Grasping Bloomberg’s nettle

Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York perhaps best known for taking fizzy drinks, and now a Democratic presidential aspirant, has just caused a bit of a kerfuffle by suggesting that minorities be disarmed to keep them alive.

I think the real problem with Bloomberg’s remark is not that it reads as shockingly racist, it’s that reading it that way leaves us unable to deal with the truth he is telling. Because he’s right; close to 95% of all gun murders are committed by minority males between 15 and 25, and most of the victims are minorities themselves. That is a fact. What should we do with it?

It’s the 21st century and pretty much everybody outside of a handful of sociopaths and Affirmative Action fans has a moral sense that it’s wrong to make laws that discriminate on the basis of skin color. On the other hand, Bloomberg is broadly correct about the effect of disarming minorities, if it could actually be accomplished. (He might be optimistic by 5% or so, according to my knowledge of the relevant facts, and disarming minorities is effectively impossible, but neither of these objections are relevant to where I’m going with this.)

I think it is quite unlikely that Bloomberg has classically racist intentions in what he said. Sure, it’s fun in an Alinskyite sort of make-them-live-up-to-their-own-rules way to pillory a lefty like Bloomberg over this sort of remark, but let’s get real. This is not a man with a particular desire to oppress black or brown people. What’s obnoxious about Nanny Bloomberg is that he thinks he has the moral standing to oppress anybody in the name of whatever cause du jour currently exercises him.

So once we’ve stopped flogging the (rather risible) idea that Bloomberg is a racist, where are we? How do we use the statistical truth he pointed out without being racist ourselves?

There’s nothing magic about the amount of melanin in somebody’s skin that makes them so much more more likely to be a violent criminal that Bloomberg’s 95% figure is almost true. Dark skin can’t be the problem here; it has to be something else that is correlated with dark skin, predicted by it, but not it.

I don’t think there’s any mystery about what that is. Criminals are, by and large, stupid. American blacks have an average IQ of 85. Hispanics average 88. People with low IQs are bad at forward planning; this makes them impulsive and difficult to deter with negative consequences. It’s a safe bet that black and Hispanic criminals are, like white criminals, largely drawn from the subnormal end of their populations’ IQ bell curves.

If Bloomberg had said “We ought to disarm everyone with an IQ of 85 or below”, he would actually be more statistically correct than he was. That would still be pretty near impossible. But it wouldn’t be racist.

UPDATE: Upon further investigation, it turns out that I misinterpreted what Bloomberg said, steelmanning his remarks in light of my own knowledge. What he actually seems to have meant is far less defensible than I made it out to be. Not in a racist way, he was simply quite wrong about the crime statistics.

269 thoughts on “Grasping Bloomberg’s nettle

  1. I’m not sure that the lower IQ is the real problem.

    I believe that it has more to do with the “culture” of the inner cities (Black areas and Hispanic areas).

    I suspect that if we compared middle-class/working-class Blacks/Hispanics, we’d find that they compare favorable in term of violence with middle-class/working-class Whites.

    Of course, since the inner cities are in Democratic Strongholds, this is a study that the Democrats would be against.

    • There’s a meme floating around pointing out that the richest black area in the country (View Park-Windsor Hills, CA) has a higher crime rate than the poorest white area (Beattyville, KY). Beatyville is more rural, though.

    • >I suspect that if we compared middle-class/working-class Blacks/Hispanics, we’d find that they compare favorable in term of violence with middle-class/working-class Whites.

      Sadly, you’re wrong – this is pretty well trodden ground. Black/Hispanic overrepresentation among criminals and deviants doesn’t go away in higher SESes, though it becomes less severe.

      • You’d expect to to at least get less severe if not disappear entirely, simply because getting into the higher SESes requires intelligence.

        Is it the case that the crime in those SESes comes from the dumb children of smart parents, who have grown up in their parents’ SES but are themselves headed quickly downward?

        • >Is it the case that the crime in those SESes comes from the dumb children of smart parents, who have grown up in their parents’ SES but are themselves headed quickly downward?

          I have not seen statistics with fine enough resolution to answer that question.

        • >Is it the case that the crime in those SESes comes from the dumb children of smart parents, who have grown up in their parents’ SES but are themselves headed quickly downward?

          Second reply, because I think I may have figured this one out. And it’s ugly.

          Hypothesis: their parents aren’t smart. They have middle-class jobs, and middle class incomes, because of the enormous pressure to diversity-hire and then tolerate underperforming dimwits who happen to be minorities.

          • I despise diversity hiring, affirmative action, and all that, but I doubt they’ve been going on strongly enough for long enough to show up in whatever studies you might have looked at.

            I suspect it’s mostly that there’s enough luck, or “factors unrelated to IQ or impulsivity”, involved in acquiring higher SES that “higher SES” is a noisy measure of IQ, and thus you get the equivalent of regression to the mean if you take a high-SES subgroup and look at their IQ. (To do illustrative calculations, you might imagine that SES = IQ + a die roll of 1-20, and imagine we’re looking at the group where SES > 120.) The regression to the mean gets stronger when the mean is farther away from the subgroup you’re looking at.

            Also, of course, there’s regression to the mean going from parents to children. (Also, it may only take one parent’s success to get into high SES. In fact, I imagine that’s usually the case for high enough values of “high”.) Anyway, “doesn’t go away … though it becomes less severe” is exactly what you’d expect in the presence of regression to the mean from a noisy filter.

            • >Anyway, “doesn’t go away … though it becomes less severe” is exactly what you’d expect in the presence of regression to the mean from a noisy filter.

              Agreed. I’ve been thinking along similar lines, but your analysis is crisper than I had gotten to yet. Been a distracting couple of days and I’m working on a deadline.

            • A lot of very-high status Blacks might have achieved their wealth through athletic prowess or being talented entertainers, none of which is strongly correlated with IQ.

            • but I doubt they’ve been going on strongly enough for long enough to show up in whatever studies you might have looked at.

              They have–in Government, at Universities and in larger corporations that have to meet government quotas.

        • Google “regression to the mean.”

          Works on the trend of descendants of billionaires generally squandering the family fortune and… ending up blue/white collar in the grand scheme of things.

          You’re welcome.

      • There are aspects of “culture” that should be relevant, but are hard to measure: attitudes about knowledge and learning, about honesty, about dealing with criticism and disrespect, about society and laws and law enforcement…. a lot of factors that kids learn from their parents and peers. Middle-class income doesn’t necessarily mean middle-class values.

        • >Middle-class income doesn’t necessarily mean middle-class values.

          That’s true. An important related point is that middle-class values are all about low time preference – saving for the future, forgoing instant gratification for larger future rewards, buying smart rather than cheap, favoring investment over consumption. A person with an 85 IQ can do any of these things only with great difficulty and may not (depending on his education) even know they’re in the sheaf of possibility.

          • If heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine/crack, and of course, marijuana, were legal, there wouldn’t be this huge source of income available to gangs. Effectively, the government is paying them to shoot each other – not directly, but the government is certainly paying, and being in a gang involved with drugs is a way of earning a living, temporarily, at least.

            • If heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine/crack, and of course, marijuana, were legal

              Then there would be a lot more low IQ people on those drugs doing even stupider things and causing all kinds of other social problems.

              • I was not arguing for legalization of those drugs, here in this blog; I am just saying it is sorta the other side of the drug-gang-murder situation.

                • I am a little less tired now, so I will expand it a little…

                  Legalizing heroin/meth/crack is almost trivially easy to do, compared to the practical difficulties in actually changing the distribution of gun ownership (not just legal guns). Drug legalization is just a political problem. In Victorian times, cocaine (the salt of crack/freebase) and opium (containing morphine and codeine, in Laudanum) were legal; amphetamine was discovered in 1887, but I don’t know when it came into use, and I am in a hurry.

                  The fact that drug laws are so ineffective is important, as is the fact that the most “at risk” people are already on one or more of these drugs. (Obviously, marijuana should be legal, considering the proportion of the population that uses it.)

                  So, although I don’t think it will happen, I am suggesting legalizing these “hard” drugs might be net-positive. “The mob” loved alcohol prohibition.

          • I would say that it’s also a matter of acculturation. Middle class values probably take more than one generation to be fully realized, and that requires some very fertile soil; a welcoming school and neighborhood and carefully neutral policing.

        • It’s hard to learn values from a father who isn’t present. The War on Poverty (aka The War on Two-Parent Families) has strongly incentivized low-SES women to not be “married to they baby daddies” (to put it in AAVE).

          And I’ve heard there are plenty of studies showing a strong correlation between single parent families (read: “single moms”) and criminality. Some have said that simply breaking out stats for 1-vs-2-parent families pretty much wipes out racial disparities in SES, incarceration rates, etc.

          If high IQ leads to less impulsive behavior, it’s not difficult to imagine it’s strongly correlated with the number of parents in the home. So it may not be true that getting these people to marry before they make babies will actually help. Correlation isn’t causation.

          That those low-SES women are also incentivized to produce more children, on average, than high-SES women typically do,leads inexorably to the Marching Morons scenario.

          • I’m philosophically inclined to want to deny the Marching Morons argument.

            I oppose eugenics partly because I think it is futile. Part of my evidence for thinking it will be futile is the assumption that we will never have stable enough power structures to carry out a multi-generation selected breeding project.

            It would be convenient for me if we are overestimating Marching Moron effects due to reasoning from extremely simplified models of human societies.

              • Your current claim? Raising a bunch of kids is a choice, a matter of priorities, values. If the other stores of wealth are bad enough, well raised kids are the best way to deal with aging. The big cultural message pushed these days says otherwise, and I’m not persuaded that those uncritically accepting of that message are all our best minds.

                Your original reference to Marching Morons? What are we trying to prove, what evidence is admissible, and what can we actually conclude from that evidence?

                Significant impact from some form of selection, whether eugenic or inverse eugenic, will impact our beliefs about the feasibility and desirability of eugenics programs.

                I suspect eugenics programs are doomed to costly failures in practice. I prefer arguing that something is stupid or unfeasible to arguing that it is immoral. Rather than argue against the proposal itself, my instinct is that it is easier to go after the motivations for the proposal, if they are weak enough.

                We are arguing about a) population trends (so statistics, and lots of trouble to get validated) b) of behavior c) and intelligence d) that are not constant (so needing current measurements and past measurements). Given the uncertainty levels, you’d need to show extreme behavior to disprove the hypothesis that ‘nothing is happening’. (Cultural changes are going to be significant between now and any distance into the past.) Pretty much any data anyone can produce on this is going be weak.

                So it is an anecdote fight. And my personal experiences are very strange, so anecdote fights are pointless.

  2. > There’s nothing magic about the amount of melanin in somebody’s skin that makes them so much more more likely to be a violent criminal

    Nit: Until we understand the causes from something like first principles, we can’t definitively be certain. I agree it’s *unlikely*, but the more stuff I learn about biology, the more I’m less certain that there isn’t an indirect feedback loop for something.

  3. That would still be pretty near impossible. But it wouldn’t be racist.

    As I understand current mainstream left-of-center theory, it would still be racist. Discriminating by anything that acts (whether intentionally or not) as a proxy for race is racist. And the problem with that is that it lets some people say “well, fine, if I’m going to be racist anyway I may as well be directly racist; if beating around the bush doesn’t gain me anything than why bother?”

    Think of the very end of South Park’s Here Comes the Neighborhood.

    Also, if Bloomberg’s focus is on black males from 15 to 25, he should remember that it’s already illegal for 60% of that demographic to own handguns; that doesn’t seem to stop them.

    • >Discriminating by anything that acts (whether intentionally or not) as a proxy for race is racist.

      The obvious answer is that we wouldn’t be using IQ as a proxy for race, since it is the statistically relevant measure in itself.

      • If it tracks race then the dominant political culture would say it may as well be a proxy for race, so it’s still racist and we can’t win. Now that’s not going to drive people who genuinely aren’t racist into outright racism, but it will do so to those who are on the fence, trying to be nice, but if they’re going to be racist no matter what they do then they may as well be full-on racist.

