June 14, 2008


A couple of years ago, I was standing inside a coffee shop, fiddling with the condiments in front of the main window. At a table outside, an unbelievably gorgeous young woman, looking like Nicole Kidman's more voluptuous younger sister, was showing a middle aged man in a suit a large album of tasteful fashion photos of herself. Apparently, she was a professional model and the man was some kind of agent or editor.

"Whoa!" said the young man next to me, who looked like an unemployed bike messenger. "Check her out!"

"Yes, a beautiful girl."

"And she's got a lot of tattoos!" he exclaimed, with a wild look of excitement in his bloodshot eyes.

That struck me as, by far, the least of her charms. On further reflection, though, I assume that her tattoos signaled to him that, while you might think she wouldn't be interested in any fellow below the movie producer / hedge fund manager level, she was actually a really bad decision-maker. So, he had a chance!

You might think that a girl who wants to send that message to hungover guys who look like washed-up ex-motocross riders might find a less permanent way to advertise this fact (such as dress, make-up, or hairstyle), just in case she ever changes her mind and wants to raise her standards. But, in our culture, we have such a commitment to authenticity that countless women feel that it would be downright immoral to advertise that they are bad decisionmakers only part time. Hence, tattoos.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 13, 2008

Raise a pint in memory of Ray Crotty

The Washington Post reports:

Irish voters resoundingly rejected a treaty designed to modernize the European Union, the second time in three years that European voters have shot down a complex proposal to create more authority and world influence at the bloc's Brussels headquarters.

By defeating the Lisbon Treaty 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent in a national referendum Thursday, fewer than a million Irish voters scuttled a document that would have deeply affected the lives of nearly 500 million Europeans in the 27 member nations.

Justice Minister Brian Lenihan said the results announced Friday marked "a very sad day for the country and for Europe." Prime Minister Brian Cowen said the vote "does bring about considerable uncertainty and a difficult situation," adding: "There is no quick fix."

But jubilant opponents of the treaty called it a David-and-Goliath victory for common people, skeptical of the E.U.'s increasing influence on their lives, over an enthusiastically pro-Brussels European political establishment.

"It is a great day for Irish democracy," said Declan Ganley, a businessman who led the anti-treaty campaign. "This is democracy in action . . . and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people."

Hibernia Girl has more on the election results.

Mary Crody wrote in The Independent of Ireland:

We Owe Vote to This Man

THE actions of a Kilkenny man secured the right for three million Irish citizens to vote on behalf of 500 million Europeans in today's Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Ireland is the only country in the EU where citizens are being allowed to vote on the adoption, or not, of the Lisbon Treaty European Constitution.

Raymond Crotty's daughter Mary, and her sister Ann, who has returned from South Africa where she works as a journalist to campaign for a 'No' Vote, explained the pivotal action which their father took and which could now impact on the shape and direction Europe takes in the future.

"The French and Dutch, who were given an opportunity to vote on the European Constitution, voted against it. They are not being given an opportunity to vote on the Lisbon Treaty," she said.

"We are being afforded this right, not because our government has secured it for us, but because our father, Raymond Crotty, took the Irish government to court back in 1986.

"The Supreme Court ruled in that case that in the event of any major change within the EU that impacted upon Ireland's constitution, the government would be obliged to get approval for that change from the Irish people.

"The implications of the current treaty are so wide-ranging that lawyers who worked on our dad's case believe that, if it is implemented, it will be our last EU-related referendum."

Crotty, a farmer turned economist who died in 1994, is the creator of the lactose tolerance-centric theory of the history of everything that I mentioned back in May. Here are comments on it from an anthropologist and from Razib of GNXP, who read Crotty's little-known posthumously-published book, When Histories Collide. (About 50 pages can be read via Google Books here.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 12, 2008

India's Average IQ in 2100?

Several weeks ago, I posted a message by a commenter named Rec1Man, who has been doing a lot of work to come up with a model of India's potential average IQ. This is one of the most important questions for predicting the course of the 21st Century.

The first edition of Lynn and Vanhanen's IQ and the Wealth of Nations reported four studies from India from 1959-1986, with averages varying only across a rather narrow range of 78-82.

On the other hand, as I've pointed out since 2002, India is the most complicated country in the world, so it's hard to get a nationally representative sample.

Further, the higher IQs registered by Indians in their diaspora, like the higher IQs recorded by African Americans and West Indians compared to Africans, suggests that better nutrition, health, education, and so forth could raise the relative standing of Indians. After all, they've been plagued by extreme poverty, which is starting to abate. For example, India is particularly beset by lack of iodine in the diet, which is a relatively easy IQ-lowering problem to deal with.

Rec1Man's goal has been to come up with a model that's simple enough to comprehend. Lots of critics in the comments responded that his eight part categorization of Indian demographics was too simple. As Einstein said, Science should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Still, we need somewhere to start, so Rec1Man's model, after being refined over the last few weeks, seems like a decent starting point.

