Saturday, December 28, 2013

The culture war rages on

Watch this video and then take your best stab at what religious tradition these guys hail from:

Yep, that's their idea of shaking things up. Still unsure? A few hints: They are less likely to see the US as "structurally unjust" than other Americans are, they express high levels of contentment with the communities they live in; their younger members are actually more politically conservative than their older members are; they are more likely than members of any other (ir)religious tradition in the US to express support for a smaller government providing fewer services and opposition to a larger government providing more services; they find abortion, drinking, and sex outside of marriage all more off-putting than members of any other (ir)religious tradition do; their reproductive tendencies are uniquely eugenic; and when their tradition is singled out for mockery, rather than issuing death threats in response, they playfully use the derision as an impetus for others to gain a deeper understanding of their worldview.

These hidebound archaics, of course, contrast starkly with today's chic groups, like the shrieking, violent feminist harpies (via Mangan's):

And their somewhat overlapping allies, the puerile, immodest LGBTXQRBUGGERYJIMOAIDSRYWers:

Since members of the West's greatest last hope won't unsheathe their swords and go for the jugulars of modernity's degenerates, allow this willing assassin from the ranks of the darkly enlightened to do so in their stead. First, borrowing from the inestimable Phyllis Schlafly:

 And then with an AE original:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Most people know blacks more violent than non-blacks

The GSS is a gift that keeps on giving. I was unaware of a series of questions the survey put to respondents in 1990 and again in 2000 about the perceived proneness to violence among members of different racial groups. Inexcusable on my part, really, as that sort of thing is this blog's bread and butter. Better late than never, though. For contemporary relevance and because of the finer racial distinctions among participants that are possible in the data from 2000-onward than from before the turn of the millennium, the following comes from the later results.

Despite the Cathedral's intentional obfuscation of disparities in violence and criminality--and, when it's adherents think they can get away with it, blatant inversion of reality--people still tend to believe their own lying eyes rather than their mendacious overlords. The following graph shows the perceived proneness to violence by members of the four conventionally major 'racial' groupings in the US. The higher the score, the more violent the group is perceived to be*:

Blacks are perceived as the most violent, followed by Hispanics, then whites, and finally Asians. Irrational racism or racial realism? The data overwhelmingly support the latter, of course.

Although in a few short decades it will cease to be the case, non-Hispanic whites still form a majority in the US. Surely it is the oppressive majority's anti-NAM and pro-yellow biases that are skewing overall perceptions of racial differences in propensities for violence! Well, let's take a look.

Bear with me, the following graph is a bit difficult to comprehend at first blush. The racial categories along the x-axis (the horizontal line along the bottom) depict groups of survey respondents while the colored bars that run parallel to the y-axis (vertical line) illustrate how each category of survey respondents perceive each racial group's tendencies towards violence. So the first cluster shows how whites view each of the four groups, the second cluster shows how blacks view each of the groups, etc:

It's not only whites who correctly perceive the associations between race and violence. Hispanics and Asians do as well. Blacks present the only stark contrast with reality, perceiving whites and blacks to be (essentially) equally violent, with Hispanics and Asians less so. Grievance peddling race hustlers and their allies in the Media are relentless in their attempts to recast reality in such a way that it actually becomes blacks who need to be weary of whites rather than the other way around, and their efforts appear to be most successful among blacks, many of whom are more than happy to blame whitey for their problems.

What about SWPLs? Don't they see blacks with rose-colored tints and whites, uh, a little more darkly? Than conservative whites, yes, but reality even shakes this more pious contingent's faith in the Narrative. The following graph compares and contrasts the perceptions of liberal and conservative whites:

Less racial variance detected by leftists than by conservatives, but the general pattern is accurate perceived by both. While some credit is due, there is (faux^) ethnomasochism evident among white leftists worth remarking upon as well. Compared to their conservative co-racialists, liberal whites see blacks, Hispanics, and Asians as relatively pacific. When it comes to whites, however, liberals shelve some of their belief in the goodness of mankind and judge whites more harshly than conservatives do. Conservative whites, on the other hand, should come in for a bit of criticism for perhaps being too forgiving when it comes to whites vis-a-vis Asians.

Honest whites--even SWPLs--are having conversations with their children that are similar to the one prescribed by the Derb that subsequently led to his termination from the Cathedral's journalistic equivalent of the Washington Generals.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2000), POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), VIOLWHTS, VIOLBLKS, VIOLHSPS, VIOLASNS

** To facilitate viewing, I've inverted the GSS' scale, for which higher numbers illustrate less proneness to violence.

^ The qualifier here serving as a note that SWPLs are probably mostly thinking of the wrong kind of whites rather than of themselves when passing judgment on the violent tendencies of whites in general. They voted for Barack Obama and all that.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Slippery soaps and slippery slopes

It was only a matter of time before those arguing that expanding the definition of marriage to include members of the same sex would merely be the first of many assaults on the institution's integrity rather than a one-time update would be proven correct. Despite the shrill cries of harpies and their eunuch hangers-on that such a faux argument was nothing more than a thin veil disguising the blatant homophobia of those holding traditional retrograde values, a district judge in Utah has struck down the state's law forbidding polygamy on exactly those grounds:
In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ “slippery slope” arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional.
Casting both the supercilious mendacity of the Cathedral and the usual arguments against polygamy aside, the chickadee has meticulously demonstrated another reason that the judge's ruling is an imprudent idea--polygamy leads to less genetic diversity since its application leads to fewer men contributing to the next generation without any corresponding increase in the number of women procreating. In this context, reduced genetic diversity means more clannishness, which is where the chickadee comes in. To pithily oversimplify years' worth of work on her part, a takeaway messages has been that inbred societies = bad; outbred societies = good.

Give me the republic or give me death

Watching the two-season HBO series Rome was an enjoyable experience for this amateur interested in the history of the republic and later empire. The juxtaposition of stoicism and epicureanism in the two historically insignificant protagonists, the skillful crafting of a narrative in a world that is in some ways strikingly similar to our own but in others utterly alien to it, the immensely satisfying casting--combine for one hell of a historically fictional ride.

On that last point regarding the casting, though, a couple of the portrayals bugged me. Octavia, not for aesthetic reasons, but because in the series she's an irresponsible hedonist when the historical consensus seems to be that she pulled off quite the balancing act, managing to remain loyal, faithful, and contemporarily dignified both to her brother Augustus and her husband Mark Antony even after the two most powerful men in the moribund republic were on a seemingly inevitable path to war.

The other is Cato (the Younger), the unflinching Republican who uncompromisingly opposed Julius Caesar, and, in so doing, helped prod Pompey into forcing Caesar to march on Rome. I find affinity for the historical Cato to come easily, but the series tests that by portraying him as a bit of a stammering, quixotic buffoon.

Randall Parker's recent post entitled "Cato of the Republic was a fool", however, makes the HBO perspective more easily comprehensible:
Cato was one of the leaders in the Roman Republic who maneuvered Julius Caesar into a position where his only choices were to either get convicted of a crime by the Senate (thereby losing all power, possibly his life, and with his best outcome a life in exile) or to overthrow the Republic. Caesar's decision was not surprising. His ability to execute on his decision was also not surprising. Caesar was an incredible dynamo, a great leader of men who inspired intense loyalty and devotion in those he led. Cato, by contrast, was a fool. He helped accelerate the death of the Republic. 
Cato serves as an inspiration for the modern day Libertarians at the Cato Institute. They look up to a guy who overplayed his hand in a Rome where few deeply shared his principles and views. Cato's views found even less support among the native peoples in most of the conquered lands which the Romans ruled. Does this sound familiar? 
Why are open borders Libertarians wrong on immigration? For reasons similar to why Cato was wrong about Caesar: a refusal to acknowledge that pursuit of unachievable ideals can result in worse outcomes.
With all the caveats about enormous differences in time and place, one might make the argument that Ron Paul is a sort of Cato of our times. However, it is such incorrigibility that allows inspiration to survive two millenia and a transcontinental journey across the Atlantic.

