Saturday, December 13, 2014

Diversity is also an empty lost-and-found bucket

Way back when, an intellectual giant of our time--nay, THE intellectual giant of our time--kindly described a post I'd put together as "an elegant little regression analysis". It would become standard fare for this audacious amateur, and should continue to be to this day.

In that spirit, then, a few correlations with the percentage of respondents by state in a Gallup poll (via TWCS) asking "If you lost a wallet or purse that contained two hundred dollars, and it was found by a neighbor, do you think it would be returned with the money in it, or not?" who answered in the affirmative:

By estimated average IQ from NAEP scores: +.78 (p-value = .000000000031)
By Ice People population percentage: +.72 (p-value = .0000000034)

It would be crass, of course, to show these same results in their inverse, so you'll just have to use your imagination--or at least a little algebra--if you're the kind of miscreant who is interested in them.

It might be countered, however, that what is being insinuated here is misleading. What about poverty and criminal activity? How do these things correlate with the rate of expected wallet return?

By Supplemental Poverty Measure*: -.83 (p-value = .00000000000016)
By murder rate: -.73 (p-value = .000000002)

Is it that intelligent Ice People avoid crime and poverty while Sun People embrace them? That sounds pretty racist. Perhaps instead a dearth of crime and poverty actually turns Sun People into Ice People, ancestry and all, while an abundance of crime and poverty turns Ice People into Sun People? So many unanswered questions, so much to ponder!

Parenthetically, political orientation isn't nearly as informative as proximity to the Canadian border is. The correlation between the percentage of a state's population that voted for Obama in 2012 and the belief that a lost wallet would be returned by a neighbor is an inverse but quite modest and statistically insignificant .17 (p-value = .251).

* A superior measure of genuine impoverishment than the traditional Census definition that only takes income into account.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Give them an inch, and...

In several exchanges I've had over the last couple of weeks about the putative issue of black oppression by white society, specifically white police forces, it's inevitably argued that there is so much structural racism against blacks that just focusing on the expression of black frustration (ie, riots and looting) misses the point. It's like blaming an abused child (blacks?) for behavioral issues instead of blaming his parents (whites?). The paternalism inherent in this sort of framing--and its long and storied pedigree to boot--is something one can have some fun with if he's so inclined, but I'm not.

Instead, let's travel down this path to see where it takes us. As the story goes, we've made lots of progress since the sixties but half a century on we still have plenty of work to do. Parenthetically, "progress" here refers to racial equality. It is measured relatively, not absolutely. It's better for blacks to get one half mark better and whites to remain in place than it is for blacks and whites to each get one full mark better.

Okay, but where do the consequences of said progress show up? On measures of family stability? On propensity to abstain from engaging in criminal activity? On intelligence tests? On measures of affluence?

Five decades ago, the Moynihan report found that one-in-four black children were born out of wedlock. Today that figure is now greater than two-in-three. Rather than closing over the last five decades, the black-to-white imprisonment rate ratios have actually widened over that same period of time (and that's even with most Hispanics being lumped in with whites; which is more of a factor in recent white numbers than it is in white numbers from the past when Hispanics comprised a smaller percentage of the total population). The one standard deviation gap on IQ tests that separates black and white mean scores from one another has remained so consistent over time that La Griffe du Lion calls it The Fundamental Constant of Sociology. The wealth gap between median black and white households is currently the largest that has ever been measured.

On all these fronts, the disparities appear as incorrigible as ever. Does that mean that all the putative progress has had no appreciable effect on realized outcomes, save for getting a guy like Barack Obama, whose upbringing was far cushier than that enjoyed by hundreds of millions of Americans across the racial spectrum, elected president?

Or is there something Malthusian in play here? Is increasing white deference towards blacks negated by a corresponding increase in poor black behavior like that recently and saliently illustrated by Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and their sympathizers? While blacks are over eight times as likely to engage in violent crime as non-Hispanic whites are, they are less than four times as likely to be shot and killed by police in so doing or when being arrested for so doing. In other words, given their relative criminal propensities, white criminals are more than twice as likely to be killed by police as black criminals are.

This is an extreme illustration of the broader tendency for blacks to be treated less, not more, harshly by police than whites are. This trend will presumably only continue to accentuate as more and more white cops realize, like Darren Wilson and Edward Flynn have, that policing urban blacks is not only thankless but positively injurious not only to one's physical worth but also to his reputation and good moral standing. Reclinating back to the bit about paternalism, the kid who has a tendency to be unruly needs a stricter eye kept on him than the mild-mannered kid does. As a society, the US is doing the opposite--loosening the reigns on the at-risk populations and tightening the grips on the better behaved groups.

The examples of extreme scrutiny given to alleged white perpetrators on the one hand and the dismissive apologies for (or total ignoring of) black offenders are constantly being generated. Even fresher than the Michael Brown and Gilbert Collar incidents are the cases of faux rape at the University of Virginia and the far less publicized but more substantiated potentially real rape case at William Patterson University. Fortunately someone is cataloging these things because it's easy the newest one to wash strained memories of older ones down the memory hole.

If bad black behavior is always blamed on whites--more precisely, on heterosexual, traditionalist, middle-class male goys of European descent--to the extent that societal pressure is going to influence behavior, it is going to tend to prod blacks into behaving ever more pathologically while simultaneously browbeating ever more supine whites into not doing anything--ANYTHING!--that might, however implausibly, be even indirectly associated with possibly having something to do with an action (or even thought) that casts black in anything other than the best possible light.

