A Nebulous and Ancient Notion

First business: I will be at Denver comicon, for sure tomorrow and Saturday (I have very strong doubts I will be able to do it Sunday, considering where I’m starting from in terms of exhaustion.)  The family isn’t going because we’re in the middle of three moves (one for us, one for each of the kids.)  I wouldn’t go if it weren’t MY job.  I’d postpone it till next year.  BUT as is, I’ll be there.  Come see me at the Wordfire Booth.  If I find them, I’ll have souvernir-fishTM to give away.  Also, again supposing I find them, T-shirts and some posters for the DST series.

Okay, business out of the way: In one of the closed groups I frequent on FB, someone said we live in weird times, when gender (or sex), concept with clearly definable biological roots is considered mutable on the say so of an individual, while race, a concept biologically so nebulous as to defy definition, is considered immutable, binding and part of you forever and ever, supposed to inform even your political opinions.

I think I understand both of them.  Kind of.  Well, I understand the first one.

For many years, human sexual definition was tied inescapably with the reproductive role.  And before you say anything, yeah, that is still the way we make babies, though thanks to assisted reproduction technologies, that is become a little wobbly and will become more so in the future.

But our ROLES — i.e. what we do vs. the new generation — have already become largely unmoored from reproductive “sex”.  This is for various reasons, mostly because of the pill AND the (by and large) defeat of infant mortality which make child bearing and child rearing relatively unimportant in comparison to careers or marriages or even hobbies.  Yeah, I know it seems like a long time, particularly if you’re in the middle of it, but at most child rearing, unless you’re one of the rare families that have more than a couple, three children, takes up maybe a third of your productive lifetime.  Less, if you average it, because we’re … not reproducing.  I mean, the main reason you haven’t seen a precipitous drop  in population is that we’re not dying as early as we used to.  BUT of my close friends group, I’m fertile fanny with 2 kids.  I have a friend who has ONE kid, and the rest are childless.  We bought this house from a childless couple.  The couple who bought our house had ONE teen daughter.

Child rearing just takes up less and less mind space in our society, and as such it’s not so much a case of “mamma bear” or mamma anything.  (btw, a post for another time but the strangest experiment our society is engaged in is the outsourcing of raising an entire generation to under-educated strangers who don’t have the power to punish the children.)

As such people have a vague and queasy idea that sex roles, and sex itself as part of humanity’s make-up is changing faster than they understand, and try to see sex roles as immutable and “the can must match the contents.”  When it doesn’t they convince themselves they have sexual disphoria, instead of simply being atypical or very atypical males or females.  Because averages are statistical, not flesh and blood.

This doesn’t apply to the people uncomfortable enough in their bodies and informed enough to undergo surgery.  Even though the surgery we have amounts to butchery, if people undergo it, I’ll treat them as what they wish to be, and I’ll respect their choice.

OTOH the people who think they have gender that changes every other day?  PFUI.  I suppose one can’t help a degree of Aspergers above a certain IQ, but seriously, if you’re that smart you should realize that what it says on the can about gender roles is the merest suggestion.

At any rate, the exception to people who have undergone surgery notwithstanding (and that not resting on a biological basis, but on a psychological basis and being a matter of respecting someone else’s accommodations to survive in reality) sex is simple.  If you’re XX you’re female.  If you’re XY you’re male.  The rate of people who are some stranger mix is very, very rare.  And that chromosomal make up DOES influence everything from your upper body strength (it was a shock to me to find out that my kids at fourteen were not only stronger, but exponentially stronger than I was as an in-shape forty something.  They hadn’t even stopped growing) to your mental pathways, some of it started by hormones in uterus.

Now all of this means bloody nothing to the individual (except that physical strength thing.  Women can sort of, if they devote their lives to it, reach the lower edges of male strength.  BUT what the heck, we have the endurance they lack, and a lot more resistance to/ability to endure pain.) Some women “think more” like men and some men “think more” like women.  In aggregate the two sides process very differently.  All men would be ADHD women including the freakish ability to concentrate when needed, and all women can multitask better than men.  (Something favored by evolution I suppose, since picking berries AND watching the toddler is how our foremothers survived.  Those whose toddler was eaten didn’t get to be our foremothers.)

Still, in biological terms, sex is easy.  You’re either xx or xy and the in-betweens are misfires.  People with physical OR psychological mismatches of the true kind (the kind that is actually helped by the operation) are very few.  So the current drive to convince every kid that his problems are rooted in really being an x trapped in a y body are at best insane and at worse (in terms of species) suicidal.  And people who think they change genders on their say so, with no surgery, no hormonal treatments, because the wind blows from the East and it’s Thursday have been sold a bill of goods.

Then there’s race.  We’ve all become obsessed with race one way or another, and i’m glaring (what you’d think I’d be staring out indifferently?  Why?) at a future in which we’re all race obsessed socialists.  It’s just the races we emphasize that change.

That obsession with race was always part of socialism, at least if the examples quoted by George Watson in The Lost Literature of Socialism are correct.

Despite being internationalists, traditional socialists were also white supremacists  (What a vat of charming) and thought the other races should be killed for “racial hygiene.”

What changed in the last half of the twentieth century is that they found all their experiments in first world countries, all their attempts to bring about a proletarian revolution were foiled by human progress and human disinterest in envy as a cardian virtue.

The left-socialists then turned to the third world, which you might term the eternally dispossessed, as the source of that revolution and at any rate realized threatening the first world with the third gave them power, always their main objective.

Then the right-socialists (well, they SAY they’re right) decided that if white people were treated as second class citizens by the intelligentsia and clerisy, it was time to reverse the tables.

So, yeah, I do — sort of — understand the current obsession with race.

There is more to it, too.  The world is being changed by tech too fast for any of us to adapt, even those of us whose metier it is to meditate on technological change.

When that happens humanity as a whole sort of experiences a regression in psychological terms.  And it’s very easy both to understand and to embrace race as a form of organization, because humans are tribal and creatures of bands.  In the small band, every human looked alike.  Not looking alike was a stranger and thus possible (extreme.  Our ancestors ate each other, and not in a fun way) danger.

But the problem is race as race doesn’t really exist.  We won’t go into Hispanic or Latino, which even our government thinks is a cultural group, not a genetic one.  (Though there are genes for people who are not just of Latin upbringing but of Latin body-type.  One of which is for weight explosion when faced with easily available food. But that’s sub-racial “genetic grouping.”)

Sure there are people who are very dark, and that might coincide with very curly hair, etc.  BUT here’s the thing, the external appearance genes have very little to do with temperament or intelligence or other genes.  They even have bloody nothing to do with ancestry.  I’ve known two pale blonds with majority-African blood.  I once heard it said that African Americans (appropriate term in this case) are racially what’s known as “caucasians.”  I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that’s how Africans think of them.

Even in racially based states, there are difficulties telling race.  I remember being in South Africa when they found an abandoned baby girl.  A crisis ensued as they had no clue what family to place her with/where she should live.  BUT not even hair follicle analysis could give them an answer to this little girl’s race.  (I left before it was resolved.)

The fact that race is a mirage, as cultural as it is physical, at least in being perceived as a certain race, makes it very dangerous in any society, but particularly a SOCIALIST society (as most societies now are, to an extent or another.  And this is about to get worse looking at the two potential presidents.)

You see, socialism sees people as widgets.  It tries to fit them into a vision that can’t possibly work long term.

If it’s race fixated, when it fails, it will start going after various racial groups.  It already has when socialism failed in the Western world.  Now some people seem to think a socialism of whites, yeah, that will work.

It won’t.  And then come the distinctions between whites and the searching through people’s DNA tests.  This is one of the reasons I haven’t tested, though I suspect like Larry Correia I’ll test mostly or a lot of British, because… North of Portugal.  If you know the history of the area, this will make perfect sense.  Heck, our kings were plantagenets because of marriages.

And yet the North of Portugal — in passing — is as Latin as the rest of the country.  Oh, sure, we’re quieter and more reserved than most Latins.  (No, really.) But the culture is the same.  BECAUSE it’s culture not race that informs how large groups behave.

One of the commenters said that my post on how Venezuela was different from the US was an obvious “against mass immigration from Latin countries” post.  That surprised me because it’s not WHY I wrote it, but then I thought of course it is.  I am against mass immigration from ANYWHERE.  Import enough people fast enough and you change the CULTURE.  This is particularly true if first generation immigrants are surrounded by “their people” and feel no pressure to learn the language or the culture of their adopted country.

This leads to balkanization and cultural change.  And if you’re — like us — a country of ideology, that will kill you as dead as mass murder.

I see no hope for it now, but what I see for the future, as our only hope, is for us to become again a country of belief and contract.

The alternative is to chase that phantom race on the way to socialism, which no race is pure enough to achieve, and to end up defining race in narrower and narrower groups.  Eventually we’ll arrive at the “celtic” race again, and have “more than 20% Irish ancestry makes you non white.” And won’t that be fun.

But it’s all right, right?  It’s “scientific socialism” and “race hygiene.”

Here we go again.







287 responses to “A Nebulous and Ancient Notion

  1. This leads to balkanization and cultural change. And if you’re — like us — a country of ideology, that will kill you as dead as mass murder.

    This leads to balkanization and cultural change. And if you’re — like us — a country of ideology, that will kill you with mass murder.

    Just ask the Jews, and homosexuals, and other ‘subhumans’ in early-’40s Germany, or Armenians in Turkey. Or, to get really Balkan, ask the Bosnians and Croats in Serbia.

    • This has caused me to question the concept of a “country of ideology” altogether. It sounds nice, but it seems unworkable considering that multi-ethnic countries are usually unstable since the groups mistrust one another.

      • Only if the groups arrive as groups, or if the government emphasizes the separations of the groups. I.e. we were doing fine before the international socialists got hold of us. The national socialists aren’t an improvement.

        • Only if the groups arrive as groups, or if the government emphasizes the separations of the groups.

          I do agree here, but the immigrant groups need time to be assimilated, and there was a cutoff from 1924 to 1965 that made assimilation far easier by cutting off the flow.

          • Oh, sure. I think we’re going too far too fast. That wasn’t a question. IDEALLY we’d “import” individually and have a way better INS than we do.

            • rawlenyanzi

              Oh, sure. I think we’re going too far too fast. That wasn’t a question. IDEALLY we’d “import” individually and have a way better INS than we do.

              A poor implementation poisoned the well for future immigrants.

              • I think multiculturalism is what poisoned the well. At one time, immigrants were encouraged to embrace ‘the American way’. Not any longer. In fact, we now tell our immigrants that their ‘culture’ is superior to our own.

                • rawlenyanzi

                  I think multiculturalism is what poisoned the well. At one time, immigrants were encouraged to embrace ‘the American way’. Not any longer.

                  On top of that, American history is demeaned as a never-ending chronicle of bigotry.

                • and when people have me that they have the joy of watching me control the berserker.

            • The Other Sean

              Would it be wrong to suggest hiring ex-East German border guards?

              (OTOH, they had much more experience keeping people from leaving without authorization, than keeping people from entering without authorization, so maybe a bad fit.)

              • Nah, just tell them their job is to keep people from leaving Mexico.

                • Why am I now imagining a Hollywood version of “You vill show me your paperz!” now?

                  • Tried to get on a commercial airline flight recently?

                    While walking through Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport in ’87, I passed the (Red) Chinese national airline boarding area. All the emplaning passengers were lined up for their very thorough, if polite, pat-down searches. I remember thinking, “Boy! Am I glad I live in an advance and free society.”

                    BWAH haha ha ha ha . . .

        • I love your optimism but I think it is way too early to call the brief American experiment a success and what we have now an aberration.

          It is distinctly possible our idea of a country of ideology is the aberration and what we are seeing is reversion to the mean of human history.

