Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Music and class

As someone who enjoys classical music's greatest hits but who has tried and failed on multiple occasions to find an opera without "rock" in front of it that he likes, I felt some validation in revisiting the GSS module in which respondents were queried on the genres of music they like and finding that opera isn't widely enjoyed by any major subset of the population.

Building on Inductivist's famous post where he examined estimated average IQ and musical tastes, the following table shows the percentages of people who said they either "very much like" or "like" (on a five point scale, the others being "mixed feelings", "dislike", and "dislike very much") by self-identified social class. The table is ordered by a classiness index*:

Show tunes/musicals37.547.158.366.7
Big band48.554.164.270.0
Contemporary rock50.657.457.058.3
New age16.116.519.117.1
Easy listening58.262.360.051.1
Heavy metal19.513.210.86.7

The data are from 1993, and over the intervening two decades the death of radio and rise of file sharing has fractured the contemporary music scene (and also fractured the utility of a term like genre to describe music) to the extent that it is probably difficult for casual listeners to identify who the new pioneers of sound are across various genres they don't actively keep themselves familiar with, but the categories are still generally recognizable today, even if many of the musicians who represent them are not.

Of the categories the wrong kinds of white people listen to--metal, bluegrass, country--the latter two are actually pretty popular across class lines, though they display an easily observable prole tilt.

Everyone likes oldies just as I expect I'll like hearing pop 40 stuff from the nineties and oughts when I'm in my later years even though I don't make an effort to hear them today. Nostalgia is potent and pleasurable.

If you want to be taken for a patrician rather than a pleb, make sure to have a ready answer for the question of who is the greatest composer of all time (if you're a lightweight like I am, just answer Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart and you should be fine).

Metal and rap aren't enjoyed by most people, which may go some way in explaining why those are the kinds of music you hear blaring from cars at a stoplight or from your neighbor's basement, as being into either of these marks someone as having 'unique' musical tastes and allows him to express his differentiation from the mainstream. Nor is opera, as aforementioned, widely listened to, leading to a sort of high brow, more tasteful figurative blaring among aficionados.


* Computed by taking the percentage of upper class respondents who very much like/like (like) a genre and multiplying it by two, adding the percentage of middle class respondents who like it, subtracting the percentage of working class respondents who like it, and subtracting the percentage of lower class respondents who like it after multiplying that percentage by two.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hatefact of the day

According to the CDC and the US Census, foreign-born residents living in the US are over 9 times more likely to have tuberculosis as native-born Americans are. Exotic disease is an aspect of diversity we don't celebrate enough!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Game and moral foundations

Roissy enjoys taking pot shots at yours truly and I'm happy to take them since they double the blog's web traffic whenever they land. Game isn't about male-to-male dominance, so what he'd have the cajones to say in person is immaterial. Most recently, he ribbed me for insinuating that the ultimate arbiter of alpha status among men is procreation.

The alpha/beta dichotomy (or alpha/beta/omega trichotomy, to complicate things a bit) strikes me as oversimplified, but the inherent simplicity is in many ways a feature rather than a bug. It facilitates the perception of a state of ceteris paribus in the reader that allows him to evaluate behaviors in a vacuum, the prescribed ones being characteristic of alphas, the proscribed ones being of betas, and the absence of any behavior at all being of omegas. Casanovas can still make bad moves and Aguecheeks are capable of making good ones. Making said good moves and avoiding bad ones is the primary pedagogical purpose of Game blogs, Roissy's being, in my estimation, the creme de la creme.

Digressing aside, beyond the difficulty in treating the terms as nouns given that they function better as adjectives, that's not exactly an accurate characterization. To the contrary, I've merely pointed out, while granting and subsequently employing Game terminology, that betas appear to do a better job passing along their genes than alphas do. Game philosophy is essentially existentialist and nihilistic, so the thought of avoiding ungrateful spawn to tend to and pay for shouldn't upset guys like Roissy, who would rather sit poolside than change diapers. Hard to deny that there's a lot of appeal to aspiring to such a lifestyle. While you may not care about reproduction, though, reproduction cares about you.

Conservatives, broadly defined, however, tend to operate on different premises. Bringing Jonathan Haidt's Moral Foundations theory into the mix, they put a lot more emphasis on the loyalty/betrayal aspect of morality than do PUAs, who tend towards liberalism (for a fuller profiling of alpha demographic characteristics, see here), and what could demonstrate more of a disregard for loyalty to one's own family (or nation, which is was more-or-less a very extended family) than blithely allowing the bloodline to be severed? The concept of duty has beta written all over it. Parenthetically, I've taken Haidt's self-identifying morality questionnaire and scored highest on the loyalty dimension.