First, here is fellow commenter Nsam's verbal summary of Rec1Man's approach, followed by Rec1Man's latest quantitative summary:

Here is my attempt at a summary of rec1man's analyses. Edit as required.

This eight-segment breakdown of the Indian population provides a more accurate picture of the human resource potential of the Indian population, compared to simplistic unimodal population model with mean IQ of 85 and SD =15.

The Indian population can be grouped in terms of the four traditional caste super-categories :

1. Brahmin
2. Merchant,
3. Peasant,
4.1 Dalit ("Untouchable")
4.2 Scheduled Caste
4.3 Low caste converts to Islam

cross-cutting with a

A. North vs.
B. South

geographical distinction.

Note: The usage of the 4 caste supercategories is not literal. For the purposes of estimating national average IQ, Syrian Christians or Parsees would be lumped in with the Brahmins, and the few peasant castes with a literate tradition would be moved up to the merchant class.

The "Brahmin" and "Merchants" have had multiple generations of a literate tradition and also engaged in professions that required greater cognitive ability (memorization, calculation), compared to the "Peasants" (who formed the ranks of the warrior class and had/have the most political power) and Dalits (who also have the least amount of central-west asian-european admixture and have been engaged in menial tasks on the fringes of society). [As in the Cochran-Harpending model of the evolution of high average Ashkenazi Jewish IQs, under Malthusian pressure, these occupational slots are theorized to have selected for higher IQs. -- Steve]

This model posits an IQ penalty for North Indian groups as a result of Islamic invasions/genocide of north Indian elites over a millennium.

Improvement in living conditions, nutrition, and access to education is expected to increase mean IQ by 7.5 points by the end of this century, relative to the Anglo-American average. India has the human resource potential to be to be a developed society with advanced technological capabilities by the end of this century. The cognitive elites of India will primarily come from the Brahmin and Merchant super-categories and numerically compare favorably with the other Asian superpower China.

And here's Rec1Man's latest summary table:

Current IQ

Southern Brahmin, 1% @ 120 IQ
Northern Brahmin, 4% @ 115 IQ
Southern Merchant, 3% @ 110 IQ
Northern Merchant, 12% @ 105 IQ
Southern Peasant, 8% @ 93 IQ
Northern Peasant, 32% @ 88 IQ
Muslim, 15% @ 75 iQ
Southern Dalit, 5% @ 75 IQ
Northern Dalit, 20% @ 75IQ

Avg = 86.10 IQ
Current Flynn for India is +7.8

Hypothesized Flynn effect for India in 21st Century:
Brahmins and merchants = +5
Peasants = +7
Muslims and Dalits = +10
The Flynn for Africa = +10

Future Indian IQ

Southern Brahmin, 1% @ 125 IQ
Northern Brahmin, 4% @ 120 IQ
Southern Merchant, 3% @ 115 IQ
Northern Merchant, 12% @ 110 IQ
Southern Peasant, 8% @ 100 IQ
Northern Peasant, 32% @ 95 IQ
Muslim, 15% @ 85 iQ
Southern Dalit, 5% @ 85 IQ
Northern Dalit, 20% @ 80IQ

Avg = 94

After Flynn
High End Indian IQ
Over 120 IQ = 55 mil
Over 130 IQ = 20 mil
Over 140 IQ = 5 mil

I certainly can't comment on the validity of the empirical details that underlie this model -- India being so complicated -- but the general approach seems not unreasonable to me. The point is to put a framework out there for the public to consider.

One potential problem that jumps out at me with Rec1Man's approach, though, is the potential for disparate fertility interfering with improving environmental conditions. Are fertility rates the same across all groups, or are lower IQ groups growing faster? The Bombay Parsis, who were the most affluent and educated group in India for much of the 20th century, are said to be imploding demographically. If IQ, education, and declining fertility are correlated, then dysgenic / dyscultural effects could undermine some of the gains from an improved environment.

Granted, we haven't seen much hard evidence of a dysgenic / dyscultural relative effect yet. But, then, we haven't seen much hard evidence of a positive Flynn relative effect. We've seen lots of evidence of an absolute Flynn effect, but little evidence of countries shifting relative average IQs, as I documented here. We've probably seen more evidence of relative changes in height than relative changes in IQ.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Great Women of China

A commenter here once pointed out that to be a successful journalist, it helps to be very curious but not very smart. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Great Women of China


BEIJING -- Here is China's secret formula for topping the Olympic medal tally: two X chromosomes.

WSJ's Mei Fong reports that Chinese women athletes consistently outperform their male counterparts. She explores the reasons why.

In China, it's the women who have traditionally racked up the medals. At the 2000 Games in Sydney, the Chinese women won five more gold medals than the men. In Athens in 2004, the women won 19 gold medals, while the men won 12. By comparison, American women accounted for 12 of the nation's 35 gold medals in 2004.