          I can hope for the former and even work for it (although I see less and less reason to personally), but I cannot ignore the later possibility.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Which is one reason I opposed factionalism based on ethnic loyalty. True multi-ethnic empires tend to suck, and on top of that, we don’t have enough uniformity for any form of stability. Long term it is a recipe for endemic bloodletting.

        My other reasons for opposing such factionalism are enemies inside my own blood family, and that sharing an interest with a bunch of meth addicts is a deal breaker.

        • To succeed you need to be a mono-cultural, multi-ethnic empire. Sure, you can be descended from Slovak, or Magyar, or Sami, or Irish, or !Kung, but you are [culture] first and ancestry second. You can celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe or St. Stephen of Hungary, or party hard on Settende Mai, but Thanksgiving, July 4, June 14, and Memorial Day are much more important.

        • rawlenyanzi

          True multi-ethnic empires tend to suck, and on top of that, we don’t have enough uniformity for any form of stability. Long term it is a recipe for endemic bloodletting.

          Such is the lesson of history. Every major empire dissolved due to this.

  2. Seeing the wholesale destruction of truth in the name of ideology makes me wonder if America has become an authoritarian state.

    My Twitter mostly has people who hate this far-left attack on free speech, but beating back this tide of mental thuggery will take a lot more than social media.

  3. Import any number of immigrants of a different background and heritage and you change the culture. Do it slowly and it’s a positive thing. You take the best of what they bring and incorporate it into the whole.
    Bring in too many, too fast, with too disparate a culture and it becomes a destructive force as both the new and the old will attempt to dominate the other and force them into a mold that simply does not fit.
    On a different note, the kids got me one of those DNA kits for father’s day. There are serious disconnects in my family history due to adoptions, so I’ve always wondered. Guess in six to eight weeks I’ll find out.

    • Just looked at some kits. There’s some questions they would solve, but . . . well, they’re a bit pricey and I’m not comfortable with someone having a sample of my genetics on file. It comes down to the “What is your culture?” question one of ours had to deal with in school. I wouldn’t be surprised, given folks is folks, that there are undocumented genes in the family tree. And while it would be nice to know, it’s not who I am. Like I told ours during that culture project, we don’t wear tricorne hats and hitch up a mule to plow like our ancestors did. Who they were is different than who we are, even if we share similar genetics.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        But you see officer, my genes made me kill all of those people.

        • Which leads to another area of caution. I don’t think it would be the case, but what if my genes are XYY? Back in the 1970s there was some folks saying this led to anti-social behavior in some males. What if it shows something else that might be deemed unacceptable?

          Paranoid? Maybe. But I distinctly remember the XYY fervor back then and wonder if and when people get so deep in the woo-woo that how they see you is based on your genetics. Basically it’s another form of racism, but I doubt it would be seen as such.

          • It leads to more competitive, double-hard working, etc, as well as violent.

          • I’m with you on the worry– does it help any to know that so are places as liberal as Washington State?

            Those little blood-drop things that babies are required to send in at birth, for health screenings, are destroyed when the kid turns 18. Even if they would be kinda hard to get good DNA from, because of how they’re handled.

            • William O. B'Livion

              > Those little blood-drop things that babies are required to send in
              > at birth, for health screenings, are destroyed when the kid turns 18.

              Of course they are.

              > Even if they would be kinda hard to get good DNA from,
              > because of how they’re handled.

              In 1985 crime scene DNA was almost useless.
              In 1995, properly handled, it could provide a strong link.
              in 2005 , unless mis-handled, it could get you put in jail.
              In 2015, if they want to spend the money, it can verify your hair color, skin color, ethnicity etc. Almost enough to work up a good sketch from.

              Would you really want to bet that in 2025 they won’t be able to slide that drop or three of blood and get a virtual model that they can cross reference with USG medical databases and state drivers license photos straight up ID you?

              • That is exactly why they destroy the cards.

                And they do; there are a lot of people with a lot of money watching very, very closely.

      • Sigh. CULTURE IS NOT GENES. I have done a dozen posts on that. At least.

        • The Other Sean

          But jeans may be part of culture. 😉
          Weren’t blue jeans strongly identified with American culture at one point?

          • When I was in elementary school in California, we actually had a bit on that in California History class.

            Supposedly an entrepreneur named Levi Strauss got a great deal on a bunch of used sailcloth during the Gold Rush, hired some seamstresses, and started making heavy-duty pants for miners. The rivets at the pockets were to help bear the weight of ore samples. The first “Levis” were white sailcloth; they didn’t start dyeing it until later.

            Of course, that’s the same school that taught us that the Pilgrims discovered America and that John Glenn was the first man in space, so I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in their version…

            • We were taught tarp in the late 80s/early 90s; looking up the Levi story, the rivets are what was odd– the denim fabric was normal for workman’s wear.

              I would hazard a guess that the similarity between good canvas (seems to be called “duck fabric?”) and good denim made for some elaboration, since I’m not sure the average school teacher knows what a rivet is….

        • Certainly, I got my culture such that it is mostly from my German/English grandparents who raised me. They were successful business people through two world wars and the great depression, so I have a somewhat old fashioned view of things. May be why Heinlein so appealed to me.
          They adopted my mother, and in those days such records were tightly sealed. Always been curious as to whether I was telling the truth when I checked the caucasian tick box on forms, so when my kid, stepson, but my kid none the less, offered I took him up on it.
          Hell, what’s the worst that could happen? Portuguese ancestry? Oh the humanity!

        • This. A thousand times, this. The amount of times I have pounded my head against the reinforced concrete wall of ignorance on this *very concept…* Well, id I had a penny for each, I could buy the Huns a good beer. Each.

        • Ah’m a hillbilly. Ah ain’t got no dang “culture” (Gives one sharp nod of the head to emphasize point).

        • Culture may not be genetic, but I think it’s an inarguable point that we take a significant percentage of “who we are” from our genes, in that our heritage influences behavior and life-choices to an appreciable degree.

          Cross-connect that feature of human existence with the further extrapolation that kinship groups tend to share these features, and that kinship groups are what make up our cultures, particularly in cultural groups with similar ancestry, and… Hey, presto! It becomes very easy to make the connection between culture and heritage. At least in terms we’d call “common sense”.

          I don’t think you can make a good case for cultural/genetic superiority, but I do find myself agreeing with the premise that genes (or, whatever the hell else it is that’s going on) influence individual behavior; individual behavior influences culture, and…

          From that, we can extrapolate that the genetic features of a population with a common genetic background are likely to share similar behavioral patterns as individuals and as a group. Implications of this include the idea that levels of violence in a particular sub-culture within a country as they are for that same sub-culture in its home country, which is why we see similar levels of inter-personal violence between American blacks and in their African nations of origin. Same thing is observable in Latin American cultural transplants between the US and the nations where those groups originate.

          You can also go back in history and look at the Scots-Irish, and see that the prevalent levels of personal violence were much, much higher back during Colonial times, and that they were quite consonant with the levels seen in the home countries. Those levels of violence are quite comparable to current rates in the population group we call “black” today. The big question would be, what the hell changed? Was it solely cultural, a “software” issue, or was there a change in the genes? Is there something happening with epigenetic switches, which might well be an explanation for why the English-Scots border populations were historically relatively peaceful, then incredibly violent for generations following the “troubles”, and now relatively peaceful again? There are studies saying that the region has the same population, genetically speaking, so what the hell caused that to happen?

          I don’t think culture is genetically transferred, but I do think that a lot of the qualities that go into the expression of culture by specific population groups are indeed, derived from something in our heritage, whether it is genetic or epigenetic. You can’t, in other words, say that your culture is in your genes, but I think it’s brutally apparent that our genes influence to significant degree the sort of culture our kinship groups are likely to express.

          • Well, one could argue it was mixing with the other settlers over time both culturally and genetically meaning violence was less acceptable at the same time the genes promoting violence diluted and genes inhibiting violence were spread wider.

            You could probably even design tests for the latter if you’re willing to rob some graves.

            • Yeah, it’s not as simple as Kirk thinks…

              • I suspect there is a more complex feedback loop.

                If genes promote a behavior that becomes socially unacceptable those with the gene will wind up appearing to be less favorable mates and be eased out the gene pool => social mores drive genetics.

                At the same time if genes promote survival over time people with them become more common and behavior any behavior they promote is likely to become more socially acceptable => genetics drive social mores.

                Now, plot all intereactions between various social mores and genes. Have fun.

                • I said it was a complex interaction, and I meant it. But, I think it is an understandable one, once we’ve gotten enough of an understanding of how these things work. The exact mechanism may be fairly simple and understandable, but the ramifications of how it actually functions may not be simple, at all.

                  I think that we’re eventually going to attain an understanding that the classical idea of a meme, which is a transmissible thought-pattern, may well have an interaction with the genetic information contained in our very cells. Mechanisms can only be speculated upon, at this point, but I believe the effects are observable, and have been gathered up in a lot of things we’ve pridefully labeled as “folk-wisdom”, and disdained to consider as being either worthy of investigation or even being slightly valid.

                  A few thousand years of observation distilled into folk-wisdom isn’t to be sneezed at. The people making those observations may have made inferences from bad information, they may have ascribed what they were seeing to the wrong causes, but the fact remains that what they observed happened, and likely had some basis in reality–Or, they wouldn’t have been observed often enough to make them something that would even be included in “folk-wisdom”.

                  The young often consider their elders to be idiots; very often, as they attain age, they also come to espouse the same things that caused them to call their parents fools. Culturally, I think we’re very young and naive, in many regards–We’ve discarded wisdom as foolishness, simply because we can’t follow a logical path from root cause to observational fact. Whether or not the ancestors understood the background, the observations they made are still valid. I may not know precisely why gravity works, or its place in the forces of the universe, but I can still observe that things fall, and that falling from great height is going to hurt like a mofo…

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            I disagree about the “cultural” links between Blacks in the Inner City and Black Nations in Africa.

            IMO the violence in the US inner cities is due to a breakdown in civilization in those areas.

            I think you’ll find that Blacks outside the inner cities (ie several generations outside the inner cities) show the same “level of violence” as their white neighbors.

            Sorry, Blacks IMO aren’t more violent “naturally” than “Whites”.

            Blacks in the Inner City are violent more because of other factors than genetics. IMO one of the factors in Inner City violence is the tendency for Liberals to excuse such violence because of “White Racism”.

            • Fact remains that the inner-city black population commits most of the crime, and the violence is endemic. Similar levels of crime and violence are found in the home territories from which these populations are drawn. The Scots-Irish became more “civilized” as a group, in synchronicity with the same thing happening in the home countries. What’s the explanation for all that? Is it entirely coincidental, or has there been something else going on?

              The argument is going to be made, in the near-term future, that black America is simply reverting to type. As the “guilty white” proportion of our population wanes, the hispanic portion that is disinterested in cutting the blacks any slack is going to come to the fore, and the results aren’t going to be pretty. End-state? You tell me; I see what amounts to race war, with the whites sitting on the sidelines wringing their hands as the browns swamp the blacks. You’re already seeing a lot of this starting in California, and I don’t see path forward for stopping it, so long as these things remain untouchable in discussion and public discourse. If you listen carefully to the hispanic population, which is one of the most racist groups I’ve ever encountered in some ways, it’s not going to be something we stop with pretty flowers and polite words. Fuzzy thinking has gotten us here, and it isn’t going to get us out of the mess we’ve created. And, we’ve all had a role in it, white, black, and brown.

