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The Ancient Greeks Weren't All Geniuses

The cultural and scientific achievements of Ancient Greece are so manifold that it is barely worth recounting them. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle laid the foundations of Western philosophy. Pythogoras, Euclid, and Archimedes launched mathematics as a disciple grounded on logic and proof, a break from the approximative techniques that had held sway in other civilizations (and would largely continue to do so). To this day many medical schools have their students swear an oath under the name of Hippocrates. Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides – the originators of, and still giants in, the Western literary canon. Herodotus and Thucydides, the founders of a historiography that was something more than just a court chronicle.

Ancient Greek IQ = 125 (Galton)

Bearing in mind the very small population from which these intellectual giants were drawn – at its height, Ancient Athens had no more than 50,000 male citizens – it is little wonder that many thinkers and historians have posited a very high average IQ to the ancient Greeks, including most recently evolutionary psychologist Gregory Cochran. But the argument was perhaps best stated by the Victorian polymath and inventor of psychometrics Francis Galton, in the (not very politically correctly titled) “Comparative Worth of Different Races” chapter of his book Hereditary Genius:

The ablest race of whom history bears record is unquestionably the ancient Greek, partly because their master-pieces in the principal departments of intellectual activity are still unsurpassed, and in many respects unequalled, and partly because the population that gave birth to the creators of those master-pieces was very small. Of the various Greek sub-races, that of Attica was the ablest, and she was no doubt largely indebted to the following cause, for her superiority. Athens opened her arms to immigrants, but not indiscriminately, for her social life was such that none but very able men could take any pleasure in it; on the other hand, she offered attractions such as men of the highest ability and culture could find in no other city. Thus, by a system of partly unconscious selection, she built up a magnificent breed of human animals, which, in the space of one century—viz. between 530 and 430 B.C.—produced the following illustrious persons, fourteen in number:—

Statesmen and Commanders.—Themistocles (mother an alien), Miltiades, Aristeides, Cimon (son of Miltiades), Pericles (son of Xanthippus, the victor at Mycalc).
Literary and Scientific Men.—Thucydides, Socrates, Xenophon, Plato.
Poets.— Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes.
Sculptor.—Phidias.

We are able to make a closely-approximate estimate of the population that produced these men, because the number of the inhabitants of Attica has been a matter of frequent inquiry, and critics appear at length to be quite agreed in the general results. It seems that the little district of Attica contained, during its most flourishing period (Smith’s Class. Geog. Dict.), less than 90,000 native free-born persons, 40,000 resident aliens, and a labouring and artisan population of 400,000 slaves. The first item is the only one that concerns us here, namely, the 90,000 free-born persons. Again, the common estimate that population renews itself three times in a century is very close to the truth, and may be accepted in the present case. Consequently, we have to deal with a total population of 270,000 free-born persons, or 135,000 males, born in the century I have named. Of these, about one-half, or 67.500, would survive the age of 26, and one-third, or 45,000, would survive that of 50. As 14 Athenians became illustrious, the selection is only as I to 4,822 in respect to the former limitation, and as I to 3, 214 in respect to the latter. Referring to the table in page 34, it will be seen that this degree of selection corresponds very fairly to the classes F (1 in 4, 300) and above, of the Athenian race. Again, as G is one-sixteenth or one-seventeenth as numerous as F, it would be reasonable to expect to find one of class G among the fourteen; we might, however, by accident, meet with two, three, or even four of that class— say Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Phidias.

Now let us attempt to compare the Athenian standard of ability with that of our own race and time. We have no men to put by the side of Socrates and Phidias, because the millions of all Europe, breeding as they have done for the subsequent 2,000 years, have never produced their equals. They are, therefore, two or three grades above our G—they might rank as I or J. But, supposing we do not count them at all, saying that some freak of nature acting at that time, may have produced them, what must we say about the rest? Pericles and Plato would rank, I suppose, the one among the greatest of philosophical statesmen, and the other as at least the equal of Lord Bacon. They would, therefore, stand somewhere among our unclassed X, one or two grades above G—let us call them between H and I. All the remainder—the F of the Athenian race— would rank above our G, and equal to or close upon our H. It follows from all this, that the average ability of the Athenian race is, on the lowest possible estimate, very nearly two grades higher than our own—that is, about as much as our race is above that of the African negro. This estimate, which may seem prodigious to some, is confirmed by the quick intelligence and high culture of the Athenian commonalty, before whom literary works were recited, and works of art exhibited, of a far more severe character than could possibly be appreciated by the average of our race, the calibre of whose intellect is easily gauged by a glance at the contents of a railway book-stall.

Francis Galton was writing before the invention of the standard deviation, but in his methodology a “grade” was equivalent to 10.44 IQ points (under an S.D. of 15), so in practice the Athenians had an IQ of perhaps 120 relative to a Victorian British mean of 100. (And presumably, therefore, about 110 relative to the modern Greenwich mean, which is considerably higher than a century ago due to the Flynn Effect).

There are however a few problems with this.

Ancient Greek IQ = 90 (Apollo’s Ascent)

First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters.

However, it turns out that using the Apollo’s Ascent method of computing aggregate mindpower – with adjustment for the intellectual discovery threshold – as a function of population size, literacy rate, and average IQ can explain the record of Greek achievement just as succinctly without requiring positing superhumanly high average IQ levels which are so dubious from an evolutionary perspective.

Let us treat each of these factors in turn:

Ancient Greek Demography

It is often forgotten that when we are speaking of ancient Greek accomplishment it is more than just a story of Athens, a city that drew the cognitive elites of the entire oikoumene to itself (much as major metropolises like New York, London, Paris, etc. do so today).

To be sure, Athens might have had 50,000 male citizens, and a total population of 250,000-300,000 [CORRECTION: Actually refers to the entire Athenian city-state. Population of just the city was probably about twice less]. But the population of Greece proper was probably at least five times larger, because the total urbanization rate never went much above 20% in any preindustrial country that we know of. Moreover, Greeks were scattered all across the Mediterranean world, in Ionia and Sicily and the shorelines of Egypt, the Italian “boot,” France, Spain, and the Pontic steppe.

map-of-ancient-greek-world

Greece: More than just Greece. Source.

According to recent calculations, the total population of Greeks in the 4th century BC was at least 7.5 million, and probably more like 8-10 million (Mogens Herman Hansen in An Update on the Shotgun Method). For perspective, at the time, this represented just under 5% of the world’s population (i.e. remarkably similar to the US today). These figures might still be modest, but they are essentially comparable in magnitude to those of even the biggest preindustrial civilizations (source: Several, but mainly Angus Maddison):

  • Egypt: A consistent 5 million in both Roman and Islamic times
  • Persia: Likewise, around 5 million
  • Roman Empire: 50-60 million (of which 20 million were in the Greek East)
  • Qin China: 22 million in ~210BC (only 2x more than Greek world!)
  • Han China around 1AD: 60 million
  • Byzantine Empire: 10-12 million when it was at its geographical peak
  • Abbasid Caliphate: 30 million
  • Medieval China: 100 million
  • Medieval France: 20 million (most populated W. European country; peak)
  • Renaissance Italy: 10.5 million in 1500

To be sure, many ancient Greeks were slaves and women who were more or less excluded from participating in intellectual endevours. But in that respect they were no different from any other preindustrial civilization that we know of.

Ancient Greek Literacy

In William V. Harris’ Ancient Literacy, he estimates that the literacy rate of late Classical Greece was 5-10%, rising to 10% in the Hellenistic period, and 10-15% in Roman Italy (but considerably lower in the peripheries like Gaul). This might seem very low and it is. But in that period, it was low everywhere; in reality, the literacy rates attained in the classical Mediterranean world were far higher than had been previously seen anywhere else. Because Classical Greece was pretty much the first society in the world (only much smaller Phoenicia could have been even a remote contender) to attain what he calls “craftsman literacy” i.e. around 10%. All previous societies had been limited to the 1-2% rates that he calls “priestly literacy.”

Although he doesn’t spell it out explicitly, the key factor that must have enabled this in my view was the development of the alphabet, which occured first amongst the Phoenicians (who were also respectably creative for their numbers).

