The Money-Seekers

In the education reform debate, there are several dimensions of force, such as

  • Money, where the major players are Teachers and For-Profit Education Companies
  • Power, where the major players are States and Districts
  • Childcare, where the players are parents and employers

In the middle of all of these dimensions is the central actor of the education reform debate: teh federal-academic complex, that collection of bureaucrats, researchers, and scholars associated with the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the National Institutes of Health.

Bruno Behrend has also been writing about education reform, and he has used the term the “government-education complex.” Initially I thought by this he was simply describing the federa-academic complex, but in a recent column he defined his term as thus:

The “Government Education Complex” is the interlocking set of interests that control the vast majority of American education dollars, education policy, and the steady increase in unnecessary education job creation. The explosion of spending, debt, and taxation we’ve witnessed in the last 25 years was used to fund the growth of this Complex.

The complex is made up not only of associations of administrators and teachers unions, but an interconnected network of bond dealers, builders, architects, law firms, textbook companies, and other service providers who profit off of the overproduction of service contracts, debt, public employment and bureaucracy. This interlocking network has played a role in funding the campaigns of 1000s of elected officials at all levels and in both parties.

In other words, Bruno uses the term “government-academic complex” to refer to all players who primary interest in extracting money from the education system.

Indeed, Bruno continues:

The vast sum of political money raised by the “Government Education Complex” is used to write legislation at the state level to grow the complex while protecting it from any competition. State school codes are written by and for the complex and its members, and passed by the political class whose campaigns they fund.

Bruno is providng an important service, popularizing the notion that a major function of the educational system is provide extra wealth (insurance, lifestyle, etc.) to politically powerful interest groups, such as teachers or textbook publishers.

Review of “Fire from the Sun,” by John Derbyshire

“O God of Progress, have you degraded and forgot us?”
- Sufjan Stevens

“Do you want to make me hate you?”
- French Teen Idol

Heartbreaking. Inspiring. Moving. One-thousand pages.

Fire from the Sun is the best historical fiction I’ve read in more than a decade,  since Aztec, by Gary Jennings. . Extrapolating forward, this means there will only be a handful of books in that genre as good, as memorable, or as important before I die, if I make it into old age. Given the quality of this book, that seems fair.

I remember when Fire from the Sun came out, more than a decade ago. I remember reading this post, and quickly beign intimidated by the number of volumes required (3!, more than $100 at the time) to read the book. So I put it off until the author, John Derbyshire, made the news for something completely different, and saw that Fire from the Sun was available in an affordable and easy-to-carry Kindle edition.

Fire From the Sun begins in south-west China in 1965, the last year of China’s “long 1950s” (1949-1965) and the year before the Cultural Revolution. As I was in tears the last hour of reading the book, it’s not surprising I find the beginning incredibly moving, looking at it again:

Chapter 1
New Costumes at the Swimming Pool
We Have Friends All Over the World!

The first time Weilin ever saw foreigners—real foreigners, not just National Minorities or Chinese people from another province—was at the swimming pool in South Lake Park.

The scope of Fire from the Sun is incredible, and incorporates multiple stories and perspectives of the period. If you’ve seen Chinese cinema of the period, the following themes from famous movies are also reflected in Fire from the Sun. 24 City, From Mao to Mozart, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Summer Palace, and Mao’s Last Dancer have clear parallels to the adventures in the book. Non-fiction readers of The Man Who Stayed Behind or I Choose China will recognize the descriptions of Beijing and other towns.

It struck me after finishing Fire from the Sun that the main characters are symbolic of the yellow earth / blue sea debate — though in complex and unexpected ways. In other words, what is the true China: Beijing or Hong Kong? Finishing a work this massive, the first day was spent thinking of the characters and all they went through. With a little more time to think of the book, though, the symbolism behind the story is just as meaningful. But it was the characters that made me cry.

Derbyshire uses the book’s thousand pages to emphasize the patterns behind behavior. This is perhaps most obvious given the two incidents involving different pedophiles, one of which paints the predators in a ghastly light, the other very sympathetically. Additionally, the sees surrounding the Tiananmen Massacre, both involving students being shot and soldiers being burned alive, emphasize how terrible that tragedy was. The same variations on a theme, the same drawing out of the substantial reality under the happenstances, are woven meticulously through the book.

