June 28, 2006

My theory of voting, income, and education

Can anybody with access to General Social Survey data or the like help me out with testing my theory that Republicans tend to have higher standards of living per level of educational credential while Democrats tend not to make as much money as their education levels predict?

Here's a graph using fictitious data that I just made up off the top of my head to give you an idea of what I think is happening. The vertical axis is income in thousands and the horizontal axis is educational level from 1 to 5, with 1 as high school dropout, 2 as high school graduate, 3 as some college, 4 as college graduate, and 5 as some postgrad. Republicans are represented in red, Democrats in blue. I am betting that more Republicans fall above the best fit line, more Democrats below it.

To make this analysis simpler, I'd recommend looking just at non-Hispanic whites.

The biggest problem with this analysis is the huge cost of living differences around the country, with, for example, California 44% over the national average and Texas 11% below it. White Democrats tend to live in higher cost of living locations, so their standards of living are lower than their raw incomes would indicate.

One way to reduce this problem is to look just at a single state with fairly consistent cost of living within the state. Texas might be the likeliest bet because it offers a big sample size of respondents, it's the most urbanized state in the country, and its big cities (with the possible exception of Austin) are not terribly expensive (in contrast, Illinois or New York are pretty rural/small townish except where they are extremely megalopolitan).

Another way is to adjust every individual for his state's cost of living differences. Here's the ACCRA table on cost of living by state that's updated for corporations transferring employees.

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

Brazilian soccer legend advises Japanese to grow taller if they want to win the World Cup:

TOKYO (AFP) - Coach Zico bade farewell to Japan with a warning that the Asian champions, who were humiliated in the World Cup, face an uphill battle making up for their physical shortcomings.

The Brazilian legend, who is now looking for jobs at European clubs, regretted that no Asian countries, barring Australia, advanced in the World Cup.

"It is very disappointing that all the Asian teams failed to reach the next round, but when you compare the teams with those who reached, the difference is apparent," Zico told his final news conference Monday as Japan's coach.

"No matter who their coaches are, it is up to the players. Unless they try to catch up with top teams in the world mentally and physically, it will be very difficult in the future as well."

Zico said that Asians, and particularly the Japanese, would always be hurt by their small stature compared with other nationalities.

"Even in the future Asian qualifying rounds for the World Cup, Japan will face a lot of long crosses from behind whenever they play a team which has a height advantage," Zico said.

"The forwards of those teams are usually 190cm tall. Those of Italy and the Netherlands are also tall. When they find it is difficult to connect a ground pass, I'm sure they will send long crosses like Australia did."

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

Pop-sci brain-gene overview for engineers

From EE Times,

What drives you? Pick your brain

Debra Schiff

The researchers are finding that vocational interests are primarily the products of genetics and unique, or nonshared, environmental factors, with shared family experiences holding less sway. The research may indicate why some individuals are predisposed to careers in engineering. It might also explain the high occurrence of autism in the families of engineers.

This tends to be more true of middle class white Americans than of other people and places. If you got switched at birth into, say, a potter subcaste in India, you'd probably grow up to be a potter, even if your genetic strong suit was, say, selling real estate.

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

June 27, 2006

Is Dr. Charlton on something or on to something?

Here's a Big Theory that's both new and just possibly true:

"Serious Study: Immaturity Levels Rising"
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, June 23, 2006

"Charlton explained to Discovery News that humans have an inherent attraction to physical youth, since it can be a sign of fertility, health and vitality. In the mid-20th century, however, another force kicked in, due to increasing need for individuals to change jobs, learn new skills, move to new places and make new friends.

"A `child-like flexibility of attitudes, behaviors and knowledge' is probably adaptive to the increased instability of the modern world, Charlton believes. Formal education now extends well past physical maturity, leaving students with minds that are, he said, `unfinished.'

"The psychological neoteny effect of formal education is an accidental by-product -- the main role of education is to increase general, abstract intelligence and prepare for economic activity, he explained. ... "But formal education requires a child-like stance of receptivity to new learning, and cognitive flexibility."

