Monday, February 19, 2018

Another Canadian Kerfuffle

I follow Gerald Butts on Twitter but I guess I was too absorbed in fighting with Quillette to notice the controversy with Quillette's spiritual father alt-right Ezra Levant.



This must have made Ezra Levant's day since being noticed by Justin Trudeau is, I am convinced, what he lives for. He tweeted back:



First if you read the tweet you can see Butts' says "alt-right nazi friends of the Rebel" and doesn't call Levant a Nazi.

Secondly it's absolutely true that Levant has alt-right nazi friends. I guess Levant is counting on nobody remembering Gavin McInnes' infamous rant while he was working for Rebel Media. As CanadaLand helpfully offered: We Watched Gavin McInnes’s Full Anti-Semitic Rant So You Don’t Have To.

But oh dear god Levant must have felt so conflicted by what happened next. Of course the Conservative Party in Canada supported alt-right Rebel Media by mentioning the exchange. In the video below (I could only find a copy of the video by Trudeau-haters, don't click through)...

...first we see the Canadian minister whom Trudeau once yelled at "Oh you piece of shit!" much to Levant's poorly disguised semi-orgasmic delight - then at the end some Conservative woman mentions the Nazi quote and Trudeau's response is:
 "...when it comes to civil discourse, when it comes to the back and forth that happens in this house, it's a real shame to see the conservatives using lines straight out of Rebel magazine, and Rebel web cast. The Rebel should not be writing commentary and questions for the members opposite. They should know to disassociate themselves from that kind of politics and those kind of personal attacks."
Ouch! That's gotta hurt "Rebel magazine, Rebel web cast" he doesn't even call it by its actual name.

Sorry Ezra Levant, he's just not that into you.

Although all of Canada must be aware at this point of the cavalcade of racists and nazis and alt-right feminist-haters like Claire Lehmann who like to hang out at Rebel Media.


The New Yorker and The Blank Slate

In Louis Mendand's 2002 New Yorker review of The Blank Slate he demonstrates how little Steven Pinker's rhetoric has changed in almost two decades:
The "intellectuals" in Pinker's book are social scientists, progressive educators, radical feminists, academic Marxists, liberal columnists, avant-garde arts types, government planners, and postmodernist relativists. 
As with the Guardian and American Renaissance reviewers, Menand also notices Pinker's double-talk: to both believe every single thing that the hereditarians claim about human nature but at the same time to disagree with their claims about blacks. 

Menand writes:
Having it both ways is an irritating feature of "The Blank Slate." Pinker can write, in refutation of the scarecrow theory of violent behavior, "The sad fact is that despite the repeated assurances that 'we know the conditions that breed violence,' we barely have a clue," and then, a few pages later, "It is not surprising, then, that when African American teenagers are taken out of underclass neighborhoods they are no more violent or delinquent than white teenagers." Well, that should give us one clue.
Interesting that what jumps out at Menand is what Pinker says about African American teenagers. 

What jumps out at me in light of Pinker's support for the Criminal Justice evo-psycho bros who show up in Quillette, American Renaissance and Stefan Molyneux's Youtube channel, is that it isn't intelligence but the violence of African Americans about which Pinker is double-speaking.

Mendand then notes what I've been talking about - the tendency of evo-psychos to refuse to let the historical record inform their understanding of human behavior:
He argues, for example, that democracy, the rule of law, and women's reproductive freedom are all products of evolution. The Founding Fathers understood that the ideas of power sharing and individual rights are grounded in human nature. And he quotes, with approval, the claim of two evolutionary psychologists that the "evolutionary calculus" explains why women evolved "to exert control over their own sexuality, over the terms of their relationships, and over the choice of which men are to be the fathers of their children." Now, democracy, individual rights, and women's sexual autonomy are concepts almost nowhere to be found, even in the West, before the eighteenth century. Either human beings spent ten thousand years denying their own nature by slavishly obeying the whims of the rich and powerful, cheerfully burning heretics at the stake, and arranging their daughters' marriages (which would imply a pretty effective system of socialization), or modern liberal society is largely a social construction. Which hypothesis seems more plausible?
Which demonstrates that evo-psycho bros believe that every aspect of this present moment in time is the result of evolution. So if women are not as active in STEM careers as men right now, in 2018, it's because this particular ratio of men to women in STEM is exactly as evolution meant it to be. 

I suspect that the evo-psycho bros would have said the proportion of women in STEM in 1950 was also exactly as evolution meant it to be, if Steven Pinker had been around then. 

Because the entire point of evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, human biodiversity and all other hereditarian claims is to justify the status quo. "Biologizing equality" anthropologist Marvin Harris said.

It's a reflection of the ass-backwardness of the minds of the evo-psycho gang they will claim the very people who defend the status quo like James Damore are the same as scientists fighting against "ancient religion" as alt-right Quillette's Jonathan Kay recently tweeted.

The evo-psychos and their alt-right allies are such drama queens. 

And then in the Menand review we meet Judith Rich Harris. One of the most influential of the evo-psycho bros of this series, Kevin M. Beaver is the Judith Rich Harris Professor of Criminology at Florida State University.

Menand writes:
...Harris claimed that "shared family environments"—that is, parents—have little or no effect on a child's personality. (Strictly speaking, she claimed that parenting does not account for the variation in differences in personality, which is what genetic science measures.)... 
...The new sciences of human nature have discovered that personality has exactly five dimensions: people are, in varying degrees, either open to experience or incurious, conscientious or undirected, extroverted or introverted, agreeable or antagonistic, and neurotic or stable. (This is known in the literature as the Five-Factor Model, or FFM. The five dimensions are referred to by the acronym ocean.) All five attributes are partly heritable, and they are what behavioral geneticists look to for a definition of personality. It seems that there is no need for finer tuning, because ocean accounts for everything. 
We see Beaver promoting the Five Factor Model in Bridging Personality and Neurobiology in the Study of Psychopathology: Interfacing the Five Factor Model of Personality with the Triarchic Neurobehavioral Trait Framework.