A personal note: my wife is a native Beijinger, and through my marriage I have relatives I will never see because they studied abroad, chose the wrong side, and got shot. I also have relatives who did well under the Chinese Communist Party, and because of specific Communist policies had a much more humane life than they would have otherwise. My wife visited the protest as a child, and older relatives had their education cut short by the Cultural Revolution and were then rusticated. I’m aware that the emotional force of this book for is mediated through those experiences.

I read Fire from the Sun on the Kindle edition.

The Cartel

Monopoly is the natural form of human social organization.

Within the context of suppliers, a monopoly is called a cartel.

The leader of the cartel — or El Capo del Cartel — is typically charged with setting the cartel’s agenda. As the capo is in the unique position of reacting to events he controls the timing of, the capo is able to hedge his bets much better than others. This allows the capo to reap a disproportionate share of profits from the cartel.

In other situations, a Capo might be referred to as a Hegemon, a Bank, or a Central Actor.

The most dangerous time for a Cartel is during a Power Transition. During a Power Transition, a Lieutenant (or constituent member of) the Cartel perceives itself to be able to challenge the Capio, or, alternatively, the Capo perceives a Lieutenant of being in the position to do so.

Presuming the Capo is competent, the other Lieutenant are steadily rewarded by the Capo. Thus, they have much to lose in a potential change, and little to change. Therefore, during a Power Transition, the majority of Lieutenants can be expected to side with a Capo against the challenging Lieutenant.

Within the context of large states, the following wars were caused by a Power Transition, fought between a challenging Lieutenant against his Capo & his Capo’s Lieutenants.

  • The Napoleonic Wars, 1803-1815 (France v. Anglo-Austro-Russian Cartel, unsuccessful)
  • The First Germanic Wars, 1864-1871 (Prussia/Germany. v. Austro-Franco-Russian Cartel, partially successful but unresolved)
  • The Second Germanic Wars, 1914-1918 (Germany v. Anglo-Franco-Russian Cartel, unsuccessful)
  • The Third Germanic Wars, 1936-1945 (Germany v. Anglo-Franco-Russian Cartel, unsuccessful)
  • The First Japanese Wars, 1894-1905 (Japan v. Sino-Russo-American Cartel, partially successful but unresolved)
  • The Second Japanese Wars, 1933-1945 (Japan v. Sino-Russo-American Cartel, unsuccessful)

The next power transition concerns the United State and China.

Major periods of peace, during which a Power Transition was not seriously threatened, include

  • The Anglo-Austro-Russian Cartel (1815-1864, collapsed following successful Prussian/German challenge)
  • The Russo-American Cartel (1945-1991, reformed following collapse of Lieutenant position)
  • The Euro-Sino-American Cartel (1991-Present, reformed Russo-American Cartel, still extant)

Cartels and Power transitions also occur at the Class level.

For instance, consider the Proletarian class. The ancient population of American blacks have long been consigned to the proletarian classes, for many reasons. While the Proletarian class has rarely been in a position to challenge the Bourgeois in the united States, a Cartel still naturally forms among members of the Proletarian class to determine which group may take the position of Capo del Cartel of the Proletarians.

Here are some famous racial disturbances in the United States, all of which were caused by power transitions in the United States

The recent violence resulting from the George Zimmerman – Trevyon Martin Incident are clear evidence of another Power Transition, this one featuring a challenging Hispanic population and a Black-led cartel.

Unlike States, peoples are able to transcend their current class through wise moves. As the saying goes, “Life is an IQ test.” This is why power transitions among States are less likely to be successful than power transitions within a class. Additionally, Cartels at the Proletarian level seem more willing to initiate violence than Cartels at the State level.

Historic tensions relating to Irish, Chinese, and Korean proletarians largely ended once those groups began transcending the Proletariat and joined the Bourgeoisie in large numbers.

After a middling number of deaths, Hispanics will likewise transcend the Proletariat.