"People such as academics, teachers, scientists and many other professionals are often strikingly immature outside of their strictly specialist competence in the sense of being unpredictable, unbalanced in priorities, and tending to overreact."

"Charlton added that since modern cultures now favor cognitive flexibility, `immature' people tend to thrive and succeed, and have set the tone not only for contemporary life, but also for the future, when it is possible our genes may even change as a result of the psychological shift."

A striking change in our society is visible by looking at the extras in 1930s movies vs. today. What's apparent is that men in the past tried to look older than they actually were, while men today try to look younger. This is clear from the stars -- Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise are all at least as old today on the calendar, but not in looks, as Humphrey Bogart was in the "The Maltese Falcon" -- but everybody back then, apparently, was trying to look wiser and more mature than they were.

Maybe Charlton is talking through his hat, but it's an idea that deserves some consideration.

For example, attending high school wasn't all that common in America until the Depression, when high school was used to warehouse teens to keep them from competing for jobs with heads of households. (That's an undiscussed pre-requisite for the success of the GI Bill's college students after WWII -- the GI generation was the first to attend high school in huge numbers.)

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

Why is there no videogame criticism?

I haven't really been keeping up with the latest videogames since, oh, Ms. Pac-Man, so sometimes I worry that I'm totally out of touch with the most vibrant art form of our age. But most of the time, I feel fine about my obliviousness. A reader writes to assure me that I'm not missing much:

Is there a market or audience for real videogame criticism? Really good criticism isn't that easy, unlike reviewing, and I think it takes more space than a lot of review/preview magazines will give. So I would think there needs to be enough people who are willing to pay for criticism that is more than just "reviews" in order for it to really appear, or at least enough to make an encouragingly-sized audience.

And I'm not sure the audience for games, huge though it is, constitutes that kind of audience or market.

1) Videogames are more addicting than other entertainment forms like movies or music. For some people they seem to be like drugs: There may be something about them that makes their appeal different from other forms of art, whether highbrow or lowbrow or whatever, but that has some similarities to other forms of recreation, like exercise or socializing or drugs. So I wonder how much of the audience is interested in criticism any more than those other forms of recreation inspire criticism.

2) As your reader said, games are very difficult to make—they take years and cost a lot, and experimentation is risky, so they're at least as artistically constrained as big budget tentpole studio films. A lot of the more artistically-inclined designers have been dropping out of the business or thinking publicly about doing so.

3) There's a resistance among gamers and reviewers to too much "movie" in a game, as in if we wanted to watch a movie, I'd watch a movie, skip the story and get to the game. So even if the writing in a game is good—very, very, very rare—it's not generally welcome unless it's also light. So that's another restriction on narrative artists, that leaves critics less to work with.

4) They're loooong. Reviewers (as opposed to critics!) regularly complain if a game is any less than 20 hours. Whereas they consider a game that's more than 20 hours, and has superficial tweaks to justify second and third playthroughs, to be a healthy package, rather than to be bloated and having worn out the good parts with too much filler, which is what it almost always is.

Most of the millions of people who fill out the industry's huge market probably don't finish many games. This reduces interest in them as an artistic whole.

5) Good critics tend to be well-versed in their form--they've seen tons of movies or heard tons of records or read tons of books. The comparable stance for a game critic today would be to have been playing them for at least two decades or so, across many expensive platforms from different companies, with most games taking way longer to become "versed in" than movies or records or even books... And unlike the other forms, it's not easy to go back and revisit or learn about ones you've missed--those platforms may be unavailable. So the pool of people who really know what they're talking about or can potentially know what they're talking about might be smaller than other fields, reducing in turn the number who are also good writers.

