Monday, June 30, 2014

Stuff White People Like

Via Steve Sailer, from Medical Press:
Liberals tend to underestimate the amount of actual agreement among those who share their ideology, while conservatives tend to overestimate intra-group agreement, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Christian Lander nailed that several years ago. "The definitive guide to the unique taste of millions":

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You dropped your glove, my liege

As a prerequisite, please see Heartiste's post on a study positing criminal behavior as an alternative mating strategy that potentially increases evolutionary fitness.

It's paygated, so we're just working with the abstract here. Perhaps it is correctly identifying a meaningful phenomenon. Since the magnate threw down the gauntlet, though, there are reasons we might be wise to temper our enthusiasm.

Race and ethnicity do not appear to have been controlled for. The data comes from Sweden. Oops.

As Steve Sailer showed in one of his classic articles "Mapping the Unmentionable", black-white incarceration ratios tend to be highest in non-vibrant, middle American mostly white states with low overall crime rates and relatively permissive policing. Iowa's blacks are, relative to Iowa's whites, more likely than those in other state to be imprisoned, with Wisconsin as runner-up.

The explanation for why there is so much racial/ethnic disparity in incarceration rates in places like Sweden and Wisconsin is that population differences are most notable at the extremes of the respective distributions. If asked to bet on the outcome of a race between a random kid of European ancestry and another of West African ancestry, the smart money would be on the latter, but not at much more than 50:50 odds. Betting on a sprinter of West African ancestry taking the gold in the 100m dash at the 2016 Olympics over any potential European competition, however, should feel about as risky as depositing money in a certificate of deposit at a member FDIC bank.

Anyway, if we were going to offer a US state most resembling Sweden, well, we'd be hard-pressed to do much better than Wisconsin or Iowa. Not surprisingly, Sweden, despite still being overwhelmingly native Swede (though getting more Middle Eastern by the day), has a lot of *ahem* diversity in its prisons:
During the period 1997–2001, 25% of the almost 1,520,000 offences for which a perpetrator was convicted were committed by people born in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, while almost 20% were committed by people with a foreign background who were born in Sweden. Those from North Africa and the Middle East were also overrepresented.
That was over a decade ago. The foreign-born (read Muslim) contribution to Swedish crime has almost certainly increased further still since then.

Not only are these un-Swedish Swedes heavily overrepresented among Sweden's prison population, they're also more fecund than are the Swedish Swedes (currently breeding at rates well below replacement level). Here's a graph from a Princeton paper on the total fertility rates of Sweden's foreign-born population by the amalgamated human development indices of the immigrants' sending countries:

Basically, Low-HDI = Middle Eastern and North African; Middle-HDI = Eastern Europe; High-HDI = Finland. If a native Swedish rate were included, it would run parallel to the x-axis below the 2.

Europe's MENA underclass isn't completely analagous to the US' black underclass, but there are similarities. The excerpt Heartiste parades in illustration of the sex advantage criminals in Sweden (largely MENA in ancestry) enjoy could easily be confused with the sex 'advantage' underclass black men in the US enjoy over their fellow middle-class white men:
Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders.
Replace "Criminal offenders" with "blacks" and this accurately characterizes patterns of behavior in the US (or don't even explicitly make the swap--it's implicitly stated in its current form). There is nothing here that contradicts Heartiste's larger Game narrative--blacks are clearly more 'alpha' than whites are (see here for a propitiously good measure of the alpha/beta dichotomy and the resulting demographic differences between them as captured by the GSS).

Speaking in terms of r/K selection (to the extent that it is a useful framework through which to view human behavior), r-selection more accurately describes the procreation patterns of the underclass--a sector of society that churns out a disproportionately high percentage of society's criminals, both in Sweden and in the US--while K-selection more aptly characterizes the serially monogamous behavior of the middle and upper classes.

Parenthetically, when the trope about love for convicted killers who've become death row inmates is employed, it should be kept in mind that the subjects of admiration are famous criminals, not just run-of-the-mill ne'er-do-wells. Famous rock stars, Hollywood actors, politicians, and even computer nerds are regularly the objects of copious quantities of female affection as well. When it comes to creating tingles, famous celebrity beats random inmate no one has ever heard of in the penitentiary just about every time.

As for the idea that Idiocracy is coming soon to a Western nation near you, I've actually become guardedly optimistic--or cautiously less pessimistic, anyhow--that our future will be one in which handjobs are on offer at the local Starbucks. There is little evidence for dysgenic male fertility in the US. To the contrary, there is a slightly positive correlation between educational attainment and fertility among American white men. Heartiste has himself approvingly noted as much.

Shifting gears to full speculation mode, we could conceivably be in the midst of the -genic pendulum swinging away from the dys- and back towards the eu-.