Thus, while it is a sign of strength for one State to remain a leadership position in the Cartel of nations, it is probably a sign of weakness for one People to remain a leadership position among the Proletariat.

Some Notes on Class in America

One can classify Americans as belonging to one of several economic classes, including the

  • Grand Bourgeoisie, who are able to live off their investments
  • The Petite Bourgeoisie, who have invested wealth but must work to maintain their life style
  • The Proletariat, who have no invested wealth, and must work to live
  • The Lumpenproletariat, criminals and rascals who are of no economic value.

Competition exists both between and within these classes.

Between-class and within-class competition exists to establish the terms of trade of these classes within society.

While everyday politics can do little to change the terms of trade between classes, it can greatly effect the terms-of-trade within classes.

For instance, the Petite Bourgeoisie in the United States is heavily white, but south asians and east asians are disproportionately represented within it. Nonetheless, all asians combined are still a small minority of the Petite, so the Petite Bourgeoisie  spends most of its efforts on economically pointless cultural conflict (gar marriage, and so on).

The Proletariat, is much more diverse. Both blacks and hispanics are disproportionately represented in the proletariat. Further, unlike the petite bourgeoisie (where whites are a long-running and stable majority), immigration patterns created by the federal government (“the executive committee of the bourgeoisie” have lead to blacks being displaced as the largest minority in general, and even the largest non-white constituent group of the proletariat, by hispanics.

Whites in America really have no idea how hard life can be for blacks. Whites, whose leadership springs firmly from the petite bourgeoisie, are basically secure in their positions. In order to understand the plight of their fellow citizens, it is perhaps wise to imagine a United States in which Asians were already the dominant ethnic group.

The art of deciding who gets what is called politics. While political cartels can form among nearly all players in well established political communities, the immense tide of hispanic immigration in recent years means that it is impossible for factions within the proletariat to form a cartel without hispanic hegemony within that class. In the absence of a well established political community, the tools that will be used are democracy and organized violence. Democracy is a useful tool of the popular and numerous. Organized violence is the useful tool of the weak and small.

The lynching of George Zimmerman — the hispanic involved in a fatal confrontation with Treyvon Martin — only makes sense in the context of intraclass struggle. Organized violence — such as the eldery man beaten by 6 youths, the police car attacked, the death threats against the Zimmerman household etc — are clearly part of a LIHOP run by Al Sharpton on others to use the only means left at their disposal to save what remains of their hegemony within the proletariat.

People are murdered every day in the United States. Nothing’s special about that. No one cares.

What is unusual is for anyone to care.

And people do care in the case of Mr. Zimmerman.

Because lynching a hispanic is way cheaper for the petite bourgeoisie than facing a campaign of organized violence.

White petite bourgeoisie were getting hurt. Lynch a hispanic proletarian, and it all goes away.

A good deal, no?

A New People

We create a new people. Instead being refugees we we to be fighters. This very important. We were refugees. Harmless. We become now fighters. Freedom fighters. The next stage, you will see….

- Yasser Arafat

We live in a world, radically artificial twice over, and we haven’t begun to see what it will hold.

- tdaxp, 5 years ago

Razib Khan notes some new research on the possible identification of a gene that seems to encourage for brain size, and general intelligence. Interestingly, this gene ‘for’ larger brains and higher intelligence appears to be most present in African populations:

This is actually a good point to describe how races may will survive long after any racial difference in intelligence can be imputed through skin color.

Consider if the C version of the gene really is associated with lower and higher intelligence. If so, it should be a “simple” matter of engineering a retrovirus that would infect an embryo, fetus, or child in the womb in order to direct the DNA to code for one version, instead of the other.

Of course, this procedure will have risks, and doubtless be fatal in some cases.

Now consider that we’re able to make a retrovirus, fine-tuned to the individual, that could create a 15 point increase in general intelligence (say, the average difference between a 3rd year college drop out and an M.D; or between an average Gentile and an average Jew on a standardized verbal intelligence test), with the slight side-effect that a fourth of all unborn children treated with such a retrovirus will die before birth.

No developed society that values its children will engage in such a practice on a wide scale.