Like Cicero, posterity might remember David Brooks as more effectual among his contemporaries than Cato then or Paul now, but history's great moderates lack the appeal that history's more committed giants do. What modern think tank takes its namesake from Cicero? What Christian denomination from Erasmus?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Calling Caspar and co.

A quick cameo of Nathan William Epigone before he gets back to the business, between naps, of taking fluids in one orifice and pushing them out a couple of others:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Knockout game knocks out a litany of leftist lies in one fell swoop, er, punch

The knockout game phenomenon really, really makes the Establishment uncomfortable. Although it took several years, the seemingly senseless savagery it displayed finally forced the knockout game from being a subject covered almost exclusively by the alternative right to something the mainstream media found increasingly difficult to ignore. Sure, Fox News still does ten minute segments on it without once mentioning race, but at least they're raising awareness. That counts for something!

Four major reasons why the knockout game causes Establishment pontiffs such anxiety:

1) It validates the Derb's non-black version of "The Talk". Be weary around blacks who are unknown to you, especially when they outnumber your group, especially especially if you're a female or a man aged 40+, and especially especially especially if you're alone.

2) It makes a mockery of the mendacious hate crime Narrative the Establishment perpetually pushes. It's as familiar as it is diametrically opposed to reality--the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman saga being the most recent highly visible illustration, but it's pervasive presence can be detected in virtually every case in which putative irrational -isms are involved.

Instead, the knockout game displays the reality of interracial crime--it is an overwhelmingly black-on-white affair, with blacks nearly 40 times more likely to commit violent crimes against whites than viceversa. Blacks are even significantly more likely to be convicted of federally designated hate crimes than whites are (and that "white" number includes relatively more criminally prone Hispanics).

3) Relatedly, the knockout game reveals that one of the left's favorite tropes--that crime is an unfortunate but essentially unavoidable consequence of poverty--is bullshit. Correlation isn't causation, heh. The game's perpetrators aren't acting out of desperation, they're not stealing anything, and they're not enjoying any material gain from their vicious assaults--instead, they're acting out of a mix of boredom (poor people have a lot of free time on their hands), social posturing, racial animosity, and animalistic impulsivity.

4) It is about the most effective argument in favor of gun rights imaginable. The police can't protect potential victims from knockouts and contemporary American communities won't organically protect their fellow citizens, either. Only you can prevent knockouts, and the surest way of preventing them (or second surest--see item #1) is by packing heat.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

From PISA, some gaps more equal than others

A few leftover observations from the 2012 PISA results that I haven't seen widely remarked upon elsewhere follow.

- Excluding DC's affluent white minority, according to NAEP testing results, Massachusetts boasts the most intelligent kids in the United States. That holds among states' entire public student body and also for states' non-Hispanic white student populations. It's the best we have to offer.

As a whole, in mathematics the Bay State comes in tied with Germany and beats Austria, Australia, Ireland, Slovenia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, France, the UK, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, and Serbia among the  participating members of the Occidental club. It comes in behind Belgium, Poland, Canada, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Somewhere in the top third or so of the Euro-descended pack is hardly something to to be ashamed of.

Even Massachusetts, of course, can't match any of the East Asian countries save for descriptively ambiguous Vietnam (though Massachusetts' Asian population outscores all of East Asia except for Shanghai and Singapore--it beats Hong Kong, Taipei, South Korea, Macau, and Japan).

- Being a parochial provincial, I'm unaware of whether or not the female aversion to the STEM fields has yet reached crisis mode outside the US as it has within. Here in the states it's the second biggest problem in education (the intractable Gap forever remaining the ultimate behemoth--why, as Arne Duncan is surely aware, if only we could close the Gap, we'd shoot back into the thick of the European pack. Having closed the national Gap, we'd then be able to move on to the international Gap, snapping it shut and at last putting Liberia on equal footing with Latvia!).

If the issue doesn't have as much visibility outside the US as does within, it's not for a lack of data pointing to the problem. Teenage boys outscored their fellow female students in 51 of the 68 places where testing was administered. In four of the 68, there was no difference in male and female performance. These egalitarian paradises include Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Montenegro.

Even more equal than that, though, are the countries where the girls outperformed the boys. First, the suggestive female advantages, although the sex differences do not reach the level of statistical significance at a 95% confidence rate--Albania, Russia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Latvia, and the United Arab Emirates. Five of the 68 places are genuinely able to celebrate gender equality by pointing to statistically significant advantages among their female students over their male counterparts. These nations are Iceland, Malaysia, Thailand, Qatar, and Jordan. Looks like the only country more progressive than Qatar when it comes to women's rights is Jordan! Who knew?

Staffan mentioned sour grapes in the context of Denmark's questioning of the validity of the latest PISA results, but the Danes have a lot more to be proud of than the Chinese do. Sure, the latter may be earning higher marks on the scholastic tests, but the when it comes to the results that really matter--those measuring equality--Denmark kicks Shanghai's ass!

- Parenthetically, there is a gender gap that is more overwhelming and consistent than the one in mathematics, but it's not a problem to get worked up about. This gap actually indicates the utmost triumph of Equality--in every single pedagogical jurisdiction, all 68 out of 68 of them--girls outperformed boys in reading, and at statistically significant levels across the board to boot. Once again the two countries with the largest female advantages are Qatar and Jordan!

- Finally, how about a little curmudgeon's revenge? There really is no such thing as a free lunch:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Facebook and Twitter, lion and leopard

Find them on Facebook and Twitter!--as if these two are the Coke and the Pepsi of the social networking world. More like the Coke and the 7UP, actually. Google trends on searches for the terms "facebook" and "twitter", respectively, with "youtube" added in for additional perspective:

Over half of all US adults have Facebook accounts. By contrast, just 1-in-9 use Twitter.

Perhaps Twitter is the new Facebook? Twitter is seven years old. In human years, that constitutes youth. The virtual world's aging process has more in common with dog years, though. Twitter isn't novel.

Facebook's IPO was underwhelming (for outside investors, not so much for the company itself). Twitter's was great (for those looking in from the outside; the company left billions on the table). Twitter, however, doesn't have a larger market presence as a consequence. To the contrary, Facebook's market cap is more than four times Twitter's.

Twitter isn't a high-brow version of the proletariat's Facebook, either. From Pew Research last year:

Heavily urban, heavily NAM. Twitter is certainly hip. And it's convenient for lazy, cash-strapped media outlets that are able to replace something approaching actual journalism by simply copying a celebrity's half-sentence tweet and passing it off as newsworthy.

What else should be expected from a platform with such space constraints that users might as well be limited to rap's contemporary lexicon, though?

Pew doesn't break down the racial characteristics of Facebook users, but unlike Twitter, Facebook usage increases with education and income, so it's presumably icier than Twitter's sunny profile.

To Twitter's tweeting there is Facebook's essentially identical status updating. To Twitter's re-tweeting there is Facebook's essentially identically sharing. That basically summarizes everything Twitter does. As noted, Facebook does the same (with wider reach), but only in addition to about a bazillion other things to help its far more numerous users navel gaze or whittle time away candy crushing it.