But Menand points out:
Science can measure anxiety. This is not just because people will report themselves, in surveys, to be more or less anxious; it is also because a genetic basis for anxiety has been identified. People with a shorter version of a stretch of the DNA that inhibits the serotonin-transporter gene on chromosome 17 are more likely to be anxious. That chronic anxiety is biological—that it is not caused solely by circumstance—is shown by the fact that medication containing a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (that is, an anti-depressant) can relieve it. (Would medication count as nurture or as nature?) 
But that's just the biology. The psychology is everything that the organism does to cope with its biology. Innately anxious people develop all kinds of strategies for overcoming, disguising, avoiding, repressing, and, sometimes, exploiting their tendency to nervousness. These strategies are acquired—people aren't born with them—and they are constructed from elements that the environment provides. The mind can work only with what it knows, and one of the things it knows is parents, who often become major players in the psychic drama of anxiety maintenance. The mere fact of having "the gene for anxiety" determines nothing, which is why some anxious people become opera buffs, some become water-skiers, and some just sit and stare out the window, brooding on the fact that their parents did not read them enough bedtime stories. These people are unlikely to be relieved by learning that cognitive science has determined that bedtime stories are overrated.
The inability of Pinker and his followers to engage with such psychological complexities as coping strategies is also reflected by what a gigantic Philistine Menand reveals Pinker to be.

The fact that Pinker decided to criticize postmodern art in a book about "human nature" reveals as much as anything about the uselessness of evolutionary psychology. I'll get to that next.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I discover more about Canada: meet Tabatha Southey & Jonathan Kay's mom


I didn't even know who Justin Trudeau was until he came to the United States in early 2016 and such a big deal was made about his bromance with Obama. But even that barely registered. It was sort of like, oh, I guess they have a new Prime Minister in Canada now and he's young and handsome and gets along well with the President.

It took the election of Donald Trump to really make me appreciate Canada and Justin Trudeau.

There were so many things I didn't know about Canada until the past year. For instance, the capital is Ottawa, not Toronto. Did you know that? If you're like most Americans, you didn't. Here are Americans being asked who Justin Trudeau is right after he was elected.

So of course I had no idea who Tabatha Southey was.

While researching Steve Pinker's connections to the alt-right I came to realize that Quillette, which he frequently linked to from Twitter (although at this point not since January 31), was not only frequently running pro-evolutionary psychology articles but was running evo-psycho articles by people who not only believe in the innate intellectual inferiority of blacks, but in some cases believe that black people are also more innately criminal than other "races." Those people happen to be American college professors specializing in Criminal Justice. Some of them had also appeared on alt-right Stefan Molyneux's Youtube channel. A couple of their articles for Quillette have been reposted at white supremacist American Renaissance.

So my antennae have been out for Quillette content on Twitter, and when I came across Tabatha Southey's comment,  festooned with a Great Auk, I naturally Liked and Retweeted it. And naturally got into arguments with people who attacked her on the thread. But for all I knew she was just some random person with good taste.


And even when Jonathan Kay (who I knew of only because he ghost-wrote Justin Trudeau's "Common Ground") and his fellow Quillette author Debrah Soh, (whom I had also never heard of prior to this string of events) were freaking out about Southey's remark about Quillette, days later, I still wasn't clued in.

Then I Googled her. Turns out she's a big fucking deal in the Canadian literary scene. And has been for at least over a decade. So big that according to Kay, Ezra Levant even attacked her on Sun News (the video is unfortunately no longer available.) And she in turn has written about Levant. I'm surprised I didn't read that piece, because I was Googling for stories about Levant at that time in connection with the awful events of Charlottesville.

And now I realize I have already linked to an article by Southey on this blog on January 28, a piece in Maclean's which asks the immortal question: Is Jordan Peterson the stupid man's smart person?




Jonathan Kay sniffed that the Effin Birds project isn't funny but actually it is. I don't think Kay has much of a sense of humor though. Southey made good use of his Tweet.

In turns out that Kay is pretty vicious: he told people to block me on Twitter saying I was "Not right above the shoulders" in response to my pointing out that Quillette provides wingnut welfare to hacks. Although since he is a three-time (so far) author at Quillette, I don't suppose his response was exactly a calm and disinterested assessment of my rightness above the shoulders.

I posted that on my Twitter and asked if he's always been that vicious. I was told he was like his mother, a Canadian right-winger, except she is "even worse." 

This is Kay's mother. No surprise she's a fan of Christina "Koch hack" Sommers and Jordan "lobster man" Peterson.




I sure have learned a lot about Canadians in the past year.

Anyway, back to Southey - in spite of Kay's comment she is still quite funny. The funniest I've found so far is from a couple of years ago. I LOL'd.
For a while when I was a little girl, my older brother and I made a lot of underwear jokes. We were like the George Burns and Gracie Allen of undergarments, only loud, and our routines were mostly just one of us saying the word "underwear," and the other one laughing; anyone else saying the word "underwear" could easily set us off as well.
Getting us dressed in the morning took forever. Trips to the laundromat were so gleeful, it was like the dryers emitted laughing gas. Finally, my poor mother reached the end of her knicker-quip tether, and this is what she did: One Saturday morning she took all the underwear in the house: mine, my brother's, hers and my dad's Y-fronts – a cotton comedy cornerstone right there – and she put them all on my parents' bed and basically said, "You have until sundown, go nuts." And that's what we did, and then, almost miraculously, we were done with underwear.
 
And so I'm going to offer the world a chance to do much the same now. World, you have one week to make Hot Justin Trudeau jokes, and enjoy sexy-world-leader innuendo with impunity. Please make the most of this week and then, come Nov. 1, let's be done with this. 
You want to say, "Whoa, I'd respect his arctic sovereignty," this is your moment.
Dying to shout, "Man, I'd enter that into my Hansard," when images of Justin Trudeau come on the TV screen at your local bar, you go right ahead.
 
Any journalists thinking of asking, "Hey, soon-to-be-prime mister, did it hurt when you fell from heaven, and do you feel that the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affected your rate of descent?" at Mr. Trudeau's next press conference, this is your time. 
Want to comment, "I know he's prime minister but he's welcome to be chief of my staff" on the next news article you see speculating about the Trudeau cabinet picks, by all means, do so now. 
Ditto "I'd like to be first past his post," and "I'll bet that's a right honourable member."

Although perhaps my laugh was partly out of guilt since I have been known to say that Justin Trudeau can eat my poutine any time.

While he’s hardly alone, Damore’s laborious effort provides indisputable evidence of the attitudes that many women in STEM face. When a woman submits her resume, she knows it may be read by a Damore. When she negotiates a raise—an arena in which she’s damned if she does and, as the Google memo explains, too innately high in “agreeableness” if she doesn’t—she weighs the possibility that she’s negotiating with a Damore. When a woman takes maternity leave, she wonders how many of her colleagues are Damores, dismissing her as someone innately lacking the “drive for status.” 
Damores are everywhere. Great flocks of Damores perch in their offices—or worse, on the corner of your desk when you’re up to your neck in stack traces—depositing their opinions on IQ differences on passersby and filling the air with their cry of “Women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”

Steven Pinker & hereditarianism: the disconnect

Steven Pinker, who has no problem claiming "respectable media" is guilty of radicalizing the alt-right by suppressing "the truth" is in return adored by respectable media.