        • IQ is seen by the left and often center as unrelated to race: suggesting low-IQ can be a proxy for non-white will raise hackles.

          Including mine, by the way. I have ancestors, Browns and Shadds, who were escaped slaves from Louisiana. Escaping was a really _smart_ thing to do!

          • >IQ is seen by the left and often center as unrelated to race: suggesting low-IQ can be a proxy for non-white will raise hackles.

            That is not how it’s going to be framed. Activists will make the standard disparate impact (vs disparate treatment) pitch i.e., that any statistically significant difference in outcome for any sub-group is assumed to the result of racism. Structural, if not actual.

            Yes, disparate impact analysis has a P-hacking problem. But it’s the law regardless.

          • IQ is seen as a proxy for race by the left because IQ tests are seen as inherently discriminatory, selecting for traits associated with good white folks.

            • Sort of like “literacy tests” for voting, which have a history of being applied unevenly to disenfranchise minorities. Because of that, we can’t have them, no matter what safeguards are attached to prevent racist application.

              • Literacy tests were not “applied unevenly”. They were sham procedures used only to disenfranchise all blacks. In a bit of irony, South Carolina Governor “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman presided over the final suppression of black voting in that state in the 1890s, and also the establishment of SC’s first teacher’s college for blacks. IOW, actual literacy of blacks made no difference.

            • IQ is seen as a proxy for race by the left because IQ tests are seen as inherently discriminatory, selecting for traits associated with good white folks.

              Demonstrating that those members of the left are idiots who don’t have the first clue what IQ testing actually measures. They are a bunch of schoolchildren who think “smart” is the same thing as “knows stuff.”

            • >IQ is seen as a proxy for race by the left because IQ tests are seen as inherently discriminatory, selecting for traits associated with good white folks.

              And we don’t have to guess what those are, since diversity enthusiasts have helpfully explained that they include the use of logic, willingness to defer gratification, the objective stance, respect for property rights, and universalist ethics (as opposed to tribal particularism).

              When it becomes possible to have a functioning high-trust society without “selecting for traits associated with good white folks”, I’ll take the arguments that they are somehow bad more seriously.

              Suppose we accept for a moment the Left’s implied premise that blacks, as a population group, are so deficient in these “good white folks” traits that selecting for them is racist and prejudicial. If that’s so, then the old-school racial supremacists were right and the only way to manage a large population of blacks in your society is to subjugate them and enforce very strict controls on their behavior.

              Note: I am not asserting that this is true! I’m only saying it follows from the premise.

              I’m reminded of something I read once about so-called “sundown” towns in the American South. So called because they had rules against blacks entering or remaining there after nightfall. Given your premise, this custom made adaptive sense – they seem to have agreed with “the left” as you describe it and decided that only daylight conditions supported the required monitoring and social control to make blacks act like good white folks.

              Do you agree with that reasoning? Do you think I should?

              If you don’t – if you judge that blacks are not in fact significantly deficient in “good white folks” traits, making sundown rules pure vicious bigotry – then I’d be interested to hear any argument you have that “selecting for traits associated with good white folks” is anything but an excellent and non-prejudicial idea that we should be doing more of.

              • The way I put it is that the old-school racists said “Them coloreds cain’t behave like good white folk”, and the new-school racists say “They shouldn’t even try, and the ones who do forfeit their ‘blackness’ in the process.”

                • >he way I put it is that the old-school racists said “Them coloreds cain’t behave like good white folk”, and the new-school racists say “They shouldn’t even try, and the ones who do forfeit their ‘blackness’ in the process.”

                  Actually old-fashioned racists almost never seem to have believed that, exactly. They behaved as though they believed something more like “Black people will behave like good white folks only if they are kept constantly terrified of the consequences of failing at that imitation.”

                  • So for the old-school racists it’s “Them coloreds cain’t be trusted to act like good white folk.”

                    • >So for the old-school racists it’s “Them coloreds cain’t be trusted to act like good white folk.”

                      Yes. And now I’m wondering how often this wasn’t false.

                      The reason I’m wondering is that measures like sundown laws aren’t free. They entail both risks (you can get injured or killed trying to enforce them) and opportunity costs (can’t have live-in servants or domestics). Generally speaking, the costs people are willing to pay to buy security track the actual threat level. Low-cost measures may stick after the threat has receded, high-cost ones tend to decay rapidly.

                      What’s bothering me is that sundown rules seem like a high-cost measure. Either a lot of towns were expensively irrational for a long time, or they had a real problem with criminal predators who couldn’t be distinguished from the general run of blacks.

                      Ugh. I wonder if it’s possible to get historical crime statistics with enough resolution to answer this question? Ideally we’d want to compare crime rates between sundown and non-sundown towns that were otherwise demographically similar.

                  • Actually old-fashioned racists almost never seem to have believed that, exactly. They behaved as though they believed something more like “Black people will behave like good white folks only if they are kept constantly terrified of the consequences of failing at that imitation.”

                    The Zip Coon stereotype in minstrelsy suggests otherwise.

                    • >The Zip Coon stereotype in minstrelsy suggests otherwise.

                      OK, then: “Black people will attempt to behave like good white folks only if they are kept constantly terrified of the consequences of failing at that imitation.” The Zip Coon amendment is the belief that even when properly terrified, many of them are so lazy and stupid that the imitation is laughable.

                    • …That moment when you’re wondering if you should admit you have no idea what a “Zip Coon” might be.

                      But you’re afraid to google it ’cause you might end up on a list.

                    • >But you’re afraid to google it ’cause you might end up on a list.

                      Use a non-tracking search engine. I’ve switched to DuckDuckGo.

                    • Also, keep in mind that minstrelsy shows, like all comedy relied on exaggeration.

                      To use a modern example if your main source is pollack jokes, you’d get a distorted impression of what late 20th century Americans thought of Poles.

              • IIRC, “sundown” towns were rare in the Deep South, where blacks were ubiquitous as servants and laborers. They were found predominantly in parts of the Middle West and Upper South/Border, with some in the Far West (where the law applied to Chinese), and a few in the Northeast.

                • >IIRC, “sundown” towns were rare in the Deep South, where blacks were ubiquitous as servants and laborers.

                  Now that I think about it, I’d expect the incidence of sundown towns to also be low to zero in areas where the black percentage of the population is so low that “black criminal” as a category never makes it above the statistical noise floor.

                  So the place to expect them to cluster is in areas with intermediate black population fractions. Mostly not far from the edges of the historical cotton belt. That actually fits your observed distribution pretty well.

    • Discriminating
      by anything that acts (whether intentionally or not) as a proxy for race is racist.

      I see why that’s the default assumption, though, because in the past it’s proven justified. There’s a well-documented history of inventing proxies for race and applying them to the detriment of minorities. When blocked from asking, “Is he white?” people asked instead, “Could his grandfather vote?”, “Was he taught to read and write?”, or “Can he afford a poll tax?” No doubt even supporters of literacy tests were a mixture of those who honestly cared about having an educated electorate and those who wanted only a court-accepted way to impose racial discrimination. So when new questions are proposed – “Is his IQ greater than $THRESHOLD?”, “Is he a ‘cultural fit’?”, etc., there’s a sense that they’re a continuation of the same pattern. Maybe a given supporter isn’t a bona fide racist, but at best he’s seen as having made common cause with the racists.

  4. Canadian writer A. E. van Vogt raised a variant of the problem in 1951 in “The Weapon Shops of Isher”. His imaginary weapons were intelligent, and would only act for self-defense or suicide.

  5. Of course when the republicans tried to amend the leftists red flag law in congress to put gang members in the crosshairs for confiscation, the left threw a hissy fit about violating the rights of MS13.

    They don’t mean to disarm criminals, they mean to disarm their political rivals.

    Bloomberg in proposing gun laws to try and solve a problem, is just proving he’s not leftist enough for the Dems…

    • To be fair, the hissy fit was over alleged gang members, including some for whom the evidence of gang membership is very sketchy; the Dems quite correctly complained about the lack of due process… while at the very same moment not giving a sh*t about due process for people who are in exactly the same situation except that they aren’t alleged to be gang members. No, they evidently don’t listen to themselves.

    • -They don’t mean to disarm criminals, they mean to disarm their political rivals.

      Yes. The D party line pretends gun crimes committed by D party career felons are caused by law-abiding R and independent voters. D party media has flacked this party line since they began pretending JFK wasn’t shot by a communist. If you work at CNN, ABC, CBS or NPR you will be fired for not backing this lie.

  6. The answer is obvious: universal “disarmanent” – let’s move towards a gun-free society. Incidently, cities should favour “active mobility” e.g. ebikes, over cars, which would save many lives. Together with universal healthcare, one could save 100k lives per annum with these three measures.

    • >The answer is obvious: universal “disarmanent”

      Idiotic idea, unless your utopia is one in which the people with the biggest muscles and the most willingness to pick up improvised weapons can rob, murder and rape with impunity.

      • >Idiotic idea, unless your utopia is one in which the people with the biggest muscles and the most willingness to pick up improvised weapons can rob, murder and rape with impunity.

        Which, incidentally, was the main reason I thought “disarm all the minorities” was a terrible idea.

        It might cut down on homicides a bit in the short term (not much, since a distressingly large number of them aren’t committed with firearms), but then you’d have a soft oppression of minorities by minority meatheads. When minorities figure out they can’t have nice things because meatheads will steal or simply take them away, they’ll stop working to get nice things. Bloomberg’s policy will likely consign them to eternal state-enforced poverty.

        Or worse. I imagine Bloomberg would then advocate for taxpayer aid to those impoverished neighborhoods, which will never help (although the meatheads’ pads will be stylin’).

    • It’s a nice theory, but are you going to disarm the government? Governments have a historical record of mass murder; the twentieth century total may be 100,000,000. Are you going to disarm all the governments? Or are you just assuming that once the civilian population are helpless, the elite and their armed forces will feel so secure that they’ll have no impulse to oppress or exploit anyone? (And, for that matter, that the disarmed masses will have no impulse to vote for repressive policies?)

    • “The answer is obvious: universal “disarmanent” – let’s move towards a gun-free society.”

      And while you’re wishing, why not throw in a free Lexus?

    • Public transit means that the minorities can’t get away without interdiction. Healthcare by large government bureaucracy means you can slowly break people’s will to resist, because everyone has sick loved ones. Then you start your program to remove the defectives of society.

      Genius, my friend. How ever could we could have overlooked such an obvious solution?

      Of course, giving government an entirely free hand can’t possibly result in deaths exceeding a rate of a hundred thousand per year. Not even before you discount the situations where the tissue collections only appear to be human beings, and safe, clean disposal is kinder for everyone.

  7. Are there any studies/stats that compare rural low-IQ people vs urban low-IQ people and violence rates thereof?

    I tend to think the rural folk would fare better whether minority or not. But I’m mostly a rural person and undoubtedly biased.

    • I suspect, with the rural cases and assuming a lower violence rate therein, the major factor would be precisely the lower population density. Fewer forced interpersonal interactions, fewer chances for the violent behavior to be exercised.

      • …Also with a small population where everyone knows everyone else, it is easier for informal “social control” mechanisms to work.

        For example, Amish/Hutterite “shunning”, and similar mechanisms.

    • Range wars.

      Some of the frontier cultures were pretty rough by modern standards.

      I think you have to guess about the modern differences from estimates of why and how the American rural/white culture apparently changed.

      I tend to conclude that the causes of the modern violence are gun control itself, and pushes for leniency in criminal sentencing.

    • I tend to agree with you. I live at the “edge of town”, so I have always interacted with both “country folks” and “city folks” in about equal parts. My personal experience is that “country folks” tend to be calmer and more patient, tend to get into less trouble, and when they do, those around them tend to take action to make sure they don’t do it again.

      I’ve also always thought that this was reasonable behavior because, in the rural areas, it’s a solid bet that every other house is armed to the teeth. A good example is that there was a guy who decided it would be a good idea to do home invasions in the wee hours of the morning. He did 2, and on the third he found a man with a 45 that ended his career with extreme prejudice.

