Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Black Friday

Agnostic's post from a couple of weeks ago got me wondering at what point Black Friday became a bigger deal than the holiday it follows (or used to follow--it now tends to start on said holiday, or even before the holiday begins).

Well, Google Trends provides a powerful picture of the transition. Here is a comparative graph of search volumes for the term "thanksgiving" and the phrase "black friday", extending back a decade in time:


Notice that over the ten-year period, up to this point more total searches have included Thanksgiving than have included Black Friday, but it is only a matter of time before the latter overtakes the former. On an annual basis, Black Friday took the lead in 2010, and the yearly gap has widened steadily since then.

If there is any better single illustration of how consumerism has come to dominate the American socio-cultural landscape, I'd like--in a masochistic sort of way--to see it.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rapacious repetition

The DOJ's statistics show that the absurd assertion that 1-in-5 or even 1-in-4 college women have been raped is, well, absurd. The actual figure is closer to 1-in-125*, although it is almost certainly less common still than that, as this rate is arrived at by presuming that 100% of all reported college campus rapes legitimately occurred. When it comes to the veracity of rape allegations, however, the estimated rate of false accusations covers a frustratingly large range, from 2% on the low end to as high as 90% on the upper end.

So, here's an assertion that we could irresponsibly make if we wanted to cherry pick what we are desiring to advocate: 3-in-5 rape allegations are BS! Irresponsible though it would be, it would still have more empirical grounding--that is to say, at least some tenuous, sandy grounding at all--than the bogus 1-in-5 factoid that gets so recklessly tossed around by Professional Feminists. Occasionally, sometimes, often, much, and conceivably even most of the time, then, the victim who suffers when a rape accusation is made is a man. Increasingly, the effective standard isn't innocent until proven guilty. Hell, it's not even guilty until proven innocent. It's guilty because accused, period. Even if a falsely accused man eventually exonerates himself and clears his name in the legal arena, his reputation is often forever tarnished.

There is no rape epidemic in the US. To the contrary, rape rates have dropped substantially over the last few decades, in line with the broader trend in steadily decreasing violent crime. The NCVS found a rape rate of 2.4 per 1,000 people aged 12 and older in 1980. Today that rate has fallen to 0.4 per 1,000 people. There is, however, a potentially budding epidemic of false accusations of rape, enabled by culturally Marxist academia, an embarrassingly credulous, standardless, derelict media establishment, and the narcissistic desires of many women to be coddled as victims regardless of the collateral damage satisfying these desires causes other people to suffer.

* The latest data from the US DOJ shows 10,237 reported completed rapes of college women aged 18-24 out of a population of 5,130,004. Multiplying the 10,237 by 4 and dividing it by the 5.1 million total female college population yields the 1-in-125 figure. See table 1 for details.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mexico beats Argentina by slim margin despite Slim factor

A few points worth remarking on from a Pew report gauging public opinion on the subjects of inequality, optimal economic systems, and the like in a host of countries:

- Of the 44 countries where the survey was conducted, residents of only one, Argentina, have a less favorable view of "a free market economy" than Mexicans do. While I'd naively guess a Peronist history would push people towards free market principles rather than away from them, Carlos Slim provides a ringing endorsement of capitalism rivaling that of Russia's rapacious post-Soviet oligarchy, so I guess it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Yet more indisputable evidence that Mexicans are "natural conservatives".

- From the forthcoming book 2041, who controls the future controls the present; who controls the present controls the past. Europe and its diaspora are in the past. Rather than being exceptional, the US is merely a step or two behind the Old Continent. Prepare to be controlled by the overlords of the future. We collectively see the writing on the wall:


- Across the 44 countries surveyed, there is no statistically significant relationship (.14, p-value = .37) between the expressed concern among residents about economic inequality in their countries and the actual amount of inequality, as measured by the gini coefficient, in those same countries. Environment obviously isn't everything. Human populations are culturally and biologically different from one another, and those differences have consequences.

- Speaking of income inequality, East Asia doesn't care much about it. The median percentage across countries sans East Asia identifying the "gap between the rich and the poor" as a big problem is over 60%. It's 55% in South Korea, 28% in Japan, and 42% in China. As the center of international power appears to be shifting towards the Orient, it's a happy coincidence that the American mainstream right and culturally Marxist left both don't care much about it, either!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Even segregated isolationism is too much to ask for

Reading Steve Sailer's movie review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I expected a mindless, gory, action-packed allegorical illustration of oppressive white America on the receiving end of righteous reprisals administered by the recently liberated non-whites, a la Django Unchained, with a laconic existence among the wildlife of the redwood forests thrown in for tranquil good measure.

With that in mind, I was pleased by the insinuated realities of social dynamics in contemporary America. While the sequel wasn't as thoughtful or layered as the movie that preceded it, Steve's criticisms might be a bit exaggerated. He writes:
In Muir Woods [the surviving humans] discover a vast colony of intelligent apes building a civilization out of sharpened sticks. Chimps, gorillas, and orangutans live as one.
Chimp and bonobo, which is which?
I counted a single orangutan and one or possibly two gorillas, compared to hundreds and hundreds of chimpanzees. The orangutan was the same kindred spirit from the first movie, with no indication that a decade on he had contact with any other orangutans, let alone a family. The presumption is that once he's gone, there will be no orangutan representation at all among the chimp colony. The same appears to be the case for the gorilla (or two). Koba, Caesar's vicious and fearless Mark Antony, is, bizarrely, a bonobo, though the vast majority of viewers are not going to notice as much since it's difficult for a non-specialist to pick up on the subtle morphological differences between chimpanzees and bonobos.

It's a colony of chimps, not a multicultural colony of great apes. The surviving San Franciscans, in contrast, appear to be more NAM-diverse than the actual city of San Francisco was at the time of civilizational collapse following the spread of the "simian flu".

Each of the primary protagonists, Malcolm on the human side and Caesar on the chimp side, show a mutual appreciation for the concerns the other has and for the society he represents. They express a genuine hope for coexistence (although only of a segregated, not integrated, coexistence). If all the members of their respective species had similar personality profiles, perhaps such coexistence would be possible. Despite their best efforts, however, they are powerless to overcome the broader primate natures of the species they represent. Their quixotic attempts at reconciliation flounder catastrophically.

The aspirations Malcolm and Caesar have for their respective species aren't for chimps and humans to hold hands and sing kumbaya. The goal is far less ambitious: Separate, mutually exclusive sovereignties where the only social mixing permitted is for the maintenance of crucial infrastructure (the dam). Further, among the upper echelons of human power, racial diversity is quite workable. The bureaucrats scheming in Turtle Bay feel closer to the other bureaucrats they scheme with than they do with the commoners from the countries they putatively represent.

Unlike our starry-eyed (or recklessly cynical, take your pick) elites, however, Malcolm and Caesar are sagacious enough to realize the limits of their feeble abilities to remake their species into something each is not, and so as the movie ends the two sides prepare for the inevitable destructive dysfunction that a polyglot mishmash of peoples (or primates, as it were) leads to.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Diversity is also an empty lost-and-found bucket

Way back when, an intellectual giant of our time--nay, THE intellectual giant of our time--kindly described a post I'd put together as "an elegant little regression analysis". It would become standard fare for this audacious amateur, and should continue to be to this day.

In that spirit, then, a few correlations with the percentage of respondents by state in a Gallup poll (via TWCS) asking "If you lost a wallet or purse that contained two hundred dollars, and it was found by a neighbor, do you think it would be returned with the money in it, or not?" who answered in the affirmative:

By estimated average IQ from NAEP scores: +.78 (p-value = .000000000031)
By Ice People population percentage: +.72 (p-value = .0000000034)

It would be crass, of course, to show these same results in their inverse, so you'll just have to use your imagination--or at least a little algebra--if you're the kind of miscreant who is interested in them.

It might be countered, however, that what is being insinuated here is misleading. What about poverty and criminal activity? How do these things correlate with the rate of expected wallet return?

