July 10, 2010

Who gets a 5 on AP Physics C exam?

A few days ago, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones was wondering if college students really did study much less than in the past. A physics professor wrote in to say that during his career teaching introductory college physics, he had always given his classes a standard pretest and post-test to see how much they learned. From 1990-1998, he taught at Coastal Carolina, a "fourth tier" public college in the Carolina golf resort metropolis of Myrtle Beach, then gone into research, then resumed teaching in 2004 at private Spelman College in Atlanta. The Spelman students seem much less like slackers than the Coastal Carolina students, yet his test showed they learned much less physics from him. What had changed between 1998 and 2004?

I of course pointed out the obvious. The professor later commented that the professors at Spelman were more interested in value-added analyses of teaching effectiveness than elsewhere in his experience. I could well believe this is true, precisely because Spelman is racially and sexually segregated (it's the best-known women-only historically black college). Value-added analysis and diversity are, in practice, antagonistic to each other.

Everybody is in favor of in-depth analysis of educational statistics in theory, but when they actually finally look at them, the obvious leaps out: Holy cow, compared to everything else, race really matters. You can't adjust it away (except by using cynical proxies for race the way Steven Levitt tried to do a few years ago: e.g., favorite soda flavor is Grape or the rough equivalent). And when it comes to physics and a few other subjects, sex matters. 

And so the reformers give up on honest analysis of educational statistics in despair, boredom, and cynicism. On the other hand, if you are teaching at Spelman, race and sex differences don't get in the way, so trying to look at subtler matters of the impact of teaching style and the like is less psychologically devastating.

Still, there are things to be learned. For example, here are the counts of every high school student who got the maximum score of five on the Physics C Advanced Placement test. Keep in mind that there are about 4 million 17-year-olds, so these kids represent about the top quarter of one percent (although taking AP tests is by no means universal among those who could do very well on them, although the trend is moving in that direction):

5 on AP Physics C 2008

Male Female Sex Ratio % of Total
Total 9,017 2,010 4.5 100.0%
White 5,705 1,127 5.1 62.0%
Asian 2,414 708 3.4 28.3%
Other 316 69 4.6 3.5%
Not Stated 199 57 3.5 2.3%
Other Hispanic 177 32 5.5 1.9%
Mexican American 98 7 14.0 1.0%
Black 78 6 13.0 0.8%
Puerto Rican 18 3 6.0 0.2%
American Indian 12 1 12.0 0.1%

These are quite striking figures. Leaving aside the ambiguous "Other Hispanic," "Not Stated," and "Other" categories for the moment, only 17 of the 11,027 high school students in America to max out the Physics C AP test in 2008 were specified Non-Asian Minority girls, or 0.15%.

And that's with a massive national effort to get NAM girls interested in science. If we doubled that effort and there were no diminishing marginal returns, we'd be all the way up to 0.3%. If we doubled it again with no fall-off in return, we'd be up to 0.6%.

The sex ratio column is interesting. It's highest for NAMs and lowest for Asians. This is the  opposite of scores on less difficult tests where black females often outdo black males.

My theory is that girls are more conformist, so in a culture that obsesses over academic credentials, such as Asians, they do well, but in cultures that don't, they don't. Thus, only 6 black girls in the entire U.S. in 2008 got 5's on Physics C, and only 7 Mexican-American girls. In contrast, boys are more individualistic, so 78 black youths and 98 Mexican-American youths just went with their inner physics nerdishness and pulled down 5s. Good for them.

Another thing to note is that the Other Hispanic category shows up large compared to Mexican-American on most tests of high achievement. For example, the number of LSAT test-takers who identify themselves as Mexican Americans is remarkably tiny.

Some of these Other Hispanics are of course Cubans, some are elite immigrants from the capitals of Latin America, some are middle-class Central American refugees' children. And others who check "Other Hispanic" represent what I might call "non-homeboy Latinos," the strivers. If your Mexican-American dad went off to college and there he met your Guatemalan mother, then "Other Hispanic" would be natural for you to check. But, the key here is that your parents left their neighborhoods for their educations. In contrast, the homies who are pure Mexican by descent come from a culture that validates loyalty to family ties over individual advancement.

July 9, 2010

How did your kid do on the APs?

Scores for the nearly 3 million Advanced Placement test taken by high school students in May are now arriving in the mail. So, in the interests of helping you parents establish your bragging rights, here's the graph of what AP scores equate to in percentile terms. I created last year for a VDARE.com article. It shows how your kid did, but not compared to all the other kids who took the test, who are a self-selected few, but to all the other kids in the country of his or her age (including those who have already dropped out of high school). The brighter the color, the higher the score. This graph starts at the 90th percentile on the left and goes up. An untruncated graph showing the performance of all kids in the country would be ten times as wide.

AP tests are graded 1 to 5 with a 5 supposed to be an equivalent to an A in a typical college's introductory year long course in the subject, a 4 equal to a B, and so forth.

So, if your kid took the English Lit test (the top bar in the graph) and got a 4 (the yellow-orange band), he actually scored at the 98th percentile (or higher) out of all kids his age in the country. If he got a 3 (light gray) in US History the third bar down), he scored in at least the 94th percentile.

Of course, if all students took the test, the number of people scoring 3s, 4s and even 5s would go up. In particular, Red State students don't take APs as much as Blue State students, and whites don't take anywhere near as many APs as Asians.

My 2009 VDARE.com article has lots of graphs on how students do on the AP, overall and by race.

Second non-West African sprinter breaks 10 seconds

From the LA Examiner:

Christophe Lemaitre of France joined an elite club today, July 9, 2010, at the French Championships by running the first sub-10 second 100 meters by a white male sprinter. The 19 year old French sprinter ran 9.98 seconds, good enough for the win, a new national French record and his name in the track and field record books as the first non-African to dip under the ten second barrier for 100 meters.

That "first non-African" bit is actually not true. Patrick Johnson of Australia, who is half Irish - half Aboriginal, ran 9.93 in 2003, with a 1.8 meter per second tailwind (the legal maximum is 2.0 mps). Also Marian Woronin of Poland is said to have run very slightly under 10.00, but had it rounded up to an official 10.00. (Woronin's tailwind was a 2.0, just at the maximum.) Koji Ito of Japan ran 10.00 with a 1.9 tailwind. (There have been quite a number of fine Japanese 100m men since the 1930s.)

Lemaitre's performance was in Valence, France, which is at modest altitude, so this isn't one of those fluke high altitude sprint marks. He'd run under 10.10 five times already this season, best of 10.02, so this wasn't unexpected. The wind was 1.3 mps, favorable but hardly anomalous.

The current record is Usain Bolt's 9.58 in 2009. Before today, the 10.00 barrier had been officially broken 446 times, 445 of those times by men of West African descent.

By the way, no East African has broken 10.00. The best any Brazilian black has run is 10.02. The best 100m men tend to be from the West African diaspora, but men running for Nigeria have broken ten flat 21 times, and also a Nigerian rented by Portugal has done it under Portuguese colors a few times. Other West African countries have a number of times under ten flat, so West Africa would dominate the men's 100m if not for the West African diaspora.

Chinese science, technology, and IQ

From the Washington Post last week:
China pushing the envelope on science, and sometimes ethics
By John Pomfret

SHENZHEN, CHINA -- Last year, Zhao Bowen was part of a team that cracked the genetic code of the cucumber. These days, he's probing the genetic basis for human IQ.

