May 1, 2009

Poor old William Saletan

Slate's "Human Nature" correspondent got such a beat-down from his friends when he said a few things in defense of James D. Watson in 2007 that he's decided that it's best just not to think about race anymore:
True, False, or Neither?
The perils of analyzing test scores by race.

"'No Child' Law Is Not Closing a Racial Gap." That's the New York Times headline about a report issued this week on school test scores. The Times story begins:

The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation's best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency. Between 2004 and last year, scores for young minority students increased, but so did those of white students, leaving the achievement gap stubbornly wide, despite President George W. Bush's frequent assertions that the No Child law was having a dramatic effect. Although Black and Hispanic elementary, middle and high school students all scored much higher on the federal test than they did three decades ago, most of those gains were not made in recent years, but during the desegregation efforts of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Times implies that the racial angle is important because it shows the No Child law failed. But the same angle is being touted by exponents of hereditary differences in intelligence. In fact, they're quoting the Times story to validate their point. "NYT: NAEP Racial Gaps Haven't Magically Disappeared," says the headline at Steve Sailer's blog, which serves as a headquarters for believers in "human biodiversity." "Study after study, yet no one wants to introduce ol' reliable Occam," observes one commenter. Another cites a well-known paper on race, heredity, and IQ, asking: "Why don't they read this—it explains a lot."

The Washington Post, in its article about the test-scores report, doesn't focus on race. " 'Nation's Report Card' Sees Gains in Elementary, Middle Schools," says the Post headline. The article begins:

Math and reading scores for 9- and 13-year-olds have risen since the 2002 enactment of No Child Left Behind, providing fuel to those who want to renew the federal law and strengthen its reach in high schools. Performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which offers a long view of U.S. student achievement, shows several bright spots. Nine-year-olds posted the highest scores ever in reading and math in 2008. Black and Hispanic students of that age also reached record reading scores, though they continued to trail white peers. But results released yesterday were disappointing for high school students. Seventeen-year-olds gained some ground in reading since 2004, but their average performance in math and reading has not budged since the early 1970s.

You can find the same information about the racial gap in this summary. But it isn't the focus. It's just one detail among many.

Why categorize and measure students by race?

Well, one reason is because the second paragraph of the No Child Left Behind legislation reads:

An Act
To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.

What is the "achievement gap"? In the NCLB's Statement of Purpose, it says:

(3) closing the achievement gap between high- and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority students, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers;

In 2001, Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush, on behalf of all right-thinking people everywhere, placed a bet with, more or less, me -- as the public face of the tiny minority of despicable bad people who follow social science statistics the way George W. Bush (or Stephen Jay Gould) followed baseball statistics.

Now, the results are coming in on the bet and Saletan says we should stop counting them.

Saletan continues:

Aren't there better ways to organize the data? "Lower-performing 9- and 13-year-olds make gains," says one section of the NAEP report [PDF]."No significant change for 17-year-olds at any performance level," says another. "Reading scores improve for 9-year-old public and private school students over long term," says a third. "Score increases for 17-year-olds whose parents did not finish high school," says a fourth. These tables organize the data by factors that can help us target and adjust educational policy: kids with low scores, kids in public school, kids in high school, kids whose parents didn't graduate. I'd like to see tables for income and spending per pupil, too.

It's not hard to look up NAEP scores yourself. Here's the 2007 8th grade Reading scores broken down by race and income. White kids whose parents are so poor that they are eligible for the National School Lunch Program outscore affluent black kids by four points and affluent Hispanic kids by one point. The gap between poor whites and poor blacks is 19 points, and the gap among not poor whites and not poor blacks is 21 points. That's what you normally get -- sizable racial gaps anyway you slice it. And, of course, the percent of poor blacks and Hispanics is higher, as you'd expect from their lower test scores, since the NAEP and the marketplace measure overlapping abilities.

But race? Does that category really help? And what message does it send to kids when headlines assert a persistent "racial gap"?

On this question, I'm in no position to throw stones. I've come to my cautionary view the hard way. Liberal creationists—people who think no genetically based difference can be admitted in average ability between populations—are mistaken. But that doesn't make race a useful or socially healthy way of categorizing people.

