — though, we shall see what will become of these areas now that the fangs of the recession are truly digging in, and all the little boutique joints are shutting up shop).

    The same goes for “Gowanus Heights” (or will they now call this neighborhood The South South Slope, for the sake of even higher rents?). I confess that on my last visit there I found the area almost unrecognizable… for instance, I recall when that monolith on 7th and 4th avenue was a little mom-and-pop bodega and an auto parts shop.

    I love gentrification stories. A friend from school lived in Park Slope- this was the early 80′s, and his family were among the first ‘settlers’ in the waves of gentrification. His house was a truly stunning brownstone, but I would not have wanted to live there. It was only as safe as it was for him, because the drug dealer down the street took a shine to him and his little brother.

    It doesn’t appear that you quite understood what I was actually arguing. It wasn’t about whether the advice has support in fact (it does, and I never argued otherwise.) I was trying to poke up a question about risk-aversion in general: specifically, at what point intelligent, rational choice (which human evolution favors) becomes cowardice (which it does not), and we’d suspect that whether his advice would expand proportionally to other risk areas.

    It seems I did misunderstand you after all. I must have, because I think you’re missing something critical here. Derbyshire only posted what he did, as a response to something. Something specific. On a subject that is sensitive, so very sensitive, that people who dare speak politically undesirable truths are, well, ruined. A little like Derbyshire, but as he seems to be in the process of dying from cancer I guess he doesn’t care anymore and is willing to take the hit as a public service.

    Your risk-aversion thing is completely irrelevant. Derbyshire didn’t talk about any other areas, not because this is the only risk he recognizes, but because this is the one he happened to have a good reason to speak out on, at this specific time. I could try to devise an analogy wrt cars that corresponded to the situation wrt race, but it would be a very long collection of counter-factual “if”s. There’s no there there. There’s no hidden truth regarding cars that dare not speak it’s name in polite company. You’re attempting to hold Derbyshire to a preposterous standard- imagine if, every time you said a single thing, you had people trying to brand you a coward because of all the possibly-related-but-not-directly-relevant things you *didn’t* say.

  254. (Also, there is the possibility that Derbyshire is both a racist and a coward. In my experience, there is significant overlap between the two.)

  255. >he’s racist because of the behaviour he recommends in response to those facts.

    I think his advice follows quite logically from his facts, and if you can’t see that I question your intelligence. (See how easy that rhetorical game is.)

    Explain how it doesn’t.

  256. @esr

    Grantham is right. Apologies for omittinng attribution. The speaker was a fictional character, which made me dubious.

    Lazarus Long quotes seem speak with RAH’s authorial voice. I’m not quite so sure about Miles Vorkosigan and Lois McMaster Bujold. I remember Niven’s word for people who confuse the opinions of fictional characters with those of the author.

  257. Grantham is right. Apologies for omittinng attribution. The speaker was a fictional character, which made me dubious.

    The quote stands on its own. It’s quotable because it’s pithy.

    Lazarus Long quotes seem speak with RAH’s authorial voice. I’m not quite so sure about Miles Vorkosigan and Lois McMaster Bujold. I remember Niven’s word for people who confuse the opinions of fictional characters with those of the author.

    Are you really claiming that the best test of the worthiness of quotes is how well they argue from authority?

  258. @Greg

    Are you really claiming that the best test of the worthiness of quotes is how well they argue from authority?

    I think you are misreading “authorial” as “authoritative,” no?

  259. >Grantham is right. Apologies for omittinng attribution.

    Do you remember which novel?

    Odd that Google Books doesn’t find it?

  260. I think you are misreading “authorial” as “authoritative,” no?

    No, but I do think that’s exactly the mistake Bob is making, or projecting on esr.

  261. >There’s the additional problem that behind any truth is more truths. Block one and you block the whole tree.

    Nonsense, truth isn’t hierarchical, reality is a richly interconnected web, “truth” is just our verbal description of reality, and like the reality it describes is interconnected. Block one avenue to truth and people will wander in through another, that is a part of what caused the Soviet Union to collapse.

    @Quoting fictional characters

    I am nearly as likely to quote fiction as non-fiction, if it says what I mean to say. **I** am making the assertion, I use quotes when the quote is the best way I see of making my point.

    When writing attributions for quotes from fictional characters I normally use “Character’s name, Author, Title of work (and sometimes page).”

  262. @esr

    Do you remember which novel?

    Odd that Google Books doesn’t find it?

    I think it’s Memory, but I’m not sure. I’ll check if I remember when I get home.

    @Greg

    It is indeed a good quote. Ms. Bujold deserves credit for writing it. One would hope that she agrees with the sentiment. However

    Larry Niven has a technical term for those who confuse the opinions of fictional characters with those of the author. That term is idiot.

    I have a technical term for those who confuse fiction and reality. That term is Congresscritter.

    I was dubious about attribution because it was a fictional character speaking.

  263. Your risk-aversion thing is completely irrelevant.

    No it’s not. It goes to the heart of the issue, which Eric correctly identified as the language of 10.

    Derbyshire didn’t talk about any other areas, not because this is the only risk he recognizes, but because this is the one he happened to have a good reason to speak out on, at this specific time.

    I never said it was the “only risk he recognizes.” Hopefully you can read it again and discover that’s not the case, because I am running out of ways to explain. The point is not that cars and black people are both dangerous, and that Derbyshire knows this but only wishes to discuss blacks. The point is that his advice could be considered very alarmist and irrational if he we don’t think he’d give proportionally more alarmist advice about cars, or guns, or sports, or any other number of activities with higher recorded risk factors. Remember this is “all else being equal”; that was the standard Derbyshire gives us.

    You’re attempting to hold Derbyshire to a preposterous standard- imagine if, every time you said a single thing, you had people trying to brand you a coward because of all the possibly-related-but-not-directly-relevant things you *didn’t* say.

    Okay, but ask yourself this: why is it bad to be “branded a coward?” After all, in most scenarios, a coward is more survivable than a brave person. There’s a certain prickliness about your objections (“There’s no there there”) and I think I know why. Derbyshire isn’t “saying a single thing.” He is suggesting a survival strategy, and as you yourself admit, it is an extremely provocative one that includes such advice as, “Don’t help any black person who appears to be in distress.” Remember, this is binary advice that supposedly follows logically from his data. It’s not “be more wary of blacks in distress.” It’s, “Don’t help them.” On the original thread, I believe even esr admitted that sans any numbers to support it, this one smells bad. In my opinion, the non-binary 10g smells even worse, because political choice is a microcosm of civic life where the Law of Large Numbers does not apply, where caeteris paribus is (even more) implausible, where there is no immediate danger to avoid, and where individual traits dominate group traits.

    As Bennett notes above, the question of Derbyshire’s racism or cowardice doesn’t lie in his facts, which are undeniable, but in his advice. Based on the very small (by the author’s own evidence) chance of being the victim of a generic interracial crime (i.e. without any secondary information, such as locations, professions, ages, genders, etc), it’s not preposterous to ask how his logic might apply to other kinds of risks. It’s actually necessary, if we are trying to figure out whether he is a crazy person or not, and helpful if we want to gauge whether he’s being overly alarmist in some (or perhaps all) of his advice.

  264. I think it’s Memory, but I’m not sure. I’ll check if I remember when I get home.

    I think maybe it was Diplomatic Immunity (but I will also check when I get home).

  265. @Grantham

    I suspect you’re right about the source of the quote.

    I don’t want to talk about the content of the John Derbyshire article, I suspect he intended it to be satyrical. Not everything I write comes out the way I wish it did after the fact.

    “No cause is so noble that it won’t attract fuggheads.” Larry Niven, Fallen Angels.

  266. “I think his advice follows quite logically from his facts, and if you can’t see that I question your intelligence. (See how easy that rhetorical game is.)”

    _As survival advice_, that is as true as it is meaningless. Every interaction has SOME risk, so there’s no limit to how risk-adverse survival advice can be and still “follow logically”. But if he is proposing to be much more risk-averse (proportional to the actual risk even based on the evidence he cites) about black people than most people are about cars.

    The key question is whether: (A) he’s a lot more risk-averse about both black people and cars than normal people are (which would make him a coward and his advice dubious), or (B) whether he’s a lot more risk averse [note again: proportional to the degree of risk.] about black people than he is about cars (which would make him a racist).

    If 10h is representative of his actual views, then he’s a great deal more risk-averse about black people than many people are about _flying_ (which is in turn more than most people are about cars). If it’s not representative of his views, then what’s it doing there?

  267. I think his advice follows quite logically from his facts, and if you can’t see that I question your intelligence. (See how easy that rhetorical game is.)

    Ahahaha. I guess your original ‘intelligence test’ was easy enough, then.

    Explain how it doesn’t.

    When I asked if you were saying that morality never required us to put ourselves at risk for the sake of others, you bristled. Yet here you are saying it again.

    For the sake of argument, say we agree with Derbyshire that it’s relatively risky to help black people whose cars have broken down. If the only thing that matters is your own wellbeing, then it follows logically that you shouldn’t help them. But if it matters:

    A – that they are human beings who are (most likely to be) in need of help
    B – that driving by serves to perpetuate racial tension and de facto segregation, by showing the unlucky people in question that white people really don’t care about their suffering
    C – that driving is yet another decision that widens existing welfare disparities

    then that does not follow. Most (though not all) non-racists think that racial disparities in welfare are a bad thing, not least since we aren’t responsible for the colour of our skin. And all non-racists agree we have a duty of easy rescue toward people regardless of their race. Furthermore, I think it matters:

    D – that publicly recommending driving by as the ‘rational’ choice hurts black people more than actually driving by would.

    Derbyshire’s recommendations show the true face of everyday racism. Taking something which may be true (however uncomfortable) and using it as an excuse to make matters worse for black people or better for white people at the expense of non-white people. And I might add, repeatedly harping on these ‘uncomfortable truths’, as though non-racists are unaware of them, is just another way of making matters worse for black people while hiding behind the ‘facts’ as a moral justification.

  268. @Thomas Blankenhorn

    I think you missed the point of The Bell Curve.

    The most important point of the book is that the “intellectual elites” increase the cognitive burden on society with every added law, rule, and regulation. This burden falls most heavily on people with lower intelligence. The burden is regressive.

