Objective evidence against racism

A theme I have touched on several times in my blogging is that the best way to defeat racism and other forms of invidious discrimination is to develop and apply objective psychometric tests.

Usually I make this argument with respect to IQ. But: one of my commenters, an obnoxious racist who I refrain from banning only on free-speech principle, recently argued that drug use should be (as, in fact, it now often illegally is) treated differently by police depending on the subject’s race.

His argument (if you want to call it that) is that blacks, due to a low baseline level of self-regulation, are significantly more prone to criminality and violence than whites when intoxication further impairs that ability. Thus, the law should treat these cases differently as a matter of public safety.

As presented, this prescription is racist, repugnant, and wrong. Because even if you believe that blacks as a group have less ability on average to self-regulate, this belief tells you nothing about any individual black person. Acting on it would infringe the foundational right of individuals to be treated equally by the law.

But now let’s perform a thought experiment. Actually, a couple of related ones.

Let us suppose that scientists were able to develop a behavioral test that reliably and repeatably measures an individual’s ability to self-regulate as a number, which we’ll call RQ. In fact there have been attempts at this.

For purposes of this thought experiment, suppose that (a) we have such a test that is highly repeatable, (b) the distribution is like most psychometric scores Gaussian, and (c) there is a range of low scores on the left tail of the Gaussian that is known to correlate strongly with criminal and violent behavior.

If you don’t know much about psychometry, you might think these premises are implausible. Follow the logic anyway, because I’m really chasing a point about how we should perform ethical reasoning. Besides, they’re actually quite plausible – there are known psychometrics with these properties.

Our test divides the population into low-RQ and high-RQ contingents naturally, because if you plot both Gaussians the place where they intersect defines equal likelihood that a person with that RQ score is or is not part of the criminal population.

Now suppose that we consider drug-fueled crime a sufficiently present danger that all citizens are required to have their RQ measured and registered with the police. (I’m not advocating this, but it’s necessary for the thought experiment. If you like, assume instead that it appears on driver’s licenses along with height and weight.)

What would the ethics be of a law treating as a crime or disorderly conduct public intoxication of any person who cannot exhbit an RQ score above a specified minimum?

(Note that we can, in principle, deal with measurement uncertainty by contracting the low-RQ range. That is, if we believe with 95% confidence that an individual’s score on RQ tests won’t vary by more than N points over a series of tries, we simply reduce the defining bound of the low-RQ cohort by N below wherever the RQ distributions for our defined criminal and noncriminal populations intersect.)

Would this violate the principle of equal treatment under law? No, not any more than (for example) forbidding people with epilepsy from driving cars. In both cases, any reasonable person (including the offender himself) would know that the combination of his condition and behavior made him a danger to those around him. Legal discrimination against epileptics is therefore justified.

The epileptic-in-the-driver’s-seat case enables us to dispose of another objection. Should our attitude about the laws disqualifying epileptics from driving change if we learn that epilepsy is not evenly distributed across racial groups, however we define race?

Actually this isn’t a hypothetical; racial minorities in the U.S. do in fact have higher incidence of epilepsy than whites. But no civil-rights lawsuits on a disparate-impact theory have been filed, because that would be too insane for even the most extreme demagogues in our racial-grievance industry. The intent and effect of keeping epileptics off the roads is to avoid preventable injury and death due to a medical condition that can be unambiguously diagnosed.

By the same reasoning, temporarily jailing low-RQ people for disorderly conduct while only monitoring high-RQ people for actual crime would not be racially discriminatory even if different races turn out to have different mean RQs.

The key point in the conditions of our thought experiment is that an RQ is not assigned to a person on the basis or race or other ascriptive grouping; it is an individual measure of an individual used to make rationally justified inferences about that individual’s behavioral risks.

Having got this far, we now reach the part of the hypothetical that is likely to truly upset the tender-minded. Suppose RQ turns out to be highly heritable? Does that change the soundness of the law at all, or make it racially discriminatory?

Well, suppose epilepsy turned out to be highly heritable? Would that render our prohibition on epileptics driving instantly unsound and racist? Clearly not; it does not matter to the intent or effect of the law why they occasionally zone out or have convulsions, just that you do not want that happening behind the wheel of a car on a public road.

By the same reasoning, legal discrimination against low-RQ persons based on RQ would not become invidious if we knew RQ were heritable.

Now we come to the worst case: RQ is highly heritable, and the means differences among racial groups are large. Summing up the argument, I have shown that legal discrimination on the basis of RQ should even so not be considered racist or wrong.

Now we come back to where I began this post and consider again the difference between racist and non-racist thinking. The least prejudiced and nasty version of my commenter’s argument would read like this:

“People with poor ability to self-regulate should be arrested and jailed when they get drunk, because they’re dangerous to themselves and others. Black people have low mean ability at self-regulation. Therefore, blacks should be presumptively arrested and jailed when drunk in public.”

The point I’ve been working up to this whole essay is this. Many people think the racist part of this argument is the assertion “Black people have low mean ability at self-regulation.” In fact, I expect many of my readers type that as racism so strongly that they would consider any attempt to measure RQ automatically suspect.

But this is silly. That claim is no more racist than the following: “Black people have a higher incidence of epilepsy than white people.”

These claims may be true or false: we know the latter is true, we don’t know if the former is. But neither claim is ‘racist’; or, to put it another way if either claim is racist then both are and we have emptied the predicate “racist” of any meaning a serious person should care about.

No. The racism in the argument happens after the “therefore”, at the place where it leaps from a claim about the statistical distribution of RQ to a pre-judgment about all blacks and about whatever individual blacks we might encounter.

I have said it before, and I expect I’ll have to say it again. The individual is not the mass. The point is not the distribution. Racism is not merely hatred, it is a fundamental failure of reasoning. It is not just vicious, it is stupid.

588 thoughts on “Objective evidence against racism

  1. I agree fully, but I despair of the possibility of actually making an argument like that stick in the public consciousness, without sliding into the “racist, shun him” or “nerd, ignore him” buckets. Or, more likely, both.

  2. ESR’s conclusion is right on.

    I would not want to live in a society that engages in “precautionary” jailing of people who have not harmed anyone else. But I would have no problem with a society that took away a person’s right to drink, for example, if he has a history of getting into fights when he drinks.

    (And it needs to be said: “criminal” is only a useful category up to the point where the government criminalizes so much non-harmful behavior that criminals aren’t significantly more dangerous to the public than non-criminals. I’m not sure if we’re there yet, but we’re at least close.)

  3. >Thus far, RQ testing turns out to be *very* susceptible to local testing conditions.

    This has been known for some time. But those local conditions are not in principle difficult to hope constant. Measured RQ (and IQ) will both drop when you’re fatigued or your blood sugar is low, too; those influences aren’t a problem in principle either.

  4. First, we have different “kinds” of black people. I drove a cab in Baltimore and also ran the radio dispatch for a 350-car cab company that had drivers from so many different countries that one Nigerian guys said, “We should start our own United Nations so it would be tax deductible when we go out together for beer or food.” Yeah. And maybe our own Foreign Legion, since we had veterans of so many countries’ militaries.

    The point is, the African black people were very different from American blacks who came out of the slave culture, and *they* were not the same as our Caribbean islanders.

    In many ways, the African immigrants were unhappy about being classified the same, socially, as “dumb n*gg*rs who don’t have initiative to earn their own beer money, let alone support their kids.”

    The Africans were *very* family-oriented. There might be a wife and a girlfriend or two, since plain polygamy is illegal here. Or maybe just one wife, and either way the man stuck with the senior wife/woman and paid to raise every kid he fathered even if he had to work so many hours we’d tell him to come in, he was too tired to drive. And the Africans were ambitious. One would get up the money to buy his own car permit ($15,000 – $20,000 in Baltimore at the time), then he and his brother or cousin or brother in law would both drive it until they saved up for another permit, and so on. Families helped each other.

    Being Jewish, I got *my* cab permit with help from my cousin Jerry, who had gotten his first one from an older gent who retired and sold it to him on crazy-easy terms that ended at Heavy’s death and left it in Jerry’s hands free and clear.

    Some people in the American black culture do this, but a lot do not, and even some of those who don’t are aware that this is why the Koreans, who also loan money to family on easy terms, owned all the stores in the ghetto.

    Some Muslims, including both black American Sunnis (not “Black Muslims”) and many immigrant Muslims are also big on co-op business ventures. I almost ended up in the limo business with an Ammadhi guy from Pakistan. The deal fell through only because the guy who wanted to sell his business to us had some hidden liabilities (owed money on one of his limos to a loan shark and didn’t tell us). I later ended up in the limo business without Mohammed, who was scared to run limos without a partner who knew the business and bought a second 7/11 instead and who *did* loan me money to buy a limo for an extra-sweet price, at 0 interest (Muslims can’t charge interest) but with some favors thrown in. All good, you know?

    So it takes all kinds. I know black men I wouldn’t hire to do a 1/2 day’s work, and plenty of white men, ditto. And my wife’s car is at Hector’s Segundo Automotive because Mexican Hector is a great car fixer. His English sucks, as does my Spanish, but we get along.

    And anti-black racism? If you’re in the mid-Atlantic or down as far S. as Georgia, and you need a cubicle farm planned, built and wired, or to have your cubicles and office furniture moved — or refinished instead of buying new — you need my son-in-law Chucky, who is short, smokes cigars now and then, wears porkpie hats, and is black. And has a pigtail. Great worker and really knows his business.

    If you say, “Nah, I don’t do business with blacks,” and hire someone to do Chucky’s kind of work based on race, you lose. He’s the best in the biz, flat out.

    And maybe Chucky will bring his sometimes assistant Dime with him. Huge muscles, scowly dark face, grunts sometimes instead of talking. Scary-looking. Nice as bleep, though. My stepson, and he got those muscles in the gym, not prison. You need furniture moved? He won’t scratch it, and he’ll carry as much as two normal men of any race. And then, if you want to go to the gym with him, hey! Dime’s a certified personal trainer, a fine cook, and is studying nutrition.

    So those are some of the people I know. I didn’t mention Willy Brown, an American black Korean war vet who taught me the cab business — and had a funeral with a 500-cab parade out to the veterans’ cemetery. And plenty of others, many races, many national origins, all good guys.

    We had bad ones, too, but not usually for long. We were a hard-working taxi crew, and didn’t have time for screwups of ANY race, any more than Chucky does in *his* business.

  5. I have experienced the flipside: the people who have tended to screw me over the worst are proper Africans (i.e.: immigrants from Africa, not descendants born in North America), Indians (I’m referring to India people, not Natives) and white people. I’ve also noticed that religious people (of any religion, but Christianity seems to be a bit worse) tend to treat me very badly.

    An interesting thing about living in Canada is that the Natives around where I live have been screwed over by the white man in ways rather similar to the way blacks have been screwed over south of the 49th. They also tend to have the same problems with addictions, anti-social behaviour, welfare dependency, and criminal records as blacks in the US, almost certainly for the same reasons. If I’m walking along and see a bunch of people on the sidewalk, I don’t really give a flap about the color of their skin or other characteristics they have no choice about (although I will take note just in case I find myself having to describe them to the police), I look for the characteristics that they actually are a threat: the bottles, smokes, or joints being passed around, the swagger, gang colors or hoodies, fighting stances, noise, and weapons. I usually have my phone in my hand at the first indication a group has a disregard for the rest of humanity. If it is dark, I’ll usually flip it open to check the time and advertise its presence. I did this even before a five-on-one battle (I was the one) broke up instantly the moment it became apparent to all concerned that my phone had made the connection to 911 (despite the fact that this group was stupid enough to start such a fight in a public library in the first place!! One of them was stupid enough to later come after me just as the cops stepped out of the elevator.)

    I do find myself responding differently for the first few seconds to people based on how they dress, but I often have cause to discard any prejudices on that basis within a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Some of the finest people I know dress in tees, shorts, leather jackets and ball caps, while some of the worst liars wear a suit and tie. That said, the guy in a suit, even under these circumstances, usually isn’t looking to start a fist fight. In all these cases, the least reliable indicator that I’m about to get into trouble is the color of their skin; it is not worth paying any attention to.

    Eric, you’re absolutely right: racism isn’t about whether colour predisposes people to be a certain way (rowdy-while-drunk or epileptic), it is about whether we give the flap about the colour or that certain way. If it’s about the colour, then it is racism. If it is about the certain way, then it’s just plain [s]common[/s] sense.

  6. > No. The racism in the argument happens after the “therefore”, at the place where it leaps from a claim about the statistical distribution of RQ to a pre-judgment about all blacks and about whatever individual blacks we might encounter.

    But this supposes we can accurately measure RQ. Realistically, we cannot. We can only estimate it by profiling.

    If we could judge a person’s merits, then sure, we should treat them according to their merits. But in practice we cannot, and pretending that we can is apt to lead to horrifying results.

    And, in fact, we cannot accurately assess how dangerous an epileptic is in charge of a car. Some epileptics have more fits than others, many epileptics have enough self control to bring their car to a halt as they feel a fit coming on. So epilepsy is on a continuum. At some point it is arbitrary to say this person is slightly epileptic, and this other person is not epileptic. There are always going to be marginal cases where it is not at all clear whether this person should be banned from driving a car.

    So we have to have some crude approximation to people’s epilepsy, just as we have to have some crude approximation to some person’s RQ.

    And, chances are, whatever tests we use for epilepsy will have different significance when the test is applied to a black person as a white person. So failing the test and being prohibited from driving a car should have different test metrics for black person than a white person. And, in practice, does.

    Now suppose you have some test for RQ. There will be error in it, probably a lot of error. Since the black population has worse RQ than the white population, if you have the same pass mark for a white as a black, blacks passing will have worse RQ on average than whites passing, and whites failing will have better RQ than blacks failing.

    So as with epilepsy, we are going in fact to interpret the test results unequally according to race.

    In practice, of course, we have no test for RQ, because people will game it. So, race it is.

  7. I wrote:
    > If we could judge a person’s merits, then sure, we should treat them according to their merits. But in practice we cannot, and pretending that we can is apt to lead to horrifying results.

    The horrifying result being that we are selectively skeptical of our ability to judge a person’s merits, turning this remarkable ability on or off as politically convenient. Hence esr’s ignorant hate filled fanatical nonsense about Victorians. He is entirely confident that Victorians had insane hate filled nonsensical beliefs about race. He found no need to produce any evidence for their beliefs, other than demonization by twentieth century writers, and no contrary evidence for their beliefs in the writings of actual Victorians was sufficient.

  8. esr, I notice that while the fact that someone is black tells you absolutely nothing about his self control and ability behave in a civilized manner while intoxicated, the fact that some one was a Victorian gives you complete and certain knowledge that that Victorian had very specific and extremely detailed evil, crazy, and stupid beliefs about race, regardless of what Victorians actually wrote about race.

    Does not matter what Victorians wrote, for since it differs from what the politically correct write about race, therefore Victorians had to have the beliefs, the very specific and detailed beliefs, that progressives attribute to their demonic baby eating enemies.

    This is reminiscent of the debates many of us have been having on what supposedly really happened between Zimmerman and Trayvon, where the more evidence is required for one thing, the less evidence is required for the other thing.

  9. Eric,

    The problem with JAD and your thought experiment are at the point where they use criminal law to contain a social problem. Criminal law only works when the crimes are rare. Law enforcement breaks down when the population does not see breaking a law as an exception, but as the rule.

    Your example of epileptics who are forbidden to drive is a good example. Epileptics do not refrain from driving cars because it is forbidden by the law and they are afraid they might get caught and be imprisoned. They do not drive cars because they rightfully fear they might get a seizure and cause an accident. The law is there to handle the exceptions.

    Wide-spread social problems should be solved by social means, education, counseling, employment carrots and sticks, monetary incentives, social pressure, and social structure. Criminal law should only be the last resort for the hard headed and anti-social.

    JAD wants to invoke criminal law to handle problems with non-whites because he wants to criminalize and isolate non-whites. In his world, the police is an instrument of oppression. He is very inconsequential in this. Men are known to be an order of magnitude more criminal and violent than women. JAD does not advocate to punish men proactively and more severe for (violent) crimes than women. This heavy handed approach is only reserved for non-whites.

  10. @JAD
    “This is reminiscent of the debates many of us have been having on what supposedly really happened between Zimmerman and Trayvon,”

    Zimmerman was acquitted while he shot and killed an unarmed black boy.
    Marissa Alexander got 20 years in prison for firing a shot in the air.

    Both said they were attacked by a man and used a gun to “stand their ground”. Zimmerman is white, Alexander is black.

    I know a court case is complex and it is the details that matter. But I find 20 years in prison for NOT trying to kill an attacker versus no punishment for shooting an unarmed youth disconcerting.

  11. Winter commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Men are known to be an order of magnitude more criminal and violent than women. JAD does not advocate to punish men proactively and more severe for (violent) crimes than women.

    This because we already punish men proactively and much more severely than women.

    We have always done so, and I think this was reasonable at eighteenth century levels, but it is now becoming alarmingly extreme.

    For example, we have the “Violence against Women Act”, which gives police and courts a legal duty to assume that in any conflict between a man and a woman, the man is in the wrong, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, and even if there is compelling evidence to the contrary, you give the woman a get-out-of-jail-free card. If a “Violence against Women Act”, why not a “Violence Against Whites Act” which similarly defines all blacks to always be in the wrong?

    I would say that the late eighteenth century burdens on men were about right, but lately it has become far too extreme.

  12. I get it, your fundamental problem with racism is that it is collectivist thinking. You are very consistent in your views. Anyway what I would like to add that private discrimination is a significantly harder problem in your thought experiment than discrimination by laws.

    Suppose you really don’t want low RQ people to work for you. Suppose blacks have on the average lower RQ. Suppose all that you know about a person is that he is black, thus this is information is weak evidence, but evidence that he is low RQ meaning it in the Bayesian sense of evidence: it increases the probability, however slightly, that that person is low RQ. Suppose that you got 300 applications and you have to economize your time. Would you be justified in throwing out the 50 black CV’s (based on name or photo) and thus privately discriminating?

    I would say it could be perfectly justified and yet probably we would not really want to live in that sort of world because the occasional high RQ black person would be royally screwed and very unfairly at that, plus if the RQ is not only inheritable but also learnable then it would just demotivate every black person from working on it, thus ultimately not leading to a good utilitarian outcome.

    What would you do? I think what I would do is to decide how much time I am willing to invest. Based on that I would randomly select out of the 300, 3, 30, 100, or 300 applications and really figure out the RQ of those people. If it takes too long, then next time my random sample will smaller. If this does not bring me a good enough employee, I will have to invest time in bigger random samples.

    Or I would figure out a simple easy but fair sampling technique. My job ad would say all e-mails should be sent me at a given day 10 days from now. That way everybody who cannot follow simple instructions is selected against.

  13. Winter:
    > JAD wants to invoke criminal law to handle problems with non-whites because he wants to criminalize and isolate non-whites.

    If the Justice Department had an “Office of Violence Against Whites”, the way it has an “Office of Violence Against Woman”, and this office had a mandate to always assume any complaint by a white person was justified, then I might think my program had been taken a little too far.

  14. Winter:
    > Both said they were attacked by a man and used a gun to “stand their ground”. Zimmerman is white, Alexander is black.

    More importantly, one was telling the truth, as proven by forensic evidence and as reasonably suggested by the circumstances, and one was lying, as proven by forensic evidence and as reasonably suggested by the circumstances.

  15. > 50 black CV’s (based on name or photo)

    Are there “black” names?

  16. But I find 20 years in prison for NOT trying to kill an attacker versus no punishment for shooting an unarmed youth disconcerting.

    See PopeHat. While I don’t really know much about the details of the case, he makes a good point. I find it very believable that Zimmerman went free because the state’s case was poorly argued. Argue if you will that it was poorly argued because he was white, but that’s a different argument.

  17. ESR wrote:

    I have said it before, and I expect I’ll have to say it again. The individual is not the mass. The point is not the distribution.

    And there is also nature vs nurture dillemma (besides “nature” outliers).

  18. You’re assuming that you have a “good” test for RQ, but even if that were the case, why wouldn’t the use of RQ be vulnerable to the same legal attacks that prevent companies from using IQ tests in their hiring decisions?

  19. What “objective evidence”? Thought experiments make no observations, look at no real data. One can do thought experiments about elves and dwarves.

    Your point is clear, but it requires no long argument. But it gets to the semantics and implications including value judgments.

    Animals would have a near if not zero RQ. Zookeepers would have a much higher one.

    We would want police to have a high RQ. So in black neighborhoods – like white neighborhoods, we would have white cops. Zookeepers and animals?

    Also, the unsaid assumption is that RQ is as immutable as epilepsy. This is unlikely. For millennia, the wisdom is virtue is strengthened through practice. Not unlike muscle. Even intelligence – though there are bright illiterates, perseverance tends to be more important. Few reach their full potential.

    You might also want to think about men and women as RQ categories. And what of universal suffrage? Ought we let the impulsive vote? What if that results in white men having 60% of the franchise?

    The original solution was a small, remote government, and the rule of law so that regardless of RQ or IQ, you had to cross a fairly remote line to be a criminal. The no-man’s land in between was claimed by churches and fraternal organizations (DeToqueville describes). If there is no oppressive power, voting has a different meaning.

    The assumption might involve a catch-22, but that low-RQ people could become high RQ people, and it was a decision people could be held responsible for. All were sinners, but we all could repent and fight if not stop sinning.

    But to return to the experiment, say half of one race had epilepsy, but near zero of others. You hail a cab, and the driver is of the 50% suffers? You can reason things, but it will feel risky.

    Also, the “racism” seems to be in the other direction. To hold low-RQ people to a lower standard (e.g. the number of single mothers with many children by different partners). It would be racist to hold them to a higher standard, guilty before doing anything is prejudice, just like absolution.

    The only just solution is to hold everyone to the same standard. And for civilization, that tends to mean assuming a high RQ.

  20. > Suppose you really don’t want low RQ people to work for you. Suppose blacks have on the average lower RQ.

    OK, let’s call this the “base assumptions”, and accept it for the sake of the argument in the rest of this comment.

    > Suppose all that you know about a person is that he is black, thus this is information is weak evidence, but evidence that he is low RQ meaning it in the Bayesian sense of evidence: it increases the probability, however slightly, that that person is low RQ.

    OK, let’s call it “extra assumption one”, and “conclusion one”. I agree that conclusion one results from extra assumption one plus the base assumptions.

    > Suppose that you got 300 applications and you have to economize your time. Would you be justified in throwing out the 50 black CV’s (based on name or photo) and thus privately discriminating? […] I would say it could be perfectly justified.

    Let’s call these “extra assumption two” and the (hypothetical) “conclusion two”. I agree that conclusion two follows from extra assumption two plus the second of the base assumptions.

    However:

    (A) extra assumption one and extra assumption two are not compatible with each other. If you have the CV, you know more than just if the person is black.

    (B) the first part of the base assumptions is not compatible, as written, with the extra assumption two. You need to decide first if you don’t want low RQ people (preference one) more than you want to economize your time (preference two) before you can reason correctly about the conclusions.

    If preference one is more important, then you really should read the CVs. It’s possible that all black candidates are PhDs with years of experience and confirmed ability in whatever it is you want to hire people for, and all non-black ones are high-school drop-outs who each served multiple prison terms for low-RQ-related crimes. (The difference doesn’t need to be that extreme, but you get my point.)

    Even if preference two is more important (you’re really in a hurry), unless the *race* difference in RQ is huge you’re probably better off reducing your search space differently, e.g. just drop half the CVs at random, or filter them by another easy to check criteria that is more predictive of RQ (like if the CV looks nice, which indicates they cared enough to pay attention, or even just age, since the anticorrelation of youth to self control is probably higher). In other words, unless you checked that the race-based differences in RQ dominate other easy-to-test criteria, you’re not doing it right. (And if it never occurred to you to even think of other criteria than race, you might be racist without knowing it.)

  21. tz commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > The only just solution is to hold everyone to the same standard.

    But, if group differences are noticeable and disturbing, we are not going to hold everyone to the same standard.

    The worst problem is if you have a group difference that is important and readily observable at a group level (Group B has bad characteristics) but hard to observe at an individual level. (The individual will conceal his bad characteristics.) There can be no test for RQ, because people will lie on it.

    You are going to necessarily assume that members of group B are typical members of group B. Which typically they are. It is impractical and unwise to treat the individual according to his individual merits, because your information on his individual merits is unlikely to be reliable. So, reality is, you will not. You are going to profile.

    And if profiling is illegal, or subject to social disapproval, you are going to lie about it.

    Efforts to root out profiling will:
    1. Fail
    2. Result in reverse discrimination, as when the TSA sexually molests little old ladies from Pasadena, while waving through robed Arabs chanting “Allah Akhbar”

    Our choices are rational profiling, even if it is unjust to atypical individual high performing members of group B, or irrational reverse discrimination, which is going to be a lot more unjust to the individual members of group A.

    Plus irrational reverse discrimination results in the George Zimmerman trial and the Fort Hood massacre.

  22. Many drug-related crimes are not necessarily committed on the basis of the drugs’ affect on the person committing the crime. Often, the motivation is money. Perhaps even more so. Drugs are their principal livelihood. The same was true during prohibition.

    Many people commit crimes but hardly anyone kills in order to obtain drugs or alcohol for their own use. Nor from the affect of specifically being under the influence (i.e., as if they would not otherwise commit a violent act).

    But you fuck with my livelihood, and I’ll kill you. And don’t call me Francis.

  23. Eric,

    Whether racially linked or not, If any regulation is not based on an optimistic locking principle, then you are back to a claim of statistical coloration over individual case – you are just hiding it under an additional layer of abstraction.

    Your diagnosed epilepsy example hides this to some degree by hiding the implicit assumption that no doctor will have diagnosed epilepsy until after a patient has actually suffered a seizure. But consider the scenario in which information about brain structure leads to a statistical coloration with Epilepsy. Your brain is analyzed and you are found to have a high probability of epilepsy, yet you are 50 something and have never had a seizure. Should your drivers license be suspended? What if you are only 25 and have never had a seizure?

    A more concrete example:

    Studies show that an XYY chromosome pattern (a 1 in 1000 non-heritable mutation), while producing normal IQ males with only a moderately higher propensity for learning disorders, can be found in frequencies 25 to 60 times greater in those imprisoned for violent crime. How does your logic concerning RQ based drinking regulation relate to the (presumably existing real world) case of a young XYY man who has not yet committed any crime, and would like to exercise his right to purchase a firearm?

  24. @Sean Hastings
    “Studies show that an XYY chromosome pattern …. can be found in frequencies 25 to 60 times greater in those imprisoned for violent crime.”

    Why so elaborate. People with a single or double Y chromosome make up 50% of the population but 93.3% of the prisoners. The difference is even larger for crimes involving firearms.

    So it is very reasonable to exclude those with an Y chromosome from buying a firearm.

  25. Winter, stand your ground laws weren’t involved in the Zimmerman case–pay attention! Zimmerman DIDN’T shoot an unarmed man–he shot a man who was armed with a deadly weapon: the sidewalk. If you disagree, then you are invited to beat your head against a sidewalk until you understand this.

    Arias lost because she left the room her husband was in, went to the garage, got a gun, went BACK into the living room, and fired a warning shot. She could have simply left the house. The imminent danger she claimed she was in was entirely avoidable. Maybe you should try not getting all your information from the MSM.

  26. Stand your ground is a fairly contentious name, too. What it is is a recognition of rights. It is assumed that if you are attacked in your own home, you don’t have a duty to flee before attempting to defend yourself (at least in the US; obviously not in modern-day England.) Stand your ground laws extend that to anywhere you have a legal right to be. If you’re at your place of business, you are not required to flee an attacker. How is this unreasonable? Answer: of course it’s not.

    This is why it isn’t relevant to the Zimmerman case. He gave up following Martin, who came back at him, accosted him, and knocked him down and sat on and started pummeling him. There’s no way to retreat in such a case, and self-defense law recognizes that.

  27. >Would you be justified in throwing out the 50 black CV’s (based on name or photo) and thus privately discriminating?

    Depends on what the conditional probabilities are. Let A be the trait “is in the highly criminal low-RQ contingent”. Let B be the trait “is identified as black”. If we know the statistical distribution of RQ among blacks we can compute P(A|B). For any other salient trait that we can observe in a resume, we can also compute or estimate P(A|X).

    The rational, justified strategy would be to sort all traits P(A|X) and filter on the highest conditional probabilities first, stopping when you reach a set of applicants you can interview.

    But I don’t regard anyone’s choices about private discrimination as being public business. So, though I would find an unjustified overweighting of B odious and evidence of bad character, I wouldn’t support a law against it.

  28. >You’re assuming that you have a “good” test for RQ, but even if that were the case, why wouldn’t the use of RQ be vulnerable to the same legal attacks that prevent companies from using IQ tests in their hiring decisions?

    Oh, in our present system it would be. Part of the freight of my argument is that those attacks (and disparate-impact arguments in general) are wrong and unjustified.

  29. BLAMMO
    > Many drug-related crimes are not necessarily committed on the basis of the drugs’ affect on the person committing the crime. Often, the motivation is money. Perhaps even more so. Drugs are their principal livelihood. The same was true during prohibition.

    Trayvon’s Robitussin habit was not particularly expensive, but it was frying his liver, (or at least we know he was a Robitussin user, and we know his liver was fried) so, if Robitussin fried his liver quite likely it had fried his brain.

    A lot of drug users have dementia. It is particularly common with Australian aboriginals who drink alcohol, and anyone who sniffs glue. Robitussin abusers are apt to engage in fits of insane violence for no very good reason.

    Some people get brain damage when they take enough of a drug to substantially alter brain function. Whether it is more common with some races, and whether its is more common with some drugs or caused by some impurities is not clear. Maybe they are injecting themselves with drugs laced with rat droppings, which problem would be fixed by legalization. Maybe some people just get brain damage when they get toasted, which would be worsened by legalization.

  30. Rick C
    “Arias lost because she left the room her husband was in, went to the garage, got a gun, went BACK into the living room, and fired a warning shot.”

    20 years for firing a warning shot?
    “Armed with the side walk” is a very contentious way of saying it. I have yet to see a person armed with a sidewalk kill an person with a loaded firearm.

    @Rick C
    “It is assumed that if you are attacked in your own home, you don’t have a duty to flee before attempting to defend yourself ”

    But you say Alexander was sentenced because she should have fled her home? Zimmerman was not at home, but carried a gun when he was threatened by a youngster in the street.

    My point was not so much that Zimmerman could argue self defense and did not kill the unarmed boy intentionally. Although I do think that if you walk the streets with a concealed fire arm, you should be held to very high standards when you use it against unarmed people.

    My main point was that Alexander got 20 years for NOT killing her husband. But maybe 20 years is only a minor sentence in the USA?

  31. Alexander did not have to flee her home. She did anyway. Then she returned. All she had to do was stay away to avoid the confrontation.

    Just like Martin. All he had to do was go home. he had four minutes to do so. He did not.

    And someone armed with a sidewalk can easily kill. Had Zimmerman left his gun in its holster, he would have been in danger of precisely that. That’s why he was completely justified in defending himself.

  32. >Your brain is analyzed and you are found to have a high probability of epilepsy, yet you are 50 something and have never had a seizure. Should your drivers license be suspended? What if you are only 25 and have never had a seizure?

    This is not different in principle from using any other individual test – such as, for example, RQ itself – to form statistical expectations. For purposes of forming law, what you have to do is set a risk threshold and then see if the conditional probability of unacceptable harm comes in above or below it.

    A key point here is that “Your brain is (individually) analyzed” is a different kind of information than “You are black”, because while “You are black” is not causally connected to much except maybe your visibility in low light, observable traits of your brain really are causally connected to whether you are epileptic.

    >How does your logic concerning RQ based drinking regulation relate to the (presumably existing real world) case of a young XYY man who has not yet committed any crime, and would like to exercise his right to purchase a firearm?

    Depends. The XYY trait could be either like a brain scan for epileptogenic lesions – we have a justified causal account linking the observed trait with criminality. Or it could be like the trait “is black” in which there is a Bayesian link to criminality but we have reason to believe it’s a nonce correlation and the actual drivers are measurables like IQ and fatherlessness which have different means in the black population.

    In fact XYY is probably not, as is popularly believed, causally linked to criminality. XYY males have a slightly higher rate of learning disorders and slightly lower mean IQ than non-XYY males but do not exhibit higher aggression. According to the (extensively sourced) Wikipedia article on this topic, psychometricians either don’t find a correlation with criminality at all or believe the apparent correlation is a tail effect mediated through IQ.

  33. The behavior that is termed “racist” is actually an evolutionary trait of most societies. In the US, the black/white divide gets the most attention these days, but there are many other examples both here, around the world, and throughout recorded history. That it continues to exist, and is both prevalent and longstanding, may be indicative of its usefulness as a survive and thrive strategy in evolutionary timescales.

    China today represents the largest national population grouping on the planet and is also dominantly homogeneous as compared to most other nations. Thousands of years ago, Chinese ancestors drove out or exterminated other racial and ethnic groups. Is this a cause and effect relationship?

  34. Mathematically, “Bob is a member of racial group X” and “Bob has an RQ less than Y” can both be framed as tests for the hypothesis that Bob will engage in violent behavior when he is intoxicated. I’m not quite following your argument for making an ethical distinction between these two tests. Is the distinction merely quantitative (e.g., postulating that the RQ test has higher specificity), or are you claiming something qualitative (perhaps based on some theory of causality)?

  35. @Winter: ‘“Armed with the side walk” is a very contentious way of saying it.’

    So true! Why does every discussion on the internet have to turn into a Zimms-vs-Martin thing?

  36. @Jay Maynard
    “And someone armed with a sidewalk can easily kill.”

    Indeed, and I do not dispute the findings of the jury. It is just that a guy with a concealed firearm should prevent things to escalate so much that a sidewalk becomes an effective weapon. If you are so inept, you should not carry a concealed firearm.

    And the other case. Neither do I dispute that Alexander was wrong. But I find a sentence of 20 years for firing in the air disproportionate.

    It is the contrast of an armed man so inept that he has to kill an unarmed boy, who is then acquitted versus a woman who intentionally does harms NO one and gets 20 years in prison.

  37. Eric,

    My comment from 11:35:01 crossed with yours from 10:56:13. It sounds like you’re arguing that legally, some minimum standard for sensitivity and/or specificity should be applied, but ethically, causality is what matters. I’m not quite clear on your theory of causality, however.

  38. So true! Why does every discussion on the internet have to turn into a Zimms-vs-Martin thing?

    It’s a pretty hot-button issue in the USA right now. We’re almost looking at a second Rodney King incident. A man got away with the murder of an unarmed teenager because he felt threatened by the teenager’s lack of photon reflectivity. That’s kind of a big deal.

  39. I agree. The individual is not the group. Might as well write that under the “why libertarianism is the most moral philosophy” column. It turns out it has anti-racism in it as a natural emergent consequence of a small set of base axioms. Possibly the minimal set? How beautiful is that?

    However, the thought experiment did raise the following question. Reading the “Trait A is present withing subgorup B with increased probability X” one can’t help being reminded of Bayes theorem.

    The probability of someone having epilepsy given their membership in a ethic group is still small. It is only slightly larger than the probability of them having it not knowing it. P(A) given “B” is only slightly larger than P(A) without knowing B.

    So concluding that B implies A is (as you note), horrendously wrong. In most cases more than 95% likely to be wrong. Not just in-accurate, anti-accurate.

    But where does the thought experiment go when we consider the full range of values the variable can take?

    What if knowing that membership in a set made actually was a good heuristic? If it was more likely to be correct than to be incorrect, does that change the moral calculation?

    What if it was not just a good heuristic, but an amazing one? What if set membership was 95% accurate for predicting the trait? What if it was, essentially, as good as the “objective” test? Now where does our moral calculation end up?

    I don’t have answers but I could not help but find myself pondering these questions as a natural extension of your line of thinking.

    Thanks for the good mental stretch this morning.

  40. The behavior that is termed “racist” is actually an evolutionary trait of most societies.

    No. Read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

    The behavior that is termed “racist” was deliberately cultivated by the elites to divide and conquer the white and black underclasses, the better to exploit them for their labor at rock-bottom cost.

  41. >Read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

    Better yet, don’t. Zinn’s quotes of facts are selective, his interpretations are tendentious and often dead wrong, and his political biases both powerful and toxic.

  42. The problem with using gaussian distributions for selection by the characteristic they describe is that they are continuous. Any actual selection point is ARBITRARY. So not only is your RQ selection range arbitrary, so too is choosing a point for inclusion in a human “RACE”.

    How dark does skin have to be to make one black and is skin color an arbitrary measure in and of itself. The answer to all is yes, this is arbitrary both for the individual and the population.

    If you are ok with this, fine, but don’t try to claim such distinctions are based on any truly rational viewpoint.

    There are no human races anymore and selection from a continuous distribution will always be discrimination against some.

  43. > Any actual selection point is ARBITRARY.

    Not so. Consider again the point where two Gaussians for traits you are interested in intersect. The obvious measurement issues are present, but that point is not arbitrary.

  44. “Consider again the point where two Gaussians for traits you are interested in intersect.”

    For better understanding, perhaps you could link to an image of this graph? I for one have no idea what entities are supposed to intersect in this case. I’d also argue that if the underlying measure is “whether the subject has been sentenced to prison”, then the measure is just as unjust as our “justice” system. (That is, quite unjust.)

  45. Jay Maynard covered the points I would have made in reply to Winter pretty well. Again–if you don’t think a concrete sidewalk is a deadly weapon, I invite you to slam your head against one until you do. Also, you know why it is that people with guns don’t get killed by slamming their heads into sidewalks? It’s because they shoot the people trying to do that to them!

    If the situation had somehow been the case that Zimmerman was administering a beatdown to Martin, and everything have been the same, Martin would have been 100% justified in killing Zimmerman, although we’d probably be tut-tutting a bit about how Martin seemed to be well on his way to becoming a gangster thug (which, sadly, he was.)

  46. So here’s how the Alexander thing went down as far as I understand: the 20-year sentence is because she committed a crime, and Florida has laws that impose mandatory penalties when you use a gun in so doing. IIRC, if you _have_ a gun, you get an extra 10 years, no matter what. If you _fire_ a gun while committing a crime, you get an extra 20 years automatically. This led to a situation I heard on the radio when I lived in Tampa: guy robs a bank. A bank employee spotted a gun in his waistband. Guy was facing an extra 10 year penalty if convicted for the possession of a gun in a crime–he argued that he shouldn’t face that because he didn’t use it, and if his shirt hadn’t opened, the bank personnel would have never noticed it.

    Now we can argue whether this sentence enhancement is just, but that’s where it came from. Alexandar didn’t get 20 years for firing a warning shot; she got a 2-year enhancement for firing the gun in the commission of another crime, whatever she was actually convicted of. (I couldn’t find it in a quick Google.)

  47. And one more time, since you aren’t seeming to get this: Martin, while sitting on Zimmerman, was not unarmed. If he had had a chunk of concrete in his hand and was pummelling Zimmerman with it, we would rightly conclude he was using a deadly weapon. How is bashing someone’s head into a sidewalk different from bashing them with a rock? I submit that except in the most nitpicky sense, it is not, unless you want to make the absurd claim that you can’t kill someone by bashing their head into a sidewalk.

    When you bring up Martin’s irrelevantly empty hands, and call him “unarmed,” you are thinking from a European[1] proportional-response standpoint. Let’s examine this and say that instead of pulling his gun–which, remember, Zimmerman says Martin tried to grab first when he saw it–Zimmerman finds a rock and bashes Martin in the side of the head, knocking him down. Clearly it’s a proportionate response because it is the same thing Martin was using, therefore it doesn’t fail ridiculous European proportionality ideas.

    [1] perhaps this is a more British thing than a European one? If so, substitute the term above. But I seem to see other Europeans sometimes arguing for proportionality in self-defense, so I used the broader term.

  48. “It is just that a guy with a concealed firearm should prevent things to escalate so much that a sidewalk becomes an effective weapon. If you are so inept, you should not carry a concealed firearm.”

    I must say, I’m glad you’ve never been in an experience where someone attacked you out of the blue, but it means you have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    I could rephrase your point as “it’s too bad Martin had the poor judgment to come after a guy who’d clearly given up following him, and then started a fight.”

  49. BTW, anyone who wants to claim the US Justice system is racist because Zimmerman was acquitted needs to figure out how to twist the facts in the case here (http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top_stories/490926/jury-finds-roderick-scott-not-guilty/) to avoid the plain fact that a jury acquitted a black man of killing a white one.

    “Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

    Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.”

  50. >if the underlying measure is “whether the subject has been sentenced to prison”, then the measure is just as unjust as our “justice” system. (That is, quite unjust.)

    I could list several ways in which the present criminal-justice system is unjust. The most obvious one is the number of people imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.

    But in order to impeach my thought experiment, you would have to show that the population of convicted and imprisoned people is significantly different in psychology from (not representative of) “actual” criminals, however you want to define “actual”.

    This would be more difficult than you might imagine. Criminology tells us that there is approximately 3% contingent of highly deviant people who generate most crime and almost all criminal violence. These people also have very high rates of drug and alcohol addiction, accident-proneness, bad debt, and domestic violence. They have a low mean IQ, high impulsivity, high time preference, and high rates of various DSM syndromes that suggest minimal brain damage, including learning disabilities and Borderline Personality Disorder. Cops sometimes call these people “mooks”.

    Most (not all) people in prison are mooks. The percentage of non-mooks is lower than you might think because cops are differentially prone to use laws against things you and I think shouldn’t be illegal to jail mooks. Their reasoning is that the lowlife we bust for possession of crack today is otherwise not unlikely to hold up a gas station tomorrow.

    This reasoning is not crazy, because the people you or I would think of as “real” criminals are mostly mooks too. And it’s fair to think of the convict population as a concentrated sample of mooks.

  51. @Rick C
    So if I drown someone in the Atlantic Ocean, the ocean is now a weapon?

    I am not a native speaker of USA English, but I was always under the impression that a “weapon” implied that the weapon acted towards the victim. I cannot remeber a single instance that the victim has to be smashed into the weapon.

    To me this sounds as a typical excuse to confuse the fact that the boy might have posed a mortal danger, but still was unarmed.

    I suspect that this will go on record as the first occurence of the phrase “the sidewalk is a deadly weapon” in the history of the English language.

  52. > I suspect that this will go on record as the first occurrence of the phrase “the sidewalk is a deadly weapon” in the history of the English language.

    And since your government seeks to disarm its citizens, you can expect sidewalks to start disappearing in your country.
    Bicycle lanes will be next.

  53. “Most (not all) people in prison are mooks. The percentage of non-mooks is lower than you might think because cops are differentially prone to use laws against things you and I think shouldn’t be illegal to jail mooks. Their reasoning is that the lowlife we bust for possession of crack today is otherwise not unlikely to hold up a gas station tomorrow.”

    I don’t think cops (or prosecutors!) are equipped to determine how best to integrate not-proven-real-criminal “mooks” (holy dehumanization Batman!) into society. Of course, at this date in this nation, they will recommend prison. As you describe, they will bend and break laws to achieve the result they recommend. But this is déformation professionnelle : if you ask a lumberjack which tool to use he’ll recommend a chainsaw.