              I don’t know what is really behind the difference in violence and crime commission between the racial groupings used by the FBI. Fact remains that those differences exist, and they’re getting worse. Are the causes cultural, or are they genetic/epigenetic? Friends of the family adopted a couple of black kids from really unfortunate backgrounds. Despite every cautionary step you could imagine, and doing the best they could to ensure success for those kids, the one who came from a family of criminal drug users became a criminal drug user, while the one whose background was just sheer bad luck took to the environment he was raised in and succeeded. Why did that happen? It sure as hell wasn’t due to nurture, because both kids got the same privileged upbringing.

              This sort of thing is not at all well-understood, and a large part of that is because it’s something we will not discuss, due to the implications of it all, which we find abhorrent for some reason. To me, facts are facts–If I know my genetic background includes a propensity towards skin cancer, I stay the hell out of the sun and call it good. Likewise, if there’s a tendency towards being an abusive asshole in my family…? Well, I’d be comforted to know there’s a bit of a reason for it, and I’d then try to overcome that through similar means. Failing to investigate this stuff or to include the implications of it in our society isn’t doing anyone any favors.

              • Your fallacy lies in imagining the endemic violence to be characteristic of Blacks rather than dwellers within the inner cities.

                We saw similar levels of criminality when inner-cities were dominated by Irish, Italian, Jewish and Latino groups.

                For your thesis to hold water you would need to demonstrate that suburban and rural Blacks also demonstrate higher levels of criminal propensity.

                I doubt you can do that.

                • You may be right but the way to show that is to talk about it.

                  Making it undecent, as in something decent people don’t do, to talk about this stops you from spreading a counter to that thinking. At the same times it gives that thinking a “and they are trying to cover it up” frission that at a certain point helps it reach critical mass.

                • Interestingly, the FBI statistics don’t differentiate by “inner-city” or not; the breakdown is simply along the lines of reported “race”.

                  Show me some evidence that the breakdown is indeed environmental, and I’ll happily go with that. Right now, what I’ve seen in the FBI statistics breaks it down by solely by racial background. Data showing that the problem is due to where people are living is hard to tease out of the tables, while the racial breakdowns are quite striking.

                  What makes it worse? For purposes of the tables in the Uniform Crime Report data, the FBI lumps Hispanics in with whites. So, the unfortunate fact is that while the Hispanic gangs have their crimes included in the white statistical grouping, the 13% or so of the black population is doing all that on their own. And, mostly to their own, as well…

                  • Because the FBI aggregates by false criteria is no reason I have to fall prey to their sleight-of-hand.

                    I suspect that if the data were aggregated by presence of a father in the household you would get a very different result, and the prevalence of absent-father households in the American Black community is a recent development (one largely consequent upon progressive policies.)

                    You ignore the evidence I posited regarding contributions of environmental conditions to prior high crime rates among ethnic groups, as You have similarly ignored alternate explanations for the high rates of criminal behaviour you’ve cited, e.g., a pervasive myth that “Whitey has stolen all the wealth from you.”

                    As I am not interested in distinguishing crime rates by any criterion beyond individual responsibility, I decline to pursue the topic further. Your analysis offers no policy path forward and is thus meaningless.

                    • As I am not interested in distinguishing crime rates by any criterion beyond individual responsibility, I decline to pursue the topic further. Your analysis offers no policy path forward and is thus meaningless.

                      How can an analysis that doesn’t go beyond individual responsibility have any useful policy path forward beyond some very basic things like “more police is better than more prison time because fear of getting caught has a stronger deterrent affect that fear of punishment if caught”.

                      I suspect that if the data were aggregated by presence of a father in the household you would get a very different result

                      Even in a small government world I would think this observation, which does go beyond personal responsibility, would have some policy implications for example.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    People who identify as black apparently tend to vote ninety percent Democrat. This may correlated with living in areas administered by Democrats, and Democratic policy may be purely poison.

                    After WWII, Americans in general got a lot wealthier. This meant that many Italians, Irish, Jews and so forth could afford to move out of the big cities. It also meant that many sharecroppers could contemplate getting land of their own, or moving to the big city. There were good and sound reasons for some to leave, considering some of the history of massacres. (Elaine Arkansas 1919, Tulsa Oklahoma 1921, and St Louis I’m not sure when or how big.)

                    Problem was timing. Johnson’s Great Society may or may not have been explicitly white supremacist. They may or may not have been planning to manage the expected decline in blue collar jobs by supporting a permanent underclass on bread and circuses. Long term it was poison to the inner city poor.

                    Subsidizing single mothers means more single mothers on their own. That means more boys growing up around less of the wisdom boys need exposure to in order to become men who are not foolish.

                    Nowadays, few complain if Methy McCracker is in jail. Few complain if Methy ends up dead in a confrontation with the police. This means Methy spends less time of the streets feeling himself untouchable. This means that Methy commits less crimes on other persons, and takes fewer risks doing so. Methy is more likely to live in part of the country where people are allowed to be armed. This means Methy faces greater risks when troubling those who aren’t his fellow criminals. If Methy had the same work environment as other criminals, I am sure he would kill just as many people.

                    In support of this argument, check: Rates of crime victims by race. High disparate rates speak to isolated ethnic enclaves, such as those found in certain Democrat run big cities. Incidents of crime by location. I have heard that significant fractions happen in a few small locations.

                    • People who identify as black apparently tend to vote ninety percent Democrat. This may correlated with living in areas administered by Democrats, and Democratic policy may be purely poison.

                      Siblings at my high school; dad was from the Caribbean, if I remember right, mom was generic pale with straight brown hair.
                      She was a storybook pretty, nice, hard-studying gal; he broke into a gas station that had been closed for years and stole the cash register.

                      Guess which one identified as black…..

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      What I said, IIRC, yesterday about people who really want me to know how white they are.

                      Show me what you value by how you behave.

            • And you’d be right.

            • Compare and contrast Inner City Blacks and Southern Rural Blacks. The latter are some of the best people in the country.

              • For that matter, it seems problematic to count all Blacks as a single ethnic identity, rather than distinguishing amongst various ancestral identities: Maasai, Yoruba, Xhosa, Hausa, Himba, Chaga and others may have differences as profound as those between Swedes and Scots, Gaels and Saxons.

                More significant distinctions may be found by grouping according to Faith, looking at Christians as opposed to Muslims contra the irreligious.

                Very little done by the FBI inclines me toward accepting without blinking their criteria for such groupings.

                • Very little done by the FBI inclines me toward accepting without blinking their criteria for such groupings.

                  Quoted for truth.

              • Agreed – my next-door neighbor, the across-the-street neighbor … solid, hardworking citizens-of-color. The grandson of the next-door neighbor; young, black – he took on a job at a fast-food place down the street. He worked so hard at his various jobs that he bought a car outright. Brought it home to show his mother, and has cherished the thing ever since. Another young man-of-color, at the neighborhood grocery store; we’ve been watching him go from the basic grunt-go-and-bring-in-the-carts-from-the-parking-lot to being on the fast-track to management at the local grocery chain. I am certain that he is being groomed for higher things – but not because of his color, It’s because he is an amazingly people-skilled and hardworking person.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            PS. The violence in Africa may due partially to interference by outside forces including the Soviet Union.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Not to mention the Soviets and their puppets (like Che) were extremely racist against Africans.

              • I’m not sure about that — I don’t recall their expressing any antipathy towards Boers, South Africans, white Rhodesians or the like, nor expressing much in the way of approval of Blacks in North or South America.

          • And you’d be wrong. It’s maybe 50/50. MAYBE. there is no way to show. Then throw in epigenetics, and you have a mess.

          • Culture may not be genetic, but I think it’s an inarguable point that we take a significant percentage of “who we are” from our genes, in that our heritage influences behavior and life-choices to an appreciable degree.

            From family stories, I likely have a genetic disposition toward alcoholism. Knowing this, i choose not to drink. Genetics is one thing. What we choose to do is another.

        • Reality Observer

          The number of hammer blows does not seem to affect most peoples’ belief that correlation == causation in all cases.

          Genes, in the ages before large numbers of people could move long distances, were strongly correlated to culture. But that is only because both are mostly caused by environment.

          Causation and correlation are not commutative. In the genetics/cultural/environment relationship, I’m not even convinced that they are associative.

        • I don’t know about you, but most of my cultures are bacterial; I have a few carefully sealed mold ones as well. I’ve tried gene cultures, but they don’t really grow all that well. But then, so far, I’ve only tried Levi’s genes, so maybe I just need a better source of genes…

        • William O. B'Livion

          No, culture isn’t genes, but culture can MASSIVELY influence natural selection.

          Look at about the 3:00 mark.

          I should note that he looks a LOT like my father–close enough to be brothers. Although I think my father got punched in the face a couple more times.

          Simple things are this or that. Complicated things are neither this, nor that.

          In the gender realm you have examples like this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1831738 where genetics (or epigenetics, whatever) makes rather deep changes to a social structure (from raising the “intersexed” child as female to accepting the “intersexed” nature and raising them as the males they will eventually befome)

          Why do you see that sort of differntiation more often in some cultures than others? How does that rate of differntiation impact and change the culture?

          So yeah, culture isn’t genes but there’s a feedback loop there that is too evident to deny.

      • I put the over/under on how long before the government requires it at birth for “healthcare” reasons (but applied to lots of others) at 12 years.

    • I think they’re kind of neat, but I am highly annoyed by the level of certanty they claim– at BEST, they’re actually telling you where you have the most living blood-kin, and that assumes you’re dead average on the chances of passing on whatever markers they are looking for. (One of the things that messed with my head in intro to biology– who are you more genetically close to, your mother or your sister? On average, they’re the same; in fact, you can be genetically identical to your sister, or be exactly the opposite, depending on what genes went in that half of the copy. isn’t that cool?)

    • Reality Observer

      Courtesy of my mother, I have a very complete family tree, back into the 15th and 16th Centuries.

      Some day I will probably get one of those tests – since I am pretty darn sure that there are similar breaks in mine – very unofficial ones…

      Probably not ones that can be identified through anything but extreme comparative genetics, though. (Particularly as big chunks of the branches came from the same places – so it’ll be “Somebody was out in the woodpile – but which one?)

      • I have had the Y-chromosome DNA test that shows that all my male predecessors were Campbell’s back to 1260 or so.
        For matriarchal predecessors you examine the mitochondrial DNA, but that is a lot more iffy to compare to genealogical records, as historically, we take our Father’s surname.
        Now, genetically looking at all DNA, I’m probably as much Polish as Scot. Maternal Grandfather’s parents were from Poland, and while the Campbells have been here since before the American Revolution, the Scot DNA remained pretty pure since they were so inbred in Appalachia 🙂

  4. Race as a scientific concept is something that has always drove me batty. From my anthropology training, the classification just. Doesn’t. Fit.

    Take a random bloated corpse, fish and critter chewed, picked up from a lake bottom. One of the first things the authorities want to know is “race.” That’s most often a guess. Not even a very educated one.

    Hair? Mostly gone. Skin? Pretty much same. So if we don’t have a skin *color* to eyeball, there goes that easy route. Sometimes all we have is a partial skeleton with a few fleshy bits.

    Morhpologically, the skeleton tells no tales, either. There *might* be some average metrics that suggest “this fellow was NBA tall,” but that’s rare. Skull and pelvis bones are where we can usually determine sex with a good degree of accuracy (hint: if you can fit a baby head through the pelvic opening, that’s a pretty definite female).

    Growth plates can determine approximate age (youth), wear and tear can suggest how old an adult is. But our bits and bones, aside from epidermis and hair don’t have much to tell about this “race” concept folks seem so worried about.

    Race is a mostly *cultural* artifact- scientifically, its classification is worse than useless, it’s misleading. I would argue that it is primarily such (cultural)- the physical bits are handy for identification, but I’d say the cultural bells and whistles matter *more.* Else why would there be so much upset about “oreos” or “wiggas,” as I am told they are called. The physical appearance is how we classify people as we meet them at first, but how they act is how they go from “random brownish dude” to “Latino,” “Southern European,” or “Native American” or what-have-you (I’ve been classified as all three and more on different occasions at first meeting).