Although many Chinese athletes have yet to qualify for their 2008 Olympic berths, women are widely expected to outdo the men again this summer. Wrestling coach Zhang Zhetian says the country's best odds for a wrestling medal lie with the women's team. His reasoning? Women work harder. "Guys -- you've got to push them more," he says.

"Women know how to eat bitterness," says tennis coach Sun Jinfang. (The saying "chi ku," or "eat bitterness," in China denotes a willingness to suffer and endure back-breaking work.) Ms. Sun has helped usher four doubles players into the Women's Tennis Association's top 30; no male Chinese tennis players are world-ranked.

The disparity is apparent at Beijing's Xiannongtan Sports School, where boys and girls train separately under bright red banners with messages like, "Grow in Painful Struggle and Develop in Spurts."

In the women's ping pong hall, the tables are newer and slightly fancier than in the men's section, splashed with logos of sponsors such as Japanese company Mizuno Corp. There are no visible logos on the men's side. Xiannongtan's director Hu Xiaobing said the female ping pong players attract more money and sponsors.

Academics say China has long held a historical reverence for strong women …

Yes, that's why all the Chinese actresses in Wong Kar-Wai movies like "In the Mood for Love" wear such loose-fitting skirts: to provide room for their Michelangeloesque thigh muscles.

There's a much simpler explanation: Communist countries, such as East Germany, the Soviet Union, and now China, usually do proportionally better in women's events. (Cuba, under the macho Castro's rule, might be an exception to this pattern.) Why? Because it's easier to win women's events, so governments that judge themselves by their Olympic medals totals put disproportionate emphasis on women's events.

If you want to win a medal in a men's event, you've got to beat a whole bunch of men from around the world who really like the idea of being the World's Greatest Whatever at some stupid competition. If, on the other hand, you want to win a medal in some women's event, other than sexy dance-like events such as figure skating or rhythmic gymnastics, you mostly only have to beat women from societies who push women into those events. Thus, China has long done well at, for example, women's weightlifting.

In particular, you can get more bang from your buck with doping female athletes with artificial male hormones, since men have so much of the natural kind.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Elsewhere, I got into an argument with a blogger who wants to publish the real name of a moderately well known pseudonymous Internet pundit. A couple of years ago, I publicly pointed out that this self-assured opinion writer had once been a close associate of a famous crackpot. That information provided readers some useful perspective in how seriously to take his complicated views on foreign policy. But I didn't publish his name because that kind of thing has a "chilling effect" on free speech.

In general, in this era of Watsoning, I am against revealing the identities of pseudonymous writers, especially ones with day jobs. My blogroll has a lot of pseudonyms on it, and I don't make much of an effort to figure out who is La Griffe du Lion or Audacious Epigone. Five years ago I put some effort into figuring out who the War Nerd really was, but then I stopped. I knew who clander of Stuff White People Like was, but didn't tell anybody until he started giving interviews as Christian Lander.

We're in an era when there's not much you can reveal about your behavior that can get you into trouble, but there's plenty of danger in speaking your mind honestly.

Indeed, I advise anyone thinking of becoming a regular opinionator to strongly consider picking a pseudonym and sticking with it. If I had to do it again, I would have picked a pen name, although that raises its own problems, such as depositing checks from editors made out to your pseudonym. And there is the fear that somebody else would horn in on your work -- that's why, when Vladimir Nabokov was considering publishing Lolita anonymously, he created the anagrammatic character "Vivian Darkbloom" to prove his authorship.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 11, 2008

Boycott Canada

From the New York Times:

Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech


VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatened Western values. The article’s tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.

Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.

Two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress say the magazine, Maclean’s, Canada’s leading newsweekly, violated a provincial hate speech law by stirring up hatred against Muslims. They say the magazine should be forbidden from saying similar things, forced to publish a rebuttal and made to compensate Muslims for injuring their “dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which held five days of hearings on those questions here last week, will soon rule on whether Maclean’s violated the law. As spectators lined up for the afternoon session last week, an argument broke out.

“It’s hate speech!” yelled one man.

“It’s free speech!” yelled another.

In the United States, that debate has been settled. Under the First Amendment, newspapers and magazines can say what they like about minorities and religions — even false, provocative or hateful things — without legal consequence.

The Maclean’s article, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” was an excerpt from a book by Mark Steyn called “America Alone” (Regnery, 2006). The title was fitting: The United States, in its treatment of hate speech, as in so many other areas of the law, takes a distinctive legal path.

“In much of the developed world, one uses racial epithets at one’s legal peril, one displays Nazi regalia and the other trappings of ethnic hatred at significant legal risk, and one urges discrimination against religious minorities under threat of fine or imprisonment,” Frederick Schauer, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, wrote in a recent essay called “The Exceptional First Amendment.”

“But in the United States,” Professor Schauer continued, “all such speech remains constitutionally protected.”

Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have signed international conventions banning hate speech. Israel and France forbid the sale of Nazi items like swastikas and flags. It is a crime to deny the Holocaust in Canada, Germany and France.

