Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Post-Christian America, continued

That 1-in-5 American adults and 1-in-3 under the age of 30 claim no religious affiliation naturally leads to the question of whether this is a reflection of declining religious piety in the US or a product of social cocooning and a distaste for organized religion without any meaningful corresponding decline in the belief in an Abrahamic, monotheistic God. Even if it is the latter (and my best guess now is that the former provides the predominant explanation, something I didn't used to think to be the case), it's hard to imagine how stripping away the communal, social, repetitive aspect of expressed, organized religion and instead relegating it to the position of internal, individualized personal beliefs leads to anything other than a decline in the influence of its tenets and mores (ie, same-sex marriage*).

The following graph shows the percentages of all American adults and those under the age of 30 who attend religious services no more than once a year. Note this doesn't even allow for attendance on both Christmas and Easter, so these are effectively people with zero spiritual connection to any organized religion:

Coming of age in the mid-nineties, the generational cohort I'm a part of is the last one in which most members will have the shared experience of some sort of religious destination as part of their upbringings. In the next few years, those who attend religious services will be in the minority, as is already the case with young adults.

GSS variables used: ATTEND(0-2), YEAR, AGE(18-29)

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Post-Christian America

The end of history it may not have been, but the beginning of the end of (non-secular) religion as a primary driving force in American society it apparently was. The following graph shows the percentages of all GSS respondents and also the percentages of respondents under the age of 30 without any expressed religious affiliation, by year:

GSS variables used: RELIG(4), AGE(18-29), YEAR

Friday, May 01, 2015

Dear black friends: I need you to respect what white America is feeling right now

Dear Black America,

It is somewhat strange to address this to you, given that I’ve been told my whole life that race is just a social construct or that, at most, it is no more than skin deep, and I have had little choice but to imbibe a good deal of your popular culture growing up. Yet today is another day you have forced me to decide who I identify with—and, as always when you force me—I fall decidedly on the side of “Western Civilization”.

Every comment or post I have read today voicing some version of disdain or indignation for anyone critical of the feral behavior on display in Baltimore—“You are perpetuating white supremacy” or “Your ability to ignore the real situation is a mark of your privilege” or “You can’t understand the internalized oppression people of color suffer” or “Racist cops!” or “whites have also rioted before”—tell me that your concerns do not extend beyond rationalizing and deflecting. I am not asking you to condone or agree with public order. You don’t have to say anything. Please just let me tell you what I see:

I see an unrestrained underclass incapable of building or maintaining a functioning society eagerly looting and pillaging that society on the flimsiest of pretexts

I see the consequences of a growing number of unskilled people in an American job market that increasingly has no use for them, consequences accentuated by uncontrolled immigration

I see disorganized, irresponsible mothers desperately trying to fill paternal roles they are incapable of adequately fulfilling on their own

I see the conflagration being kindled by an Establishment that presumes straight white men are explicitly guilty until proven innocent and implicitly guilty irrespective of the evidence

I see those flames of resentment being stoked by an Establishment that treats blacks who suffer at the hands of authority figures as sacred beings beyond reproach no matter how inappropriate, illegal, and dangerous the actions and behaviors leading to said suffering has been

I see the gross double standards for behavior that allow blacks to do and say with impunity things that cause whites who do and say the same things to be purged from their jobs and excommunicated from polite society

If you not looking at crime rates empirically, not engaging in candid conversations about human population differences, not paying attention to how blatantly false the official narratives so often are, then you are perpetuating vicious racial hatreds by blaming everything on white America. That Trayvon Martin was being punched by George Zimmerman, that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot, that excessive force was used to subdue Eric Garner, that Walter Scott was hunted down in cold blood, that a racist white cop is being charged with second-degree murder in the death of Eddie Gray are all perceptions that are both widely believed and demonstrably false. This mendacity affects lives every day. We would be prudent to consider it all the time rather than, say, none of the time.

