May 9, 2009

Good Grief, More Slate Saletan-Sailer-McWhorter Stuff!

Once again in Slate, William Saletan has an article about the Emmanuel Goldstein of 21st Century America:
Inequality Control: A conversation about race, genes, bias, and fairness.
Over the last week and a half, I've been having—and if you're reading along and commenting, you've been indirectly having—a conversation about race with John McWhorter and Steve Sailer. This wasn't an agreed-upon discussion. It just started up, and people joined in, as often happens on the Internet. Yesterday, Noah Millman of The American Scene weighed in. I'm calling this a conversation even though not everyone involved is enamored of, or even talking directly to, everyone else. And there's a good chance we'll drift back into silence at this point, as each of us moves on to other things. But it's worth summarizing a few points we've covered so far. ...

1. Sailer, the person in this conversation who most vigorously defends categorizing people by race in the course of assessing their worth to society, has offered to give up that practice. In exchange, he wants proponents of affirmative action to give up the converse practice of categorizing people by race in the course of trying to equalize opportunity or outcome. I'm inclined to take this deal. My impression so far is that McWhorter, despite his criticisms of affirmative action, wouldn't. But I'll leave that question to him.

By the way, this one post by Noah is unrepresentative of the usual high quality of his writing. So, don't hold this one against him.

I'll try to straighten out Mr. Saletan's confusions in VDARE.com on Sunday evening. I realize that these are difficult, subtle topics, and that people who haven't put anywhere near as much time into studying these subjects as I have can't really be expected to summarize my views accurately -- even if they intend to be fair, they simply lack the depth of understanding to do a competent job -- but these mischaracterizations of my positions in Slate and, especially, in The New Republic, are getting silly.

In the meantime, if you want to know what I've actually said about race and IQ, I put together handy Frequently Asked Question lists back in 2007 (after Saletan got in so much trouble with his friends for doubting the wisdom of Watsoning Dr. Watson):

The IQ FAQ

Race FAQ

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

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Top link no worky, much like Chrysler union goons soon. "(W)ho most vigorously defends categorizing people by race in the course of assessing their worth to society" is quite a piece of writing, it has to be a source of amusement how otherwise sensible people spaz out when engaging Sailer Thought.

rob said...

By the way, this one post by Noah...

I didn't click through, but didn't you mean William?

headache said...

"1. Sailer, ... has offered to give up that ["racial classification"] practice. In exchange, he wants proponents of affirmative action to give up the converse practice of categorizing people by race in the course of trying to equalize opportunity or outcome. I'm inclined to take this deal."

Nice move Steve! Of course once AA is out the door, natural segregation sets in so you win hands down. On top, apparently the (self-proclaimed) "moralists" like Saletan lay off.
Of course I'm sure Saletan was not being serious. He's only saying this to cover his ass since he knows he cannot seriously defend AA with the facts. So it’s just a cover-up disguised as generosity.
Basically you've won the debate on facts. Now comes the politics and as long as Saletin and his cronies control the media they can always make like they are "winning" and force their rot on us.

Jun said...

Yeah. What is with this "categorizing people by race in the course of assessing their worth to society" anyway?

I've been reading your blog for, oh, five or six years now -- and went back and read a lot of your earlier stuff -- and I can't recall you ever "assessing the worth" of anybody based on their race. (Frankly, I wouldn't be a regular reader of this blog if you had!)

I was too kind on Saletan the other day when I said he should start being a man and face up to the tougher facts of life, whatever they may turn out to be. Now I see he really is just being a catty b*tch towards you. I mean, he can't possibly misunderstand you THAT much -- can he?

Tiko said...

So basically Saletan is now treading on ground where Herrnstien and Murray set up camp around 1996. When H & M tried to raise the issue of the social significance of inherited individual differences, people simply would not shut up about race. H & M spent only 60 pages in a 800 page book on the subject of race. Nevermind. People would only hear about race. H & M cited evidence from all white Danish studies. Nevermind. People would only hear about race.

Safe money says that Saletan’s call to ignore the elephant in the living room will similarly go unheeded. People will simply not stop taking an interest in how their closer relatives stack up against their more distant ones.

Ronduck said...

You need a FASQ:

Frequently Asked Stupid
Questions.

LesNorsemorbles said...

Steve,
In IQ FAQ, under question
Q. Are there differences in average SAT scores among racial groups?

you reference IQ scores, not SAT scores. Are you able to fix this, in an otherwise quite useful set of FAQ?

TomV said...

How can anyone read those FAQ sheets and still go on believing that Steve is some crazed bigot? This is not misunderstanding, but egoism. Their status, respectability, job security, ideology, hopes & dreams shall be preserved at all costs. Maligning a decent guy is nothing, the question is whether he should be burnt at the stake. Hmmm...

William Saletan is not a nice guy. Noah Millman is not a nice guy. Liberal creationists are not nice people.

Anonymous said...

A conversation? So they've finally allowed you to respond in Slate and they've addressed what you've actually written?

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty clear by now that Saletan is on the same page as Sailer, and has been deliberately (if subtly) promoting his views.