It is speculated that the alphabet might have arisen as a result of the intense trading culture of the Phoenicians, which made simplification of the writing system highly adaptive. Due to Greek and Roman influence, Mesopotamian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs were displaced. In contrast, perhaps by the time trade had reached similarly intensive levels in China – perhaps after the construction of the Grand Canal in the 7th century AD – the characters system was already too embedded in the bureaucracy and was kept on due to a QWERTY effect. However, there might also be an HBD angle. Peter Frost has suggested the spread of the ASPM gene from Middle Eastern origins – large lacking in East Asians, and associated with continuous text processing – could have tipped the scales in favor of the adoption of alphabetic systems in the Near East and the Mediterranean in a way that could not have happened in East Asia. (Note that Korea’s Sejong the Great introduced an alphabetic system in the 15th century, for the express reason of increasing literacy amongst the commonfolk, but it took until the 20th century for it to truly catch on).

Whatever the case, it is a simple fact that learning literacy is incredibly easier with alphabet based systems than character based systems. Learn the 50 or fewer symbols of your typical alphabet and their vocalizations and you are pretty much set; everything else is style and detail. In contrast, you need to know 1,000-1,500 characters just to be considered literate in Chinese (and you would still struggle a great deal even with newspaper texts). An average Chinese college graduate is expected to recognize around 5,000 characters and even they frequently have trouble with some remarkably “straightforward” characters. Here is an anecdote that represents this really well from David Moser’s classic essay Why Chinese is So Damn Hard:

I happened to have a cold that day, and was trying to write a brief note to a friend canceling an appointment that day. I found that I couldn’t remember how to write the character 嚔, as in da penti 打喷嚔 “to sneeze”. I asked my three friends how to write the character, and to my surprise, all three of them simply shrugged in sheepish embarrassment. Not one of them could correctly produce the character. Now, Peking University is usually considered the “Harvard of China”. Can you imagine three Ph.D. students in English at Harvard forgetting how to write the English word “sneeze”?? Yet this state of affairs is by no means uncommon in China.

By medieval times, China had by far the world’s most sophisticated infrastructure for increasing human capital, such as movable type (invented 400 years in advance of Gutenberg), cheap mass produced paper (in contrast, the Mediterranean world had to rely on expensive Egyptian papyru, which put a further limit on mass literacy), the system of meritocratic exams for entry into the Confucian bureaucracy, and a vast network of writing tutors, including free ones (the founder of the Ming dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang was an impoverished orphan who was taught literacy in a Buddhist monastery). Even so, held back by its writing systems, medieval China’s literacy rate was no higher than 10% at best (that was the rate at the close of the Qing dynasty and that came after the beginning of education reforms).

There are some scholars like Evelyn Rawski who argue China’s historical literacy rates were far higher. I addressed them in my Introduction to Apollo’s Ascent article (Ctrl-F for “fish literacy”).

Of course at the time of the Ancient Greeks none of this existed yet in China, so the literacy rate then was probably around 1-2% as was typical of societies with “priestly literacy.” Ergo for the great civilizations of the Middle East before the classical era.

This is common sense, but the point needs to be made regardless: Without literacy, no matter how intelligent you are, you can almost never meaningfully contribute to scientific or cultural progress.

With a literacy rate 5 or even 10 times as high as that of other contemporary civilizations (barring the Romans), their modest demographic preponderance over Greece is put into necessary perspective. To be sure, a literacy rate of 10% might not functionally translate into 5 times as much aggregate mindpower (all else equal) as a 2% literacy rate, because presumably, it is the brightest people who tend to become literate in the first place. On the other hand, however, this was a world of hereditary caste and class, of Plato’s Golds, Silvers, and Bronzes. The advanced cognitive sorting that developed in the US in the second part of the 20th century, as described in detail in Charles Murray’s Bell Curve, was totally unimaginable then. Furthermore, there might be a network effect from having a relatively dense concentration of literate people. I would imagine these two factors substantially or wholly cancel out the effect of diminishing returns to higher literacy in terms of human accomplishment. (If you have any ideas as to how this could be quantified, please feel free to mention it in the comments).

Ancient Greek IQ

As I wrote in Introduction to Apollo’s Ascent, there are a number of factors which have been shown to strongly influence IQ, making it just about feasible to guesstimate them historically.

Some of the most important ones as they pertain to Ancient Greece vs. everyone else are:

  • Nutrition
  • Inbreeding/consanguineous marriage
  • Parasitic Load

It just so happens that so far as all of these are concerned the Greeks hit the jackpot.

Nutrition: The Ancient Greeks were remarkable effective at escaping the Malthusian trap for a preindustrial society. (I am not sure why that was the case. Slavery? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).

According to a 2005 paper by Geoffrey Kron, citing Lawrence Angel, the average heights for Classical Greece males are 170.5cm, rising to 171.5cm for Hellenistic Greek males, which is similar to the levels attained by Britain and Germany in the early 20th century, and furthermore, compares very well with the average heights of Greek conscripts in the mid-20th century. The n=927 Roman average from 500BC to 500AD was 168.3cm, and the figures for the Byzantine Empire (at least in Crete) appear to have been similar. Here are some figures for other times and places for comparison from Gregory Clark’s A Farewell to Alms:

historical-heights

In other words, the Ancient Greeks were about as tall as the Georgian British, some of the tallest Europeans at that time, who were on the cusp of permanently escaping the Malthusian trap and were likewise undergoing a remarkable cultural and scientific explosion.

This must have been enabled by a remarkable level of personal prosperity, as expressed in how much grain the average laborer could buy with a day’s wage. Again via Gregory Clark:

laborers-wages-in-wheat

The Odyssey is full of people sacrificing ridiculous numbers of bulls. While presumably not to be taken literally, it does probably illustrate that there were no major shortages of animal proteins. (The same certainly could not be said for China, India, or Japan, where diets have always been almost fully dominated by carbohydrates). To be sure the Odyssey takes place in the 8th century BC, but cattle shares in the Mediterranean remained high through the period of Classical Greece and only plunged as Greece transitioned into the Hellenistic period, according to an exhaustive paper by Nikola Koepke:

history-of-european-cattle

Additionally, as a seafaring culture, fish and sea products must have played a substantial part in the Greek diet. This would have helped them avoid the iodine deficiency that tends to depress IQ and lead to cretinism in more inland and mountainous areas. Even the very poor who could not afford fish would have used garum, the fish sauce popularized by the Romans but invented by Greeks, to flavor their staples.

Inbreeding: Inbreeding/cousin marriage, especially of the FBD type, directly lowers IQ and to a very large extent. But as prominent blogger hdbchick noticed, the Greeks had begun to outbreed extensively in the Archaic Age:

well, from mitterauer again we have [pg. 69]:

“Greek was the first European language to eliminate the terminological distinction between the father’s and mother’s side, a transition that began as early as between the fifth and third century BC.35

so that’s just at the transition point between archaic greece and classical greece. but starting at least in the early part of the archaic period and lasting throughout to the classical period the archaic greeks were outbreeding! at least the upper class ones were — difficult/impossible to know about the lower classes. from Women in Ancient Greece [pg. 67]:

“Marriages were arranged by the prospective groom and the prospective bride’s guardian, and the wife usually (although not always) went to live with her husband’s family. In the early Archaic Age [800 BC – 480 BC], to judge from the evidence of Homer’s poems (e.g. ‘Odyssey’ 4.5), male members of the upper classes generally married women who were not related to them, and who came from different areas. This upper-class habit of exogamy — marrying outside the community — was related to the political importance which marriage possessed in these circles. Marriage exchanges were one of the means by which noble families created political alliances with groups living in other areas, and in this way they made a considerable contribution to the aristocracy’s stranglehold on power. This practice survived to the end of the Archaic Age. However, with the emergence of the *polis*, exogamy began to give way in some places to endogamy — to marriage within the community. For the upper classes, this meant marriage within a tight circle of aristocratic families living in the same *polis*.”

so there was outbreeding in archaic greece for a few hundred years (at least amongst the upper classes), and, then, eventually — after about 400 years or so — there was a linguistic shift to more general kinship terms which reflected that outbreeding.

Moreover, of Emmanuel Todd’s four main European family systems – nuclear, egalitarian, authoritarian/stem, and communitarian (see Craig Willy’s post for a detailed explanation) – the Ancient Greeks practiced the authoritarian type, in which the eldest son stays with the parents while his siblings leave and inherits most or all of his family’s property.

The authoritarian family system, also seen in regions such as Germany, Sweden, Scotland, the Jews, Korea, and Japan (after ~1500), and substantially in 18th century Britain, seems to be highly eugenic in terms of selection for IQ and longterm planning. This stands to reason. Families with a lot of land/property can breed a lot of children and disperse them into the general population, and when they die, the eldest son who inherits everything can himself repeat the process. Those families who mismanage their affairs and lose land no longer have the resources to produce so many children (surviving ones, at any rate) and thus their contribution to the overall genepool peters out.

