Race Me! A Blast From The Past July 4, 2012

*Sorry for two Blasts from the past so close together, but part of what I’m doing is trying to diminish the number of hours this blog takes, because, yes, fiction work is what pays.  But also, I was looking for a BFP for Tuesday and came across this.  I’d already selected one for Tuesday and put it up, but I thought “Wow, this certainly is topical.”  Remember, when we allow the fabulists who divide people into neat “races” to hold sway in government, we start getting crazy people ranting about “White supremacy” (which would require laws to enforce, but never mind.  In their heads it’s anyone white-looking looking at anyone else of any other “race” crosseyed.  And when we have got to the point that opposition to Islam is considered “Racist” everything is a race.  Which only fuels the crazies who do think the fact they can’t tan makes them all that and fifty cents.  Which then fuels the commies….  Which gets us where we are.  They should fear, really, that normal people get pissed off enough to tell them to sit down and stop driving each other crazy.  With lead.  Of course, IMHO, since they have the right to demonstrate and be crazy, we should make them do it in some enclosed facility.  Thunderdumb: many go in, none comes out.  But absent that lovely dream, it’s important for the rest of us to remember the sh*t they say is no more significant than UFO cultists insisting there’s been landing.-SAH*

Race Me! A Blast From The Past July 4, 2012

What is race?  If you just answered it is a competition based on who can go faster, you win a gold star.  Because the other meaning of the word is far, far more elusive.

Phillip K. Dick speaking of sanity once said something like (like because I’m too lazy to go look for a quote, and besides it’s late, my having woken up about an hour later than normal and having had to deal with stuff postponed from the trip) Sanity is an edge narrower than a foothold, sharper than the tooth of a guard dog, more elusive than a phantom.  Perhaps it doesn’t exist.  Perhaps it’s a phantom.

Now, just as with sanity there are degrees.  While Phil Dick might have considered the guy on the street corner, weedling on himself and ranting about giant ants perfectly sane, most of us would have no doubt in seeing him for total nuts.  And while you can look at me and my friend Amanda – who is a redhead – and go “well, I’m not sure” if you set Amanda next to someone from Papua New Guinea, you’ll probably go “okay, they have different sets of inherited characteristics.” And you’d be right.  Heck, we all have different sets of inherited characteristics.  I’m fairly sure my brother and I inherited characteristics each from one side of the family.

So, how do we define race?  How do you go “you have this and that characteristic and that other therefore you’re this race.”  If you’re saying “I know your race when I see you” – go sit in the corner and think about your misdeeds.  I’m impressed over and over again by how many American blacks would be immediately and instinctively considered white in other countries.  Perhaps not Obama – although it depends on the country and the circumstances – but Jeremiah Wright?  Oh, for heaven’s sakes, there wouldn’t even be any hesitation.  The man looks Portuguese.  He doesn’t even look like one of the darker – still white – Portuguese.

What we consider black (I refuse to use African-American for the same reason I wouldn’t call myself Portuguese-American – and I got here yesterday. Because the American part is what counts.  Besides, African-American is not a race, it’s an origin.  If Dave had come to the US instead of OZ he could damn well call himself African-American.  Not that he would)in the US would pass unnoticed as Caucasian most places in the world.  (Maybe not Germany or Scandinavia.)

Did you know that if you put an afro on me and I have a tan, I am functionally black?  No?  Well, I was for most of the seventies, and this in Portugal, where race distinction requires a deeper tan and more African features.  And yet, three of my four grandparents were blue/green eyed and two were blond.  And the features don’t even all come from the same side.

Are you under the impression there is some set of genes that makes a race or another?  Well…  There aren’t.  There are some genetic defects that make it fairly sure you belong to one race – or sub-race – but that’s about it.  Even genetic testing at the level we have it can’t say for sure that you don’t have any x blood, just that you PROBABLY don’t.  That the genes you inherited don’t have traces of x doesn’t mean one of your siblings or cousins doesn’t.  We found out recently for instance that my sons have way more Amerindian blood than we thought, because Robert has some health problems that trace to that – however Dan has always considered himself anglo-Irish, and he just doesn’t tan.  If you put him under the sun long enough he’ll turn a slightly less blue-tint shade of pale.

Race is in fact a phantom.  It is also a survival of the human instinct for tribalism.  Throughout history “race” has applied to – not a set of genetic characteristics – but “my tribe” vs. another tribe.  If you’re my tribe you’re probably my cousin and look somewhat like me.  If you are another tribe, you look different.  That’s the earliest definition of race.  Later it extended to national unit and at the time that national units were sharpening their stories, to be accepted as valid, and you can read Nineteenth century about the Portuguese race and the English race and the Irish race.

And now…  And now we have the present system, in which the government uses race to divide and conquer.  In the name of righting injustices and banishing the increasingly more invisible specter of racism, they are looking for race in all the wrong places.  For instance, my maiden name now makes me a different race.  Which is interesting, because for years it didn’t.  My maiden name is Marques de Almeida (it is common in Portugal to do this sort of thing because there are very few family names, comparatively, so Marques de Almeida is a different descent line from say Soares de Almeida or…  You get the point.) If I had spelled that with a z when I became a citizen, I’d have been immediately and without blinking Hispanic, Latina or whatever you want to call it this week.  But I spelled it with an s and therefore I was white.  Now the feds say I’m Latina anyway.  Well and good.  But how does a letter make me a different race?  And what difference does it make, anyway, when at least one branch of the family came from near enough Spain that with one thing and another (and yet another) I probably have a lot of Spanish ancestors (not that I’ll admit to it for sure.  Not under torture.  I mean… Spaniards! – I’m joking, I swear.)

It is possible that you can’t eradicate tribalism from the human soul.  And if you can, I’m not the one to say the federal government should set about doing it.  They’ve already gone too far towards doing that and, like most attempts at changing the human soul with the blunt mallet of statism, it has backfired horribly.

Yes, black people in America have a troubled history – of which the government and the entertainment industry makes a point of reminding them every time they turn around.  So what?  Are they the only people taken slave in the history of the world?