Parenthetical disclosure: I have no employment or shareholder connections to either company, I find Mark Zuckerberg's open borders advocacy more obnoxious than Jack Dorsey's standard but not especially agitating SWPL tendencies, and I have user accounts on both sites.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

White flight from the white robe?

Taking note of Alfred Clark's observations about the 'ghettoization' of Christianity, the Derb recently wrote a piece for VDare exploring the phenomenon of white flight from the religion, an abandonment distinct from the general trend towards secularization in that it appears to be occurring more rapidly among whites than among NAMs.

The GSS has data on religious self-identification extending back through the early seventies up to the present. The following graph traces, by year, the percentages of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics who indicated they had no religious affiliation. The mean sample sizes by year are 1112, 126, and 108, respectively:

Understanding there is some noise present in the year-to-year sampling, the white irreligious rate has been higher than the NAM irreligious rate has been over at least the last several decades. While the ratio hasn't changed much over the time period in question, the fact that the irreligious proportion of the population has gone from being fringe at the margins to the sizable minority that it is today probably makes the racial disparity more recognizable now than it was then. In the seventies, someone with no religious affiliation was so rare--and the proselytizing shrillness of New Atheism not yet a thing among them--that most people's pattern recognition software didn't pick up on the racial characteristics of non-believers. Today nearly one-in-five whites professes no affiliation, so if a person knows a handful of white guys, there's a good chance he knows at least one atheist or agnostic. And among an average person's facebook social circle there are tens or hundreds of people without any religious affiliation.

GSS variables used: RELIG(4), YEAR, ETHNIC(1)(2-3,6-15,18-19,21,23-27,32-33,36)(17,22,38)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sharing is caring?

++Addition++Heartiste quite recently. He points to a different interpretation of the data in a relatively quite obscure location like this one and does so purely as an FYI to his readership. That's an admirable demonstration of what I can't characterize as anything other than consistent intellectual integrity on his part.


Heartiste from a few years ago:
The verdict is in: Women want men to cheat on them. Oh sure, they don’t *consciously* want their men to cheat, but unbeknownst to all but the most self aware women, their ginas tingle uncontrollably for men who can — and do — score some poon on the side.
In the vast majority (though likely not all, female sexual variation being what it is) of cases, there's no question that the first part of the assertion--that women tend to be attracted to men who other women are attracted to--is indisputable. Women want you to be capable of cheating. Then again, men want the women they are banging--at least the ones who arouse them more than their own pillows do--to be able to cheat, too, but if they've signed up for the relationship thing, virtually none of them actually want the women to go through with it (if you're not a regular reader here, yes, I'm quite aware that men and women are anatomically, biologically, psychologically, politically, sexually, emotionally, cognitively, etc etc different from one another).

What about the latter part, though? Do they actually want you to dip your pen in another woman's ink? It's difficult to make sense of why, from an evolutionary perspective, females would want their mates to sire offspring with (and presumably provide resources to) other women. The hindbrain isn't going to make distinctions between copulation and procreation when it comes to their men getting with other women, so this is not a straw man argument, it's the logical extension of what Heartiste claims.

The following table shows the percentages of men who were (still) married at the time of their participation in the survey by whether or not they had ever cheated on their spouses and the percentages of men who were divorced or separated when given the survey by whether or not they had ever cheated on their spouses while they were married. For contemporary relevance and racial confounding, all responses are from 2000 onward and only non-Hispanic whites are included, respectively. The relevant questions are posed in such a way that those who have never married are necessarily excluded (N = 3,218):

White menStill MarriedSep/Divorced

Men from failed marriages are more than twice as likely to have cheated before those marriages officially came apart than are men from marriages that are still in tact.

No, this does not obviously constitute a refutation of Heartiste's assertion. The limitations of a broad based survey like the GSS preclude digging as deeply as would be required for us to take a shot at evaluating that.

For one, we don't have data on who initiated the divorces and separations--how frequently do the men who are cheating leave the marriage because they're ready to trade in the old ride for a new model or simply go back to leasing altogether? How frequently do the women who find out about the cheating break off the marriage as a consequence? We also lack data on if the women who have been cheated on--whether the men who did the cheating are still married or since separated or divorced--were aware of the cheating when it took place, subsequently became aware of it, or remained in the dark up to the point when the responses were given. Finally, we don't know if the married men who have cheated on a spouse were, at the time they partook in the survey, still married to the women they cheated on or if they'd divorced and then remarried someone new (though knowledge on that front would probably just accentuate the relationship between cheating and divorce rather than attenuating or inverting it).

GSS variables used: EVSTRAY(1-2), MARITAL(1)(3-4), RACECEN1(1), YEAR(2000-2012), SEX(1)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Poor people's poor sense

Cross-posted at HuffPo

This post will appear lacking in systematic structure because poor people tend to be fatalistic. Low future time orientation and few social obligations combine to create an existence that seems impulsive and chaotic from vantage points higher up the ladder. We look at the poverty and pretend to wonder why. We know the what and the how, we can see all the decisions and behaviors that precede the seemingly intractable problems, but it’s rare to have someone actually explain the why without resorting to epicycles and all the pretty lies that accompany them.

Social obligations are the millstones the middle and upper classes refuse to take off their necks. Voluntarily so you might say, but many of them don’t even take all the vacation their employers give them, let alone bailing unexpectedly. They force themselves to sleep before they really want to and then set obnoxious alarms that force them out of bed long before the sun is up. They juggle school, work, church, sports games, civic activities, and on and on—I don’t do many of these things, and none of them with any consistency. I’d rather just mill around in public places, maybe playing a knockout game here or a joining a flash mob there. I’m not married, but if I ever do tie the knot, it’s a good bet that I’ll cut that knot long before my avowed obligations expire. I have plenty of time to think about what I’m doing, but it’s not in my constitution to do so. Planning isn’t in the mix.

I’m coming off as far more eloquent and articulate than I actually am because my thoughts are being edited by someone who reads more books in a month than I will in my entire life. I don’t know what words like “pact” and “animosity” mean, though I do use the word “fuck” a lot, and quite creatively to boot—as a verb, an adjective, a noun, and an of course as onomatopoeia.

I don’t remember the first time I got pregnant. I was bouncing back and forth between my abusive baby daddy and my mom’s apartment. He wasn’t faithful but he was good in bed and shared with me the money he made in exchange for the WIC and EBT benefits I got for being a single mother without any reported income. I like to smoke and drink, and the things science says are changing all the time anyway, so I wasn’t going to stop just because my menstrual cycle had.

Yeah, I have the time to cook, I already said that. But that’s hard, boring work and getting fresh meat and produce means going all the way to the grocery store two miles down the road. There’s a convenient store in walking distance just around the corner where I can get Red Bull and Bomb Burritos with a swipe of my freeBT card. They even have a microwave so I can heat the food up after you buy it for me. I have time to clean, too, but I don’t do that either, so a lot of creepy crawly things live with me.

I try to live like I have the purchasing power of someone in the middle class, but I lack the prerequisite combination of intelligence, executive function, and shrewdness to procure the resources required to enjoy said purchasing power on my own. Better not to try. In fact, the less I try, the easier it is to have the state provide that purchasing power for me. Why would I give up time for sensual pleasures like junk food, nicotine, and spontaneous sex to engage in creating value for someone else? Those working class stiffs need a stiff drink, that’s what they need.

I live in a vibrant area and consequently there are a couple of Planned Parenthood centers amidst the conurbation I stomp around in, but even if I lived three hours away from the nearest one, the profiteering not-for-profit do-gooders and their government enablers who run PP would happily cover my travel costs.

