April 18, 2009

"Spengler" outs himself

Speaking of interesting but overconfident Internet pundits, a few years ago a reader pointed out to me that "Spengler" was very likely David P. Goldman, a former high-ranking member of the Lyndon LaRouche cult.

I posted on October 27, 2006:
I won't explain the persuasive evidence for his long-ago Lyndon LaRouche connection, since that would necessitate revealing his real name, which might hurt him in his day job. But I'm 95% persuaded of a reader's suggestion that many years ago the individual who is now the extremely self-confident columnist "Spengler" of the Asia Times was a close colleague of the crackpot perennial Presidential candidate.


That reminds me that adventuring in the Middle East seems to appeal most to two sets of people:


- The not very bright sorts who get Iraq and Iran and Saddam and Osama confused.

- And the extremely bright but not quite stable sorts who can convince themselves of anything.


LaRouche and Goldman had cowritten a book together in 1980, The Ugly Truth about Milton Friedman.

Now, Spengler/Goldman, who is an editor at First Things, has come out with a column in Asia Times doing the opposite of what I did: revealing his name, but not his old Larouche connection.

Now, just because somebody belonged to a cult doesn't mean that we shouldn't take them seriously. For example, Alan Greenspan was part of the inner circle of Ayn Rand's cult well into his forties (going so far as to sign the notoriously loony Stalin-like manifesto denouncing Rand's ex-boyfriend Nathaniel Branden when he was 42). And then Greenspan became the most powerful unelected official in the world, and look how swell that worked out.

Oh, wait ... never mind. I guess I need to find a new example of an ex-cultist making good. Let me get back to you on this one ...

As for Spengler's opinions of me, he recently posted this on one of his discussion pages:
"I think Sailer is a racist SOB who sees the data through a distorted lens. Not all of what he says is wrong, though. There is a problem with illegitimacy. But I don't think Hispanics are stupid as he argues."

"Sailer is deeply misguided. A lot of the Hispanics coming to the US are in fact Asians -- southern Mexican or central American Indians with very poor education, nutrition, etc. Their first generation is pretty disastrous, but so were the Irish, Italians and Slavs. The Catholic Church in America wrote off a whole generation, maybe two, of Irish men. Can they assimilate? Sure. But I ought to point out that American kids of European ancestry aren't doing so well at the moment, either."

This is a classic example of the East Coast intellectual's ruling mental framework for thinking about illegal immigration: it's always all about Ellis Island. It's not about 2009, it's about bragging rights over 1909.

And, besides, nobody around here ever noticed any Mexicans around until 1997. So, their future must be a complete blank slate! Anything could happen. They have no track record whatsoever!

By the way, in case you were wondering (and, admit it, you were), Lyndon LaRouche is one of those folks, like Hugh Hefner, whom many people just assume are Jewish, but aren't.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

141 comments:

RKU said...

Ha, Ha!

And I'd been totally convinced that Spengler was actually a "Scots-Irishman" just like our own local friend Testing99/EvilNeocon...

Bob said...

In a very limited defense, Spengler doesn't deny HBD, but just argues that Mexicans IQ will improve with better culture and nutrituion. You offer the counterexample of the poor performance of 3rd and 4th generation hispanics in the southwest.

But do they really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks?

While I agree with you on the issue, and think his attack on you is nasty and personal, I can't rule out his point being correct.

Black Sea said...

"But do they really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks?"

Avg. IQ for white West Virginians: 97

Avg. IQ for Mexican-Americans: 89

Sources:

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2006/11/white-iq-estimates-by-state.html

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/06/best-estimate-yet-of-hispanic-american.html

Steve Sailer said...

Great. We're turning California into the new West Virginia.

Svigor said...

Never assumed Larouche was Jewish. Never really gave it any thought.

But I still think Hefner is Jewish. Just because he says he isn't, doesn't mean he isn't. Especially if we're talking ancestry, and not identity.

mark said...

As for Spengler/Goldman calling you a "racist SOB," that's a bit like the pot calling the kettle, er, black! His own predilections are discussed at Wowie zowie--David Goldman sheds nom-de-plume and LaRouche credential but not the genocidal orders from God. That's a reference to a Goldman blog at First Things, Either Way, Amalek Must Die: A Passover Meditation, in which Goldman identifies all opponents of the Zionist ideology as anti-Semites who, in this modern age, are to be identified with the ultimate "heathen enemies" of the ancient Israelites: the Amalekites, whom God famously ordered King Saul to slaughter--man, woman, child and domestic animals. This in turn is reminiscent of Goldman's outing-Spengler article in which he reprises such greatest hits as: "individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel," and "Jew-hatred was stripped of its mask, and revealed as the jealousy of the merely undead toward living Israel." The persistently underlying theme that the "merely undead" pagans/Gentiles can only redeem themselves by embracing Christian Zionism is one that Spengler/Goldman has rung the changes upon for, what, nearly 300 articles?

As a commenter at the first cited blog (who by a strange coincidence shares my name) stated: "For Spengler/Goldman, Jewish ethnocentrism is somehow privileged, based on a fundamentalist reading of the patriarchal narratives in Genesis. But for those not blinded by Zionist ideology, it is simply another form of nationalistic self worship--paganism, in a word."

Cobblepott said...

"A lot of the Hispanics coming to the US are in fact Asians -- southern Mexican or central American Indians with very poor education, nutrition, etc."

Crossing the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago makes them "Asians"?!

Oh right, they eat rice, they're short, and are ostensibly docile....of course they're "Asians"!

You know, like how we're all "Africans". The Out of Africa hypothesis says so!

Anonymous said...

A lot of the Hispanics coming to the US are in fact Asians -- southern Mexican or central American Indians with very poor education, nutrition, etc. Their first generation is pretty disastrous, but so were the Irish, Italians and Slavs.Why isn't the first generation of Chinese and Koreans coming into the US disastrous? Why haven't pre-Columbian Amerindians been able to create cultures as complex as the ones of Europe or the Far East? The record of underachievement goes back for millenia. And the longer it goes back, the harder it is to blame it on culture.

There are many types of Mongoloids, just like there are many types of Caucasoids. I'm sure that if Italian Americans came from the north of Italy and not from the south, then none of their generations here would have been called disastrous by anyone. Of course Spengler's use of "disastrous" here is overblown and reflects his own ethnic biases.

The Amerindian kind of Mongoloids seems to have a lower mean IQ than the northeast Asian kind. Why should one be surprised by the existence of such differences? Their complete lack is what would have been truly shocking.

And the thing about nutrition drives me nuts. After WWII nutrition was appalling all over central and eastern Europe for years and years. Why haven't those countries slipped into the third world after that?

Germany, Poland, Russia all experienced famines after the war. Russia ended up sending a man into space in 1961, Germany didn't do too badly in cognitively-demanding tasks either.

For most of humanity's past temporary famines were experienced by every generation. We evolved to be able to bounce back from that kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with West Virginia?

It's the Argentina of the US.

TH said...

I do not subscribe to Kevin MacDonald's theories, but Spengler/Goldman is really like a character straight out of MacDonald's tomes. All his convoluted theorizing seems to boil down to one question: Is it good for the Jews?

Spengler/Goldman thinks that the Jewish ethnicity is the only legitimate ethnicity, and Israel the only legitimate ethnic nation, and that all non-Jewish ethnicities, or at least the white, Christian ones, must be erased in favor of a cosmopolitan identity. The reasoning behind this seems to be that de-ethnicized, uprooted people are not anti-Semitic.

Spengler/Goldman reminds me of Moses Hess, an associate of Karl Marx best known for coining the phrase "religion is the opiate of the masses." Hess was a proto-Zionist who advocated the founding of an independent Jewish nation in Palestine, and the subjugation of all the rest of the world to a socialist world government.

Spengler/Goldman has always, until now, tried to give the impression that he is possibly a Catholic and not a Jew. Before I found out who he is a couple of years ago, I was not quite sure if he was a Jew or a Christian. It was expedient for him to be thought of as a Christian rather than some New York Jew called Goldman.

Bill said...

Larouche may not be Jewish, but a whole lot of his followers are. I have heard the theory that the Larouche movement is stridently anti-Zionist because both Larouche and Zionists are competing for the same recruits.

Take away some of the "Queen of England rules the world" stuff and the Larouche reports can be kind of interesting. Not saying I buy any of it, but it can make a decent read.

Anonymous said...

"But do they really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks?"


Yes. Whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks are not nearly as taken with socialism as are Mexicans and other Hispanics. This makes them more natural Americans, regardless of their IQ. (Which is one reason I think that IQ is grosely overrated as a means of evaluating people. There is a great deal of significant data which it excludes.)

Anonymous said...

Spengler/Goldman

"As in the great extinction of the tribes in late antiquity, individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel."

This guy makes David Duke seem sane. He's a Jewish supremacist.

SurfsUp said...

Spengler is evil!

These people (you know to whom I refer) are sick. His contempt for the Gentiles oozed out of of his columns. His obsession with Rosenzweig, Israel as an eternal nation, etc.

Reading his columns is almost as sickening as reading the Old Testament...almost -- if the Old Testament is the Satanic demiurge YHWH unfiltered, then Spengler is a human filter through which the unspeakable evil is carefully sanitized for consumption by the public.

You need to understand what you are dealing with here. Read the Old Testament. Then you'll begin to understand.

Some Abrahamic faiths are partly immunized to this deception. See the Rastafarians, Mormons...nothing gets the ODs (original deceivers) madder than claiming you stole the Covenant from out under their collective nose.

Larchemount said...

At this late date I have zero tolerance for emotional fact-free immigration arguments from liberals and left wingers, especially hypocrite Jewish radicals whose actual overriding concern on immigration matters seems to be "Is it good for the Jews?"

Look around the web and read the comment threads on any immigration article. People have had it with the BS coming down from On High. The elite-sanctioned, mainstream writers are consistently either clueless or dishonest on the issue and they are called out on it whenever and wherever free speech is tolerated in the comments.

For America's New Elite, the top priority is to make the United States a majority non-white nation against the known desires of the population at large, inconvenient immigration facts and realities be damned.

Here's an article by Steinlight and a revealing comment thread that gives a glimpse into the 2% Jewish minority's motivations for re-engineering the demography of a gentile nation and what constitutes "going too far":

No Debate Please, We're JewishThe comment threads at this link are filled with a mix of PC ethnic hostility, boneheaded social theory, and plain ignorance and wishful thinking. The inner workings of the left wing mind on mass immigration are incoherent, logically conflicted and generally fact-free: It's all about ends justifying the means.

"...those who argue that the Mexicans now in the United States and those coming are a danger to the United States are white nationalists. They identify the United States as a white man’s English speaking nation. The United States is no such thing. We live in a hemisphere of the earth that is predominantly Spanish speaking. The age in which European descended white men could rule the earth is over."That comment is stuffed with crap. And as usual there is a blatant falsehood included.

THE CLAIM: We live in a hemisphere of the earth that is predominantly Spanish speaking.

THE REALITY: Spanish is spoken by an approximate 40% minority in the Western Hemisphere overall. Here are the population numbers from Wikipedia for 2008-9:

North America 528,720,588
South America 382,000,000
Central America 40,545,745
Total = 950 million

USA 306,241,000 English
Brazil 196,342,592 Portuguese
Canada 33,620,000 English/French
Total = 535 million non-Spanish speakers

Stopped Clock said...

To be fair, I've also seen on this blog or some other one a map showing Arkansas' average IQ to be only 89, even though Arkansas is overwhelmingly white, so I'd urge caution when comparing data from different sources. Nevertheless, Audacious Epigone shows that in 49 of 50 states, Hispanics score below the whites in all fifty states. The one exception (Missouri) seems to be a very strange case indeed and not attributable to any one obvious cause.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Spengler isn't any good on IQ [e.g. here and here, or on Lincoln [e.g. here and here], but he does see the big picture: Nihilism is decimating the ranks of the civilized world.

I think that even Spengler, though, is afraid to follow his ideas through to their logical conclusion - which conclusion being that the civilized world is sitting on the edge of a precipice, and that extinction-inducing fertility rates have left humanity on the verge of losing civilization altogether.

Personally, I find all Lincolnolatry to be revolting [in fact, Lincolnolatry so repels me that it almost makes feel a little sorry for poor Lincoln himself], but I often wonder about Spengler & IQ - part of me thinks that Spengler secretly understands the problem posed by the lesser races, but is afraid to go public with it [some topics being so toxic that even pseudonymous authors don't want to touch them], but he does have an oddly universalist approach to religion [odd for a Jew, that is - although I suspect that, at this point, Spengler is likely a Messianic], and universalism is very difficult to square with the mountains of empirical data that we now have on IQ.

For instance, if it's true that American blacks have an average IQ of 83 [and declining - cf here and here], and that American aboriginal hispanics have an IQ at least that low, and possibly lower [cf here and here], and if an IQ of about 90 is necessary for any hope of mastering the 3Rs, then that means that tens of millions of Americans [soon to be a majority of all Americans] are [at least on average] incapable of memorizing simple addition and multiplication tables - or, upon memorizing those tables, are then incapable of understanding what it was that they were forced to memorize.

And if they can't understand simple addition and multiplication, then how are they to understand logic?

And if they can't understand logic, then how are they to master basic Christianity?

If the lesser races really are that stupid, then at least a third of the Trinity is beyond their grasp [and quite possibly two thirds of the Trinity], which makes for a rather large impediment to universality.

For that matter, [on average] do the lesser races even possess common sense as we understand it?

These sorts of questions of intelligence present a serious obstacle to any sort of intellectual [if not practical] approach to universalism in religion, and I think it's the sort of thing that a universalist like Spengler just isn't [or, as of yet, hasn't been] willing to tackle.

Of course, the supreme irony here is that, in the modern world, the lesser races appear to be just about the only ones who are clinging to their [overt] religion - Nihilism [tacitly, if not overtly, a religion] being in the process of removing the advanced races from the face of the earth.

Oh well, That Crazy Jew did promise us that the meek would inherit the earth.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Mark: another form of nationalistic self worship--paganism, in a word.

Yeah, I've been thinking about starting a thread over at the Spengler Forums about the fundamental internal inconsistency of Rosenzweigism [even though I agree with Rosenzweig's basic hypothesis - or at least the Reader's Digest/Cliff's Notes version of Rosenzweig's basic hypothesis that I learned from Spengler], but it's a big topic, and I've been too lazy [and too pressed for time] to write it all down.

Cobblepott said...

So the insufferable bore finally outs himself....

Despite how seriously he takes himself, David Goldman ran out of the interesting thing or two he had to say, oh, around 1999 or so.

"Spengler" is indicative of both what is very good and very bad about the internet. Through "Spengler" people become acquainted with obscure thinkers such as Franz Rosenzweig, who may possibly have a worthy insight. However, it also allows people like "Spengler" use their knowledge of obscure thinkers to spin grand narratives and theories that seduce people, because, you know, he must be right, he knows all these obscure guys I've never heard of, and nobody else writes about it.....He must be right!

Seriously, how many more permutations of the same article could he come up with?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Great. We're turning California into the new West Virginia.

Wake me up when California sends a John Forbes Nash to Princeton.

David Davenport said...

But do they really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks? Question for you fellows who mock white southern Americans and/or Christian conservatives:

Who else can or will be the yeomanry of the anti-Left American mass movement I assume you long for?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Look, in fairness to Spengler, that 13th Imam nutjob in Iran is threatening to wipe the Jews off the map.

If we were to discover that the Chicoms were building tens of thousands of MIRV'ed ICBMs, and targetting them at the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and [gasp!!!] West Virginia, with the express purpose of annihilating the Scots-Irish from the face of the earth, then I should think that there'd be some gnashing of the teeth at iSteve.

anon-2 said...