Another dimension of morality that is close to the hearts of conservatives but held in lower esteem on the left is that of authority (the absence or undermining of which is subversion). Game operates on the premise that men should insinuate higher status than they are due, obfuscating the social order and creating a free rider problem, the societal costs for which betas must bear. Fake it until you make it. Maybe. Or more realistically, just fake it, period. Game is a way for guys who aren't where they'd like to be in terms of "money/looks/fame" to be (optimistically) or to convince themselves (cynically) that they are at least on par with, if not superior to, those who have more money, better looks, and greater fame than they do.

Beyond differences in moral perspectives, the prescription that every man can be king (which, in fairness, Roissy has tempered on multiple occasions, though it's often lost on his legions of commenters) seems to be at odds with biological realities (link via Ray Sawhill).

Game is founded on the premise that female detection mechanisms that have been honed by selection (natural and sexual) throughout human evolutionary history do a pretty crummy job at what they're commissioned to do. The degree to which they fail is open to debate--and as aforementioned, Roissy's assessment is more attuned to reality (they do an okay job, but they're far from precise) than those made by some of his more zealous minions (they basically don't exist)--but it's axiomatic that they are significantly flawed. 

This is in contrast to the detection mechanisms of men, which are far more perspicacious than those possessed by women are. Science has thrown a few wrenches into man's well-oiled machine with plastic surgery, breast enhancement, and the like, but prior to World War I, women were almost powerless to do much of anything to influence male detection mechanisms.

Finally, it's unclear to me why alphas should despise betas, since more betas means easier pickings and less competition for alphas (not to mention the fruits of civilization more generally), yet they seem to, quite viscerally. On the other hand, it's easy to see why betas should despise alphas.

Tangentially, Roissy should survey his readers on their political leanings. He's commissioned interactive polls on multiple occasions in the past, and while he's part of the dark enlightenment and presumably wouldn't self-describe as a leftist in any way, I'd suspect that he's to the right of most of his readership.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Door's open, come on in

As ridiculed as the slippery slope argument against same-sex marriage (polygamous/incestuous/bestial marriages will be next) has been by its proponents, there aren't many serious reasons to maintain that the definition of legal marriage will then, having expanded to include those of the same sex, stay put forever after. And so the institution will reclinate back to its own past, the only ubiquitous purpose it represents becoming legal (and by extension political among the upper crust) in nature as was often the case in antiquity.

Divorce rates show that contemporary marriage isn't about lifelong commitment. Open marriages show that it isn't even about serial long-term commitment. Same-sex marriage shows that it isn't about procreation. Be prepared, as Jeremy Irons suggested, to be shown that marriage isn't about romantic love, as a father marries his son to hand junior the family fortune free from government confiscation. Polygamy will show that marriage isn't about a special devotion to one other person, as marriages of convenience already illustrate.

Better contact the financial planner to see whether or not we should get married, whatever our situation and whoever we may be. Perhaps the next step after that will be to annul any differentiation in legal or taxation status marriage confers and be rid of the whole mess forever.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Foaming feminists

Roissy on feminism, anger, and how off-putting both are in a woman:
When was the last time you saw a happy feminist? Never. Anger and feminism are so inextricable that the phrase “angry feminist” has become redundant.
Though it's gathered some dust, having only been asked in 1996, the GSS queried respondents on whether or not they considered themselves feminists (one-fourth of women did, three-fourths did not). The survey also probed them on how often they'd felt angry at another person in the last week, as well as regularly asking participants to self-describe their levels of personal happiness. The percentages of (female) feminists and non-feminists who reported having been anger-free in the previous seven days and the percentages of women who reported having been angry at someone for more than half of the days in the last week:

No anger in last week30.1%37.3%
Angry 4+ days in last week13.9%12.0%

Of course, the screeching harpies whose opinions are open books no one wants to read are angry bitterness personified, but even among the rank-and-file, a tendency towards anger is evident. Hyperbolic, sure, but the stereotype Roissy's invoking is grounded in reality.

Parenthetically, one-in-nine men (N = 648) self-identified as feminists. There are more male feminists than there are male lefties?! Yikes.