Beware looking and settling for racial analysis when some other combination of categorieseconomics, culture, genetics—more accurately fits the data. As the NAEP coverage illustrates, that's a warning worth heeding on the left as well as the right.

The reason people all over the world and of all different ideologies can't help but be interested in race is a racial group is, fundamentally, an extended family. So, race is about who your relatives are, which is an inherently interesting topic.

Saletan has been arguing that we should just group people by looking at one gene at a time. (Of course, on average, individual gene differences will tend to follow racial lines.) But, more fundamentally, what he doesn't get is that racial groups have an existence independent of genetics. They are fundamentally genealogical entitities--who begat whom. Unsurprisingly, when you stop and think about it, the genes tag along with the begats.

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

47 comments:

rightsaidfred said...

But that doesn't make race a useful or socially healthy way of categorizing people.

It looks to me like Saletan has come out in opposition to AA.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for Saletan. He's an intellectually honest guy who was forced to pull a Winston Smith -- namely testify just how much he REALLY loved Big Brother, testify till it hurt, testify till it convinced the inquisitors:

http://www.slate.com/id/2190573/
When you find yourself in a dilemma this difficult, sometimes the best thing to do is let it sit in your head until you find a way to make sense of it within your value system. I think I'm beginning to find the answer that works for me: I was asking the wrong question.

...Sometimes, with time and perspective, it's the small, overlooked things that turn out to be big. In retrospect, I was consumed by the wrong word. The flaw in my approach wasn't truth. It was the. Even if hereditary inequality among racial averages is a truth, it's less true, more unjust, and more pernicious than framing the same difference in nonracial terms. "The truth," as I accepted and framed it, was itself half-formed. It was, in that sense, a half-truth. And it flunked the practical test I had assigned it: To the extent that a social problem is genetic, you can't ultimately solve it by understanding it in racial terms.
Talk about blackwhite!

Blackwhite is defined as follows:
“ ...this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. ”

—Orwell, 1984

The word is an example of both Newspeak and doublethink. It represents the active process of rewriting the past, control of the past being a vital aspect of the Party's control over the present.

The ability to blindly believe anything, regardless of its absurdity, can have different causes: respect for authority, fear, indoctrination, even critical laziness or gullibility. Orwell's blackwhite refers only to that caused by fear, indoctrination, or repression of one's individual critical thinking ("to know black is white"), rather than caused by laziness or gullibility. A true Party member could automatically, and without thought, expunge any "incorrect" information and totally replace it with "true" information from the Party. If properly done, there is no memory or recovery of the "incorrect" information that could cause unhappiness to the Party member by committing thoughtcrime. This ability is likened to the total erasure of information only possible in electronic storage.
I hope he knows that the attacks on him were/are bullshit. It can be very lonely when people you thought were your friends gang up on you. The pain from group excommunication alters our perception of the truth (there are several studies on this) and makes us doubt ourselves.

Start an anonymous blog, Will! Or at least comment anonymously here. You can work out the implications of what you think may or may not be true in a forgiving environment, off the record. It will be good for your soul.

josh said...

I never thought about comments being fair game for reporters. Neat.

Ivy said...

I don't care if it's a lefty online site or if this article is complete garbage, I made SLATE.com!!!! A crapload of people go to that site. Hell yes!

(My comment was about "ol' reliable Occam".)

SFG said...

He knows. He doesn't want to get into trouble again.

J. Williams said...

I have a (white) friend whose parents are both surgeons, who ultimately ended up assistant manager at a local video store. One can argue, at the very least, that such an occupation would not reflect one who has a high I.Q.

I also have a (black) friend whose parents never graduated college, who now works as an Assistant District Attorney (which necessitated graduating with both a B.A. and a J.D.)

Yes, these are anecdotes, but they also happened.

My point isn't to deny the existence of an achievement gap, nor necessarily even debate the causes or factors contributing to the gap. The point is, for you, Steve Sailer, to essentially state that a black individual, one with which you have no acquaintance with, that based on statistics, based on your race, you probably will never achieve as much as me no matter what you do simply going by race is, at the very least, incredibly fatalistic.