6) When you get down to it, most games are about committing some sort of act of violence! And a lot of the remainder are still about visceral action. Other forms, such as movies, can certainly cater to that impulse, but the lack of variety in what, fundamentally, videogames are about is really pretty amazing when you think about it. Again, less to work with for a critic…

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

"X-Men 3" (AKA, "The Return of the Teeming Freaks Return"):

A reader writes:

Did you see X-Men 3? It has a theme that fits squarely in your wheelhouse -- namely the sort of pretzels people tie themselves into when discussing inherent, group-based biological differences. The plot is about a treatment that cures mutants. This is treated as purely evil, and any mutant who wants the treatment as a victim of self-hating bad faith. Yet there are some mutants whose mutations are clearly pretty horrible (there's one girl whose name I forget who will kill anybody she touches). Nobody in the movie makes the third-grade suggestion that the mutants with good mutations keep them, and the ones with bad mutations get rid of them. This is just the reductio of the basic premise of the series, which is that the mutants are at the same time godlike supermen, and oppressed victims.

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

The American Conservative's July 3, 2006 issue

The American Conservative semi-online:

July 3, 2006 Issue

Divided & Conquered
By Scott McConnell
A visit to Syria, Israel, and Palestine reveals the barriers—physical as well as political—to Mideast peace.

Nation Breaking
By Joe W. Guthrie
A soldier finds that training the Iraqi army is an unwinnable battle.

Border Bargaining
By W. James Antle III
As the House and Senate negotiate an immigration bill, will amnesty survive?

Bleeding-Heart Libertarian
By Steve Sailer
Can we aid the poor and shrink the welfare state? That’s Charles Murray’s $10,000 question.

Monumental Mistakes
By Peter Wood
Elaborate memorials are often less about honor than ostentation.

Unfinished Business
By Stewart Nusbaumer
A traffic accident ignites an anti-American powder keg in Kabul.

Losing Liberties Left and Right
By Doug Bandow and Michael D. Ostrolenk
Advocates of limited government should look to their left.

The Mild, Mild Midwest
By Steve Sailer
Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” hits the silver screen.

A Tale of Two Tyrants
By Lee Congdon
June 1941: Hitler and Stalin
by John Lukacs

Getting the Left Into Fighting Shape

By Nicholas von Hoffman
The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again by Peter Beinart

Outsider Intellectual
By Paul Gottfried
Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography by David S. Brown

Time for an “Agonizing Reappraisal”
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Across the "arc of crisis," U.S. foreign policy is in disarray.

Compensating With a Yacht
By Taki
When it comes to yachts, bigger isn’t always better.

Fourteen Days:
Haditha Crimes Go to the Top; With this Amendment, I Thee Patronize; Talking to Tehran

Deep Background: What’s Hebrew for Shut Up?; Qatar’s Emir Can’t Please Ahmadinejad

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

June 26, 2006

David Frum's 18th wedding anniversary speech on NRO:

On Gideon's Blog, Noah writes:

I really want to hear Steve Sailer's comment on David Frum's dvar torah on parshat shelach. If you get at least halfway down, you'll figure out why.

Personally, I really want to hear Mrs. Frum's comment on Mr. Frum's speech on the occasion of their 18th wedding anniversary. I bet it was something like, "David, that first part was very sweet, but WHAT THE HELL DID THE REST OF IT HAVE TO DO WITH OUR MARRIAGE?"

Frum, in case you are wondering, is the former Bush speechwriter who made up 2/3rd of the term "Axis of Evil," which was perhaps the most disastrous phrase in the history of American diplomacy. In early 2002, following 9/11 and the quick expulsion of the Taliban from power, American prestige and power were at historic heights. Unfortunately, the 2002 State of the Union address claiming, preposterously, that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea formed an "axis" began to persuade observers around the world that the people running American foreign policy were either liars or unbalanced or both, a conclusion that subsequent events have done little to dispel.

Anyway, Frum's wedding anniverary speech is worth reading to get a sense of the strange mental atmosphere of the neocons.

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

Gossip doyenne Liz Smith quotes me again

From her NY Post column:

END CODE: Here's a thought from the American Conservative film critic Steve Sailer: "In the climax to 'The Da Vinci Code,' we discover that one of the characters is Jesus' last living descendant. This . . . hooey is superstition of the grossest sort. Consider how genealogy actually works. Go back 80 generations (2,000 years), and your family tree has a septillion slots to fill. If Jesus had any living descendants today, he would have millions of them. The only way there could be just one surviving heir is if the family had relentlessly inbred so incestuously that the latest Merovingian would have three eyes."

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

Around the Web

- "The Color of Crime 2005" is now available online (Adobe PDF format).

- "How Racial Preferences Backfire" is Stuart J. Taylor's summary in the National Journal of Richard Sanders big study of the ill effects of law school quotas. Sanders report itself can be downloaded here. And here's an analysis of the Texas Bar Exam results by race:

3) Do the differences in bar exam passing rates and scores among racial/ethnic group correspond to the differences in their admissions credentials and law school grades?

Yes. We found that on the average, the applicants in different racial/ethnic groups performed as well on the bar exam as would be expected on the basis of their law school admission credentials and law school grades.

- Parapundit on the decline of the middle class neighborhood.

- Michael Blowhard asks, "When I look over the many comments that accumulate on my various postings about immigration policy ... what puzzles me far more than the question "How can anyone fail to succumb to the brilliance of my arguments?" is another question entirely: "Why are so many Americans so very shy about expressing their preferences?"

- Tyler Cowen's latest, and perhaps lamest, argument for massive Hispanic immigration. In another posting, this on his favorite things Swiss, Tyler, who is exquisitely cultured, admits, "These days I find Paul Klee repetitive." Perhaps someday Tyler will explain why he favors the lumpenproletarianization of American culture by a flood of Latin Americans with 5th grade educations.

- Dennis Dale at Untethered gives us a taste of what "Repo Man" might have looked like if written and directed by Marcel Proust. Then, shifting gears, he has his way with the "Baja 500," the economists who signed that "open letter" on immigration.

- Martin Kelly reviews Ken Loach's Cannes-winning IRA 1922 movie "The Wind that Blows the Barley."

- New Englanders have the best vocabularies among white people, according to the GSS, says Half Sigma.

- Dusk in Autumn explains what it takes to be a good teacher.

- Genetic Chaos reports on a DNA study that finds little evidence for the popular idea that New Mexico's Spanish-American (i.e., pre-Mexican independence) settlers (e.g., Linda Chavez's and Sen. Ken Salazar's Spanish-speaking ancestors arrived in what's now the American Southwest about 400 years ago) included a sizable crypto-Jewish element.

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

The Age of the Fine Print

"The Age of the Fine Print: Socializing Costs, Privatizing Profits" -- My new VDARE.com column is up. It's about the berserk reaction by the establishment press to the Speaker of the House's announcement that, rather than go into the smoke filled room with the Senate, the House would hold public hearing on immigration.

An excerpt:

Let's step back to put the immigration controversy in a new and broader historical perspective.

At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama announced that we had reached "The End of History." Obviously, somebody forgot to send History the memo.

Yet, in the narrow Hegelian/Marxist sense in which Fukuyama used the term "History," he was correct. The big controversy of the 20th Century—socialism vs. capitalism—was effectively over. Pure socialism was dead. Capitalism had survived, but not laissez-faire. From now on there would be markets, but with government interference.

Unfortunately, many commentators are still living in the past. They think basic ideology is still the big issue—the free market vs. socialism. Well, history hasn't ended, but it has moved into a new stage. Regulated capitalism has won, so most of the political struggles in the future are not going to be about the old boldface big ideas like nationalizing the means of production, but about the fine print.

The politics of the present and future will revolve around various organized interests trying to put one over on the disorganized rest of us in the particulars of legislation.

Contra Fukuyama, there will never be a ceasefire in this struggle between the clever and the clueless. The Age of Ideology is over but the Age of the Fine Print is upon us.

For instance, back in 1996 when the California legislature unanimously deregulated the state's electricity market, few in public life bothered to read the fine print because the ideological principle of deregulation seemed so historically inevitable at the time. Well, it turned out the devil was definitely in the details. The only people who mastered the minutiae were the traders at Enron and other such firms, who raped California out of billions.

A basic strategy for the crafty to make money is privatizing profits and socializing costs. To do this, they use tame politicians and journalists to help them hand their costs of doing business off to the public. (Economists, when they aren't blinded by ideology, call these costs "externalities.")

By importing “cheap labor”, employers shift major costs—such as medical care and policing—to you and me.

The Senate Sellout would further increase the burdens imposed on us.

And that's why its supporters in the press don't want us to worry our pretty little heads about what's in those 118,227 words in the Senate immigration bill.


A reader writes:

Under post-Cold War globalization, the Age of Ideology gives way to the Age of Ethnology. The big question changes from the (Platonic) policy-oriented “what form of state is best?” to the (Leninist) political-oriented “whose group rules the state?"

It's pretty clear that cultural identity now trumps political economy in determining the great questions of statecraft. The equity of civil society and the efficacy of state polity depends as much upon the citizenry’s individual natures as it does upon the civitas’ institutional structures.

Cultural identity issues are typically unmentionable in normal ethical language since they essentially boil down to grabs for power and money by rival gangs/tribes. That is one reason why cultural theory is so unintelligible – if its assumptions and conclusions were stated in plain language people would laugh or throw-up.

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

June 25, 2006

Good grief, more Sabbateans!

A reader in Istanbul writes about the crypto-Jewish ethnic group, descended from followers of the apostate false messiah Shabbetai Zevi, who make up a big chunk of modern Turkey's secular elite:

There's a Turkish saying that goes: "When a madman meets another madman, he hides his stick". It means that people - especially people of extreme nature - tend to inspire reasonable behavior in each other. Seems like our "Muslim fundamentalists," in their craze to discover conspiracies in the way Turkey has been steered in the last century, hit upon something quite significant with their research into the Donmeh. They were among the most relentless and instrumental, though by no means the sole, element in unearthing this.

But whenever their opinion leaders meet with alleged members of the Sabbetaians in the media - either the TV or the write-ups on the Internet - the discussion becomes remarkably sober, well-reasoned, and empirically grounded. Using micro-demographic techniques like census records, marital bondings and family genealogies, cemeteries, residential areas, common private schools, enterprises with certain connections, etc., they have aggregated quite a clear picture now of this reality...

God, there's so much buried under the ground in this part of the world - this truly Byzantine world - that it gives me a headache to even think of it.

And here is an article, "Secret Muslim Jews await their messiah: Shabbetai Tzvi" by Gad Nassi, an Israeli psychiatrist who grew up in a Jewish community in Istanbul. He writes:

Today, only the Karakash, one small group of three to four thousand Dônme, continue in the traditional ways and does not marry out. The remaining 40,000 to 60,000 Dônme who retain some memory of their heritage have ceased all observance and restrictions on marriage.

Although the Dônme maintain their traditions, they have not made a complete break with Judaism. For more than 200 years, they have not brought their disputes to Turkish courts. As knowledge of Talmud decreased among them, they consulted rabbis to settle controversial cases. As long as the Dônme lived in Salonica, preservation of their Jewish character was feasible because of their proximity and steady contact with its large, bustling Jewish population. Many members of the Dônme community in Salonica were among Turkey's reform leaders - the Young Turks - and members of an influential reform organization known as the Committee for Progress and Union. In 1909, the revolution of the Young Turks overthrew the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II. The first administration that then came to power, laying the foundation of the future Turkish republic, included three Dônme ministers - Nuzhet Faik, Mustafa Arif and Mehmet Javid.

At the time of the [Turkish] revolution, few Dônme lived in Turkey; the center of community - about 16,000 strong - was in Salonica. There they remained until after the Turko-Greek war, when a treaty in 1924 provided for an exchange of populations. During the period of amnesty before exchange, members of the sect, whishing avoid their transfer to Turkey, asked the rabbis of Salonica to permit them to return to Judaism. Their application was rejected by the rabbis because children who were the fruit of the Festival of the Lamb were mamzerim, conceived from an adulterous relationship, according to halachah (Jewish religious law). The Dônme left for Turkey.

The Festival of the Lamb was, apparently, an annual religious holiday evening devoted to eating lamb, followed by wife-swapping. Young Donmeh deny that it is still practiced. A reader suggests that the orgy in Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," which was based on a work by the Jewish Viennese writer Arthur Schnitzler, was inspired by this (perhaps through the intermediary of the colorful Central European false messiah Jacob Frank, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Zevi).

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

"When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything."

As I mentioned in my review of "The Da Vinci Code," this most famous of all G.K. Chesterton quotes doesn't appear to have actually been said by Chesterton in its current lapidary form. A reader points me toward one source in one of Chesterton's Father Brown detective stories:

The Oracle of the Dog

It's part of something I've noticed more and more in the modern world, appearing in all sorts of newspaper rumours and conversational catchwords; something that's arbitrary without being authoritative. People readily swallow the untested claims of this, that, or the other. It's drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it's coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition.' He stood up abruptly, his face heavy with a sort of frown, and went on talking almost as if he were alone. 'It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can't see things as they are. Anything that anybody talks about, and says there's a good deal in it, extends itself indefinitely like a vista in a nightmare. And a dog is an omen, and a cat is a mystery, and a pig is a mascot, and a beetle is a scarab, calling up all the menagerie of polytheism from Egypt and old India; Dog Anubis and great green-eyed Pasht and all the holy howling Bulls of Bashan; reeling back to the bestial gods of the beginning, escaping into elephants and snakes and crocodiles; and all because you are frightened of four words: 'He was made Man'.'

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

Larry Summers critic leaps to her death from lesbian lover's luxury apartment building

After Nancy Hopkins, the second leading lady of last year's Larry Summers Brouhaha was Denice D. Denton for daring to "speak truth to power," as Denton modestly described her contribution to silencing Summers for heresy about gender differences. The San Francisco Chronicle reports today:

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice D. Denton, who had come under fire for her housing perks and helping her partner obtain a UC job, died today after jumping off the roof of the 42-story apartment building where her partner lived.

Denton, 46, died at 8:17 a.m. after jumping from The Paramount apartment building on Mission Street. A guest at a nearby hotel reported the jump, police said...

Denton's mother was in the building at the time of her death, police said.

Denton may have been living in the 42-story building, police said. Her partner, Gretchen Kalonji, has an apartment in the building, according to a San Francisco directory listing. Calls to the apartment's phone number were not immediately returned.

A Web site for The Paramount claims it is the tallest luxury rental apartment building in San Francisco.

Denton had been provided a 2,680-square-foot home on the UC Santa Cruz campus, the subject of a story in a Chronicle series this spring examining perks and pay in the UC system.

Before she moved into her University-provided house on campus in 2005, she asked for dozens of improvements -- everything from a new fence for her dogs to new wiring, speakers, amplifier and CD player for a built-in sound system, according to university documents.

In all, a $600,000 upgrade was made to the home, though it is not clear how many of the improvements were at Denton's request. Denton's annual salary is $282,000.

As a result of that and other spending disclosed in the press, UC President Robert Dynes tightened rules for renovation projects at university-owned homes and the offices of top executives.

In 2005, UC unions protested the hiring of Kalonji, a former University of Washington professor of materials science, into a $192,000 UC management position. UC also provided Kalonji, then Denton's partner of seven years, a housing assistance allowance of up to $50,000.

I wrote in The American Conservative in "The Education of Larry Summers" (2/28/05) first about Nancy Hopkins financial conflict of interest in denouncing Summers, then about Denton's:

Similarly, Denice D. Denton was celebrated for standing up to Summers to, in her words, "speak truth to power." This heroic tableau of the humble, no-doubt-discriminated-against woman engineering professor daring to defy the mighty male university president lost some luster when it emerged that Denton was UC Santa Cruz's chancellor-designate at $275,000 annually. One college supremo attempting to intimidate another one into not mentioning inconvenient facts is not what most people visualize as speaking truth to power.

A few days later, Tanya Schevitz reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on how Denton plays the game. The headline read, "UC hires partner of chancellor: creates $192,000 post for Santa Cruz chief's lesbian lover."