Earlier this month, the actress Brigitte Bardot, an animal rights activist, was fined $23,000 in France for provoking racial hatred by criticizing a Muslim ceremony involving the slaughter of sheep.

By contrast, American courts would not stop a planned march by the American Nazi Party in Skokie, Ill., in 1977, though a march would have been deeply distressing to the many Holocaust survivors there.

Six years later, a state court judge in New York dismissed a libel case brought by several Puerto Rican groups against a business executive who had called food stamps “basically a Puerto Rican program.” The First Amendment, Justice Eve M. Preminger wrote, does not allow even false statements about racial or ethnic groups to be suppressed or punished just because they may increase “the general level of prejudice.”

Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech.

“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken,” Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, “when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.”

It's totally obvious how Liptak is slanting this New York Times article to get readers to presume that Steyn's article is "hate speech." There's not a single quote from Steyn's essay "The Future Belongs to Islam" in Liptak's entire 1,838 word article. On the other hand, Liptak uses the word "hate" (or "hateful") 18 times, "Nazi" three times, and "Hitler" once.

The real story here is, once again, about how diversity dooms free speech.

And it's time we did something about Canada's repeated violations of the basic human right to free expression. It's time to boycott vacationing in Canada until Canada improves its human rights situation.

Granted, I can only afford to vacation places where I can pitch a tent; but let the word go out to Canadian firewood retailers that they won't be getting any of my business until they help pressure their government to stop persecuting writers.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Not so mysterious "American Murder Mystery" now online

The Atlantic Monthly article by Hanna Rosin about how tearing down inner city housing projects just disperses crime to the suburbs is now online.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Obama is not 7/16th Arab

For awhile, a story has been going around that Sen. Barack Obama Jr. isn't really African-American at all, that he's 7/16th Arab and only 1/16th sub-Saharan African. Well, it's not true. Here's a picture of his parents.

It's quite possible that Barack Obama Sr. might have been a little bit Arab, and it's certainly possible that some of Sen. Obama's ancestors sold their fellow black Africans to Arab slavetraders. But this rumor that Barack Obama Sr. was 7/8th Arab is silly.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Thank God for Small Favors

Nicholas Kristof opines in the NYT:

"One of the missed opportunities of the primary season was that Hillary Clinton never gave a speech about gender comparable to Barack Obama’s speech about race."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

60% of NBA players are broke within 5 years of leaving league

Via Half Sigma, we learn the factoid that 3 out of 5 former pro basketball players are broke within a half decade of being out of the game. The typical NBA player makes millions of dollars and has a two digit IQ. That's a recipe for trouble -- both overspending and getting scammed by advisors.

A major problem is that many NBA players don't have anybody they can trust in their immediate family with a three digit IQ to manage their money for them.

This attracts some gaudy parasites. For example, Jonathan Tilove's book, The View from MLK Boulevard, reports on the Rev. J. Richard Harris of St. John First Missionary Baptist Church in the impoverished town of Belle Glade, Florida. As I noted in VDARE:

The Reverend is a convicted felon who did time for traveler's check fraud in the 1970s, pleaded no contest to failing to return a rental car in 1996, and claims to have firebombed white-owned businesses in the 1960s.

Yet, Tilove says,

"Harris has a remarkable talent, a gift, for which there is no precise word in the English language. Through a combination of charisma, chutzpah, cunning, and cool, he has a knack for being where it's at and looking as if that is right where he belongs."

For example, in 2000 his humble congregation was astonished to view him on the global Super Bowl broadcast consoling the losing coach.

Reason: Harris’ Belle Glade is a town of 15,000 that has sent roughly one football player to the NFL every year since 1985, a rate about 100 times the national average.

Leveraging this local natural resource, the Rev. Harris now specializes in ministering to the spiritual needs of NFL players, most famously Baltimore Ravens superstar Ray Lewis during that linebacker's murder trial. One pro player recently gave the Rev. Harris a Lexus. Another gave him a Rolex.

His duties counseling rich young men don't preclude this man of God from pursuing a love affair with the camera that makes Paris Hilton look like J.D. Salinger. Tilove notes that Harris was subsequently seen introducing Jesse Jackson at a protest rally during the 2000 Florida recount brouhaha; lecturing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland; and dancing with former Attorney General Janet Reno in a New York Times photograph of her bizarre "Janet Reno Dance Party" fundraiser that was inspired by Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live sketch.

In contrast, I knew a Stanford grad, the son of a suburban lawyer, who made tens of millions in big league sports. He had his brother, a CPA, manage his money for him. Everything worked out fine.

Perhaps the NBA should offer a money management service for players designed to protect capital. The players would only be issued debit cards, rather than credit cards, and league-employed accountants would only let them spend, say, $3,000 per week.

Of course, with the current allegations of NBA officials fixing playoff games to extend the series, maybe the NBA wouldn't be the most trustworthy organization to manage this.