Zhao is 17.

Centuries after it led the world in technological prowess -- think gunpowder, irrigation and the printed word -- China has barged back into the ranks of the great powers in science. With the brashness of a teenager, in some cases literally, China's scientists and inventors are driving a resurgence in potentially world-changing research.

Unburdened by social and legal constraints common in the West, China's trailblazing scientists are also pushing the limits of ethics and principle as they create a new -- and to many, worrisome -- Wild West in the Far East.

A decade ago, no one considered China a scientific competitor. Its best and brightest agreed and fled China in a massive brain drain to university research labs at Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

But over the past five years, Western-educated scientists and gutsy entrepreneurs have conducted a rearguard action, battling China's hidebound bureaucracy to establish research institutes and companies. Those have lured home scores [i..e., at least 40] of Western-trained Chinese researchers dedicated to transforming the People's Republic of China into a scientific superpower.

"They have grown so fast and so suddenly that people are still skeptical," said Rasmus Nielsen, a geneticist at the University of California at Berkeley who collaborates with Chinese counterparts. "But we should get used to it. There is competition from China now, and it's really quite drastic how things have changed."

... China has jumped to second place -- up from 14th in 1995 -- behind the United States in the number of research articles published in scientific and technical journals worldwide.

Backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chinese medical researchers, partnering with a firm in the United States, beat out an Indian team last year to develop a new test for cervical cancer that costs less than $5. The goal is to test 10 million Chinese women within three years. ...

Meanwhile, Chinese military researchers appear to be on the cusp of a significant breakthrough: a land-based anti-ship ballistic missile that is causing concern within the U.S. Navy.

In 2007, Chinese geneticists discovered vast differences in the genetic makeup of Africans, Asians and Caucasians. They will soon report a breakthrough showing why some people -- such as Tibetans -- can live effortlessly at high altitudes while others can't.

There are challenges. China is still considered weak at innovation, and Chinese bureaucrats routinely mandate discoveries -- fantasy-world marching orders that Western scientists view as absurd.

In 2008, the Ministry of Science and Technology gave researchers two years to come up with 30 medicines ready for clinical trials and only five days to apply for grants to fund the work. That's despite the fact that since the communist revolution in 1949, China has developed only one internationally recognized drug -- Artemisinin -- to fight malaria.

Chinese science and technology is also awash in scams and sometimes-troubling practices. More than 200 institutions in China practice controversial stem cell therapies for people suffering from injuries, diseases or birth defects. Although the government moved last year to regulate the industry, none of the techniques has been subjected to rigorous clinical trials.

China is also the leading source of what are known as "junk" patents -- ridiculous claims of "inventions" that are little more than snake-oil scams.

"This discovery is going to shake the world!" bellowed Liu Jian, chief executive of Hualong Fertilizer Technique Co. Liu says he has developed a method to reduce fertilizer use by half through the use of nanotechnology, although officials at the Agriculture Ministry mock the claim. "Will you help us raise some capital?" Liu asked in an interview.

Finally, plagiarism and doctored results seem to be as common as chopsticks. A study by Wuhan University uncovered an entire industry of bogus report and thesis writers who raked in $145 million last year, a fivefold increase since 2007.

The emergence of China as a nascent scientific superpower raises questions about the U.S. relationship with Beijing. Ever since the United States opened the door to Chinese students in the 1970s, hundreds of thousands have flocked to America. Most have studied science or engineering and have been welcomed in research institutions across the land. But with China becoming a competitor, U.S. experts have begun to question that practice.

FBI officials allege that there is a large-scale operation in the United States to pilfer American industrial, scientific, technological and military secrets. In the past few years, dozens of Chinese have been convicted of stealing American technology and shipping it to China.

"The science and technology relationship with China has always stood up against all kinds of political pressures," said Richard P. Suttmeier, who has researched China's rise for the National Science Foundation. "Now that you have competition going on, finding the basis for cooperation in the absence of trust is an issue. It goes to questions of espionage and a hunger for technology."

That hunger is evident in the halls of BGI, home to Zhao Bowen and more than 1,500 other Chinese scientists and technicians. Located in an industrial zone in the southern Chinese megalopolis of Shenzhen, BGI has grown into one of the world's leading genomics institutes devoted to deciphering the genetic blueprint of organisms.

Over the past few years, scientists at BGI sequenced the genes of a chicken, a silkworm, a panda, a strain of rice and 4,000-year-old human remains from Greenland.

In January, BGI made the biggest purchase of genome sequencing equipment ever, buying 128 ultra-high-tech machines from California-based Illumina. With that one acquisition, BGI could very well surpass the entire gene-sequencing output of the United States.

Inside the 11-story facility, the vibe is pure Silicon Valley start-up: shorts, flip-flops, ankle bracelets, designer eyewear and a random tattoo. Zhao came to BGI on a summer internship last year to work on cucumbers. Now a full-time employee while continuing his studies, Zhao is turning his attention to a topic Western researchers have shied away from because of ethical worries: Zhao plans to study the genes of 1,000 of his best-performing classmates at a top high school in Beijing and compare them, he said, "with 1,000 normal kids."

Jews and Indians in Antwerp's diamond business

The diamond business has fascinated me ever since the 1980s when my future wife and I spent months shopping for diamonds because it is so different from the way companies I was familiar with, such as Procter & Gamble or Walmart, did business. (Even leaving aside the whole "Why not get a cubic zirconia?" question.) We finally kept going back to a guy with a tiny shop in Chicago's Loop who kept promising us that he was going to go to Antwerp and get us a really good deal. Finally, after a few weeks of not hearing from him, he called me up and told me he had the perfect stone. And he did. 

"So, you got this in Antwerp?" I said. He looked at me like I was crazy. "I've never been to Antwerp in my life." Afterwards, I figured he'd probably bought it off a mugger.
Antwerp's Diamond Business
Jews Surrender Gem Trade to Indians

By Erich Wiedemann in Antwerp

The Belgian city of Antwerp has the largest diamond market in the world. Orthodox Jews controlled the trade for centuries, but now globalization has seen them displaced by dealers hailing from India.
When Jumi Hoffmann, co-owner of "Hoffi's Take Away" in Antwerp's Lange Kievit street, thinks of the future the Belgian city's Jewish community is facing, he doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. He's glad his town is home to the largest orthodox Jewish community in Europe, but he's also worried sick that most of his 20,000 brethren could be drifting into poverty.

"The Yiddish mensch is losing his bread," Hoffmann says. What he means is that Jewish traders have lost their central position in Antwerp's diamond business. They control only a quarter of the turnover made; it used to be 70 percent. ... Twenty years ago, some 30,000 orthodox Jews made a living polishing diamonds near the exchange in Hovenier street -- 10 times as many as there are today. ...

Agreements are sealed with a handshake, accompanied by an old religious well-wish: masl un broche -- happiness and blessing. The South Asians use the expression too. But Yiddish is slowly losing its status as the main language of the exchange. English does the job just as well.

The High Diamond Council, the trade's main governing body, has only recently caught up with the times. Earlier this month Indians won five of the six elected seats on the 11-member board. Indians already account for €15 billion ($19 billion) of the annual diamond trade of a total of €23 billion.