      It also helps the statistics immensely when criminals’ careers get cut short by victims, which tends to happen more often in rural areas than “in town”.

  8. My somewhat cynical view of religion is that one of its functions is to keep low-IQ potential criminals in line. The decline of religion may well correlate with the increase in crime.

    As for melanin, I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t know if it’s been debunked. It’s concerning if true.

    Do pigmentation and the melanocortin system modulate aggression and sexuality in humans as they do in other animals?

    J. Philippe Rushton, Donald I.Templer

    Abstract
    Pigmentation of the hair, skin, cuticle, feather and eye is one of the most salient and variable attributes of vertebrates. In many species, melanin-based coloration is found to be pleiotropically linked to behavior. We review animal studies that have found darker pigmented individuals average higher amounts of aggression and sexual activity than lighter pigmented individuals. We hypothesize that similar relationships between pigmentation, aggression, and sexuality occur in humans. We first review the literature on non-human animals and then review some of the correlates of melanin in people, including aggression and sexual activity. Both within human populations (e.g., siblings), and between populations (e.g., races, nations, states), studies find that darker pigmented people average higher levels of aggression and sexual activity (and also lower IQ). We conceptualize skin color as a multigenerational adaptation to differences in climate over the last 70,000 years as a result of “cold winters theory” and the “Out-of-Africa” model of human origins. We propose life history theory to explain the covariation found between human (and non-human) pigmentation and variables such as birth rate, infant mortality, longevity, rate of HIV/AIDS, and violent crime.

    Highlights
    • In 40 species of wild vertebrates, darker pigmented individuals are more aggressive and sexually active. • Cross fostering studies and pharmacological dose manipulations establish the role of the melatonin system. • We review the human literature within and between populations and find similar relationships with pigmentation. • Darker individuals average higher levels of crime, sexual activity including HIV/AIDS, and lower IQ.

    • My somewhat cynical view of religion is that one of its functions is to keep low-IQ potential criminals in line. The decline of religion may well correlate with the increase in crime.

      There’s a bit in Idiocracy where the protagonist, failing to convince the dullard population of the advantages of watering crops with water instead of Brawndo™ sports drink, tells them that he can talk to plants and that the plants told him they preferred water.

      I’ve long imagined something similar happening somewhere in Mesopotamia: some smart person among a band of nomads, hoping to quell, say, a thievery problem, tries to appeal to the golden rule or some precursor to consequentialism, but most of the nomads simply don’t get it, and keep on stealing because the short-term gains from stealing are something they do understand. So the smart chap just tells them he can talk to God(s), and God(s) told them to stop stealing lest they be smitten. And in so doing became the first priest.

    • > My somewhat cynical view of religion is that one of its functions is to keep low-IQ potential criminals in line. The decline of religion may well correlate with the increase in crime.

      Probably wrong.

      Criminals are certainly more religious than law-abiding people. You have a hard time finding naturalists among them (contrary to claims by religious people who like to portray being a moral person and sharing their religion as one and the same thing).

      From my experience at homeless shelters, people with criminal inclinations believe in
      * lots of conspiracy theories. Those are as crazy as anything Alex Jones spouts, easily made up and quickly believed by peers. Of course, they are often self-serving: “such and such prevented me from being the legend of legends in boxing”, “all the World Wars were about Africa and won only because of the black peoples’ (magical) abilities”, “the Berlin Wall came down to cut down my wages”, “the Queen of England owes me and you tens of thousands in currency, that’s why I have no girlfriend”
      * religious fundamentalism. Even if they do not go to Church, a lot of them have cranky ideas about the Bible and believe in demons. If they go to church, teachings about “satanic priests” in rival congregations may not necessarily promote harmony. I also notice no self-reflection coming out of faith, but more often the narcissistic belief that the divinity sides with them. (Churches providing services to the homeless are simply treated as welfare centers.)
      * other old-fashioned superstitions, like certain people causing them bad luck when gambling

      Perhaps regular observance of religious rituals is positively correlated with conscientiousness, but faith alone does not seem to help at all. Europe’s prisons are full of inmates with criminal careers who are also Muslim fundamentalists (and may convert other inmates). In the United States, it is not uncommon for people to “discover” Jesus after committing grave crimes. Foolish judges and politicians like Huckabee might fall for this, but why would it be okay to assume atheists are morally inferior?

      Lastly, look at a world map. Some of the least religious people are Icelanders, Czechs and Japanese. Countries like Afghanistan and Congo are among the most religious. What are their inhabitants known for?

      End of rant.

      • It’s entirely possible to have the following all be true:
        Low IQ correlates with Religiousness
        Strong religious upbringing correlates with Lowered Crime
        Low IQ correlates with high crime

        Correlation is NOT transitive.

        Consider the possibility that Low IQ + weak religion has an even higher crime rate than strong religion, but that there is no difference in crimes rates for High IQ regardless of religious upbringing. In other words, religion has only a moderate dampening effect and only on lower IQ individuals.

    • In lower latitudes (where high melanin is good for blocking excessive UV) there tend to be jungles in which food literally grows on trees in abundance, and is available year-round. As one moves to higher latitudes into temperate climates with actual seasons, there are long stretches of time during which food is absent. Unless a nomadic band is able to migrate closer to the equator during winter, the only way to survive is to gather excess food in the summer and autumn, and save it up for the winter. It’s a short hop from that to using some of the excess food as “seed corn”, to use the late Ric Locke’s excellent formulation.

      These exercises in deferred gratification are themselves a good test for the ability to conceptualize the long chain from “I’m hungry” to “eat food” that exists in higher latitudes in ways that it does not in lower latitudes. The obviously different evolutionary pressures in these different environments (run fast, throw straight, eat now vs. conserve resources, invest effort today for benefit long in the future) are prominent on the list of things that everyone knows, that we’re supposed to pretend we don’t know, to show how woke we are.

      • Arabia, North Africa and the middle east are famous for being hosts of deserts where not just food but water can be very scarce and hard to come by. Constant extreme heat during the day and low termperatures at night aren’t lax or require less preparedness as you describe it. The stress of survival of the fittest is high, requiring the monitoring and elimination of your tribe’s females who go with foreign, hostile tribe males, requires the constant robbing and keeping of goods and supplies, power (or appearance of it) and routes. And then North Africans achieve very low on the IQ test.

        • The people Bloomberg is talking about are not from deserts.

          The kind of preparedness needed to survive in a hot jungle environment is on time scales like “what time of day is best to gather/hunt” or even “when the moon is full it’s easier to gather/hunt at night”, not “how much wheat do I need to have stored up to make it through the winter”.

  9. We keep seeing these issues cast as race. It is easy and a political time bomb. For political reasons, anything tied to race is a perfect issue. They can label the opponent, but do nothing to fix the real problems.
    Can we see the same data based on income or poverty level? The real issue is being poor, and under-educated. Growing up poor limits IQ. Historically racism is the reason for the poor being in a minority.
    Do something about income. Maybe a record low unemployment rate would help. Stop moving jobs overseas or making ridiculous minimum wage laws. There are no “starter” jobs anymore. With no opportunity, why not just shoot each other over drugs. Sad but true.

    • >Growing up poor limits IQ.

      Not in a first world country. There isn’t lead paint & poor childhood nutrition & lack of pre-natal iodine in a developed nation to support that notion. And even coming from a less developed country cannot mask intelligence. Otherwise you wouldn’t have early 19th century immigrants coming to the US from dirt poor shit holes & bootstrapping themselves to wealth.

      As for being under-educated, you can’t teach a horse calculus.

      The real limit is your genes. Blame your parents if you are stupid.

      • The quality of being “first world” in the USA is unevenly distributed. There are still toxic levels of lead in the water in Flint, MI. The cause is the usual suspect: the cozy, corrupt relationship between the state apparatus and private enterprise that’s par for the course in the American system.

        • the cozy, corrupt relationship between the state apparatus and private enterprise that’s par for the course in the American system.

          You mean par for the course in any system of centralized authority. America does not have a monopoly on corruption, and it was not the originator of such a thing.

      • Growing up poor does limit IQ, but indirectly. Because of the welfare/child-support bureaucracy, poor people are being subsidized to have children that they would otherwise avoid via birth control, and which they don’t see the need to give the level of attention that kids from rich suburbs get. I’ve seen minority parents claim that parents who help their kids do homework are “cheating” and the practice should be banned. With that attitude it doesn’t take any genetic component at all for minority kids to wind up stupider than white kids.

        White kids, even poor ones, don’t hate the police either — because Al Sharpton has no appeal for them. Everyone who listens to him is black. Take away people like him and there would not be any race issue in this country.

        • In animals, parenting instincts (male and female) are very clearly inherited. Good mothering is one of the things we actively breed FOR in domestic livestock (and no one teaches them how to do it), and we breed for it because there do exist individuals with poor mothering instinct. What makes you think humans are different?

        • I get the complaint about “cheating.” Imagine you are a poorly educated single parent, working two jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table. You frequently work nights. Your child is in competition for grades and teacher attention with someone who has one job which pays (and schedules) well, not to mention a little surplus money to pay a tutor for help with homework they don’t understand.

          You have no time to help your kid with homework, and don’t have the means to pay a tutor. The other parent can both pay a tutor and help with homework. To make matters worse, you don’t have the sophistication to tell your child to seek help from the school’s tutoring center (if your child’s inner-city school does, in fact, have something available – and they might not!)

          Who’s kid has an advantage that cannot be overcome? The word “cheating” might not be a perfect description to someone outside the situation, but I can see how it looks that way to the disadvantaged parent.

    • Growing up poor limits IQ.

      As Doug said, this used to be true, but isn’t any more in first-world countries.

      Historically racism is the reason for the poor being in a minority.

      This makes no sense. Perhaps you meant to write that historically racism was the reason that minority members tended to be poor. (Or at least poorer than they would otherwise have been.)

      • >this used to be true,

        Even there, the prevalence of Jewish ghettos are something of a counter-example. Particularly, if you add in the casual anti-semitism of those periods.

        • And of course, Chinatowns.
          Its inhabitants were dirt poor and subject to racial discrimination (like testimony being ignored in Californian trials). However, the murder rate was very low and in the long term, many of its inhabitants managed to climb the social ladder.

          • I’m curious whether that reflects a low murder rate or a reluctance to report, particularly considering the prevalence of the tongs.

  10. Serious question: What are we supposed to do about people who are too stupid to meaningfully contribute to society? Do we treat them as sovereign individuals even though they literally cannot act as such? No one *wants* to have an IQ of 85 or below, and it seems monstrous to shun people for something they can’t control…

    • >Serious question: What are we supposed to do about people who are too stupid to meaningfully contribute to society?

      The historical answer is institutionalizing the feebleminded.

    • I have some qualms about your use of “we” there. I have some further qualms about the 85 threshhold.

      Pedantry aside, trying to answer the spirit of the question – my approach would be to first think a lot about who ‘owns’ or ought to ‘own’ such people. (‘Own’ here as a shorthand for a responsibility-authority-management-provision-caretaking-education cluster, akin to relationships between a guardian and a minor/ward.) State? Family? Church? Mental institution? Nobody? How transferable is such ownership? How binding is an agreement made by an idiot, if he starts out unowned and agrees to become owned by a charitable society? Who might respect and/or enforce it?

      Because I think a good chunk of the underlying problem is something like broken fragments of the ‘ownership’ cluster – you have a tiny fractional obligation to subsidize an idiot, and a different tiny fractional obligation to educate an idiot, and a different tiny fractional authority to command an idiot, running through mostly separate government channels that both fuck up separately and fuck up by getting in each other’s way. It’s not quite tragedy of the commons, but it’s similar.

      And so you get things like San Fran’s public defecation problem, where you have to be careful not to step in idiot poop because the idiots are not self-owned enough to be held personally responsible, and not other-owned enough that you can find a specific guardian to berate for mismanagement of his ward.