This is the opposite of the dynamics involved in communitarian family systems, in which property is divided equally amongst the sons. But all of the major Middle Eastern civilizations, as well as the Etruscan Roman heartlands, were characterized by communitarian family systems (albeit with varying rates of cousin marriage: Low in the Roman world, much higher in the Middle East and especially Egypt, where even brother/sister marriages appear to have been been quite widespread under both the Pharaohs and the Greco-Romans).

In communitarian family systems the eugenic factor is much weaker. Family ties play a big role with associated nepotism and (especially in the most endogamous societies) clannishness. Reproductive success is tied not so much on one’s own capability to use intelligence and planning to create surpluses as on support from the extended family and clan. hbdchick calls this “clannish dysgenics,” though considering that communitarian family systems are the “default” for most of human histor, I would argue it might be more apt to talk of “nuclear/stem family eugenics.” Be as it may, aggregate selection for increased IQ is much weaker.

The ancient Greeks also practiced direct eugenics, exposing physically deformed babies. The Spartans in particular are (in)famous for it. However, this seems to have been more or less universally prevalent in preindustrial history, so I doubt this could have been much of a factor.

Parasitic Load: The Mediterranean climatic and agricultural system made for a (relatively) very salubrious environment, in stark contrast to subtropical environments with their humidity and endemic diseases (e.g. India, South China) and to inland agricultural systems heavily dependent on irrigation, in which large bodies of still water are breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty parasites (most major civilizations outside Europe).

In particular, as noted in Mark Elvin’s The Pattern of the Chinese Past, aggregate parasitic load steadily INCREASED in China over the past two millennia, as its demographic center of gravity shifted inexorably south, which was characterized by irrigated rice growing and high humidity.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Ancient Greeks and other Mediterraneans also had one of the most potent counters to parastitic load in the form of their advanced viniculture. Due to their relative wealth (see above), they could afford a lot of wine, and back then it was usually stronger too.

Aggregate Mindpower in Ancient Greece

And now we can put together the final tally for Ancient Greece:

  • Could draw on a population of ~10 million Greeks (Romans: 50 million; Han Chinese: 60 million; Renaissance Italy: 10 million)
  • Had a literacy rate of 10%. Romans – Also 10%; Chinese – ~2%; Renaissance Italy – about 20% (see Van Zanden et al., 2009).

Some back of the envelope calculations for IQ:

  • Greeks are Caucasoids so let’s take the modern Greenwich mean of 100 as first default approximation, and slightly higher for Mongoloids (Romans: 100; Chinese: 105; Italy: 100)
  • Nutrition (subtract from optimal): Greeks – minus 5; Romans – minus 8; Chinese – minus 10 (would increase later); Italy – minus 5 (was very well fed in the depopulated years after the Black Death).
  • Inbreeding/Family Systems: Greeks – minus o (positive advantage of stem family type cancels out relatively modest incidence of cousin marriage); Romans – minus 2 (exagamous communitarian); Chinese – minus 5 (exagamous communitarian but more cousin marriage than amongst Romans); Italy – minus 0 (egalitarian family system with little cousin marriage thanks to Catholic Church regulations)
  • Parasitic Load: Greeks – minus 5 (let’s say that’s best possible in preindustrial age); Romans – minus 7 (did have more irrigation); Chinese – minus 10; Italy – minus 7
  • Guesstimated IQ: Greeks – 90; Romans – 83; Han Chinese – 80; Renaissance Italy – 88. Incidentally, this would give the Greeks enough of an edge to give substance to ancient stereotypes about their intelligence and craftiness but without having to evoke superhuman IQ levels.

Let us recall some definitions:

Assume that the intellectual output of an average IQ (=100, S.D.=15) young adult Briton in the year 2000 – as good an encapsulation of the “Greenwich mean” of intelligence as any – is equivalent to one nous (1 ν).

This can be used to calculate the aggregate mindpower (M) in a country.

and…

Technological growth c * M(>threshold IQ for new discovery) * literacy rate

Here are some rough calculations:

ancient-greece-and-aggregate-mindpower

Reminders:

  • c is information tech multipliers, i.e. things that make scientific/cultural progress easier. A modern example would be the Internet. I gave Renaissance Italy a bonus because of its invention of eyeglasses, which essentially doubled the creative lifespans of skilled artisans (and at the peak of their powers), and the spread of the printing press from the mid-15th century.
  • M is total aggregate mindpower. It does not have much meaning for Malthusian societies, but in the modern world it would generally correlate with total GDP.
  • The other Ms refer to the aggregate mindpower that is above the Greenwich mean to one, two, and three standard deviations respectively. Recall that not even a trillion homo erectus will come up with the calculus; you need to be above a certain threshold to make any progress. Recall also that the discovery threshold is generally 2 S.D. above the mastery threshold.
  • Recall also the assumption that (beyond the threshold) more intelligent people are exponentially more effective at solving problems that duller people; but of course the absolute numbers of those highly intelligent people taper off dramatically due to bell curve dynamics.

To understand the Pythagoras Theorem you need an IQ of around 100, implying that to discover it, the threshold is around 130. The Odyssey might be a great classic, but it has a simple, linear storyline with no particularly deep moral themes or conundrums (reminder: The putative heroes end up hanging all the female household servants who had allegedly slept with the suitors and no time is lost on further introspection). I suspect the threshold for writing it is also around 130.

map-7th-century-BC

Source: Classwell.com

This implies that around that period – the 8th-6th centuries BC in the Mediterranean – you needed a 130 IQ to move the intellectual boundaries outwards. As we can see, Ancient Greece was overshadowed by both the Roman Empire and Renaissance Italy at ΔT(+2.0), except that… conveniently, neither of the latter two existed. Its competitors at the time, civilizations like the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians, lagged substantially in IQ and literacy, and did not compensate demographically; Phoenicia might have matched Greek literacy, but was probably behind in IQ, and had far fewer people. Remarkably, it was vastly ahead of China even 500 years later.

Literacy increased during this period, and the population rose steadily to its plateau of ~10 million as Greeks colonized the Mediterranean rim, and so during this time, intellectually they were the only game in town.

During the two centuries of Classical Greece’s flowering from the 5th-4th centuries BC, the Ancient Greeks almost singlehandedly pushed the discovery threshold up by almost a standard deviation. In the process, tons of discoveries and advancements were made. To really appreciate Euclid, you probably need an IQ closer to 115. Archimedes was perhaps the most quantitatively brilliant Greek of them all, coming tantalizingly close to uncovering the calculus. Understanding classical Greek philosophy (and for that matter, the later works of the Neoplatonists and Gnostics) likewise becomes far more demanding but is not beyond the capabilities of a committed 110 or 115 IQ person. Even so, they have nothing on the likes of 20th century philosophers like Ludwig Wittgenstein or Martin Heidegger. Even very intelligent people have to commit years of dedicated effort in order to master their ideas. The complexity of the Antikythera mechanism (Hellenistic times) has been compared to late medieval European mechanical clocks. To really master them, I suspect the minimal IQ is likewise around 110-115, hence innovating it might require a threshold IQ of around 140-145.

By Hellenistic times, progress became much harder, not because Greeks had become (much) dumber or had become culturally Orientalized, but because the low hanging fruit had already been picked. Naturally, the same went for the Romans.

ΔT(+2.0) i.e. at the 130 discovery threshold for Ancient Greece as of ~500 BC was 43,000 (plus/minus a very large percentage error). ΔT(+3.0) i.e. at the 145 discovery threshold for the Romans as of ~0AD was 2,500 – and there were far more discoveries to be made. Naturally, progress slowed down drastically.

ΔT(+3.0) i.e. at the 145 discovery threshold of Renaissance Italy just by itself more than twice as dynamic as the entire Roman Empire. And the figures for Europe as a whole would have been vastly bigger still. Hence the (real) perception that by the Renaissance, the boundaries were once again being pushed outwards at a face rate, which would become a positive explosion from the 17th century on, when the first incipient mass literacy programs were launched and demographic mass also started soaring.

 
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  1. [To be sure, Athens might have had 50,000 male citizens, and a total population of 250,000-300,000. But the population of Greece proper was probably at least five times larger, because the total urbanization rate never went much above 20% in any preindustrial country that we know of.]