I've already discussed Jesse Singal in the New York Times white-washing Pinker's remarks. Remarks that were video-taped and so anybody who bothers to look could see that Singal misrepresented what Pinker had said. But luckily for Singal and Pinker few people bother to check, so certain they are of Pinker's innate goodness.

Pinker is currently promoting his latest book, Enlightenment Now and this is fairly typical of the press's approach to Steven Pinker - this is Andrew Anthony in the British left-wing newspaper The Guardian:
Pinker’s trademark mop of silver curls, more like that of an ageing hard rock guitarist than an Ivy League academic, a pair of twinkling blue eyes and a ready expression of amusement beam out from my screen.
I was hoping the New Yorker would have reviewed Enlightenment Now by this point, so I could get a less worshipful perspective on Pinker from the press, but so far they haven't published anything. 

The liberal press loves Pinker and of course the racist right loves Pinker - although unlike Pinker, at least American Renaissance acknowledges the existence of The Pioneer Fund. I have yet to find any evidence that Pinker has ever acknowledged the connection between the Pioneer Fund and the Bell Curve.

Considering how often Pinker accuses critics of hereditarianism of being influenced by liberal politics, it is absolutely remarkable that Pinker wouldn't at least mention the Pioneer Fund if only to explain why it doesn't matter that some claims made in the Bell Curve are based on work funded by actual white supremacists.

So why doesn't Pinker mention the Pioneer Fund? Well for one thing the fawning press doesn't trouble him by asking such unpleasant questions, too entranced by Pinker's twinkling blue eyes to even think straight, much less do the hard work of digging into Pinker's background.

As I mentioned in this series, journalists have been failing us for a long time concerning evolutionary psychology.

While the press has been doing its best to avoid noticing how squirelly Pinker is about hereditarianism occasionally reviewers can't help but notice it.

And so, having claimed there is genetic evidence that intelligence is a heritable condition, and having asserted that races are little more than large, inbred families, Pinker himself ducks the issue that generates most anger. In parentheses on page 144, he states: "My own view, incidentally, is that in the case of the most discussed racial difference – the black-white IQ gap in the US – the current evidence does not call for a genetic explanation." 
Good. I believe he is right. But why does he go on to say that Steven Rose is wrong to believe that IQ tests tell you nothing useful, or that race is a doubtful biological category? And why, after arguing the science of this question for many decades, do we all still "believe" rather than "know" one way or the other?
His admirers on the racist right have also noticed a disconnect. In the American Renaissance review of Blank Slate, available via the Wayback Machine, Samuel Francis writing in 2003 ponders:
Prof. Pinker is firm and clear about the “inherent” or “innate” characteristics and behavior of human beings—human nature — that exist before anyone has a chance to scribble on the blank slate. Not only aggression and sexual differences but also intelligence he acknowledges to be in large part genetically grounded, but on the Big Taboo—race—he is vague and even contradictory.
He endorses the environmentalist theories of the origins of civilization of Jared Diamond and Thomas Sowell as opposed to racial ones, and tells us that “My own view … is that in the case of the most discussed racial difference—the black-white IQ gap in the United States—the current evidence does not call for a genetic explanation.” Yet, six pages later, he tells us that “… there is now ample evidence that intelligence is a stable property of an individual, that it can be linked to features of the brain (including overall size, amount of gray matter in the frontal lobes, speed of neural conduction, and metabolism of cerebral glucose), that it is partly heritable among individuals, and that it predicts some of the variations in life outcomes such as income and social status.” Combined with the different scores of blacks and whites on IQ tests, of course, this implies that the “most discussed racial difference” has a significantly genetic and not an environmentalist explanation...
Pinker's admirers on both the left and the racist right sense that something is not quite right here. This is echoed by reviews in The New Yorker, the only media outlet not completely baffled by Pinker's bullshit. I'll talk about that next.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Northern Superiority Hypothesis: meet Richard Lynn

We met Richard Lynn early on in this evo-psycho bros series when I mocked his claims about the difference in Irish and British intelligence when genetically the Irish and British are the same "race".

Richard Lynn (born 20 February 1930)[1] is an English psychologist, white-nationalist, and author. He is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Ulster[2][3] and assistant editor of the journal Mankind Quarterly, which has been described as a "white supremacist journal"...
And...
Lynn currently serves on the board of directors of the Pioneer Fund, and is also on the editorial board of the Pioneer-supported journal Mankind Quarterly, both of which have been the subject of controversy for their dealing with race and intelligence and eugenics, and have been accused of racism, e.g., by Avner Falk and William Tucker.[15][85][86] Lynn's Ulster Institute for Social Research received $609,000 in grants from the Pioneer Fund between 1971 and 1996.[87] 
So it appears that during the time he was developing the Northern Superiority Hypothesis he was receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Pioneer Fund.

A review of The Bell Curve in Scientific American (archived by the Wayback Machine here) by Leon J. Kamin reveals how much of that book depends on work by Richard Lynn:
The remaining studies cited by Lynn, and accepted as valid by Herrnstein and Murray, tell us little about African intelligence but do tell us something about Lynn's scholarship. 
One of the 11 entries in Lynn's table of the intelligence of "pure Negroids" indicates that 1,011 Zambians who were given the Progressive Matrices had a lamentably low average IQ of 75. The source for this quantitative claim is given as "Pons 1974; Crawford-Nutt 1976." 
A. L. Pons did test 1,011 Zambian copper miners, whose average number of correct responses was 34. Pons reported on this work orally; his data were summarized in tabular form in a paper by D. H. Crawford-Nutt. 
Lynn took the Pons data from Crawford-Nutt's paper and converted the number of correct responses into a bogus average "IQ" of 75. 
Lynn chose to ignore the substance of Crawford-Nutt's paper, which reported that 228 black high school students in Soweto scored an average of 45 correct responses on the Matrices--HIGHER than the mean of 44 achieved by the same-age white sample on whom the test's norms had been established and well above the mean of Owen's coloured pupils. 
Seven of the 11 studies selected by Lynn for inclusion in his "Negroid" table reported only average Matrices scores, not IQs; the other studies used tests clearly dependent on cultural content. 
Lynn had earlier, in a 1978 paper, summarized six studies of African pupils, most using the Matrices. The arbitrary IQs concocted by Lynn for those studies ranged between 75 and 88, with a median of 84. 
Five of those six studies were omitted from Lynn's 1991 summary, by which time African IQ had, in his judgment, plummeted to 69. 
Lynn's distortions and misrepresentations of the data constitute a truly venomous racism, combined with scandalous disregard for scientific objectivity. 
Lynn is widely known among academics to be an associate editor of the racist journal "Mankind Quarterly" and a major recipient of financial support from the nativist, eugenically oriented Pioneer Fund. It is a matter of shame and disgrace that two eminent social scientists, fully aware of the sensitivity of the issues they address, take Lynn as their scientific tutor and uncritically accept his surveys of research.
Speaking of Mankind Quarterly I found what I think is the first full explanation of the Northern Superiority Hypothesis, in an article by Lynn in the Fall/Winter 1991 issue called The Evolution of Racial Differences in Intelligence.