By Supplemental Poverty Measure*: -.83 (p-value = .00000000000016)
By murder rate: -.73 (p-value = .000000002)

Is it that intelligent Ice People avoid crime and poverty while Sun People embrace them? That sounds pretty racist. Perhaps instead a dearth of crime and poverty actually turns Sun People into Ice People, ancestry and all, while an abundance of crime and poverty turns Ice People into Sun People? So many unanswered questions, so much to ponder!

Parenthetically, political orientation isn't nearly as informative as proximity to the Canadian border is. The correlation between the percentage of a state's population that voted for Obama in 2012 and the belief that a lost wallet would be returned by a neighbor is an inverse but quite modest and statistically insignificant .17 (p-value = .251).

* A superior measure of genuine impoverishment than the traditional Census definition that only takes income into account.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Give them an inch, and...

In several exchanges I've had over the last couple of weeks about the putative issue of black oppression by white society, specifically white police forces, it's inevitably argued that there is so much structural racism against blacks that just focusing on the expression of black frustration (ie, riots and looting) misses the point. It's like blaming an abused child (blacks?) for behavioral issues instead of blaming his parents (whites?). The paternalism inherent in this sort of framing--and its long and storied pedigree to boot--is something one can have some fun with if he's so inclined, but I'm not.

Instead, let's travel down this path to see where it takes us. As the story goes, we've made lots of progress since the sixties but half a century on we still have plenty of work to do. Parenthetically, "progress" here refers to racial equality. It is measured relatively, not absolutely. It's better for blacks to get one half mark better and whites to remain in place than it is for blacks and whites to each get one full mark better.

Okay, but where do the consequences of said progress show up? On measures of family stability? On propensity to abstain from engaging in criminal activity? On intelligence tests? On measures of affluence?

Five decades ago, the Moynihan report found that one-in-four black children were born out of wedlock. Today that figure is now greater than two-in-three. Rather than closing over the last five decades, the black-to-white imprisonment rate ratios have actually widened over that same period of time (and that's even with most Hispanics being lumped in with whites; which is more of a factor in recent white numbers than it is in white numbers from the past when Hispanics comprised a smaller percentage of the total population). The one standard deviation gap on IQ tests that separates black and white mean scores from one another has remained so consistent over time that La Griffe du Lion calls it The Fundamental Constant of Sociology. The wealth gap between median black and white households is currently the largest that has ever been measured.

On all these fronts, the disparities appear as incorrigible as ever. Does that mean that all the putative progress has had no appreciable effect on realized outcomes, save for getting a guy like Barack Obama, whose upbringing was far cushier than that enjoyed by hundreds of millions of Americans across the racial spectrum, elected president?

Or is there something Malthusian in play here? Is increasing white deference towards blacks negated by a corresponding increase in poor black behavior like that recently and saliently illustrated by Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and their sympathizers? While blacks are over eight times as likely to engage in violent crime as non-Hispanic whites are, they are less than four times as likely to be shot and killed by police in so doing or when being arrested for so doing. In other words, given their relative criminal propensities, white criminals are more than twice as likely to be killed by police as black criminals are.

This is an extreme illustration of the broader tendency for blacks to be treated less, not more, harshly by police than whites are. This trend will presumably only continue to accentuate as more and more white cops realize, like Darren Wilson and Edward Flynn have, that policing urban blacks is not only thankless but positively injurious not only to one's physical worth but also to his reputation and good moral standing. Reclinating back to the bit about paternalism, the kid who has a tendency to be unruly needs a stricter eye kept on him than the mild-mannered kid does. As a society, the US is doing the opposite--loosening the reigns on the at-risk populations and tightening the grips on the better behaved groups.

The examples of extreme scrutiny given to alleged white perpetrators on the one hand and the dismissive apologies for (or total ignoring of) black offenders are constantly being generated. Even fresher than the Michael Brown and Gilbert Collar incidents are the cases of faux rape at the University of Virginia and the far less publicized but more substantiated potentially real rape case at William Patterson University. Fortunately someone is cataloging these things because it's easy the newest one to wash strained memories of older ones down the memory hole.

If bad black behavior is always blamed on whites--more precisely, on heterosexual, traditionalist, middle-class male goys of European descent--to the extent that societal pressure is going to influence behavior, it is going to tend to prod blacks into behaving ever more pathologically while simultaneously browbeating ever more supine whites into not doing anything--ANYTHING!--that might, however implausibly, be even indirectly associated with possibly having something to do with an action (or even thought) that casts black in anything other than the best possible light.

While it's easy to see that this situation is inherently unstable over the long term, it's beyond my powers of prognostication to say how it'll shake out in the end. Explicit separatism is still a long way from being anything other than a political non-starter, but de facto separatism continues unabated. Of course, the groups claiming to suffer from alleged structural injustices do everything they can to live in municipalities run by the purveyors of those same injustices, so maybe white flight just goes on and on into the foreseeable future, while slowly but surely the numbers of places consumed by blight continues to increase. There's a lot of ruin in a nation. The US is a big country, after all.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Most importantly, she's the mother of your children

From one of Heartiste's best posts (and that's saying a lot), on why a man should avoid marrying a woman aged 30 or older:
If you marry an under-30 woman, the day will come, ostensibly, that she’ll be your over-30 wife. But you’ll have something that chagrined men who married women on the cusp of sagging cups don’t have: Years of very fond, very monopolized, very supple memories. If you maritally snag a 21-year-old minx and occupy her sugar walls for the next ten years, the spermatomically bonded cervix-splattered glue of all those splendid tumbles of passion accrue into something larger than the sum of your individuated speckles.
It's as close to celebrating the benefits of monogamy as one should ever hope to get from the silver tongue. In its focus on carnality, however, it misses a piece of the marital equation that is of crucial importance to many men of this primate species with a rather unusual trait in the animal kingdom: Paternal investment. Like so many other behaviors that carry with them evolutionary benefits, the underlying biological drive is expressed a uniquely pleasurable part of a man's human experience. As cliched as it may sound, there really is no feeling in the world like rocking your son to sleep after he has collapsed into your lap.

Marry a woman in her thirties or forties, and there's a good chance the two of you won't have any kids together (even worse if she's bringing offspring from a previous relationship into the mix and you're not). As she wilts, sags, and tires over the years, well, that fat, flat shadow of her former self is all you're left with. Marry her in her teens or early twenties, though, and not only do you get to accrue all the benefits Heartiste discusses, but the two of you have ample time to create a brood together. The feelings you have for your children (assuming an average or high level of desire for paternal nurturing--this doesn't apply so much to men on the lower end of that spectrum) will splash all over her, too. She is the only person on the planet who has a stronger attachment to your children than you do. Your love for them will perpetually reinforce the attachment you have to her as the bond is weathered relentlessly by the passage of time and its nasty companion, senescence.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

It's raining Venus and Mars out there

Steve Sailer asks "Why do felines strike us as more feminine than canines?"

A few things that come to mind follow. These are just impressions from a human point of view and are not at all intended to answer Steve's other question about "sex hormones and receptors"!

- "Feminine feline" or "feline femininity" are elegant-sounding alliterations. Nothing to compare on the canine side.

- (Most) dogs are physically bigger than (most) cats.

- Dogs are more emotionally direct than cats are. They make no effort to conceal how they feel. Cats, in contrast, may feel one thing but show another.

- Dogs take to physical labor with pleasure. Cats do not.

- Dogs will ejaculate onto or into almost anything. Cats have much more discriminating sexual tastes.

- Dogs will urinate and defecate anywhere. It is only human social convention that puts some (perpetually tenuous) restrictions on this. Cats are quite particular about the what and where of their waste excretions.

- Dogs are opportunistic omnivores, and they'll eat anytime, anywhere. Cats are pickier on both accounts.

- Dogs love wrestling and roughhousing. Once they've grown out of the kitten stage, cats don't.

- Dogs expect and abide a strict social hierarchy. Cats are more egalitarian.

- Dogs are loyal. Cats will abandon a companion at the drop of a hat if a novel one strikes their fancies.