    Sure, appearance matter. Some. I’ve known true geniuses that look and like garbagemen, and utter morons who look like CEOs down to the hair. Random guy met on the street with his pants around his knees, puffy jacket, hoodie pulled low, just ambling by parked cars with is hands in his pockets? Judgment call. Interviewee with food-stained tee shirt with ripped shorts and flip flops? Same. It’s not something too useful for in-depth assessments.

    Bottom line, this race (and when I hear that, my brain says “culture” unless its footraces or something like) concept seems almost too silly to be true.

    • Speaking of Oreos. Oreo recently (I think) just peed in the SJW’s cherrios. They came out with an Oreo with a chocolate filling. This means that a Black acting Black is now an Oreo as well. ROTFL!!!!

      • And there are the white cream center ‘vanilla’ or such Oroes, so a white acting white is also an Oreo. And a few other mixes, since there are lemon and red velvet and various other versions. Maybe sometimes a cookie is just a cookie?

      • The Other Sean

        And then there are the Oreo S’mores – graham cracker cookies sandwiching chocolate and marshmallow creams.

      • “They’re baaaack!”

        Last time they had chocolate filling the stuff was so nasty we threw the unfinished bag away.

        • The “berry” Oreos? Leave them on the shelf. Every other version is better. Yes, even those.

        • Can’t speak to the chocolate-filled ones, but I’ve heard horror stories about the Birthday Cake Oreos. They made my husband, an Oreo addict, avoid the cookie jar for weeks until we swore to him that the last of them had been thrown away. Even so, he approached the jar like a blond teenager approaching Camp Crystal Lake, convinced that Jason was going to jump out any minute…

          • Huh. My students liked them, but . . . Junior High and High School students at an academic contest. YMMV and so on.

            • If they are anything like the “birthday cake” ice cream I tried, the answer is simple: sweeeeeeeet. I have an unfortunate (likely excessive) attraction to high-carb sweet things, but that was just too d*mn much. Pass the sugar.

      • Forget the Oreos. Get Tim Tams.

    • There is some correlation between skin color and ability to produce vitamin-D by exposure to sunlight. It doesn’t have any correlation to ‘race’.

    • > true geniuses that look and like garbagemen,

      Back when the 80386 came out Intel ran full-page ads with pictures of the chip’s development team lined up outside one of the buildings. Perhaps it was the casual dress, but if it had been titled “UAW Local 63” I wouldn’t have batted an eye…

      • sabrinachase

        My boss at the UWisconsin synchrotron usually dressed like a janitor in coveralls, and looked the part. It made sense given we were essentially working on a factory floor and often had to clamber around metal and grimy pumps. Had to gently “counsel” a Korean student who thought he could be treated like a servant. “No, he is a senior scientist who took part in the very FIRST dedicated synchrotron design and operation, has written more papers than you’ve ever read, and has DATA older than you. Show respect.”

        • Ah there is “looking like people presume” and then there is “getting the d*mn job done.” That pristine lab? Likely hasn’t done anything. That mess with spots all over from sealant drips from fixing every lousy vacuum leak? Used, and probably published.

          • Heh. Reminds me of the time a group of Physics students from the college I was attending went to visit Argon Nat’l Lab. At one point, we went into a lab and were shown what the guy who was showing us around described as “the most sensitive mass spectrometer in the world” (at the time – this was 1983 or 1984). IIRC, they were still dialing it in, so it looked like a frankenstein-ish conglomeration of pipes, electromagnets, wiring, etc, as well as there being parts, tools, test equipment, and other oddments scattered around much of it greasy.

            *Sigh* I wish I hadn’t screwed up in college.

        • Yeah… See, here’s the thing: That wasn’t just an “appearance” thing with your Korean student.

          In Korea, the cultural cues are very, very status-oriented. If you’re the “guy in charge”, the leader, the higher-up, you WILL NOT be doing anything even remotely “menial”. I had multiple experiences over there, dealing with Koreans in multiple contexts, and the fact of the matter is that it’s an engrained cultural assumption on their part that the menial cannot possibly be respectable.

          Had a Lieutenant Colonel, a man of surpassing skill and intelligence, and limited cultural comprehension. On a major exercise, one of the last Team Spirits, he wound up assigned to a driver who could not function in Korean traffic. Period. The poor kid was scared spitless, and unable to get from point “A” to point “B”. So, the Colonel reverted to his former enlisted role of long, long ago, and he drove–Which he’d done as a private in Korea back in the 1970s. This worked fine, right up until they drove up on a ROKA site, and the Colonel got out of the driver’s side of the HMMWV. He could not understand why he was suddenly unable to even talk to the Korean officers, and was getting the cold shoulder from all and sundry, even with the ones he’d previously liased with before the exercise started. See, what it was was that he’d irrevocably “lost face” by doing something menial in front of them, so he was now “personal non grata”. The ROKA staff officers let it be known through channels that they would prefer to work with other officers, and that the Colonel should not show his face around them, again.

          Had major problems working with the KATUSA soldiers, as well: In Korean terms, the NCO/officer is god, and will never, ever sully themselves with manual labor, or even get dirty. They’ll stand around and point, give guidance, and not actually do anything. If you do do something, that means you’re not really a leader–Which played merry hell when you plug folks with that mentality into the very egalitarian US system, where if you don’t get your hands dirty, you lose even more “face” with your American troops. Getting that cultural difference across to Koreans was nearly impossible on my first tour over there, in the early 1990s. Ten years later, it was still noticeable, but not quite as bad.

          Korea is a very different culture than ours, and that’s a fact that isn’t readily apparent to you until you spend a good deal of time over there actually observing how things work, and the various interactions that happen between Koreans and American culture at the coalface-level.

          • sabrinachase

            Oh, I knew–which was why I did it. Having an American female (larger than him) indicate her displeasure didn’t make him any happier, but as far as status went I had my PhD and he didn’t 😀

            One of the nice things my boss there did was deliberately make room in his beamtime schedule for a Korean woman scientist, because having a foreign research colleague was high-status and he knew as a woman there she really struggled. He had a gruff exterior but was a good egg. *lifts beaker of Minion Solution in memory*

        • One of my bosses was a civil engineer. He was likely to show up to work in faded overalls.

      • this?

    • To reinforce that… If you look at most of the ‘stani tribes There’s a HUGE number of them that are physically identical. You can’t tell. THEY can but they’re picking up on culture and body language cues. They consider themselves different ‘races’ yet they are (often literally) cousins to some degree of each other within tracable history.

  5. Since gender came up, this happened to be today’s Dilbert:

  6. I’ve been toying for some time with the idea that the concept of “Race” is a stepping stone away from the tribalism that is kinda built in to social apes. Racism is MORE tolerant that the default setting, which is tribalism; hating the folks from the other end of the valley who look just like us. Once does not get to Racism until one broadens one’s loyalty beyond one’s immediate genetic family.

    • Reality Observer

      What Sarah is pointing out (I think) is that we are regressing back to race from nationality – and that the regression is probably not going to end with anything that we would recognize as “race.”

      Taking the “20% Irish is a different race” example – eventually we end up at the “Ballyshannon” racial group is different from the “Killybegs” racial group. (Taking two random villages in Eire.)

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yeah, I’ve been looking at that ever since I hit on it as a way to troll people over ‘If you were a Dinosaur, my love.’

  7. The alternative is to chase that phantom race on the way to socialism, which no race is pure enough to achieve, and to end up defining race in narrower and narrower groups. Eventually we’ll arrive at the “celtic” race again, and have “more than 20% Irish ancestry makes you non white.” And won’t that be fun.

    As I said the other day I fully expect to live to see terms like octadroon embraced by both blacks and whites in America because such percentage checking will determine what spoils you get.

    I don’t like it. I don’t think it is good.

    But I do think those who supposedly stood for something else let things fester in one identity politics direction for so long, cowering in fear at being called racists and even thanking someone in a VP debate for saying, “You’re not racist like other Republicans,” that it became inevitable that a “if you can’t beat them, join them” movement would emerge. It too so long to emerge I suspect the only way out is through.

    I’m just glad my nephews and neice are all blonds.

    • Herb, I’m fifty and this nonsense was well advanced by the time I came here. The people who let it happen are mostly dead. You can’t have revenge on them. Let’s turn the ship around, all right?

      • I am also 50 (well, will be by year’s end) and I’ve watched a generation that did this consume itself in the 70s only to be given tenure to teach it to my younger sister’s generation and now take over institutions.

        Meanwhile in trying to change it (ie turn the ship around) I got called everything in the book. I watched a man I admire thank Al Gore for saying, ” We are seeking to have vigorous enforcement of the laws that bar discrimination. Now, I want to congratulate Mr. Kemp for being a lonely voice in the Republican party over the years on this question.”. I watched the rise of David Duke in Lousianna and his destruction with not a single damn person saying, “maybe we should look into why he’s gaining traction.”

        Now the VDs of the alt-right and their candidate in Trump and I’m supposed to be worried about the rise of racism in America? Oh, and I’m only supposed to be worried about its rise in the alt-right. The continued presense of BLM et al is nothing? The fact that we were guilted into electing a fool because of his race is nothing?

        While my vote for Trump in the general is a revenge on the GOP for all the backstabbing that has nothing to do with race.

        My position on race is more a resigned realism. The time to nip this in the bud was 30 years ago by realizing that we now had people of voting age who were all born after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (like me) and instead of forcing them to pay for what some of their grandparents further ancestors did was a fool’s errand. Instead we doubled down on the race and added gender. I remember disucssion in the 90s that maybe we just need to sacrifice a generation of boys to even the sexual scales. We’re doing that as well as you have documented on the rise in your sons.

        We can be all enlightened and say that’s wrong. I’ll even agree. However, human nature is human nature. You now have two and maybe three generations punished for things they did not do in mass and the arrow of such action isn’t towards de-escalation but to reinforce it.

        We are well past avoiding the iceberg and probably past recalling the half full lifeboats that were launched. We’re not quite to every man for himself but we’re well beyond just trying to patch the hull. We’re mostly, IMHO, to making sure those that steered towards the iceberg and rang up a flank bell get no seats in the remaining lifeboats.

        Want to call that, revenge, feel free. I call it accepting the bad times of racial driven government escalating until about 2040 and making sure that after the peak we have a strong cadre to pick up the pieces and reject it going forward. I will be dead and have no one to train up to be in that cardre so I’ll leave it to those who do.

        • I’d prefer to turn the ship around myself. I’ll be living for a long time, barring accident or sickness.
          The Balkanized States of America don’t sound like a great place to live; then again, they do sound better than the American Union of (National) Socialist States.

          Why on earth can we not scrape up a decent third-party candidate this year? Johnson’s a Liberaltarian, the Greens are watermelons, and the others are fingers. A Daniels-Webb ticket has a lot of potential.

          • I’d prefer to turn the ship around myself. I’ll be living for a long time, barring accident or sickness.

            Beyond 50 and poor health I’m also a walking example of why unattached (or not attached until well past childbearing) men are a bad thing. Most people think only of the violence of young men but the apathy of middle aged men in their prime earning and leading years should not be underestimated.

            Why on earth can we not scrape up a decent third-party candidate this year?

            Because no one with half a brain would want it.

            Because no “decent” candidate will actually talk about issues troubling a significant subset of the population because we’ve defined their very concerns as indecent.

            Because the GOP with #neverTrump is already breaking the trust with its base by treating them the way Democrats have been treating them for decades (a strategy used successfully in 2014 I would point out) and joining a 3rd party movement would end the party.

            Because the Dems still believe Al Gore was killed by Nader and will pretty much destroy anyone who might appeal to Dems.