I'm not an affirmative action apologist, nor would I necessarily disagree with the notion that No Child Left Behind is heavily flawed, if not completely ineffective for its stated purpose. And indeed, it reeks of sour grapes for a former advocate of the policy's goals to now suggest collecting data on race is outmoded. The Federal government (and indeed, State governments at times) bring great criticism upon themselves by suggesting the nationwide gap is due to the quality of teachers. Sure, perhaps some teachers work better with a certain demographic than others, but that can hardly explain nationwide achievement gaps of this magnitude. Believe me when I say most of your points aren't lost on me.

That all being said, to dismiss the achievement gap as simply being due to deficient racial genetics and IQ while ignoring the fact that there are many successful minorities in many different fields who succeed for a variety of reasons, even if meant with the utmost objectivism, will lead many to the conclusion that you simply refuse to consider other possible factors.

Anonymous said...

It looks to me like Saletan has come out in opposition to AA.

Saletan is taking the pre-Bush, Beltway Republican position of "Let's treat everybody as an individual" on race.

I suppose this is progress if we can get a leftist Slate writer to move towards Rush Limbaugh's current position on race.

Now if we could just shift Limbaugh to the Charles Murray/Steve Sailer school of sociology...

Nano-nymous said...

I read Saletan's piece subtitled "The perils of analyzing test scores by race" and I cannot find what he thinks the perils are. Sheesh.

Φ said...

So . . . when the question is the distribution of social goods, like promotions in the New Haven fire deparment, race is of nigh metaphysical importance. But when the subject is the distribution of ability, oh no, race has no importance at all. Nothing to see here, move along . . . .

zylonet said...

>>It looks to me like Saletan has come out in opposition to AA.<<
Maybe by accident? 

Overall, Saletan's call for using genetics, instead of race, is not entirely unreasonable. Prole whites are a huge problem for society and they mingle effortlessly with similar underclass blacks. They are both drains on the productive class. By calling for a dialogue on genetics, instead of race, Saletan would have us address the entire problem of a world crashing towards Idiocracy. Unfortunately, the man is such a coward that when the data reveal few Chinese, Jews and Indian Americans among the bottom, but a rash of blacks and Hispanics, he will surely run the other direction. He must already know that he would retreat in the presence of useful data, so we can guess at the malfeasance of his concept to evaluate people on the basis of "one gene." 

Since he knows that there is not yet a method that would enable us to measure, with confidence, on the genetic scale in the case-closed manner required for public debate, his call for evaluation at the “gene level” is a ruse. He is at once trying to remain employed and in good company while also trying to appear “the considered man.” This is nothing more than a calculated act to appeal to everyone at the expense of the truth. A cowardly act.

Anonymous said...

"Saletan has been arguing that we should just group people by looking at one gene at a time." Well, good to see that Lewontin's fallacy still has it's champion.

BGC said...

"O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

1984 - George Orwell

jhd said...

Coupled with his previous piece, it seems to me as though Saletan is an HBD believer, and that this is piece stealthily serves the cause of raising awareness of HBD. He could have done no better service to raising said awareness than by linking to this blog, and I suspect he knows that.

Bravo, Saletan. You take a tone that allows you to keep your job, while exposing people to truth by linking to it.

Of course, I could be way off base with this grassy knoll stuff.

Anonymous said...

......."Between 2004 and last year, scores for young minority students increased, but so did those of white students, leaving the achievement gap stubbornly wide"


Obviously if the left could just find a way to get whites from increasing their scores too, that achievment gap would dissapear. I promise you, they are working on it behind closed doors and in meetings. They will never quit. This isn't about uplifting NAM's for the left, its about dispossessing whites, those bad "other" whites who keep striving and resisting acting like an underclass because they have too much work ethic and too much pride.

testing99 said...

Well, the argument made is that Blacks are inherently less G loaded than other races.