    Someone of normal intelligence can run a cash business. If you can read and write, tell time, count money, balance a checkbook, run a tally sheet, and have a concientious, systematic approach, you are good to go. Except you are not. It’s against the law. Someone of normal intelligence, between 95 and 105 IQ, cannot navigate the tax code, let alone all the myriad other rules and regulations.

  269. I’m reacting as I do, because I’ve seen something very similar to this tactic before.

    As Bennett notes above, the question of Derbyshire’s racism or cowardice doesn’t lie in his facts, which are undeniable, but in his advice. Based on the very small (by the author’s own evidence) chance of being the victim of a generic interracial crime (i.e. without any secondary information, such as locations, professions, ages, genders, etc), it’s not preposterous to ask how his logic might apply to other kinds of risks. It’s actually necessary, if we are trying to figure out whether he is a crazy person or not, and helpful if we want to gauge whether he’s being overly alarmist in some (or perhaps all) of his advice.

    You don’t even attempt to dispute the facts, but you are attempting to discredit the messenger as a coward and a racist – ad hom based on red herring. You are attempting to destroy the moral standing of the person pointing out the inconvenient facts. Which I have seen before.

    It was quite a popular debating tactic in the 80′s among leftists. It went as follows- any time a person pointed out and attempted to bring attention to some problem or injustice (which happened to not be a pet cause of the Left, or was in fact being perpetrated by the Left or its agents), the tactic was to destroy the moral standing of that person by changing the subject to mention every possible injustice that the person *wasn’t* pointing out- which meant that that person was a hypocrite, an alarmist, a supporter of injustice, you name it. Anything to change the subject and destroy the credibility of the initial observer, with no bearing on the validity of what the observer was claiming. I never saw a proper name for it, but it was a very popular tactic combining red herrings to build an ad hom.

    You can’t question his facts, so you will change the subject with mention of all the other risks that Derbyshire *doesn’t* have cause to mention, to portray him as a racist and coward, with no moral standing, which would also suggest that he is an alarmist who must be overstating the initial case (despite you not being able to actually dispute the facts).

    It’s loathesome behavior, bullying and character destruction based on dishonesty and holding people to absurd standards. (Actually it’s almost an application of “let he who is without sin throw the first stone”, but with added squalor.)

  270. Someone of normal intelligence, between 95 and 105 IQ, cannot navigate the tax code, let alone all the myriad other rules and regulations.

    I Canadian and I don’t know how much difference this makes, but yesterday, I just did my taxes, myself, that included winding up a single proprietorship. There was a little complication in that I changed vehicles during the year and in my vehicle log I had to change the way I handled that. I use tax software (the online version because I run Linux). This software knows the law and unless something really weird is going on, I just fill in forms and then file the results over the web. All told, it took about 4 hours.

    Now, in the past, when I have personally set up my own corporation (actually, I have done that twice), I know that there are more complexities and aspects to doing a corporate tax return.

    How do I solve this horrible problem? I hire an accountant.

  271. And here it is, just so people don’t have to go find it:
    ESR (quoting Bennet) “””>To be clear, for you it is never rational to help others when doing so would pose some risk to yourself?

    Shame on you. That’s not a justified inference from anything I have said.”””

    I think it now is a justified inference from “I think his advice follows quite logically from his facts”, unless you wish to make a retraction.

  272. When I asked if you were saying that morality never required us to put ourselves at risk for the sake of others, you bristled.

    In fairness to Eric, he said his test was an intelligence test, not a test of empathy of morality.

    Of course, that deserves its own line of questioning. Is judging someone to be a racist or a non-racist based on his advice purely an intellectual puzzle, or is empathy necessary to make such a judgement?

    In other words, are the racists — the real ones that the OP does not want to cede truth to — only deficient insomuch as they mix false data with true data? Or is virulent racism only obvious in their prescriptions (the specific advice or proposals) and our empathic responses to them. For example, if Derbyshire had included the advice, “Strive to overturn the 15th amendment,” he’d still be offering survival advice of a sort — on a longer timescale, perhaps, but not much longer than 10f or 10g, and negating the need to worry about either. And if generic white survival is the only thing he is concerned with, then this proposal would follow logically from his data.

    I’m not trying to beat up a straw man here; I know that Derbyshire gave no such advice. The point is, evaluating the advice he actually did give absolutely requires a judgement of proportion and may require an additional empathic litmus to determine whether he is a racist, a coward, both, neither, etc.

  273. Bob> I think you missed the point of The Bell Curve.

    Funny, I think I didn’t. Their two main points are about (1) the genetical and socio-economical model in the first three parts of the book, and (2) the statistical data underpinning this model. Additionally, in the fourth part of the book, the authors make a number of policy recommendations.

    I understand their data and have no quarrel with it. I understand their model, and understand their policy recommendations. As it happens, I do think their model has a flaw, but that’s not the point I’m arguing. (As Sowell points that out in his American-Spectator review, the authors fail to distinguish between correlation and causation. This failure mars many of their conclusions.)

    The point I did argue is that the book’s model also leads to policy recommendations I would agree with if the authors had made them. That’s all. Just because I think the authors’ main empirical points lead to conclusions they might disagree with, that doesn’t mean I failed to understand them.

  274. When I asked if you were saying that morality never required us to put ourselves at risk for the sake of others, you bristled.

    In fairness to Eric, he claimed it was an intelligence test, not a test of empathy or morality.

    Of course, that deserves its own line of questioning. Is judging someone to be a racist or a non-racist based on his advice purely an intellectual puzzle, or is empathy necessary to make such a judgement?

    In other words, are the racists — the real ones that the OP does not want to cede truth to — only deficient insomuch as they mix false data with true data? Or is virulent racism only obvious in their prescriptions (the specific advice or proposals) and our empathic responses to them. For example, if Derbyshire had included the advice, “Strive to overturn the 15th amendment,” he’d still be offering survival advice of a sort — on a longer timescale, perhaps, but not much longer than 10f or 10g, and negating the need to worry about either. And if generic white survival is the only thing he is concerned with, then this proposal would follow logically from his data.

    I’m not trying to beat up a straw man here; I know that Derbyshire gave no such advice. The point is, evaluating the advice he actually did give absolutely requires a judgement of proportion and may require an additional empathic litmus to determine whether he is a racist, a coward, both, neither, etc.

  275. Hmm… I think certain posts are getting hung up in a filter. The one that’s hanging for me isn’t very long (though longer than this one) and contains nothing that strikes me as funky. Just FYI.

  276. Grantham

    You were right. It was Diplomatic Immunity. Kindle location 1315. Full quote, Vorkosigan reflecting on his desire for a monopoly on the truth, at least long enough to figure out how to use it.

    “Yet if the truth doesn’t serve us, what does that say about  us, eh?”

  277. Is judging someone to be a racist or a non-racist based on his advice purely an intellectual puzzle, or is empathy necessary to make such a judgement?

    Racism is not the belief that there inherent differences between races. It is the belief that these differences provide a moral justification for discrimination. Hence ‘racist’ is a moral category, not a logical one.

    Moral evaluation is thus required to determine whether or not someone is a racist. Simply fact-checking their arguments will not get you there.

    (Is empathy required to make moral judgments? That is an unsolved puzzle that dates back thousands of years. But you do not need to solve this puzzle to see that Eric’s ‘intelligence test’ is actually just an attempt to redefine racism as a non-moral category)

  278. >But you do not need to solve this puzzle to see that Eric’s ‘intelligence test’ is actually just an attempt to redefine racism as a non-moral category)

    That’s not true. The decision to use facts about group differences (or, worse, false beliefs about group differences) in lieu of individual information is morally significant – and wrong.

  279. >I think it now is a justified inference from “I think his advice follows quite logically from his facts”, unless you wish to make a retraction.

    You’re smoking crack. The inference is still not justified.

    Suppose we posit that I followed Derbyshire’s advice exactly and literally. You still could not deduce that my risk tolerance when helping others is zero. The most you would be warranted in asserting is that I evaluate an unacceptable risk in that situation.

  280. >Yet here you are saying [hat morality never required us to put ourselves at risk for the sake of others] again.

    You fail logic forever. You could not deduce that from my behavior even if I followed Derbyshire’s advice literally. The most you could deduce is something about what kinds of risk I consider an unacceptable price for the positive consequences of helping others – that is, whether this is in your terms an “easy” rescue.

    Your premises B and C are bogus in any case. And you’ve snuck in a fourth that is highly questionable: “racial disparities in welfare are a bad thing”. They’re no more a bad thing in themselves than welfare disparities due to (say) eye color. They only become morally charged if they result from moral choices, that is to say racist wrondoing. But to suppose that is going on here is to assume your conclusion.

  281. The decision to use facts about group differences (or, worse, false beliefs about group differences) in lieu of individual information is morally significant – and wrong

    You seem confused. If we decide not to help someone by the side of the road because we (truly or falsely) believe that their racial group commits a higher rate of roadside robberies, then we are deciding to use facts about group differences in lieu of individual information. Yet you claim that this choice is neither racist nor wrong.

    More broadly, you want to be careful about linking ‘individual information’ too strongly to racism. There is a widespread falsehood that we are not racist so long as we are willing to suspend our discriminatory behaviour for our people we know well in other racial groups: friends, lovers, colleagues. I have seen you repeat this falsehood many times – for example, when you claimed that your black ex-girlfriend proved you weren’t a racist, or when you claimed much more recently that Derbyshire can’t be a racist because of his asian wife.

    My grandparents used to talk about how one of their neighbours was a ‘good maori’. They would have said that this proved they weren’t racists — after all, they were putting aside their group judgments about maoris in general, in order to suspend their discrimination in the case of a particular person they knew.

    Where my grandparents go wrong, and where you go wrong, is that this reasoning completely endorses the claim that it is permissible to discriminate against people based on group differences whenever individual information is absent. “I’ll discriminate against you unless I happen to know that you’re a ‘good maori’”. That is not a defence against a charge of racism! It is the definition of racism.

  282. >You seem confused. If we decide not to help someone by the side of the road because we (truly or falsely) believe that their racial group commits a higher rate of roadside robberies, then we are deciding to use facts about group differences in lieu of individual information.