By the way, there should be an official list where you can place your name and social security number to say that you don't want to be issued a credit card, and each credit card issuer would be required to check everybody they sign up against the list.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

To Coin a Phrase: "An Uncle Tim"

Tim Wise describes himself on TimWise.org as:

Tim Wise is among the most respected anti-racist writers & educators in the U.S., having spoken in 48 states and on over 400 college campuses. He has trained teachers as well as corporate, government, media and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling institutional racism, and has served as an consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State. Wise has contributed essays to fifteen books, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows worldwide to discuss race and racism.

Wise is the author of “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son” and “Affirmative Action: Racial Preferences in Black and White.”

So, in honor of Tim Wise, it's right and fitting to coin the term "an Uncle Tim."

Here's to you, Tim. Of all the Uncle Tims out there making a living off the race racket, you are the Uncle Timmiest.

(This picture by the way, was picked out by the man himself -- it's on the top of the homepage of TimWise.org. I must compliment him on finding a picture that so epitomizes an Uncle Tim's slightly demented combination of self-righteousness and self-satisfaction. He looks like a man who has Got The Microphone and won't be giving it up for a long, long time.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Larry Summers and Yves Saint Laurent

The storm of denunciation and the vast expenditures on affirmative action that followed former Harvard president Larry Summers' suggestion that one reason there aren't many female professors of, say, mechanical engineering in the Ivy League is because not all that many females want to be professors of mechanical engineering contrasts strikingly with the mostly uncontroversial lack of female representation at the highest levels of a job that many women really, really would like to have: fashion designer.

Yves Saint Laurent, who died last week, was among the first (but hardly the last) designers to be public about being homosexual. He became famous at age 21 in 1957 when his boss, the top French designer of the era, Christian Dior, another homosexual, dropped dead. The responsibilities of the House of Dior were divided up among four employees, three women and young Yves. But when the next show proved a success, he, not the three women, became the national hero who had saved French fashion.

So, why is there so much outrage over lack of female representation among math, physics, and engineering professors but not among dress designers? Money is the most obvious reason. Harvard has a $35 billion endowment and a world famous brand name largely immune to deterioration. So, when a desperate Larry Summers asked feminist educrat Drew Gilpin Faust to come up with ways to placate his critics, she returned with a $50 million wish list, which he quickly signed off on. But, that wasn't enough, and Larry was eventually shown the door, to be replaced by ... Ms. Gilpin Faust!

The value of the Harvard brand is basically immune to this kind of corruption, so the leeches have their sights set on Harvard.

In contrast, fashion businesses are much more ephemeral, so they are difficult for designated victim groups to exploit. It probably wouldn't be hard to prove in court that there's an old boys network of gay men who discriminate in favor of each other in the fashion business, but getting any money or quotas out of them would be much harder than with Harvard, since they can just dissolve their businesses and start new ones.

The other major difference is leadership. The feminists who demand more engineering professorships for women are typically led by hard-charging lesbians, like the late UC Santa Cruz chancellor Denice Denton, who stood up to "speak truth to power" to poor old Larry. These include some pretty psychologically intense people (not long after, Denton leapt from the 42nd floor of the luxury apartment building where her lesbian lover lived on the $192k salary Denton had arranged for her). Although they share many traits with men, they don't empathize with men well. The dominant traits in a Denton-type lesbian academic is ambition and resentment of anybody competing with her in clawing her way to the top, which manifests itself in anger toward men.

In contrast, the women who would like to design pretty dresses for a living tend to be much more feminine. They empathize and sympathize too much with the gay men who are blocking their rise.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Whatever happened to Rep. Waxman's Diveroli hearings?

Back in March, the New York Times ran a big story on the 22-year-old high school dropout hustler Efraim Diveroli, who had snagged a $200,000,000 Pentagon contract for his AEY Inc. to supply ammunition to the Afghan government. He supplied Chinese-made ammo bought from crooked Albanian politicians.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) immediately sent him a letter demanding he testify before Waxman's Oversight committee on April 17. But that got postponed and then ... zilch. It's June now and the name Diveroli hasn't shown up on Google News in weeks. Funny how that works.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 9, 2008

Same Old, Same Old

The NYT runs another hard-hitting, informative article conveniently accumulating in one place all the cliches I've been reading for the last 30 years about how the "Model Minority Stereotype" is actually unfair to Asian Americans.

Report Takes Aim at ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype of Asian-American Students


The image of Asian-Americans as a homogeneous group of high achievers taking over the campuses of the nation’s most selective colleges came under assault in a report issued Monday.

The report, by New York University, the College Board and a commission of mostly Asian-American educators and community leaders, largely avoids the debates over both affirmative action and the heavy representation of Asian-Americans at the most selective colleges.

But it pokes holes in stereotypes about Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the perception that they cluster in science, technology, engineering and math. And it points out that the term “Asian-American” is extraordinarily broad, embracing members of many ethnic groups.

