April 11, 2013

NYT: Black people don't talk enough

That's why so few poor black youths grow up to be rappers. Society must do whatever it takes to close the Rap Gap.

From the New York Times, an extract of straight 2013 Conventional Wisdom, 99 and 44/100ths percent pure:
The Power of Talking to Your Baby 
By TINA ROSENBERG 
By the time a poor child is 1 year old, she has most likely already fallen behind middle-class children in her ability to talk, understand and learn. The gap between poor children and wealthier ones widens each year, and by high school it has become a chasm. American attempts to close this gap in schools have largely failed, and a consensus is starting to build that these attempts must start long before school — before preschool, perhaps even before birth.

Up to eight months and 29 days before birth, but not a day sooner!
There is no consensus, however, about what form these attempts should take, because there is no consensus about the problem itself. What is it about poverty that limits a child’s ability to learn? Researchers have answered the question in different ways: Is it exposure to lead? Character issues like a lack of self-control or failure to think of future consequences? The effects of high levels of stress hormones? The lack of a culture of reading? 
A poor child is likely to hear millions fewer words at home than a child from a professional family. And the disparity matters. 
Another idea, however, is creeping into the policy debate: that the key to early learning is talking — specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better. It turns out, evidence is showing, that the much-ridiculed stream of parent-to-child baby talk — Feel Teddy’s nose! It’s so soft! Cars make noise — look, there’s a yellow one! Baby feels hungry? Now Mommy is opening the refrigerator! — is very, very important. (So put those smartphones away!) 
The idea has been successfully put into practice a few times on a small scale, but it is about to get its first large-scale test, in Providence, R.I., which last month won the $5 million grand prize in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, beating 300 other cities for best new idea. In Providence, only one in three children enter school ready for kindergarten reading.

When I entered kindergarten, not only was I not ready for kindergarten reading, but there was no reading in kindergarten. At some point during kindergarten, I learned how to read at home, and happily read for a couple of weeks. But then I got bored with reading and went back to poking things with sticks or whatever it was I found more fascinating. When I started first grade, the educationally system started to teach me how to read, and I picked it up within a couple of weeks.
The city already has a network of successful programs in which nurses, mentors, therapists and social workers regularly visit pregnant women, new parents and children in their homes, providing medical attention and advice, therapy, counseling and other services. Now Providence will train these home visitors to add a new service: creating family conversation.

The Providence Talks program will be based on research by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley at the University of Kansas, who in 1995 published a book, “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.” (see here for a summary.) Hart and Risley were studying how parents of different socioeconomic backgrounds talked to their babies. Every month, the researchers visited the 42 families in the study and recorded an hour of parent-child interaction. They were looking for things like how much parents praised their children, what they talked about, whether the conversational tone was positive or negative. Then they waited till the children were 9, and examined how they were doing in school. In the meantime, they transcribed and analyzed every word on the tapes — a process that took six years. “It wasn’t until we’d collected our data that we realized that the important variable was how much talking the parents were doing,” Risley told an interviewer later. 
All parents gave their children directives like “Put away your toy!” or “Don’t eat that!” But interaction was more likely to stop there for parents on welfare, while as a family’s income and educational levels rose, those interactions were more likely to be just the beginning. 
The disparity was staggering. Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental. 
Hart and Risley later wrote that children’s level of language development starts to level off when it matches that of their parents — so a language deficit is passed down through generations. They found that parents talk much more to girls than to boys (perhaps because girls are more sociable, or because it is Mom who does most of the care, and parents talk more to children of their gender). 
This might explain why young, poor boys have particular trouble in school. And they argued that the disparities in word usage correlated so closely with academic success that kids born to families on welfare do worse than professional-class children entirely because their parents talk to them less. In other words, if everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all. (Some other researchers say that while word count is extremely important, it can’t be the only factor.)

But those researchers are obviously wrong, and probably racist.
While we do know that richer, more educated parents talk much more to their children than poorer and less educated ones, we don’t know exactly why. A persuasive answer comes from Meredith Rowe, now an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. She found that poor women were simply unaware that it was important to talk more to their babies — no one had told them about this piece of child development research. Poorer mothers tend to depend on friends and relatives for parenting advice, who may not be up on the latest data. Middle-class mothers, on the other hand, get at least some of their parenting information from books, the Internet and pediatricians. Talking to baby has become part of middle-class culture; it seems like instinct, but it’s not. 
If you haven’t heard of Hart and Risley’s work, you are not alone — and you may be wondering why. These findings should have created a policy whirlwind: Here was a revolutionary way to reduce inequities in school achievement that seemed actually possible. How hard could it be to persuade poor parents to talk to their children more? ...
Providence has the money to be more ambitious. The city plans to begin enrolling families in January, 2014, and hopes to eventually reach about 2,000 new families each year, said Mayor Angel Taveras. It will most likely work with proven home-visitation programs like the Nurse-Family Partnership. The visitors will show poor families with very young children how to use the recorders, and ask them to record one 16-hour day each month. 
Every month they will return to share information about the results and specific strategies for talking more: how do you tell your baby about your day? What’s the best way to read to your toddler? They will also talk about community resources, like read-aloud day at the library. And they will work with the family to set goals for next month. The city also hopes to recruit some of the mothers and fathers as peer educators. 

And when that fails, what's next? Intensive pre-pre-schools where Brown U. grads will be employed to speak to black babies using words they learned getting their Brown degrees like "intersubjectivity" and "phallocentrism?"
Tina Rosenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism.” She is a former editorial writer for The Times and the author, most recently, of “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World” and the World War II spy story e-book “D for Deception.”

Meanwhile, Steve "Freakonomics" Levitt and Roland Fryer of Harvard have finally, after a half dozen years, found a journal to publish their old study showing that black babies have higher IQs than Asian babies at eight months to twelve months. Of course, they don't actually have an IQ test for infants, but their little test of baby liveliness is practically just as good! See the comments on Marginal Revolution for a discussion.

132 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heaven help a child that has two mutes as parents.

Anonymous said...

I kind of wondered how you would get the ten month old to blacken the scantron circles.

Anonymous said...

"When I entered kindergarten, not only was I not ready for kindergarten reading, but there was no reading in kindergarten. At some point during kindergarten, I learned how to read at home, and happily read for a couple of weeks. But then I got bored with reading and went back to poking things with sticks or whatever it was I found more fascinating. When I started first grade, the educationally system started to teach me how to read, and I picked it up within a couple of weeks."

I wonder where you would be if you had been taught to read before kindergarten by your parents, or what other impact it would have had on your life. My guess is that it would have some positive impact. If you look at any world beating type people, a great number of them have had early childhood training - see Beethoven, Mozart, John Stuart Mill, most champion sports stars where skill is a prime element of performance.

The fact that you are where you are now intellectually with not much work by your parents indicates the Sequoia-like genetic potential you were given.

There is a book that makes it easy - Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. If any of you have young children, I highly recommend buying it. I didn't adhere to the writing component, nor every exercise (the earlier you start, the easier you have to make it). I just had my daughter sound out the given parts, proceeding at her level, then going back and revising when it got too tough. We had finished it while she was 3. She was reading at a fourth grade level (at least) in kindergarten.

I figure that reading is the foundation of understanding anything at school, and if reading is easy then comprehending anything will be much easier. I will be encouraging her to find a good husband and have a good size family, too.

Nostalgic Futurist said...

Regardless what you believe about race and IQ, you have to be a complete RETARD to believe that:

"if everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all."

Meanwhile, Kanazawa is dropped like a hot potato:

http://bigthink.com/the-voice-of-big-think/the-end-of-a-bold-experiment-big-think-and-satoshi-kanazawa

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Steve "Freakonomics" Levitt and Roland Fryer of Harvard have finally, after a half dozen years, found a journal to publish their old study showing that black babies have higher IQs than Asian babies at eight months to twelve months.

My understanding for a long time (at least since the 80s), coming from multiple sources, has been that black children develop faster than white or Asian children. In fact I remember years ago picking up a book written by a black mother for black mothers that (among other things of course) warned them not to think that their children were little geniuses because they were ahead of where they were supposed to be at their age, because blacks develop faster. So it wouldn't come as a total shock if at a very early age black babies did in fact have higher "IQs" than Asian babies.

I'll note that while I've never seen the claim of differential development contradicted, and while it is certainly consistent with the various statistics involving age of puberty that come up much much more often, for some reason nobody really seems to want to talk about it.

Big Bill said...

Hey! Why aren't they yelling their "correlation isn't causation" mantra? Why is talking such a big deal? Why dont they run a correlation between kid achievement and fat moms who wear leopard skin print spandex stretch pants?

And if Moms Who Talk are such a big deal, why are they sticking their kids with cheap wetback Guatemalan and Jamaican mammies all day long instead of staying home and jabbering to their own kids?

One interesting thing about these New! Innovative! Scientific! programs: they all require hiring bunches of female social workers and female nurses and female administrators and female program directors. They look more like a Liberal White Girls' Full Employment Act than anything really useful.

Although we should all thank Bloomie for picking up the tab rather than the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Maybe poor women talk less to their babies because there is little going on in their minds. What's the point of verbalizing a blank slate? (that is the liberal view of differences between races and classes, isn't it?)

Anonymous said...

I say lead is the cause!

Cail Corishev said...

I began reading at 2.5 years old, and could read a newspaper by kindergarten. I was the oldest and we had no neighbors, so there were no other kids around talking to me. My dad is very quiet and was usually out working. My mom's in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale -- not overly quiet but not a babbler either. And we rarely used the TV, and didn't even have one for a while. We didn't even have a Speak & Spell.

So how did I learn to read so early in a home with so little talking? There must be some other mystery factor. If we could just discover what it is....

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Hart and Risley study, I'm skeptical of the magnitude of differences in words spoken they reported. Am I correct that they first observed the parents interacting with their babies for some hours, and then multiplied the results to get estimates of the total number of words spoken over many years? Even granting the dubious assumption that such multiplication gives reliable results, there are obvious problems with this, including the Hawthorne effect: What if the wealthier, better educated parents were particularly keen on demonstrating how good parents they are? Even if all parents were equally affected by the Hawthorne effect, smarter parents would have been able to put up a much better show for the researchers to observe. Have these results ever been replicated using some method that does not have these kind of shortcomings?

Of course, the biggest problem with Hart and Risley's study is that their results are thoroughly confounded by genetic effects. For example, in the Texas Adoption Study the IQ correlation between unrelated siblings reared together was 0.16 in elementary school and -0.01 in high school or later.

691 said...

"Up to eight months and 29 days before birth, but not a day sooner!"

I dunno, maybe they'll find some research that poverty degrades the quality of sperm/eggs. Closing the gap requires expensive fertility treatment!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I am a nutcase chatterbox with an IQ measured at 168 - though I think 20 points lower is a better estimate.

Both my biological sons are smart - SATV 760 and 800. So you'd think I would buy this NYT theory, that it was my librarian wife's and my effort and culture that made the difference.

Nah. Over the last thirty years of adopting children, observing relatives, teaching, treating patients - genetic endowment rules.

Steve Sailer said...

"What if the wealthier, better educated parents were particularly keen on demonstrating how good parents they are?"

And what if the poor people were intimidated by the Ph.D.'s, and lapsed into silence rather than be recorded using poor grammar? I know a lot of situations where people follow the saying better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and prove it.

Anonymous said...

The Finns don’t even bother with reading until 2nd grade (or later?) and they seem to do ok on reading tests. Why? Why!

One of my sons, whom my Germanic wife and I have nicknamed (affectionately, sort of) “the Jew,” in honor of his father, started talking as he emerged from the womb, and has not shut up. All of this is so puzzling. I really need to get a PhD in psychology or sociology to make sense of it all.

vinteuil said...

Mr. Sailer, your participation in that Marginal Revolution thread is a model for the ages on how it should be done. The wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job.

FWIW, here's my own small contribution to that thread:

At times like this, I can't help wondering whether Prof. Cowen isn't engaged in some sort of triple bank shot thingy. He's obviously sufficiently smart & knowledgeable to realize that on-average racial differences in intelligence & behavior are real & probably genetically based, but he also knows he can't say that in public without endangering his increasingly prominent & lucrative career as a public intellectual. So, from time to time, he links with approval to a bit of feeble environmentalist tripe - knowing that Steve Sailer will show up in comments and demolish his (i.e., TC's) own ostensible position with his (i.e., SS's) signature combination of un-flappable geniality & hate-facts. So the truth gets out - but without Prof. Cowen's fingerprints. At least, it gets out to those who read the comments - which, let's face it, is the only place where anything interesting ever happens on this [i.e., Cowen's] blog.

jody said...

never fear! bud selig is ready to speak up for them.

this week he officially announced the MLB "Not Enough Blacks!" commission. a 17 person panel will be speaking up promptly for the voiceless, reticent black americans.

hot on his heels, and not to be outdone, gary bettman announced the official NHL "Not Enough Gays!" commission. i'm less familiar with the details of this one but rest assured some homosexuals who have never played sports in their life will "consult" the NHL on why they desperately need some players who suck penises.

all jokes aside, it's full speed ahead for cultural marxism. obama' re-election was the signal for all the cultural marxists to drop their masks and come out of the closet themselves, in a manner of speaking. the US will be unrecognizable by the end of obama's second term.

David Davenport said...

"phallocentrism?"

Here's some phallocentrism:
Science proves women like men with bigger penises

By Brian Alexander
NBC News...

updated 4/8/2013 3:24:59 PM ET

...

A study released today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers an explanation: Women are attracted to penises, and the bigger the better.

“Penis size does affect attractiveness,” lead author Brian Mautz, a University of Ottawa post-doctoral researcher said in an NBCNews.com interview.

Past research has seemed to indicate that women, as a group, are drawn to larger male members. But those results have been disputed as sexist, or scientifically flawed, or both.

So Mautz and his team, working at the Australian National University, designed an experiment in hopes of settling the controversy. They created 49 unique, computer-generated, nude, life-sized male figures. Each figure varied in three traits: height, shoulder-hip ratio and flaccid penis size.

The researchers then displayed all the figures to 105 Australian women with an average age of 26. The women, who were not told which traits varied, were asked to rate the attractiveness of the figures as sexual partners on a scale of 1-7. The women were alone in the room and their responses were anonymous. ...


I got the link to this important news for students of evolutionary fitness from Instapundit.

Anonymous said...

Whites spend so much time researching ways to help blacks it's a wonder they have time to oppress them.

Michael Ryan said...

our parents talked to us they said " children are to be seen and not heard", "its the cocktail hour", "go out and play", " children are not received in the drawing room" "be a dear and get me an ashtray"," mother will be up shortly, now run along now""who ever told you life was fair boy"" wait till your father gets home". "go pick a switch boy" "want your mouth washed out with soap"

Anonymous said...

"I began reading at 2.5 years old, and could read a newspaper by kindergarten."

No doubt your favorite paper was the New York Times - in order to maximize your precocious advantage.

Neil Templeton

Anonymous said...

Black people may not talk enough, but one phrase they have certainly mastered is "I ain't did nothing." That is, if what they say on The First 48 is any indication.

What may be a more interesting and productive investment of academic energy would be the investigation into how the pattern of Black language is structured around protesting their innocence of any wrong doing. The misuse of a double negative may be a deliberate ploy that says in effect, "How can I be guilty of any wrong doing when I don't even have the smarts to understand your language? I'm innocent because I don't even "get it" enough to talk to you in an adult way." In a certain type of liberal, this evokes pity and compassion. "Poor thing, never even had a chance because he can't even articulate his plight."

But Blacks don't misspeak unintentionally. They do it deliberately as a way of distancing themselves from White culture. It's their way of pulling up the drawbridges and saying, "You don't belong here". Then, when they need it, they use their "disability" as a ploy to beguile the ever-credulous liberal into believing that they lack the guile to beguile the ever-credulous liberal.

Anonymous said...

I was a working mother, very smart (Stanford grad), with a smart husband (Wesleyan); we hired a West Indian nanny to raise our children while we were working. Wonderful woman, and one of the wonderful things about her was that she didn't jabber on at the children, so their lives had a more peaceful quality than if we had been home all day.

Result? My oldest son could read anything, and I mean anything, before he was three.

Imagine if she had talked to him. He would have been reading before he could walk.

Jeff W. said...

I learned to read when I was four. My parents didn't spend any unusual amount of time talking to me. My mom told me the names of the letters and the sounds they made, and I took it from there.

When I was young, I used to have a photographic memory, where I not only could remember everything I had read, I could also remember the location of each sentence on the page. In those days, with my parents still not bothering me much, I used to read encyclopedias.
My photographic memory peaked about age 14. I would guess that my present-day memory skills are about 25% of what they once were.

A photographic memory is a good thing to have. Every child should have one. But I don't think you can give you child one by annoying him all day with small talk.

Anonymous said...

Steven Pinker also commented this article on twitter: "The Blank Slate lives: Yet another story on parent-child correlations that dares not mention the g-word."

https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/322367630331740160

Yes, this horrible g-word, the nightmare of egalitarians.

Average Joe said...

It may not be the number of words but the quality of them that matters. Blacks tend to speak a lot but most of what they say is drivel. Asians, on the other hand, probably say relatively little to their children but what they do say matters a lot such as asking them what they learned in school that day.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Rosenberg, try this on for size, why doncha: the low end of the Bell Curve keep reproducing and guess what? Out pops more low-enders. Why must you be make this more complicated than it is? We even give them more money and stuff with every kid they produce. They like stuff; in fact, they like stuff more than they like their kids.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA7hQFGmcdA

PA said...

"Poor" households have the teevee on around the clock. Their child hears all kinds of words around the clock.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Obviously, the problem is that pregnant black women are too quiet.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/01/02/while-in-womb-babies-begin-learning-language-from-their-mothers/

This will be fodder for the next study as to why that pesky achievement gap never closes.

Anonymous said...

That isn't just a journal, it's one of the top three economics journals in the world today.

slumber_j said...

For me, the most exquisitely absurd sentence in the piece is this:

"Poorer mothers tend to depend on friends and relatives for parenting advice, who may not be up on the latest data."

Anonymous said...

Wow, we've solved The Gap forever! If only before anyone had stopped to notice that children of reserved Ivy League grads tend to have much lower IQ's than children of "sista-sista" ghetto blabbermouths. I'm looking forward to reading that piece in the New York times. Get on it, David Brooks.

Larry, San Francisco said...

What about adoption studies? There are plenty of black kids adopted by white parents. What happens to their IQs?

Carol said...

I don't get it. This is old news. For years there have been Ad Council spots running on talk radio purporting to teach parents how to talk to their children. Sort of like the ads that teach them to lose weight, and not be prejudiced.

Who pays for those ads, anyway.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

I suspect that nature vs nurture is a false dichotomy which hides an even sadder truth: good nurturing could probably help a lot of low-IQ kids get closer to their full potential, but an environment full of low IQ people is probably the one least likely to provide that nurturing. And when such an environment has its pathologies fed by the moral hazards of the welfare state, it becomes a petri dish of stupidity.

Auntie Analogue said...


Might this "word gap" be explained, at least in part, by the different effect upon children in families which dine together at least once daily and upon children in families which do not dine together?

From observation of families of various races my anecdotal takeaway is that children in the families that dine together at least once daily possess superior self-control and are more intelligent than chidlren in the families whose members dine individually on a catch as catch can basis. Further, it's been my observation that middle and upper class families tend to dine together at least once daily while lower class families dine together much less frequently, if at all.

(I did not attend Kindergarten, but before I reached Kindergarten age my Mom spent many hours with me, at first reading to me, then teaching me the alphabet and cardinal and ordinal numbers, and then teaching me to read at a primer level by the time I entered the first grade. But then, from early on I'd shown intense curiosity in and fascination for books while my younger sibling showed no interest whatsoever in books. Our family dined together at least once daily, and as often as possible for all three daily meals.)

Anonymous said...

In response to Anon at 3:23: my daughter learned to read at the same age using the same book. It worked like a charm. My daughter also hit 1st grade already reading 'chapter books', and has remained way ahead of her peers in reading level. Since she's being educated at a very demanding school with tons of homework (we live in Hong Kong), this has been a huge relief, as at least one big part of her studying can be dispensed with quickly.

Another thing my wife and I stumbled into was encouraging our daughter to watch cartoons in Mandarin, which is not the vernacular of Hong Kong (Cantonese is), but which is the third language all school kids are required to learn. She has always been a total chatterbox, and therefore yapped along with the characters on the screen. She's ended up with a native-quality accent in Mandarin. There is no way such fluency can be gained by adults, nor by older children, unless they're linguistically-adept freaks.

So, yeah, this preschool age focus seems to have some salience, but it also may be hard to replicate. We know other people who tried the same Mandarin TV trick that worked for us, and it had little effect on their kids.

Oh, and to complete my affirmation of anon's point of view, yes, pushing the importance of suitable marriage is a top priority, so it's all Jane Austen all the time around these parts!

Anonymous said...

By brother and I both read at pretty young ages (2 and 3, respectively) and I doubt the significance of it. If anything, I'd focus on developing my kids' spatial abilities and encouraging them to be outside a lot instead. There are a lot of things you can teach without reading - I mean being perfectly honest you could pretty much teach elementary school math with lines drawn in the dirt if the kid is smart enough. Besides, early childhood reading actually correlates fairly well with myopia, as I understand it.

Prof. Woland said...

It wasn't until I was 12 that I realized my first name was John. Prior to that I had always thought that was my middle name and that my first was God Damn it.

Anonymous said...

Have any other facebook users' feeds become inundated with this stellar opinion piece on affirmative action?

http://www.racialicious.com/2013/04/10/to-all-the-white-girls-who-didnt-get-into-the-college-of-their-dreams/

Odd that Kendra James neglects to mention her own GPA or describe her SAT score beyond the fact it was "fantastic." Also, Suzy Lee Weiss seems not to have benefited from the Scots-Irish bias in elite colleges pointed out by Unz (maybe her essays sounded too goy.)

jody said...

"Whites spend so much time researching ways to help blacks it's a wonder they have time to oppress them"

pretty much my take on it as well.

spend thousands of man hours and billions of dollars specifically to help them as much as possible, get called racist for your troubles.

helping africans is not just a waste of time, it's not just a zero return on investment activity, it's actually a negative return on investment activity. not only are the thankless in general, they're openly hostile.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, Steve "Freakonomics" Levitt and Roland Fryer of Harvard have finally, after a half dozen years, found a journal to publish their old study showing that black babies have higher IQs than Asian babies at eight months to twelve months. Of course, they don't actually have an IQ test for infants, but their little test of baby liveliness is practically just as good! See the comments on Marginal Revolution for a discussion." - This probably does exist, and is an artifact of earlier maturation. Chimps have been shown to be more aware of their environment than human infants at a similar age as well for example. A maturation weighted test is probably not possible however.

Fellow Traveler in Berkeley said...

Apparently, black people in Africa (along with Filipinos, Indonesians, and dot Indians), talk enough to their kids that UC Berkeley, having exhausted all recruiting possibilities in the US to try and get somebody - anybody! to apply for admission at its flagship campus, has stepped up its game there, with the help of MasterCard, the Department of State, and, of course, the approval of the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies.

Really, it's just a dessert buffet of iSteve tropes in one article!

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

I have no memory of learning to read, although I do have vivid memories of being read to. For whatever reason, I turned out to be a pretty voracious reader of everything, although the scifi/fantasy genre was more appealing than the (Times? Readers Digest?) historical stuff lying around the house.

On the other hand, I have vivid memories of driving around with my errand-running mom playing math games (trying to be the fastest to multiple big numbers, etc.) when I must have been a pre-schooler. The rest of the second graders took all year to do multiplication tables, and i did them all in on sitting.

And my brother taught me most of a basic undergraduate math curriculum before I entered my freshmen year so that I didn't have to sit through all that bullshit.

Man, I was blessed with good genes and family who cared.

David said...

>annoying him all day with small talk<

There does seem to be an extrovert bias in all this "speaking=intelligence" theorizing.

Interesting article.

"Talk to me!" I can hear a thousand female New York psychiatrists saying. "Talk to me, talk to me! It's hopeless. Because you don't talk as much as I do, you're sick."

Anonymous said...

"n response to Anon at 3:23: my daughter learned to read at the same age using the same book. It worked like a charm."

Considering that the Engelmann book was first published in 1986 and is still the best thing available (IMO) nearly 30 decades later, it was an amazing accomplishment. It's difficult to understate how useful that book is.

It's also telling that there is a longstanding international conversation on the subject of literacy, and yet there is still a fundamental problem of the lack of a readily available and suitable bridge between not being able to read, and the 3rd or fourth grade reading level picture books that proliferate in book stores. Go to a book store and there is almost nothing between basic alphabet books and sentences replete with difficult words. You have to find out about TYCTR on the internet.

The average parent doesn't even comprehend that he could use something in between, a gradual step from illiteracy to basic reading. I guess most parents just subcontract that part of parenting out to the schools. But 20 years down the track, the outcome of the competition between the kids of Asian tiger moms and European parents who don't "get with the program" isn't going to be pretty.

Someone else wrote:
"There are a lot of things you can teach without reading - I mean being perfectly honest you could pretty much teach elementary school math with lines drawn in the dirt if the kid is smart enough."

Any test, any quiz, any exercise usually has written instructions. Anything a teacher gives a student on paper generally has written words. Being able to read these has always been an advantage.

BTW, the time taken to teach this material amounts to less than 15 minutes a day, usually 10. That is easily eclipsed by the time spent playing games on iphones.

Anonymous said...

"Black people may not talk enough, but one phrase they have certainly mastered is "I ain't did nothing." That is, if what they say on The First 48 is any indication."

Hey, Mr. Cumia, why dontch'a ever mention iSteve on-air?

Anonymous said...

Good news for this African American baby, who has heard plenty of words already.

Torn and Frayed said...

These two tests, the correlating a verbally proliferate environment with later intelligence (and that blacks often develop in a verbally austere milieus) and the other that showed blacks kids were more physically alert at age one might hold the key to solving that other famous interracial achievement “Gap”, the athletic gap between blacks and whites. While 70% of the population is white and 12 percent black, these numbers are basically reversed if we look at who gets lucrative positions in the NBA or NFL.

Growing up I always wanted to be a cornerback, and even though I basically went to an all white high school (we had three black kids in total) the two starting cornerbacks were black (one was a black girl). I resolved to do everything I could to make sure my children could be cornerbacks, and the obvious way to do this is to replicate as much as possible the environment blacks grow up in, since we all know that black dominance in sports is not genetic. So we mimicked as much as possible a black environment (I left my wife before birth, she cranked Public Enemy and LL Cool J records all day long, the TV was always blasting in the background, etc, etc). To my eternal chagrin my son never became a cornerback (he is studying architecture at a state school where the loser can’t even make the practice squad on the football team!).

I recently remarried and have a new plan to go along with a new son. I will hand him over to be raised 18 hours a day by ghetto blacks. He will live in their environment, talk their talk, and will surely develop into a Division 1 starting cornerback. He will only sleep at our house and we will have four hours a day on Saturday’s with him. And even this we may forgo if we see this time is negatively affecting his athleticism.

Anonymous said...

Don't these tossers know the well known fact that lower class familis keep the TV on virtually 24/7 ?. Don't they realise that thousands of words pour out of the TV?

Antioco Dascalon said...

So, we know that intelligence and vocabulary are so highly correlated that one can estimate IQ from a brief vocabulary test. We also know that IQ is heritable. So, isn't it reasonable to assume that the cause is IQ, which causes success, education AND garrulousness?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

What do you think of Freddie Deboer? You replied to one of his comments in that thread. You should check out his blog and engage him in the comments. He's a Phd candidate at Purdue in rhetoric but takes quantitative approach to discussing education issues. Though he is a hard leftist and would probably hate your guts, but it'd be an intersting discussion.

bjdubbs said...

Philippe Rushton on reading:
http://www.amren.com/news/2012/10/arthur-jensen-has-died/

Nearly all children within the normal range — by that I mean IQs of 70 and up, who don’t have organic brain damage and aren’t severely retarded — they can learn to read, provided it’s introduced in the right way at the right age. If you introduce a child who is in the 80 or so IQ range to reading at the usual age of six, he’s much more likely to fail than children with IQs of 100 or higher, and much more likely to be given up on by the time he’s at an age at which he could read with the same level of facility as the average six-year-old — that is to say, when he’s nine or ten. The average black entering first grade is about a year behind in level of development. A year is a crucial difference when it comes to readiness for reading and arithmetic.”

Anonymous said...

"Torn and Frayed said..."

This deserves to be quoted as a post. I love the deadpan intro, how it gets more and more absurd the longer it goes on. Nice.

eah said...

By the time a poor child is 1 year old, she has most likely already fallen behind middle-class children in her ability to talk, understand and learn.

A curious first sentence. Although I do understand the essence is the comparison. But I think it is known that girls develop verbal skills earlier than boys, and isn't it more or less convention to use the masculine when the gender is unspecific, as here?

BBC -> Learning development of girls and boys

But, on the whole, girls are more likely to be talkative, self-motivated and able to empathise with others – and more likely to have better verbal skills, which help them with reading and writing...It’s widely agreed that girls generally start talking earlier than boys, and use more complex vocabulary.

So if you want to highlight this problem, why not follow convention and stick with boys?

Black Sea said...

"When I entered kindergarten, not only was I not ready for kindergarten reading, but there was no reading in kindergarten."

You grew up in a better age.

Lots of educators have become enamoured of the idea that the earlier you begin studying something, the better your performance later on. I think is partially true, but not for the reasons normally trotted out.

Based on what I've seen, kids naturally gravitate toward the development of their inborn talents, and thus benefit from both an initial genetic advantage, as well as certain "nurture" activities that they inherently enjoy, rather than dread. This may in fact be a survival mechanism. If you weren't ever going to amount to much as a hunter, then you probably hated to practice hunting as a kid, and would have done better to concentrate on your skills as a shaman.

While some kids can easily learn to read in pre-school, most can't, and thus school becomes and exercise in failure and frustration. Give those kids another year or two before working on reading, and it should come a good deal easier. Of course, one difficulty is that the age at which most kids are ready to learn to read will vary among students, and vary widely among schools, for reasons rarely discussed.

Dennis Dale said...

"I began reading at 2.5 years old, and could read a newspaper by kindergarten."

Now I know who was readingGrit! Readers of a certain age will recall those weird ads: "Hey Kids! Make Money Selling Grit!"
They were in the back of every comic book. Never once saw an actual copy.

Alwaysright said...

I wonder where you would be if you had been taught to read before kindergarten by your parents, or what other impact it would have had on your life

Children are taught to read when their brains have developed enough intelligence to acquire literacy. So the kids who get taught early do better because their brains were already better, hence they were taught to read.

Alwaysright said...

I will be encouraging her to find a good husband and have a good size family, too.

If you're daughter was brilliant enough to learn the alphabet by age 3, what does she need a (good)husband for?

Alwaysright said...

spend thousands of man hours and billions of dollars specifically to help them as much as possible, get called racist for your troubles.

helping africans is not just a waste of time, it's not just a zero return on investment activity, it's actually a negative return on investment activity. not only are the thankless in general, they're openly hostile.


Maybe because they know the help is not sincere. White leftists are phony and sell-serving in their condescending attempts to help blacks.

Alwaysright said...

Besides, early childhood reading actually correlates fairly well with myopia, as I understand it.

Well that would make sense because IQ is correlated with myopia. But high IQ kids don't get myopia because they read younger or more frequently (this has been studied) but rather because myopia and IQ are influenced by the same genes.

Simon in London said...

All this stuff about environmental effects just encourages white middle class parents to do even more. If nurture actually had the effects they claim, talking about it would increase the race disparity they lament!

Anonymous said...

"Analyzing these data, we find extremely small differences in CHEST SIZES of children age 8 to 12 months. Absent controls, the mean GIRL infant outscores the mean BOY infant by 0.055 standard deviation units — only a sliver of the one-standard-deviation CHEST SIZE gap typically observed at older ages."

Clearly, if phenotypic differences aren't present at age 1 but are present at age 5 or 10 or 15, then environment is the obvious reason for the differences.

Jonathan Silber said...

Might this "word gap" be explained, at least in part, by the different effect upon children in families which dine together at least once daily and upon children in families which do not dine together?

Black families do in fact dine together, if news reports are to be believed--at IHOP, for example, and Chuck E. Cheese.

Afterward, they retire to the nearest ER, to get stitches and have the bullets removed.

Meanwhile there's an opportunity for them to chat up the police and, in so doing, beef up their word count.

My Childhood in a Nutshell said...

It wasn't until I was 12 that I realized my first name was John. Prior to that I had always thought that was my middle name and that my first was God Damn it.

It's only April - still more than eight months to go - but that one's already a strong contender for Komment of the Year.

Peter the Shark said...

"When I started first grade, the educationally system started to teach me how to read, and I picked it up within a couple of weeks."

In Germany and Scandinavia kids generally learn to read at age 6 or 7. There is no push to make kids read early. And yet as adults Germans and Scandinavians tend to be better educated and better read than British or Americans, who start early. Imagine that.

ben tillman said...

Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family.

A little quick arithmetic shows that these "researchers" think that parents were speaking to their babies more than 18 hours per day. What a bunch of crap!

Anonymous said...

Don't black people have teevees to raise their kids like white people?

Anonymous said...

“Every month, the researchers visited the 42 families in the study and recorded an hour of parent-child interaction..."

"If you haven’t heard of Hart and Risley’s work, you are not alone — and you may be wondering why. These findings should have created a policy whirlwind:…”

A policy whirlwind? Over a study of 42 kids? Has anyone been able to replicate their results?

This has fad written all over it. Ooh, look, school district x has an innovative program to encourage parents to talk to their kids more. We, district y, need to get in on this too. It's SO hip. We don't want to be left behind.

Education Realist said...

A while back, I wrote up an account of my early childhood reading activities, as I grew up in a working class family without a lot of enrichment. http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/acquiring-content-knowledge-without-hirschs-help/

I am extremely bright, which has been useful in supporting me in my life of "whatever I do, it shouldn't involve hard work", and I'm pretty sure my account is what happens to bright kids in information-starved environments.

It's funny how all these articles are showing up. I wrote this piece to point out the elite fascination with environment, and the paucity of data supporting that delusion: http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/philip-dick-preschool-and-schrodingers-cat/

AlexT said...

Just a heads up for you Steve: Gavin Mcinnes gave you a shoutout on Red Eye(Fox News)....... It made some woman very uncomfortable.....They absolutely do know who you are :)

ben tillman said...

The fact that you are where you are now intellectually with not much work by your parents indicates the Sequoia-like genetic potential you were given.

What in the world are you talking about? How do you figure that Steve's inability to read in kindergarten says anything about his parents? That's NORMAL, even for extremely smart people.

Svigor said...

Hey! Why aren't they yelling their "correlation isn't causation" mantra?

Here's a comment I made to an article on Newsbusters about miz Amanpour's assertion that "correlation is causation" (she stated that states with strict laws have lower levels of "gun crime"; Newsbusters deleted it, of course):

Right! Correlation equals causation! E.g., I've been saying for years that black skin causes the absurd levels of black crime in America (black rape rate is 6.5 times the white rape rate; black males are less than 6% of the population, but commit more than half the murders every year; et cetera) for years, but libs keep saying "correlation is not causation!"

Likewise, I've been saying that black skin causes the absurdly low black cognitive abilities (mean black IQ is 85; mean white IQ is 100) for years, but libs keep saying "correlation is not causation!"

But now the libs have finally come around! They've admitted that correlation is causation (e.g., stricter gun laws cause lower crime levels).

Also, kudos to libs for once again using the enormously intelligent term, "gun crime!" Everybody I know who is now dead by violence agrees, it's much better to have a black dude bash your skull in with a bat or claw hammer, cut your throat with a knife, or even strangle you to death with his bare hands than have him kill you with a gun. Dying by gun plain sucks. Dying any other way is awesome! We need to bring "gun crime" stats down, and get those "violent crime" stats up!

Also, remember America, when intelligent, non-prostitutes like Amanpour claim that states with strict gun laws "have 'lower gun crime'" than other states, NEVER ask her if those stats were corrected for race. Das rrrrrrracisss! Noticing that America has a black and brown crime problem, and not a gun crime problem, is rrrrrrrrraciss! Also, not wanting your rights taken away in the name of (rampant black) crime stats is rrrrrrrrraciss!


In retrospect, I think it would've worked much better if I'd played it "straight" lefty instead.

In a comment that wasn't deleted, I also pointed out lefty Matter-Antimatter Example #194119203:

1. Leftoids say we need federal gun control because state-by-state solutions can't work; states with loose gun laws will smuggle into states with strict ones, and totally ruin the latter's attempts to solve "gun violence."

2. Leftoids say gun control works because states with strict gun laws have lower rates of "gun crime" than states with looser gun laws.

Anonymous said...

@Alex T

When was this Red Eye episode? Was it last night?

Camlost said...

Growing up I always wanted to be a cornerback, and even though I basically went to an all white high school (we had three black kids in total) the two starting cornerbacks were black (one was a black girl).

If you couldn't beat out a black female for a High School cornerback slot it's probably not a good idea to tell others about it.

Mr. Anon said...

What accounts for the seeming stupidity of New York Times reporters like Tina Rosenberg? Was she not talked to enough when young?

Perhaps they should address this question: if there is a gap between black and white educational attainment, why should whites care? Why is it that whites should be constantly obsessed with the problems of some other group, not our own?

Anonymous said...

"Children are taught to read when their brains have developed enough intelligence to acquire literacy. So the kids who get taught early do better because their brains were already better, hence they were taught to read."

I'm talking about an apples to apples comparison. E.g. a Steve Sailer and a parallel universe Steve Sailer (with a goatee, of course) whose parents taught him to read early. What would be the difference? Not sure, but it would be an interesting comparison.

Another way to look at it: say Beethoven's father was equally smart, but did not teach his son music from an early age. As a result, do you think there would be any symphonies or that they might sound as good?

When you've got good genetics plus a good environment, you get a better result than just one or the other.

Anonymous said...

"If you're daughter was brilliant enough to learn the alphabet by age 3, what does she need a (good)husband for?"

To have kids. I want grandchildren, it's part of life. Intelligence in females should not be a sterility curse.

Evil Sandmich said...

What is it about poverty that limits a child’s ability to learn?

Sweet Bajeezums; will it ever occur to these eggheads to reverse that logic?

Anonyia said...


"In Germany and Scandinavia kids generally learn to read at age 6 or 7. There is no push to make kids read early. And yet as adults Germans and Scandinavians tend to be better educated and better read than British or Americans, who start early. Imagine that."

Even though they are more successful readers later, I imagine such an attitude does affect the fate of children with comparatively higher verbal IQs. After all, if your child has a high verbal IQ, yet their PIQ is just above average, without expressing those abilities which are mostly related to reading, that child is probably not going to be labeled as one of the advanced children. U.S parents have strong incentives to ensure that their child is labeled as "advanced" early on, especially if they attend a public school. Scandinavian parents obviously have fewer reasons to care. Precocious reading is probably the easiest way for a young child to impress their teacher. Plus it is a pretty easy skill to instill in a child, so there is no point in waiting until 6 or 7 to learn.

Cail Corishev said...

If you're daughter was brilliant enough to learn the alphabet by age 3, what does she need a (good)husband for?

Well, not to teach her the difference between "your" and "you're," surely. To have a family, perhaps?

My impression about reading is that most kids will do it when they're ready, IF the parents scatter appropriate reading material about and show an interest in reading themselves so the kids will try to parrot it.

Like most people who read early in life and enjoy it, I used to think all kids would enjoy reading and would pick it up before school if their parents would read to them young and encourage it. I've been disabused of that after seeing a parent who is a voracious reader do everything he could think of to encourage his kids to read, but they've just never had the slightest interest in it. They learned it when school said to, but they never enjoyed it and never read anything unless required. People are just different.

Cail Corishev said...

It's only April - still more than eight months to go - but that one's already a strong contender for Komment of the Year.

Tell Bill Cosby, it's his joke.

Cail Corishev said...

A policy whirlwind? Over a study of 42 kids?

As has been said here before, if you come up with a study or test that eliminates the race gap (or even seems to temporarily), the educrats have billions of dollars to throw at you. Reactions like this show why.

Education Realist, thanks for that link to your reading background. I'll have to write about my own, because it was much the same, starting at 3 and going through books way younger than normal. (I'm even a big Francis fan too, though I didn't discover him until later.) The only downside to that, as you touched on, is that at 8 years old I didn't understand some of the adult concepts in, say, Poe's stories; so I've had to re-read some things as an adult to appreciate what they were really talking about.

Anyway, like you, my parents (intelligent, but not highly educated) didn't really push reading, though they read to us and had books around. They would have allowed me to move ahead in school, but the school wouldn't do it (though some teachers gave me advanced materials and let me work on my own). They certainly didn't expect me to start picking out words almost as soon as I was talking. As far as they could tell, it just happened.

Anonymous said...

New slogan should be

BLACK CHILDREN ARE THE STORY OF BRAVERY OF TALK.

------

Actually, I think NY Times people know that in terms of quantity black people do not lack for talk. But in terms of quality blacks be sayin lotsa shit and cuss words.

If NYT were to say blacks need to talk smarter, cleaner, and nicer to their kids, it could be construed as 'culturally racist', so it just mentions the the need for more 'talk' when it really means quality-white-ish talk.

Anonymous said...

More rapport, less rap.

More discuss, less dis and cuss.

kulak said...

Tina Rosenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism.”
That's kinda ironic coming from someone called Rosenberg. She should know of course.

Alice said...

It must be that black kids shoot 3 million more baskets by age 3 than white kids to explain their basketball prowess. Would these same researchers believe that?

Do they do 3 million more sprints too?

Anonymous said...

"It's funny how all these articles are showing up. I wrote this piece to point out the elite fascination with environment, and the paucity of data supporting that delusion"

I think the absence of data is primarily to do with the insurmountable difficulty and expense in finding the young Euler quality minds, identifying the even smaller number that have been fortunate enough to be taught by Bernoulli quality teachers, and following their careers throughout their lives as a study. However, the examples proliferate. Try googling people you can think of who were at the top of their field. In the wikipedia articles on them, look at their "early life". Most did not get there in a vacuum.

This is not to discount the importance of genetics.

pat said...

The NYT article is an excellent example of begging the question. They write about poor kids as if reading ability is the dependent variable and poverty is the only independent variable.

If that were so, then the government need only raise incomes as a means of improving toddler reading. Does anyone really think that raising the minimum wage will help reading scores?

The independent variable they are pussy-footing around is of course race. Substitute 'black' for 'poor' and 'white' for 'middle class' and this article makes much more sense.

Americans are getting better at interpreting these obfuscations. Almost everyone now, when they read about rioting 'teens', knows what is really meant.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Life history theory and delayed maturation (to build more capable brains) would also explain the difference.

peterike said...

Blacks used to know how to deal with kids and talking.

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don't get no spending cash
If you don't scrub that kitchen floor
You ain't gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak
Don't talk back

Don't you give me no dirty looks
Your father's hip, he knows what cooks
Just tell your hoodlum friends outside
You ain't got time to take a ride
Yakety yak
Don't talk back

Anonymous said...

"Just a heads up for you Steve: Gavin Mcinnes gave you a shoutout on Red Eye(Fox News)....... It made some woman very uncomfortable.....They absolutely do know who you are :)"

Damn, I missed that. Usually, I have Red Eye on if I'm up that late. Know who the "uncomfortable" woman was?

Anonymous said...

While some kids can easily learn to read in pre-school, most can't, and thus school becomes and exercise in failure and frustration. Give those kids another year or two before working on reading, and it should come a good deal easier."

Yep. That's one reason we used to give readiness tests to kids before the school said, "He's ready for kindergarten."

That's when we had a society that valued common sense, those conclusions that were arrived at by trusting our observations.

William said...

An example of a black mother who doesn't talk enough in front of her child:

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhZGMvb22Fg9q99RME

Maybe the problem isn't that black people aren't garrulous, but that their vocabulary is limited to that of a brain-dead hip hop song.

Anonymous said...

Read between the lines and this article means "black people don't talk enough like white people to their kids."

Anonymous said...

What liberals need to do is to talk more... honestly.

But most cons don't honestly talk either. I mean how credible is the idear that Detroit's problems are due to 'socialism'? Yeah, that must be why left-liberal San Fran and Portland must be so poor.

Anonymous said...

New slogan should be

BLACK CHILDREN ARE THE STORY OF BRAVERY OF TALK.


The thread has been won.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eVqdnDk02Y

Liberals are like the wife in the story told by the mother. They say we need to talk, but if we just one politically incorrect thing, they tell us to shut up since we are 'talking too much'.

David said...

>People are just different.<

A hundred thousand educrats' careers die in this.

Anonymous said...

According to a study that I read, nothing you teach a child prior to age seven gives them any lasting advantage EXCEPT training to sing on key or to speak a foreign language.

This pretty much tracks with my experience as a parent. I would add swimming lessons starting at about age four for safety reasons, but other than that, all the driving around to different educational experiences was a waste of time and money.

alonzo portfolio said...

if what they say on The First 48is any indication.

In last night's episode, the cops are questioning a black kid who participated in a beating/killing. When they tell him the whole thing was caught on video he says, "look in my eyes, do I look like a killer?" The victim was an albino-colored black guy, and I wish the cops had asked him whether they'd assumed he was white.

Dennis Dale said...

New slogan should be

BLACK CHILDREN ARE THE STORY OF BRAVERY OF TALK


That's hilarious.
ASIAN WOMEN ARE A STORY OF BRAVERY OF LOVE
should have been the catchphrase meme to end all memes.

Baloo said...

Thanks, Nostalgic Futurist — I've been following Kanazawa for some time, and I've blogged about this latest development here:
"BigThink" thinks small

green mamba said...

"Just a heads up for you Steve: Gavin Mcinnes gave you a shoutout on Red Eye(Fox News)....... It made some woman very uncomfortable.....They absolutely do know who you are :)"

Damn, I missed that. Usually, I have Red Eye on if I'm up that late. Know who the "uncomfortable" woman was?


Good to see there are other Red Eye watchers here. Interesting connection, really. The politics expressed are mostly standard neocon with a naughty twist, but it's still the freshest, funniest thing on TV and there is that paleocon sliver in there...

AlexT said...

@Anonymous 7:42 and Green Mamba,

Search for hdcontentdump03 on youtube. It's the april 9th episode. The woman is KT Mcfarland....i'd never heard of her but she's apparently a former Kissinger aide and knows all the important people. By the way, Mcinnes is turning into a bona fide reactionary on tv and he keeps getting invited back. Probably won't make too much of a difference but it goes to show what you can get away with if you're funny about it.

Cail Corishev said...

While some kids can easily learn to read in pre-school, most can't,

My kindergarten teacher was famous for making sure every kid could read by the time he left her class. I don't know how many repeated the year, or how much that was exaggerated, but I think it was pretty much true. But then, she probably never had a NAM student, as pretty much everyone was from the same background (rural, lower-middle class, Northern European-descended), and any actual retarded kids were separate then. We couldn't have been much more homogeneous.

Kibernetika said...

American attempts to close this gap in schools have largely failed, and a consensus is starting to build that these attempts must start long before school — before preschool, perhaps even before birth.

"The zygote is not stupid," said Lysenko. The context's not quite the same, but the willful suppression of honest inquiry is.

Genetics is the whore of imperialism, don't you know. See also O.B. Lepeshinskaia ;)

eah said...

Mr. Sailer, your participation in that Marginal Revolution thread is a model for the ages on how it should be done.

Maybe so. Maybe it was exemplary. But note the reaction to his comments: he did not convince anyone who did not already agree with him. It's always that way with ideologues. And in any discussion of race, IQ, etc, one encounters a great many ideologues.

Mr Sailer wastes his time on such efforts, which naturally play to a limited audience. Even if it is a fun diversion.

Anonymous said...

"Good to see there are other Red Eye watchers here."

And I'm female as well as an HBDer just in case that's a "good to see" as well.

Anonymous said...

O no she di-int!

Svigor said...

Hey, I just remembered T-Dog's schtick: "crime in America ain't that bad, whatchu worried about?"

I wonder if he emailed that one to miz Armanpour. It's odd that he hasn't sounded off in the gun control threads with "hey, crime in America ain't that bad, gun control is stupid," innit?

Svigor said...

Maybe so. Maybe it was exemplary. But note the reaction to his comments: he did not convince anyone who did not already agree with him. It's always that way with ideologues. And in any discussion of race, IQ, etc, one encounters a great many ideologues.

Mr Sailer wastes his time on such efforts, which naturally play to a limited audience. Even if it is a fun diversion.


It's kinda stupid to set the bar of useful effort at "forced a confession from the fanatics and natural-born liars."

Joe didn't comment at all, but an idea has been planted in his head.
Bob didn't have much to say, but he noticed that someone definitely got his ass kicked.
Sue didn't think about it much, but a week from now she's going to get curious and start G**gling...

The percentage of the population that admits when they've been whupped in an argument is roughly zero. Many ideas (especially taboo ones) are like time bombs, and don't go off in the recipient's mind until long after they're placed.

I just read about race-realism for months before I made a single comment anywhere.

One thing's for sure, it beats the hell out of silence.

Anonymous said...

"What in the world are you talking about? How do you figure that Steve's inability to read in kindergarten says anything about his parents? That's NORMAL, even for extremely smart people."

Maybe for his generation, I suppose so. It seems there are a lot of comments here that talk about learning to read at age 3 or so in a vacuum. I'm a little skeptical, and think that they likely aren't acknowledging or remembering the role their parents had. It's possible they could be smarter than Steve, or smarter at an earlier age. I don't know.

I know that my parents (or at least one of them, my mother) read to me, taught me the alphabet, and that I could read some very simple words before I got to kindergarten. Even the books left around the house is something that parents contribute and is often overlooked by people who have never raised children themselves. It takes effort to make sure that there are interesting, high quality educational resources around the house, at appropriate difficulty levels.

Knowing absolutely nothing about reading by kindergarten age I would think is less the norm for extremely smart people. A cousin's son apparently taught himself to read as they were reading to him, as well, so I guess there is another data point. In my experience, a lot of the top 5% kids have tiger mommish parents, to some extent.

In white families I think a lot of effort is expended earlier as opposed to later, e.g. with cram schools for Asians. And there is more of a creative focus than a rote focus. Jews/whites tend to want to produce creative brilliance as opposed to a honed automaton. Asians will drill make a child drill piano or violin for hours in the hopes they will become a concert pianist. A white or Jewish parent will often teach their kids in the hope that they compose music of their own.

Anyway, I would say that not doing much other than reading at night, if anything, is the norm for average white folks. In my experience this is much less the norm for extremely smart people. But then, my generation is two decades on from Sailer's, so maybe things are a bit different now. One should also remember that Steve was adopted, so if the nurture matches the nature it's by accident.

Svigor said...

If nothing else, by dissenting we give them indigestion and burn their bridges behind them; they won't be able to plausibly deny knowing about the alternative explanations. Remember 9/11? "No one could have possibly known..." Bullshit. They know, because we told them right to their faces, and they screamed "rrrraaaaacism!"

Anonymous said...

"In a comment that wasn't deleted, I also pointed out lefty Matter-Antimatter Example #194119203:"

I love you Svigor. Don't you ever stop commenting.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/busting-out-all-over-black-mob-violence/

Black kids sure WALK too much.

Bling is busting out all over.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtV3Te99L9c

About 37:30. "There are no gay golfers. Steve Sailer's researched it..."

Though I'm not sure whether KT McFarland's eye roll was directed at the comment or the Sailer reference.

David Davenport said...

Besides, early childhood reading actually correlates fairly well with myopia, as I understand it.
...

Well that would make sense because IQ is correlated with myopia. ...

While the belief that prolonged close-up activities like reading and playing computer games cause short sightedness (myopia) is popularly held, new research indicates that a deficiency of sunlight is the true culprit.


New research an eye opener on cause of myopia
By Greg Hughes and Pauline Chiou, CNN
June 1, 2011 5:01 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- While the belief that prolonged close-up activities like reading and playing computer games cause short sightedness (myopia) is popularly held, new research indicates that a deficiency of sunlight is the true culprit.
Kathryn Rose, a leading international researcher of visual disorders at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences, talks to CNN about her study.

...

Rose: This finding has now been confirmed in a number of other studies from the U.S., Singapore and China. Our hypothesis that the mechanism of the effect of light was mediated by retinal dopamine, a known inhibitor of eye growth whose release is stimulated by light, has also been supported by animal experiments. All of these studies confirm a consistent link between the time spent outdoors and the prevention of myopia, possibly crucially mediated by the at least ten-fold increase in light levels between indoor lighting and being outside. So yes, it is highly likely that there is a direct connection between time spent outside and preventing myopia.

One of the observations from the studies conducted so far is that the effect of light on the prevention of the development of myopia may have a threshold effect, that is both the level of light required and the duration of light exposure may need to reach critical amounts before light has its preventive effect.

In the latter case, the epidemiological studies that have examined children's exposure to outdoors have consistently found a preventative effect for between 10-14 hours outside per week in addition to any hours spent outside during school time, while 3-6 hours per week has not been associated with any effect.

...

Steve Sailer said...

There is a well-known slightly past-his-prime European golfer who is a lifelong bachelor who lives in a compound with his parents.

Anonymous said...

Maybe so. Maybe it was exemplary. But note the reaction to his comments: he did not convince anyone who did not already agree with him. It's always that way with ideologues. And in any discussion of race, IQ, etc, one encounters a great many ideologues.

Mr Sailer wastes his time on such efforts, which naturally play to a limited audience. Even if it is a fun diversion."

I think you're very wrong. You've no idea how many people read the blog and don't comment at all, just read, think about the comments, and then maybe even visit an HBD site.

It happened to me.

Anonymous said...

"There is a well-known slightly past-his-prime European golfer who is a lifelong bachelor who lives in a compound with his parents."

Jose Maria Olazabal? Yeah, Steve, but I thought the same about Seve Ballesteros as, like many Spaniards, he too lived at his parents house for a long while before he finally "settled down."

I have to look up Ollie's age.

Drunk Idiot said...

In response to:

"Whites spend so much time researching ways to help blacks it's a wonder they have time to oppress them."

jody said...

"pretty much my take on it as well.

spend thousands of man hours and billions of dollars specifically to help them as much as possible, get called racist for your troubles.

helping africans is not just a waste of time, it's not just a zero return on investment activity, it's actually a negative return on investment activity. not only are the thankless in general, they're openly hostile.
"

jody,

From what I've seen, your comments are always perceptive and well thought out. So you should know by now that those efforts by whites aren't really about helping blacks as much as they are about establishing social proof to other whites.

Since white people of lower social standing are said to be born and raised to be racist, white people who intend to exist in polite society have to signal that they're "on the side of the angels" (i.e., that they're "anti-racist" and upper middle class) to differentiate themselves from all the other low class, racist, rightwinger white people.

Plus, it allows the right kind of white people to feel good about themselves, and to feel superior to the wrong kind of white people.

Whether these things actually help black people or hurt them, and whether or not black people appreciate these perpetual efforts by polite society whites to ostensibly help them is neither here nor there (obviously, though, they don't).

This stuff is just Status Whoring 101.

Drunk Idiot said...

Ya know, if it's been established that talking more would help black black children close the gap, why wouldn't spending more time on social media (i.e., tweeting more often) help close the gap even more!?!

Think about it this way, if we now know that having black mothers talk more to their young children would help those children keep pace with -- and perhaps outpace -- white students, then wouldn't it follow that encouraging black kids to spend more time on facebook and twitter would help them to be better at reading and writing!?

What better way to teach critical reasoning, argumentation, and communicative skills than by challenging underprivileged children to express themselves in 140 or fewer characters!

To encourage the creative process, underprivileged children might even be encouraged to engage in conversations centered around trending topics and #HASHTAGs.

What's more, as an advanced exercise in fostering the creative process, especially talented underprivileged children might even be encouraged to devise their own culturally relevant #HASHTAGs.

Potential examples:

#SomewhereInDaHood, #HoodHoez, #GhettoBabyNamez, #BigPimpinUpInDaClub, #ImaHollaAchuShawty, #WhiteGurlzWitBigBootyz, #AintTrynaPayNoChildSupportToNoBabyMammaz, #KimKardashian, etc.

Steve Sailer said...

My parents taught me how to read when I was 4 or 5. But, I didn't want to read, so after reading a couple of books, I stopped reading until my first week in first grade when I was 5 years and 9 months.

Dennis Dale said...

Maybe so. Maybe it was exemplary. But note the reaction to his comments: he did not convince anyone who did not already agree with him. It's always that way with ideologues. And in any discussion of race, IQ, etc, one encounters a great many ideologues.

Mr Sailer wastes his time on such efforts, which naturally play to a limited audience. Even if it is a fun diversion."

I think you're very wrong. You've no idea how many people read the blog and don't comment at all, just read, think about the comments, and then maybe even visit an HBD site.


Absolutely. Silence doesn't register on the internet.

Anonymous said...

"My parents taught me how to read when I was 4 or 5. But, I didn't want to read, so after reading a couple of books, I stopped reading until my first week in first grade when I was 5 years and 9 months."

Ahah! The truth comes out - Mrs Sailer was a nascent tiger mother, or maybe Mr Sailer was something of the eagle dad. Perhaps the early neural connections laid down had some impact.

If we look at studies of identical twins reared apart in relation to IQ, the mean is 6.6 IQ points, with SD of 5.2. The largest difference was 24 points in the 122 pairs of twins studied. If the difference in environment was not due to brain trauma, that's pretty significant and possibly indicative of the possibilities of an attentive upbringing.

It's also worth considering that it ought to be a lot more effective to teach a child with genius potential at his own pace than it is to try to make silk purses out of genetic sow's ears. No matter what you do, moss only grows so high - but one can grow a Sequoia as a bonsai project or in its ideal habitat. So you should see greater benefits to tiger mother type parenting of already gifted children than with typical head start programs where crack babies are the beneficiaries.

One should remember that this was a sample with fairly representative IQ and SD, so most of the kids are going to be average, and also the styles of parenting are going to be fairly average, one would expect. This may understate the utility of good parental involvement with already gifted children.

And I use the term "tiger mother" without intending the negative connotation that the word has. For a lot of very smart children, school seems more like a prison or child minding service than an educational institution, because you cannot learn at your own pace. Efforts to help kids like that learn at their own advanced pace when they are younger are a good thing IMO, and society benefits from the discoveries of geniuses.

Analysis by Arthur Jensen, btw.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01071829

Anonymous said...

"Maybe so. Maybe it was exemplary. But note the reaction to his comments: he did not convince anyone who did not already agree with him. It's always that way with ideologues. And in any discussion of race, IQ, etc, one encounters a great many ideologues."

There are some intellectually honest people out there with politically correct viewpoints, who have never been challenged by someone who was as smart as they are. Cognitive dissonance takes some time to work itself out. The seeds that Steve planted may take months or years to germinate.

Anonymous said...

Steve!

The Daily Telegraph has picked up on this story:

Working class babies need talking to

The writer (Scots-Irish) Jake Wallis Simons as taken the bait and is approaching it from the point of view of class.I dont think race gets a look-in.

Anonymous said...

"There are some intellectually honest people out there with politically correct viewpoints, who have never been challenged by someone who was as smart as they are."

I agree. Becoming highly educated exposes you to more than your share of liberal brainwashing. Only the intellectually honest will even bother to seek out another viewpoint. After all, what's in it for you? Seek out, embrace and spread the truth so you can become unemployable and a social outcast? Nah. As long as liberals don't call out each other's hypocrisy, you're safe. There's no incentive, unless your hypocrisy actually bothers you.

ben tillman said...

If we look at studies of identical twins reared apart in relation to IQ, the mean is 6.6 IQ points, with SD of 5.2. The largest difference was 24 points in the 122 pairs of twins studied. If the difference in environment was not due to brain trauma, that's pretty significant and possibly indicative of the possibilities of an attentive upbringing.

You have told us nothing. How many IQ tests did these twins take? In other words, how much sampling error could we expect in these secret studies that you cannot reveal to us?

Anonymous said...

I was given books to read as a child but only looked at the pictures. My parents said it's like picking just the cherries from the fruit cocktail.
Bad habit.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, Steve "Freakonomics" Levitt and Roland Fryer of Harvard have finally, after a half dozen years, found a journal to publish their old study showing that black babies have higher IQs than Asian babies at eight months to twelve months."

Well, since 5-month old pigs and dogs are smarter than 5-month old humans, that study doesn't prove much.