    No. To actually collect individual information in this situation you’d usually have to commit yourself to stopping. There are exceptions – cases of extreme distress where it would be obvious that the threat level is low – which is why I wouldn’t follow Derbyshire’s advice literally (And, I think, he wouldn’t either. People who know him describe him as “kindly”.)

    >I have seen you repeat this falsehood many times – for example, when you claimed that your black ex-girlfriend proved you weren’t a racist, or when you claimed much more recently that Derbyshire can’t be a racist because of his asian wife.

    You’re mistaking the causation. Back when I had black girlfriends (and this logic applies to Derbyshire’s Chinese wife), it’s not my individual knowledge of them that is relevant to the question of whether I’m a racist or not, it’s the fact that I was willing to become intimate with black and asian women on terms other than crude sexual instrumentality. I wasn’t jumping these girls in bordellos or keeping them as fancy pieces; I was allowing and constructing the kind of relationship that could have led to public marriage and acknowledged children. Racists don’t do that.

    There’s a large difference between the attitude that says “My girlfriend is individually OK but black women in general are stupid lazy sluts” and the attitude I had, which was that a woman’s skin color or putative race was not significant in my decisions about who to be intimate with. The former is racist, the latter is anti-racist.

    Now, in the interests of scrupulous fairness, I will note that my preferences in women were linked to race in two ways. One is that while I didn’t discriminate by skin color I certainly did by intelligence; population IQ means being what they are this meant I considered far fewer black than white or asian women to be eligible. This never emerged as a foreground issue because the social environments in which I met all my non-white girlfriends pre-filtered them for high intelligence. The other relevant fact is that I’m neophilic enough for exotic-looking women to actually have an advantage in attracting my attention.

    As for Derbyshire….I’m betting his Chinese wife is pretty damned bright.

  283. This has been an interesting read for me. I spent some of my formative years as a racial minority. For the purposes of discussion I will omit which set. I have had knives pulled on me, been in fights, and been chased by an angry mob throwing bricks. All based on the fact that I fall in a different set than the majority. I feel I have some perspective on the matter.

    I would say that Mr. Derbyshire’s advice, is statistically accurate in some situations. Perhaps especially accurate in the situations he most frequently finds himself. However, following it to the letter in all places is a recipe for disaster. Especially if you must exist as a minority set. Behavior is a far more predictive metric for danger than skin color. If I had a daughter of any race, the advice would be to avoid people who display anti-social behavior and markers of low intelligence. Especially avoid groups of such individuals. ANY group displaying tribal, anti-social, non-rational attributes can be dangerous if you are not a member, or cannot convincingly play the part. Or if you are unlucky enough to fit into whatever the “other” set of their dysfunction is. Especially if said group believes in coercion and uses it regularly.

    Take your pick:

    Gangstas (white, black, other)
    Soldiers
    Cops
    Religious fanatics
    Government agents
    Ideological fanatics
    (any sub combination of the above are extremely dangerous)

    My complaint is the “talk” is too specific and not of a general nature, even for the “white” version. The talk if given correctly should work for any set you may find yourself a member of.

    I do agree wholeheartedly with the premise that we must deny fanatics sole ownership of truth.

  284. JD: Mark Steyn made the same point in his comment on my defenestration. The more you feed the beast, the stronger and more arrogant it grows. Mainstream conservatives are fools to keep feeding it, but they apparently can’t help themselves. Now it may be too strong to defeat. Then we are headed into totalitarianism, because the Left is totalitarian like the scorpion in Aesop is a scorpion: they can’t help themselves either.

    At a panel discussion on an NR cruise last year I pooh-poohed something Rich Lowry said about the achievements of conservatism. The movement (I said) had started out with the ambition to stand athwart History crying “Stop!” It had degenerated into a pathetic, timid pack of losers running along behind History calling out “Would you please mind slowing down just a little?” (Roissy expresses the same idea somewhat more . . . pungently in this comment thread on one of his pieces.) That got good applause from the hall, which ignited a flicker of hope in my breast.

    My hope is that this timid, careerist conservatism that scurries to obey when some bigfoot leftist cracks the whip, will soon come to be seen as a faction of losers, which of course they are. Americans hate a loser, so that will be the end of them. I do think this will likely happen, and that there’s some creative destruction up ahead in the conservative movement.

    On the other side is my dear friend Paul Gottfried, who thinks the war is lost, that the beast is now too strong to be defeated—that we on the oppositional right are the losers—what the late Sam Francis called us 20 years ago: ”Beautiful Losers.” Pat Buchanan has pretty much reached the same position. I retain some shreds of optimism (!), but I feel a strong gravitational pull coming from Paul’s direction.

    The future evolution of American conservatism is at any rate going to be very interesting.

    John Derbyshire from The Guillotining of John Derbyshire

  285. @esr: Yep, just before the end, the Confederacy did raise some Black regiments. IIRC, Jeff Davis was against it, but Lee was for it. Davis deferred to Lee, as would I. Lee was a Christian gentleman. I know that Lee’s being a Christian inclines esr to think him a dangerous lunatic, but he was obviously not such.

  286. Greg’s emotional outburst and false claims (no, I am not a Leftist of any variety; no, I did not use ad hominem to attack Derbyshire’s ideas, etc.) makes me wonder if I’ve inadvertently slain one of his Buddhas, as the OP might put it. That wasn’t my intention, and I’m also not trying to trick or shame Greg with my proposition; despite the fact he still doesn’t grok it, I think it’s quite simple.

    Since we have a few seemingly bright people here who are both unshackled from the dungeon of P.C. horseshit and willing to examine their own premises, I am genuinely curious if anyone can find logical errors in the following:

    1) Based on the figures Derbyshire gives us, the proper denominator in determining how relatively alarmist his advice would be the average number of interracial transactions per year. These can be itemized by type (using 10a-10i as categories) or aggregate, so long as we have a control to compare against when we look at the interracial transactions that didn’t work out so well (muggings, assaults, rapes, murders, etc).

    2) Absent this denominator (avg. interracial transactions/yr), the next best way to gauge risk would be to look at the base odds of such a transaction going wrong, and then comparing them to the odds of other transactions that can go wrong in life.

    The idea here is that human beings apply a sense of proportion to our fears – even (especially?) to our rational fears, such as being mugged, contracting AIDS, being hit by a bus, etc. Using only those generic categories, the degree to which certain advice is pathologically risk-adverse (i.e. “cowardly”, though based on Greg’s overreaction I’m beginning to think the word sounds too loaded) depends on a) the comparative number of bad outcomes per population and b)the likelihood that the audience we are giving the advice to is too dumb to avoid doing obviously dangerous things, like touching a hot stove or pointing a gun at their foreheads and pulling the trigger. Also, certain advice can sound pathologically risk-adverse because – while it is logical and sane – following it would make life unbearable. For instance, “If you don’t want to contract HIV, then don’t ever have sexual intercourse.” The advice follows from logic, but we’d be forgiven if we thought the person offering it might be a tad overcautious, and wouldn’t follow it ourselves.

    I thought (and still think) the point of Derbyshire’s article was to satirize “The Talk: Black Version,” but since then a few commenters have been leading me to believe they are taking him very seriously. Some seem to be convinced that Universe X is much closer in nature to Derbyshire’s featureless, laboratory void of than he himself intended to imply. I’m starting to think the final sorting question (the one that filters out the racists) might have something to do with how similar to laboratory conditions they think Universe X is. Something along the lines of, “In your encounters with strangers, how often is their race the only information you have?”

    That said, my biggest problem with Derbyshire’s article had nothing to do with the facts he supplied, or whether or not his conclusions made him a racist. More troubling to me was that his notion of caeteris paribus appears to flatten transaction costs and benefits out of existence. That’s what I meant on the other thread when I mentioned a whiff of Marxist pseudoscience about the advice.

    Take 10f for instance: if we assume that the transaction cost there is very low relative to the benefit (say, a job that pays $12 million/year), then never mind whether the advice is racist or cowardly or sane – it could very well just be bad advice for me to take! Any advice or strategy that handwaves CBA is missing a key component that would make the advice useful in the real world, just as no sane model of Universe X would claim that objects have inherent values and that prices can be objectively determined. Universe X doesn’t work that way, and the people who claim it does are either foolish or evil (or perhaps just smoking something funky).

  287. >Absent this denominator (avg. interracial transactions/yr), the next best way to gauge risk would be to look at the base odds of such a transaction going wrong, and then comparing them to the odds of other transactions that can go wrong in life.

    Sorry, Grantham, but I don’t buy this. Greg is right; the odds that you will be robbed by a Gypsy have nothing to do with how you evaluate the threat potential from a group of blacks you don’t know. Those odds may be low, but pretending these cases are coupled is just an attempt to change the subject.

  288. > the odds that you will be robbed by a Gypsy have nothing to do with how you evaluate the threat potential from a group of blacks you don’t know.

    Who said anything about Gypsies? I’m not comparing different races of robbers and the relative risk of being robbed by one or the other. I am comparing the fear of being robbed in general, and how dramatically that might affect a normal person’s choices — “normal” meaning, not pathologically risk-adverse.

    If I am too afraid of being robbed by blacks to avoid riding the subway or buses (10a), it’s obvious I am very afraid of being robbed in general, and that this fear dramatically effects on my choices and quality of life. But how does my fear of robbery stack up against, say, the choice of driving a car to work instead? With auto risk, I actually know the denominator, and I know that the odds of getting into a wreck are much higher than getting mugged on the subway. Trying to establish a non-satirical Derbyshire’s risk-threshold is critical to modelling his mind, and figuring out whether how useful his advice is in the real world.

  289. >But how does my fear of robbery stack up against, say, the choice of driving a car to work instead?

    Irrelevantly.

  290. To be it another way, JAD makes a statement about “blacks and muslims”, conflating two fears that no doubt occupy a vast tract of real estate in his racist mind. But if we were to examine the odds of JAD being shot by a black criminal to, say being killed by Muslim terrorists, we’d find he had much,much more to fear from the black crook than he did from the Muslim terrorist (and ditto for being shot by the white crook, the gypsy crook, etc.)

    Gauging whether our risk-aversion strategies are proportional to the actual danger isn’t changing the subject. It is the subject, if we are trying to decide whether or not Derbyshire is a racist. All advice that follows from logic is technically sane, but if we find his recommended survival tactics to be wildly out of proportion to the amount of danger presented, then he probably isn’t.