Our society spends way too much time and effort medically remediating a whole host of conditions that our ancestors hardly knew. There are drugs for everything. Blue bloods doctor shop for the prescriptions they want, but I have my own contacts on the ground for getting the stuff whenever I want it. I don’t get vacation per se, but I get a lot more time off than my social betters do. If I was able or even wanted to spend all that excess free time working, I wouldn’t be poor, after all.

I think I’d make a great movie star and do even better with a reality show, but I can’t even get a job as a waitress (though I have enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame here—twice!) because I have stained teeth and it looks like I used to chew on rocks, my BMI is over 30 but an ignorant outsider could be forgiven for mistakenly believing my wardrobe belonged to someone half my size, I shower irregularly and often don’t wash my hair when I do, and when I inevitably make an error on the application I fill out, I don’t have the patience to grab a new one but instead scratch out the mistake and write the correct thing in wherever I can find room.

Beauty is a thing you get when you’re a post-pubescent teenager. After that, you have to work to keep it. And, well, you already know how I feel about work.

Meth makes you overly alert to everything. Before Breaking Bad, nobody realized that. I’ve spent a lot of hours telling cashiers about all the things I need to take care of like right now, haha, sorry, *itch* I also want that, I get so forgetful, sorry *scratch* yeah sure that’s fine haha ohwheredidIputthatohhahaIputitoverthere. If only it would lead me to pull up my sleeves and get my shit together like it pulls back the skin on my face. It doesn’t work, but that is tweaking.

“Free” is only enticing if the object in question is something you want. It’s great that there are free condom giveaways in the convenient stores where I buy my bread (not by the loaf, rather one cinnamon-and-sugar topped roll at a time), but sex doesn’t feel as good with those things on.

Clinics? Specialists? Co-pays? Seriously?! Might as well be speaking Greek to me. If something’s wrong, I’ll go to the ER. They’ll see me anytime day or night, and they don’t make me do a bunch of stuff ahead of time or force me to produce an insurance card.

I smoke. It’s expensive. Okay, you’re with me on that one. If I justified it by feeding you a line about how it is the battery to my Energizer Bunny and then in the same paragraph called it a source of relaxation, well—what’s that? Ah yes, lack of structure, chaotic, impulsive—now you’re seeing exactly what I mean.

You might think I make a lot of poor financial decisions, but that’s because you’re so concerned with the past and the future that you’re forgetting about how I’m feeling in the present, too obsessed with gathering ideas of how it’ll all inevitably end for me. But if all it takes is a swipe of this piece of plastic to sate my appetites, what kind of sucker would I be not to take advantage? There’s an indefatigable pull to spend any money I can get my hands on before it burns a hole in my pocket. Look what being responsible gets you—a bunch of extra zeroes in your bank account that you never let yourself enjoy? And don’t get supercilious about your knowledge of financial instruments, blue blood. I know more about money orders and payday loans than you do, and I've played these same numbers for the last four months so I'm due to hit the jackpot any day now.

Understanding that I lack the long-term orientation we mentioned earlier, it should be easy to understand why you see people like me with four different baby daddies instead of one husband and father. We skip on the abortion because the irresistible pull that made us feel worthwhile at the time is something we can have over and over again afterwards just by letting nature take its course. Compromise isn’t our thing so we’re rarely compatible for the long-term, but carnality can keep us together for a couple of months, or at least a few hours anyway. It does not matter what will happen in a month. We don’t plan long-term because we’re fly, you ain’t cause you not. We take what we can as we spot it.

I’m not asking for sympathy (but I am asking for money. Have any to spare? God bless!), I’m just trying to explain, through parody, some of the many ways members of the Cathedral and their Great And Good Votaries deny empirical, ‘ugly’ realities in favor of self-serving pretty lies. Dive into the links provided and then take a gander at the interactive General Social Survey site to get a sense of what life is like in the Dark Enlightenment and a feel for the mechanisms that red-pill poppers employ in an effort to understand the world as it is rather than as we might wish it be. It’s certainly self-defeating, but it’s nobler.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Standing as one

A friendly gadfly notes the seemingly out-of-character failure to break down the results on preferred methods of raising a family by race. It wasn't included for a few reasons; as someone with an inclination towards citizenism, there are times when capturing the entire American flavor sounds more appetizing than unnecessarily compartmentalizing the palates (although that's admittedly an approach that doesn't tell the whole story--further drilling down is usually required); racial differences are fairly marginal; and sample sizes for non-whites aren't as large we would ideally like them to be.

But the data are there, so why cover them up? Decide for yourself if there is anything additional that needs saying. The following table shows the percentages of respondents, by race (N in parentheses) in 2012, who identified each of the following six scenarios as the most ideal:

ArrangementWhites (712) Blacks (151)Hispanics (73)Asians (46)
Mother home, father full-time40.6%34.7%45.4%34.4%
Mother part-time, father full-time41.1%43.2%36.3%53.6%
Both full-time11.3%17.3%2.3%7.5%
Both part-time6.3%4.7%14.9%4.5%
Mother full-time, father part-time0.2%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Mother full-time, father home0.6%0.0%1.1%0.0%

Even among a segment of the population for which over two-thirds of babies are born out of wedlock, the acknowledged ideal is one in which dad brings home the bacon and mom cooks it up.

It is often errantly argued that Hispanics are "natural conservatives", though these results make them appear quite progressive indeed--nearly 15% of those surveyed seem to have acclimated themselves to a Peak Jobs future in which part-time employment becomes more and more the norm not merely among the elderly and those in school, but among those in their prime working years as well.

GSS variables used: RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), FAMWKBST(1-6)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Seneca Sailer

Okay, he doesn't differentiate between genotype and phenotype, and he's unaware of epigenetics, but this isn't bad for a contemporary of the emperor Nero (and a Stoic to boot!):
No amount of wisdom, as I said before, ever banishes these things; otherwise--if she eradicated every weakness--wisdom would have dominion over the world of nature. One's physical make-up and the attributes that were one's lot at birth remain settled no matter how much or how long the personality may strive after pefect adjustment. One cannot ban these things any more than one can call them up.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

They aren't meant to pee standing up

++Addition++Staffan points out that, according to Google's Ngram viewer, the concept of feminism as an organizing principle is in decline:

How much of that is due to realization of biological differences and how much is due to female concerns being superseded by the concerns of 'victim' classes like blacks and gays who higher up on the victimology pyramid?


Gavin McInnes went into the HuffPo harpy's nest to--colorfully, as is his wont--assert that women tend to be happier following their maternal instincts than they are devoting all their energy to getting ahead in the rat race. He was met with lots of supercilious condescension but, predictably, nothing he asserted was empirically challenged. Unfortunately, his empirical grounding was insinuated rather than explicitly presented. The GSS can aid him in the future.

For starters, let's look at feminism as an idea. In the mid-nineties, the GSS asked respondents whether or not they considered themselves feminists. Self-described feminists, despite being modestly better educated, more intelligent (based on wordsum scores), and wealthier than those who didn't identify as such, reported lower levels of personal happiness than non-feminists. The following table shows the feminist/non-feminist breakdown among women who describe themselves as "very happy", "pretty happy", and "not too happy":

Very happy24.5%75.5%
Pretty happy27.8%72.2%
Not too happy34.4%65.6%

Feminists comprise less than one-quarter of women who are "very happy" but over one-third of those who are "not too happy".