Mexicans/Mestizos are not Asians for simple reason that Asians have been eating rice based diet for thousands of years and and the Indians corn. Don't know what it is but there is something strange about corn that holds back IQ development when eaten generation after generation as principle food

As far as Spengler and Amelek I rarely see him comment on Israel. The Amelek essay is very new, maybe he is branching out. Jews of Israel should defend themselves so no big deal

As far as Kevin MacDonald he should study the evolutionary strategy of the Muslims which is much more hard core than the Jews. But Jews are who MacDonald makes his living off of and analyzing Islam can get him killed. In Islam only non-Muslim women are married because she will be converted and will produce more Muslims. Muslim women absolutely do not marry non-Muslim men because that means a womb lost to Allah. Jews make it difficult to convert into Judaism and all the mixed marriages are making many secular Jewish children and many non-Jewish children (your mother must be Jewish)

How about Muslim polygamy which forces the unfortunate Muslim men to find women outside of Islam. Judaism has nothing like this

David said...

"Spengler/Goldman is really like a character straight out of [Kevin] MacDonald's tomes."

Well, remember those slender books quote real people. KMac puts his spin on the quotes but they are often fair and clear.

I agree Goldman, whom Mark indicated is a Jewish supremacist, seems straight out of KMac's darker pages.

But, haven't we lately been seeing more than one of these supremacists? Here are some possible explanations for this.

a. - KMac is right and the scales are falling from our eyes

b. - There's nothing to KMac; we must be losing our minds

c. - As society gets shakier, all kinds of stereotypical behavior is asserting itself more crudely, making far-out theories superficially plausible

Which do you think? I have ruled out b. and now debate between a. and c.

mark said...

Cobblepott, you're basically describing the MO of the Larouche cult: people like "Spengler" use their knowledge of obscure thinkers to spin grand narratives and theories that seduce people. Spengler/Goldman is basically an ex-Larouchie looking for a following, and he keeps citing the same one or two people over and over again. There's nothing inherently wrong in that--hey, Rosenzweig might be right, right? But guess what? Rosenzweig's ideas have been evaluated and found wanting, which is why he's so obscure nowadays. But for Spengler/Goldman Rosenzweig is a handy hook from which to spin, Larouche-like, his theories of everything. And that theory boils down to Zionism, dressed up in unusual lingo but with the same threadbare intellectual assumptions. It's just that Spengler's acolytes haven't found that out yet. It took Goldman 7 or 8 years to leave the Larouche fold, too.

SurfsUp said...

Man, was my comment that bad? Yeah, I know bringing up the Old Testament is unpleasant, but it isn't like I am making that stuff up. The OT makes Clive Barker look like Dr. Seuss!

Anyway, Spengler's oeuvre can be summed up as "Let's you and him fight for the benefit of Israel."

Don't fall for it. Be a Rastafarian and steal the covenant from out under their noses.

Anonymous said...

"Look, in fairness to Spengler, that 13th Imam nutjob in Iran is threatening to wipe the Jews off the map.

If we were to discover that the Chicoms were building tens of thousands of MIRV'ed ICBMs, and targetting them at the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and [gasp!!!] West Virginia, with the express purpose of annihilating the Scots-Irish from the face of the earth, then I should think that there'd be some gnashing of the teeth at iSteve."

Hooray for fairness!

Anonymous said...

One must refrain from connecting dots between the 'amalek must...' psychology and the latest Homeland Security report on domestic terror threats.

The modern amalek is definitely NOT the gun totin' third party supportin' anti-gay marryin' anti-abortin' anti-immigrant invadin' anti-Fed Reserve bankin' constitutionalist.

No. That's all in your head. DHS and its subcontractors ADL and SPLC are not obsessed with you.

testing99 said...

Spengler is useful in examining demographic trends, his particular insight into how industrializing Muslim nations like Iran and Tunisia and Algeria are suffering from TFRs under replacement, around 1.7 IIRC, is quite useful for seeing how it is not "culture" in the sense of post-Modern, post-Christian yuppiedom per se, but technology of cheap available condoms, birth control pills, modern urban anonymous living, and rising income/status of women EVEN IN ISLAMIST nations that is causing a demographic collapse of all "modern industrial" societies.

However, to make this leap you have to read both Roissy in DC's observations and Spenglers. As others have noted Spengler is afraid to make these demographic conclusions himself. [Though Steve also shares that reluctance IMHO.]

Spengler's religious writings are not very useful, religion's main role in human society is to provide a "ruleset" that binds human behavior most of the time, "good enough" to allow whatever scale and level of trust networks for emotionally and mentally supercharged primates to cooperate.

I'm not interested in nor do I understand most of his religious writings, though perhaps he has a point of the nascent paganism of Europe and the explicit "New Jerusalem" ideology of Americanism. But at best this insight is trivial and beside the point for explaining policy and demographics.

However, just like Spengler's blind spot is a refusal to acknowledge bad outcomes of lots of poor Latin Americans, primarily Mexicans of Indian descent, in America, Steve has TWO BIG intellectual blind spots as well.

Steve's Intellectual Blind Spots are (sorry, it must be said):

*Refusing to acknowledge that widespread nuclear weapons are a "game changer" technology wise for poor, Islamist, and therefore polygamy-driven peoples to kill Westerners. Nuclear weapons make Aircraft carriers (the US anyway will soon be down to 10) irrelevant.

Steve sees the fragile post-War technological advantage of the US as "normal" and everlasting, he refuses to admit the destabilizing nature of nukes in the hands of non-state actors through the intermediary agency of failed/failing states like Pakistan or Iran.

Which are existential threats to wealth/culture centers like NYC, London, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, etc.

*Steve's second blind spot is refusing to acknowledge the role that polygamy and sexual competition for an ever diminishing pool of young women plays in creating aggression within Muslim nations and therefore conflict with whatever "weak" society can be attacked with impunity.

To his CREDIT, Steve has noted that polygamy means more losers than winners (and thus few stable stakeholders in a peaceful society) but he refuses to draw the implications.

Steve is not a racist, but he does not IMHO look closely at the data showing exactly what is wrong with Black American society nor examine it's near total cultural collapse over time. Steve HAS acknowledged that Hispanic illegitimacy has changed (for the worse) over time, but has not looked deeply in the changes to account for the change over time. IMHO Steve is "too much an old fashioned Gentlemen" like Michael Blowhard of 2Blowhards to see or understand the obvious in Hispanic illegitimacy rates: preference for thugs by Hispanic/Mexican women.

While this marks Steve is a nice guy, it doesn't lend itself to understanding the large forces at play most notably in Black but also Hispanic and White communities, and broad social implications.

In 1965 (Source: Juan Williams, WSJ Father's Day Editorial) the White Illegitimacy Rate was 4%, the Black 24%, today that is 28% and 71% nationally, respectively, and over 90% for Urban Blacks. [According to Steve's prior postings, Hispanic rates in 1980 wer 17%, today over 50%.] Alongside the wave of illegitimacy has been a near total cultural collapse of Black Music, which rivaled that of Beethoven and Mozart for emotional power and compositional mastery and complexity. Going from the music of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Fats Waller, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding to Kanye West and Chris Brown in two generations or so does not happen without strong cultural/demographic factors. Collapse in Black Literature has been nearly as strong, with writers such as Ralph Ellison or Langston Hughes being replaced by Toni Morrison, August Wilson, or Cornell West, the hip-hop Professor.

Steve's problem here is that he's too much (again like Michael Blowhard) of an "old fashioned Gentlemen" to speak to what drove the cultural collapse: widespread illegitimacy caused by sexual selection among Black Women for thugs post 1965.

Ironically, Black Bloggers such as "T AKA RICKY RAW" who is also billed as "the Rawness" have written extensively about this massive and recent shift in sexual selection, which has obvious demographic but lesser echos in the White population, as chronicled by Roissy and others in the PUA community.

Does Spengler's association with LaRouche matter?

If you are a SWPL Yuppie who's primary goal is status and social approval, then yes it does and you must reject everything he says to maintain your status. If your goal is intellectual honesty, then Spengler's insights into Demography and a few other issues are taken as useful intellectual tools, and that which is not useful (his religious writings and moralizing about immigrants) is discarded.

Spengler and Steve are both useful for some insights which are not found anywhere else, but both have major blindspots. [Steve fails to appreciate the nature of Hollywood which would rather make most movies like "the Reader" and holds in contempt middle class values and people.]

I will say I check Steve's site every day, he's nearly always got something useful to say, and I highly recommend people put him in their bookmarks.

The best I can say about Steve is that he has changed the way in which I view various issues and changed my mind. Through force of argument. I am thankful for his often insightful writings, though I can often disagree with some of his conclusions.

RKU -- Yes I'm very Scots-Irish. County Donegal and lowland Scots. You can't get more Scots Irish.

Mike Flynn said...

Why haven't pre-Columbian Amerindians been able to create cultures as complex as the ones of Europe or the Far East?No cattle, no horses, no donkeys, no elephants, no camels. No large domesticatable animals of any sort. Very low protein supply vis a vis the old world Oecumene.

Hence, no beasts of burden for traction or transport. Hence, limited size of polities.

Hence, no field agriculture [cow-and-plow], only gardening [hoe]. Hence, limitations on size and area of settlements.

One may as well ask why transAlpine/transDanubian Europe lacked high civilization until effectively the Middle Ages.

PA said...

... I think that IQ is grosely overrated as a means of evaluating people. There is a great deal of significant data which it excludes.) I agree. There is one more very fundamental criterion for evaluating suitability of immigrants: "do they look like us?"

Ten million well-behaved hi-IQ Slavs or Germans immigrating to Korea would render an ancient nation unrecognizeable. But 10 million Vietnamese immigrants in Korea would be better-absorbed because of thier more similar appearance.

Cobblepott said...

From one of the links provided by Lucius Vorenus:

"If we don't invest in educating and training African-American kids, immigrants and Latino kids, we won't have a middle class," said Mark Sawyer, the director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics at the University of California at Los Angeles. "We'll have a very, very poor disposable class that's largely black or brown."

So, we're not going to have a middle class. Even though we will "invest" massively.

"Some sociologists already have scrapped "minority" for terms such as "dominant" and "nondominant group" to discuss race and ethnicity, Sawyer said."

So, even after whites become a minority, they will be deemed a "dominant" group and thus liable to provide for the numerically superior groups.

Demographically speaking, this drastic change is inevitable. Even if immigration stopped, Hispanics are on the way to becoming a dominant share of the population.

However, what seems unlikely is that this massive demographic change will be unaccompanied by equally drastic political changes. Can we honestly believe that the political structure of the US will be able to withstand this? Each percentage change in the demographic makeup of the country is an additional stress on the stability of the US and US gov't.

It seems unlikely that the political structure of the US will remain, with the only change being demographics. A breakup of the US seems much more likely. 30 years is a long time politically speaking.

Anonymous said...

Lucius Vorenus, what are you, a DHS plant? "The lesser races" don't have common sense? That's completely beyond ludicrous.

Old-fashioned pedagogical methods can produce literate, numerate populations of any race. A passing acquaintance with very recent history is enough to demonstrate this. The collision between hbd and the postmodern West is caused by the postmodern West's desire for a proportional number of astrophysicists and neurosurgeons, and our willingness to totally destroy what is left of old-fashion pedagogy out of the toxic delusion that requiring black children to memorize facts, speak grammatically, and sit still in class is what is preventing them from being rocket scientists and brain surgeons.

I don't think you are really so insane as to believe that the majority of humanity can't add. You've got to be neo-COINTELPRO.

Anonymous said...

Quelle surprise. A few years ago I took a crack at it. A few minutes of googling gave me Goldman's clue-ridden articles about Rosenzweig, classical music, the Pope, and finance, all written in that familiar Spenglerian style.

Gee, I didn't know that Ellis Island was a CONTINUOUS stream of mass ILLEGAL immigration. Ya learn something new every day.

Anonymous said...

However, to make this leap you have to read both Roissy in DC's observations and Spenglers.Add in the c-section rate in the US and the fact that the obstretic profession doesn't even pretend to practice medicine anymore and you've figured out the whole enchilada.

RKU said...

Here are some possible explanations for this.

a. - KMac is right and the scales are falling from our eyes

b. - There's nothing to KMac; we must be losing our minds

c. - As society gets shakier, all kinds of stereotypical behavior is asserting itself more crudely, making far-out theories superficially plausible
That sounds about right.

Personally, I opt for (b). Clearly the vast quantity of new information made available by the creation of the Internet is overloading our brains and driving more and more of us insane. Furthermore, even just looking at some old magazine articles from the distant past would have much the same effect.

Everyone knows that too much information drives you insane...

Anonymous said...

No cattle, no horses, no donkeys, no elephants, no camels. No large domesticatable animals of any sort. Very low protein supply vis a vis the old world Oecumene. Yes, I've read Jared Diamond's stuff too. Have you ever reflected on the fact that no domesticated plant or animal resembles its wild ancestor very much? Do you disagree with the fact that it is ultimately the human mind that made cattle, horses, dogs, etc. useful to humans?

The Amerindians had raw ingredients in the form of llamas, for example. The Incas used them as beasts of burden, but never thought of riding them. The wheel and the cart also seem to have never occurred to them.

And what about the American Buffalo? It's been here for 10,000 years. Why hadn't the Amerindians domesticated it?

I remember Diamond's book being full of excuses. That New World animal is too aggressive for domestication, this one is not social enough, etc, etc.

It is the human mind that, over the course of history, made Old World domesticated animals to be what they are. Why are African bees more aggressive than European bees? Because more work went into making European bees docile. And so on. If with enough patience and planning humans could make poodles out of wolves, then most of Diamond's excuses about non-domesticability of individual species are BS.

PRCalDude said...

And if they can't understand simple addition and multiplication, then how are they to understand logic?

And if they can't understand logic, then how are they to master basic Christianity?

If the lesser races really are that stupid, then at least a third of the Trinity is beyond their grasp [and quite possibly two thirds of the Trinity], which makes for a rather large impediment to universality.
If you believe the New Testament, you believe the "things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them." (Westminster Confession of Faith 1:VII).

While I'm not sure the Mexicans will turn out anything like the Westminster Standards anytime soon, I heartily agree with their take on the clarity of the gospel.

Steiner said...

"But do they [Mexicans] really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks?"

"Great. We're turning California into the new West Virginia."

West Virginians, essentially Scots-Irish with a sprinkling of Germans like Chuck Yeager, are renowned as fighting men. For this reason alone, they'd be worthy of populating California. As for Mexicans as the ethnic core of your armed forces, well...

Anonymous said...

Mike Flynn wrote:

"One may as well ask why transAlpine/transDanubian Europe lacked high civilization until effectively the Middle Ages."

Already in deep antiquity northern Europe had lived through the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages. What about the Amerindians? I quote the Wikipedia article on metal working:

"In the Americas things were different. Although the peoples of the Americas knew of metals, it wasn't until the arrival of Europeans that metal for tools and weapons took off. Jewelry and art were the principal uses of metals in the Americas prior to European influence."

So it's not just that they failed to domesticate such obviously domesticable animals as the American Buffalo. They never even came up on the idea of metal tools.

Before the Middle Ages northern Europe certainly had a simpler culture than did the northern Mediterranean, but it is quite ignorant to imply that its culture wasn't higher than Amerindian cultures of the same period. The difference was huge. It's not a shock that the Norse eventually were able to discover North America. The reverse would have been unthinkable.

Anonymous said...

No. That's all in your head. DHS and its subcontractors ADL and SPLC are not obsessed with you.I think you may have confused the principals and the sub-contractor there.

PRCalDude said...

Alongside the wave of illegitimacy has been a near total cultural collapse of Black Music, which rivaled that of Beethoven and Mozart for emotional power and compositional mastery and complexity.Forgive my lack of enthusiasm for this assertion.

Juan Williams - there's a pundit we should be taking seriously. Not for his serious assertions, but for his unbelievable capacity to lie.

Svigor said...

As far as Kevin MacDonald he should study the evolutionary strategy of the Muslims which is much more hard core than the Jews. But Jews are who MacDonald makes his living off of and analyzing Islam can get him killed.Yeah, and writing about Jews gets him invites to all the best parties.

Muslims are fair game. There are tons of smart Jews, for example, who can fill that niche. Or non-Jews with juevos not as big as MacDonald's.

If you have juevos as big as MacDonald's, the niche he chose is the right one.

On the other hand, I'd love to see a MacDonaldian treatment of Muslims (who obviously are nowhere near as important to American culture as Jews).

Mike Flynn said...

