Saturday, January 29, 2011

Educational attainment and fecundity in the US

The correlation between educational attainment and fecundity has been a topic here on multiple occasions. At the national level, the gender gap in education is a strong predictor of national fertility rates. As measured by the World Economic Forum's 2007 report entitled "The Global Gender Gap", the correlation between fertility and educational parity is an inverse .75 (p=0), far stronger than it is among the other measures of gender equality, including economic participation and opportunity (.22), political empowerment (.22), and health and survival (.01).

In the US, where educational attainment is near parity and shifting in women's favor, a strong relationship between educational attainment and having kids exists. The following table and graph* depicts this among baby boomers, the youngest generation to have passed reproductive viability, from responses given from the turn of the century on:

No HS3.261672.86156
Less than HS2.803402.26308
HS grad2.2311232.07937
Up to associate's2.1610401.98788
Up to bachelor's1.878421.90742
Up to master's1.673911.75297
Up to doctorate1.391551.95222

Both sexes follow the trend of more school, fewer kids to send to school, but it is especially pronounced among women. This is not to insinuate causality. Pursuing higher levels of education proxies for a lot of other factors that influence fecundity, like a long-term career orientation for which children are viewed as a handicap. I'm aware of the point made by Agnostic:
The idea that female empowerment or education (as a route to empowerment) is driving -- rather than merely associated with -- the demographic transition ignores history. It started at least in the 1700s among the French, continued through what feminists would call the oppressive Victorian era, etc.
Nonetheless, the dysgenic relationship is discouraging. Though the demographic transition started before the contemporary ecumenical educational system came into existence, the association is self-evidently strong, and is plausibly accentuating the effect not only by reducing total fertility, but also through delaying fertility, a more furtive filcher of our future.

We need methods to speed up the educational process, like self-paced coursework and subject-specific standardized testing (think Advanced Placement tests for those in college) that allows autodidacts to receive credit as soon as they've demonstrated proficiency in a subject rather than after four inefficient months of spending three hours per week having it delivered to them at varying levels of effectiveness. Ideally, passing the bar would be the only requirement for practicing law and passing the CPA exam the only requirement for becoming a CPA. If this results in a perceived glut of lawyers and accountants, the respective tests can simply be made more difficult. While the relative value of high parental socioeconomic status will decrease and higher conscientiousness might as well, higher intelligence would be rewarded with more precision and young professionals would be able to get to work years earlier and with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars less debt on their shoulders.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2000-2008), AGE(36-62), EDUC(0-8)(9-11)(12)(13-14)(15-16)(17-18)(19-20), CHILDS

* No high school = 0-8 years of education; Some high school = 9-11 years; High school graduate = 12 years, Up to associate's = 13-14 years; Up to bachelor's = 15-16; Up to master's = 17-18 years; Up to doctoral = 19-20 years.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The hardest part

I recall one of the HBDers on the blogroll off to the right (though I'm having trouble finding the exact post) expressing wonderment at how some people are so physically inert while others, faces contorted, run themselves--literally--to the brink of collapse.

Thinking about the question while doing P90X's plyometrics routine today, the psychological benefits alone make it, for me, an answer that is capable of being comprehended. Everything else becomes a cinch by comparison. There is nothing in my entire week, no matter how full my work plate is, how unfamiliar I am with a girl I'm seeing, or how daunting quantification of some blogging idea might be, that is nearly as formidable. So after an excruciating hour, I know there are easy buttons all over the place for the next 167. It scales daily as well, as it is the rare day indeed in which I don't get something of extreme intensity in.

The Derb pithily accesses the essence of it:
Life’s great law is that poverty and hardship build character; prosperity and security destroy it.
Pushing yourself to your physical limits creates hardship, albeit of an artificial nature. But it beats comfortable flabbiness.

Of course there are other obvious physical benefits, like "performing everywhere better" in Tony Horton's words, and in that respect, I find distance runners to be tragically misguided--distance running keeps you thin and makes you better at... distance running, and little else. P90X, faddish as it may appear at first blush, builds muscle mass everywhere while simultaneously increasing both dexterity (I'm now able to keep up with Dominque, the guy in the back, throughout plyo, and I'm a bigger guy than he is) and flexibility, at least for those of us fortunate enough to reap the physical rewards of exercise.