Believe it or not, a lot of Americans believe this.  I once sat through a speech given by a Catholic Bishop – A BISHOP, not a parish priest – who decided to hang his point on the day of the speech being the day of two saints who were slave and mistress (both women.)  I can’t remember their names, but back in Roman times, slave and owner converted to Christianity and died for it.  What was the theme of the Bishop’s sermon?  Racism.  And as he spoke it became obvious this man, who SURELY somewhere along the line studied history, assumed – unthinking – that the slave was black.  She might have been, but it’s unlikely.  From the time period it is far more likely she was blond and blue eyed, while her mistress was somewhat more melanin enhanced.

But American schools don’t teach this.  They don’t teach that each and everyone of us has ancestors who were enslaved – that slavery was an evil that stalked humanity UNTIL the industrial revolution freed us.   Nor that most people were enslaved by people who looked just like them.

I once asked a teacher why not and was told that teaching that – though it’s true – would be racist.  Because singling out people who tan easily, have curly hair and might have recent slave ancestry and telling them they are the ONLY ONES who were ever enslaved is not racist (besides being a lie.)  And apparently it builds their self esteem.  You know, self-esteem is built on being a victim, which makes you virtuous, right?  If I told you “You were beat up by everyone in kindergarten, even the little girl on crutches” it immediately makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it?

No.  It makes you feel like you need protection and therefore it serves the government’s ends, not yours.  Which is why true history of slavery is NOT taught in schools.  Not to save anyone’s “self esteem.”

Phantom.  We’ve given them cart blanche to hunt a phantom. Should we allow our government to spend money and resources pursuing a phantom?  What’s next?  We’re going to give them a mandate to ferret alien landings?  Look, that probably would be better.  At least, it would be less harmful.  This race thing which of course the government sees as a means to win power by pitching a set of their bosses – the people – against the other has now become silly season.  When you say things like “unemployed” is a code word for black, you’ve entered nuts territory.  You don’t even deserve to be tarred and feathered, just pointed at and laughed, because you just crossed that edge of Dick’s definition and proved you’re insane.

In an increasingly more race-mixed America – and world – race is becoming harder and harder to track down.  You see, it’s not easy to pin.  The child of blond people can have black hair – a recessive gene surfacing.  Dan and I could theoretically produce a blond, blue eyed child.  Actually it’s not even that rare, in Portugal, for a family of Mediterranean looking people to throw out a blond child.  We had a couple of blond sheep among my cousins, one of whom could be my twin, except for blond hair and blue eyes.

What you have to remember is this: unless your ancestors come from a very small place and have been isolated for thousands of years, you probably have ancestors from all over the world.

One of my belly laughs on the DaVinci Code is that if Jesus and Mary Magdalen TRULY had had children and any of those lines survived, the descendants wouldn’t be the kings of France – the descendants would be ALL OF US.  Heck, if any of Shakespeare’s descendants survived (well, not from his wife, obviously, but for heaven’s sake, the man worked away from home a good deal) there is a good chance most of us in the anglosphere are descended from him.

We are of a randy species that never really made a distinction based on skin color or much of anything else when it comes to giving someone a two-penny upright.  And lost travelers, ship wrecked sailors, prisoners of war and heaven knows what else, have ensured that enough of that occurred to keep us one species.  Yes, people from Scandinavia can make babies with people from Sub-Saharan Africa, and that means that some gene exchange has kept on occurring.  (We’ve found that species – defined as unable to have viable offspring – occurs in far fewer generations than we previously imagined.) [It wouldn’t mean that someone from Sub-Saharan Africa made it to Sweden every few thousand years, either – just that a lot of someone’s made it to Northern Africa, and then those in turn made it to the Mediterranean and…  Genetic exchange on the retail plan.]

Now, with international travel, more of it occurs.  And meanwhile government bureaucrats are looking for racial characteristics and code words and unconscious racism under your bed and mine and trying to convince us that the way to eliminate racism is to keep emphasizing different characteristics of some sub-group.  Because you know, if we start saying “There’s nothing wrong with redheads” and “redheads are people too” and “you bought carrots.  It means you hate redheads” it will foster integration and good will and not cause EVERYONE to do a double take every time they see a redhead AND CERTAINLY not cause everyone to be afraid to mention “carrot” or “orange” near a redheaded friend.

They think we’re stupid, and they’re trying to make us insane.

I don’t know about you, but I personally am tired of it.  I’m ready to go under the bed with the fumigation equipment – for ants.  Today’s emergency – and if I find any government bureaucrats there, I’ll laugh at them.  Which is what we all need to start doing.

And as for race…  My parents told me I was human.  (Though for a while they weren’t sure.)  I choose to believe them.

167 responses to “Race Me! A Blast From The Past July 4, 2012

  1. “The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than a razor’s edge, sharper than a hound’s tooth, more agile than a mule deer. It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not even exist; perhaps it *is* a phantom.

    Philip K. Dick, “Valis”

  2. There are two kinds of people in the world. Those willing to stand on their own two feet, and those willing to rest on what their ancestors did/had done to them.

    • I thought the two kinds of people were those willing to stand on their own two feet; and those willing to stand on top of them.

    • That’s a big part of my definition of what it means to be an America (or perhaps the way things are going, Usaian would be more accurate): a willingness to move on and not be so obsessed with whose ancestors were doing what to whose other ancestors in 1400.

  3. Race baiting in the modern world. I hates it with a passion.

  4. John Prigent

    The problem with phony ‘race’ distinctions is that they make it easier to see those of a disliked or even feared ‘race’ as not actually being human. Which in turn makes it easier to dislike or fear them/

    • The benefit of being a grumpy curmudgeon. I don’t need silly fake things to decide not to like someone.

      • Long ago, when the Daughtorial Unit was first learning to group people into categories I advised her it was useless to dislike people wholesale, especially as they would provide ample cause to dislike them retail — a fact she fully absorbed once she learned to drive.

  5. Sadly, the definition of species has been corrupted. It now means, more or less, a set of heritable traits. You’ll see this when a new “species” of creature is declared that can interbreed fertilely with the species across the street, with the only difference being different inherited coloration or markings.

    I blame publish-or-perish. Biologists have to find SOMETHING to write about, and a new species of some known creature is a convenient topic.

    • I blames the Endangered Species act, under which the only inextinguishable specie is government funds.

    • Although to be fair, it turns out that a lot of the sets of creatures that we once thought of as distinct species…aren’t, at least by the conventional definition of “can’t mate and produce fertile offspring.” For many reasons, we sort of can’t help making the definition of “species” a little fuzzy.