Although after reading it, it is perhaps not so much a Northern Superiority Hypothesis as a Hunting Superiority Hypothesis:
The problems of survival in the northern latitudes of Eurasia would have resided in the cold winters and consisted principally of obtaining food and keeping warm. Unlike the tropics and subtropics, plant foods were seasonal and not available for many months during the winter and spring. People therefore became wholly reliant on hunting large herbivores such as mammoth, horse and reindeer to secure their food supply. 
It was shown by Lee (1968) that among contemporary hunter gatherers the proportions of foods obtained by hunting and by gathering varies according to latitude. Peoples in tropical and sub tropical latitudes are largely gatherers, while peoples in temperate environments rely more on hunting. Peoples in arctic and subarctic environments rely almost exclusively on hunting, together with fishing, and do so of necessity because plant foods are unavailable except for berries in the summer and autumn.
Lynn figures the process can also happen in reverse:
Thus in the new environment of the Americas survival would have been much easier. The Amerindians would have retained their elevated level of general intelligence, as compared with the Negroids, which their ancestors would have gained in north east Asia during the early Wiirm glaciations. They would also have retained their well developed visuospatial abilities. These enabled them to continue as effective hunters and there would have been no selection pressure to evolve any different pattern of abilities. 
However, the selection pressure for any further increase in these and other cognitive abilities would have been considerably relaxed. The cognitive abilities of the Amerindians have probably increased since they reached the Americas because intelligence has been a fitness characteristic for all human populations. But the rate of increase will have been relatively slow because of the relaxation of the selection pressures for enhanced intelligence acting on them. The history and the intelligence of the Amerindians suggests that the main Wiirm glaciation must have been the principal factor which raised the intelligence of the Caucasoid and Mongoloid peoples to its present level.
Of course there are many many problems with Lynn's presumptions, including the idea that sub-Saharan Africa was a garden of Eden wherein almost no effort had to be made in order to live:
 The life style of present day !Kung bushmen in the Kalahari desert provides a useful insight into the relative ease of securing food supplies for hunter gatherer peoples in tropical latitudes. As described by Lee (1968), women go gathering plant foods about one day in three, and men go on hunting expeditions for about one week in three. This is sufficient  to provide food for the whole group, including infants, children and the old. The rest of the time can be spent relaxing about the camp. For these peoples the problems of obtaining food supplies are neither time consuming nor cognitively demanding.
This raises the question of course - if the living was so easy, why did some humans leave and go into the land of cold winters and scarce food in the first place?.

Lynn does not address the question at all.

The answer: carrying capacity and war. Anthropologist Marvin Harris in his Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture wrote:
...pre-state populations stop growing when they reach as little as one-third of the maximum carrying capacity of their techno-environmental situation... the evidence indicated that slow rates of population growth were achieved only at great psycho-biological costs through infanticide, abuse, and neglect... The payment of Malthusian costs may account for many specific features of pre-state societies. The most important of these is warfare.
So the most likely reason some groups left for the inhospitable north was because they had nowhere else to go. The winners of conflicts would get to stay. So actually it was the better-organized and stronger groups who stayed in sub-Saharan Africa. Which would indicate a higher fitness level. The losers got out of Africa.

Lynn's belief that only hunting in cold weather was enough of an intellectual challenge to select for intelligence is bizarre. And not only for the human conflict issue but also, has he seen Africa? Never mind hunting for dinner, the existence of large carnivores in Africa meant you had to be smart enough to avoid being dinner yourself.

Lynn also seems to believe that Neanderthals were more intelligent than the human groups who remained in sub-Saharan Africa:
The only hominid species to overcome the problems of survival in the cold temperate climates of Eurasia were Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.
The problems of overwintering would have been considerable even during warm periods such as the present, but during the periodic glaciations these problems would have been much more formidable. Most of the last 80,000 years has been colder than today. During the main Wiirm glaciation of approximately 24-10,000 years ago winter temperatures in Europe and north east Asia fell by 5-15°C. The terrain became cold grasslands and tundra with only a few trees in sheltered river valleys and the environment was broadly similar to that of present day Alaska (Nilsson, 1983). Survival in these conditions would have called for greater intelligence than was required in the tropical and sub-tropical climates of sub-Saharan Africa.
So apparently Homo erectus solved the problems of overwintering and therefore were just as intelligent as those humans who moved into the cold north, and more intelligent than the humans who weren't challenged by the cold.

So if they were so smart, why are they extinct?

I assume in 1991 Lynn wasn't aware of the Neanderthal ancestry mixed in with virtually all human ethnicities except those of sub-Saharan Africa. Which raises a question I think he would probably rather avoid - I asked the question several years ago: Are Black people more human than everybody else?

Another unanswered question - if the living was so easy in sub-Saharan Africa, why are sub-Saharan Africans so good at running quickly and long distances? As an article in The Atlantic points out:
Another argument notes that many of Kenya's best runners come from the sunny highlands in the Great Rift Valley, which also happens to be the birthplace of homo sapiens. 
And...
The studies found significant differences in body mass index and bone structure between the Western pros and the Kenyan amateurs who had bested them. The studied Kenyans had less mass for their height, longer legs, shorter torsos, and more slender limbs. One of the researchers described the Kenyan physical differences as "bird-like," noting that these traits would make them more efficient runners, especially over long distances.
Those don't sound like traits that would have evolved from a lifestyle of people who mainly just relaxed around the camp. Especially because, while the !Kung may only hunt one week in three their traditional method is the extremely challenging persistence hunting.

