Monday, March 02, 2015

Duh, a challenge I could do!

From the Washington Post, via Derb, a glimpse at the kind of conditioning young American military personnel are undergoing. In response to a video arguing that the three most destructive words a boy hears growing up are "be a man":
[A second-year midshipman responded that] "when someone says, ‘Be a man,’ the alternative to not being a man is kind of being a female, being a woman.” He said that implies women--including their own female classmates at the academy--are not as strong as men. “That’s a lot of the root causes of all these things,” he said. “That’s wrong.”

“That was awesome. That was fantastic. Great point,” said Joshua Malone, 21, a fourth-year midshipman from New York. He was one of two peer educators leading the session.
I suppose in the emasculated, androgynous environment that is the contemporary state of the US armed forces, the word "wrong", in the primary definitional sense of describing something that is evil or wicked, is probably exactly what academy administrators are aiming for.

Of course, the assertion that there is something factually incorrect about pointing out that men are stronger than women is blatantly untrue. That the discussion leader encouraged this bullshit tells you everything you need to know about the sorry psychological state of America's military establishment.

Razib Khan points to a study showing that the very strongest female athletes are about at parity with the physical strength of the average male (as measured by grip strength, which is a good measure since it's not widely 'trained and so serves as a great proxy for innate anchor strength). The strength of the average woman puts her below the 10th percentile of the average man.

We don't have to turn to scientific studies or even infinite personal anecdotes to see this--the US military itself concedes as much! The minimum number of pushups required of men aged 17-21 to pass the army basic training physical fitness test is 35. For women in the same age range, that number is 11.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Take that, Detroit

While I have a fairly clear mental map of the geography of white intelligence, socio-political, and cultural distributions in the US, I tend to think of black populations--at least concentrated black populations--as, well, black populations. If you've listened to one local hip hop station, you've listened to them all.

Steve Sailer periodically snaps me out of that lazy thinking by noting the especially poor performance of contemporary blacks in the Upper Midwest, with Milwaukee and its history through the 20th century as a prime case study.

As luck would have it, NAEP results are available for 21 metro areas in the US, including Milwaukee. The following table shows estimated average IQ among black 8th graders taking the NAEP math and reading assessments in 2013 by jurisdiction. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a standard deviation of 37 on the math assessment and 34 on the reading assessment. In the subsequent table, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98--corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading--and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are weighted equally. The data are insufficient for Albuquerque, but the other 20 cities the NAEP sampled are all included:

1. Charlotte92.6
2. Boston91.2
3. New York City90.9
4. Hillsborough County (FL)90.9
5. Houston90.8
6. Austin90.0
7. Atlanta89.7
8. Dallas89.0
9. Baltimore88.8
10. Miami-Dade88.4
11. San Diego88.4
12. Chicago88.2
13. Philadelphia87.9
14. Jefferson County (KY)87.5
15. Los Angeles86.7
16. District of Columbia85.4
17. Cleveland84.1
18. Fresno84.0
19. Milwaukee83.1
20. Detroit83.0

Milwaukee can be thankful for Detroit. Detroit, in turn, might be thankful for, uh, East St. Louis, though the last bit is just speculation on my part. Cleveland, another Upper Midwestern city, also fares poorly. The birthplace of the Crips and the Bloods outperforms all of them. Chicago is the best the region is able to boast, and it's still in the bottom half of the jurisdictions considered.

Steve's perspicacity can hardly be overstated. Generous welfare programs are going to, ceteris paribus, attract welfare recipients. The tactics to 'gentrify' a jurisdiction include restricting the amount of land available for certain kinds of development (whether it be through zoning or merely the physical terrain), instituting municipal and county minimum wages significantly higher than the national minimum wage, and curtailing welfare program payouts as aggressively as possible. Because the last two are each generally supported by different political factions, there is currently an opportunity for either red state or blue state America to gentrify on a systematic, nationwide scale by, in the case of red staters, dropping their opposition to increasing legal minimum wage rates and in the case of blue staters, dropping their opposition to curtailing welfare benefits. While it seems like a tough sell to red state America, it's an even more difficult sale to close with blue staters.

This game of hot potato is, nationally, a zero-sum endeavor, but the cracks in the national foundation are increasing in number and intensity by the day, just as the dead weight costs that the underclasses impose increases. The stakes are getting higher.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

IQ by race and parental educational attainment

One of the most salient statistics regarding education is the tendency for poor white teenagers to perform as well as rich black teenagers do on college entrance exams. When sharing as much with educational romanticists, I'll often get the response that it isn't money that determines whether or not an environment is intellectually stimulating, it's the household's embrace of education and learning that does.

Well, the NAEP online data explorer allows for cross-tabs to be created using several variables, including race and parental education level*. The following table and graph show estimated average IQ by race and the parental education level among 8th graders taking the NAEP math and reading assessments in 2013. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a standard deviation of 37 on the math assessment and 34 on the reading assessment. In the proceeding table and graph, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98--corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading--and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are weighted equally:

IQ by parent ed and raceLess than HSHS gradSome collegeCollege grad
American Indian89.088.395.396.4

White kids from the homes of high school dropouts do about as well as do black kids whose parents are college attendees and graduates (marginally worse and marginally better, respectively). At every level of parental educational attainment, the racial ordering is the same--Asians on top, followed by whites, then Hispanics, then American Indians, and finally blacks. These things are, as Steve Sailer might say, drearily predictable.