Less privileged women were unenthused:

"'It makes me sick,' said Mary Higgins, an administrative assistant at UCSF and statewide president of UC's clerical union, which did not get a raise this year. 'It is a violation of the public trust and it is just more of the same.'"

But Denton had a powerful defender in the woman scientist who had formerly headed UC Santa Cruz. M.R.C. Greenwood praised UCSC's two-for-the-price-of-three deal for the lesbian academics as the cost of gender diversity: UCSC "should be commended for attracting and hiring two very qualified female engineers."

Greenwood herself had just moved up to provost of the UC system, at $380,000 per year, almost $100,000 more than the man she replaced. Moreover, she had quietly brought with her a female scientist friend from Santa Cruz to fill the novel post of "Executive Faculty Associate to the Provost."

Are you noticing a pattern here?

Greenwood later resigned under a cloud following a conflict-of-interest investigation.

The feminists' complaints never made much intuitive sense (not that they cared -- the goals of academic feminism are money and power, not rationality).

And here's one more anecdote about feminist backscratching between Denton and Kalonji.

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

The black hole of contemporary culture

This seems like a particularly uncreative time in contemporary culture, with most of the traditional arts arousing little excitement: E.g., Name three painters younger than David Hockney. The New York Times recently announced the results of a poll of the best novels of the last 25 years, and practically all the winning writers were born in the early 1930s. Perhaps architecture has a little buzz right now, although most of the architects winning critical hosannas seem meretricious to me, but, overall, the high culture fields seem pretty somnolent. The popular culture of the 20th Century also seems to be treading water. Movies are okay, but certainly not getting better. Popular music, after three generations of extraordinary stylistic innovation, seems stuck, with most of the styles that were in place by 25 years ago remaining dominant today. Television ads are glitzier than ever, but so what? This is a good decade for hour long TV dramas, but a weak period for half-hour TV comedies. And so forth...

So, where is the creative talent going? The most obvious candidate is into video games. But video games, at present, seem particularly ill-suited for cross-fertilization with other media. The lack of quality video-game criticism is particularly striking. John Scalzi at Whatever offers an exhaustive explanation of why there isn't yet much videogame writing that would be interesting to anybody other than somebody considering buying the game. (Via 16 Volts)

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

The Secret of Soccer

From my article "One World Cup: Soccer Gives American Elites the Chance to Celebrate Nationalism in Other Countries But Not Ours" in the 7/17/06 issue of The American Conservative (not online):

While soccer is usually extolled or derided as a Eurosport -- Tom Piatak calls it "the metric system in short pants" -- it is actually another triumph of Anglo-Saxon culture. Sports have been played all over the world for all of history, but 19th Century Britain and its offshoots possessed a genius for self-organization. The Victorian emphasis on fair play created enough trust for local sportsmen to be able to cooperate nationally. Most of today's major spectator sports, such as baseball, basketball, track & field, ice hockey, boxing, cricket, tennis, and golf, were formalized by English-speakers in the 1800s.

Soccer, rugby, and American football evolved out of medieval English mass mêlées in which the livelier lads of rival villages would celebrate Shrove Tuesday by trying to propel an inflated pig's bladder past the other mob. In England, soccer became the gentleman's game played by thugs and rugby the thug's game played by gentlemen...

Tellingly, one place where soccer is not terribly popular is in Britain's cultural offspring. Being equally blessed with cooperative creativity, Canadians instead devised ice hockey and Australians developed Aussie rules football.

Similarly, Americans didn't need to import soccer or rugby because we could cultivate our own variant. American football was adopted by the Republic's commercial classes and refined into the most perfect sport for television the world has known. While soccer remains hamstrung by the need to keep the game affordable in the Third World, Americans could adopt costly innovations such as separate offensive and defensive units that make the football far more exciting than soccer, where tired players often visibly dog it on the field.

In summary, Americans play soccer (at least until we grow coordinated enough to try other sports), but we don't watch it on TV. Quite possibly, we've found the world's best way to deal with soccer.

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