YET ... pretty much all of Jazz, R&B, Blues, and much of the early Rock and Roll came from Blacks. Who are a very small part of the US population. Jazz in particular is a very G loaded activity, both composition and playing, requiring a lot of abstract thinking to improvise on familiar tunes with new chord changes and so on. Some musicians have explained as playing chess in your head while jogging.

Considering the small sample of Blacks relative to their population and yet dominance of Jazz, particularly in instrumental performances, but also in composition, one has to wonder if perhaps G is not more flexible than imagined.

You also have to account for sexual selection as well. Jazz players found a pretty well understood path to sexual success; today that route is through athletics or being the toughest macho-man around in that group. I don't think as a practical matter you can disentangle G from sexual selection.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Just an offhand remark. The tone of this is reminiscent of Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward. The appendix to that work includes the discussion by the writers union whether to publish Alexsandr's work, and several officious bureaucrats sound like this as well. rightsaidfred picks up on the most glaring in this category: "a useful or socially healthy way..." exactly the sort of evasion of thought one reads in a book about the USSR in the 1950's.

I'm just sayin', when you read them back-to-back like that...

Eric said...

And the House just passed yet another hate crimes bill. How long do you think it will be before this kind of writing lands you in jail?

KissTheGoat said...

Is Saletin wrong? What would you do, Steve, give up on minorities and segregate them away as Epsilons?

If tomorrow all of America woke up and looked at each other and said 'Blacks and Hispanics are dumb!' what would it change, what would we do next? It seems to me that, after the relief of publicly saying it, we'd have to go put our shoulders to the grindstones again trying to improve their education anyway, only this time we'd have huge collective bruised egos & backlash to deal with.

I think we'll be in denial until we're societally ready for it, which might be all the way until the nerd rapture.

Anonymous said...

"...only this time we'd have huge collective bruised egos & backlash to deal with."

Thankfully, we don't have any of that now!

ben tillman said...

If tomorrow all of America woke up and looked at each other and said 'Blacks and Hispanics are dumb!' what would it change, what would we do next? I, for one, would find a good use for the $10,000 that is stolen from me annually to equalize the unequalizable. Maybe something that would help me and my family. Don't know about you....

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that, after the relief of publicly saying it, we'd have to go put our shoulders to the grindstones again trying to improve their education anyway, only this time we'd have huge collective bruised egos & backlash to deal with."

And another thing. What is this "we" shit? Why is it always "our" job to do the heavy lifting (and paying for it)? NAMs don't seem as interested in improving their education as much as liberal whites do.
Like I said, we already have "bruised egos" and "backlash" (makes that backlashes). God forbid anyone has their feelings hurt especially NAMs.

Anonymous said...

kissthegoat: as someone once said, there is a huge difference between "it's your fault I'm poor" vs. "it's not my fault I'm dumb".

as for your hypothetical, on the day after the admission of truth many of us will abandon the Sisyphean tasks you have allotted to us. Blacks themselves won't care. Dr Dre is not in existential angst about the Bell Curve. SWPLs will be devastated -- their church, in ruins! I for one will LAUGH.

In the long run the Cancer Ward commissars and the Yglesias' are right about one thing: these truths DO threaten the very legitimacy of the system.

Lucius Vorenus said...

KissTheGoat: What would you do, Steve, give up on minorities and segregate them away as Epsilons?

I don't know what an "Epsilon" is, but a democracy [demos kratia] doesn't work if 50% + 1 [50% + "epsilon"?] of the people can vote to steal the property of the other 50% - 1.

And not only the property of the 50% - 1, but the property of their children, and their children's children, and their children's children's children, for as far as the eye can see into the future.

Of course, it would be better if the government had never been empowered to steal anyone's money in the first place, but even that lofty goal presupposes a moral, self-sufficient citizenry which would never stoop to stealing from one another.

Bottom line being that there are an awful lot of peoples in the world who just don't seem to have what it takes to live as a free people in a free republic [and certainly not in a democracy].

Anonymous said...

"Now if we could just shift Limbaugh to the Charles Murray/Steve Sailer school of sociology.."