NAEP variables used: PARED, SDRACE

* Defined as the highest level of educational attainment achieved by either of a student's parents and broken down into four categories: Did not graduate high school, graduated high school but didn't go to college, went to college but didn't get a bachelor's degree, and graduated with a BA or higher

Saturday, February 21, 2015

State IQ estimates, Hispanics only (2013)

Similar methodology to what was employed previously, with an important exception. Instead of equally weighting math and reading scores, I relied entirely on the former. The math and reading scores of whites by state correlate at a comfortable .90 (p-value = 1.36E-19), but among Hispanics math and reading scores correlate at a less robust .62 (p-value = .0000006). English language proficiency is an obvious potentially confounding variable here. The NAEP data explorer site does allow for results to be sorted by reported English language proficiency level, but that probably excludes an excessive number of Hispanic test takers who may be handicapped when it comes to English reading comprehension but not when it comes to math. Consequently I've elected to rely on the universal language instead.

Mean IQ estimates by state among Hispanics using 2013 NAEP 8th grade mathematics assessment data follow. There are no estimates for Maine, North Dakota, Vermont, or West Virginia due to insufficient sample sizes in those states:

1. New Jersey97.7
2. Montana97.3
3. Texas97.1
4. Maryland96.4
5. Hawaii96.4
6. Virginia96.2
7. Mississippi96.2
8. North Carolina96.1
9. Indiana95.9
10. Wyoming95.6
11. Massachusetts95.5
12. Louisiana95.4
13. Ohio95.3
14. Alaska95.2
15. Delaware94.9
16. Georgia94.9
17. Missouri94.8
18. Kansas94.8
19. South Dakota94.3
20. Florida94.3
21. Arkansas93.9
20. Washington93.8
21. Minnesota93.8
22. Colorado93.6
23. Wisconsin93.6
24. Illinois93.4
25. South Carolina93.4
26. Tennessee92.6
27. New Hampshire92.6
28. Arizona92.1
29. Kentucky92.1
30. Nevada91.7
31. New Mexico91.6
32. Idaho91.5
33. Nebraska91.2
34. Oregon90.8
35. Iowa90.6
36. New York90.5
37. District of Columbia90.5
38. Oklahoma90.4
39. Pennsylvania90.2
40. California89.7
41. Rhode Island89.6
42. Michigan88.9
43. Utah87.6
44. Connecticut87.5
45. Alabama87.2

And a corresponding map. The darker the shading, the higher the state's estimated Hispanic IQ. The darker a state's shading, the higher its Hispanic IQ. Yellow indicates insufficient data:

The children of military NAMs outperform the NAMs of every state in the country. Joining the military isn't often an act of desperation for those without any other options. To the contrary, the armed forces pull mostly from the right side of the bell curve, especially when race is controlled for.

The putative Floridian advantage from having lots of professional Cuban emigres of mostly European ancestry doesn't show up much here. Cubans no longer constitute a majority of Florida's Hispanics--barely one-quarter of the state's Hispanics, in fact--and the diminution is even more acute among younger generations.

The California vs. Texas match up is always an interesting one to look at. Personally, dwelling on the two most populous states in the country leaves me feeling like we're all destined to lose, but when it comes to scholastic results, Texas appears to come out on top. It might well be because the state has adopted the motto of the most famous Hispanic athlete in American history to pull it off, but there you go!

Monday, February 16, 2015

So mothers, be bad to your daughters

Today I got into a discussion about the runaway success of Fifty Shades of Grey with a self-described feminist who argued that the book and movie are popular because they undercut the idea that women like to be dominated by men. She reasoned that because, apparently, the guy ends up committing to the female protagonist,it illustrates that in fact gender is little more than a social construction.

There are a thousand ways to take this down, and I employed several of them, but approach 1,001 came to mind during the conversation. It feels like if I'm not unknowingly plagiarizing Heartiste here, I'm surely just restating what someone or several other people have already pointed out. Still, the articulation at least is novel to me.

If women, who are putatively by their very natures are as gender-neutral as young boys are, become acclimated by society over time to accept male-preferred sex roles, shouldn't there be a dynamic of young, naive daughters falling for sweet, gentle, doting guys against their mothers' wishes? In a society free of patrimony, these mothers would encourage their daughters to follow their passions and stay with these nice guys. Their mothers warn them against the nice guys though, because, as middle-aged women steeped in decades of patriarchal mind control, they've been inculcated to the point of reflexively pleading with their daughters to forget the nice guys and instead start chasing the pump-and-dump rebels who play by their own rules. Sure, the mothers' efforts usually fall on the deaf ears of the poor girls who are indifferent to the bad boys and hopelessly enraptured by the nice guys, but a mother still has to try, doesn't she?

The exact opposite scenario characterizes the real world, of course. In reality, middle class American parents try to mitigate and temper the natural desires of their children with the wisdom and practical understanding they've picked up over the courses of their own lives. Society tries its best to artificially move towards something approaching gender neutrality--not entirely without success--but in so doing is fighting against that tenacious bitch, biology.