Sure, the argument can be made that happiness is subjective and even though the non-feminists are more content, they're not objectively doing as well since they don't have as much money or education as the feminists do. That line of reasoning doesn't contradict McInnes' point, though. Instead, it strengthens it. Making that sort of judgment in favor of feminists because of career success is to assess female success by traditionally male--that is, masculine--standards, and the women whose lives more resemble men in this regard express lower levels of happiness than do women who travel life's more traditionally feminine path.

If that's overly abstract, let's take a look from another angle, one of social cohesion. In 2004, the GSS conducted a special module querying respondents on the most important aspect of their identities. Participants were able to choose from a list of ten, three of which are of special relevance to this discussion--occupation, gender, and family/marital status. The following table shows, among women who indicated one of those three identifiers as most important to defining who they are, the percentages who are "very proud", "somewhat proud", and "not very proud" of being American:

Identifies byVery proudSomewhat proudNot very proud
Family/marital status84.3%14.3%1.3%

Women who are women, first and foremost, are the least content with the society they live in, those who most strongly identify with their work more middling, and those who care most about hearth and heart the most satisfied with it.

The survey also shows that, across a variety of measures, men are more willing than women are to make sacrifices--overtime, odd shifts, etc--in other areas of their lives for the sake of work. The converse of this, of course, is that women are less willing to put work ahead of other areas of life, like, say, raising a family.

What about the perceptions broader society has regarding what is, generally, the more preferable way for families to be raised? Collected in 2012, these figures still have that new car smell. The tables are reposted here from a post put together earlier this year. The following table shows the percentages of respondents who identified each of the following six scenarios as the most ideal:

Arrangement, all responsesDist%
Mother home, father full-time39.7
Mother part-time, father full-time41.6
Both full-time11.3
Both part-time6.8
Father part-time, mother full-time0.2
Father home, mother full-time0.5

Looks like we need a runoff to decide whether or not the woman should be a full time homemaker or should instead enjoy occasional breaks from the homestead to earn a few bucks while dad takes the kids. Fewer than 1-in-100 think Mr. Mom is the way to go, and the dual careerist path where, in McInnes' words, "shaping a human life" is put on the back burner, isn't very popular either.

Some great victory women in the workforce has been! On the bright side, though, it's self-perpetuating objective--the more women there are working, the lower the wages both working men and working women are able to command, and consequently the greater the need for women to enter the workforce to make ends meet, let alone raise a family!

Perhaps it's skewed heavily by the patriarchal enforcers of patriarchy, the patriarchs themselves. The response results, this time with only women considered:

Arrangement, women onlyDist%
Mother home, father full-time33.6
Mother part-time, father full-time45.7
Both full-time11.7
Both part-time8.5
Father part-time, mother full-time0.2
Father home, mother full-time0.3

The vast majority--we're talking 4 out of 5--of Americans conceive of the ideal family environment being one in which a man works full-time and a woman works either part-time or not at all. It's as though they recognize some sort of special bond between a mother and the child her body spent nine devoted months bringing into the world.

Maybe the patriarchs have brainwashed their own barefoot wives slaving away in the kitchen into falling for the breadwinner-homemaker ideal, but what about women who think for themselves? Liberal women only (n = 130):

Mother home, father full-time23.1
Mother part-time, father full-time48.4
Both full-time12.9
Both part-time15.0
Father part-time, mother full-time0.0
Father home, mother full-time0.6

The feminists may have three or four waves on their side, but McInnes has the tsunamic force of hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary forces on his.

GSS variables used: SEX(2), HAPPY, FEMINIST, FAMWKBST(1-6), SEX(2), POLVIEWS(1-3), AMPROUD1(1-3), SOCID1(1,3,8)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nope, not in the NBA, heh heh ugh

This weekend I was in conversation at a wedding with the 6'9'' groom about how dealing with unending comments about his height when out in public must be wearisome. I wonder if after the transgender crusades burn themselves out, heightism won't be the next monster to seek out and destroy. It's about the only attribute remaining that is socially acceptable to comment upon despite the fact that the recipients of said comments don't ever want to hear them. 

While tall people, like lefties, don't naturally constitute easily organized interest groups since they're more-or-less randomly distributed throughout the population, fat people don't, either, and acceptance of the corpulent has become increasingly compulsory in polite society. On the other hand, lacking natural organization, markedly high achievement, and a history of persecution, perhaps 'height privilege' will negate widespread goodwill towards the especially tall.

Though height generally gently correlates positively with some desirable life outcomes, the returns are probably diminishing and might even begin to reverse a couple of standard deviations out above the mean. I suggested my best guess of the ideal for a man to be as tall as possible without his height being the first thing others notice about him, somewhere in the 6'4''-6'5'' range.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Professional journalism

On display in that oh-so venerable rag, the New York Times, in an article referenced recently by Steve Sailer. Excerpt worthy of special derision, my emphasis:
In a photograph taken not long after the assassination, my grandmother smiles a porcelain smile, poised and lovely in psychedelic purple Pucci, coiffure stacked high in what can only be described as a hairway to heaven.
Only? It can only be described using a cute phrase that doesn't even denote a specific hairstyle, but is instead used in local hair styling salons all across flyover country? There is no other way to describe it?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NFL post-season correlations between wins and various stats

++Addition++Steve Sailer comments:
Regarding turnovers, another way to look at them is to separate interceptions and fumbles, and then look at total fumbles versus fumbles lost. It seems pretty likely that once the ball goes on the ground, it's sheer luck who winds up with it. (Both teams grapple like mad to get the ball.) So, the number of fumbles in a game is a measure of skill, but the percentage of fumbles lost is the most obvious and perhaps most important single measure of luck.
My emphasis on what strikes me as one hell of an insight into the game.


Having looked at several years of regular season NFL data, my working assumption is that, more than anything else, winning is about having an offense that is capable of moving the ball through the air, and that such an observation has not just contemporary relevance, but is historically descriptive as well (though the trend has become increasingly pronounced over time). It's boorish to so audaciously insinuating that I've discovered the key to success (not to mention a little painful, as I grew up as a votary of "Marty Ball"). If utilizing an occasional run for no other reason than to keep intact the integrity of the play action is how to become this year's Kansas City Chiefs, well--wait, at 9-0, they're 27th in passing and 12th in rushing. Like I said, boorish.

Speaking of our hometown Chiefs, juxtaposing the ball-controlling, defensively-led, conservative-play-calling Chiefs' style with the high-flying, shoot-out-welcoming Broncos is timely enough. I'd be happy to have this post thrown in my face this Sunday night, but if I had to bet on it, I'm not betting against Peyton Manning, aging agitated ankles be damned.

Sports commentators--many of them former players--regularly espouse phrases like "defenses win championships" and "to win, they'll need to maintain the ground game" in the post-season. Even if being able to pick apart the bottom of the division during the regular season gets a team into the playoffs, perhaps the dynamics are different at that elite-of-the-elite level.

Looking at the results from the last five years of post-season play (60 teams), the following stats correlate with playoff win percentage as relayed in the table below. Italics indicate a correlation in the 'unexpected' direction (average yards gained per rush play correlating inversely with winning, for example--that is, the more efficient a team has been moving the ball on the ground, the worse they tend to fare). Asterisks indicate a lack of statistical significance in the correlation at 95% confidence:

Turnover ratio.62
Passer rating.52
Yards per pass play.45
Time of possession.31
Yards per play.27
3rd down conversion %.26
Total yards gained per game.25
Rush yards per game.24*
Pass yards per game.15*
1st downs per game.10*
Yards per rush play.10*
Rush yards allowed per game.42
3rd down conversion % allowed.34
Opposing passer rating.31
Yards allowed per pass play.28
Yards allowed per play.20*
Yards allowed per game.18*
Yards allowed per rush play.08*
Pass yards allowed per game.07*
1st downs allowed per game.02*

A few notes:

- Turnover ratio and time of possession are no more justifiably classified as offensive than as defensive.