A la Gregory Clark, in medieval England prior to the onset of the industrial revolution, probity and affluence were rewarded by successful fertility. High time preference and poverty, in contrast, tended to result in fewer surviving offspring. The industrious were better equipped to avoid becoming casualties of the Malthusian trap than were the hapless menial masses. The prosperity explosion of the late 18th and early 19th centuries pushed large parts of humanity--first Northwestern Europe and its diaspora before radiating out through other parts of Europe and into parts of East Asia--past the hand-to-mouth precariousness that characterized life for so many before the dawn of the industrial age.

This period, from the early 1800s through the mid-1900s, is when dysgenic trends in reproduction became a salient phenomenon. Not surprisingly, all the conventionally ugly things associated with eugenics were in full bloom in the early 20th century, as the consequences of unlimited reproductive potential for all classes in society became increasingly obvious for all to see. World War II cast this sort of thinking in a darker light, although progressive eugenics policies and ideas existed in the developed world decades after the war's conclusion. The real answer to the dysgenic problem came in the form of the pill.

Just as the explosion in wealth realized by the industrial revolution, by divorcing affluence from fertility, was a game changer in the game of human reproductive fitness, so was the introduction of modern contraceptives, which divorced sex from reproduction. Fornication and procreation haven't been synonyms in the West for over half a century now. Indeed, the GSS shows that (beyond total celibacy, of course), the correlation between number of sexual partners and total fertility is an inverse one. That is, women who ride the cock carousel (and the men who provide the ride) reproduce less than men and women who stick to the same partner for an extended period of time do.

Today, excepting elements of the underclasses where fertility is still largely the result of biological desires being acted upon without regard to future consequences, the primary determinant of realized fertility is the desire to nurture and raise children. That sounds blatantly obvious, yet for the vast majority of human history it has not been the case. It's now a deliberate act that can be avoided at only the marginal cost of contemporary contraceptives (which are free to users through many healthcare plans anyway), and one that is heavily informed by religious conviction. Not surprisingly, the pious are seriously outbreeding the secular, both in the West and outside of it.

Enjoy being poolside my good man. For my part, I actually enjoy getting in the water:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Your ball struck my foot

A concise, decidedly lowbrow summation of Jayman's well-marshaled post on the dynamic relationship between guns and violence:

In terms of electoral predictive power, the Gun Gap is right up there in Affordable Family Formation territory, alongside the Dirt and Baby Gaps and trailing just behind the Marriage Gap.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The centurion made me do it

From Jayman's post a few weeks ago chastising those who offer pet issue(s) psychoanalysis every time a tragedy with high visibility dominates a few days' worth of news cycles:
This should make clear the foolhardiness of trying to identify causal factors – especially those from life experience – that are responsible for any given individual’s behavior.
Jayman is a vociferous proponent of the importance of heredity and the correspondingly diminutive influence external environmental factors have on real world outcomes. That's what the data show, and that presumption wields Occam's Razor a lot more deftly than do all the modern epicycles that are applied (countless inconsistencies notwithstanding) in describing so many aspects of society.

It's important to keep in mind, though, that it isn't quite the whole story. There are threshold requirements--things that are necessary but not sufficient for realizing full potential--like nutritional sufficiencies, avoidance of severe physical injuries and avoidance of severely limited access to peers or exposure to language, etc.

Environmental factors need not only play a role by way of deprivation, either. After blazing a trail of destruction from modern Norfolk through to London, Boudica's bands upon bands of warriors, greatly outnumbering the Paulinus' single legion and its auxiliaries, were cut to pieces in the face of organized, disciplined Roman resistance. The ancient historian Cassius Dio:
Thereupon the armies approached each other, the barbarians with much shouting mingled with menacing battle-songs, but the Romans silently and in order until they came within a javelin's throw of the enemy. Then... they rushed forward and hit the enemy at full tilt so that at the clash they easily broke through the opposing line.
It's recorded that 80,000 Britons died in the battle; just 400 Romans did.

The legionaries' famous steely discipline might, I suppose, have a hereditary behavioral component, but the martial ethos and military culture of the Romans probably account for lion's share of their advantage at arms, and it wasn't as though Celts and Gauls adopted into the legions were markedly less efficient than their Roman counterparts--they just needed to be trained. Even if corporal punishment doesn't get results today, decimation did.

There is a point to harking back nearly two millenia, though, and it's this: The freer, more mobile a society is, the more intractable differences in behaviors and outcomes are going to be. Attempting to eradicate all the incorrigible Gaps by aspiring towards a level playing field (as the Establishment often does by word if not by deed) is a strategy doomed to failure. In fact it'll only accentuate those gaps, not reduce them. It's easier to find truly behavioralist explanations in the past (and outside the WEIRD world) than it is in the present, and it'll be even more so in the future. Liberty and equality* are not complementary; indeed, to a large extent they're mutually exclusive.