    This has obvious policy implications, and most of them don’t lead us to cozy “P.C.” delusions either. For example, think about some of the crazy “counter-terrorism” measures in place at airports. Most sane people who aren’t the prisoner of pretty lies would agree that profiling middle-easterners would be the most efficient way of combating air terror, because the odds of a terrorist being of middle-eastern descent are so astronomically high. This strategy follows smoothly from logic, speeds up flight times and reduces the (albeit tiny) risks of all the passengers being subjected to air terrorism — including the risk for those middle-easterners being profiled.

    But, what if the advice was instead to “Never board a flight with a middle-easterner on it?” Hopefully you catch my drift.

  291. I wrote “Irrelevantly.”, but that was too flip.

    Grantham, your error is in comparing different classes of risk that we evaluate differently for good reason. The probability that I will be done violence to by a person of race X on any given day is comparable to the probability that I will have an auto accident on any given day, yes. Derbyshire is talking about something different: the probability that if I am in the presence of persons of race X I don’t know bad things will happen.

    And of course context is important. Derbyshire is talking about public places where there’s no filter on who you encounter there. If I’m at a science-fiction convention or a Linux user group meeting, I might not even notice that random people are black; skin color is not a datum with any significance there. OTOH, if I’m outdoors in Philadelphia, the racial composition of the nearest fifty people is significant, and if there are no other white people in sight I’ll be going to a pretty orangey shade of condition Yellow and staying there.

  292. > Irrelevantly

    No, you’re not reading carefully enough, Eric. The second choice follows naturally from the first: if I can’t ride the subway or the bus because I am following 10a, then I must get to work some other way, likely a car. Arriving at work is the constant, and there are a very limited number of ways to there. If I can’t choose public transportation because of 10a, I have to choose another (until we get those nifty teleporters up and running, that is).

  293. OTOH, if I’m outdoors in Philadelphia, the racial composition of the nearest fifty people is significant, and if there are no other white people in sight I’ll be going to a pretty orangey shade of condition Yellow and staying there.

    So might I. But I think that “going a pretty orangey shade of condition Yellow” is different from the advice of 10a-10i. And besides, Derbyshire doesn’t distinguish between Linux conventions and a Market Street Bus Terminal, indoors or outdoors, etc. His “advice” (and granted, it’s not probably not serious advice”) is for you to practice the same avoidance behaviors at the Linux Con as you do at the Philly bus stop, at least relative to how you’d respond to the white geeks in the first instance and white pedestrians in the second instance. In other words you may not fear the white and black geeks at all. But since all else is equal in these scenarios, Derbyshire advice asks you to be more wary about a concentration of black geeks at the con (even if slightly), because of certain means.

    Part the problem is that neither you or I are racists (and I wouldn’t assume Greg is, either). I don’t believe Derbyshire is one either, but I’m willing to peel it open a bit, and see how he actualy might be. This is partly why I am naturally suspicious whenever someone invokes caeteris paribus. When we ignore how complex the world is, and how difficult a task it is to model reality usefully, we can get catastrophic and expensive results (see the Anthropogenic Climate Change fraud).

  294. Derbyshire advice asks you to be more wary about a concentration of black geeks.

    Actually, that’s not even true. Derbyshire just says to “avoid them”; he doesn’t talk about wariness until he gets to black politicians at 10g.

  295. >His “advice” (and granted, it’s not probably not serious advice”) is for you to practice the same avoidance behaviors at the Linux Con as you do at the Philly bus stop, at least relative to how you’d respond to the white geeks in the first instance and white pedestrians in the second instance.

    I guess all I can say is that I don’t read Derbyshire’s advice that way.

    I don’t think you’re weighing what Derbyshire says about framing enough. I think he would say that at the SF convention I have relevant information that changes the background statistics. Specifically, I know that the crowd there is selected for intelligence and interest in friendly relations with each other, strongly enough that there are in effect no significant differences in means by skin color.

    To sharpen the point I will note that differences in dispersion are still significant in that context. If you plot a bell curve of IQ for a bunch of SF fans, the way to bet is that the brightest ones will still be gentile whites or (even more likely) Jews. And male. Females in general, and nonwhite racial groups in general, have lower dispersion from the mean. (I have yet to encounter an explanation for this.)

  296. Females in general, and nonwhite racial groups in general, have lower dispersion from the mean. (I have yet to encounter an explanation for this.)

    The popular rise of Anime fandom, perhaps? ;-)

    I don’t think you’re weighing what Derbyshire says about framing enough.

    It’s possible. I tend to think you are reading a bit more into it than is due, and extrapolating based on what you would mean by 10a-10i.

    That’s why I think your Question #1 nailed it:

    “Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences.”

    That is undoubtedly the most important paragraph. I just happen to think that the words “many” and “nothing” — and what we suspect the author means by those words, are even more important. “Many” is vague but suggestive — “many occasions” relative to what? — while “nothing” is absolute and inflexible. The data he provides us is clearly real information about Universe X, but we Universe X dwellers know that there aren’t actually any occasions where all we know is the race of a stranger or group of strangers nearby. We know where we happen to be (50th & Cedar), we know what time of day it is (11:15pm) we know their age, gender and number (18-24, male, six) and we know we really ought to hightail our lilly-white butts out of there ASAP. But rejigger a few of those variables, and we might get a different result entirely. Even if it wasn’t West Philly, but one of the blacker suburbs (Morton?), we probably aren’t going to go into red alert mode.

  297. “The most you would be warranted in asserting is that I evaluate an unacceptable risk in that situation.”

    Evaluating risks involving black people as more unacceptable than the same level of risk in doing something else isn’t racist? You’ve avoided answering this, when it’s very important to question 4.

  298. “I guess all I can say is that I don’t read Derbyshire’s advice that way.”

    Is it your contention that it is irrational to read it that way (i.e. that doing so makes one fail the intelligence test), or that having read it that way, concluding he is racist is irrational (/ fail the test)?

  299. “How do I solve this horrible problem? I hire an accountant.”

    Right. You have to pay a sherpa from the cognitive elite class to help you navigate the regulatory burdens erected by his fellows in the cognitive elite class. This is the sort of expense that is easily absorbed by other cognitive elites, who are able to sell their own services at a premium, but for those on the left side of the bell curve, it is a non-trivial expense.

    And it’s not just hiring an accountant so you don’t run afoul of the tax law. You have to hire other compliance experts to be sure no other law (or executive-agency regulation with the force of law) bites you in the butt. The sheer volume of new laws/regs promulgated each year is staggering. John Stossel has a utility cart loaded with boxes of paper wheeled out on the set of his show whenever he wants do demonstrate the thousands of pages of new regulations that are added every year by the Federal government alone (not to mention any state or local regs you have to keep up with).

    Many of these regulations are not only counter-intuitive, but even after their rationales are explained, still make no sense. Worse, one agency may write a regulation that compels the violation of other agencies’ regulations. There is no provision for rationalizing these competing demands with which we must comply to avoid criminal and/or civil penalties.

    There are so many laws and regulations that we all probably commit multiple infractions every day. That means that who actually is charged with violations is subject to the whims of the government workers who largely occupy the just-above-median-IQ niche: Just intelligent enough to understand their own agency’s rules so that they can tell the peons have broken them, these petty tyrants wield their power over the next-lower stratum. These are the SEIU/AFSCME rank and file.

  300. > Is it your contention that it is irrational to read it that way (i.e. that doing so makes one fail the intelligence test)

    Well, I can’t answer for esr — it’s possible he really does consider me stupid — but I don’t think that’s what he’s saying (if he wanted to call me stupid, I have no doubt he would).

    I think it’s a matter of how every reader interprets the words “many” and “nothing” in the key paragraph of the article, because these are slippery words that liars often use. But I still accept that I might still prove to be the irrational one. For instance, I think my expertise on what constitutes “many occasions” is high and what constitutes “nothing” is low, based upon my own life experiences and survivability. But that’s still a very subjective mode, where often someone can be lying to themselves about reality. That’s why I think Derbyshire’s anecdotes (as opposed to his statistics) subtract from the strength of his argument… with anecdote, there is always a “yeah, but…”

  301. Females in general, and nonwhite racial groups in general, have lower dispersion from the mean. (I have yet to encounter an explanation for this.)

    I have no suggestions about any racial differences, but heritable traits of all sorts are frequently more variable in males than in females of numerous species. Dr. Strangelove’s point that from the standpoint of basic reproduction males are fairly expendable suggests that nature is more willing to roll the dice on them in the expectation of a genetic survivorship bias in the most literal sense.

  302. Most sane people who aren’t the prisoner of pretty lies would agree that profiling middle-easterners would be the most efficient way of combating air terror, because the odds of a terrorist being of middle-eastern descent are so astronomically high.

    No, THIS is the most efficient way of combating air terror.

    Profiling middle easterners is stymied the first time you have a shoe bomber or McVeigh-type. The Israelis have consistently gotten it right by screening for terroristic intent, not bottles of fluid or bits of metal.

  303. > the first time you have a shoe bomber or McVeigh-type

    Has there been a first time of a “McVeigh-type” shoe bomber? I must have missed that.

  304. >nature is more willing to roll the dice on [males] in the expectation of a genetic survivorship bias in the most literal sense.

    That’s…quite plausible, actually. Hm. Thanks for that; it’s the sort of thing I should have thought of myself, but I didn’t.

    Speculating along similar lines, perhaps the larger dispersion of IQ and many other interesting traits (including, by the way, criminality and propensity to violence) in whites is because the ancestors of the Caucasian population had to cope with a more variable environment of ancestral adaptation. I’m reminded of William Calvin’s theory that human behavioral plasticity was selected for by rapid climate oscillations during the last ice age – the idea is that hominids couldn’t settle into a stable adaptive strategy because every time they started to the climate would flip over again and their ecological surround would get all shook up.

  305. >Oh, and in case anyone thinks Jeff Read is non-crazy

    Heh. Jeff Read and James A. Donald – separated at birth? Wack-jobs tangled up in fever-swamp political fantasies that are almost mirror images of each other – it’s like having a matched set of bookends stamped FUCKING NUTS.