While competition between them is harsh, the Jews and the Indians -- most of them belonging to the Jain faith -- have a friendly, neighborlike relationship. There are even some Jewish-Indian married couples in Antwerp. "Judaism and our Jainisim have a number of similarities," diamond dealer Ramesh Mehta explains. Like Jews, he says followers of Jainism are used to working hard and they reject every form of violence.

More importantly, both Jews and Indians are used to thinking and acting globally. They also know that they can rely on one another. Far be it from an Indian trader to ask for a receipt when he gives a Jewish colleague a bag of jewels for safekeeping overnight.

Most Indian traders are from the Gujarat region, the center of the Indian diamond trade. They're modest people, who mostly are vegetarian. But when the occasion demands it, they have no problem putting their wealth on show.

Last year, diamond dealer Vijay Shah organized a combined marriage feast for his son and his daughter -- it would have been worthy of a royal family. Insiders estimate he spent €14 million on the bast. And the cricket games arranged every year by one of the large Indian families see each clan trying to outdo the others in terms of pomp and luxury.

But take a look at the Jewish quarter behind Antwerp's Central Station and you can tell it's seen better days. ...
Fear of militant Islam and of political shifts in the world of diamond trading has had a bizarre effect on Antwerp's political scene. A growing minority of Antwerp Jews sympathizes with Vlaams Belang (or Flemish Interest and formerly known as Vlaams Blok), the most successful extreme right-wing party in Europe, which has held the largest number of seats in the regional parliament of Flanders ever since the 2004 elections. Despite being pro-Flemish and xenophobic, Vlaams Belang presents itself as markedly pro-Israel and demands stronger action be taken against those Moroccan immigrants in Belgium who openly display their contempt for Jews. ...

Antwerp's Jewish community has fiercely defended its monopoly on the actual craftsmanship involved in the diamond trade. The most precious diamonds are still polished in traditional Jewish workshops. "The reason isn't that we have good connections, as many people say," claims Moshe Weiss, the doyen of the trade. "It's that we're better than everyone else." ...

Jahwery comes from the city of Palanpur in Gujarat, where his great grandfather still polished diamonds on a pedal-driven wheel. Many of the great diamond dealers of Antwerp have roots in Palanpur: the Mehtas, the Shahs, the Jahwerys. They came to Antwerp in the 1970s and 1980s, attracted by the enormous profits possible there, and also by Belgium's liberal immigration laws. Since diamond dealers tend to marry among each other, most of the 300 Indian families of Antwerp are related.

A business largely controlled by your own family is always far superior to competitors, Jahwery says. 

The secret to the diamond business is arranged marriages and the threat of ostracism, as dawned on me while having the diamond ring appraised to make sure the retailer hadn't cheated me. The appraiser on Wabash spent about 20 minutes squinting at it through a microscope before telling me about its microscopic flaws. 

That's a big transaction cost. It's much more efficient to be able to trust somebody you are doing business with when he tells you orally that the diamond is flawless. But how do you trust him? Because if he gets a reputation for cheating his relatives, his children will never find spouses.
The other diamond dealers from Gujarat would probably agree. They rely on their worldwide family networks to build and maintain headquarters on every continent. That's what distinguishes them from the Jewish businesses that used to dominate the market. The Indian clans are true global players.

If you grow up in, say, Pacific Palisades, you probably aren't as willing to head off for the next gold rush on the other side of the world as if you grew up in Gujarat. Pacific Palisades, where, say, Steven Spielberg lives, is kind of the end of the line. Spielberg is probably not going to dispatch his children to the far ends of the world like a 21st Century Mayer Rothschild to build his empire.
Ashwin Jahwery has branches in Taiwan, Thailand, China, Australia, Great Britain and Spain, all of them run by his nephews. His two sons are still studying at Antwerp University. One of them is studying business and the other diamond polishing. They already have positions waiting for them in their father's diamond trade empire.

And unlike the Jewish community, the Indians aren't sentimental about Antwerp. They lead a pleasant life there and earn well, but they could leave anytime.
A good businessman has to be flexible, Jahwery says -- and that flexibility has to be thought of in global terms. What he says amounts to a threat. "If the Belgian government creates problems for us," he says, "then Antwerp has no future as a business location. The things I need to get started somewhere else in the world fit inside two suitcases."

Some of his compatriots have already followed the call of one of the diamond trade's rising new locations and moved to Dubai. Diamond dealers in Antwerp feel harassed by a number of new regulations introduced by the Belgian government in order to combat the trade in so-called "blood diamonds." Antwerp not only has the largest regular market for diamonds in the world; it also has the largest black market. It's here that dictators and rebels sell the diamonds by which they finance their devastating civil wars.

The price of a diamond is determined on the basis of the four Cs: cut, color, clarity and carats. The High Diamond Council, which has also developed a code of conduct for its members, has added a fifth C: confidence.

It was a nice gesture, but it hasn't made a difference in practical terms. People at the jewelry shops near the Central Station don't ask for a certificate when someone offers them a bag of raw diamonds.

The High Council claims the problem is under control -- but that's wishful thinking, not a reality. There's no way to effectively control the import and export of diamonds -- for the simple reason that they're so small. And a pocketful of jewels is enough to allow an African warlord to buy enough Kalashnikovs for a whole army.

When Antwerp's diamond market was still controlled by Jewish families, the cartel relied on self-control. But those times are over.

This all raises questions about what Ibn Khaldun called asabiya. Do other Indians care about the welfare of Jains the way late 19th Century Reform Jews in Germany cared about Oriental and Sephardic Jews in the Ottoman Empire -- enough to start organizing pan-Jewish pressure groups? How much pan-Indian ethnonationalism is there among Indians? Or is India just too big?

And, in the future, how much ethnonationalism will there still be among Jews? To build Jewish national power in the late 19th Century, modernized Jews had to swallow their distaste for old-fashioned Jews for the good of ethnic solidarity. Can that pan-Jewish solidarity hold together when Jews are no longer the underdog? Obviously, a lot of money is currently being poured into that project (see below). 

But, I was struck while reading Michael Chabon's 2007 alternative history bestseller, The Yiddish Policeman's Union, that the book is pretty dull until the villains in black hats are finally introduced. And the villains are literally in black hats: they're ultra-Orthodox men who wear black hats. The book takes wing when Chabon -- who is quite representative of mainstream modern American Jewish ethnocentric sentiments (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) -- gets to indulge his fine, fierce hatred of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Sure, there are a few pages about how much his Yiddish policemen heroes despise American Republican goyim, but Chabon's heroes really, really hate the black hats.

Chabon is a 21st Century Jew -- all that 20th Century Jewish teamplay might be falling apart.

July 8, 2010


Until I started idly blogging about the long term future yesterday, I hadn't been aware of the existence of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. The JPPPI is an offshoot of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the famous quasi-Israeli governmental body currently headed by Natan Sharansky (author of a favorite book of George W. Bush: The Case for Democracy).

The JPPPI does some interesting Hari Seldonish long term planning work focused upon demography, the kind of analysis that is badly out of fashion in U.S. mainstream media circles. (In general, analysis coming out of Israel tends to be more interesting than what is published in America.) For example, there is the JPPPI's 2010 book 2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People, which does not appear to have been mentioned yet in the American mainstream media, although it has received attention in America's Jewish press.

Although there's no explicit mention of Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation series, 2030's Preface by Avinoam Bar-Yosef, founding director of JPPI, states:
Nations and large organizations in many places around the globe plan strategically decades ahead, but this is the first time that such a project focuses on a people and civilization. ...