No cattle, no horses, no donkeys, no elephants, no camels. No large domesticatable animals of any sort. Very low protein supply vis a vis the old world Oecumene.


Anonymous said:Yes, I've read Jared Diamond's stuff too. Have you ever reflected on the fact that no domesticated plant or animal resembles its wild ancestor very much? Do you disagree with the fact that it is ultimately the human mind that made cattle, horses, dogs, etc. useful to humans?


MF answersThis long predates Diamond.

All the human mind in the world cannot domesticate an aurochs that does not even exist, or ride a horse that is not there.

They did a bang-up job domesticating maize, though.

Dogs they had, and domesticated them.

Even Llamas, which are a poor sort of camel. Don't expect to ride them like a horse. [And the camel itself was not domesticated until very late in Old World history. It is not an easy thing to do, and Old Worlders had considerable prior art in the domestication of the cow, the horse, etc.] Also, the llama was only available in a limited geographical range.
The American Bison is not domesticatable. Numerous attempts have been made - I saw one ridden [not well, and not very long] at a rodeo once - but with only stone age technology, I have doubts.

Lacking a draft animal to pull plows it is hard to produce an economic surplus needed to support State-level polities.

Not sure what use a wheel would have been without a donkey to pull the cart. A better case could be made for the pottery wheel, but even in the Old World, that was invented only once; and the Egyptians went without wheeled vehicles until the Hyksos gave them instruction on the advantages of chariots.

Anonymous said...

To the person propagating the Jared Diamond meme i.e. Europeans just got lucky with the animals, crops etc. If them other guys coulda just had the breaks etc etc

Im sure I read on isteve of a Soviet experiment on domesticating foxes - to fill the dog niche. And Zebras, millions of them hanging around in Africa, seems someone has experimented with domesticating them. There is not much point of course as we already have horses but the potential seems to be there, selective breeding could in time turn them into horses. Yet no-one ever tried it until now.

El Caudillo said...

"By the way, in case you were wondering (and, admit it, you were), Lyndon LaRouche is one of those folks, like Hugh Hefner, whom many people just assume are Jewish, but aren't."

Well, I didn't necessarily think La Rouche was a Jew; just a douche.

Lyndon LaDouche

Cobblepott said...

Spengler is the type of completely self-absorbed, self-conscious, New York Jewish intellectual we've all become very familiar with in the past couple decades or so.

The pattern in Spengler/Goldman's life, that he himself describes, is all too familiar. Leftist New York Jew has a kind of religious awakening in his late 20s/30s. Being Jewish, this religious awakening is not solely a spiritual one; there's a strong ethnic identity component to it as well. There's nothing wrong with this of course. It's perfectly natural, understandable, and even admirable about this. This is rightly followed with a devotion to the state of Israel, it being the political and geographical expression of this newfound religious-ethnic identity.

Now Spengler has devoted reams of his writing arguing that the present day ethnic groups and their respective ethno-states (not just in the West, but in E. Asia, and the Muslim world) are going extinct like many tribes and ethnic groups before them in history, and that nihilism and the loss of religious faith has much to do with this. In order for his generalization to make sense, Spengler basically adjusts his thesis and qualifies it so it makes sense. Thus Muslims, who are of course very religious, are uber pagan nihilists, and E. Asians, whose faith and spirituality seem murky, are in reality too materialist. With these adjustments, Spengler tries to hold his thesis together. He is right of course to a certain degree.

What's galling is how he proceeds from this. This modern condition (a sickness) of the spiritually vapid ethnic groups manifests itself in anti-Semitism and hatred for the state of Israel (another irrational sickness), Israel being the eternal nation. And this explains much, if not all, of world events today.

According to Spengler, people (all kinds, Westerners, Muslims, etc.) hate Jews and Israel because they are dying out. If they engage in any degree of preservation, including writing blog posts criticizing immigration policy (like Steve), they are in Spengler's eyes "racist SOBs."

This from a guy who writes articles calling for "More Killing Please!" of Arabs.

Before Israel was founded, Jews were the eternally wandering people without a nation state of their own, while all other ethnic groups have their own ethno-states, in which the Jews live. It's as if now that Israel exists, there can be no other ethno-states. Such is the thirst for distinction.

Spengler's justification of Mexican immigration being ok because they're "Asian" is just absurd on so many levels. It's scientifically dubious. And Asian immigration has been successful relative to Hispanic immigration to the extent that there's been a lower number and higher quality of Asian immigrants relative to Hispanic immigrants. Furthermore, how does one group of immigrants' supposed affinity to another group of immigrants justify its continued massive influx? He's not even arguing that the Hispanics are somehow related to the majority of native born Americans. He's saying they're related to another "good" group of immigrants, so everything's ok.

The Israelis and their Semitic cousins, the Palestinians and other Arabs, are certainly more related to each other than Hispanics and Asians. And the Israelis are the native born majority of Israel, not some "good" group of immigrants to Israel. So why don't they just let all those Palestinians and Arabs in?! This makes as much sense, if not more, as Spengler saying we should keep the massive influx of Hispanics because they are like Asians.

clem said...

Don't know what it is but there is something strange about corn that holds back IQ development when eaten generation after generation as principle food....Odd how Cochran, et al., missed that, eh?....

I remember Diamond's book being full of excuses. That New World animal is too aggressive for domestication, this one is not social enough, etc, etc.... [M]ost of Diamond's excuses about non-domesticability of individual species are BS....Indeed, but it's actually worse than that. First, Sailer:

"Not all sub-Saharan Africans lack domestic animals. For instance, the Fulanis are mostly lactose tolerant precisely because they evolved an ability to drink cow's milk as adults because they herd cattle on a massive scale."

"It's true that Africans never domesticated the ostrich, but a Mr. Hardy pulled off the trick in the 19th Century. In the late nineteenth century, South African farmers raised almost a million of these 300-pound birds to supply the fancy hat industry with feathers."

"Most strikingly, Diamond failed to recall that elephant-mounted African warriors did swarm north to decimate horse-mounted Romans and almost create an empire that spanned Africa and Europe in perhaps the most famous feat of ancient warfare: Hannibal crossing the Alps. (Although a biopic with Denzel Washington as Hannibal has long been under development in Hollywood, the North African Carthaginians were actually the Semitic descendents of the Levantine Phoenicians.)"

Then skeptic Steven Dutch:

"Jared Diamond admires the hunter-gatherers he knows from New Guinea, noting that whenever they travel to a new area, they note new plants and sometimes dig them up to transplant at home. But what they are doing is simply a variation on a theme they already know well. He doesn't cite any cases of anyone wondering why certain plants grow in some places but not others, or wondering how a seed develops into a plant."

"In his chapter 'Necessity's Mother,' Diamond argues that most inventions arose from initially useless discoveries produced by constant tinkering. (This chapter is the weakest in his whole book. It's full of nagging minor errors, omissions, and misconceptions that made me wonder how many similar faults are lurking elsewhere that I didn't catch because the chapters are outside my expertise. For example, he cites early internal combustion engines as being unsuitable for automobiles, apparently unaware that the first internal combustion engines were intended as stationary power sources running off piped gas.)"

Australian anthropologist Roger Sandall:

"Academics with an idée fixe say strange things. Take Professor Jared Diamond for example. Desperately anxious to explain why Australian Aborigines kept no domestic animals other than dogs, and fearful we will think the worse of them for this, he announced in Guns, Germs, and Steel that Australia 'had no domesticable native mammals' before the arrival of Europeans."

"That sounded odd. Should we assume he mistook the wombat sitting next to him on the couch for a cushion? I would have thought that potentially domesticable animals were quite common in Australia. If raised from infancy in human company wallabys and kangaroos will hang around hoping to be fed, even though no special effort has been made to tame them...."

"Yet Jared Diamond tells us that Australia had no suitable domesticable animals that might have been raised for meat. If for some reason he imagines that the wild boars of late Ice Age Eurasia, or the fiercely horned bulls of the Minoans, would actually have been easier to domesticate than emus or wallabys ... well, what can one say?...."

And critic J. M. Blaut:

"[I]t is noteworthy that Diamond does not always acknowledge the achievements of other scholars who have made arguments similar to his, while offering valuable insights of their own. In this regard, the work of Marvin Harris (1979), especially his development of the theory and method of cultural materialism, is glaringly absent. Harris was one of the main exponents of a materialist and environmentally focused tradition in anthropology despite, and often in the face of, the above noted resistance to biophysical explanations characteristic of 20th century social science. Similarly, Diamond ignores Alfred W. Crosby's (1972, 1986) work, which focused on the fundamental roles biological and ecological factors played in human history, particularly in their connection with European imperialism."

Diamond isn't even a minimally reliable source of information, much less a competent and insightful scholar. On the contrary, he's just another one who's "both good and original" ... but where the parts that are good aren't original, and the parts that are original aren't good.

On the bright side, he did do an infamous and rather un-PC study on "Ethnic Differences: Variation in Human Testis Size" (page 1, page 2). You know, with larger genital size arising from greater sperm competition, which in turn is a product of sexual promiscuity.

DK said...

[Pre-Columbian Amerinds] No cattle, no horses, no donkeys, no elephants, no camels. No large domesticatable animals of any sort. Very low protein supply vis a vis the old world Oecumene.[snip for brevity]

Straight out of J. Diamond. There *were* horses in America. They went extinct. Most likely hunted into extinction (instead of being domesticated). There are peccaries in America. Why were they not domesticated? They are no more aggressive than wild boar. Alpacas were domesticated - for all intents and purposes they are not worse than sheep. Why didn't the domesticated version spread? Llamas were beasts of burden - quite comparable to donkeys. Turkey and Muskovy Duck are meat, too. There is nothing to prove that bisons couldn't have been domesticated. Diamond's post hoc theory is a joke. It took a single men's life to domescticate ostrich and only about 30 years to make friendly dog-like animal out of normally ferocious silver foxes. So if if hadn't been done it does not mean it couldn't have been.

K said...

Anonymous said:"...our willingness to totally destroy what is left of old-fashion pedagogy out of the toxic delusion that requiring black children to memorize facts, speak grammatically, and sit still in class is what is preventing them from being rocket scientists and brain surgeons."

Honestly, i personally don't have a very clear idea of what it's possible to do with an 83 IQ. But let's assume that Lucius Vorenus was exagerating. Are you suggesting that basic literacy is all it takes to be an ideal citizen? That simple arithmetic is all you need to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon? Even if Lucius was overstating his case, that doesn't mean we can put up with waves of third-worlders.

Black Sea said...

"To be fair, I've also seen on this blog or some other one a map showing Arkansas' average IQ to be only 89, even though Arkansas is overwhelmingly white, so I'd urge caution when comparing data from different sources."

That's why I included links to the sources; readers can investigate for themselves the veracity of the information. I'm not in a position to claim that these figures are in any sense definitive.

Googling around, I haven't been able to find any sources that list Arkansas's average IQ at 89. The much debunked "Red State / Blue State" table that circulated after the 2004 presidential election listed Arkansas's IQ as 92, though, as most readers here already know, these figures were driven by political rather than statistical priorities, and this is likely to be a significant underestimate. Just to clarify, that figure was claimed for the state as a whole, rather than for its non-hispanic white population. Arkansas is in fact 76% non-hispanic white. Again, readers can judge for themselves whether such a figure is "overwhelmingly" white. Arkansas also has the fastest growing (in percentage terms) hispanic population in America, which may -- or may not -- be relevant to this issue.

Sources:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/05000.html

http://www.urban.org/publications/901061.html

Roger Chaillet said...

Stopped Clock: Have you ever been to Arkansas?

The southern half is majority black. It's an extension of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Who the Hell do you think elected Bill Clinton as governor?

Northern Arkansas is completely different from southern Arkansas. It's an extension of the hillbilly Ozarks.

I know this as I live in Texas, and have driven through Arkansas about half a dozen times in the last 10 years.

I guess my lying eyes have deceived me.

It's no different than here in Texas. East Texas is heavily black as it is an extension of the southern cotton belt. West of Interstate 35 is the grand prairie and Texas Hill Country. The Hill Country is almost completely white in most places, except for ranching and farming communities overrun by illegal aliens.

Black Sea said...

Readers may find this article in today's NY Times to be relevant to the immigration discussion. I would guess that it was meant to be, at its conclusion, mildly optimistic, but I found that the article as a whole had the opposite effect on me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/us/19immig.html?_r=1&ref=us

Anonymous said...

The American Bison is not domesticatable. Numerous attempts have been made - I saw one ridden [not well, and not very long] at a rodeo once - but with only stone age technology, I have doubts.The bison could have filled the niche of Old World cattle. When I said it was domesticable, I wasn't thinking of it being ridden. As someone else mentioned, the peccary could have filled the niche of the Old World pig. Llamas could have pulled carts and been ridden. Domesticated animals' shape, size and behavior have been changed again and again by farmers. The docility of domesticated animals wasn't there in the beginning. It's obviously a product of millenia of careful selection.

None of this is supposed to be given to us on a silver plate. Man's environment was to an important extent created by man himself. If Diamond was willing to admit that man's environment was variable before the Age of Discoveries in part because man himself is variable, then he wouldn't have been able to make all that money off his book, wouldn't have gotten the Pulitzer Prize, wouldn't have gotten his mug on TV. His theories are anthropology's answer to all those fashionable trends in education reform that Steve occasionally makes fun of. When Occam's razor suggests politically incorrect explanations of observed phenomena, there's money to be made in supplying fanciful and false alternative explanations. Mr. Diamond is in that business.

Cobblepott said...

"Readers may find this article in today's NY Times to be relevant to the immigration discussion. I would guess that it was meant to be, at its conclusion, mildly optimistic, but I found that the article as a whole had the opposite effect on me."

I feel like I've read this article a million times already. Indeed it's the same NY Times young, oppressed, struggling Hispanic immigrant article. You know, the one that's already been printed about a thousand times, includes all the appropriate buzzwords, lays out all the necessary "solutions", and tries to end on a hopeful, positive note.

The article notes that 1 in 4 youths are immigrants or the children of one. We know that about 50% of the children under 5 in the US are Hispanic or minority. This means that in around 20 years or so (less than 1 generation) a large proportion of young adults in the US will have roots in the country going no further than the Reagan years, if even!! Even setting aside the racial and ethnic question this is a staggering development. Of course if we further consider the racial component of this development, it's just astounding.

One remains hopeful, but who are we kidding? This will not be a frictionless and positive development.

Steve and other sites like VDare have done an excellent service chronicling such developments as they occur in real time. Peering into the near future, what can we expect? Could some sort of political breakup occur?

It seems that something like "citizenism" which Steve has advocated for in the past will not have traction because whites believe (correctly, in my judgment) that they have heretofore maintained their side of a "citizenism" type bargain and have not only looked past the racial backgrounds of minorities but have accommodated and catered to them in many ways. It would be hard to sell them something they themselves believe to have already bought and to have utterly failed them. They will come to realize that what they had believed to receive in return through "citizenism", a stable society in which cultural and numerical superiority is maintained, was never really part of the bargain. The Left had always had visions of a drastically altered society, completely changed in every way.

What is a realistic assessment of the next 20-30 years or so?
Remember, even if the borders are completely shut down tomorrow morning, these developments are in the pipeline.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, i personally don't have a very clear idea of what it's possible to do with an 83 IQ. But let's assume that Lucius Vorenus was exagerating. Are you suggesting that basic literacy is all it takes to be an ideal citizen? That simple arithmetic is all you need to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon? Even if Lucius was overstating his case, that doesn't mean we can put up with waves of third-worlders.I'm not saying anything about what basic literacy is necessary for - I'm just saying that the assertion that people who observably used to be taught to read and cipher now somehow magically can't be taught to do anything is stupid. And the assertion about their lack of common sense is beyond stupid and really reads like CHRC or DHS trolling. Any people raised in culturally degenerate circumstances where they are protected from the harsh consequences of their less sensible actions will look like they don't have any common sense. This is true of the black underclass in the US and it is true of the white underclass in the UK. It's a welfare state problem, not a racial problem.

Personally I don't want waves of third worlders because they litter and don't care about the national parks. Intelligence is a side issue.

Reg Cæsar said...