According to the Cathedral’s doctrine of racism as white Original Sin, even if you have striven to cleanse yourself of your white privilege by partaking in self-flagellating acts of penance, voting for Barack Obama, emphasizing your Jewish heritage, and supporting perpetual wealth transfers from (other) whites to non-whites, you cannot escape the shade of your skin. Being a business managing, heterosexual, college-educated Midwestern white male from a middle class background places me near the bottom of the victimization pyramid. Quotas, PR departments, and PC etiquette dictate that despite being worse than useless when it comes to gaining anyone any points for diversity, I nonetheless be forever prepared to give and never to take. This necessarily gives me little recourse but to turn my back on a society that despises me when it’s not trying to despoil me.

For most of my childhood, I actively tried to keep race from being a defining factor in my social affairs. I find this an increasingly difficult position to maintain, given the reality of biological differences between people and, by extension, groups of people. Because I have to worry about my son’s safety or my wife’s well being if either of them find themselves among large numbers of blacks or in areas that are predominately black. Because people react to my sagacious, industrious, intelligent father differently, depending on whether they are aspiring entrepreneurs or parasitic bums. Race has come to influence the way I see the world because race has so much influence on how the world works.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Coke 'name tax' evokes memories of poll tax, separate water fountains

Coca Cola is following up last year's successful "share a Coke" first name campaign with an even wider ranging roll out this year. The company hopes to further build upon the nearly 20% increase in unit sales the campaign helped generate in 2014.

In response to complaints from consumers whose names did not make the top 250 last time around, Coca Cola will expand the promotion to include the top 1,000 most popular names in the US this year.

For those still left wanting to open happiness, the company is offering an online option for name customization at the price of $5 for an 8-ounce bottle.

Some activists remain unsatisfied. "We's drink Coke, too. There's an ugly history that still resonates among the black community where we was excluded from things or had to pay more for them," said D'Brickshaw Johnson.

His sister, MonQuisha Smith, agreed. "You see Emma or Noah every time you goes to grab a bottle. I even seen Alejandra and the lord Jesus on there, but you ain't never see no Lerevicious."

Coca Cola did not return requests for comment but did provide the following statement: "We celebrate the spirit of collaboration that binds us together as members of the human family. We seek diversity of cultures, sexual identifications and orientations, backgrounds, religious affiliations, ethnicities, and races to promote the growth, development, and enjoyment of and for our customers, employees, shareholders, stakeholders, and the wider global community of humankind."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

African abundance

Riffing off Steve Sailer's prime example of an instance where a picture is worth a thousand words, in 1950 sub-Saharan Africa's population density was on par with that of contemporary Idaho (8 people per square kilometer). By the turn of the next century, UN population projections predict that Africans will be packed in more tightly (170 p/sqkm) than people in New York are today. That shakes out to more than a twenty-fold increase in 150 years, a mere six or seven generations.

Europe's population density, in contrast, is projected to remain nearly static over that same period of time, from 24 p/sqkm in 1950 to 28 p/sqkm in 2100, or from today's Mississippi density to that of West Virginia.

Take a moment to dwell on this. In 1950, there were three times as many Europeans in any given place in Europe as there were black Africans in sub-Saharan Africa. In less than a century, there will over six times as many black Africans in any given place in sub-Saharan Africa as there will be Europeans in Europe.

Put in another way, at the close of the 21st century it is estimated that for every one extant descendant of a European alive in 1950, there will be more than 18 living descendants of a sub-Saharan African living at the same time. This is a veritable Darwinian rout.

Parenthetically, the contrast is even starker than it appears at first blush, since over the intervening 150 years net migration has been and will continue to be from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. In other words, in the year 2100 virtually all of those 170 p/sqkm in sub-Saharan Africa will be black Africans. A lot of those 28 p/sqkm in Europe, in contrast, will be of non-European ancestry.

For some reason I'm not confident that a twenty-fold increase in sub-Saharan Africa's vibrancy over a century and a half is going to be enough to incentivize black Africans to stay put. Excepting Europe's abrupt (and politically unthinkable) adoption of Israeli-style perimeter security on a continental scale, how does camp of the saints not become the story of the 21st century?