- Dogs guard their territory and they will often fight to maintain it. Cats have no problem letting someone new move in on them, especially if the conqueror provides them with more goodies than the previous patriarch did.

- Dogs verbally and physically announce their presence. Cats are usually discrete.

- Dogs don't spend as much time or effort on preening themselves as cats do.

- Dogs love just about anything involving a ball. Cats don't.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Racism retreats

Writing in the NYT, Charles Blow asserts (via Steve):
Today, too many people are gun-shy about using the word racism, lest they themselves be called race-baiters. So we are witnessing an assault on the concept of racism, an attempt to erase legitimate discussion and grievance by degrading the language: Eliminate the word and you elude the charge.
From Google Trends, the relative search frequency rate for the term "racism" over the last decade:


He has an arguable point. We're even lagging behind a couple other Anglophone diaspora countries.

On the other hand, the relative search volume for "racist" during the same period of time:


I guess we're becoming more individualistic and less group-oriented over time. This isn't going to make Brett Stevens happy, but there it is!

It's not for the NYT's lack of emphasis that the public has taken it's collective eye off the ball, though. The number of articles the paper has run containing the word "racism", in five year intervals, since the turn of the millennium (01/01/2000-12/31/2004, 01/01/2005-12/31/2009, 01/01/2010-12/04/2014):

2000-2005: 1,400
2005-2010: 4,410
2010-2015: 7,540

The Cathedral's role is to instruct us on what we should want to think about, not what we would actually prefer to think about.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A tale of two tragedies

For accosting a criminal brazenly disregarding the law and then acting in accordance to police training and protocol, a white police officer's fatal act of self defense is immediately regarded as an exhibit of murderous white racism by the major media and its race-hustling and guilt-tripping comrades. Despite any empirical evidence supporting such vicious accusations, those holding the megaphones maintained the false narrative for months, vociferously calling for the innocent officer's blood and a corresponding indictment of middle class white America. That the whole thing was a tendentious, mendacious pile of steaming bullshit matters not to the monsters sitting in prominent 'civil rights' organizations and Manhattan newsrooms.

In contrast, a white man--ahem, excuse me, a "Bosnian" (who had spent most of his life in the US and was indistinguishably assimilated into mainstream American culture as his facebook profile illustrates)--who was the target of a vicious, unprovoked attack by blacks and possibly browns is bludgeoned to death in front of his fiancee. According to witnesses and accompanying video footage, the feral gang shouted "kill the white people" as they tried to kill one white guy and then successfully killed another. Yet less than 24 hours after the attack occurred--in the shadow, both figuratively and literally, of the aforementioned incident no less--Establishment forces were breathlessly asserting that the murder had nothing, NOTHING!, to do with race or ethnicity.

With no evidence of racial animus, or even criminality for that matter, a middle class white guy bravely doing his job becomes public enemy number one. With suggestions of racial malice and very obvious criminal activity of the deadliest sort, the motives of savage 'youths' are instantaneously whitewashed (boo!). Their existence barely registers on the public's radar for paucity of national attention.

The emperor isn't even wearing a loincloth anymore. If you don't think the Establishment despises middle class, conventional white America, you're simply not paying attention.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rage Against the Progress

The title of an op-ed piece in the Washington Post inadvertently nails it: Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.

This is the same progress we saw in Hispaniola as it its western half became Haiti and in southern Rhodesia as it became Zimbabwe--once sub-Saharan Africa's breadbasket and now a net importer of food despite well over half of its gainfully employed population working in agriculture (the regressive United States, in contrast, is a net exporter of food even though only 2% of its population works on the farm). It's the same progress we're now seeing in South Africa and have seen in the so many other American cities over the last several decades, none more saliently than Detroit. All across the globe the consequences of such venerable progress are as dreary as they are predictable.

A generation ago, Ferguson was a relatively affluent, safe, functional middle class American suburb. Naturally, it was then predominately white (85%). Over the last few decades it has progressed towards its ultimate future as a blighted, impoverished, dangerous, dysfunctional underclass welfare slum. Naturally, it is now predominately black (70% and growing).

Whites rage against this just as they've raged against slavery, animal cruelty, capital punishment, religious intolerance, ozone depletion, and all the other uniquely WEIRD societal concerns that non-European descended nations don't care much about. Fortunately, Euros--who constituted 25% of the world's population in 1950--are steadily shrinking as a percentage of the population. At the turn of the millennium, they had dropped to around 16% and by mid-century it is estimated will represent just 10% of the globe's human inhabitants. So cheers to the diminution of whites and all their rage--the future looks very vibrant indeed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Channeling Barabbas

The facebook status (with nearly 100 'likes' in less than a day) of a pretty well-adjusted, friendly black college girl I know, who has lived an unbroken affluent existence all her life:
I don't think I've ever posted about equality, but tonight I just have a lot on my mind. My heart is heavy for those of you who believe that this is an equal country. Of course, until you've had your rights stolen and felt absolutely insignificant because of the color of your skin, I wouldn't expect you to think any differently. My friends I leave you with this... "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." -Martin Luther King Jr
This was subsequent to the public release of all the evidence served to and then masticated and digested by the grand jury. That there is no evidence to justify indictment doesn't matter. Presumption of innocence does not register, either. A substantial part of the black population is simply unassimilable to the idea that the rule of law should be the state's paramount guiding principle. This alone renders the Propositional Nation as a thing that is inevitably destined for failure.

A guy I used to play basketball regularly with and who once helped extricate me from a very tenuous situation I'd put myself in as on overly competitive white guy in a pickup game in one of the crappiest places in the city illustrates a lower-brow iteration of the same sentiment displayed above:
I see you, i hear you! What's gonna change tomorrow, a week from now or months on in, years, decades? We gonna unify, we gonna fight, are you willing? When is enough, enough? When its you or a family member!? No Malcolm X, no Black Panthers, No Marcus Gravey! Leaders we need that. If it was a civil war divided by race we would be on the losing side right now. Black business, black owners, black environment, black economy. Weapons and a line of defense would only be a small factor. They cant live without us, hit they ass where it hurt. Unity is that first step. But im just talking cause niggas dont know how to unite and i bet they thinking the same. We have to prove them wrong!
Diversity has been a disaster, but there's no practical way to put the cat back in the bag. Secession and procreation strike me as the only two serious antidotes against the slow but steady death of the Western white middle class.

Kudos to Robert McCulloch and the grand jury for refusing to play the role of contemporary Pontius Pilates. Good to see that, at least in some fortuitous cases, a person still has to commit a crime or at the least be derelict in his duty to be indicted for wrongdoing. The miscreants with signs calling for life imprisonment or worse are really, really sick people.

Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter. Mixing metaphors horribly, this putative victory is a Pyrrhic one that changes nothing beyond possibly making a few more white American frogs aware of the boilers they're sitting in as a result of an abrupt increase in heat the conflagrations that took place in Ferguson last night caused.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Executive's executive order on immigration

A montage from a lot of disparate online discussions on the topic follow, with a little sensationalism to get the ball rolling in some places. Not a lot new here, but I devoted some time to this and if your predilections are similar to mine but you're busy with life at the moment, feel free to cut and paste as needed for use in battle on whatever turf you're fighting on. No need for attribution.

---

The point isn't to ameliorate the suffering of the world's vast (and growing vaster) impoverished masses. There are over 5 billion people living in countries poorer than Mexico. We're looking at going from de facto amnesty to executively-sanctioned amnesty of mere millions here--much less than one-tenth of one percent of the international underclass. It's like trying to empty the ocean by filling up a plastic quart cup with salt water.

The point isn't to reunite families or whatever other lugubrious tripe is being spouted by special interests, either. Obviously that's an easy fix that involves a one-way trip back to the 'vibrant', 'enriching' countries these scofflaws came from in the first place. Based on how much we hear about the putative family values of our neighbors to the south, it's a real head-scratcher as to why it hasn't already occurred!

The point is to inundate the country with unskilled, uneducated, underachieving, civilly inept, criminally-prone, affirmative-action eligible, resentful welfare cases. In short, the point is to create more Democrats.