            Because the constituancy for intelligent and thoughtful candidates is about 10…not percent but 10 voters.

          • Why on earth can we not scrape up a decent third-party candidate this year?

            Somebody mentioned Nader’s impact on Gore in comments here, and it pretty clear that we got Clinton because of Perot’s personal vendetta against Bush Senior, so both parties made adjustments to prevent anything like that from happening again.

            As a result on teh one side we have the One True Democrat Candidate in Monica’s ex-boyfriend’s temporarily-unindicted wife, and on the other side we were suppsed to get a sequel as the One True Republican Candidate, Bush 3: It Came From Florida.

            Unfortunately JEB! put everyone to sleep, including his own campaign staff. Instead of improvising, adapting, and overcoming by tossing Bush overboard and anointing someone else who was actually awake at the debates (cough Cruz! cough), the R kingmakers tried to give the JEB! campaign time to wake up and kept the field too big for too long, and as a direct result now we have The Donald.

            And with all that drama going on, there’s really no oxygen left to feed any grassroots insurgency this time around, and frankly it’s far too late at this point anyway – anything thirdpartyesque had to be rolling a year ago to have had any chance.

            • The R Party seriously need to go with a preferential system for the Primaries.

            • I have seen “We need to change the rules so that the outcome will come out the way we want it to!” play out three or four times already, at least. It always seems to backfire.

              The most prominent example that comes to mind comes from Massachusetts, where the Democrats didn’t want Republican Mitt Romney appointing a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy when Ted died, so they changed from governor appointment to special election. Naturally, when Ted died, the governor was a Democrat and the Special Election elected a Republican to that spot.

              The *real* problem, to be sure, is that these disasters are the result of the Right People not doing the right things, or not even being the actual right candidates in the first place. But self-reflection is to be forbidden, and blame must be found elsewhere, whether it be third-party candidates, or the Rules, or the stupid voters. It’s never the candidate’s fault that they lost!

              (Incidentally, this is why I think that the WorldCon attempt to change the Rules to keep WrongFun out isn’t going to work. Because the puppy-kickers are all focused slates, they fail to see that the sad puppies think this as a combination of “Get Out the Vote” problem and a “We Could Nominate Better Works” problem. Because anti-puppies are focusing on rules, rather than on getting out the vote, and nominating good works that can rival Sad Puppy choices, ultimately, they are going to get burned, and get burned bad, by the very thing they think will fix everything…)

              At this point, I’m convinced that if you can’t win with the rules as they currently are (however bad the rules might currently be, so long as they are nominally fair), you probably don’t deserve the prize. (This is why, as much as I can’t bring myself to vote for Trump, I am disappointed in Cruz that he didn’t do more to make the case that everyone should have voted for him instead…)

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                If Trump couldn’t win the delegate game and pack the rules committee, even with the plurality of votes he won, why should we change the way things are done and hand him the nomination anyway?

          • Why on earth can we not scrape up a decent third-party candidate this year?

            The problem is that we always go about it bass-ackwards by trying to introduce one on the national level first. A viable third party has to start from local and state offices and work up from there.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Yes, one we see how this goes, we can start working on local and state elections, maybe look at congressional elections.

              • I think you’ll have more success by getting disaffect office holders at multiple levels to join en mass as the Republicans did in the 1850s.

                I remember 15 months or so people thought I was crazy or a false flag. I think in the post Trump world people might reconsidered. If the #neverTrump crowd were smart they would look at that model and actually leave the GOP, not have a tantrum that will break the party further without establishing an alternative meant to be permanent.

    • Reality Observer

      “Octadroon,” hah! Although I cannot figure out the name for one sixty-fourth. Sexagintasomethingdroon “Native American.”

      Guess I’ll find out maybe, if the rumors are correct that Pocahontas will be our next Vice-President.

      • ((reasonable tone))

        Well there has to be sex in there *somewhere*

        ((runs away))

      • I thought she was 1/23rd Cherokee or something.

        • Apparently not even that.

          • I believe the figure was 1/64th imaginary Cherokee.

            Because high cheekbones, which everyone knows are an infallible sign of Indian ancestry. (Although how Amerindians got into Marlene Dietrich’s and Greta Garbo’s family trees is as yet unknown — probably ancient Amerindian explorers sailed across the Atlantic to ravage European women before the Dawn of History. They are likely the same ones who erected the stone circle west of Amesbury.)

  8. “Race” refers to the eigenvectors of the human covariance matrix.

    Most voters have a weak grasp of “average” and almost no understanding of “variation”. (Larry Summers paid for not understanding this.) Patterns of multi-variation? It is to laugh.

    Because of this innumeracy this formulation is not useful politically. Its merely true, and that’s not enough.

    • And the sad part is what Summers said was probably the truth. Mean Intelligence is not sex-based but the variance probably is. Mother Nature is wise in maintaining women at the levels already established and experiment with the men, which may be why there are more autistic males and Ph.D. in Physics males.
      Experiment on the ones most expendable. Kind of like Testosterone; lots of bad side effects for the increase of strength and aggression, so again, do it to the expendable half.

      • sabrinachase

        Nah, Summers was an idiot 😀 Even if you accept his premise that mathematical ability at the extreme end is purely male, that had nothing to do with a) the mathematical ability to do physics, vs. mathematical research, and b) the pipeline problem which has been known for …. (counts on fingers and toes) at least 60 years and probably more. Which someone of his stature should have known. It’s on the level of a doctor not being aware of penicillin allergies. The math skills required are well within the big fat common area of the Gaussian distribution. Likely he was tired of being harassed for not having hired women candidates that weren’t available to hire, but that is no excuse for copious public stupidity that made his situation even worse.

        (I shouldn’t have to say it, but the fainting-couch lady was *also* an idiot. There are so many, many ways to be wrong…)

        • What I want to know is why are feminists so concerned about the lack of women Physics Ph. Ds but not the lack of women career criminals.

          It seems imbalances only matter when they “harm” women.

        • I rolled my eyes at Summers but wanted to pour water on fainting-couch lady.

        • Pipeline? Fluid dynamics is easier now as you use computer simulations to solve the partial differential equations. My class of Physics majors was one woman and 8 men, and that was ’75.
          The thing about Summers is that he provided a testable and falsifiable hypothesis (unlike global warming) but the Feminist were so hostile that such research is unlikely to be given the seriousness it needs. The anecdotal evidence is, of course, inconclusive.

        • Computer programming (my field) doesn’t require heavy math skills, but it *does* require a certain type of traits that are related to heavy math skills, like an almost-obsessive ability to focus on details. (Because get ONE detail wrong, and your program won’t do what it was supposed to do.)

          One of the famous computer-programming bloggers (I think it was either Jeff Atwood or Joel Spolsky) once observed that that skill set you need to be a good programmer actually bears a surprising resemblance to some characteristics of autism, and autism-spectrum characteristics are found in programmers a LOT more often than in the general population. He went on to say that autism-spectrum characteristics appear to have an 80-20 distribution of males to females (i.e., of people with autism, about 1 in 5 is a woman). And, he went on to say, the male-to-female ratio in the software world also appears close to that 80-20 ratio as well. Coincidence? Maybe not.

          Now, I don’t know if his figures are correct, but they do reflect what I’ve seen. (Though personally, I’d have estimated the male-to-female ratio in programming at 90-10). So when people complain about the lack of women in the software industry, my default assumption is, “Well, if more women wanted to be programmers, then we’d have more.” We have all these scholarships and so on for women, and the undergrad class ratios are close to parity, but the ones who go on to make a career of it are still skewed mostly male. So either: A) there’s a LOT of subtle, behind-the-scenes old-boys’-club suppression of women going on, or B) most women just don’t have the interest (or the aptitude) for this particular job, and that’s why they drop out of the career track at a vastly greater rate than men.

          The SJWs, of course, think that option B is unthinkable, so it must be A — despite the glaring lack of evidence that anyone has managed to dig up for that. Whereas I’m inclined to believe that B fits Occam’s Razor the best. Another bit of evidence for B (or rather, against A) is what happens to a group of male geeks when a “geek girl” shows up. She is instantly the center of attention, with everyone falling over themselves to help her out. (Which, actually, might be causing some of problems for women in programming — if she lets herself be “carried” by her male classmates who are vying for her attention, she’ll have problems working in the field later on once she’s responsible for producing her own results. It’s a temptation that many women avoid, but some fall prey to.)

          So at least in the software field, there may be some interesting links between ability in the field and some known-to-be-sex-linked mental characteristics. Which has me wondering about other STEM fields.

          • 1: Disparate impact analysis proves that there must be some form of discrimination preventing parity and it is incumbent on software developers to create even greater incentives to compensate for that lack of diversity.

            2: Hiring based on demonstrable competence and ability to write code is clearly discriminatory and should be ended immediately.

            • Sometimes I wish you wouldn’t do that, RES: you’re far too good at it. Specifically, your #2 is right at the HEART of this bit of SJW-ism that’s currently spreading like wildfire though the Open-Source Software world. Everyone’s adopting this particular code of conduct for their software projects, and nobody seems to notice: a) the utter RUBBISH “research” that it’s based on (follow the links in their preface for far more than you ever wanted to know), or b) the poison pill in its last paragraph (“The project team is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident”, but NOTHING about knowingly-false reports being punished. We all know that NOBODY would falsely accuse people they don’t like of “hate speech”, right?).

              So while I know you’re just being funny, I actually wince when I see you write this stuff. Brings up bad memories, some of which are current.

              • A useful link. Go to the page of projects adopting, and make sure you never use any of their software products, knowing they will be substandard.

                • seriously? meritocracy is bad and causes inequality? enforced equality or something?

                • Except that: 1) it’s almost EVERY open-source project, because the SJWs have managed to hide their motives very well, and it sounds good on the surface, and 2) it’s a very recent phenomenon, so most projects haven’t had time to go downhill. What you REALLY want to watch for is when projects start abandoning the Contributor Covenant, which I predict won’t happen for another year or two. But when someone decides to submit false claims, and it becomes a big public scandal — well, open-source people are actually remarkably pragmatic, by and large. Some of them have adopted the CC because they agree with its ideology, and those are the projects that will keep it even after the poison pills start going off — and THOSE are the projects that will be substandard. But other projects have adopted the CC only because it looked like a good idea, and they don’t like the idea of good code not being submitted to the project because someone had a personal conflict. THOSE projects are the ones that will drop the CC like a hot potato once they see its danger. Once that starts happening, then you’ll be able to tell which projects are substandard and which are good quality. Right now the signal (people adopting it because they agree with it) is mixed with too much noise (people adopting it because they don’t see the danger, but who are pragmatic enough to drop it once they DO see it) to be useful.

            • Disparate impact: A scam dreamed up by some race-baiting community organizer for sure.
              It is part and parcel with equality of results vs equality of opportunity. Government can help with the latter, but no one (except perhaps God) can make the former happen.

          • Actually…the place I work now has an astonishing number of women developers. Two of the team leads are women. And what is delightfully refreshing is none of them are treated as or think of themselves as special snowflakes. They are devs, end of story. They get high-priority projects handed to them same as the men, deliver like the men, get yelled at by the boss like the men (OK, more like agitated at ). You know what’s different about them? None of them are American. All kinds of national origins, but not the US. I’m the only American woman there doing any coding at all (I’m an SDET).

            So, dragging the discussion back to the original topic by main force–I think it’s culture. Not gender-determined skills, not autism, not patriarchy. Saw something similar in science, actually. In most European countries, if you wanted to go to university you HAD to take math. No exceptions. Somehow, the girls there managed to learn it when they were motivated to do so 😉 I really, REALLY don’t think American women are dumber than the ones in Europe. But you have a lot more opportunities when you have a good foundation in math. I know it wasn’t until I had a good math teacher in junior high (who was a woman, by the way) that I discovered math was fun.

