December 9, 2004

Garance Franke-Ruta vs. Steve Sailer

Anti-Sailerism: There's a classic example of anti-Sailerism over at TAPPED, the blog of The American Prospect by somebody named Garance Franke-Ruta who is in a deep tizzy that David Brooks polluted the pages of the New York Times by citing my "Baby Gap" article.

The defining characteristic of anti-Sailerist diatribes is multitudinous quotations from my writings with no attempt at refutation of the truth of any of them -- the reader is simply supposed to be shocked, SHOCKED that anyone would dare write such politically incorrect things.

Sometimes, Franke-Ruta can't even be bothered to quote out of context. I particularly liked that my concluding paragraph was quoted in full:

"Nobody noticed that the famous blue-red gap was a white baby gap because the subject of white fertility is considered disreputable. But I believe the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking. At least, it’s certainly more interesting."

Obviously, by contending that the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking, I've condemned myself by my own words in the minds of all of polite society. No refutation of my shocking faux pas is needed.

Everyone can instantly see how much better the world was back when it basked in reputable ignorance on the question of what drives the red-blue divide.

Franke-Ruta seems to be convinced that I drew a correlation between Bush's share of the vote by state and the total fertility of white women by state because I am a racist. No, I did it because I am interested in the facts. I of course also looked at the correlation of Bush's share and the total fertility of all the women in the state, but the r-squared of that nonracial correlation was only 37%, compared to 74% for the correlation between Bush's share and white fertility. For Franke-Ruta's benefit, let me point out that 74% is twice as big as 37%. As for explaining to her what an r-squared is, well, ...

The reality is that white fertility correlates with Bush's share of the vote better than total fertility or nonwhite fertility does.

By the way, last weekend I found another demographic factor that correlates even better with Bush's share of the vote. It correlates strongly with fertility, of course, but a simple two factor multiple regression model of white total fertility and the new mystery factor has an astonishing r-squared of 87% with Bush's share. I'll try to write it up for this weekend. Franke-Ruta will be even more aghast.

If you want to see some completely apoplectic reactions, check out Atrios. I hope nobody had a stroke. Not a lot of members of the reality-based community there. As far as I can tell, just members of the hate-based community.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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