- "I don't know about all that, but I sure am happy to take their money everyday and let them beef up my bonus check."

I doubt you'd argue that your line of reasoning is universally applicable. You could, for example, use the same principle to argue in support of slavery (and the parallels between unskilled, third-world immigration into the West and slavery are not insignificant, especially those espoused by nation wreckers like the Koch brothers and the Chamber of Commerce).

- "Overall Democrats are the more educated, skilled and progressive party."

Progressive, like any other political label, is a malleable term. The progressive movement in the West was the driving force behind the eugenics movements of the early 20th century. It has also been behind various socialist movements throughout the world going back to the late 19th century. The kibbutz is a natural outgrowth of this progressivism. Incidentally, it's empirically clear that diversity and sense of community mix about as well as oil and water. See Robert Putnam's work, for example. He's a good Harvard professor and intellectual and consequently sat on his findings for over five years because he was afraid of the conclusions but eventually he made them public and they contained what anyone who knows the emperor has no clothes figured they would. In diverse communities there is very little interracial social mixing and people even tend to withdraw from their own groups more than in more homogeneous settings. Famously, diversity causes people to socially and civically "hunker down".

My point isn't to pass normative judgment on your use of the term. Imprecise labels are still helpful, but caution is advisable when you show reverence for a term with such a storied history.

Regarding the statement about Democrats being the more educated, skilled, and progressive party, that's a tricky and generally incorrect assertion, at least without some major clarification.

From 2008 onward, the GSS shows the mean years of education for self-described Democrats as 13.57 and for self-described Republicans as 13.94 (aged 30+ to allow for school completion to have occurred). The median Republican is definitely wealthier than the median Democrat, as exit polling from 2012 and 2014 both show. That's accentuated further by the fact that exit polling data track income in nominal dollars, but $100k/year in Kansas goes a lot farther than $100k/year in California does, and red states are generally states with lower nominal incomes and correspondingly lower costs-of-living. That's not the only way to measure the nebulous word "skill", but it seems like a reasonable enough one.

Once educational attainment is controlled for, Republicans even more significantly out-earn Democrats. Post-graduates with low incomes are Democratic gold (think doctorate in sociology who does clinical evaluations at a halfway house). Conversely, modestly educated, self-made people with high incomes lean heavily Republican (think guy who went into construction right out of high school and started his own company in his twenties after gaining the requisite experience to do so).

Averages aren't the entire story, of course, and the dynamic that is increasingly coming to define the political landscape of the US is one of an alliance of the top and the bottom (Democratic) against the middle (Republican). It's difficult to get reliable data on the affiliations of the super rich, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that among those earning, say, over $10 million/year, the majority of those who are politically affiliated are Democrats.

Everything discussed above draws on the behaviors and outcomes of the entire population. Progressive SWPLs squirm at the thought, but those Democrat-vs-Republican comparisons that look favorable across the board for Republicans when everyone is taken into account look less impressive when only whites are considered. A table I put together was used in a book entitled Science Left Behind showing the former but not the latter, but it wasn't because I didn't alert the authors to as much. They understand well that when it comes to sizing up the life performances of the "average" Democrat and the "average" Republican, Republicans come out looking better on measures of income, criminality, marriage rates and fidelity, civil engagement, charitable giving, tax cheating, etc. If we're honest with ourselves, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise since 90%+ of blacks and 65%+ of Hispanics vote Democrat.

- "I must have missed the part where Obama granted suffrage to immigrants."

It's the political long game, obviously. Were it politically expedient in the short-term, the executive order would've come prior to the mid-term elections, not after them. Instead, it came immediately following the last election cycle that the current executive has any influence over or suffers any potentially negative consequences from. This strikes me as rather straightforward.

Politically, non-Asian minorities (NAMs) vote heavily Democrat. At first blush, demographic trends appear to overwhelmingly be in the left's favor. I think, overall, that is indeed very much the case, though it's often overstated. This is because, among whites, conservatives outbreed liberals and have been doing so for at least the last two generations (ie since the availability of modern contraception). Political orientation is significantly heritable, on the order of .45-.65. Basically, we have a situation in which whites are becoming more conservative but at the same time becoming an ever smaller proportion of the entire population. Restrict immigration, and conservatives have a chance. Open up the floodgates, and they're definitely toast.

That summation, of course, wasn't meant to be interpreted as the sole justification for the president's action. Things are, as they say, more nuanced than that. But there's huge long-term political upside for the left from anything that makes the country less non-Hispanic white and more black and Hispanic.

- "If you consider yourself HUMAN - you need to back the fuck up from opinions like this one and think about the other HUMANS that you're insisting on dehumanizing. You need to think about these - yes, admittedly, oftentimes poor and uneducated HUMANS who cross into America because they have no options in their native country."

The contradictory messages put out by the open borders crowd are staggeringly brazen. Illegal immigrants have no opportunities in their home countries on the one hand, but they're crucial to the US' high-tech, skill-based economy on the other. We shouldn't callously enforce our sovereign laws because it'll break up immigrant families, but these illegal immigrants are willing to send unaccompanied minors by the tends of thousands across the border through rugged and often dangerous terrain. The US is full of unwelcoming racists and bigots, yet millions upon millions of aspiring immigrants risk imprisonment (and hundreds of millions more would like to do so if they were able to) and even life and limb to come and live in this unwelcoming, racist land of ours. These illegal immigrants are hard-working, entrepreneurial types who create lots of value here in the US, but we need to act with magnanimity in our hearts as we offer charity to the desperately poor, huddled masses that seek refuge in America. The multicultural vibrancy that illegal immigrants bring is a welcome addition to the American cultural mosaic, yet the societies they come from are so dysfunctional that the only humane thing for us to do is allow them unadulterated access into the US.

GSS variables used: PARTYID(0-1)(5-6), AGE(30-89), EDUC, YEAR(2008-2012)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

T-t-t-today junior

I've been thinking about how awful the last two US presidents have been at speaking interactively in public. Given that it constitutes a not insignificant portion of what they do (and what they've done with some regularity prior to ascending to the highest political office in the country), I'd have trouble believing it if I hadn't witnessed it for the entirety of my adult life.

Obama has a good presentation when it comes to reading what the teleprompter tells him to say (Bush could hardly even manage that), but when it comes to giving interviews or pressers, they both consistently sound like stammering buffoons:



It doesn't feel like an exaggeration to presume that a significant portion of readers could give more polished, intelligible performances than the most recent putative leaders of the free world have been able to.

It might be that politicians on the national stage are so restricted in what they say that very little can ever really sound candid or coherent. More cynically, maybe they don't actually spend any time other than when they're actually in front of the public thinking in the sorts of generic platitudes they regularly feed us and so genuinely aren't familiar with the material.

In that same vein, Jokah Macpherson adds that "the most likely explanation is that public speaking doesn't have much payoff in politics. The most successful politicians are more likely the ones that can win over the right people (lobbyists, party leaders, etc) through charm one-on-one. There's a minimum level of competence necessary but few people change votes based on good speaking delivery."

More cynically still, perhaps it's that the most successful politicians can be won over and reliably used as marionettes by said lobbyists and party leaders.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Secession Strategy

Pat Buchanan riffing on the results of 2014 mid-term elections in the US:
As Jeremy Peters of the New York Times wrote in the paper’s lead story a week before the elections:
“Democrats in the closest Senate races in the South are turning to racially charged messages — invoking Trayvon Martin, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Jim-Crow era segregation. 
… 
“The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression.” 
The ads worked. But while Dixie Democrats rolled up landslides among black voters, Michelle Nunn, daughter of Sen. Sam Nunn, carried only 27 percent of the white vote in Georgia, and was wiped out. 
... 
As ethnonationalism pulls at the seams of many countries of Europe, it would appear it is also present here in the United States. When political appeals on the basis of race and ethnicity are being made openly by liberal Democrats, as in 2014, we are on a road that ends in a racial-ethnic spoils system — and national disintegration.
The way to get to national breakup from where we are now is to have non-Southern whites follow the political trail blazed by Southern whites over the last four decades. Over that period of time they've only tiptoed in that direction through the Reagan years and have more-or-less stayed put since then. It's an open question as to whether or not whites will continue to vote for a Democratic party in which they, and by extension their interests--both practical and ideological--have become a minority in the disaffected coalition.