- This methodological approach probably doesn't work as well in the post-season as it does during the regular season due to issues like home field advantage, #1 and #2 seeds having a buy week, more weather variation than during the regular season, etc, but it's still useful.

- Special teams stats are not included. They are far less informative than defensive and especially offensive numbers during the regular season. I expect nothing different in the post-season based on the similarities between offensive and defensive correlations during the regular seasons and post-seasons. Due to the time required to do this sort of data, I elected not to include special teams stats.

Relative to what we find during the regular season, turnovers are even more crucial in post-season play than they are during weeks 1-17. That's comprehensible given that teams are generally more evenly-matched during the playoffs than they are during the regular season, so giveaways are harder to overcome than they are during the regular season.

The quarterback spot is football's marquee position, and justifiably so. Just as is the case during the regular season, there is little that is as predictive of winning as a QB's passer rating in the playoffs. Using the bemusing formula has an advantage over other stats that are based primarily on simple averages--it negates the problems this sort of analysis has when teams intentionally run out the clock by keeping the ball on the ground, a phenomenon which tends to make winning teams' rush stats look relatively poor and losing teams' rushing defense looking correspondingly good, since both sides know what's coming.

The advantage yards-per-pass-play has over yards-per-rush-play isn't quite as pronounced as it is during the regular season, but it's still enormous.

Defensive stats simply aren't as explanatory as offensive stats are. Rush yards per game is often an artifice of the occurrence mentioned above--teams that give up a lot of yards on the ground tend to lose because winning teams tend to run a lot towards the end of the game against teams they're beating, even though said losing teams aren't necessarily any less efficient at stopping the run than winning teams are, as the weak relationship between winning and yards given up per rush play illustrates.

Opposing passer rating and yards per pass play, along with 3rd down conversion % allowed, are the only other major statistical indices considered that reach statistical significance, an expected converse of the success having an offense that is able to move the ball through the air brings.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Virginia tells

As one of the most demographically representative states in the country, and one with an enormous amount of American history packed into it to boot, the gubernatorial results out of Virginia this week are worth examining as a way of better understanding America's contemporary social landscape.

- Cuccinelli, the Republican, won among whites by a margin (56%-36%) nearly identical to the margin Romney did in the 2012 presidential election (59%-39%). McAullife, the Democrat, similarly won among blacks (90%-8% compared to Obama's 93%-6%). No surprises here. At 72% of the Virginia electorate and shrinking, it is difficult for Republicans to win nationally representative elections without winning 2-to-1 among whites. The exit polling data do not report results for other groups due to insufficient sample size, but it's safe to assume McAullife won among the Hispanic/Asian/other residual about as convincingly as Obama did last year.

- Despite all the political polarization etc etc, the third party pipe dream is becoming less and less tenable as the US becomes less and less non-Hispanic white. Whites are the only people with whom Kang's famous taunt to (or was it Kodos'?) "go ahead, throw your vote away", actually resonates. Sarvis, the libertarian, got over 87% of his votes from whites. Cuccinelli received a strikingly similar share of his total votes from whites, coming in at just under 89%. McAullife, in contrast, received just over half of his votes (54%) from whites. Perhaps the seemingly disparate Democratic coalition breaks apart at some point in the future, but currently whites are the only ones who appear to have any willingness to oppose it.

- Why I think Rand Paul's liberty message has legs to stand on in the future: Sarvis' won nearly 15% of voters under age 30 but less than 6% of those aged 30 and over. Whether or not this is constitutes the making of a deal with the devil, reasonable people will disagree.

- The fat-cats-versus-working-class-union-types dichotomy became antiquated decades ago, not least because of the spending advantage Democrats now regularly enjoy, this election clearly being no exception. The new paradigm pits the top and the bottom in alliance against the middle:

Though he lost the race, Cuccinelli won comfortably among voters in households with annual incomes in the $50k-$100k range, and held his own in the $30k-$50k and $100k-$200k ranges, but was blown out by McAullife both among those earning less than $30k and among those making $200k+.

- Another way to characterize today's political dynamic is to pit the government trough eaters and trough fillers against the government food trough producers, or value transferers vs. value creators. Without the state's DC suburbs, from which almost 1-in-5 voters hailed from, Cuccinelli would've won by nearly the same margin he ended up losing by.

- While arguing that there should be some sort of property ownership requirement as a prerequisite to voting eligibility will figuratively lead to one being tarred-and-feathered to shouts of "no to Jim Crow!", the exit polls offer a more modest tact to take in opposition to universal suffrage, of a less personal nature than that preferred by Howard Stern, but similarly based.

Queried on whether Cuccinelli's positions--fairly described as strongly socially conservative within the parameters of contemporary American politics--were too liberal, too conservative, or just right, 8% of exit poll respondents answered "too liberal". Among this group comprising 8% of the electorate, 77% voted for McAullife! The actions of the 13% who said he was too liberal but still voted for him and to a lesser extent the 9% who said the same while voting for Sarvis are comprehensible, but the only conclusion regarding the vast majority who voted for McAuliffe because Cuccinelli is too liberal is that they simply have no idea what "liberal" or "conservative" means in a political context! These are people who would garner a goose egg (okay, it's multiple choice, but you get the idea) on Pew's Political News IQ test, unable to name the vice president or say which party controls the Senate.

Let's not be too critical of this contingent of utterly clueless voters, though. Chances are, they are quite a vibrantly diverse and diversely vibrant crowd and consequently worthy of reverence (even if--or perhaps especially because!--they come almost exclusively from the bottom part of that top-and-bottom alliance we spoke of earlier).

The reverse probably occurred as well, as there were inevitably a few Cuccinelli voters who said McAullife was "too conservative", but their numbers were too small to be statistically reliable and thus were not reported on.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Total fertility rate

It seems to be a widely accepted fact among demographers--professionals and amateurs alike (and of amateurs taking an interest in demography, too)--that, assuming net migration of zero, a TFR of 2.1 is the threshold a society must reach if it is to maintain its current population size going into the future. A TFR lower than that portends a numerically attenuated future; a TFR higher than that a correspondingly accentuated posterity. Since first seriously thinking about differential fertility rates after reading Pat Buchanan's Death of the West as undergraduate, I've lazily accepted the 2.1 figure without making an effort to grasp why it is such instead of being the putatively far more easily comprehensible 2.0. People much smarter than myself took no issue with the figure, so why should I?

Resolved to have at least three kids so that I can go to the grave knowing that while my side has lost the war of the womb (yeah, I'm engaging in some oh-so audacious augury, I know) at least I'll know that on my little square of turf I advanced the cause, fait accompli be damned. Still, natal thoughts prodded me to finally want to understand why having two apparently wouldn't even qualify as fighting the forces of desolation to a draw.

Well, for fans of industrialized, developed, first-world East Asian- and European-descended modern market-oriented countries, the news, at least with regards to the figure required for replacement (actually realizing said slightly reduced figure is another story entirely) is good. Our replacement figures actually fall in between 2.0 and 2.1, and are, sans immigration, moving closer to the former and away from the latter with each passing day, thanks in large part to steadily increasing life expectancies and declining infant mortality rates. On the other hand, in more vibrant parts of the world, 2.1 doesn't cut it. In sub-Saharan Africa, in fact, it doesn't come close.