Scott McGreal in Psychology Today raises additional issues.

And the other issue from less than a year ago - the oldest known human remains are not from East Africa but from north-west Africa near Morocco.

Steven Pinker had an interesting exchange with Ron Unz about the theories or Richard Lynn, printed in American Renaissance.

The letter is so Pinker. First there's an attachment in which Pinker disavows that "cross-national differences in IQ have a genetic cause."

Then there is the Gould-bashing. Then he goes right to the edge of saying that IQ differences are genetic before pulling back again.
In the case of racial differences within the United States, Jensen and Rushton do have additional data, such as that when socioeconomic status, income, education, and the like are all thrown into a regression, the black-white gap doesn’t go away; the fact that the children of black and white couples matched in IQ regress to different means; and others. This is not to endorse their arguments...
And then the usual bashing the establishment.
Outside the circle of a handful of bloggers and behavioral geneticists (Lynn) is somewhere between obscure and radioactive... This is not to say that such a reputation is deserved or not, but it would be a mistake to imply that you’re arguing against a widely accepted hypothesis — Lynn’s hypothesis is anathema to 99.99% of psychologists and, for that matter, academics.
Pinker's slipperiness about going full hereditarian has been noted by people on both the left and the right, which I will talk about next.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Quillette supporting a hack as always


Those who don't understand what a vehicle for the alt-right Quillette is need only look at its latest top story - a defense of Jordan B. Peterson

Apparently he was interviewed by someone who didn't do her homework. 

And so Quillette and the other alt-right media outlets have been harping on this for weeks. Apparently the interviewer is a representative of all that's wrong in the world's response to Jordan B. Peterson:
It was while I was watching Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman’s spectacularly disastrous interview with University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson that what was wrong with much of journalism today crystallized in my brain. 
I’d been oscillating between anger and frustration watching Canadian media fail again and again – and often in jaw-dropping fashion – in reporting on Peterson and I couldn’t quite establish what was going wrong.
We know that alt-right Claire Lehmann who runs Quillette is in thick with Canadian alt-right Rebel Media, created by alt-right wingnut Trudeau-obsessive Ezra Levant (read about his unhinged attack on the Trudeau family here) who also has employed at one time or another Milo Yiannapoulos, Gavin McInnes (Yiannapoulos & McInnes share a kiss on Rebel Media's channel here) Mike Cernovich and a whole bunch of other alt-right creeps.


Peterson is a ridiculous hack whose claims about lobsters and humans were taken apart by biologist P. Z. Myers here and here and Peterson's bad faith arguments are taken apart by Peter Coffin.

But obviously if you are going to be impressed by Quillette you aren't going to have the critical thinking skills to understand what Myers and Coffin are talking about. You're just going to assume that any critics of Peterson are part of the nefarious anti-science, anti-truth cabal that Steven Pinker likes to allude to.

Northern Superiority Hypothesis & INTERPOL

The evo-psycho bros dismiss slavery and its after-effects in their certainty that the only possible explanation for continued black poverty, lower test scores etc, is genetics, as Bo and Ben Winegard state in their article for Quillette entitled A Tale of Two Bell Curves.
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. 
On Twitter Steven Pinker provided a link to the article but made sure to say he didn't agree with the Bell Curve on race, something he also says in his own Blank Slate. Curiously I have yet to find Pinker explaining why, although he appears to agree with every other claim in The Bell Curve, he does not agree with that particular one. Mostly he just whines about how the Bell Curve was misrepresented by the usual suspects.

I'll get back to that later.

But the mention of slavery/discrimination indicates that when evo-psychos talk about black/white differences they are talking about North America since the beginning of the slave trade.


What I discovered recently from Pew Research is that not only are people bad at guessing their own genetic ancestry, many people change which "race" they self-identify as on the US census:
The researchers, who included university and government population scientists, analyzed census forms for 168 million Americans, and found that more than 10 million of them checked different race or Hispanic-origin boxes in the 2010 census than they had in the 2000 count. Smaller-scale studies have shown that people sometimes change the way they describe their race or Hispanic identity, but the new research is the first to use data from the census of all Americans to look at how these selections may vary on a wide scale.
However some of the evo-psycho bros are certain that the problem isn't African Americans it's Africans. John Paul Wright in his chapter Inconvenient Truths: Science Race and Crime in the book Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research (Criminology and Justice Studies) 
by Anthony Walsh (Editor),‎ Kevin M. Beaver (Editor) states that INTERPOL has data showing blacks are the most criminal:



Notice the reference to J. Phillipe Rushton, president for ten years of the white supremacist Pioneer Fund.

There doesn't seem to be any other references to this INTERPOL data, and the INTERPOL web site says:
INTERPOL's International Crime Statistics are no longer being collected from member countries and previous statistics are no longer published.
The decision to remove the statistics was taken as some users and some members of the media were making comparisons between countries based on these statistics, when different collection methods make such comparisons problematic.
They don't say when they stopped publishing crime statistics. The Biosocial Criminology first edition was published in 2009.

I was able to look up the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) and their table displays only two African nations in the top  20 murder rate countries.



We don't know exactly where Wright got his INTERPOL data but we do know where he got his theory about Africans. His theory is what I like to call the "Northern Superiority Hypothesis" - looks like I have to be the one to name it because even though this seems to be the basis of all evo-psycho bro thought on the inferiority of black people they haven't yet named it.

Wright explains the Northern Superiority hypothesis in the same Inconvenient Truths chapter:


As far as I have been able to tell, the Northern Superiority Hypothesis was invented by Richard Lynn. We'll talk about him next.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Am I a centrist?

At a movie theater on the UWS
of Manhattan to see "The Post"
which I guess makes me a liberal.
In the US.
I always thought of myself as a left-liberal, but now that I'm paying more attention to international politics by way of my admiration for Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, I wonder.

Canadian writer Jonathan Kay found it highly offensive that I pointed out that Quillette - for whom he has written three articles, two in 2018 - is not actually centrist but rather alt-right and that it publishes the work of many people - people I like to call evo-psycho bros who believe that black people are innately less intelligent and even, more criminal, than other "races" justified by their transparently bad science.

At least two Quillette articles have been reprinted on the white supremacist web site American Renaissance:
On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism by Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard and Brian Boutwell; and
How Criminologists Who Study Biology Are Shunned by Their Field by Brian Boutwell.


Anyway, because of my unpleasant interactions with Lehmann and Jonathan Kay and other Quillette supporters I find I am accused of being on the far Left. 