    • > No one *wants* to have an IQ of 85 or below, and it seems monstrous to shun people for something they can’t control…

      It baffles me that so many people care whether people have “caused” their own problems through their non-existent free will or not. I would not want a violent criminal in my neighborhood regardless of whether it was childhood trauma, a birth defect or an evil wizard that caused him to be so.

      The vaunted content of someone’s character is almost as hereditary as IQ, but we are fine with judging people based on it.

    • If you do not insist on running government as a massive business that can account for everyone on its ledger, what business of yours how many defectives there are?

      If they die they die, if someone else helps them learn how to live, they learn how to live.

      We’ve never had a really wonderful answer to the question, and there is no law of physics that says we must have one.

  11. “On the other hand, Bloomberg is broadly correct about the effect of disarming minorities, if it could actually be accomplished.”

    I’m less than confident that disarming minorities would reduce the among-minorities homicide rate, even if it could actually be accomplished. Even if some sort of “magic wand” (or Gorean “Fire death of the Priest Kings”) gun control could be implemented, I give it no better than an even chance that the overall homicide rate would go down. And anything less than magic-wand 100% disarming would just make the problem worse.

    • Look at their 3rd world tribal relations, not armed with guns or even metal tools, and tell me again that disarmament actually accomplishes interpersonal peace.

      Hint: the more primitive the tribe, the more likely murder is to be the leading cause of death. (I recall reading of one where it was the ONLY cause of death in adult males.)

  12. Unrelated, but I figure it would be of interest to some in this crowd: apparently the Linux Foundation has officially and publicly cancelled a programmer from one of their cons, largely over a picture of him wearing a MAGA hat in front of the Trump Tower. There’s reference to a video that I didn’t see a link to but from what I’m reading there wasn’t anything bad in it. Here’s the article: https://reclaimthenet.org/linux-foundation-censorship-kubecon/

    h/t Vox Day.

  13. “The answer is obvious: universal “disarmanent” – let’s move towards a gun-free society. Incidently, cities should favour “active mobility” e.g. ebikes, over cars, which would save many lives. Together with universal healthcare, one could save 100k lives per annum with these three measures.”

    Balderdash.
    The guns aren’t the problem, it’s some of the people, and with or without the guns, they are still the problem.

  14. If Bloomberg had said “We ought to disarm everyone with an IQ of 85 or below”, he would actually be more statistically correct than he was.

    Except a lot of states already do this, at least on paper, by requiring a gun safety certifications, remember all tests are g loaded.

    Of course, the above doesn’t actually keep guns out of the hands of low IQ thugs. In fact, I’m guessing nearly all the low IQ thugs shooting people don’t have the appropriate certification.

    Two thoughts on this:

    1) Any attempt at gun control even among the low IQ is likely to be anarcho-tyranical in practice, i.e., even low IQ non-thungs want to defend themselves, especially if they live in a neighborhood with lot’s of low IQ thugs.

    2) The purpose of the kind of gun control Bloomberg advocates isn’t to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys; it’s to make bad guys easier to convict. It’s a lot easier to prove a bad guy has a gun than to prove he shot someone in a neighborhood where witnesses are afraid to speak out.

    • I once found myself at voir dire for a trial at which the defendant was charged with gun possession. At first I thought “aha, I have an opportunity to strike a blow for the second amendment. I will try to get on this jury and vote to acquit”. But as both lawyers presented their perspectives of the background of the case, I could clearly hear them both very loudly not saying that the defendant had in fact shot someone with the gun, but that for some reason he wasn’t being charged with that, and quite possibly no evidence of it would be presented at trial. To me that meant that he was very probably someone who should not be on the street, and yet if I got on the jury my conscience would make me vote to put him there. So instead of shutting up about jury nullification, as I would normally do, when the judge asked whether everyone understood that we would have to accept his word about the law to be applied, I spoke up and got kicked off.

  15. At least you don’t have a MAGA hat selfie, otherwise you could be banned from every conference

    https://reclaimthenet.org/linux-foundation-censorship-kubecon/

    But trace the IQ and lack of impulse control, and you find out of wedlock births. So are we going to discourage inner city women from “have a kid, get a check, WIC, SNAP/EBT, Section 8 housing…”?

    The problem with creating protected victim classes is they can weaponize it.

      • Reddit is working at becoming the fourth leg of the Google-Facebook-Twitter weasel…

        Their SJW tendencies seem to have increased since Tencent bought in…

        • They’re playing the long game. They’re hoping to pick up these companies for cheap once they kill themselves with SJW virtue-signaling.

    • That’s why I keep attacking the child support system. Go back to the way the law read in 1900 (no marriage license = no support, except for rape) and the lion’s share of these barbarians would never be born. It’s not as though women have fewer birth control options today than then.

      • But then you have to teach birth control, and that’s a wasp’s nest all its own, not to mention there was probably a lot more “leave the baby on the front steps of the orphanage” back before child support was mandatory. So unfortunately, it’s not nearly as easy as you think.

        • not to mention there was probably a lot more “leave the baby on the front steps of the orphanage” back before child support was mandatory.

          That’s being optimistic. I invite anyone to research foundling hospitals, and be prepared for horrors.

  16. > If Bloomberg had said “We ought to disarm everyone with an IQ of 85 or below”, he would actually be more statistically correct than he was. That would still be pretty near impossible.

    I’ve wondered about the lower firearm murder rates in countries like Australia (where I live) and whether that might be related to the licensing system. What if it worked by creating a minimum IQ barrier to firearm ownership?

    I’m looking at getting my license here in Victoria. There is a somewhat labyrinth application process, involving a fair bit of motivation, planning, and forward thinking. Not a _lot_, but it’ll take enough of my cycles that I’ve been putting it off for a while.

    No idea how you’d test this idea.

    • A good stats guy can do this: my next-door neighbor at university could, and he was sorta dumb (;-))

    • There are fewer gun murders in Australia because guns are less readily available in Australia. But murderers gonna murder, and the decline in gun deaths is usually partially made up for by an uptick in homicides by other means; in the UK there have been calls for bans on having too many kitchen knives for this reason. I suppose that once all sharp objects have been taken out of British civilian hands, the next step would be fire pokers or cricket bats. Perhaps belts and suspenders if there is a strangling epidemic.

      This extends to mass shootings. In countries where terrorists cannot commit mass murder with bullets, they tend to use slower-moving, but more massive (and more difficult to ban) projectiles, to wit: motor vehicles.

      • Yes – to be clear, I’m not in favour of Australia’s system; I’d rather we had something more like you have in the USA. I was merely wondering whether it’s not _just_ that guns are less commonly available, but also that they’re somewhat restricted by IQ.

        Of course, and I doubt this will be news to any A&D readers, this sort of thing still happens Down Under:

        https://www.news.com.au/news/national/police-searching-parkland-following-freeway-hit-on-fruiterer-paul-virgona/news-story/a15a3ebdd991e66792da5959d4cef455

      • > There are fewer gun murders in Australia because guns are less readily available in Australia.

        This at least partially overstating the case.

        The largest group in Australia most likely to lash out in unthinking violence does not have a culture of firearm ownership. The group that does (white criminals) DOES engage in gun violence from time to time.

        Also note:

        English 25.9%, Australian 25.4%, Irish 7.5%, Scottish 6.4%, Italian 3.3%, German 3.2%, Chinese 3.1%, Indian 1.4%, Greek 1.4%, Dutch 1.2%, other 15.8% (includes Australian aboriginal .5%), unspecified 5.4% (2011 est.)

        v.s.

        white 72.4%, black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.9%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 est.)

        note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total US population is Hispanic as of 2010

        Quite simply the US has a MUCH more diverse population, and the “minority” groups that Bloomberg is talking about *are not* Asians or Pacific Islanders.

        Also this is why it won’t solve the violence part of the gun violence problem.

        Well the two men took to fighting
        And when they pulled them off the floor
        Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
        With a couple of pieces gone

        and

        Well a hush fell over the pool room
        Jimmy come boppin’ in off the street
        And when the cuttin’ were done
        The only part that wasn’t bloody
        Was the soles of the big man’s feet
        Yeah he were cut in in bout a hundred places
        And he were shot in a couple more
        And you better believe
        They sung a different kind of story
        When big Jim hit the floor now they say

        • the “minority” groups that Bloomberg is talking about *are not* Asians or Pacific Islanders.

          Bloomberg’s statistical claim does include Asians and Pacific Islanders. Most years, whites commit about 5-7% of murders in NYC, and Asians or Pacific Islanders commit another 2-4%, so his claimed 95% number could be as low as 88.5% (in 2012) if you do not count Asians and Pacific Islanders as “minorities”.

          NYPD has some really good statistical reports on crime, with versions in Excel format for easier analysis.

      • “the decline in gun deaths is usually partially made up for by an uptick in homicides by other means”

        ‘usually’? You only cite the UK as evidence for this effect. It doesn’t seem to be the case in Australia. According to ABS figures I quickly looked at, the homicide and attempted homicide rate have both recorded a downward trend over the period 2009-2018 for male offenders. (Curiously, the female rate has remained steady. I do wonder if this is tied to weapons used as women are known to shoot much less often than men do.)

        The car thing appears to have died down, which suggests to me it was mainly copycat.

        • Pointing to Australia provides, at best, poor evidence that gun laws reduce violence. Australia’s homicide rates started dropping before the effective gun ban, and their non-gun suicide and homicide rates have gone down by a greater proportion than their gun suicide and homicide rates.

          If anything, the latter aspect suggests that Australia’s gun ban is diluting the effect of some other cause of reduced suicide and homicide rates.

    • This does nothing to prevent illegal acquisition of weapons, nor does it filter those who couldn’t care less about the law. It only filters among the law-abiding.

      Or, why in the U.S. the crime rate among concealed-carry permit holders is between minuscule and nonexistent. It’s already selected for the most law-abiding. It does nothing to prevent a street thug from buying or stealing a black-market gun (which are abundant, or so many street thugs wouldn’t have them).

  17. > close to 95% of all murders are committed by minority males between 15 and 25

    Where does this statistic come from? According to the FBI (https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-3.xls), almost 30% of murder offenders in 2018 were white. It is hard to separate “white Hispanic” from other whites in that table, but it is clear that more than 5% of murders are committed by people outside that age range, and by whites. 2018 is entirely in line with earlier and longer-term statistics in this regard.

    • >it is clear that more than 5% of murders are committed by people outside that age range

      Oh shit, I left out a crucial adjective. I’ve gone back and corrected it. Remember Bloomberg is a huge gun-grabber – he was referring to 95% of gun murder.

      As I said in the OP, I don’t think that figure is quite right – on the stats I know you can’t ironclad-assert more than 85%, and though there is reason to suspect that might be an undercount I myself would be wary of pushing the claim above 90%. That said, Bloomberg is in the right ballpark – gun murder is a very concentrated phenomenon in the U.S. and strongly associated with drug-trade turf wars. If not for those our murder rate would look like Switzerland’s or Norway’s.

      Your 30% of white offenders are real but much less likely to use guns. This isn’t because they don’t have access; it’s a case of drug-trade gang-bangers being so very willing to pop caps into each other that they drive other forms of gun murder almost into the statistical noise.

      • From what I can tell, your original version accurately reported what Bloomberg said — it appears he made the claim in 2015 at the Aspen Institute, and it was contemporaneously refuted.

        In New York City, his numbers are closer to correct, but it’s still only 95-ish% if you look at all minority murder (and non-negligent manslaughter) suspects, regardless of age; that PDF is 2014, to reflect the data available when he made the comment, and the one for 2018 shows very similar numbers. But it is very important to note that it is only based on New York City’s numbers.

        I unsuccessfully tried to find comparable statistics for other cities with high total murder counts. Baltimore is terrible — they had 309 homicides in 2018, and only arrested 21 people, far too few to draw meaningful statistics. (Talk about a breakdown of lawful society!) Chicago does not break down homicide arrestees by race or ethnicity. New Orleans does not provide any statistical breakdown for murders (either based on victim or suspect), nor does Detroit — and Detroit’s police department has not published any statistics since 2016’s. St. Louis only breaks crimes down by neighborhood.