“Certainly there’s a lot of Asians doing well, at the top of the curve, and that’s a point of pride, but there are just as many struggling at the bottom of the curve, and we wanted to draw attention to that,” said Robert T. Teranishi, the N.Y.U. education professor who wrote the report, “Facts, Not Fiction: Setting the Record Straight.”

“Our goal,” Professor Teranishi added, “is to have people understand that the population is very diverse.” ...

“The notion of lumping all people into a single category and assuming they have no needs is wrong,” said Alma R. Clayton-Pederson, vice president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, who was a member of the commission the College Board financed to produce the report.

“Our backgrounds are very different,” added Dr. Clayton-Pederson, who is black, “but it’s almost like the reverse of what happened to African-Americans.” ...

The report quotes the opening to W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1903 classic “The Souls of Black Folk” — “How does it feel to be a problem?” — and says that for Asian-Americans, seen as the “good minority that seeks advancement through quiet diligence in study and work and by not making waves,” the question is, “How does it feel to be a solution?”

Pretty damn good, I would hope.

But if you want to be a Professional Asian who gets paid by foundations and the like for being an Asian Spokesperson, then, it's not so hot. Thus, this report. And, Asians not needing affirmative action makes Professional Blacks feel worried and angry. So the only feasible solution is for Asians to get in on the Race Gravytrain, too. It's a Win-Win solution!

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

NYT: Gay marriages are just plain better than that other, more unequal, and all-around yuckier kind of marriage

Here's a classic article from the Health section of the New York Times tonight:

Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage


For insights into healthy marriages, social scientists are looking in an unexpected place.

A growing body of evidence shows that same-sex couples have a great deal to teach everyone else about marriage and relationships. Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples, but the differences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of conflicts that can endanger heterosexual relationships.

The findings offer hope that some of the most vexing problems are not necessarily entrenched in deep-rooted biological differences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the problems can be solved. ...

Personally, my motto is vive les deep-rooted biological differences between men and women.

And here's a stunning finding about same-sex "marriages:" partners who aren't of different sexes don't exhibit stereotypical sex differences!

Notably, same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones. In heterosexual couples, women did far more of the housework; men were more likely to have the financial responsibility; and men were more likely to initiate sex, while women were more likely to refuse it or to start a conversation about problems in the relationship.

Who knew?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

More college grads = dumber college grads

The annual General Social Survey of a representative sample of Americans includes a 10 question vocabulary test, which correlates with IQ tests at the 0.7 level. Inductivist finds that recent college graduates had lousier vocabularies than previous college graduates, as scored on an IQ like scale where 100 is the average and 15 is the standard deviation.

Mean IQ--white college grads

1960s 113.7
1970s 110.6
1980s 108.0
1990s 104.4
2000s 105.1

In case you're wondering, this isn't an effect of people getting better vocabularies as they get older. Inductivist explains:

Except for this decade, all of the other estimates are based on data from Americans who were college age the decade before, so any mean increase due to age should be the same across decades.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Never mind ...

From the leftwing Independent in Britain, we see the admission from the World Health Organization that the Great and the Good have been, well, lying to us about AIDS for a quarter of a century:

Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits

A 25-year health campaign was misplaced outside the continent of Africa. But the disease still kills more than all wars and conflicts

By Jeremy Laurance

A quarter of a century after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared.

In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations may have been misdirected, Kevin de Cock, the head of the WHO's department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa.

Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients. …

In 2006, the Global Fund for HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which provides 20 per cent of all funding for Aids, warned that Russia was on the cusp of a catastrophe. An estimated 1 per cent of the population was infected, mainly through injecting drug use, the same level of infection as in South Africa in 1991 where the prevalence of the infection has since risen to 25 per cent.

Dr De Cock said: "I think it is unlikely there will be extensive heterosexual spread in Russia. But clearly there will be some spread." …

Aids organisations, including the WHO, UN Aids and the Global Fund, have come under attack for inflating estimates of the number of people infected, diverting funds from other health needs such as malaria, spending it on the wrong measures such as abstinence programmes rather than condoms, and failing to build up health systems.

Dr De Cock labelled these the "four malignant arguments" undermining support for the global campaign against Aids, which still faced formidable challenges, despite the receding threat of a generalised epidemic beyond Africa.

Any revision of the threat was liable to be seized on by those who rejected HIV as the cause of the disease, or who used the disease as a weapon to stigmatise high risk groups, he said. …

Critics of the global Aids strategy complain that vast sums are being spent educating people about the disease who are not at risk, when a far bigger impact could be achieved by targeting high-risk groups and focusing on interventions known to work, such as circumcision, which cuts the risk of infection by 60 per cent, and reducing the number of sexual partners.