    When our drug prohibition ends, that event won’t cure all our serious problems immediately. The modern American urban ghetto (or rural meth-cookin’ county, if you’re in my part of the country) was built over decades, and its impact on the lives of its residents will last generations. However, it is a fact that we are unique among human polities, over the entirety of history, in our rates of incarceration, especially for particular unfortunate groups. Somehow every other nation on earth, ever in history, was able to exist for a time with lower rates of incarceration.

    Were all their citizens less barbarous than ours? (Not if you ask JAD! Ha!) I’ll accept without proof the proposition that most prisoners are mooks, if you’ll then offer a reasonable explanation how all other societies were able to tolerate the contributions of those mooks outside a prison. (I guess I’d also have to accept a reasonable argument that we have more mooks, but that seems a more difficult requirement, and it would invite speculation as to *why* we have more mooks, so you probably don’t want to do that.)

    If you have a measure that changes based on whether it’s used here and now or there and then, it may not be as universal a psychological tool as you hope.

  54. @Winter

    “Indeed, and I do not dispute the findings of the jury. It is just that a guy with a concealed firearm should prevent things to escalate so much that a sidewalk becomes an effective weapon. If you are so inept, you should not carry a concealed firearm.”

    But you ARE disputing the findings of the jury. If there had been evidence of Zimmerman being culpable the plain self-defense claim would have been weakened. You can’t claim self-defense when you provoke the fight.

    However, consistent with the evidence, Zimmerman ceased following Trayvon and he went back to his car. That IS de-escalating the situation. (Nevermind the fact that being followed is not grounds for committing an act of aggression.)

    Zimmerman was then ambushed by Trayvon who suckerpunched him to the ground and who then proceeded to commit felonious assault on Zimmerman by using a concrete sidewalk as a weapon of convenience. This has NOTHING to do with Zimmerman being inept to de-escalate.

    If Zimmerman had been unarmed and had killed Trayvon with his bare hands the story would have been exactly the same. You can’t de-escalate a suckerpunch from a Trayvon who seeks you out and ambushes you.

    “And the other case. Neither do I dispute that Alexander was wrong. But I find a sentence of 20 years for firing in the air disproportionate.”

    The law (as idiotic as it is) requires a 20-year minimum when the case is proven. It was. The women ought to have known this since she had a concealed carry permit. Her lawyer should have advised her to plea or face a mandatory 20 years.

    “It is the contrast of an armed man so inept that he has to kill an unarmed boy”

    A 17-year old athletic guy armed with a concrete sidewalk is not what we would call “an unarmed boy” in common parlance. A sidewalk (just like a tire iron or a pencil) can be designated as a weapon by THE WAY IT IS USED.

    “who is then acquitted versus a woman who intentionally does harms NO one and gets 20 years in prison.”

    A woman who luckily avoided harming someone through her ricocheting projectile, yes?

    But yes, 20 years is silly. Minimum sentences are. Blame the politicians that passed the 10-20-life laws in Florida.

    What’s even more silly is the NAACP complaining that Marissa should be free under the “stand-your-ground” provision (even though it didn’t apply to her case) whereas Zimmerman should not be entitled to “stand-your-ground” (even though it didn’t apply to his case).

    “To me this sounds as a typical excuse to confuse the fact that the boy might have posed a mortal danger, but still was unarmed.”

    Might have posed? Trayvon using a gun to kill Zimmerman or Trayvon using a sidewalk to kill Zimmerman both warrant the exact same self-defense response: lethal force to defend one’s life.

  55. Winter: from Wikipedia, “A weapon, arm, or armament is any device used in order to inflict damage or harm to living beings, structures, or systems. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defense, and warfare. In a broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary.”

    “To me this sounds as a typical excuse to confuse the fact that the boy might have posed a mortal danger, but still was unarmed.”

    Well, either we’re talking past each other, or something else is going wrong. I put it to you that if a person can put another person in mortal danger, his being “unarmed” utterly irrelevant (and so I find your insistence on using the word “unarmed” curious, if not provocative. In theory, a person can kill another person by slamming their extended fingers into the second person’s windpipe hard enough. Does it mean anything at all to say the first person is “unarmed?” We can go around and around on that point, but it’s mental masturbation because it just doesn’t matter.) I also posit that a fist can be, in effect, a weapon. Would you dispute that a rock (or, rather, a chunk of concrete) can be a weapon? If you don’t dispute that, can you explain to me any meaningful difference, as I already asked, between hitting someone in the head with a chunk of concrete, and slamming their head into a sidewalk? Or are you just hung up on semantics here?

  56. > legal attacks that prevent companies from using IQ tests in their hiring decisions?

    These were prohibited under disparate-impact theory mentioned above. What’s interesting is that this lead employers to require more advanced credentials (eg. college degree) instead. So instead of having an employer cover the cost of ensuring you met their standards for the job, you are now required to cover a much greater cost up-front instead. This has resulted in an over-schooled population with higher debt and fewer earning years before retirement.

  57. BTW, Dictionary.com, definition 3, “weapon” : “Zoology . any part or organ serving for attack or defense, as claws, horns, teeth, or stings.” This would include hands. Definition 2 is useful here, as well: “anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim” would clearly include “sidewalk.”

  58. BTW, calling Martin a “boy” is questionable. He was nearly a legal adult: in less than a year, he would able to do almost anything legal except buy alcohol or own a handgun. He was also 1.8M tall and weighed 72kg.

  59. “I suspect that this will go on record as the first occurence of the phrase “the sidewalk is a deadly weapon” in the history of the English language.”

    Heh. Nothing to do with you here, Winter, but this reminds me of the racial category invented for Zimmerman, “white Hispanic.” Nobody before or since has been called that; the term was invented so he could be called a racist. By the same logic, President Obama is a “white black” man (he is something like 1/8 or 1/16 African descent; the remainder is close to 50/50 Arabic and White, IIRC.) It’s apparently a reverse one-drop rule.

  60. An epileptic did not choose his condition and has no practical control over the symptoms including seizures. A person (of any color, race, creed, religion, even culture) that chose to indulge in substance abuse and chose not to be diligent at being smart – chose that. Individuals must each be treated equally by the law. The law must be absolutely and completely blind to all considerations other than the law itself. Anything less than that is bias, discriminatory and is unjust.

  61. @ Rick C
    >BTW, calling Martin a “boy” is questionable. He was nearly a legal adult: in less than a year.

    Would you be more comfortable if Winter referred to him as a “minor”? Why does it matter?

  62. “the sidewalk as a deadly weapon”

    Let’s say that you push someone off a balcony on a tall building. Falling through the air doesn’t likely cause them much harm, but that collision with the sidewalk is probably determinative.

  63. @ Rick C

    >(he is something like 1/8 or 1/16 African descent; the remainder is close to 50/50 Arabic and White, IIRC.)

    I have developed a principle that whenever someone starts talking about race in terms of the % of “pure” blood involved, you can pretty safely assume that the person doing the talking is (cough) not thinking clearly.

    Not long ago, in some parts of Australia it was the case that indigenous persons of a specified % of “full blood” ancestry were legally considered “neglected” and so were forcibly removed from their parents and communities at gunpoint and placed into State institutions.

    This formed part of an official government policy of “breeding out the color”.

    I’m not sure even JAD would consider this to be well-founded policy.

  64. > > Your brain is analyzed and you are found to have a high probability of epilepsy, yet you are 50 something and have never had a seizure. Should your drivers license be suspended? What if you are only 25 and have never had a seizure?

    esr on 2013-07-17 at 10:56:13 said:
    > This is not different in principle from using any other individual test – such as, for example, RQ itself – to form statistical expectations.

    Such as, for example, race, for which at test is actually possible, unlike a test for RQ which is inherently impossible.

    As someone else asked: Supposing we could test for RQ, which we cannot, it would merely predict the likelihood that someone will behave badly when intoxicated. Race also predicts the likelihood that someone will behave badly when intoxicated. Why is one test morally superior to the other?

    There are some groups, notably full blooded Australian aboriginals, that are so predictably apt to behave badly when intoxicated that even the most progressive Australian covertly supports differential enforcement and openly supports different and more restrictive laws on black reservations.

    With American blacks it is not so extreme as with Australian aboriginals, but it is extreme enough that there is very little black opposition to differential enforcement. If someone complains about differential enforcement against black drug users, the complainant is probably a white who is sufficiently privileged that he has little contact with ordinary blacks.

  65. @Winter and others:

    Since questions of what constitutes a weapon can be so tendentious, most jurisdictions have defined what makes something a weapon. In Texas, the legal term “deadly weapon” includes “anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.” This means that objects such as vehicles or ice picks qualify as deadly weapons if used to attack someone, and even bare hands are considered deadly weapons if used in such a way as to cause serious bodily injury.

    It would be up to a jury to decide whether any head injuries Zimmerman sustained qualified as “protracted impairment”, but it’s entirely possible that Martin would actually have been convictable of assault with a deadly weapon by the Texas definitions, and I doubt Florida’s much different.

  66. TomM on 2013-07-17 at 18:33:48 said:
    > Not long ago, in some parts of Australia it was the case that indigenous persons of a specified % of “full blood” ancestry were legally considered “neglected” and so were forcibly removed from their parents and communities at gunpoint and placed into State institutions.

    > This formed part of an official government policy of “breeding out the color”.

    > I’m not sure even JAD would consider this to be well-founded policy.

    Putting people in state institutions is apt to be very bad for the person placed there, because state institutions tend to pursue bureaucratic requirements without regard for the consequences to the people institutionalized. You know the joke about the Soviet nail factory. The pursuit of official objective performance metrics is even worse when your product is people, rather than nails.

    However, because of the aboriginal propensity to prostitute their wives and daughters, large numbers of whitish children keep appearing on black reservations, where they are usually neglected and mistreated. Fully black dad notices his half white wife is producing children who are pretty much white. Guess what happens to those children.

    My preferred solution would be to make it legal for them to auction their surplus get off to the highest bidder, which would I think be considerably more humane than our current solution of piously pretending that everything is just fine and that these are happy normal families.

    It is in fact a pretty good approximation that any white child with an aboriginal black stepparent is neglected and mistreated.

  67. > What if it was not just a good heuristic, but an amazing one? What if set membership was 95% accurate for predicting the trait? What if it was, essentially, as good as the “objective” test? Now where does our moral calculation end up?

    I am pretty sure that being a full blooded Australian aboriginal predicts bad behavior and adverse health affects from alcohol far better than any test known to science, and is a highly reliable predictor.

    Similarly, I observe that objections to differential enforcement of drug laws on blacks come primarily from privileged whites, which indicates that American blackness is a pretty good heuristic for the probability of bad behavior when intoxicated, though not as obviously sufficient as aboriginal blackness.

  68. > The law must be absolutely and completely blind to all considerations other than the law itself. Anything less than that is bias, discriminatory and is unjust.

    Anyone who utters such pieties is entirely untroubled by laws that explicitly treat males differently from females, for example the “Violence Against Women Act”

    Why not then a “Violence Against Whites Act”?

  69. @TomM “Would you be more comfortable if Winter referred to him as a “minor”? Why does it matter?”

    Because calling Martin a “boy” makes it sound if Zimmerman went out that night and shot a small child.

    So it’s not obvious if Winter is just being an agenda-driven troll or doesn’t understand how the word “boy” is generally used.

    At Martin’s size, age and weight he would be more than capable of holding his own in a fight with most adult males. With the element of surprise on his side, as he apparently had, it is obvious he could quite handily have caused Zimmerman significant bodily harm or death. And all the available evidence suggests that is exactly what he intended.

    Martin was no “boy”.

  70. @ JAD

    >There are some groups, notably full blooded Australian aboriginals, that are so predictably apt to behave badly when intoxicated that even the most progressive Australian covertly supports differential enforcement and openly supports different and more restrictive laws on black reservations.

    Easy to assert but not true.

    There are very serious problems in remote indigenous communities in Australia including very grave problems with alcohol and drug abuse as well as violence and assault.

    In response to some of those issues, some areas are subject to restrictions on the sale or consumption of alcohol.

    Those restrictions generally apply to all people in those areas.

    (It is not uncommon for other public areas in Australia to be declared “dry areas” also – some local government councils (similar to what you would call a county in the US) administering foreshore reserves along the coast impose a no-alcohol requirement to reduce violence over the summer months.)

  71. @ Michael
    > Because calling Martin a “boy” makes it sound if Zimmerman went out that night and shot a small child

    This reminds me of the defence used by men charged with what is often called “statutory rape”: “She looked like a woman.”

    I’m probably not the only one unconvinced by this.

  72. TomM on 2013-07-17 at 20:35:22 said:
    > In response to some of those issues, some areas are subject to restrictions on the sale or consumption of alcohol.

    > Those restrictions generally apply to all people in those areas.

    Pull the other one, it has bells on.

  73. > How dark does skin have to be to make one black and is skin color an arbitrary measure in and of itself.

    And how high does one’s blood sugar level need to be to qualify as diabetic?

    “RQ” and “epileptic” also have arbitrary thresholds.

    Day and night are different things, even though one cannot say when one ends and the other begins.

    See Steve Sailers wonderful post “Pick the white hispanic” That races are by definition continuous (if they were not continuous, it would be a species difference not race difference) is a problem for those pushing affirmative action, not a problem for “racists”.

  74. @TomM “This reminds me of the defence used by men charged with what is often called “statutory rape”: “She looked like a woman.”

    I’m probably not the only one unconvinced by this.”

    Which would seem to demonstrate your inability to get past your religiously-held ideology and think clearly.

    Statutory rape is defined by the specific numeric chronological age of the “victim” – age is the only thing that matters. You better “card” her.

    The necessity of self defense is defined by the demonstrated intent and ability of the aggressor – age has no direct bearing. Zimmerman was under no obligation to “card” Martin.

  75. esr commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > I could list several ways in which the present criminal-justice system is unjust. The most obvious one is the number of people imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.

    Most of these are people who have committed numerous violent crimes, and who will when released commit a whole lot more crimes. They came to police attention through being fried out of their brains in public, and it was easier to run them in for that than for the rest of their stuff.

    There are some places, notoriously Yolo county, that are apt to bust outsiders on the general principle that they don’t much like outsiders, and the fact that we have made everything and the kitchens sink illegal gives police the alarming discretion to bust anyone they don’t much like, but I can say with confidence that anyone the Sunnyvale police don’t much like, is probably someone you would not much like either.

  76. The imprisonment algorithm works like this:

    Act weird, objectionable, or unpleasant in public. Police bust you, charge you with something, anything, everything, because everything is illegal.

    Have money, bail yourself out, hire a lawyer, get off, because the charges are total crap, and the judges don’t want more work.

    Have no money and the bail bondsman thinks you a flight risk, go directly to jail.

    Have no money and the bail bondsman thinks you are not a flight risk, maybe you go to jail if you have a past history of being a problem.

    On the whole, it works tolerably well in getting problem people off the streets.

  77. Isn’t it kind of racist to call a black person “boy?”

    Therefore anyone referring to Trayvon Martin as a “boy” is a BIG FAT RACIST!

  78. @James A. Donald “Most of these are people who have committed numerous violent crimes, and who will when released commit a whole lot more crimes. They came to police attention through being fried out of their brains in public, and it was easier to run them in for that than for the rest of their stuff.”

    I’d like to think this is true but there is plenty of room for doubt.

    I personally know (or know of) a fair number of people who served significant time for non-violent drug crimes. Here in Arkansas these folks typically end up as “309’s” (like old-time “jail trustees”) and have lots of freedom to run errands for the lock-up since they are known to be trustworthy and no real threat to society.

  79. @Winter: I know a court case is complex and it is the details that matter. But I find 20 years in prison for NOT trying to kill an attacker versus no punishment for shooting an unarmed youth disconcerting.

    That’s because you don’t understand what the threshold for self-defense is — under many state laws, a warning shot is potentially prosecutable as attempted murder. The only justifiable reason for pulling the trigger is that you had to kill to keep from being killed; if you weren’t shooting to kill, then you had insufficient justification. (I understand from Rick C’s post at 15:24:12 that this may not have been the root of Marissa Alexander’s sentence, but it’s true nevertheless.)

    This is also why those who advocate “shoot to wound” instantly identify themselves as having absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

  80. @ Michael

    >The necessity of self defense is defined by the demonstrated intent and ability of the aggressor – age has no direct bearing.

    You are opposed to Winter’s technically accurate description of Trayvon as a “boy” (that is, a young male who is not yet an adult) because “age has no direct bearing” – But emotionally you also know that, all else being equal, it is worse to kill a minor than it is to kill an adult.

  81. @Rick C:
    >Heh. Nothing to do with you here, Winter, but this reminds me of the racial category invented for Zimmerman, “white Hispanic.”

    I’m pretty sure this wasn’t actually invented for Zimmerman. On the US Census, “Race” and “Hispanic or Latino origin” are inquired after with separate questions, and I know that I’ve seen “Hispanic (all races)” as an option on local and state government forms around here that request race/ethnicity data (and probably federal forms too). Now, most Hispanics and Latinos in the US have enough Native American blood in them that the colloquial meaning of Hispanic is “Mestizo / Native American of Latin American origin”, but it’s actually a cultural and linguistic category (that of being able to trace your origin through a Spanish-speaking, especially Latin-American, nation), not a racial one, and there do exist Hispanics of pretty-much-pure European or African blood.

    But I really don’t get why anyone on either side of the issue thinks that Zimmerman’s race (unless he had a phenotypically significant amount of black ancestry, which from the photo’s I’ve seen he does not) is relevant to whether his motives for pursuing Martin were racial or not. He’s at least one or the other of “white” and “Hispanic”, and from the fact that the media identified him as both, he almost certainly is both, and I’m quite certain that both people who hate blacks and people who don’t exist among both of those categories.

  82. > I have a great amount of sympathy for the notion that the individual should determine what they do and don’t put in their body, and that the only role the state should play is in making sure that there are no false or misleading claims made about those substances

    That is fine for people like you and me, but you would not give your dog the freedom to eat chocolate.

    Inferior people need different, and more restrictive, rules. You were in fact arguing what I just said plainly, but were reluctant to say it plainly.

    The unspeakable having been said, how do we determine who is inferior?

    Well, pretty much the way we do it today, by profiling, race, assets, sex, and family being the most important elements of a profile. The difference being that we should admit what we are doing, instead of being furtive about it.

  83. Regarding “black names” (in the US) – interesting how similar they sound to Roma/gypsy names in Eastern Europe, suggesting that there are similar ideas in groups with low social status, mainly attempts to convey higher status. There are two typical kinds of Roma names: ones that try to sound like an aristocrat, a prince, and for some reason they find Romance languages more aristocratic, hence: Dominique, Alessandro, Armando, Paulito (as a nickname), Anastasia for women etc. Another idea is trying to sound like an unbeatable warrior, hence something like Little Tyson is a popular nickname.

  84. Jeff Read commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > It’s a pretty hot-button issue in the USA right now. We’re almost looking at a second Rodney King incident. A man got away with the murder of an unarmed teenager because he felt threatened by the teenager’s lack of photon reflectivity. That’s kind of a big deal.

    The jury’s finding, supported by compelling and overwhelming evidence, was that Zimmerman felt threatened not by Trayvon’s complexion but by Trayvon repeatedly smashing Zimmerman’s head into the concrete, that Trayvon was on top and bashing, and that therefore when Zimmerman shot him through the heart from underneath, this constituted self defense.

    Attacking random people in Florida is grounds for a Darwin award. You should expect neighborhood watch and rentacops in Florida to be armed.

    At the time, the evidence was: Zimmerman had called police. When police arrived, they found Zimmerman alive and beaten up, Trayvon dead with a bullet through the heart fired at very short range. Eyewitnesses, consistent with the sound recorded on a telephone call, report two men fighting, one on top and beating the other up, then a shot rang out, ending the fight.

    So, if Zimmerman on top, obviously murder, barring extraordinary evidence to the contrary.

    If Trayvon on top, obviously self defense, barring extraordinary evidence to the contrary.

    Zimmerman’s injuries showed Trayvon on top.

    This was subsequently confirmed by the powder marks of the gunshot on Trayvon. Zimmerman’s gun was directly against Trayvon’s hoodie, but several inches from Trayvon’s chest. Therefore, Trayvon cannot have been on the bottom.

    That Zimmerman was subsequently charged is an outrageous abuse of process, and would never have happened had George Zimmerman been called Jorge Ramos. That George Zimmerman was charged makes whites second class to blacks.

  85. Jon Brase: I was an enumerator for the 2010 Census. In the training, they spent a significant amount of time making sure we knew that “Hispanic of any race” meant exactly that, and that there were such things as black Hispanics and white HIspanics. They also said, and this was borne out in my experience, that Hispanic people would usually consider their race to be Hispanic and refuse to go into any further detail.

    The whole “white Hispanic” business in the Zimmerman case is just a way to use this to try to paint Zimmerman as a racist.

    And no, it’s not discontinuity that defines race vs. species, I was always taught. If two individuals mate and produce fertile offspring, then they are of the same species.

  86. @RickC/Michael and others
    A 17 year old male is a boy. As was remarked by someone else, it does matter whether you kill an adult or a minor.

    @Christopher Smith
    The word “unarmed” exists for a reason. It indicates that someone does not have a tool intended for doing bodily harm. Fights with bare fists are called “unarmed fights”. All the definitions for “arm” floating around here imply that a tool is directed to the victim. I have never seen the word “arm” used in a sense that the victim had to be smashed into it. That use has been made up here to divert the attention from the fact that the boy was unarmed.

    Also, I see no reason why “self-defense” should not apply against and unarmed boy. But the phrase “he shot an unarmed boy in self defense” is still true in this case and the spin doctors want to confuse this unpleasant truth.

  87. Pointing out that Martin was unarmed is itself spin, designed to produce sympathy for the aggressor. “OMG, he shot someone who wasn’t armed!” It ignores – hell, deliberately whitewashes – the fact that Martin could cause Zimmerman serious injury by smashing his head into the sidewalk.

  88. I have to say, ESR’s strategy of posting JAD-bait on his blog so that JAD exposes himself as a deranged idiot in the comments is pretty clever. Kudos.

  89. By the same token, should those below a certain age have less freedom (e.g., to drive motor vehicles on public roads, or to engage in sexual intercourse) based on the typical psychological characteristics of a group to which they belong?

  90. @Jay Maynard
    “Pointing out that Martin was unarmed is itself spin, designed to produce sympathy for the aggressor.”

    So you think pointing out relevant facts in a potential murder case is spin?

    When an “adult shoots and kills an unarmed minor that tries to murder him” then all the words in the quoted phrase are relevant to a jury and the public for understanding the case.

    There will be many other “details” that determine who will be guilty of what. Including the fact that the victim is dead and cannot defend himself. When the victim is also the accused and cannot defend his actions in court, extra care is needed. Care I do not see here.

  91. But the phrase “he shot an unarmed boy in self defense” is still true in this case and the spin doctors want to confuse this unpleasant truth

    The phrase “He shot an unarmed boy” references the massively photoshopped image of Trayvon, thus implies a lie.

    For the unphotoshopped image, the description “He shot an unarmed thug” is more accurate.

  92. @JAD
    ‘The phrase “He shot an unarmed boy” references the massively photoshopped image of Trayvon, thus implies a lie.’

    Yes, we know that you cannot face reality and objective facts.

  93. @JAD
    > > ‘The phrase “He shot an unarmed boy” references the massively photoshopped image of Trayvon, thus implies a lie.’

    Winter
    > Yes, we know that you cannot face reality and objective facts.

    If you look at the original, unphotoshopped, image, he is not a boy, but a thug.

    Blacks grow up faster. A black American seventeen year old male is approximately equivalent on average to a white American nineteen year old male. A nineteen year old white male is not a boy, and seventeen year old black male is not a boy. This is apparent in the unphotoshopped image.

    The more closely related one is to the common ancestor of man and chimp, the faster one grows up, and the sooner one dies. On average, blacks reach adulthood sooner than whites by all standard measures, intellectual, hormonal, skeletal, and physical. Black gestation is shorter, puberty sooner, skeletal ossification faster, and full height sooner.

    See Rushton, in “Race, Evolution, and Behaviour”

  94. @JAD
    “he is not a boy, but a thug.”

    A 17 year old male is a boy. And the Thugs were an organized gang of professional assassins in India. The boy might have qualified for the colloquial qualification “thug”, but he was still a boy. The terms do not exclude each other.

    I won’t bit to the rest of your unsupported drivel. You know where to find the relevant population genetic studies that do not support your claims.

  95. JAD
    > > he [Trayvon] is not a boy, but a thug.”

    Winter
    > A 17 year old male is a boy.

    A 17 year old white male is a boy. A 17 year old black male is not. Blacks grow up faster, as is obvious if you look at the unphotoshopped image of Trayvon.

  96. @JAD
    “A 17 year old white male is a boy. A 17 year old black male is not.”

    The difference between a boy/girl and a man/woman is not in the bones. Neither for the law, nor for society.

    But that does not suit you because it would not work when you want to dehumanize people you do not like.

  97. There will be many other “details” that determine who will be guilty of what. Including the fact that the victim is dead and cannot defend himself. When the victim is also the accused and cannot defend his actions in court, extra care is needed. Care I do not see here.

    I would mention that i’ve seen several comments elsewhere along the lines of “the state’s case was heavily damaged when their own witness testified to seeing Trayvon on top of Zimmerman beating him”. Yes care is needed, but when someone who the prosecution is putting forward as a credible witness is basically saying that Zimmerman had a reason to fear for his life… that doubt is now very very reasonable.

    As I said earlier, summing up the zimmerman victory as “the prosecution screwed the pooch” seems very plausible.

  98. That Zimmerman was subsequently charged is an outrageous abuse of process, and would never have happened had George Zimmerman been called Jorge Ramos. That George Zimmerman was charged makes whites second class to blacks.

    I disagree. A legal minor (regardless of his practical age) is dead. If the AG didn’t do SOMETHING that’s his career gone. Yes it sucks to be Zimmerman in this scenario but airing the issue in court was something that i’d consider a fait accompli.

    And I absolutely positively doubt that if the colours were reversed… The fine, upstanding black member of the community (neighbourhood watch… dontcha know) is attacked by a white thug and, in self defence, blows a hole in the thugs chest… I don’t think anyone rationally believes that black man wouldn’t have been arrested and tried.

  99. On the whole, it [jailing for minor non-crimes] works tolerably well in getting problem people off the streets.

    On the whole it works well in putting money in hands of operators of privately operated prisons, which go to lobbyists to get more strict laws, to get more prisoners and more money, etc. regulatory capture.

  100. regulatory capture.

    I’m sorry sir but you’ve clearly used more than your quota of satire in this statement… we’re going to have to put you in a privately operated prison for a few years to teach you a lesson.

  101. >The boy might have qualified for the colloquial qualification “thug”, but he was still a boy.

    “Might have”? What was your first clue – the multiple drug habits, the school suspensions, the “NO LIMIT NIGGA” twitter handle, the half-naked selfshots with obscene gestures, the broken grammar, the boastful jive about guns and fighting, the petty crime, the trashy stupid girlfriend?

    If Trayvon Martin wasn’t a thug it was only because he was a thug wannabe who hadn’t committed his first serious crime yet. He was trying on felony assault to see if it fit when Zimmerman shot him.

    American ghettos are full of “boys” like this. Dead-enders copping an attitude: posturing, violent, criminal potential limited mainly by their own dimwittedness. This one wasn’t even bright enough to boost cars; he’d probably have become a runner for a drug posse, with good odds of dying in a turf-war shooting before he was 21.

  102. @esr
    “Might have”? What was your first clue”

    None. I used “might have” in the sense that whether or not he was a thug is irrelevant for him being a male minor, i.e., a boy and that he did not carry arms. I simply did not follow this case on a level that I would be confident one way or the other. If you say he was a thug, I believe you on your word.

    I also never denied that Martin might have posed a lethal threat to Zimmerman. However dangerous, Martin still was an unarmed boy. If you attack me with your bare fists, that will probably pose a lethal danger to me. But it is still an unarmed middle aged man that attacks me.

  103. @TomM “But emotionally you also know that, all else being equal, it is worse to kill a minor than it is to kill an adult.”

    Thank you for so concisely demonstrating why no-one should ever listen to a progressive about anything … what on earth do my (or your) emotions have to do with anything? ANYTHING?

    A full-grown male by the name of Martin attacked and tried to kill Zimmerman. Zimmerman shot him in self defense. The aggressor died.

    The fact that I find the whole thing tragically sad and regrettable couldn’t be any more irrelevant.

    Thankfully we sort-of still have a system of law and government in this country that concerns itself with facts and reason and not with flighty unreliable fickle emotions.

  104. @Winter: I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since English isn’t your first language and make this quite clear: The word “boy” in modern English isn’t used to refer to a postpubescent male. If you want to use “minor”, then nobody will argue, but while a 14-year-old or even 15-year-old can get called “boy”, the term very strongly implies a physically immature male. When that distinction is specifically what’s at issue, as in a physical fight, using the term is misleading.

    (Additionally, don’t conflate the terms “arm” and “weapon”. The former is less strictly defined and, as you point out, doesn’t apply to fists, but the latter is a carefully defined legal term that applies to fists, sidewalks, and firearms.)

  105. >If you say he was a thug, I believe you on your word.

    Thug, common and garden variety, junior division. No blame for not knowing this from the news coverage, which was heavily slanted to canonize Martin as a move in several ongoing political wars.

  106. @Christopher Smith
    “The word “boy” in modern English isn’t used to refer to a postpubescent male. If you want to use “minor”, then nobody will argue,”

    When people are hair splitting this type of word use, you know a propaganda machine is at work. You really cannot make me believe “Minor” is a colloquial word used to refer to post-pubescent males. And the proverb “Boys will be boys” is not only used to refer to the exploits of 14 year-olds and younger.

    I seriously doubt whether this restriction even holds for all native speakers of English, or even all native speakers of USA English. Let alone for all the non-native speakers of USA English living in the USA.

    I know that “girl” is regularly used to even address post-menopausal women ;-)

  107. >The word “boy” in modern English isn’t used to refer to a postpubescent male.

    Mostly true. There are some idiomatic exceptions, but none that apply in this case. For the benefit of the ESL speakers among my regulars I’ll explain a few.

    A man of any age may speak of a group of his friends or work peers as “the boys”, as in “a night out with the boys”. There are some stock phrases in which “boy” is understood never to refer to a pre-adolescent: the most common is “good ol’ boy” which is a complicated Southern regionalism I won’t try to explain; unless you’re from there you cannot use it safely. There’s an idiom “boy wonder”, often used sarcastically, in which the referent may be a male of any age. If a teenage girl speaks of “boy trouble” she is certainly referring to a postpubescent age peer; adult women speak of “man trouble” instead. Both minor females and adult women have age-peer “boyfriends”, but use of that term falls off with increasing age.

    In a sentence like “Zimmerman shot a boy” there is a little ambiguity. Many native speakers will hear it as “Zimmerman shot a prepubescent”. But for some speakers the boy/man distinction is contingent on when the male gets his full physical growth and secondary sexual characteristics. Early adolescents are “boys” in this usage, but late adolescents like Trayvon Martin are not.

    In some contexts “boy” applies until legal majority or even a few years afterwards. But: age-peers never speak this way, and it is almost exclusive to older men in positions of authority or social dominance. (There are some circumstances in which I might appropriately describe a 22-year-old as a “boy”, but only because I’m over 50.) This is the only usage of “boy” that applied to Trayvon Martin. But you won’t normally find it in police reports or newspapers, which routinely describe 17-year-olds as “men”.

    (Note: Never, ever, directly address a post-pubescent black male as “boy”. This recalls the form of address used by masters to their slaves and is considered directly and severely insulting – fighting words. You will not be forgiven, you may well take a punch, and if he has friends handy you could get a serious beating.)

    So it’s not absolutely true that “boy” is only used of pre-pubescents. But describing Trayvon Martin as a “boy” is at best playing very fast and loose with English usage. It’s deceptive, and the news-media pattern in this case is one of intentional deception in the service of sensationalism and political axe-grinding.

  108. In the summer of 1966, I was working a full-time (but temporary) job for a radio station in New Jersey. I was 20 years old. Both the chief engineer and the RCA rep (new transmitter was being installed) referred to me as ‘the boy’.

  109. >In the summer of 1966, I was working a full-time (but temporary) job for a radio station in New Jersey. I was 20 years old. Both the chief engineer and the RCA rep (new transmitter was being installed) referred to me as ‘the boy’.

    That was pushing 50 years ago. Usage norms have shifted a bit since then; mainly, the degree of authority/social/age distance required to make “boy” non-insulting to a 20-year-old has increased a little.

  110. @TomM: “Would you be more comfortable if Winter referred to him as a “minor”? Why does it matter?”

    Because Martin was close to adulthood. Initial reporting showed a 5-year-old picture, leading to a biased view of Zimmerman shooting a child. A 17yo is not a child. Up until modern times, he would already have been considered an adult. Western society has a schizophrenic attitude about whether late teens are children or adults (for example, ObamaCare’s mandate that a parent’s children can stay on their insurance until they’re 26. 26 is well into adulthood.)

    I haven’t really got an axe to grind here, I just don’t want people thinking of Martin as a child per se, because he wasn’t.

    Also, regarding “I have developed a principle that whenever someone starts talking about race in terms of the % of “pure” blood involved,” that was kind of a throwaway observation. As I said, Zimmerman was painted as a “White Hispanic.” I put it to you that that is a meaningless term, designed to inflame racial tensions by allowing a narrative of “white man shoots black boy” (and there’s the boy/man distinction again, btw) which we all know was not a very accurate way to view the situation. And by the silly logic used to call Zimmerman a white man, we could also call the President one. That was supposed to be some kind of reductio ad absurdum.

    back to the “boy” issue again: @Michael: “Because calling Martin a “boy” makes it sound if Zimmerman went out that night and shot a small child.

    So it’s not obvious if Winter is just being an agenda-driven troll or doesn’t understand how the word “boy” is generally used.”

    Exactly!

    @Jon Brase: Regarding “white hispanic,” the term in the context doesn’t simply mean “white and/or hispanic.” In the context in which it was used, it means “a white guy killed a black guy” so that it can be used as a racial grievance. I don’t think I ever heard the term before this case, although just now I googled “white hispanic -zimmerman” and discovered that there’s a wikipedia page going back to 2007, although it was a stub at that point. So technically it is a real term, but I don’t think it was at all well known. FWIW, if you look at a picture of Zimmerman, you’d probably call him Hispanic and not white. Also, his voter registration card (source: wikipedia) calls him hispanic and not white or white hispanic, so he apparently doesn’t identify as white Hispanic.

    Again, I don’t think the issue of his racial makeup is relevant to his attitude, I think it’s relevant to the public perception of his attitude and, as I’ve said, the attempt to fit the story into a certain narrative.

    @Winter: “A 17 year old male is a boy.” No, that’s modern Western standards talking. If you look outside modern industrial society, then a 17 year old male would have been considered a man.

    “@Winter: I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since English isn’t your first language and make this quite clear: The word “boy” in modern English isn’t used to refer to a postpubescent male.”

    This is true. “Boy” implies “child.” A 17 year old is not a child. “Minor” is a better term. Also, FWIW, in America, the term “boy” is emotionally loaded when used to describe a black male by a white (or “white hispanic”) person. I don’t know if that’s a relevant factor here, but it pays to use terms carefully.

    @Winter: “You really cannot make me believe “Minor” is a colloquial word used to refer to post-pubescent males.”

    Of course it’s not a colloquial term; it’s more of a legal one, while being technically accurate.

    You’ve had it repeatedly pointed out to you in this thread that as a non-native English speaker, you may not be aware of the connotation of words. A better term for a 17 year old male is “young man,” although he probably wouldn’t like it much. He wouldn’t want to be called a boy. (In this case I refer to a general male teen, not Martin.)

  111. @Winter
    You’re touching on a subject that has had a lot of debate in feminist language circles; you’ll meet women here and there that strenuously object to being called “girl” as it can be subtly (and not so subtly) demeaning. I think it’s a fair criticism, depending on the context.

    But, it’s also not an equivalent term to “boy” in colloquial American English, unless you are specifically referring to children. “Girl” often generalizes to any female in informal contexts; “boy” does not generalize to any male except in very specific slang phrasings or when specifically intending to lower the subject’s standing (or if you’re of a male-interested persuasion and either being cute or showing exasperation, hah).

    There’s actually a huge amount of complexity to the term when you’re using it in reference to a male in his late teens. A standard neutral-respect term one would use for such would be “young man” or “young male” or just “17 year old male”. Assuming you don’t just say “man”. Using “boy” as a descriptor carries a weight of meaning depending on who is saying it AND depending on context. It is, perhaps unfortunately, not aligned with the very precise term “minor” as you suggest.

    Modulo the above complexities (and more, see Eric’s comment), the only reasons a supposedly-impartial news agency, for instance, would use “boy” to describe a 17 year old would be they’re unprofessional and/or they are pushing an agenda.

    (Ahh dang, Eric got there first but off a different comment… I don’t think this overlaps completely so I’ll post it)

  112. >You really cannot make me believe “Minor” is a colloquial word used to refer to post-pubescent males.

    It isn’t. Christopher is recommending that because none of the colloquial terms for this age range are completely unambiguous. To be precise you have to use legal or medical terms of art.

    >I know that “girl” is regularly used to even address post-menopausal women ;-)

    That is true but not actually relevant.

    It is still acceptable to refer to women as “girls” in age ranges long after “boy” stops being appropriate. Because female mating strategy depends on conveying a youthful appearance, this is even usually flattering. Feminists don’t like it, though, and a woman in a defensive or pissed-off mood may choose to read it as belittling.

    Post-menopausal women are addressed as “girl” only by close friends and female age-peers. If a male stranger did that it would be awkward; from a younger woman it would be mockery and pretty strongly tabooed. Older men would have to be age peers and very intimate before using “boy” as direct address, and would never address each other that way in public.

  113. Joseph wrote: “By the same token, should those below a certain age have less freedom (e.g., to drive motor vehicles on public roads, or to engage in sexual intercourse) based on the typical psychological characteristics of a group to which they belong?”

    Age itself is not a psychological characteristic, and neither are many of the physical characteristics that make it a bad idea for children to operate motor vehicles or have sex (http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/books/). There are physical characteristics related to psychological ones (not just the confusion of puberty resulting from the body changing from child to adult modes, but developing characteristics in the brain that have not fully matured, which is why teenagers often rationalize stupidity with irrational criteria, especially the counter-intuitive #YOLO fad.)

  114. >But describing Trayvon Martin as a “boy” is at best playing very fast and loose with English usage.

    I will further note that describing him as a “child” (as the news media and pundits have often done) goes beyond even fast and loose into unambiguously deliberate deception.

    In older usage, “child” extended to early adolescents. But since the term “teenager” entered common use its semantic field has contracted; “child” now equates pretty unambiguously to “preadolescent”.

    Describing Trayvon Martin as a “child” is of a piece with publishing a picture of him as a delicate-looking 12-year-old rather than the muscular young man he actually was. It’s mendacious.

    There’s an old Southern phrase “buck nigger”, analogous to “buck deer”, now considered very rude and racist if used by whites – it has connotations of uncontrolled maleness and animality, nothing you want near your women. It’s not part of my birth idiom, I’m from Boston. But when I saw the half-naked self-shots from Martin’s phone, the speech balloon my brain instantly supplied was “Look at me, I’m a badass buck nigger!”

    If you’d addressed Trayvon Martin as “child” he would have cursed you out and maybe hit you, because that’s what badass buck niggers do. And pathetic weak-tea wannabe buck niggers, too.

  115. There are lots of ways to use ‘boy’ loosely to connote newness or low status, which seems to be what LM is reporting. It’s also common to use it loosely for the heck of it in a context where people are saying things loosely for the heck of it: “Yes, but if he tries that, the artillery boys will turn him into sniper paste mixed with a whole cow college worth of disorganized powdered geological samples.”

    It seems to be the case that US Army official minimum age in WWII was 17, though I haven’t found authoritative confirmation. It is clearly widely believed. It would not provoke *too* much eye-rolling if someone described a WWII boot camp as “training men and even boys for war”: it would be understood as a rhetorical stretch but not an attempt to mislead since every listener would know there were no 8-year-olds in the camp, and damned few 15-year-olds.

    It is not normal to use ‘boy’ in an earnest argument that a 17-year-old high school football player is not a physical threat. It’s like talking about a catastrophe which “decimated an entire city” when you’re talking about an event which killed 11 people. Even if it was a tenth of the population of some ghost town which was technically a city in some sense, a town that small is so far off on the tail of the distribution that it is hard to understand that choice of the word ‘city’ except as an attempt to mislead. Or calling a doll chair a chair, or saying a nuclear plant emits tons of waste per day when you mean cooling steam. And it’s particularly hard to interpret it charitably when we’ve seen so many variations on the theme of how childishly unthreatening Martin was, e.g., wide publication of undated photos which show a much younger person than the on-the-day image of the high school football player http://media2.wptv.com//photo/2013/05/22/TM711_4_20130522123142_640_480.PNG

  116. To expand on Eric’s explanation of the term “boy”: Being from Texas, I can get away with saying “good ol’ boy”. I can even call someone else “boy” when addressing him. The contexts in which that is appropriate are culturally defined, and I would strongly recommend non-Southerners not attempt it without a couple of decades of listening to grok the fullness of the term.

    In particular, pronunciation is key. Pronouncing it the standard way transforms even the acceptable uses into insults. The thicker the southern/Texan accent used, the less likelihood of misunderstanding there will be.

    And never, EVER address a black man that you do not consider a very close friend and to whom you have not demonstrated a profound lack of racism in that way, and maybe not even then unless you’re deliberately making a joke or a point that you’re certain he will take in the way you intend. Otherwise, the southern/Texan accent will simply make the insult that much more deadly.

    But all of that is quite contextual. Written baldly, as Winter did, conveys, to an American, pretty precisely a male human under the age of 13. Thinking of Trayvon Martin as a boy, let alone speaking of him that way, is a sign that his documented attitudes and actions are being handwaved away in an attempt to paint him as a sweet, innocent angel who could not possibly brought his fate upon himself.

    And I should also note that, had he lived, Martin would almost certainly have been charged with whatever Florida calls “assault with a deadly weapon”. If you’re using a weapon, in what way are you not armed?

  117. >Being from Texas, I can get away with saying “good ol’ boy”. I can even call someone else “boy” when addressing him. The contexts in which that is appropriate are culturally defined, and I would strongly recommend non-Southerners not attempt it without a couple of decades of listening to grok the fullness of the term.

    Absolutely (or, as a Texan might put it, “Abso-damn-lutely.”). Even though I think I have an ear for this sort of nuance in English that is nearly as good as a trained sociolinguist’s, there is no way in hell I would try it on. The risk of serious insult would be too great, and if I tried to use the accent required it would probably sound like mockery and make it worse.

    The fact that I’m a Boston Yankee from the Ivy League would just put the rotten cherry on top of a shit sundae. There are class and regional divides operating here difficult for non-Americans to fully grasp. Old and bitter folk memories of our civil war are involved.

  118. To add a few more peculiarities about language:

    For “child” also refers to a person in relationship to their parents. That is, everybody is a child since they have been born of other people. However, there is generally an association with youth and dependence. For example, during the debate over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), there was a great deal made over the fact that “children” up to the age of 26 could be covered by their parents’ health insurance. Attaching the term “children” to people of majority age may be denotatively accurate, but connotatively carries the sense of being unable to care for themselves (reliably cook, do laundry, etc).