    That total population is not that of the urban area, but of the whole state of Athens, the great majority of which was rural.

    [According to recent calculations, the total population of Greeks in the 4th century BC was at least 7.5 million, and probably more like 8-10 million (Mogens Herman Hansen in An Update on the Shotgun Method).]

    A large overestimate. Contrary to what Hansen seems to believe, numbers of inhabitants given in ancient sources vary vastly in their reliability, and so did population density across the Greek world.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the post isn’t any more solid from a factual point of view. In fact, under scrutiny the whole IQ-centric construction crumbles.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the correction on Athens.

    What particular problem do you have with Hansen's methodology? What is your estimate of the number of Greeks during the Classical period? In any case, even if you were to halve the estimated Greek population, the explanatory power of AA wouldn't vanish. Even 5 million would still be equivalent to the estimated historical population of major demographic powerhouse Egypt from 1AD-1800. To be sure if you go lower you do start getting problems but anything much lower than 5 million is unrealistic.
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  2. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I agree with you, Galtonian overestimates are over-the-top. A low to high 90s mean IQ, i.e. what you find in contemporary Europe too with few exceptions going under or over, combined with various cultural factors and the application of some good ideas seems enough to explain it.

    Of course, the problem is trying to arrive at what the latter are and it’s nice to see your attempt; especially if we ignore your estimate of ancient East Asian IQ and going by their really high contemporary scores, their historical relative underperfomance in many areas compared to both the Hellenistic and Islamic worlds (or, to put it in terms that lead to less arguing, the fact that East Asians didn’t outshine these two), let alone the post-16th century West, does need some explanation.

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  3. I’ll probably write something substantive once I read this whole post, but so far a nitpick:

    Han China around 0AD: 60 million

    There was no 0 AD. 1 BC was followed by 1 AD.

    [AK: Thanks. TIL!]

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    • Replies: @robt
    Just to be difficult, 0AD implies zero time extent = 0AD is just the cusp* between 1BC and 1AD, not that 0AD represents a whole year. Similarly, the moment could be named 0BC. But by definition, 0AD or 0BC could never be a whole year, as they only represent an instant of transition, in fact non-existent, like a point.

    *Merriam Webster: cusp: "a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next)".
  4. First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters.”

    I’m assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I’m assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I’m not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors’ population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There’s more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn’t regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn’t Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander’s conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    The Athenians believed that they were Pelasgians originally and that they had always lived in their land. Apparently they looked darker than Greeks in other areas, such as the Spartans.

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors. The Spartans were dedicated to raising ideal warriors and hardly cared about anything else. There is a lesson there: the varying levels of achievements between the societies and civilizations are only partially a reflection of their respective intelligence levels. The values and priorities (which are often a result of historical accidents) count for a lot, too.
    , @tbraton
    "In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn’t regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn’t Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy. "

    In all likelihood, it definitely wasn't "Greek." I think you are conflating two different civilizations created by two different ethnic groups. The Minoans who occupied ancient Crete and neighboring islands like Thera (or Santorini) were not Greek. They were a seafaring people like the later Phoenicians who invented an artful civilization unlike anything the later Greeks invented. Their legendary King Minos was said by the later great Greek historian Thucycides to have rid the Aegean of pirates. Eventually they were taken over gradually by a Greek people, the Mycenaens, who also established centers in the Peloponnesus at Mycenae (Agamemnon), Sparta (his brother, Menalaos, husband of Helen of Troy) and Pylos (Nestor) and other strongpoints. The entire Minoan/Mycenaen civilization was destroyed around 1200 B.C. either as a result of invasion or eruption of the massive volcano on the island of Thera which destroyed the island with a force greater than that of the 19th century volcanic eruption at Krakatoa in the Pacific. We know that the original Minoans were a non-Greek people because of Linear A (discovered at Knossos, not yet translated but determined to be a non-Greek language) and Linear B (discovered at Pylos, translated in 1951 by a Greek, and determined to be a Greek language).
    Both Linear A and Linear B, systems of writing that were lost after around 1200 B.C., were confined to matters of accounting and the like and were not used for purposes of composing literature, as far as we know.
    , @Singh
    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.
    --

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your 'greatness.
    , @Singh
    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.
    --

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your 'greatness.
    , @Singh
    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.
    --

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your 'greatness.

    You'll bring up blond hair, but yazidis are from India & have it too. xD
  5. The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I can read Chinese news slowly, with mistakes, often looking stuff up in online dictionaries. It's insanely hard for an adult foreigner to learn to read Chinese. I'd say it's at least 20 times harder than learning a new European language if you already know one.

    Anatoly is also talking about this from experience - he's spent a lot of time studying Chinese.
    , @Bao Jiankang

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)
     
    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair's take on it.
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.
    , @Che Guava
    I am mainly writing in reply to
    the anonymous coward, I am unsure what you meant with your comment about characters and the literature.

    Please further explain.

    I think I know what you meant.

    Except for Taiwan and, to some extent HK, simplified sets are now universal, and, in Korea, one sees much old signage, but it is usually only in the hangul script now. People who are not very old generally only know those few readings, and the ones used in the press. Of course, some university graduates can still read Korean written mainly in Chinese characters.

    Oddly, there is at least one example where the PRC simplified a character to the same glyph as in the older modern Japanese orthography, but the meaning and form of the original character was completely different.

    For Anatoly, the hangul script is *not*
    alphabetic. It is a unique and truly ingenious syllabic representation, each 'letter' can contain three parts, the number of combinations exceeds 23,000. Most are not pronouncable, not in the language, or only for loan words.

    When a person brought up with it reads, unless there is only one part, they read the two or three parts as a whole, so it is phonetic, but cognitively a little like Chinese characters. Less reading the sounds, more pattern recognition.

    Of course, it is similar for good readers in alphabetic languages, recognising the words rather than the letters, but I think the difference is important.
    , @Fred Reed
    Well, sort of. Given the paucity of phonemes in Mandarin, having different characters for, say, “nan,” south as in Nanjing, and “nan,” man as in nanren, makes the distinction instantly clear, yes. But, for me anyway, to learn an unfamiliar word in Spanish—say, “ajolote,” tadpole—is vastly easier than to learn a character of a dozen or so strokes, and characters for unusual things—“roe deer”—tend to vanish from memory. Maybe I just have a poor visual memory, though.
  6. in contrast, the Mediterranean world had to rely on expensive Egyptian papyru,

    I doubt papyrus was expensive. It’s just grass. I think that after the Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries the trade between Europe and Egypt was cut off, and papyrus disappeared from Europe. After that most European books were written on calf skin or sheepskin, which were expensive. But I’m sure that cheaper media could have always been found. And Novgorodians did write on birch bark. But there was little need for a cheaper writing medium until the Renaissance. As you correctly say, few could read, and a large percentage of those few could afford beuatifully-adorned manuscripts made of high-grade leather.

    The Chinese writing system is very complex, but it has to be remembered that from the Dark Ages through the 18th century all European intellectual discourse was conducted in a dead language, Latin. You first learned Latin and then you learned everything else in it. Is that as difficult as learning thousands of characters? No, but it’s still somewhat difficult.

    The Ancient Greeks were remarkable effective at escaping the Malthusian trap for a preindustrial society. (I am not sure why that was the case. Slavery? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).

    The founding of overseas colonies. They shipped their surplus population all over the Med and the Black Sea. It’s interesting that the locals hardly ever succeeded at chasing them out. Almost like Europeans in the 1492-1914 period, the ancient Greeks could disembark anywhere they liked, grab a piece of coast and settle.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/679826435242995713

    I think it's a positive feedback loop though. Cheaper writing mediums = fewer barriers to literacy, equilibrium level of literacy rises. And vice versa.

    Renaissance Italy had about twice the literacy rate of Roman Italy on the eve of the appearance of the printing press. Why? I don't precisely particularly know, but the replacement of papyrus by paper in Europe during the 12-14th centuries probably played some part.

    I don't much agree with the Latin part. Learning it was easy for the intellectual elites who needed it. To create those intellectual elites in the first place you first had to impart basic literacy to them, which was much easier to do than in China.

    The founding of overseas colonies. They shipped their surplus population all over the Med and the Black Sea.
     
    Thanks. That's actually a really obvious reason that I somehow overlooked. Of course by Hellenistic and especially Roman times that such real estate had vanished, so nutritional levels declines.