        So Bloomberg was talking strictly about NYC; it is not clear that his claim is true for other cities, and his claim is demonstrably false for the nation as a whole.

        • >From what I can tell, your original version accurately reported what Bloomberg said

          Huh. So I misunderstood him to be saying something that is almost true when he is in fact full of shit.

          I’ll have to update the post.

      • That data does not support the 95% claim in any way.

        Whether we look at 2017, the year you pointed at, or at 2018, the numbers are similar: excluding murderers of unknown sex, about 12% of the rest are female, and another 41-42% are males older than 29. That is, fewer than half of murderers (of known sex) are males between the ages of 13 and 29. Thus, far fewer than 95% of murders were committed by minority males between the ages of 15 and 25.

        None of the FBI tables support counting murderers by minority status (because they do not separate “white Hispanic” or “non-white Hispanic” from the overall “Hispanic” count, and more offenders have “unknown” ethnicity than known), or by weapons used, but the values in Expanded Homicide Data Tables 8 and 9 make it implausible that 13-to-29-year-old male murder offenders — again, regardless of minority status — are responsible for 95% of firearm murders. Even 85% of gun murders are not plausibly attributable to 15-to-25-year-old minority offenders.

  18. ESR, I have an unrelated political question that I’d be interested in knowing your opinion on.

    Do you think the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme and the naming of Eric Ciamarella as the leaker are potential preference cascade memes that have a chance of breaking the back of the mainstream media and the tech monopolies attempts to destroy free speech?

    • >Do you think the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme and the naming of Eric Ciamarella as the leaker are potential preference cascade memes that have a chance of breaking the back of the mainstream media and the tech monopolies attempts to destroy free speech?

      Wow, that would be nice. Too soon to tell.

      But you just named the two phenomena that might induce me to vote for Trump in 2020.

      • Considering that the LP and Green parties have joined the ranks of the ultra-far-left, I’m not sure how anyone who can even tolerate being in the same room as the first and second amendments *couldn’t* vote for Trump in 2020.

        • I realize that the Libertarian Party has lost it’s fookin mind, but how do you consider it “ultra-far left”?

          The Greens *started out* as watermelons, they’ve always held down the far left side of the overton window.

  19. “close to 95% of all gun murders are committed by minority males between 15 and 25”

    Reference? I know that some minorities have a much higher rate of violent crime than the average, but that number sounds implausibly high to me.

    • >Reference?

      You really ought to ask Bloomberg, not me – I’d put the figure a little lower. One of the best known statistics in this area is that 85% of all shootings are associated with the inner-city drug trade. Unfortunately I haven’t succeeded in quickly formulating a search that turns up a source for this I can link you to, and I’m working on a deadline.

      One reason you should consider Bloomberg’s 95% credible is that a figure that high is what lawyers call an “admission against interest” – does not serve his repeatedly demonstrated desire to disarm people who are not minority males ages 15-25. Really, if us white guys are less than 5% of the problem, throwing megabucks at organizations like Everytown and demonizing the NRA doesn’t make any sense.

      • I’m not too confident in Bloomy’s stats either, but a ‘sub-statistic’ that has sounder footing is that ~95% of black firearm homicide victims are killed by other blacks.

        Black on black violent crime is horrifyingly disproportionate. They’re killing each other at a rate that would make the Klan blush.

        • That number is a tad under 90%, according to the FBI’s statistics. (88.5% in 2017, 88.9% in 2018, with the data not broken out by victim/offender race in earlier years.)

          It was a bit over 80% in both 2017 and 2018 for whites, so I think the statistics reflect more on the nature of crime than on the respective races.

          • No, the statistics reflect far more on cultural pathologies.

            This isn’t even marginally arguable. Look at the homicide hotspots…they are overwhelmingly dominated by black-on-black homicide.

            Controlling for these hotspots leaves us with a firearm homicide rate lower than europe.

            We don’t have a gun problem – we have a black thug culture problem.

            PS. and an increasing hispanic thug culture problem.

          • If a black person is found dead, due to one or more bullet wounds, it is practically a goddamn fucking certainty that some other black guy killed them.

            Go find a cop that would argue otherwise.

            No more gaslighting on this issue.

            • It is almost as certain a thing that if you find a white murder victim who was shot to death, another white person was the one who pulled the trigger.

              Statistics do not become “gaslighting” just because you dislike them or because they show you exaggerated.

  20. There are other weapons than guns. Knifes, crowbars, hammers. USSR had an extremely strong anti-gun policy but plenty of violent crime. Or the modern London is another example of a high-crime area that tries to fight crime by prohibiting the “weapons”, all the way down to the screwdrivers and pliers. USSR also forbade the unarmed martial arts like karate.

  21. Re: Bloomberg and disarming minorities.

    They already have!

    Or, more precisely, the law abiding ones in Blue Cities and States. AKA the ones who don’t murder other community members but are most likely to be killed by the ones who won’t follow the laws..

    • ESR reserves the right to make accusations of “real racism” against people to his right so he doesn’t want to acknowledge that the whole word is a content-less slur.

  22. I think the real problem with Bloomberg’s remark is not that it reads as shockingly racist, it’s that reading it that way leaves us unable to deal with the truth he is telling. Because he’s right…. What should we do with it?

    Personally, I feel the first step is to somehow discredit the widespread expectation that some sort of Great Man of History (whether through an academic analysis, or wearing the robes of government authority) can swoop in and hand down some complete solution to social problems. Or maybe even more narrowly, discredit the idea that no matter how {clever | educated | world-wise} the speaker is, social problems with a complex description cannot admit solutions which a lay audience will grasp from a simple description. (Yes, that includes “just ban guns from {group}”, no matter how that group gets defined.)

    More topically, I am solidly of the opinion that “we”, as the greater American society, do nothing — except empower (and, to a far lesser extent, possibly advise) the affected communities to select and implement their own solutions. I consider it rather extraordinary claims that (a) neighborhoods across the country from Chicago to St Louis to Memphis to NYC to LA to … will have similar social organization and support systems simply for having a similar racial population, or that (b) that a common feature other than said social structures would allow one common change, implemented across any of these neighborhoods, to yield consistent results in improving their situation.

    • If we’re going by intelligence, avians have evolved pretty far. Corvids and some parrots, in particular, are damn near human-tier.

      Not bad for literal, actual dinosaurs.

      • I would also argue that the brain tissue of parrots and corvids (at the very least) is probably smarter, ounce-for-ounce, than human brain tissue.

        • >I would also argue that the brain tissue of parrots and corvids (at the very least) is probably smarter, ounce-for-ounce, than human brain tissue.

          We probably don’t have to guess about this. Good estimates of neuron density should be possible even from high-quality images of brain tissue, let alone sections taken for the purpose.

          • I may have mentioned this before…

            I have a little Green Cheeked Conure, which are not know for being good talkers. When he was a few months old, he had been repeating stuff he had heard before I got him that ended with “me”, like “Do you hear me?”. One day he was talking to himself, and I heard something and I said, “Did you say, ‘Me’?” He paused for a sec and then, all excited, said, “I is me! I am parrot, me! I me, me!” He just thought it was wonderful – presumably the fact that “I” and “me” mean the same thing.

            Another evening around the same time, he was chattering to himself, and paused for a second, and then said, “Scared-sweet. Scared-sweet. I am scared and I am sweet.” It is a good example because he assembled the sentence word for word… although maybe he knows “I am” as a phrase rather than separate words.

            Some background: He picked up “I am”, very early, presumably when I was saying, “I am Brian. You are Tommy.” The “scared” business came from a guy that said, “Oh, are you scared?” in a particularly nasty and intense way. Tommy picked up the word “scared”, quickly learned about questions, and was often going, “Are you scared? I am. I am scared. Scared. I am scared.” and like that. He also picked up how to use the word “and”.

            Words are his favorite toys. He assembles sentences on the fly every day – multiple times per hour, when he is in the mood.

            Anyone that thinks I am nuts (about this) should check out “Alex the parrot” on YouTube.

        • Statestarcodex.com/2019/03/25/neurone-and-intelligence-a-birdbrained-perspective/
          ‘Elephants have about 7,000 neurons per mg of brain tissue. Humans have about 25,000. Birds have up to 200,000.’

          Also, according to D&D thief class and magic users have both high dexterity and intelligence. Higher metabolism can’t hurt intelligence.

  23. Thing is, gun control alone is pretty pointless. Education helps one design weapons more effective than any weapon one could buy. Education control seems the natural complement to gun control.

  24. How many are killed by legally obtained and possesed guns versus the number killed by illegally possesed guns.(I believe most are not legally possesed). In order for this plan to have any possibility of success the enforcement agencies must be able to control legal and illegal weapons equally, otherwise, only criminals will have them.

    How will enforcement be implemented? Will the police obtain a warrant or will a blanket warrant be issued? Will they even need to have a warrant to enter homes and vehicles to confiscate guns whether or not they were legally obtained. Will minority members of law enforcement be stripped of their weapons.or will there be exceptions. How will this apply to the military.

    • I would suggest investing in body-bag manufacturer companies…and perhaps sending some money to charities that support the families of fallen law enforcement officers.

      It ain’t gonna be pretty.

  25. This thread has gone rather loony and is filling my inbox with a noticeably lower quality of comments than I usually see on this blog. Time to bail.

    • >This thread has gone rather loony and is filling my inbox with a noticeably lower quality of comments than I usually see on this blog. Time to bail.

      Upon reflection, I went back and spam-binned most of the slime trail this guy (lll/cnv/CosmicQuestion/noone) left on the thread. It contributed little or nothing to any substantive discussion (too crazy for that), and shipping it to akismet improves the odds that if he attempts to post here again it will land in the spam queue rather than getting inflicted on my regulars. If he posts anything substantive (not that I consider this likely) I will release it.

      I think it’s all MikeeUSA, and I think his mind is disintegrating. Reminds of the last days of Roger Phillips, though MikeeUSA is not as yet exhibiting the full-blown schizophasia we saw in that case. Difference is that I regretted having to ban Roger; I rather liked him before he went crazy. I won’t regret losing this pustule at all.

      • Those last few piles of excrement he left had descended into near-incomprehensible word salad. I was on the point of suggesting that he had been allowed more than enough rope, but the ban hammer had already been applied.

        • >CosmicQuestion is a different person, who does not grasp English fully. Apparently a German.

          I don’t know which IP he is. If he sends me a polite request by email I will unblock him.

      • I don’t think Cosmic Question was Mikee, but the rest certainly were. They’re both BTFO’d now so it matters little at this point.

  26. @ESR,

    Eh, there is a simpler way: disarm ex-convicts. This is extremely defensible, because the whole point of criminal justice punishment is to lose certain basic (constitutional?) rights, based on the logic that the law only defends the rights of those who themselves do not break it. So I think you could defend that on 2nd Amendment grounds, if the Constitution allows confining a burglar to a cell for ten years, it clearly cannot oppose disarming him for another thirty.

    However it requires that criminals are caught and convicted at an earlier phase. As far as I can tell, crime is a career, one tends to commit more and more serious acts and it is too late when you catch someone at the stage of shooting and robbing someone. It has to happen at an earlier stage. Ideally at the level of violence committed in high school.

    That is not easy, because when the police are overburdened with bureaucracy and understaffed on the streets, the first consequence is that they are going to ignore everything but murder or serious violence. Try to report that some vandal broke a window on your car gets shrugs in Britain, in many European countries, I wonder if it is also so in many parts of the US.

    • If this could be somehow done, it would have a very important secondary effect: the released criminal cannot go back to the ghetto and back to the gang, if he is succesfully disarmed he is less useful to the gang and word goes around that he is an easy victim. He has to start a new life somewhere else, and it would break up gangs pretty well, I think.

    • >Eh, there is a simpler way: disarm ex-convicts.