    For “boy”, consider the term in the Motion Picture industry “Best Boy”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_boy
    Which came from a diminutive term and now is a standardized title (applying to women, too).

  119. Christopher is recommending that because none of the colloquial terms for this age range are completely unambiguous.

    That’s going a bit far; I was merely objecting to the use of “boy”. When I can’t get around using any term at all for describing someone in the age range, I usually prefer “young man/woman”, though the difference in connotations between “boy” and “girl” is every bit as wide as described, and I can call women my age (late 20s) “girl” in circumstances where an 18-year-old male would take serious offense to being called “boy”, even if he were white.

    Absolutely (or, as a Texan might put it, “Abso-damn-lutely.”).

    Nah. Around here (and to my knowledge, in the US generally), the only infix in common usage is “fucking”, though you’re quite likely to hear “damn right/straight”.

  120. …And I should also note that, had he lived, Martin would almost certainly have been charged with whatever Florida calls “assault with a deadly weapon”. If you’re using a weapon, in what way are you not armed?

    No-one is unarmed when they weaponize their body. Martin even weaponized the concrete pathway, much like using a rock to bludgeon a person. Martin got what he deserved.

    Now, his POS ‘parents’ – that gave such a mighty shit about the kid – are looking to cash in on his corpse. The song remains the same.

  121. >Now, his POS ‘parents’ – that gave such a mighty shit about the kid – are looking to cash in on his corpse.

    And they almost look like a class act compared to the skanky, thick-as-a-plank girlfriend – who I think might have sunk the prosecution’s case single-handedly if other witnesses hadn’t been so damning.

  122. When that retarded whale took the stand, I swear I thought I’d entered a fucked-up dimension where theonion.com was reality. If she had mentioned missing an episode of “ow my balls!”, I would have shat myself on the spot.

    I’d never seen prosecutorial suicide before.

  123. >When that retarded whale took the stand, I swear I thought I’d entered a fucked-up dimension where theonion.com was reality.

    LOL. I had a slightly different reaction. Something like: “What the fuck? Nobody should reify a stereotype that exactly.” But you’re right; it was as though she’d wandered in from some comic parody involving a stock Ugly Black Chick character way too exaggerated to be real, except she’s really like that. Frightening…

  124. I can call women my age (late 20s) “girl” in circumstances where an 18-year-old male would take serious offense to being called “boy”, even if he were white.

    That is, strictly speaking, sexist language. Calling a fully-grown woman a “girl” has undertones of male dominance — taking a paternal role with respect to the woman — as well as considering the woman an object of sexual desire. It’s occasionally done by women when considering men as sexual objects — e.g., “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” — but the fact that it’s tolerated so much more when men call women “girl” is one of those gender-inequality things we want to change.

    At any rate, you’d best not do it on any open-source mailing lists unless you want a very public calling out as a promulgator of rape culture.

  125. >At any rate, you’d best not do it on any open-source mailing lists unless you want a very public calling out as a promulgator of rape culture.

    You provide an excellent example of how the PC mob using the “rape culture” epithet makes itself look ridiculous.

    As long as the primary female mating strategy remains one of trading good looks, health, and youth for male providership, women not addled by an excess of indignation theory will want men to call them “girls” and know that their value in the mating market has fallen off a cliff when men cease to do so.

  126. @esr
    > As long as the primary female mating strategy remains one of trading good
    > looks, health, and youth for male providership, women not addled by an excess
    > of indignation theory will want men to call them “girls” and know that their value
    > in the mating market has fallen off a cliff when men cease to do so.

    I think this is valid except in places where a woman isn’t looking for a mate. To default to using the term “girl” for any woman, especially in this sense (and on the aforementioned mailing lists and similar environments), is presuming something that may not actually be true. Insistence on “woman” over “girl” is – or should be – a simple matter of egalitarianism.

    That said, trying to equate “girl” with rape culture is indeed pretty idiotic. It just dilutes the very real issue with misdirected pedantry.

  127. Hm, I seem to have a comment a little ways up stuck in moderation, just FYI. Top of the “boy” discussion.

  128. You provide an excellent example of how the PC mob using the “rape culture” epithet makes itself look ridiculous.

    And, ironically, rather paternalistic in insisting that my friends would object if only they knew what was good for them.

  129. Since apparently everyone *wants* to be sidetracked from the original, interesting discussion to the media-driven trivia of the day:

    It may well be that the verdicts in this case were correct, although it certainly stretches my understanding of the phrase “affirmative defense”: Zimms didn’t even testify to a theory of mortal threat (so the theory was never cross-examined), and the six middle-aged female jurors inferred such from his taped police interviews.

    However, in case young impressionable CCW-holders are lurking, can we at least agree that he made several mistakes that night, mistakes that a wiser or more moral armed citizen would never have made? Can we agree that when the cops are literally a minute away, it’s best to avoid brawling? Can we agree that a confident mature neighborhood watch volunteer should approach suspects with a friendly “hi I’m George from the neighborhood association I don’t recognize you where are you staying are you lost would you like a ride in my truck?” rather than skulking about from behind various corners? Can we agree that someone who *wanted* to kill a young thug-in-training (really? most places I’ve been they’re way past the training stage by 17) would be well-advised to do exactly what Zimms did, and furthermore that it’s immoral to want to kill anyone who hasn’t yet done anything wrong?

    Wait, what was I thinking. I’ve been trolled by the pseudo-psychology. Never mind me. Go back to the blood percentages and prescriptivist linguistics. That’s much more self-affirming.

  130. @ Michael
    >Thank you for so concisely demonstrating why no-one should ever listen to a progressive about anything … what on earth do my (or your) emotions have to do with anything? ANYTHING?

    Quite a bit, actually. Emotions tend to drive behaviour pretty directly.

    But to be clear, I agree your (or my) emotional response to a news item about a man acquitted of a murder charge is not relevant to the correctness of the court’s decision.

  131. it certainly stretches my understanding of the phrase “affirmative defense”

    I’m not familiar with Florida law, but under Texas law self-defense is a standard defense, not affirmative (an affirmative defense is one where the burden of proof is on the defense, not the prosecution). Even if it were, if the standard is that a reasonable person would have believed himself in a certain level of danger, a jury could certainly find the injuries and the testimony that Zimmerman was on the receiving end of a ground-and-pound to be sufficient evidence.

    can we at least agree that he made several mistakes that night, mistakes that a wiser or more moral armed citizen would never have made?

    I’m pretty sure that everyone here who doesn’t advocate incarcerating black males categorically would agree that he made serious mistakes, though I’m hardly convinced that he was particularly morally culpable; in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to make small mistakes that snowball quickly.

    Can we agree that when the cops are literally a minute away, it’s best to avoid brawling?

    The available evidence indicates that was Martin’s choice, not Zimmerman’s.

    Can we agree that a confident mature neighborhood watch volunteer should approach suspects […] rather than skulking about from behind various corners?

    Given the circumstances, I can easily see how that “friendly” approach could have been considered hostile by Martin, and if he’d done that and things turned ugly, people would be saying that he should have kept his distance and observed.

    furthermore that it’s immoral to want to kill anyone who hasn’t yet done anything wrong

    Who’s advocating that? Or is this a jab suggesting that Martin hadn’t done anything wrong? If so, do you mean before or after the assault?

  132. Winter
    > However dangerous, Martin still was an unarmed boy.

    Take a look at a non photoshopped photograph. Trayvon was not a boy. Nor would we expect a black male that age to be a boy. A white male that age would probably be a boy. A black male that age is unlikely to be a boy.

  133. >I’m pretty sure that everyone here who doesn’t advocate incarcerating black males categorically would agree that he made serious mistakes

    Assuming Zimmerman is telling the truth, I don’t see that Zimmerman made any mistakes at all other than not already being in Condition Red with his weapon ready by the time Martin jumped him. And while that would have been tactically optimal it might have made his defense at trial significantly more difficult, in that the injuries he took backed up his story. Realistically the only thing I could gig him for would be poor situational alertness. Anybody criticizing him for having to shoot his way out of a ground-and-pound has no concept of what being in that situation is like.

    I’m not flapping my jaw idly when I say these things. I’m not Massad Ayoob or anything, but I have taught both armed and empty-hand self-defense and this confrontation was pretty textbook stuff. Have you heard any tactical analysis from the pros that says Zimmerman screwed the pooch? No…and I think you’re not going to, either. Anyone who’s had even the bare minimum of training cops in places like Sanford, Florida get knows better.

  134. You provide an excellent example of how the PC mob using the “rape culture” epithet makes itself look ridiculous.

    I was exaggerating, but not by much. Linus is apparently “advocating physical violence” now when he jokingly suggests that Greg Kroah-Hartman is a giant (of the fee-fi-fo-fum variety) who will squish you for pushing commits with egregious kernel-style violations.

    Historically, most hackers have been not only men, but men of a sort of Mannie O’Kelly-Davis “git ‘er done” variety, and that’s beginning to change now, so new norms of behavior must be adopted in order to create a welcoming and inclusive community. But even I think the policing is a bit ridiculous, and will taper off till a happier balance point is found.

  135. Take a look at a non photoshopped photograph. Trayvon was not a boy. Nor would we expect a black male that age to be a boy. A white male that age would probably be a boy. A black male that age is unlikely to be a boy.

    Oh, come on. There’s no shortage of white boys who at 17 get that big and burly. And quite frankly, Taryvon Martin gave off every whiff of being a boy — between the ears.

    That said, Trayvon was of sufficient physical maturity to pose a grave threat. Indeed, if Trayvon had survived and if he were charged with the assault he was alleged to have committed, he would almost certainly have been tried as an adult.

    I will concede that if Zimmermann’s account is correct, he acted appropriately. I have grave doubts about the accuracy of Zimmermann’s account, however.

  136. “if I tried to use the accent required”
    *sproing* Eric, you don’t truly understand just how wrong this mental image is…

    “The fact that I’m a Boston Yankee from the Ivy League would just put the rotten cherry on top of a shit sundae.”
    Yup. You’d be rapidly introduced, firsthand, to the fact that “damnYankee” (one word) is still live usage. At the very least.
    And yes, “damn straight, boy!” would be the likely response.

    “Nobody should reify a stereotype that exactly.”
    I think I finally understand the meaning of the term “reify”: it’s the RL/philosophical synonym for “instantiate”.

  137. @esr: I haven’t any quibble with Zimmerman’s apparent actions once Martin jumped him, but I do think that, e.g., following the operator’s request to stay put would have been a more prudent choice. The largest benefit of situational awareness is being able to stay out of unnecessarily hazardous situations in the first place.

    I will concede that if Zimmermann’s account is correct, he acted appropriately. I have grave doubts about the accuracy of Zimmermann’s account, however.

    Which aspects of his account do you doubt, and why?

  138. “Assuming Zimmerman is telling the truth, I don’t see that Zimmerman made any mistakes at all other than not already being in Condition Red with his weapon ready by the time Martin jumped him.”

    He probably didn’t think he needed to do that. When you are in your twenties, you don’t recognize the gradual diminution of your physical abilities. You think that you still have it all…until you end up in a direct comparison with a younger man. Zimmerman was karate trained, which gave him (over)confidence. It was quite a shock to him when he found that none of what he had made any difference when you are under attack by someone with the speed and power of a 17 year old. There’s a reason why the army wants you when you are 17 or 18, and not when you are 29.

  139. >Historically, most hackers have been not only men, but men of a sort of Mannie O’Kelly-Davis “git ‘er done” variety, and that’s beginning to change now, so new norms of behavior must be adopted in order to create a welcoming and inclusive community.

    I have a better idea. Let’s drive away people unwilling to adopt that “git’r’done” attitude with withering scorn, rather than waste our time pacifying tender-minded ninnies and grievance collectors. That way we might continue to actually, you know, get stuff done.

    Some of the whiners might be marginally useful, but experience tells me most will not be. Time spent coping with their grievance-collecting behavior and demands for constant soothing and ritualized utterances of PC bullshit is time wasted.

  140. @Winter

    Typical liberal logic deflection:
    “To me this sounds as a typical excuse to confuse the fact that the boy might have posed a mortal danger, but still was unarmed.”

    Translated -> I don’t care if there was a mortal danger to Zimmerman or not, my whole argument revolves over the technical defintion of “unarmed”

    Also, Winter, you may want to go back to the EMS responders’ testimony during the trial, in which she stated she removed a folding cane from Martin’s body.

    but that’s OK, you just kep on “keepin it real”.

  141. >I do think that, e.g., following the operator’s request to stay put would have been a more prudent choice

    More prudent, perhaps. Correct? Probably not. Zimmerman was neighborhood watch in a neighborhood that had had a string of burglaries and he thought he saw a mook casing houses. He was doing the job he had volunteered for; he was being a proper sheepdog.

    As for “operator’s request”, there was no request. The operator said “We don’t need you to do that.” Which translates as “I’m trained not to give orders, but I’m disclaiming liability if you get whacked.” Zimnmerman then chose to do the brave thing, which was probably the right thing as well.

  142. >When you are in your twenties, you don’t recognize the gradual diminution of your physical abilities.

    Huh? I’m a much stronger and more capable fighter at 55 than I was at 17, so this “gradual diminution” clearly is not universal. You might well be right that Zimmerman didn’t go to high enough alert because he was overconfident, but I think attributing that to relative age is unjustified.

  143. >*sproing* Eric, you don’t truly understand just how wrong this mental image is…

    Ahh, you just lack imagination. Or perhaps are unaware that my peculiar early childhood left me with a chameleon-like ability to pick up local accents when I choose to. And sometimes when I don’t; the one time I went to Germany it took me until three days after I got back to the U.S. to lose the accent of a German university student speaking ESL.

    Here’s what would happen if you dropped me in rural Texas and my brain went into crib-bilingual adaptation mode. I’d continue talking like me for about three hours of conversational immersion. Then I’d start to acquire a plausible light Texas accent. Within a week or so there would be people who assume I’m from somewhere in Texas but have spent a lot of time out of state.

    Now, mind you, I doubt I would ever acquire a deep enough Texas accent to address a local as “boy” and get away with it – that would be the adaptive equivalent of a perfect ten from Olympic judges. But after four days in Ireland I was able to walk into a bar and order cider in a good enough imitation of the local accent that (a) nobody looked at me funny, and (b) no one made a point of not looking at me funny.

  144. “Huh? I’m a much stronger and more capable fighter at 55 than I was at 17, so this “gradual diminution” clearly is not universal.”

    @esr: Some time ago, I suggested that you drop by a local kiddie park and play a couple of games of Whac-a-Mole. Then watch some kids play. Have you tried it?

  145. @esr
    > Here’s what would happen if you dropped me in rural Texas and my brain went
    > into crib-bilingual adaptation mode.

    Do you do this actively, Eric, or is it a passive ability? I have experience with this exact thing happening to me without me even realizing it until someone comments on it.

    Though, my accent has been easily changeable ever since I was 10 and deliberately worked to purge the heavy Texan from my voice. It comes back when I get very tired, though, hah.

  146. >@esr: Some time ago, I suggested that you drop by a local kiddie park and play a couple of games of Whac-a-Mole. Then watch some kids play. Have you tried it?

    No. I gather you think I’d learn a lesson about speed and quickness. But I wasn’t quick when I was 17, either. You can’t lose with age what you didn’t have to begin with.

  147. > I’d never seen prosecutorial suicide before.

    You go with the case you have, not the case you would like to have.

    For example, the prosecution have been criticized for playing the video of Zimmerman talking to police with no lawyer present, and no advice from any lawyer. He got to tell his side of the story “without cross examination”. But the police cross examined him, and he came off smelling of roses. Normally if you have a video of a suspect talking to police with no legal advice, even if the suspect is completely innocent, the sight of an authority figure suspecting the suspect will lead to an almost automatic conviction. So normally this would be great strategy – it is just that it was so glaringly obvious that Zimmerman is completely innocent and completely in the right.

    As I said, this would never have happened if his name was Jorge Ramos. The fact that Zimmerman was charged is a compelling demonstration that whites are second class citizens.

  148. >he was being a proper sheepdog.

    Aren’t you assuming your conclusion here?

    From the (admittedly little) I have seen about this, commentary seems to have settled around 2 polar extremes – Trayvon as angel v Zimmerman as hero.

    Isn’t more likely that the reality, as is usually the case, looks a lot more gray than either white or black?

    As in:

    Trayvon may well have been an idle youth on the edge of a life of crime. Zimmerman may well have genuinely believed he was protecting his community.

    That one of them is now dead is a tragedy, whether or not the decision to acquit Zimmerman of murder seems to you now a miscarriage of justice or its apotheosis.

    And – yes – the toxicity of race politics in America is at the heart of this.

  149. >Zimmerman may well have genuinely believed he was protecting his community.

    On the record, I see no reason to doubt this. Zimmerman has a history of public spirit, including organizing protests over what he believed was police mistreatment of a black man.

    That, coupled with the courage it required to go check out a suspicious person who might well be an armed criminal, qualifies him as “proper sheepdog”. It’s what I’d have done, I think. But I’d have jacked the slide on my Kimber, then kept at least my fingers in contact with the stock as I went in. Desperately hoping you won’t have to shoot is no reason not to be tactically prepared to.

  150. TomM on 2013-07-18 at 18:27:08 said:
    > Isn’t more likely that the reality, as is usually the case, looks a lot more gray than either white or black?

    Not if you are familiar with the evidence. If Zimmerman’s is telling the truth, he is a hero, and Trayvon is the stereotypical black thug that he looks like, who needed killing. Every point of Zimmerman’s story, his videotaped statement to police given without legal advice and under police examination, is supported by circumstantial evidence, and usually by eyewitness and forensic evidence.

    And the truthfulness of Zimmerman has been very thoroughly examined by the full trial Even though he was not cross examined, his video statement to police was examined very thoroughly by an extremely hostile audience.

  151. >Do you do this actively, Eric, or is it a passive ability?

    I can choose to let it happen – sort of encourage the process by adopting the right mental stance – but it may happen anyway. Sometimes I don’t realize it’s happening.

    >It comes back when I get very tired, though, hah.

    Yeah, sure. Everyone regresses to their milk accent when fatigued. I do too.

    The funny part is that my milk accent sounds like ESL acquired by a university-educated foreigner. Result of my peculiar international childhood…

  152. TomM commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > That one of them is now dead is a tragedy,

    To judge by Trayvon’s facebook page and such, that he is dead is a matter of taking out the trash. It would have happened sooner or later, and sooner is better.

    A number of blogs have been translating Trayvon’s obscure and intentionally obfuscated dialect to English. The results are entertaining. Either he was the scum of the earth, or liked to pretend to be the scum of the earth. Either practice is apt to be fatal.

  153. JonCB commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > As I said earlier, summing up the zimmerman victory as “the prosecution screwed the pooch” seems very plausible.

    As I said, the evidence is what it is. What do you suggest the prosecution should have done instead? Presented no evidence at all and relied on media demonization to make its case?

    Every criticism of the prosecution is “They should not have shown that evidence”. Well then, what evidence should they have shown?

  154. @ JAD
    > Trayvon is the stereotypical black thug that he looks like, who needed killing.

    I know I am feeding the vile racist troll, but:

    Back the fuck up, man. No-one “needs killing”.

    The court’s conclusion that Zimmerman acted in self defence and so his killing of Trayvon was justified in the circumstances is a very different finding than that Trayvon “needed killing”.

    It saddens me that otherwise intelligent commenters here may need to be reminded of the difference.

    (You, on the other hand, are a slime ball and I suppose we should not expect anything but hateful speech from you.)

  155. JonCB commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > And I absolutely positively doubt that if the colours were reversed… The fine, upstanding black member of the community (neighbourhood watch… dontcha know) is attacked by a white thug and, in self defence, blows a hole in the thugs chest…

    And has physical evidence and compelling circumstantial evidence that he was in fact attacked.

    > I don’t think anyone rationally believes that black man wouldn’t have been arrested and tried.

    That is bizarrely crazy talk.

    Now in most countries, if you shoot someone, even if clearly in self defense, you will go to trial. But it is definitely way abnormal in America, and doubly so if you are black.

    This is America. People are allowed to defend themselves, and blacks are allowed extra leeway to defend themselves, due to white guilt about the fact that formerly blacks were allowed less leeway to defend themselves. Not allowing whites (or people with suspiciously white names) to defend themselves is an extraordinary lurch leftwards.

  156. Pretending to be the scum of the earth is the essence of the gang-banger culture, whether or not one is an actual gang-banger. How many of them actually turn into violent thugs with no regard for their fellow man is a matter of some debate, I would think, but I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s too high.

    I think it’s generally evident to those not blinded by the media depiction of him as a sweet boy that Trayvon Martin was in the category of those headed for a life as a violent thug. His actions certainly qualified as those of a thug.

    Yes, TomM, I think it’s a tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead. The tragedy started a lot earlier than that night in Sanford, though. It started when Martin chose the thug life, and learned to think and respond int he ways that ultimately got him killed.

  157. I wrote:
    > > On the whole, [jailing for minor non-crimes] works tolerably well in getting problem people off the streets.

    Jakub Narebski
    > On the whole it works well in putting money in hands of operators of privately operated prisons, which go to lobbyists to get more strict laws, to get more prisoners and more money, etc. regulatory capture.

    That is a fair description of what goes down in Yolo Country, but consider what happened in New York City, where jailing people for minor non crimes made an intolerably dangerous city a much safer place.

  158. “Or perhaps are unaware that my peculiar early childhood left me with a chameleon-like ability to pick up local accents when I choose to.”

    BTW, those of you who don’t know anyone who can do this are missing out. My wife can–you don’t know what funny is until you see a Maine Yankee doing a credible Latvian accent within an hour or so of meeting her first Latvian.

  159. “You go with the case you have, not the case you would like to have.”

    If the case you have is a weak POS, you could always consider NOT going with it, like the Sanford PD initially did.

  160. esr commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > “What the fuck? Nobody should reify a stereotype that exactly.”

    As you are fond of pointing out, not all blacks fit the stereotype. But when there is trouble, Bayes tells us that the already substantial probability that they fit the stereotype is considerably higher.

    Which means that under the common circumstance that accurate indications of someone’s character are unavailable, which they usually are, because people conceal their bad character, we should treat them by stereotype.

    As others in this thread have pointed out, that is already the law and the government policy with underage immaturity and male violence, though strangely, not the law and the government policy with female irrationality and black violence.

    Your usage of the term “reify” is in fact correct, but confusing, because when one reifies people, one is usually committing the fallacy of reification. Just as when I see the word “whom” in a sentence, I tend to assume it is being used wrongly, when I see the word “reify” in a sentence, I tend to assume it is being used wrongly.

    This is much like the BBC style guide on “literally” instead of telling their announcers to use it correctly the BBC style guide says “do not use”.

    Of course, one can use it if one trusts one’s readers are not idiots, and one trusts that one’s readers do not suspect one is an idiot.

  161. Jess
    > Zimms didn’t even testify to a theory of mortal threat (so the theory was never cross-examined), and the six middle-aged female jurors inferred such from his taped police interviews.

    If Zimmerman was on top bashing Trayvon’s head against the concrete, obviously the shot was murder, barring extraordinary evidence to the contrary. If Trayvon was on top bashing Zimmerman’s head against the concrete, obviously the shot was self defense, barring extraordinary evidence to the contrary.

    Circumstantial, eyewitness, physical, and forensic evidence, puts Trayvon on top bashing away. Thus, no reasonable doubt. If both had lived, Trayvon should have been convicted of assault.

  162. @JAD

    Just as when I see the word “whom” in a sentence, I tend to assume it is being used wrongly

    That makes you no better than those who misuse the word. Apparently, neither you nor they understand the rule of “whom” usage. Mignon “Grammar Girl” Fogarty gave the best quick check:
    s/whom/him/
    If it “him” sounds wrong, “whom” is, too. If “he” sounds wrong, “who” is equally wrong. Since “whom” and “him” both end in “m”, it’s an easy rule to remember.

    Of course, the efficacy of that particular rubric is entirely dependent on knowing when to use he/him/himself correctly. Sadly, even people who are paid to talk for a living (TV/radio journalists) get this one wrong. I have lost track of the times I’ve heard sentences like “The coach said that the reason for the suspension was between he and ${Player_Name}.” or “${Celebrity}, you’re always welcome to come back and visit ${Co_Host} and {I|myself}”.


    ESR’s 3-hour adaptation sounds like something Monsterette 1 reported to me when her HS German Club traveled to Germany/Austria/etc. the summer between her junior and senior years. They flew from MCI to MKE, then on the long flight to LHR, she fell asleep for a while. Nearby, conversations between WI folks continued. She awoke, saw the view out the window, and said “Woudja look at dose clowts!” in a very Milwacky accent. I wonder if being asleep put her into a semi-hypnotic state, in which she was particularly vulnerable to suggestion.

    Or maybe it’s just hereditary. I’ve always been good at accents. And I frequently find myself “code-switching” based on whom [Callback!] I am addressing.

  163. TomM
    > The court’s conclusion that Zimmerman acted in self defence and so his killing of Trayvon was justified in the circumstances is a very different finding than that Trayvon “needed killing”.

    The court believed Zimmerman’s account that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman, that Zimmerman did not attack Trayvon.

    If he attacked Zimmerman, and he attempted to live up to his facebook persona as “No Limit Nigga” he would, from time to time, attack lots of people for real and imagined slights. Sooner or later, would probably kill one of them, if one of them did not kill him first. If you defy all the limits, you are going to kill and eventually get killed.

    The only reason this inevitable outcome attracted national attention is that his victim was named George Zimmerman instead of Jorge Ramos.

  164. Don’t mind me, I’m just attempting to unsubscribe from the comments. My replies sit in moderation for ten hours so I’m excluded from this conversation. For this reason, I’ll never reply on Armed and Dangerous again. Ever. Bye everyone!

  165. @ Jay Maynard
    >Yes, TomM, I think it’s a tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead. The tragedy started a lot earlier than that night in Sanford, though.

    We agree about this.

  166. @ JAD
    > sooner or later

    As you (should) know, the law is not concerned with what “sooner or later” you might do, but instead with what you have done.

    This is but one reason that the words “vigilante” and “justice” are extraordinarily loosely related.

  167. > My wife can–you don’t know what funny is until you see a Maine Yankee doing a credible Latvian accent within an hour or so of meeting her first Latvian.

    Yes, that would be funny as hell (and, I’m not that fast).

    Was your wife a crib polyglot? I was. That seems to be the most reliable way to produce people with this knack.

  168. The point is simple for anyone for progressive demagogues and the Stormfront crowd.
    However, you do not acknowledge the root of the problem which is simply incomplete information (along with the costs of obtaining complete information).

    For example, imagine if there was a cartoon style thought bubble above everyone’s head in public detailing their exact IQ and RQ scores. Would there then be ANY REASON at all to look at race? No, of course not. The problem is simply that race is a very good correlate to use in a quick-judgment heuristic for which we are especially highly adept at, as due to our evolutionary environment we are selected for making such decisions quickly to avoid and escape danger. Imagine you are in the paleolithic and have to use your type-2 thinking system to evaluate whether a tiger is going to attack you or not. You wouldn’t survive in the long run.

  169. Also let me add that the extent to which you carry forth your argument, you have already been branded a flaming, raging Nazi by the progressive/lefty crowd. Distinguishing yourself from JAD is little help at this point. Also I’m pretty sure he agrees that race is a correlate and heuristics support making snap judgments (to escape and avoid) using this correlate.

  170. >Yes, TomM, I think it’s a tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead.

    The real tragedy here wasn’t Trayvon Martin’s death, which JAD correctly (alas) describes as taking out the trash.

    The real tragedy was Trayvon Martin’s life – the seventeen years that he ended by failing his thug exam, getting whacked in the process of felony assault. A life full of trash culture, trash drugs, trash talk, trash media, trash everything – a life that only someone exceptionally intelligent and talented and lucky could manage to exit as anything other than trash himself. And “Tray” was none of those things.

  171. @ JAD
    > > sooner or later …

    TomM commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > As you (should) know, the law is not concerned with what “sooner or later” you might do, but instead with what you have done.

    As others in this thread have pointed out, that is not true. We don’t let nine year olds drive because they are going crash the car, not because they have crashed the car. We apply extra harsh penalties to people who have repeatedly committed crimes because as soon as we let them out, they will commit some more. We apply more severe penalties to certain forms of male bad behavior than the corresponding female bad behavior, because the male bad behavior can easily escalate to causing death or serious injury, whereas the female bad behavior is less likely to do so.

    We make drugs illegal because we think that people who do drugs will do bad things. Drug laws are to lock up people who fit a profile as likely to do bad things.

    We have a pile of laws making everything illegal which no one would tolerate if they thought they were actually going to be enforced on everyone. They are, in practice, enforced on those people that are suspected of being likely to misbehave.

    Further America’s drug laws, and Australia’s alcohol laws, are a furtive way of applying different rules to blacks and whites, because everyone knows, and blacks know better than anyone, than intoxicated blacks are dangerous. As I remarked earlier, anyone who complains about drug laws being different for drugs characteristic of black culture, and enforcement being different for white drug users than black drug users, is usually a privileged white, not a black.

    In New York they cleaned up the streets by locking up, under various often rather thin legal excuses, people who were likely to do bad things in future, and had probably done bad things in the past, even though there had no solid proof of it.

    Someone posted that Australian alcohol laws discriminate by location, rather than race, which is technically true. It is illegal to drink alcohol in locations that are substantially black – but in practice, the law is enforced only if you are substantially black. The pretense is pretty thin, and every progressive piously averts their eyes, since the alternative, applying white alcohol laws to black drinking, is unthinkable.

  172. Meh, I’ll object a bit to the characterization of Martin as trash. His life was full of it, to be sure, and his oh-so-loving parents on CNN really, truly don’t get it. (How much time had they spent together in the past 17 years, as compared to the time they spent together after the shooting?)

    But that he turned out a wannabe thug, and botched it when called upon to use it for real in a situation that didn’t involve his homies, doesn’t make him trash. People can and do give up the thug life. Everyone’s redeemable; it’s what they do with what they have that matters.

  173. @ JAD
    [responding to me]

    > Someone posted that Australian alcohol laws discriminate by location, rather than race,

    “Someone” would be me. And as I live here, I am reasonably sure I am better placed to comment on Australian liquour laws than you.

    You are simply wrong, as well as obnoxious.

  174. I acquired one of these accent-knacks late in life. Grew up between Canada and the Southern US and understood both dialects but never bothered to speak anything but Canadian. Around 20 or so, wanting to fit in more, I decided to pick up a drawl. Took a few days of conscious effort, with some missteps navigating the differences between the local black and white accents.

    Ever since, I seem to semi-automatically absorb whatever I hear. In my case it probably takes a day or so to kick in. Amusingly, it extends to gender differences — I speak with more male or female intonation depending on who I’m with.

  175. > I am reasonably sure I am better placed to comment on Australian liquour laws than you.
    >
    > You are simply wrong, as well as obnoxious.

    Officially the laws discriminate by location – the dry locations being where the blacks are.

    Observed reality, is, as usual, different.

  176. @Jay Maynard
    “People can and do give up the thug life. Everyone’s redeemable; it’s what they do with what they have that matters.”

    I could not have said that any better.

  177. @JAD
    “We have a pile of laws making everything illegal which no one would tolerate if they thought they were actually going to be enforced on everyone. ”

    That is a choice of USA law makers and people. Other jurisdiction do require every law to be enforced equally on everybody.

    Examples are Germany and other “Civil law” nations.

    I see selective enforcement is a hallmark of injustice.

  178. @JustPassingBy
    “Translated -> I don’t care if there was a mortal danger to Zimmerman or not, my whole argument revolves over the technical defintion of “unarmed””

    So, you advocate we change the definition of words like “unarmed” to fit our moral judgment of the situation? I was brought up to separate facts from opinion.

  179. As others in this thread have pointed out, that is not true.

    You are arguing a strawman here.

    If any police force could jail someone because “sooner or later they might do something” then the jails would be a lot fuller and our freedoms would be a lot less. What you describe here is literally thought crime.

    We don’t let nine year olds drive because they are going crash the car, not because they have crashed the car.

    Yes but we don’t assign jail nine year old’s because sooner or later they might drive a car unlicensed.

    We apply extra harsh penalties to people who have repeatedly committed crimes because as soon as we let them out, they will commit some more.

    And yet we still don’t jail someone immediately after releasing them because “well the statistics say that most people who are released will reoffend within 6 months”. As low as the bar may or may not be to get your parole revoked, you still have to DO something.

  180. @Jeff Read
    “Calling a fully-grown woman a “girl” has undertones of male dominance — taking a paternal role with respect to the woman — as well as considering the woman an object of sexual desire.”

    That is a quite complex question. And I think you are wrong.

    The words for “young woman” in many languages also have strong connotations of being unmarried and/or without children. That is, a woman not legally “bound” to a man or family. There are relics in many jurisdictions where an underage woman who marries will get the legal rights of an adult woman.

    I think the connotation of “girl” relevant here is that of a “Free Woman” in the same sense as a “Free Man”. But it is clear that there are men who confuse the different interpretations of “Free”.

    “Boy” obviously does not have these connotations of being a “Free Man”.

  181. > > We don’t let nine year olds drive because they are going crash the car, not because they have crashed the car.

    Eric:
    > Yes but we don’t assign jail nine year old’s because sooner or later they might drive a car unlicensed.

    If we find fifteen year old driving a car, we do jail him, even though he has not crashed yet. In California we don’t do a damn thing about an unlicensed adult Mestizo driving a car. (Though to judge by driving performance, should be the other way around)

    Similarly, in much of the US, underage drinking, including a young man carrying a can of beer in public. Legally, police can discriminate on the basis of age, and are theoretically required to do so.

    A young white man carrying a can of beer in public is, on average, much less dangerous than an adult black man carrying a can of beer in public. Why discriminate on age, and not on race?

  182. Eric:
    > but we don’t assign jail nine year old’s because sooner or later they might drive a car unlicensed.

    There is an intermediate possibility between pretending to completely ignore race on the one hand, and jailing all black people on the other hand, and that intermediate possibility is to take age, race, sex, and legitimacy as indicators, as part of a of a full Bayesian profile, as we already take age and sex.

    > we still don’t jail someone immediately after releasing them because “well the statistics say that most people who are released will reoffend within 6 months

    We do, however, jail people more likely to reoffend for longer. So let us jail blacks for longer.

    We go softer on kids because they are more likely to change their ways. Blacks are less likely to change their ways. We go harder on males because they are more dangerous. Blacks are more dangerous. If we can discriminate on age, why not on race? If we can discriminate on sex, why not on race? As the MRA movement regularly complains, discriminating against males is necessarily unfair to some males, to quite a lot of males.

  183. @ JAD
    > the dry locations being where the blacks are.

    Your wall of prejudice clearly interferes with clear communication.

    Indigenous communities are, indeed, often dry areas, particularly remote communities. This is often (not always) by the request of the community.

    I can assure you that a “white” is just as incapable of buying a drink in a dry area and just as capable of falling foul of the law for consumption in a dry area, as a “black”. Not long ago there was a mini scandal involving the (“white”) staff of a politician who as I recall were consuming alcohol near to a dry community while the politician was visiting the community. This made national newspapers.

    As I pointed out in an earlier comment, there are also many dry areas which are established in areas without any significant population of “blacks”. A good example is the Surf Coast (possibly known to Americans as the location of Bells Beach, which as I’m sure you all recall, featured in the Swayze/Keanu classic Point Break [smirk]) where it is unlawful to be in possession of an open alcohol container. This law is actively enforced.

    Incidentally, the law was introduced to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence among the (largely young, very much mostly “white”) surfie culture.

    Maybe if you relied on sources other than Stormfront for your propaganda you would be better informed.

  184. @ esr
    > The real tragedy here wasn’t Trayvon Martin’s death, which JAD correctly (alas) describes as taking out the trash.

    Eric, you disappoint.

    Comments like these make it difficult to maintain coherent separation between a rational response to the Zimmerman verdict (i.e. those who looked carefully at the evidence were convinced Zimmerman acted in self defence) and the craziness of JAD’s increasingly incoherent rants.

    Your words imply that *even if* the jury got it wrong in this case, Trayvon was “trash” that would need “taking out” (or, as JAD also wrote – “killing”) sooner or later.

    Say what you will about the undesirable character of “gang bangers” and the less-than-desirable social interactions associated with what I understand to be that subculture, jumping straight to justification of extra-judicial killing seems a little (cough) extreme.

    The real world that civilised human beings actually live in is (fortunately) neither a Heinlein novel nor a Sergio Leonne Western.

  185. There is an intermediate possibility between pretending to completely ignore race on the one hand, and jailing all black people on the other hand

    Yes there is, and i’m glad you agree. Tom’s point is we don’t punish people for acts they haven’t done so the fact that Trayvon has all the hallmarks of being at least a wannabe gangbanger (if not the real deal) is completely separate from the fact that it’s a bad thing that he’s dead.

    Also note that the law DOESN’T (or at least shouldn’t… judges are people too) say you’re black therefore we’re going to give you twice the sentence. It says, you’re a 3 time repeat offender and based on my sentencing chart that means you’re going to get twice the sentence. That is not being affected by what you “sooner or later” might do, it’s being affected by what you have done and (apparantly) haven’t stopped doing.

    This is not a question of discrimination. This is a question of due process.

    and that intermediate possibility is to take age, race, sex, and legitimacy as indicators, as part of a of a full Bayesian profile, as we already take age and sex.

    Really? How much bayesian evidence do the markers of age,race, sex and legitimacy actually give? I’d honestly expect fuck all compared to “serial offender”. I’d also put the categories of “gang connections” up there as well. And i don’t mean “in a black gang”. I see white gangers no differently to black ones.

  186. I wrote:
    > We go harder on males because they are more dangerous

    While, of course, we should go harder on males for being more capable of terrible violence (female violence may well be more common, but it is less serious), our legal system also needs to acknowledge that females tend to be childish, childlike, irrational, emotional, and have unduly short time preference, that females, like children, have a lesser capability to commit to contracts.

    For example consider the quite real problem of a man and woman waking up in bed together. They both have terrible hangovers, and they don’t recognize each other, never having met before. Our current solution to this problem is to define the man with the hangover as the rapist, and the woman with the hangover as the rapee. This is obviously an ineffectual and wicked solution. The correct solution is that women should not be permitted to drink alcohol except under the supervision of husband or parents. Woman found illicitly imbibing should be sent to the male in authority over them for appropriate punishment. Women with no male in authority over through no fault of their own (widows and orphans) need special protection and supervision. Women with no male in authority over them for unclear reasons (spinsters), lesser protection and supervision. Women with no male in authority over them due to their own bad behavior (sluts) should get no supervision – and no protection either. They can drink all they like but should be assumed nearly rape proof for lack of chastity. Unless they have blood all over them, were not raped.

    A similar solution should be applied for out of wedlock children – one that penalizes the mothers, rather than the fathers, since the mothers are in a much better position to prevent the problem, and the fathers are seldom known.

  187. > Really? How much bayesian evidence do the markers of age,race, sex and legitimacy actually give?

    Surely Trayvon’s female friend, and his parents, should give you a hint.

    Everyone connected to Trayvon is scum, suggesting that race and legitimacy give us very good information as to whom we do not want around.

  188. @ JAD
    > > the dry [alcohol prohibited] locations being where the blacks are.

    TomM on 2013-07-19 at 04:42:21 said:
    > Your wall of prejudice clearly interferes with clear communication.
    >
    > Indigenous communities are, indeed, often dry areas, particularly remote communities

    By an amazing coincidence and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that drunken blacks are completely intolerable. :-)

  189. > Not long ago there was a mini scandal involving the (“white”) staff of a politician who as I recall were consuming alcohol near to a dry community while the politician was visiting the community.

    There was a scandal precisely because the drinking revealed the hypocrisy and selective enforcement, rupturing the pretense.

    And the surf coast ban is, of course, really a ban on young people drinking, not in fact a ban on any drinking on the surf coast.

  190. TomM:
    > Incidentally, the law was introduced to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence among the (largely young, very much mostly “white”) surfie culture.

    I have been arguing that we should enforce different laws for different people on the basis of age, sex, race, and legitimacy, and citing Australia as example of country where even progressives admit to the necessity of different laws on the basis of race, to which your reply is that Australia not only enforces different laws on the basis of race, but different laws on the basis of age.

    As, of course, it does.

  191. Everyone connected to Trayvon is scum, suggesting that race and legitimacy give us very good information as to whom we do not want around.

    And every piece of information i have says to me that i would expect exactly the same thing if you subtracted every racial and legitimacy cue from their description. E.g.:-

    * the multiple drug habits,
    * the school suspensions,
    * the “NO LIMIT NIGGA” twitter handle,
    * the half-naked selfshots with obscene gestures,
    * the broken grammar,
    * the boastful jive about guns and fighting,
    * the petty crime,
    * the trashy stupid girlfriend?

    The only one that says “black” is the no limit nigga one, and you could replace it with “gangster-wannabe posturing online nickname” and give the EXACT same information. Fairly simple logic says that if P(X | A&B) == P(X | A) then B is irrelevant. Hence the “black” part is irrelevant.

    An interesting case opposite to this is the Justin Carter one.

    By an amazing coincidence and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that drunken blacks are completely intolerable. :-)

    I generally go with drunken morons unless i have to distinguish between one group of drunken morons and another group of drunken morons.

  192. I have been arguing that we should enforce different laws for different people on the basis of age, sex, race, and legitimacy, and citing Australia as example of country where even progressives admit to the necessity of different laws on the basis of race, to which your reply is that Australia not only enforces different laws on the basis of race, but different laws on the basis of age.

    As, of course, it does.

    No, his reply is that we enforce laws on the basis of situation to combat situations that are (too easily) described by race and age. By your logic, since we’re talking about a “young, white, male” issue, we should have been fine with blacks, females or 20+s drinking in public, just those annoying young white males. Except that’s not how the law works, regardless of age, race, colour or creed if you have an open container of alcohol in public, you’re breaking the law.

  193. >jumping straight to justification of extra-judicial killing seems a little (cough) extreme.

    And how did I do that, exactly?

    I was not saying that Trayvon Martin belonged in some wolf’s-head category of people who should be killed on sight or can be shot without legal and moral consequences. I was pointing out that he died trash because he lived trash – and, if you look at his carefully self-constructed image as a “no limit nigga”, chose to live that way.

    The tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s background is that part of our society – in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the world – is so degraded that nothing in his environment seems to have taught him how to make better choices, even if he had had the individual capability (what Victorians called “moral fibre”) to do so.

    A racist would have it that was in some way preordained by Martin’s black-African genes, but what I see is more like an “Idiocracy” scenario – culture gone toxically wrong among a low-IQ population that brighter people in our society have essentially given up on trying to regulate. Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” documents the speed with which the same sort of pathology is capturing whites at the same left end of the bell curve.

    Where race enters is in that “anti-racist” rhetoric has been used, both by trash-life blacks and others who ought to know better, to de-legitimize every attempt to clean up this idiocratic muck among blacks, and the stigma of “acting white” makes it more difficult for individuals to climb out of it. At least white trash don’t have these problems.