I rarely listen to Limbaugh as I'm far to his right, generally only when I'm driving. Well, the other day he made my mouth drop... he referenced a scene out of "Idiocracy" and talked about what a great movie it was! My intuition tells me that he is aware of the Steveosphere and the Traditionalists, but doesn't feel comfortable with what it means politically.
I do think being a realist is not plausible for conservatives, yet, I don't believe being a conservative idealist is workable, either. I foresee the break-up of the U.S. in my lifetime.
I'm surprised Steve has written about this, yet, (probably too busy with Ricci, don't blame him) but it seems our country is passing a rubicon: criminizaling political disagreement and making pariahs and endangering citizens whose sole crime is that they worked for the government doing things we don't like. I'm of course speaking of the desire to prosecute the Bush administration and lawyers who worked with them for crimes of torture and the outing of two civilians by ABC who did sensitive work because they so detested these men. I hated the war as much as the next person, but this is unbelievable.
I have believed for about a year that the U.S. won't remain intact as it is now, yet it's surprising to see things keep descending, seemingly past the point of no return. Our citizenry has lost its innocence and knows it is being sold down the river for the sake of the rich, powerful, and connected How then can it also survive these witchhunts? As well as the crushing debt to come from the bailouts and egalitarian schemes?

Mr. Anon said...

"ben tillman said...

I, for one, would find a good use for the $10,000 that is stolen from me annually to equalize the unequalizable. Maybe something that would help me and my family. Don't know about you...."

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing. What is this "we" shit? Why is it always "our" job to do the heavy lifting (and paying for it)? NAMs don't seem as interested in improving their education as much as liberal whites do."

Well said, both. I fail to see why I should consider the problems of black folk to be my greatest and most important concern. Blacks (or thier white liberal champions) always seem to be saying, in effect: "WE have a big problem here. What are YOU going to do about it."

I'd prefer to take care of my own - what they do to solve thier problems is THIER business.

Svigor said...

Prole whites are a huge problem for society and they mingle effortlessly with similar underclass blacks. They are both drains on the productive class.

That's a pretty strong statement. Let's back up a bit and define prole whites.

Svigor said...

Considering the small sample of Blacks relative to their population and yet dominance of Jazz, particularly in instrumental performances, but also in composition, one has to wonder if perhaps G is not more flexible than imagined.Pretty mushy.

stari_momak said...

"He loved big brother."

Svigor said...

What is this "we" shit?

Bingo. I object to the definition of we, I object to the assumption of the authority to define we, I object to the abrogation of my right to define we, and obviously I object to what gets done in the name of we.

Svigor not Steve said...

give up on minorities [?]Yes.

Anonymous said...

jhd said

He could have done no better service to raising said awareness than by linking to this blog, and I suspect he knows that.

Bravo, Saletan. You take a tone that allows you to keep your job, while exposing people to truth by linking to it.
I agree. Saletan is the Anwar El Sadat of MSM. Let's hope he keeps his job!

Tom V said...

J. Williams:

The point is, for you, Steve Sailer, to essentially state that a black individual, one with which you have no acquaintance with, that based on statistics, based on your race, you probably will never achieve as much as me no matter what you do simply going by race is, at the very least, incredibly fatalistic.

Okay, I'll bite, since Steve won't respond to this himself. By "essentially," do you mean "never"? Steve just compared Tiger Woods to Mozart in the previous post for Pete's sake!

He's also a fan of Thomas Sowell, Duke Ellington, and Ward Cornerly, the last of whom he wrote in for presidency last year. We iSteve readers have no problem judging individuals individually, it's the racial bean counters who do.

Beastmaster said...

If tomorrow all of America woke up and looked at each other and said 'Blacks and Hispanics are dumb!' what would it change, what would we do next?Maybe we wouldn't let huge amounts of them into the country every year? Perhaps whites (esp. white males) would get a better deal in admissions and promotions? Various scumbags in our history might not be presented to school children as exemplars of moral perfection simply because they were "anti-racist."

Steerage said...

Steve I admire your stick-to-it-iveness on this issue. But the Left doesn't care about facts. Every issue comes down to ends justify the means and the end is always the same--faux equality uber alles.