They don't care, I suppose, that I've also criticized people they consider "Social Justice Warriors" also known (by me at least) as  "identitarians." I even did a series on Social Justice Warriors vs. New Atheists, on this blog. I also dislike the "Dirtbag Left" or sometimes the "Radical Chic." I argued with Rebecca Traister about Al Franken and #MeToo. I have criticized Robin "white fragility" DiAngelo and Razib "too racist for the NYTimes" Khan equally for their racial essentialism

In fact, there seems to be no large group of people with an online presence I can be part of because I invariably will disagree with them about one thing or another and that will end in being blocked or banned or insulted.

As far as being Far Left, I voted for Hillary Clinton which makes me left-liberal in the US. 

In Canada I would be Liberal since I would have voted for Justin Trudeau. As I mentioned the other day, in Canada they have two major parties vying for who is the most firmly pro-choice. And even the Conservative party in Canada is firmly pro-socialized medicine. So actually I might be centrist in Canada.

In France I would be a complete Centrist because I would have voted for Macron. In France they have viable Socialist and Communist parties. And while I certainly agree with many aspects of socialism, I don't think it's the complete answer.

Not helping to clarify the issue are people like Steven Pinker, who claim to be liberal, but who constantly bashes the Left.  Pinker even suggests there is an effort on the part of the media and academia to withhold "the truth" - a position in complete accordance with the alt-right.

I think this is all part of the reason why Emmanuel Macron felt he had to create a new political party, En Marche, to reflect the problem of people like me - agreeing with some aspects of several parties, and not finding a place for ourselves with our refusal to accept everything from any one group of people.

Post-slavery economics for eco-psycho bros ~ high school completion vs. income

So to recap: before Emancipation in the US black people owned nothing, not even themselves. Then once they were free they owned themselves but very little else. They've been slowly dragging themselves up out of this ditch of absolute poverty, in spite of the many roadblocks put in their way by the white majority.

The question isn't why are black people in the United States doing so poorly 150 years after slavery, the question is how have they come so far in spite of everything that's been thrown at them.

The Pew Research Center has some interesting charts comparing demographic trends for blacks, white, Asians and Hispanics.

This chart shows how black students are catching up with white students for high school graduation rates.


But their incomes have nevertheless stayed lower.



As Business Insider reports:
A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (indicates)... the amount of money people make is strongly predicted by what their parents earn. Up until a parent-household-income threshold of roughly $150,000, adult children tend to earn another $0.33 for every dollar their parents earn.
It is obvious that black earnings are lower because they started so much lower, and even increasing their "self-control" of finishing high school doesn't seem to help.

Although it appears that the evo-psycho claims of black intellectual inferiority and criminality focus exclusively on North American subjects, at least one of the evo-psycho bros believes that failure is just a black trait. We'll look at that next.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Steven Pinker and the scientific racists

Steven Pinker is on a book-promotion tour and so he's everywhere right now. He just published an item which mentions scientific racism without mentioning the connection between The Pioneer Fund and The Bell Curve. Pinker talks about scientific racism as though it only existed until the mid-20th century:
"Scientific racism," the theory that races fall into a hierarchy of mental sophistication with Northern Europeans at the top, is a prime example. It was popular in the decades flanking the turn of the 20th century, apparently supported by craniometry and mental testing, before being discredited in the middle of the 20th century by better science and by the horrors of Nazism. Yet to pin ideological racism on science, in particular on the theory of evolution, is bad intellectual history. Racist beliefs have been omnipresent across history and regions of the world...
And of course he doesn't mention his connection to scientific racist Steve Sailer. Can one infer from this that Pinker doesn't actually consider Steve Sailer a scientific racist?

I still adore Canada though...

Sure the Canadians have their alt-right freaks just like the US, but jesus, in Canada the Liberal party and the NDP were apparently in competition to see which is the most relentlessly pro-choice!

I am really looking hard at this whole dual-citizenship thing.

Oh and mon premier ministre d'amour had long hair back then - I love that look.


The bizarre gender-solidarity theories of the Canadian alt-right

I once admired Jonathan Kay - I thought his ghost-written book for Justin Trudeau was quite good. I also took his side in his parting from The Walrus. It's all on my blog.

And while I would still take his side against the anti-appropriationists, I no longer admire him. He got to hang out with Justin Trudeau and now he is taking sides with one of Ezra Levant's former employees, alt-right Claire Lehmann

Hyperion to a satyr, as Hamlet said. 

What the hell happened to Jonathan Kay?

And it's not only that he is siding with Claire Lehmann - it's one thing to agree with her and even to defend her because Tabatha Southey's throw-away comment about Quillette from several days ago is just eating you up inside - it's another to say Soh and Lehmann and others like them are non-doctrinaire when as I've been documenting in this evo-psycho bro series, there is a clear alt-right political POV at Quillette. 

How freaking obtuse do you have to be to believe that Claire Lehmann is non-doctrinaire?







But what else is bizarre is the belief of the Canadian alt-right that feminists must not criticize women's work.

Why would a feminist support a woman like Claire Lehmann whose entire online output is relentlessly anti-feminist?

I realize the alt-right hates and despises feminists but really, we should support women who hate feminism because of some insane gender solidarity?

I'd never heard of Soh before - apparently she's also a Quillette author, which is never a good sign since most of Quillette's authors are hacks. They published a piece by James Damore the other day and all I can say is I hope he's a better programmer than he is a writer.





Also, if Quillette was all that successful I don't think they'd all be so furious about a single wise-ass tweet by one woman from days ago. 

I've been paying attention a lot to Quillette thanks to its publishing the racialist science theories of several people whose work I have been examining in connection with Steven Pinker. And after a month I think it's very likely that Quillette is being supported by members of the alt-right directly. I don't think it's a coincidence that Quillette has the same exact political positions, and pushes them relentlessly, as media outlets like Rebel Media.

They have just enough non-alt-right aligned content to give them some plausible deniability, but after I have had to comb through its articles for a month - and I promise you that is no freaking picnic -  I think the less hate-filled items are included as a carefully-crafted tactic to give Quillette legitimacy to try to import alt-right ideas into the mainstream.

With plenty of assistance from Steven Pinker.

And if you aren't familiar with Ezra Levant, in addition to his obsession with Justin Trudeau, he's known to be a huge sleaze.