Have you ever been to Arkansas?
The southern half is majority black. It's an extension of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Who the Hell do you think elected Bill Clinton as governor?
--ChailletSorry to pop your bubble, but Clinton carried nearly every county in Arkansas, white and black, both in 1992 and 1996, albeit with help from that Texarkanan crank.

Carter won Georgia twice; Mondale squeaked by in Minnesota. Gore did lose Tennessee and McGovern South Dakota, but it was close in both cases.

To see true rejection of one's kind, one has to go back to upstate New York and that snoot in the wheelchair.

Reg Cæsar said...

By the way, in case you were wondering (and, admit it, you were), Lyndon LaRouche is one of those folks, like Hugh Hefner, whom many people just assume are Jewish, but aren't. --SteveHefner and LaRouche are both Mayflower descendants, but of a very renegade kind. Hefner praises his Puritan ancestor William Bradford, while on his own crusade to destroy any vestiges of that very Puritanism. (Just ask him.)

LaRouche may be as much as half-Yankee, but the rest more than negates that. (Think of George P Bush.) French-Canadians are, like Irishmen and Mexicans, nominal Catholics whose real religion is Anglophobia. LaRouche himself constantly commits the most anti-Yankee crime imaginable-- he praises FDR. He must really hate Mom.

Remember Lyndon's "US Labor Party" back in the '70s? Then he became a pretend-rightwinger for a while, and that's when the media waved him in our faces. After he returned to the Left, to embarrass normal Democrats, those same media buried him.

For us "mid-boomers", our first political lesson was, "Never vote for anyone named 'Lyndon'".

Black Sea said...

I'm pleased to see that someone elese here reads Roger Sandall. It's time well spent.

Nick said...

I'm all from saving myself from "incurable necrosis" but I'm lead to believe the "eternal people" aren't all that accepting.

anon-2 said...

Svigor said
On the other hand, I'd love to see a MacDonaldian treatment of Muslims (who obviously are nowhere near as important to American culture as Jews).Isn't the Islamic world with its oil supposed to be more important to America and that is why Israel should be abandoned. That the feelings of 5 million Israeli Jews (15 million worldwide) should not be taken into account because we have 1.2 billion Muslims to contend with?

That's the common line I see here at ISteve

As far as Kev MacDonald --- Europe is going Muslim slowly but surely. They are reaching critical mass. How long would MacDonald last in Europe writing about Muslims? If he lived in England or Holland he would fear for his life

No Jew would attack MacDonald physically for his writings. He still has a professor job and seems to be doing OK as he lives off Jews

As far as the chosen-ness of Jews, they sure to intermarry a lot and those marriages tend to be secular. I hear rabbis say intermarriage is killing Judaism better than Hitler
Islam is 100 times more supremacist but your typical Jew observers refuse to pay attention. How about the chosen-ness of the Japanese with Shinto? Though this is mostly in the past

Anonymous said...

"But do they (Mexicans) really do much worse than whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks?"

The scummy whites in West Virginia and the Ozarks don't bother anyone. They don't demand anything. They don't tag my front gate in Silverlake.

Life isn't all about the abacus.

Anonymous said...

"Why isn't the first generation of Chinese and Koreans coming into the US disastrous?"

It is. You just don't see it because you're not being physically mugged by them.

Rabid Spengler Supporter said...

What is the problem with Goldman's ethnocentrism? How many of you "conservatives" will get over your quasi-humanism and not demand that "Is it good for the jews"-style Weltanschauung end among the jews, but instead begin applying the equivalent to your own group? Many of you seem to be just another form of hippie.

Reader said...

"Spengler" was associated with LaRouche? This is quite embarrassing... for LaRouche.

Anonymous said...

mark sed:
"The persistently underlying theme that the "merely undead" pagans/Gentiles can only redeem themselves by embracing Christian Zionism is one that Spengler/Goldman has rung the changes upon for, what, nearly 300 articles?"


Jews don't take Christian Zionism seriously. I know. It’s only a tactical move of theirs to let Christian Zionists (aka Hagee) bash other Christians and essentially start another fight amongst the gentiles so as to strengthen Zionist hegemony. Christian Zionism is theological bunk anyway. Christ does NOT hinge salvation on our attitudes towards Jewish Nationalism but on whether we accept him as saviour or not.

Truth said...

"To his CREDIT, Steve has noted that polygamy means more losers than winners (and thus few stable stakeholders in a peaceful society) but he refuses to draw the implications....IMHO Steve is "too much an old fashioned Gentlemen"...to see or understand the obvious in Hispanic illegitimacy rates: preference for thugs by Hispanic/Mexican women...."

For Christ sakes, T99, does every post you write have to be a thinly-veiled allegory to your own failed attempts to get laid? I mean, I feel for you, I really do, rejection by women stings, but it's kind of like being a kid in 1955 and watching Roy Rodgers get Trigger to count to 3 with his paw; it gets a little old the 353rd time you've seen it.

tommy said...

I've come to realize that the overwhelming majority of Jews fall into just three camps:

(1) Those who believe that all humans are pretty much the same.

(2) Those who believe the only real distinction that can be drawn between peoples is that of Jews versus non-Jews.

(3) Those who can't seem to make up their mind as to whether they are in the first or second camps.

Mike Flynn said...

DKStraight out of J. Diamond. There *were* horses in America. They went extinct. Most likely hunted into extinction (instead of being domesticated). There are peccaries in America. Why were they not domesticated? They are no more aggressive than wild boar. Alpacas were domesticated - for all intents and purposes they are not worse than sheep. Why didn't the domesticated version spread? ... There is nothing to prove that bisons couldn't have been domesticated. Diamond's post hoc theory is a joke.a) I googled this Diamond dude. Not sure what he is said to have said that was not being said years before.

b) Horses originated in North America. They went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene, along with nearly all the megafauna in North America. So did a great deal of their Eurasian buddies. Not sure what this says about Neolithic folks other than that a new predator in a virgin field may have disproportionately greater impact. They were hunted in Eurasia, too. Domestication came later. A careful study of the size, shape, nature, and orientation of the Old World OEcumene versus the New World OEcumene may suggest possible reasons.

c) Wikipedia is not always reliable, but does have this to say: Peccaries, indeed, are aggressive enough in temperament that, unlike Eurasian pigs, they cannot be domesticated as they are likely to injure humans. OTOH, a peccary site tells us For centuries, young Peccaries have been captured, kept as domestic pets, and even fattened by Central and South American Indians. Go figure.

d) Alpacas may not have spread beyond the Andean ecozone because the Andean ecozone did not spread. Those who domesticated them did not travel elsewhere. (The Aztecs never heard of the Incas, and vice versa. This goes back to the lack-of-transport animal thingie.)

e) I love the "There is nothing to prove that bisons couldn't have been domesticated" argument. There is nothing to prove that there aren't purple platypuses on Procyon, either. The European bison was not domesticated, either.

So if if hadn't been done it does not mean it couldn't have been.Of course not. It's all in the cost/benefit ratio - as perceived a priori. It's all well and good for you to say ex post facto that such a domestication would have been a good thing; but ex post facto don't make it. Those who domesticated the dog might not see a need to domesticate a fox. It takes a modern or post-modern to do so for a lark.

Proofreader said...

Goldman was an easy one to find out because of his connection to Rosenzweig and other personal obsessions.
Everybody interested enough knew who he was.
Now let's unmask the War Nerd!

Mike Flynn said...

the Jared Diamond meme

Do people still believe in "memes"?

Europeans just got lucky with the animals, crops etc.

Not the Europeans. The Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Elamites. (And independently the Chinese and Indo-Chinese.) Europe was the home of forest hunters and gardeners pretty much until the Mediterraneans came north and taught them agriculture. There was the prehistoric Danubian migration and then the Roman breakout. Top o'the head, I can't think of any major domestication that took place in transAlpine Europe. Flax, maybe. And oats, where Mediterranean-style wheat would not grow well - but that was derivative.

But Med-style agriculture was ill-suited to the wet, heavy soils of transAlpine Europe. Which is why the economy there collapsed once the central government did. It was not until the invention of the moldboard plow that a full-blown agriculture became possible in Europe proper. (And neither Med nor NW European style was suitable to the podzol soils of eastern Europe.) The Irish never did catch on, and remained cattle-rustlers until they were themselves semi-domesticated.

Mike Flynn said...

"One may as well ask why transAlpine/transDanubian Europe lacked high civilization until effectively the Middle Ages."A Nameless Person:Already in deep antiquity northern Europe had lived through the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages.Civilization requires cities. The idea of working copper, bronze, and iron came to the Europeans courtesy of the Middle Easterners, esp. in the Danubian migrations. By 2250 BC, bronze-working had spread so far as the trans-Danubian Thracians and had not yet reached Egypt. By 980 BC, iron-working had spead to about the same extent. By 820 BC it was all over Persia and Afghanistan, but had still not moved into Europe or Egypt. By 670 BC, the Etruscans and Iberians knew how to work iron, but the Europeans did not. By 560 BC, the Egyptians and Celts had learned to do so, and iron was being worked in SE England.

This was a long time learning - and no one but the Hittites ever learned to do it from scratch. Everyone who ever had an "iron age" ultimately learned from the Hittites. Alas, the American Indians had no direct contact with the Hittites or anyone who had learned from the Hittites or who had learned from those who learned from the Hittites, etc.

The same goes earlier for the unknown Sumero-Dravidian who invented copper smelting and the Caucasus and Afghan who invented arsenic-bronze and tin-bronze. (It's hard to invent tin-bronze unless you live in a region with both copper and tin. Mesopotamia had no tin.)

Although the peoples of the Americas knew of metals, it wasn't until the arrival of Europeans that metal for tools and weapons took off. Jewelry and art were the principal uses of metals in the Americas prior to European influence.

As it was in Eurasia. Copper is too soft for tooling and weaponry. (Only the Incas used some few copper-edged weapons.) Bronze working requires some sort of "friend-of-a-friend" connection back to the Caucasus or Afghan inventors. No one else ever invented it independently.
+ + +
Before the Middle Ages northern Europe certainly had a simpler culture than did the northern Mediterranean, but it is quite ignorant to imply that its culture wasn't higher than Amerindian cultures of the same period.

I wrote "civilization," not "culture." Although it is very pc these days to ignore the distinction. The Europeans had higher technology than the Americas because they were in direct or semi-direct contact with the Near East. They themselves never invented any of this stuff. They had to learn it from "invaders and traders," just like the Indians. It took literally centuries for them to learn to use metalworking for tools and weapons.
+ + +
It's not a shock that the Norse eventually were able to discover North America. The reverse would have been unthinkable.

No surprise. Just look at the patterns of the prevailing winds and currents. The Mediterraneans were fortunate to have an inland sea, where the methods of shipbuilding could be perfected and then taught to the northern Europeans, who adapted them to the North Sea and Baltic. But it was not until the collapse of the Empire that the northern cog was perfected. The Caribbean is not the Med - too many hurricanes - and neither are the Great Lakes; so there was no place to practice ship-building other than the North Atlantic itself.

Mike Flynn said...

NamelessWhen Occam's razor suggests politically incorrect explanations of observed phenomena, there's money to be made in supplying fanciful and false alternative explanations. Mr. Diamond is in that business.

He is not the only one, it seems.

No one seems to read Ockham, either, these days, since they continually mistake the metaphysical principle that bears his name. In modern terminology, Brother William was addressing our models, not the real world. The real world, he said, could be as complex as God wished. But our models of the world should be kept simple enough for us to understand them. (And no simpler.) You might say, don't have more factors in your equation than you need to get a good fit to the data. He famously dispensed with a number of entities in the scholastic view of cognition [which he called "the Old Way"] and proposed a simpler model [which he called "the Modern Way"]. Since scholars in those days re-used parchment by scraping it clean with a razor blade [the root of "eraser"] Bro. William's use of the Principle of Parsimony in this case was called "Ockham's [E]Razor."

Anonymous said...

-- "How many of you "conservatives" will get over your quasi-humanism and not demand that "Is it good for the jews"-style Weltanschauung end among the jews, but instead begin applying the equivalent to your own group?"

I'm pretty sure that most of us "conservatives" are already there. What's being commented on is the extreme hypocrisy of Jews like Goldman who are ethonocenic themselves but regard such attitudes as unacceptable racism on the part of non-Jews.

I guess it is also worth noting that Goldman would never get taken as seriously as he is if he had been saying the same things but with, say, Germans substituted for Jews. Think the Asia Times would still have given him space then?

Anonymous said...

Truth said...
For Christ sakes, T99, does every post you write have to be a thinly-veiled allegory to your own failed attempts to get laid? I mean, I feel for you, I really do, rejection by women stings, but it's kind of like being a kid in 1955 and watching Roy Rodgers get Trigger to count to 3 with his paw; it gets a little old the 353rd time you've seen it
.

For once I agree completely with Truth. Testy needs to drop the allegorizing of his failed love life and instead start connecting everything to Rosenzweig's theology. That would be a strikingly novel and illuminating approach.

Anonymous said...

IMHO Steve is "too much an old fashioned Gentlemen"...to see or understand the obvious in Hispanic illegitimacy rates: preference for thugs by Hispanic/Mexican women...."


In fairness to T99, who is a pain in many respect, it's worth commenting on the fact that women seem to rate thuggishness at least as highly as IQ is selecting a desirable mate.

Just one more reason that IQ is overrated as a GUT for explaining the world.

Anonymous said...

"Islam is 100 times more supremacist but your typical Jew observers refuse to pay attention."

Islam is not supremacist at all. It is open to people of all races. It is "supremacist" in that it claims preeminence over other religions, but it is not a racialist ideology in the sense that Jewishness is. In that sense it is more analogous to Christianity, although of course it's methods are much more violent.

El Caudillo said...

IMHO Steve is "too much an old fashioned Gentlemen"...to see or understand the obvious in Hispanic illegitimacy rates: preference for thugs by Hispanic/Mexican women...."

--

"For once I agree completely with Truth. Testy needs to drop the allegorizing of his failed love life and instead start connecting everything to Rosenzweig's theology. That would be a strikingly novel and illuminating approach."


Two quick points:

First, even though many of us may not agree with T99, he is an articulate and polite poster, who advocates his position very intelligently and thoughtfully.

Second, on the women thing, it really does not seem like he is necessarily speaking from a personal vendetta; just general principles of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (which we can debate).

And he is right about Steve being a gentleman--IMHO--a gentleman par excellance!

Anonymous said...

Mike Flynn wrote:

"d) Alpacas may not have spread beyond the Andean ecozone because the Andean ecozone did not spread. Those who domesticated them did not travel elsewhere. (The Aztecs never heard of the Incas, and vice versa. This goes back to the lack-of-transport animal thingie.)"

You mention the Incas' lack of transport animals in the same paragraph as alpacas. Again and again Amerindians made less use of their environment than Eurasians. What prevented them from selectively breeding alpacas for riding and pulling wheeled carts?

You mentioned Hittite, Afghan and other innovators in metal working. What prevented such innovators from ever being born anywhere in the enormous expanse of the Americas? You alluded to the well-known fact that the earliest Old World civilizations arose along the banks of large tropical and subtropical rivers, then slowly spread outward to, among other places, Europe. If farmed and irrigated intelligently, these valleys allowed for enormous population densities, which made a lot of what we call civilization possible. The Americas certainly aren't lacking in large tropical and subtropical rivers. What prevented the Mississippi from becoming another Nile, Tigris/Euphrates, the Huang He or at least the Indus?

The distinction you made between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean (hurricanes) is not important for the purposes being discussed because these hurricanes only happen from June to November. Getting out of their way was as easy as keeping a calendar. You did not explain why you dismissed the Great Lakes as a potential place where sophisticated shipbuilding techniques could have been invented and perfected.

When talking about Occam's razor, I was referring to the simplest explanation for all of these failures to invent and innovate. That explanation has to do with the well-documented differences in mean IQs among different human populations. All humans aren't inventive to the same extent. Why should they be?

Reg Cæsar said...

How about the chosen-ness of the Japanese with Shinto? --anonymous

Careful here... "Chosen" is what they call Koreans in Japan. You just insulted somebody.