There were "elements of truth" in the criticism, Dr De Cock said. "You will not do much about Aids in London by spending the funds in schools. You need to go where transmission is occurring. It is true that countries have not always been good at that."…

One of the danger areas for the Aids strategy was among men who had sex with men. He said: " We face a bit of a crisis [in this area]. In the industrialised world transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men is not declining and in some places has increased. …

The biggest puzzle was what had caused heterosexual spread of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa – with infection rates exceeding 40 per cent of adults in Swaziland, the worst-affected country – but nowhere else.

"It is the question we are asked most often – why is the situation so bad in sub-Saharan Africa? It is a combination of factors – more commercial sex workers, more ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases, a young population and concurrent sexual partnerships."

"Sexual behaviour is obviously important but it doesn't seem to explain [all] the differences between populations. Even if the total number of sexual partners [in sub-Saharan Africa] is no greater than in the UK, there seems to be a higher frequency of overlapping sexual partnerships creating sexual networks that, from an epidemiological point of view, are more efficient at spreading infection." ….

But the factors driving HIV were still not fully understood, he said.

"The impact of HIV is so heterogeneous. In the US , the rate of infection among men in Washington DC is well over 100 times higher than in North Dakota, the region with the lowest rate. That is in one country. How do you explain such differences?"

How do you explain such differences between North Dakota and Washington DC? It's a conundrum, a quandary, a puzzlement. Dr. Cock and the rest of the worlds' AIDS experts are stumped, apparently, and if they can't figure it out, with all their lavish research funding, then nobody could ever possibly puzzle it out. Some things we are just meant never to understand.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Dinosaurs of Bronto

P.J. O'Rourke visits the Field Museum in Chicago (via Five Feet of Fury):

"The sculpture of a Masai spearman facing off against a crouching lioness has been shunted to a lonely corner, lest someone somehow take offense. Nowadays offense is taken--snatched and grabbed--as if offense were something valuable to own."

I believe he's referring to Malvina Hoffman's spectacular lifesize 6'-8" tall sculpture of a naked Nuer tribesman. The Nuers are elongated Sudanese Nilotics, like their cousins the Dinka, famous for 7'-6" basketball player Manute Bol. Barack Obama Sr.'s Luo tribe are more distant cousins.

It's a natural mistake to make since you are supposed to be ignorant these days about what people look like. You're supposed to celebrate diversity, but not know about it. Institutions like the Field Museum have gone to a lot of trouble to de-educate the populace. As I wrote in VDARE.com in 2002:

Malvina Hoffman has been called "the greatest American artist you've never heard of" and "the American Rodin." She studied under Auguste Rodin, the greatest sculptor since Bernini, and Gutzon Borglum, creator of Mt. Rushmore. Her style was more realistic than Rodin's, which helped drive her out of fashion in a 20th Century art world obsessed with abstraction.

In 1930, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago commissioned her to create 91 full size bronzes and 13 marbles depicting in exquisite detail the "The Races of Mankind." She traveled the world to complete this most titanic sculptural project undertaken by any American woman ever. (Here's her Bushman woman and baby.)

In 1933, the Hoffman exhibit opened in the Field Museum's spectacular custom-built "Hall of Man." It was a major part of the Chicago World's Fair and remained a popular institution for decades afterwards. But it was shut down in 1968 because, well, because it was 1968.

Hoffman’s collection was broken up. A quarter of it is now in Cedar Rapids. When I last visited the Field Museum in 1999, only about half the statues were on display, and many of those were pushed into dark corners, often without labels. The magnificent 6'8" Nilotic Nuer warrior, with proportional masculine endowment, was down in the basement next to the dusty souvenir-making Mold-o-Vac and Penny Squeezer machines.

Last time I was at the Field Museum a decade ago, the Nuer and the two stuffed man-eating lions who killed 130 Indian construction workers in East African in 1898 (as shown in the 1996 Michael Douglas-Val Kilmer movie "The Ghost and the Darkness") were stowed away in the basement with each other.

O'Rourke goes on:

The brontosaurus has been pushed to the back (that is to say the front) of the main hall and isn't called a brontosaurus anymore. (Doubtless offense was taken by Chicago's Bronto-American community.)

Damn, I was sure I'd published something with "Bronto-American" in it, but the closest I can come up with is from my 2001 review of "Jurassic Park III."

Before you rush out to see "Jurassic Park III" based on my stirring endorsement - "It's a lot less annoying than the last one!" - please note that I can't seem to recall anything that happened in either of the first two dinostravaganzas after that first glorious scene of a sunlit grassland with brontosauruses peacefully munching away. All I can remember after that is a lot of gnashing of really big teeth. …

Still, there are some cool new flying pterodactyls in "JP III" that try to turn the cast into birdfeed.

Yeah, okay, I know a lot of you out there are right now firing up your email clients to inform me that they aren't "pterodactyls," they are "pteranodons," and those big galoot herbivores aren't "brontosauruses," they are "brachiosauruses."