            • I blame our K-12 education system. The old way admitted to different abilities at different ages and grouped like with like. Now it is one size fits all, and with this Common Core math, I believe the desire is to make NO ONE good at math.
              What level of math is required for University? When I was in high school, algebra was considered necessary, but Trigonometry, Differential and Integral Calculus were offered. Interestingly, the Integral Calculus (which I didn’t take) was about 50/50 male and female.

              • sabrinachase

                Our math instruction needs to be nuked from orbit and rebuilt from scratch. When I am Supreme Overlord only people who like math will be allowed to teach it. Same with science.

                Math for university? It depends on what you want to study. For physics it was *essential* that calculus was already understood. Maybe not mastered, but understood. Otherwise you just can’t keep up with the science. I noticed this with chem majors. Many of the women chemistry grad students were working on the same kind of stuff I was, but the chemistry requirements had much less math. They were doing it the hard way, in my opinion 😉 Because math is abstract, you HAVE to have the basics early and often to build on.

                I’m not sure what the minimum for coding would be. Interesting question. Probably geometric proofs, maybe linear algebra, because that’s how computers deal with numbers and arrays and things.

                • I’m not sure what the minimum for coding would be. Interesting question. Probably geometric proofs, maybe linear algebra, because that’s how computers deal with numbers and arrays and things.

                  At least one semester of abstract algebra and one semester of formal languages at the undergraduate level (although there are CS courses that cover the latter).

                  Both teach very good systems of abstraction and is where math majors get introduced to formal mathematical proofs. Both the training in abstraction and proof have served me well in software development.

                • can you please make sure that the math teachers can explain to the smart kid in algebra II what the endless quadratic equations are for?

  9. Years ago, my Parents took my Nephew to the ancestral grave site in Appalachia. This cemetery has family remains from before the Civil War. My Nephew was very upset by the scattering of ‘baby’ grave sites, where the baby was not even named.
    Infant and Mother mortality makes a major difference to cultural expectations and roles for a society that can get beyond them. Lump that with increasing longevity and those are the source of much of our gender issues today.

    • The village I grew up in had a “children’s cemitery” almost the size of the large one. It’s been diminishing since I remember.

    • While visiting the cemetery where my grandparents are interred, I saw a tombstone upon which were incised, on the East side, the words ‘Sarah Ingebretsen, beloved wife of John, mother of Laura, Sep 16, 1872 – May 23 1891’, and on the West, ‘Laura Ingebretsen, precious daughter of Sarah and John, May 22 – May 24, 1891’

      And this s(tuff) was *normal* back then.

      • The Other Sean

        Dead from childbirth at 18.5 years was a sad, but not too uncommon, back then. I think now is better in that regards, even if some other things we’re discussing in this thread are headed in wrong direction.

        • the baby probably died for lack of milk. She might have died of the white leg (uterine infection, from being too long in labor. Jane Seymour died of it, and I would have too, were it not for antibiotics.)
          My husband once found his male ancestor married SIX sisters in succession till the last was 13 while he was in his forties. The last had something like seven kids and survived the husband. She’s my husband’s ancestor.

          • Marasmus. Listed often as a cause of death for infants and elderly, but no one I noticed in between, while perusing Boston MA death certificates from the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. Before baby formula and baby bottles became widespread and affordable. Has a few ancestral relatives die in infancy from it.

            Going through recorded death records, it looks like to me if you made it to 15, barring accidents, or for women, childbirth, you’d probably make it into your late 50s when the death rate picked up again. Smallpox, measles, diphtheria, polio, cholera… there were a whole bunch of diseases you had to survive to become an adult.

            • sixty something was considered old in the village.
              Dad survived grandma losing her milk. She fed him boiled rice water and started adding more (mashed rice) in as he grew. She did say though she never thought she’d raise him.

          • My husband once found his male ancestor married SIX sisters in succession till the last was 13 while he was in his forties. The last had something like seven kids and survived the husband. She’s my husband’s ancestor.

            Wow. Two thoughts come to mind. First, in modern times, a forty-year-old man marrying a 13-year-old would be a clear sign of SERIOUS trouble. (And rightly so, given how immature most 13-year-olds are these days). But in those days, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that that 13-year-old was mentally far more adult than, say, many 31-year-olds of the modern era. What century was this? Early 19th? Late 18th? Earlier than that?

            And second, people have often observed that “men are polygamous, women are monogamous.” I’ve heard that when men cheat on their wives, in many cases it’s “just a fling” and they can (if their wives forgive them) return to the marriage. (This does NOT excuse their adultery in any way, don’t get me wrong.) But when women cheat on their husbands, I’ve heard, it’s often a far more serious relationship because she gets emotionally attached to her lover (and wouldn’t have thought of cheating unless she was already starting to emotionally DEtach from her husband). This isn’t the case for all cases of wives committing adultery, of course — but when it is, the marriage is FAR more likely to end, because when a woman cheats, it’s because she has transferred her monogamy to her new lover. (Of course, in such a case it’s not TRUE monogamy, but more like monogamy-for-now.) Again, this is not true of everyone.

            If that’s the case, atheists have no problem explaining this behavior as evolutionarily-driven (seeking the best mate to bear one’s offspring, and so on.) But for Christians like me (and people of any other religious persuasion who believe in a God who created the universe, whatever the means He used to do so), there is a more serious problem. Why would God set up a system like that? Why would he make men still prone to have their eyes wander after being married, rather than able to stick with their spouse once the sexual-bonding starts happening?

            And stories like Dan’s ancestor are, in my opinion, why. God created men and women’s emotional behaviors in a way that would help them get through tough times like, well, MOST of history (our amazingly healthy and disease-free modern era is a massive anomaly in historical terms). So if a man’s wife dies in childbirth, he’s saddened, but he still has an eye for a pretty figure and will be able to remarry happily. And if it happens again, and he marries a third woman, he’ll also be happy with her. And for women, whose monogamy also isn’t permanent (but does seem more limited to one-at-a-time), there’s a similar thing going on: if her husband is killed in war, or dies from falling off the barn roof, she’ll be able to still be happy with her second husband (if she remarries). Heck, even Stockholm Syndrome can be seen as being an adaptation to make the best out of a terrible situation: because women were often carried off as prizes in war and married to people they couldn’t have chosen, which is better? To have her be miserable for the rest of her life? Or to have her psyche be organized in such a way that she eventually falls in love with the husband she didn’t choose?

            Of course, it’s far better that such things don’t happen. But I can’t help but feel that God put such things as Stockholm Syndrome into the world because He knew that terrible things WOULD happen throughout history, and that was one way of redeeming them and turning them into things that were slightly less terrible. So women can, eventually, fall in love with the man who forced her into marriage (assuming that he treats her at least somewhat decently afterwards), and turn that situation from a terrible thing into something approaching good. And in the case of men and our polygamous tendencies, I believe He gave those to men not because He wanted men to actually marry two wives AT ONCE, but because he knew that women would be far more likely to die young than men throughout history, and so he wanted the man’s second (or third, or sixth) wife to also have a husband who could truly love her.

            There’s a lot that people could disagree with in the above, so feel free to tell me what you think I’ve gotten wrong.

            • I think you may be onto a very workable idea. One of the questions archaeologists have had about the peoples of the Texas Panhandle prior to 1450 was how certain cultural ideas got here (from which direction, who brought them, were they re-invented locally), including pottery styles. For a while the thought was that women who “married into” the culture brought their own pottery styles and the receiving culture adopted the new-to-them styles, at least in part. But the anthropologists pointed out that no, everywhere else, women who come into a culture shed their old culture pretty quickly in order to blend in and be accepted. So we’re still arguing pottery style origins over our burgers and fries at the DQ. 🙂

      • An acquaintance gave me a tour of the old Catholic cemetery in Fredericksburg, Texas – which was only in use for about fifteen years – from the founding of the town to the Civil War. About fifty graves in it – and all but ten or twelve graves were for babies and children, some of whom by the dates only lived for days/weeks. One set of graves was for a sister and brother, aged about eight and five years, respectively, who died within days of each other in the last year of the Civil War. There had been a horrific diphtheria epidemic at that time. A handful of people in their twenties and thirties, a young man and a young woman murdered by Indians, a couple more adults of varying ages, and one single elderly couple, man and wife, who lasted into their seventies.
        That one visit made it clear to me how perilous it was for children before vaccines and antibiotics.

  10. > two pale blonds with majority-African blood

    Yes, white people live in Africa too…

    And, believe it or not, an astonishing number of ethnic Chinese. The PRC has been investing in African infrastructure in exchange for mineral rights. much like the USSR used to.

    • Not just mineral rights–farmland. They’re trying to make up for destroying the farmland in China by planting in Africa–and trying to siphon off some of their surplus young men as well.

    • And southwest Asians. Most people who claim to know all about the evils of Apartheid don’t realize that there was a separate classification for those of Indian (British India, not just modern India) descent.

    • No. You know that’s not what I meant. You’re just being ridiculous. I meant Majority black blood (the N word is too close to the scientific designation and I don’t need vile 770 on my case, sorry) NEITHER of these people found out until they come up with an illness of black people.

      • The US military began testing for sickle-cell anemia markers some years ago. Quite a few people were very upset when they found they had the markers.

        • They were upset to find out they were descended from Ashkenazi Jews?

        • Inheriting sickle cell anemia from only one parent confers a greater chance of surviving malaria. Cystic fibrosis confers resistance to cholera.
          Blacks are more likely to have the first, presumably because they live in mosquito infested areas. Europeans are more likely to have the second, because they lived in higher density areas with poor sanitation.
          For Americans I think it runs both ways. Each group has provided genetic ‘enrichment’ to the other.

        • Oooh, the Puerto Ricans were PISSED about that…

          Our neighbor swore her daughter had to do counseling to a couple that was Mr and Mrs WASP that had a “black” baby– lots of DNA testing, many tears, DEFINITELY their kid.

          Just…genetics are as screwy as our definition of “race.”

  11. c4c

  12. “Race” was invented for people of one shade to lord it over people of other shades. Nothing has changed.

    All SJWs are contemptible and 2+2 still = 4…

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      That’s what Race has become but Race also had the meaning of tribe/nation.

      In older works, both fiction & non-fiction, you would read about the “English Race”, the “French Race”, the “German race”, etc.

      IE it had nothing to do with “skin shade”.

      Now, I can’t disagree with what else you said. 😉

      • If you read certain alt-right bloggers they are trying to incorporate that to explain their theories, that sure there isn’t a white race per se but that the left has worked hard to make anyone of European ancestory (as they identify not in terms of genetic tests) in America have a “white race” consciousness and that is how German/English/France race in Europe becomes White Race in America.

        It has just enough logic and embraces enough of what culture permits us to think via PC to sound reasonable and rejects PC just enough to sell. It helps that they are right about what the left wanted (and with their usual insight into human nature thought such identity would emerge as a shameful one).

        I really have no idea how to undo that before it explodes.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          They are as big of morons as the SJWs. :frown:

          • Yup. I’ve skimmed some of the academic books about “whiteness” and social history. Er, um, the jump from white=clean and a sign of purity in religion –>white culture=superior–>slavery, Jim Crow, are related to consumers’ preferences for white tableware totally lost me. Yes, the argument was a lot more convoluted than that but you can see why I tend to stay the heck away from that area in the library. The strained logic might be contagious.

          • The only thing more common than hydrogen is stupidity.

          • They are SJW. Just with a slightly different goal.

            See also the various Men’s Rights Advocates who are just the jerk feminists but for men.

        • “”If you read certain alt-right bloggers they are trying to incorporate that to explain their theories, that sure there isn’t a white race per se but that the left has worked hard to make anyone of European ancestory (as they identify not in terms of genetic tests) in America have a “white race” consciousness and that is how German/English/France race in Europe becomes White Race in America.”