Islam is not supremacist at all. It is open to people of all races. --anonymous

I don't know about that one. Islam is open to people of all races who replace their native names with an Arab one and consider sacred a text which is only sacred in Arabic. Sounds pretty surpremacist to me.

Mohammed was a true Arab nationalist, and expansionist. But he knew how to veil it artfully. VFR nailed it by calling him a successful Hitler.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Well, it's been about a day now, and apparently a number of my replies from yesterday didn't make it through "The Filter", so it doesn't look like I'm gonna be allowed to beat a dead horse on this thread [much less defend myself].


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T99 - last night I actually went and read a little bit of that Roissy/RooshV/PUA stuff, and the first few sentences of that material is kinda funny, within the genre of Animal House/Porky's/Road Trip/Sideways pubescent locker-room-talk misogynistic humor [which is not to imply that there is necessarily anything wrong with misogynistic humor per se], but I just gotta emphasize [once again] that the kinds of chicks that Roissy is talking about are all rank whores.

And if you're investing any time/effort/money in pursuing those kinds of girls, then you're just a rank whoremonger.

Seriously dude - go to church and meet some chicks whose hearts aren't as black as coal - and when you meet them, then do them the favor of not having a heart as black as coal yourself.

PS: Just in case this is not tautologically obvious to you - NONE of Roissy's scores are with the kinds of chicks you could trust to be the mother of your children.

PPS: Furthermore, you are EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN to use "game" [or any other trickery] in order to sleep with nice girls and then ditch them. With nice girls, you either sleep with them and then marry them, or else you don't sleep with them in the first place. Anything else is against the rules. And these are very, very serious rules - pretty much the most serious rules of all.


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On this question of the intelligence & technology of the aboriginal peoples of the Americas - Wikipedia indicates that the Bering Strait was above water from about 35,000 years ago until about 6,000 years ago, although I guess that there is [and has been for decades now] just an enormous amount of controversy as to when the migration [or migrations] actually occurred.

Lynn & Vanhanen estimate an average IQ of 105 for Japan & an average IQ of 79 for Guatemala, which produces an IQ gap of about 26 points; when I was a kid, playing the game of Risk, the region just opposite Alaska, in the Soviet Union, was called "Kamchatka", so if you make the [not necessarily good] assumption that the people of Japan and the aboriginal people of Guatemala share a common ancestry in some sort of a [hypothetical] proto-Kamchatkan people, then you're looking at calculations within a range of:

26 IQ point differential / 35K years = 0.74 IQ point differential per thousand years

26 IQ point differential / 6K years = 4.33 IQ point differential per thousand years

I imagine that we will learn a great deal more about the genetics of human migration in the next several decades, but right now the consensus opinion seems to be that the separation occurred about 17,000 years ago:

26 IQ point differential / 17K years = 1.53 IQ point differential per thousand years

Anyway, these figures would tend to indicate that you need the better part of a millenium just to breed a single point of IQ into a population - which, I should hope, might help you guys to appreciate just how precious IQ really is - how much blood, sweat, and tears our ancestors invested in bequeathing to us our intelligence [which is not meant as an endorsement of the sort of pagan ancestor-worship that Spengler & Rosenzweig would frown upon, but, at the same time, I don't think that God has ever decreed that we cannot be appreciative of what our ancestors had to suffer through just to get us to where we are today].

PS: If you want to see [what I suspect might be] a fairly accurate depiction of aboriginal life in Central America, then check out Apocalypto - it's playing rather often right now on late night TV [HBO? Showtime?]. When I first saw it, late one night a few weeks ago, lying on the couch, I was stunned that a movie like that could have been made by modern Hollyweird, but now that I know more about it, I have come to the conclusion that Gibson must have self-financed it with the proceeds from TPotC.

I'd add that - oh never mind - that sentiment would never pass through "The Filter".

PPS: One of the most fascinating things I've seen in recent genetic anthropology is this new finding that the Scots share a great deal of DNA with the people of Siberia - which indicates to me that there may have been a time [in a warmer past? in a colder past?] when the entire Arctic circle was navigable by primitive peoples.

If you look at pictures of the Ainu, then you'll see that some of them have almost eerily Scottish [Scots-Irish? Dál Riatan?] features - Sean Connery [or Ray Stevenson], with a long beard, and maybe a touch of dark makeup, could easily pass as one of those Ainu elders.

Mike Flynn said...

No Name wroteYou mentioned Hittite, Afghan and other innovators in metal working. What prevented such innovators from ever being born anywhere in the enormous expanse of the Americas?

The same as "prevented" them from being born in Europe. That it was invented only once seems to me an indication that, you post facto reasoning notwithstanding, it is not at all as obvious and easy as you seem to think.
+ + +
What prevented the Mississippi from becoming another Nile, Tigris/Euphrates, the Huang He or at least the Indus?

At a guess, the lack of a predictable annual flood and the lack of any oxen to pull plows. But again, the Nile and the Indus were inspired by the Euphrates and the timing in China suggests that, too, was instigated by tales that it could be done. Irrigation works were developed on the Salt River by the Hohokam; but climate and geography do matter.
+ + +
When talking about Occam's razor, I was referring to the simplest explanation for all of these failures to invent and innovate.This is a common misunderstanding of what Ockham actually wrote.

That explanation has to do with the well-documented differences in mean IQs among different human populations.

What has IQ got to do with inventiveness? Or does it stand for Inventiveness Quotient, rather than do-well-on-standardized-multiple-choice-test quotient?

Anonymous said...

Good nutrition is overrated as a source of I.Q. gains.

Abstract

The hypothesis that enhanced nutrition is mainly responsible for massive IQ gains over time borrows plausibility from the height gains of the 20th century. However, evidence shows that the two trends are largely independent. A detailed analysis of IQ trends on the Raven's Progressive Matrices tests in Britain dramatizes the poverty of the nutrition hypothesis. A multiple factor hypothesis that operates on three levels is offered as an alternative instrument of causal explanation.

The Raven's data show that over the 65 years from circa 1942 to the present, taking ages 5–15 together, British school children have gained 14 IQ points for a rate of 0.216 points per year. However, since 1979, gains have declined with age and between the ages of 12–13 and 14–15, small gains turn into small losses. This is confirmed by Piagetian data and poses the possibility that the cognitive demands of teen-age subculture have been stagnant over perhaps the last 30 years.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B73DX-4VHGC2H-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=38cd26815b46a28497e2bb44cee426be

Lucius Vorenus said...

Man, I was just looking at this Wikipedia picture of an Ainu family from the turn of the last century, and if you don't stare at it too hard - if you just kinda glance at it - then the two boys on the right could pass as my cousins [right down to the way that they comb their hair].

Good God - I just noticed that it even looks like they're wearing kilts!

Even if they are just kimonos - but you don't suppose that the kilt & the kimono share a common history [right down to the onomatopoeia of the etymology?!?].

Weird, weird stuff.

Anonymous said...

Mike Flynn wrote:

"At a guess, the lack of a predictable annual flood and the lack of any oxen to pull plows."

Oxen? But the buffalo were roaming all of North America. Why didn't the Indians domesticate them? They had all the ingredients at their disposal, but they failed to make the soup.

"...and the timing in China suggests that, too, was instigated by tales that it could be done."

I'm skeptical of that.

"The same as "prevented" them from being born in Europe."

The Hittites were Indo-Europeans. Most people who study them say that they came to Asia Minor from the north. In Asia Minor they ruled over an indigenous non-Indo-European population that spoke Hurrian. The most fascinating thing I've read about the Hittites concerns a document describing an assembly whose task was to elect a new Hittite ruler when an old one died. From what I understand, this is the earliest indication of elections of any sort anywhere.

Of course this doesn't mean that the Hittites were the first to think in democratic terms. They were simply the earliest Europeans who became literate, so they were the first ones to leave a record of democratic procedures. The Greeks were second.

This is all a long way of saying that there is some justification for thinking of the Hittites as Europeans.

"What has IQ got to do with inventiveness? Or does it stand for Inventiveness Quotient, rather than do-well-on-standardized-multiple-choice-test quotient?"

Oh, come on. Performance on these tests correlates well with all sorts of measures of success in life - income, life expectancy, chances of pursuing cognitively-demanding careers, chances of never having to spend a day in jail, etc., etc. It also correlates with head size (surprise, surprise) and with nerve conduction velocity, strongly suggesting the nature of the underlying biological reality being measured. I would recommend "The g Factor" by Arthur Jensen for the details of the peer-reviewed studies.

g stands for general intelligence factor. What's being measured is the generalized ability to solve problems. IQ tests are estimates of g.

Anyway, I've read quite a bit about psychometry and there is no doubt in my mind that these tests measure what they purport to measure - intelligence. And that's obviously a prerequisite for inventiveness.

Svigor said...

I'm pretty sure that most of us "conservatives" are already there. What's being commented on is the extreme hypocrisy of Jews like Goldman who are ethonocenic themselves but regard such attitudes as unacceptable racism on the part of non-Jews.Jewish hypocrisy pisses me off if I stop and think about it long enough, but I think this is what the headshrinkers call "displacement" or somesuch. But I digress; it isn't Jewish hypocrisy per se that bothers me, it's non-Jewish ignorance and willful blindness toward same.

Observing Jewish behavior is the quickest way to turn a white man into a racial player. It's Kryptonite for racial marks.

Anonymous said...

Rabid Spengler Supporter - What is the problem with Goldman's ethnocentrism? How many of you "conservatives" will get over your quasi-humanism and not demand that "Is it good for the jews"-style Weltanschauung end among the jews, but instead begin applying the equivalent to your own group? Many of you seem to be just another form of hippie.Goldman's own 'outing' piece makes it quite clear that any white ethocentrism is evil nazism. We are Amalek. All we are allowed to do is die off. There is no quid pro quo at all. Gotta love that double standard. Hypocrisy is altogether too small a word to describe to this creature's beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mike Flynn is falling into a trap. That of assuming that because certain innovations appear to have originated from places that are these days deemed to be outside Europe that therefore the innovators were not people we would identify as Caucasian.

Mixing up ethnicity and geography.

Truth said...

"PPS: Furthermore, you are EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN to use "game" [or any other trickery] in order to sleep with nice girls and then ditch them."

Listen to your daddy T99, you don't want to be sent to bed without supper.

Mike Flynn said...

"At a guess, the lack of a predictable annual flood and the lack of any oxen to pull plows."

No NameOxen? But the buffalo were roaming all of North America. Why didn't the Indians domesticate them? Perhaps, the same reason the Europeans did not domesticate the European bison?
+ + +
"The same as "prevented" them from being born in Europe."

The Hittites were Indo-Europeans. Most people who study them say that they came to Asia Minor from the north.

The question was smugly asked as to why American Indians did not invent this or that, but had to learn them from others. I simply pointed out that the Europeans did not invent them either, and had to learn them from others. It makes no never mind that the Hittites passed through a corner of Europe on their way from the Ukraine to Anatolia, or that their language belonged to this or that language family.

Since domestication and metal working and such did not happen far more often than it did, we don't really need to explain instances where it did not. Those are not the exceptions and are therefore unlikely to require special cause explanation. Why did Nordics never invent iron-smelting? Some Hittite stute invented iron-smelting and no one else in the entire world ever did. Which to me says, it ain't as obvious as post hoc thinkers seem to believe.
+ + +
"What has IQ got to do with inventiveness? Or does it stand for Inventiveness Quotient, rather than do-well-on-standardized-multiple-choice-test quotient?"

Oh, come on. Performance on these tests correlates well with all sorts of measures of success in life - income, life expectancy, chances of pursuing cognitively-demanding careers, chances of never having to spend a day in jail, etc., etc.All of which relate to life in the modern industrial and post-industrial world. It may or may not have to do with success in the Neolithic or the Bronze Age. Take a high-IQ academic type pursuing a "cognitively-demanding career" and put him in the Orinoco basin with a Yanomamo and see who scores the highest. In the Neolithic age, there were no jails to keep out of and success was measured in variously different ways.
+ + +
intelligence...obviously a prerequisite for inventiveness.Not counting sheer luck and persistence. Edison didn't think so much, what what did he know? But what we usually encounter in history is that someone stumbles on X and then someone [else] thinks maybe we could use it for this situation. And so on, little by little over time. The modern milieu, with its deliberate invention, is an anomaly.

Mike Flynn said...

Someone who does not give his name sez:
I wonder if Mike Flynn is falling into a trap. That of assuming that because certain innovations appear to have originated from places that are these days deemed to be outside Europe that therefore the innovators were not people we would identify as Caucasian. Mixing up ethnicity and geography.

We actually have a pretty good idea of who the Sumerians and Akkadians and Egyptians were; not to mention the Chinese. The Sumerians were of the Elamo-Dravidian stock that stretched from Sumer to the Indus Valley prior to the Arya invasions. The Akkadians and their successors were Semites, whose ecozone was the Fertile Crescent. The Egyptians were what we used to call Hamites, related to the Berbers and, more distantly, to the Semites. The Hittites, who invented iron smelting, were Indo-Europeans. The people of the Caucasus were in that era not the modern potpurri of Caucasians, Indo-Europeans, Turks, and Arabs, but speakers of the "Caucasian" languages, like Georgian, Basque, or Etruscan.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: Mike Flynn mentioned that the only domestications that can be traced to Europeans are those of flax and oats.

There is a good chance that horses were domesticated by proto-Indo Europeans who lived in the Russian steppes. Up until the Mongolian invasions of the 13th century most of the nomadic populations of the steppes were European in appearance and Indo-European (more specifically Iranian) in language. These were the Scythians that the Greeks wrote about.

A recent study identified horse's milk residue on a vessel found on one of these steppe sites from 5,500 years ago. This is the earliest piece of evidence for horse domestication to date and it comes from the place and time where the IE languages are presumed to have originated by the Kurgan hypothesis.

It has been suspected for decades now that horse domestication was the impetus for the spread of IE languages. There is just so much circumstantial evidence for this. For a long time early on wherever Indo-Europeans appeared (Hittites in Asia Minor, Aryans in India, that Kikkuli guy in Mitanni), they were notorious horse freaks. And how would a small tribe from the steppes conquer half the world anyway if not on horseback? That's how the Huns, Mongolians, etc. did it later. It was always tempting to assume that the proto-IE tribe's phenomenal success owed to them being the first (and for a while the only) tribe who raided on horseback. This recent report proving that the Botai culture had domesticated horses just makes it more plausible.

I know that Cochran and Harpending advanced a competing theory of IE spread in their book, but I wasn't not convinced by them.

Anonymous said...

it's worth commenting on the fact that women seem to rate thuggishness at least as highly as IQ in selecting a desirable mate.

Unintelligent women often mistake thuggishness for alpha-male personality (it's usually a sign of beta-male status). Intelligent women don't usually make that mistake. They prefer intelligent self-confident successful men, which is not at all the same thing (although T99 probably can't tell the difference).

Anonymous said...

"I've read quite a bit about psychometry and there is no doubt in my mind that these tests measure what they purport to measure - intelligence."

I'm skeptical of that.
Or to be more precise, I'm skeptical that it measures anything inate rather than being an acquired skill.

In any case the point being made was that IQ does not measure a great many important human attributes, and that there are many good and intelligent reasons why we are better off with low IQ whites than with low IQ Hispanics. Or high IQ Asians for that matter.

Those reasons have to do with such character traits as independence, which are not measured on standard IQ tests. But they are the reason that America had a Declaration of Independence and Constitution while Central America and China had their own unfortunate history.

Anonymous said...

"Why did Nordics never invent iron-smelting? Some Hittite stute invented iron-smelting and no one else in the entire world ever did."

Perhaps other Eurasian groups were capable of inventing it eventually, but didn't have to because the Hittites beat them to it. I think this is actually likely. You may not, but you've got to admit that this is at least possible. In a sudden death hockey match between the NY Rangers on one side and me and my buddies on the other side the final score will also be 1-0, but it will not in any way reflect the two sides' relative strengths. The same sudden death logic works for the non-domestication of the European (but not the American) bison. Once our ancestors had cattle, that particular match was over. They moved on to other matches.

"Since domestication and metal working and such did not happen far more often than it did, we don't really need to explain instances where it did not."