- Fred

Thrasymachus said...

They're lying but that is what they do all day, they come in at 8, start lying, and keep lying until 5, or maybe 6 some days, and then come backthe next day and do it again.

Diamed said...

Saletan is right. The entire course of the debate will inevitably trend towards eugenics.

The moment the public realizes genes are the source of good or bad life outcomes, eugenics becomes the only way forward for mankind.

The debate isn't about the 4/5 rule at the EEOC. The debate is whether nature or nurture makes the man. If we harness the power of nature, instead of hopelessly flog away at the barren corpse of nurture, civilization will be completely transformed. There will be winners and losers in this transformation, and those who stand to lose will bitterly oppose Sailer's facts to the very end.

This game is being played for the highest stakes, imagining it's a purely theoretical issue, or just about affirmative action, is whistling past the graveyard.

Even if Sailer doesn't agree with the powerful implications of his research, he cannot control the Truth once it is let free upon the world. Like a tempest, it will go where it wills.

PatrickH said...

I'm surprised that more people haven't seen what Fred sees. It's obvious that Saletan is still smarting over his humiliation by Slate delivered via their scientifically illiterate culture critic named Stephen Metcalf, and is getting some payback for his pillorying by his own employer. Saletan has managed to get Steve's name up in print, laid out his arguments (more or less) clearly, and started a debate about Steve's work--which is ninety percent of the battle.

Saletan has fooled Slate, just as he's fooled almost everybody. Good for him!

P.S. Noah Millman is a very nice man indeed. I think Bill Saletan is a nice man too. But Noah Millman is a virtual saint, one of the few true gentlemen of the Internet commentocracy.

Mr. Anon said...

"Over the last week and a half, I've been having—and if you're reading along and commenting, you've been indirectly having—a conversation about race with John McWhorter and Steve Sailer."

I didn't know that Sit Down and Shut Up constituted a conversation.

Anonymous said...

Saletan has fooled Slate, just as he's fooled almost everybody. Good for him!

I don't quite agree.

It looks more like Saletan is still struggling to wrap his mind around the policy and ideological implications of HBD.

Anonymous said...

The moment the public realizes genes are the source of good or bad life outcomes, eugenics becomes the only way forward for mankind.


The public is already aware of that. But the most likely "solution" will not be eugenics, but genetic engineering combined with more frequent abortions. "Thow 'em away untill you get a good one."

I'm not endorsng this practice, just saying that's where we're headed.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the genetic screening plus aborton I described is a type of eugenics, it's just not what most people associate with the term.

Matt Parrott said...

Only good can come of the mainstream media exploring Sailer's research and reasoning. Most of the folks involved are going to carry on believing the platitudes they've been fed, but many will be inspired to dig deeper, and I'm convinced that people digging into this issue with an open mind will eventually join our cause.

Even though Saletan has been a bit adversarial and dismissive of my hero, Steve, he's certainly shown himself to be a sober and humble adult with an active mind. I welcome all the folks bumbling over here from Slate and look forward to participating in a vigorous and productive dialogue with them.

Anonymous said...

--I welcome all the folks bumbling over here from Slate and look forward to participating in a vigorous and productive dialogue with them.---


That's funny.

Anonymous said...

Now I get it.

When supporters of affirmative action take race into account they are merely trying to "equalize opportunity."

When Steve Sailer simply reports the results of IQ tests he is "categorizing people by race in the course of assessing their worth to society."

Try telling that to Frank Ricci.

Richard Hoste said...

"1. Sailer, ... has offered to give up that ["racial classification"] practice. In exchange, he wants proponents of affirmative action to give up the converse practice of categorizing people by race in the course of trying to equalize opportunity or outcome. I'm inclined to take this deal."


Steve, any grand bargain needs to include a stop on immigration. Race blindness can end affirmative action and we'd just end up a new Brazil. That's better than a liberal elite-NAM aliance to destroy the white race but still not what we should be aiming for.

Ivy said...

What the liberal creationists mainly do is attribute absurd ideas to Steve and other HBD supporters? They hurl baseless accusations, almost always involving some overt mention of Steve's supposedly nefarious intentions. They can't argue the facts (well outside of citing Gould or, recently, Nisbett, or my favorite, that Levitt study of infants), so they resign themselves to ad hominem attacks. They equate a desire for a free, not racial meritocracy with racism, accepting racial AVERAGE disparities with genetic determinism, accepting the biological source of race with ideological bias, etc.

Steve presents his rational, objective opinion based on sound statistical evidence over and over again. He spells it in simple, explicit terms. He advocates policies that treat everyone as an individual, despite their race. Yet, it's almost as if they just completely ignore every single thing he, and other race-realists, write. It's hilarious. It's as if they've only read what this blog is about and have not spent a single second actually noting the content of the actual posts.

Anonymous said...

"liberal creationist"

Good term, I'll start using it too.

- Maxwell

derek sutton said...