Though most HBDers have the knowledge at hand to understand this, it's not always at the surface of their minds (it wasn't at mine until rather recently). It should be.

* Beyond isonomy and the conception of the spiritual, anyway

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Love is love

Saw this in the form of a facebook profile picture. You've probably seen some variation of it out there, as several iterations of the message exist (and no, I definitely couldn't resist):

Simple as that? Presumably, then, as simple as each of these?

Only two years until menarche!

Being the hidebound retrograde that I am, it's difficult to shake the sinking feeling that during our lifetimes, stick figure silhouette versions of all of these photos will end up alongside the four pairs shown on the bumper sticker above--without an ounce of satire intended.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jus nex to da licka stowe

Sober, meticulously-marshaled evidence and a quick turn of phrase are simultaneously on display at TWCS. Regarding the latter, M.G. describes the IMF as the "international equivalent of a payday loan place". (One quibble--the payday loan business is actually a fairly profitable one).

The meat of the post spurred me to run some numbers and discover a boringly predictable result. The inverse correlation between a nation's estimated average IQ and its commercial bank prime lending rate--described by the CIA World Factbook as "a simple average of annualized interest rates commercial banks charge on new loans, denominated in the national currency, to their most credit-worthy customers"--is a statistically significant, vigorous .69 (p-value = .0000000000004). Just as the more intelligent the person, the more likely he is to pay back what he owes, so the more intelligent the population, the more reliable they tend to be when it comes to making good on what they've borrowed. It's almost as though the characteristics of a nation have something to do with the characteristics of the people who populate it.

Better not go any further with that line of reasoning, though--the Cathedral and its inquisitors are surely on heightened alert after insurgents got their hands on one of the Cathedral's most prized 'opposition' marionettes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jutes' revenge

From Jayman's behemoth American Nations post, Gregory Cochran's comments on the problems with self-identified ancestry:
Fashions change. For example, the fraction of Americans who report English ancestry has dropped drastically since 1980 – so much that so that you would have to wonder about secret death camps if you took it seriously. But it’s fashion. ... This means that people in the US claiming a particular ethnicity can not only have limited ancestry from that group, but be oddly unrepresentative as well.
The GSS shows 15.2% and 9.0% of respondents identifying as English or Welsh in 1980 and 2012, respectively. The US Census shows 18.5% and 8.0% in 1980 and 2012, so the GSS parallels the census results pretty well.

I figured the boiling off that occurred over the last three decades would be perceptible by looking at the political orientation profiles of the two cohorts, but (excluding moderates to make the comparisons easier to digest) those of English/Welsh ancestry were 32% liberal, 68% conservative in 1980 and, similarly, 38% liberal, 62% conservative in 2012. To the extent any disproportional shifting did occur with the shaking off of English/Welsh affiliation, it was more among political conservatives than among liberals. I would've guessed the opposite to have been the case. The only ancestry less attractive to SWPLs than English is probably German. Okay, and "American", too, of course.

Greg Cochran gives a clue in the fashion bit, though--the English/Welsh affiliates of today are a noticeably older lot than were their counterparts 30 years ago. In 1980, the mean age of English/Welsh adults was 46.7. As of 2012 it was 53.2.

GSS variables used: YEAR(1980, 2012), POLVIEWS(1-2)(3-5)(6-7), ETHNIC(8), AGE

Monday, June 09, 2014

Merciless Japanese savages

I filched some data on the putative femininity of several countries from Staffan and correlated with hostility towards immigration from the World Values Survey, suspecting there might be a relationship between virility and skepticism of xenophilia. Alas, there is nothing approaching a statistically significant connection (r = .11, p-value = .53).

Looking more closely at the masculinity rankings from the Hofstede Centre (or, alternatively, Hofsteed Center), note the following progression from most masculine to most feminine: From Japan to New Zealand to Pakistan to Ghana to Russia.

Huh? That doesn't strike me as a recognizable pattern of any attribute or characteristic I can conjure up, not least of all a listing of the most manly firmness. It'd be more plausible if it ran in the opposite direction, but even then it would leave me a bit perplexed.

Men do a lot more killing than women. So is there a correlation between homicide rates and the Hofstede masculinity measures? Only a very weak and unreliable one, at r = .21 and p-value = .22. The masculinity measure is described as "society ... driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner/best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour. A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable."

Japan is the place among all others where standing out from the crowd is an admirable virtue?

The value of this measure appears to be quite suspect.