While it's easy to see that this situation is inherently unstable over the long term, it's beyond my powers of prognostication to say how it'll shake out in the end. Explicit separatism is still a long way from being anything other than a political non-starter, but de facto separatism continues unabated. Of course, the groups claiming to suffer from alleged structural injustices do everything they can to live in municipalities run by the purveyors of those same injustices, so maybe white flight just goes on and on into the foreseeable future, while slowly but surely the numbers of places consumed by blight continues to increase. There's a lot of ruin in a nation. The US is a big country, after all.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Most importantly, she's the mother of your children

From one of Heartiste's best posts (and that's saying a lot), on why a man should avoid marrying a woman aged 30 or older:
If you marry an under-30 woman, the day will come, ostensibly, that she’ll be your over-30 wife. But you’ll have something that chagrined men who married women on the cusp of sagging cups don’t have: Years of very fond, very monopolized, very supple memories. If you maritally snag a 21-year-old minx and occupy her sugar walls for the next ten years, the spermatomically bonded cervix-splattered glue of all those splendid tumbles of passion accrue into something larger than the sum of your individuated speckles.
It's as close to celebrating the benefits of monogamy as one should ever hope to get from the silver tongue. In its focus on carnality, however, it misses a piece of the marital equation that is of crucial importance to many men of this primate species with a rather unusual trait in the animal kingdom: Paternal investment. Like so many other behaviors that carry with them evolutionary benefits, the underlying biological drive is expressed a uniquely pleasurable part of a man's human experience. As cliched as it may sound, there really is no feeling in the world like rocking your son to sleep after he has collapsed into your lap.

Marry a woman in her thirties or forties, and there's a good chance the two of you won't have any kids together (even worse if she's bringing offspring from a previous relationship into the mix and you're not). As she wilts, sags, and tires over the years, well, that fat, flat shadow of her former self is all you're left with. Marry her in her teens or early twenties, though, and not only do you get to accrue all the benefits Heartiste discusses, but the two of you have ample time to create a brood together. The feelings you have for your children (assuming an average or high level of desire for paternal nurturing--this doesn't apply so much to men on the lower end of that spectrum) will splash all over her, too. She is the only person on the planet who has a stronger attachment to your children than you do. Your love for them will perpetually reinforce the attachment you have to her as the bond is weathered relentlessly by the passage of time and its nasty companion, senescence.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

It's raining Venus and Mars out there

Steve Sailer asks "Why do felines strike us as more feminine than canines?"

A few things that come to mind follow. These are just impressions from a human point of view and are not at all intended to answer Steve's other question about "sex hormones and receptors"!

- "Feminine feline" or "feline femininity" are elegant-sounding alliterations. Nothing to compare on the canine side.

- (Most) dogs are physically bigger than (most) cats.

- Dogs are more emotionally direct than cats are. They make no effort to conceal how they feel. Cats, in contrast, may feel one thing but show another.

- Dogs take to physical labor with pleasure. Cats do not.

- Dogs will ejaculate onto or into almost anything. Cats have much more discriminating sexual tastes.

- Dogs will urinate and defecate anywhere. It is only human social convention that puts some (perpetually tenuous) restrictions on this. Cats are quite particular about the what and where of their waste excretions.

- Dogs are opportunistic omnivores, and they'll eat anytime, anywhere. Cats are pickier on both accounts.

- Dogs love wrestling and roughhousing. Once they've grown out of the kitten stage, cats don't.

- Dogs expect and abide a strict social hierarchy. Cats are more egalitarian.

- Dogs are loyal. Cats will abandon a companion at the drop of a hat if a novel one strikes their fancies.

- Dogs guard their territory and they will often fight to maintain it. Cats have no problem letting someone new move in on them, especially if the conqueror provides them with more goodies than the previous patriarch did.

- Dogs verbally and physically announce their presence. Cats are usually discrete.

- Dogs don't spend as much time or effort on preening themselves as cats do.

- Dogs love just about anything involving a ball. Cats don't.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Racism retreats

Writing in the NYT, Charles Blow asserts (via Steve):
Today, too many people are gun-shy about using the word racism, lest they themselves be called race-baiters. So we are witnessing an assault on the concept of racism, an attempt to erase legitimate discussion and grievance by degrading the language: Eliminate the word and you elude the charge.
From Google Trends, the relative search frequency rate for the term "racism" over the last decade:


He has an arguable point. We're even lagging behind a couple other Anglophone diaspora countries.

On the other hand, the relative search volume for "racist" during the same period of time:


I guess we're becoming more individualistic and less group-oriented over time. This isn't going to make Brett Stevens happy, but there it is!

It's not for the NYT's lack of emphasis that the public has taken it's collective eye off the ball, though. The number of articles the paper has run containing the word "racism", in five year intervals, since the turn of the millennium (01/01/2000-12/31/2004, 01/01/2005-12/31/2009, 01/01/2010-12/04/2014):

2000-2005: 1,400
2005-2010: 4,410
2010-2015: 7,540

The Cathedral's role is to instruct us on what we should want to think about, not what we would actually prefer to think about.