When looking back in time, it seems that some of the best futurists 100 years ago were writers of science-fiction. This perception was the basis for enrolling in this effort to promote the Jewish future some of the best creative minds of the Jewish People today in a series of brainstorming meetings that began at the Wye River Conference Center in 2005-2006 and continued in Jerusalem in 2007-2008. These brainstorming exercises never exceeded groups of more than 20 participants, and included academics, writers, professionals and lay leaders known for dedicating their time to thinking and planning for a better world.

"Brainstorming" participants credited in 2030 included Elliott Abrams, Alan Dershowitz, Stuart Eizenstat, Abe Foxman, Todd Gitlin, Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer, Edward Luttwak, Dennis Ross, William Safire, Natan Sharansky, and Lawrence Summers, plus a whole bunch of Israelis. This book does not appear to have been mentioned in the U.S. mainstream media yet.

Who runs the JPPPI? From the JPPPI's website:
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors... He replaces Ambassador Dennis Ross who resigned the position last January when he was appointed to a senior position in the Obama Administration. 

Ross is an interesting personage. From Wikipedia:
Dennis B. Ross (born November 26, 1948) is an American diplomat and author. He has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and is currently a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ross was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County. His Jewish mother and Catholic stepfather raised him in a non-religious atmosphere.[2]... He later became religiously Jewish after the Six Day War.[2] In 2002 he co-founded the Kol Shalom synagogue in Rockville, Maryland.[2]

During President Jimmy Carter's administration, Ross worked under Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon. There, he co-authored a study recommending greater U.S. intervention in "the Persian Gulf Region because of our need for Persian Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab-Israeli conflict."[4] During the Reagan administration, Ross served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs in the National Security Council and Deputy Director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (1982–84).[3]

... In the mid-1980s Ross co-founded with Martin Indyk the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy ("WINEP").[5] His first WINEP paper called for appointment of a "non-Arabist Special Middle East envoy" who would "not feel guilty about our relationship with Israel." ... He also worked with Secretary of State James Baker on convincing Arab and Israeli leaders to attend the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid, Spain.

In the summer of 1993 President Bill Clinton named Ross Middle East envoy.... According to Aaron David Miller, a member of the Ross-led US negotiating team in 1999-2000, under Ross they frequently acted as "Israel's lawyer", and their policy of "no surprises" (meaning all US proposals were first reviewed by Israel), led to a lack of negotiating flexibility and independence.

Eizenstat has also been a busy boy. From Wikipedia:
From 1977 to 1981, he was President Jimmy Carter’s Chief Domestic Policy Adviser, and Executive Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff. He was President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (1999-2001)...

He has served as the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996 and as co-chairman of the European-American Business Council (EABC).... In 2008, the Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat Distinguished Professorship in Jewish history and culture was endowed in Eizenstat's honor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ambassador Eizenstat was also the Clinton Administration's Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues.

On the other hand, the next three people on the JPPPI's masthead are Maj. General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, "one of the world's leading experts in the field of security, military and intelligence," which I bet he is (he is a former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate); Mr. Avinoam Bar-Yosef, founding director of the JPPPI; and Ms. Ita Alcalay, formerly of the Finance Ministry.

So, the JPPPI is essentially the demographic trends R and D arm of the Israeli government, although it is traditionally headed by Washington powerbrokers in-between their White House posts.

2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People looks like a very interesting book. Here's an excerpt from 2030, with some interesting bits put into bold:
Jewish Momentum - Internal:
• Jewish demography: A negative balance of Jewish births and deaths now prevails in most Jewish communities worldwide with the prominent exception of Israel. Across the Jewish Diaspora, more frequent choosing of marriage partners from outside the Jewish community is associated with growing percentages of children not raised Jewishly. The consequent erosion of the younger generation has produced a steady process of Jewish population aging, leading in turn to higher death rates and population decrease. Further major consequences of ongoing familial and cultural changes include the blurring of Jewish identification boundaries and the growing complexities in defining the Jewish collective. In Israel, Jewish population grows naturally but the demographic balance between Jews and non-Jews produces a problematic equation critically linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The location of Jews on the world map largely reflects the ranking of countries by the Index of Human Development. Over 90% of world Jewry now lives in the top 20% of more developed countries - that is in North America, West Europe and Israel. The two major Jewish population centers in the United States and Israel now jointly comprise some 80% of world Jewry.

• Jewish identity: The overall trend in Jewish identification is towards more diverse and pluralistic forms of Jewish identification less focused on a common set of basic values. There is a shift in identification from religious to secular, from ethnic to cultural, from community-oriented to individualistic and universal. Global norms about identity, individual choice, communal expression and religious freedom are making it more acceptable to choose one’s religious or non-religious and community identity. Jewish identity is increasingly about choice and the personal quest for meaning, especially among the younger generation. Outside Israel, within the overall growing diversity and plurality, the course of Jewish identification seems to be towards increased polarity between those clearly identified and those totally unidentified as Jews, with a large segment falling in between.

• Jewish hard and soft power and influence: The Jewish People has never been as powerful as now, including the military power and global standing of Israel, the soft power implied in the idea of “The Jewish Century[this is a reference to historian Yuri Slezkine's 2004 book that was well-reviewed in the Jewish press but largely ignored in the mainstream media] - however exaggerated - and the political and economic power and influence of the American Jewish community and, to a lesser degree, other Jewish communities. However, power has to be evaluated in terms of relative or “net” power, which means the power of the Jewish People in comparison to the dangers, threats and challenges it faces. Outside of Israel the Jewish People faces almost no physical danger, while Israel is still subject to existential threats. Israel is still confronted by enemies determined to destroy it, and is subjected to the intense anti-Israelism of a variety of groups, including some in Western countries.

• Israel-Diaspora relations: The overall trend in the relations between Jews in Israel and the Diaspora is for the younger generation both in Israel and the Diaspora to be less and less interested in the fate of their fellow Jews overseas. Relations between Israel and the Jewish People in the Diaspora are strong at present, but are likely to face decline. The younger generation in the Diaspora is distanced from the dramatic historical events that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel. The younger generation is more likely to be exposed to negative views of Israel and its policies, and has almost no experience of identification with Israel as a source of pride. It is less concerned about Israel and its future and has less of an emotional attachment to the country.

• Jewish economics: The Jewish People today is at a historical zenith of wealth creation. With the vast majority of Jews living in countries that are among the world’s wealthiest, and with the majority of those Jews belonging to middle and upper socio-economic strata in those countries (excluding Israel) the Jewish People as a whole enjoys access to wealth as never before. There is more money per capita in Jewish hands, absolutely and perhaps even relatively, than anytime in history. Within Israel, the accumulation of wealth by Jews is much more dependent on the economic and social policies of the government (or lack thereof), within general global economic and local security contexts. The expected trend for Israel is a slightly better performance than the growth rates for most developed countries, mostly due to improved policy, especially with respect to encouraging higher rates of employment participation and fighting poverty through employment. With respect to the distribution of wealth and its allocation to Jewish causes, there is insufficient data and the evidence is mostly anecdotal. It appears that outside Israel philanthropic giving directed to Jewish causes is only a very small share of overall Jewish philanthropic giving, but the increase in wealth may mean that in absolute terms there are more funds available today for Jewish causes than there has been in the past. A critical juncture will come as the current older generation of committed, involved and wealthy Jews makes estate planning decisions about the disposition of their wealth. While the recent economic crisis has had immediate and specific impacts on Jewish wealth and philanthropic giving, it has appeared to not yet substantially transform the underlying conditions and long-term trends of Jewish economics. 