Anyhow, I am able to relate exclusively to the psychological comforts an intensive workout (which, by definition, almost requires multiple fails) brings and suspect it is one of those things that is hard to understand until you've been there:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Modest proposal for the NFL postseason

Increase the playoff pool from twelve teams to sixteen. The controversy this year swirled around divisional winners hosting teams with better records than their own in the wildcard round, but more unsatisfying than the Saints (11-5) having to play in Seattle (7-9) or Kansas City (10-6) getting to host the Ravens (12-4), was the Giants and Bucs (both 10-6) being shut out altogether.

Since the league found the sweet spot with 32 teams beginning in 2002, the regular season win percentage for hosts is 57%. In wildcard games over the same period of time, it's just 53%.

This suggests that strong teams with good records that don't come out on top of their divisions are generally still competitive in the playoffs. This season, three of those potential Superbowl contenders--the Giants, Bucs (okay, a stretch), and Chargers (the Raiders being the other AFC entry if the proposed change were in effect this year)--didn't get in, while the unimpressive Chiefs and Seahawks did. To keep the host-and-be-hosted division rivalries relevant, though, division winners should still be granted a guaranteed berth and minimum #4 seeding. The baby gets split, and everybody is happy!

Well, not quite everybody. The biggest losers (although the teams' owners cash in on this 'loss') in this scheme are the #1 and #2 seeds, who forego first-round byes and are thus required to win four consecutive games instead of three in the postseason to be champions. But NFL brackets are more intelligently malleable than, say, the NCAA basketball tournament brackets are, so the top seeds still get the softest matchups--usually no more than nine wins--at home in the wildcard round. And the #2 seed is still guaranteed homefield until the conference championship, while the #1 seed still only gets knocked out if they lose on their own turf.

Parenthetically, it's really incorrect to describe the NFL postseason as operating under a single elimination bracket system at all, since the highest seed is always pared up against the lowest seed, etc, in each round, irrespective of the graphical bracketing imagery regularly used in (and then often necessarily revised) proceeding rounds. Indeed, this year the initial postseason brackets were 'incorrect' in both conferences (see right), due to only one of four division winners advancing to the divisional round.

This season, instead of enjoying first round byes, New England would've hosted Oakland, Pittsburgh would've hosted San Diego, Atlanta would've hosted Tampa Bay, and Chicago would've hosted New York. The only upset that would've seemed genuinely 'scandalous' in those four games would have been a Raider upset in Foxboro, but that of course raises the question of why a team with the best record in the NFL unable to beat a .500 team it is hosting when it counts should be accorded a freebie win to begin with anyway.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Average IQ by occupation (estimated from wordsum scores)

Because it does not appear to be posted anywhere else on the web, and because it was such a tedious slog to put together (a labor like this isn't going to just sit unexposed in an excel file!), the following table shows IQ by occupation as estimated from GSS wordsum scores. The mean wordsum score for native-born whites is assumed to correspond to an IQ of 100, with a standard deviation of 15.

Sample sizes are not sufficient for statistical significance for a host of job categories (as long as the respondent pool is plural, it is included), and the usual disclaimer about a ten question vocabulary test not correlating perfectly with IQ (Razib reports an r-value of .71) applies. Women tend to do slightly better on verbal measures of intelligence, while men do better on quantitative measures of the same. Calculated from wordsum scores, women enjoy a bit less than a 2 point IQ advantage over men, so heavily female occupations like teaching are slightly overstated and heavily male occupations like those involving engineering are similarly understated. To avoid issues of English language proficiency, only those born in the US are included. Because a perfect score translates to an IQ of 128, high-end wordsum scorers encounter an artificial ceiling on their purported IQ. So, to a much lesser extent, do low-end scorers, as missing all ten items corresponds to an estimated IQ of 53. Consequently, the table is merely suggestive, not definitive or statistically rigorous:

1. Mathematician117.14
2. Physician117.048
3. Geologist116.75
4. Meteorologist116.72
5. College professor115.989
6. Author115.158
7. Librarian114.628
8. Attorney114.5102
9. Biologist113.78
10. Optometrist112.93
11. Statistician111.42
12. Computer systems analyst111.385
13. Judge111.03
14. Psychologist110.320
14. Actor110.320
14. Dentist110.316
14. Chemist110.311
18. Museum curator110.14
19. Clergyman108.938
20. Pharmacist108.711
21. Teacher108.1297
22. Agronomist107.96
22. Electrical engineer107.946
24. Stockbroker107.831
25. Fine artist107.433
26. Physical therapist107.440
26. Sociologist107.44
28. Economist106.621
29. Mechanical engineer106.535
29. Architect106.526
31. Real estate agent105.780
32. Commercial airline pilot105.612
33. Dental hygienist105.533
34. Social worker105.0109
35. Registered nurse104.9238
36. Stenographer104.644
37. Government official104.177
37. Insurance agent104.177
37. Computer programmer104.141
40. Accountant104.1168
41. Civil engineer104.023
42. Undertaker103.68
43. Jeweler103.25
44. Secretary103.1430
45. Engineering technician102.655
46. Police officer102.581
47. Industrial machine repairer102.49
47. Photographic process worker102.46
49. Debt collector101.710
50. Sales representative101.6134
50. Compositor/typesetter101.68
52. Fashion designer101.47
53. Photographer100.819
54. Receptionist100.8104
55. Machine tool operator100.67
56. Veterinarian100.45
57. Communications equipment mechanic100.29
57. Broadcast technician100.29
59. Glazier99.33
60. Mail carrier99.168
61. Retail salesperson99.0368
62. Telephone operator98.741
63. Dressmaker98.418
64. Bank teller97.867
65. Licensed practical nurse97.573
66. Plumber97.366
67. Maid97.1107
68. Waiter/bartender96.5289
69. Aircraft mechanic96.321
70. Barber96.2117
71. Data entry clerk96.053
72. Carpet and tile installer95.8143
72. Painter95.851
74. Child care worker95.4181
75. Tool maker95.353
76. Telephone installer/repairer95.110
77. Security guard95.026
78. Farmer94.711
79. Bus driver94.645
79. Firefighter94.642
81. Insulation installer93.95
82. Cashier93.8290
83. Furniture upholsterer93.713
84. Electrician93.666
85. Taxi driver93.576
86. Bookbinder93.05
87. Welder92.763
88. Automobile mechanic91.6131
89. Dietitian91.59
90. Truck driver90.6216
91. Railroad conductor90.47
91. Sailor90.43
93. Bricklayer90.322
94. Cook90.3140
95. Construction worker90.0139
96. Roofer89.316
97. Sheet metal worker88.544
98. Carpenter87.43
99. Janitor86.982
100. Drill-press operator86.72
101. Forklift operator85.842
102. Butcher84.321
103. Concrete worker82.98
103. Surveyor82.92
105. Shoe maker/cobbler79.66
106. Lumberjack75.38

GSS variables used: ISCO88, WORDSUM, BORN(1)

Parenthetically, follow AE on twitter @AudaciousEpigon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Average IQ by occupation (estimated from median income)

++Addition++After reading multiple comments critiquing the post for the same thing, it's clear that I did a poor job of explaining what the table purports to show. It's not supposed to be an exact measure of IQ by profession by any means, as it is based entirely on average annual income figures. In other words, it's an income table with the values converted to IQ scores (and thus, as silly girl points out, it's a bit of a mislabeling on my part, although that is the point--to get an instinctive feel for how related IQ and income are at the career level).

As Saint Louis notes, physicists and astronomers are surely understated, while physicians and surgeons are overstated. Some of that, again, is a result of the prerequisite training required to enter those medical fields, and some is a result of the full workload and working conditions doctors and surgeons face relative to that of astronomers or chemical engineers.


Career Cast recently published a list ranking 200 major occupations from best to worst, as measured by five criteria. One of those is income, displayed as the median earnings in a field plus a small premium based on income growth potential.

While income is positively correlated with IQ, it's obviously not perfectly so. Nonetheless, the following table estimates average IQ scores by occupation solely on the basis of the Career Cast mid-level income figures. The median salary (of a paralegal assistant) is taken to correspond to an IQ of 100. One standard deviation is assumed to be 15 IQ points:

1. Surgeon234.1
2. Physician161.1
3. Corporate executive148.0
4. Psychiatrist147.7
5. Dentist140.0
6. Orthodontist131.2
7. Podiatrist129.1
8. Judge127.9
9. Attorney127.8
10. Petroleum engineer126.1
11. Pharmacist126.1
12. Physicist124.9
13. Commercial airline pilot124.9
14. Astronomer124.5
15. Financial planner122.8
16. Nuclear engineer121.1
17. Optometrist120.7
18. Aerospace engineer120.2
19. Mathematician119.8
20. Public relations executive118.1
21. Economist116.9
22. Actuary116.9
23. Software engineer116.9
24. Meteorologist116.0
25. School principal116.0
26. Physician assistant115.6
27. Electrical engineer115.2
28. Web developer115.2
29. Construction foreman114.8
30. Geologist114.4
31. Veterinarian114.4
32. Computer systems analyst112.7
33. Mechanical engineer112.6
34. Civil engineer112.2
35. Industrial engineer111.8
36. Biologist111.4
37. Physical therapist111.4
38. Statistician111.0
39. Architect111.0
40. Computer programmer110.1
41. Occupational therapist109.7
42. Sociologist109.7
43. Chiropractor108.9
44. Chemist108.9
45. Stockbroker108.6
46. Dental hygienist108.4
47. Psychologist108.0
48. Speech pathologist107.6
49. Registered nurse107.2
50. Historian106.8
51. Technical writer106.8
52. Occupational safety/health inspector106.7
53. Audiologist106.7
54. Market research analyst106.4
55. Advertising account executive106.3
56. Fashion designer106.0
57. Philosopher105.9
58. Accountant105.5
59. Farmer105.1
60. Industrial designer104.7
61. Insurance underwriter104.7
62. Telephone installer and repairer104.6
63. Zoologist104.2
64. Communications equipment mechanic103.8
65. Loan officer103.4
66. Purchasing agent103.4
67. Engineering technician103.4
68. Medical technologist103.4
69. Author103.0
70. Undertaker103.0
71. Librarian103.0
72. Surveyor103.0
73. Railroad conductor103.0
74. Conservationist102.9
75. Anthropologist102.5
76. Vocational counselor102.5
77. Highway patrol officer102.5
78. Aircraft mechanic102.5
79. Respiratory therapist102.5
80. Dietitian102.1
81. Mail carrier102.1
82. Motion picture editor101.8
83. Sales representative101.8
84. Publication editor101.7
85. Archeologist101.7
86. Physiologist101.7
87. Stationary engineer101.7
88. Teacher101.7
89. Electrical equipment repairer101.7
90. Newscaster101.4
91. Tax examiner100.9
92. Buyer100.9
93. Police officer100.9
94. Actor100.8
95. Stenographer100.5
96. Museum curator100.5
97. Electrician100.0
98. Bricklayer100.0
99. Parole officer100.0
100. Paralegal assistant100.0
101. Tool-and-die maker100.0
102. Insurance agent99.7
103. Personnel recruiter99.6
104. Hotel manager99.6
105. Plumber99.6
106. Architectural drafter99.6
107. Firefighter99.2
108. Set designer99.2
109. Artist (fine art)98.8
110. Industrial machine repairer98.7
111. Advertising salesperson98.4
112. Clergy98.4
113. Sheet metal worker97.5
114. Heating and refrigeration mechanic97.5
115. Real estate agent97.1
116. Photojournalist97.1
117. Flight attendant97.1
118. Construction machinery operator97.1
119. Social worker97.1
120. Sewage plant operator97.1
121. Licensed practical nurse97.0
122. Stevedore96.6
123. Carpenter96.6
124. Corrections officer96.6
125. Choreographer96.3
126. Automobile body repairer96.2
127. Plasterer96.2
128. Office machine repairer96.2
129. Machinist96.2
130. Truck driver96.2
131. Carpet and tile installer95.8
132. Drywall applicator and finisher95.8
133. Computer service technician95.8
134. Nuclear decontamination technician95.8
135. Glazier95.4
136. Sailor95.4
137. Medical laboratory technician95.4
138. Automobile mechanic95.0
139. Dental laboratory technician95.0
140. Welder94.9
141. Newspaper reporter94.6
142. Jeweler94.5
143. Meter reader94.5
144. Roofer94.5
145. Bus driver94.5
146. Appliance repairer94.5
147. Painter94.5
148. Agricultural scientist94.5
149. Ironworker94.5
150. Machine tool operator94.5
151. Broadcast technician94.2
152. Piano tuner94.1
153. Musical instrument repairer94.1
154. Compositor/typesetter94.1
155. Optician94.1
156. Bookkeeper94.1
157. Typist94.1
158. Electrical technician94.0
159. Garbage collector93.7
160. Roustabout93.7
161. Dairy farmer93.7
162. Lumberjack93.7
163. Bookbinder93.3
164. Telephone operator93.3
165. Medical records technician93.3
166. Travel agent93.3
167. Drill-press operator93.3
168. Photographer92.9
169. Emergency medical technician92.8
170. Vending machine repairer92.8
171. Furniture upholsterer92.8
172. Forklift operator92.8
173. Medical secretary92.8
174. Construction worker92.4
175. Butcher92.4
176. Disc jockey92.1
177. Precision assembler92.0
178. Shipping and receiving clerk92.0
179. Automobile assembler91.6
180. Dressmaker91.6
181. Photographic process worker91.2
182. Receptionist90.7
183. Barber90.3
184. Guard90.3
185. Nurse's aid90.3
186. Bank teller90.3
187. Cosmetologist89.9
188. Teacher's aide89.9
189. Shoe maker and repairer89.9
190. Recreation worker89.5
191. Janitor89.5
192. Chauffeur89.5
193. Taxi driver89.0
194. Retail salesman88.6
195. Child care worker88.2
196. Maid88.2
197. Bartender87.8
198. Waiter87.8
199. Cashier87.7
200. Dishwasher87.7