The implementation of the "Southern Strategy" Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater first adopted in the late sixties meshes pretty well with the inception of the GSS, which began in 1972. The following graph shows mean partisan affiliation among whites in the South (West South Central, East South Central, and South Atlantic regions in Census terminology) and whites in the rest of the country over the last forty years. Affiliation is on a 0-6 scale with 0 being "strong Democrat" and 6 being "strong Republican":


This trend--most exemplified in the Deep South states of Alabama and Mississippi, where whites voted against Obama in 2008 by margins of 88%-10% and 88%-11%, respectively--coupled with the region's history, suggests that serious future attempts at secession will first spring to life in the South. Though it surely makes every good SWPL cringe to think that as goes the South, so might go the US, there it is.

Once politics has undeniably devolved into a naked spoils system where demographics is the primary driver of electoral behavior for whites (as it already is for blacks and to a lesser extent for Hispanics), secession will begin to seem less like a bitter, abstract overreaction akin to moving to Canada if George W. Bush is re-elected and more like something as conceivable and palpable as Scotland's narrowly defeated attempt to secede from Great Britain or Catalonia's overwhelming desire to separate from Spain.

GSS variables used: RACE(1), PARTYID, YEAR, REGION(1-4,8-9)(5-7)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hey hey, ho ho, we might just have to get up and go

In the last chapter of an obviously dense but well-written book audaciously entitled A Short History of the World, author Alex Woolf, holding his lituus, notes that "the concept of the nation-state is itself under threat from the ever-growing forces of globalization". I suspect that statement would've met with a lot more credulity in 1994 than it does today. In his defense, the book was published in 2008. Just the intervening six years have been full of evidence enough to give pause to anyone confidently asserting as much.

Using Ipsos-Reuters' interactive public polling site that allows users to create their own cross-tabs shows that, in 2014, the percentages of respondents who either "tend to support" or "strongly support" the idea of their "state peacefully withdrawing from the USA and the federal government" by age range is as follows:

Age%Secede
18-2938.8
30-3928.0
40-4924.0
50-5921.4
60+15.3

The trend is clear. Younger Americans are less attached to the idea of the United States as a unified political body. Their parents and grandparents were part of something on the rise, something that could boast of heroic achievements like winning world wars and putting men on the moon. Now they see a country where the greatest rewards are given to those who create ever-more engrossing ways to impotently navel-gaze and the importance of achievement is of a distant secondary importance to the identity of the person or group doing the putative achieving.

Keep in mind that this survey data is from 2014, not a year like 2004 when a Republican was in the White House. Indeed, Republicans are more inclined towards secession than Democrats (30.0% and 16.8%, respectively) are, yet the correlation between entertaining ideas of secession and a person's age run in the opposite direction of the correlation between a person's age and his political orientation.

Put in another way, 46.0% of Republicans aged 18-29--almost half of the cohort--support the idea of secession. Secession is more of a generational issue than a partisan one. While only 23.9% of Republicans aged 60 and older like the thought of the country breaking up, 34.0% of Democrats aged 18-29 do.

As the country becomes increasingly economically, linguistically, socially, and culturally diverse, there is less and less to hold the people inside this geographically-defined entity together. Approval ratings for virtually all federal agencies and organizations save for the military are perpetually in the toilet irrespective of which party controls the legislative or executive branches of government. The US is way too big and too disparate to make much sense as anything other than a conveniently large free trade zone today, anyway.

I find this quite encouraging. Salt-of-the-earth Americans need to defend themselves against the actions of wealthy elites who intentionally create incentives and disincentives to push undesirables out of their artificially expensive and restrictive residences and into middle-American suburbs while simultaneously browbeating those same middle-America denizens for not grabbing their ankles like good bitches and ushering in the ruin of their communities and resisting being forced to decide whether to let their kids share classrooms with budding thugs aspiring for criminality or take out a second mortgage to send their children to private schools when a decade prior their public schools were something the community could be and was proud of.

Fuck California, fuck Illinois, and most especially, fuck Washington DC. They're dead broke. They've made tons of promises they can't keep. They made their beds, now let them lie in those beds. Become a new barbarian, because the state doesn't represent you or your interests.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ice people weather

The week's weather forecast for Ferguson, MO:


Now, with the Midwest in the midst of an unseasonable cold snap, might be a good time for the grand jury to publicize its verdict. The population at *ahem* high-risk of rioting isn't known to have much of an affinity for arctic air.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

No surer thing in the world

... than that a black woman wants contraception to be covered by health insurance providers, with 94% in favor and 6% opposed.

Doing a little algebra, it looks like black men supported it about 80%-20%. By a slim margin, even white men were in favor, 53%-47%. The advisory measure passed with broad public support in Illinois, 66%-34%, so it's not like black women are retrogrades on the issue. To the contrary, they're leading the way forward!

And no, it's not quite the most electorally reliable question one could put to a negress--they voted even more heavily for Obama in the last presidential election, 96%-4%. Sensationalist hyperbole, I know. Guilty as charged.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A few brief remarks about 2014 mid-term congressional exit polling

A couple of immediate reactions to mid-term congressional exit polling:

- Non-Asian minorities (NAMs) are natural Democrats. Consequently, Republicans always get trounced among blacks. Scarcely any more surprisingly, regardless of whether Republicans go the McCain route and play the role of open borders champion or garner the support of restrictionist paladin Kris Kobach, they lose big among Hispanics.

The behavior of Asians, the nation's other fast growing minority population, are more difficult to predict. As recently as 1996, this truly diverse category backed the GOP. This time around, they almost split evenly, marginally favoring Democrats 52%-48%.

Speculating audaciously, Asians--especially East Asians--tend to be conformists, so I'd guess they'll go with whatever the conventional expectations are. Not surprisingly, I suspect the average Asian-American is more culturally Marxist now than he was 20 years ago. Northwestern Euros seem to be the only people on the planet really capable of sustained political dissonance. If Asians join the American right, they'll have to be led there. Not sure how to make that happen and stick once it has.

Steve Sailer suggests Republicans make every effort to unapologetically cast the Democrats as the party of blacks, since Asians--even more so than whites and Hispanics--tend to be social pussies who yield to blacks in social situations even more feebly than whites or Hispanics do. They distrust blacks more than members of other races distrust blacks. Republicans more-or-less indirectly employed the strategy this time around, with virtually every Republican congressional aspirant, including most incumbents, letting no opportunity to tie their Democratic opponents to Obama go unexploited.

- Steve has been pointing out for several years now that the marriage gap is more informative and influential than the gender gap is. He's correct of course, as the latest exit polls make explicit. There are a couple ways that evince as much. For one, Republicans got 56% of the married vote to 41% of the unmarried vote, a gap of 15 points. Democrats got 53% of the female vote and 43% of the male vote, a gap of only 10 points. The marriage gap is 50% larger than the gender gap is.

More blatantly, Republicans won among both married men (60%-38%) and married women (53%-46%) but the Democrats won among both unmarried men (51%-47%) and unmarried women (61%-37%). Married men and women on one side of the political divide and unmarried men and unmarried women on the other side sounds like it's characterizing a marriage gap more than any putatively crucial gender gap.

- Parenthetically, as of this posting exit polling data from Alaska had yet to be released, but in Florida support for the legalization of medical marijuana passed overwhelmingly among those under the age of 30, 81%-19% (and comfortably overall, around 60%-40%). Although there is more of an enforcement-bureaucracy complex to overcome in the case of drug legalization than there is in the case of same-sex marriage, like mores on that 'hot button' issue, rapid change is coming on the drug front. Effective libertarianism is on the rise, even if that party label is a political non-starter.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Buy and sell that happy ass

In 2002 and 2012 the GSS queried married respondents on their incomes relative to that of their spouse's incomes. Cross-referencing it with a self-report on personal happiness doesn't quite shake out the way I guessed it would have. Due to a modest total sample size (n = 691) across six categories, I didn't attempt to control for any variables. It's an as is picture.