• Leadership: The Jewish People is facing a serious paucity of high quality leadership - spiritual, political and organizational - with no clear trend of improvement. Current leadership, both in Israel and in Jewish institutions, with few individual exceptions, appears to lack the capacity to meet the challenges facing the Jewish People and a deep understanding of changing realities and new ideas for coping with them that are able to assure, as much as possible, the long-term sustainable thriving of Jewish communities around the world and the thriving of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, which add up synergistically to the thriving of the Jewish People as a whole. Jewish leadership positions in Israel and in other Jewish communities do not attract the best and brightest - with some notable exceptions. Efforts to attract and prepare the best and the brightest for leadership are inadequate, and despite some beginnings, including on the Jewish civic society level, the entry of younger persons into leadership positions is very slow. There is also a very pronounced lack of spiritual leaders acceptable as such by major parts of the Jewish People.   

The rise of China and India: Is it good for the Jews?

My noodling below on global grand strategy for a year 2100 in which China and India contend for world dominance suggested that the Jewish community could play a key role in tipping the advantage toward one or the other. A reader kindly points out that the implications for the global Jewish community of the rise of China and India relative to America is a topic already on the mind of influential Jewish leaders, sensibly enough. From a very interesting article:
"Questions of survival"
By Shmuel Rosner
Haaretz [A leading Israeli newspaper]
June 26, 2006

WASHINGTON - The following disparity tells us more about human nature than about the future of the Jewish world: The executive branch - the heads of the large Jewish organizations, on the whole - are optimistic and believe Judaism has a glowing future, while the intellectuals and thinkers are much more pessimistic and insist on mentioning the pitfalls and obstacles the coming years hold in store. ...

Two groups of Jews gathered together last weekend at Wye Plantation, Maryland for a long discussion on the situation of the Jewish people. The first group, which met Wednesday and Thursday, consisted of the heads of 15 Jewish organizations such as the Presidents' Conference, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the American Jewish Committee and others. In the second group were the "thinkers," as the organizers termed them: Natan Sharansky from Israel, Charles Krauthammer from The Washington Post, former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, former Jewish Agency head Sallai Meridor and many others.

The Institute for Policy Planning of the Jewish People had organized this gathering. It had a somewhat ambitious aim - a strategic debate about the future of the Jewish people. ...

Their conclusions, in brief: The future is unclear. And in greater detail: There are many risks, and it is time to roll up our sleeves. The institute and its heads - Dennis Ross, Prof. Yehezkel Dror, Avi Gil, Avinoam Bar-Yosef - are already doing their homework.

One of the papers that was prepared in advance and presented to the participants in the conferences was that written by Dr. Shalom Wald. He chose 14 well-known historians, from Thucydides to Gibbon, Spangler, Toynbee and Kennedy, and examined their theories concerning the circumstances in which civilizations flourish or collapse. Then he tried to examine how these theories can be applied to the context of the Jewish people.

Several of his conclusions provoked disagreement. For example: "Getting all Jews into the same shape and country, even if it is Israel, as recently advocated by an Israeli [writer, A.B. Yehoshua - S.R.] is not the best survival strategy." Some of the Israeli participants did not like that idea. Granting official legitimacy to the Diaspora would be a mistake, Meridor said, according to some of those who participated. That would be the end of Zionism as we know it.

The fear expressed that "a real decline of the West, particularly the United States, would have dramatic consequences for the Jewish people," also led to controversy. Brandeis University president Jehuda Reinharz agreed that this type of decline can be expected "in the coming two decades" - but Stuart Eisenstadt was less emphatic about it. He believes the United States will remain the leading power. In all events, it was agreed the Jews "should strengthen cultural links with non-Western civilizations, particularly China and also India," powers that are on the ascent. This is not a question of preference or closeness; it is a question of survival, of readiness for the future. How should this be done? That will have to be the topic of discussion in the next gatherings already being planned.
[Emphasis mine.]

Abraham Foxman of the ADL says he came to the conference full of skepticism but left satisfied at its conclusion. ... It is the first time the heads of Jewish organizations have sat down round the same table and sought ways to cooperate, pushing aside the competition, suspicions and sometimes even latent hostility....

However, on the substance of the agreement to "work together" there are various opinions. Some of the participants believe it was agreed that a mechanism would be set up for "joint work in the future" while others told Haaretz that "not too much came out of it." Nevertheless, they managed to define aims and goals. First and foremost - investing in education for the young generation. The philanthropist Michael Steinhardt put great emphasis on this point, as well as on "lowering the price of Jewish life" in America. This means lowering the price of access to synagogues, Jewish schools, cultural centers and other activities.

Last year the institute held similar strategic conferences, but with slightly different participants. Then, too, in general, agreement was reached on more than a few topics. For example, that it was necessary to draw those on the fringes of Jewish civilization inward. This year, at the opening of the meeting, Bar-Yosef, the institute's director, presented a general report on the situation of the Jewish people. One sentence from that survey can sum up the results of that agreement better than any other - "The Jewish people: worldwide zero growth."

The better-known historians mentioned in Wald's review, particularly the earlier ones, also agreed for the most part that "the Jews will survive as a people and civilization." But there was nevertheless one who dissented - Oswald Spangler. What kept the Jews together as a people, he stated, was "magic consensus" but, he added, this is vanishing with the years. The Jews of the Western world have assimilated into general Western culture and will disappear with it. The Jews will disappear from a historical perspective; that is inevitable, he said.

There were several interesting arguments. One was over whether the Jews of America have to worry about the social welfare of the Jews of Israel. The Americans said yes - "All Jews are responsible for one another." The Israelis said no way; leave the social problems in Israel for us to deal with. Yisrael Maimon, the government representative, proposed a partnership with the Americans in technology, education, "brain investments." But the improvement of the lot of the poor, he said, must be left to the Israeli government.

Prof. Dror also stressed the importance of investing in improving the situation of education in Israel. One of the central aims he presented was "to develop Israel into a learning-knowledge society." Those present discussed the level of the universities in Israel and some of them even proposed the level of at least one of these institutions be raised sufficiently to attract students from abroad in higher numbers.

The Jewish schools in America are currently undergoing renewed popularity. An almost 30 percent growth in the number of those registering - but those, as Bar-Yosef pointed out, are "mostly those who are already affiliated." The schools have to become a center of attraction for others as well.

What it takes

Here's that fine Bruce Sokolove article from four weeks ago in the NY Times magazine, "How a Soccer Star Is Made" on how Amsterdam's Ajax club trains seven-year-olds to be sold off to be eventually sold off to Chelsea and Real Madrid in the bigger leagues. The Netherlands have made three of the last ten World Cup finals despite a modest (although hardly tiny) population.

The inefficient American system of creating soccer players (play a lot of games, try to get a college scholarship) sounds both feckless and pretty nice, compared to this high efficiency Dutch machine of nature and nurture:
It is not unusual for players at De Toekomst to come from middle- or even upper-middle-class backgrounds, and virtually none come from poverty in a nation where the standard of living is high and literacy is 99 percent. The demographics are not much different from the soccer-playing population in the United States, where most players still come from suburban comfort. In the Netherlands, though, youth players may end up with less education than their parents in order to pursue professional soccer careers, starting with a less-demanding high-school curriculum than they otherwise might take. 

... [Dylan] said he guessed that probably only two or three of the boys he began with when he was 7 would have pro careers in their sport. “I would feel very bad if I’m not one of them,” he said. “I have tried everything I can do to make it. I haven’t done as much in school as I could. I would feel like I’ve been wasting my time all these years. I would get very depressed.”

I asked if some of what he learned at Ajax — focus, perseverance, the ability to perform under pressure — might benefit him no matter what he ends up doing. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “We’re training for football, not for anything else.”

Currently, the U.S. usually is in the top 16 teams in the World Cup. That's not bad. Not great, but not bad. I personally don't care who wins the World Cup. It comes around every four years and it's like the entire history of warfare re-enacted with only a few hooligans getting killed. Spain v. Holland? That sounds like the Eighty Years War of 1568-1648... but for the next four years, I won't care at all. The World Cup is like short track speed skating in the Winter Olympics, only more tedious to actually watch. (Has a more entertaining sport than short track emerged recently?)

I know a high school parent whose daughter is deciding between a soccer scholarship to U. of North Carolina or to Williams. For her, life is good. Soccer in the U.S. is largely a sport of the upper middle class, by the upper middle class, and for the upper middle class. 

What I think is too bad is the Burkean organic relationship between soccer teams and their fans is being eroded, the kind that we only rarely saw in the U.S., like Larry Bird playing high school and college ball in the same John Cougar Mellencampy small town. 

It used to be that kids would start with their local soccer club like Ajax and stay there and play professionally against other Dutch soccer clubs. But now their best players get sold off to the big money leagues in bigger countries, and only reassembled for national teams.

The Mid-Year iSteve Panhandling Drive

I've got some good content below, but, first ... it's been half a year since the panhandling drive in January, so it's time for me to rattle the tin cup again. I've got some big checks to write over the next couple of months. (Any advice would be appreciated on best ways to buy a used car and how to get the most for my less-than-pristine 1998 Accord.)

It drives the bastards crazy that I can eke out a career on the generosity of my readers writing whatever I think is true, interesting, new, and important. So, you're not just giving me money, your frustrating a lot of people who deserve frustration.

There are, at the moment, three ways to give me money.

You can make tax deductible credit card contributions to me here (then, under "Steve Sailer Project Option" click on the "Make a Donation" button); or fax credit card details here (please put "Steve Sailer Project" on the fax); or you can snail mail checks made out to "VDARE Foundation" and marked on the memo line (lower left corner) “Steve Sailer” to:

VDARE Foundation
P.O. Box 211
Litchfield, CT 06759

Second: You can send me an email and I'll send you my P.O. Box address.

Third: You can use Paypal to send me money directly, either by just using any credit card or if you have a specific Paypal account.

Or, if that link doesn't work, just click on the Paypal "Donate" button on the top of column to the right. (I have no idea why these links stop working. It's very frustrating.)

If you want to use your credit card, click "Continue" on the lower center-left to fill in your credit card info. If you have a Paypal account fill in your Paypal ID and password on the lower right of the screen.

I'll try to get the Amazon donation link working in a day or two, but, in the past, Amazon has been limited to $50 (hint, hint) and tends to stop working as soon as I've collected more than a pittance.

Thanks. I appreciate it, deeply.

July 7, 2010

Global Grand Strategy for 2100

This seemingly silly little incident of Joel Stein being forced to apologize for admitting to not liking Indian immigrants taking over his hometown reminded me that I've long sensed that the chief long term competitors (say, by 2100) in America for Jews will be Indians. A commenter had the same thought:
"Even if only 5% of Indians have the goods to be as successful as the American Asian Indian community (IQ and all) that still makes it more than 50 million plus. That is far higher than the entire Jewish population of the world. I think the Jewish lobby will have to give way to the upcoming Indian lobby as the most powerful in the land. Indians will eventually take over other areas of Jewish dominance too."

This becomes even more interesting when you look at the implications for global dominance. 

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has been dominated by the United States, or, more broadly, by the Anglosphere led by the U.S., or, most broadly, by the North Atlanticists (Anglosphere plus EU) more or less led by the U.S. 

There are, however, two gigastates, China and India, both of which are considerably more important economically than they were two decades ago. Both have been content to let the U.S. spend a fortune on military power while they build their strength. Why play the Great Game when you can sit it out? Let the rich, foolish Americans blunder around in Afghanistan and the like.

But, men play the Great Game not because it makes sense but because they like to win. So, it's unlikely that China and India will sit out the Great Game for the rest of the century. Let's assume that China and India eventually decide to play for dominance of the world.

If it can keep from falling apart, China, whose GDP is already well over half the U.S.'s, will surpass the U.S. economically in a fairly short period. India is a little under half of the GDP of China, so it would appear to have a tougher road ahead of it in the eventual struggle for world dominance with China. Moreover, China clearly has a stronger sense of national unity than India, which is riven by caste, religion, and a lack of a unified history.

But the Great Game is much more interesting than a simple, boring struggle for the largest GDP. 

The American colonies had a smaller GDP than the mother country during the American Revolution, for example, but Ben Franklin talked the French government into bankrupting itself for American independence. (He was quite the charmer.) In WWI, Germany, despite having tens of millions of German farmers and engineers in America, did not charm America, and thus lost. Israel, to cite a more recent example, has done quite well for itself strategically despite a limited GDP and being up against Arabs and their oil money.

So, the obvious card to play in the coming China vs. India global struggle is for influence and control over the fading Anglo-Euro world, especially because Anglos don't like to think about themselves being played.

When looked at from this perspective, India's chances against China in 2100 don't look so awful. Indians are better at learning English, and better at marketing ideas in English than Chinese. (One American marketing consultant in China has said that to Chinese factory owners, "marketing" means shouting "Real cheap! You buy now!")

Let's look at the leading Anglosphere countries and which way they are likely to tip (or be tipped):

Australia: China
Canada: I don't know. It could be close.
Britain: India
America: That's the big question

There are lots of Chinese in America. The Chinese have lots of money and will have even more in the future. Over several generations, the emotional distinctions between China and their neighbors and/or enemies like Vietnam, Korea, and Japan might fade, leaving a unified East Asian v. South Asian division from the perspective of the U.S.

On the other hand, I have a vague sense that the East Asians in America might wind up playing the role of Midwestern German-Americans in early 20th Century America, who were outmaneuvered by Anglophilic Eastern elites.

In this China v. India struggle for influence over America in the second half of the 21st Century, the key question will be which side American Jews come down in favor of. Currently possessing the optimal combination of power (35% of the Forbes 400 and 50% of the Atlantic 50 most influential media pundits), cohesion, and immunity from criticism as a group, they are the key players in a fractured market for power.

Which way will American Jews lean? That's  hard to predict.

It won't solely be a matter of material interest. Much of it will depend upon which Asian superpower best figures out which American Jewish buttons to push to get Jews to feel that healing the world depends upon the U.S. siding with either India or China. 

In this, I would bet on the Indians.

On the other hand, it's exactly the greater similarities between Jews and Indians that might lead Jews to resent Indians as their displacers, and conclude that they would be better off in a Chinese-run world where their skills would be more valuable.

We shall live in interesting times. 

Well, not me, personally. I'm not going to last that long, but somebody reading this will likely make it to 2100.

Joel Stein's Own Private Jesse Jackson

Joel Stein is in trouble with Indians (Asian) for his Time column "My Own Private India" about how he regrets the demographic changes in his Edison, New Jersey hometown since he grew up:
TIME responds: We sincerely regret that any of our readers were upset by Joel Stein’s recent humor column “My Own Private India.” It was in no way intended to cause offense. 
Joel Stein responds: I truly feel stomach-sick that I hurt so many people. I was trying to explain how, as someone who believes that immigration has enriched American life and my hometown in particular, I was shocked that I could feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with my changing town when I went to visit it. If we could understand that reaction, we’d be better equipped to debate people on the other side of the immigration issue.

The amusing thing is that Stein already wrote a 2006 column for the LA Times apologizing in advance to Jesse Jackson:
The reverend turns down a preemptive 'I'm sorry' and denies that he's the arbiter of apologies
Joel Stein
December 5, 2006
EVENTUALLY, I'M going to write something horribly offensive. And when I do, it might be several tense hours before I can get Jesse Jackson on the phone in order to apologize to him. So I figured I'd call him now and pre-apologize.

In addition to Michael Richards telling Jackson that he was sorry for his racist tirade at the Laugh Factory, Jackson has accepted apologies from Mexican President Vicente Fox (for saying Mexican immigrants will do jobs that "not even blacks want to do"), the producers of "Barbershop" (for a Rosa Parks joke in the film) and himself (for calling New York "Hymietown").

Needless to say, the new Seinfeld DVD is selling swiftly, Fox served his full term, "Barbershop" had a sequel and New York is still chock full of Jews. A Jackson pardon never fails.

So after putting in a request that I thought Jackson's staff wouldn't take seriously, I was startled when my phone rang two hours later and the reverend was on the other end. I would be absolved, I thought, in two or three minutes.

I was very wrong. When I explained my request, it became clear that this hypothetical offensive thing I might do someday was instead happening right now.

"Why should you be offensive?" Jackson asked, annoyed. "I don't know why you would do that."

Luckily, as I was stammering a response, Jackson smoothly segued into reciting his own agenda. I was not surprised to hear him tell me about America's lack of concern about Katrina victims, the media ignoring Trent Lott's return to party leadership and the dearth of black actors on television ("all day, all night, all white"). I was, however, surprised that it took him nearly four minutes before he mentioned that he worked with Martin Luther King Jr.

A smarter man would have thanked Jackson for his time and gotten off the phone. But as I predicted in the very premise of this project, I am not a smarter man. I asked again if he could slip me an indulgence.

"I don't know why you would insist on continuing to bring this up," he said. Oddly, I was thinking the exact same thing.

I explained that I was interested in finding out how a single person can play judge for damage done to an entire group, and why society needs a figurehead to represent its pain. Then I hoped and prayed that sounded smart.

Jackson said that when Richards called him, "I made it clear that I am not the arbiter of apologies." In fact, he said, "I'm more likely to be called upon to get someone out of a foreign jail than to accept an apology." Between the foreign arrests and the apologies for racist slurs, being a civil rights leader seems a lot like being a parent to rich children.

Then Jackson pointed out that listening to confessions is pretty common for someone in his line of work. "When people are distressed, when people are injured, when people need their cases argued, they tend to call a minister," he explained. "People tend to call someone to give them a listening ear. That's all. At the end of the day, it's about providing a service: to alleviate misery."

My future misery, however, was currently unalleviable. "It would be inappropriate," he finally told me. I am the first person in history to have an apology turned down by Jesse Jackson.

But as ridiculous as it seems to have people apologize to Jackson for things they didn't do to him, and for him to demand apologies for events he wasn't involved in (Outkast for dressing in Native American outfits; the U.S. for crashing a jet in China) — the theatrics do serve a purpose.

Confrontation is a necessary part of contrition. Apologizing in a press release to anyone offended makes sense in theory, but it has no stakes. We need to see human emotions expressed by real humans; our catharsis has to come from leaders playing our parts on stage.

And though Jay Leno, Barbara Walters and Dr. Phil may try, Jackson performs that role best. I know that after I finally got off the phone, my sweaty palms and aching stomach felt like they were taught a moral lesson.

I just hope that people don't find this column so offensive that I'll have to really apologize. Because I'm not sure Jackson would take my call after this. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course he will. 

Meanwhile, the second most-read article on LATimes.com last evening was 
Jewish organizations protest UC president's handling of reports of anti-Semitism
The groups assert that the university's reaction has been too weak. University chief Mark G. Yudof says the groups may be basing their responses on an unreliable sampling of student opinion.
By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
July 7, 2010
The president of the University of California and leaders of a dozen prominent American Jewish organizations are in an unusual public dispute about the extent of anti-Semitism on UC campuses and the university's response to it.

In a letter to UC President Mark G. Yudof, such groups as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the national governing bodies of Conservative and Orthodox Judaism have criticized the university's reaction to anti-Semitic acts on UC campuses as too weak. The letter, sent June 28, cited what it said were increasing incidents of swastika graffiti and anti-Israel speakers who use anti-Semitic language, and alleged that many Jewish UC students feel "an environment of harassment and intimidation." ...

Yudof, who is Jewish and whose wife, Judy, is the former lay president of Conservative Judaism in North America, also wrote that the Jewish groups may have based their concerns on an unreliable sampling of student opinion. Most Jewish UC students' "perspectives are more mixed than you suggest," he wrote.

The UC president said he was disappointed that the letter writers seemed to have dismissed the new UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion as destined to fail, and he urged them to support its work.

Considering that UC Campuses are typically located in places like La Jolla, Irvine, Westwood, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley, I'd say the the UC "Campus Climate" is pretty dog-gone nice: typically 70s and sunny.

Oh, wait, that's not what the word "climate" means anymore on campus. (Except when it's about "climate change.")
The panel, which met for the first time last week, was created after several controversial incidents over the last school year. Those included an off-campus "Compton Cookout" party by UC San Diego students that mocked Black History Month, and the spray-painting and carving of swastikas at several locations on the UC Davis campus, including the dorm room door of a Jewish student.

Some Jewish leaders have complained that UC administrators seemed to be more upset by the UC San Diego incident than the swastikas. UC officials have denied this.

Okay, so that's what this is all about: competitive aggrievement. The Jewish organizations are mad that the black organizations got more mileage out of their recent UC San Diego hate hoax brouhaha. Well, of course.

Still, the reigning heavyweight title contenders of competitive aggrievement, the blacks and the Jews, should be aware that there's a new Indian kid in town who is ready to rumble.

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

Is Our Adults Getting Stupider?

See if you can figure out the answer to the mystery posed in the following blog item by Kevin Drum of Mother Jones. Neither Kevin, nor the physics professor he quotes at length, nor Kevin's first 29 commenters can figure it out. Put your solution in my comments below. Kevin blogs:
Is Our Kids Studying? -- Take 2

After I posted a couple of days ago on the subject of whether or not college students are studying less than they used to, I got a long email on the subject from Paul Camp, a physics professor at Spelman University. This is pretty far outside my wheelhouse of expertise, but his take was so interesting that I wanted to repost it here just so that everyone would have a chance to comment on it. Here's what he told me:
I've been engaged in a few conversations about this in the past couple of years. I can offer the following data that correlates with anecdotal evidence from other professors at a variety of institutions.