With the exception of an astronomical score for surgeons and one in the stratosphere for physicians, it's pretty predictable. And when I say that, I mean the scores are about what you'd predict to see if someone showed you a list of IQ by occupation without informing you of how the scores were determined. Pay is generally commensurate with an occupation's cognitive demands, which is why the list has a great deal of face validity.

The apparent misrepresentations are the ones that irritate me the most, perhaps exposing me for an IQ meritocrat (or maybe its a visceral disdain for high IQ vampires who use their intelligence to parasitically suck the blood of their productive neighbors). I'm skeptical that nuclear engineers are, on average, 'less intelligent' than attorneys or that software engineers tend to have lower IQs than physicians.

Some of this is a result of credentialism, with medical school requirements being more difficult to fulfill than various certification requirements for software developers, even though being a successful software developer requires a higher IQ than being a doctor does. Some of it the result of the personal interaction premium, where, relative to the objective value people create, those who do so largely through direct communication with other people enjoy greater remuneration for their efforts (this trend is generally beneficial for women at the expense of men).

Of course, some of this 'dissonance' is due to crucial factors other than intelligence. Corporate executives need high executive function and strong leadership capabilities, while aerospace engineers, despite presumably having higher average IQs, do not have nearly as demanding non-IQ requirements for success.

Parenthetically, follow AE on twitter @AudaciousEpigon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Confidence in US military by political orientation over time

In a previous post where I examined self-reported levels of confidence in the US military among straights, gays, and bisexuals, as well as incidentally looking at the same by political orientation, TwoYaks noted that the time period used mirrored the beginning of the war in Afghanistan to the present. As Afghanistan and especially Iraq have been Republican initiatives, this leads to the conclusion that political conservatives have greater lasting confidence in the military as an institution than liberals do, when it could be the case that a war to ensure southern Sudanese independence would be more popular with liberals than with conservatives, and consequently the war in Sudan would lead to an inversion of confidence levels by political orientation, or at least something closer to parity.

His reasoning sounds entirely plausible, and as I'm consistently reminded that attitudes in the new millennium are not necessarily continuations of those of the nineties, eighties, etc, looking at the data struck me as worthwhile. The following graph shows the level of confidence by political orientation from the beginning of the GSS four decades ago. The confidence index is derived by taking the percentage of respondents reporting a "great deal" of confidence subtracted by the percentage reporting "hardly any" confidence (the effect of those reporting "some" confidence is thus neutralized):

As US involvement in Vietnam wound down, liberal confidence increased, while that of the rest of the country, presumably due to perceived failure there, declined. During the Reagan years, when military spending was ratcheted up, liberal confidence dropped back down to the floor, while the rest of the country maintained the same sentiments from the mid-seventies through the end of the eighties.

The Gulf War jettisoned public confidence in the military across the political spectrum. It was the perfect desert storm; an aggressive dictator invading a more peaceable neighbor to steal its resources, international 'consensus' of just that narrative, a battle terrain ideal for conventional warfare in which the US had no competitor, and a resounding victory with minimum casualties and somebody else picking up much of the tab (the Saudis).

The bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, in contrast, didn't have anything close to the same effect.

