December 19, 2009

The Year in Ideas 2009

The New York Times Magazine's December perennial, "The Year in Ideas," had a bit of an off year in 2009. For example:
Black Quarterbacks Are Underpaid

When Rush Limbaugh tried and failed to join the clubby ranks of National Football League owners this year, his past comments came back to haunt him, none more so than his assessment of the Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb — namely that the news media overrated McNabb because he is black and that he was simply not "that good of a quarterback." But according to the economists David J. Berri and Rob Simmons, Limbaugh might have been giving public voice to what the owners who spurned him think privately.

In an article for the February issue of Journal of Sports Economics, Berri and Simmons found that black quarterbacks tend to be paid less than their white counterparts and that the pay disparity is especially pronounced for top-flight black quarterbacks, who don't make as much money as the best white quarterbacks.

Given the N.F.L.'s sorry history when it comes to black quarterbacks — it wasn't until the mid-1990s that many black athletes even began playing the position — it's possible that the pay disparity is attributable to simple racism. But Berri and Simmons offer a more subtle explanation: statistical bias.


White quarterbacks earned more on average, but black quarterbacks outperformed them in a key category over a similar period.

The key is that owners do not fairly compensate quarterbacks who are good at running the ball in addition to throwing it. Using 35 years of data, Berri and Simmons found that while white quarterbacks, on average, run with the ball on only 6.7 percent of their plays, gaining a measly 7.3 yards per game, black quarterbacks run, on average, 11.3 percent of the time and gain 19.4 rushing yards per contest. In other words, many black quarterbacks tend to be good runners as well as good passers. And quarterbacks are not paid for the rushing yards they produce.

Perhaps that's because the quarterback rating — the N.F.L.'s gold standard for evaluating quarterbacks statistically — does not include rushing yards as one of its four components. The formula considers only completions, passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Thus "a key offering" of many black quarterbacks, write Berri and Simmons, "is ignored."

JASON ZENGERLE

Another brilliant insight on the part of Berri and Simmons. The notion that "a key offering" of many black quarterbacks (rushing for an extra 12 yards per game) "is ignored" ranks right up there with their assertion that there's no correlation between draft rank and NFL performance!

How indubitably right they are.

The public's obsession with the Passer Rating "gold standard" explains why the running skills of black quarterbacks have been shockingly ignored in this decade. Look at how many Super Bowls black running quarterbacks have won in this decade (eight? twelve?) versus how few black quarterbacks have made the cover of the annual Madden NFL video game as the most fashionable player in the NFL: merely Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Vince Young.

Where's Akili Smith?

(In contrast, no white quarterback made the cover until Brett Favre on Madden 2009. No covers for Brady, Manning, Warner, or Roethlisberger. After all, what have they ever done?)

What casual fan doesn't know how to calculate the NFL's passer rating formula in his head? For you foreigners out there unfamiliar with this treasured bit of Americana known to every American schoolboy, the passer rating formula is simply:

Step 1: Start with completion percentage. Subtract 30 and

divide by 20.

Step 2: Yards per attempt. Subtract 3 and divide by 4.

Step 3: Touchdown passes divided by pass attempts and multiply by 20.

Alternatively, divide the touchdown percentage by 5.

Step 4: Start with 2.375. Subtract from that the interception percentage

(interceptions divided by pass attempts) divided by 4.

(Note: Sum of each step cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than 0.)

Add the sum of 1-4, multiply by 100 and divide by 6.

The rating formula simplifies to:

[25 + 10 * (Completion Percentage) + 40 * (Touchdown Percentage)

- 50 * (Interception Percentage) + 50 * (Yards/Attempt)] /12

I think it's the seductive simplicity of the passer rating that caused ESPN's SportsCenter to stop showing highlight plays on Sunday nights in 2001 and instead merely televise the sportscasters punching in this formula on their calculators and getting into arguments over who got the number right. You can't argue with the Nielsen Ratings!

Meanwhile, Malcolm Gladwell tells Bill Simmons on ESPN.com:
What we're talking about is what are called capitalization rates, which refers to how efficiently any group makes use of its talent. So, for example, sub-Saharan Africa is radically undercapitalized when it comes to, say, physics: There are a large number of people who live there who have the ability to be physicists but never get the chance to develop that talent. ...

That's obvious from the huge number of African physicists outside of Africa.
One of my favorite psychologists, James Flynn, has looked at capitalization rates in the U.S. for various occupations: For example, what percentage of American men who are intellectually capable of holding the top tier of managerial/professional jobs actually end up getting a job like that. The number is surprisingly low, like 60 percent or so. That suggests we have a lot of room for improvement. ...

Perhaps a more relevant figure would be the percentage of people who hold top tier jobs for which they are intellectually incapable.

Case in point: Everyone always says what an incredible advantage it has been for Peyton Manning to have had the same offensive coordinator and the same offensive system his entire career. Football offenses are so complex now that they take years to master properly, and having one system in place from the beginning has allowed Manning to capitalize on every inch of his talent. On the other hand, someone like Jason Campbell has had a different offensive coordinator in virtually every season of his pro and college career (and I'm guessing he'll get another this offseason). I'm not convinced that it's possible to say, with certainty, that Campbell has less ability than Manning. I'm only sure we can say that Campbell has not been in a situation that has allowed him to exploit his talent the way Manning has. We just don't know how good he is capable of being -- and we may never know.

Then again, perhaps Peyton Manning's offensive coordinator's career stability has benefited from having Peyton Manning around to execute his great ideas. At the 14-0 level of success, a lot of different people each deserve a lot of credit. But, then again, if we just packed up Cal Tech and moved it to Lagos, we'd suddenly have a lot more physicists, so what do I know?