    Experiments could be designed to refine that 2 SD estimate. College students could be asked to prove new-to-them theorems. A control group could try to simply understand them. People could be asked to solve mechanical problems or to understand solutions.
     
    Certainly. In fact I wonder if any such experiments have already been done. I'm planning to get in touch with Linda Goddfredson (who seems to be the expert on such matters) about this sometime soon.
  7. @anonymous coward
    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    I can read Chinese news slowly, with mistakes, often looking stuff up in online dictionaries. It’s insanely hard for an adult foreigner to learn to read Chinese. I’d say it’s at least 20 times harder than learning a new European language if you already know one.

    Anatoly is also talking about this from experience – he’s spent a lot of time studying Chinese.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I find reading Japanese a lot easier than Chinese. Though both use Chinese characters, Japanese uses fewer and a more regular set of them. And the structure of Japanese along with its use of the kana syllabaries make it easier to read. The Chinese characters in Japanese stand for the semantic content, and the kana is used for particles, inflections, etc. Chinese isn't inflected and uses characters for everything, which makes it much harder than Japanese. Written vernacular Chinese is hard to read, and classical or literary Chinese is even harder.

    After studying Japanese and Chinese, other European languages seem so much easier. They almost don't even seem like different languages. Although I did study Latin and Greek in school and some French before studying Japanese and Chinese, so I did have a large base in vocabulary and cognates and had lots of practice reading difficult written material for European languages. Still, after Japanese and Chinese, reading other European languages seems so much easier.
    , @Seraphim
    One may wonder how the Chinese manage to do it? Apparently their IQ is lower than that (some) of the Nordic Europeans! China's place comes after Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium! It is true that the real nordic Europeans (and Americans) come at the bottom of the list (Denmark, Norway, Finland, US, Canada).
  8. As for avoidng cousin marriage, is there any record of any northern farmers ever practicing it with any frequency? Old Euro royals don’t count since they weren’t farmers and there were so few of them anyway. If the ancient Greeks really were a northern European people transplanted to the Mediterranean, then of course they wouldn’t have practiced cousin marriage.

    Recall also that the discovery threshold is generally 2 S.D. above the mastery threshold.

    Experiments could be designed to refine that 2 SD estimate. College students could be asked to prove new-to-them theorems. A control group could try to simply understand them. People could be asked to solve mechanical problems or to understand solutions.

    It would be interesting to see how that difference (which you put at 2 SD) varies by problem type and difficulty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    I find it hard to see how Northern farmers in their sparsely populated lands could avoid cousin marriage. If there are only a few tiny villages and homesteads for a hundred miles around, either you'd have to travel far and wide to find a spouse or everyone becomes everyone else's cousin after a few generations.
  9. @Glossy
    First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    I'm assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I'm assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I'm not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors' population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There's more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different - the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways - democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren't just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn't regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn't Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander's conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    The Athenians believed that they were Pelasgians originally and that they had always lived in their land. Apparently they looked darker than Greeks in other areas, such as the Spartans.

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors. The Spartans were dedicated to raising ideal warriors and hardly cared about anything else. There is a lesson there: the varying levels of achievements between the societies and civilizations are only partially a reflection of their respective intelligence levels. The values and priorities (which are often a result of historical accidents) count for a lot, too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Athenians claimed to be autochtonous. What they probably meant by that is that they were more indiginous to Attica than Spartans, for example, were to Laconia. There was a Dorian invasion around 1200 BC in which Spartans participated - a movement of some Greeks from northern Greece to the Peloponnese. Athenians had been in Attica since Mycenian times, i.e. since before the Dorian invasion, so they WERE more indiginous to their land than Spartans were to theirs.

    But I'm guessing that most of the ancestors of all Greek groups - Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans - came to Greece from the north in prehistoric times, centuries before the Dorian invasion.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors.
     
    In Human Accomplishment, Charles Murray notes that free/democratic and reasonabe authoritarian states don't appear to crimp human accomplishment, but totalitarian/ideological ones do.

    Sparta would appear to fit into the latter category.


    Athenian
    Whether men are right or wrong in their censures of the Laconian polity and the Cretan—that is another story; anyhow, what is actually said by most men I, probably, am in a better position to state than either of you. For in your case (your laws being wisely framed) one of the best of your laws will be that which enjoins that none of the youth shall inquire which laws are wrong
     
    - Plato
  10. @inertial
    The Athenians believed that they were Pelasgians originally and that they had always lived in their land. Apparently they looked darker than Greeks in other areas, such as the Spartans.

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors. The Spartans were dedicated to raising ideal warriors and hardly cared about anything else. There is a lesson there: the varying levels of achievements between the societies and civilizations are only partially a reflection of their respective intelligence levels. The values and priorities (which are often a result of historical accidents) count for a lot, too.

    Athenians claimed to be autochtonous. What they probably meant by that is that they were more indiginous to Attica than Spartans, for example, were to Laconia. There was a Dorian invasion around 1200 BC in which Spartans participated – a movement of some Greeks from northern Greece to the Peloponnese. Athenians had been in Attica since Mycenian times, i.e. since before the Dorian invasion, so they WERE more indiginous to their land than Spartans were to theirs.

    But I’m guessing that most of the ancestors of all Greek groups – Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans – came to Greece from the north in prehistoric times, centuries before the Dorian invasion.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Also it's thought that the Greek colonisation of the western coast of Asia Minor started in late Mycenian times. So classic-era Athenians had been in Attica longer than Asia Minor Greeks had been in Asia Minor. Athenians were more autochtonous than most Greek-speaking groups, but less autochtonous than non-IE-speaking Pelasgians.
  11. @Glossy
    Athenians claimed to be autochtonous. What they probably meant by that is that they were more indiginous to Attica than Spartans, for example, were to Laconia. There was a Dorian invasion around 1200 BC in which Spartans participated - a movement of some Greeks from northern Greece to the Peloponnese. Athenians had been in Attica since Mycenian times, i.e. since before the Dorian invasion, so they WERE more indiginous to their land than Spartans were to theirs.

    But I'm guessing that most of the ancestors of all Greek groups - Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans - came to Greece from the north in prehistoric times, centuries before the Dorian invasion.

    Also it’s thought that the Greek colonisation of the western coast of Asia Minor started in late Mycenian times. So classic-era Athenians had been in Attica longer than Asia Minor Greeks had been in Asia Minor. Athenians were more autochtonous than most Greek-speaking groups, but less autochtonous than non-IE-speaking Pelasgians.

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  12. @Glossy
    As for avoidng cousin marriage, is there any record of any northern farmers ever practicing it with any frequency? Old Euro royals don't count since they weren't farmers and there were so few of them anyway. If the ancient Greeks really were a northern European people transplanted to the Mediterranean, then of course they wouldn't have practiced cousin marriage.

    Recall also that the discovery threshold is generally 2 S.D. above the mastery threshold.

    Experiments could be designed to refine that 2 SD estimate. College students could be asked to prove new-to-them theorems. A control group could try to simply understand them. People could be asked to solve mechanical problems or to understand solutions.

    It would be interesting to see how that difference (which you put at 2 SD) varies by problem type and difficulty.

    I find it hard to see how Northern farmers in their sparsely populated lands could avoid cousin marriage. If there are only a few tiny villages and homesteads for a hundred miles around, either you’d have to travel far and wide to find a spouse or everyone becomes everyone else’s cousin after a few generations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Well, they had horses and boats. I don't think that any of them were recorded practicing it during historical times, though hbdchick would know this better.
    , @AmericanaCON
    Scandinavians have always had a low level of intermarriage between family members. Scandinavia was and is very urbanized. The contemporary and historical population in Scandinavian countries has always been centralized to the far south and coastal areas. Gavle, the first city in Northland (Sweden) was not mentioned in the books until 1413. It was given city status in 1446. Gavle is located in the far-south Northland just 100 miles from Stockholm. Northland was not massively settled until 1620 and the settlements were along the coast. Some of these settlements were very isolated and to avoid intermarriage between family members the Swedish government banned first-cousin marriages in 1680. Today, only 13 percent of the Swedish population lives in Northland. Many of them migrated from the South to the North in the late 17th century. If you go back to the Roman-Iron age we find that Scandinavians lived in Denmark and the rest were gathered in very dense clusters in Southern Sweden, Finland and Norway - with some exceptions.
  13. @inertial
    I find it hard to see how Northern farmers in their sparsely populated lands could avoid cousin marriage. If there are only a few tiny villages and homesteads for a hundred miles around, either you'd have to travel far and wide to find a spouse or everyone becomes everyone else's cousin after a few generations.