But a few poor and backwards societies might. Supposedly, Saddam Hussein (in his pre-war days) abolished illiteracy by announcing, a few years in advance, that illiteracy would be a capital crime. Most people got the message. Others got shot.

Highly centralized states are able to take large risks. The Chinese experience under Mao and Deng show how very similar leadership styles and personal backgrounds can lead to the greatest elimination of poverty in history (under Deng‘s economic reforms), or the greatest elimination of the poor in history (under Mao‘s autogenocidal policies).

Some country we don’t care about too much — perhaps Somaliland or Azawad — is in for a wild 21st century.

There would still be Somalis or Azawadis.

But they’d be a new people.

Group Differences Visualized

Last week, John Derbyshire wrote an article on race relations that led to him being removed from the list of contributing writers for National Review Online. Mr. Derbyshire made a series of factual claims, which were correct, and then proceeded to interpret these factual claims to give specific advise on how an individual should comport himself of members of other races.

Derbyshire’s column was widely criticized, but I have found only two examples of pieces which criticized the his factual claims, as opposed to his advise in the face of those claims. One was the short piece “By His Own Standards,” by Jason Lee Steorts that I previously discussed.

A much better criticism was written by Noah Millman in his article for The American Conservative. Noah states:

I’m all for frank talk, and not hiding behind politically-correct shibboleths. But I’m not for lazy talk, and I’m not for talk that implies a complete lack of concern for the social costs of one’s views.

Noah is getting at a point about racial differences that I previously mentioned

People talk of differences in “averages,” but this is a misleading way to talk. The difference between the 50th percentile and the 53rd percentile in extroversion, for example, is likely to be barely noticeable.

Rather, average differences matter in the extremes.

Here is an example of that, courtesy of Razib Khan. Using one measure of verbal intelligence, the average differences between blacks and whites are very small. But in the extremes this leads to a major under-representation of blacks among the very intelligent:

This is in contrast to sexual differences in intelligence, which basically do not exist:

and also in contrast to educational differences in intelligence. The average intelligence of the highly educated is greatly different from the average intelligence of the non-highly educated. This also shows up in the extremes.

And in contrast to Jews, who are highly intelligent compared to other groups. The average intelligence of Jews is greatly different from the average intelligence of non-Jews. This also shows up in the extremes.

These charts were created from data in the General Social Survey, using the WORDSUM variable as a a rough-and-ready measure of verbal intelligence. There are much better measures available, but GSS has the advantage of having asked the question to very large numbers of people and being easily accessible from a web browser.

Go-Up or Go-Next?

The idea that there are two cultures in academic life, a culture focused on the humanities and another on science, is not a new one. The famous “Two Cultures” lecture is more than fifty years old, and Brother Guy Consolmagno identifies instances of the two cultures in medieval Catholic Europe in his book of adventures.

Jason Lee Steorts, a writer for the National Review Online, defended NRO’s dismissal of John Derbyshire, demonstrates that by criticizing Derbyshire’s controversial article for being hypocritical. In 2012, Derbyshire writes in paragraph 4:

The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, however—e.g., paragraph (10h) below—this default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.

While two years previously, in a speech on race relations, he said

Group differences are statistical truths. They exist in an abstract realm quite far removed from our everyday personal experience. They tell you nothing about the person you just met.

This would be hypocracy, unless you believe the fundemental principles of statistics have undergone a revolution in the past two years. Which, of course, they have.


There are two ways of understanding statistics. The terms “Frequentist” and “Probabilistic” are thrown around here, but to me those words are more confusing than helpful. So I will call them the go-up and go-next views of statistics.

The Go-Up view of statistics is that statistics measures the population from which an observation comes from. The appropriate way to go-up is to wait until you have a sufficient number of observations. and then generalize about the population from our observations. This is the method that Derbyshire was describing in 2010. A large number of observations of academic performance show consistent gaps between black and white learners. Because we’re “going-up” from observations to populations, we can conclude some things about the population, and how outcomes in the population should work-out over all, but it makes no sense to try to predict any given student’s success based on this. We’re going-up, not going-next.