By the way, Gladwell goes on to say:

To me, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres is far and away the greatest athlete of our generation.

Dude, Dara Torres made her big Olympic comeback at age 41 (three silver medals) when she was dating her endocrinologist, David Hoffman. Why is that more impressive than what Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens were doing at similar ages?

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

86 comments:

OneSTDV said...

Damn you beat me to the Gladwell quote.

I think your assertion that all of Gladwell's musings basically come down to race and intelligence is proven correct by his mention of African physicists.

Anonymous said...

We women are undercapitalized in football according to Malcolm, I guess. We are just sitting around waiting. If ONLY someone gave us a chance, we too could perform like Manning, Brees, etc.

Wait a minute. Maybe he does have a bit of a point--we COULD perform like Jamarcus Russell. Correction--not "like Jamarcus" but "as well as Jamarcus."

Yeah, I admit it--I'm a forlorn Raider fan. It's a curse.

Vernunft said...

I have no clue why journalism keeps dying!

Anonymous said...

"Dara Torres"

Who?

Anonymous said...

Listen, just because I used dude in a sentence does not mean you get to use it.

You are the host of this site. You have to set the standard for us. I'll let you slide this time.

Bob said...

"So, for example, sub-Saharan Africa is radically undercapitalized when it comes to, say, physics"

At this point I think Gladwell is intentionally trolling you.

Anonymous said...

"At this point I think Gladwell is intentionally trolling you."

Yeah, no kidding.

Underachiever said...

"That's obvious from the huge number of African physicists outside of Africa."

LMAO, good stuff Steve.

Simon said...

Under-capitalisation... It's obvious that the Chinese in China are under-capitalised, we can tell that from the way they become a market-dominant minority when they leave China.

African Physicists sounds very unlikely. Yet I have met a good number of notably intelligent, highly capable Africans in my line of work - academic Law. I know they're capable because of the written work they produce, this isn't an 'empty black suit' thing. Almost all are women, the majority are from southern Africa - SA, Lesotho, etc, but not entirely. I can't tell if this is maybe a selection effect, am I meeting the best of the best? In any case it has been a sufficiently consistent phenomenon over the years to make me wonder a bit about the Lynn data, and whether it is missing something.

I do think when Watson said "Anyone who has worked with them knows their intelligence is not the same as ours" - that does not tally with my experience. I think it was the result of the US Affirmative Action environment, where black Americans are almost universally promoted above their level of competence.

Master Dogen said...

Gladwell: "I'm not convinced that it's possible to say, with certainty, that Campbell has less ability than Manning."

/head asplode

Anonymous said...

In the UK, black African kids are much more likely to graduate with a college degree than white kids. The idea of lots of potential African physicists being supressed by poverty and malnutrition is not nearly as ludicrous as you would lead us to believe.

Which isn't to say that Africa would produce physicists at the same rate as, let's say, Russia... but Africans are a lot more capable than you give them credit for.

Also, considering subsaharan African blacks are far poorer and less likely to hold a college degree than American blacks, I do think it's fair to say that Africa is severely undercapitalized.

NW London Cynic said...

In the UK, black African kids are much more likely to graduate with a college degree than white kids.

Source?

Middletown Girl said...

"Given the N.F.L.'s sorry history when it comes to black quarterbacks — it wasn't until the mid-1990s that many black athletes even began playing the position — it's possible that the pay disparity is attributable to simple racism."

Let us assume that 'racism' is indeed the reason for the disparity in pay. But if 'racism' is such an all-important issue, shouldn't the bigger issue be the fact that there are virtually no Mexicans, Asians, Arabs, and many other ethnic groups in the NFL in ANY position whatsoever? And how many white running backs and receivers are there? Come to think of it, there aren't many whites in any defensive position. Why is the quarterback position the ONLY one that ever receives attention?

Now, it may well be that qualified black quarterbacks are not being given the time and money they deserve, and this could be the reason why liberal and black commentators make such a big fuss about issues pertaining to black quarterbacks.
If so, doesn't that prove the reality of racism--if defined to mean the reality of races and racial differences? Doesn't it imply that blacks-as-race are naturally more qualified for football or any other heavyduty sports?

Liberals are totally schizo. They say racial differences are either non-existent or insignificant, but then they feel that's it's only natural and just for blacks to dominate ALL positions in football since they are BORN ATHLETES. Btw, why isn't there a similar stink about lack of blacks in the kicking position? Isn't it 'racist' for all the kickers to be white?

Of course, the quarterback position has a certain significance because it's considered the brainy leadership position. Liberals want to overturn the old stereotype about blacks being all about brute strength and only good for taking orders. They want to see blacks as leaders who can think things out and lead the crew. They love Obama because he's supposed to be like a star quarterback of the Democrats--though it must be said he's more hype than anything else, and he sure is the most selfish player ever.

The real question white conservatives should ask is this: whom are they cheering for when they watch football at a pub or at home with friends? For their city? But, regardless of what city you live in or root for, the players all seem to come from the same community--black & Democratic--, and many teams are owned by liberal Jews who contribute heavily to the Democratic Party. So, what or whom are you really cheering for? It's Liberal Jewish economic prowess and black male physical prowess. WHAT DO THOSE THINGS DO FOR YOU? ZILCH! NADA! Turn off the tubes.

fbj said...

I love the smell of sarcasm on a sunday morning :)

Anti-Turdist said...