  6. Myself, I absolutely refuse to treat a person differently based on some genotypical or phenotypical characteristics. Each and every person deserves to be interacted with based on his behavioral characteristics. Nothing else is even remotely important in day-to-day life.

    • > human

      “Nobby was human, just like many other officers. It was just that he was the only one who had to carry a certificate to prove it.”

      – Terry Pratchett, “Thud!”

    • Then you are a very unique man my friend. Most men definitely treat people differently based on genotypical or phenotypical characteristics. That’s the first filter we use when regarding women. Checking out their behavior characteristics is what we do second, when we initiate close communication (verbal, bodily, or tactile).

      I won’t speak for whether or not women scope out how a guy looks first; but I believe I’ve heard that they use similar methodology and sequencing.

      • Oh, I won’t claim to be perfect at it, but I certainly try to accord everyone the same treatment unless or until their behavior indicates different treatment is warranted. Yes, I’m influenced by a woman’s looks, but I like to think that those looks are of only secondary influence to her behavior. I’ve met some very pretty women whose behavior made them quite unattractive, and some less that classically beautiful women whose behavior made them quite delightful to be around. In the long run, it’s always who a person is, not what he is, that counts the most.

        • Looks are the bait.
          Behavior is the hook.

          • Right on, right on, RIGHT ON.

          • Agatha Christie had quite a few cases of the “brainless beauty” who could attract a dozen boyfriends but couldn’t keep any of them more than a few weeks. The “beauty” was someone to pity, unless she had something to back it up.

    • “Each and every person deserves to be interacted with based on his behavioral characteristics.”

      As I’m sure you’re aware, that stand makes you a racist in the eyes of the SJWs -and- the Alt-Right likes of Richard Spencer. Race is meant to be THE defining factor of both sets of idiots.

      They don’t care about individuals at all. There’s no easy power base there. They want numbers. Taking the time to win over individuals is stupid. They want everybody who thinks they’re Race X on their side without even talking to any of them.

      Here’s a video that lays out the “Alt-Right” views of Richard Spencer and some of his little friends. They are a great deal more odious than I was previously aware, since I’ve done my very best to ignore Mr. Spencer. The video is Sargon of Akkad, who has been widely denounced as a Nazi of late. Watching the video is very revealing of a lot of things on a lot of different levels. If Sargon is a Nazi, everybody is a Nazi.

      https://www.blazingcatfur.ca/2017/08/16/sargon-of-akkad-weimar-america/

      The interesting thing here is the amazing similarity between the likes of Richard Spencer and the usual SJW/Commie toadstools we deal with all the time. Crapestros Flopatron or this most recent idiot Contrarius agree point-by-point with Richard Spencer, with the sole difference being the RACE of the victim group they revere. Richard Spencer really is #BlackLivesMatter for White people. #WhiteLivesMatter.

      These guys are ALL determined to create a society where I -need- a wall around my house and steel shutters on my windows. That’s their goal.

      I am disinclined to go along. Next time the Antifa shows up to rumble with the Alt-White, intelligent people should sell baseball bats to both sides and leave them to fuck each other up.

  7. Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

    While race-baiting is certainly a part of this, they try to segregate people into all sorts of little, manageable stables and boxes, all the time.
    “LOL, then only plumbers should play Mario” is only a very slight exaggeration of this.

    • Only Italian plumbers can play. Or maybe only Italian plumbers who have handlebar mustaches. Or. . . . We could go on. And that is exactly how the other stuff works. finding the finest distinction and drawing the line there, and then over here and then back over there. It is gerrymandering of characteristics.

      • Italian plumbers can’t play either because the squeaky fake accent is a microaggression against immigrants, rescuing a princess something somethings gender stereotypes, and stomping turtles promotes animal cruelty. Clearly only Hitler himself would want to play Mario and have fun wrong in such a terrible way.

        • See, this how you get Nazis. If the only way I can relive the joy of my childhood that came from Super Mario 3 is to join the Nazi party…well, I’d at least have to negotiate with them on the minimum number of principles I’d have to jettison for membership.

      • It’s been a very very long time since I played that one, but as I recall it poses severe risk of promoting Simianphobia (or was that Donkey Kong?)

        • Well, there’s always agrizoophobia (the fear of wild animals). But I don’t know of anything that’s specific to gorillas, or even primates.

          • Whoops, missed it. Pithecophobia is the fear of apes. That’s about as close as you’re going to come. Well, maybe hippopithecophobia, the fear of horse apes…

        • It was mostly Donkey Kong the game, but I believe that Mario was supposed to be the little guy climbing through the level in Donkey Kong.

          • Yes, that was the original Donkey Kong and whatever the sequel was. I’m not sure where Bowser came from or how Donkey Kong became one of the good guys.

            • I confess, I never found any but one of those interesting, and Q*bert only promotes fear of falling objects. Well, them and snakes.


              And feral pigs, but nobody likes those.

            • Feather Blade

              Donkey Kong, Jr. I believe.

              His mission was to rescue dear old dad from the evil plumber who had caged him.

            • Terry Sanders

              Donkey Kong was always the good guy. It was Mario the ruthless ape-cager who became a good guy.

    • There is also the hierarchy in those little boxes. Conservative? Farmer? College educated? Which college? How many kids? Religious? Which religion? Global warming? Personal responsibility? Collective thinking? Where you stand in each of those (and many other arbitrary categories) will drop or raise you in terms of whether you skin color, or your birth culture, or your native language matters.

  8. “A good horse is never a bad color.”

    A good person is never a bad color is also true. And while color is often used as in indicator of race… well, indicators can be unreliable even if they were often right – and that’s mighty big IF right there.

    I do find it odd, as said before, that I was told I was NOT human and humans only had issue with that idea once I started agreeing with them.

  9. I sort of like the pre-1840s definition of race as a group of people who share a similar cultural set, but not always. So the British could talk about “martial races” when they meant cultures and tribes. Why do I like it? Because it makes people stop, blink, and go “uh, wait, if German is a race, and Polish is a race, and Zulu is a race, and Rajput is a race, and Sudanese is a race, and French is a race, and Texan is a race, and Minnesota-Scandinavian-Lutheran is a race, why bother with it?”