  306. >if he wanted to call me stupid, I have no doubt he would

    That’s correct. If I wanted to call you stupid, I would.

    :-)

  307. >IQ correlated with cooperation.

    Aaand my first reaction on reading the referenced paper was “OK, so evo-bio in 2012 has caught up with SF circa 1992.” I’m thinking specifically of Eric Vinicoff and Marcia Martin’s The Weigher in which this hypothesis was central to the plot – but, actually, there were similar though less developed version of the same idea floating around in SF clear back to the 1950s.

  308. > If I wanted to call you stupid, I would.

    If I was being stupid. I’d think I deserved it!

    (Of course, there’s that damned problem of figuring out when I’m being stupid…)

  309. Speculating along similar lines, perhaps the larger dispersion of IQ and many other interesting traits (including, by the way, criminality and propensity to violence) in whites is because the ancestors of the Caucasian population had to cope with a more variable environment of ancestral adaptation.

    Are these statistics based on the US populations or on populations in their own ancestral homelands? There’s substantial evidence that the populations of the US and Canada differ markedly from their corresponding old-world groups because they are the product of self-selection for {risk-taking, economic initiative, wanderlust}. An interesting question I haven’t seen any discussion on is whether the corresponding differences are seen in populations (e.g., the descendents of slaves) who didn’t come here voluntarily. (The most visible of these markers, a tendency to hypomania, doesn’t appear to be noticeably prevalent in Australia.)

  310. >Are these statistics based on the US populations or on populations in their own ancestral homelands?

    All the stats I’ve seen on this seem to be U.S.-based. Your point that this might be a recent effect based on selection by willingness to emigrate is sound.

  311. >nature is more willing to roll the dice on [males] in the expectation of a genetic survivorship bias in the most literal sense.

    That’s…quite plausible, actually. Hm.

    Along those lines, I was just reminded of the recent estimate that historically, only 30-40% of adult men appear to have procreated extant genetic lines, as opposed to 70-80% of adult women. Given the large numbers of children involved, that seems like plenty of room for significant selection pressure, especially considering the pre-modern “Matthew effect” that particularly strong or intelligent men could expect in terms of good nutrition for their offspring.

  312. I was just reminded of the recent estimate that historically, only 30-40% of adult men appear to have procreated extant genetic lines, as opposed to 70-80% of adult women.

    This is such a simple idea. The loss of an individual fertile female means the loss of her reproductive capacity, and therefore that of the daughters and granddaughters she never bore. The loss of an individual male does not, because one male can easily keep an arbitrary number of females perpetually pregnant.

    This is the core of the idea normally summed up as “women and children first”, but should more accurately be “pre-menopausal females first”. Groups that protect pre-menopausal females will have larger population growth than those that do not.

    Over evolutionary time scales, selection pressure may produce many gender differences based on the simple fact that men are subjected to risky situations from which we try to protect women. For example, men do the hunting, and have to be able to run, jump,have the upper body strength to wield a club/axe/spear (the latter both thrusting directly into a dangerous animal and thrown from a distance), throw rocks… The need to do so is inconsistent with the sort of subcutaneous fat accumulation women produce. Instead, men are covered with hair to keep them warm (which requires a constant supply of protein to manufacture, unlike fat that doesn’t need anything to maintain once built up) and concentrate their fat reserves around the center of mass where it doesn’t interfere with the ability to swing the arms and legs as quickly, powerfully, and accurately as possible.

    And nature allows more variability among males than females so that the successful adaptations can be tested in the expendable males, and the ones that work out well transmitted to the next generation. A group with such male diversity will produce more geniuses and idiots among the men than women. The male idiots may literally be too stupid to survive, but the male geniuses will be so productive that they can easily support extra wives, who in turn will increase the frequency at which the genes that produced their genius are passed to the next generation.

    The same logic works for any other attribute beneficial to the survival of a male in the ancestral environments.

    the ancestors of the Caucasian population had to cope with a more variable environment of ancestral adaptation

    The ancestral environment in the junglerainforest is one where there is plentiful vegetation to eat. The main problem for survival there is the even more plentiful predators to eat… you. As one moves toward the poles, this ceases to be true. You don’t wake up in the middle of January in Sweden and go pick a banana off a tree to eat. You have to learn to plan for the future, harvest crops when they are available and preserve them for the winter. The selection pressures in these low-insolation environments should favor those who are able to do long-range planning and deny immediate gratification in favor of actions that require present pain for future benefit.

    The logical consequence of the above is that some combination of genes and memes must be different for survival in these marginal environments. (Even admitting that genes play any role at all is apparently sufficient to earn the “raaaaacist” tag.) We do not need to determine the exact proportion between the genes and memes to recognize that groups of people who have lived in one environment for millenia, then abruptly placed into an entirely different environment, are at a disadvantage.

    When these people are taught that downloading and installing the memes of the dominant culture is “selling out”, “Uncle Tom”, “Tio Taco”, or some equivalent epithet, and thus refuse to adapt to their new environment, they have made the job all the more difficult. They’ve foregone any opportunity to prove the actual racists wrong, by pretending their culture really is 100% determined by their genes.

  313. Winter on Thursday, April 12 2012 at 4:00 am said:@Rich Rostrom
    “The immediate problems and long-term threat posed by large numbers of unassimilated Moslem immigrants are obvious.”

    The intensity of the outcry seems to correlate very well to the number of “muslims” in higher education and business.

    So it is highly educated Moslem businessmen who burn cars in the streets of France, poison dogs in Catalonia, commit the majority of forcible rapes in Norway, and have made parts of Malmo into ‘no-go’ zones for police?

  314. @The Monster
    We do not need to determine the exact proportion between the genes and memes to recognize that groups of people who have lived in one environment for millenia, then abruptly placed into an entirely different environment, are at a disadvantage.

    Yes. Also, I think the practice of arranging marriages for chattel slaves sabotaged (or, at least, greatly delayed) the adaptability of those groups even further, basically nullifying sexual-selection for a large portion of the black American population for a few centuries. Instead of Africans adapting traits suitable to success in their new environ, these traits were artificially selected my their masters for a combination of physical strength and intellectual passivity. Slave-owners with large plantations didn’t need smart, ambitious, brave blacks to bring in their harvests. They needed hardy, stupid ones who weren’t likely to revolt.

    Add this artificial selection process to the preexisting, highly-insulated selection pressures of the ancestral environment, and the I.Q. standard deviation not only isn’t mysterious — it’s brutally obvious how that came to pass. I think even early black American intellectuals like DuBois understood the real scope of this problem, though few people back then had very good language to explain it yet (in DuBois’ case, he referred to the “talented tenth”).

  315. Nancy Lebovitz on Friday, April 13 2012 at 11:00 am said:Rich, do you have evidence of specific black Confederate soldiers?

    1) The attempted recruitment of black slaves to fight for the Confederacy in the last weeks before the fall of Richmond is well-documented, but trivial. Only a few hundred were mustered, and they saw no action.

    2) There were about 130,000 free blacks in the Confederate states. Some of these were prosperous; a few thousands even owned slaves. (Many of these “owned” a spouse or child who could not be freed due to state law restricting manumission.) Some of these prosperous free blacks identified with “the South” and volunteered for the Confederate Army; a few were actually enlisted, when their white neighbors agreed. However, all of these men were immediately discharged as soon as the War Department in Richmond learned about them.

    How many were there? One Civil War historian has personally reviewed tens of thousands (perhaps 100,000) of Confederate enlistment records. He found about a dozen such cases.

    3) After the ex-Confederate “Redeemers” gained control of Southern state governments, many of those states established pensions for former Confederate soldiers. In some cases, pensions were awarded to blacks. This is cited by neo-Confederates as evidence of “black Confederate soldiers”. But in fact, all of these pensions were awarded to blacks who had served as drummer boys, cooks, grooms, teamsters, orderlies. AIUI, ex-drummer boys were most often so favored. None of them went to men who had been actually enrolled as soldiers.

    4) The free black community of Louisiana was by far the largest in the Deep South. Under French and Spanish colonial rule, this community had higher status and rights than free blacks in the U.S. This status persisted after U.S. annexation, but by 1860 had been almost entirely whittled away. In 1861, these free blacks made a last attempt to assert their limited “citizenship”; they formed a militia regiment, the “1st Louisiana Native Guards”. The state government recognized the unit to the extent of appointing white officers to command it, but did not provide arms, uniforms, or pay. The Confederate government in Richmond did not recognize it at all.

    In January 1862, the Louisiana legislature restricted the militia to white males, and the Native Guard was disbanded in February.

    In April 1862, Union forces captured New Orleans; in September 1862, General Ben Butler reformed the Native Guard as a Union regiment.

    4) There were many incidents of black teamsters, cooks, or orderlies informally taking up arms in the heat of battle. When one is being shot at, one tends to shoot back if possible; and most people identify with what they happen to be doing. But none of these man were officially enrolled as soldiers, and did not form in the line of battle alongside white men.

    5) There are many dubious reports of black Confederate soldiers from alleged eyewitnesses. One often-cited account is from a Union army surgeon who was in Frederick, Maryland, when Lee’s army marched through in 1862. He reported seeing entire regiments of blacks. He also reported that many Confederates had trophies made of human bones, so his reliability is not the best.

    Frederick Douglass, in arguing for the acceptance of black soldiers in the Union Army, claimed there were blacks in the Confederate Army. He cited no evidence, and in fact mainly noted that blacks were extensively employed by the rebels as laborers. He is of course frequently quoted.

    Ta-Nehisis Coates has been looking for it, and, last I heard, hasn’t found any.

    Because there’s nothing to find, really.

    This myth persists because a) it is useful to neo-Confederates, southern apologists, and crank libertarians who call Lincoln “the American Lenin”, and b) it is counterintutive and surprising, and therefore entertaining. Some people will believe almost anything if it contradicts “the Establishment”.

    BTW, it would be useful if you had linked to his postings on this topic rather than the front page of his blog.

  316. >Some people will believe almost anything if it contradicts “the Establishment”.

    It’s true. I’ve often thought that this is one of the mainsprings of left-wing tribalism. Jeff Read is nearly an archetypal example of what it looks like taken to a nutty extreme.

  317. > Jeff Read is nearly an archetypal example of what it looks like taken to a nutty extreme.