The lower maintenance mark for Icy places relative to Sunny spots results because TFR is a synthetic figure (meaning it is a statistical artifice rather than a measure of any specific population segment at any given time) defined succinctly by Wikipedia as "a measure of the fertility of an imaginary woman who passes through her reproductive life subject to all the age-specific fertility rates for ages 15–49 that were recorded for a given population in a given year". In other words, women who live to at least their fiftieth birthdays not only have to pull their own weight but also have to pick up the slack of those who bite the dust before hitting the half-century mark; more slack for the unfortunate ones who die in infancy and in prepubescence, but also some slack accounted for by those, in decreasing order, who die in their teens, twenties, thirties, and forties.

In the US, more than 95% of women who were born fifty years ago are still alive today (so those of you Xers and millennials who spend an inordinate amount of time speculating on eschatological matters--you know who you are!--stop it, there'll be plenty of time for that later, for now, worry about breeding). A societal collapse notwithstanding, the percentage of those born today who will reach the big 5-0 will be even higher than that. And while 19 in 20 American women born fifty years ago are still around today, nearly 199 in 200 babies born in the US today will make it through infancy.

Sex-selective abortions are another factor pushing the TFR replacement threshold up in other places relative to where it rests in the West, a non-negligible factor in the world's two most populous countries, China and India, nations where the total population sex ratio is more skewed in favor of men over women than nearly any other country on earth, the few exceptions being mostly small islands with large laboring populations like Bahrain (and the norm being a total sex ratio favoring women over men). Oversimplifying, if your tribe has 60 men and 40 women, if each woman has two kids during her lifetime, when the next generation turns over, your population will have declined from 100 people to 80. Conversely, if your tribe has 40 men and 60 women, and each woman has two kids, your tribe will have grown from 100 to 120. The female sex is the limiting factor when it comes to reproduction, after all.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Fighting the good fight

Photo diary of a loyal soldier in Agnostic's legion:

This is only the avuncular role. Just wait until it's the paternal one!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Liberty and equality, stoics and epicureans

Just as there is an enormous amount of tension between the consular ideals of liberty and equality, so too is there in aspiring to provide the best health care available while simultaneously striving to make health care ubiquitous and universally accessible. Anti-Gnostic does a great job succinctly articulating as much, with the following excerpt of demonstrating particular perspicacity:
The whole point is that *old people are going to die* with probability 1. So let's take those evil capitalists out of the question, and assume for now that no innovative entrepreneur could figure out something win/win for his own grandpa. ... 
We are in the realm of social justice. Sounds so nice, until we answer the question: how much of your children's money do you want to spend on futile care for 83 year old Emma in Ohio? For 74 year old Bill in Texas? For countless, endless, unnamed others? 
Because you can spend ALL of your money on futile care [or, by extension, the government can spend it for you]. Literally every last penny.
Worth reading in full.

Abstractly, the strong appeal of liberty--potentially even stronger than that of equality in the much of the public's mind--is why, despite actual policy disagreements on crucial issues like immigration, I'm still excited by the rise of guys like Rand Paul.

Anyway, Heartiste first brought the above to my attention. Speaking of the galactic overlord, he gently censured his occasionally inimical dux for insinuating that the Game approach to classifying males has it backwards due to the tendency of betas to outbreed alphas (which should mean even more cleaning up by the remaining alphas!). At the risk of getting lost in semantic weeds, I'm fine granting the Manosphere its preferred terms and consequent definitions and then making empirical observations free of normative judgments from within this framework. Hopefully it's illuminating or at least interesting. All the better if it keeps our hero's skills at their sharpest.

To the extent that I'm grated at all by Heartiste, it's in his seeming celebration of what amounts to an ennui-inducing mix of realized hedonism and nihilism. His meaning is often as nuanced as his tongue is silver, and I suspect that beneath all the veils lies a volition more inclined towards using sexual conquest as a means to an end rather than an end to indulge in for it's own sake, despite protestations to the contrary. Oh yes he doth protest, but I don't buy it, which is why I'm compelled to play the role of affectionate gadfly rather than whiny hater.

This isn't all merely a philosophical rehashing of Stoic vs. Epicurean, either. You might not care about propagation, but propagation cares about you. It's plausible to imagine that in the not-so-distant future pleasure surpassing that coming to a "Super Alpha" on an A-game night will be made available to all on demand without any real life human interaction being required at all. Just as the reproductive edge has shifted away from alphas and towards betas over at least the last half century, so another seismic shifting in fecundity may be just around the bend. I want kindred souls to be ready for it.

Finally, a post like this wouldn't be complete without an added wrinkle or two. The data are a couple of decades old, but the GSS queried respondents in 1994 on whether or not they'd watched any pornography in the preceding year. Cross-referencing this with reported sex frequency, we find that men who had sex less than once a month over the same period of time were considerably less likely to have viewed pornographic material than men who had sex more frequently than that were to have viewed any (18.2% and 38.1%, respectively, N = 183). For more contemporary, if proxied, relevance, using male respondent data from 2000 onward, we find that men who report not having sex at all in the last year are more than twice as likely as men who enjoy it 4+ times per week to support an outright ban on pornographic material (36.9% and 16.5%, respectively, with a sizeable chunk of that 16.5% of 4+ times per week group presumably being comprised of social and religious conservatives). Pornography, at least from this angle, appears to be more of a supplement to real life carnality than a substitute for it.

Undoubtedly there are a lot of frustrated betas out there who would love to possess an alpha prowess with women, but there are also a lot of them who just aren't that interested in recreational sex (and I suspect the latter has been and continues to increase as a proportion of the total male population). This probably goes some way in explaining why the unending comment threads Heartiste generates are mostly populated by alphas echoing the taunts and diminutions of the beta no shows, who, while constituting a majority of the population, are far less likely to be found than sheer numbers would suggest. How much attention is this Silent Majority paying?

GSS variables used: XMOVIE1, SEXFREQ(0-2)(3-6)(0)(6), YEAR(2000-2012), SEX(1), PORNLAW(1)(2-3)

Monday, October 21, 2013


Professional podcaster Jamie Jeffers, in a review of the History Channel's Vikings (which I've never seen), comments approvingly on the show's depiction of Lagertha*:
I really like the fact that they have a tough-as-nails warrior woman and they don't treat it like it's strange... they did an excellent job demonstrating that there were warrior women and warrior women were very effective. It does a good job dispelling a lot of the innate sexism that you run into.
Unsurprisingly, I don't like it.

Jeffers regularly juxtaposes the rigid gender distinctions certain ancient civilizations, like the Romans, made with the relatively more overlapping gender roles that existed among others such as the Norse or Celts, even employing the term "progressive" to describe the latter. In so doing, Jeffers projects a contemporary (and liberal, and western!) worldview to a past that was in many ways quite alien to anything existing within the prevailing mores and ethos of said contemporary worldview.

"Regressive" may be a synonym of "progressive"; "repressive", however, not necessarily so. I'd argue, in fact, that--and I'm generalizing as someone with a spotty amateur's knowledge of history--from the onset of the agricultural age through the Enlightenment, or maybe even the Industrial Revolution, the contextually more progressive (in the Hegelian sense of the word) societies tended to be the ones in which gender distinctions were relatively more, not less, pronounced. It was a natural outgrowth of specialization. Rather than being Jacks and Jills of all trades by necessity, people in more 'progressive' societies were able to become especially good at certain things and leverage these more specialized skills to obtain the products and services produced by others similarly become extraordinarily skilled in other things. It's not all John Locke and Adam Smith, though--similar forces were at work at other layers of society, not just the occupational ones.