Post-slavery economics for evo-psycho bros: Black Codes & Lynching & Riots

Although conditions were generally terrible for freed slaves, the US government did try to assist them in making the transition to freedom. In addition to abolitionists and Radical Republican members of Congress there was an attempt to get land to the slaves. This mostly ended in failure:
The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which established the Freedmen's Bureau on March 3, 1865, was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War.[3] The Freedmen's Bureau was an important agency of early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen in the South. The Bureau was made a part of the United States Department of War, as it was the only agency with an existing organization that could be assigned to the South. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau started operations in 1865. Throughout the first year, its representatives learned that these tasks would be very difficult, as Southern legislatures passed laws for Black Codes that restricted movement, conditions of labor, and other civil rights of African Americans, nearly duplicating conditions of slavery. The Freedmen's Bureau controlled limited arable land.[4]
Black Codes were the first of many institutional roadblocks against black people in the South, the most notorious of which were the Jim Crow laws

And then there were lynchings. The Smithsonian provides this interactive map of lynchings between 1835 and 1964. And please note that although the vast majority of the lynching were of blacks, other "races" are represented, including Italians.

The descendants of slaves had a constant struggle for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness:
As the prominent historian Eric Foner writes in his masterwork on Reconstruction, “Black participation in Southern public life after 1867 was the most radical development of the Reconstruction years, a massive experiment in interracial democracy without precedent in the history of this or any other country that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century.” 
But this moment was short-lived. 
As W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, the “slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” 
History is made by human actors and the choices they make. 
According to Douglas Blackmon, author of “Slavery by Another Name,” the choices made by Southern white supremacists after abolition, and the rest of the country’s accommodation, “explain more about the current state of American life, black and white, than the antebellum slavery that preceded.” 
Designed to reverse black advances, Redemption was an organized effort by white merchants, planters, businessmen and politicians that followed Reconstruction. “Redeemers” employed vicious racial violence and state legislation as tools to prevent black citizenship and equality promised under the 14th and 15th amendments.

Juvenile convicts at work in the fields, 1903. Library of Congress/John L. Spivak
By the early 1900s, nearly every southern state had barred black citizens not only from voting but also from serving in public office, on juries and in the administration of the justice system.
 
The South’s new racial caste system was not merely political and social. It was thoroughly economic. Slavery had made the South’s agriculture-based economy the most powerful force in the global cotton market, but the Civil War devastated this economy.
How to build a new one?
 
Ironically, white leaders found a solution in the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States in 1865. By exploiting the provision allowing “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” to continue as “a punishment for crime,” they took advantage of a penal system predating the Civil War and used even during Reconstruction. 
A new form of control 
With the help of profiteering industrialists they found yet a new way to build wealth on the bound labor of black Americans: the convict lease system. 
Here’s how it worked. Black men – and sometimes women and children – were arrested and convicted for crimes enumerated in the Black Codes, state laws criminalizing petty offenses and aimed at keeping freed people tied to their former owners’ plantations and farms. The most sinister crime was vagrancy – the “crime” of being unemployed – which brought a large fine that few blacks could afford to pay. 
Black convicts were leased to private companies, typically industries profiteering from the region’s untapped natural resources. As many as 200,000 black Americans were forced into back-breaking labor in coal mines, turpentine factories and lumber camps. They lived in squalid conditions, chained, starved, beaten, flogged and sexually violated. They died by the thousands from injury, disease and torture.
So a combination of violence and legislation were used throughout the 19th century against blacks and naturally contributed to black poverty.

I thought about the evo-psycho bros claims about blacks as I read about the Memphis riots of 1866. The "Memphis massacre"
...was a series of violent events that occurred from May 1 to 3, 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee. The racial violence was ignited by political, social and racial tensions following the American Civil War, in the early stages of Reconstruction.[2] After a shooting altercation between white policemen and black soldiers recently mustered out of the Union Army, mobs of white civilians and policemen rampaged through black neighborhoods and the houses of freedmen, attacking and killing black men, women and children.
The sight of black soldiers from the Union Army must have seemed terrifying yet ridiculous to whites in the South who were accustomed to treating people with any trace of West African ancestry like dirt.

John Paul Wright Professor of Criminology at the University of Cincinnati and one of the most blatantly racist of all the members of the Criminal Justice branch of the evolutionary psychology brotherhood said:
John Paul Wright from "Biosocial Criminology: New Directions" edited by Kevin Beaver and Anthony Walsh

The fact that there were not more incidents of former black Union soldiers clashing with the people who almost all supported their recent torment belies Wright's claim that black people, by nature, have "low self-control."

And white people have killed black people en masse for far less provocation.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Black History Month 2


I really like this New Yorker cover and it's perfect for Black History Month.

I was recently thinking about the movie "Hidden Figures" and it occurred to me that some of the more extreme evo-psycho bros might have issues with black women being presented as STEM career heroes.

So I did some Googling and sure enough, Paul Kersey in the Unz Review, home of Steven Pinker's buddy Steve Sailer and former home of Razib Khan had this to say about "Hidden Figures" 
Hidden Figures was made with the painfully-obvious agenda of delegitimizing the contributions of white scientists, physicists, engineers, mathematicians, project managers, aviation experts and rocket scientists. Instead, America’s greatest triumph evidently hinged on unknown black women manually calculating trajectories already confirmed by computers and a white man named Jack Crenshaw.

NASA's chief historian, Bill Barry, explains that the film, which has been nominated for a slew of awards, depicts many real events from their lives. "One thing we're frequently asked," he says, "is whether or not John Glenn actually asked for Katherine Johnson to 'check the numbers.'" The answer is yes: Glenn, the first American in orbit and later, at the age of 77, the oldest man in space, really did ask for Johnson to manually check calculations generated by IBM 7090 computers (the electronic kind) churning out numbers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Bill Barry is a white man, it should be noted, he's cooperating with this apparent scheme to "delegitimize" contributions of white men.

"Hidden Figures" it is a movie and not a documentary so I'm sure artistic liberties were taken to heighten the drama etc. But most people understand this.

More likely the source of Kersey's contempt is that, as a writer at the Unz Review, he can't let black women have even this little bit of time in the spotlight.

Apparently Quillette feels it has to justify its existence now

Sorry Lehmann, the cat's out of the bag.

Quillette exists to give the alt-right the opportunity to rebrand itself for low-information centrists.

Quillette hates all the same things the alt-right hates:


Feminists - like the alt-right, Claire Lehmann hates feminists with the fire of a thousand suns.

Islam - Bigots gonna bigot.

The Left - because they need a big bad boogeyman

Justin Trudeau - this is undoubtedly due to the fact that Trudeau is (a) liberal, (b) feminist and (c) the focus of a sick creepy obsession by Ezra Levant* for whom Lehmann worked (alt-right Rebel Media) while at the same time running Quillette.