The faux equality is the really sick aspect of Left wing politics. Orwell nailed them with 'some pigs are more equal than others'. And they nailed themselves when they announced 'We create our own reality'.

Now look at them attack the Miss USA contestant like a pack of jackals. I think we can see where this is headed.

wake up said...

>Jazz in particular is a very G loaded activity

the iq=music connection is foggy because the musical areas of the brain remain a mystery....autistic people with little rational cognition of the world around them are known to be musically gifted.....factor in the various musical genres and disciplines that call for different types of brainpower and the issue is complex...

and i don't think vast majority black jazz musicians are playing chess in their heads any more than black dancers are playing chess in their heads.......they are feeling it....but some white and asian jazz musicians are playing chess in their heads as a substitute for feeling it and that's where you get that highly technical jazz that nobody listens to.

Anonymous said...

"Liberal creationists—people who think no genetically based difference can be admitted in average ability between populations—are mistaken. But that doesn't make race a useful or socially healthy way of categorizing people."

Come again? He thinks that racial differences are a cause of differences in ability, but then says that they don't matter anyway? Does that mean he thinks that ability doesn't matter?

I think it actually means something else entirely - he doesn't think. Not much, anyway. The sentence I quoted above is evidence of extreme muddle-headedness. So was his series of articles about Watson. Remember, he didn't write it because he wanted to speak truth to power. He apparently wrote it because he did not understand what was and what wasn't allowed to be published at a magazine like Slate. He'd worked there for God knows how many years, and he still didn't know what the rules there were. This is not very smart.

He wrote about the emperor's nakedness not because he was uncommonly brave or a firm believer in honest discourse. He wrote about the emperor's nakedness because he didn't even know that this was a sensitive subject at court. Or at least he wasn't aware of exactly how sensitive it was. Every child and adult out there knew, but he didn't.

This is like not knowing how many continents there, not like being Steve Sailer or Charles Murray or John Derbyshire. Some charge out of the trenches because they think that fighting the enemy is the right thing to do in the grand scheme of things. Others do it because they mistakenly think that there's nobody out there to shoot them. Then they hear a couple of bullets wizz by and immediately fall back into the trenches crying. For mommy.

Anonymous said...

And another thing. What is this "we" shit? Why is it always "our" job to do the heavy lifting (and paying for it)? NAMs don't seem as interested in improving their education as much as liberal whites do.

I think when realists ask "what do we do with the NAMs if/when everyone gives up on equality" they really mean "How do we manage the NAMs in a logical way and minimize the societal damage they cause?"

Anonymous said...

Oooooooooo,

Is George Will a new iSteve reader???

Californians Must Take Their State Back

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=326074036147323

National economic revival is being impeded because one-eighth of the nation's population lives in a state that is driving itself into permanent stagnation.

California's perennial boast —that it's the incubator of America's future—now has an increasingly dark urgency.

Under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had, people and businesses have been relocating in those states.

For four straight years, more Americans have moved out of California than have moved in. California's business costs are more than 20% higher than the average state's. In the last decade, net out-migration of Americans has been 1.4 million.

California is exporting talent while importing Mexico's poverty. The latter is not California's fault; the former is.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea that I've never seen anyone put forth.

It is the idea that because whites are so incorrigibly racist, that they must separate themselves from blacks to avoid doing harm to them.

You can actually put together an *extremely* strong case for this in leftist terms.

1. Every time a leftist denounces white flight, they will also denounce gentrification.

2. Every time they denounce the unwillingness of whites to adopt black babies, they will also denounce the practice of transracial adoption (e.g. in Australia).

3. Condemnations of refusal to lend to blacks are followed by attacks on predatory lending.

4. Spluttering over the heartlessness of Reagan -- who "stood by" while blacks killed each other over crack in the 80's -- was quickly succeeded by anger over "excessive penalties" for crack.


Because whites are denounced no matter what they do, it is a simple matter to pick and choose the yin of each leftist argument and leave the yang, kind of like Maxwell's demon.