    No. Not nearly nutty enough. Not within an order of magnitude. Think Coast to Coast AM.

    If you think Jeff Read is nutty your memories of the fantastically nutty swamp that is the unfettered internet must have accidentally been blocked by some sort of internal bufferbloat, proving you are mostly cyborg at present.

    Yours,
    Tom

  318. I agree with DeGisi regarding Read. Thinking that most ancient Egyptians looked like Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown may by wacky and ahistorical, but not nearly as bad as thinking that Martians built the pyramids of Giza. There are degrees of insanity.

    Besides, I get the feeling that Read and others like him are mainly playing a meta-game when it comes to making their irrational claims. Perhaps their System 1 minds think that it’s advantageous to do so, given current social trends, and the high price for telling the truth. After all, when goal is survival-based (i.e. anything from avoiding murder by captors to the stop-loss of opportunity and prestige), it sometimes makes sense to lie and say insane things.

    Scary thought: They might be turn out to be right.

    If and when the Western Enlightenment collapses fully (not just its cultural by-products but the engine),and barbarism ascends, telling lots of lies about reality and making outrageously stupid claims might become extremely advantageous extremely quickly. It wouldn’t be the first time in recorded history that this happened.

  319. Grantham, I go where the facts seem to point. If the purveyors of a caucasoid origin for Egyptian civilization have any solid evidence which withstands scrutiny, I’d like to see it. They certainly didn’t at the symposium UNESCO called in 1974 to investigate Egyptian issues including race.

    Independent experiments on mummified tissue samples collected in 1997 by the German Institute of Archaeology confirmed that the skin of mummified Egyptian nobles was “packed with melanin as expected for specimens of Negroid origin.” [Mekota 2005]

    Eric, I’m a bit surprised that you’re willing to give Peter Duesberg the benefit of the doubt because he seems to you a scholar beset by an establishment hell-bent on shouting him down, but are not willing to extend the same benefit to Dr. Diop.

    [Mekota 2005] Mekota, A-M, Vermehren, M. Determination of optimal rehydration, fixation and staining methods for histological and immunohistochemical analysis of mummified soft tissues. Biotechnic and Histochemistry, 2005; 80(1).

  320. Jefferson expressed a desire to free the slaves at Monticello, but they were mortgaged, and he couldn’t manumit them until the mortgage was paid off.

    Ah, that explains something I’ve long wondered about. I’ve read one of his letters in which he says that he is legally unable to free his slaves, and selling them would be wrong, so he has no choice but to keep them and be as good a master to them as he can be. I guessed that his legal inability to free them was somehow related to his debts, but hadn’t realised that his creditors had actual mortgages on his slaves. But could you please explain, if so, how his death changed anything? How was he able to free anyone in his will that he couldn’t free while alive?

  321. But could you please explain, if so, how his death changed anything? How was he able to free anyone in his will that he couldn’t free while alive?

    I’m not familiar with the intricacies; I learned about the mortgage issue from the museum at Monticello. My guess would be the typical sorts of bookkeeping that go along with settling estates, such as selling off extra assets.

  322. @Greg:

    And no, locals don’t apartment-hop, only transients and transplants do that.

    That didn’t use to be the case. Back before WW2 it was absolutely common in NYC to move every time your lease expired, because landlords used to give new tenants a month’s free rent as an incentive. Rent-control and -stabilization put an end to that. Now

  323. Were the last few posts by admin really by ESR? Same logo, nothing stuck out as unlike our host, so it seemed plausible that ESR logged in as admin for some reason and forgot to revert.

  324. >Were the last few posts by admin really by ESR? Same logo, nothing stuck out as unlike our host, so it seemed plausible that ESR logged in as admin for some reason and forgot to revert.

    Yes, that’s what happened. Occasionally I log in as admin to tune the spam-word filters, and sometimes forget to switch back.

  325. “The ancestral environment in the rainforest is one where there is plentiful vegetation to eat.”

    No, it isn’t. The image of the forest loaded with bananas isn’t true. It also *is* true that most of sub-Saharan Africa is *not* rainforest. The people there do not have an easy time of it. The Masai must defend their cattle from things like lions. The !kung figured out how to survive in the Kalahari Desert. The Pygmies figured out how to hunt elephants long before the .458 was developed. Enough with the racist comments about how the white man was bred to intelligence through adversity. Things were tough all over.

  326. >Enough with the racist comments about how the white man was bred to intelligence through adversity. Things were tough all over.

    Adversity isn’t per se helpful in selecting for intelligence, anyway; depending on the challenge, there may be less bioenergetically expensive ways of coping, such as better throwing ability or the ability to walk long distances without collapsing (homo sap is exceptionally good at both of these). The brain is an expensive organ; it consumes 25% of the body’s energy budget, and enlarging it has made human reproduction risky.

    That said, there’s some reason to suspect that average IQ in different breeding populations correlates inversely with the temperatures their ancestors had to adapt to. Cold climates require more technology and forward planning than warm ones – complex layered clothing and the toolkits required to make it are foreground examples. Those of you inclined to react to this with a self-satisfied “Cool! White men smarter!” should consider that Derbyshire’s “Northeast Asians” adapted under colder conditions yet.

  327. Oh yes the tribes of equatorial Africa have advanced so far. Hmmm what Bulls Shit is that. the notion that Balck Tribes of Sub-Saharan Africa have advanced in anyway even vaguely equivalent to the Indian, Asian, and European cultures is ludicrous. Basically you have to make some moves in technology and nation-state beyond making spears and plotting how to eat your neighbors in order to boot strap a civilization. Guarding your cattle and hunting elephants does not equal basic building blocks of an advanced civilization. When the colonial invaders of Europe arrived in Africa the dominant tribes gleefully sold their lesser tribal brethren to the Euros as a booming business. No organized effort to repel these harmful Euros what so ever was mounted. The Euros were just more persistent then the Arabs they wanted the natural resources as well as the slaves.

    I grow weary of the pseudo defense of African culture. Bottom line they were at best iron age savages or worse. In what was the Belgian Congo today they are certainly worse then savages. These are just facts. Sorry this vast segment of the human population was just not as advanced as the other three main civilizations mentioned.

  328. “The brain is an expensive organ; it consumes 25% of the body’s energy budget, and enlarging it has made human reproduction risky.”

    Exactly. There was a recent Scientific American article that claimed that we are not likely to get any smarter because of those two facts. Knowing this, and also knowing that natural selection favors intelligence in our species, would lead one to predict that human intelligence levels would have reached the same maximum worldwide. This indeed is the case.

  329. “When the colonial invaders of Europe arrived in Africa the dominant tribes gleefully sold their lesser tribal brethren to the Euros as a booming business.”

    …and the Euros gleefully bought them. Besides American slavery, we also have the sterling examples of high civilization like Hitler and Stalin. Those Euros sure are civilized.

  330. >There was a recent Scientific American article that claimed that we are not likely to get any smarter because of those two facts.

    Well, not naturally, anyway. Deliberate re-engineering of human intelligence might evade some of those constraints.

  331. “The Masai must defend their cattle from things like lions.”

    Did you miss the part where I said that the challenge to survive in jungle conditions is the predators? Lions would qualify. So yes, I expect both genes and memes of the Masai to be very well tuned to defending the tribe against lions. I don’t expect them to be tuned for the kind of long-term planning necessary for agriculture, much less industry.

    Do note that I have refrained from speculating on the ratio of genes to memes in this tuning process. I only indicate extreme doubt that either component is zero, and that the insistance that Masai who move to Missouri must retain the memes as well as the genes only feeds the actual racists who believe the genes tell the whole tale. The Multiculturalists are the ones who say that we can’t “impose” our “white values” on Persons of Color. They are the ones making race and culture inseparable. How is that different from the Klansman who says “Well, what do you expect from nigras? They ain’t like decent white folk!”?

  332. And you’ve also proven this one true:
    (Even admitting that genes play any role at all is apparently sufficient to earn the “raaaaacist” tag.)

  333. We have reached the fundamental impasse here. This is not a genetic thing it is the decision of a culture collectively to cease adapting in the face of severe pressure from outside forces. Bottom line its the 21st century high time to make big adjustments in how you react to challenges in the world. Africa is stuck in the early iron age both culturally and morally. Social disorganization at this point is destroying the well being of their large population. The real problem is that this is also true in the US. Hence the Klansman’s refrain. Bottom line as a group Black American’s just do not conduct themselves in statistically large numbers to prosper on a wide number of categories. Also, it seems no amount of welfare and social coddling seems to aid that situation. So explain that away. Also arguably us white devils have not been seriously keeping the lid on that average social progress factor for the last 40 years. So go figure what is the problem here.

  334. “…it seems no amount of welfare and social coddling seems to aid that situation.”

    That’s right. The way to attack the problem is cultural. The first thing we need to do is insist that we are NOT ‘white people’, we are ‘mainstream people’. Many of us today are not white. (Start with President Obama and work your way down.) It must be made clear to the underclass that it’s either go mainstream or stay poor. “You have to go to school and be less cool.” That’s life.

  335. A Damn good Comment I agree with the concept of encouraging the underclass (be they whatever their race) to adopt good cultural “mores” (defined below). Sad to say though the welfare systems in place today kill the dignity of the target of the welfare and create the horrible unintended consequence of the condition of the inner cities.

    Mores (generally pronounced /?mo?.re?z/, and often /?mo?.ri?z/. From Latin m?r?s, ['mo?.re?s], grammatically plural: “behavior”). William Graham Sumner, an early U.S. sociologist, recognized that some norms are more important to our lives than others. Sumner coined the term mores to refer to norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. Mores or taboos, include most societies’ insistence that adults not engage in sexual relations with children.[1]
    Folkways, in sociology, are norms for routine or casual interaction. This includes ideas about appropriate greetings and proper dress in different situations.[2]
    In short, mores “distinguish the difference between right and wrong, while folkways draw a line between right and rude”.[3]
    Both “mores” and “folkways” are terms coined by an early U.S sociologist, William Graham Sumner in 1906.[4]

  336. “…the welfare systems in place today kill the dignity of the target of the welfare…”

    It’s quite a bit worse than that, in the case of American blacks. When you’re a slave, you don’t have to look for a job – you have one, and it’s one you don’t want. The only logical thing to do in that situation is to try to avoid as much work as possible. No matter what you do, the master still needs to feed and clothe you. You feel he has obligations to you. This was part of the old southern culture, recognized on both sides of the color line.