Claire Lehmann is a pathetic internalized-misogyny alt-right loser who runs a trashy alt-right web site. And Quillette must hire grad students because real writers with any skill and self-respect don't work for Quillette.

* I am not kidding that Levant is creepy ~ just watch this "My Little Pony" video. Levant's unconvincing attempt to convey irony while declaring his love for Justin Trudeau is a ghastly spectacle indeed. Levant kept up the "shiny pony" thing when he covered the Trudeau vs. Brazeau boxing match. I'd be willing to bet the moment Levant gets to interview a sweaty victorious Justin Trudeau for (now defunct) Sun News, directly after the boxing match was the happiest moment in Levant's life.



Post-slavery economics for evo-psycho bros: 40 acres & a mule

Jim & Huck from my adaptation of the novel.
Lorenzo Scott and Nick Fondulis
But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him agin in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now; and then I happened to look around, and see that paper.
It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 
"All right, then, I'll go to hell"- and tore it up.

~ Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens, growing up in the slave state of Missouri in the 1840s had first-hand experience in the ways white people talked about black people during the days of slavery, as recounted by Hilton Als in a New Yorker article in 2002:
But, while Huck has to acknowledge his relationship with Jim, he can distance himself in other ways. First, he can call him a “nigger”—a word whose etymology Huck likely knows nothing about. Then he can fill the word with meaning, with the meanings he learned from his Pap: about the unconscionable lives that niggers lead; how their very presence can make a bad situation worse; and how associating with them can stain a good man’s whiteness. 
"It was according to the old saying, ‘Give a nigger an inch and he’ll take an ell,’ 
"Give a nigger an inch and he'll take an ell" is not something you'd say of a group of people who are congenitally stupid. It sounds like something you'd say of people who are forever calculating to get an advantage. Which is certainly an understandable way to be if you're forced to live in squalor and toil endlessly and be constantly under threat of rape or beating and have every cent of your labor stolen from you for your entire life.

Before we continue, I should point out that there are many great things about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, especially when Huck decides he'd rather go to hell than betray Jim and send him back into slavery. But Twain ruined the novel in its last third, in the section often referred to as "The Evasion." I wrote about it in this essay: What About Lil Lizabeth?

Jim was lucky, in the book he was set free ahead of general Emancipation and was given cash to start out his new life. The slaves who were set free at the end of the Civil War had it much harder: they were dumped into the countryside with nothing, which led to predictable results:

After combing through obscure records, newspapers and journals Downs believes that about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870. He writes in the book that it can be considered "the largest biological crisis of the 19th century" and yet it is one that has been little investigated by contemporary historians... 
...Downs has collected numerous shocking accounts of the lives of freed slaves. He came across accounts of deplorable conditions in hospitals and refugee camps, where doctors often had racist theories about how black Americans reacted to disease. Things were so bad that one military official in Tennessee in 1865 wrote that former slaves were: "dying by scores – that sometimes 30 per day die and are carried out by wagonloads without coffins, and thrown promiscuously, like brutes, into a trench". 
So bad were the health problems suffered by freed slaves, and so high the death rates, that some observers of the time even wondered if they would all die out. One white religious leader in 1863 expected black Americans to vanish. "Like his brother the Indian of the forest, he must melt away and disappear forever from the midst of us," the man wrote.
The Southerners would have been happy perhaps if all the blacks died off, especially because some of the former slaves fought back against a fate of homelessness, poverty and starvation with some help from abolitionists and anti-slavery members of Congress:

According to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:
The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution "to break the back of Southern slaveholders' power," as Myers observed. But Sherman's plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black ministers, at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green's mansion on Savannah's Macon Street. In its broadest strokes, "40 acres and a mule" was their idea...

...Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather "the leaders of the local Negro community" and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: "What do you want for your own people" following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.
 
Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War. (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before.) The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became "contraband," and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them. 
In areas where there had been a great deal of enslavement suddenly there were free black people who thought it was only fair that they be given some of the property that they had labored on for free for so long.

Which if course fueled white racist resentment since the custom of the prior three hundred years was to consider most black people livestock. Suddenly their former livestock wanted a piece of the pie.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Do evo-psycho bros have any self-awareness at all?


Here's a tweet from evo-psycho bro John Paul Wright, who literally has a book and a web site called "Conservative Criminology."

For some reason it's only people he hates who mix politics and science. He's pure and empirical and untouched by earthly concerns when he claims that black people are by nature more criminal than other "races." 

This is from John P. Wright's chapter "Inconvenient Truths: Science, Race, and Crime in Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research edited by Kevin M. Beaver and Anthony Walsh:



This deficit, Wright believes, has nothing to do with the treatment of blacks during and post slavery and in fact claims that all blacks throughout the entire world are this way, thanks to their genetics.

As I pointed out, although Wright shares stories of black depravity on his Conservative Criminology web site he seems to ignore horrific stories about other "races" as with Mafia criminal activities in 21st century Italy reported in The New Yorker.

In a blog post about that issue, I compared Wright's stories of black "thugs" with the Mafia and suggested, in jest, that Wright ask his Conservative Criminology co-author Matt DeLisi if he thought Italians were white.

It turns out not everybody thinks so. I saw this comment thread on Facebook the other day.




By the way, Bo Winegard thinks that Vox should publish the further racist ramblings of Wright and others who believe that blacks are innately inferior to whites. However, you are not allowed to call him or Charles Murray or Brian Boutwell a racist. Because the evo-psycho bros and other hereditarians really think they can control the message and get further legitimacy for their project of "biologizing inequality" as anthropologist Marvin Harris used to call sociobiology.




As far as Heather MacDonald or Steven Pinker - where AREN'T they published? The Steve Pinker PR machine is constantly cranking away.

I'd be all in favor of getting the word out about what Charles Murray, John Paul Wright, Brian Boutwell and the Winegard brothers really think about black people. Far from helping to spread racism which it appears is what Winegard hopes for, I am convinced that once their shitty science is throughly analyzed only hard-core racists and those riding the wingnut welfare gravy train could fail to recognize how bad it actually is.

I'm pretty much done with Winegard and Wright unless they say something even more insane than usual. But I feel I've achieved my goal, demonstrating how dedicated to the alt-right they are and how much Steven Pinker nevertheless supports their work. I have maybe one or two more things to say about the criminal justice/biodiversity evo-psycho bros before focusing directly on Pinker.