Post-911, reported levels of confidence in the US military has increased across the board, but the degree of increase has been most pronounced among conservatives, who were almost indistinguishable from moderates in their confidence in the three preceding decades. In 2006--the worst year of the Iraq war in terms of US casualties and about the time the popular right began questioning US involvement there--saw a dip of confidence from which there has yet to be a full rebound.

Vietnam offers a rebuttal, but over the last thirty years or so, it seems that when the US is engaged in some foreign conflict, confidence in the military is higher than when there aren't any forces deployed in combat zones. The Buchananite paleocon vision of a strong, capable military that nonetheless is used sparingly and only when the US national interest is at stake seems practically unattainable. Unfortunately so, in my opinion.

GSS variables used: CONARMY, YEAR, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What else is wrong with Wong?

++Addition++Coldequation does a better job of expressing my sentiments than I'm able to. These professions are all ancillary, supporting roles, entirely contingent upon the wealth created by others, but not parasitic in the sense that they suck the lifeblood out of the host (although professors of anything that ends in "studies" can probably be accurately described as such).


I realize it's way late, but after multiple exposures to the story of UCLA professor Kent Wong celebrating the presumed ethnic replacement of whites by non-whites, I find some humor in reflecting on how totally clueless these racialist zealots are about wealth creation:
When that day happens, the young people of the DREAM Act movement will go on to accomplish and do great things with our lives. You will go on to become lawyers, teachers, doctors and members of the U.S. Congress [my emphasis] to replace those old white men. You are the hope and future of this country. You represent the hope and future of your generation.
Set aside the realistic consequences to the salaries of parasites like Wong as productive whites continue their exodus from California. The occupations he celebrates, even if NAMs suddenly became as productive as the whites it is ordained for them to replace, are all as parasitic as his own. A nation of lawyers, teachers, doctors, and legislators is a nation that doesn't produce or develop anything of value.

Mangan's thread is full of comments from people wondering what Wang expects the dwindling proportion of whites who he and others like him leech off of will do going forward. Better hope they all go into engineering, research, and software development to work 80 hours a week!

The progressive worldview is deeply opposed to the progression of humanity's collective standard of living.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Only curmudgeons believe in HBD

Continuing with Inductivist's post on the lack of even unspoken HBD realism in the general population, I wondered how age among whites was associated with favoring the explanation of lower intelligence among blacks being a reason for poor black outcomes relative to whites. The percentages of whites who agreed with the IQ explanation by age group (again all responses are from 2000 onward and sample sizes are in the several hundreds to thousands):

18-24: 6.7%
25-35: 5.4%
36-49: 7.5%
50-65: 8.4%
66+: 18.6%

As expected, younger whites are even more hostile towards HBD than older whites are. But from the millennials to the baby-boomers, there is little difference. Only those of retirement age (and by extension in some sense outside of the cultural zeitgeist) show double-digit percentages agreeing with the IQ explanation. Those who have come of age from the sixties onward are overwhelmingly hostile towards HBD, a legacy the New Left can surely be proud of.

Funny that while whites are becoming more ethnically aware, thus displaying a laudable, uh, awareness of diversity, they believe even more firmly than their parents (and far more firmly than their grandparents) do that all groups comprising the great American mosaic are in essence no different from another. Diversity and equality are indeed compatible! Who would dare say otherwise?

GSS variables used: RACDIF2, AGE(18-24)(25-35)(36-49)(50-65)(66-89), RACECEN1(1)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Dwelling on double standards: Tucson vs. Fort Hood

The implied guiltiness of mainstream celebrity conservatives like Sarah Palin for their 'incendiary' political rhetoric (ie, use of the verb "reload") in the Arizona shooting exposes a glaring double standard. I realize pointing out media double standards is about as novel and exciting as pointing out leftist SWPL bias on NPR, but this particular instance is so egregious that it's worth dwelling on for a moment.

The shooter's writings are inane, bordering on insane:
The population of dreamers in the United States of America is less than 5%!

If B.C.E. years are unable to start then A.D.E. years are unable to begin.

B.C.E. years are unable to start.

Thus, A.D.E. years are unable to begin. ...

You're a treasurer for a new currency, listener?

You create and distribute your new currency, listener?

You don't allow the government to control your grammar structure, listener? ...

All conscience dreaming at this moment is asleep. ...