I think we do. We're just going to disagree on that.

Anonymous said...

"Islam is open to people of all races who replace their native names with an Arab one and consider sacred a text which is only sacred in Arabic. Sounds pretty surpremacist to me."

If you consider "supremacist" to be attributable to a language rather than a racial or ethnic group, sure. That's far from the normal meaning of the word though.

Anonymous said...

So the take away lesson from Mike Flynn is that there is no significant Euro innovation to speak of. Its just a matter of a bit of access to the right lessons from history and, any time now, south Americans and Africans will be striding forward to take their place amongst the cognitive elites. Any time now...

Mike Flynn said...

AnonymousOne more thing: Mike Flynn mentioned that the only domestications that can be traced to Europeans are those of flax and oats.

There is a good chance that horses were domesticated by proto-Indo Europeans who lived in the Russian steppes.


Whatever that may mean. Culture is not quite the same as language group. It is no great surprise if steppe people learn to ride horses, no matter what language they speak. Genetically, there is seldom any great turnover in ancient base populations, even if their languages change, although there are obvious exceptions.

The real gimmick, imo, was the attack of the milk-drinking mutants. The development of a gene that - uniquely among mammals - allowed some adult humans to digest milk is what enabled the cow-and-plow revolution in the first place. The horse came later. From some other posts here, I gather that this Diamond fellow thinks that cow-keeping led to the gene rather than the more straightforward gene->behavior.

Anonymous said...

Those not convinced of evidence on the utility of increased IQ in the pre-modern world, could you answer me this: why is then, that apparently the ranked results of the "culture-fair" IQ tests seem to comport with isolated modern hunter-gatherers' notions of who amongst themselves are the "cleverest" and most "able"?

I mean, why would the group notice this attribute if it weren't useful to them in some way, perhaps for choosing the oligarchic rulers or medicine men? I presume their lives were not so scholastic as ours, to seek some knowledge for its own sake.

Let me be clear: I'm not convinced whether IQ increases fitness everywhere, but that's quite a bit different from saying it is not useful everywhere.

Anonymous said...

What I want to see, as a fairly "neutral" observer with no overt side to push, is a fair scientific collation & tabulation of the deficiencies (and/or superiorities) of African, Meso-American, and East Asian innovations as compared to those of the Indo-Europeans and their successor peoples.

I've seen them mentioned in passing on this blog, like the Roman invention of the "true arch", the supposedly superior symbolism of the European adaptation of Arabic algebra, etc. If people keep bringing these statements out in ad-hoc fashion, very little productive can be achieved or understood other than argument for the sake of ethnic chauvinism.

Mike Flynn said...

No Admitted Name wroteSo the take away lesson from Mike Flynn is that there is no significant Euro innovation to speak of. Its just a matter of a bit of access to the right lessons from history and, any time now, south Americans and Africans will be striding forward to take their place amongst the cognitive elites. Any time now...

The original question was why the American Indian did not domesticate many animals or invent copper, bronze, or iron metallurgy. I pointed out that everyone, including the Europeans, had to learn these things by way of diffusion from their apparently unique inventors. The question is not "why did the Indians not..." since nearly everyone did not. Rather, the question is "why did the Hittites..." or "...Sumerians..." etc. make the leap. It is the exception that requires special cause explanation, not the unexceptional.

I never said the Europeans invented nothing, only the key domestication/metallurgic inventions that were under discussion. You are welcome to actually cite a plant or animal that was domesticated rather than react in righteous political correctness.

As for the South Americans and Africans, they were not under discussion at all. But I do recall what people used to say about the unintelligent, ape-like Irish, so I take all that with a grain of salt.

Mike Flynn said...

"Why did Nordics never invent iron-smelting? Some Hittite stute invented iron-smelting and no one else in the entire world ever did."

AnonymousPerhaps other Eurasian groups were capable of inventing it eventually, but didn't have to because the Hittites beat them to it. I think this is actually likely. You may not, but you've got to admit that this is at least possible.

I have to admit that when we are allowed to imagine what the data might have been rather than to examine what the real data actually is, you have an unbeatable argument. Don John of Austria might have married Mary Queen of Scots and recaptured the English crown. It's fun to speculate; but it's neither history nor science.

Let's just point out when the Hittites invented iron-smelting and when it finally reached other locales. [The same for Mesopotamian bronze-working.] That was many centuries in which they could have, but did not. And they even knew it was possible.
+ + +
"Since domestication and metal working and such did not happen far more often than it did, we don't really need to explain instances where it did not."

I think we do. We're just going to disagree on that.Well, that's my statistics/engineering background, I'm afraid. You can't come up with a special cause explanation of why the dice came up 10 instead of 5; but you can come up with a specific reason why it came up 13. Exceptions are due to special causes; normal is due to "random" variation. Anything else is magic.

Anonymous said...

Since domestication and metal working and such did not happen far more often than it did, we don't really need to explain instances where it did notLooking at it on a case by case that's fair enough.

But look at a whole bunch of things and the guys in the 'did not happen' column for any given innovation often seem to be the same people.

In the Jared Diamond version of history we are asked to buy the idea one group got lucky, got to be lucky again and again. That does seem to be pushing the laws of probability. That Europeans kept throwing a winning 6 on their dice umpteen times in a row.

But its not just that we are also then asked to believe, pushing Lady Luck really hard, that other groups got to be unlucky again and again. They, quite independently, kept throwing a losing 1 on their dice.

PRCalDude said...

If you consider "supremacist" to be attributable to a language rather than a racial or ethnic group, sure. That's far from the normal meaning of the word though.No, it's a racial supremacy as well. Newly subjugated peoples are expected to pray towards the Arabs several times a day, act like 6th century Arabs, think like them, and visit Mecca at some point in life. Muhammad, the prototypical Muslim per Surah 33:21, was an Arab supremacist through and through.

Were it not for the "gift" of Muhammad, it's quite possible the extent of the world's backwaters would be much smaller today.

Mr. Anon said...

"There is a good chance that horses were domesticated by proto-Indo Europeans who lived in the Russian steppes.

"Mike Flynn said...

Whatever that may mean."

It means what it means. It's a pretty straight-forward sentence, so I don't see why it befuddles you. Your flippant dismissal of it indicates only that you find it inconvenient to your argument.

"The Caribbean is not the Med - too many hurricanes - and neither are the Great Lakes; so there was no place to practice ship-building other than the North Atlantic itself."

So the Great Lakes DO have hurricanes? You seem to be saying that the Great Lakes aren't the Med because they aren't the Med. Granted. However, it remains a pretty good place to build and use ships. Or maybe Gordon Lightfoot just made up all of that stuff in his song.

"Well, that's my statistics/engineering background, I'm afraid."

Yeah, none of the rest of us around here know dick about that high-falutin' college-boy stuff. We're just stump-toothed hill people.

You actually do make a number of good points, but you might give the hyper-nerd know-it-all schtick a rest. We've already got T99 for that.

Mike Flynn said...

AnonymousIn the Jared Diamond version of history we are asked to buy the idea one group got lucky, got to be lucky again and again. That does seem to be pushing the laws of probability. That Europeans kept throwing a winning 6 on their dice umpteen times in a row.

In throwing dice, each event is independent and of equal probabilty. History, like weather, is serially correlated; so high school notions of probability do not obtain. Thirdly, "luck" is not at issue: there are hard bio-geo-physical reasons for things, as well as cultural enablers. To the extent that geography is a factor, it tends to remain somewhat constant in a region and the advantages would recur. [Scots could no more build an economy on rice paddy cultivation than Navajos could hunt whales.]

Fourthly, the Europeans did not get "lucky" for a very, very long time. The Danubian migration of Mediterranean/Anatolian stock that brought farming, pigs, etc. into Europe. As previously noted, copper-working, both bronzing methods, and iron-smelting took hundreds of years to diffuse into Europe from their points of origin.

The Greeks, with their close connections to the Pelagians and the Middle East, was fruitfully innovative; but the Romans essentially stagnated. They were good engineers, but not very inventive; nor did they show an interest in mathematics or science.

Europe did not 'take off' until after about 1000 AD, when it had become an essentially new culture with a new set of cultural ideals.

"Luck" ain't in it. Randomness cannot be a cause of anything.

Mike Flynn said...

"There is a good chance that horses were domesticated by proto-Indo Europeans who lived in the Russian steppes.

"Mike Flynn said...
Whatever that may mean."

Mr. Anon:It means what it means. It's a pretty straight-forward sentence, so I don't see why it befuddles you. Your flippant dismissal of it indicates only that you find it inconvenient to your argument.

Well, no. My old history professor, John Lukacs, pointed out that no fact ever stands on its own. Its meaning is dependent on its connections with other facts. Other than that people who live on steppes will eventually take an interest in horses, I don't see what the meaning of the statement is. Possibly, the writer believes that proto-Indo-European language was especially suitable for talking with horses.

This is not beyond reason. One reason science never arose in China is that Han Chinese is too imprecise a language to make the highly precise statements required by science. Languages can facilitate or impede certain modes of thinking. Basically, if you don't have a word for it, it becomes very hard to think about it. (One reason we seldom remember our own infancy is that we had no words yet with which to remember.)
+ + +

"The Caribbean is not the Med - too many hurricanes - and neither are the Great Lakes; so there was no place to practice ship-building other than the North Atlantic itself."

So the Great Lakes DO have hurricanes? You seem to be saying that the Great Lakes aren't the Med because they aren't the Med. Granted. However, it remains a pretty good place to build and use ships. Or maybe Gordon Lightfoot just made up all of that stuff in his song.You mean the stuff about the winter gales on Superior? How do you think a canoe would make out? Or a Med-style galley? Galleys had a hard enough time coasting up the Atlantic to the Cornwall tin mines. The Europeans did not come up with a ship suited for the stormy northern waters until the invention of the two-masted cog in the early Middle Ages, after the jihad had forced European trade to focus on the northern routes.
+ + +
"Well, that's my statistics/engineering background, I'm afraid."

Yeah, none of the rest of us around here know dick about that high-falutin' college-boy stuff. We're just stump-toothed hill people.

Who prefer to remain anonymous. But I knew a great many "high-falutin' college-boys" who didn't know dick about science and mathematics, let alone philosophy, and who jumped to conclusions with the agility of an Olympic athlete.

Thucydides once wrote that "the usual thing among men is that when they want something they will, without any reflection, leave that to hope, while they will employ the full force of reason in rejecting what they find unpalatable." (The Peloponnesian War, IV, 108)

you might give the hyper-nerd know-it-all schtick a rest.

My modest familiarity with history is hardly "hyper-nerd" level, although I do have a slight library on the subject. It's always been an interest and hobby of mine.

Anonymous said...

"What I want to see, as a fairly "neutral" observer with no overt side to push, is a fair scientific collation & tabulation of the deficiencies (and/or superiorities) of African, Meso-American, and East Asian innovations as compared to those of the Indo-Europeans and their successor peoples."

The current state of knowledge on these issues, even by professional historians and economic historians and historians of science, is very, very weak. Ask one, and you'll find that (a) they tend to be very specialized in one area and (b) if they are at all honest, they will admit how uncertain our knowledge of what happened only 1000 years ago is.

The people who comment on this blog are typically wildly overconfident, referencing historical "facts" that are not at all well established but very convenient to their own personal worldviews and agendas. If pressed, they might cite the work of some possibly equally overconfident historian (see previous paragraph).

Re: Hittites, smelting and all that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_metallurgy_in_China

Archaeologists and historians debate whether bloomery-based ironworking ever spread to China from the Middle East. Around 500 BC, however, metalworkers in the southern state of Wu developed an iron smelting technology that would not be practiced in Europe until late medieval times. In Wu, iron smelters achieved a temperature of 1130°C, hot enough to be considered a blast furnace. At this temperature, iron combines with 4.3% carbon and melts. As a liquid, iron can be cast into molds, a method far less laborious than individually forging each piece of iron from a bloom.

During the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220), Chinese ironworking achieved a scale and sophistication not reached in the West until the eighteenth century. In the first century, the Han government established ironworking as a state monopoly and built a series of large blast furnaces in Henan province, each capable of producing several tons of iron per day.

Anonymous said...

No, it's a racial supremacy as well. Newly subjugated peoples are expected to pray towards the Arabs several times a day, act like 6th century Arabs, think like them, and visit Mecca at some point in life.

That remains pretty silly. Nothing you say here supports the charge of racial supremacy. You might as well accuse the Catholic church of being Roman supremacists. (Or even Jewish supremacists.) After all, they taught in Latin until a few years ago. Churches were built with the alter facing Jerusalem. And a trip to the Holy Land or to Rome was considered a Good Thing.

Anonymous said...

"The original question was why the American Indian did not domesticate many animals or invent copper, bronze, or iron metallurgy. I pointed out that everyone, including the Europeans, had to learn these things by way of diffusion from their apparently unique inventors."

History does not support this notion of "unique inventors". History says that once a certain threshold is reached, identical innovations frequently occur in different places at almost the same time. Take the discovery of calculus by Newton and Leibniz as an example.

We'd don't know for a fact that there was a "unique inventor" of iron smelting, to say nothing of the domestication of animals. This is a supposition on your part, nothing more.

Mike Flynn said...

Regarding Han iron working:

In stimulus diffusion, the idea percolates, but the specific technique may not. Example:
a) gunpowder. The ingredient ratios are different in European and Chinese gunpowder because, although Roger Bacon had heard of it from a friend who had traveled to China, he did not know the ratios; so Berthold the Black fiddled around until he found a formula that worked.

b) escapements for mechanical clocks. The Europeans had heard travelers' tales about the great Sung Clock, so they knew an escapement was possible, but not how the Chinese had designed one. So they set out to puzzle it out and came up with two escapements, both of them different from the Sung solution.

So when we say that everyone learned iron-working from the Hittites, we don't mean that they copied everything the Hittites had done. In fact, I'd be inclined to say that China was more likely to pick up the idea than the technique over that distance. Ditto for Europeans picking up Chinese ideas.

Wikipedia tends to the politically correct vision of history that insists that everyone get credit for everything. Use with caution.

Also, be careful about cautioning us about relying on professional historians and then relying on Wikipedia. There is a certain unselfconscious parody in that.

Mike Flynn said...

Wheat was uniquely domesticated in Mesopotamia. Other plants were domesticated either in imitation or independently. But when folks went up the Danube with the Mesopotamian suite of domesticates and left Mediterranean skulls in the ground, its hard to support the idea that it was developed independently.

Newton and Leibnitz inventing the calculus at the same time is not the same kettle of fish. They were in communication with an international community of scholars many of whom were self-consciously working on the same problem of a mathematics of changeable things. But deliberate invention dates no further back than the middle ages. Earlier invention was more typically of the serendipitous sort. Sure, there may have been a dozen different Hittites who came up with iron-smelting. But there were no Harrapans, Egyptians, Europeans, etc. who did so.

Learning of new things from others is the norm in history.

Plant domestication did occur independently in MesoAmerica, the Andes, Mesopotamia, SE Asia, and a few other places at about the same time. This was probably due to common causes, like the climate conditions at the end of the ice age. Independent because the methods of cultivation were utterly different in each ecozone.

Hafiz said...

Islam is arab imperialism. Naipaul has covered the neuroses of non Arab Muslim peoples in his books "Among the believers" and "Beyong belief".

PRCalDude said...

You might as well accuse the Catholic church of being Roman supremacistsI seem to recall Calvin making that argument in the Institutes.

Anonymous said...

The important difference between East Asian (Chinese or Hindu) and Mexicans is that China and India are sending in USA their best, wanting to make a career; Mexica is sending their worst, to make a living by any means, often criminal.

Anonymous said...

"Possibly, the writer believes that proto-Indo-European language was especially suitable for talking with horses."

Proto-Indo-Europeans were biologically European, i.e. white. This is what the human remains of the Kurgan culture show. You again and again argued that Europeans did not invent anything worthwhile in antiquity, did not domesticate any important plants or animals in antiquity, etc. Borrowers all.