    Prezactly. Unless you are trying to diagnose something in order to decide on treatment, it don’t matter. Culture might matter, but you can switch your culture if you want to.

    • No, no, no! Culture is stamped in your jeans!

      /ow, I bit my tongue…

    • Yes, defining races always winds up being an exercise in chasing ones own tail. I’d fit fairly well into that Minnesota-Scandinavian-Lutheran category, except what do I say about the German/Swiss side of the family and even on the Swedish side there are contributions only a couple of generations back from the arctic Reindeer herders and the French.

      Then there is the Hmong family my nephew married into. There are a few blue eyed blonde young men who are every bit as Hmong as their dark haired siblings and cousins. All that genetic mixing has been going on forever and is only accelerating with modern transportation.

  10. Some technology is taking too long to get here. If we had teleportation booths, ala Larry Niven’s, “Flash Crowd”, with government control of destinations, we could easily round up the perps and dump them into a Thunderdumb. At least until it filled up.

    On the other hand, I’m very glad the government DOESN’T have that capability. The opportunity for abuse is too great to risk it. But that’s moot anyway since we don’t have that technology.

    • The only (additional?) power I wish to give most government could be summed up as, “Here, hold these wires.”

      • That could be a shocking development.

      • Ghastly waste of electrical power. Rather hand them a sack and tell them to go hunt snipe; except I’d probably need the sack, and the snipe wouldn’t being bothered either.

        • Naw. Their initial lack of success would be used to justify an ever-more-intrusive set of surveillance and screening measures to ensure that the dastardly, elusive snipe do not pass unmolested among us. When you have to be strip-searched at six Snipe Checkpoints, to go to the grocery store, you’ll be sorry you ever had this idea.

          • Well before then their inability to locate any Snipe will get it put on the Endangered Species List, quite possibly with your back yard as habitat that must be preserved (or returned to the natural state if you have any of those unnatural decks, swing sets, or flower beds.)

      • I think I’m going to become an advocate for Government and its employees being treated like children (as in seen and not heard).

        I don’t think it would be a good idea to trust government employees with wires. They might accidentally strangle themselves or poke their own eyes out. It’s not like the best and the brightest end up (or if they do. . stay) in government service.

        • “They might accidentally strangle themselves or poke their own eyes out.”
          It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

          • The only answer is. . .crayons. Not only are they mostly harmless they are mental age appropriate. With any luck they’ll give up on those 8,000 page bills and we’ll only have a page or 2 of crap.

            Crayons have the potential to save Western Civilization! 🙂

    • Why send them into a Thunderdumb? Just keep sending them to the same phone booth….. Reminds me of talks we used to get (getting our geek on) and talking about how the transporter from Star Trek was the ultimate weapon in its range. Artillery? beam the shells overhead and let them fall. Bad guys nearby? Pull a pin on a grenade and transport it right next to them (this was done in one of the novels – don’t mess with engineers!). We figured you couldn’t take a piece of something (like transport away the bad guys legs, or a chunk out of an I-beam to let the structure collapse).

      Of course, the simplist was transport antimatter anywhere, then beam back the containment vessel (or simply not transport the containment vessel in the first place.

      John

      • Why send them anywhere? Instead of sending them to a destination location, just send them to /dev/null…

        • That leads to the idea of perceived risk.

          If one person in a hundred stepped into the booth and never showed up again, nobody would use it. Where people set the “probably not a risk” number is interesting…

          • Well, just have them return some message about being sent to Coventry, and they’ll be out of touch for a time while there…

            • Let us not forget what happened to the character in “The Marching Morons” who came up with the Venus scheme. Or Robespierre, as was pointed out a few days ago.

      • Beam the photon torpedoes directly into the other guy’s ship.

        • which is defined as impossible if their shields are up. And the first thing you’d do on any battlefield is jam transporters.

          -GSGT Romor Tranh, SFMC

    • we could easily round up the perps

      Umm, define “perps”

  11. Of all the various means of dividing up humanity, doing it by “race” is about the stupidest — certainly, if there is a stupider way I do not want to know about it.

    The only thing stupider than dividing us by race is to denounce as “racist” anybody who denies that racial differences between humans may be of statistical interest for large populations they are worse than meaningless for individual representatives of those populations. While I may have a certain superficial resemblance to Bernie Sanders, I am intellectually and morally far more similar to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

    Surely it is the pink, yellow, red, brown, black or piebald matter wrapping us matters less than the grey matter animating us?

  12. “Race is in fact a phantom.”

    Hey!

  13. :What’s next? We’re going to give [the Government] a mandate to ferret alien landings?

    I do believe something productive could come of that. The obvious first step is to establish a lunar exploration base to hunt down moon ferrets. After that we could expand to Mars, Venus and further out to make sure those planets are ferret free.

  14. I do not drink enough to invest time cogitating the absurdity of a nation which considers sex (or gender, if you must) a mutable, selectable, “fluid” attribute but which deems race absolutely fixed.

  15. Perspective from a guy who lived throough the Detroit Riots in the late Sixties, working in the mayor’s office and changing his politics from Liberal to Centrist and even Conservative:

    What identity politics hath wrought
    by Michael Barone
    There’s a whiff of Weimar in the air. During the years of the Weimar Republic (1919-33), Germany was threatened by Communist revolutionaries and Nazi uprisings. Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau was assassinated and violent street fighting was commonplace. Then Hitler took power in 1933.

    America is nowhere near that point. But many surely agree with The American Interest’s Jason Willick, who wrote Sunday that “this latest round of deadly political violence has me more afraid for my country than I have ever been before.”

    As he pointed out, this political violence — identity politics violence is a more precise term — began well before Saturday’s horrifying events in Charlottesville, Va., and before the election of Donald Trump.

    [SNIP]

    In Charlottesville, there were multiple bad actors. White nationalists and neo-Nazis uttering vile racism demonstrated against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. One of their numbers drove a car into a crowd, killing one young woman and injuring about 20 others. That’s murder, using the tactics of jihadist terrorists.

    So-called Antifa (anti-fascist) counter-demonstrators attacked the Lee statue supporters with deadly weapons and disguised with masks. “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right,” tweeted New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg from Charlottesville. “I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”

    As Stolberg noted, the police not only failed to separate the two groups but maneuvered them into direct and predictably violent confrontation. Antifas believe that hateful words are violence and that they’re entitled to be violent in response, as they have been on campuses from Berkeley to Middlebury — a view profoundly at odds with the rule of law. “The result,” writes Peter Beinart in the Atlantic, “is a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the United States since the 1960s,” led by a group that is “fundamentally authoritarian.”