If you call me a terrorist, then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

You call me a terrorist.

Thus, the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem. ...

Read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws. ...

I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No, I won't pay debt in currency that's not backed by gold and silver!

No, I won't trust in God!
Everything else on his youtube page is similarly rambling and incoherent. If anything, he appears to be an anarchist. FBI director Robert Mueller has stated that the motives for the shooting are unknown as the investigation is barely a day old.

For the sake of argument, ignore all that uncertainty and assume Jared Loughner (the shooter) is exactly who the media establishment wants him to be. MSNBC, CNN (Wolf Blitzer), and FNC (Geraldo Rivera), all ran segments last night focusing on the putative anger against Democrats for Obamacare and opposition to Arizona's immigration bill as possible impetuses for the shooting, with guys like Blitzer and Al Sharpton suggesting that the criticism being directed at Democrats is inherently dangerous and should be toned down and oh by the way, if you share the critics' sentiments, you're probably a loose cannon with a trigger-happy finger.

Compare that to the shooting at Ft. Hood a little over a year ago. Were the same media figures questioning the inherent danger in political Islam, the cultural incompatibility of Islam and the secular West, or the prudence of allowing immigration into the US from majority Muslim countries (Hassan's parents were from Jordan)? Ha!

What we did get from the Ft. Hood shooting, though, is the argument that if we had not been in Afghanistan for a decade and Iraq nearly as long, if we hadn't had a military presence in Saudi Arabia up until the launching of the Iraq war, if weren't Israel's best friend, etc, perhaps Hassan would not have lit the place up. I think there's a good deal of truth to that.

So does the same line of thinking get consideration in the Arizona shooting--that if the 111th Congress had not passed a healthcare bill that the majority of the population didn't want, or if the federal government would enforce the nation's immigration laws, maybe random citizens wouldn't feel the need to gun down government officials? Ha!

Terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks by guys like Hassan are far more frequent than similar actions by guys like Loughton, even though there are a lot more guys in the US who are like Loughton than are like Hassan. So it would seem logical for more thought to be put into what needs to be done to prevent future Ft. Hood shootings than what needs to be done to prevent future Tucson shootings, the former being one instance in a perennial pattern, the latter being an anomalous freak occurence. So it would seem, indeed.

Finally, another Jared, this one a man of upmost probity, and the New Century Foundation that he founded, are fingered for potentially having links to Loughner! If you want a refresher on what we're up against, read the whole article. If not, at least take note of Ingsoc's new field of academic study:
"When you look at Loughner's web posts, he puts himself out as half fantasy seeker and dreamer and half political philosopher, and American Renaissance, while a hate group, markets itself as a political philosophy organization," says Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, at San Bernardino.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gays dislike US military?

A couple of weeks ago, OneSTDV explained why he was not surprised by the left's emphatic celebration at the repeal of don't ask, don't tell even though the left is generally hostile towards the military:
The left despises the military and sees our armed forces as a modern incarnation of the rapacious Colonial settlers. Thus, one would seem confused by their excitement over DADT repeal. If we accept the leftism perspective on the military, this basically means that now gays can openly kill oppressed peoples too. Not sure why that's cause for celebration.

Yet, leftism isn't defined by internal consistency - it's defined by convenience and reflexive opposition. As in, the left will champion any discordant ideal as long as the end result undermines some traditional aspect of our nation. Gays don't like the military or the values it reflects [my emphasis]. But because the military represents a bastion of nationalism and traditionalism, leftists want to fundamentally change it into an societal edifice in line with their worldview.
He may have meant to replace the phrase "Gays don't" with "The left doesn't", as that would preserve the same flavor of the rest of the paragraph. But it made me wonder if there is any discernible evidence suggesting that gays dislike the military or its values relative to the rest of society.

The GSS doesn't solicit a moral judgment of the military or its values, but it does consistently query respondents about how much confidence they have in various institutions, the military being one of them. The following table shows the levels of confidence straight, bisexual, and gay men and women have of the military, as well as the level of confidence self-described liberals, moderates, and conservatives have in it. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward:

Straight men
Bi men
Gay men
Straight women
Bi women

Gay guys are a little less gung-ho than straight and bisexual men are, but the gender divide is more significant. Gay men are right in line with political moderates (both sexes). Somewhat surprisingly, gay women display marginally less confidence in the military than heterosexual women do. This despite the conventional assumption that the gay percentage is far higher among female military personnel than it is in the general population. Bisexual women tend to be self-styled members of the avant garde, however, so their 'leftist' disposition is expected.