    Unfortunately, we’ve allowed welfare payments to substitute for ‘old massa’. This social bond needs to be broken. It’s one of the reasons I’m so insistent on ending the ‘white people’ meme. We need to be very clear on, “Hey! Slavery is gone. We are NOT your masters. We do not own you, and we do NOT have to take care of you. That’s YOUR job.”

  337. Well on that resounding and very wise comment I think perhaps we can conclude this extended discussion on a very good note.

  338. Sad to say though the welfare systems in place today kill the dignity of the target of the welfare and create the horrible unintended consequence of the condition of the inner cities.

    If that were true, how come other welfare states do not suffer from these problems?

    The reason for the “condition of the inner cities” is not welfare, but the War on Drugs, a thoroughly racist construction, a covert institutional aggression against the nation’s blacks. John Ehrlichmann, Nixon’s White House counsel, confessed in 1995 that “we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in America, but we could criminalize their common pleasure.”

    The condition of the inner cities has nothing to do with welfare and everything to do with the white man trying to keep keeping the black man down after the success of civil rights. Liberals didn’t create the inner cities. Conservatives did.

  339. If that were true, how come other welfare states do not suffer from these problems?

    They do, you’re just not paying attention. One important qualification is that the pathologies induced by the welfare system take longer to manifest in populations that started with greater social cohesion (you’d be ashamed to sponge off your fellows, don’t want to be *seen* sponging off your fellows) and a cultural background of stronger individual work ethic.

    Certain immigrant communities in Europe did not begin with these advantages, and have therefore manifested pathology sooner (see France’s housing projects).

  340. BTW, the breakdown has taken about the same length of time in France’s cite’s and America’s inner cities (roughly 2 generations) to go from hopeful, relatively hard-working (if rough around the edges and from a culture not compatible with the locals) migrants imported for their valuable labor, to howling savages. If anything, things are better in the US.

    Let’s not even talk about Malmo….

  341. @Jeff Read

    If that were true, how come other welfare states do not suffer from these problems?

    They do. Look at people of Algerian descent in the French suburbs. Look at Australians on the dole. Look at the increasing numbers of young Europeans who have never held a job in the formal economy because 1) The barriers to entry are high, and 2) The consequences of not getting a job are too low.

    American whites on the left end of the bell curve are in the same situation. We just don’t hear about them as much. There is a thoroughly embarrasing plentitude of whites with room temperature IQs.

  342. They do. Look at people of Algerian descent in the French suburbs. Look at Australians on the dole. Look at the increasing numbers of young Europeans who have never held a job in the formal economy because 1) The barriers to entry are high, and 2) The consequences of not getting a job are too low.

    You’re talking about unemployment. I for one do not ascribe much importance to holding down “a job in the formal economy”. More and more of those jobs are going away, thanks to machines.

    Here’s the crux of the matter: Do these people experience violence, poverty, illness, infant mortality, etc. in the same proportions as American poor? I contend that they do not.

    Don’t talk to me about the Algerians burning cars. That’s a quiet day in Harlem or Compton.

    Besides which, being jobless and on welfare gives you time to think and be creative. If it were not for the UK dole, there would be no Harry Potter. That’s not my assertion; it’s Jo Rowling’s.

  343. …Besides which, being jobless and on welfare gives you time to think and be creative…

    Holy. Fucking. Shit. You’re. A. Comic. Genius.

    New underpants, STAT!

    …If it were not for the UK dole, there would be no Harry Potter…

    Best argument for ending the dole, I suppose ;)

    Potter = Tolkien for ‘tards :P

  344. @Jeff Read

    That’s it. You are officially an Old Christmas Song in my book.

  345. >Holy. Fucking. Shit. You’re. A. Comic. Genius.

    Yeah. Some days I’m tempted to believe that Jeff Read is executing a brilliantly deadpan long-form satire of batshit-crazy leftism, rather than being actually batshit-crazy. “Besides which, being jobless and on welfare gives you time to think and be creative” is one of his better temptations.

  346. “Besides which, being jobless and on welfare gives you time to think and be creative” is one of his better temptations.

    There was a bit of snark in there, but it is actually true that Jo Rowling would probably have never written HP if there had been inadequate welfare, and she had to scrimp and save and get a waitressing job or something like in the U.S.

    Scrapping the welfare state to save poor blacks is at best throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and at worst punishing the victims. It makes a nice narrative, though, a beautiful lie to divert attention from the Republicans’ anti-black policies.

  347. “Don’t talk to me about the Algerians burning cars. That’s a quiet day in Harlem or Compton.”

    @Jeff Read: I don’t know about Compton, but I drive through Harlem fairly often. Never see burning cars. Lots of productive, prosperous people there. It’s not all underclass. Instead of getting your oppression stories out of magazine articles and blog posts, you should go out and actually meet some poor people. You might take a different attitude.

  348. I’m convinced….let’s keep the multi-hundred-billion dollar welfare state so that maybe ….just fucking maybe…..planet Earth will be graced with “Shaniqua Umbombo and the Devil Drums of Honkeyland”

    I can’t fucking wait

  349. >I’m convinced….let’s keep the multi-hundred-billion dollar welfare state so that maybe ….just fucking maybe…..planet Earth will be graced with “Shaniqua Umbombo and the Devil Drums of Honkeyland” I can’t fucking wait

    I contemplate your thermonuclear-grade snark with awe. Alas that the people who most need to get the point will read it as a racist gibe, completely missing that it’s actually a well-aimed culturist gibe.

  350. @Jeff Read

    .. a beautiful lie to divert attention from the Republicans’ anti-black policies.

    I still think you’re a troll, but…

    The policies of the last 70 years from both sides of the aisle harm the entire left end of the bell curve. Government policies from employment regulation to payroll taxes and enforcement costs price low and sem-skilled labor out of the formal economy. The bigger the overhead relative to the value of the labor, the bigger effect it has on hiring. It’s the same effect as raising the minimum wage, except only the payroll consultants see a bigger paycheck.

    The informal economy grows in proportion. Citizens have trouble operating in the informal economy because they have incentives to rat out the employer. Non-citizens have incentives against it.

    A young man with no job, no prospects, and no hope has nothing to do but make trouble.

  351. “Shaniqua Umbombo and the Devil Drums of Honkeyland”

    Someone should really start a salsa band with that name. (If the girl that plays Shaniqua is really sexy, the latinos would be able to get away with it, though the name would have to be ‘Umbomba”.)

  352. Yeah. Some days I’m tempted to believe that Jeff Read is executing a brilliantly deadpan long-form satire of batshit-crazy leftism, rather than being actually batshit-crazy. “Besides which, being jobless and on welfare gives you time to think and be creative” is one of his better temptations.

    He could be. But the thing is, there’s no way to be sure because the things he says are actually perfectly consistent with someone from inside the bubble. That whole “it would be great satire if it weren’t real” thing…. The fact that it is a real thing is terrifying.

  353. The policies of the last 70 years from both sides of the aisle harm the entire left end of the bell curve. Government policies from employment regulation to payroll taxes and enforcement costs price low and sem-skilled labor out of the formal economy

    Yes, but most of those policies were enacted by the Left side of the aisle that claims to represent the interests of … the left end of the bell curve. The regulations are supposed to protect exploited workers. The Left constantly reminds us of how noble their intentions are, in contrast to the manifestly evil intent of the opposition. They never have to accept responsibility for the fact that the actual effect of their policies is often the reverse: Minimum wage laws that purport to protect unskilled labor actually increase unemployment in the unskilled work force by making it illegal for unskilled workers to underbid skilled workers. The Americans With Disabilities Act was supposed to help disabled workers, but disabled employment has fallen from 51% before ADA to 33% now, because hiring a disabled worker increases an employer’s risk of being sued under ADA — the employer just has to document some legitimate excuse for why the person who gets the job was better qualified.

    The traditional idea that the Republicans were the party of the rich and the Democrats of the poor no longer applies. The Democrats enjoy an advantage at both ends of the bell curve; the Republicans in the middle. This fits nicely into my theory of the Fundamental Contradiction of the Democratic Nanny State:
    If I am not competent to make decisions for myself and my family (what wages and working conditions to accept from an employer, what school can best educate my children, etc.) then how is it that on Election Day I am competent to decide those same matters not only for myself, but for everyone else, by either directly enacting laws through initiative/referendum, or indirectly by electing legislators to enact those laws?

    There are two kinds of people who buy into the Democratic Nanny State:
    1) The left side of the Bell Curve, who thereby admit that they are incompetent to make decisions for themselves.
    2) Those who believe they are far enough to the right side of the curve that they are competent enough to make decisions for everyone else.

    Now if the Republicans could give up their Nanny State tendencies on drugs, prostitution, porn, etc., they’d be… libertarians.

  354. I’d say the only thing Jeff got right is that the War on Some Drugs ™ is a real drag on society and possibly hardest on blacks. Back in the day however the war on grass was an equal opportunity hazard to everybody’s freedom. I still can’t figure out why the PTB think prohibition is a good idea, except now there are powerful economic interests involved on both sides.
    Incidentally, toward the end of the sixties, a major importer told me the only reason the whole Mideast hadn’t blown up was that all the young men were constantly stoned on good hash.

  355. If I were to run for Congress in a district with a large percentage of poor people I would campaign with a giant minimum-wage paystub *plus* another showing what else the employer spends per worker. The slogan would be something like: “*This* what your boss spends on you and *this* is all you get. The government gets the rest.”

  356. “Now suppose you have spent all your life in universe X being told that black people are just like you, and no more likely to be criminals than anyone else. ”

    The problem is not to accept that black people are more likely to be criminals than anyone else.
    The problem is to understand why?
    You seem to think that the main reason that explains it is that they are black and that there’s some “black” gene or pool of genes that is responsible for black criminality.

    But you didn’t prove it at all.
    May be that’s what makes people think that you are racist.

  357. ((I don’t get to this blog often, so there were way too many comments to read them all. I read a bunch, then jumped to the bottom and paged up ten or a dozen times to catch the bottom. Unfortunately, by then it had degenerated into “libertarian” self-congratulation. So I don’t know how redundant I’m being.))