          I read the same blogs, and this idea has wide support simply because it is truth. Over in Great Britain, the Brits can tell at a glance who is Irish, Welsh, Scotch, or English, or even Cornish if they live in that area and come across them often. Southern and Northern Italians can do the same, and both can tell Sicilian, and vice- versa. In Belgium you have the Flemish and Walloons. Over there, they are still to this day all separate tribes and identities.

          In the United States, few, if any of us, with more then a few generations here identify with any of them. People my age (61) identify as American. American isn’t a choice on the census forms or any other EEOC required form. It’s “White (sometimes Caucasian) non-Hispanic”. have to include that non-Hispanic part to separate out the Hispanics who would otherwise identify as white. So the government IS forcing us into a white tribal identity, by the simple method of classifying everyone as something. It’s not the right wing bloggers doing it, it’s the right wing bloggers recognizing what the left and racial bean counters are doing to us.

          E Pluribus Unum- from many, one. That’s the motto. Seems to have long since been abandoned. By liberals/Democrats/Socialists. The Orwellian quest for equality requires people be unequal so the government can force equality. Or something like that.

          • I remember my first trip to Scotland. The number of attractive red haired women with crooked teeth was amazing. Actually, all of them had crooked teeth, but if it was some ugly guy, who cares?

          • So the government IS forcing us into a white tribal identity, by the simple method of classifying everyone as something. It’s not the right wing bloggers doing it, it’s the right wing bloggers recognizing what the left and racial bean counters are doing to us.

            I think it goes further than recognizing. They are embracing it. On an intellectual manner I can’t stand it but as a practical manner we may have reached a facts on the ground critical mass where that, however stupid we think it is, is the survival choice. I fear we have.

            That said, this didn’t happen over night and was allowed to fester long enough that, as is said about every other issue we have, won’t be corrected overnight either.

            • I enrolled in college in 1985. The registrar wouldn’t accept my paperwork unless I gave them a huge amount of irrelevant and intrusive demographic data, starting with what was most important to them – race and religion.

              I think I checked the box for whatever weaselphrase they were using for “Eskimo” and the box for Reformed Jewish. The rest, I made up random responses.

              Judging from the massive blast of junk mail that started arriving a few weeks later, the main purpose of those forms was so they could get a better price selling student information to spammers.

        • kenashimame

          Every time the subject of Race comes up here, I’m invariably drawn to this quote:

          “We’ve spawned a new race here, Mr. Dikinson. Rougher, simpler; more violent, more enterprising; less refined. We’re a new nationality. We require a new nation.”
          — Ben Franklin, 1776

  13. C4C

  14. “Race condition”… error/fault condition.

    • Wherin most likely the interrupts were not set up correctly.

      Note that the Electoral College is one such remaining interrupt, as was State appointment of Senators vice the current direct election method.

      Keep yanking the interrupts to make your code more “effiicient” and the likelihood of just such a condition arising increases towards certainty…

      • State appointment of Senators made the upper chamber the representatives of the States and the house the representatives of the citizens. The electoral college provides greater weight to fly-over country than coastal elites. When they abolish or ‘proportionalize’ the Electoral College, our true Democracy will share a common trait with the two wolves and one sheep deciding who is for dinner.

  15. So, basically… the “sex is fluid” thing is an attempt to deny science so as to control culture?

    Because the scientific facts you lay out for xx/xy are true, and the rest of it sure looks like trying to change the facts so that they’ll get a different result Because Science Says So or something.

    • I think there is a legitimate element of the industrial revolution has made it easier for women at the masculine tail of the female distribution and men at the feminine side of the male distribution have more opportunity to be in line with their inclinations in social (gender) role. I think society is still adjusting to that.

      Add in that social signalling (again, related to sex) is tied both to biology and to social role and we have those same people who fit the opposite sex social role being able to do so results in their wanting to socially signal as well. Again, society is still adjusting to that.

      Burkean that I am I think accepting discomfort for that small percentage while society adjusts is better for future generations, especially future generations of that percentage, than how some are trying to address it today.

      • But we’ve had people filling the opposite sex’s social roles for generations– this seems more like people want the same results that folks like my mom had, but don’t want to have to work for it, and they want it to be immediate and universal.

        There are a whole lot of people who are getting upset about how they’re treated and refuse to accept that it’s because of their own behavior, not some sort of evil on the part of the one “mistreating” them.
        I’ve been scolded by women for treating them differently when I didn’t know they were women, I just knew they were jerks. 😀

        • It could be advances have allowed a larger portion of the tale to pursue alternate roles and expression so now instead of just the “I have to be this way to stay sane so I’ll pay the social price” taking alternate roles we also have a population of “I like this role more so I’m going to do it” at the same time we’re infected with “I have a right to demand everyone be nice to me” which inhibits them learning to deal.

          Add in a bit of a backlash to the everyone be nice to me BS and people start getting up in people’s faces at things they just would have shook their heads at before but, now that shaking heads is considered the same as trying to kill, they do more than shake their heads.

          Activists who fail to learn that “expect basic dignity” does not mean “punish everyone who doesn’t like you” are really screwing over their own supposed population.

  16. Our society seems to be suffering a loss of capacity to make fundamental distinctions, such as those between biological sex and individual personality (e.g., a person may be male yet feminine in mannerisms, appearance and preferences, just as a female might incline toward what are traditionally recognized as masculine attributes, such as enjoying shooting sports) as between “race” and “culture.”

    We seem inflicted with an adolescent compulsion to “unify” our various identities rather than embracing diversity and complexity. Combine this with an evangelical zeal (another common attribute of the immature) to proselytize one’s tastes as universal and you get a society swirling down History’s drain.

    Oh well — a society based on individual freedom and realization is probably too good to last; it threatens too many extant power bases to be tolerated for very long.

  17. Finally getting time to read Through the Fire in healthy chunks; some lovely turns of phrase there.

    • Randy Wilde

      I think my favorite might have been

      I do not know why the Bon Dieu thought it necessary to create females, unless it is to drive men to despair.


  18. “But the problem is race as race doesn’t really exist.” – Yes, it does, Sarah. It is confirmed by science. You can’t deny it.

    “Sure there are people who are very dark, and that might coincide with very curly hair, etc. BUT here’s the thing, the external appearance genes have very little to do with temperament or intelligence or other genes.” – Technically, they do. High foreheads indicate larger frontal lobes, which means more information processing, which means higher intelligence.

    “They even have bloody nothing to do with ancestry. I’ve known two pale blonds with majority-African blood. I once heard it said that African Americans (appropriate term in this case) are racially what’s known as “caucasians.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that’s how Africans think of them.” – No. Hair colour is determined by genetics, but in the case of blonde Africans, that is due to a gene mutation. Africans are also known for their kinky, wiry hair. African Americans are certainly NOT Caucasians, as a majority of them are descended from the Bantu people, which you can find in a gene ‘map’ – a data set of many sub-groups of Africans.

    “Even in racially based states, there are difficulties telling race.” – No, there isn’t. It’s very easy to tell. Or are different skin tones socially constructed?

    “I remember being in South Africa when they found an abandoned baby girl. A crisis ensued as they had no clue what family to place her with/where she should live. BUT not even hair follicle analysis could give them an answer to this little girl’s race. (I left before it was resolved.)” – It shouldn’t be hard at all. Hair follicles are different by race. I think it’s because you didn’t stick around to find out, or deliberately ignored it.

    “The fact that race is a mirage, as cultural as it is physical, at least in being perceived as a certain race, makes it very dangerous in any society, but particularly a SOCIALIST society (as most societies now are, to an extent or another. And this is about to get worse looking at the two potential presidents.)” – For the love of GOD, Sarah, stop being an idiot. You can’t make an argument that men and women are biological but people of differences races are different because of culture. Where does culture come from, Sarah? None of you lot have an answer. Culture arises from the different evolution of groups of people in their territory. Culture is biological. All societies, socialist or otherwise, use race in one way or another. And, if I heard it correctly, don’t socialists try to abolish racial differences? Hmm. I sense a little inconsistency here.

    “If it’s race fixated, when it fails, it will start going after various racial groups. It already has when socialism failed in the Western world. Now some people seem to think a socialism of whites, yeah, that will work.” – As if to say said racial groups’ failures weren’t already innate. You can’t pluck a savage out of his homeland, put him in a civilized society, and think he’ll become civilized. That is what Germany is doing with its migrants. Do you think it’ll work, since race isn’t biological, and neither is IQ, it’s all culture?

    “And then come the distinctions between whites and the searching through people’s DNA tests.” – Basically: ‘I don’t want to know my DNA because race doesn’t exist.’ But the DNA test would PROVE WHAT RACE YOU CAME FROM. Is forensic science wrong? Get out of here.

    ” Oh, sure, we’re quieter and more reserved than most Latins. (No, really.) But the culture is the same. BECAUSE it’s culture not race that informs how large groups behave.” – Again, Sarah, where does culture come from? I ask again: if culture is what matters, I expect all the migrants coming from Syria to assimilate and respect German culture. Yet all the evidence points otherwise. They routinely say they connect better with their culture and their people.

    Race does exist. There are differences within the prefectures of Japan, and the cities of Korea, both of which are strongly homogeneous. In multi-ethnic Africa, there are so many differences that these tribes fight each other to this day. In the 21st century. They even do it in the West, in Western culture. If race didn’t exist, this shouldn’t happen. But it does.

    Again, you can’t say that sex is biological while saying race is all based on culture. So, where does culture come from? Is that a social construct? How are social constructs formed, if not based on the experiences of a certain group?

    What’s that? Do I smell inconsistency?

    • I’m going to type this very s l o w l y…


      “Race” as a set of collected phenotypes is transmitted genetically; but this definition of “race” IS NOT CULTURE. Otherwise people would be born knowing Japanese or Russian, and wouldn’t be able to learn a different language after the fact (just like you can’t actually change the color of your eyes, only mask them.)

      Your example of Muslim migrants to Germany (or, before you make it, Latin American migrants into the United States) is NOT a valid example because no attempts are being made to assimilate those migrants into the common culture.

      • Again. This is the sort of thing that impresses the historically ignorant. I too thought I’d typed slowly enough.
        If you adopt a child from a Muslim family before two and raise him as German, American or Chinese, he will be that. In China he won’t be accepted as that because Chinese ARE massively racist, but he’ll speak, think and act as that.
        This is how women tossed out by pagan Romans became Christians.
        Adult acculturation is FAR more difficult. Possible, but only under extreme internal or external pressure. I know. I went through it.

        • Yeah, early on, the only thing that kept my friend from Peru here was the fact that she had two children by the time she was ready to throw in the towel, and her husband told her that the children would stay with him.

          Now, she’s a successful upper-middle manager at a large company that makes household products.

    • Whoops, I typed my reply into the wrong comment box. It’s a long one so I won’t duplicate it here; hit Ctrl-F and search for “11:22 pm” for my reply to you.

    • One more thing, since I see I didn’t address your “Where does culture come from?” question. It comes from the experiences over time of groups living together nearby. Because MOST such groups were ethnic, that means that ethnicity* does look like it’s strongly correlated with culture. But all you need to do is look at American-born Chinese people and how their culture differs VASTLY from China-born Chinese, to see that culture is tied to which group surrounded you as you grew up, not to ethnicity. The fact that most groups are ethnic, and most ethnicities stick together does create a VERY strong correlation between ethnicity and culture, hence your confusion. You think the causal relationship is ethnicity -> culture, where in fact it’s basically geography -> culture. (Really it’s “what culture surrounded you as you grew up”, but that’s harder to sum up in one word).