    Well, they had horses and boats. I don’t think that any of them were recorded practicing it during historical times, though hbdchick would know this better.

    Read More
  14. @anonymous coward
    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair’s take on it.

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @22pp22
    I am a white Kiwi and I speak Japanese well and Korean badly. Characters make it easier, not harder, to learn an Asian language. Japanese written in pure katakana is hard even for a native-speaker of Japanese. Telegrams used to be written in katakana and I remember that used to trip people up when they were read out at weddings.

    Characters are not hard to learn. They need concentrated effort for a few months. The writing system is not the thing that makes Japanese hard to master.

    , @22pp22
    This is not a silly comment, far from it, but it's not the best here.
    , @Anonymous
    Mair is a Pinyin fanatic, and I think he's mistaken in his dogmatic view that Chinese characters, along with all writing, are fundamentally phonetic in nature. Chinese characters are fundamentally mnemonic, not phonetic, devices that frequently encode phonetic values to point to meanings, images, images that refer to meanings, etc.
    , @Priss Factor
    Why Chinee no take lesson from Korean and Japanese and create a phonetic system of Chinese?

    It can use characters based on Chinese characters but also flexible enough to serve as phonetic stuff.

    That way, maybe Chinese language can be pared down to 500 useful characters.
    Much better that way, and less load on mind to memorize stupid stuff.
  15. Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.

    It’s also possible there were other impressive civilizations which have been lost–the Indus Valley civilization appears to have had large cities, etc. but we can’t decipher their script so we don’t know anything about them. We got lucky with the Rosetta Stone, as I recall. The Ancient Greeks may have just been lucky enough to be just before Rome, which preserved many of their discoveries and spread them all over the Mediterranean, then semi-preserved them for Europe later.

    Also, the Arabs picked up quite a bit of Greek philosophy before al-Ghazali closed the gates of interpretation in the eleventh century.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.
     
    That is exactly true. And one of the core elements of AA!

    It is so obvious but many people appear to have issues with it for some reason. There are local minima now and then but as you push beyond the technological frontier things only ever get harder. Likewise, by necessity, the capabilities of the people doing the pushing.

    This is true not only for science but art and culture as well. Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). There are any number of artists today who would find it almost trivial to reproduce the Mona Lisa.
  16. @5371
    [To be sure, Athens might have had 50,000 male citizens, and a total population of 250,000-300,000. But the population of Greece proper was probably at least five times larger, because the total urbanization rate never went much above 20% in any preindustrial country that we know of.]

    That total population is not that of the urban area, but of the whole state of Athens, the great majority of which was rural.

    [According to recent calculations, the total population of Greeks in the 4th century BC was at least 7.5 million, and probably more like 8-10 million (Mogens Herman Hansen in An Update on the Shotgun Method).]

    A large overestimate. Contrary to what Hansen seems to believe, numbers of inhabitants given in ancient sources vary vastly in their reliability, and so did population density across the Greek world.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the post isn't any more solid from a factual point of view. In fact, under scrutiny the whole IQ-centric construction crumbles.

    Thanks for the correction on Athens.

    What particular problem do you have with Hansen’s methodology? What is your estimate of the number of Greeks during the Classical period? In any case, even if you were to halve the estimated Greek population, the explanatory power of AA wouldn’t vanish. Even 5 million would still be equivalent to the estimated historical population of major demographic powerhouse Egypt from 1AD-1800. To be sure if you go lower you do start getting problems but anything much lower than 5 million is unrealistic.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Egypt's peak population before modern times was much above that. Several of Maddison's estimates seem substantially too low.
    This is all a bit irrelevant to what Galton originally did, though, which was to compare the achievements specifically of Athenian citizens with those of other peoples and classes. And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.
  17. @Glossy
    in contrast, the Mediterranean world had to rely on expensive Egyptian papyru,

    I doubt papyrus was expensive. It's just grass. I think that after the Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries the trade between Europe and Egypt was cut off, and papyrus disappeared from Europe. After that most European books were written on calf skin or sheepskin, which were expensive. But I'm sure that cheaper media could have always been found. And Novgorodians did write on birch bark. But there was little need for a cheaper writing medium until the Renaissance. As you correctly say, few could read, and a large percentage of those few could afford beuatifully-adorned manuscripts made of high-grade leather.

    The Chinese writing system is very complex, but it has to be remembered that from the Dark Ages through the 18th century all European intellectual discourse was conducted in a dead language, Latin. You first learned Latin and then you learned everything else in it. Is that as difficult as learning thousands of characters? No, but it's still somewhat difficult.

    The Ancient Greeks were remarkable effective at escaping the Malthusian trap for a preindustrial society. (I am not sure why that was the case. Slavery? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).

    The founding of overseas colonies. They shipped their surplus population all over the Med and the Black Sea. It's interesting that the locals hardly ever succeeded at chasing them out. Almost like Europeans in the 1492-1914 period, the ancient Greeks could disembark anywhere they liked, grab a piece of coast and settle.

    I think it’s a positive feedback loop though. Cheaper writing mediums = fewer barriers to literacy, equilibrium level of literacy rises. And vice versa.

    Renaissance Italy had about twice the literacy rate of Roman Italy on the eve of the appearance of the printing press. Why? I don’t precisely particularly know, but the replacement of papyrus by paper in Europe during the 12-14th centuries probably played some part.

    I don’t much agree with the Latin part. Learning it was easy for the intellectual elites who needed it. To create those intellectual elites in the first place you first had to impart basic literacy to them, which was much easier to do than in China.

    The founding of overseas colonies. They shipped their surplus population all over the Med and the Black Sea.

    Thanks. That’s actually a really obvious reason that I somehow overlooked. Of course by Hellenistic and especially Roman times that such real estate had vanished, so nutritional levels declines.

    Experiments could be designed to refine that 2 SD estimate. College students could be asked to prove new-to-them theorems. A control group could try to simply understand them. People could be asked to solve mechanical problems or to understand solutions.

    Certainly. In fact I wonder if any such experiments have already been done. I’m planning to get in touch with Linda Goddfredson (who seems to be the expert on such matters) about this sometime soon.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I didn't know that papyrus was that expensive. I know that Romans used wax tablets to scribble notes and write down ideas on the fly. Those tablets were reusable, kind of like blackboards today. They periodically erased the text, smoothed out the wax and wrote new things on it.
  18. @inertial
    The Athenians believed that they were Pelasgians originally and that they had always lived in their land. Apparently they looked darker than Greeks in other areas, such as the Spartans.

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors. The Spartans were dedicated to raising ideal warriors and hardly cared about anything else. There is a lesson there: the varying levels of achievements between the societies and civilizations are only partially a reflection of their respective intelligence levels. The values and priorities (which are often a result of historical accidents) count for a lot, too.

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors.

    In Human Accomplishment, Charles Murray notes that free/democratic and reasonabe authoritarian states don’t appear to crimp human accomplishment, but totalitarian/ideological ones do.

    Sparta would appear to fit into the latter category.

    Athenian
    Whether men are right or wrong in their censures of the Laconian polity and the Cretan—that is another story; anyhow, what is actually said by most men I, probably, am in a better position to state than either of you. For in your case (your laws being wisely framed) one of the best of your laws will be that which enjoins that none of the youth shall inquire which laws are wrong

    - Plato

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    • Replies: @inertial
    Sparta was not totalitarian. It had a reasonably representative government, not dissimilar to future Roman Republic. It's just that Sparta was a jock culture, on steroids. Like all jocks anywhere in any era, they could not understand why anyone would be interested in useless nerdy pursuits.
  19. @Bao Jiankang

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)
     
    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair's take on it.
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.

    I am a white Kiwi and I speak Japanese well and Korean badly. Characters make it easier, not harder, to learn an Asian language. Japanese written in pure katakana is hard even for a native-speaker of Japanese. Telegrams used to be written in katakana and I remember that used to trip people up when they were read out at weddings.

    Characters are not hard to learn. They need concentrated effort for a few months. The writing system is not the thing that makes Japanese hard to master.