GSS variables used: SEX(1)(2), FEMINIST, ANGRY(0)(4-7)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Better than one in a million, anyway

Why do those who write about Game tend to overestimate the prevalence of cuckoldry over the course of human history? Fairly recently, Roissy did just this without seemingly even realizing it. Commenting on a study showing a misattribution rate for putative biological fathers of around 1% in Germany, he deftly claimed that he wasn't surprised they were so low (!), and in fact would've estimated contemporary rates to be even lower:
I’m not here to argue that the 1% figure is wrong. In fact, the 1% figure is higher than I assumed. Look at it this way: That recorded 1% cuckoldry rate is more than 30 TIMES the US recorded rape rate of 0.03%. ... 
A flaw in assuming present-day cuckoldry rates align with historical cuckoldry rates is the fairly recent widespread availability of contraceptives and abortion. How many women who sleep with interloper males are using birth control? Probably most, and more so if those women are higher SES.
Mentioned in the comments of the post he linked to is research from geneticist Bryan Sykes showing an estimated non-paternity rate of 1.3% per generation in England extending all the way back to 1300 AD, and one of our national treasures, Gregory Cochran, mentions that similar historical results have been found in the Irish and among the Boers. While Roissy reasonably presumes that women of higher socio-economic status do a better job of keeping extramarital dalliances from producing living evidence of their cheating than prole women do, Steve Sailer asserts that it's likely those with surnames that survived over several generations (including Sykes, the surname the eponymous Bryan Sykes used on the way to concluding an estimated 1.3% cuckoldry rate) were more put together and orderly--that is, of higher SES--than those that did not survive the test of time.

So if today's upper class women are better at avoiding procreation from affairs than lower class women are when, prior to modern contraception, non-paternity occurred in fewer than 1-in-50 births, well, it has been--for at least a millenia, anyway--a marginal phenomenon, and it continues to be so today, perhaps even more fringe now than it was in the past.

Another prospective reason PUAs overestimate cuckolding rates may be due to selection bias, with susceptibility to Game tactics and class being inversely correlated to some extent. That old bugaboo the GSS shows that among married or formerly married women, those on the lower half of the class structure are more likely to cheat on their husbands than those on the upper half are (14.7% of those in the lower/working classes to 11.1% of those in the middle/upper classes, n = 10,778). And of course marriage rates are lower in the lower/working classes than they are in the middle/upper classes. Infidelity rates are presumably higher among those in unmarried relationships than they are among those in married relationships, so the overall class gap in cheating rates is likely wider still.

GSS variables used: EVSTRAY, CLASS(1-2)(3-4), SEX(2)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Feelings towards Jews by region

After ruminating on Dinah Shore (yeah, I read everything Steve Sailer writes because Steve Sailer wrote it, not because it necessarily piques my interest), Steve concludes:
One might think, from things like Philip Roth's alternative history The Plot Against America, that the South is teeming with anti-Semites, but that seems to be more the cherished belief of Northern Jews than the bitter experience of Southern Jews.
The GSS has queried respondents on their feelings towards four times in its history, most recently in 2004. It asked them to use a "feeling thermometer", for which ratings between 0-49 indicate unfavorable feelings towards Jews and ratings from 51-100 indicating favorable feelings towards them, the higher the score, the more favorable the perception. The following table ranks the nine geographic divisions (as identified by the US census) by their average feelings towards Jews:

New England68.21
South Atlantic62.38
West North Central 62.08
East North Central61.25
Middle Atlantic61.22
West South Central58.69
East South Central57.50

New England is especially positively predisposed towards Jews, which might make the rest of the country look like fertile ground for the fourth reich to an identity-obsessed Jew like Philip Roth, but warm feelings are the norm across the country, with little difference between the mid-Atlantic states such as Roth's own New Jersey and, say, the southern seaboard which is comprised of states including South Carolina and Georgia.

To the extent that there is any relative hostility towards Jews detectable here (and it's stretching prodigiously to even speculate as much--one SD is 20 points on the scale), it shows up in heavily NAM regions of the South and West. Foreign-born Hispanics' opinions on Jews are notoriously 'embarrassing', and there has historically been a lot of tension between blacks and Jews over who is America's most victimized group. Indeed, whites express warmer feelings towards Jews than blacks, Hispanics, or Asians do.

GSS variables used: REGION, JEWTEMP

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

All the freaks are on parade

Black and African-American are in, Negro and Colored are out. Hispanic is still acceptable, but Latino is where the zeitgeist is headed (no matter if actual Latinos prefer the term "Hispanic" over the term "Latino"--they're just pawns in the game of white moral posturing, after all). Oriental has been tasteless for generations now, we describe them as Asian.

What about gays? That's the default identifier I employ. Do I need a few good lashings from the PC o' nine tails to straighten (heh) me out? From Google's Ngram viewer, the percentages of books published in the US containing each of six nouns recognizably identifying those who are into others of the same sex, in their plural forms to avoid sweeping up confounding adjectives:

Good thing I'm not always as clinical in my thinking as I should be--homosexual is on the way out and gay is about to take the top spot. Apparently it's what the buggers prefer, so far be it from me to protest.