      * Ethnicity is a much tighter definition than race. When most people say “race”, they mean the broad-strokes characterizations like Caucasian, African, Indian, etc. By ethnicity I mean things like Irish, Zulu, Pujabi, etc., which is a much narrower definition than what most people mean by “race”. Hence why I insist on the term “ethnicity”.

      • Whoops. Punjabi, not Pujabi. My kingdom* for an edit feature!

        * I’m sure I’ll have one SOME day…

    • It is confirmed by science.


    • I’m not saying race is all based on culture. The inconsistency is in your inability to read what I presume is your native language.
      There is “race” as in “a certain group of inherited characteristics, most of them superficial, that allow people to be classified as one race or another, though often those race groups aren’t the same as the ones used in the US.” For instance in Africa tribes are more covalent with race than is “black”. Everyone is is a certain color spectrum (everyone of native ancestry, don’t go trying to be funny) BUT there are definite tribal characteristics. Stuff like the Zulu tend to put on weight after adolescence and have features you can tell on sight.
      OTOH “race” as the US uses it is so broad as to be stupid.
      No, there are no “races” as the US government uses them. There are paint chips. Stupid paint chips.
      And yes, it’s all culture. Humans are humans are humans and within human variance.
      I have absolutely no clue what you think “has been proven by science.”

    • Free-range Oyster

      You can’t deny it.

      I refute you thus:

  19. It is confirmed by science.

    Cite, please. Because the science doesn’t say what you think it says. If you cite the studies you’re referring to, we could point out the mistake in your analysis.

    There ARE some broad differences between racial groups, but culture OVERWHELMS them. Look at the difference between African-Americans who grew up in an inner-city culture, and African immigrants who came from a relatively functional culture. (Africa has plenty of problems, but it’s FAR better than the inner-city in America). Yet the inner-city African-Americans have a LOT more Caucasian genes in them, given America’s history, than the African immigrants do. So, by the theory you seem to be advocating where culture derives from genes, the African-Americans should be far more successful than the African immigrants. Yet when you look at group results, the opposite is true.

    “Even in racially based states, there are difficulties telling race.” – No, there isn’t. It’s very easy to tell. Or are different skin tones socially constructed?

    You think skin tone equals race? There’s a geneticist on line 1 wanting to speak to you. There are people from all over South Asia with very similar skin tones, but with very different ethnic backgrounds: Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati… The cultures of India alone number in the hundreds, and most non-Indians have no clue about the differences because the skin tones are (in many cases) very similar. But the variety of beliefs and cultural practices make a HUGE difference to outcomes.

    I’ve worked in an African country where people have a fatalistic “inshallah” approach (even the people who aren’t Muslim tended towards that view in that place), to the point where on the day I arrived in that country, I heard of a taxi driver whose car had broken down because he hadn’t changed the oil. That’s right: someone who made his living with his vehicle didn’t do the most basic maintenance on it to maintain his ability to make his living. Because the “inshallah” thinking had poisoned his ability to plan ahead like that. But I knew another man from the SAME African race (one country over) who had VERY different software in his head; he immigrated to America, worked his tail off in grad school, and got a good job managing a Coca-Cola plant.

    Culture, the software in your head, trumps race every time.

    I ask again: if culture is what matters, I expect all the migrants coming from Syria to assimilate and respect German culture. Yet all the evidence points otherwise. They routinely say they connect better with their culture and their people.

    You are making Sarah’s point for her here. Culture MATTERS: the immigrants from the Middle East are bringing their own culture, the software in their heads, with them, and Germany is NOT requiring them to assimilate. Whereas America DID require people to assimilate, until the mid-20th century, and so we have people of many different national origins (Mexico, Korea, India) and many different races who think of themselves as Americans FIRST, and Mexian/Korean/Indian SECOND.

    Race does have some genetic differences, broadly speaking. But culture TRUMPS race every time.

    • So, why are the high tech fields disproportionally staffed with Whites, East Asians, and Jews?

      • Because it’s easy to go into the field your father/cousin/grandfather/nephew is in and difficult to blaze a new trail. As the second generation in my family on the blaze a new trail path, which my kids then rejected to blaze their own new one, just treading “the family profession” path has IMMENSE advantages. You know how to get into it. You know how to be successful in it.
        It has bloody nothing to do with ethnicity and more to do with where people happened to go due to historical reasons.
        Portuguese in South Africa are known as vegetable sellers for this reason. I assure you dear sir that I never felt the slightest genetic compulsion towards vegetable selling.

      • This is the type of facile and superficial “proof” that impresses the ignorant.

      • Why do so many classical musicians and Suzuki experts come from places with inflected or semi-inflected languages, which happens to be in Asia and Russia? Because culture in the form of language makes ear-training and pitch identification easier. A culture that respects hard work and intense effort helps. Race? Nope. I sang for a Taiwanese conductor who spoke much better German than English and could get incredible sound out of the string section of a symphony. Not race, training and talent (and a very patient spouse and a couple of people who could translate from Berlin-German into Texas Choir).

        • Because culture in the form of language makes ear-training and pitch identification easier.

          I had never considered that relationship and now I’m jealous as my ear training has been hard won despite not being that great.

        • Wait – you’re saying that something you are exposed to and maybe do yourself, every single day makes you better at things related to that? No way!

      • Also, besides the reasons that others have mentioned — because the cultures of Europe, East Asia, and Israel are, by and large, superior to the cultures of the Middle East (barring Israel) and of Africa. Specifically, in the way those cultures (Europe, East Asia, Israel) teach “work hard to get ahead” rather than teaching nepotism. There’s plenty of variation within the broad cultural areas I mentioned, so there are plenty of Africans who learn entrepreneurial spirit (and Europe has been losing entrepreneurship for decades) — and thus, individuals from those cultures can, and will, vary widely from the cultural average. But the cultural difference between “work hard to get ahead” and “if you want to get ahead, better hope you have a rich relative” is night and day, and explains almost everything about the difference in outcomes in STEM fields. The bridge doesn’t care who your uncle is, after all: it’s going to fall, or hold up, entirely based on YOUR efforts.

        • And – once again – look at eastern German vs western German. No genetic difference. Big cultural difference.

          • Or for an even starker comparison, North Korea vs. South Korea. Both countries are even MORE ethnically homogenous than Germany, but you couldn’t get a bigger difference in outcomes if you tried.

      • Well, as to the Jews, because their culture emphasized learning, based on both knowing the Torah–it is no coincidence that the coming of age ritual in Judaism involves reading–and the fact that for a long time they were prone to find themselves refugees, and knowledge is easy to carry and market.
        East Asians? A massive cultural emphasis on memorization and, among those who came to America, a determination to do the family proud by going into a lucrative, prestigious field.
        Whites? Close proximity and easy access to high technology at the initial stages of its development, combined with Europe being the cradle of the Scientific Revolution.
        It’s patterns of thought that matter, not whether you’re solar-resistant or solar-efficient.

    • To add to Robin’s reply to this comment:

      “Even in racially based states, there are difficulties telling race.” – No, there isn’t. It’s very easy to tell. Or are different skin tones socially constructed?

      Then you have me (sorry to repeat myself to those who have seen this before): Dark brown hair, nearly black eyes, big lips, big nose, high cheekbones, and two weeks in the sun would make me darker than most black people I know. But my DNA test says I’m over 90% Northern European. Less than 1% American Indian, less than 1% Ashkenazi Jew, and less than 1% northern Aftican.

      So where did MY skin tones and other visible characteristics come from?

      • Or my cousin– he keeps having people talk to him in Mexican Spanish.
        His dad is mostly Irish, and his mom’s family is pure Irish. Black Irish, but Irish.

        • Or me and my sibs. I’m ghostly pale, light brown hair, blue eyes. One sib is a Viking throwback – she’s 6 foot blond, blue eyes, and wouldn’t look out of place escorting fallen warriors to Valhalla. Another has medium to dark tan skin (depends on how long she’s been in the sun lately), dark brown hair and dark eyes. My brother can pass for Australian aboriginal even though to our knowledge there’s none in our ancestry.

          Our mother has light tan skin and green eyes. Before it went gray, her hair was dark brown. Our father has very pale skin, dark brown (chocolate brown) eyes and his hair was dark and curly before it went white.

          As far as we know, our ancestry is 100% anglo-celt-viking with a possible strain of crypto Ashkenazi.

          Oh, and there’s more genetic variation between the kittens of a single litter than there is in the entire human population. So that in itself throws genetically-based race out on its multi-colored ear.

  20. Rich Rostrom

    Hey, you get transsexuality. (A handful of people who have a congenital mismatch between neurological and somatic gender, and a much larger cohort of fetishists and culture radicals, who are using the former as stalking horses. The strong and even violent rejection the former often experience from traditionalists pushes them into alliance with the latter. And “virtue-signalling” fools who think that encouraging gender confusion shows their superior open-mindedness.)

    “… of my close friends group, I’m fertile fanny with 2 kids.”

    The decline in human fertility is very long, very broad, and very deep. U.S. fertility declined by a third between 1800 and 1850, and continuously until temporary modest reversal in 1950-1960. In Europe and east Asia, it is far below replacement level. In the last 35 years, it has declined by 30% or more (up to 70%!) in dozens of nations, in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and South Asia. This trend is not going to stop, and I can’t see where it will end.

    Robin Munn: you are right. Culture can trump heredity. But heredity is still there, and can’t be dismissed. Where culture and heredity reinforce each other, change becomes very difficult.

    • Heredity is there, but heredity is NOT RACE. Pardon my Klatchian, but you’re freaking insane. This congruence of “race” and “achievement” is the sort of “baffle them with bullshit” that somewhat smarter than average conmen use to trick the unimformed. It doesn’t stand up to true analysis. Correlation is not causation.
      Heredity — yeah, my family is good with words and generally likes history. This is congruent to the point you can almost identify a relative for it. And then there’s my younger son who other than those two characteristics is a clone of my dad. Or my grandfather, who was much like my son. Now, my grandfather was perfectly Portuguese (born and grown there) and my son is perfectly American (born and grown here.) HEREDITY IS FOR BROAD STUFF and even then it’s not infallible. Not even in a family of such dominant genetics that people pick us out reliably after seeing one of us.
      On transexuality — yes, that’s what I said. Are you expecting me to protest? In a society as rich as ours I don’t find it worth it to fight people who REALLY want to live as the other sex. There are so many accommodations to living in a tech society, if that one makes them happy fine. BUT I despise what this is doing to our kids.
      On reproduction: It is my belief that world population is far smaller than we’re told, even beyond the decline in death rate.
      Countries have incentives to inflate population upwards: aid packages and loans.
      This is why the third world seems to be reproducing more and why the aids epidemic in Africa wasn’t reflected on population numbers, just like the Zica epidemic in South America won’t be.
      Yes, we still get vast numbers of immigrants from those countries because they’re that bad at providing for themselves, and because our idiotic liberals woo them. (Yes, mass immigration is bad. Acculturation — real one — is difficult and happens only under extreme pressure. Yes, importing masses from a disfunctional culture is a really bad idea. All those are givens around here.)
      But numbers are not people, and I think we’re headed for a human population crisis.

    • This trend is not going to stop, and I can’t see where it will end.

      How do you figure that it’s not going to stop?

      It’s got a pretty obvious cause– various sterilization techniques, both surgical and chemical, and then there’s the physical contraception and abortion inducing methods– plus the less obvious things like estimates being off, people who would’ve previously died being able to survive but not have kids, various relationship issues, STD induced sterility, the massive propaganda about how kids will destroy the world– but the rate of change is definitely not steady, and there’s the back-swing of those who do have kids having a lot of them.

      And don’t even try the “it’s welfare mommas having a bunch of kids” bull on me, I get that enough at the store from people who can’t tell my card from an EBT.