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    • Replies: @Bao Jiankang
    Japanese and Mandarin are not very similar languages. Japanese and Korean have some similarities but the jury is still out on that (altaic hypothesis is largely discredited). There is nothing unique about the so called "Asian" languages that would make a logographic writing system better than a phonemic one. Would Chinese characters make it easier to read Vietnamese? Manchu? Hmong? Zhuang? Most certainly not.
  20. @SFG
    Here's something I haven't heard that I'm curious to hear you comment on: isn't it easier to 'discover' stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.

    It's also possible there were other impressive civilizations which have been lost--the Indus Valley civilization appears to have had large cities, etc. but we can't decipher their script so we don't know anything about them. We got lucky with the Rosetta Stone, as I recall. The Ancient Greeks may have just been lucky enough to be just before Rome, which preserved many of their discoveries and spread them all over the Mediterranean, then semi-preserved them for Europe later.

    Also, the Arabs picked up quite a bit of Greek philosophy before al-Ghazali closed the gates of interpretation in the eleventh century.

    Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.

    That is exactly true. And one of the core elements of AA!

    It is so obvious but many people appear to have issues with it for some reason. There are local minima now and then but as you push beyond the technological frontier things only ever get harder. Likewise, by necessity, the capabilities of the people doing the pushing.

    This is true not only for science but art and culture as well. Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). There are any number of artists today who would find it almost trivial to reproduce the Mona Lisa.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Mr. Jeong's stuff looks boring to me. The Mona Lisa smiles in a subtly interesting way. Rembrandt's late self-portraits are subtly interesting in an entirely different way. I don't know how many modern artists could pull that off.

    I'd say that Gothic cathedrals are the best architecture that's ever been done. After about 1914 most Western architects stopped striving for beauty for ideological reasons, but from the Middle Ages until 1914 they continually wanted to build beautiful things, yet never surpassed the Gothic style. 19th-century Paris didn't look more beuatiful than Renaissance Florence.

    I think that the people who say that the best music is that of the Baroque period may very well have a point.
    , @5371
    Oh dear. It seems technomania is actually the least of your problems.
    , @reiner Tor
    I think it's technically easy for any trained painter to copy even the best painting, the difficulty lies in creating it in the first place. Many painters can copy Mona Lisa's smile, but they cannot create a painting even remotely as interesting as the smile of Mona Lisa.

    Art is not technically creating a painting - it's a craft which could be learned by most moderately talented painters. Art is conceiving the idea, composition, colors etc. of a totally new painting, provided that the new painting will be found by coming generations as interesting and possessing of depth. Creating a new painting lacking depth and being bad is also art, albeit bad art.
  21. ‘To be sure the Odyssey takes place in the 8th century BC,”

    A little nitpicking. While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C. (a matter that has been much disputed starting in ancient days), there seems to be no dispute that the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, portrays life several hundred years earlier, around 1200 B.C., or the tail end of the Bronze Age. After all, the Trojan War, which is the centerpiece of the Iliad and the background for the Odyssey, was waged by Mycenaean Greeks, and Mycenae was conquered by invading Dorians around 1200 B.C. (or so the story used to go). “Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VIIa.” Now what of that portrayed in the Odyssey reflects life of 1200 B.C. and what reflects life around 800 B.C. is a matter of interpretation and dispute. I think it is safe to assume that life in those ancient days did not change appreciably from one century to the next in the details of day to day life.

    BTW I came across an item within the last 10 years, and, despite the fact I have searched all my books on the subject, I can’t find it. I recall reading something to the effect that the ancient Greeks had a vocabulary that was at least 40% larger than any of their contemporary neighboring populations. I had long been at awe at the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, so when I first read that piece of information there was a spark of acknowledgement in my mind. I have always associated a large vocabulary with a high intelligence, so that the fact that the prolifically inventive ancient Greeks would have a much larger vocabulary than their neighbors seemed to follow. I don’t know whether you have any thoughts on this particular issue. I am also curious whether you have ever run across the same article I did or anything close to it.

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    Correction to my prior post where I said "While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C." I should have said "composed" instead of "written." There is an ongoing dispute (since ancient days) about whether the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed orally (as hard as it is for us moderns to comprehend) or had to be written down as it was composed, the same way modern literature is created. That's why the date when "Homer" lived is so important. It is known that the ancient Greeks lived through a so-called Dark Age, ranging from 1200 B.C. till roughly 800 B.C. where they lacked the ability to write and there is a paucity of artistic creations, even though, as I pointed out earlier, both Linear A and Linear B were so technical that they were ill suited for writing literary works and were used exclusively for accounting and other technical matters. It was the Phoenicians who invented what we consider the modern alphabet from whom the Greeks learned to write. The Greeks, however, took the Phoenician alphabet and added one important feature that the Phoenician alphabet lacked: vowels. The first examples of Greek writing using the Phoenician alphabet date to the middle of the 8th century B.C. (around 750 B.C.) Thus enhanced the Greek alphabet became the basis for all subsequent alphabets, starting with the Latins and later extending to the Slavic people (two Greek missionaries from Byzantium invented the Cyrillic alphabet). It is believed that Greeks acquired the Phoenician alphabet around 750 B.C. Thus, if we are to believe that "Homer" lived before then, as many ancients believed, then the Iliad and the Odyssey had to be composed orally and was later reduced to written form. That's why many modern scholars who argue that such complicated and lengthy works of literature had to written as they were composed struggle to bring "Homer's" date of birth forward.
    , @JoeB
    The comment that Greeks had a vocabulary 40% larger than their neighbors was interesting, given the tight correlation between vocabulary size and IQ. I don't have a table of norms for ancient populations, but http://testyourvocab.com/blog/2013-05-08-Native-speakers-in-greater-detail#newMainchartNative gives a notion of vocabulary size by percentile for modern populations.

    In the modern era, it would be tough for a 40-year old to have a vocab 40% larger than someone else (given the fair size of basal vocabulary). Squinting at the numbers a bit, an IQ difference of 20 points is plausible for a 40% larger vocabulary.

    Granted, we don't know if the claim of having a larger vocabulary is true. Similarly, we have no idea that the genetics, particularly mutations for intelligence, was that similar to neighboring populations.
    , @reiner Tor
    I don't think it's possible to know the vocabulary sizes of ancient semiliterate societies, especially if they wrote on quickly deteriorating materials (I think the only Greek works we have are the ones deemed interesting enough to be copied over and over again.
  22. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Glossy
    I can read Chinese news slowly, with mistakes, often looking stuff up in online dictionaries. It's insanely hard for an adult foreigner to learn to read Chinese. I'd say it's at least 20 times harder than learning a new European language if you already know one.

    Anatoly is also talking about this from experience - he's spent a lot of time studying Chinese.

    I find reading Japanese a lot easier than Chinese. Though both use Chinese characters, Japanese uses fewer and a more regular set of them. And the structure of Japanese along with its use of the kana syllabaries make it easier to read. The Chinese characters in Japanese stand for the semantic content, and the kana is used for particles, inflections, etc. Chinese isn’t inflected and uses characters for everything, which makes it much harder than Japanese. Written vernacular Chinese is hard to read, and classical or literary Chinese is even harder.

    After studying Japanese and Chinese, other European languages seem so much easier. They almost don’t even seem like different languages. Although I did study Latin and Greek in school and some French before studying Japanese and Chinese, so I did have a large base in vocabulary and cognates and had lots of practice reading difficult written material for European languages. Still, after Japanese and Chinese, reading other European languages seems so much easier.

    Read More
    • Replies: @22pp22
    I love learning languages.

    The hardest I have attempted in order are

    1). Unpunctuated Classical Chinese. I can read some texts easily and others make no sense to me whatsoever.

    2). Korean - I already spoke Japanese before I moved to Korea (aka hell) and I can usually guess words the meaning of words borrowed from Chinese. For example, if a syllable ends in chi or tsu in Japanese, it will usually end in a l in Korean. Hoo in Japanese will usually be rendered bang in Korean etc. Still, it's a horrible exercise in dictionary bashing.

    3). Hungarian. What a challenge! It's my plan to master it before I die.
    , @Anonymous
    For a guy who knows a lot of languages your English is terrible.

    You sound like a black immigrant child. Whether that's the effect of being such a polyglot or not is behind my ken to decipher but you really don't make the study of foreign tongues seem like an innocuous activity.
  23. @Bao Jiankang

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)
     
    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair's take on it.
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.

    This is not a silly comment, far from it, but it’s not the best here.

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  24. @Anatoly Karlin
    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/679826435242995713

    I think it's a positive feedback loop though. Cheaper writing mediums = fewer barriers to literacy, equilibrium level of literacy rises. And vice versa.