To compute a simple happiness index, the percentage of respondents in each category who self-describe as "not too happy" is subtracted from the percentage who say they are "very happy", with the "pretty happy" middling option ignored. Happiness scores among men by whether they make more, the same, or less than their wives:

Men earning...Happy
More32.1
Same26.7
Less27.0

The differences are pretty modest. I suspected the gap between men keeping pace with their wives and those unable to do so would be larger than the one between men who earn more than their wives and those who make the same as their wives do, but that's not the case.

Women earning...Happy
More34.7
Same20.2
Less31.7

This result is more surprising. More domineering manjaws and a corresponding increase in the number of manboobs today relative to the past? Some of the putative subjective benefits of female empowerment? A meaningless result based on an arbitrary self-description that might vary from day to day depending on the mood the participant was in when she completed the survey?

It is interesting that for both men and women, income on par with one's spouse is not an obvious positive psychological feature, as the lowest scores for both involve income parity among couples. It seems plausible that this sort of arrangement could cause tension at home, since the presumption on both sides is that since both are contributing equally economically, both should contribute equally on the home front, with any deviation from that arrangement making it seem as though the slacker is shirking his duty. I bring home the bacon, my wife keeps up the house and does the lioness' share of work raising our son. That's the societal ideal.

GSS variables used: EARNSHH(1-3)(4)(5-7), SEX(1)(2), HAPPY

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Holding the line and even turning the tide against The Idiocracy?

A few months ago, Jayman put up a post entitled Idiocracy Can Wait?. He found what I'd found, and with a lot more evidence marshaled in the affirmative than I had assembled. Namely, past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

We reactionary curmudgeons often presume that things are deteriorating. The rot in our popular culture and our purpose (or lack thereof) for existing bleed through to saturate every organ of society. In short, we are doomed.

But when it comes to procreation, dysgenic trends look as though they may be a thing of the past, concerns for the 20th century, not this one. In the 21st, the story has become--among whites at least--more, ahem, nuanced, especially when it comes to men.

The following graphs show the average (mean) number of children among white, native-born adults aged 40-65 by sex who were surveyed in the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s into the early 2010s.

Firstly, the 1980s:


Pronounced dysgenic trend among women; gentle dysgenic tilt among men. We appeared to be on the road to idiocracy.

Next, the 1990s:


Continued dysgenic trend among women, though the drop in fertility among those of the most modest intelligence to those of the most acute has become less precipitous. There now exists only a very slight dysgenic pattern among men.

Finally, the turn of the millennium through to the present:

Two decades prior the gap between the dullest wenches and the smartest shrews was 1.5 children. Over the last decade, it's narrowed to just half a kid between the top and the bottom. The dysgenic trend among women in the 2000s is similar to the dysgenic trend among men in the 1980s. Among men, the term "dysgenic"--if not retired altogether--can at least be sidelined for the time being. There now appears to be a modest eugenic trend occurring among men.

Immigration is a wild card here, of course. As non-Hispanic whites drop as a fraction of the US population (in rough tandem with their rate of decline among the globe's total human contingent), this moderately encouraging phenomenon could and probably will become negated by a corresponding increase in the size and proportion of the NAM population.

Tangentially, wise men say only fools rush in... to wordsum. They suggest educational attainment as a superior substitute for a 10-item vocabulary test as a means of assessing intelligence. Who am I to disagree? (Okay, I'll stop). Perhaps that is so, but educational attainment--independent of intelligence, or at least independent of wordsum scores--is far more vigorously inversely correlated with fertility than intelligence or wordsum scores are. Similarly, this is considerably more pronounced among women than it is among men, if it even characterizes men at all.

It's not at all difficult to comprehend why. Women spending their most reproductively viable years in school and then their increasingly marginally reproductive years establishing themselves in their careers leaves precious little time for making babies as their biological clocks approach midnight. It applies to unintelligent and intelligent women alike forsake the maternal imperative to pursue higher education.

From a tangent to a digression and back to the tangent again, the correlation between wordsum scores and educational attainment by decade of birth among all native-born Americans who have participated in the GSS:

Born prior to 1950: .536
Born in the 1950s: .507
Born in the 1960s: .469
Born in the 1970s: .419
Born in the 1980s: .373

Educational romanticism encourages everyone to seek formalized higher education, whatever the costs--economic, emotional, opportunity, and otherwise--irrespective of their stations and objectives in life. As more and more people do just that, educational attainment tells us less and less about a person's cognitive capacities.

GSS variables used: WORDSUM(0-3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)(9-10), RACE(1), SEX(1)(2), YEAR(1980-1989)(1990-1999)(2000-2012), BORN(1), AGE(40-65), COHORT(1900-1949)(1950-1959)(1960-1969)(1970-1979)(1980-1989)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Open marriages? Bugger that!

Heartiste on same-sex marriage:
Every gay marriage that was talked about was an open relationship.

Not a one of these gays who were married, or planned to get married, held any pretense of practicing monogamy. When the topic of promiscuous married gays came up, the only surprise was the blas├ę avowal of the fact.
Because the question of sexual orientation has only been asked in the last three survey years and homosexuals comprise a couple percentage points of the total population, sample sizes are way too small to jump to empirically founded conclusions. That said, the share of married respondents, by sexual orientation, who have "had sex with someone other than your husband or wife while you were married" shake out as follows:

Homosexuals (n = 15) -- 46.7%
Bisexuals (n = 37) -- 37.8%
Heterosexuals (n = 3,724) -- 18.0%

GSS variables used: SEXORNT, EVSTRAY(1-2)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

aka Aussie Rules or Footy

Steve Sailer has recently been mulling over the idea that bringing in former Australian Rules football players to become NFL punters could shake up the game by giving teams that employ them a competitive advantage and making 4th downs more exciting in the process.

Steve suspects that punts often referred to by commentators unfamiliar with either of the big field games down under as "rugby style" kicks are actually footy style kicks. He's correct. To understand why, it helps to delve into an important difference between rugby and footy, the mark.

In both sports, when a mark is awarded, the player making the mark gets a free kick, which is just what it sounds like and is quite advantageous.

In footy, as long as the ball has traveled at least 10 meters in the air off the sending player's foot and hasn't touched any other players, a player who catches it is awarded a free kick. In rugby, only defenders are able to mark the ball. Unlike rugby, when a footy player is kicking down field to a teammate, if that teammate is able to catch it he will be awarded a free kick. Consequently, the footy player kicking down field has an incentive to make the ball easy to catch. The rugby player, in contrast, doesn't want to make the ball all that easy to catch since the opposing team's defender might be able to get a mark out of it. Better to have it crumb in rugby than in footy (from an offensive perspective).

Consequently, footy players learn to kick the ball so that it back spins. Rugby players, in contrast, kick it so it spins forward. A side effect of the footy backspin is that the ball tends to lose its forward 'momentum' when it hits the ground (sort of like a basketball does when you spin it backwards as you throw it forward, but less predictably of course due to the differences in shape) while a ruby kick tends to bounce forward. Increasing the likelihood that the ball will die near the spot that it first lands has obvious implications for precision in placing the ball inside the opponent's 20 on a punt without having it go into the end zone.

For distance, spinning the ball end over end, either backwards or forwards, isn't as effect as torpedoing it. Thus rugby-style kicks don't really carry any inherent advantages over footy-style or torpedo kicks and aren't utilized much in football.

Tangentially, while Steve's ideas are intriguing, I'm not sure how realistic an NFL punter running to the right or left as a footy player does before kicking the ball down field is. Punters taking snaps straight back and immediately kicking the ball behind an offensive line formation designed to maximize said punter's protection still only gives punter's fractions of a second to get the ball off before getting tackled or having his kick blocked. The NFL is a much faster game than college football is.