    One major lesson I think we can draw from all this is that the ideology of cultural and moral relativism, while not directly harmful to bright people, is a disaster for stupid ones (of every race). Deprived of the normative framework of a society confident in its traditions and values, they make self-destructive choices. There’s no longer a center to hold – the slide from Beethoven to gangsta rap is not just an alternative aesthetic choice, it’s both a symptom of decline and an incubator for thugs and thug wannabes.

  194. >And every piece of information i have says to me that i would expect exactly the same thing if you subtracted every racial and legitimacy cue from their description.

    Half-right. You could subtract every racial cue, but fatherlessness really is quite a powerful predictor of criminality and harmful deviance.

  195. Half-right. You could subtract every racial cue, but fatherlessness really is quite a powerful predictor of criminality and harmful deviance.

    Granted, however i would argue that in the list of Trayvon’s descriptors, there’s nothing that stands out as a fatherlessness cue except as a shared cause.

  196. @esr
    “One major lesson I think we can draw from all this is that the ideology of cultural and moral relativism, ”

    Cultural relativism has come a long way since the 1960’s.

    I have no idea about the States, but over here the trend is to sift through neuro-psychology to extract those “cultural traits” and “morals” that can be used to help people. One result already widely known is the marshmallow test and the idea that you can train self-control. It is used to advocate music lessons for children. Learning to play an instrument prepares a child for studying. The cultural relativism part of this is that, within wide boundaries, it is to a large extend irrelevant what kind of skill the child learns.

    It seems these lessons from psychology still have a very long way to go before they will reach the likes of the parents and teachers of Trayvon Martin.

  197. Winter, the problem is that the likes of the parents and teachers of Trayvon Martin have themselves grown up in that same toxic culture, and so see nothing wrong with it. Lessons from psychology are quite abstract. Government handouts with perverse incentives are quite real. We truly have a culture of dependency and entitlement in America’s black underclass, and it’s come home to roost.

    What scares me is that I see no way to fix it that does not result in writing off a couple of generations of people that culture has wrecked.

  198. “If we find fifteen year old driving a car, we do jail him, even though he has not crashed yet.”

    When I was fifteen years old, I was driving the family car under a learner’s permit. This required that a regularly-licensed driver be in the car with me – but toward the end of the period, my mother would get in the car, tell me, “wake me up when we get there,” and take a nap.

    And it is – or at least was – routine in many parts of the US for even younger teenagers (or even preteens) to drive around on the family farm. (And at a tangent: “Should 10-year-old Amish Buggy Drivers Get Off The Road?”)

    In many ways, US society is infantalizing teenagers and preteens, compared to the recent past. Or, perhaps even worse, treating them as pets who can talk.

  199. > his reply is that we enforce laws on the basis of situation to combat situations that are (too easily) described by race and age

    The normal reason that an area in Australia is dry (alcohol prohibited) is that there are too many blacks in that area.

    So even if it was the case that within an area, the same law applied to all (and it is not the case), the intent and effect of having different laws for different areas would still be to apply one law to blacks and a different law to whites.

  200. @Winter: “So, you advocate we change the definition of words like ‘unarmed’ to fit our moral judgment of the situation?”

    Already been done: The term “personal weapons” (rather than “unarmed”) is used officially for homicides committed with hands, feet, teeth, etc. And in the US, such homicides are less common than those committed with knives, but more common than those committed with blunt objects.

  201. >> and that intermediate possibility is to take age, race, sex, and legitimacy as indicators, as part of a of a full Bayesian profile, as we already take age and sex.

    > Really? How much bayesian evidence do the markers of age,race, sex and legitimacy actually give?

    Also, correlation is not causation.

  202. Not to mention the minor detail that, unlike age, race, and sex, legitimacy is not something that’s apparent to the casual observer. (And race isn’t always, either.)

  203. > > I do think that, e.g., following the operator’s request to stay put would have
    >> been a more prudent choice
    > … The operator said “We don’t need you to do that.” … Zimnmerman then
    > chose to do the brave thing, which was probably the right thing as well.

    That’s not true. You’ve caught some of the media lies. First, Zimmerman followed Martin (he later said this was to get a street address. I think it was some of both.) Next, the operator suggested that Zimmerman shouldn’t follow. Then, Zimmerman says “Ok” and shortly after, from his breathing/the wind noise, you can tell he’s stopped moving. He says “He ran” (past tense). Then he starts arranging to meet the police.

    The notion that Zimmerman disobeyed an order from the operator to stop following Martin is wrong in two ways. It wasn’t an order, and he DID stop following Martin at that point (or very shortly after).

    In fact, prior to this part of the conversation, Zimmerman says “Shit, he’s running.” and the operator asks “Which way is he running?” At this point, you can hear Zimmerman’s door and its chime. Then the operator asks Zimmerman, “Which entrance is he running towards?” So it’s possible that Zimmerman got out of his car in response to a question from the operator, rather than against the indication of the operator. (Though, I think the operator makes the suggestion as soon as he figured out what was going on.)

  204. > enforce laws on the basis of situation to combat situations that are (too easily) described by race and age. By your logic, since we’re talking about a “young, white, male” issue, we should have been fine with blacks, females or 20+s drinking in public, just those annoying young white males.

    You are arguing that because alcohol is theoretically banned for everyone in a black area, you are not enforcing laws on the basis of race.

    But

    1: Notoriously, theory is not reality. Actual enforcement practice is that the law is not enforced on mature whites.

    2: Even if it was enforced on mature whites the intent and effect of having different laws for an area full of blacks is to have different laws for blacks.

  205. And they almost look like a class act compared to the skanky, thick-as-a-plank girlfriend – who I think might have sunk the prosecution’s case single-handedly if other witnesses hadn’t been so damning.

    I don’t think Jeantel sunk the prosecution’s case. She was a null data point. The witness who sunk the prosecution was John Good. His testimony, despite a degree of epistemic humility that I’ve never before seen practiced outside of philosophy class, should have gotten the case thrown out then-and-there. Listening to him, I thought that he must surely be a witness for the defense, which confused me because I didn’t think the prosecution had rested yet.

  206. >I don’t think Jeantel sunk the prosecution’s case. She was a null data point.

    You’re thinking too logically, Daniel.

    It wasn’t as a fact witness she was deadly, but as a character witness. :-)

  207. Evolution programs most mammals to discriminate visual stimuli in such a way as to enhance survival. In our current state of civilization, social norms frequently attempt to override this programming in order to promote group harmony. Since we have been civilized for only a few millennia, it remains to be seen whether this strategy will sustain as an enduring trait.

    Bill Cosby (and a few other prominent black opinion leaders) have been speaking out for many years on the problem of trash culture in the black community. Rich white liberals believe that it is their duty to solve this problem for blacks, and look how well that has worked out.

  208. TomA commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Bill Cosby (and a few other prominent black opinion leaders) have been speaking out for many years on the problem of trash culture in the black community.

    No one seems willing to notice that Jim Crow and segregation suppressed this culture just fine.

    On another comment thread, foodige is arguing that is pure coincidence that the Ashantee were successful in creating a black culture that Victorians found admirable and a black society that functioned well. Even when blacks deal with this problem themselves without white supervision, no one wants to admit the methods that were employed.

  209. @ Jay Maynard – “What scares me is that I see no way to fix it that does not result in writing off a couple of generations of people that culture has wrecked.”

    There is a parallel with the efforts to rehabilitate addicts. Stop enabling, let them hit bottom, triage the best candidates, and incentivise self reliance and pride of accomplishment.

    However, we do not currently have the political fortitude to attempt this on a social scale. Further, to succeed at this will undermine Democrat efforts to maintain control over this voting block. This is known as an institutional negative feedback loop.

  210. Bill Cosby (and a few other prominent black opinion leaders) have been speaking out for many years on the problem of trash culture in the black community. Rich white liberals believe that it is their duty to solve this problem for blacks, and look how well that has worked out.

    One of the things I’ve noticed about the “rape culture” crowd — and they are right about some things — is their vehemence in downplaying the role of self-defense. “Guns and martial arts won’t stop rape,” say the purveyors of Tumblr politics, “only changing the culture will stop rape.” As if by conforming to their specifications of what a non-rape culture looks like, all rape and rapists will magically disappear. Even if you could convince most people to get on board, there is that small contingent of psychopaths and sociopaths who don’t give a shit about decent people’s morality, nor about what kind of punishment they will face. And if you want to lower your chances of getting raped, learning how to defend yourself is a sound thing to do. Do we still have to change the culture? Of course we do — Steubenville should never have happened, and the press conducted itself horribly, wanting to exonerate these kids because they were sports stars. But if there’s a psychopath in the bushes — or worse, and more commonly, you’re dating one — waiting around for the culture to change is putting yourself at risk.

    I’m beginning to notice a parallel in the black situation. Rich white liberals — and increasingly, blacks — are of the belief that blacks shouldn’t have to get educated, learn self-respect and responsibility, and participate usefully in the enclosing society in order to get treated as equals in that society. That all that’s necessary for racism to end is for Whitey to change the culture. Well, no. If you’re bloody ignorant, all you’re doing is playing into the hands of the JADs of the world. Changing the culture is still necessary — Rodney King should never have happened, and racial profiling still goes on today that shouldn’t, as one example — but waiting around for whites to change while you sit on your ass drinking 40s is not going to get you any more respect in this world. The idea that wanting to learn is “acting white” is bald racism — it falsely ties academic aptitude to the number of photons your skin reflects. I don’t think that Booker T. Washington did the right thing with the Atlanta Compromise, but one thing he did do right was emphasize the education and industriousness of postbellum blacks and create an infrastructure to support such education and industriousness. The black community of today could use more such leadership.

  211. >One of the things I’ve noticed about the “rape culture” crowd […] is their vehemence in downplaying the role of self-defense. […] I’m beginning to notice a parallel in the black situation.

    Third parallel: Environmentalist opposition to nuclear power. Fourth parallel: The incest and rape exceptions to abortion prohibition as advocated by social conservatives.

    When a political faction behaves unsanely – opposing the rationally most effective measures to address its putative goals – the way to bet is that its leadership doesn’t want what the faction claims to want but is actually focused on a different goal that it would be damaged by admitting.

    Generally, in these cases, you can read the actual motive more correctly from the accusations of the faction’s enemies. Study the analyses of the most intelligent group of enemies you can find; usually libertarians are a good bet for this role.

  212. >you haven’t exactly fought against this

    Everything I do fights against this. Any failure on your part to understand how isn’t my problem.

  213. If anyone is really interested in an “honest conversation about race” vis-a-vis Trayvon Martin they can get it right here:

  214. Contemplationist commented on Objective evidence against racism.

    > So ESR, how is it that you are so disturbed by some anonymous internet commenter whereas you haven’t exactly fought against this especially as PC idiocy consumes more of the tech industry with its “women in tech,” “inclusion,” etc?

    If all men (and women) are created equal, then obviously female underperformance and black underperformance must be because the evil and astonishingly powerful white males are keeping them down.

    Therefore, harsh measures are needed to punish these evil white males.

    Strangely, the harsh measures fail to work.

    Obviously, therefore, harsher measures are required. Rinse and repeat, without end. For the end state of this process after umpteen repetitions, observe those parts of black Africa where the Tutsi are ruled by their inferiors.

    But, esr finds it difficult to say that blacks are not equal to whites, nor women equal to men, and should not be treated as such.

    Now if everyone had the content of their character in a bubble floating over their head, like your health and endurance stats in World of Warcraft, then we could treat different people differently, treat unequal people unequally according to the content of their character while ignoring inaccurate indicators such as race and gender.

    But, since no such bubble, since we have nothing but inaccurate indicators, and since we do need to treat different people differently, treat unequal people unequally, we do have to treat people unequally by race and gender, among other indicators.

    So esr is trapped between two unthinkables. He knows people are unequal, and should be treated unequally, but denies that people that people should be treated unequally by race and gender, putting him in an impossible position.

    If we had those stat bubbles over people’s heads, then we could abolish both affirmative action and also jim crow, but, lacking those stat bubbles, in practice, it is either “racism”, or “reverse racism”

    And I am arguing that “racism” is better.

  215. contemplationist:
    > > you haven’t exactly fought against this

    esr commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Everything I do fights against this

    Repeat after me:

    All men are not created equal, and their rights are disturbingly alienable.

    Then you will have made a start on fighting against this.

    You have already said that profiling is legitimate, which is half way there, but that leaves you falling between two stools.

    If we can profile a young black male in a hoodie in a neighborhood were there has been rash of burglaries by young black males, and keep an eye on him.

    And if we can profile a young male carrying a can of beer in a neighborhood where there has been some drunken young males getting into fights, and forbid him to carry a beer in public because he is too young.

    Then we can profile a black male carrying a can of beer in a neighborhood where there has been some drunken black males getting into fights, and forbid him to carry a beer in public because he is too black.

    And, in practice, progressives in Australia are just fine with that, though they piously pretend to do it by neighborhood rather than by skin color.

    In the US, the banks tried that rationale and it was rejected.

    They had noticed that if they loaned money to people of certain races, it was seldom repaid, so the banks instituted a “No loans to members of those races”

    Being forbidden to notice the race of people who failed to repay their loans, they instead noticed that if they loaned money to people who lived in certain locations, it was seldom repaid, so the banks instituted a “No loans to people from those locations”.

    This hypocrisy was noticed in the US by US progressives, but Australian progressives find it sufficient to cover their asses.

  216. @esr

    I take it you would not consider it racist to treat black drunk-and-disorderlies worse if all and only black people were on the left side of the RQ distribution. On your view, does “Most black people are on the left of the RQ distribution, and most people on the left of the RQ distribution are black” mean “Treating black D-and-d’s worse is not racist” for some value of most?

  217. >I take it you would not consider it racist to treat black drunk-and-disorderlies worse if all and only black people were on the left side of the RQ distribution.

    I would be willing to accept the normal filter used in scientific statistics: 95% confidence.

  218. esr commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Everything I do fights against this.

    What are you for?

    What you are theoretically for is a society where everyone is judged according to their ability and character, not according to sex and race.

    Well, who would not be in favor of such a society? I favor such a society also. Does not everyone?

    The trouble is that, absent state bubbles floating over people’s heads, it is hard to judge people’s ability and character.

    Thus, in practice, a society where some people are unjustly mistreated for being black or female necessarily overlaps with a society were some people have the faults characteristic of their race and sex over indulged, where some people become poster girls and poster blacks for quite mediocre achievements, while other people are grossly and unjustly mistreated for being white or male.

    It is easy to find examples of what we would now call “anti racist” injustice, and “anti sexist” injustice all the way back to 1820 or so, poster blacks, poster girls, over indulgence of characteristic female misbehavior, the punishment of males for female misbehavior and the punishment of whites for black misbehavior.

  219. I wrote:
    > It is easy to find examples of what we would now call “anti racist” injustice, and “anti sexist” injustice all the way back to 1820 or so,

    I would diagnose the first and second Boer wars as whites in London believing that visible black misbehavior in Africa was caused by invisible white misbehavior in Africa, and therefore adopting a policy of punishing whites in Africa until black misbehavior in Africa improved.

  220. ESR wrote “I would be willing to accept the normal filter used in scientific statistics: 95% confidence.” Oh, that would be fun! Since objectively making such determinations is a solved governmental problem and all! … or … I suggest instead sticking with equality under top-level law, which is OK as short term pragmatic policy[1] and as good a stable Schelling point as anyone has ever come up with. (In your original post you seem to think of it as even more than a Schelling point. What a nice thought! But be careful, it may not be too long before AI and/or genetic engineering throws you some really difficult curve balls. Nose counting humans within a bright line has always worked tolerably well, but it’s a historical accident that it has been so, not a philosophical absolute that it must always be so.)

    As in Prohibition or protective tariffs or mandatory licensing or franchise monopolies or workers running their own factories without parasitic capitalists or various other policies beloved of Progressives, most JAD-style arguments in favor of racial policies (1) tend to assume a starry-eyed view of how they work when imposed in practice by real organizations and (2) imply that if the advocates sincerely believed the arguments, they’d want to put their money where their mouth is and prosper by doing it on their own property with other believers that freely choose to go along. To be fair, sometimes they really are sincere, up to and including historical things like sizable voluntary communes, and if they are sincere today, current limits on freedom of association and contract and property mostly stop them. And sometimes they’re partially right — many people have observed that a company can be like a little planned economy, and Coase is famous in part for analyzing how that sometimes works pretty well. (And conversely, to be fair to libertarians and other classical liberal types, they tend to look creepy and dishonest when those limits aren’t what they worry about, and instead they focus on an agenda of getting their policies to be imposed on everyone with no opt-in and no compensation.) Stop being patient with them agitating for imposing it on everyone, just take them at their word that these policies are good for people who opt in, and get back to fixing our broken freedom of association and contract and property. Push a few rudimentary rules into every square inch everywhere — freedom of exit is a good one — but leave policy judgment calls to people who have ponied up for their share of the resources and gotten the people involved to agree.

    [1] Indeed, it can easily improve short-term pragmatic policy. E.g., I seem to remember I may have complained elsewhere about the unwisdom of excluding Asians from top academic positions, an easy improvement in policy that would follow from mere oathkeeping. And despite differences between men and women, rules about consent and freedom of association between men and women would probably be less brain-damaged (damning with faint praise, but still) if they were required to be neutral rules for people consenting, rather than rules for what accommodations women may demand of men and what hoops men need to jump through to prove women’s consent and so forth. Recognizing differences between kinds of people does not reliably lead to more practical top-level law, it can give impractical lawmakers more leeway to mess things up.

  221. esr on 2013-07-20 at 21:11:53 said:
    > I would be willing to accept the normal filter used in scientific statistics: 95% confidence.

    By that standard, we should allow eight year old girls to drink, drive, and engage in sex, since I am sure there is more overlap than that between thirty year old women and eight year old girls.

    95% is, more or less, two standard deviations. Do you think there are two standard deviations in maturity between eight year old girls and thirty year old women?

  222. William Newman
    > Imply that if the advocates sincerely believed the arguments, they’d want to put their money where their mouth is and prosper by doing it on their own property with other believers that freely choose to go along.

    I am pretty sure that no business, or very few businesses, would voluntarily employ female executives, or homosexual executives, (except for relatives of the owner or the wife of the owner), not because all females are incompetent, but because some females, quite a lot of them, are dangerous, and it is hard to tell which ones.

  223. >ESR wrote “I would be willing to accept the normal filter used in scientific statistics: 95% confidence.” Oh, that would be fun! Since objectively making such determinations is a solved governmental problem and all!

    I made an error, for which I apologize to all. After I wrote “I would be willing to accept the normal filter used in scientific statistics: 95% confidence.” I meant to add something like the following:

    Unfortunately, the underlying problem is complicated by the fact that (as I have pointed out before) there isn’t any test for “blackness” that won’t run you into serious trouble in edge cases, and produce serious injustices. Here’s one: There are very dark South Indians who would get presumptively sorted into the “low-RQ” bin and busted, even though their mean RQ as a population isn’t in the keep-away-from-booze range.

    So even supposing that the conditional probability of “X is a dangerous drunk if X is black” is over 95%, we can’t be firm enough about the precondition to justify discrimination in law.

    The above is consistent with what I have previously written on this topic. I must have somehow fat-fingered most of the comment after I wrote it.

  224. esr:
    > There are very dark South Indians who would get presumptively sorted into the “low-RQ” bin and busted, even though their mean RQ as a population isn’t in the keep-away-from-booze range.

    I don’t see too many dark skinned South Indian software engineers, which suggest, though it does not prove, that it might be a good idea to keep them away from the booze also.

    Further, dark skinned South Indians simply do not look like American negroes, so if there is a significant difference, no problem in treating them differently.

    New Guineans do look like negroes, and can nonetheless handle their booze OK, but, since there are not too many New Guineans in places where there are lots of negroes, and vice versa, not a problem.

  225. > So even supposing that the conditional probability of “X is a dangerous drunk if X is black” is over 95%, we can’t be firm enough about the precondition to justify discrimination in law.

    Why then are we justified in restricting young people’s access to whiskey and fast cars?

    If a Violence Against Women Act, why not a Violence Against Whites Act?

    And the age of consent is, by this standard, a clear violation of the rights of young people.

  226. > So even supposing that the conditional probability of “X is a dangerous drunk if X is black” is over 95%, we can’t be firm enough about the precondition to justify discrimination in law.

    Australian progressives have managed to very cleverly rationalize alcohol prohibition for blacks but not whites, and if you mention it to them they throw a fit and call you a racist, but strangely, do not propose ending prohibition for blacks, so they must surely have had some pressing reasons to cook up their very clever rationalizations. Are they racists too?

    (Yes, I know, it is supposedly by area, not by race, but the dry areas usually just happen to be, by an amazing coincidence, black)

  227. @esr
    You should change your “blackness” test to a haplotype test. Your RQ was supposed to be genetically based. So you should look for the relevant genetic profile.

    Some haplotypes are “visible”, others less so.

    It is obvious JAD knows this. He conveniently ignores this in his rants because it would distract from his aims to criminalize all people with a colored skin.

    Funny enough, I am reading “Er ist wieder da” at the time. It often seems as if the author used JAD’s rantings as a model for his protagenist.

  228. Alexander did not have to flee her home. She did anyway. Then she returned. All she had to do was stay away to avoid the confrontation.

    One more thing: It wasn’t her home.

    And when you fire a gun at someone and miss, you don’t get to claim it was “only a warning shot”.

  229. a guy with a concealed firearm should prevent things to escalate so much that a sidewalk becomes an effective weapon. If you are so inept, you should not carry a concealed firearm.

    Um, what exactly are you saying here? That he should have drawn his gun earlier, when his life was not in danger?! That he was at fault for waiting so long to draw it?! Because no other interpretation of your words makes any sense. How does a gun, by its mere (concealed) presence, prevent a person from being assaulted and having to draw it? Now if he’d been carrying openly, perhaps Martin wouldn’t have attacked him in the first place. But Martin’s champions would be horrified by such a notion.

    And the other case. Neither do I dispute that Alexander was wrong. But I find a sentence of 20 years for firing in the air disproportionate.

    She didn’t fire in the air. She fired in the direction of her estranged husband and his sons. If she intentionally missed there’s no evidence of that, and it doesn’t really make a difference, since it’s still aggravated assault.

  230. A man got away with the murder of an unarmed teenager because he felt threatened by the teenager’s lack of photon reflectivity.

    That’s a damned lie.

  231. No. Read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

    Good grief. Why not just read Mein Kampf and be done with it?

  232. JAD: “New Guineans do look like negroes, and can nonetheless handle their booze OK, but, since there are not too many New Guineans in places where there are lots of negroes, and vice versa, not a problem.”

    Sure. And if a New Guinean finds himself in your racist paradise, well, that’s just too bad, isn’t it? He looks black, so he gets treated like one.

    “I am pretty sure that no business, or very few businesses, would voluntarily employ female executives, or homosexual executives”

    And what does your misogynist justification for this have to do with gay men?

  233. So if I drown someone in the Atlantic Ocean, the ocean is now a weapon?

    Yes.

    To me this sounds as a typical excuse to confuse the fact that the boy might have posed a mortal danger, but still was unarmed.

    Have it your way, but in that case why is it significant whether someone is “armed” or “unarmed”? All that matters is whether he posed a mortal danger, which you agree he did. Whether he was “armed” is of no more significance than what brand of underwear he was wearing. A person doesn’t gain any privileges by being “unarmed”. Or do you think they do? Do you think one must submit to death or great bodily harm just because ones assailant is “unarmed”, but should he be “armed” then one may defend oneself? If so, why would you hold such a bizarre opinion?

  234. I’ll accept without proof the proposition that most prisoners are mooks, if you’ll then offer a reasonable explanation how all other societies were able to tolerate the contributions of those mooks outside a prison.

    They executed them, or waited for people to kill them in self-defense, or sent them off to die in war, or just let them starve.

    In most Western countries now they just put up with the mooks and their crimes. The USA does have a higher percentage of mooks, because of its demographics. But by locking so many of them up, it has managed to lower its crime rate, at least when adjusted for demographics, below that of many other countries. (Hint: don’t just look at murder. That is not a valid proxy for overall crime.)

  235. BTW, calling Martin a “boy” is questionable. He was nearly a legal adult: in less than a year, he would able to do almost anything legal except buy alcohol or own a handgun. He was also 1.8M tall and weighed 72kg.,

    And had he killed or seriously injured Zimmerman he would undoubtedly have been tried as an adult. Ditto if he’d been caught breaking into a house there. (Unlike in Miami, where the evidence of his burglary was hidden in order to keep down the school system’s arrest numbers.)

  236. You are opposed to Winter’s technically accurate description of Trayvon as a “boy” (that is, a young male who is not yet an adult) because “age has no direct bearing” – But emotionally you also know that, all else being equal, it is worse to kill a minor than it is to kill an adult.

    Bullshit. That is a disgusting statement, far worse than most racism. How is a minor’s life more valuable than an adult’s? Is this a single-step reduction in value, that occurs the moment someone turns whatever age that jurisdiction has decided marks majority, or does the value of a life gradually decay over time, so that it’s worse to kill a 30-year-old than a 50-year-old, and by the time someone reaches 80 their life is practically worthless? When the legislature changes the age of majority, do the people in the affected range suddenly have their lives become worth more or less, depending on which direction it was moved?

  237. >BTW, calling Martin a “boy” is questionable. He was nearly a legal adult: in less than a year.

    Would you be more comfortable if Winter referred to him as a “minor”? Why does it matter?

    Because the only possible reason to refer to Martin as a “boy” is to imply that Zimmerman was much bigger and stronger than him, and should have been easily able to overpower him, and thus couldn’t have been in any danger. Without that implication it would be irrelevant whether Martin was a boy, a man, a woman, a girl, or anything else. The right of self-defense applies to everyone, regardless of age.

  238. Winter: A 17 year old male is a boy. As was remarked by someone else, it does matter whether you kill an adult or a minor.

    Really? Please explain how it matters.

  239. Also, I see no reason why “self-defense” should not apply against and unarmed boy. But the phrase “he shot an unarmed boy in self defense” is still true in this case and the spin doctors want to confuse this unpleasant truth.

    What’s unpleasant about it? Why even mention it, if your intention is not to deceive the listener with the false implication that the self-defense claim is spurious?

  240. “Pointing out that Martin was unarmed is itself spin, designed to produce sympathy for the aggressor.”

    So you think pointing out relevant facts in a potential murder case is spin?

    How is it relevant? On the contrary, pointing out irrelevant facts in a murder case is the very definition of spin, and at trial the jury must be kept ignorant of such facts, lest they be improperly swayed.

  241. The difference between a boy/girl and a man/woman is not in the bones.

    Um, yes, it is.

    Neither for the law, nor for society.

    I’ve never heard of a law that distinguishes between boys and men, or between girls and women. Please enlighten me. As for society, yes, the difference is entirely in the physical growth, not in age.

  242. And I absolutely positively doubt that if the colours were reversed… The fine, upstanding black member of the community (neighbourhood watch… dontcha know) is attacked by a white thug and, in self defence, blows a hole in the thugs chest… I don’t think anyone rationally believes that black man wouldn’t have been arrested and tried.

    You’re full of sh*t. There is no doubt that this is exactly what would happen.

  243. PS to the above: And if the black person were charged, the same exact people who took to the streets demanding that Zimmerman be charged, and then protesting his acquittal, would do the same in the opposite direction, denouncing the prosecution as racist. This is beyond any possible dispute.

  244. You provide an excellent example of how the PC mob using the “rape culture” epithet makes itself look ridiculous.

    The moment someone uses the term “rape culture” in a non-mocking sense, I immediately know that nothing that person has to say, on any subject, is likely to be worth listening to. I don’t recognise it as a valid term in the English language. Partly because I never heard it before about a year ago, but mostly because it’s an ugly ugly concept, deliberately designed to turn ordinary and perfectly decent thoughts and attitudes into crimes.

  245. It may well be that the verdicts in this case were correct, although it certainly stretches my understanding of the phrase “affirmative defense”: Zimms didn’t even testify to a theory of mortal threat (so the theory was never cross-examined), and the six middle-aged female jurors inferred such from his taped police interviews.

    Why should he have testified to it? His lawyer did a good job informing the jury that that was the defence’s theory, so the burden was on the prosecution to disprove it beyond reasonable doubt. That’s the law in every state except Ohio. The prosecution not only failed to do so, it actually confirmed the theory. Almost every witness it put up gave testimony that was completely consistent with the defense’s story, so that by law the defense shouldn’t even have had to put on a case. The judge ought to have directed a verdict of not guilty as soon as the prosecution rested, and the fact that she didn’t was reversible error (which now won’t get reversed, because the verdict made it moot). In addition, the prosecution in its closing seemed to go out of its way to point out to the jury the doubt that existed; the prosecutors kept saying we don’t know the truth. Well, if we don’t know, then they have not proven their case, have they?

    can we at least agree that he made several mistakes that night, mistakes that a wiser or more moral armed citizen would never have made?

    No. “More prudent”, perhaps, but not “wiser”, and certainly not “more moral”. There was nothing even slightly immoral about anything he did, or even about anything he’s alleged to have done. Even if he had continued to follow Martin, and confronted him, asking what he was doing, that would have been imprudent, and perhaps unwise, but in no way immoral.

    Can we agree that when the cops are literally a minute away, it’s best to avoid brawling?
    It’s certainly prudent, but in what way did he not do this?

    Can we agree that a confident mature neighborhood watch volunteer should approach suspects with a friendly “hi I’m George from the neighborhood association I don’t recognize you where are you staying are you lost would you like a ride in my truck?” rather than skulking about from behind various corners?

    Absolutely not! This is precisely what the police don’t want him doing, for his own safety. If following the suspect from a distance is imprudent, then openly confronting him must be positively reckless.

    Can we agree that someone who *wanted* to kill a young thug-in-training (really? most places I’ve been they’re way past the training stage by 17) would be well-advised to do exactly what Zimms did,

    Certainly not! I’m no expert on how to commit a murder and get away with it, but I’m pretty sure one of the first rules in the manual must be “don’t call the police to the scene, at least until after the deed is done”! Also, “don’t let the guy beat you up” would be high on the list.

  246. ’m pretty sure that everyone here who doesn’t advocate incarcerating black males categorically would agree that he made serious mistakes

    Could you suggest some? I can’t think of anything he did that was wrong, or even unacceptably imprudent.

  247. I do think that, e.g., following the operator’s request to stay put would have been a more prudent choice.

    What request was that? The operator made no such request. The operator merely informed him that if he liked he could stop following the suspect; he says that in fact he did so, and there’s no evidence to contradict that.

  248. Zimnmerman then chose to do the brave thing, which was probably the right thing as well.

    No. That would have been the brave thing, and had he done it it would make him a hero, but he claims he didn’t do it, and in the absence of any evidence to contradict him I think we owe him the courtesy of believing him. So he’s no hero, just someone who tried to do the right thing and was punished for it.

  249. There’s another aspect to the armed/unarmed conflict issue that I haven’t seen discussed:

    Suppose that you are armed and in a fight with an unarmed person. You are getting the worst of it, and like Zimmerman, you cannot retreat. I repeat, you have a GUN. The unarmed person will soon be able to take it from you and maybe shoot you with it. What do you do?

  250. As I said, the evidence is what it is. What do you suggest the prosecution should have done instead?

    Refused the order to prosecute. That was their obligation under the bar ethical code. And they should have gone public with the fact that they’d been given an illegal order to do so, and who had given the order.

  251. Your words imply that *even if* the jury got it wrong in this case, Trayvon was “trash” that would need “taking out” (or, as JAD also wrote – “killing”) sooner or later.

    Yes, he probably would have.

    jumping straight to justification of extra-judicial killing seems a little (cough) extreme.

    Who’s justifying it? How did you read justification into Eric’s words? Just because someone is trash and needs killing doesn’t mean anyone has the right to kill him. We prosecute gangsters all the time for murdering their fellow gangsters, with no regard to the fact that they were doing society a favour. They’re trash too, and murder is murder, even if the victim had it coming. As Hillel put it, “Because you drowned others, you were drowned; and in the end those who drowned you will drown”.

  252. Changing the culture is still necessary — Rodney King should never have happened

    Rodney King was another thug, speeding and apparently high on something, and with a record of violent crime. He resisted arrest, and the police were correct in using necessary force to subdue him. Did you watch the judge’s sentencing speech in the second trial, at which Powell and Koon were convicted? He affirmed that of the over 50 blows delivered to King, all but the last six were justified. Briseño and Wind stopped hitting King as soon as he stopped resisting; Powell was convicted only because he continued to hit him six more times before he noticed and stopped, and Koon was convicted for not stopping him.

  253. “And what does your misogynist justification for this have to do with gay men?”

    He’s going for the bigot trifecta.

  254. And what does your misogynist justification for this have to do with gay men?

    You will observe that most famous traitors in recent times have been Jews or gays, usually gays, just as the respective stereotypes predict.

    And no, it was not because gays can be blackmailed, for the sexual preference of most famous traitors was notorious and well known before they got into the traitor business.

    Stereotypes are usually accurate reflections of average or typical behavior.

    Personal observation, most embezzlers are gay, and those that are not gay are female, (not counting the boss stealing from customers or government as embezzlement) but embezzlers are not sufficiently famous for you to verify my claimed observation.

    Few famous traitors, to the best of my recollection, none of them, have been female. Rather, the problem with female executives is their propensity to use the business and any authority the business gives them to stage their own personal psychodrama and turn the business into a soap opera – for example a fertile age woman is likely to sleep with her boss’s boss, and then attempt to bully her boss, and supplant her boss’s authority with the threat of pillow talk, or something equally complicated, emotional, irrational, and bizarre.

    Whereas men work together in large teams quite well, quickly settling who is in charge of who and getting on with the job, women will probe endlessly at issues of status and authority, always testing, like a tongue probing a bad tooth, and will find ingenious and subtle ways of ensuring that actual power deviates disturbingly from official lines of power, often using sex to do so.

    And I doubt that even esr believes that we have any efficient test for this propensity, which makes it pretty much impossible to treat the individual woman on her individual merits.

  255. Milhouse commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > the prosecution in its closing seemed to go out of its way to point out to the jury the doubt that existed; the prosecutors kept saying we don’t know the truth. Well, if we don’t know, then they have not proven their case, have they?

    The reason they kept claiming we do not know the truth, is that we do know the truth. Not only do we not have enough evidence to convict Zimmerman, we do have enough evidence to convict Trayvon.

    Man calls police, complaining of a black male behaving suspiciously, arranges to meet police. They show up. The man who called them is bleeding and beaten. He points to a dead body and says, “He attacked me without warning or provocation, beat me up, I shot him while pinned underneath him. They ask a few witnesses – yep, the complainant was underneath when the shot was fired. Obviously the matter should have ended there – and if George Zimmerman had been called Jorge Ramos, would have ended there.

  256. What part of the gay male stereotype predicts a propensity to embezzle or betray?

    And as for the few famous traitors having been female, that’s a simple matter of a lack of opportunity: you can’t commit treason if you have nothing to betray.

  257. Jay Maynard commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > What part of the gay male stereotype predicts a propensity to embezzle or betray?

    Evidently you are only familiar with new and improved, more politically correct, stereotype, of gays being fashionable and slim.

    Before homosexuality became legal, everyone knew that gays are treacherous, unreliable, and dishonest, much as everyone knew them to be childish, short haired, slimmer, and less muscular. . Then people started arguing that this was because homosexuality was illegal, that the notorious unreliabity of gays was similar to the propensity of alcohol salesmen during prohibition to be violent. This argument always seemed unreasonable to me, since a middle class homosexual had to really try hard to get the law enforced against him and most instances of bad homosexual behavior were from homosexuals that were well and truly out of the closet..

    Supposedly legalization would fix the problem, so, upon legalization, everyone was required to believe the problem fixed. My personal experience would suggest that the problem is not fixed. Gays tend to behave like addicts.

  258. I wrote:
    > much as everyone knew them to be childish

    These days the gay stereotype is supposedly feminine, rather than not grown up, another way in which the official government version of the stereotype has been adjusted to be more favorable. Used to be that the assumption was that gays were like prepubescents, immature, for example Michael Jackson, rather than like girls.

    Of course, these days the gay stereotype is the official government stereotype piously issued by Harvard University – feminine and fashionable. To the best of my knowledge, the actual grass roots stereotype is still that gays are unreliable and immature.

  259. Used to be that the assumption was that gays were like prepubescents, immature, for example Michael Jackson, rather than like girls.

    Sure, a few years ago. Before that the gay stereotype was of hypermasculinity (which is still the thought template for male-on-male rape in the Middle East), and lots of back-and-forth before that. If you want to put a flag in the ground of some particular stereotype of male homosexuals, try one that lasted for more than a couple of centuries at a time.

  260. On the accents: I knew a guy who went to high school with Margrit Von Braun in Huntsville. He said she could make you fall over laughing by speaking German with an Alabama accent.

  261. Christopher Smith commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Before that the gay stereotype was of hypermasculinity

    I have been around for a while, and I read a lot of old books. I am not aware that gays were ever seen as hypermasculine in the English speaking world. Michael Jackson is, as esr would say, a reification of the gay stereotype.

    Maybe gays liked to see themselves as hypermasculine, and certainly that has been pushed on television – but when a theme is pushed on television, that is because it is disbelieved, not because it is believed, for example black scientists, female scientists, kick ass female warriors – and hypermasculine gays.

  262. Christopher Smith on 2013-07-21 at 22:44:10 said:
    > and lots of back-and-forth before that.

    Gay stereotype has not changed one bit in centuries: Ocar Wilde was an instantiation of the same stereotype as Michael Jackson instantiated.

    What has changed is the various campaigns to revise the gay stereotype to something less damning. When each campaign fails, they try a different campaign.

  263. I have to agree with Winter, for a change. I, too, believe that learning to play a musical instrument is, in general, good for you. I think that if it is a wind instrument, doing so might even make one a better shot with a pistol. (learning to move one finger while holding the others still)

  264. Since certain persons have been becoming increasingly hideous of late in addition to spammy verbose, I’d like to note that a while back I wrote a Chrome “killfile” extension specifically for Armed and Dangerous to help mute out some of the louder hum here. It’s ugly but it gets the job done, if there’s any commentators you’re just tired of.

    http://generalcriticism.com/projects/software/killfile

  265. The best evidence that the verdict is just is that shooting Trayvon was not the first thing George thought of, but the last.

  266. “no one wants to admit the methods that were employed.” Yep, white liberals always seem shocked when they find out that steady, successful black folks spank their kids, a lot. Those blacks just might be steady and successful because their parents spanked them, a lot. The white liberals don’t seem to be able to entertain the concept that blacks might be tougher than they are by nature, and thus might need a good thwacking from the parents now and then, just to get their attention.

  267. Oh, Jim,,talking about Tutsis. The last stranger nigger I met in a Men’s room, I said to him, “How do you do, Your Grace?” He was my Archbishop at the time, and a Tutsi. He had to flee his country to avoid being chopped to death by Hutus. As a White Nationalist, I think it’s rather funny that my church is run by black Africans. Most Anglicans in the world are non-white. In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, nor is there Jock or Geek. Nor is there white or black.

    However, in civil society birds of a feather flock together.

  268. @JAD
    “Before homosexuality became legal, everyone knew that gays are treacherous, unreliable, and dishonest, much as everyone knew them to be childish, short haired, slimmer, and less muscular.”

    It is a little unreal to see a stereotype bigot write a stereotype comment about the reality of stereotypes of gays and blacks.

    I think you lost your view onto the real world in a maze of stereotype mirrors.

  269. Oh, and further: During a sermon, my (Irish) pastor adverted to the skimpy garments worn by some of the women in the congregation. He told a story about entertaining a visiting bishop from Uganda in a fancy restaurant in Dublin. It seems that in Uganda, if a woman shows a lot of skin in public, she is assumed to be a whore.So this bishop, gazing at all of the gals in evening dresses, spoke out, good and loud, not sotto voce, “Why are all these prostitutes here, in a nice place like this?”

  270. …a fertile age woman is likely to sleep with her boss’s boss, and then attempt to bully her boss…

    …women will probe endlessly at issues of status and authority, always testing, … and will find ingenious and subtle ways of ensuring that actual power deviates disturbingly from official lines of power…

    I *so* need to pay more attention to JAD. I have been branch manager for an US company for 15 years and had to leave it a few months ago because of this. (Then again, I’m not upset with the woman – as JAD says, it’s what they do. I’m upset with the bosses who fell for it. Oh well… I fell upwards, as it were, so all is good.)

    [Incidentally, a preview wouldn’t go amiss.]

  271. No, not any more than (for example) forbidding people with epilepsy from driving cars.

    I am not sure if it is true or not (and if so, where), but I have heard that people with epilepsy can drive cars provided that they didn’t have a single seizure in a year (i.e. that medication works).

  272. I am not sure if it is true or not (and if so, where), but I have heard that people with epilepsy can drive cars provided that they didn’t have a single seizure in a year (i.e. that medication works).

    I’m not familiar with the precise details, but in Texas, epileptics whose seizures are under control for a certain period of time can drive, subject to any future episodes.

  273. @Rick C “Again–if you don’t think a concrete sidewalk is a deadly weapon, I invite you to slam your head against one until you do.”

    Anything can be a deadly weapon if you hit someone with it with enough force; classifying objects as deadly weapons on this basis is a non-starter. As far as I have seen, the evidence is not consistent with even the minimal amount of force that would show his head was deliberately slammed against it at all.

  274. @ESR “”” Zimnmerman then chose to do the brave thing, which was probably the right thing as well.”””

    I don’t know how you can say this when we know that in fact he was not there to rob houses but was temporarily living with someone who was a resident of the gated community. This means that whatever signs or ‘suspicious behavior’ Zimmerman thought he saw, he was in fact wrong about. Facts matter.

  275. @ESR

    >There are class and regional divides operating here difficult for non-Americans to fully grasp.

    Reading Jim Goad’s The Redneck Manifesto helped with that – and besides the informative content, it is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I remember keeling over from laughter at that part when he writes that at some anti-drugs photo shot Elvis “was so high, his sideburns were flappin’ “

  276. Anything can be a deadly weapon if you hit someone with it with enough force; classifying objects as deadly weapons on this basis is a non-starter.

    Then you’ll need to take it up with all the legislatures that implemented the Model Penal Code, because that’s the legal definition.

    As far as I have seen, the evidence is not consistent with even the minimal amount of force that would show his head was deliberately slammed against it at all.

    How else did he get the abrasions on the back of his head?

  277. Martin could have been both temporarily living there and casing the joint. Zimmerman was describing Martin as engaging in suspicious behavior. Watch the youtube video of his statement to police.

    Zimmerman correctly identified that Martin was on drugs.

  278. @James A. Donald:

    >My personal experience would suggest that the problem is not fixed. Gays tend to behave like addicts.

    There is one interested theory about that, proposed by a bishop actually so it has some religious overtones, but nevertheless I would not write it off. Basically he said homosexuality is a form of narcissism: loving someone precisely because he/she is similar to the self, while a straight relationship – between people who are into traditional gender roles, not modern unisex people – is a love between opposites. Thus, the traditional straight person, being able to love someone very different from the self, displays behavior that suggests on having a small ego, being open-minded, tolerant. While the person who loves someone very similar to the self is ultimately self-loving, an in a way intolerant: “Be like me if you want me to love you!” Of course it is a good question whether gender is really the best predictor of difference. It could be that two people of the same gender are very different while two people of the opposite genders are very similar. It’s a bit complicated. Interesting idea nevertheless.

  279. > How else did he get the abrasions on the back of his head?

    I didn’t say his head never touched the pavement, I’m saying that being deliberately slammed against it implies there would be at least a bruise.

  280. Abrasions aren’t caused by “slamming”. They’re caused by scraping, which was most likely an incidental effect of the fact that he was on the ground at all.

  281. Random832 wrote “I don’t know how you can say this when we know that in fact he was not there to rob houses but was temporarily living with someone who was a resident of the gated community. This means that whatever signs or ‘suspicious behavior’ Zimmerman thought he saw, he was in fact wrong about.”

    So you figure that Zimmerman really didn’t see clearly burglary-related behavior, and just got bizarrely lucky when the person he unreasonably accused turned out to be a burglar or at least a serious burglary hanger-on? And you think this because of course Martin would not be so incautious as to be interested in burgling places right near his father’s house? Is this the same Trayvon “it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder” Martin who had recently been caught with burgled goods because he was so incautious as to be caught vandalizing stuff at school on a day when he had the burgled goods at school? Or are you just dreaming sweet dreams about an NPR report on sensible Trayvon “No-Limit Unicorn” Martin who would never do something like that?

  282. “””just got bizarrely lucky when the person he unreasonably accused turned out to be a burglar or at least a serious burglary hanger-on?”””

    Er, my point was that he did not turn out to be any such thing, and therefore that it is likely that whatever he thought was ‘burglary-related behavior’ was in fact not. I had never heard of this “recently been caught with burgled goods” story – do you have a link for it, or is it something you imagined?

  283. @JAD
    >Before homosexuality became legal, everyone knew that gays are treacherous, unreliable, and dishonest,

    I read with some pleasure that the UK government may be well on the way to granting a posthumous pardon to that treacherous, unreliable, dishonest gay man Alan Turing. So treacherous and unreliable that he played a huge rule in the successful prosecution of the second world war, working in the utmost secrecy, with the most sensitive of materials, and helped in no small part to save the world from Nazi tyranny.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk-news/2013/jul/19/enigma-codebreaker-alan-turing-posthumous-pardon

  284. Random832: The back of Zimmerman’s head had at least three lacerations that I could see in the pictures. Those can be and likely were caused by Zimmerman’s head being slammed into the ground.

  285. @JAD
    > fertile age woman is likely to sleep with her boss’s boss, and then attempt to bully her boss

    This bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to what the women I know experience in the workplace. In fact it is exactly the opposite. Most professional women spend a lot of time thinking about how to be respected for their professional capability regardless of their bust size, and have a strong aversion to dating ANYONE at work, never mind the boss.

    The plain fact is that bosses, male or female, should not be sleeping with their reportees. The power relationship is screwed up sufficiently to make consent less than clear, and the post sex consequences fraught with drama. And if anything, that is primarily the responsibility of the person in the more powerful position. There are plenty of people to date outside of work, and online dating makes it super easy to meet them.

  286. Before homosexuality became legal, everyone knew that gays are treacherous, unreliable, and dishonest, much as everyone knew them to be childish, short haired, slimmer, and less muscular.

    And in both cases, everyone was wrong. Do you know how many male bodybuilders are gay or at least bi?

    As for being “treacherous”, back in the day it was virtually impossible for a known homosexual to get a security clearance. Because if the Soviets found out what you were doing on the DL, they could ruin you. I suspect that they were untrustworthy because society rejected them; society didn’t reject them because they were untrustworthy. My suspicion is strengthened because it works in reverse: many of the people with the highest security clearances in the nation are extremely conservative, devout Christians — even when a warm ‘n’ fuzzy Democrat is in the White House. The reason is that they do not have potentially ruinous secrets that enemies could use to blackmail them with.

    plus maybe they’re just at lower risk for objecting to government spying like edward snowden did; after all if god is watching you masturbate, the government should be able to, too

    That may be why the NSA is building their sooper-seekrit snoop-on-your-emails data center in Utah: cheap land and a ready supply of Mormons.

    If gays are untrustworthy, it’s because our intolerance made them so. End the intolerance and there’s no reason to trust them any less than any other human being because they are gay.

  287. >I had never heard of this “recently been caught with burgled goods” story

    In October 2012 Martin was suspended for writing obscene graffiti on a door at his high school. During a search of his backpack, security officers found 12 pieces of women’s jewelry, a watch and a screwdriver they thought had likely been used as a burglary tool. The jewelry could not, however, be tied to any reported thefts. AP carried the story on 27 Mar 2013; you haven’t heard it because it was largely ignored by the mainstream media.

  288. The problem here is that using “RQ” as a basis for treating people differently under the law can be rejected on the same grounds – or very similar grounds – to ESR’s rejection of using race.

    The conclusion of this article basically boils down to “in addition to being morally repugnant is fallacious, because it attempts to draw conclusions about individuals on the basis of statistical distributions observed within population groups”.

    This is certainly a sensible position, both mathematically and morally. But if we’re going to set aside looking at the ethics of the matter, and just address the reasoning, we could argue against the “RQ” prescription on exactly the same grounds: an individual’s *behavior* is no more deterministically predictable according to putatively constant personality traits than his personality traits are deterministically predictable according to his membership in some population category. Behavior is distributed within an individual just as individuals are distributed within populations.

    So, just as we can’t jump to the conclusion that an particular individual will have a low “RQ” on account of his belonging to a given racial group, we also can’t jump to the conclusion that he’ll exhibit dangerous behavior in any particular instance on account of merely having a low “RQ”.

    Both “RQ” and race can function only as probabilistic indicators of likely behavior; and if you’re willing to discriminate under the law on the basis such indicators, why is one any more repugnant than the other?

    The answer, of course, is that they’re *both* repugnant. Using *any* probability threshold as a means of determining the law’s disposition toward an individual always amounts to effectively punishing someone for what they *might* do, rather than what they’ve actually done.

    Even if it’s necessary for practical purposes to compromise this principle in certain cases – e.g. in the example of epileptics driving cars in public – we should be extremely careful about making these sort of exceptions, especially when we’re talking about involuntary seizures rather than behaviors which are willful choices (or the direct result of willful choices).

    Treating actively engaged personal behavior as equivalent to the involuntary convulsions of an epileptic admits the possibility of there being a legally-defined class of people who are regarded as lacking personal agency or responsibility for their actions. The few situations in which the law does regard people in this way (e.g. people below the age of majority) are carefully circumscribed and constrained. Giving government the apparatus to define new categories of incompetence and assign people to them according to highly abstract criteria is a chilling prospect.

  289. >Behavior is distributed within an individual just as individuals are distributed within populations.

    This is the core of your case, and it is misleading in several essential ways.

    One very important one is that population means are very different from individual limits. Rather than going into the detailed technical argument, I’ll simply point out the real-world consequences. I can’t do this with RQ since we do not in fact have a measure of it, but I can do it with IQ.

    If you search long enough in a population with a mean IQ of 85, you will find a polymath genius. Case in point: American blacks and George Washington Carver. But an individual with a measured IQ of 85 will never be a polymath genius.

    An individual measurement of IQ is effectively an upper limit on the amount of cognitive complexity the subject can handle. It’s tied to physiological measurables like nerve conduction velocity and the surface are of your cerebral cortex. If you take enough IQ measurements on an individual you will see a Gaussian, but that distribution is due to measurement error and has a very low dispersion.

    If we ever do get a measure of RQ, population measurements and individual measurements will differ in the same way. Populations with low RQ means will have outlier members with arbitrarily high RQ, but the dispersion in individual RQ measurements will be far smaller. It is also a safe bet that individual RQ will be tied to measurables in the physiology of the brain.

  290. >This bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to what the women I know experience in the workplace.

    I have no doubt you are correct. But I am not endorsing JAD’s misogyny when I point out that your sample is highly skewed in a way that almost disqualifies you from refuting him. It is self-defined and seen by others as “professional”, therefore of above-average intelligence. “Professional” further strongly implies mainly middle- to upper-middle-class SES (with the exceptions trying hard to assimilate). And if I don’t point out that “professional” implies mostly white and Asian with few blacks and no “street” blacks at all, JAD will…

    Sorry, I’m not trying to argue JAD’s position here, just pointing out that you need to do a much better job of arguing yours. You are bright as hell and I have a lot of respect for you, but I have noticed in the past that you seem to have some difficulty seeing outside of your sociocultural box. It’s a problem common to many middle- and upper-middle-class Americans,

  291. ESR wrote “AP carried the story on 27 Mar 2013”.

    See also “Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin” http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/v-fullstory/2714778/thousands-expected-at-trayvon.html (There’s an interesting disconnect between the URL text and the main headline: I wonder if they tried their subheadline as the main headline originally and then walked it back under fire.)

    This story says I was wrong about one thing: the search of TM’s stuff following the vandalism seems to have been the next day, not the same day. I apologize; I think the exact truth noticeably weakens my case compared to what I had assumed, and I regret being misleading. Still even after that weakening, though, I think the episode shows a really poor intuitive grasp of general tradecraft, and in particular a poor intuitive grasp of the strand of common sense colloquially referred to as “don’t crap where you sleep.” So when Random832 tacitly assumes that aspect of common sense with his “not there to rob houses but was temporarily living [there]” it doesn’t look like a safe assumption.

  292. we know that in fact he was not there to rob houses

    How do we know this? If he wasn’t casing the neighbourhood houses for burglary, then what was he doing, walking aimlessly among the houses and examining them, in the rain?

    The only other plausible suggestion I’ve heard is that perhaps he had been given the address of a local drug dealer, and was searching for it. His blood test showed both that he had been using drugs and that he was not on them at the time, so perhaps his supply had run out, and being in a new area he didn’t yet know where to score but was hoping to do so that night, and that’s why he was out there in the rain, looking like a burglar.

  293. @esr
    > I have no doubt you are correct. But I am not endorsing JAD’s misogyny when I point out that your sample is highly skewed in a way that almost disqualifies you from refuting him.

    I don’t believe I was making a general extrapolation, just simply offering a data point.

  294. >Actually you’re wrong there.

    I relayed the AP report. TL;DR for your link; the police knew the jewelry had been burgled a few months before, but chose not to open a criminal investigation because they were under political pressure to make the crime statistics for young black males look less bad.

    That is, Trayvon Martin was actually protected by the system in a way a non-black burglary suspect would not have been. Which is what I’ll explain to the next idiot to throw the phrase “white privilege” at me.

  295. Jeff Read commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Do you know how many male bodybuilders are gay or at least bi?

    Very few.

    Since gays like manly men, and especially men with powerful chests, you would expect any gay body builders to be conspicuously displayed in the gay parade. Evidently they are short on them.

    The reason why television and movie gays are apt to be muscular is the same reason as television blacks are apt to be scientists – because everyone knows it is not true. When gays see a muscular porn star in their gay porn, they promptly speculate that he is gay for pay.

    Gays like manly men and twelve year old boys, but gays are not manly men. That gays are seldom physically imposing is as glaringly obvious as that blacks and women are not real scientists.

    > As for being “treacherous”, back in the day it was virtually impossible for a known homosexual to get a security clearance.

    Evidently, it was not sufficiently impossible.

    > If gays are untrustworthy, it’s because our intolerance made them so. End the intolerance

    But we have ended the intolerance. Maybe it takes time and eventually gay behavior will improve. Perhaps it has already improved, and I am an old stick in the mud who has failed to notice, but we have been affirmative actioning women into science and adventure sports for over a hundred years, and female science has not improved yet.

    What happens at a gay parade suggests that gay psychopathology is as bad as ever, perhaps worse than ever, much as ending Jim Crow was supposed to improve black behavior and black failure, but instead worsened it. Of course, the psychopathology that is displayed on a gay parade is not necessarily evidence of other forms of psychopathology, but that is the way to bet.

  296. I wrote:
    > What happens at a gay parade suggests that gay psychopathology is as bad as ever, perhaps worse than ever, much as ending Jim Crow was supposed to improve black behavior and black failure, but instead worsened it

    And, back in the nineteenth century, the movement to rescue fallen women proposed to rescue fallen women by removing all the unpleasant social, economic, and legal consequences of falling. It does not seem to be working out too well.

  297. @JAD
    > > fertile age woman is likely to sleep with her boss’s boss, and then attempt to bully her boss

    Jessica Boxer on 2013-07-22 at 11:00:50 said:
    > have a strong aversion to dating ANYONE at work, never mind the boss.

    Did I say date? I think the euphemism I used was “sleep”. Perhaps I should have expressed myself more plainly. How about “dive under the desk”?

    I was wrong to say “likely” implying most women do this. Most women do not. But a disturbing minority of women do do something as dramatic and disruptive as this.

    It is true that upper class women are generally sexually better behaved than lower class women, yet sexual misbehavior is still common enough to be a severe organizational headache. Even though only a small proportion of the better class of women do it, and the vast majority of the better class of women would never do it, it is still so potently disruptive that I think that most businesses, if they had a choice, would avoid the risk, except for hiring wives or kin.

    And even if the better kind of women would never use such crude and drastic means to disrupt the organization, they are still apt to be disruptive in subtler ways, which men, lacking words for the subtle psychological warfare that women endlessly wage, describe as bitchiness.

  298. Milhouse
    >How do we know this? If he wasn’t casing the neighbourhood houses for burglary, then what was he doing, walking aimlessly among the houses and examining them, in the rain?

    That is such nonsense. Maybe he liked walking in the rain — I do. Maybe he was interested in houses — I am. Why would you assume, without any other data, that this guy was casing the place for robbery?

    It is all bs anyway. He got a bullet in his heart because he jumped someone and beat his head against the hard ground (based on the best available data I can see.) Even if his life story did match the MSNBC hagiography that is really all that matters.

    Why did he jump him is an interesting question, though largely irrelevant. One point that hasn’t been raised is that the “racism is rampant in America” crowd have raised the fears and expectations of many blacks to the point that they believe it in extreme, and consequently are sensitive to the intentions of white people they might meet. Perhaps Martin felt that way and was jumping the guy preemptively because he feared the ghosts of racism. Which makes this tragedy in part on the heads of the race baiters of America. The very people who seek to profit from this person’s death.

    However, I must say I find the character assassination of this kid promulgated by the right just as offensive as the hagiography by the left. From what I see he was a fairly regular high school kid, who maybe got in a little trouble. A little drugs, a little pilfering, a little graffiti, but probably a kick in the pants and someone to point him in the right direction he would have done pretty well. Frankly, I think he had the perfect candidates for pants kicking. His parents seem like really decent folks who have acquitted themselves admirably throughout this thing, despite their understandable calls to have the man who killed their son punished.

  299. >Why would you assume, without any other data, that this guy was casing the place for robbery?

    Oh, I think the drug use and thug posturing make a pretty good clue. Given that circumstanstial evidence links the kid to an actual burglary, you’re betting on a weak hand here.

    >From what I see he was a fairly regular high school kid, who maybe got in a little trouble

    Fairly regular high school kids smoke pot, I’ll grant you that. Fairly regular highschool kids have skanky girlfriends. Fairly regular high school kids commit small impulse crimes. But the burglary tool in the backpack, that’s criminal premeditation showing. That’s not “fairly regular”; that’s a career criminal in training.

  300. Asterisk
    > The answer, of course, is that they’re *both* repugnant. Using *any* probability threshold as a means of determining the law’s disposition toward an individual always amounts to effectively punishing someone for what they *might* do, rather than what they’ve actually done.

    But we do effectively punish people for what they might do: We punish people driving with more than X% alcohol in their blood because they might drive incautiously. We punish young people drinking because they might get into fights. We punish sex below a certain age because young people might behave foolishly.

    It is perfectly obvious that we need stronger restrictions on black consumption of alcohol than youth consumption of alcohol, and Australian progressives have managed to concoct a progressive rationale for doing so. A young white male carrying a can of beer in public should not be illegal, and a black male carrying a can of beer in public should be illegal.

    Indeed, blacks, on average, need stronger restrictions on their behavior than whites.

    Every restriction on alcohol or drugs is a matter of punishing people for what they might do. If we made heroin legal and blackness illegal, blackness would probably be a better predictor of propensity to commit crime.

    Well, I hear you say, let us make drugs legal and let blackness remain legal.

    Trouble is that a black kid on drugs is trouble. It is privileged whites who complain about selective enforcement of drug laws against blacks, not blacks who complain. Let us make the intersection of blacks and drugs illegal. Better, let us make the intersection of the underclass and drugs illegal, employing a full Bayesian profile.

  301. esr commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > If you search long enough in a population with a mean IQ of 85, you will find a polymath genius. Case in point: American blacks and George Washington Carver. But an individual with a measured IQ of 85 will never be a polymath genius.

    But not everyone with low RQ, assuming we could measure such a thing, is going to be a criminal.

    We might find that most criminals have low RQ, and most people with low RQ are criminals, and then decide to lock them all up regardless, because we are a lot safer that way, but the justification for that is precisely the same as the justification for segregating blacks.

  302. > The plain fact is that bosses, male or female, should not be sleeping with their reportees. The power relationship is screwed up sufficiently to make consent less than clear,

    I have observed a young lady going under her boss’s desk. Clear enough for you?

  303. Fairly regular high school kids smoke pot, I’ll grant you that. Fairly regular highschool kids have skanky girlfriends. Fairly regular high school kids commit small impulse crimes. But the burglary tool in the backpack, that’s criminal premeditation showing. That’s not “fairly regular”; that’s a career criminal in training.

    Fairly regular high school kids do smoke pot, and they might have a beer or two out in the woods or a field where no parent is watching, when they go to “hang out”. But they don’t get fucked up on purple drank to the point where the liver damage shows on their autopsy.

    Oh, and 12 pieces of jewelry is not “a little pilfering”.

    This pattern of behavior would have, as soon as it was detected by the parental units, gotten a major ass-whupping in my (middle-class, white) household when I was growing up, or even almost any black household before the 1980s or so. Trayvon’s burglaries made the news and his parents are all like “What have they done to our sweet innocent boy?” and Obama is like “That could’ve been me.” Bullshit. Obama is the son of an African who was taking advantage of American education opportunities and a white hippie lady; he could be Trayvon about as much as I could be one of the hooligans that make the streets of Boston so perilous on St. Patrick’s Day.

    Trayvon was well down a bad path and we — his parents primarily and our society secondarily — didn’t bother to set him on a good path. I’m sorry, but looking into this story, the worse he looks and the better Zimmerman looks.

    One point that hasn’t been raised is that the “racism is rampant in America” crowd have raised the fears and expectations of many blacks to the point that they believe it in extreme, and consequently are sensitive to the intentions of white people they might meet.

    Part of the problem with believing that racism in America is that extreme is, people start thinking it won’t make a difference to get their lives straight, so they see the blacks that do get their lives straight as Uncle Toms or “acting white”, and that the only way to protect yourself without losing your identity is to become a thug.

    One of the great mysteries to me is why American blacks are doing so poorly while Afro-Caribbeans, who look just like American blacks (if not darker-skinned; remember, darkness of skin is supposed to correlate with negative socioeconomic outcomes even amongst self-identified blacks), are doing the same as any other immigrant group — so well, in fact that they raised the standard of living in the Bronx by making more than the whites living there. My unsettling suspicion is that Afro-Caribbean immigrants were not so exposed to the “I’m black, so Whitey owes me restitution before I get off my ass” mentality.

  304. Trouble is that a black kid on drugs is trouble. It is privileged whites who complain about selective enforcement of drug laws against blacks, not blacks who complain.

    Blacks have been complaining loudly about this shit for decades. If you’d shut your yap and listen, maybe you’d hear it.

    I recommend starting with some Public Enemy.

  305. @James A. Donald
    > I have observed a young lady going under her boss’s desk. Clear enough for you?

    Which web site was that babe? I’d love to check it out….

  306. This bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to what the women I know experience in the workplace. In fact it is exactly the opposite. Most professional women spend a lot of time thinking about how to be respected for their professional capability regardless of their bust size, and have a strong aversion to dating ANYONE at work, never mind the boss.

    As Eric indicated, your sample is self-selected. The women you know are no doubt highly intelligent, and keen on actually making a difference and achieving something with their own skills.

    There are plenty of idiot “professionals” in any field, and the stupider females of that lot — provided they don’t look like Lena the Hyena — are bound to attempt to sleep their way into a better social position. From an economic standpoint it makes sense: if you don’t have the skills, trade in what you do have. To single out a high-profile example, Monica Lewinsky qualified as a professional, and she slept with her boss!

    then again clinton’s charisma was frightening — my sister knew someone who applied for a wh intern position, who described him as “gorgeous” in person — it’s no surprise he won twice

  307. > The plain fact is that bosses, male or female, should not be sleeping with their reportees. The power relationship is screwed up sufficiently to make consent less than clear,

    If we let males be prison guards in female prisons, every male prison guard would fuck every female prisoner

    When we let females be prison guards in male prisons, every female prison guard fucks the highest status male prisoner, women having less self control than men.

    So, the logical implication of your observation is that we should not have mixed gender hierarchies, which is what I have been saying.

  308. James A. Donald
    > > I have observed a young lady going under her boss’s desk. Clear enough for you?

    Jessica Boxer on 2013-07-22 at 20:06:04 said:
    > Which web site was that babe? I’d love to check it out…

    I was in the office at the time. Possibly the lady was trying to demonstrate to me that she had friends in high places.

  309. @James A. Donald
    > If we let males be prison guards in female prisons, every male prison guard would fuck every female prisoner

    But we do, and they don’t, which isn’t to say that sexual abuse isn’t a problem in women’s prison, it is. It is also a horrendous problem in male prisons. However, your assertion that “every” guard is involved is just ridiculous, which of course is par for the course for you.

    > When we let females be prison guards in male prisons, every female prison guard fucks the highest status male prisoner,

    “Every”, really? Prisons are a nightmare. It is where society’s trash ends up. I hardly think we should use it to judge the rest of society.

    > women having less self control than men.

    Ever watched a woman giving birth naturally? Good god a guy can’t pee out a kidney stone without going gaga in morphine land.

    > So, the logical implication of your observation is that we should not have mixed gender hierarchies,

    Totally dude. They have a perfect society set up for guys just like you in Saudi Arabia. You should try it sometime, it sounds like it would suit you very well.

  310. Naw, Jessica, JAD wouldn’t go to Saudi Arabia. He’s no Muslim fundamentalist, even if he does share lots of attitudes with them.

  311. Ever watched a woman giving birth naturally? Good god a guy can’t pee out a kidney stone without going gaga in morphine land.

    (1) That orifice was *more or less* “designed” to pass children, while the male urethra isn’t. IIRC wimmen folks who have kidney stones have just as much trouble as men. Something to do with the production of endorphins during childbirth that doesn’t happen when the stone hits the ceramic.

    (2) I’ve known 3 men who *passed* stones. Two of them went to the doctor the next day. I’ve never had a stone, but I had to “punch my bore” once with a cotton swab. You have NO idea how rough those things are. I also know more than one guy who sewed himself up when he got cut. Then again I hang out with men, not boys with beards.

  312. A 17 year old white male is a boy. A 17 year old black male is not. Blacks grow up faster, as is obvious if you look at the unphotoshopped image of Trayvon.

    I spent part of Marine Corps Boot Camp as a 17 year old.

    I’ve known 17 year old white men who could buck bales all day long.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacklyn_H._Lucas

    You’re not just an ass, you’re *wrong*.

  313. However, I must say I find the character assassination of this kid promulgated by the right just as offensive as the hagiography by the left. From what I see he was a fairly regular high school kid, who maybe got in a little trouble. A little drugs, a little pilfering, a little graffiti, but probably a kick in the pants and someone to point him in the right direction he would have done pretty well.

    Kid was mostly fine at 14. Then his old man divorced his *second* “mom” and he went spinning out of countrol. Go look at the preserved twitter and facebook feeds. This was not what passes for “normal” in most of white America, this was not a kid engaged in a little rebellion. Shoplifting is a cry for help. Burglarizing someone’s home is starting down a path of getting shot.

  314. James A. Donald
    > > When we let females be prison guards in male prisons, every female prison guard fucks the highest status male prisoner,

    Jessica Boxer
    > “Every”, really?

    Well in one prison, every fertile age female prison guard. Doubtless in some prisons, not all of them. I hear that female hormones frequently stop raging in your thirties.

  315. @James A. Donald
    > Well in one prison, every fertile age female prison guard.

    Neither the crazy blog guy you point to nor the original Daily Mail article asserted the claim that you made, in fact the implication was exactly the opposite, since he targeted specific officers (meaning he didn’t get them all.) So once again, you make these ridiculously over broad claims about the behavior of the worst people in a class, and somehow extrapolate that to everyone in that class.

    From a blog I read, apparently people named James are all serial killers. Doubt my claim? Check out this article!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randall_(serial_killer)

  316. Jessica Boxer on 2013-07-22 at 23:39:32 said:
    > Neither the crazy blog guy you point to nor the original Daily Mail article asserted the claim that you made, in fact the implication was exactly the opposite, since he targeted specific officers (meaning he didn’t get them all.)

    That he targeted officers is just the usual piety that whenever a female does something bad, it is the fault of the nearest male. They were officers He was a prisoner. They had to target him.

    The only issue is whether specific officers targeted him, or whether all of them targeted him.

    Two of the guards had Tavon’s name tattoed on visible parts of their body. This was not something that was secretly happening behind the scenes. These women were running the prison. If Tayvon was running the prison, it was through his little man.

  317. esr
    > “Professional” further strongly implies mainly middle- to upper-middle-class SES

    While female prison guards are low SES, the lady who dived under her boss’s desk in my presence had a stem degree, and a highly paid and successful lawyer that I know well also did improper things for sexual reasons. While men get in trouble for mixing business and pleasure, women do not – so, as with the prison guards, what will stop them?

    So I am inclined to treat Jessica’s statement as more aspirational than literal – that high SES women do not do this sort of thing, except when they do it, which of course is not often – say, once a year or so.

  318. Yes, Jennifer, you are correct and I was wrong: There is no evidence it was all of the female prison guards.

    But it was quite a lot of the female prison guards.

  319. @Jessica
    “Ever watched a woman giving birth naturally? Good god a guy can’t pee out a kidney stone without going gaga in morphine land.”

    Watched it more than once (every time without anesthetics), done the other thing once. And I did go into morphine land during the colic stage ;-)

    The comparison is not good. From kidney stones you get colic. That is a special state that,e.g., makes you move around a lot. Giving birth could be much more painful from the looks of it. On the other hand, the adrenaline and other hormones seem to make the pain more bearable.

    I vaguely remember some wild speculation that this physiological system to handle the pain during giving birth is at the root of masochistic pain-pleasure “confusion”.

  320. @Jessica it is possible that there are different kinds of willpower: the passive kind to endure painful situations, the active kind to pursue goals, and the kind to resist temptations.

    Have you seen how surprisingly easy childbirth looks like for cats?

    Human childbirth is uncommonly painful and dangerous among mammals because human infants have large heads because, ultimately, humans are intelligent. But it is precisely this fact that generates hypergamous instincts as the prehistoric woman could not really afford to or want to endure all that for/with the wrong kind of man, basically she had to minimize risk-taking, and this means that this instinct can be so strong and hard to resist that it may appear as a lack of self-control when it is actually simply that that the temptation is truly strong because of all of the above. Just 2 cents.

  321. @Winter

    >I vaguely remember some wild speculation that this physiological system to handle the pain during giving birth is at the root of masochistic pain-pleasure “confusion”.

    This is not so complicated. You take a wound during a fight, your body releases endorphines to suppress it as long as you in the dangerous situation in order to keep you going and saving your ass instead of keeling over due to the pain. However these endorphines are a very pleasurable drug. If you ever had a “runners high” that that pure meditative ecstatic feeling, that is that one. Of course that feels good and pleasurable. Plains simply if and when our bodies choose to suppress pain, because we are in danger, we don’t go back into a state of neutral feeling, we get into a very pleasurable one.

  322. “hypergamous instincts”

    The erotic attraction for men is hair, lips, and several fatty tissues. For women it is power. The prince will fall for every available good “looking maid”, the maid falls for the prince with the most expensive white horse.

    But I really do not see the point. Women will mate with those they feel attracted to. Men do the same. So what is the difference? The fact that they are attracted to different “stimuli” is what makes them heteros.

    Except, that men are notorious for being less able to control themselves.

    @JAD
    It is not that it is unheard of that male prison guards will abuse female prisoners.

  323. >I have observed a young lady going under her boss’s desk. Clear enough for you?

    Assuming it is true, you don’t know the direction of this: is it lady offering or boss coercing?

  324. Jakub Narebski on 2013-07-23 at 04:12:15 said:
    > you don’t know the direction of this: is it lady offering or boss coercing?

    The lady claimed to be coerced, but if the boss was coercing, would not have happened in my presence.

  325. @JAD
    “that men are notorious for being less able to control themselves.”

    The plural of anecdote is not data. And men are still “notorious” for destroying their careers and marriages for even the chance of getting laid.

  326. @Winter you get it perfectly right, for men the attraction is in quantity and for women in quality. But doesn’t that it follow that quality is rarer to get and thus harder to say no to?

  327. @Shenpen
    “But doesn’t that it follow that quality is rarer to get and thus harder to say no to?”

    Not necessarily. When all the maids are going only for the prince on the white horse, the prince gets ample quantity, but most maids would will remain virgin.

    If you go only for the best, you will say no almost all of the time. But indeed, if you do meet Christian Grey, you are bound to say yes. ;-)

  328. @Jessica Boxer “Even if his life story did match the MSNBC hagiography that is really all that matters.”

    The problem is when people overreach by suggesting that Zimmerman’s actions prevented future burglaries from happening. For that to be valid, he has to actually have been a future burglar. If it’s irrelevant, people should stop bringing it up.

  329. JAD “if the boss was coercing, would not have happened in my presence.”

    Why not? As it turned out, doing it in your presence was a 100% effective tactic in convincing you there was no coercion.

  330. The problem is when people overreach by suggesting that Zimmerman’s actions prevented future burglaries from happening. For that to be valid, he has to actually have been a future burglar. If it’s irrelevant, people should stop bringing it up.

    For all of the thought experiment and the proxies that have been suggested in the comments, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. Absent external intervention of some sort, a burglar is probably going to continue burgling.

  331. @James A. Donald
    > The only issue is whether specific officers targeted him, or whether all of them targeted him.

    Yes indeed, the issue is whether all these hormone addled whorish prison guards fell uncontrollably into the arms, or at least the penis of this guy. Which they clearly didn’t. Four did, and a few others covered for them. No information on how many total female guards, but the tenor of the article is that it was a small percentage.

    Which is to say that your claim that ALL the guards in this specific prison couldn’t control themselves is entirely wrong. So your multiple extrapolations from these few guards to all the guards in that prison, and from that prison to all prisons, and from that to the behavior of all women is ridiculous at every illogical, overreaching step.

    But that is OK. Clearly all people called James are unable to fully marshal the evidence. Or at least one James is, so that must surely mean that all James’s are that way, right?

  332. Jessica,

    I’m not sure anymore whether James A. Donald is serious or trolling.

  333. Jeff Read wrote: “I’m not sure anymore whether James A. Donald is serious or trolling.”

    I sometimes wonder the same thing about you.

    The two of you seem approximately equal in politicized insanity, though of opposite signs.

  334. “I’m not sure anymore whether James A. Donald is serious or trolling.”

    I promise you he’s serious(ly deranged). Go to his blog (and google “neoreactionary” while you’re at it) for some fresh horror.

  335. Jessica Boxer wrote “I find the character assassination of this kid promulgated by the right just as offensive as the hagiography by the left. From what I see he was a fairly regular high school kid, who maybe got in a little trouble.” And a little later, “a little pilfering.”

    I’ve been thinking about this, trying to figure out how to explain why “a fairly regular high schoool kid … a little trouble … a little pilfering” seems so wrong to me. The clearest way I can think of is cold economists’ language: it’s because fairly regular high schoolers avoid doing things which cause proportionally huge direct deadweight loss.

    A relatively large fraction of people, including high schoolers, will indeed steal stuff, and it can be a serious problem. By the time you get to the second-order effects, you often start causing significant deadweight loss even if you didn’t impose it directly. E.g., there are areas where access to retail goods is seriously impacted by shoplifting, even for goods like groceries where professional criminals stealing to fence are not an obvious suspect. But damaging though it is, a predisposition to stealing stuff that’s worth roughly as much to you as it is to the victim is somewhat self-limiting: there are only so many opportunities.

    People who don’t mind imposing $500 or $5000 of deadweight loss for $50 of gain have many more opportunities, which makes such behavior much less self-limiting. Pickpocketing tends to fall into this high-dw-loss category: if the thief was just grabbing cash and nothing else, it could be more like casual shoplifting, but in practice a thief tends to get a modest amount of cash and the victim gets not just the cash loss, but days of headache from other lost items that were worth much more to the victim than to the pickpocket. Burglary to fence things like jewelry is solidly in this high-dw-loss category. A society that tolerates stuff in this category doesn’t just get semidysfunctional retail, it gets total dysfunction like basic services not working because pipes and cables are stolen to be sold for scrap. I think I’ve personally experienced the edges of this with bike theft: where the police don’t seem to care much about people stealing bikes to fence bits and pieces, the theft rate can be so high that various natural patterns of bike usage become totally impractical, because your bike will be looted.

    To put it in less-cold more-vivid economists’ language, it’s a “roving bandit” problem (as opposed to “stationary bandits” who have enough of a stable relationship to their victims that they are incentivized to treat them like resources to be used carefully). Roving bandit behavior tends to freak people out, as IMNSHO it should. Fairly regular high school kids avoid getting caught behaving like roving bandits. As far as I can tell, they generally do this by the trivial obvious strategy of not behaving like roving bandits. Trayvon did not follow that strategy.

    Often this ends up being closely correlated with the “career criminal” issue that ESR mentioned, but not always. E.g., someone might behave like a roving bandit only given a special temporary opportunity, perhaps a natural disaster. Looting the $20k in cash that one happens to notice will indeed freak people out, but in a distinctly different way than causing $40k in property damage in order to loot the $400 worth of copper pipe that one happens to notice.

  336. @William Newman
    > [explains how the waves of cost from petty pilfering are considerable, and so finds my objection to the vilification of Martin unjustified.]

    Certainly, theft of any kind has bad consequences, theft of particular kinds is worse than others. However, in your focus on micro criminals you forget the macro criminals who are doing REAL damage to the economy. For example, printing two trillion dollars to systematically devalue everyone’s property, or the destruction of bankruptcy laws with car companies robbing preferred debtors of their rights, or the present process of Municipal bankruptcy in Detroit that will destroy many, many lives in defense of a big, bloated monster of a city.

    So if your point is that Martin’s actions were much more serious that I made out and that it had serious consequences for others, you might consider that in the panoply of theft, Martin is an insignificant player.

    Which isn’t to say that he was as sainted as the NYT would have you believe. He was a punk, but a pretty minor punk. His death did not make the world a better place as many of the right would seem to imply.

  337. Thanks for reminding me of the perspective of this issue, Jessica. Trayvon wasn’t a wonderful kid with a bright future ahead of him, but compared to the banksters who control and feed off this society like a bad case of cordyceps, he’s nothing.

  338. Coming down with epilepsy and blacking out are things that happen to a person; Getting tanked up and polacking a bystander are actions a person does, regardless of any predisposition; It’s a category error to confuse the two.

    Men and women do not commit crime at equal rates. It is suggested that the differential is accounted for by the fact that men produce ~20% less monoamine-oxidase than women. Following esr, those who have low mao levels (mostly men) be disqualified from gun ownership, knife purchases, baseball bats, etc. (or preventively incarcerated as above), which would not be gender discrimination, because there is a strong correlation between low mao and crime. Why not just punish people for the crimes they commit, instead of punishing (or “disqualifying”) them before they commit the crimes someone predicts they will? (Low mao is also linked to poor impulse control, low-RQ.)

  339. >His death did not make the world a better place as many of the right would seem to imply.

    I’ve been expecting that implication from the usual right-wing subjects, but (somewhat to my surprise) I haven’t actually seen it. And I actually wonder why I haven’t, because in this case they’d be well justified.

    Trayvon Williams was a budding career criminal with multiple drug habits. There’s enough evidence that he committed burglary to convict him in a court. He was shot while committing felony assault. The harm he did was limited mainly by his own stupidity and ineptness. The rest of his life almost certainly would have been a dreary progression of welfare dependency interrupted by prison terms or vice-versa. The death of someone like that does in fact make the world a marginally better place, because it prevents harms and costs he would have inflicted on everyone around him.

    Of course there are alternate histories in which Trayvon Williams grew up into being something other than a mook. It would be nice if we lived in one of those histories, but we don’t. It would be nice if there were effective ways to rehabilitate mooks (that 3% of highly deviant loser/criminal types), but there aren’t. All we really know how to do is warehouse them and contain the amount of damage they can do. When one dies in the process of committing a crime, the appropriate response is to be grateful that his choices killed him before he could further increase the amount of misery in the world.

    It’s OK in a theoretical, sentimental sense to mourn what Trayvon Williams might have been under drastically different circumstances. But not what he actually was.

  340. That’s because the premature death of anyone, no matter how repellent a mook they are, is seldom an event to be welcomed. While it is a good thing that Trayvon Martin will not become just another low-grade black thug, there are many other ways in which it would be preferable to accomplish that end.

    Now, I am mildly surprised JAD hasn’t said so…maybe he’s just unwilling to put up with the condemnation such a statement would draw.

  341. Winter on 2013-07-23 at 08:08:14 said:
    > Not necessarily. When all the maids are going only for the prince on the white horse, the prince gets ample quantity, but most maids would will remain virgin.

    One prince suffices to pop one thousand maids.

    Back in the good old days of La Droit Du Seigneur , an ordinary guy could expect to marry a woman who had only slept with one alpha male. Today, the number is a good deal larger.

  342. esr
    > It would be nice if there were effective ways to rehabilitate mooks (that 3% of highly deviant loser/criminal types

    There are: You teach them hard work and respect for authority, by assigning them to do useful work under the supervision of someone who has discretion to administer severe corporal punishment as and when he judges necessary. The team in which they work is reasonably small, and team members get some of the benefit of the productivity of the team, so that slackers and incompetents not only get beaten by the boss, but also suffer the disapproval of other people on the team, so that the team socially enforces the same good behavior that the boss enforces with a stick.

    For this to work, the boss has to have some private profit – if do gooders abolish his profit, perhaps fearing it will make him overly cruel to the prisoners, the prisoners will end up doing makework, which is soul destroying rather than character building.

    This excellent system was abolished in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century – which is one of the many reasons that I regard the nineteenth century as raving moonbat leftwing crime coddling promoters of affirmative action and self hatred, while you regard them as evil baby eating racist extreme racist far right right winger racist racists.

  343. I don’t much care about the particulars of the Martin-Zimmerman story, but some aspects of it can serve as a bellwether and symptom of deeper problems in our society. In particular, I would mention the following.

    There is no end to the invidious corruption and malicious malfeasance of the media in promoting agenda-driven memes that are undermining the cohesiveness of our national identity.

    The entitlement state is a cancer that may now be approaching Stage 4 conditions after a half century of seducing the weakest of us into collectivist addiction.

    Trayvon Martin likely grew up believing that the world owed him a free lunch and we are being sold the canard that “someone else” should take responsibility for his fate. It’s always “someone else’s” fault.

  344. Jessica Boxer.
    > Yes indeed, the issue is whether all these hormone addled whorish prison guards fell uncontrollably into the arms, or at least the penis of this guy. Which they clearly didn’t. Four did, and a few others covered for them

    Four became pregnant. Presumably others used contraception, or were simply infertile, or, Travon being a very busy man, were not impregnated in the correct part of their cycle.

    All thirteen guards charged were female. (The other twelve, contrary to some reports, were not guards) The prisoners viewed sex as the means to obtain the cooperation of the guards. It is implied that they were persuaded with dick, and of course the highest value dick was Travon.

  345. That’s because the premature death of anyone, no matter how repellent a mook they are, is seldom an event to be welcomed.

    HORSE

    SHIT

  346. His death did not make the world a better place as many of the right would seem to imply.

    Oh yes it fucking did. It’s almost sociopathic to attempt to dilute his personal social influence by talking about him in terms of “the world”. By that logic, Ed Gein wasn’t a problem.

    The microcosm of society that he plagued, and would have continued to plague, is much better off now that he is dead. Speculation over what he may have become is simply naive arrogant Monday-morning quarterbacking.

    He defined himself with every single tweet. With every single action. This *actuality* is what Trayvon truly *was*….not some speculative fantasy about some redemptive future.

    He lived and breathed his scumbag future.

    Now he is dead.

    A-fucking-men.

    Sic Semper Niggaz

  347. Jeff Read on 2013-07-23 at 16:26:55 said:
    > Trayvon wasn’t a wonderful kid with a bright future ahead of him, but compared to the banksters who control and feed off this society like a bad case of cordyceps, he’s nothing.

    Trayvon’s crimes were protected and encouraged out of equalist ideology, leftism, and the bankster’s crimes were protected and encouraged out of equalist ideology, leftism.

    The bankster who pissed away the most money was Angelo Mozillo, himself an affirmative action appointee. Son of a butcher. Rose through affirmative action and democratic party politics. Swiped more money that all of your investment bankers put together.

    The most infamous investment banker of them all is Jon Corzine, born and raised on a small farm in the middle of nowhere, again, rose through Democratic party politics. Madoff’s father was a plumber turned stockbroker. Madoff rose on Jewish connections and Democratic party politics.

    Angelo Mozillo makes politically correct loans to the poor and the victims of racial discrimination, which is to say, winos and wetbacks.

    In order to make the loans, his loan officers massively falsify the income and assets of the recipients. He encourages, and in effect requires, such falsification.

    Surprise: Politically correct loans turn out to be financially incorrect! Countrywide bank has a pile of dud loans based on wholly fraudulent loan applications.

    Mozillo does some financial favors for the management of the government sponsored enterprises, who buy his dud loans at face value, thus putting them on government tab. The government sponsored enterprises falsify their accounts to disguise how many subprime loans they are buying from Countrywide bank.

    The government sponsored enterprises create and sell financial derivatives based on the dud loans from Countrywide bank.

    By the time the derivatives enter the picture, all the crimes have already been committed. The guy buying the derivatives from the government sponsored enterprise is not only not required to sniff out whether the loan applications underlying the derivatives are fraudulent, it is illegal for him to do so under laws intended to prevent runs on banks, and in practice, people who attempted to examine loan quality were apt to be accused of racism.

  348. That Tavon White’s little man was running Baltimore prison should tell us why women should not be appointed to positions of authority.

    Jessica tells us women are not like that, but they are like that.

    Esr tells us that upper class women are not like that, and perhaps most of them are not like that, but I have known a significant number of upper class women that are like that, and, given that when you hire a woman, it is hard to tell if she is like that, why would anyone take the risk?

    Sunshine Mary, who should know better than anyone, tells us that all women are like that, including upper class women.

  349. ESR> That is, Trayvon Martin was actually protected by the system in a way a non-black burglary suspect would not have been. Which is what I’ll explain to the next idiot to throw the phrase “white privilege” at me.

    This is what I mean when I say that the unwillingness to be considered a “racist” effectively encourages the very behavior that the actual racists point to as proof that they’re right.

  350. @Dan
    ” It’s almost sociopathic to attempt to dilute his personal social influence by talking about him in terms of “the world”.”

    You seem to forget that people live by example. The example here is that the one who survives is the good guy. The go home lesson is to kill more quickly.

    You think this makes the world a better place?

  351. Winter:
    > You seem to forget that people live by example. The example here is that the one who survives is the good guy.

    The lesson of Trayvon’s death is that if you burgle houses and attack people, someone is probably going to kill you sooner or later.

    It is a very good lesson, and if George Zimmerman had been called Jorge Ramos, no one would have thought twice about it.

  352. @JAD
    “The lesson of Trayvon’s death is that if you burgle houses and attack people, someone is probably going to kill you sooner or later.”

    His life expectancy was quite low already. Expected time outside of jail would be even lower. And he knew. They all know. This episode did not change the way they see their future.

    The only way this knowledge affects their behavior is to increase their discount rate of future “profits”. If you expect not to be around after your 25th, either by being jailed or by being dead, you do not “invest” in a future.

    That is very simple economics.

  353. @Jeff Read

    >That is, strictly speaking, sexist language. Calling a fully-grown woman a “girl” has undertones of male dominance

    Except that there is nothing _inherently_ wrong with dominance in human relationships _per se_ rather it all depends on the details: most importantly how, then also why, who, whom, how much, to what extent etc. etc.

    My No. 1 problem with progressivism / leftism / is precisely this _categorical_ refusal of all and every kinds of dominance instead of taking a more nuanced view i.e. that this case is OK that case not so much.

    A world without dominance – human souls without the instinct to dominate or submit – would be incredibly dreary, I can’t even accept this as a sci-fi utopia, a literary tool, because it would just be so boring and lacking excitement. (This is why Star Wars is more fun than Star Trek, Star Trek is about “too nice” people.) For example sex could not be passionate as we know it. Sports would be pointless other than basic exercise/fitness because the idea of sport competition is always to dominate the opponent. The whole idea of fighting in any sense, from regular MMA matches to war would be out. Competition in business or e.g. spelling bees would be frowned upon. Nobody could really feel better than anyone else or at least not express it very triumphantly. You couldn’t shame people. You couldn’t even shame those people lefties like to shame, like those who make very offensive jokes. And ultimately your system would fail because you were not allowed to dominate, suppress, oppress those who want to topple your system.

    My point is not that a dominance free world is not possible but that it is not even desirable, it would take a lot of juice out of life. A lot of goals, a lot of motivation, a lot excitement would be out.

    IMHO every good dicussion of such matters _begins_ to the right of this, i.e. something like “OK some forms of some methods of dominance between some people are OK sometimes for some purposes” and then elaborating from it on. It is the categorical anti-dominance desire or attitude that makes progressivism/leftism for me unacceptable.

    Ultimately, what is wrong about dominance in a categorical way? That it suppresses someone elses autonomy or ego, vanity, pride? But such suppressions are not necessarily wrong. It is not true that a good character, which is a precondition for a good, happy life, is built by the immediate satisfaction of all desires and our egos or self-esteem never being hurt. Suppressing the ego, limiting the desire, getting a bit of tough love, putting a leak into the ego bubble, is always very useful.

    I learned this mainly from Buddhism. And one thing I don’t understand about contemporary progressivism/leftism/egalitarianism etc. that it all goes back to the 1968 hippies doesn’t it? But back then half of them were Buddhist, weren’t they? Or at least LSD users? How comes they did not get this memo? How despite understanding the dangers of the ego, they still think opression or dominance is categorically bad, meaning letting your ego go completely free in its desires and vanity and nobody pressing it back is categorically good?

    I think it was this Buddhist influence in me that moved me towards anti-modernist, reactionary thinking. If getting my ego smaller is good for me, then even bowing down to a feudal king or a Roman type father is not necessarily a bad thing – sure it would hurt my pride, but the whole point of Buddhism is that that kind of pride is bad for me. And thus it made me think if others complain about dominance or oppression – deal with it, get your ego smaller, meditate or something, it is your fault, if you had a mindset of someone like the Dalai Lama you could never feel oppressed no matter what others do.

    This is basically the source of the right wing turn of my political philosophy.

  354. JAD is getting tedious with the frequency of his posts and the monotone of his message, so some perspective may be in order.

    JAD perceives himself as speaking hard truth to a world with its head collectively buried in the sand. He is certain that he could fix what ails us if someone would just make him God-Emperor-of-the-Universe. Because of his omniscience, he knows exactly who should be accorded full rights in the human race and who should be relegated to second or third tier status. In his mind, this is justified because it nets out as a greater good for the hive.

    Another perspective is that an incipient tyrant poses an even greater danger than the dregs of society.

  355. The go home lesson is to kill more quickly.

    You think this makes the world a better place?

    For the good, yes. For the bad, not so much.

    Perhaps they should stop being bad, thereby ceasing to give good people any reason to kill them?

    Ha ha ha….yeah…I know….

  356. Joe Stroud commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Men and women do not commit crime at equal rates. … Why not just punish people for the crimes they commit, instead of punishing (or “disqualifying”) them before they commit the crimes someone predicts they will?

    But we do in fact apply different rules to men than to women, and different standards of evidence, thereby effectively punishing males for being males – for example the Violence Against Women Act, and the Office of Violence Against Women.

    Why, then, not a Violence Against Whites Act, and an Office of Violence Against Whites?

    The many ways in which men are worse than women leads to rules that effectively punish and discriminate against males for being males.

    But, however, the many ways in which women are worse than men no longer lead to rules that effectively punish and discriminate against women for being women – and they should.

  357. @James A. Donald
    > Jessica tells us women are not like that, but they are like that.

    But we have already established above that you establish putative facts like this by the grossest forms of overreaching, illogical extrapolation. So excuse me if your unsubstantiated statements about what all women are like seem rather meritorious.

  358. @Dan
    > Oh yes it fucking did. It’s almost sociopathic to attempt to dilute his personal social influence by talking about him in terms of “the world”.

    He was seventeen, he had a lot of living left to do. Is it possible that his death was on net detrimental? Yes of course. I could turn into a mass murderer tomorrow, and consequently my death would be beneficial. Was Martin more likely to go down that path than I? Certainly.

    However, I think you underestimate the worth of a single life. It is certainly possible that this kid could have got his shit together and proved to be a real benefit to a lot of people. The bullet prevented that future, and I, for one, think that even though justified, that is a sad loss.

    Perhaps I am a glass half full kind of a person. I personally know of one guy who got in with a gang in high school, ended up dealing drugs , robbery and eventually shooting at someone. He went to prison until he was 21, but came out determined to turn his life around. And now he is a great guy and a positive, contributing member of society. His death at 18 would certainly have been a net negative to me and to his friends who love him.

    Death, especially of a young person, is a tragic opportunity cost. It is why I would encourage everyone to support the work of people like Aubrey de Grey.

  359. @JAD “For this to work, the boss has to have some private profit – if do gooders abolish his profit, perhaps fearing it will make him overly cruel to the prisoners, the prisoners will end up doing makework, which is soul destroying rather than character building.”

    I would think the only way to have an effective difference to the prisoners between makework and real productive work would be for there to be private profit for the prisoners.

  360. >He went to prison until he was 21, but came out determined to turn his life around.

    Sure, this happens. But focusing on exceptional examples leads to bad predictions. Your friend was probably the brightest person in his gang, a criminal by circumstance rather than inability to do anything else. Sometimes – not often – “He fell in with bad company” is the truth of the matter.

    A better way to think about the value of a young life is to think of it as a probability distribution of payoff values, where payoff is the amount of wealth the person creates or destroys in his or her lifetime. You create wealth when you play positive-sum games; you destroy it when you play zero- or negative-sum games and inflict deadweight losses. (I do not mean “wealth” to be interpreted in a purely monetary sense here. Trust networks are the most important form of wealth.) The “value” of the young life is the expected value of the distribution, which we estimate the shape of by looking at the set of other people with similar traits and deeds who survived 17 (or whatever age we’re interested in.)

    The expected value of a career criminal’s life is negative. Therefore, the expected value of the life of someone like Trayvon Martin, who based on observed behavior had well over a 50% chance of becoming a career criminal, is also negative. This generality is not falsified by exceptions like your friend; for everyone like him, there is someone on the other tail of the distribution defined by juvenile delinquency who graduated from drug-running and property crimes to felony assault, arson, murder, and rape.

  361. However, I think you underestimate the worth of a single life. It is certainly possible that this kid could have got his shit together and proved to be a real benefit to a lot of people. The bullet prevented that future, and I, for one, think that even though justified, that is a sad loss.

    You seriously underestimate *me*. I place immense value on human life. I am passionate about the righteous defense of such life. It’s why I equip myself and train myself to defend such life – mine and others.

    Zimmerman rightfully valued his life infinitely more than the life occupied with mashing his skull into concrete. He acted with utter righteousness when he pressed that trigger. By all accounts, he was a stand-up guy that helped others around him….heck he just helped a family from a car wreck!

    Trayvon? Are you kidding me? You can clutch your sighing bosom and lament the ‘opportunity’ lost in a world minus Trayvon, but you’re engaging in worthless handwavey speculative nonsense. You’re daydreaming.

    We have all kinds of information flowing around us that helps us to make better decisions. It is far from perfect, and we make mistakes, but we try to correct ourselves if we have any self-interest.

    What did Trayvon do with his life? He chose the badass gangsta thug life. We can look at the lives of thousands of similarly dysfunctional lives and observe a range of results. Are there exceptions, like your friend? Of course….and I am cheered when I read of such things. But if you’re to bet the farm on something, bet on Trayvon being a father to multiple bastards to multiple ‘bitches’, sucking welfare and getting shot by 35.

    All of which is utterly irrelevant to Zimms decision to shoot in the immediacy of a deadly threat, of course.

    If we’re to get all misty eyed and handwavey about an unknowable future…don’t try and kid me that you think the future is not better off without Trayvon. I know you’re *way* smarter than that.

  362. Random832 on 2013-07-24 at 11:07:23 said:

    I would think the only way to have an effective difference to the prisoners between makework and real productive work would be for there to be private profit for the prisoners.

    Whenever you start a sentence with “would think” and then mouth some platitude you’re always wrong.

    People are social animals and being productive feels good because there are all kinds of brain modules that we have that make us feel good when we benefit the tribe – which doing productive work activates.

    Doing non-productive work, i.e., make-work, is humiliating because it’s serving the person who orders you to do it for no reason other than to inflate his status at the expense of the person doing the work by showing that he can enforce an entirely arbitrary command on the prisoner / worker / student who was forced to write “I will not misbehave” 100 times on the blackboard.

    Profit is a much higher order brain module that doesn’t get to the core of the human experience.

  363. Jessica Boxer on 2013-07-24 at 10:31:42 said:

    However, I think you underestimate the worth of a single life. It is certainly possible that this kid could have got his shit together and proved to be a real benefit to a lot of people. The bullet prevented that future, and I, for one, think that even though justified, that is a sad loss.

    Trayvon’s life should serve a much greater purpose than anything he would have accomplished had he lived – he should be held up as an example of the consequences of going down the path of thug life. This might actually save some future Trayvon from making the same choices.

    Instead every single thought influencing organ is trying to undermine this message and invert it.

    [stated]Trayvon was an innocent victim and Zimmerman shot him in cold blood after hunting him down – [unstated] so you’d better attack any fool who’s white and looks at you funny or you could get shot!

    [stated]Zimmerman was a reckless jackass for being concerned about his neighborhood and doing something about it being subject to a rash of burglaries – [unstated] we will destroy your life if you resist ethnic cleansing of your neighborhood!

    In a sane society we would fete George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon exactly so that the above messages would be reversed. A society where people look out for their neighbors is a good society. A society where budding thugs fear for their lives and try to pretend to be upstanding citizens instead of pretending to be full-fledged thugs is a healthy society.

    The contributions to society that the no-limit-nigga could have given in life are no where near what he should have provided in death.

  364. @ Jessica Boxer – “I, for one, think that even though justified, that is a sad loss.”

    This is the right track, but the wrong focus. The truly sad loss are the many generations of blacks (and others) who have been sapped of dignity and self-worth by an institutionalized practice of welfare dependence and family demolition implemented by duplicitous politicians more concerned with securing the vote than saving souls. Compassion starts with the brutal recognition of the source of the problem.

  365. Megan McArdle just wrote a piece on Zimmerman and Martin: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-23/george-zimmerman-and-the-power-of-bias.html . If you want to understand one big driver for the “character assassination” of Martin, take a look.

    McArdle wrote “from conservatives, I heard that Martin was a ‘wannabe thug'” and “I can easily imagine a 17-year-old boy deciding to haul off and hit someone”. That kind of thing drives me up the wall. To make an actual reasoned connection to the point she’s trying to make in that piece, she should acknowledge relevant hard evidence instead of wishing it away. She could try “from conservatives, I heard that Martin, whose only documented connection with street violence was his posturing on the Internet and in his messaging with his friends, and whose only documented connection with burglary was a single incident of being caught with many items of jewelry and a large screwdriver in his possession, was a ‘wannabe thug'”. (Caution: I’m just guessing at ‘only documented’ here, don’t take mine as an expert opinion.) To go from that evidence to ‘wannabe thug’ is still a guess in some sense, but it’s a qualitatively safer guess than McArdle pretends. To not acknowledge the clear evidence, and instead just pretend without explanation that Martin belongs in the reference class “17-year-old boy,” is ridiculous. It isn’t the worst distortion I’ve seen regarding this case, but it’s still ridiculous.

    It might be grimly amusing to be a fly on the wall when someone who earnestly characterizes Martin as an ordinary young man his age hears a credible report that a 16-year-old or 19-year-old niece or nephew is spending a lot of time with a 17-year-old who was recently caught with many pieces of women’s jewelry, a men’s watch, and a large screwdriver. Few people, when it affects outcomes not for people like Zimmerman and his neighbors but for people they haven’t dehumanized, really consider someone like Martin to be an ordinary “17-year-old boy”. I can’t tell which of the many people who claim to consider Martin this way are the rare special clueless unicorns who really walk the walk, and which of the remainder are instead using doublespeak or doublethink, cynical agenda-driven sharp dishonesty or vapid agenda-protecting warm fuzzy http://lesswrong.com/lw/i4/belief_in_belief/ , but none of the obvious possibilities seem to reflect well on them, or to help inform sane public policy.

  366. Jessica Boxer on 2013-07-24 at 10:21:19 said:

    James A. Donald
    > > Jessica tells us women are not like that, but they are like that.

    Jessica
    > But we have already established above that you establish putative facts like this by the grossest forms of overreaching, illogical extrapolation.

    1. Ad hominem.

    2. Tavon White’s little man ran Baltimore jail. No pussy has ever run a jail. This shows that female hormones create problems when females exercise power. Even the greatest of queens, Queen Elizabeth the great, the Virgin queen, did very bad things for sexual reasons. If Queen Elizabeth the great, then all women, near as makes no difference.

  367. James A. Donald

    Why doesn’t the Rhodesia example suffice you? It was disparate impact but equal treatment. I’m sure even ESR is fine with that. This comes back to that old Neoreactionary discussion of South Africa vs Rhodesia. I choose Rhodesia.

  368. @TomA
    > This is the right track, but the wrong focus. The truly sad loss are the many generations of blacks (and others) who have been sapped of dignity and self-worth

    Yes, I totally agree with you. Nevertheless, the vilification of this particular black kid, probability distribution notwithstanding, is still just as bad as the insane hagiography. To me this kid did not have the markers of big future problems. No gang affiliations, not a significant drug dealer, no significant criminal record, and I’d rather think that there was still hope for him. I little dope, a little pilfering, a little graffiti a little ditching of school does not make for a hopeless case. Plenty a white boy was a lot worse off and made good.

    Which isn’t to say Zimmerman was not right to do what he did, but it was a tragedy nonetheless.

    And FWIW, I do agree with whoever said it, that the press on this is backward. Sure it is a tragedy, but it is one of the main reasons why CCW is both important and an important right to preserve.

  369. @James A. Donald
    > 1. Ad hominem.

    I call foul. You can’t make an unsubstantiated claim, basing its veracity on your personal credibility, then call a challenge to that credibility ad hominem. If you are the evidence, then you are subject to critical examination.

    > 2. Tavon White’s little man ran Baltimore jail. No pussy has ever run a jail.

    I presume you are using metonymy to use “pussy” to mean “female person.” If so you are mistaken. A simple Google indicates that women do or have run many prisons, both women’s prisons and men’s prisons.

    As to Queen Elizabeth I, I have no idea what you are specifically referring to, but: a) she is hardly a typical woman from which we can extrapolate anything about womankind in general; b) the truth is that she specifically suppressed her sexuality and refused to marry out of her perceived duty to her state, even though the instruments of state strongly disagreed with her position.

    Perhaps, in fairness, her passion for Robert Dudley whom she also chose not to marry for sake of the state, was perhaps a truly passionate love. But this alone is evidence to the contrary, that she could and did vehemently control her passions for the benefits of a putatively higher calling. Something entirely contrary to your contention of women as out of control whores.

  370. Contemplationist commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Why doesn’t the Rhodesia example suffice you? It was disparate impact but equal treatment. I’m sure even ESR is fine with that. This comes back to that old Neoreactionary discussion of South Africa vs Rhodesia. I choose Rhodesia.

    I rather think that esr is horrified by Rhodesia, to judge by his peculiar demonization of the Victorians. But in any case, the problem with Rhodesia is that the ideas behind equal treatment eventually led to Zimbabwe. The Rhodesians chose to capitulate.

    In Australia, progressives have discovered numerous very clever highly progressive rationales for unequal treatment, which rationales they would never have accepted from people deemed evil – such as the white Rhodesians. And the white Rhodesians, deeming themselves evil, did not accept those rationalizations from themselves.

    Similarly, in New York, wealthy progressive white New Yorkers were unable to maintain a bubble that kept ordinary blacks far away from the influential, and eventually came around to selectively enforcing laws against trivial crimes and not-really-crimes against blacks, crimes that were not very serious, or not crimes at all, but were indicative of thug lifestyle, indicative of propensity to commit far more serious crimes. This is not in fact equal treatment.

    The practical need for unequal treatment is so very great, that progressives wind up furtively and guiltily doing it. If you don’t do it, you have internalized the view that all men are created equal, and are choosing to suffer and sacrifice nobly for that noble principle, as the Rhodesians did.

    Whereupon, if the superior internalize the view that all men are created equal, the superior lose, winding up ethnically cleansed like white Detroiters, or tortured and genocided like Hutu ruled Tutsi, or rural South African whites.

    If, on the other hand you reject that principle as wrong and indeed evil, then for eminently practical reasons, you are not going to apply equal treatment, for the same eminently practical reasons as progressives are apt to find very clever progressive rationales for unequal treatment.

    On average, blacks cannot function at the level of freedom and enforcement that whites do. They need less freedom and considerably harsher enforcement, or else you get a lot of Martin Trayvon’s, who are not only a problem for whites, but a bigger problem for blacks. Women also need substantially less freedom than males, but gentler enforcement, being far more amenable to authority and social pressure than males or blacks. What we need to enforce legally on males, should rather be enforced socially on females, except for certain sexual matters, where the biological forces in women are volcanic, requiring harsher coercion than for males.

    Early nineteenth century and earlier beliefs about race and sex were factual and unmotivated – they they did not have a big emotional investment in the issue. It was not a religious issue for them, the way it is for us. They were, as esr acknowledges, perfectly matter of fact about it. Therefore, whenever we deviate from what was done before the early nineteenth century, we need to ask ourselves. Are we sane? People who were demonstrably in contact with reality, which we demonstrably are not, did things differently. Why?

  371. I’d rather think that there was still hope for him. I little dope, a little pilfering, a little graffiti a little ditching of school does not make for a hopeless case

    You are a weak and feeble woman. You do not have what it takes to secure a robust civilization.

    That’s why men do it.

  372. PS. I sincerely apologize for sounding so harsh, Jessica. Truthfully, I think very highly of you and enjoy your contributions to this site immensely. But on this subject, I have to bring the hammer down – you’re out of your element. You’re a fluffy girl in a man’s world.

  373. Contemplationist on 2013-07-24 at 16:41:09 said:
    > Why doesn’t the Rhodesia example suffice you?

    The Rhodesian position was “equal rights for all civilized men”. I agree with that, except that unlike the Rhodesians, I propose a full bayesian profile to estimate whether someone is civilized or not – taking birth from civilized men, and being raised by a civilized father, into account, rather than treating certain indicators as off limits.

  374. >I rather think that esr is horrified by Rhodesia, to judge by his peculiar demonization of the Victorians.

    You are here, as so often, out of contact with reality. I don’t demonize the Victorians at all. I find their sexual prudery bizarre and sometimes laughable, but they had other virtues we have chosen to forget to our very great cost. A very important one was that they understood that there is a difference between civilization and barbarism, and did not hesitate to impose civilization on barbarians. The British abolition of the slave trade in the 1830s was among the great ethical triumphs of history.

  375. @Dan
    >You are a weak and feeble woman. You do not have what it takes to secure a robust civilization.

    Ah, thanks for the great illustration Dan. James A. Donald THIS is an ad hominem attack.

    If you want to make an argument Dan, make an argument. if you want pull girls’ pigtails, go back to kindergarten.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, our civilizations are currently run by fluffy pussy boys like Barak Obama, David Cameron and the United Nations.

    “Man’s world” my ass. “Bring the hammer down,” ROTFLMAO.. You sound like that idiot JAD.

  376. @esr
    > did not hesitate to impose civilization on barbarians.

    You mean the white man’s burden?

    > The British abolition of the slave trade in the 1830s was among the great ethical triumphs of history.

    You know this was mainly a religious movement by Wilberforce and such people as the famous philologist Granville Sharp, better known for his eponymous rule of Greek grammar and passionate defense of the Trinity. Oh, and don’t forget Hannah More, a fluffy girl in a man’s world.

    Which just goes to show that religion does have some positive impacts.

  377. esr on 2013-07-24 at 21:04:23 said:
    > You are here, as so often, out of contact with reality. I don’t demonize the Victorians at all

    You attribute to the Victorians hateful, crazy, evil, ignorant, and stupid beliefs about race.

    Further, you attribute to them these beliefs on the basis of twentieth century demonization of our past, dismissing what the Victorians themselves said about race.

  378. >You attribute to the Victorians hateful, crazy, evil, ignorant, and stupid beliefs about race.

    It is a matter of biographical record that British military officers referred to high-caste Hindu priests as “niggers”. I attribute bla bla bla beliefs about race to them on behavior evidence from contemporary accounts.

    But British imperialists were no worse about this sort of thing than their contemporaries in other nations, and arguably were quite a bit better. They did abolish the slave trade. Kipling, the poet of Empire, wrote “Gunga Din”. On net, being conquered by the British was a pretty good deal no matter how dark-skinned one happened to be. One got railways, sanitation and parliamentary democracy.

    Only an idiot would demonize British Victorians. There are plenty of such idiots around, but I am not one of them.

  379. >You know [abolitionalism] was mainly a religious movement

    Yes, I also know that their religion had, depending on how you figure, four to twenty previous centuries to abolish slavery and hadn’t done so. In fact Christianity preached obedience to masters. So don’t parade abolitionism as a consequence of Christianity; it wasn’t.

    If you look at the social history of the period, you’ll find that abolitionism and reform-minded evangelical Protestantism were related not by one causing the other but by both being cultural signatures of a rising Whig-minded bourgeoisie that used them to argue its superiority to the Tory/High-Church aristocracy.

    This was one of the handful of cases in history in which the Marxist model of ideology as a tool of class warfare actually fit pretty well.

  380. Okay then it appears that we are making progress.

    If ESR would go on record stating unequivocal support for Rhodesia, thereby condemning himself as a horrible, evil, white racist monster in the eyes of the mainstream, we will get somewhere.

    If JAD would admit that profiling needs to optimized and minimized we might get somewhere as well. As to your contention that Rhodesians gave up because they didn’t believe their own rationales, I have a hard time believing that. The worldwide progressive juggernaut comprising of the whole of the Western world, its media and the State Department was at war with Rhodesia, and then its friend South Africa betrayed it. I think the betrayal was the turning point. If not, we may still have Rhodesia to this day as a beacon of liberty and civilized order. I’m not going to blame the Rhodesians themselves for it. Ian Smith was an honest, forthright courageous man.

  381. @esr
    > So don’t parade abolitionism as a consequence of Christianity; it wasn’t.

    It was the consequence of the Christian beliefs of a number of Christians. How interesting that this loops back to the difference between the average behavior of a group, and the individual behavior of individuals within that group.

    >cultural signatures of a rising Whig-minded bourgeoisie that used them to argue its superiority to the Tory/High-Church aristocracy.

    Sure, a prerequisite to the abolition of slavery is a decrease in society’s dependence on slavery. But I think it seems clear that Wilberforce and his compatriots acted out of a genuine conscious mind of philanthropy, a genuine Christian conviction, a feeling of compassion for the suffering of slaves. The fact that that philanthropic disposition also schooled a meritorious rather than aristocratic view of society in general doesn’t diminish their genuineness.

    If you argue that the Bible is not an advocate for the abolition of slavery your would be right, but that is part of the strange and flexible theology of the fundamentalist. Which is to say that they have a remarkable ability to mold the scriptures better to the mores and strictures of the society that they lived in.

    Sharp himself being a fascinating example, where he derived a plausible though excruciating rule of ancient Greek grammar than no ancient Greek grammarian had ever discovered, primarily to justify the doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine never explicitly stated in the Bible. Yet he could happily ignore Jesus’ plain instruction to pluck out his offending eye, or his admiration of self emasculation toward holiness, or ignore the plain Pauline doctrine against marriage.

    Strain on a gnat and swallow a camel indeed.

  382. The abolitionists were religious fanatics but according to the establishment at the time, they could legitimately be viewed as deviant fanatics, not orthodox ones. They had no care for consequences or costs of their actions, but had a singular focus on their goal.

  383. esr:
    > It is a matter of biographical record that British military officers referred to high-caste Hindu priests as “niggers”.

    It is not a matter of biographical record that anyone except fictional evil right wingers depicted by self congratulating progressives ever referred to Egyptians as “wogs”, or indeed anybody as wogs.

    Nor have you produced any evidence that British military officers referred to aryan race Hindu priests as niggers. Burton was called “the white nigger” not for his claim to have been accepted into the Hindu priesthood, but because he would routinely and regularly pass as an Indian. Since “nigger” meant, at the time, black, rather than negro, and many Indians (Dravidians) are in fact black, this was a hyperbolic claim about Burton’s ability to pass as an Indian, not a reference to high cast Indians.

    Before Darwin, anyone who was black skinned was a negro – thus Dravidians were correctly called niggers.

    After Darwin, anyone who was of subsharan African descent was a negro, and Dravidians were therefore no longer correctly called niggers.

    The implication of calling Burton “the white nigger” was that he could pass as Dravidian, Dravidians being niggers – which of course, he could not – but he could, and quite routinely did, pass as a member of one of the whiter Indian races. The whiter Indian races tend to be high cast, and the lower Indian races tend to be black, but there are plenty of dark skinned high castes and light skinned low castes.

  384. Contemplationist
    > The worldwide progressive juggernaut comprising of the whole of the Western world, its media and the State Department was at war with Rhodesia, and then its friend South Africa betrayed it.

    Indeed they were.

    The Pentagon, however, was not at war with Rhodesia.

    Soft power, the power of the state department, is the power of faith. When under attack by a religion, you have to denounce its gods as demons or stone idols, and proclaim your gods as superior and real. When under attack by holy warriors, declare holy war.

    Now if the Pentagon had been at war with Rhodesia, you could say Rhodesia succumbed to physical power – but in fact it succumbed to piety.

  385. I wrote:
    > Burton was called “the white nigger” not for his claim to have been accepted into the Hindu priesthood …

    It is quite unlikely that Burton was literally accepted into the priesthood. It is likely, however, that members of the priesthood were OK with him passing as a priest, and collaborated in his disguise.

  386. Your argument rests on the presupposition that calling Burton “The White Nigger” was some sort of insult or put down.

    The idea that calling Burton “the white nigger” was some sort of insult or put down derives from hate filled demonization of the Victorian era. It was, of course, the highest praise.

    We know Burton was called “the white nigger”, solely because his wife proudly tells us:

    “He passed in ten Eastern languages. His interest in Oriental life,
    and his strong sympathy with it, earned him in his
    regiment the nickname of ” the white nigger.” He
    would disguise himself so effectually that he would pass
    among Easterns as a dervish in the mosques and as
    a merchant in the bazaars. In 1844 Richard Burton
    went to Scinde with the i8th Native Infantry, and
    was put on Sir Charles Napier s staff. Sir Charles
    soon turned the young lieutenant’s peculiar acquire-
    ments to account in dealing with the wild tribes around
    them.”

    She then proudly tells us Sir Charles sent Richard Burton in disguise as as a member of those wild tribes.

    That Burton earned the name “the white nigger” is one item in a long, long, long list of praiseworthy items.

  387. I wrote:
    > The idea that calling Burton “the white nigger” was some sort of insult or put down derives from hate filled demonization of the Victorian era.

    Indeed all your arguments about the Victorian era work like that. You take some perfectly true fact about the Victorian era, learned as second or third hand from twentieth or twenty first century sources, embed it in a context and interpretation that presupposes that Victorians had horns, tails, and ate babies, and then use not the fact, but the supposed interpretation of the fact, as evidence that Victorians had horns, tails, and ate babies.

  388. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Sure, a prerequisite to the abolition of slavery is a decrease in society’s dependence on slavery. But I think it seems clear that Wilberforce and his compatriots acted out of a genuine conscious mind of philanthropy, a genuine Christian conviction, a feeling of compassion for the suffering of slaves.

    Or the pursuit of power and the desire to demonstrate that they were holier than Jesus, in which game blacks were merely mascots.

    > If you argue that the Bible is not an advocate for the abolition of slavery your would be right, but that is part of the strange and flexible theology of the fundamentalist. Which is to say that they have a remarkable ability to mold the scriptures better to the mores and strictures of the society that they lived in.

    Sounds like the direct opposite of fundamentalism to me. They called themselves “dissenters” – which implies a this worldly position of political activism. A lot of dissenters were furtively unitarians, hence their willingness to adopt holier than Jesus positions on female emancipation, alcohol, sex, and slavery. A unitarian is not a fundamentalist.

  389. >Or the pursuit of power and the desire to demonstrate that they were holier than Jesus, in which game blacks were merely mascots.

    This is one of JAD’s even-a-stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day moments. It describes the psychology of Wilberforce and the evangelicals around him with cruel exactitude. Wilberforce’s other great crusade was the “Society for the Suppression of Vice”.

    There was a genuine libertarian streak in abolitionism; it was tied in with classical-liberal critiques of the Tory/mercantilist/aristocratic old order and the political turmoil around the 1832 repeal of the Corn Laws, and had links back to Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment. But the libertarians (who just called themselves “liberals”; “libertarian” wouldn’t attach until the term “liberal” was corrupted by Marxists after 1860) were not the dominant group in the abolitionist movement; Wilberforce’s evangelicals were.

    These factions needed each other for reasons more complicated than I feel like explaining right now; roughly speaking, the liberals were the brains and the evangelicals the brawn. Thus, abolitionist propaganda and activism developed as an uneasy compromise between them. The alliance did not long survive emancipation in 1834, and the last remnants of cooperation were destroyed in the controversy after Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859.

  390. New comment on Armed and Dangerous
    > > 2. Tavon White’s little man ran Baltimore jail. No pussy has ever run a jail.

    Jessica Boxer>
    I presume you are using metonymy to use “pussy” to mean “female person.

    Re-read. My meaning should be perfectly clear.

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the phrase “little man”. I shall rephrase to make my meaning clearer.

    Tavon White’s dick ran Baltimore prison. No woman’s pussy has ever run a prison.

    Just in case that also failed to penetrate, I shall rephrase yet again.

    Male prison guards have never been ruled by their sexual desires in the way that the female prison guards in Baltimore prison.were ruled by their sexual desires. This is one of the ways that women are unfit to exercise power.

  391. Jessica Boxer commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > As to Queen Elizabeth I, I have no idea what you are specifically referring to

    Imprisonment of Sir Walter Raleigh for marrying someone else.

    Now you may well say that Henry the eighth was famously far worse, but there are few Kings that were ruled by their penis the way Henry the eighth was, whereas it is absolutely standard for a queen to be ruled by her pussy the way Queen Elizabeth was.

  392. @ESR

    > depending on how you figure, four to twenty previous centuries to abolish slavery and hadn’t done so

    Let’s be fair here. Medieval Catholicism frowned upon the holding of Christian slaves, and abolished it all over from Vikings to Poland. Muslim slaves were OK because they did the same (on a much larger scale) and there weren’t really anyone else around by then. After Cortes in Mexico, the priests in Salamanca got together, decided that Aztecs have a religion therefore they have a soul therefore they are human therefore they deserve the same rights as other subjects of the Spanish crown. As long as the intellectuals in Vatican, schooled by the genius of Aquinas, were in charge, they got the natural law stuff fairly well. They were very much like a university, taking education and certification seriously.

    Generally these things went south with Calvin / Knox. Not only did they forget the whole natural law edifice, but they focused more on the Old Testament stuff – and the OT had slavery and had all this slaves obey your masters stuff. I looked a bit into the Thirty Years War period recently, and the surprising thing is it seems that while Protestantism decentralized religious authority, it centralized wordly authority, basically starting a “let’s hero-worship the righteous prince” cult. I am not sure but it seems logical to me, that the same way as it blew the lid off from the top of social hierarchy and catapulted kings from first amongst equal aristocrats to absolute rulers, it may have also blown the bottom off as well and validated the creation of a new class lower than serfs: the slaves.

  393. Ah, thanks for the great illustration Dan. James A. Donald THIS is an ad hominem attack.

    Nah. It’s just an opinion – your Trayvon commentary makes you appear that way to me. You don’t have an argument to invalidate (fallaciously or otherwise), only some fluffy lamentations about some fantasy future.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, our civilizations are currently run by fluffy pussy boys like Barak Obama, David Cameron and the United Nations.

    My turn to ROFLMAO. I’m sure they believe that they are ‘running’ our civilization, evidently you do too. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, these people are *fucking* with our civilization, but they sure as hell aren’t ‘running’ a goddamn thing. I don’t even know what ‘running’ a civilization could possibly mean.

    Heh…do you imagine there’s some magical civilizational control room full of levers and buttons that Obama is working up a sweat furiously pushing and pulling? j/k

  394. @esr agrees with JAD who wrote:
    >Or the pursuit of power and the desire to demonstrate that they were holier than Jesus, in which game blacks were merely mascots.

    I think that is a very unfair characterization of these people. Obviously I didn’t know Wilberforce personally, but I have known many people like him: conversion experience, passionate Christians. Their convictions, however destructive, come from a genuine belief of service to god, and certainly not holier than Jesus — on the contrary generally speaking, of all people they are the most likely to self flagellate.

    It is hard to pick apart people’s motives. It is probably true that their desire to be righteous in their “relationship” to god was stronger than their genuine philanthropic desire to help people (both slaves and those enslaved to the demon drink or their whorish passions.) But that is like picking apart charity in general, or the argument that charity is a selfish act. Do people give money to charity to satisfy an inner need in themselves, a need to feel they have helped, or shown they care? That is probably true, but it doesn’t change the fact that it also comes in large part from a philanthropic instinct.

    Nonetheless, to repeat my second law, there is none so unrighteous as the self righteous.

  395. @James A. Donald
    > Sounds like the direct opposite of fundamentalism to me.

    That is because you don’t get the intellectual pretzel-ism that most fundamentalists engage in. I gave an example above of strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

    > They called themselves “dissenters” – which implies a this worldly position of political activism.

    Almost the opposite is true. Their dissent was from the Episcopalianism and the established church of England, which is to say they dissented from the political control of the church. They were not political activists, they were religious activists who considered political activism necessary to achieve their ends.

    > A unitarian is not a fundamentalist.

    Many Unitarians would disagree. Many of them would say that they were the true fundamentalists.Talk to a Jehovah’s Witness sometime about the Trinity. I assure you they believe they are both fundamentalists and unitarians.

  396. @Steve Johnson

    How do they know their work is non-productive (also, there’s no reason it has to be personal profit for the people running the prison – helping to build (or clean up) a road would count as productive work even if the warden doesn’t get paid for it) if no-one tells them?

  397. Might it be relevant that slavery had been abandoned in Europe since around the French revolution?

    I could fully understand that with globalization there would be people who would see the moral disjunct between the situation in “the motherland” and in the colonies.

  398. @Winter
    > Might it be relevant that slavery had been abandoned in Europe since around the French revolution?

    Slavery is a spectrum not a black and white thing (if you’ll excuse the pun.) The situation of absolute slavery is only at one extreme, but there is plenty in between such as debt slavery, penal slavery, indentured sevitude, medieval villienage, voluntary slavery (selling oneself to relive the debts of ones family) and so forth. Although absolute slavery was absent from much of Europe, in England from very early on, there was a great deal of these other kinds of slavery even well after Wilberforce. I would argue that military conscription is a modern form of limited time slavery that is still widely practiced today, and held as a reserve power by every modern state. And of course a great amount of the above types of slavery is not at all uncommon today, even in the sophisticated first world.

  399. >The situation of absolute slavery is only at one extreme, but there is plenty in between such as debt slavery, penal slavery, indentured sevitude, medieval villienage, voluntary slavery (selling oneself to relive the debts of ones family) and so forth.

    You left out taxation. The taxing authorities assert an unconditional right to your time and your labor, and will back up that assertion with whatever force they deem necessary.

    But full-bore chattel slavery is different, and fundamentally more evil, than any of these more qualified forms. I shouldn’t have to explain why.

  400. Winter commented:
    > “Might it be relevant that slavery had been abandoned in Europe since around the French revolution? I

    French revolution nothing to do with it. Slavery in Europe became economically insignificant with the horse collar, which made it efficient to use horses rather than slaves.

    However, in a warmer climate, black grunt labor more efficient than white grunt labor. Many blacks are not psychologically well adapted to wage labor, hence, if you need blacks to do grunt work, work where the important thing is the worker doing what he is told, rather than judgment and skill, slavery remains efficient. Further, if you import blacks from the black authorities, they are likely to unload on you those blacks that are problem people – those for whom slavery is most justified and necessary. The Tutsis are not only going to sell you their Hutus, they are likely to give away their worst Hutus.

  401. “This is one of JAD’s even-a-stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day moments. ”

    Heh. Or as JAD would put it: if right twice a day, then right every time.

  402. Dan commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Heh…do you imagine there’s some magical civilizational control room full of levers and buttons that Obama is working up a sweat furiously pushing and pulling? j/k

    The army obeys orders, but the rest of the government ignores the elected politicians. Sometimes Obama will embrace some Muslim preacher, and pronounce that preacher the incarnation of moderation, and a year late will add that preacher, who turned out to be less moderate than advertised, to the drone operator’s kill-on-sight list. That, he can do.

    However, when the SEC turned out to be in bed with Madoff, Congress summoned the SEC for a congressional interrogation, and the SEC told them to take long walk off a short pier. The last Congressman to try hitting government employees with contempt of Congress was Senator McCarthy, and look what happened to him.

    If passing a budget actually had any affect on government expenditures, the budget would be power, and if the budget was power, you could not keep congressmen from passing a budget except by cutting their hands off with a chainsaw. Instead, no one particularly wants to pass a budget, proving that the budget always winds up being post hoc justification for what the government was going to do anyway.

  403. > > They called themselves “dissenters” – which implies a this worldly position of political activism.

    Fluffy Girl In a Mans World on 2013-07-25 at 11:55:07 said:
    > Almost the opposite is true. Their dissent was from the Episcopalianism and the established church of England

    Back then the established church of England was latitudinarian, which means that you could believe all manner of things about the next world, and worship God in any way that was respectable and customary. People who disagreed with the Church of England disagreed not about the next world, but about who should have power in this world.

    Similarly, when today people debate climate “science” is is not like they are debating the mass of the Higg’s boson, they are discussing who should obtain power, and money, and who should lose power and money. Theology then was like “science” now.

    > > A unitarian is not a fundamentalist.

    > Many Unitarians would disagree. Many of them would say that they were the true fundamentalists.

    And there are a lot of people in Harvard who say they are native American Indians. They are wrong.

  404. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > Their convictions, however destructive, come from a genuine belief of service to god, and certainly not holier than Jesus

    But their positions on a wide variety of topics, not just slavery, were holier than Jesus, which superior holiness somehow invariably required the exercise of political power in order to give full effect to their great holiness.

  405. @esr/Jessica
    “But full-bore chattel slavery is different, ”

    Slavery is where people are owned body and soul by their master, who can dispose of their bodies as he sees fit.

    What you are talking about are different forms of servitude. In general, in these servitude modes, the integrity of the body and nuclear family are warranted to certain degrees.

    I think the meaning of the word slavery has expanded after the abolition. As there was no contemporary use for the word anymore, it usurped the meaning of servitude.

  406. @Winter
    > What you are talking about are different forms of servitude.

    I don’t think the line is so bright. consider medieval villienage. Although the villien was theoretically independent of his vassal lord, the lord still controlled everything about the their lives, indeed held their lives in their hands.

    In more modern times indentured servitude is very common. For example, girls brought from third world countries to first world countries and, to pay off their “debt” have to work as prostitutes or domestics. The debt holder has a huge amount of de facto control over their lives, regardless of the de jure situation.

    > As there was no contemporary use for the word anymore, it usurped the meaning of servitude.

    not true. There are probably more people in slavery today than there ever have been in the history of the human race.

  407. @Jessica
    Most of your examples are illegal and punishable to incarceration. Crimes have been committed in all periods.

    And there is a huge difference between these forms of servitude and slavery where the master can legally skin the slave, castrate and sell off his children, and breed new ones with his wife all for the pleasure of it.

  408. Third parallel: Environmentalist opposition to nuclear power.

    If you honestly think the nuclear industry is trustworthy, and its opponents are all just running plays from some KGB playbook, I have two words: Karen Silkwood.

  409. >> As to Queen Elizabeth I, I have no idea what you are specifically referring to

    > Imprisonment of Sir Walter Raleigh for marrying someone else.

    Imprisonment of her close companion, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, for impregnating her Maid of Honour Anne Vavasour.

  410. Many Oxfordians speculate that Southampton was Oxford’s son. The really fun ones speculate that he was Oxford’s son by Elizabeth, placed by coercion in the Southampton household while the current earl of Southampton and ostensible father was languishing in the Tower. It is generally agreed that the babe could not have been the son of the real Southampton, that man having been denied conjugal visits.

  411. JAD:

    Theology then was like “science” now.

    Been saying it for years. Yes, “real” science (so called because it can only be found in books and movies) is sometimes worthy; but the science we hear about is the science of press conferences and wild claims, and THAT is nothing more than religion. The old definition was: 1) gather data, 2) come up with theories and 3) come up with experiments to DISPROVE those theories. The general rule is 1) come up with wild-assed theories that can impress people, 2) make those claims as public as possible, usually with a “the world is falling, give us money” subtext and 3) experiments? what are those?

    [Don’t get me started on “scientifically proven”, “scientific truth” or – at the extreme – Logitech’s commercials where their mouse is better than the other so SCIENCE WINS.]

    Other people’s religions freak me out. Oh well.

  412. And there is a huge difference between these forms of servitude and slavery where the master can legally skin the slave.

    This was never the case in the USA. Murdering ones slaves was a crime. People may have got away with it, but it was never lawful.

  413. If you honestly think the nuclear industry is trustworthy, and its opponents are all just running plays from some KGB playbook, I have two words: Karen Silkwood.

    What about her? Don’t tell me you believe that she was murdered? She was a crazy person who deliberately contaminated herself in order to create a case against the company, and a long-time drug addict, who drove while high and ran off the road.

  414. She was a crazy person who deliberately contaminated herself in order to create a case against the company

    The jury in Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee found otherwise.

    and a long-time drug addict, who drove while high and ran off the road.

    That doesn’t explain the damage to the rear of her vehicle, or the disappearance of the incriminating documents she was carrying.

  415. TomM on 2013-07-18 at 19:15:38 said: Back the fuck up, man. No-one “needs killing”.

    Joseph Kony.

  416. James A. Donald on 2013-07-20 at 21:35:49 said: I would diagnose the first and second Boer wars as whites in London believing that visible black misbehavior in Africa was caused by invisible white misbehavior in Africa…

    Neither Boer War had anything to do with “visible black misbehavior”; both were about British assumptions about British hegemony in South Africa – the second time massively aggravated by Afrikaner treatment of British immigrants drawn by the Rand Gold Rush.

  417. James A. Donald on 2013-07-22 at 00:20:09 said:I have been around for a while, and I read a lot of old books. I am not aware that gays were ever seen as hypermasculine in the English speaking world.

    “the English-speaking world != “the world”.

    Sturmabteilung Führer Ernst Röhm and his cronies were notorious homosexuals – muscle boys and posturing “alpha-male” wannabes. The ancient Spartans were both homosexual and misogynist. Arab and Pakistant/Afghan homosexuality also co-exists with misogyny; much of it operates as males dominating other males.

    As for the present era: “hyper-masculine” seems an entirely appropriate description for the “Mr. Leather” milieu. Many homosexuals are attracted to big, muscular, dominant males. Those homosexuals who are big and muscular maximize those traits to attract partners.

  418. The jury in Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee found otherwise.

    The jury was wrong. The evidence was clear, but there’s no accounting for stupid jurors, or ones that will award damages against a company just because it has deep pockets.

    That doesn’t explain the damage to the rear of her vehicle, or the disappearance of the incriminating documents she was carrying.

    The dents on the back were caused by the two tow trucks that pulled the car back over the wall after the crash. The dents were 13 inches off the ground, and there are almost no other cars whose bumpers are that low, so they couldn’t have been caused by being rear-ended.

    There were plenty of documents in the car. None of them were incriminating. You have no basis for believing that incriminating documents ever existed.

    Don’t forget that this was the second time she ran her car off the road in two weeks. Was the first time also a conspiracy?

  419. James A. Donald on 2013-07-25 at 02:10:47 said: After Darwin, anyone who was of subsharan African descent was a negro, and Dravidians were therefore no longer correctly called niggers.

    “If you’ve knocked a nigger edgeways when ‘e’s thrustin’ for your life,
    You must leave ‘im very careful where ‘e fell;
    An’ may thank your stars an’ gaiters if you didn’t feel ‘is knife
    That you ain’t told off to bury ‘im as well…

    Now remember when you’re ‘acking round a gilded Burma god
    That ‘is eyes is very often precious stones;
    An’ if you treat a nigger to a dose o’ cleanin’-rod
    ‘E’s like to show you everything ‘e owns.”

    Rudyard Kipling, “Loot”

    “The Driver ‘e give nothin’ ‘cept a little coughin’ grunt,
    But ‘e swung ‘is ‘orses ‘andsome when it came to “Action Front!”
    An’ if one wheel was juicy, you may lay your Monday head
    ‘Twas juicier for the niggers when the case begun to spread.”

    Rudyard Kipling, “Snarleyow”

    Both written long after Darwin. and having nothing to do with Africa.

    “Where will you find a Rajah that doesn’t understand Bank of England notes? These niggers aren’t savages by any means – lots of them have been to Oxford.”

    Dorothy Sayers, Have His Carcase, 1932.

  420. >Dorothy Sayers, Have His Carcase, 1932

    Indeed; and I’m pretty sure “nigger” for an Indian or Pakistani was still live usage when I was living in London 35 years later (that’s 47 years ago now). By that time it had become vulgar, though, and you would have been quite unlikely to hear it from the sort of person who would also say “lots of them have been to Oxford”.

  421. >Sturmabteilung Führer Ernst Röhm and his cronies were notorious homosexuals – muscle boys and posturing “alpha-male” wannabes.

    Two decades earlier there is indirect evidence from John Buchan’s novel Greenmantle, 1916) that Britons of the period believed homosexuality to be common in the German officer class at that time. Even allowing for the fact that novel was written partly as war propaganda, this is plausible both as a report of British belief and as an allegation about the German officer class. Homoeroticism has been far from unknown in warrior elites; the example of the ancient Macedonians is well known, and it was a feature of the lives of Japanese samurai that has tended to be suppressed in translation.

  422. James A. Donald:
    > > I would diagnose the first and second Boer wars as whites in London believing that visible black misbehavior in Africa was caused by invisible white misbehavior in Africa…

    Rich Rostrom
    > Neither Boer War had anything to do with “visible black misbehavior” both were about British assumptions about British hegemony in South Africa

    London supposedly had a duty to rule (hegemony) to prevent the evil colonialists, evil white settlers from evilly mistreating blacks. The major evidence of evil colonialist mistreatment of blacks was black misbehavior.

  423. James A. Donald on 2013-07-22 at 00:20:09 said:
    > > I have been around for a while, and I read a lot of old books. I am not aware that gays were ever seen as hypermasculine in the English speaking world.

    Rich Rostrom
    > As for the present era: “hyper-masculine” seems an entirely appropriate description for the “Mr. Leather” milieu.

    I don’t think so.

    > Many homosexuals are attracted to big, muscular, dominant males.

    Indeed they are. Homosexuals are attracted to manly males – and do not find their fellow homosexuals manly.

  424. James A. Donald on 2013-07-25 at 02:10:47 said:
    > > After Darwin, anyone who was of subsharan African descent was a negro, and Dravidians were therefore no longer correctly called niggers.
    Rudyard Kipling, “Snarleyow”

    Rich Rostrom
    > Both written long after Darwin. and having nothing to do with Africa.

    Language changes do not take effect instantaneously Dorothy Sayers was speaking incorrectly, and Kipling was depicting characters from the then recent past.

  425. Rich Rostrom
    > As for the present era: “hyper-masculine” seems an entirely appropriate description for the “Mr. Leather” milieu.

    When bikers wear leather it is masculine. What do you think would happen if you assumed that a biker was making a statement about his deviant sexual preference?

    The Mr Leather milieu is homosexuals trying to be masculine, and not pulling it off very well. Once again I refer you to the gay pride parade.

  426. >As I said, incorrect usage.

    But not because the semantic field of ‘nigger’ had changed. Only because openly expressing racist sentiments became vulgar. Indians, even high-caste Indians, weren’t “white” in Victorian times, weren’t white in 1967, and still aren’t. In Great Britain, that is; in the U.S. their situation is more ambiguous.

  427. > > As I said, incorrect usage.

    esr on 2013-07-28 at 19:34:47 said:
    > But not because the semantic field of ‘nigger’ had changed. Only because openly expressing racist sentiments became vulgar.

    You not only know little about history, but are refuse to read, or cite, sources from the period, preferring to cite twentieth and twenty first century maniacal hate filled demonization of the period.

    There was no such thing as racism until 1930. Racial differences were matter of fact, not attitude. Thus openly expressing “racist” sentiments was respectable until 1930 or so, though support for slavery became dangerous quite early in the nineteenth century, 1830 or so, as was the proposition that the differences in human kinds were species differences rather than race differences. Even though Tasmanian aborigines were quite obviously a different species to modern humans to judge by massive failure to crossbreed, no one dared say so. People were perfectly free to say that Tasmanian aboriginals were an inherently inferior race, but not free to say that they were what they so obviously were, a non human species.

    By attributing twentieth century emotional meanings to Victorian statements of fact, you are displaying ignorance, hatred, and demonization.

    The change in the word “nigger” from applying to skin color, to applying to subsaharan ancestry, began immediately after publication of “the descent of man”, and was technically incorrect, not politically incorrect, not long after. It only became politically incorrect after 1930, long after educated usage had come to refer to subsaharan ancestry.

    > Indians, even high-caste Indians, weren’t “white” in Victorian times

    Source please

    And make that a nineteenth century source, not a twentieth century demonization of a nineteenth century source, nor the twentieth century introduction of a nineteenth century source where the person writing the introduction reinterprets the material he introduces.

    Some high caste indians, most high caste indians, were white in the nineteenth century, as were some Borneo royalty. Race, in Victorian times, was defined by actual reality, not hatred.

  428. Tasmanian aborigines were quite obviously a different species to modern humans to judge by massive failure to crossbreed

    WTH are you on about now? Truganini was the last full-blood Tasmanian, but there are many part-white descendants of Tasmanian aborigines (i.e. crossbreeds) to this day.

  429. James A. Donald:
    > > Tasmanian aborigines were quite obviously a different species to modern humans to judge by massive failure to crossbreed

    Milhouse commented on Objective evidence against racism.
    > WTH are you on about now? Truganini was the last full-blood Tasmanian, but there are many part-white descendants of Tasmanian aborigines (i.e. crossbreeds) to this day.

    All of whom, strangely, look completely white, and none of whom can document their ancestry. (Mentioning either fact, is, of course, “racist”)

    Not only is mentioning either fact “racist”, but it still racist even when visibly black mainland aboriginal mentions it.

  430. Milhouse
    > but there are many part-white descendants of Tasmanian aborigines (i.e. crossbreeds) to this day.

    If those claiming to be cross breeds today are crossbreed, there must have existed during the Victorian era people who were visibly cross breeds, half bloods. Let us see the Victorian evidence.

    The last surviving Tasmanian aboriginals were women who were wives, servants, and concubines of white men.. They either mostly failed to have children, or all of them failed to have children.

  431. Milhouse
    > but there are many part-white descendants of Tasmanian aborigines (i.e. crossbreeds) to this day.

    If today’s supposed descendents of Tasmanian aboriginals are descendents of Tasmanian aboriginals, we must suppose that half breeds existed in Victorian times. Identify one.

    The basic reason for Tasmanian extinction was not the very high death rate, though that was part of it, but the extremely low birth rate, and the basic reason for the extremely low birth rate was that the females were all having sex with whites.

  432. esr on 2013-07-28 at 16:19:39 said:… there is indirect evidence from John Buchan’s novel Greenmantle (1916) that Britons of the period believed homosexuality to be common in the German officer class at that time. So did Germans, with good reason.

    Forget Greenmantle. Look up the Eulenburg scandal (1906-1909). There is an entire chapter on it in Robert Massie’s Dreadnought. Prince Philip von Eulenburg was an intimate friend of Kaiser Wilhelm, and mediated between him and the top Foreign Ministry bureaucrats. One of these, Holstein, decided Eulenburg had screwed him over. He retaliated by floating accusations of homosexuality against Eulenberg and several others, including three of the Kaiser’s aides-de-camp and the commander of the Berlin garrison (Moltke, a cousin of the field marshal), through a leading socialist newspaper. The resulting criminal and libel trials lasted over two years. witnesses described “‘disgusting orgies’ involving soldiers of the elite Garde du Corps Regiment.” The three aides were convicted; Moltke was exonerated but ruined; Eulenburg, who had been ill for years, collapsed in the midst of his trial, which was permanently suspended.

    There were other scandals. Eulenburg’s brother had been convicted of homosexuality in 1898. Fritz von Krupp was accused of pederasty and shot himself.

  433. Eric: can you delete the defective version above?

    James A. Donald on 2013-07-28 at 21:35:27 said: Some high caste indians, most high caste indians, were white in the nineteenth century

    Utterly and completely false. There were Indians and other non-whites who were treated as socially equal to whites, but they were not “white”. (High-caste Indians would have been insulted by such a classification.)

    King Kal?kaua of Hawaii visited Britain in 1881. Sir Charles Dilke wrote later:

    The Crown Prince of Germany and the Crown Princess (Princess Royal) of England were in London at the same time and at all the parties the three met. The German Embassy were most indignant that the Prince of Wales had decided that Kalakaua must go before the Crown Prince. At a party given by Lady Spencer at the South Kensington Museum, Kalakaua marched along with the Princess of Wales, the Crown Prince of Germany following humbly behind; and at the Marlborough House Ball Kalakaua opened the first quadrille with the Princess of Wales. When the Germans remonstrated with the Prince, he replied, “Either the brute is a King or else he is an ordinary black nigger, and if he is not a King, why is he here at all?”

    as were some Borneo royalty.

    That must be a reference to the “White Rajahs” of Sarawak. Who were indeed white – of exclusively British ancestry. James Brooke, the first White Rajah, was born in India to British colonials; his successor and nephew Charles was born in Somerset. Charles married an Englishwoman, and was succeeded by their son, who was born in London.

  434. James A. Donald on 2013-07-28 at 17:44:39 said: Language changes do not take effect instantaneously. Dorothy Sayers was speaking incorrectly…

    Amazing. You know more about English colloquial speech decades before you were born than a woman who lived in England then, and had lived her whole life in England.

  435. James A. Donald on 2013-07-28 at 18:04:51 said:

    The Mr Leather milieu is homosexuals trying to be masculine, and not pulling it off very well.

    Ah. This is a variant of the “No True Scotsman” argument.

    “All homosexuals are effeminate, not masculine.”

    “What about all these ultra-butch leather boys?”

    “They’re not truly masculine.”

  436. esr on 2013-07-28 at 16:19:39 said: Homoeroticism has been far from unknown in warrior elites; the example of the ancient Macedonians is well known, and it was a feature of the lives of Japanese samurai that has tended to be suppressed in translation.

    Look up Prince Eugene of Savoy and Frederick the Great of Prussia.

  437. James A. Donald on 2013-07-28 at 18:04:51 said:
    > > The Mr Leather milieu is homosexuals trying to be masculine, and not pulling it off very well.

    Rich Rostrom on 2013-07-30 at 23:49:31 said:
    > Ah. This is a variant of the “No True Scotsman” argument.

    No it is a variant of the see what is in front of your eyes rather than seeing PC ideology argument. Observe for example http://www.zombietime.com/up_your_alley_2008/

    The fifth and sixth photos have some Mr Leathers, and they are hilariously effeminate, in spite of, or perhaps because of, trying far too hard to be masculine and doing a bit of work at the gym. I expect that there are lots more like that in that photo essay, but I stopped looking after finding an adequate sample. Note especially the leather sub gear on the gay in the left of the fifth photo. I guarantee you will not see a Hells Angel wearing something like that.

    Perhaps you will study the essay to the very end.

  438. I wrote:
    > The fifth and sixth photos have some Mr Leathers, and they are hilariously effeminate

    Leatherman one is wearing sub gear, Leatherman two is holding his beer and someone else’s beer in hilariously effeminate fashion.

  439. Rich Rostrom on 2013-07-30 at 23:36:48 said:
    > Utterly and completely false. There were Indians and other non-whites who were treated as socially equal to whites, but they were not “white”

    Your fanatical hatred of our demonized past has driven you insane: Just read old books. Of course they were white.

    For example:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=7DoQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA198&dq=caucasian+caste&hl=en&sa=X&ei=n_f4Ufy_H8n1kQWHm4DICg&redir_esc=y

    Which tells us that Caucasians are white, but not all whites are Caucasian, and proceeds to list various Caucasians, among them Egyptians, “Hindoos of high caste”, and all the inhabitants of modern Europe

  440. Jeff Read on 2013-07-23 at 12:23:38 said:

    >I’m not sure anymore whether James A. Donald is serious or trolling.

    Not trolling. I found his straight talk too straight at one time. It lacked nuance, I thought. Not any more. Surely when he asks: Why not then a “Violence Against Whites Act”? Given the context, that is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. But to many, probably absurd. Would most likely be absurd to them not because of reason, but to something else. It always helps to have reason on your side.

  441. @Zach
    > I found his straight talk too straight at one time. It lacked nuance,

    It has one characteristic of trolling: namely “look at me I am so controversial” or “look at me, I’m not a scaredy cat like you — I can tell it like it really is.” Which to me is kind of sophomoric, literally so based on the etymology. Trolling is usually insincere, which I don’t believe he is — which is to say he actually believes all that stuff.

    My experience with him is that “lacking nuance” is an understatement. He tends to grossly extrapolate putative general principles from limited data, and he is difficult to follow since he posts so often, long and turgidly. (I should acknowledge in fairness that Eric accused me recently of being guilty of the former also.)

    Personally I tend not to read what he writes, because I don’t learn anything from it. Though occasionally it prods me to action, especially with some of his more outrageous statements about women.

    It seems to me that his icon is quite appropriate. Just like Foghorn Leghorn “Boy, I say Boy, you don’t know shit, let me show you, I said let me show you how it’s done” closely followed by arrogant strutting and a humiliating pratfall. However, he seems a jolly soul who can get up, dust himself off, and continue on as if no life lessons have ensued.

  442. Anyway… I believe someone wants to speak. *Hands microphone to Al*

    “White folks was in the caves while we building empires…
    We taught philosophy and astrology SIC and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

    -Rev Al Sharpton

  443. Zach, can you offer a source for that quote? It sounds apocryphal to me.

  444. @Fluffy Girl

    I don’t like talking about other people in general. So I’d rather not turn this into a JAD comments section. I remember once that Chopin (I think) was embarrassed that Schumann was giving him high praise, because he had no high praise for Schumann. I may be getting the composers mixed up, but I don’t want this to be that kind of situation.

    As far as citations are concerned to back up claims it must be noted that where controversial then no data. If controversial data, then sometimes iffy, and probably untrue. But not always. Reasoned observation can go a long way.

    I was going to comment about esr’s post, but was surprised what I wanted to say was already covered and covered well. Then it was never addressed by esr. Then the accusations. Then the name calling. I wasn’t surprised.

  445. Fluffy Girl, it is obvious from your writing style that you were not born anatomically female. Therefore you need some empirical evidence to claim that my statements about females are extraordinary, implying that they require extraordinary evidence.

  446. >Fluffy Girl, it is obvious from your writing style that you were not born anatomically female.

    Oh, I’m looking forward to the response to that.

    /me makes popcorn.

  447. @James A. Donald
    > Fluffy Girl, it is obvious from your writing style that you were not born anatomically female.

    Wow! Do you do graphology and crystal balls too? Venus is rising in the house of Gemini, does that mean I’ll meet a tall dark stranger from a foreign land?

    BTW this is a perfect example of what I am talking about — you have a particular perception of “female” writing style, whatever that is, and you extrapolate it to a general rule that, apparently, applies specifically to me. I might add that apparently Dan came to exactly the opposite conclusion about both my fluffiness and my girliness, enough to disqualify me from my plans for world domination. So perhaps you two should get together and work out what the “male” position is on my anatomy. We ditzy girls are very confused by you manly men.

    > Therefore you need some empirical evidence to claim that my statements about females are extraordinary, implying that they require extraordinary evidence.

    Like for example the fact that you were demonstrably entirely wrong about all prison guards being hormone addled whores, perhaps? Hoist on your own petard seems the appropriate aphorism.

  448. > > it is obvious from your writing style that you were not born anatomically female.

    Fluffy Girl:
    > Wow! Do you do graphology and crystal balls too?

    Fiction writers know how difficult it is to believably do dialogue of a gender different from one’s own. It can be done, but requires a fair bit of skill, practice, and judgment. A great many writers just cannot do it, some of them otherwise very good writers.

    Intermediate cases that are hard to categorize do exist – for example Ian Banks can write both male and female dialog because his own writing is hard to categorize, but your writing is stereotypically male.

  449. > Like for example the fact that you were demonstrably entirely wrong about all prison guards being hormone addled whores,

    Not all of the female ones demonstrated that they were hormone addled, but most of them did, which does not make the proposition “demonstrably wrong”, merely provides wiggle room for the proposition that not all women are like that. Perhaps not all of them are like that, though that remains to be demonstrated, but I have demonstrated that a great many of them, most of them, are like that, which suggests that all fertile age women, or as near all of them as makes little difference if one is considering hiring a woman for a position of authority, are hormone addled.

  450. @James A. Donald
    > but most of them did, which does not make the proposition “demonstrably wrong”,

    Keep digging James. Here is what you said:

    >When we let females be prison guards in male prisons, every female prison guard fucks the highest status male prisoner,

    You then posted a link that claimed four female guards were known to have sex (and gotten pregnant) with a “high status” male prisoner, and another nine were involved in some unspecified way (presumably in a cover up, but perhaps with some sort of sexual involvement.) Somehow you think that that is evidence of your aforementioned grossly broad claim?

    As you yourself just reminded us, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You claim is plainly extraordinary, and tossing up a link that shows nothing of the sort hardly counts as extraordinary evidence. I don’t mean to harp on about this specific issue, but it is the only one I have interacted with you on recently, and you are plainly wrong, and it is a perfect illustration of how you operate. A scant dusting of facts used to make gross, broad based generalizations that are utterly unfounded.

    I’m sure my boyfriend will be relived to know that you are full of shit.

  451. @James A. Donald
    > but most of them did, which does not make the proposition “demonstrably wrong”,

    Keep digging James. Here is what you said:

    >When we let females be prison guards in male prisons, every female prison guard fucks the highest status male prisoner.

    And instead, the truth was that only most of the female prison guards were fucking the highest status male prisoner – or at least most of the female prison guards getting discovered fucking the highest status prisoner. Perhaps all of them were, but we only know for sure that most of them were.

  452. No matter how you spin it, Baltimore prison is compelling evidence that women should not be placed in positions of authority over males. Whether or not all women are like that, most women are like that, and when you are hiring, cannot tell which ones.

  453. I wrote:
    > Baltimore prison is compelling evidence that women should not be placed in positions of authority over males.

    This is a particular example of the general problem: That women are primarily adapted to authority and organization in sexual and family context, in the context of husband, kitchen, family, and children, and when organized outside that context, proceed to introduce sexual and pseudo family relationships into the organization, causing chaos, soap opera, and disaster.

  454. > another nine were involved in some unspecified way

    The fact that every guard involved was a fertile age female does not suggest anything to you?

    Perhaps you would prefer some other explanation of why women tend to misbehave?

  455. @James A. Donald
    > The fact that every guard involved was a fertile age female does not suggest anything to you?

    Yes, it suggests two things: 1) that women are fertile during the same period of their lives that they are capable of doing physically demanding jobs. 2) The women of a fertile age are more sexual. So what is your point?

    > Perhaps you would prefer some other explanation of why women tend to misbehave?

    I don’t recall the article saying “most” of the guards in the prison were participating. What I do know is this: the fact that the Daily Mail felt the need to comment on this situation indicates that it is unusual; man bites dog. Which entirely undermines the whole thrust of your argument — that we should extrapolate the bad behavior of these few women to indicate something about the typical behavior of all women.

    I think the explanation is really simple: these women were butt heads.

    Like I say James, keep digging.

  456. > I don’t recall the article saying “most” of the guards in the prison were participating.

    It says that Tavon White ran the prison, which, in context, means that not Tavon White, but Tavon White’s penis ran the prison.

    Which demonstrates that most or all of the female prison guards were unsuitable to exercise authority by reason of raging hormones.

    One female, or four females, might be atypical, but running the prison implies a group large enough that it has to be reasonably typical of women

  457. @James A. Donald
    > One female, or four females, might be atypical, but running the prison implies a group large enough that it has to be reasonably typical of women

    Your characterization of the article is incorrect, nonetheless, even if it were, do you think the aforementioned group is “large enough” to extrapolate to ALL women? Do you think the sample you are choosing is either large enough or random/representative enough to say anything at all about most women?

    Moving on to a slightly different topic — given that male on male rape is very common in prison (I have heard numbers as high as 25% of men in prison are regularly raped), do you think that I should extrapolate that all men are hormone addled whores who can’t control themselves. And therefore men should not be allowed to roam around in free society?

  458. Accept “what is” or pretend you don’t accept it. Either way, in this case, words are ashes, truth is empty, and the skeletons of pretending keep pretending even in a torn world.

    Therefore, culture is God, and what a horrible God it is.

    Peel back the face, the mind, an empty place.

    PL

  459. > do you think the aforementioned group is “large enough” to extrapolate to ALL women

    Thirteen is sufficient to locate the peak of the distribution. It is statistically significant indication that the mean and median is so hormone addled as to disrupt organizations outside the family, which is why until recently women were not allowed to wander loose: because of the likelihood that they would become pregnant to persons unknown.

    Of course it is only one case. Perhaps special factors were at work (disproportionately black, disproportionately Democratic party, therefore not necessarily representative.)

    For a second case of independent evidence, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9Ko6Xfa84w That lot seem white and middle class enough.

  460. > Moving on to a slightly different topic — given that male on male rape is very common in prison (I have heard numbers as high as 25% of men in prison are regularly raped)

    Prison tends to be full of criminals, who lack self control. But the self control of male prisoners still seems considerably better than the self control of female guards.

  461. @Jessica/Fluffy Girl In a Mans World
    “do you think that I should extrapolate that all men are hormone addled whores who can’t control themselves. ”

    Eh, yes. I thought that was common knowledge.

    I once saw some crazy street “interview” where they asked young women how they seduced men to have sex with them. The best answer was “I just ask”. I think that sums it up quite well.

  462. > One female, or four females, might be atypical, but running the prison implies a group large enough that it has to be reasonably typical of women

    C’mon…
    Pointing to one rogue prison and using it to draw conclusions about the typical behavior of women and men is like using a single (or handful) of security exploits found in Firefox to claim that it’s much less secure than MSIE.

    It doesn’t take many Google searches to find dozens or hundreds of cases of male guards having sex (often by force or coercion) with female prisoners.

    https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/displayArticle.aspx?articleid=21225&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    The Travon White case made so many headlines precisely because it is such an anomaly.
    I’m guessing that the situation in that prison got as out of control as it did because that prison didn’t have the same checks and procedures in place to prevent guard on prisoner sex that any female prison would typically have and I’m guessing that it didn’t because the likelihood of female guards having sex with prisoners was (and still is) so statistically low.

  463. > It doesn’t take many Google searches to find dozens or hundreds of cases of male guards having sex (often by force or coercion) with female prisoners.

    But you will not find any cases of some lady’s pussy running the prison, the way Tavon’s dick ran the prison. If you have male guards guarding female prisoners, they will fuck the prisoners, but they will not go crazy. Male sexual urges very rarely disrupt organizations and upend normal chains of authority, the way female sexual urges routinely and regularly do.

  464. > the likelihood of female guards having sex with prisoners was (and still is) so statistically low
    If low, one might have one guard pregnant, and in rare cases two guards pregnant, but four guards pregnant? Guards having sex with Tavon dominated the prison. One guard might be a statistical anomaly. All or most of the guards cannot be a statistical anomaly.

    Plus, personal observation, which people are apt to claim is different to their personal observation, the same thing happens, in comparable though less extreme fashion, in companies I have been in where fertile age females are in the chain of command. Soap opera disrupts the organization. To a man, a job is a job. He obeys legitimate authority, because legitimate authority signs his paycheck. To a woman, it is an extended marriage. The Company is her boyfriend and family. Drama ensues. Sexual rank differs from organizational rank, and the organization gets turned upside down as sexual rank overrules organizational rank – not as badly as Baltimore Prison, but the problems were serious nonetheless.

  465. @JAD
    So, it all comes down to your believe that the plural of anecdote is data.

    I remember countless comments from you dismissing scientists who actually made an effort to collect clean data as lying and cheating lefties. But a few anecdotes from your life are enough to prove anything.

    You do have a serious problem with reality.

  466. Winter
    > So, it all comes down to your believe that the plural of anecdote is data.

    In other words, it all come down to whether you believe official truth or your lying eyes.

    Winter
    > I remember countless comments from you dismissing scientists who actually made an effort to collect clean data as lying and cheating lefties.

    As I recall it, those guys avoided clean data like a vampire avoiding sunlight, preferring data that was highly unlikely to yield an accurate result, thereby allowing them greater opportunity to cherry pick their data.

  467. @JAD
    “In other words, it all come down to whether you believe official truth or your lying eyes.”

    You were present in that prison? Why hide that for us? And your eyes saw true anecdotes. These never warranted a generalization over “womankind”.

    But I know, the plural of your anecdotes are data. The data of other people are just anecdotes, and lies too.

    @JAD
    “As I recall it, those guys avoided clean data like a vampire avoiding sunlight,”

    As I recall it, you never made such claims. Your only unsubstantiated claim was that those guys were paid to lie and cheat.

  468. > > In other words, it all come down to whether you believe official truth or your lying eyes.

    Winter:
    > You were present in that prison?

    I have been present in various companies where fertile age women disrupted the organization – not as severely as Baltimore Prison, but pretty disruptive nonetheless. In two cases I know it was out of their uncontrollable sexual impulses, in another case I don’t have direct information as to the root causes of the disruption.

  469. @James A. Donald
    > All or most of the guards cannot be a statistical anomaly.

    First of all, it was four guards that we know of that had sex with the guy. That is neither “all” nor “most.”

    Nonetheless, this statement is very revealing about you. What it tells me is that you don’t know shit about statistics and probability. These disciplines do not correspond with “common sense”, and frequently produce results that are extremely counter intuitive. Consider for example, the birthday paradox, or the Monte Hall problem, or the fact that the vast majority of people have an above average number of fingers, or the fact that when Bill Gates walks into an African village with mosquito nets, that the average net worth of the people in the village suddenly becomes $100million.

    Which is to say you need to take statistics 101. Any statistics professor would laugh at the naivete of the above statement. The use of the word “anomaly’ is particularly risible.

  470. @James A. Donald
    > I have been present in various companies where fertile age women disrupted the organization

    So? I have seen many cases of men who let their hormones get away from them and gotten themselves fired for inappropriate relationships within a company such as inappropriate touching, inappropriate relationships and sexual assault. The world is full of buttheads of both genders. I think that men are more prone to sexual misbehavior, but that is just my opinion, I don’t have any data to back it up, and I fully acknowledge that I probably have a selection bias and a gender bias.

  471. > I think that men are more prone to sexual misbehavior, but that is just my opinion, I don’t have any data to back it up, and I fully acknowledge that I probably have a selection bias and a gender bias.

    I think most men (present company included) would agree that libido driven misbehavior in the workplace is more common for men than for women.

  472. @bpsouther
    It is the also opinion of everyone I have ever heard about the subject. Maybe with JAD as the sole exception.

  473. > I think most men (present company included) would agree that libido driven misbehavior in the workplace is more common for men than for women.

    Well that is true by definition, since men taking a sexual interest in women in the workplace is defined to be misbehavior, while women making enterprise decisions for sexual reasons rather than enterprise reasons is defined to be not misbehavior, but female ways of knowing, which are of course highly superior to male ways of knowing even if as a result the enterprise goes out of business.

    If, however, misbehavior is disrupting the organization for sexual reasons, it is pretty much a 100% female and gay phenomenon.

    Thus, male guards might screw female prisoners, and will screw all the fertile age female prisoners, whereas female guards will screw only the highest status male prisoner, but male guards screwing the female prisoners does not result in the female prisoners turning the prison into a highly profitable criminal enterprise, whereas female guards screwing the highest status male prisoner turns the prison into a criminal enterprise under his command.

  474. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World on 2013-08-08 at 10:02:06 said:
    > First of all, it was four guards that we know of that had sex with the guy. That is neither “all” nor “most.”

    Four guards pregnant, thirteen guards having sex with Travon.

    > Nonetheless, this statement is very revealing about you. What it tells me is that you don’t know shit about statistics and probability.

    Birthday paradox and monty hall problem are not relevant to this question, and that you think they are shows you don’t understand either one.

  475. Law of large numbers applies. The behavior of the group is indicative of the average of the group.

    Thus, for example, we cannot predict from the color of someone’s skin whether he is criminal. But if you see a bunch of people, all with the same skin color, you can very reliably predict whether it is a criminal group.

    Suppose the standard deviation for an individual is S

    Then the chance that someone will be two standard deviations from the norm in one particular direction is two percent.

    But the standard deviation for a large group, for example all the guards at the prison, is S divided by the square root of the number of guards.

    Thus, if the guards as a whole engaged in sexually motivated misbehavior, most women, or at least all women of that demographic (well off working class, state employed) will engage in sexually motivated misbehavior, disrupting the large organizaiton of which they are part.

    Call “atypical” two standard deviations from the norm. Then the chance that the group as a whole is two standard deviations from the norm is not two percent, but one in one hundred million.

  476. To be precise, if we call atypical two standard deviations, then two percent of individuals are atypical, and if a particular individual makes the news, then that is evidence that the behavior for which that one makes news is atypical not evidence that it is typical.

    If, however, a group of individuals, not selected for this characteristic, not a flock that joined up with each other because they were birds of a feather, a flock that may be expected to be random with respect to this characteristic shows this characteristic, then the chance of the group being atypical declines very rapidly with the size of the group.

    For a single individual, the chance is two percent

    For a group of ten individuals, the chance is in one in ten billion

    The prison guards as a whole were good deal more than ten individuals, but the mean for group was sex crazed slut whose sexual urges resulted in massive organizational disruption.

    OK, what then is the chance that an individual will be one standard deviation different in a particular direction (one tailed)

    For a single individual, one chance in six.

    For twenty individuals, four chances in a million.

    Therefore, we may conclude that the behavior of the prison guards as a whole in Baltimore prison cannot be that much different from the behavior of women as a whole in most organizations.

    Which is what, in fact, I personally observe – that women sacrifice organizational goals to their sexual urges as the guards at Baltimore prison did.

    Men “misbehave” because male sexuality is defined as misbehavior regardless of whether they behave in ways that disrupt the organization. Females actually misbehave, because female sexuality causes them to behave disruptively, behave contrary to organizational roles, policies and duty, as the guards at Baltimore prison did.

  477. > I think most men (present company included) would agree that libido driven misbehavior in the workplace is more common for men than for women.

    If you were any male but Tavon in Baltimore prison, you would probably observe that no prison guards were having sex with you, and would therefore conclude that females are generally chaste – but the reason that they are not having sex with you is because they are all having sex with Tavon.

  478. @JAD
    “To be precise, if we call atypical two standard deviations, then two percent of individuals are atypical, and if a particular individual makes the news, then that is evidence that the behavior for which that one makes news is atypical not evidence that it is typical.”

    Make that more than four standard deviations. In any country, there are only in the order of 100 news stories in the national news each day. With 300M people living their own “story” each day in the USA, there is only a 1 in 3 million chance that any day in any person’s life will end up in the news. Four standard deviations is only 1 in 300k. And that is if we assume that each person has an equal chance of making the news each day (hint, that is not the case).

    But this seems to be part of your lack of understanding of statistics: You might master the rules of the symbols, but you have no clue about what it means.

    @JAD
    “For a group of ten individuals, the chance is in one in ten billion”

    The whole concept of a group, as opposed to a random collection of individuals, has been lost on you, I see.

    @JAD
    “Men “misbehave” because male sexuality is defined as misbehavior regardless of whether they behave in ways that disrupt the organization.”

    We do understand you consider violence and coercion not as “misbehavior” but instead, as a a question of definition. It seems to be part of your “might is right” ethics. Except that you cannot stand individuals who organize to resist the strong.

    @JAD
    “regardless of whether they behave in ways that disrupt the organization.”

    You seem to share the believe of the worst of the communist’s propaganda, that it is only the “organization” that counts, not the individual.

  479. JAD
    > > “Men “misbehave” because male sexuality is defined as misbehavior regardless of whether they behave in ways that disrupt the organization.”

    Winter:
    > We do understand you consider violence and coercion not as “misbehavior”

    See the wonderful skit “Sexual Harassment and you” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBVuAGFcGKY

    In the video Frank thinks that women are extremely chaste, and men behave horribly badly. Greg, however, thinks that they hormone crazed sluts.

  480. @JAD
    “See the wonderful skit “Sexual Harassment and you””

    I am not interested in the dysfunctional legal system in the US, where female prisoners are rented out as prostitutes.
    http://edition.cnn.com/US/9903/04/amnesty.women.prison/
    https://www.wcl.american.edu/endsilence/documents/ImpunitySexualAbuseinWomensPrisons.pdf

    But I do know how women were treated at work a few decades ago. That the people in the USA are unable to put up decent regulation is a different problem.

  481. Oh please stop, JAD, you are embarrassing yourself with your totally incorrect statements about statistics and probability. Please, pick up a book and get a clue.

    In terms of women and men ruining their organizations? Usually these things get covered up, so it is hard to see in corporations, but let’s consider public political scandals of this kind recently: Mark Foley, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, Larry Craig, Mark Sanford, John Edwards and of course the master of them all Bill Clinton.

    All of them ruined their careers, administrations and reputations because they couldn’t keep their pants zipped. Not too many ladies on that list.

  482. Fluffy Girl wrote
    > Oh please stop, JAD, you are embarrassing yourself with your totally incorrect statements about statistics and probability

    In the specific examples I gave it is possible to calculate the exact probability. I can calculate those numbers. You cannot.

    Baltimore prison is simply large enough that they cannot deviate significantly from what is normal for female employees unless there was non random selection for hormone crazed whores.

    And, in my experience, software companies with large numbers of high ranking female staff, suffer problems similar to that suffered by Baltimore prison.

  483. I wrote:
    > And, in my experience, software companies with large numbers of high ranking female staff, suffer problems similar to that suffered by Baltimore prison.

    To clarify, what I mean by “problems similar to that suffered by Baltimore prison” is that female sexuality generates a sexual hierarchy that differs from, and overrules, the official corporate hierarchy – that the company psychologically functions as family and boyfriend, rather than job – resulting in a very dysfunctional family with much soap opera, instead of a functional business.

  484. All of them ruined their careers, administrations and reputations because they couldn’t keep their pants zipped. Not too many ladies on that list.

    To be fair, this reveals a major mismatch between evolutionary programming and current social mores: From the male biological perspective, political/economic/physical power are all about gaining access to women, and so the typical head-shaking question of why a successful man would risk his career for sex is equivalent to asking why somebody became a billionaire if he was just going to go and spend a lot of money. I’ll leave implications as an exercise to the reader.

  485. @Christopher Smith
    That seems to be an Anglo Saxon problem.

    French presidents, German chancelors, Spanish kings, they all had affairs (and extra children) that were public knowledge. Berlusconi got into problems only because one of the prostitutes he hired for his orgies was a minor.

  486. @JAD
    You should listen to Jessica instead of parading your complete ignorance about sampling.

  487. That seems to be an Anglo Saxon problem.

    I’m not sure about that. I think it’s probably related to the relatively flat class structure of the United States compared to that of continental Europe. It’s been widely noted that “proper” behavior is the concern of the middle class and minor aristocracy, attempting to present themselves as cultured and sophisticated by avoiding crude language, avowing support for limits on sexual activity, and so on. The proles didn’t care because they had no interest in presenting as “respectable”, and the elites didn’t care because they were in a position to do as they pleased. The alleged Victorian prudishness seems to be in fact entirely the province of the up-and-comers in the new industrial age, where it existed at all; servants, for example, were apt to go at it in the crowded kitchen.

    I think the lesser tolerance for sexual escapades in the United States, and to a somewhat lesser degree in Britain, is a reflection of a larger intermediate class than in most of Europe, meaning that the interest in respectability is more widespread, and a conflation at some point of sexual mores and the rule of law, which until fairly recently has been a societal cornerstone of the common-law countries.

  488. winter on 2013-08-10 at 04:33:05 said:
    > You should listen to Jessica instead of parading your complete ignorance about sampling.

    I gave you some example numbers for the probability of a large sample having large deviation from the mean. Do you disagree with those numbers? If you disagree with those with those numbers, what should they be, and why? Are you even capable of understanding what those numbers mean and how they were calculated?

    Baltimore prison is large enough, that unless its employees were selected for being sex crazed sluts, the mean for the prison guards has to be pretty close to mean behavior for women of that location and social class.

  489. @JAD
    You must sample several prisons. Furthermore, prisons are institutions. The behavior of its members are strongly correlated. Also, you cannot do statistics based on news reports.

  490. @Christopher Smith

    I do not think your class description is valid for Germany or the Netherlands. One of our government ministers frequented an SM dungeon. That was in the newspapers. No one bothered

  491. @Winter

    Germany’s social institutions and practices regarding class are historically disconnected from anything before World War 2; I’ve discussed this with a German friend who believes I’m on the right track in seeing the Nazi purges of the old aristocracy as the impetus for a variety of quirks of German social organization, particularly including the educational system and the bureaucratic structure of business.

    I actually had the Netherlands in mind as a particular exception when I wrote “most of Europe”, as the merchant class had a political influence unequaled in continental Europe after you kicked the Spanish out.

  492. @Christopher
    The merchant class were the government after independence of the 7 provinces. There was a series of SF books (space operas) based on that political system. I forgot the name of the author.

    But indeed, things developed differently from Belgium, which only became independend in the 19th century.

  493. OK, since you won’t pick up a book, let’s go through it.

    > To be precise, if we call atypical two standard deviations, then two percent of individuals are atypical,

    This is incorrect. 5% of subjects in a normal distribution are more that 2 standard deviations from normal. What does “atypical” even mean? Perhaps if you are pretending to know something about probability and statistics you could use the vocabulary that has a meaning in that domain.

    > … a flock that may be expected to be random with respect to this characteristic shows this characteristic,

    Yes, if your sample is of low self esteem female prison guards from Baltimore you are correct. However, given the sample size is something like a couple of dozen, then any signal is entirely overwhelmed by noise in your data. You need a sample size in the hundreds of subjects before you get any statistical significance.

    However, we can do a lot better than that. If we consider all female prison guards in the United States (which is, after all, the group you are impugning) we have a very large sample size. Since, Baltimore is the only example you offer, we can assume that the Baltimore prison is apparently the exception rather than the rule, So we have four slutty prison guards out of a sample of probably upward of one hundred thousand prison guards. Based on that, I think those gals are doing pretty well keeping it zipped.

    Anyway, I don’t have any desire to be your school teacher. Pick up a book dude, it tells you some of this stuff.

  494. I mean Technic history books about the Polesotechnic League period of Nicholas van Rijn by Poul Anderson

  495. @Christopher Smith
    >To be fair, this reveals a major mismatch between evolutionary programming and current social mores:

    That might be true, and I would certainly agree that American society is filled with lots of crazy, puritanical attitudes to sex. But it is also irrelevant. The premise that JAD has is that women are more likely to destroy their careers, lives and employers because of their sexual promiscuity. My point is that the data that I see readily available suggests exactly the opposite.

    Whether you think sleeping with a prostitute should loose you your job is not relevant to the question of whether your libido causes you to risk breaking the rules. The measure here is the causative power of your libido, not the reasonableness of the sexual mores of society.

  496. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World:


    [JAD[ > To be precise, if we call atypical two standard deviations, then two percent of individuals are atypical,

    This is incorrect. 5% of subjects in a normal distribution are more that 2 standard deviations from normal. What does “atypical” even mean?

    A good approximation of “atypical” would be “differing from the norm on some trait by 2 standard deviations or more”. The problem (for you) is that you’re trying to argue that these women are not typical women on the scale of “likelihood of thinking with her pussy and being indifferent to the damage she does to the organization”. 2 standard deviations on this characteristic tells you that these women are are part of a tiny minority of about 2.2% of women. You are the one who wants to argue that these women are atypical – but the more atypical these women are the more astronomically improbable this scandal occurring becomes. The probability of even 10 slightly uncommon (1 standard deviation) women all winding up in the same prison is what JAD discussed above.

    You have no choices here either:

    a) these women aren’t atypical
    b) there are huge numbers of women guards guarding men’s prisons (like millions of men’s prisons guarded by women guards)
    c) this was a freak occurrence – like the Earth getting hit with a giant asteroid improbable
    d) women who are prison guards are really different from other women
    or
    e) the central limit theorem doesn’t apply when you don’t like the conclusions

    If you’ve got something else in mind then show it!

    Nonsense like this:

    However, given the sample size is something like a couple of dozen, then any signal is entirely overwhelmed by noise in your data. You need a sample size in the hundreds of subjects before you get any statistical significance.

    is cargo cult statistics. You’re using terms you’ve heard before that simply don’t apply.

    The premise that JAD has is that women are more likely to destroy their careers, lives and employers because of their sexual promiscuity. My point is that the data that I see readily available suggests exactly the opposite.

    More nonsense. JAD’s argument is that women are more likely to screw up organizations through mating behavior – not even necessarily actual sex. Mating behavior that includes:

    1) instigating man on man conflict because of her unconscious desire to see which man comes out on top
    2) ignoring the company hierarchy to see who has more dominance in a primal context because she unconsciously wants to size up all men on this characteristic
    3) using sex with highly placed men to accrue more resources for herself (time, money, perks)
    4) overall disruption of hierarchy due to woman’s nature (men either fight for higher status, accept lower status or drop out of a hierarchy – women accept their status on the surface then constantly test to see what they can get away with – and it’s impossible to squelch that testing without running afoul of sexual harassment laws).

    You don’t even understand the arguments being made and yet you claim to have refuted them.

    Anyway, I don’t have any desire to be your school teacher. Pick up a book dude, it tells you some of this stuff.

    Ah yes, “Convenient Delusions for Progressives, 5th edition” – I’m sure it’s all in there.

  497. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World on 2013-08-10 at 13:01:29 said:
    > This is incorrect. 5% of subjects in a normal distribution are more that 2 standard deviations from normal.

    As I specifically said: “one tailed” – language with which you are obviously unfamiliar.

    We are only interested in the one tailed distribution – people who are two standard deviations sluttier than normal, or two standard deviations more criminal than usual, or two standard deviations smarter than usual, or two standard deviations more athletic than usual.

    In the case of interest, women whose uncontrollable lusts cause them to disrupt the organization by substituting their sexual hierarchy for the official legitimate hierarchy, we are uninterested in those who are two standard deviations more celibate than usual.

    As Saint Paul observed, such naturally celibate people exist, but are so uncommon that no organization can safely assume a candidate is one of them, so the question for the organization is what the affect on the organization will be when nature inevitably takes its course.

  498. winter on 2013-08-10 at 07:38:32 said:
    > You must sample several prisons

    Do some prisons select prison guards for sluttiness, and others not?

    Rather, we need the mean sluttiness of a representative sample of female prison guards, and we have no reason to suppose that the sample provided by Baltimore prison is unrepresentative.

  499. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World on 2013-08-10 at 13:01:29 said:
    > However, given the sample size is something like a couple of dozen, then any signal is entirely overwhelmed by noise in your data.

    But I just gave you numbers, which you did not challenge, showing that the noise in the data cannot be qualitatively large.

    If we wanted to have a precise numerical estimate of female sluttiness, Baltimore prison is far too small, and, because it made the news, atypical. If we want to determine whether female sexual desire is disruptive, Baltimore prison is amply large enough that it cannot be too atypical

    Which is in fact what everyone observes: Observe HR. Men team up, women really do not. HR does not resemble a team, but rather a seraglio that the elderly Sultan has neglected. Maybe you have not noticed a Tavon running the Human Resources department, because that would bore him, but has anyone observed a Human Resources department larger than five women that functions as a team? Female dominated branches of the organization are always badly behaved, because they are usually fighting over some Tavon.

    One organization can be more extreme than another, and since Baltimore prison made the news, it must be more extreme than usual, but the number of females involved is large enough that similar things, to some substantial degree, must happen in every organization with similar numbers of females in authority, The number of females involved is large enough that variation cannot be variation in kind but merely in degree.

    That the prison as a whole came under the control of Tavon’s penis tells us that the same problem must exist to some substantial degree everywhere you have substantial numbers of females in the hierarchy.

    Which is in fact what I observe, that all organizations with substantial numbers of women in the hierarchy have this problem, the problem that women turn the hierarchy and institutional functions into a R rated soap opera, treating a team as an extended marriage, thus making the company into a dysfunctional marriage and a dysfunctional family, substituting their sexual hierarchy for the organizational hierarchy, even though Baltimore prison is atypically extreme, which is why it made the news, it is qualitatively more of the same old same old.

  500. @James A. Donald
    > Do some prisons select prison guards for sluttiness, and others not?

    Nooo, you must sample several prisons to get a sufficiently large sample set. Sheesh.

    James A. Donald on 2013-08-10 at 17:58:02 said:
    winter on 2013-08-10 at 07:38:32 said:
    > You must sample several prisons

    Do some prisons select prison guards for sluttiness, and others not?

    > no reason to suppose that the sample provided by Baltimore prison is unrepresentative.

    Yes we do! The fact that it didn’t happen at other prisons!!

    If everyone on this blog flips a coin three times and my result is that I get three heads in a row, that does not mean my coin is sluttier than everyone else. If you look at everyone’s coin flips you will find something approaching average. I just got lucky.

    Once again dude, school is out; get a book.

  501. @Jessica: Oh, please don’t interpret my comments as trying to reason or even engage with JAD; I think you’re the only one feeding him at this point. I was just observing the odd paradox that in the United States (common-law countries generally?) we expect powerful men not to get into sexual escapades when evolutionary strategy suggests the opposite should be the norm. In fact, we shouldn’t see the equivalent from women (and generally don’t).

  502. Fluffy Girl In a Mans World on 2013-08-10 at 20:26:38 said:

    @James A. Donald
    > Do some prisons select prison guards for sluttiness, and others not?

    Nooo, you must sample several prisons to get a sufficiently large sample set. Sheesh.

    This is cargo cult statistics. You’ve heard about “large sample sets” so you think it applies here.

    JAD made a probabilistic conclusion based on the 10 women involved in this scandal. Either these women are unrepresentative of women or JAD’s conclusion holds* – unless there are millions of prisons where women guard men (which would mean we would expect that one of them would have a concentration of hormone addled women by random chance). Ten randomly selected (randomly selected for hormone-addled-ness) individuals in a tiny population (guards in that prison) is massive probabilistic overkill for concluding that they’re either about average on that trait or that they were selected for that trait.

    The more out of the ordinary the women involved are the more improbable it becomes that 10 of them would be found in one prison without being selected for it.

    * It can also hold that women have basically no internal moral compass and will just go along with whatever group behavior they see – especially sexual behavior. If I were you, I’d try to argue for this conclusion and that women aren’t particularly different from men on that score instead of misusing statistical terms you’ve heard.

  503. Fluffy Girl
    > The fact that it didn’t happen at other prisons!!

    I rather think that it, or something very like it, does happen at other prisons, for I see something rather similar happening in Silicon Valley companies. Misconduct by government employees and government institutions is notoriously under enforced and under reported, as is misconduct by women.

  504. @JAD
    Pick a suitable news story that supports you opinion, and then simply claim it happens everywhere. Add some magic with numbers that are against introductory text books. JAD’s weapon against science in a nutshell.

  505. @Steve Johnson
    > This is cargo cult statistics. You’ve heard about “large sample sets” so you think it applies here.

    You are mistaken. 10 or 20 is not a large enough sample set to extrapolate to all other women prison guards, and certainly not enough to extrapolate to other women. Of course you are right that you don’t need 100,000 samples, but 10 is still two orders of magnitude too small to generate statistically significant conclusions.

    And this is especially compounded by that fact that the samples are neither random nor independent. Clearly there was something bad going on in that prison. Clearly the original article specifically said that the problem guards were selected for their low self esteem. And clearly the there was a conspiracy going on between all these women meaning that their actions were not independently determined.

    Which is to say the sample set is largely useless for analysis under a normal curve, and even if it were, the sample is far too tiny to produce statistically significant results.

    OK, enough of the flat earth society. Our next topic is “Apollo landings were faked…”

  506. > but 10 is still two orders of magnitude too small to generate statistically significant conclusions.

    You are misusing jargon you don’t understand. To say what is statistically significant, you need a null hypothesis, which is not the kind of question we are discussing.

    My estimate of the proportion of fertile age women who corruptly deviate from their job duties for sexual reasons is pretty high, above fifty percent, and therefore Baltimore prison is unsurprising.

    You say the proportion is pretty low, and nonetheless Baltimore prison is still not that surprising.

    Well then, how low? Give me your proportion. We don’t have a null hypothesis, we have my hypothesis and your hypothesis. Give me your hypothesis, and then we can see if Baltimore prison is statistically significant to discriminate between these hypotheses.

  507. > The premise that JAD has is that women are more likely to destroy their careers, lives and employers because of their sexual promiscuity.

    Not my claim.

    The claim I made in this thread is women destroying their employers, not their lives or careers.

    The big problem is that they don’t destroy their careers, because firing a woman for specifically female types of misconduct is deemed sexual discrimination. We therefore don’t have readily available statistical data for them destroying their employers, which is the issue I raised in this thread.

    We do, however, have data for the related issue, that I did not raise in this thread, about them destroying their lives. About fifty percent of children are fatherless, either born fatherless or early female initiated divorce, most divorces being female initiated and frivolous. That is a whole lot of destroyed lives.

    But the claim I made in this thread is that the proportion of destroyed employers is, like the the proportion of destroyed lives, very large.

  508. @JAD
    “You are misusing jargon you don’t understand.”

    You obviously do not understand even the first principles of sampling and statistical testing.

    You make errors that would let me fail a freshman. Come back when you have at least understood the very basics of sampling and checking for independence. Repeating your errors does not make them true.

  509. You obviously do not understand even the first principles of sampling and statistical testing.

    You make errors that would let me fail a freshman. Come back when you have at least understood the very basics of sampling and checking for independence.

    More hand-waving nonsense.

    The sample is guards in that prison. As far as we know they weren’t selected on the basis of hormone-addledness. If 13 of them in that jail are hormone-addled to the point of destructiveness this exactly tells us that that level of hormone-addledness isn’t uncommon. This is completely cut and dried.

    You can dispute this conclusion in exactly one of three ways:

    1) These guards were picked by the people hiring the guards on some basis that actually had the effect of picking the most hormone-addled women. (the sample wasn’t random across the variable being measured)
    2) There are loads of prisons (like millions of them) where women guard men and this only happened once – so even though this event would be expected to be rare there were actually loads of trials and the improbable number just came up. (the event wasn’t improbable because there were loads of trials)
    3) The women involved behaved the way they did because of social pressure. One or two ringleader women were hormone-addled and the rest of the women went along with it.

    This leads to different conclusions that you also won’t want to endorse either:

    a) Women tend to have a weaker sense of morality and will act in whatever way they want provided it is acceptable to their immediate peers and given a chance will prefer to mate with one single man that the rest of their peers mate with.
    or
    b) Woman aren’t different from men and men will act that way too.

    That’s it – pick 1, 2, 3a or 3b. The rest of your and Jessica’s blathering about sample sizes is just gibberish – cargo cult statistics.

  510. @Steve Johnson
    “The sample is guards in that prison.”

    A sample of a dozen guards from a prison that came in the news because it was exceptional seems to me not really the way to obtain a representative sample of female prison guards, led alone, women in general. If you cannot understand that, only a good introductory text book on statistics can help.

    @Steve Johnson
    “Women tend to have a weaker sense of morality and will act in whatever way they want provided it is acceptable to their immediate peers and given a chance will prefer to mate with one single man that the rest of their peers mate with.”

    You are in good company. This is a good description of the Saudi view of women.

    @Steve Johnson
    “Woman aren’t different from men and men will act that way too.”

    There is rather a lot of empirical evidence that refutes that conclusion. I agree that women are in fundamental ways identical to men. However, they seem in some areas to want different things than men. And, as a result, many women act different from “the average man” in practice.

  511. > A sample of a dozen guards from a prison that came in the news because it was exceptional seems to me not really the way to obtain a representative sample of female prison guards, led alone, women in general.

    Propose a counter hypothesis, that the proportion of women that behave corruptly on the job for sexual reasons is x%.

    And then we can assess how likely Baltimore prison is to come up as a fluke on that hypothesis.

  512. @JAD
    “And then we can assess how likely Baltimore prison is to come up as a fluke on that hypothesis.”

    That is a Bayesian approach for post-hoc probabilities. You are using the wrong statistics for that.

    I have a better idea, pick 10 random prisons, and check your hypothesis.

  513. > I have a better idea, pick 10 random prisons, and check your hypothesis.

    Hard to tell what is going on in a prison. Easier to tell what is going on in a Human Resources deparment, which in my experience are apt to resemble the neglected seraglio of an elderly sultan.

  514. > Hard to tell what is going on in a prison.
    Which is probably the leading cause for what went wrong in this prison, as well as what goes wrong in most prisons.

    The articles that I’ve read so far don’t describe any misbehavior by male guards but I’d be willing to bet a large amount of money that, if this place gets investigated properly, we fill find that there were plenty of male guards profiting from the smuggling drugs and cellphone into that prison as well.

    There was a lot of money to be made, by people who are not very well educated (I’m assuming that it doesn’t take any more than a highschool degree, if that, to land a job as a prison guard) and don’t have very high salaries by getting close to and cooperating with this guy and his crowd. The female guards just happend to have one more tool in their chests for getting in close with him.

    I see the guards having sex with this guy as a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

  515. @JAD
    “Hard to tell what is going on in a prison.”

    Then do not try to extrapolate from a single newspaper report on a single prison to all of humanity. If have HR data, use a random sample of them. But I guess you do not have solid data on that, just a plural of anecdote.

  516. @Steve Johnson
    > The sample is guards in that prison. As far as we know they weren’t selected on the basis of hormone-addledness. If 13 of them in that jail are hormone-addled to the point of destructiveness

    You need to read the article more carefully. It specifically says they WERE selected for low self esteem, and it specifically says 4 not 13 women were pregnant. There is no evidence that the other 11 participated in sex, just that they participated in the money making fraud, and were financially rewarded for doing so.

    > this exactly tells us that that level of hormone-addledness isn’t uncommon.

    Both the fact that it is reported as unusual in the newspaper, and that only a small number participated tells us that your conclusion here is 180 degrees wrong.

    > the sample wasn’t random across the variable being measured)

    The article says specifically that. It was not random across female prison guards, and certainly wasn’t random across all women.

    > 2) There are loads of prisons (like millions of them) where women guard men and this only happened once

    I don’t know if it only happened once, but it is plainly rare, so this is also correct (not millions of prisons but thousands, and tens if not hundreds of thousands of female prison guards.)

    > 3) The women involved behaved the way they did because of social pressure.

    That is probably true to some extent, but there is no real data to say one way or the other.

    What neither you nor JAD have addressed is the plain fact that sampling male politicians verses female politicians, a sample set where sex scandals are most publicly exposed and so data is most clearly evident, and, I might add that women tend to be judged more harshly than men, is that it is the men not the ladies who have difficulties with their libidos,

    The only one I can think of involving a woman was when Sarah Palin’s daughter got knocked up, which is hardly fair on Palin. Of course I could well be forgetting some other recent female sex scandal.

    Oh, and BTW if you are not a fan of Obama, it is a male sex scandal that lead to his being president. It was a sex scandal involved in the divorce of Jack Ryan that allowed Obama to become Senator in Illinois, which ultimately lead to the disastrous mess we are living in now. So than the prurient interest of the Chicago Tribune readers and Jack Ryan’s mismatched sexual interests for the present economic malaise.

  517. It was a sex scandal involved in the divorce of Jack Ryan that allowed Obama to become Senator in Illinois, which ultimately lead to the disastrous mess we are living in now.

    The perfect Hacker News linkbait title: “How Seven-of-Nine’s Divorce Led to PRISM Internet Surveillance”.

    I’m pretty certain Barry thought himself destined to assume the seat of power, and would have clawed his way into it eventually, one way or another.

  518. Jessica

    You need to read the article more carefully. It specifically says they WERE selected for low self esteem, and it specifically says 4 not 13 women were pregnant.

    When i wrote my response I was very careful to state it clearly because you made this same stupid assertion earlier.

    Here’s what I wrote:

    1) These guards were picked by the people hiring the guards on some basis that actually had the effect of picking the most hormone-addled women. (the sample wasn’t random across the variable being measured)

    and you respond with nonsense about the inmates picking the guards on the basis of low self esteem – which is, of course, just the accepted reason for excusing any bad behavior of women.

    Of course, you’re confused because the word “select” is there in both cases. Here it is more simply – the sample is the guards in the prison. The selection was whatever selection process for prison guards was. Once you have your population then the inmates enticed the women who were most likely to go for their inducements. That’s the part you think is the “selection” but it’s not the selection of the sample – it’s a filter on an already selected sample. That filter clearly was for women who would act in hormone-addled ways.

    The inmates only had the population of guards to select from. The hiring process had population of women with a normal distribution hormone-addledness – this presumably produced a normal distribution of hormone-addledness in the guards. Tavon picked off 13 of these women. The odds of this being possible are astronomical unless women on average are pretty hormone addled or the prison guard selection process is selecting specifically (intentionally or accidentally) for hormone-addled women.

    That Tavon was selecting for hormone-addled women among the guards is both obvious and irrelevant to the issue.

    I don’t know if it only happened once, but it is plainly rare, so this is also correct (not millions of prisons but thousands, and tens if not hundreds of thousands of female prison guards.)

    Not that rare:

    A 2007 U.S. Department of Justice study analyzing the prevalence of sexual assault in state and federal prisons found that 58 percent of staff perpetrators of sexual misconduct were female.

    From an AP story at http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/14/female-prison-guards-sex-misconduct/

    Here’s some more:

    http://kdvr.com/2013/07/02/boys-in-custody-and-the-women-who-abuse-them/

    What neither you nor JAD have addressed is the plain fact that sampling male politicians verses female politicians, a sample set where sex scandals are most publicly exposed and so data is most clearly evident, and, I might add that women tend to be judged more harshly than men, is that it is the men not the ladies who have difficulties with their libidos,

    See, now this is where sample selection is important. Men and women who go into politics are different from men and women who don’t exactly on measures of sexual appetite. Any field where fame is one of the results of success will attract men who go into specifically for the sexual benefits. Famous women don’t enjoy such a benefit – they have no more opportunity to indulge their sexual appetites and might even have less of an opportunity so the only women who will go into politics as politicians will have significantly lower sex drives. Women who want to be exposed to high status men will do other things – like go into careers that pay nothing but offer them exposure to high status or dominant men. Women are, of course, highly overrepresented in those fields.

    Winter

    A sample of a dozen guards from a prison that came in the news because it was exceptional seems to me not really the way to obtain a representative sample of female prison guards, led alone, women in general.

    If it was improbable then how were there 13 women involved? Either it’s so improbable that it basically couldn’t have happened or it’s not actually that improbable. By the way, women are disproportionally involved in sexual misconduct among prison guards – even though they’re a minority of prison guards.

    a 2007 Justice Department study analyzing the prevalence of sexual assault in state and federal prisons found that 58 percent of staff perpetrators of sexual misconduct were female.

    from http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/26/black_guerrilla_family_should_there_be_female_guards_in_men_s_prisons.html

    @Steve Johnson
    “Women tend to have a weaker sense of morality and will act in whatever way they want provided it is acceptable to their immediate peers and given a chance will prefer to mate with one single man that the rest of their peers mate with.”

    You are in good company. This is a good description of the Saudi view of women.

    Congratulations on the complete reading comprehension fail. I was describing one of the only choices you have if you don’t want to accept JAD’s conclusion not endorsing that conclusion.

    Even ignoring the reading comprehension fail you still didn’t even address the point. You know what else the Saudis believe? That the sky is blue.

  519. > Not long ago, in some parts of Australia it was the case that indigenous persons of a specified % of “full blood” ancestry were legally considered “neglected” and so were forcibly removed from their parents and communities at gunpoint and placed into State institutions.

    > This formed part of an official government policy of “breeding out the color”

    This is the current received wisdom but is still hotly argued. The first part is mostly fine if you remove the quotes around neglected (fact is, they were), the second sentence is bullshit.

    And it never had anything to do with % of ancestry. That’s bullshit too.

  520. Winter:
    > That is a Bayesian approach for post-hoc probabilities. You are using the wrong statistics for that.

    Am I? Then show us the right statistics.

    Baltimore prison fits my priors for the likelihood of women to corruptly misperform their jobs for sexual reasons. Does it fit yours? Show us your priors and do the maths. If your priors were correct, how big fluke and exception would Baltimore prison be?

  521. I’m not sure how this OP morphed into a discussion of female prison guards at a Baltimore prison, but perhaps this Tavon White character is an outlier with exceptional skill at seduction. If so, then it is quite a stretch to deduce generalizations about the behavioral traits of all women based simply upon this example.

  522. > The female guards just happend to have one more tool in their chests for getting in close with him.

    This fails to explain the pregnancies and the tattoos. Also fails to explain your human resources department.

  523. >This fails to explain the pregnancies and the tattoos.
    This guy had exceptional charisma and financial power. Had the prison been run right, he might still have had the first but certainly wouldn’t have had the second. It’s not surprising that women with low SES who were probably getting more money and prestige from him than they ever have anywhere else would fall for him. This hardly proves that all women are too hormone addled to ever hold positions of power in a corporation.

    >Also fails to explain your human resources department.
    MY human resources department needs no explaining. Neither the women nor the men in my company have had any libido driven issues in the workplace that I’m aware of. It’s pretty boring in that respect. I’ve seen these types of problems in previous places of employment. Some were caused by women, most were caused by men.

  524. This guy had exceptional charisma and financial powe

    Charisma, sure, but he had no financial power, because the guards are in charge of the prisoners. The guards can just take what he has. If they were corrupt male prison guards and a male prisoner with criminal income, they would beat the crap out of him, then ask him for eighty percent of the action, then beat him up a little more to remind him who is boss. Or, if they did not want to get their own hands covered in blood, relocate him to a cell with four big violent criminals who were in their pocket to do the beating and supply reminders from time to time.

    And if they were corrupt male prison guards and a female prisoner with criminal income, the same plus fucking her.

  525. @JAD
    “Am I? Then show us the right statistics.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference

    But seriously, you want to model populations statistics from a very strongly biased sample of strongly correlated observations. A sample that is too small by orders of magnitude for even a correctly drawn unbiased and uncorrelated sample.

    That is madness. In other words, I think it really fits you.

    See it as an exercise for the reader (hint you will have to estimate the probability distribution of the sample selection process first).

    @JAD
    “The guards can just take what he has.”

    Still having problems facing the real world, I see.

  526. @JAD
    > > “Am I? Then show us the right statistics.”

    Winter:
    > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference

    Which non answer demonstrates that you cannot do the maths that I asked you to do.

    Repeating the question that you are too ignorant to answer: What is your prior for the proportion of women who act corruptly in their employment for sexual reasons?

    If your prior was true, what is the chance of that a scenario like Baltimore prison would happen?

  527. @JAD
    “Repeating the question that you are too ignorant to answer: What is your prior for the proportion of women who act corruptly in their employment for sexual reasons?”

    You forget the prior of sampling low-education, low-esteem, poor women who work as a prison guard selected by a corrupt system under the control of a rich criminal. And compare that to sampling other sub populations of women, say, female Episcopal ministers.

    You wantonly ignore the crazy sampling of corrupt prison guards from a single prison selected by a newspaper who wanted a sensational story.

    I assume that proportions of “women who act corruptly in their employment for sexual reasons” differ markedly between, e.g., convent nuns, MP’s, nurses, and prostitutes. Or between “married mothers” and “unmarried prison officers without children”.

  528. > You forget the prior of sampling low-education, low-esteem, poor women who work as a prison guard selected by a corrupt system under the control of a rich criminal.

    Your argument presupposes that Tavon controlled the system, and then caused the system to selectively hire hormone crazed whores But it was the other way around. He controlled the system because the women were hormone crazed whores. He did not corrupt the system. The system corrupted him.

  529. > You wantonly ignore the crazy sampling of corrupt prison guards from a single prison selected by a newspaper who wanted a sensational story.

    If your prior for the proportion of women who behave corruptly out of sexual desire leads to the prediction that one prison in ten, or one in a hundred, will be dominated by women behaving corruptly out of sexual desire, than that is a reasonable objection.

    If your prior for the proportion of women who behave corruptly out of sexual desire leads to the prediction that one prison in a million will be dominated by women behaving corruptly out of sexual desire, than that is a frivolous objection.

    So what is your prior for the proportion of women who behave corruptly out of sexual desire?

  530. @JAD
    “If your prior for the proportion of women who behave corruptly out of sexual desire leads to the prediction that one prison in a million will be dominated by women behaving corruptly out of sexual desire, than that is a frivolous objection.”

    N=1 statistics is notorious under statisticians. Or anyone who knows how to use statistics.

    It is notorious for good reasons. For instance, all kinds of odd things can be “proven” with N=1 sample sizes. Especially if you intentionally ignore other examples that do not fit your prejudices.

    I think that is enough reason why you resort to N=1 sample sizes so often.

  531. @JAD
    “If your prior for the proportion of women who behave corruptly out of sexual desire leads to the prediction that one prison in a million will be dominated by women behaving corruptly out of sexual desire, than that is a frivolous objection.”

    Btw, ever heard about the effects of correlations and group behavior on the outcome of probability calculations and statistical tests?

  532. Winter:
    > N=1 statistics is notorious under statisticians. Or anyone who knows how to use statistics.

    The sample is not one prison. The sample is the female guards at one prison – which is a large enough sample that such behavior cannot be hugely different in other places of employment, which is evidence that my perception of HR departments is correct, and your perception of HR departments is incorrect.

  533. @JAD
    “The sample is the female guards at one prison ”

    As I wrote above, you might have mastered some of the mathematics of statistics, but you have absolutely no clue at all about what it all means and how it should be used.

    As Fluffy etc already adviced, get a text book on statistical testing.

  534. As Fluffy etc already adviced, get a text book on statistical testing.

    You and Jessica keep repeating that but you never actually point out any statistical errors.

    In fact, the two of you are the only ones making basic mistakes – like not knowing what the population involved is (not one prison, all the female guards in that prison), not understanding the selection process (the important selection is the hiring process for guards, not the selection by Tavon of which guards to have sex with) and why it matters (the women who end up as prison guards are expected to be normally distributed on sexual recklessness) nor have either of you ever been able to articulate any actual errors in the reasoning. It’s just a repeated “get a text book”.

    If the errors that JAD are making are so basic it shouldn’t be to hard to actually point one out, now should it?

  535. @Steve Johnson
    “If the errors that JAD are making are so basic it shouldn’t be to hard to actually point one out, now should it?”

    We did, repeatedly. The errors are so fundamental you do not even understand what we write. The “pseudo-sample” you are talking about is not representative of any wider population at all. The error starts at the very selection of this pseudo-sample. This is not a simple matter of an error in a calculation, this is about not having the information to do any useful calculation at all.

    To explain the error in more detail amounts to write down and introductory course in statistical testing, more specific, in sampling. There are good text books about that subject. They do a better job than I ever could.

  536. Regarding the prison issue, it’s a problem in many places, across many prisons and without regard for gender (of the guards at least), that prisoners will have more de facto power over the guards than the guards do over the prisoners. This is because the things that the guards can do to the prisoners are carefully limited and circumscribed by law and regulation, and if a guard cripples or kills a prisoner outside e.g. an escape attempt, that guard then goes to prison. Conversely, it’s very difficult to effectively maintain prisoners totally incommunicado (and possible effective means to do this are also prohibited by law and regulation outside special contexts), and just because a crime boss is in prison doesn’t mean that the organization outside will stop following orders. Which means that prisoners can often credibly, on the one hand, threaten attacks on guards and their families, and on the other hand offer bribes out of the money of the criminal organization. In this sort of environment, it’s entirely plausible that a prisoner could end up essentially running a prison without any sexual component at all; it merely requires the correct fraction of corruptible or intimidatable guards (which is, likely, a much larger fraction among either male or female guards than those who will undermine the correct functioning of the prison solely because one of the prisoners is their sexual partner). That sort of methodology is much more plausible to me than the idea that all women are so hormone-addled that they will subordinate all other priorities to the whims of their sexual partners; that hypothesis requires me to believe that every woman I have ever known is a bizarre special case with ridiculously overdeveloped self-control.

    To put it in statistical terms, the measured effect is due to a property other than the one you’re trying to quantify; therefore, the attempted quantification is invalid.

  537. >That sort of methodology is much more plausible to me than the idea that all women are so hormone-addled that they will subordinate all other priorities to the whims of their sexual partners; that hypothesis requires me to believe that every woman I have ever known is a bizarre special case with ridiculously overdeveloped self-control.

    No, you have the logic wrong on this. It could be the case that most women (even the ones you know) are so hormone-addled that this is the way they would behave in the absence of effective social controls. The relevant quality is not individual self-control but the sum of that with the effects of social suppression of female sexual aggression – slut-shaming, literally.

    It is also almost certainly the case that the women you know well enough to evaluate for sexual misbehavior are in fact an exceptional cohort – brighter than average, higher SES than average, lower time preference than average. If you try to extrapolate from their behavior to those outside that cohort you may be setting yourself up for surprise.

    I’m not endorsing JAD’s rampant misogynism and racism here, merely pointing out that your experience does little or nothing to falsify his interpretation of the Baltimore prison scenario. The same would be true of my personal experience; the difference is, I know it and seek different kinds of evidence.

  538. If it’s interpreted that the women I know (you’re correct in assuming generally high SES and probably disproportionately high IQ) are a separate cohort with noticeably different numbers than the ones hired to guard a prison in Baltimore, then that’s fine. My earlier interpretation of JAD’s thesis was that the hormone-addledness was regardless of SES; at least, so I gather from his repeated references to HR departments. In this case, I think my experience would falsify.

  539. >My earlier interpretation of JAD’s thesis was that the hormone-addledness was regardless of SES; at least, so I gather from his repeated references to HR departments.

    You can’t even refute his generalization based on your experience. What you’d need to know is how the women in your cohort would behave in a context where social controls on their sexuality (and, in particular, mutual slut-shaming) had largely ceased to operate.

    As is sometimes the case with JAD, there is a tiny kernel of uncomfortable truth buried far inside his unhinged and hate-drenched ranting. I laughed at his description of female-run HR departments as being like the neglected harem of an elderly sultan because it fails to be inaccurate by just enough to be funny – I have seen the effect he’s pointing at myself. Terry Pratchet calls it “crab-bucket”.

    The best software-development manager I know personally is a grandmotherly female who can become quite caustic about the effects of elliptical female-style “nurturing talk” and implicit sexual competition on the work environment. She sees from a different angle a phenomenon that JAD grossly exagerrates; when fertile-age females communicate in the way that is biologically and culturally natural for them it to some extent gets in the way of actually getting shit done.

    Women like my wife (or the one currently traveling here as Fluffy Girl In A Man’s World) who have a more direct and male-like personal style are much better for efficiency.

  540. Winter on 2013-08-14 at 04:47:13 said:

    @Steve Johnson
    “If the errors that JAD are making are so basic it shouldn’t be to hard to actually point one out, now should it?”

    We did, repeatedly. The errors are so fundamental you do not even understand what we write. The “pseudo-sample” you are talking about is not representative of any wider population at all.

    No, that’s an argument you’re attempting to make without even understanding what you’d have to prove to make it.

    You’re trying to argue that prison guards aren’t representative of women without giving a reason why. What you need to show to make that argument is that women prison guards are selected on the basis of being sex-crazed. Good luck with that project.

  541. Tom Hunt –

    That sort of methodology is much more plausible to me than the idea that all women are so hormone-addled that they will subordinate all other priorities to the whims of their sexual partners; that hypothesis requires me to believe that every woman I have ever known is a bizarre special case with ridiculously overdeveloped self-control.

    Actually the alternative hypothesis is that women conceal their sexual misbehavior to the best of their ability and only exhibit it around higher status / more dominant men. Humans have concealed ovulation after all and that does imply all sorts of things about female mating strategies (hint: deception is really important and correllary the best way to practice deception in a world where everyone has empathy modules (allowing them to model other people’s behavior) is to first deceive yourself). Higher SES women are superior in all sorts of abilities – including the ability to hide misbehavior.

    Going outside of the realm of personal experience, above I cited a Justice Department study that showed that women prison guards were considerably more likely to have sex with prisoners than male prison guards.

    Here’s a specific example from prisons http://kdvr.com/2013/07/02/boys-in-custody-and-the-women-who-abuse-them/

    Drawing on their sample, Justice Department researchers estimate that 1,390 juveniles in the facilities they examined have experienced sex abuse at the hands of the staff supervising them, a rate of nearly 8 percent. Twenty percent who said they were victimized by staff said it happened on more than 10 occasions. Nine out of 10 victims were males abused by female staff.

    Now, “it’s just prisons” – right? Well, the difference is that in the private sector there’s no infrastructure set up to track female misbehavior. Male misbehavior is “sexual harassment” and there’s a whole infrastructure set up to record and document all instances of it that are found. However, in prisons anytime a guard has sex with a prisoner the guard has committed a crime – so there’s a whole infrastructure set up to record sexual misbehavior of women and men – and what are the results? Well, it looks like women sexually misbehave both more frequently than you think and, in fact, more often than men. Pretty good evidence for JAD’s argument (and for the traditional view of women as being the more dangerously lustful sex).

  542. @Steve Johnson
    “You’re trying to argue that prison guards aren’t representative of women without giving a reason why.”

    This is becoming funny. The women in the article all had intercourse with Tavon White. So, you generalize that most prison guards had intercourse with Tavon White? Also, Tavon White must be the father of most children of female prison guards?

    The problem starts with this prison being selected because it was run by an inmate. Moreover, it was selected because many female guards had intercourse with him. If you are unable to understand that you cannot do statistics on a sample that was specifically selected for showing the very trait you want to study, you cannot be helped.

    In this way I can prove that all women are celibate by sampling nuns in convents, and the opposite by sampling our local red light district. And by sampling MPs in a bus station lavatory I can prove that all MPs are gay.

    Actually, I do not believe you can be helped in this respect. You want the conclusions so badly, that you will do whatever is needed to get the results.

  543. I think that the assumption is 1. that the female prison guards at Baltimore were a representative sample of women (which, by selection, they probably weren’t, since “prison guard” is a generally low-SES profession), 2. a significant proportion of the prison guards there behaved improperly, and thus 3. a similar proportion of women in general may be expected to behave improperly. Where it falls apart is that 1. the behavior of the “sample” of prison guards at that prison were not independent of each other, and 2. they jump to the conclusion that “behave improperly” means “explicitly sabotage the mission of your organization, for purely sexual reasons”. Thus how, for instance, after a certain degree of corruption had taken place the atmosphere of the prison would change itself to explicitly encourage corruption; if the mission of the prison is already clearly undermined, incentives to avoid corruption based on the argument that it will undermine the mission of the prison lose their force; if a significant number of one’s peers are acting in the same, improper, fashion, then one is much more likely to behave in the same fashion; and it’s highly likely that the more significant part of the incentives to corruption in that scenario were not sexual at all, but involved bribery and/or intimidation on the part of criminal organizations. None of this is unique to women.

    If anything, the argument that can be made from the prison example vis-a-vis female sexuality is “A small proportion of women, when placed in a situation essentially controlled through corruption by a male, and when the majority of the social and internal controls on their sexual behavior are removed, will proceed to greater corruption that also involves sexual relations with the controlling male”. That may be a failure mode characteristic of women more than of men, but it’s nowhere near universal among women, and it provides no insight about women’s sexuality which couldn’t also be gleaned from a bit of evo-psych.

  544. >That may be a failure mode characteristic of women more than of men, but it’s nowhere near universal among women, and it provides no insight about women’s sexuality which couldn’t also be gleaned from a bit of evo-psych.

    Indeed. Your model sounds like a pretty straight-up instance of bang-the-highest-alpha-male to me.

    Men don’t have the symmetrical reaction; they are largely, though not entirely, indifferent to alpha-female status in their mating preferences.

  545. Tom Hunt on 2013-08-14 at 11:52:25 said:> more plausible to me than the idea that all women are so hormone-addled that they will subordinate all other priorities to the whims of their sexual partners; that hypothesis requires me to believe that every woman I have ever known is a bizarre special case with ridiculously overdeveloped self-control.

    The nature of women is that they are inclined to have sex with the top few percent of men, whereas a man is inclined to have sex with every women. Thus the way they behave towards you is not necessarily indicative of the way they would behave towards Tavon.

    Monogamy is an artificial imposition on women to prevent the war of the sexes, and give the majority of men an incentive to work, to build for posterity, to transmit civilization to their children, and to defend their society against outsiders. When that imposition is removed, we get what we are now getting.

  546. >Monogamy is an artificial imposition on women to prevent the war of the sexes, and give the majority of men an incentive to work, to build for posterity, to transmit civilization to their children, and to defend their society against outsiders.

    From my momentary analysis, hypergamy in women makes sense, but polygamy doesn’t, really. (A woman can maximize her reproductive utility by choosing the most desirable single male to have sex with, but she can’t get any further utility than that by having sex with more (different) males.) Meanwhile, males increase their reproductive utility more or less linearly with the number of different women they have sex with. If there were a gender upon whom monogamy was an imposition, you’d expect it to be men.

  547. If there were a gender upon whom monogamy was an imposition, you’d expect it to be men.

    Monogamy is an answer to what’s essentially a prisoner’s dilemma. In its absence, males have to be constantly competing for females, and the costs of competition skyrocket. (See, for example, the extraordinary biological cost imposed by such adaptations as antlers and the peacock’s tail.) Even so, many males won’t have access to any women at all, and men with nothing to lose, evolutionarily speaking, have little restraint on their violent tendencies. Monogamy is essentially a bargain among men to avoid attempts to monopolize access to women so that men don’t have to pay such high competition costs.

  548. Christopher Smith:
    >Monogamy is essentially a bargain among men to avoid attempts to monopolize access to women so that men don’t have to pay such high competition costs.

    JAD [paraphrased]:
    >Monogomy is imposed on women to suppress runaway hypergamic lustfulness.

    All interesting behaviors are overdetermined. The truth of either of these accounts does not imply the falsehood of the other.

  549. From my momentary analysis, hypergamy in women makes sense, but polygamy doesn’t, really. (A woman can maximize her reproductive utility by choosing the most desirable single male to have sex with, but she can’t get any further utility than that by having sex with more (different) males.)

    The cost to women of monogamy isn’t that they’re forgoing multiple partners it’s that they then get a lower quality partner. Monogamy means that the top males are locked up by the top females. Polygamy means that the top males are always in the market for more women.

  550. winter

    In this way I can prove that all women are celibate by sampling nuns in convents, and the opposite by sampling our local red light district. And by sampling MPs in a bus station lavatory I can prove that all MPs are gay.

    You really don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    Presumably, the sample of prison guards was selected without regard to sexual recklessness.

    Obviously the samples you are picking aren’t selected without regard to sexual recklessness.

    To make the argument you’re trying to make you need to show that the hiring process had the effect of picking out sexually reckless women – the equivalent of hiring the men you find having sex in public bathrooms. Not only haven’t you done that – you haven’t even shown that you understand why you have to show this.

    If you want to read what someone who knows what they’re talking about and is capable of making a reasonable argument disagreeing with JAD’s hypothesis, read Tom Hunt’s comments.

    If you want to keep looking like a fool keep repeating “N=1”, “sample size too small” and “Tavon selected the horniest guards”. The selection involved was the hiring of prison guards. The reason we are talking about this one prison isn’t cherry picking – is that if your model of women is correct this scandal could never have happened – not unless there were millions of men’s prisons with female guards. Pointing out that it didn’t happen in all prisons is a non-sequitur (and is factually inaccurate – see any of my other posts for examples – it happens in lots of prisons where women are guards – much more often than when male guards guard female prisoners).

    If one house gets struck by lightning 50 times in a year and someone says “there is something about this house causing it to be prone to lightning strikes” a logical response is not “your sample size is too small – you’re only looking at one house”. That’s what you’re arguing here and it makes no sense.

  551. >Polygamy means that the top males are always in the market for more women.

    Indeed. But for these in-the-market polygamists to be a good deal for aspring women, they have to be so wealthy that a part-share in therir providership exceeeds the value of the exclusive spouses generally available.

    Thus, polygamy is a stable game only in societies with high wealth concentration, low levels of average wealth, and truly miserable poverty. Which it then tends to perpetuate by discouraging “loser” males from work or capital formation.

  552. esr:

    But for these in-the-market polygamists to be a good deal for aspring women, they have to be so wealthy that a part-share in therir providership exceeeds the value of the exclusive spouses generally available.

    Or if women are capable of supporting their offspring either because you’re talking about a tropical environment where women can gather enough calories from farming or a modern welfare state that pays women to reproduce.

    Then you get run away sexual selection for socially destructive traits that women find appealing – dark triad personality traits, muscularity, violent impulsivity, etc. You know, to take this discussion back to the original topic.

  553. > in assuming generally high SES and probably disproportionately high IQ) are a separate cohort with noticeably different numbers than the ones hired to guard a prison in Baltimore, then that’s fine.

    If a high SES man with a good degree and a good job marries a high but slightly lower SES woman with a good but slightly lesser degree, and a slightly lesser job, he will probably do OK, and hence believe that high SES women are well behaved.

    If someone with an income under sixty thousand US dollars attempts to marry, he is going to get slim pickings and a mighty bad deal.

    On the other hand, most successful female lawyers could take lessons in chastity from truck stop strippers, so it is more complicated than just high SES.

    Women with long term time preference and a preference for marriage treat university and a job as stepping stone to marriage with a high SES male, so such males stand a decent prospect of winding up with a woman who is well behaved, or at least fairly cautious in her misconduct. On the other hand, there are a lot of unmarried high SES women, and they are usually unmarried for a reason.

  554. >On the other hand, most successful female lawyers could take lessons in chastity from truck stop strippers, so it is more complicated than just high SES.

    >there are a lot of unmarried high SES women, and they are usually unmarried for a reason.

    [citation needed]

  555. > Then you get run away sexual selection for socially destructive traits that women find appealing – dark triad personality traits, muscularity, violent impulsivity, etc.

    I suppose that the peacock’s tail started off as a pretty ornament, and then became a prettier ornament, and then, when it could not get any prettier, just got bigger, whereupon it became a major problem.

  556. JAD
    > > On the other hand, most successful female lawyers could take lessons in chastity from truck stop strippers, so it is more complicated than just high SES.
    > > …
    > > there are a lot of unmarried high SES women, and they are usually un