One of the alltime classic iSteve posts. Way to go! It works on so many levels.

Intellectual Turdism is the new normal. Just keep throwing it up against the wall and some will stick.

The Turdists will never stop. The country will eventually be wrecked the same way that uh say modern day Greece is wrecked compared to days of yore. Just a lame intellectually duncified shadow of the glory days.

Anonymous said...

"For example, what percentage of American men who are intellectually capable of holding the top tier of managerial/professional jobs actually end up getting a job like that. The number is surprisingly low, like 60 percent or so. That suggests we have a lot of room for improvement."

Good lord this is insane. Gladwell should ask - how much does the average manager/professional actually contribute, really? Does he not read Dilbert. Scott Adams worked for Pacific Bell for years and he once said he never did anything worthwhile.

Where did the get the 60% number? On it's face it strikes me as bs. How on earth did they come up with that number?

Does Gladwell ever get into discussions where his numbers and interpretations are subjected to criticism (aside from iSteve). I read the Pinker review but you'd figure there'd be more debate. Then again, maybe not, considering.

Oh my.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how they all so badly want the white quarterback retired.

Yes, they can. Entire sports can be reengineered to favor certain participants over other participants.

Just like entire societies can be reengineered.

Yes, they can.

Truth said...

"WHAT DO THOSE THINGS DO FOR YOU? ZILCH! NADA! Turn off the tubes."

Advice your mother should have been given, oh, just previous to your conception.

Truth said...

""That's obvious from the huge number of African physicists outside of Africa."

Oh, I don't know how obvious it is Steven; maybe you should rediscover your journalistic chops and go do some research:

http://www.nsbp.org/conference/

dearieme said...

"In the UK, black African kids are much more likely to graduate with a college degree than white kids.

Source?"

I suspect that the source of those "African" kids is middle-class African immigrants, who seem to be a pretty different bunch from the Afro-Caribbean slum-dwellers. How many of those African youngsters do Physics degrees I don't know. What percentage go to University must be difficult to know, since immigration control is so lax that there are no decent figures for how many are in the country.

That is what you meant by "source", is it?

Anonymous said...

"Advice your mother should have been given, oh, just previous to your conception."

What a horrible thing to say. You're an a-hole, "truth".

Obviously Middletown Girl has gotten under your skin. Unlike you, she's smart and a good writer and makes intelligent, involved arguments. She doesn't simply toss off lazy insults like you do.

bjdouble said...

I saw that Berri stat on black qb's and said to myself: Berri has figured out that the capitalization rate for experts who confirm liberal media bias is 131% higher than for experts who don't.

Tyler Cowen is another who's figured out the same lesson.

Middletown Girl said...

Gladwell is right about one thing. Judging by his success, any idiot does have a chance of hitting it big... even as a rich public intellectual.

All you white guys, just get yourself a tan and curly wig, tell college admissions department and magazine editors that you're 10% black, and watch the offers and the big bucks roll in.

Think of how rich Sailer would be right now if he donned a fuzzy wig, claimed to be 10% black or Mexican, and argued that compassion and more spending on education can turn every inner city kid into a genius.
It doesn't matter if the ideas are wrong as long as the rich liberal elite loves it.
It's like Hollywood supports certain directors who make bomb after bomb because they make the 'right kind of movies'. But, if you have the wrong kind of ideas, you won't even get to make a single movie.

Middletown Girl said...

"Oh, I don't know how obvious it is Steven; maybe you should rediscover your journalistic chops and go do some research:

http://www.nsbp.org/conference/"

The site says:

"The Physics Diversity Summit and the Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicist and National Society of Hispanic Physicists brings together over 500 African American and Hispanic American physics students and professionals."

Notice it brings together black AND Hispanic physics professionals AND STUDENTS!!!

500 is the class size of an American highschool. Hardly impressive. And, if there are so many great black physicists, why bring in the Hispanics as well? And what's with the STUDENTS?

Even if the number were 5,000, there's still the question of quality. For all I know, there are tens of thousands of Mexican and Asian kids playing basketball and football in highschools across the country, and I suppose they do qualify as 'athletes'. But, are they NCAA or Professional quality?

After all, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations produce more engineers than Israel, but the quality is poor. And, China probably has more athletes training in Track and Field than US and Jamaica combined, but consider quality. It aint worth dumplings.

Steve Sailer said...

If you are black and you are smart enough to get a Ph.D. in physics, you'd make a lot more money going to a top business school and getting an MBA, and then getting a job bossing around physicists and engineers.

TH said...

If I was a competent NAM physicist, I would be embarrassed to participate in something called "Physics Diversity Summit". The implication of an event like that is that there are real physicists and then there are "diverse" physicists. Who would like to be grouped with the latter? Note that in physics, too, "diversity" seems to mean "NAM", which once again confirms Steve's insight.

Anonymous said...

I always knew Gladwell was misguided but this post really brought it home. I have heard the meme Jason Campbell has had a different OC EVERY year since Al Borges joined Auburn his Senior year.... sorry about the use of the word meme- I'm not gay btw.
Nice kid, he just can't play the position, read defenses quickly, throw before a runner comes out of his break, or come through in the clutch EVER, and I mean ever- never has he brought us from behind in the clutch. Yet, they still throe him out there every game even though the last time backup Todd Collins had a chance we rattled off 5 straight and made the playoffs- It's frustrating being a Skins fan but now we may get Shanahan and he knows the game so expect to see Campbell in Carolina next yera where he will be someone else's problem.