The Go-Next view of statistics is that statistics gives us the likelihood of something being true, based on what has come before. In Go-Next statistics, population-averages are besides the point. What matters is guessing what’s going to happen, next, based on what you’ve seen before. The whole point is to guess what’s going to work for individuals you know only a few things about, based on your experience with other individuals who shared some things with the new strangers.

Both the Go-Up and Go-Next interpretations of statistics are hundreds of years old. Go-Up statisitcs strikes many as more beautiful. Go-Next as, perhaps, more practical, more commercial, more technical. Astronomers use go-up statistics. Weathermen use go-next statistics.

The Internet changed everything.


Academics pay attention to reality. Professors, like most people, respond to the incentives of power, influence, and money. Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and my employer do not care much about abstract ideas like “What can we infer about internet users in general based on the observations we collect.” Instead, they care, very, very deeply, about making you delighted. Because people will spend money to be delighted.

When you log onto your Facebook screen, or type a search into Google, or click the genius buttons in iTunes, you want it to just work. You want the perfect update, the perfect site, the perfect song. Advertisers want the perfect ad for you.

In this context, the view of statistics that Derbyshire outlined in 2010:

Group differences are statistical truths. They exist in an abstract realm quite far removed from our everyday personal experience. They tell you nothing about the person you just met.

Is just stupid. Facebook doesn’t care about the group differences between men and women. It cares that when you log in, it can give you an update from your favorite sports team, or gossip from your favorite celebrity, or whatever. Never before in history has so much math been used to make you happy.

It’s all about you.

It’s all about guessing, based on what has come before, what’s best for you.

It’s all about guessing, based on prior observations, who you are, what you will do, and what you will like.

These major companies have been hiring those with statistical literacy very heavily for more than a decade. Professors, who seek, money, fame, and power, know what these large potential sources of money, fame, and power want, and teach their products — their students –accordingly.

The superstructure of science changes as the infrastructure of the economy changes. The Go-Next philosophy of statistics, once the peasant stepchild of the serene Go-Up interpretation, now reigns supreme.

The unfolding victory of Go-Next Statistics matters much, much more than, say, the Copernican Revolution. The number of people whose daily conversations were actually impacted by Copernicus may have been a few dozen, all involved in the Papal-Academic complex.

How many times a day does Facebook’s decision of which news to share impact you?

How many times a day does Google’s decision of what sites to show impact you?

How many times a day does your iPod’s decision of what music to play impact you?


Now, back to Derbyshire.

Mr. Derbyshire was born in 1945. His training is in Go-Up statistics. It took a complete revolution in statistics to change his view of it. That view clearly changed in the last 2 years.

We’ve all lived thru the revolution of Go-Next statistics. Derbyshire realizes it. Steorts, clearly, does not.

There are two cultures of knowledge, the humanities and the sciences. Part of Derbyshire’s intention of writing “The Talk – Nonblack Version” appears to have been to highlight this. If so, I think he succeeded.

Some Notes on the Development of Our Species

In recent days there has been a bru-haha in the conservative blogosphere as a result of Rich Lowry dismissing John Derbyshire from his position as a writer for National Review Online. The occasion was an controversial article on race relations written by Mr. Derbyshire.

The fight is basically political. Rich Lowry is associated with the Catholic, classically-establishment Establishment, wing of the conservative moment. John Derbyshire is associated with the atheist, scientifically-educated, insurgent wing of the conservative movement.

I want to talk about this in some upcoming posts, but as the occasion for the fight relates to the science of human origins, I thought I would share a brief history of our species. Much is tentative and subject to possible revision, but this should provide some context to the discussion. (As both Catholics and atheists tend to view Creationism derisively, this should not be controversial, either).

Around six million years ago, the ancestors of human beings, chimpanzees, and bonobos (“dwarf chimps”) were part of the same ancestral population. As the modern populations feature behaviors such as murder, suicide, warfare, terrorism, bisexuality, care for the injured, tool making, and purposeful deception, it seems sensible that the ancient population from which humans, chimps, and bonobos derive did, too.

The three populations began to diverge after an environmental catastrophe associated with a shift in the Congo River. This catastrophe also impacted gorillas. Chimps evolved in an area where they were in competition with gorillas. They became the most interpersonally vicious of the populations. Bonobos evolved in a forested environment without gorillas. They became the most interpersonally peaceful. Our ancestors seem to have left the forest to compete with wild hogs in the woodlands.

As the old saying goes, “Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Only pigs treat us as equals.”

While our ancestral population remained small in absolute terms, their ability to move in woodlands allowed them to spread out over much of Africa.

Humans slowly evolved. The general trend appears to have been an increase in absolute size (important for woodland competition), a decrease in sexual dimorphism (a not-fully-understood development that may have been cause by an increase willingness of human “betas” to murder “alphas” for perceived unjust behavior), and a darkening of skin color (chimps and bonobos both have white skin). These trends continued until all human populations were larger than bonobo or chimp populations, all human populations featured a smaller relative size difference between males and females than any bonobo or chimp population, and all human populations had brown-to-black skin tone.

Ancestral humans left Africa in multiple waves. Different waves were adapted to different conditions. Finally, hundreds of thousands of years ago, all of Eurasia was patrolled by human populations. Three important ones were Neanderthals (based in Europe and west Eurasia), “Peking Men,” (based in Asia), and Anatomically Modern Humans (based in Africa and the Near East). These populations overlapped in the way that other megafauna do.

All modern populations derive from some combination of these ancient populations. All modern populations appear to be primarily descended from Anatomically Modern Humans. Europeans contain a measurable degree of Neanderthal admixture. Asian populations contains measurable degrees of Peking Men admixture. African populations appear to be exclusively descended from Anatomically Modern Humans.

Some time after the mixture-and-replacement of other populations with Anatomically Modern Humans and their hybrid descendents, Behaviorally Modern Humans emerged in the Near East. The oldest cities, such as Jericho, are older than agriculture. From this is seems clear that the major advantage of Behaviorally Modern Humans against ancient populations was the ability to live in large coordinated groups, or “eusociality.” Behaviorally Modern Humans appear to be about as eusocial as ants or bees.

The eusociality of Behaviorally Modern Humans allowed them to develop caste systems of leaders, warriors, and slaves, just like other eusocial animals. With the advent of slavery farming became possible, and with the advent of a distinct military caste (that is, the first gradient of modern warfare) military campaigns became possible.

Behaviorally Modern Humans created a new form of war in which a military caste, led by a leadership caste and fed by a farmer caste, would invade neighboring communities, exterminate males and children, and rape and impregnate females. This led to rapid hybridization and spread, such that Behaviorally Modern Humans soon replaced nearly all Anatomically Modern Human communities.

Resource competition between Behaviorally Modern Human societies led to an increase in the rate of human evolution. Humans have evolved more in the past 10,000 years than in any other 10,000 year period of our species.

Traits in which there is a ‘correct’ number of expressions are soon fixed in a population. Humans have 2 eyes, 1 nose, and 10 fingers, for example.Traits which are generally unimportant (or are basically social traits which exist in some equilibrium) follow a normal distribution. General intelligence, time-orientation, and the five factors of personality follow normal distributions. From this we can conclude that for most of our accelerated period of evolution, there was no ‘right’ amount of these traits to have.

These traits are both inherited and culturally transmitted. It makes no sense to talk of ‘nature vs. nurture.’ Our cultural environment determines how these inherited traits are expressed. A better phrase might be “nature via nurture.”

Human populations differ in terms of the averages in these traits. For instance, newborn (1 day old) Chinese are more afraid of strangers (more “introverted”) than newborn Kenyans. Likewise, there is variation within these populations. There is more variation within populations than between population. There are, for example, a very many extroverted Chinese, and a very many introverted Kenyans. People talk of differences in “averages,” but this is a misleading way to talk. The difference between the 50th percentile and the 53rd percentile in extroversion, for example, is likely to be barely noticeable.

Rather, average differences matter in the extremes. If you take 1,000 random Kenyans and 1,000 random Chinese, and you take the top 20 of that group of 2,000 in terms of extroversion, that top 20 will be overwhelmingly Kenyan. Likewise, if you take the top 20 in terms of introversion, that 20 will be overwhelmingly Chinese.

Approximately 2,000 years ago, the leadership caste of China undertook a massive reorganization of society to reduce the military caste to peony and to establish a “Civil Government.” This was the greatest cultural revolution in human affairs since the invention of agricultural slavery 8,000 years previously. Through a trial-and-error process, the Chinese leadership class eliminated the centers of powers of the military caste and replaced it with a standing civil service supported by secured property owners. While the new system naturally attracted barbarian predators, the cultural transformation proved imperious to counter-revolution. Within a millennial the system was being tentatively mimicked from London to Edo.

The emergence of Behaviorally Modern Humans led to an unprecedented acceleration in human evolution. The creation of Civil Government had a likewise world-altering impacted. Society under the Civil Government was strongly downwardly-mobile. It was nearly impossible to improve one’s lot in society, but very easy to make foolish decisions that reduced one to rags. Every generation the foolish would lose property, and poor would starve to death, and the healthy children of the survivors acquired the survival traits of higher general intelligence and longer time orientation.

The increase in the concentration of wealth enabled by Civil Government allowed the new societies to invest massive resources in exploration efforts, in search of further resources to exploit and extract. World-historical empires such as Britain, France, Spain, the Ottoman Empire, and the Great Ming wrecked destruction on their backwards cousins. The mobilizations for war of these societies, and the increase efficiencies of Civil Government, led to greater and greater demand for labor (that is, surplus of capital). The Great Ming solved this by creating the most effective sanitation system in the world, allowing organic population increase to meet its needs. The Ottoman Empire solved this issue through enslaving neighboring populations. The Western European Civil Governments (which had missed out on the economies of scale that come from creating a secure geographic core) established a “triangle trade” that relied on tenuous geographic centers in Europe, Africa, and the Americas to supply their capital, labor, and natural resources requirements, respectively.

The geographically diverse, scattershot nature of the European empires meant that they (unlike Near Eastern, central Eurasian, or East Asian societies) experienced regular sociogenetic shocks. The Western European Civil Governments found that their African client states controlled land that was inhospitable to Europeans, largely because of genetic adaptations against malaria possessed by West Africans but not Europeans. Likewise, the living conditions established by the Central Governments in the New World proved inhospitable to the native populations there. Likewise, the Civil Governments encouraged different groups to settle in different areas, such that (for example) the Yankee core of the future United States was settled by English who had experienced more rapid downward mobility than the Scotch-Irish who settled the future southeastern united States.

This all goes to say that the New World may exhibit the most human diversity on the planet, close only to Africa. The more settled and stable populations of Eurasia, by contrast, are comparatively monocultural with limited genetic diversity.

Americans use the term “race relations” to refer to the cultural and genetic human diversity in their midst. Unsurprisingly, both the cultural and genetic pathways of the populations that settled in the United States remain relevant, often in unexpected ways. Anyone with a naive understanding of psychometric methods would expect East Asians and Western Europeans to have a disproportionate share of wealth in the United States, and of course they do. Who could have expected, however, that much of African-American culture would be a hybrid of west Africa with the highlands of Scotland? Talk of historical contingency!

It is with this context that John Derbyshire wrote his article on Taki Magazine. Every point Derbyshire makes is predictable if one assumes he is writing of a population that did not experience rapid downward mobility in historic times that spent centuries under the leadership of a different population with a different appearence but a similar pre-Civil Government ethic.

To put it slightly less obtusely, John Derbyshire wrote an article describing personal safety in the presence of the descendents of West Africans whose ancestors were controlled by the Scotch-Irish.

To put it even more plainly, Derbyshire wrote about blacks and violence.

And that is why he is no longer employed.

My Adventures in being a Car Guy

My car had a run-in with a concrete pillar (note the passive voice), and after driving it to a nearby shop, the estimate for fixing it was $400.

“That seems high,” said my wife. And indeed it was! A bing search, brought up a NextTag comparison page, which brought us to Auto Mirror Express. A couple days later, a nice remanufactured mirror arrived by FedEx, and then we took it over to Bellevue Collission Care for painting it and then attaching it.

Total cost: $150, for parts, paint, and labor.

Can’t complain about that!