I think I agree with Diamed, the "truth" really is subtle and, if accepted by the majority, will result in ham-handed policies that ignore that subtlety and become indistinguishable from flat out racist policies. I think, as a white guy, we do owe something to our African American population and would rather live with aggravating marginal policies that negatively impact me than with the alternative. I think where Sailer does good work is showing us, through his research, how immigration would affect us long term, sense these AA policies would inevitably be expanded to include Latinos.

Also, I agree with one point from Noah Millman, Steve. You can and should do a better job moderating your language for people who are not already in agreement with you. You don't realize it, I assume, but your bluntness can shock the uninitiated. Do better on this, please, it's important.

PatrickH said...

I welcome all the folks bumbling over here from Slate and look forward to participating in a vigorous and productive dialogue with them.Steve's influence is exerted via lurkers. They would never be so foolish as to leave a comments trail here. They come, they read, they are influenced...no matter what they say in public. The Sailersphere is only so big...unless you look out beyond the event horizon, out beyond the quasars, pulsars, nebulae and gas giants that post here and sense the transpatial, transtemporal presence of lurkers....like William Saletan, Matthew Yglesias, and yes, David Brooks.

Comments about Black Holes will not be appreciated.

Diamed said...

Don't get me wrong Derek. I'm all for this transformation of civilization. Saleton (presumably) is against it, but both of us at least realize the implications of Sailer's research.

Racial differences is like the nuclear bomb. Suppose we're back in the 1930's and it has become clear that with some additional research, scientists will soon be able to create nuclear reactions at will. Now comes group A arguing no such research should be done, because it would lead to horrendous weapons capable of wiping out all humanity. Group B counters that instead it would bring about world peace through the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, and they are delighted at the prospect of the research's completion.

Then Group C clownishly argues that nuclear bombs would NEVER emerge from their research, that they don't endorse or approve of nuclear weapons whatsoever, they are simply researching nuclear reactions as a new source of energy. They then proceed full throttle to discover every last secret on how to split an atom. Every time anyone points out to them that their research directly translates into a working nuclear bomb, they fob it off saying "when have I ever advocated making a nuclear bomb? Where in any of my research have I said the eventual purpose is a nuclear bomb? I just want a new clean source of energy, the world would be so much better off with nuclear power plants."

Would anyone respect group C's statements? Would anyone even believe them? Is such naivety even excusable?

derek sutton said...

Oh, well, rereading your original post, I guess I understand the point you are making. I'm assuming you're talking about gene manipulation by people in white lab coats with all parties in agreement and all actions consensual, and not, you know, forced sterilization or forced abortions. The second is horrifying, and the first is kind of creepy, and should probably be approached extremely carefully, if at all.

How do you envision this "transformation of civilization" playing out?

Anonymous said...

FYI Diamed's transformation of civilization also includes a healthy influx of Asians. They are needed to prop up those hopeless whites who can't be relied to manage anything on their own without the new cognitive elite in place.

Anonymous said...

"The Sailersphere is only so big...unless you look out beyond the event horizon, out beyond the quasars, pulsars, nebulae and gas giants that post here"

I do NOT appreciate being called a "gas giant". Nor am I at all nebulous.

AMac said...

Moving Diamed's Group analysis from atomic research of the '30s to the HBD controversy of today:

Group A argues that no research on HBD-related areas should be undertaken, because it would lead to unjust social policy.

Group B argues that insight into HBD would lead to improved, more effective social policy.

Group C clownishly argues that malign social policy would NEVER emerge from their research.

Well, this mapping exercise didn't go too well. Maybe nuclear science doesn't represent such a fruitful analogy after all.

The Group A mindset of most SWPLs holds that research in psychology, health and nutrition outcomes, genomics, genetics, and education should be conducted. However, the results of such work must never be interpreted as supportive an HBD hypothesis, because that leads directly to unjust racist policies.

Diamed's Group B does exist. Charles Murray is the most prominent advocate of the view that insight into HBD would lead to improved, more effective social policy.

Clownish Group C--I can't think of any well-known individual who takes such a position.

There is a Group D, who aver that scientists and pundits should be honest and complete in performing and interpreting research. That humankind is better served by understanding the truth than by believing in lies, no matter how tempting (like Murray, most "Bs" are "Ds", too).

"As" loathe "Ds". Intellectual criticism has to be performed carefully, though, given the theoretical "A" support of "D's" research ideals.

As has been evident throughout these exchanges.

AMac said...

A good perspective piece relevant to understanding the intense vitriol of the Hate-Sailer movement.

Who Are We?
Razib Khan

"...During the first flower of the scientific age it was taken as a given that our species was an animal subject to these laws, endowed with dispositions as inevitable as that of the dog to smell, the cat to stalk, and the bird to sing... though science is a human endeavor it is also fundamentally ahistorical and has the ability to tear itself away from the shackles of fashion and ideology and bear witness to truth.

"Over the past generation the house of cards which was the 'Blank Slate' consensus has been collapsing before the findings of current science. With hindsight the reality that our species has a deep and invariant nature is no surprise."

[snip]

"Genetics may not only explain human similarity, the profound intelligibility of human to human, but also our differences. This reality is likely one of the impulses that drives many to deny that our genetic endowments have any relation to who we are. But the data can be ignored only so long..."