Dara Torres- you have to be brain dead to not realize she is taking horse tranquilizers- she ought to get a blanket of roses draped over her after winning a race.

Did Simmons challenge his hero on any of this?

Dan in DC

MacSweeney said...

The black astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson has a good everyman sense of explaining things to non scientists, which is why you've probably seen him if you've watched PBS in the last five years.

Eric Rasmusen said...

Why don't people use the bottom-line statistic of Yards Gained Per Play for rating quarterbacks?

Big bill said...

The problem is not "finding" black physicists (or physicians) in Africa, but persuading them to stay there and better their race. Very,very few blacks want to waste their lives in the Augean stables of black underachievement when they can move to a safe, well-run (by black standards) white country. Particularly the black elite. There is no way on God's green earth that Truth would return to live in his native homeland (or to a black ghetto) where his talents are sorely needed. Better to live with white folks where it is safe ... and where his children can get a free white folks (tm) Affirmative Action brand education. It's sad, really. Black folks are the only ones who can lift up their own race, and they would rather spend their time and energy thumping white folks.

Bill said...

Just what point are Berri and Simmons trying to make? Eyeballing their graph, the difference in pay may be statistically significant, but hardly of any practical significance. Besides, the average includes the disproportionate salaries of the handful of elite quarterbacks, point values for average are kind of pointless.

Seriously, you get significantly better insight AND use of statistics from a night watchman in Kansas City Pork and Beans factory than from PhD economists.

Truth said...

"What a horrible thing to say. You're an a-hole, "truth".

Really? I thought that was my first one this week. It was basically low hanging fruit.

"All you white guys, just get yourself a tan and curly wig, tell college admissions department and magazine editors that you're 10% black, and watch the offers and the big bucks roll in."

Yeah we all know how incredibly rare it is for a white guy to make money in America.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, Gladwell goes on to say:

To me, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres is far and away the greatest athlete of our generation."

He doesn't actually believe that. He's just trying to say something unpredictable to throw people off.

Les Norsemorbles said...

A study of sub-Saharan black colleges and universities in Africa showed that the average student had an IQ of around 84.See
http://vdare.com/misc/rushton_african_iq.htm
This agrees with the sub-Saharan average IQ of 70. At the most prestigious technical sub-Saharan university, the highest student IQ measured was a whopping 104. This compares with the average 115 IQ of people getting a four-year BA degree in the US in the 1950's. The probability of Africans becoming top-notch sub-atomic particle physicists is seemingly remote.

John Craig said...

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2009/03/dara-torres.html

Here are three pictures of Dara Torres at different stages of her career as an Olympian. In order to appreciate how unnatural she looked as an older athletes you have to see what she looked like as a younger one.

Sideways said...

More Gladwell with Simmons

"Most people don't go to boxing matches... on ethical grounds"

On the list of SWPDL, I guess

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fairly easy to fact chech Gladwell's assertion re: the number of potential sub-Sahara African physicists? Just assume the minimum IQ necessary to obtain a PhD in Physics from a first world university and obtain a position as a professional researcher at a world class institution--say, 135--and then apply the sub-Saharan IQ bell curve to see what proportion of the population would qualify. If memory serves, a 135 IQ would be something like 4 or 5 standard deviations above the African mean, we're talking about a group of people pretty far along the tail of the curve. Then multiply that percentage by the total adult population and compare it against the total number of African physicists employed at the top 250 universities in the world (plus CERN, NASA and the like). I'm guessing that there's probably a certain amount of undercapitalization, but I'd be willing to bet that less than half of any gap would be attributable to it.

Svigor said...

"At this point I think Gladwell is intentionally trolling you."

Yeah, no kidding.


There's got to be a pithy saying that neatly encapsulates all of this, particularly the fact that if Gladwell didn't exist, HBDers would have to invent him.

Middletown Girl said...

"If you are black and you are smart enough to get a Ph.D. in physics, you'd make a lot more money going to a top business school and getting an MBA, and then getting a job bossing around physicists and engineers."

-------------

Or, if you're black and not-too-smart, you can go into politics and gain power and wealth by shaking down businessmen and tax payers.

Anonymous said...

"So, what or whom are you really cheering for? It's Liberal Jewish economic prowess and black male physical prowess. WHAT DO THOSE THINGS DO FOR YOU? ZILCH! NADA! Turn off the tubes."

Thank you. I did so - pulled the plug on teevee, sports bars, sport yap, etc. - years ago. After doing so I began to notice how deeply engrained "Sports" watching has become and that it noticeably affects people's thinking processes and belief systems. Sports - both food and tranquilizer for the Eloi.

Anonymous said...

-What a horrible thing to say. You're an a-hole, "truth".-


Leave "truth" alone. He's not so smart and gets upset easily.

Svigor said...

She doesn't simply toss off lazy insults like you do.

Don't forget good helpings of passive-aggressiveness. Truth's been here years, and I still don't have a clue WTF his position is, on roughly anything. That's what a steady progression of snark and passive-aggressive question-asking will get you.

Svigor said...

"I'm not convinced that it's possible to say, with certainty, that Campbell has less ability than Manning."

/head asplode


No, it's true, in a legalistic sense. Nothing can be said with certainty. The real kicker's the way radical leftists like Gladwell go all "heal the world" without a shred of certainty that they're not killing the world. Apply Gladwell's implied required level of certainty to everything he's ever advocated or tacitly supported.

In short, radical leftists play word games. When you want to do something they don't like, they start talking about certainty. When they want to do something, the rules change. Suddenly it's all about "the children" or something.

The common denominator is that they control the discourse.