    I had two things I wanted to say, but a third came as I went through the comments.

    *) My own biggest question about the shooting is Who decreed that the shooter’s first name is “neighborhood watch”? It seems to be within an rch of totally universal that that was the only way he was referred to.

    *) A few years ago, I was having a conversation in the middle of an event overloaded with newage woowoo. Something led me to the statistic I had seen that 85% of the donut shops in the entire state of California were owned by Cambodians. I see this as a wonderful example of the positive sides of The American Dream, in theory and practice.
    Someone at the edge of the conversation hotly accused me of being racist and stalked off . . .

    *) In this country, whites are statistically slightly more likely than blacks to be marijuana users. Ten times as many blacks as whites are imprisoned for marijuana.

  358. ESR, another factor that led to fewer Irish and other Europeans as slaves was the fact that Yellow Fever was/is upwards of 75% fatal for white people, where the Africans seemed to have immunity or resistance.
    The other thing I want to say about why truths must be told regardless of embarassment or political correctness, is that once said bigot says something that is objectively verifiable as factual, he can go on to say evil things that are not, and those evil things will be believed because the first thing out of his mouth was proved true. That’s how the “BIG LIE” of Adolf Hitler came to be believed by so many people. Start with the truth, then mix your lies in and they will be believed, even, sometimes, in the face of factual refutation.

  359. Hey, what’s wrong with Confederate revanchists? Deo Vindice! Just (barely) kidding. Really, the proudest boast I can make about my family is that all four of my great-grandfathers fought honorably against the United States of America in the Lincoln War.

  360. Speaking of Nazis, I’ve read Harold Covington’s novels and left some comments at his blog. I think I pissed him off by mentioning that I agree with that British sergeant who said in August 1914, “Remember, men! Wogs begin at Calais!” Like Erskine Childers and Alvin York, I don’t care for Germans even when they aren’t being Nazis. Like the Derb, I seem to think we English guys really are better than everybody else. It’s an irrational notion, but helped us build a great nation, and helped those who stayed at home to build the greatest empire ever.

  361. Bill Swift is correct about guys with badges. If a random black guy (or white guy) is being unreasonably rowdy at you, you are free to defend yourself or run away. If a policeman is being unreasonably rowdy at you, it seems you are required to stand there and take it.

  362. If a policeman is being unreasonably rowdy at you, it seems you are required to stand there and take it.

    That could prove to be an ultimately costly error on the cop’s part. I believe there is federal/state court case law regarding the lawful use of deadly force against LEOs. The burden is high, however.

  363. I remember the time I was lawfully arrested. This was in Atlanta, back aroung 1978, I think. I had punched a guy in the nose, and broke it. I felt bad about that until I found out later that that same nose had been punched not only by that guy’s boyfriends, but also by members of the police departments of some great American cities.

    Anyway, the arresting officer was a black guy and was very nice. He encouraged me to lock up my house, and then transported me to the jail while scaring the shit out of me with his driving. He doubled the speed limit on DeKalb Avenue and ran every red light without benefit of flashin lights or siren.

    This was before the crack epidemic, so I got to keep my own clothes and had a nice cell to myself, in the old Atlanta jail. Just about everybody was black, and mostly easygoing and friendly. One trusty even gave me some of his own hand-rolled cigarettes.

    When I went to court the next morning, most everybody was black, too. Justice got done. I saw a black guy expertly cross-examine the cop who arrested him. He was a natural-born Perry Mason.

    All my charges were dismissed at request of prosecution, because the complaining witness, the guy I punched in the nose, got tired of waiting for the case to be called and left. Yes, he was widely reputed as a sad sack of shit by all who knew him. He was white. Tow-headed, even.

  364. Eric, I know you don’t care for Christians very much, but as a professing Christian, I do believe that an honest man is the noblest work of God, and that you are one such.

  365. @ESR:

    >Most victims of crime by blacks are black themselves.

    That little added complexity alone, conveniently absent from the analysis to date, demonstrates how tenuous is the link between Derbyshire’s putative facts and his conclusions. Depending on what “most” means, his “nonblack talk” may actually be of no relevance to whites. If it means 90%, blacks are no more of a threat to whites than other whites. Whatever the actual figure, it means the risk is overstated.

    Selective, incomplete truth is just as dangerous and potentially malicious as outright lies.

    But even insofar as Derbyshire’s advice does flow from facts, there is a bigger picture. It is also rational to believe that engagement between racial groups is an important requirement for solving the problems, and that the medium and long term benefits of solving them outweigh the short-term statistical safety advantages.

    Derbyshire’s “spherical cows in a vacuum” account reduces U.S. race relations to a version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, where narrowly-defined rational people pursue narrowly-defined self-interest leading to suboptimal outcomes for everyone. This may appeal to U.S.-style “libertarians” (really individualist propertarians) because they get to mock “liberals” (another word used in the U.S. to mean its precise opposite), but it’s not what happens in real life. People routinely forgo engaging in selfish and destructive actions for short term gain, because if too many people didn’t, they would have to live in a shit world. They do this even knowing they could get away with it. (See Douglas Hofstadter’s notion of “superrationality”.)

    Derbyshire’s argument reminds me of someone who, knowing germs are the source of disease and are transmitted by contact, quite rationally decides never to touch anything (this sometimes occurs among Asberger’s sufferers). This strategy succeeds in terms of its own aims; unfortunately the guy is unable to actually do anything, and everyone thinks he’s an asshole because he won’t shake hands. And they’re probably right.

  366. I’m probably way too late into this thread, but the more I think about it, the contagion analogy from my last post was actually pretty good and deals with Derbyshire’s reasoning in a less hot-potato way.

    Given that most disease is proven statistically to spread via germs, Derbyshire is saying, it follows that the best way to stay healthy is to avoid all contact with bacteria and viruses. Sounds very logical, and until the late 20th century that was the practice. When I was born, I was separated from my mother until both of us had been washed in disinfectant, and throughout my infancy, a sterile environment was maintained around me.

    But we now know that such practices cause more disease than they prevent by stunting the immune system’s development. It was a naive approach which failed to account for the subtle workings of the human organism over the long term.

    Derbyshire’s avoidance strategy locks people into the U.S.’s racial sickness which he thinks makes it necessary in the first place, when making contact would contribute to a situation where there was no longer any danger to avoid.

  367. Please see my comment at 7:08. I reckon the point that the back of my mind was trying to make was that all those black folks then and there were just as black as the black folks these days, but seemed to have better manners. The white folks had better manners then, too. What changed to cause this?

  368. My explanation for rudeness by on the left folks and on the net has to do with the fact they are shirking little cock biters like Ellsworth Toohey’s (See the Fountain Head by Ayn Rand) and literally have nothing better to do. Mainly because they are Liberal Arts majors, Journalism, and Political Science majors who have big jobs waiting tables and thus have plenty of time to surf the net and try to right the wrongs of just plain folks. I for one can only drop into these things because I am retired and have the time. Were I still working and trying to Frac the world to get that evil fossil fuel out of the ground to ensure American Independence from the Middle East, I would never have been able to drop in on this great erudite converse.

  369. As For Mr. John O’Hagan’s comparison of the Derby Shire proscription as flawed to because you are not breeding antibodies to Black Culture and Mayhem by avoiding it. This is a specious argument. Getting the beaten by a black gang does not build healthy survival antibodies it gets you killed. Obviously John has not been in imminent danger of Black Cultural Random, Violence against anyone not them. I am sorry it just does not compute. Constant encounters only gets your face bashed in. Your are not dealing with reasonable people you are dealing with animals. They just want your money and possessions will kill you to get it.

  370. @ronm0817

    >you are not breeding antibodies to Black Culture and Mayhem by avoiding it.

    You’ve got this backwards, in my analogy it’s _contact_ which is “breeding antibodies” against racial tensions (not black people!), which aids eveyone’s survival in the medium and long term. You don’t believe this because as a racist, you like to think these tensions are hardwired, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    P.S. Why is it that people on the Right always introduce argument along the lines of “obviously you’ve never [blah blah]…” when they have no idea who they’re talking to?

  371. Sorry no apology given for the stance of avoidance to Blacks. My experience form the army and enough encounters along the way in life is that the Derbyshire method is best policy for life given that the situation with our so called Disease in the US has actually gotten worse in the last 40 years. When I was young and it was the 50′s perhaps; but not now. Think of the situation as a political movement and that is a better analogy then a contagion. Bottom line the current violent state is the result of a self reenforcing subculture. Statistically you are significantly safer following the Derbyshire proscription. As for saving the world and “quote unquote” making things better by reaching out the hand. I have done it and seen it done repeatedly and sadly all the experiments ended in disaster at worse and betrayal and hurt feelings at best. The second the subculture realizes one of their own is acting in a “Non Black” manner it attacks that person until they subside back into correct Black thinking and acting. It never fails. The Derbyshire proscription is a statistically sound approach and is the best course for survival in the short medium and the long term. experiment at your own peril.

  372. Bonjour Eric. Thks for the insight. Interesting that you’re facing that same politically correct nonsense that we do here,when trying to identify the problems objectively. Since we can’t mention races/communities based facts without being faced with emotional outdated minorities’ defenders,how are we to ever fix this obviously dysfunctional melting pot? Once again,the elites did an awful job,and their broken machine is now getting in the way of fixing them.

  373. Very, very disapointing…
    Now, I doubled my last comment (@ so called “IQ TEST”).
    Eric, you can’t be “just a litle dead”, or “just a litle liar” (in fact, half-true is even more destructive then pure lie).
    You ppl have a BIG problem. I agree that talking honestly about is a right direction to do it; but…

    >And it is exactly what we do when we honk endlessly about the need for a “national conversation about race”, then run the likes of John Derbyshire out of town on a rail for speaking honestly.

    I agree that you can’t see things from aside; you can’t get it what Guantanamo, WikiLeaks… even Hiroshima (!) means to the rest of the world. And why we do NOT have doubt about is Mr. Derbyshire racist or not. Tea party is possible ONLY in USA, this is the fact… so you have to talk about those things, and talk a lot.
    Oh, btw, I’m a non-black person too ;-)

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