      By law, felons in the U.S. lose their 2A rights. I don’t remember whether this restriction was brought in by the Gun Control Act of 1968 or one of the followup “reforms” in the 1970s, and it doesn’t matter much; it’s been that way for at least 40 years now.

      It didn’t help. At all. You’ll figure out why if you think about it for three minutes.

      • As if felons really care about if they break the law or not. They already went to jail, so what is another stint in jail to them?
        I don’t know why people keep thinking laws are going to restrain law breakers.

        • I don’t know why people keep thinking laws are going to restrain law breakers.

          It’s more general than that. Activist types seem to think laws, at least the laws they want to apply to other people, are magically self-enforcing.

          One manifestation of this is bleeding heart-types advocating for silly over-intrusive laws and then being outraged when someone (typically a black) gets beat up or killed by a cop while resisting arrest for violating said law.

          The converse manifestation is people saying that they don’t oppose law X, they just oppose using violence to enforce it.

          • >The converse manifestation is people saying that they don’t oppose law X, they just oppose using violence to enforce it.

            Incoherent garbage. The law is, definitionally, those rules backed by force.

            I can’t imagine a libertarian making this mistake. Is there some identifiable political flavor that does, or is this just individual weak thinkers? Sheesh…

            • The current example is all the Democrats saying “we aren’t for open boarders, we just oppose using violence to enforce immigration laws”.

              • >The current example is all the Democrats saying “we aren’t for open boarders, we just oppose using violence to enforce immigration laws”.

                Well, it’s an answer. The fact that it’s a completely idiotic one is not your fault.

            • I can’t imagine a libertarian making this mistake. Is there some identifiable political flavor that does, or is this just individual weak thinkers? Sheesh…

              In my experience, it’s a manifestation of people in general not thinking more than one consequence away on any given issue. I find it often in people who don’t/can’t/won’t understand that a fine is still backed by lethal force. Political flavor doesn’t seem to matter. The Immediate Cop is understandable; the Post-Fine Delayed Cop is never considered. Or, if it is, it’s in a hand wavy abstract way, along with some snide pedantry about what prompted the cop’s arrival not being the original infraction.

              Actually, that makes the mistake even stranger; it’s like Statism failing badly at disguising itself as anti-authoritarianism. It might be the echoing vestigial remains of the classic liberal ideals in a conflicting culture that hasn’t yet entirely snuffed them out.

              • I think the explanation too often is along the lines of “Well, if they’d just obeyed the law none of that would have happened!”

                It’s left as an exercise for the reader to consider what dangers lie in wait there.

            • It’s not restricted one particular political group, that’s for sure. OK, we’re going to outlaw abortions. What happens next? Oh, we have women being arrested for miscarriages! (And one in three pregnancies ends in a what?)

              • You don’t have to go to what happens next. Women arrested for controlling their own bellies is bad enough. ‘Safe, legal, and rare’- Bill Clinton was a good governor when he wasn’t taking bribes from Microsoft’s competitors to sic the Justice Department on Microsoft and break the dot.com boom.

            • I am sort of a libertarian heretic, trying to keep from it as much as I can while discarding as much as I think I have to. But I am just thinking it one level higher than usual, I think. Wide-range policies are hard to enforce, hence criminals won’t obey them. Policies designed for ex-convicts target a relatively small population who have lost certain rights and the sympathies of the voters anyway, and thus should be feasible to enforce them. The idea of successful enforcement does not even mean that they will be forced to obey that law – it just means that those who don’t get locked up again which is a good enough outcome.

              This sort of thing is far more logical than, say, expecting everybody to give up their guns or something, because there are no ways to always frisk or home-search everybody plus that would be unpopular and unconstitutional. So criminals will keep them. Mass policies are thus stupid, and indeed the typical failure mode of idealistic activist thinking.

              But narrowly targeted policies don’t suffer from such failure modes.

        • This is one of exceptional cases where the “d’uh, law-breakers gonna break the law” argument does not really apply.

          If everybody is disarmed, law-breakers will keep their guns and get away with it, because there are no resources to frisk everybody and search every home.

          If only felons are disarmed, it should be possible to frisk and house-search them often enough to find that gun. In which case you can ship them back to jail and thus the objective of rendering them less dangerous is achieved anyway.

          This is sort of a general principle. Yeah, the war on drugs cannot be won because you cannot search every home. Sure, but when a drug dealer is released from prison, it is not possible to register his address and just search that address regularly? Should at least mitigate the problem, methinks.

        • It’s not so much that felons don’t care if they break the law or not, as it is a case of felons being in a “as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb” position. Except for those ex-cons who want to go straight & honest. Who are the felons who we least want to forbid firearm ownership to.

          • OK, that is a very good point. Like how burglars murder witnesses if the penalty for burglary is high, as it reduces their chances of getting caught.

            That sounds like a general dilemma of criminal justice design. If you pull a Draco and just hang every law-breaker, you give a strong incentive for turning smaller crimes into larger crimes if that way there is a higher chance of getting away with it or is more lucrative. If you create a gradual punishment system with less serious crimes having lower penalties, from murder down to pickpocketing, you end up with a system that has very little effect on pickpockets. Is that even solvable?

            Let’s also face something. The modern criminal justice system is not actually intended to punish in the usual sense of the word. I mean, there are even conjugal visits. Almost all the suffering in it comes from accidental, not essential features from overcrowding to gang violence to prison rape. It seems the intent of the system is simply to take criminals out of circulation so that they stop predating on everybody else for a while. I think sooner or later someone should make up their minds about what it is really for. If it is intended to punish, bring back the whipping post. If it is simply intended to isolate criminals from the rest to render them not dangerous for the rest, you could create whole convict towns with all the amenities for normal life and with all normal freedoms except leaving it. Sorta reinvent Australia :D In which case there is no cruelty problem with long sentences. Nor such a lamp-sheep determent problem.

            • The modern criminal justice system is not actually intended to punish in the usual sense of the word. I mean, there are even conjugal visits. Almost all the suffering in it comes from accidental, not essential features from overcrowding to gang violence to prison rape.

              The modern criminal justice system evolved to satisfy two constraints:

              1) Ensure people, at least people with enough collective political power to matter, can go about their business without having to worry about being mugged, raped, or killed.

              2) Middle class liberals aren’t hearing stories about “cruel” or “unseemly” things being done in their name.

              What I mean by “evolved” is that whenever either of the above constraints is violated, people kick up a fuss and force “something to be done about it”.

              When looked at from the point of view of the above constraints the system as you described makes perfect sense. By causing criminals to suffer, the system satisfies constraint (1). By making the suffering seem to come from accidental features of the system it satisfies constraint (2).

            • You don’t know what you’re talking about. Prison is at best extremely
              unpleasant. It often causes permanent damage to the prisoner’s
              physical and mental health. Consider that every homeless person knows
              he could deliberately get himself sent to prison if he thinks it
              would be safer or more pleasant than sleeping outdoors in freezing
              temperature and eating out of garbage cans, but that almost none of
              them ever do so. As for conjugal visits, they exist in only 4 of the
              50 state prison systems, and then only for a very select subset of
              prisoners. Nor do they exist in federal prisons. See
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugal_visits#United_States

      • Yes, but you started with “if it could actually be accomplished”.

        If one assumes away enforcement problems, then it is ideal because past criminal behavior is the best predictor of future criminal behavior.

        If one does not assume away enforcement problems, then the non-criminal part of said minority would give it up, the criminal part of it not, and all that was achieved that the non-criminal part is even more defenseless against the criminal part.

        BTW in case of felons enforcement should not be that impossible. “OK, you can get out after 5 years instead of 8, but you wear this GPS tracker for 10 years that means you will be subject to random frisking and house searches. Deal?” I’d take it.

    • Aside from the fact that it doesn’t work there are other problems:

      1. Somehow, miraculously, our country survived for just under 200 years with felons being able to buy the latest and most effective weaponry just as easily as the average person. Now admittedly one could say that back then if you did some Really Bad Shit(tm) you would swing at the end of a rope and the problem would be solved. And fair point. But on the flip side “felon” is a meaningless word these days. Just to use an example I’m familiar with: is the barrel on your rifle 15.995 inches long? Congratulations! You are now a Felon! And no, if you dig you will not find a good excuse for that law existing.

      2. I don’t consider any of the set of arguments “proven to not be trustworthy” or “debt of society”, etc to be legitimate basis for a legal system. A criminal hurts someone, it is that person (or their legal heirs as the case may be) to whom the debt is owed. And if we are going with the “proven yourself untrustworthy” argument then in the situation where someone has “proven themselves” so much they are not allowed to defend themselves then they shouldn’t be walking around in the first place.

      Try to report that some vandal broke a window on your car gets shrugs in Britain, in many European countries, I wonder if it is also so in many parts of the US.

      And you would be right. We even have a map of where it is likely to happen (the tallest blue areas): https://metrocosm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/election-map-by-county-3d-1.png

    • A comment in an SSC open thread a few years ago that nicely sums it up:

      …Do you have any idea how many gun laws there are already? All the common-sense gun control laws were passed forty years ago. The maybe-this-will-work laws were passed thirty years ago. The now-we’re-just-fucking-with-you laws came in during the Nineties, and failed to do a lick of good, exactly as predicted.

      https://slatestarcodex.com/2015/06/18/ot22-flow-my-tears-the-policeman-thread/#comment-213937

      With the caveat that we don’t even agree with a lot of the “common sense” laws. But they have been in place for long enough that no one gets to say “maybe we should try this”.

    • > Eh, there is a simpler way: disarm ex-convicts.

      For how long? I was falsely convicted of a non-violent crime 42 years
      ago. My record is otherwise perfectly clean, before and since. I
      served my sentence, and was promptly hired by my alleged victim, who
      knew I was innocent. A few years later, I got a security clearance,
      and was entrusted with untraceable read-write access to all active
      duty US military medical records. But it’s still an automatic
      five-year sentence if I possess a firearm or ammunition, or even if
      I’m alone in a house or vehicle that contains an unsecured firearm
      or unsecured ammunition.

      I *am* allowed to vote. Do you think I should vote for the party that
      supports gun rights for you, but not for me, and which wants to strip
      me of my voting rights? Or the party that, for all its flaws, supports
      criminal justice reform?

      Not that it should matter, but I’m white, score well on IQ-type tests,
      did well in school, and have never used tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.
      And of course I’ve never been a gang member.

      Our host has known me for 33 years, and can attest to all of the above.

  27. Forgive me, but … can we have an open thread to discuss Epstein, ABC spiking the story, Weinstein, NBC spiking that story, etc? Pretty please?

    • >Forgive me, but … can we have an open thread to discuss Epstein, ABC spiking the story, Weinstein, NBC spiking that story, etc? Pretty please?

      Maybe I lack imagination, but I can’t see that it wouldn’t simply revisit ground that is already well-trodden on dozens of blogs.

  28. “As if felons really care about if they break the law or not. They already went to jail, so what is another stint in jail to them?
    I don’t know why people keep thinking laws are going to restrain law breakers.”

    An oft misunderstood aspect of a system of justice, is that it’s not really there to prevent crime, it’s not there to punish criminals, it’s not even there to protect the citizenry from the criminals. While these may well be laudable goals, it’s primary purpose is to protect the power structure, by convincing us that justice is available, and more or less works

    Because otherwise it’s time for pitchforks and torches, and a harvest of strange fruit.

    • Willingness to break one law at one time =/= Willingness to break all laws at any time.

      Nearly all criminals can make risk/reward evaluations and refrain from crimes that could easily get them busted for little gain, at least part of the time. They’re opportunistic, which means picking and choosing. That’s why there’s an epidemic of shoplifting and similar “petty” theft in Califomia and other jurisdictions that have effectively decriminalized such acts. (Theft under IIRC $900 is now a misdemeanor, and prosecutors don’t even pursue most cases, or settle for a fine.)

      Furthermore, they don’t want police attention that would interfere with on-going criminal activity. Some of the safest, most cautious drivers are dope couriers.