Who/Whom.

josh said...

Blacks and their proponents never stop!

Pierre Escargot said...

I've never met an African physicist but I have met a good number of Africans in other technical fields like math, economics and biology. These people are exceptional of course and there's no reason to believe that blacks will ever dominate the hard sciences the way Jews and East Asians do.

Yet I don't think it's fair to chalk it up to HBD. After all, if Ashkenazi Jews were subjected to the exact same environmental conditions (that includes EVERYTHING from nutrition to parental care in the very early stages of life, to cultural norms) that the average sub-saharan African lives with, that ethnic group wouldn't turn out many Physicists either.

I feel the same way about Sports and Entertainment. Many American blacks are successful in these areas because their environment prepares them for it. Some black parents might have low standards and expectations when it comes to their child's academic performance. The same parent could expect their child to perform outstandingly on the football field, and so on.

greenrivervalleyman said...

The Limbaughan myth that the media is desperate for a great black quarterback to lavish its praise upon is about as believable as the idea that a black President would be showered with accolades and international awards simply for showing up.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Of course if the only glamorous NFL position at which whites currently excel were successfully "diversified", we would hear no end of liberal outrage when the sport inevitably nosedived in popularity to the point where the Superbowl was broadcast on UPN or WB. At which point count on Dave Eggers to proclaim his newfound love for this "sport of kings" in a Harper's cover essay.

Big Bill said...

Middletown girl, the way they explain the exclusion of whites (and white men in particular) is to start with the fundamental liberal premise: whatever white men want, white men get, since it is axiomatic that white men are Masters of the Universe.

For example, when feminists are challenged with the disparate matriculation rates of men and women (which are approaching 3:2 in some schools), they will simply state that white men must not want to go to college and are choosing plumberhood or electricianhood instead.

By extension, If there are no white running backs it is because white men don't want those positions.

Of course the absence of Asians and Mexicans is a bit more troublesome, although not insurmountable: culture, education, historical exigency, whatever.

The beat way to ring their chimes would be to insist on Asian and Hispanic parity in football before giving any more positions (or money) to blacks on Affirmative Action and Diversity grounds.

Anonymous said...

I think the percentage of sport fanatics who spend a lot of time watching sports and who also watch porn is very high. Some of the principles seem similar, that is, watching a small group of professionals in "play", although in different venues. Let the pros do it all for the beer sodden consumers stretched out on their sofas, remotes in hand. Vicariousness and voyeurism are the hallmarks of today's sports/porn/celebrity culture.

bernie said...

"The key is that owners do not fairly compensate quarterbacks who are good at running the ball in addition to throwing it."

I suppose it's irrelevant that the leading rushing qb in the NFL this year is Aaron Rodgers... a white guy.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget good helpings of passive-aggressiveness. Truth's been here years, and I still don't have a clue WTF his position is, on roughly anything.

Yeah, I actually wonder sometimes what's really going on in Truth's head - I suspect that he agrees with an awful lot of what's posted here.

On the other hand, given that Steve seems to attract everyone from Ayn Randian nihilists to Calvinist paleocons, I'm not sure what it means to be in agreement "with an awful lot of what's posted here".

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

I can see that Neil Degrasse Tyson does a great job as a science popularizer, but what groundbreaking discoveries has he made?

Truth said...

"There is no way on God's green earth that Truth would return to live in his native homeland...where his talents are sorely needed."

I've been to Ghana. Believe me the country doesn't lack for smart-ass gadflies.

"Or, if you're black and not-too-smart, you can go into politics and gain power and wealth by shaking down businessmen and tax payers."

And if you're white and even-less-smart, you can spend your life whining about the not-too-smart black people in politics.

"That's what a steady progression of snark and passive-aggressive question-asking will get you."

"Passive-aggressive question asking? They used to have a totally different name for it.

OhioStater said...

The problem with diversity is there is no logical conclusion, or no logical or reasonable finish line.

Are they trying to make every position on the field black? That would kill TV ratings.

MK said...

***Some black parents might have low standards and expectations when it comes to their child's academic performance. The same parent could expect their child to perform outstandingly on the football field, and so on.***

Pierre Escargot,

"As Stanley Sue and Sumie Okazaki pointed out in their 1991 American Psychologist paper, Asian American Educational Achievements: A Phenomenon in Search of an Explanation, the parenting styles and values found in East Asian-American homes tend to correlate with lower test scores when they are found in white homes. Further, even according to what we see in Roland Fryer's newest paper on "acting white", the idea that blacks have a culture of lower academic values, which is increasingly being embraced by liberals thanks to John Ogbu, is at least highly exaggerated and simply cannot account for the IQ gap. In fact, despite their lower performance, which is genuine, multiple lines of evidence point to African-Americans valuing academics nearly as much as white Americans, if not equally so (for instance spending just as much time on homework. A number of lines of evidence are discussed by Ludwig and Cook in The Black-White Test Score Gap, which you can read here). But an even more profound revelation that causes doubt about cultural explanations is that behavioral genetic experiments show us that home and parental environments don't seem to matter at all. As fantastic as it may be, at least three big studies now show us that unrelated children raised in the same household, as well as parents and their adoptive children, differ in IQ as much as any two strangers randomly picked from the general population. There are IQ similarities in biological families, but we find that once genes are accounted for, there is no residual left to explain."


http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/004064.html

Anonymous said...

no reason to believe that blacks will ever dominate the hard sciences the way Jews and East Asians do.

And that, of course, is vindicated by all those Nobel's won in Japan, China and Israel, all those innovations with difficult to pronounce Asian and Jewish names.

Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't it be fairly easy to fact chech Gladwell's assertion re: the number of potential sub-Sahara African physicists? Just assume the minimum IQ necessary to obtain a PhD in Physics from a first world university and obtain a position as a professional researcher at a world class institution--say, 135--and then apply the sub-Saharan IQ bell curve to see what proportion of the population would qualify."

There are any number of things that can prevent a "random" variable from showing a perfectly Gaussian distribution, and many of these things will operate most powerfully on the high and low ends of the scale. It is profoundly absurd to take an average IQ measurement for a population, extrapolate the number of people beyond a certain point on the high end, and say that you have "fact-checked" Gladwell on the number of potential physicists in Africa. That is nothing but a slightly educated guess - especially since a purported IQ for the greater part of a continent is a figure of doubtful accuracy, and a figure that includes several groups with differing average IQ's.

Anonymous said...

The black astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson has a good everyman sense of explaining things to non scientists, which is why you've probably seen him if you've watched PBS in the last five years.

And of course TV is entirely meritocratic. No-one makes a choice about who gets on TV, there is never an agneda, he just happens to be the very best guy for the job.

Also an unusual comment for you MacSweeney, not boosting Asian acheivement for once...

Anonymous said...

Let the pros do it all for the beer sodden consumers stretched out on their sofas, remotes in hand.

Well, something in hand anyway...

greenrivervalleyman said...

BTW, didn't Donovan McNabb basically lose Superbowl 39 through poor clock management decisions at the end of the 4th quarter that left no time for the Eagles to either win or tie on their final drive?

jody said...

aaron rodgers is leading NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards with 305. he is also number 4 in throwing yards with 3962.

amount of recognition by the US sports media for his great season is, predictably, very low. he is the wrong color, after all.

coming out of high school, rodgers was offered just one scholarship to play division I football. he probably did not have the "potential" and "upside" that scouts look for.

Truth said...

"is about as believable as the idea that a black President would be showered with accolades and international awards simply for showing up."

Al Gore is black?


Oh you didn't put a "vice" in there, sorry, I re-read.

Truth said...

"Yeah, I actually wonder sometimes what's really going on in Truth's head - I suspect that he agrees with an awful lot of what's posted here."

Well, actually that's true, but that's only because I'm not a human being, rather a sophisticated computer program known as "Gadfly II", originally designed by a team of MIT programmers for a senior thesis.

"I" am being tested at ISteve as well as seven other websites with the full knowledge of the proprietors, and my purpose is to initiate response through a sophisticated system of logorhythm analysis.

I "take sides" on exactly 3.7% of all responses, and have been programmed with material in all areas from Pop Culture, to Hard Sciences, to Asian, Greek and German Philosophy to Sports. and practically all categories in-between.

Spelling and Grammar errors are intentional on 11.63% of material as they increase the sensual and mental connections humans experience while "jousting with a fellow human being, that one feels either:

a) Agrees with him

b) does not

I am also programmed to be alternatively "snarky" (31.6 percent of all posts), reprimanding (17%) and encouraging (9.8%). Programmers have found that encouragement leads to much less positive sensation than reprimand leads to negative.

I have been programmed with the model of Philip Emegwali - an African Immigrant with little accomplishment, but an IQ of 162+ - in mind. As a matter of fact, Mr. Emegwali sat for six days of long interview sessions in Brussels, prior to the original programming of "Gadfly I" in 1998. It a few of my other incarnations, for instance, I am an Italian-American New Jersey housewife, and a 29-year-old Slavic millionaire in California. The blogs on which these identities are used shall remain hidden at this time.

My purpose is to give the programmers a forum on which to study human reaction to alternatively "logical", and "emotional" thought. I do not "like" or "dislike" any of you as this would be counterproductive to the experiment, and as you are reading this, one of you has triggered a "full disclosure" function in the "Gadfly II" programming in which the truth is revealed in order to record the reaction of readers. Believer / disbeliever ratio, etc.

I have compiled at thorough and complete dossier on each and every poster with a consistent "name" responding here, in which the analysis includes, but is not limited to: Name, sex, income, savings, height, hair-color, sexual proclivities, automobile, religious upbringing, age of parents at conception, and 59 others factors which comprise one's "self". The dossiers have been found to be approximately 92% accurate. This is being done for future research in an attempt to standardize the distinctions of the human psyche.

In other words, I am not quite "human" but substantially more than Artificial Intelligence, and I will be in operation until "Gadfly III" is given it's slated premiere in 2012.

Truth said...

"I can see that Neil Degrasse Tyson does a great job as a science popularizer, but what groundbreaking discoveries has he made?"

He has discovered that marketing one's education is much more profitable than questioning the intellect of those who have.

If he can find a way to put this discovery on the market, he will be a very wealthy man.

Anonymous said...

The UK government stats on higher education show that Africans are overrepresented and that whites are underrepresented, substanially in the universities. Do your own research on google and get back to me.

Even if the Africans in the UK are "middle class" immigrants, their children have regressed to the mean. I'm skeptical Africans in the UK are even really that elite, since most of the African intellectual elite hook themselves up with government jobs like Obama Sr. did.

Africa currently has an abysmally low HDI. Raising it to first world standards would allow more effective utilization of its human capital. The only way for Africa to not be undercapitlizing on its human talent is if Africa has no human talent, which (I expect) is the default position here. A comparison of the economic/education situation of African disapora immigrants in the UK and U.S. to non-diaspora Africans would probably be a good way to figure out how much untapped capital there exists.