    President Trump was widely criticized, by many conservatives as well as liberals, for his Saturday statement condemning “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” without specifically denouncing white nationalism. Barack Obama faced much less criticism in July 2016 when he lamented the Dallas police murder but went on to decry “racial disparity in our criminal justice system.”

    [SNIP]

    Like Obama in 2016, Trump this week was technically accurate. But both presidents made themselves vulnerable to the charge of sending dog whistles to favored groups — playing identity politics. Both failed, to varying degrees and with varied responses, to deliver undiluted denunciations of criminal violence and bigotry.

    What’s ironic is that the percentages of Americans who support white nationalism or antifa violence is in the low single digits. “Groups like the KKK,” reports political scientist Ashley Jardina on a 2016 survey of white Americans, “are deeply unpopular.”

    But Americans have grown increasingly accustomed to the view that your politics is determined by your racial, ethnicity or gender identity. Politics is seen as a zero-sum battle for government favor. College and corporate leaders join in.

    Universities sponsor separate orientations, dormitories and commencements for identity groups (are separate drinking fountains next?). A corporate CEO fires an employee who challenged the dogma that only invidious discrimination can explain gender percentages in job categories different from those of the larger population.

    America today is a long way from Weimar. But identity politics threatens to get us a little closer. Possible solution: Unequivcally condemn bigotry and violence and, in the fired Google engineer James Damore’s words, “Treat people as individuals, not just as another member of their group.”

  16. “fiction work is what pays”
    But I demand you work hours for free just for my gratification!

  17. Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

    > When you say things like “unemployed” is a code word for black, you’ve entered nuts territory.
    But this leaves little room for “improvement”. And with this crowd you know you’ll need some. Because how should we call the subset who insist “chair” is a “code word” too?
    (from the collection of Michelle Malkin) http://michellemalkin.com/2012/09/02/time-for-a-2nd-revised-edition-of-the-liberal-racial-code-words-handbook-chair/

    • Actually somebody saying you are using ‘unemployed’ as a code word for blacks would fall more under projection. That says more about their prejudice than yours.

      • Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

        And the projection part is common (per SJW Law #3).
        While the “chair” thing isn’t so easy to trace back to something or comprehend, so it’s significantly nuttier.

        • I’ll have to look those up. I wasn’t aware there were any SJW laws beyond ‘If people are ignoring you shriek louder’.

  18. Thralls. I’m in the middle of a children’s book that popped out of nowhere last Friday, set in a 14th Century that never was, and a principle plot point is slavery. These thralls are blond, brunette, and red-head; have blue eyes; brown eyes; or green eyes; and are all fair skinned. While two characters are from an adjacent kingdom that no longer has slavery, they are not shocked at the concept, or even (horrors!) wonder if it’s evil.

    Will that strip some gears? Don’t know. Anyone who knows just a little about Exodus shouldn’t be surprised that slavery isn’t a matter of skin color. If a RC priest, who should have at least heard of St. Patrick, is unaware of light skinned folk were slaves, too, the stripping of gears will probably be considerable.

    • I have a child named Padreic. (The way we pronounce it is not standard anywhere, because if you’re going by modern Gaelic style it’s “Porrig” and that’s weird to hang on an American child.) Virtually nobody recognizes it as an old form of Patrick; the saint was almost certainly Padraig or Padraic. I’m including Catholics in there, with the exception of any clergy with an Irish accent.

      • Well, actually, he was a British Roman named Patricius. His British home-game name was Succat. (Some people additionally claim “Maewyn” for him, but that might be anachronistic.)

    • It seems only recently that Germans invading Eastward justified their acts crying “Slaven sind skaven” — “Slavs are slaves!”

      N.B., been enough years since I learned that it is possible I am mispresenting the phrase; apparently my search engine cannot provide definitive confirmation. It did turn up this item:

      From Slavs to Slaves
      Can Europeans, and European women in particular, become objects of trade? The idea seems laughable, since the term ‘slave trade’ almost always brings Africans to mind. Yet there was a time not so long ago when Europe exported slaves on a large scale. Between 1500 and 1650, Eastern Europe exported 1.5 million slaves to North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia (Fisher, 1972; Kolodziejczyk, 2006). Western Europe exported a little over a million between 1530 and 1780 (Davis, 2004).

      These slaves were taken during hit-and-run raids by either Crimean Tatar horsemen or North African corsairs. A raiding party would typically descend on an isolated village and carry away its inhabitants—or rather those who were commercially useful, particularly young women and young boys.

      There was a time farther back, however, when Europeans were accomplices in this trade and when it provided most of their foreign exchange. This was during the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages, specifically the 8th to 12th centuries.

      The slave trade was a godsend for the elites of France, Germany, and Italy. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, they had to dip into their gold reserves to buy foreign luxury goods from the Middle East, generally clothing, upholstery, tapestries, carpets, and other precious fabrics (Skirda, 2010, pp. 56-57). By the 8th century, these reserves had been almost completely exhausted. Gold was giving way to silver, and even that medium of exchange was being debased. Western Europe had largely reverted to an economy of autarky, its shrunken towns and cities no longer major centers of trade. Most people produced everything they needed within their local village or manor.

      Would Western Europe have eventually returned on its own to an international trading economy? Perhaps, although revival of trade would have become more difficult once the elites had become accustomed to autarky. As things turned out, they found the means to buy foreign luxury goods almost at the same time their gold reserves ran out. The 8th century brought the rapid expansion of a new civilization, Islam, into the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Its Arab elite was darker-skinned than the Greco-Roman or Visigothic elites it displaced. It was also more polygynous. A new market had come into being, a market for wives and concubines. European women were especially sought after, not because they were exotic but because their fair skin and fine facial features corresponded to notions of beauty that were indigenous to Arab culture (see previous post).

      And so began the commodification of European women. Initially, this trade involved prisoners of war captured during the Islamic wars of expansion. Soon, however, a peaceful trading relationship developed. It was officially prohibited by Christian emperors and popes alike, but “in reality, people closed their eyes and everything was tolerated in exchange for good gold dinars” (Skirda, 2010, p. 75).