The facts contradict you. The proto-Indo-European steppe people had Europoid skulls and they domesticated the horse. Same thing with the Hittites and they invented iron metallurgy. I guess in your world New Zealanders of English descent belong to the Polynesian, not the European culture as well. And if I ever decide to spend a weekend in Shanghai, then according to you, for the duration of that weekend I'll be Chinese. You spent a lot of effort here making us think that that's exactly how you view the world.

"One reason science never arose in China is that Han Chinese is too imprecise a language to make the highly precise statements required by science."

Language is a tool of the mind, not the other way around. It reflects the mind. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, to which you referred here (perhaps unknowingly) is transparently wrong. It is not taken seriously by the science of linguistics and never was. Example: people have trouble expressing their very real feelings in words all the time. This is the root of most of the difficult aspects of trying to write good prose - you usually get an idea of what you want to say in a split second, but then spend hours trying to get the wording right. The fact that meaning constantly comes to us before the words expressing it do disproves the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis outright.

We, the speakers, are ultimately the creators of the languages we speak. If you have a deep-seated need to make English more (or less) precise, more (or less) expressive, go ahead and do it. No one will punish you. William F. Buckley's English was not the same thing as Snoop Doggy Dogg's or Larry the Cable Guy's English. This is because deep down below the superficial surface of language they were (in the case of the latter two, are) very different people. English is neither precise nor imprecise, neither verbose nor laconic, neither reserved nor flowery - it's whatever the particular person speaking it subconsciously (or sometimes even consciously) wants it to be. Since the speakers are heterogeneous, the language is too. I'm sure that a language that's spoken by an incredibly homogeneous group of people (Finnish or Japanese or Korean) could be fairly characterized in a way similar to the one you used for Chinese, but that wouldn't be because of anything to do with the language itself. It would be because of the biologically-rooted national characters of the peoples involved. I don't know a word of Finnish, but boy am I sure that it's precise and laconic. And if in an alternative historical Universe of some sort Finland had grabbed a piece of China as a colony, and the locals learned some Finnish, then their version of Finnish would have become elliptical and metaphorical.

"Europe did not 'take off' until after about 1000 AD, when it had become an essentially new culture with a new set of cultural ideals."

This is not how the Europeans living during the Renaissance viewed it. They thought that they were reviving Greco-Roman civilization. Hence "the Renaissance". I think they were right.

Anonymous said...

"The important difference between East Asian (Chinese or Hindu) and Mexicans is that China and India are sending in USA their best, wanting to make a career; Mexica is sending their worst, to make a living by any means, often criminal."

All at the expense of European Americans.

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Williams-Gates.html

Anonymous said...

"But deliberate invention dates no further back than the middle ages. Earlier invention was more typically of the serendipitous sort."

Archimedes would be fascinated to hear this.

Svigor said...

In throwing dice, each event is independent and of equal probabilty.What kind of double-talk bullshit is that?

The probability of rolling six sixes in a row is not the same as rolling one six.

Mike Flynn said...

"But deliberate invention dates no further back than the middle ages. Earlier invention was more typically of the serendipitous sort."

AnonymousArchimedes would be fascinated to hear this.

Archimedes is sui generis. But which invention of his do you have in mind? The crane that could lift a Roman galley out of the water? Doubtful it even existed. Certainly Plutarch credited him with many devices, but did the devices qualify as inventions? He also solved at least one problem in the physics, but "Eureka" sounds a little like serendipity. But even solutions to theoretical puzzles like that were few and far between.

Best theory I heard was that technological innovation was rare in classical society because slaves were cheap and plentiful. So a few things were "invented" for the entertainment of potentates. And war engines, too.

Here's a better one: the Arsenal of Syracuse was considered remarkable because Dionysus the Tyrant set it up for the purpose of creating new kinds of war engines. It is said that the catapult was invented there. But it was remarkable for being unique. We also don't know if Zopyros of Tarentum invented the catapult by serendipity or by deliberate engineering.

Mike Flynn said...

In throwing dice, each event is independent and of equal probabilty.SvigorWhat kind of double-talk bullshit is that?

The probability of rolling six sixes in a row is not the same as rolling one six.
It's called probability and statistics. The definition of "independent" can be found in any good elementary text. Mine is Paul Meyers' old Introductory Probability and Statistical Applications, but Deming, Cochran, Duncan, or any of the others will do.

Independence means the probability of rolling your sixth 6 does not depend on whether the previous rolls were 6 or not. It is still one chance in six. P(A|B) = P(A) In the real world, however, events are often serially correlated, and conditional probabilities apply.

Consider, e.g., a washout in a punch in a draw-and-iron operation. The washout will result in a tear in the sidewall of the part being drawn. If the nth part is found to have a tear, the probability that the next part will have a tear is p = 1.0, and so on, until the washout is discovered and the tool changed out.

Another example, the probability that an annual flood on a given river will exceed a certain level is not independent from year to year. If last year's flood was higher than normal, this year's flood will more likely be higher than normal. It's why "hundred year floods" often happen within a few years of each other; or why hot years tend to follow one another closely.

History is contingent. What happens this year depends on what happened last year, and so on. Save for the occasional system collapse, technology and knowledge are accumulative. A society that has produced, say, field agriculture will be more likely to produce further advances because field agriculture can support more people per hectare, which leads to cities, specialization, etc. Miss out on the first link and the next links simply don't happen.

Mike Flynn said...

"Possibly, the writer believes that proto-Indo-European language was especially suitable for talking with horses."

Anonymous No NameYou again and again argued that Europeans did not invent anything worthwhile in antiquity, did not domesticate any important plants or animals in antiquity, etc. Borrowers all. The facts contradict you. The proto-Indo-European steppe people had Europoid skulls and they domesticated the horse. Same thing with the Hittites and they invented iron metallurgy.Whether the Hittite overlords invented smithing or their Hattite workers did would be an interesting point. It would be a first, if the ruling class were getting their hands dirty. We just don't know. Certainly, they did not domesticate wheat, pigs, cows, and so on; nor did they invent copper or bronze metallurgy. That all came out of the Middle East. And it still took the European folk hundreds of years to learn these things from their neighbors.

The point remains: Origination is rare. Most peoples have learned most things by learning from others. That is why it is more interesting to discover why this or that innovation appeared there and then, and not why everyone else failed to originate it.

This is true regardless what language family the originators and learners have belonged to.
+ + +
I guess in your world New Zealanders of English descent belong to the Polynesian, not the European culture as well.I don't know where you get your crazy ideas. My contention has always been that it is the culture that matters. Roman culture, for example, was particularly resistant to change. Over the whole course of Roman history, the number of innovations were few and far between. The same was true of Islam under the Turks, where the grand mufti declared mechanical clocks to be haram and where the entire city of Constantinople had a single printing press - and it printed no books for long stretches of time.
+ + +
"One reason science never arose in China is that Han Chinese is too imprecise a language to make the highly precise statements required by science."

Language is a tool of the mind, not the other way around. It reflects the mind. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, to which you referred here (perhaps unknowingly) is transparently wrong. It is not taken seriously by the science of linguistics and never was. Example: people have trouble expressing their very real feelings in words all the time.At least they have the words, even if they are inept at finding them. But the inability to communicate an idea is precisely the point.

If you have a deep-seated need to make English more (or less) precise, more (or less) expressive, go ahead and do it.

When I was down on the Panama Canal, I was asked why English has "so many words." Why do you have "conductor" and "director." They are both the same. So I conducted her across the room, then directed her to go back. The same goes for distinctions we make between sweat and perspiration, and other pairings that arose from the Normam Conquest. The magpie nature of English has given it the largest vocabulary on Earth, once capable of making fine distinctions. Other languages do well at various things. Inuit will distinguish between many different kinds of ice - and so does Norwegian, for basically the same reason. Shona has many different words for walking around. Chinese is superb if you want to be elliptical. The same "sentence" can mean P and not-P. Great for poetry; not so hot for science.

Toby Huff has an interesting discussion of this in his book The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West.The precision of English does not depend on any one person's ability to use that precision.
+ + +
It would be because of the biologically-rooted national characters of the peoples involved.It is the current political correctness that all things are biologically rooted. This is simply asserted as fact. There's a gene for everything we are told by the sociobiologists. They don't actually have to produce such a gene. It is enough to express faith that it exists.
+ + +

"Europe did not 'take off' until after about 1000 AD, when it had become an essentially new culture with a new set of cultural ideals."

This is not how the Europeans living during the Renaissance viewed it. They thought that they were reviving Greco-Roman civilization. Hence "the Renaissance". I think they were right.

That was the greatest pc triumph in history. The 16th century Renaissance was a revival of Greek and Roman architecture and statuary and, to some extent, of artistic conventions. Artistic merit was judged on how faithfully one slavishly copied the conventions of a dead culture. The medievals invented their own civilization, preserving the scientific and technological heritage of the Greeks, but not their art and architecture. The Renaissance weren't into science, so they gave this no concern. Except in painting, the Third Renaissance was a period of stagnation and imitation. The Carolingian Renaissance was cut short by the Viking, Magyar, and Saracen invasions; but the 11th century Renaissance led to a host of things.

In particular, it is in the 11th century that a new word entered the language: ingeniator [engineer], and with it concepts like "ingenuity" became talk-about-able. (I will grant you that it could be thought in a clumsy and inchoate manner; but an idea that cannot be easily communicated is not an idea.) We read in Richard the Englishman about the deliberate efforts of clockmaker ingeniatores to invent an escapement: a clear picture of exactly what they wanted this as-yet-uninvented Thing to do. With it all: the camshaft revolution and, as Lynne White put it, for the first time in history a complex civilization was =not= built on the backs of sweating slaves and coolies but on mechanical power, as camshafts converted the circular motion of waterwheels to power hammers and saws.

By the 14th century, Jean Buridan had enunciated Newton's First Law, Oresme had proven the Mean Speed Theorem and had enunciated Gresham's law; Grosseteste had laid out the germ of the scientific method; Theodoric of Freiburg had conducted the first documented experiment; Oresme [again] had described the principle of relativity of motion; Heytesbury had made a start on modal logic. The theory of fractions was worked out - the first new innovation in arithmetic since the Greeks. Man, it was an exciting time.

The quite deliberate propaganda campaign against the scholastics was probably the first great victory of pc spin in history.

Anonymous said...

MacDonald has written about the differences between individualistic Western societies and tribal Middle Eastern societies. He has also written about the development of monogamy in the West and other topics not directly related to the Jewish question.

mark said...

This is actually rather amusing. I just took a look over at the Spengler Forum. Apparently Spengler is seriously conflicted: in keeping with his new openness he feels compelled to allow some degree of discussion of his identity and its relationship to his opinions, but true to his cultish--Larouchie, Neocon--background he is unwilling to enter into open debate. The result is that the several threads that have been dedicated to this topic are peppered with moderator edits, for supposed obscenity or "ad hominem attacks." Sometimes entire posts disappear within seconds. I've seen some of the "disappeared" posts and they're neither obscene nor are they ad hominem attacks.

Spengler's own approach is to condemn Larouche but to backhandedly defend himself. For example, he claims that, while his name appears as co-author on "Dope, Inc." he only did statistical research. Try to disprove that! More to the point, he maintains: "My point is: I have no responsibility to answer queries regarding views I may or may not have held thirty years ago." Spengler is well known, however, for holding others to the standard that he maintains does not apply to him.

Anonymous said...

Brevity and concision are the soul of good commenting, Mike. If you consistently write longer missives than the blogger, it may be time to start your own blog.

Anonymous said...

"But even solutions to theoretical puzzles like that were few and far between."

All solutions to theoretical puzzles are few and far between. That's why people make note of them when they happen.



"Certainly Plutarch credited him with many devices, but did the devices qualify as inventions?"

So now we should distrust the historical record, because it does not jibe with your preferred narrative?

Mike Flynn said...

"Certainly Plutarch credited him with many devices, but did the devices qualify as inventions?"

AnonymousSo now we should distrust the historical record, because it does not jibe with your preferred narrative?

a) That's not what I wrote. Zopyros of Tarentum invented the catapult because before he did so there were no catapults. If someone built a bigger catapult or one that shot two arrows at one, that would not be quite the same thing. The devices attributed to Archimedes by Plutarch seemed to me primarily of the bigger and better sort; not the breakthrough new-kind-of-thing sort. The Archimedes screw was being used by Egyptian peasants to pull water out of the canals for irrigation, so it was likely adapted by and not invented by the man whose name it bears.

b) Given that, Plutarch wrote about three and a half centuries after Archimedes died, so his information may be embellished by Washington Irving style legends. (That's the problem with the historical 'record.' Just because Plutarch and Archimedes were both ancient, doesn't mean they were contemporaries.) Engineers have grave doubts about the truly marvelous inventions: the ship-shaking crane, the fire-producing mirrors, and so on. Some of them have been attempted with modern technology with indifferent results. The crane is just barely feasible; the mirror system is not.

One of the things that makes history fascinating is that sometimes it undermines cherished legends.

Mike Flynn said...

Brevity and concision are the soul of good commenting, Mike. If you consistently write longer missives than the blogger, it may be time to start your own blog.

That can be a problem. It takes a single sentence to make a bogus or over-simplified statement. Unless one responds: "Unh-unh" or "Anonymous is a booger-nose", the answer does tend to grow longer.

Compounded by: I love history. It is endlessly fascinating. So, I do run on. Note that on those items where I have nothing to say, I say nothing.

trance formation said...

"What has IQ got to do with inventiveness?"


That you would ask such a question helps me understand your comments. What does the speed of a car have to do with its engine?A person might idly wonder what it would be like to fly. It would take a high level of intelligence to think it through, get the materials together, plan the experiments, and choose the best barn from which to take off from.
Since you seem to be new to these parts, IQ is most potent SINGLE predictor of life outcome. Not the only, just the strongest SINGLE factor. I have read the couples (and who ever ascertains their partner's iq before partnering) are within 5 points of each other. Just happens that way.
Until you understand this, you will not grasp a basic premis of this whole blog.
And btw. Stop the excuse finding for American natives not developing a high level of "civilization." America is hugh and has almost every climate represented. It had everything necessary for the development of civilization, as the Europeans discovered once they came. Historians who have published out of the mainstream have claimed evidence for more highly developed societies that were wiped out. The mounds in the Ohio region are one such area. I can't argue that case to well, but such dead societies are buried all over the place--we still don't know who did Stonehenge. Bones last better in the dry sand. It was the faith of a 19th century German scholar that the actual city of Troy was finally unearthed.

Svigor said...

Independence means the probability of rolling your sixth 6 does not depend on whether the previous rolls were 6 or not.No shit. What does that have to do with the odds of rolling 100 sixes in a row, vs. rolling 100 ones in a row?

Svigor said...

Bones last better in the dry sand. It was the faith of a 19th century German scholar that the actual city of Troy was finally unearthed.I was reading about that fellow just a couple days ago. Apparently his myth is overwrought, and he got the location of Troy from a "real" archeologist he met on the train or something.

Mike Flynn said...

"What's IQ to do with inventiveness?"

trance formationA person might idly wonder what it would be like to fly. It would take a high level of intelligence to think it through, get the materials together, plan the experiments, and choose the best barn from which to take off from.That would seem appropriate to grinding things out in the mechanical age. But I think creativity may count for much.

I am less certain your model pertains to neolithic or early classical innovation, most of which were likely serendipity. The Smartest Dude in history - Aristotle(*) - believed that "planned experiments", by setting up artificial conditions, interfered with the natures being studied. The first genuine experiment documented in Europe was Theodoric of Fribourg's experiment on the rainbow in the High Middle Ages.

But suppose we require a Smart Dude rather than a Creative Dude. All we need is one such Dude. Larry the Luwian might have been the only Smart Dude in the Khattian Empire when he figured out how to smelt iron.

Raw numbers matter. Larger populations have more Smart Dudes, regardless of percentage. One reason the Scientific Revolution was shorted in the 14th century was that the Black Death cut the number of Smart People way down. [We know two by name: Ockham and Bradwardine.] Not until Galileo's generation were there as many people [and hence, as many Smart People] as there were in the days of Buridan and Oresme.