Sapphic and sodomist, barely identifiable on the graph, have become even less apropos over time. Prior to the second half of the 20th century, not much was written about gays at all. Society said if you're going to do whatever you want to do, fine, but do it behind closed closet doors. We now recognize that for being the hidebound, retrograde stuff that it was, though, as we celebrate alternative lifestyles, striving relentessly to bring them out in plain view!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Shocker--married mothers smarter than single moms

Spurred by Parapundit's Randall Parker and the sight of low-hanging stereotype-validation fruit, the estimated IQ scores (converted from GSS wordsum results with the simplifying assumptions of a mean population IQ of 100 and that one standard deviation in wordsum results is the equivalent of 15 IQ points) of men and women who have procreated at least once, by marital status, follows. For utility, all data are from 2000 onward and the foreign-born and those aged 46 and older are excluded.

Reproductive men

Married -- 101.0
Divorced/separated -- 97.8
Unmarried -- 93.6

Reproductive women

Married -- 101.3
Divorced/separated -- 98.7
Unmarried women -- 93.6

Parenthetically, the mean IQ for those of the same age and time cohort who haven't had any kids is 101.2. To see dysgenic forces in action, look no further than single mothers and their unfortunate spawn, who have both the nature and nurture decks stacked against them.

GSS variables used: CHILDS(0)(1-8), BORN(1), WORDSUM, YEAR(2000-2012), SEX, MARITAL(1)(3-4)(5), AGE(18-45)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Cali Shore

Steve highlighted a NYT article on the increasing acceptance of illegal immigration in the state of California over the last couple of decades. That acceptance was coerced of course, as Californians peaceably tried, through the democratic process, to halt the transformation of their state by supporting proposition 187 in 1994 only to have it subsequently ruled unconstitutional in federal court. Thus the transformation continued, the most conspicuous consequence being that the golden state--which voted for Bush 41 in 1988--has become a permanent Democratic stronghold, one in which no Republican presidential candidate would dream of wasting time campaigning in.

I wondered how else the state's profile had changed relative to the rest of the country over the same period of time, so I dug up data on three conventional quality-of-life measures: Obesity rates, NAEP scores, and poverty rates. Diversity being strength, presumably things should be getting better for California on these measures!

On the fat front, indeed they are (or more accurately, corpulence isn't increasingly as rapidly in California as it is in the rest of the country)--in 1991, California was tied for the 10th slimmest 'state' (including DC) out of the 48 for which there were data. By 2011, it had upped its rep count to 6th slimmest of the same 48. Middle class white flight might have something to do with this, as native Californians who've remained have better SWPL credentials than the ones who've left do. Whatever the reasons, Cali continues to be as health-conscious as ever.

When it comes to scholastic achievement, though, things don't look so swole. Among 8th graders taking the math section of the NAEP in 1990, California's kids came in tied for 29th of 38 states. By 2011, they just had the Deep South and DC between them and the bottom of the barrel, coming in tied for 34th of the same 38 states. Alabama's motto is still "Thank God for Mississippi", but that may well soon change to "Thank God for California".

Twenty years ago, California's economic situation mirrored that of the nation as a whole. The state ranked 27th of 51 in the percentage of its population that was impoverished (the lower the ranking, the higher the poverty rate). Today, it's 35th of 51.

Healthier, intellectually incurious, and poorer--yep, that seems to capture the nation's contemporary transitioning, from sea to shining sea.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Skin tone and IQ, and volunteering, too

The 2012 data from the GSS has been released for public consumption. Apparently (and beautifully) oblivious to PC etiquette, the GSS asked interviewers to assess the skin tones of the survey respondents they interviewed. The following graph shows the relationship between skin tone and wordsum results, a quick ten question vocabulary test that correlates pretty well with IQ (n = 1,119):

There is some noise on the dark end due to small sample sizes in the 8-10 range. Excepting that, we get confirmation of the stereotype that ice people are more, uh, bookish than hipper sun people are.

To get under leftists' skin (heh) even more, the percentages of people who have volunteered through or for an organization over the last year, by political orientation:


When it comes to volunteerism, one of our demographic groups is assimilating to the norms of old America. The other? Not so much. By race:


Morality doesn't need religion! Humanism is my religion! Just because you go to church on Sunday doesn't make you a good person! Volunteerism over the last year, by frequency of worship attendance:

Less than monthly36.2%
Less than weekly43.7%

GSS variables used: WORDSUM, RATETONE, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), VOLACTYR, RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), ATTEND(0)(1-3)(4-6)(7-8)