On a self-indulgent note, two weekends ago I played my last amateur footy game. I was able to score three goals against a great Denver team, thus ending a fun six year career on a high note. The jersey had to be retired for the predictable reasons. I'm in my thirties now, have suffered three broken ribs (each one on a separate occasion), sustained a concussion this season, and have received the countless bloody noses, bruises, and scrapes that are part of the game. Add to that a wife who worries and two kids (and counting) who shouldn't have to, and I guess I have to conclude now's the right time.

AE goes up for a hospital ball and gets laid out as a consequence

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cognitive destratification?

Heartiste does a little shadowboxing in the cognitive stratification ring:
So there will be no genetic ├╝berwench class. This isn’t to say an evolved cognitive elite is impossible; rather, what appears to be happening is less IQ stratification than a perverse reiteration of the patented CH BOSSS (Boss-Secretary Sexual Strategy) sexual market mechanism to reduce wealth and class inequality. The high school grad secretary of yore has been replaced by the college grad secretary of today. And as long as she stays thin and pretty, she’ll catch the eye of that high status man, and GSS data will erroneously pick this up as mate sorting primarily based on college experience or IQ.
As he correctly asserts, it's likely not as dire a situation as many on the dissident right who haven't looked at the relevant data assume.

Rather than accentuating the putative dysgenic problem, as he insinuates the GSS does, though, survey data actually attenuate it. The GSS shows that among men there is simply no dysgenic trend to speak of. There is, however, such a trend among women. The simultaneous existence of the two diverging trends suggests that assortative mating assumptions are exaggerated (don't just take it from this amateur's reading of the numbers; Henry Harpending found the same). The silver tongue's descriptive phrase "boss-secretary sexual strategy" is an empirically valid one.

Heartiste's recognition of the relevance of credentialism is similarly perspicacious:
Conflating runaway credentialism with IQ misses the fact that today’s paper pushing woman with a communications degree was yesterday’s equally competent secretary with a high school degree, and perhaps even yesteryear’s farmhand mother with sharp instincts for survival.
Indeed, even many wise men fail to grasp this. Education is a far stronger predictor of female fertility than IQ is. Intelligence and educational attainment are correlated, of course, but once educational attainment is controlled for, there's very little difference in fertility across the intelligence spectrum. This isn't just the case at the national level; it's descriptive power is global in scope.

Another way to gauge whether or not cognitive stratification is occurring is to look at the standard deviation values in wordsum scores over time. A flattening out of the bell curve distribution--more low- and high-end scores and fewer middling scores--would suggest an increase in cognitive stratification over time while a spike in the distribution's hump--more middling scores, fewer extreme scores--would indicate a decrease in stratification.

The following graph shows standard deviation values in wordsum scores among native-born whites aged 30-50 by year of participation extending back to the earliest years of the GSS:


There is no evidence for cognitive stratification here. On the contrary, there appears to have been a gentle converging in intelligence the last several decades (at least as measured by vocabulary among whites, anyway). In 1978, 7.9% of respondents scored a 3 or lower (out of 10) and 20.0% scored a 9 or 10, with the remaining 72.1% falling in between. In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, 4.1% scored a 3 or lower and 12.2% a 9 or 10, with 83.7% falling in between. A substantially higher percentage of whites fall somewhere in the middle today than did a generation ago.

GSS variables used: YEAR, WORDSUM, RACE(1), BORN(1), AGE(30-50)

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Stoopid Party, New Jersey edition

John Derbyshire got his hands on a campaign support email for and from Jeff Bell. Bell is the Republican challenger for the New Jersey Senate seat currently held by Democrat Cory Booker. Some snippets from the Derb's excerpts:
Dear friend,

I want to wish you a Happy Hispanic Heritage month.

Ronald Reagan once said, "Latinos are Republicans, they just don't know it yet." Maybe that's politically incorrect to repeat in 2014. But I do agree with the premise behind his assertion: if the Republican Party makes the case to them, Hispanics will vote GOP.

But they do have a problem now. Our party has been unwelcoming. Republican members in Congress have refused to consider a path to legalization for those who came here illegally over the years, or an expanded guest worker program that is open to low-skilled workers, not just Ph.D.'s.
Mitt Romney is too much of a restrictionist for Bell's tastes.
I have to say that I fundamentally disagree with [Rush Limbaugh's] assertion that those who immigrate here from Mexico are registered Democrats in waiting. Hispanics in the U.S. have the highest rate of business creation among all ethnic groups — and more than double the national rate. Moreover, they tend to share conservatives' beliefs that life begins at conception and marriage is composed of a husband and a wife.
The Derb has a devastating take down of this naked cheap labor rah-rahing. Now allow me to do my part by throwing my slippers at the beast.

The claim about business creation is bunk. Here's a graphic from a detailed CIS report on the characteristics of immigrants in the US by their countries of origin:


This report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics similarly gives lie to the assertion that Hispanics are business creators. The rates of business creation by race as of 2009, from highest to lowest, runs from whites, to Asians, to Hispanics, and finally to blacks:


Parenthetically, both measures are of self-employment rates, but the difference between someone in charge of an unincorporated business and someone who is self-employed is merely semantic. This is, for all intents and purposes, the most reliable measure of business 'creation' available, even though it actually inflates the Hispanic figures since the rate of business incorporation among non-Hispanic whites is more than double the rate among Hispanics.
Moreover, they tend to share conservatives' beliefs that life begins at conception and marriage is composed of a husband and a wife.
The latter is blatantly false. The GSS shows that the percentage of Hispanics who disagree/strongly disagree with the assertion that "homosexual couples should have the right to marry one another" is 38.6%. In contrast, the percentage of non-Hispanic conservatives who disagree/strongly disagree is 62.8%.

Bell does correctly point out the pro-life overlap, with 73.6% of Hispanics expressing the belief that women should not be able to get an abortion for any reason compared to 70.6% of non-Hispanic conservatives. But blacks are more pro-life than the nation at large is, too, so... I suppose they're natural Republicans as well!

Perhaps the most risible trope Bell employs is this one:
I do agree with the premise behind his assertion: if the Republican Party makes the case to them, Hispanics will vote GOP.
The argument is that if not for it's hesitancy to go all-in for open borders, the GOP would own the Hispanic vote because Hispanics are natural Republicans.

Fortunately for those of us with empirical inclinations, the 2008 presidential election gave that theory a superb real-world test. John McCain was then and still remains today the single most recognized champion of 'comprehensive immigration reform' on the Republican side. Hispanics merely had to vote for him and, as the leader of not only the Republican party but of the entire country, he would've been able to lead his party away from restrictionism and towards open borders. On all the other conventional issues of the day, McCain was clearly more conservative than Obama, so it should've been a no-brainer for all those naturally Republican Hispanic masses.

The result, of course, was that McCain got walloped among Hispanics, 31%-67%. Mitt Romney--who, while an eager supporter of increasing immigration among the highly skilled, who was endorsed by illegal immigration pugilist Kris Kobach, actually took the toughest line on illegal immigration among the Republican field in 2012--lost Hispanics by a similar margin of 27%-71%.

Contrary to Bell's blathering, this is because Hispanics--with high family dissolution and out-of-wedlock birthrates, low educational attainment, high poverty and welfare usage rates, affirmative action eligibility, etc--are not natural Republicans at all. They're natural Democrats.

Jeff, there's a reason all of your political and ideological opponents are so eagerly urging you to take exactly the position on immigration that you've taken, and it's not because they have your political well-being at heart. If you're not smart enough to understand that, you shouldn't be legislating on our behalf.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2008-2012), MARHOMO(1-3)(4-5), ABANY, RACECEN1(1-14)(15-16), POLVIEWS(6-7)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Twenty years and so tired of life


Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of my favorite album of all time. There are objective measures of things like rhythm, harmony, and melody, but much of what constitutes musical preference is subjective, and much of it is a consequence of time and place. People tend to most favor music corresponding to their own early adolescence, for instance. And so it is with UTTAD. It's difficult to try and articulate how much this piece of art has helped me psychologically, emotionally, and philosophically over the years, but here we go.