Specifically, the relatively more sexually egalitarian tribes in Gaul and Brittania for which the employment of female warriors was not exceptionally remarkable were not 'ahead' of the Romans but instead were 'behind' them (history backs me up here). They used their women to join battle with their opponents and block the retreats of their own men because they had to. For a society to use women in hand-in-hand combat isn't very efficient--women are weaker, smaller, slower, and less physically aggressive than men are. Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, but just like arming the old, sickly, infirm, and untrained, what you gain in numbers you tend to lose in per capita fighting ability. Perhaps he used "disproportionate force", but Severus' actions become a little easier to comprehend, don't they?

Additionally, women are a more precious reproductive resource than men are. If, today, tribe Azure is comprised of 100 males and 50 females of reproductive age while tribe Fuchsia is comprised of 50 males and 100 females of the same condition, assuming no annihilation from hostile neighbors, which tribe is going to have more people--both male and female--of reproductive age a generation down the road? The male reproductive role takes fifteen minutes, the female role nine months (and a couple of decades of residual effort on top of that). At the high end, rates of reproduction are far more restricted by the number of fertile women in a society than they are by the number of fertile men.

Today, the rules of the game have changed, and it is indeed the case that in more progressive societies gender distinctions are less pronounced than they are in more regressive ones. Having shaken free of the Malthusian Trap centuries ago, the question of women assuming military roles in the contemporary West is no longer one of necessity but rather one of luxury--progressive societies are able to more easily afford putting women in harm's way. In the US, for example, the fighting capabilities of soldiers operating small arms and artillery just isn't a crucial or even important determinant of the nation's well being. We're not threatened militarily in any serious way and most of the casualties we do suffer are primarily the consequence of the ideologically-driven strategic decisions we make and tactics we forsake (ie sending marines into firefights in the mountains of Tora Bora and the streets of Baghdad rather than raining hell on these places from 30,000 feet above).

Indulging in the same sort of contemporary bias critically examined above, one might say that, in a historical context, Jeffers' take is an example of the bottom (those forced to equip everyone to fight) and the top (by those able to afford inefficiencies) uniting against the middle (those who are neither compelled by penury nor able to insouciantly engage in profligacy)!

* Anachronistic, yes, but it's historical fiction, not a documentary.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

If everyone is a part of everything, nothing means much of anything

Listening to a story on NPR's The World about the US citizenship exam got me wondering on what things involving human membership is the left more discriminating (in the older sense of the word) than the right is:
One of the more obscure questions, she said, includes questions like “Who wrote the Federalist Papers?” 
“Most Americans could not answer the question, so I'm not sure why it's on the test,” she says.  
 Winke has found that US citizens only outperform immigrants on local governance questions, such as, “Who is your House Representative?”  
 “From a test development standpoint, then you start wondering what is this test testing?” Winke says.
There is little inherent value placed on citizenship in this line of reasoning. Citizenship is thought of as a right rather than as a privilege, and certainly not something that should be leveraged for the well being of those who are already citizens.

The citizenist (or political conservative, more generally), in contrast, reasons that given that the value of US citizenship is estimated to be 'worth'* nearly $15,000 per year , a one-time expenditure of $600 for a test of rote memorization (and only 100 potential questions to commit to memory--even with no prior knowledge of American civics or history, it's easy to comprehend the test's 92% pass rate) seems like the deal of the millennium. There are considerations beyond the economic that come into play as well, of course, such as cultural compatibility, language fluency, social harmony, etc.

Anyway, whether it be same-sex marriage, the Augusta country club, women in combat, felons (and felonious!) voting, illegal immigrants being granted citizenship, fat acceptance, dumbing down testing standards, or employing racial quotas, the contemporary left can almost always be defined by a lack of any standards. Exclusion is a great evil, even though the most vociferous opponents of exclusionism tend to be quite exclusive in their own lives. Yet on some issues--environmental ones immediately come to mind--the left dispenses with philosophical concerns about exclusion. What are some others? Exclusion from life in the case of abortion, I suppose, though that might be too emotionally charged to come to a consensus on. Maybe re-designation, too, but because the desire to do so is more attractive to the left and consequently those on the left are the ones who do it, it's ambiguous.

Parenthetically, it's easy to argue that things like racial quotas are zero sum and consequently neither inclusive nor exclusive, but instead merely a version of Cassius' most famous line, more easily (and thus less discriminatingly!) understood by the phrase "Who? Whom?". But while uncomfortable dissonance is a consequence of what the left preaches and how it behaves, I'm not cynical enough to attribute the entire broad philosophical outlook to a complex set of triple bank shots--they're mostly sincere in their instincts, at least as sincere as the religious believer is in the power of the supernatural.

* In reality, comparing the Derbs and the guys riding together in conversion vans to solicit work in Home Depot parking lots with one another is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but the point remains that even though there are lots of illegal immigrants in the US who don't care about obtaining citizenship, among the millions and millions of non-citizens who do, there are lots who would pay more than $600 for it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pat on the butt too much for Pats' fans

As a complement to Jayman's recent post on state laws regarding corporal punishment, I'll note that blacks express the greatest support for the practice as a means of disciplining children. Additional positive correlates include being male, politically conservative, and of modest intelligence. The GSS item doesn't specify who the spanker is, though it's reasonable to assume that much of the time the respondent has a parent in mind--if the question specifically inquired about opinions on schools using corporal punishment, the approval rates would surely be lower across the board.

One of Jayman's recurring themes is to employ an American Nations paradigm when evaluating social phenomena. The GSS doesn't allow quite that level of granularity, but it does break survey participants up by census region. The percentages of respondents who either "agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement "It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking". For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward. Here is a map of said regions for those who are unfamiliar with them:

1) East South Central85.9
2) South Atlantic80.0
3) West South Central78.5
4) East North Central72.9
5) Mountain71.8
6) West North Central71.4
7) Mid Atlantic68.2
8) Pacific64.1
9) New England46.9

Most acceptable in the South, least so in the Northeast. Embers of the Civil War burn on.

And the same, by reported ethnicity. Minimum sample size of 50, though N is much exceeds that for most groups:

1) African84.5
2) "American"81.5
3) Native American79.0
4) Scottish78.5
5) Puerto Rican78.3
6) Dutch74.9
7) English/Welsh73.3
8) German73.1
9) French71.3
10) Spanish71.1
11) Mexican69.0
12) Irish68.4
13) Filipino64.5
14) Swedish63.3
15) Italian63.0
16) Chinese61.6
17) Norwegian61.3
18) Indian (dot)59.7
19) Russian59.4
20) Czechoslovakian58.1

White liberals, black rednecks. Those who refer to themselves as "American" are largely Scottish, and unsurprisingly express attitudes similar to those who consider the highlands to be an ancestral homeland. Most people in the US of Russian national descent are Jewish, not little Putins. No idea about the Slavs!

Parenthetically, regarding the question of ethnicity, people much smarter and far more perspicacious than myself have said that in the contemporary US it is basically meaningless. Perhaps as a biological marker, okay, though it does track geographically and it seems to provide some insight into cultural characteristics. My working assumption is to treat it as good--or at least useful--information, and not an enemy of the perfect even if it falls well short of being as much.

Finally, in the comments section of Jayman's post, there is some incredulity about the use of corporal punishment among readers who are from states where it is legal. I suspect that in these states it occurs almost exclusively in private schools, though few if any of the state laws distinguish between public and private in questions of the legal permissibility of the practice.

GSS variables used: SPANKING(1-2)(3-4), YEAR(2000-2012), REGION, ETHNIC(1)(5)(6)(7)(10)(11)(14)(15)(17)(18)(19)(20)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(30)(31)(97)