      Most ex-cons don’t want to go back to prison. No booze, crummy food, no women And being ordered around by the guards. Some would rather die: “You’ll never take me alive, coppers!”

      • Nearly all criminals can make risk/reward evaluations and refrain from crimes that could easily get them busted for little gain .. Some of the safest, most cautious drivers are dope couriers.

        I’m gonna take a stab and say you’ve never spent any time in close association with law enforcement. Because the experience on the ground is exactly the opposite of what you say.

        Criminals are positively horrible at risk/reward calcs. They will spend far more effort to steal $100 than it would have taken to earn it. Repeat offenders are the norm. And the new crime is almost always worse than the prior. And adding weapons into the mix (as is the topic here) is always how the perps make it easy for the LEO to “pile on” charges. And dope dealers routinely get arrested for some of the stupidest things while driving.

        All this from my LEO friends here in low crime rural Arkansas. Go to Baltimore (e.g.) and multiply it by 10x.

        On a more humorous note, while IQ has a strong correlation to crime, there is something stronger. One night while waiting to finish something on the computers at a nearby jail, I spent hours flipping thru hundreds of mugshots in their database. There is one correlation among the criminals that is striking … with very rare exception, attractive people don’t get arrested. So there you have it: ugly people => criminals.

        And some of you who are both stupid and ugly now know you are doomed.

  29. I have been seeing quotes like this on technology centered boards:

    Settle down, Stallman. Go diddle some jailbait and calm yourself.

    Can someone explain this meme to me?

  30. > Generally speaking, the costs people are willing to pay to buy security track the actual threat level. Low-cost measures may stick after the threat has receded, high-cost ones tend to decay rapidly.

    Malum prohibitum laws in general are notorious for being high-cost, low-benefit, and supported anyway because the costs are hidden, diffuse, and/or imposed on Someone Else, while the benefits (or purported benefits) are visible and can be pointed at. My bet would be on the sundown laws being passed in a panic of “Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do it!” and then kept in place for all the usual public-choice economics reasons.

    Request for information: How many of those sundown laws had exceptions for live-in servants?

    I know that the train-passenger segregation law upheld in Plessy had an exception of “nothing in this act shall be construed as applying to nurses attending children of the other race.” If the sundown laws had similar exceptions (either officially or unofficially), the costs on the VIP residents whose support was needed might be less than you’re imagining.

    • One of the elements that needs to factor in is ease and cost of enforcement. Enforcing drug laws can be hard because drugs are small and easy to conceal. As long as someone is willing to engage in their sale/manufacture/use discreetly, the odds of being caught and punished on a per-infringement basis are likely pretty low absent significant police resource involvement. Sundown law violations would be pretty easy to detect and hard to hide. “There’s a black person!” “Yup!”. Wearing clown makeup is obvious, and hiding in hay bales doesn’t let you go about doing anything useful.

    • >Request for information: How many of those sundown laws had exceptions for live-in servants?

      I don’t know.

      I do know that sundown rules were often not formal law at all – blacks would be excluded under color of the police’s general mission to maintain civil peace and public order. That being the case, regulation was more a matter of custom than law and the townsfolk might find it perfectly natural to make exceptions for low-threat blacks with long histories in the town.

      How often this actually occurred, I have no idea. But your point about such exemptions reducing the costs of the rules and thus increasing their half-life is entirely sound.

      • Sundown laws had some psychological benefits for bigots: putting blacks in their place, and good ol’ boys having fun enforcing the law.

        • When they took the sundown sign down in Pekin Illinois 1979 a kid I knew from Sunday School went around the South Side of Peoria in the back of his big brother’s pickup throwing cement blocks at black people, so yes.
          Wasn’t even a real bad dude. Otherwise.

              • >Nah, fam. Jim Crow was everywhere in one form or another.

                That’s actually not true, or can be made true only by extending the scope of “Jim Crow” in a way that confuses two fundamentally different phenomena.

                Properly speaking, Jim Crow refers to laws mandating segregation in public facilities and businesses. With just one major exception – Woodrow Wilson’s segregation of the military in 1913 – these were in fact a Southern phenomenon, enacted in states that underwent Reconstruction.

                What is often missed about them is that they were imposed from above precisely because businesses and the general population were moving in the other direction, rapidly integrating blacks into civil life. Democrats of the post-Reconstruction saw this as a threat to their effective monopoly on political power and passed Jim Crow laws to prevent it.

                Bottom-up segregation like sundown rules or real estate agents refusing to sell houses in white neighborhoods to blacks reached further north, but was different in that they reflected popular feeling rather than thwarting it.

            • If anything I might expect sundown laws/customs to be more common in the North than the South. There’s an old saw that “Southerners don’t mind Negroes being close as long as they don’t get uppity, and Northerners don’t mind Negroes being uppity as long as they don’t get close.”

              • Yes, it’s a Midwest thing. Lots of Midwesterners descended from Southern whites like Abraham Lincoln who went North to avoid slavery and black people. They hated slavery because it drives down wages through the law of supply and demand, like mass immigration for the last fifty years. And Illinois is a long state- the bottom half is the sort of person who’d live in Kentucky or Missouri. And Cat Tractor had its big plant in East Peoria, and from FDR on the Fed would not give contracts to a place that excluded black people, and Pekin was the next small town from East Peoria. Thus, the sundown sign on the border between Pekin and East Peoria.
                There are still a lot of all-white small towns in Illinois. Sometimes it just happens that way, but the sketchier they are the more someone with some Africans hanging off his family tree is making it happen.

              • Man…. I guess 1979 seems like quite a while ago, but to me, it was when I started programming… didn’t Sundown Laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th
                amendment?

                When I referred to a metaphor, I was basically making a joke, but some people might not like the metaphor of africans hanging from a tree. I’m not bitching about it, but some people would.

      • In “Time Enough for Love”, in 1914, in the small town, the sheriff said the judge said law was (from memory) “No [blacks] or transients after sundown.”

  31. Ole massa Bloomberg done fucked up heah. He be letting folks remember dat Democrats been skeered of black folks havin’ guns eva since befo’ de cibil wo’. Now he be sayin’ dat dey betta be he’pless or dey all gonna kill theysef’.

    I think massa just skeered dat anybody wif a gun don’ be needing to do what he say.

    Fuck Bloomberg, and ever other gun-grabbin’ white trash democrat. Dey all be KKK when dey mask slip.

    • There’s a reason Bloomberg is polling at 4%. (And maybe his supporter are being taken from Biden, which would be delicious.)

  32. I would like to join a trend: Forgive me, but … can we have an open thread to discuss the RMS story, and the future of his movement? Pretty please? The dust has settled so it should be safe.

      • It has not, and I did not ask you Jeff Read. The founder of this whole movement gets canceled and there is no article here about it? Seems fishy. As if there is fear of publishing one, or there is agreement that it was right for him to be canceled. Then you come by with your catch 22: we cannot discuss this formally in an article because some people supposedly discussed it previously buried somewhere. You simply do not want to discuss it, Jeff.

        • >As if there is fear of publishing one, or there is agreement that it was right for him to be canceled.

          You weren’t here when I explained it.

          I’m wary of publicly intervening unless sure it will do RMS more good than harm, and there are reasons I’m not sure of that. There are some plausible scenarios I’m concerned about where more spotlight would be a bad thing, at least until the rage-mobs have had time to fixate good and hard on somebody else.

          Besides, I offered him any kind of help I could give by email, and he didn’t ask me to go to war on his behalf. I think that tells me that he may not want any spotlight for a while.

          I’ll do what I can, when I think it is safe to intervene. Until then I’m keeping my powder dry.

          • I emailed Richard on these issues. He assured me that he had changed his mind on the subject of pedophillia. I think he hates pedos as much as we all do, now, and understands that they and any system that supports them should be eradicated from this earth. He was emphatic on the point that he had changed his mind of his own volition after discussing the issue with a colleague, he was not forced to recant.

            I do think he should issue a statement regarding what punishments pedophiles should receive. It would show that he truly was on the correct path if he selected some very apt and relevant ideas to that measure.

            • Yeah, again I think RMS only defended pedophilia because he took some of the SJW elder statesmen seriously when they wrote that pedophiles constitute a harmless oppressed minority suffering under a puritanical society, just like gays. He’s a naïve lefty who’s prone to fall into traps like that, but he’s also definitely the type to change his mind when the facts change.

              I think the SJW movement actually doesn’t mind pedophiles at all, but they will happily use our taboos against pedophilia as a cudgel against their enemies. SJWs practice chaos magic — that’s why traditional Marxists loathe them. Beliefs and ideologies are but tools and weapons they can wield to further their own ends which usually have to do with seizing power.

              • >I think the SJW movement actually doesn’t mind pedophiles at all, but they will happily use our taboos against pedophilia as a cudgel against their enemies.

                There was a course reversal on this a few years back. Used to be you’d occasionally see cautious anti-anti-pedophilia propaganda in left-wing partisan media; trial balloons aimed at setting up persecuted-minority status that could be used to launch a normalization campaign when he time was ripe. It was a pretty exact repeat of the early stages of the de-stigmatization of homosexuality.

                An important feature of this campaign was an attempt to shift popular perception of “pedophilia” from “oh my god they’re raping little kids” to “adults having sex with teenagers who want it, how awful that we persecute forbidden luuuuuhhhhv”.

                Then came Milo Yiannopoulos. Destroying him became priority #1, so suddenly pedophilia is Not OK – and never mind that he was celebrating being on the bottom end of a relationship in his post-pubertal teens, not properly pedophilia at all.

                Milo has been deplatformed and destroyed long enough ago now that I was expecting the usual SJW/leftist suspects to do a pro-pedophilic reverse before this – there’s certainly pressure from the perverts in their own ranks for that.

                I think the Weinstein and Epstein scandals are what have delayed this. The perverts aren’t stupid; they’ll wait until the public revulsion has more or less died down to resume the creep towards normalization.

                Sigh…and conservatives, as usual, will do a spectacularly ineffective job of opposing this. By the time they’re done huffing and puffing, governments will persecute bakers for refusing to make pro-childfucking cakes. Great job, guys!

                • Sigh…and conservatives, as usual, will do a spectacularly ineffective job of opposing this. By the time they’re done huffing and puffing, governments will persecute bakers for refusing to make pro-childfucking cakes. Great job, guys!

                  From the gut who was actively cheering the homosexuality normalization while it was happening.

                  • >From the gut who was actively cheering the homosexuality normalization while it was happening.

                    Nope. I was wrong on the issue, but not that wrong. “Not opposing it” would have been a fair cop, until 2014 when it became clear that the gay activists were going to go full totalitarian on the rest of us.

                    I’m still not exercised about the things gays do in private with consenting others, what has changed is that I longer believe they’ll keep it private unless they’re re-stigmatized and shoved back in the closet. I won’t support using the force of law against them, but I want the force of law out of their hands, and I think a return to public shaming and shunning would be just return for their infringements on the liberty of others.

                    If conservatives had made the right kind of arguments I might have changed sides sooner. But if conservatives had made the right kind of arguments a lot of other bad shit could have been avoided, too. Conservative performance in the memetic wars has been beyond pathetic and into self-defeating ever since the Army-McCarthy hearings.

                    • If conservatives had made the right kind of arguments I might have changed sides sooner.

                      So it’s our fault that you didn’t find our arguments convincing? You might want to consider the possibility the problem was on your end.

                    • >So it’s our fault that you didn’t find our arguments convincing?

                      Yes. That’s generally the case in the game of persuasion.

              • @Jeff Read Yeah, again I think RMS only defended pedophilia because he took some of the SJW elder statesmen seriously…

                You may be right. But I tend to think the explanation is even simplier…

                RMS appears to me to be of the old school academic bent where it is permitted and even encouraged to explore controversial topics. I disagree vehemently with the content of some of the quotes attributed to him but would not wish to see him harmed for discussing it with the sort of academic detachment that was the norm not that long ago.

                He just didn’t keep up with the times and realize the rules have changed.

                But all I know of RMS is from far distant observation, so I might be full of it.