I think there's a convincing case to be made that UTTAD has a timelessness that protects it against being immediately identifiable as an undistinguished piece of early-nineties rock fusion. The band outlasted most of its cohorts, and of those still around like Radiohead, Phish, and Pearl Jam, DMB is today the biggest in terms of album (an almost anachronistic measure) and ticket sales (which they've dominated for the past decade and a half). A lot of the sound from that period has more-or-less been replicated. For better or worse--and we know where I stand--DMB has not.

The following is to serve as a personal time capsule with very limited general appeal, so if the subject matter is off your radar, please do save your time.

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The Best of What's Around -- When life provides lemons, make lemonade. Events beyond your control shouldn't hijack your mood. Things won't always go as planned, and that's for the better as often as not ("if you hold on tight to what you think is your thing you may find you're missing all the rest"). In any case, counterfactuals are by their very nature inevitably hazy and speculative, so why fret? The quality of your experiences are determined more by the way you approach them and the people you approach them with than are the things that physically transpire at the time said experiences occur.

Asked to offer the best non-verbal description of audible joy in a single minute, I could offer nothing other than the last 60 seconds of this song. I am simply incapable of listening to it without uplift.

What Would You Say -- Two themes. Firstly, we want to feel as though we comprehend the world around us. In some sense we do, and now more than ever before, although we've had an inkling for a long time ("because of original sin"). But in the details, we can't even come remotely close. It's as overwhelming as seeing our place in the universe is ("in the morning's rise a lifetime's passed me by").

Secondly, the unexamined life isn't worth living ("there's nobody in here; look in the mirror my friend"). Ask the titular question. Work on informing the answer by examining every source you're able to; personal, professional, scholarly, existential, empirical or otherwise.

The two strands seem contradictory at first blush. They're not. Realize, instead, that you're not going to get everything right, not by a long shot. But embarking on that journey is the very essence of the human experience. It's ultimately tragic ("everyone goes in the end"), sure. Again, though, look at yourself in relation to the universe. C'est la vie.

Satellite -- Because of After Her, it's tempting for the lyrics to come as a mere afterthought. That's a mistake. The Satellite lyrics are far better than After Her's are. Experience is fleeting and the irresistible, incorrigible passage of time renders every moment simultaneously both unique in the specifics and trivial in the grander scheme.

How to reconcile yourself to this? Don't lose your playfulness. If you expect to find happiness in technological novelty ("like a diamond in the sky"), you're bound to be disappointed ("as I spend these hours five senses reeling, I laugh about this weatherman's satellite eyes"). If the contentment you're aspiring for exists in an end game you hope to arrive at sometime in the indefinite future, spoiler alert--you'll never get there. Like a good video game or movie, the magic is in the journey. It's not in the ending, which is often accompanied by feelings of melancholy at it all being over.

Rhyme and Reason -- Sister to Digging a Ditch and cousin of Too Much, we are confronting the fact that desires always outpace our abilities to fulfill them. It's as relevant to immediate desires for things like a drug-induced high as it is for loftier ambitions like self actualization. It is part of the human condition ("Until I'm six feet underground"). Like a dog racing greyhound chasing an electronic bunny, there are times when you'll feel relatively closer to the ultimate prize; other times everything will seem impossibly far away. Whatever the distance, you'll never close it entirely. As soon as you think you have, new desires start cropping up. If I get that job, that girl, that gadget, I'll finally have everything I've ever wanted, won't I? No, you won't, not even if you're a rock star like Dave Matthews.

Typical Situation -- Probably the band's most direct engagement with the problem of modernity. You are able to maintain meaningful social bonds with roughly 150 people. When the number of people you interact with exceeds that, relationships become thin, fragmented, and shallow. Contemporary Westerners deal with far, far greater numbers of people than that on a regular basis.

There is presumably a similar dynamic at work when it comes to things. That blanket you've had since you were a baby means something to you. The attachment is deep and visceral. That comforter you got from Target last week doesn't remotely compare even though it's objectively newer, warmer, and more fashionable. To the contrary, it has a negative value attached to it ("too many choices") because it takes nothing to obtain, fosters no significant attachment or connection, and will get thrown out as unceremoniously as it came in.

The door leads to the Nothing ("it all comes down to nothing"--heh, not quite literally, though it works well enough here), but look around and you'll quickly notice everyone is traipsing towards it ("keep the big door open, everyone will come around"), lemming-like, nonetheless. What's your alternative, Jack Donovan?

Dancing Nancies -- No, you could not have been anyone other than who you are. Dwelling on the question is only tempting regret and insecurity (and dizziness!). Stress leads to cortisol production. Cortisol leads to inflammation. And, quite rarely for a topic as disputed and controversial as human health, inflammation is almost universally agreed to be a bad thing. You are who you are. There is no going back in time. There is no hacking your genetic code (at least not yet). Own it. It's the only option open to you save becoming a paralyzed human vegetable ("shoes untied, tongue-gaping stare"), and you don't want that.

Ants Marching -- Routine is comfort. Comfort is, well, comforting. It's difficult to do things that make you uncomfortable. Specifically at issue is approach anxiety ("we look at each other, wondering what the other is thinking, but we never say a thing, and these crimes between us grow deeper"), but it speaks to a lot more than just that. Hope isn't lost, though. Let that urge, that attraction, to whatever it is you want to go after, compel and then propel you into pursuing it. The first step is always the hardest one to take. Once it's been taken, though, you'll find walking is easy, natural, and a lot of fun ("lights down, you up and die").

Lover Lay Down -- The album's only love song is also it's most straightforward. I lost my virginity to it (or to Jimi Thing, depending on what specific point in the act it is considered to have gone away).

Jimi Thing -- Dave's Jimi Thing might be your Dave Thing. It certainly is mine. Know thyself. The Delphic maxim echoes through eternity, as sagacious as ever. Figure out what works for you. What motivates, inspires, invigorates, and comforts you. The ritual of morning coffee, the good feeling and self confidence exercise brings, the pleasure that figuring out puzzling details of a game elicits, whatever. Look to others for suggestions, but not for rote answers. Don't be afraid to explain why the things that work for you work for you. If others don't understand it, it's no sweat of your back.

Warehouse -- This is an epic undertaking. Like a Shakespearean play (I'm told), it's better the tenth time you read it than the first time through. It took me years to crack the code. When I finally had the epiphany, it almost brought me to tears.

The warehouse is a metaphor for the body. The song is written from the perspective of a man on his deathbed. The passion intro sets the scene. As his consciousness begins to slip away and the violin picks up, we enter a sort of extended flashback as he recalls what he's gleaned about living the good life from having now reached the conclusion of his own.

Stay curious, stay playful. Have fun with convention and superstition, but don't take life too seriously. It's short on the metaphysical speculation ("bags packed on a plane, hopefully to heaven"). And for the better--this is advice for those who are in the midst of living, not for those who have already lived. Curiously, just as you start to come into your own as an adult, you'll start to realize how ordinarily human you are ("Becoming one in a million, slip into the crowd, this question I found a gap in the sidewalk"). It's a kind of Socratic Paradox. You're going to think you have things figured out and then something new will come and threaten the integrity of the equation you spent so much sweat and tears figuring out ("I had a clue, now it's gone forever"). The song is a gold mine. It's probably the one that resonates with me at the deepest level.

Pay for What You Get  -- A clever inversion of getting what you pay for, this is a mature--dare I say more nuanced--understanding of the way the real world works than the get-what-you-pay-for aphorism suggests. Another cliche, that having involuntarily lost merely frees up room for other things, ("have you heard a bird in hand is much better than any number free to wander") is discarded for the saccharine pseudo succor that it is.

On more than one occasion in the aftermath of a breakup, I recall going from here to Nancies to Satellite and finally to Best of What's Around, which I'd then play on repeat 5-10 times through.

#34 -- The iteration of the song I latched onto was devoid of lyrics. Yet the ambiance it creates is a fitting tribute to what DMB's music in general and UTTAD in particular has meant to me from my earliest pubescence all the way through to the present. It's my sanctuary, an always welcoming, refreshing refuge for a wary wayfarer muddling through life the best he can.