      The women came from a belt of territory stretching from the Elbe in the West to the Volga in the East. This territory was inhabited by Slavic tribes—the ancestors of today’s Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, and Russians. They were typically prisoners of war who had been taken during fighting either between Germans and Slavs or among different Slavic tribes:

      [END EXCERPT]

      Who knew that Slavs were melanin-blessed, nappy-headed people!

      • Okay, this paragraph is too ironic to overlook:

        It was this trade, more than any other, that revived the old trading networks not only between Europe and the Middle East, but also within Europe itself. The balance of foreign exchange also shifted in Europe’s favor, thus giving the elites of France, Germany, and Italy the means to buy not only foreign goods but also local products, thereby stimulating a long economic recovery that would take Europe out of the Dark Ages.
        [op cit]

      • Ooohhhh. Bookmarked to use in class (without the illustration).

        • No, you absolutely should use the illustration, since it would help dispel the myth that slavery is a condition of skin color rather than law.

      • Polliwog the 'Ette

        Aaaaand, that’s still happening. The hot blonde Slavs in Italian brothels and strip-joints are frequently not there willingly.

        Trying to make slavery solely about white/black racism hides a majority of modern slavery. I believe it is a mistake on the part f modern abolition groups to focus on the racism angle, but it seems like in the last year (with the rise of BLM?) there has been a big push that direction.

        • See also the Ghost books; Ringo has again used a strictly accurate modern scenario as a background.

      • Between the Elbe and the Volga from the 8th to 12th centuries, eh? Yes, indeed – that would be the period between the rise of a large external slave-buying market (the Dar al-Islam) and the conversion of the region to Christianity. In the Christian nations to the west, slavery had been a dead issue for centuries, and so it became in the east, also… until the Golden Horde came along.

        • Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

          The Horde didn’t make business of it, however. Mostly they sold the captives from major operations, such as running the ancestral rivals into the Adriatic (with some “distractions” on the way).
          Some of those became known as Mamluks. You know, the guys who later broke the “Yellow Crusade”. Yes, ironic.

        • Probably not entirely a coincidence that the 8th century was when the Swedish Vikings, aka Rus, began pushing down from the Baltic.

      • My apologies — I inadvertently typoed the phrase “Slaven sind sklaven” in the original post by omitting the “l” in sklaven.

        A little additional noodling around to confirm I had erred found this (Deutsche) Wikipedia page:

        https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sklaverei

        Sklaverei – Wikipedia
        de.wikipedia.org
        Sklaverei bezeichnet den Zustand, in dem Menschen vorübergehend oder lebenslang als Eigentum anderer behandelt werden. Bei der Sklaverei im engen Sinne der …

        [SNIP & TRANSLATE]

        etymology

        The word “slave” is often derived from an obsolete etymological explanation following from the Greek verb skyleúo, secondary form skyláo, war booty ‘ [1] . The current derivation, however, proceeds from the borrowing from the Latin sclavus for the ethnic group of the so-called Slavs since the Middle Ages . ( Romanian şchiau, plural şchei, and albanian shqa– both obsolete names for the (southern) Slavic neighbors, especially Bulgarians and Serbs – come from the same source; Both words could once again mean “servant”, “slave.”) Some authors tend to see it in the fighting of the Ottones against the Slavs in the tenth century, [2] especially with Widukind of Corvey and the Quedlinburger Annals for Slav instead of slavus, sclavus‘. Thus, on 11 October 973, a slave-dealer was issued a document in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica , in which, instead of the Latin servus, for the first time [employed] sclavus [f]or ‘slave’. [3]

        The term Saqaliba used in mediaeval Arabic sources صقالبة/ Ṣaqāliba/, Slaven ‘also refers to Slavs and other light-skinned and reddish peoples of Northern and Central Europe. The name al-Ṣaḳāliba (Sing. Ṣaḳlabī, Ṣiḳlabī) is borrowed from the Middle Greek Σκλάβος (the immediate source of Latin sclavus). This is a variant of Σκλαβῆνος (singular) or Σκλαβῆνοι (plural), which is taken from the Slavic self-designation Slovĕne (plural). Because of the large number of Slav slaves, the word has assumed the meaning “slave” in several European languages ​​(English, slave, schiavo, French esclave), So also in the Spain of the Umayyads<I>, where Ṣaḳāliba denoted all foreign slaves.

        In the course of the Reconquista, until 1492, especially in the Christian western Mediterranean, where the ” Saracen ” and ” Saracen ” who had been captured in the battle, “Or” Maurice “/” Maurin “were to become commercial goods and slave labor. [4]

  19. *takes a look at well-worn hobby horse labeled “Never Ask A Physical Anthropologist A Question About ‘Race’ Other Than Human”…*

    *decides not to bring it out today*

    For all that I am against the forces that want to divide us up into neat little categories (to divide and conquer), there is some division I *am* for. Folks who think it is both permissible and laudable to show their violent little arses on the tv, telling me that me and mine must hate each other for some supposed difference of melanin, or because some of us are “fascists” for some reason other than the real one, those people are Not Us and we are Not Them. They are criminals, agents provocateur, rioters, rabble rousers, and fools. Despite outrageous provocations by the previous administration, *we* did not do such things.

    All this is doing, and all it should, ought to be convince the rest of us that haven’t got caught up in this that it is a bad idea. Best remembered as that. Because forgetting history is a bad thing.

  20. Try to deny it, but Trump campaigned with Race, and Race is a prominent part of his administration.

    Race Bannon, that is..

    [Img]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/FhyxIFUkDH4/hqdefault.jpg[/Img]

  21. I remember reading this Malcolm Gladwell article twenty years ago, it is ever so interesting. I wonder if Canadian Gladwell would write same article today?
    ———————

    Black Like Them – April 1996:

    In the past twenty years, the number of West Indians in America has exploded. There are now half a million in the New York area alone and, despite their recent arrival, they make substantially more money than American blacks. They live in better neighborhoods. Their families are stronger. In the New York area, in fact, West Indians fare about as well as Chinese and Korean immigrants. That is why the Caribbean invasion and the issue of West Indian identity have become such controversial issues.