Sorry, but that's what I called them when I was a kid and I see no reason to change now. I mean, what did I miss that would change the name of creatures that haven't been around for 65 million years? Did some brontosaurus Jesse Jackson call a press conference to announce that from now on he wanted to be called a "brachiosaurus" and that anybody who forgot and referred to "brontosauruses" was terminally unhip? I bet that when even dinosaurs like me finally start calling them "brachiosauruses," they are going to pull another switcheroo and announce that we are aren't supposed to call them "brachiosauruses" anymore, but now instead they'll be "dinosaurs of bronto."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 8, 2008

Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic: "American Murder Mystery"

My new VDARE.com column is about an Atlantic Monthly article that's entitled:

"American Murder Mystery: Why is crime rising in so many American cities? The answer implicates one of the most celebrated antipoverty programs of recent decades."

Here's an excerpt from my essay:

Social Engineers Move Inner City Crime to Suburbs (Developers Delighted!)

By Steve Sailer

Following the demolition of inner city public housing projects in some cities, the murder rate has dropped in the now-gentrifying downtowns, only to soar in previously peaceful suburbs. In the new July / August 2008 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, a long article by Hanna Rosin, "American Murder Mystery" (not yet online), explains why.

You can probably guess the reason. Yet, needless to say, The Experts never saw it coming. Rosin writes:

"Lately, though, a new and unexpected pattern has emerged, taking criminologists by surprise."

Her article resolves a long public debate over the causes of crime between, on one side, the academic establishment, the Main Stream Media, libertarians, moderates, and liberals—in other words, basically, all respectable members of polite society—versus the limited number of realists who will say out loud that they believe their own lying eyes.

The winners: us realists.

One of the most popular excuses on the center-right for the high black homicide rate (seven times the white rate, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics) is that it’s really the fault of the government for putting up housing projects in inner cities back in the post-WWII era.

Everybody now agrees now that piling up poor people in soulless modernist architecture was bad social engineering. Accordingly, ever since Bill Clinton signed in 1998 the $6.3 billion "Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere VI" (HOPE VI) bill, federal policy has been to fix all that through good social engineering.

Namely: Knock down the projects and give their residents Section 8 rent subsidy vouchers so that they will disperse into the suburbs. There they will, of course, through "the great, slow, mysterious absorptive alchemy of assimilation," turn middle class, just like their suburan neighbors.

Just believe in the magic of the market, baby!

A few killjoys, though, have quietly suggested an alternative theory: while federal housing projects were a bad idea, their worst problem was neither their architecture nor their policies, but their residents.

After all, the Los Angeles area never had high-rise housing projects, and not even that many low-rise projects. Nonetheless, LA was home to the two most feared and emulated black gangs, the Bloods and the Crips. And LA was the site of two of the three most murderous race riots of the second half of the 20th Century. Indeed, in the Florence and Normandie neighborhood, where the 1992 South Central riot broke out, five out of every eight residences is owner-occupied, a higher-than-average rate for LA—typically a small but pleasant-enough single-family home.

Moreover, when I moved from LA to Chicago in 1982, I paid a lot to rent an apartment in a post-WWII Le Corbusier-style high-rise in a neighborhood that was physically similar to Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project. (Cabrini-Green was the most notorious project in the country because it squatted on potentially invaluable real estate just a 20-minute walk from the Loop). Yet, despite the equally soulless modernist architecture of my 24-story building, remarkably few of my fellow tenants shot each other.

One summer day in 1983, I noticed on the map that Clybourn Avenue, running diagonally through Cabrini-Green, provided a shortcut to my job downtown. Why hadn't any Chicago native, I wondered, bothered to tell me to zip down Clybourn to work?

Unfortunately, when I reached Cabrini-Green, my short cut turned out to be impassable, due to a crowd milling about in the street watching an automobile burn. ...

Rosin should be congratulated for taking 12 pages in the Atlantic Monthly to demonstrate that the fundamental problem with public housing projects was that they were full of public housing project residents. And, when the government finally blows up a housing project, the ex-residents just take their felonious folkways elsewhere.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Can you make money by saber-rattling in the Persian Gulf?

Some analysts are arguing that Friday's $10.75 rise in oil prices was caused by Israeli saber-rattling against Iran. For example, The Hindu of India stated:

The Israeli Transport Minister’s threat that a military attack on Iran could become inevitable has pushed oil prices to record levels.

Oil prices breached the $139 a barrel mark after Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Friday an attack on Iran was “unavoidable” as sanctions had failed to prevent Tehran from developing its nuclear capability.

Leaving aside the question of whether that's an accurate explanation of Friday's events, I'm wondering about the more general theoretical question. Could a government or a politician make money in the financial markets by threatening war in the Gulf?

If you knew that, say, a deputy prime minister of a regional power would make militarily threatening statements on Friday, but then lower the heat later, could you make a near guaranteed profit on oil futures? If so, how much could you make? How often could you get away with it before enough people would figure it out that you couldn't do it anymore?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer