Tag Archives: race

Prejudice and Bias

Only stupid people judge once.

For the rest of us, the world is a pretty exciting place. There’s always new things to consider, surprising details come up, and the “sure thing” of yesterday becomes the “maybe!” of today (and vice versa!)

At any given time, what we think of a person, a situation, or an event is our judgment. What we thought about it the last time (and the time before that) was our prejudgement, or prejudice. Our prejudices form our bias. What we will think in the future is our Monday morning quarterbacking, the difference between which and what your judgment is our hindsight bias.

If you have the correct prejudices, your hindsight bias will be l0w because your judgment will be correct. The Zimmerman Affair provides a good example of how this could work.

Knowing nothing else about the case, reasonable prejudices would provide a pretty good clue as to who violently attacked whom in the following pair.

person 1:
Sex: Male
Age: Upper 20s
Height: 5’7
Workplace: Desk
Fitness: Out out shape
Ethnicity: Hispanic

person 2:
Sex: Male
Age: Upper teens
Height: 5’11
Workplace: Unemployed (full time school)
Fitness: Athletic
Ethnicity: African-American

With this prejudice, all facts are filtered (this is analogous to the Bayesian process of “updating priors“) and one would come to the same conclusion that the jury in the Zimmerman case did: person 1 is not guilty on all counts.

But of course, only stupid people judge once.

Time goes on, our priors of person 1 are continuously updated , though there is a censorship effect in gathering new information about person 2.

There are remarkably easy ways to predict when some people have the wrong biases. But that is a post for a different time.

The Civil Rights Perspective on Race

The facts of the recent case are now well known. Adding some inferences to it, a reasonable reconstruction of the events is as follows:

On February 26, 2013, Trayvon Martin in walking home after buying some candy and tea. He was observed by George Zimmerman, a volunteer who had recently talked with neighbors about black youths invading neighborhood homes. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle to talk to Martin. Martin, not knowing Zimmerman, and suspicious of “creepy ass crackers” (which I belies referred to gay homosexual white men), likewise acted in a way suspicious to Zimmerman. Shortly thereafter a fight broke out, and Martin got the better of Zimmerman, bashing his head against the cement. Zimmerman then used deadly force to protect himself, killing Martin.

A tragedy, and a sad one.

But why the effort to lynch Mr. Zimmerman? Why the great emotion in the case? What is behind it?

It is impossible to understand what happened without realizing that life is far worse for African-American men than could have been expected in 1973. (By “African-American” I refer to the ethnicity that was brought in chains to British colonies south of the Mason-Dixon line from Africa,primarily remained there as slaves until the Civil War, and then following Reconstruction lived as second-class citizens in the Jim Crow South until either emigrating to the north or experiencing the revolution of the Civil Rights Era).

  • There has never been an African-American President. (There is currently a President of African descent, Barack Obama, but he was born in Hawaii and on his father’s side is not a descendent of American slaves.)
  • There has been been a powerful African-American man in the Cabinet. (Secretary of State Colin Powell’s parents were from Jamaica. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is an African-American women.)
  • Structural changes in the economy have lead to a decline of marriage rates for African-American men, as their earning power has been exceeded by African-American women.
  • There has been no de facto progress on desegregation since the original Civil Rights efforts a lifetime ago.
  • The United States is engaged in a long-term project to import large numbers of Spanish-speaking immigrants, which not only further depresses wages of African-American men, it reduces African-Americans from being the “largest minority” to the second-largest minority.
  • The cultural battle over gay marriage reveals African-American powerless in the face of other members of the Democratic Party coalition. Not only cannot the Democratic Party realize African-American goals generally, or defend the relative position of African-Americans, it will actively work against African-American churches and social networks when white liberals disagree with African-American objectives.

Things are bad. They are getting worse. This is real pain.

In this horrible political situations, there are probably two rational responses

  1. A Fresh Start. A complete dismantling of the political work of a lifetime, an acceptance of the basic failure of the “Civil Rights” perspective on race, and an attempt to reboot nearly everything
  2. The Civil Rights Perspective on Race. The creation of an outrage which can unify the African-American community against their enemies, including white Democrats and hispanics.

The costs of (1) are so huge, and the uncertainty so great, that it is unlikely as anything other than a last desperate measure. We’re not there yet.

Option (2), on the other hand, requires simply a reply of the Civil Rights playbook, with some hapless patsy replacing Bull Connor, George Wallace, and other actual enemies of the past. The near-term results are a relative increase in power and sympathy for African-American males.

It is hard for anyone — especially a man — to live without pride. Imitating a Martyr provides some pride. Being politically organized enough to (nearly) lynch a hispanic provides some pride. Getting media attention gets some pride.

But more pride would come from having a functioning education system that prepared African-American men for the economy. Of earning enough to attract a mate. To not lose a job to harder-working lower-paid immigrants, to not have your sacred institutions tramped on, and so on.

Without a road-map for achieving this, we’ll get another Martin case in a few years, another outrage, another attempt to win some political favors and gain some pride through some dead person.

But dismantling the Civil Rights movement, abandoning the Civil Rights perspective on race, and starting over, is the smarter way to go.

Other groups have come from behind without this focus on manufactured outrage. Irish, Koreans, Chinese, Jamaicans, and many others recognized that social hostility can be battered, not thru the “Civil Rights” perspective on race, but through wealth accumulation.

As a friend recently told me, in America there are two colors of people — “Green” and “Red” — people with money, and people struggling paycheck to paycheck. Controlling wealth and the production of wealth is more important than leadership in a group of poor people.

This harsh reality, that the economic infrastructure matter more than political superstructure — that true political success comes from economic value — is much colder than talking about dreams and ideology.

Life can be cold.

But the Civil Rights Perspective on Race is a lie.

Variation, Within and Between

Occasionally, you will encounter someone who says this:

Variation between human races is greater than variation within human races

If you do, you know you’ve encountered someone who has been indirectly exposed to the work of Richard Lewontin.

There are two forms of “Lewontin’s fallacy.” One is the original claim that Lewontin made. It is demonstrably untrue, which is obvious once examined with graduate-level statistical knowledge. A later, weaker version is simply nonsensical. I’ll address these in order.

Lewontin’s Original Fallacy

In 1972, Lewontin published an article called The apportionment of human diversity, using blood group proteins. The work is pretty typical for its time, except it extremely political correct connotations, and so eventually took on a life of its own. Rather than discuss the original article, which has been thoroughly debunked, bizarrely focuses on blood proteins anyway, here’s an analogy. (I’m too tired to do matrix algebra now.)

Say someone comes to you, and says this:

“The racial groups that map to what we consider ‘East Asian’ or ‘Caucasian’ do not exist. There is no attribute of either race you can find, in which the majority of variation is between races, rather than within races. Hair, skin tone, skeletal shape, and so on all vary within both populations, so that means there is only one population.

In other words, the groups “East Asian” and “Caucasian” are entirely social groups. It is impossible to write a machine learning system to tell an East Asian apart from a European, if you don’t include purely social constructs like name, clothing style, and so on.

The obvious refutation (which mathematically requires matrix algebra) is to ask why in the world you would use only one dimension of variation (like height, or skin tone) to classify individuals as part of multiple populations.

You can just use multiple indicators, together. That way if there has been a murder, say, and the corpse has been stripped of clothing and identification and has been dumped, you can use multiple indicators together to determine the race of the victim.

If there is DNA evidence, you can do the same.

Indeed, you can do the same with “races” such as “German” and “French”!


If for some reason you’re transported back to the 1970s, and all you have is blood proteins, you can do the same.

The solution to Lewontin’s fallacy is to use multiple indicators together, and not just one.

These days, it seems crazy to suggest it would be impossible to tell the race of an individual from DNA. There’s even a popular PBS show about the concept! But in the 1970s, some people really were that ignorant.


The Remnant that Remains

There’s no reason to take Lewontin’s original fallacy seriously, but sometimes you’ll hear a variation of it

Variation in intelligence between human races is greater than the mean difference of intelligence of the races

This is like saying moisture is taller than speed. It makes no sense.

In some areas of life, differences in variation between groups is the fact that matters most. For instance, on many measures (say IQ, or time orientation) males have greater variation than females, while both tend to have the same average. From this you would expect you would see many more male violent criminals than female violent criminals, and also more male CEOs of large companies than female CEOs of large companies. There is little if any difference in the average of these traits between the sexes. There is substantial difference in the variation of these traits between the sexes, though.

In other areas, averages matter. For instance, the average IQ of American whites from the south-eastern United States is lower than the average IQ of American whites from the northern states. From this you might wonder if large companies have a disproportionately small number of CEOs from the American South, while white southerners have responded to this “dixie ceiling” by organizing politically to obtain political goods that they cannot gain in the marketplace.

I have never seen anyone talk, in a popular setting, about a comparison between a variation on the one hand and an average on the other. Typically one or the other is relevant to the conversation, and bizarre second-order comparisons (what is the variability in height of Australians compared t the average height of South Americans) are simply uninterpretable. But if you’ve never worked with variation as a real thing (through calculating a standard deviation to solve a problem, say), the remnant of the fallacy is a good-guess by an ignorant laymen of what Lewontin may have been talking about.


The phrase “Variation between human races is greater than variation within human races” is meaningless. It either refers to an empirical incorrect claim from the 1970s, on the impossibility of using “blood proteins” to predict race, or an incoherent claim that compares averages against variation.

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.

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.

Racism in the Age of Obama

Neither the word race nor the word racism appear anywhere in the article, “Couple’s ‘buy black’ experiment becomes  a movement“:

“We’ve still got that ‘the white man’s water is colder’ mentality,” he said. “We can’t take us for granted. When we go to our establishments, it’s almost like we’re doing a favor. That ought to be a given for us.”

The Andersons remain encouraged by their momentum online and in the media. At the end of 2009, they hope to show $1 million in spending with black businesses among supporters across the country.

“The response has been so huge,” Maggie Anderson said. “We think so much can come out of this. We’re in movement-making mode now.”

Meanwhile, Catholicgauze tweets the lawsuit of a a white african-american student.

The recent origins of black female hostility to miscegenation

My friend Michael sent me a copy of “The aftermath of Loving v. Virginia: Sex asymmetry in African-American intermarriage,” by R. Richard Banks (PDF). The piece is an attack on stereotypes of black marriage nand miscegenation: educated black females are more likely to marry than uneducated black females, the difference socio-economic status between black husbands and white wives is comparable to the different among white husbands and white wives, and, most strikingly, that the skew in African-American interrmarriage (where black men are much more likely to outmarry than black woman) is recent.

While nowadays black-white marriage is stereotypically between a black man and white woman, going back just a few decades presented a more gender-balanced picture. The case that declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, Virginia v. Loving, was fought on behalf of a white husband and black wife. Likewise, the famous movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, features two interracial romances: one between a black man and white woman, the other between a white man and black woman.

Banks’ piece is very well written. My only complaint is that it is not long enough! It reads like a literature review to a great analytical piece, and hopefully that second section is coming at a later time.

Read it (PDF).