It seems more accurate, indeed, to say that leftists, rather than gays, dislike the military and what it stands for.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN(0)(1-950), NUMWOMEN(0)(1-950), SEX(1)(2), YEAR(2000-2008), CONARMY, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Takes on why blacks fare more poorly than whites do

In response to the release of the 2009 PISA results by country and ethnicity within countries, Steve Sailer wondered if there exists a "silent but sensible majority" that believes, if not on the surface or just below it, that deep-down HBD is a substantial factor in how such things shake out. He excerpts from a reader who puts it in the 90%-100% range of the general population. Steve isn't so sanguine, and Inductivist quickly provided data from the GSS supporting Steve's sentiments, which are expanded upon below.

The GSS has a set of questions it has consistently asked relating to poor outcomes for blacks relative to whites. They compartmentalize neatly into four broad schools of thought on why racial disparities (specifically, why blacks have "worse jobs, income, and housing than white people") exist in contemporary Western society.

1) Blacks face discrimination--favored by whites like Tim Wise and most of black punditry
2) Blacks have less in-born ability to learn than whites do--a brief, crude description of HBD thinking
3) Blacks' lack of education--politically correct conventionalism favored by SWPLs and moderate leftists
4) Blacks' lack of willpower or motivation--many neocons and libertarians are here

The following graph shows the percentage of respondents agreeing with each of the following explanations by race. Whites are further separated by political orientation (split the difference a little closer to the conservative percentage and away from the liberal percentage on each explanation and you have the percentage for all whites). Because adding a legend made the graph feel clustered, bars are instead color-coded. White liberals are blue, white conservatives are white, blacks are black, Hispanics are brown, Asians are yellow, and Native Americans are red. For contemporary relevance, all data are from 2000 onward. The sample size for is 1111 for white liberals, 1631 for white conservatives, 817 for blacks, 318 for Hispanics, 172 for Asians, and 62 for Native Americans.

Despite being the most affirmed explanation, lack of motivation is still almost untouchable on the popular right. Can you imagine Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity agreeing with it? Maybe Michael Savage would, but having even briefly entertained the idea of differences in intelligence distributions by race, he's largely disowned by mainstream conservatives. If the cultural explanation is untouchable, it goes without saying that the HBD explanation is radioactive. Notice how whites, both liberal and conservative, are less likely than any other non-white group to attribute black failure to innate differences in intelligence.

Irrational racism (explanation #1) doesn't even get a majority of white liberals. NAMs have a vested interest in viewing white America's inherent discriminatory practices as a reason for their struggles, so it's not surprising that many Hispanics and Native Americans, who judge blacks relatively harshly elsewhere, show substantial support for the discrimination explanation.

On the mainstream left, that oh-so chronic problem, a lack of educational attainment, is the favored reason for black struggles among white liberals and Asians (who, despite often being thought of as natural intellectual allies of white HBDers, repeatedly show the greatest similarity with SWPLs on culture, politics, economics, etc). On the mainstream right, and among non-black minorities, the laziness explanation is the most favored.

Clearly, culturalism appears to have won out among the general population. The education and laziness explanations (#3 and #4) are the easiest for non-blacks to hold in the sense that they do not morally indict those holding them (as the discrimination explanation does), but they hold out hope that solutions to racial disparities are achievable, and relatively easily--send more blacks to college in the case of #3 and reverse the breakdown of the black family by ending the welfare lifestyle in the case of #4. The horrifying idea that biology might have something to do with the stubborn gaps that have steadily remained over the century they've been measured is something the vast majority of Americans apparently would rather not consider.

As an interesting aside, just over 13% of respondents did not agree with any of the four possible explanations, none of which was asked in a way to insinuate that it necessarily be the primary explanation. Thus it is completely understandable why respondents would've agreed with multiple explanations, but hard to imagine how to rationalize a respondent not favoring any of them. Perhaps this indicates that one in eight people simply refuse to think about racial disparities, even when prodded into doing so. Or is there another valid explanation out there that the GSS left out?

GSS variables used: RACDIF1, RACDIF2, RACDIF3, RACDIF4, RACECEN1(1)(2)(3)(4-10)(15-16), POLVIEWS(1-3)(5-7)