WVS variable used: V39

Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Snow Queen vs George Cincinnatus Washington

Having heard just about every female I know under the age of 25 gush about the Disney movie Frozen, my wife included, I surely broke at least one of Heartiste's commandments in agreeing to watch it: Frozen with her if she'd watch Gladiator with me.

The contrasts could hardly have been starker*. Frozen is the animated embodiment of Millennial values. For the good of the nation, the young queen is initially forced to bottle up her feelings and emotions (the releasing of which, rather than just being imagined by the navel-gazing facebook generation to have significant real world consequences, actually has potentially mortal consequences in the movie). The queen doesn't appear to do any actual governing as she holds it all inside, but the cross she bears in having to suffer unexpressed feelings--the center of which the universe's core is located--is more than enough for the target audience to sympathize with!

If you don't have two hours to spend watching a movie produced for teenage girls, taking in the movie's hit song will be enough to give you the idea:

The Lion King-esque return to retake the kingdom conclusion feels tacked on at the end. It doesn't require any sort of painful trade off to be made by any of the protagonists. They all get to have their cake and eat it, too. Anyway, it's not what girls watching the movie are connecting to, I can promise you.

* Values of duty, devotion, and stoicism (and Stoicism) vs. those of self-discovery and emotional self-indulgence. Parenthetically, my wife agrees only somewhat begrudgingly. She's all right.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Life unworthy of life

From a Washington Post review of Nicholas Wade's book A Troublesome Inheritance:
After all, recent generations have seen odious prejudices exploited under the guise of scientific legitimacy to justify discrimination, sterilization and even genocide.
This is boilerplate criticism of Wade and HBD in general, of course. This particular iteration is missing Hitler in the excerpt, but the Holocaust and eugenics are subsequently mentioned in the article.

Regarding eugenics, the Respectable Right likes to point out that in the early twentieth century it was an idea championed primarily by progressives, while the contemporary left argues that anything and everything that approaches any of the topics in Wade's book--which it labels a "political tract disguised as scientific writing", despite protestations to the contrary by the author, who happens to be a former NYT's correspondent no less--leaves us a quick hop and skip away from it.

It's difficult for me to feign interest in that polemical debate, but in telling people that in a recent ruling the US supreme court just implicitly said that 1-in-8 blacks are mentally retarded, it doesn't take long for the topic of eugenics to come up (strange how many paths lead down that road--while my predilection theoretically should lead me to potentially steer a conversation in that direction, it's almost always done for me, with both haste and histrionics).

So, here are a few tables that show levels of moral support for the practice of eugenics in the most widespread, realizable, practical form it can currently be practiced in the modern world: The abortion of fetuses with birth defects. The question has been posed in three sets of surveys. The following data are from the two most recent surveys that included the question, 1998 and 2008. The responses are remarkably similar across those two sets (and the earliest one as well). In contrast to another hot button (but arguably distracting and relatively inconsequential) issue--same-sex marriage--public opinion on abortion in the US has been in stasis for at least the last half century.

The percentages of respondents, by political orientation, who say it is "not wrong at all" for a woman to have an abortion if there is a "strong chance of a serious defect in the baby":

Eugenics ok%

This shouldn't come as a surprise to very many people. For those outside the US, note how closely linked political orientation and religiosity are stateside. If you're an American on the secular right, you're an anomaly.

By sex:

Eugenics ok%

This difference is marginal and I'm generalizing enormously, but despite being of a less inherently nurturing disposition, I'd guess that those who are the most willing to stand up for the most vulnerable creatures tend to be men. I've never known a girl who let's a spider outside when she finds one in the house, but I've known a handful of guys who do. That said, men are surely overrepresented at the viciously cruel end of the spectrum when it comes to tormenting the defenseless, too. Males exhibit more variation than women do on more traits than just intelligence.

By race:

Eugenics ok%

The WVS hasn't ever asked about it and comparative international data are scarce, but over the years I've come across several references to a study showing 91% of Chinese geneticists to be supportive of mandatory eugenics. Take that for whatever it's worth.

Finally, by religiosity as measured by frequency of worship attendance. Each range extends to the back of the one preceding it so that all answers are included without any overlap occurring:

Eugenics ok%
Weekly or more31.5
Monthly or more but not weekly48.7
Annually or more but not monthly58.9
Never or exceedingly rarely67.8

Spiritual isonomy. We are all God's children, after all!

GSS variables used: ABDEFCTW(1-3)(4), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), SEX, ATTEND(0-1)(2-3)(4-6)(7-8), POLVIEWS(1-2)(3-5)(6-7), YEAR(1998-2008)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Precocious Son

Elijah Armstrong might be able to boast of graduating from an Ivy with a long list of journal publications rounding out his resume before he even hits the age of majority, but was he riding roller coasters (or, alternatively, trading futures) before his first half-birthday?