Leftists are generally so stupid and emotional that they won't realize what's happening when the argument is presented this way. Get them all het up about the horrible evil of the white man. They'll agree that separation is the only way to go. Don't throw me into the Briar Patch!

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what an "Epsilon" is"It's a reference to Aldous Huxley's novel A Brave New World. Human fetuses were incubated in machines, and the amount of oxygen they were given during development was modulated to create five different mental groups, alphas being normal, and epsilons being borderline retarded. The epsilons were the untouchable/worker drones of the society.

- Fred

Truth said...

"I, for one, would find a good use for the $10,000 that is stolen from me annually."

Great, purchase a buried treasue map and buy a ticket to Iraq, you'l find it.

KissTheGoat said...

I think when realists ask "what do we do with the NAMs if/when everyone gives up on equality" they really mean "How do we manage the NAMs in a logical way and minimize the societal damage they cause?" This is what I think is the interesting question, not, banging away on the obvious 'Blacks are dumb' (statistically speaking) but, so now what? Ok, end AA, maybe somehow put in a points system for immigration, but further, would we dare to stop putting so much energy and money into minority schools? Allow private self re-segregation (stop busing)? There's a book in this for someone really daring. Many of the comments remind me of the advice to junior workers - "Don't bring the boss problems, bring him solutions" (do the work and let him choose, or just give the go ahead is the implication). Race realism doesn't get admitted because it's too scary to think of what the implications of officially acknowledging it are; if you'd really like to see it accepted, think out scenarios for what happens next, and ways to make them non-scary.

ben tillman said...

Race realism doesn't get admitted because it's too scary to think of what the implications of officially acknowledging it are....No way. The implications of acknowledging the truth are less onerous than the reailty of denying it. As of now, 65% of US citizens are enslaved to accomplish an impossible task. I can't think of any undesirable implications of acknowledging the truthy that would set us free. The end of AA? From an objective standpoint there's nothing wrong with that? Freedom of association? Nothing wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

My point isn't to deny the existence of an achievement gap, nor necessarily even debate the causes or factors contributing to the gap. The point is, for you, Steve Sailer, to essentially state that a black individual, one with which you have no acquaintance with, that based on statistics, based on your race, you probably will never achieve as much as me no matter what you do simply going by race is, at the very least, incredibly fatalistic.

I think Steve is looking at it from the demographically significant pov. At the public policy level.

He is not saying that each individual is doomed to follow a certain racial destiny. Its in the aggregate that useful truths about racial difference emerge.

899dsf said...

Thanks for much for your post. I have been saying that race is all about descent, to no avail, for years now. The 'myth of race' doctrine has done great disservice by pretending that race can be genetic only if it produces morphological similarities.

Anonymous said...

The NAEP black-white score gap may not have changed much in the last couple years, but it has fallen by about a third of a standard deviation in the United States in the last 50 years.

Public Enemy No. 0 said...

If tomorrow all of America woke up and looked at each other and said 'Blacks and Hispanics are dumb!' what would it change, what would we do next? - Kiss the Goat

We note out loud the connection that all observant people have made silently - the connections between IQ and violence, between IQ and time horizons. Then we could make it clear to young-people that the "courage" and "rebelliousness" of black and Mexican culture is nothing of the kind - it's just childishness with big muscles and drivers' licenses.

So we treat people as individuals, and raise up the smartest black and Chicanos. Fine. Great. I'm all for it. That means IQ tests for immigration, right? And for voting? And/or literacy tests for both? We reverse Duke Power and start allowing IQ tests in employment. The argument against those tests at present is ... that they're unfair to black and Chicanos.

Deframing the racial issue the way Saletan wants would rob the left of its chance to use racial "disparate impact" as a bludgeon to smash the tools by which people can study each other's potential. Once we admit what psychometrics is telling us, we find that standardized tests can be, and usually are, completely fair. And people like me find that, odd as it may sound, computer-scored multiple choice tests lead to the same conclusion that personal experience does.

Saletan's retreat from leftist racialism is a good sign. It means the tide may well be turning, with leftists falling back from "white is evil" to "stop thinking about race". The latter, as some have mentioned, is the Rush Limbaugh position.