Since the early 1990's, I have pre and post tested all of my introductory mechanics classes using a research based diagnostic instrument, the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation.

My first job out of graduate school was at an unranked tier 4 institution in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Coastal Carolina "University" to be specific. It was the 13th grade. There were a few brilliant students — I've learned that for a variety of reasons you can find exceptional students anywhere — but for the most part the student body was composed of people who were there for financial reasons or because they thought it would be a cool idea to go to school at the beach. The first four pages of our brochure described the beach, not the college. We knew which side our bread was buttered on.

I pretty reliably got 50-60% normalized gains on the FMCE.

Normalized gain is the ratio of how much their scores increased compared to how much they could have increased — (post-pre)/(100-pre). 50-60% is actually pretty stupendous on this particular measure. It means they were typically getting 80-90% of the questions right.

I left that job in a huff. There's a very long story, but the short version is that I was ordered by my dean to give everyone a passing grade and I wouldn't do it. I spent 5.5 years in a research position at Georgia Tech before coming to Spelman.

Spelman is a top 75 liberal arts college, according to US News, and top 10 according to the Washington Monthly. My personal impression of the students is that the average is generally much higher than it was at Coastal. These are students who can think around a few corners. Also, since they are able to cross register in some considerably easier classes at other AUC institutions, I tend to get classes of students who are there because they choose to be there and are therefore more engaged and thoughtful about their efforts.

I think I'm at least as good an instructor as I used to be, and probably a lot better. I know quite a bit more about developmental psychology and cognitive science as a result of my job at Georgia Tech and I think that improves my instruction considerably.

And yet, in a good year I get about 20-30% normalized gains.

I don't really know what is different but something clearly is.

Right now, I'm blaming No Child Left Behind, but that is less because of data than of general suspicion of high stakes testing. In fact, I am also now quite skeptical of pre/post testing (I could send you a research paper on that if you're interested) but not enough that I can account for the difference in the data. ...
I can't really say that this is a correct account. I can say that many faculty I have spoken with have expressed similar observations without me prompting them, but the difference between me and them is that I have data. I know what I used to get at a crappy college with surfer students, and I know what I now get at a top tier college with highly engaged students, and it isn't consistent with ought to be happening, all other things being equal.

So that's my data point. I suppose I could always have had some kind of mental excursion and become a bad teacher without knowing it, but I don't think so and my students don't think so either, and neither do my peers in and out of the physics department. So I'm going to provisionally discount that explanation.

I left Coastal in 1998. I started at Spelman in 2004. You tell me what changed during that time frame.

Class, this mystery has baffled the best minds of Mother Jones magazine. Do you have any ideas how to solve this conundrum? Put them in the comments below.

World Cup Final: Spain v. Netherlands

In the semifinals, Spain beats Germany 1-0 and Netherlands beats Uruguay 3-2 (hey, a good score!).

So much for the LA Times headline: "Germany's World Cup streak may be result of a multicultural team." In reality, Germany did about as good in 2010 as it usually does: semifinalist in 2010, semifinalist in 2006, finalist in 2002, quarterfinalist in 1998 and 1994, champion in 1990, finalist in 1986 and 1982.

The only way I think the American liberal soccerati can spin a Spain v. Netherlands Final as Another Triumph of Soccer Diversity over racist American sports like football is to focus on the immigrant stock players on the Dutch team as proof that Pym Fortuyn got what he had coming

The ironies pile up. The South African Boers will get to watch their ancestral team play Spain, a team that looks at least as white as the Washington Senators of the late 1930s, who used to sneak, pre-Jackie Robinson, a couple of part-black Cuban players onto the squad on the grounds that they were Latin so the color line didn't count.

So, in reality, soccer remains a white-dominated sport. Where are the calls from the American SWPL soccer fans for affirmative action programs so that the non-white majority of the world doesn't continue to suffer such relentless disparate impact in the World Cup?

Formerly, the Carbon-Based Life Form Vote

Here's an article from the Washington Post on the white vote in the 2010 election. It's notable for the straight-forward, non-apologetic way it talks about the importance of the white vote. Long ago, there was no more point for political reporters to talk about the national white vote than for fish to talk about water. Then, it became in bad taste. But as the country becomes less white, it becomes paradoxically inevitable that the white vote will have to be talked about.
Democrats hope Obama 2008 model will help stem midterm losses

By Chris Cillizza
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 5, 2010; A02

To become the nation's first black president, Barack Obama not only won heavy percentages of the black and Hispanic vote but also managed to trim the Democratic Party's traditional deficit among white voters.

Four years after Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) lost the white vote by 17 percentage points, Obama lost it by 12, according to exit polls. While the 2008 gains were generally attributed to Obama's strength with young voters -- he won by 10 points among whites 18 to 29 years old -- he managed to improve on Kerry's showing with white voters across every age demographic.

Fast-forward to today. With the November midterm elections less than four months away, Obama's standing among white voters has sunk -- leading some party strategists to fret that the president's erosion -- and the party's -- could adversely affect Democrats' chances of holding on to their House and Senate majorities.

"Since in the past House elections white voters tended to represent the independent vote, [the midterms] will surely be devastating for Democrats running in an election that will be a referendum on the Obama agenda," predicted one senior Democratic operative who closely tracks House races.

In Washington Post-ABC polling, Obama's approval rating among white voters has dropped from better than 60 percent to just above 40 percent. In a June poll, 46 percent of white voters under age 40 approved of how Obama was doing, compared with just 39 percent of whites 65 and older.

The latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll reveals that Obama's standing among white voters is remarkably similar to that of President George W. Bush at this same time two years ago.

In the June 2008 NBC-WSJ survey, 37 percent of white men and 26 percent of white women approved of the job Bush was doing. In the June 2010 poll, an identical 37 percent of white men approved of Obama's handling of his job, as did 35 percent of white women. ...

One senior strategist, speaking candidly about his concerns on the condition of anonymity, noted that white voters made up 79 percent of the 2006 midterm electorate, while they made up 74 percent of the 2008 vote. If the white percentage returns to its 2006 level, that means there will be 3 million more white voters than if it stayed at its 2008 levels. That scenario, said the source, "would generate massive losses" for House and Senate Democrats in November because of Obama's standing with that demographic.

To avoid such losses, the Democratic National Committee has committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to re-create (or come somewhere near re-creating) the 2008 election model, in which Democrats relied heavily on higher-than-normal turnout from young people and strong support from African American and Hispanic voters.

The DNC's plan is ambitious, to say the least: In the space of a few months, the strategists hope to change the composition of a midterm electorate that, if history is any guide, tends to be older and whiter than in a presidential-election year. Put that way, it sounds crazy -- and it has drawn considerable skepticism from independent observers.

But given the reality that white voters -- again -- almost certainly hold the key to Obama's and the Democrats' chances in the fall, they would be even crazier not to try. 

McCain didn't do all that that badly among those whites who bothered to vote in 2008 -- 55% relative to Bush's 54% in 2000 -- but he didn't get all that many whites to bother, whereas Obama got lots of nonwhites, including young ones, all worked up. Since 2008, however, the Youth of the Future have gotten bored with politics (as is natural -- politics becomes more relatively interesting as sports, music, romance, etc. become less interesting, so politics is Last Man Standing among your interests). Obama is trying to whip them into a frenzy again, but without alienating whites.