    What does it say about the nature of racism that another group of blacks, who have the same legacy of slavery as their American counterparts and are physically indistinguishable from them, can come here and succeed as well as the Chinese and the Koreans do? Is overcoming racism as simple as doing what Noel does, which is to dismiss it, to hold himself above it, to brave it and move on?

    http://gladwell.com/black-like-them/

  22. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Time to Extinguish The Flame

    There are several items being overlooked in the usual listings of monuments that only serve to promote White Supremacism.

    It is inappropriate to have a memorial to the White Supremacist John Kennedy on federal land or in any monument collection of national character.

    Furthermore, we should reconsider whether it is appropriate to have Carter, Clinton and Obama Presidential Libraries.

    • Anything named for Robert Byrd, or Strom Thurmond. If we are getting rid of monuments to slave-holders, a lot of Cherokee this-and-that will have to disappear, along with anything from other Native American groups that practiced slavery. And anything named for someone named for a Patriarch, because since the Torah includes laws about the treatment of slaves, therefore it condoned slavery, so did everyone listed in the Torah, and so anything named for Abraham Lincoln, or Isaac Newton, or Moses Malone, or…

      It’s turtles all the way down.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        That too, but I opposed the Democratic Party before I supported the Republicans, and my reason for opposing the Democrats was my calculation that for me, supporting the Democratic Party would be a white supremacist act. Other people don’t see it that way, and that is their business. I’m loathe to defend the Democrats, but I see no reason to hang the ancients and spare the moderns. There are wholly pragmatic reasons to spare the moderns, and the ancient Republicans had similar pragmatic reasons to spare the ancient Democrats. That is probably better. But if we must hang the ancient Democrats, I would see the modern Democrats beside them on the gibbet for the same acts.

        • I am feeling tired and lazy this afternoon, so I am not going to research this, but I recall attacks on Bill Clinton for having, when governor of Arkansas, presided at numerous celebrations of Confederate heroes. Not just the Jefferson/Jackson day activities, but really truly Confederate generals.

          A quick search supports my memory:

          JUNE 21, 2015
          BILL CLINTON SIGNED LAW HONORING CONFEDERACY IN ARKANSAS FLAG

          ROBERT JONATHAN
          While governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton reportedly signed into law a bill that honored the Confederacy in the state flag.

          This past action by the 42nd president may have current relevancy in that the fiendish hate crime committed by a deranged gunman in Charleston, South Carolina, this week has morphed into a discussion of the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol as well as gun control.
          inquisitr[DOT]com/2190474/bill-clinton-signed-law-honoring-confederacy-in-arkansas-flag/

          Flashback: As Governor, Bill Clinton Honored Confederacy On Arkansas Flag
          [SNIP]
          In 1987, when her husband was governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton signed Act 116 that stated “The blue star above the word “ARKANSAS” is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.”
          dailycaller[DOT]com/2015/06/20/flashback-as-governor-bill-clinton-honored-confederacy-on-arkansas-flag/

          As Governor, Bill Clinton Kept ‘Confederate’ Star On The Arkansas Flag
          By Igor Bobic
          [SNIP]
          A few words here about the Arkansas state flag, which — like most flags — is laden with symbols and references that may not be immediately apparent. According to the Arkansas secretary of state, the flag’s original design, approved by the state legislature in 1913, had only three blue stars, not four. The three blue stars were meant to represent a number of things, including the year of the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the fact that “Arkansas belonged to three countries (France, Spain, and the United States) before attaining statehood.” Legislators added a fourth blue star in 1923 to acknowledge Arkansas’ membership in the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865.

          The state’s General Assembly reaffirmed the parameters of the flag in a 1987 act that Clinton signed. Among other provisions detailing the flag’s features, such as its colors and shapes, there was a line that read, “The blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” … Arkansas observes a Confederate Flag Day, which is celebrated together with Arkansas Confederate History and Heritage Month and Confederate Memorial Day. … Clinton did not publicly object to Confederate Flag Day during his time as governor. The holiday is still being observed.
          huffingtonpost[DOT]com/2015/06/22/bill-clinton-arkansas-confederate_n_7638542.html

          It should also be noted that during Bill Cliinton’s time as governor Arkansas co-celebrated MLK day and Robert E Lee day, commemorating the two men on the same day, a conjunction also practiced in Alabama and Mississippi. Virginia, in 2000, pushed by Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore, ended the state’s “Lee-Jackson-King Day” and reserve the third Monday of January for the civil rights leader.

          • I found verification of the “Confederate star” at the Secretary of State’s office: http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/educational/students/Documents/The_Story_of_the_Arkansas_Flag.pdf

            However, while there are scads of web sites talking about it, I’m not finding anything about any “Confederate Flag Day” at any .ar.gov site. If there actually is such a thing, I’ve never heard of it.

            The corruption of political correctness had set fast by Desert Storm, but the United States Marine Corps has flown the Confederate Navy Ensign alongside the Stars and Stripes over many of their conquests in the Pacific, over MacArthur’s HQ in occupied Japan, in Korea, and in Vietnam.

  23. “One of my belly laughs on the DaVinci Code is that if Jesus and Mary Magdalen TRULY had had children and any of those lines survived, the descendants wouldn’t be the kings of France – the descendants would be ALL OF US.”

    The Da Vinci Code was a decent enough page turner, but the second you try to think about it, everything falls apart, because the novel seems to want us to accept two contradictory premises:

    (1) Jesus of Nazarath was not the Son of God or in any way divine.

    (2) The decedents of Jesus are vitally important, and its critical to protect his bloodline.

    Why? If there was nothing special about Jesus, why are his kids so special? Yeah, yeah, I know they tried to get around that point by talking about how Jesus and Mary Magdalene were of the Royal House and thus their union produced the rightful heirs to the Kingdom of Judea, but again, if we’re not accepting God as part of this, who cares about the royal line of an insignificant desert kingdom that hasn’t been an independent entity for almost two millennia?

    The atheist religious thriller just has a hard time convincing me that anything is at stake.

    • I thought the parts about Jesus’s divinity were not denying it, but that it didn’t matter… I took it to be more agnostic than atheist.

      And the parts about the bloodline seemed to be that it would be a threat to the Vatican for some reason.

      Of course, I thought the book was just so-so, and I may easily have missed things.