In addition to being smart, you have to be interested. Most Smart Dudes in the Renaissance went into the Arts.
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Since you seem to be new to these parts, IQ is most potent SINGLE predictor of life outcome.What is the r-square? I've dealt with such matters in the more well-behaved world of mechanical and electronic reliability and have seen a lot of useless Single Strongest Factors. And social "scientists" go gaga over r-squares that no engineer would pass the time of day over.
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Stop the excuse finding for American natives not developing a high level of "civilization." America is hugh and has almost every climate represented. It had everything necessary for the development of civilization, as the Europeans discovered once they came.a) The Europeans came already with a civilization - which they had spent millennia learning from the Middle East and - during the Late Middle Ages et seq. - inventing themselves.

b) I'm not sure why this driving need some folks here seem to have in disparaging American Indians.

c) How do you know America had everything necessary for developing a civilization =from scratch=? Sure you know all the X's in the transfer equations for the Y's? Top of my head, civilization developed 'from scratch' only four, maybe five times And two of those [Andean and Mesoamerican] were in the Americas. Others arose by second-gen derivation in adjacent lands. No pristine civilization arose in Europe, which I understand also has many advantages.

d) Here's one thing: population density. North America outside of Mexico never had more than one or two million people - despite pc attempts to inflate the numbers for guilt-tripping purposes. Where densities were higher, we find the rise of civilizations equivalent to Sumer and Akkad or of high chiefdoms equivalent to the megalith builders of Europe. (e.g., the Hopewell and Adena Mound-Builders.) But save in spots, there were simply not enough people to sustain the gains. And it all goes back to the sparseness of draft animals to pull plows. Without field agriculture, they had to get by on gardening, and that limits the population that can be supported. Fewer people, fewer smart people.

Don't know why simple biophysical, geographical, and demographic factors should be so controversial. Sure, smarts can matter. But so can other natural factors, like creativity; and umwelt factors, like glaciers and deserts and mountains. It also matters if you already know something can be done versus nobody you ever heard of has ever done it before. Accumulative history matters.

Mike Flynn said...

Independence means the probability of rolling your sixth 6 does not depend on whether the previous rolls were 6 or not.

Svigor
No shit. What does that have to do with the odds of rolling 100 sixes in a row, vs. rolling 100 ones in a row?

Because those "odds" will depend on the conditional probabilities. If you do the calculations assuming unconditional probabilities you will get the wrong estimates in a great many real-world applications. I gave you two simple illustrative examples: tears caused by punch washouts in a draw and iron operation; and extreme value distributions of annual floods. I also recommended a couple of basic stat texts.

trance formation said...

Mike Flynn responds---Since you seem to be new to these parts, IQ is most potent SINGLE predictor of life outcome."What is the r-square? I've dealt with such matters in the more well-behaved world of "

You'd have to read people Rushton, Lynn, Linda Gottfredson, maybe Cochran, Clarke. There's a genetics oriented site (the owner is Indian btw, the South Asian kind) called GNXP that discusses this extensively. It affects all areas of life. People who misunderstand IQ tend to think "book learning" is irrelvant to life outcome as if reading comprehension and application were somehow separate from on-the-job performance.
Anyway, check out crime stats. We all know about the egg-head psycho, but regarding crime and life outcomes resulting from low-levels of responsibility and planning, IQ is the single most common denominator. Lower the iq in any given radius, higher the crime rate, physical abuse, property destruction, general mayhem. The lower the IQ, the less sense of responsibility to the world at large. Low IQ people usually only respond to larger, coercive authority--which is not a bad idea for more average people as well, and even some smart ones. Still--on the average...

"The Europeans came already with a civilization - which they had spent millennia learning from the Middle East and - during the Late Middle Ages et seq. - inventing themselves."

The Western Hemisphere was a Brave New World, still a phantasm to most when Shakespeare was writing.
Of course they brought their civilization, but they continued to to develop over time into an entity that would never have occurred if they had remained in Europe, or if America had not had such a promising terrain.

As for disparaging American Indians--if you think that, you misunderstand me. That is why I mentioned that we don't know all American history. We only know a very few hundred years.
It does seem that their level of average intellectual capacity did not encourage the development of writing or some other civilization indicators, but some tribes did develop organized bodies with principles and plans (the Iriquois), on which the founders of America partially based their own system. Personally I don't romanticize Indians. The ritual of the sacrifice to the Morning Star (Pawnee I believe) should be enough to disabuse anyone of new age drivel concerning native Americans. However, it is interesting that they were changing, probably on their own accord, in the early 1800s. Certain influential Indians were finding such rituals unecessarily cruel and there was a movement to stop them. This is just one instance--there were others. Whether this was from the influence of western Christian teachings actually practicigin the preachings or not, we don't know.
The Indians were the Indians (I work with an Indian advocate and that's the term she uses.) But I'll bet if the Europeans had built their current civilization while at the same time absolutely leaving all the indians and blacks alone in their own continents, those folks would still want it. That's the hypocracy that gets to me. Somebody (I don't mean you, Mr. Flynn) babbling about how bad this modern society is, when you just know that even if the white man had left them all alone (not really possible for a lot of advances did depend on resources and commerce with them, but let's just imagine...), they'd still want to be modern. They'd still have trouble keeping their kids hunting buffalo or swimming with pythons.

Mike Flynn said...

IQ is most potent SINGLE predictor of life outcome.

"What is the r-square?"

trance formationLower the iq in any given radius, higher the crime rate, physical abuse, property destruction, general mayhem.

Hmm. That pretty much describes the Bronze Age in toto. I repeat my question as to whether measures of IQ - made in the context and tropes of modern society - would mean the same thing in the stone or bronze ages. The entire value system, as well as the social context, was different.
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"The Europeans came already with a civilization - which they had spent millennia learning from the Middle East...."

Of course they brought their civilization, but they continued to to develop over time

Revision is often easier than first draft. My point is that the difference between the Indians and the Europeans in developing civilization in North America, is that the Indians had to do it from scratch while the Europeans came with one already. And civilization-from-scratch is not something that is a dime the dozen. There are only a handful of instances in the whole world, two of them from the Americas), so it cannot be an easy thing to do. From a hunter-gatherer point of view, it may not even be worthwhile. The increase in disease and the workload may not be all that attractive.

For a better comparison of Indians and Europeans, compare the Indians pre-Columbus with the Europeans pre-Danubians. IOW, when both were starting from scratch. We discover that, in both cases the natives had to learn the non-obvious from other people who had made the breakthrough earlier. The Europeans had the benefit of being closer to the heart of the action and so got their "Columbus" (the nameless Danubians with their agriculture, pigs, cattle, and stuff) a lot earlier than the Indians.

Now pay attention to what they did after getting the original stimulus. It was not long before the high chiefdoms of the Southeast had farms and mills and newspapers. You can see the same thing happening in Europe after the arrival of the neolithic and chalcolithic cultures. It took longer - hundreds of years - for them to cotton onto copper and iron; but the speed of information was slower even if the gap does not seem to =our= eyes to be as wide.
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Some tribes did develop organized bodies with principles and plans (the Iriquois), on which the founders of America partially based their own system.Hmm. An interesting trope; but I can't suppose that the Founders were ignorant of the Roman Republic, the Swiss Federation, or the Electoral College of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Indians were the Indians (I work with an Indian advocate and that's the term she uses.)It's also the term my wife uses. She is Choctaw.
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But I'll bet if the Europeans had built their current civilization while at the same time absolutely leaving all the indians and blacks alone in their own continents, those folks would still want it.Quite so. Starting around AD 1000, Europe began to create something very new and exciting. PC idiots who say the West never did anything original are no better imho than the other PC idiots who claim that no one else did.

But return to that "most potent single predictor." Suppose it is true even for the neolithic-bronze ages, when the criteria for success were very different than in a modern, mechanical culture. I asked what the r-square was. This is the coefficient of determination in a correlation (and let us imagine that a predictor is a cause). Suppose Y correlates to X with r=82%. That means that r^2 = 67%, meaning that 67% of the variation in Y can be explained by its association with the variation in X.

In social "science" it's not uncommon to find the "most potent single predictor" with correlations of 30% or even less. That means they would explain only 9% of the observed variation in the sample data. IOW, its the most potent, but not very potent.

It is also useful to know the s^2 of the regression formula.

Anonymous said...

"The Europeans came already with a civilization - which they had spent millennia learning from the Middle East...."

I think it was Arthur C. Clark's series on art that pointed out that perspective in art was discovered in the 14th century in Europe and was practiced no where else in the world but Europe. The whole world of art and music, owe next to nothing to the "middle east." Except of course for subject matter and inspiration. I have studied the "Middle East" and argued in the past as you do, and it surprises me how absurd this opinion sounds to me now that I really think about Europe. In the past I took Europe's history for granted. Now I'm in awe of it. I guess it's one way to dismiss the mind-boggling achievements of Europe between about 1400 and 2000 and make non-Europeans feel better.
Islamic invaders introduced the university to Spain. They apparently invented algebra--Persians actually, or so a Persian told me. The Moslems had an advanced system of medicine much like the Greeks, but which did not raise the average life span beyond 40 years, if that.
European genius manifested extraordinarily unfettered qualities of curiosity and individualism when it came to what I call "discovering and ordering the physical world." As they "ordered the physical world" their sense of the spiritual and sublime gradually declined.

European inventions and scientific growth is a trajectory very well documented, with a yawning ravine between the decline of Islamic universities in the 10th-12th centuries and the meteoric rise of European institutions of learning.
What exactly did the Europeans learn from Persians and Arabs? Algebra and the concept of universities? Architectural principles but taken to an entirely different capability with the vaulted cathedrals based on geometric principles. I get it. But then what? They were on their own for centuries. The "middle easterners" were no help at all. In fact, they were invaders to feared that to be a "Turk" was a synonym for cruelty for the next millenium.
Islamic culture was in decline as early as the 12th century, long before Europeans had even a glimmer of what they would be doing in a few more centuries, long after the Middle East became a backwater. We have solid case histories for the trajectory of European invention. Say "Islam." It won't bite us. They did have some up moments, but they stopped so far short of any manifestations of scientific and high level technological invention that saying Europeans "learned" their civilization is just goofy jingoism.
One might as well say one of Edison's or Tesla's elementary school teachers was responsible for electricity.

Mike Flynn said...

"The Europeans came already with a civilization - which they had spent millennia learning from the Middle East...."

AnonymousI have studied the "Middle East" and argued in the past as you do, and it surprises me how absurd this opinion sounds to me now that I really think about Europe. ... I guess it's one way to dismiss the mind-boggling achievements of Europe between about 1400 and 2000 and make non-Europeans feel better.

You misunderstand me, Anonymous. When I said the early Euopeans had spent two millennia leaning from the Middle East I was talking about learning agriculture, copper, bronze, and iron-working, domesticated pigs, cattle, goats, etc. This was long before the Arabs came on the scene.

There are two competing errors: a) the Europeans never did anything; b) the Europeans did everything. Truth is more complex; and history, like life, has its ups and downs.

I think it was Arthur C. Clark's series on art that pointed out that perspective in art was discovered in the 14th century in Europe and was practiced no where else in the world but Europe. The whole world of art and music, owe next to nothing to the "middle east."

Along with women's rights and some other things, these are key medieval innovations. I said that Europeans spent two millennia learning from the [ancient] Middle East. But I also said that starting in the Middle Ages, they took off on their own and became leaders. It was the change in culture from the fate-based Roman pagan outlook to the progress-based Christian outlook that was key. At the time you are talking about, the "two thousand years" was about up. The Middle East was fading under barbarian invasions and burning cities. Europe was rising with its own ideas and inventions.

Of course, perspective was just a modernist gimmick, which we don't use as much any more. John Lukacs has some interesting things to say about the Age of Realism in the Arts in his book, At the End of an Age. The pre-realist art of the Middle Ages was just as dynamic and creative.

Polyphony is more important. Bernard Lewis has pointed out that the medieval invention of [written!] polyphonic music shaped much of Western culture, leading to corporations, team sports, etc. - where each individual player has his own unique part, and all parts harmonize for the whole. That wonderful mix of individualism and communalism that was uniquely Western.
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Islamic invaders introduced the university to Spain.

No. A madrasa was never a university. It had no faculty or curriculum. It hosted individual teachers who issued ijazas to students who mastered the particular books they taught, but there was no sequence or course of books leading to a Western-style master or doctoral degree or a ius ubique docendi [the right to teach everywhere]. These universities were among the great achievements of Western Christendom.

They apparently invented algebra.... The Moslems had an advanced system of medicine much like the Greeks, but which did not raise the average life span beyond 40 years, if that.Oh, they did more than that; but they also occupied a Near East that had a layer of Hellenism a thousand years thick. History is cumulative. Most of the early muslims were converts or the children of converts, and I don't suppose they stopped being Greek or Syriac or Coptic just because the Arabs were now in charge. Some indeed may have remained secretly Christian, as they did in the Balkans later. The Middle East remained majority Christian until the mass conversions of the 10th century. Antioch was still mostly Greek and Orthodox when it opened its gates to the Crusaders.

A good book is Toby Huff's The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West.

One thing to note: faylasuf in Islam was always regarded with suspicion. Al-Kindi was publicly caned; ibn Rushd deprived of all offices; and so on. What we call science was never taught publicly, only studied privately. There were no schools of medicine as there were in Europe; nor any self-governing medical societies to set rules and standards. Doctors in Islam were self-taught, usually in the context of a family tradition of doctoring (many of whom were Jewish or Nestorian Christian), and their practice was regulated by the muhtasib [marketplace inspector]. The very idea of a self-governing body was alien. Only in Christendom do we find the corporation: town, university, guild, medical society, etc.
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European genius manifested extraordinarily unfettered qualities of curiosity and individualism when it came to what I call "discovering and ordering the physical world."Lynne White pointed out that Europeans were no more inventive than other - many of the key inventions originated elsewhere - but Europeans were more adept at applying inventions to labor. The word ingeniator [engineer] a quo "ingenuity" is a medieval word.

a yawning ravine between the decline of Islamic universities in the 10th-12th centuries and the meteoric rise of European institutions of learning.

That marks the collapse of the Caliphate, the Turkish invasions, and the capstone: the Mongol devastation. The closing of the gates of ijtihad after al-Ghazali's seminal work was important, too.
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What exactly did the Europeans learn from Persians and Arabs?

An enormous amount of mathematics [not just "algebra"], optics, chemistry [al-chemy is an Arabic term], concepts like impetus [momentum] in physics, a lot of medicine, etc. etc. You will find the Huff book mentioned above useful. But you are focusing on the tail end of it all; it was during the Middle Ages that the intellectual positions of the two civilizations reversed itself - without, note, a big genetic turnover in Europe and only the influx of Turks and Mongols in the Middle East.

Had the Arabs not preserved the Greek works - and commented extensively upon them, the medieval renaissance would have been delayed until the liberation of Sicily, when they got access to Greek originals.
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Islamic culture was in decline as early as the 12th century, long before Europeans had even a glimmer of what they would be doing in a few more centuries

The 10th century Turkish invasions really started the decline - central authority gave way to banditry (which led to the Crusades). But this was not really long before the great 12th century renaissance in Europe, when Europeans flocked to Toledo to translate the Greek works that the Arabs had translated. The universities were rolling by then, and their sub-doctoral curriculum was exclusively logic, reason, and natural philosophy. Never before or since has such a large portion of a culture been so systematically trained in analytical thinking. That's why the turnaround was already evident during the High and Late Middle Ages.

Kai Carver said...

Just wanted to say I quite enjoyed Mike Flynn's mind-expanding (and consistently) comments, no matter how wildly off-topic they got. Yeah, Mike, you should probably get your own blog. I'd subscribe to it!

Faust said...

Lyndon LaRouche is of old American Quaker stock. LaRouche was communists and SDS leader in the 1960's.

Mike Flynn said...

Just wanted to say I quite enjoyed Mike Flynn's mind-expanding (and consistently) comments, no matter how wildly off-topic they got. Yeah, Mike, you should probably get your own blog. I'd subscribe to it! http://m-francis.livejournal.com/

Anonymous said...

For anyone interested in the LaRouche group's roots in the left, please see my new e-book How It All Began: The Origins and History of the National Caucus of Labor Committees in New York and Philadelphia (1966-1971) at
http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.HIABcover.

Hylozoic Hedgehog