  33. Bloomberg’s successor repealed the stop-and-frisk policy designed to disarm minorities but the predicted bloodbath hasn’t shown up.

    Speculation: If sensitivity to environmental lead is hereditary, you might expect people whose ancestors weren’t exposed to much environmental lead until relatively recently to be more sensitive to lead. That means generalizations about them based on data from the leaded gasoline era might not hold.

    • >Speculation: If sensitivity to environmental lead is hereditary,

      I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I think environmental lead injures cognitive capacity in about the same way in everyone; the effects that look differential across populations are simply be because if you have low-IQ alleles to begin with you have less “spare” capacity you can give up before becoming a serious damage case.

      I’ve never bought the environmental-lead-explains-everything hype, though. It’s a neat story if you only look at the American statistics, but it fails to explain the same patterns of SES- and race-correlated criminality replicating lots of places and times where there wasn’t lead loading to explain it.

  34. It has been proven that IQ tests are culturally biased against foreniers, minorities, and blacks. Just because they have an average of 85 on the test doesn’t mean they are stupid, it means the test is wrong. The tests have been proven biased, and the very first IQ tests were originally designed specifically to label minorities as stupid.

    To base *anything* on average IQ test of a minority is either ignorant or racist in itself. Please don’t EVER use IQ tests as a basis for anything when talking about minorities!!

    • >It has been proven that IQ tests are culturally biased against foreniers, minorities, and blacks

      You are absolutely wrong about this. Repair your ignorance before you come back here.

      • The tests have been proven biased, and the very first IQ tests were originally designed specifically to label minorities as stupid.

        I’d certainly want some really good cites on this, as I think that modern IQ tests are carefully designed to be without cultural bias (though this may not be true for versions of the tests before – a guess – 1970 or so.) However, it does bring up an issue: What is the cause of these IQ scores? Obviously it’s to some degree either genetic or a matter of some exterior cultural or environmenal cause. The last time I read Wikipedia on the subject, the authors cited lots of studies blaming various exterior causes, ranging from lead to lack of breast-feeding, to poverty, the Flynn effect, etc. and seemed very disinterested in causes which weren’t environmental in some form… (and the latest round of edits might well have taken it back the other direction.)

        So my question/issue is this: where’s the genetic proof? Because I’m not seeing it anywhere, and I think that insisting, as you have several times in the past year, that Blacks have IQs fifteen points lower than whites is not something that should be repeated when proper genetic studies which prove this is inherited are not available. (I’m not interested in arguments that “nobody could make those studies without being driven out of academia.” There are any number of very rich people who would give a scientist who was interested in proving this a laboratory and funding.)

        You could say something like “for reasons unknown, possibly including genetic, cultural, or environmental causes, Blacts test lower on IQ tests than Whites,” but I think your current phrasing should be amended, with careful attention to what has and has not been proved.

        This also relates to your discussions matters like “low time preference.” What is your evidence that this is genetic? I certainly remember being taught to very carefully weigh the short against the long term by both parents and teachers, which argues that in my case time preference is culturally acquired. So where’s the beef? And if you can’t produce it, why are you advertising it for sale?

        • I think that insisting, as you have several times in the past year, that Blacks have IQs fifteen points lower than whites is not something that should be repeated

          Please expand on what you mean by “blacks” and “whites”, because it sounds like you’re making an equivocation error, which seems to be the source of your confusion.

          Do you understand the difference between “that person is X, therefore he is lower IQ than this Y person here” and “the average IQ of the exclusively X-comprised population is lower than the average IQ of the exclusively Y-comprised population” ?

          You understand that taking the latter formulation and pretending it is the former is a grossly dishonest thing to do, and attributing it to someone is equally so?

          where’s the genetic proof?

          Irrelevant to hilarity. It’s like taking 100 coin flips, stating the resultant outcome as a probability, then someone comes along demanding external proof of the data. Nonsensical.

          This also relates to your discussions matters like “low time preference.” What is your evidence that this is genetic?

          Why does it have to be causally genetic? Why can’t it correlate with low IQ by itself, which has always been my understanding of the topic as presented on this blog?

        • >(though this may not be true for versions of the tests before – a guess – 1970 or so.)

          Good guess, I think. I do not myself know when the culture-binding problems were first fixed, but I do know that they were fixed by 1976 because that year I took a test that didn’t have them.

          >What is the cause of these IQ scores?

          Depends on what level you mean “cause”. These days the smart money is on g being an indirect measure of several physiological factors including nerve conduction velocity, speed of glucose metabolism in the brain, degree of cortical folding, and plain old cranial volume. The relative weight of these factors is unknown, and there are likely other unidentified factors.

          If by “cause” you mean the environment vs. heredity debate, separated-twin studies have shown that IQ is at least 85% heritable. Every time somebody figures out how to do a more statistically powerful twin study, that number goes up.

          It is well understood that certain kind of environmental insults can lower IQ; childhood malnutrition is one. There is no known way to raise adult IQ permanently. A few nootropics can boost it temporarily (one is the armodafinil I occasionally take). There was great hope in past decades for various childhood interventions, but while they can raise juvenile IQ scores the effects dissipate when the brain rewires itsel at adolescence.

          >What is your evidence that [time preference] is genetic?

          Time preference is less understood than IQ, in part because it’s more difficult to measure. To the extent we can measure it, it seems to be so highly correlated with g that it may not be correct to view them as separate traits.

          My own view of the matter is that the “IQ” vs. “time preference” split mainly reflects the fact that the terms incubated in two different fields – psychometry and social psychology – and the work to establish that these are in fact talking about the same thing simply hasn’t been done yet.

          The evidence that time preference is genetic is that it at least travels in very close association with IQ, which is highly heritable.

          >I certainly remember being taught to very carefully weigh the short against the long term by both parents and teachers, which argues that in my case time preference is culturally acquired.

          I’m sure you do. You’re a Caucasian (with the soupcon of Middle Eastern that Ashkenazi have) raised (like me) in one of the handful of cultures that most values low time preference. These are also the cultures and populations with the highest average g. Do you really suppose this is a coincidence?

          You can try teaching low time preference as a life strategy to a person without the forward-planning capacity to actually run that strategy, but it won’t work. The hardware limits the cultural software.

    • IQ tests are culturally biased

      Do explain how general pattern recognition and abstraction ability are culturally biased. Are you claiming “foreniers” to a new country (which one?) are incapable of abstraction? Pretty damn bigoted of you, assuming you actually understand the first thing about IQ testing.

      Please don’t EVER use IQ tests as a basis for anything when talking about minorities!!

      Like you just did? Hm. Methinks Lysenko doth protest too much.

      • There are different kinds of IQ tests. Some of them rely on pictures, these should be quite neutral. Some of them use words. The word associations don’t work in the same way when they are in someone’s first language as when they are in the second (or Nth) language. Or for someone who is not familiar with the specific words, or with the concepts expressed by these words. These tests measure the size someone’s vocabulary more than the innate analytic ability.

        The whole world of IQ tests is also kind of funny. For example, do you know that the results are adjusted for age? The slope is very steep up to about 18 years old, so if you’ve had IQ measured at age 14, you can get a huge number just by being a little more developed than your age peers, the same raw result at age 25 will translate to nothing special if not subpar. Even more interesting, this adjustment expects a liner growth of the raw results with age after 18, to translate to the same IQ. I find this assumption that we’re supposed to get continually smarter with age a bit surprising.

        Or course, maybe it’s just an adjustment for the surviving population. After all, 100 is supposed to be the average intelligence. So if the low-IQ people die earlier on average, the average raw result will be growing with age just through the survivorship.

        • >The word associations don’t work in the same way when they are in someone’s first language as when they are in the second (or Nth) language.

          It is well understood that you have to test a person in his or her primary language to get a properly g-loaded result.

  35. Some months to a year before being canceled it was leaked that RMS had “changed his mind” about pedophillia due to private conversations. The leak was from a talk page on one of the geek feminist websites. This was discussed at length at the time on the chans: many of the anonymous posters were dejected and sad. A few months later RMS no-longer is protected regardless of whatever he says or does and is /canceled/, then he comes public with his new anti-pedo stance, and has maintained that stance.

    Is there any connection? Was he seen as a turncoat and his defenders left him? It is observed to be common for RMS to go hard in the opposite direction on an issue when he changes his mind, is he seen as an intractable enemy of pedos now?

  36. My god I’m glad I don’t have to think like a 21st century denizen. In fact there’s nothing wrong with making laws based solely on race. As this exact example demonstrates – disarming blacks would in fact drastically reduce the murder rate.

    Although this is a special case of there being no such thing as right and wrong per se, except in the sense of correct and incorrect. Can you in fact disarm blacks? America surely can’t, even if it weren’t dogmatically anti-‘racist.’ (More on the scare quotes later.) The old saw applies here: outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns. You -can- properly disarm a population, e.g. racially English England, but you have to really mean it. Thus, regardless of fantasies of right and wrong, such a policy is incorrect because the political will to implement it does not exist.

    Speaking of disarming racially English England, American ninja violence is not primarily caused by guns. Duh, wet streets don’t cause rain. You may have to be a denizen of the 21st century but you can be grateful for your ability to rise above a journalist. The violence is caused by genuine Progressive racism and white supremacy. Thus the supposed policy is incorrect on a second count, as it addresses a symptom rather than the disease.

    Namely, Progressives believe that blacks have no agency. They (at least pretend to) believe that blacks cannot be held responsible for the violence they commit. On the contrary they encourage their pets to commit more violence. They do this because they believe America blacks, as a group, cannot possibly threaten WASP Progressivism. (And so far they’ve been right; nobody asked the slaves if they -wanted- to be freed. Nobody has ever cared what American blacks want. And indeed the slaves were never freed.) Instead the violence is a useful tool against WASP middle class members and assimilated others, who -can- threaten WASP Progressivism.

    As a proxy: in 1910 or thereabouts, black bastardy was 10%. It peaked at over 80%. Evolution is faster than usually appreciated (10,000 year explosion etc.) but it’s not nearly -that- fast. The race is still the same. Policy is different, though. While circa 1910 white bastardy rate was 2%, we can still approximate 7/8ths of black dysfunction as iatrogenic Progressivism.

    Calling it iatrogenic is a bit of a joke. You’d have to be a complete moron not to have noticed the degenerating effects of affirmative action &c by this point. It was correctly predicted in advance, after all. Obviously the degeneration is intentional, or the policy would have been reversed long ago. It’s clever – killing them with ‘kind’ forgiveness for their weaknesses relative to whites. It’s extraordinarily rare to question the alleged good intentions of proggies like Bloomberg. The system works.

    The race is not the problem; the problem is explicitly racist Progressive policy. If they switched the races and applied affirmative action to whites instead, then a generation later it would be whites who were violent degenerates and blacks straight-laced. Perhaps we could try this empirically by starting a white colony in a Chinese jurisdiction. Or more accurately a baizuo jurisdiction.

    Of course I kid again. Certain segments of the white race -are- getting affirmative action, and you can already see their degeneracy in places like tumblr and ‘anti’-fascist rallies. It’s kind of a problem; American blacks are dimly realizing that they’re being cynically used as shock troops by proggies and are getting distinctly less willing to spill blood on their behalf. Thus, they have to be replaced by white shock troops, which is awfully embarrassing.

    • No, making laws based on race is a bad idea for reasons similar to why making laws that dispense with the presumption of innocence or with mens rea are bad ideas.

      It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.

      But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

      (John Adams)
      If the idea takes hold that ‘being innocent while black’ is no protection…

      • Contradiction: this has already happened to whites, and it’s still not-whites that have become violent degenerates.

        Notably I don’t even believe in ‘white’ or ‘black’ as races. Hajnal European is a reasonably useful distinction, as is Bantu.

    • >Melanin, no. Genes, yes. Violent behavior is heritable.

      Certainly. I’m aware of the effects from the 2R and 3R alleles.

      Over the whole population, though, I’m pretty sure short time horizons due to low IQ (also heritable) has a larger violence-promoting effect.

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