  24. “What are they on about?” asked the Satyr.
    “What are who on about?” countered the Centaur.
    “The Humans.”
    “Oh, some are trying to divide the Humans into races within Humans.” replied the Minotaur.
    “Oh. Humans. Such an amazingly accomplished race, and yet such a silly one, too.” declared the Mermaid before splashing away.

  25. Christopher M. Chupik

    Watching all the “resistance” against “Nazis” of late, I am reminded of a story from WW2. An American unit was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. When they were taken to a camp, the German commander demanded that the American commander identify all the Jewish soldiers under his command. The Americans had already heard rumors of what the Nazis did to Jews. So the blond-haired, blue-eyed American commander ordered all his men to assemble and he informed the Germans: “We are all Jews.” The Germans of course didn’t believe it, but were flummoxed and the prisoners were all kept together and survived.

  26. Scott Adams nails it:

    How To You Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble
    History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

    I’ll teach you what to look for.

    A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

    The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

    If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.

    But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. They appear to be irrational, but in ways that are hard to define. You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what. It just looks frickin’ crazy.

    The reason you can’t easily identify what-the-hell is going on in the country right now is that a powerful mass hysteria is in play. If you see the signs after I point them out, you’re probably not in the hysteria bubble. If you read this and do NOT see the signs, it probably means you’re trapped inside the mass hysteria bubble.

    Here are some signs of mass hysteria. This is my own take on it, but I welcome you to fact-check it with experts on mass hysteria.

    [END EXCERPT]

    • > mass hysteria bubble

      I have the sudden urge… to invest all my money in… tulips?

    • Ehh … the best antidote to mass hysteria is hard facts. If the observed events correspond to hard fact but not to the hysteria, then you know it’s a hysteria. Even someone caught up in hysteria can see that.

      Whether or not someone accepts it seems to be another issue, otherwise, no one caught up in hysteria would come out of it when confronted with hard facts. That it happens at all is sufficient to disprove that someone caught up in hysteria can never realize it’s hysteria until after the fact.

      I also disagree that bubbles are based on hysteria. Everyone investing in a bubble knows that what goes up must come down. No, bubbles are based on the realization that you can make oodles of money through investment when monetary value is going through the roof. The catch is there’s often no clear sign a bubble is about to collapse. Even when there’s indications, there’s always the temptation to ride it as long as you can, thinking that you can get out while everyone else is left holding the bag.

  27. I wrote something like this sometime back a few years ago. the gist of it is..’it’s not race stupid! it’s tribalism!’

    • “Tribes, tribes, everywhere are tribes/ Flashing their signifiers, waving their signs/ Loonies left and right/ All they see are tribes.”

      Caution, recovering filk addict.

  28. Perpetua and Felicity (and companions) BTW

  29. We live in a false world where race is everything, class is fixed, gender is fluid, and cultural differences count for nothing. In truth, culture is everything, gender is fixed, class is fluid, and race counts for nothing.

  30. Regarding self-esteem, my maternal grandfather (who lived to see the 21st Century, no mean feat for someone born 7 months before the Wright Brothers flew) reminisced on meeting Bonnie and Clyde back during the Great Depression; he was, in fact, one of the people called in to identify their bodies after they had been swiss-cheesed by the Feds. I don’t recall him telling me what they stopped at his drug store to buy (they were stealing money to spend it, after all; they had no professional interest in him, as he did not run a bank), but he said Clyde looked rather distinguished and Bonny was a small cute redhead. He also said while he was around them, he felt much the same way he’d felt the time he almost stepped on the rattlesnake, which was also attractive and could have killed him without proper handling. But he said they sure looked like they felt good about themselves.

  31. Rich Rostrom

    There’s actually a third definition of race: a groove for ball bearings to run in.

  32. Rich Rostrom

    “…if any of Shakespeare’s descendants survived …t here is a good chance most of us in the anglosphere are descended from him.”

    Nope. Shakespeare died 400 years ago; 16 generations, more or less. If his descendants doubled each generation (by exogamy) that’s a factor of 2^16 (65,536). If Bill had 10 bastard kids (his legitimate descendants died out), that would be about 650,000 descendants in the 16th generation, plus half that many in the 15th generation, and a quarter again in the 14tht generation – about 1.2M all up. And that assumes that none of them ever married another.

    That’s a lot less than “most of us in the anglosphere.”

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      100 years can be 3 or 5 generations. Tripling every generation isn’t impossible. Twenty generations of tripling is three and a half billion, if I haven’t screwed up my math.

      • or quadrupling, or…

      • Rich Rostrom

        “Tripling every generation isn’t impossible.”

        But has never happened in the history of the human race, and certainly not in 20-year generations.

        Incidentally, 20-year generations are very much the exception, too. There is a myth that “in the old days, girls all got married at 13 or 14”. In fact, the average age of marriage was 18-20, and even higher in NW Europe. This has been verified by examining church registries going back into the Middle Ages.

        The main factor in the multiplication of descendants is not intrinsic growth, it’s exogamy. My two children marry others, produce four grand-children, who marry others, produce eight great-grand-children, who marry others, produce sixteen great-great-grand-children, and so on. This stops working after a while, especially in pre-industrial societies where moving around to meet outsiders is very limited.

        Intrinsic growth has an effect too. There were about 4M English in Will’s time. The “anglosphere” of today is about 450M people (not counting all the anglophones in non-white former colonies, such as India or the Philippines). But that includes lots of people whose ancestors adopted English by conquest or migration, and are not descended from Will’s people, such as the Irish and non-English immigrants. For a WAG, half; so about 50-60-fold natural growth (which is way greater than the 12-fold growth of the world population.

        That might generate 60M-70M Shakespeare descendants (50-60x the 1.2M previously suggested). Which is still way less than “most of us in the anglosphere”.

        • You seem to have this odd notion of generations as some sort of clean-cut, simple thing, plus a really odd notion of how many children people had. While yes, many saw their children die in various fashions until there may have been only 2-3 survive out of 8-10 born, the more successful families (who were often the ones sired by the more prolific males) might have 8 or more children survive to reproduce. My own family is the only one for the past two hundred years in my paternal line who had less than six children to survive, so my g-g-g-grandfather (directly back my paternal line, I’m descended from the later male children in every generation) may have as many as a million descendants.

    • Right. I was assuming very very naughty behavior which is far more than doubling.
      Now, most Americans are descended from Richard III