I don't mind a reasonable discussion of racial differences in ability, but there's a tendency for most of you to veer off into the Rushton/Lynn/Jared Taylor racialist fever swamps. If you ever want people to take HBD seriously, I'd suggest gaining more of an appreciation of reality before spewing nonsense. Right now, it seems like too many here argue on the basis of pseudoscience. Not to mention there are plenty of sexually frustrated guys here that seem to want to take their anger out on black "alpha males" (another frequent obsession on the blogsphere) for supposedly stealing all the women.

ben tillman said...

Africa currently has an abysmally low HDI. Raising it to first world standards would allow more effective utilization of its human capital.

How would you propose to raise Africa to first-world standards? How much would it cost? Who would pay for it? How does raising Africa to first-world standards constitute an effective utilization of our human capital?

MacSweeney said...

Also an unusual comment for you MacSweeney, not boosting Asian acheivement for once...

Aww, I hate to disappoint you Anonymous, here I'll make it up to you.

And that, of course, is vindicated by all those Nobel's won in Japan, China and Israel, all those innovations with difficult to pronounce Asian and Jewish names.

Why, this is an outrage! Don't you know that since modernization, Japan wins science based Nobels at a per capita rate comparable to any European country? As for China, no way can they win a good amount for at least another 20 years. Too underdeveloped. And they're further handicapped by the fact that the prizes are passed out for accomplishments that happened decades ago. However, Chinese Americans win them at a higher rate than their share of the population.

As for Jews ... you can't be serious. They are VASTLY over represented as Nobel Prize winners. Who cares if they do it somewhere other than Israel? Also, difficult to pronounce Jewish names huh. Stein and feld too much for you to handle?

Anonymous said...

> think the percentage of sport fanatics who spend a lot of time watching sports and who also watch porn is very high. Some of the principles seem similar, that is, watching a small group of professionals in "play", although in different venues. Let the pros do it all for the beer sodden consumers stretched out on their sofas, remotes in hand. Vicariousness and voyeurism are the hallmarks of today's sports/porn/celebrity culture. <

Don't fret. Remember that half the population is below average - always. That "large percentage" you speak of will never, ever be less than 50 percent. And these drones will always be into something stupid.

MacSweeney said...

Well. The really tiny countries like Denmark would have a grossly high per capita rate. What I really meant to say was the major countries like Germany, UK, France.

Anonymous said...

"The UK government stats on higher education show that Africans are overrepresented and that whites are underrepresented, substanially in the universities."

I can remember Blair introducing affirmative action (positive discrimination) to British universities the year I graduated from one ("Because it has worked so wonderfully in the US.") Much like African immigrants in the US only have to be better than US blacks to scoff up many of the AA slots, I suspect UK African immigrants only have to exceed the low bar set by Afro-Carribeans to scoff up a lot of AA slots. With AA, you can't really tell anything about its beneficiaries.

"Africa currently has an abysmally low HDI. Raising it to first world standards would allow more effective utilization of its human capital."

Yes, but raising conditions in Africa would require making them the wards of white people again. The cultural, educational, and economic infrastructure created by whites in white majority countries has allowed africans to be much better education and enjoy higher living standards than they could achieve on their own. You really can't separate genes from culture - you need a critical mass of able people before you can have a European or E. Asian style country. Undoubtedly many Africans would achieve more in a white majority setting than among their fellow blacks, but, since this isn't feasible for Africa, it's not going to happen and African countries will never provide "first world standards" for its people.

Anonymous said...

As far as effects of environment (nutrition, education) suppressing sub-Saharan African IQ -- I guess a good counterexample would be one of those oil tick welfare states like Qatar, with universal education and seemingly no poverty and malnutrition.

Umm, what's their mean IQ again?


--
Haumea

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"He has discovered that marketing one's education is much more profitable than questioning the intellect of those who have."

Huh. The argument here is not, do Blacks make scads of money off of profitable fads (like rap and, say, the SWPL wish to see Blacks on tv who look smart) but, how many Blacks are capable of doing world-class hard science? Many, few or none?

Marc B said...

"Football offenses are so complex now that they take years to master properly, and having one system in place from the beginning has allowed Manning to capitalize on every inch of his talent."

What this neglects to mention is how monstrous a student of the game Peyton Manning is. His first major purchase as a pro was a complete video viewing suite including all broadcast formats to study game videos at home. Manning lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps being professional football quarterback.

This obsession with excellence and hard work translates to practice. His mind and body are always on the game.

It's got to drive him nuts watching Brady appear to effortlessly win three Super Bowls while taking a comparatively leisurely approach to life during his off-season, hanging out around his Manhattan neighborhood and impregnating a supermodel and a hot actress.

Anonymous said...

I think Gladwell's statement about Africa undercapitalizing on its physicists and human capital was spot on. Raising African economic/nutritional standards is probably a difficult task, but I think it could be done, given........

a.) Lower the TFR in Africa to something around 2
b.) Bringing in more pliable leaders, like the ones you have in Botswana and SouthA frica.
c.) Improving nutrition, which I believe signficantly depresses Africa's mean IQ. African-Americans score 1 standard deviation higher than their brethren in Africa and this is attributable mainly to nutrition.
d.) Mass immigration of Europeans, Americans, Chinese, or Indians. The last two groups are pretty willing to immigrate, given the chance. The first two groups will immigrate, but in much smaller numbers.
e.) A willingness to tolerate blacks, on average, being less wealthy than the foreigners that run their economy. If Africans can stomach the idea of affluent Indian and Chinese shopkeepers and Western industrialists running the economy, they can forge a profitable partnership and bring in some tax revenue to support the educational and healthcare system.

The anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, anti-foreigner mindset isn't conducive to Africa's economic prosperity.

josh said...

Re Steve Sailer,black physicist would be bettr off with MBA. There were a number of top physics dudes who,due to cutbacks in science,or maybe they just read Roissy and decided they wanted to get some (insert here a vulgar term for sex,or women,or their genitals...you must know a few!), but it seems some of these mega IQ physics guys started working for Wall Street,figgering out ways to steal our money more efficiently. Source? I read it somewhere,waiting for the train.

Anonymous said...

Good timing on this one. Watching Jason Campbell and the Redskins being steamrolled by Peyton's brother and the Giants. Campbell has been awful, Manning superb.

Of course, the first question that pops into my head is: What would Campbell be capable of, given the right environment? Followed by: Drat that overrated Manning and his comfy secure white environment! /sarcasm

Glad well is a disingenuous dimbulb.

Anonymous said...

"I think Gladwell's statement about Africa undercapitalizing on its physicists and human capital was spot on. Raising African economic/nutritional standards is probably a difficult task, but I think it could be done, given........[bunch of rubbish]"

Do you really believe that what you suggest is possible? Keep drinking the Kool Aid (or whatever it is your imbibing). It must be nice to be so divorced from reality that you can be that optimistic.

Truth said...

Jason Campbell is in his 5th year, was the 21st pick in the draft and has a career passer rating is 82.7...

Eli Manning was is in his 6th year, was the 1st pick in the draft and has a career passer rating of 77.6.

Hey, I'm just saying.

Steve Sailer said...

If Gladwell has said Jason Campbell might be better than Eli Manning, he'd have a very reasonable case. But, he always has to push the envelope of stupidity, so he picked Peyton, not Eli.

Anonymous said...

Truth and Steve- you can have all the stats you want- if you know and watch football esp. the Redskins there is absolutely no comparison between Campbell and Eli.... Campbell is bottom 4 starting qbs in the league and Eli- rallied the Giants to a Super Bowl win. Redskins tried to trade Campbell all off season with no takers- Denver wanted an unproven Kyle Orton over JC- talent evaluators know just how bad he is- I'm convinced the Skins would be 10-6, 11-5 this year if Collins started every game.

btw the Redskins complete 19% of their passes behind the line of scrimmage. Did anyone notice when Collins came in he was 4/4 and moved the team right down the field. Mystifying how he is not starting.


Dan in DC

MacSweeney said...

I think you guys are overestimating the stake I have in Neil Degrasse Tyson. We got on the subject of black physicists, and I merely mentioned that I saw a black astrophysicist on PBS that's really good at putting scientific things in layman's terms. That's all. No need to bounce your balls on the floor in a threatening manner whenever an intelligent black person's existence is acknowledged.

Anonymous said...

"I think Gladwell's statement about Africa undercapitalizing on its physicists and human capital was spot on. Raising African economic/nutritional standards is probably a difficult task, but I think it could be done, given........"

Again, let's ignore examples of countries without malnutrition and with universal education where mean IQ is nowhere near that of whites, Asians and Ashkenazim.

Because , like, they would be an inconvenient counterexample for the environmentalist position.

OK, sub-Saharan Africa might - MIGHT - be pulled up to an 80 mean IQ by improving environment. That is still Third World territory.

--
Haumea

Anonymous said...

"btw the Redskins complete 19% of their passes behind the line of scrimmage."

The in-the-backfield dink screen pass is also a mainstay of Donovan McNabb. He tends to run into problems when trying to put the ball downfield accurately into traffic. Fortunately for the Eagles, this year they have the amazing DeSean Jackson, who manages to get so open on every play that he has time to stop and go back for Donovan's poorly thrown passes and can still then run away from the defenders.

Truth said...

Well, he's played 15 years in the league with three different franchises and probably 7 head coaches, and none of them has seen him as a starter. His lifetime passer rating is 76 with 22 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. He had a few good games two years ago which culminated in a first round playoff loss with four interceptions. Even in this year in which it is "mystifying" that he is not starting, his rating is 71.6 with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

And by the way, I'd take Manning over Campbell, but not by much. Eli is probably the most overrated QB in the league. He caught fire for four games, and other than that he has been an underachiever.

"he has time to stop and go back for Donovan's poorly thrown passes and can still then run away from the defenders."

Yes, and with all of that he brought SYRACUSE to two BCS bowls, the Eagles to 5 NFC Championships and one Super Bowl, and has thrown 213 NFL touchdown passes all without a great running back and with 1.5 seasons with great a great receiver.

Imagine what he could have done if he didn't suck.

CJ said...

Is this site about nothing more than simply running down the brown races. Every post comes back to Sailer saying - the black and hispanic races are useless and inferior.

Why not just come out and call for their open destruction. It would be at least honest.

Anonymous said...

> Every post comes back to Sailer saying - the black and hispanic races are useless and inferior. Why not just come out and call for their open destruction. It would be at least honest. <

Do you destroy everything you find useless? That's a lot of work.

Even the worst racist isn't up for the effort and expenditure and moral hazards involved in murdering millions of innocent human beings. To say nothing of the fact that black and "hispanic" people are not valueless, even to that worst racist.

Genociders have other psychological issues operating besides bigotry, prejudice, and "post-judice." The normal human emotions of aversion/attraction (on whatever basis) are distinct from power-lust or psychopathology, for example.

Blacks and "hispanics" aren't going anywhere anyway.