    Renaissance Italy had about twice the literacy rate of Roman Italy on the eve of the appearance of the printing press. Why? I don't precisely particularly know, but the replacement of papyrus by paper in Europe during the 12-14th centuries probably played some part.

    I don't much agree with the Latin part. Learning it was easy for the intellectual elites who needed it. To create those intellectual elites in the first place you first had to impart basic literacy to them, which was much easier to do than in China.

    The founding of overseas colonies. They shipped their surplus population all over the Med and the Black Sea.
     
    Thanks. That's actually a really obvious reason that I somehow overlooked. Of course by Hellenistic and especially Roman times that such real estate had vanished, so nutritional levels declines.

    Experiments could be designed to refine that 2 SD estimate. College students could be asked to prove new-to-them theorems. A control group could try to simply understand them. People could be asked to solve mechanical problems or to understand solutions.
     
    Certainly. In fact I wonder if any such experiments have already been done. I'm planning to get in touch with Linda Goddfredson (who seems to be the expert on such matters) about this sometime soon.

    I didn’t know that papyrus was that expensive. I know that Romans used wax tablets to scribble notes and write down ideas on the fly. Those tablets were reusable, kind of like blackboards today. They periodically erased the text, smoothed out the wax and wrote new things on it.

    Read More
  25. @Anonymous
    I find reading Japanese a lot easier than Chinese. Though both use Chinese characters, Japanese uses fewer and a more regular set of them. And the structure of Japanese along with its use of the kana syllabaries make it easier to read. The Chinese characters in Japanese stand for the semantic content, and the kana is used for particles, inflections, etc. Chinese isn't inflected and uses characters for everything, which makes it much harder than Japanese. Written vernacular Chinese is hard to read, and classical or literary Chinese is even harder.

    After studying Japanese and Chinese, other European languages seem so much easier. They almost don't even seem like different languages. Although I did study Latin and Greek in school and some French before studying Japanese and Chinese, so I did have a large base in vocabulary and cognates and had lots of practice reading difficult written material for European languages. Still, after Japanese and Chinese, reading other European languages seems so much easier.

    I love learning languages.

    The hardest I have attempted in order are

    1). Unpunctuated Classical Chinese. I can read some texts easily and others make no sense to me whatsoever.

    2). Korean – I already spoke Japanese before I moved to Korea (aka hell) and I can usually guess words the meaning of words borrowed from Chinese. For example, if a syllable ends in chi or tsu in Japanese, it will usually end in a l in Korean. Hoo in Japanese will usually be rendered bang in Korean etc. Still, it’s a horrible exercise in dictionary bashing.

    3). Hungarian. What a challenge! It’s my plan to master it before I die.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Hungarian is the easiest language ever. I have learnt it fairly well by the time I was three years old. This is something I cannot claim of any other language.
  26. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bao Jiankang

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)
     
    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair's take on it.
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.

    Mair is a Pinyin fanatic, and I think he’s mistaken in his dogmatic view that Chinese characters, along with all writing, are fundamentally phonetic in nature. Chinese characters are fundamentally mnemonic, not phonetic, devices that frequently encode phonetic values to point to meanings, images, images that refer to meanings, etc.

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  27. @Anatoly Karlin

    Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.
     
    That is exactly true. And one of the core elements of AA!

    It is so obvious but many people appear to have issues with it for some reason. There are local minima now and then but as you push beyond the technological frontier things only ever get harder. Likewise, by necessity, the capabilities of the people doing the pushing.

    This is true not only for science but art and culture as well. Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). There are any number of artists today who would find it almost trivial to reproduce the Mona Lisa.

    Mr. Jeong’s stuff looks boring to me. The Mona Lisa smiles in a subtly interesting way. Rembrandt’s late self-portraits are subtly interesting in an entirely different way. I don’t know how many modern artists could pull that off.

    I’d say that Gothic cathedrals are the best architecture that’s ever been done. After about 1914 most Western architects stopped striving for beauty for ideological reasons, but from the Middle Ages until 1914 they continually wanted to build beautiful things, yet never surpassed the Gothic style. 19th-century Paris didn’t look more beuatiful than Renaissance Florence.

    I think that the people who say that the best music is that of the Baroque period may very well have a point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    This was done in 1660. A wise old man tired of life, beaten down by it, is looking at us. It's striking. There's something in the sadness. I think that it's still difficult and rare for artists to produce such emotional effects.
  28. @Glossy
    First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    I'm assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I'm assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I'm not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors' population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There's more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different - the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways - democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren't just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn't regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn't Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander's conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    “In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn’t regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn’t Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy. ”

    In all likelihood, it definitely wasn’t “Greek.” I think you are conflating two different civilizations created by two different ethnic groups. The Minoans who occupied ancient Crete and neighboring islands like Thera (or Santorini) were not Greek. They were a seafaring people like the later Phoenicians who invented an artful civilization unlike anything the later Greeks invented. Their legendary King Minos was said by the later great Greek historian Thucycides to have rid the Aegean of pirates. Eventually they were taken over gradually by a Greek people, the Mycenaens, who also established centers in the Peloponnesus at Mycenae (Agamemnon), Sparta (his brother, Menalaos, husband of Helen of Troy) and Pylos (Nestor) and other strongpoints. The entire Minoan/Mycenaen civilization was destroyed around 1200 B.C. either as a result of invasion or eruption of the massive volcano on the island of Thera which destroyed the island with a force greater than that of the 19th century volcanic eruption at Krakatoa in the Pacific. We know that the original Minoans were a non-Greek people because of Linear A (discovered at Knossos, not yet translated but determined to be a non-Greek language) and Linear B (discovered at Pylos, translated in 1951 by a Greek, and determined to be a Greek language).
    Both Linear A and Linear B, systems of writing that were lost after around 1200 B.C., were confined to matters of accounting and the like and were not used for purposes of composing literature, as far as we know.

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  29. @Glossy
    Mr. Jeong's stuff looks boring to me. The Mona Lisa smiles in a subtly interesting way. Rembrandt's late self-portraits are subtly interesting in an entirely different way. I don't know how many modern artists could pull that off.

    I'd say that Gothic cathedrals are the best architecture that's ever been done. After about 1914 most Western architects stopped striving for beauty for ideological reasons, but from the Middle Ages until 1914 they continually wanted to build beautiful things, yet never surpassed the Gothic style. 19th-century Paris didn't look more beuatiful than Renaissance Florence.

    I think that the people who say that the best music is that of the Baroque period may very well have a point.

    This was done in 1660. A wise old man tired of life, beaten down by it, is looking at us. It’s striking. There’s something in the sadness. I think that it’s still difficult and rare for artists to produce such emotional effects.

    Read More
  30. @tbraton
    'To be sure the Odyssey takes place in the 8th century BC,"

    A little nitpicking. While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C. (a matter that has been much disputed starting in ancient days), there seems to be no dispute that the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, portrays life several hundred years earlier, around 1200 B.C., or the tail end of the Bronze Age. After all, the Trojan War, which is the centerpiece of the Iliad and the background for the Odyssey, was waged by Mycenaean Greeks, and Mycenae was conquered by invading Dorians around 1200 B.C. (or so the story used to go). "Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VIIa." Now what of that portrayed in the Odyssey reflects life of 1200 B.C. and what reflects life around 800 B.C. is a matter of interpretation and dispute. I think it is safe to assume that life in those ancient days did not change appreciably from one century to the next in the details of day to day life.

    BTW I came across an item within the last 10 years, and, despite the fact I have searched all my books on the subject, I can't find it. I recall reading something to the effect that the ancient Greeks had a vocabulary that was at least 40% larger than any of their contemporary neighboring populations. I had long been at awe at the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, so when I first read that piece of information there was a spark of acknowledgement in my mind. I have always associated a large vocabulary with a high intelligence, so that the fact that the prolifically inventive ancient Greeks would have a much larger vocabulary than their neighbors seemed to follow. I don't know whether you have any thoughts on this particular issue. I am also curious whether you have ever run across the same article I did or anything close to it.

    Correction to my prior post where I said “While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C.” I should have said “composed” instead of “written.” There is an ongoing dispute (since ancient days) about whether the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed orally (as hard as it is for us moderns to comprehend) or had to be written down as it was composed, the same way modern literature is created. That’s why the date when “Homer” lived is so important. It is known that the ancient Greeks lived through a so-called Dark Age, ranging from 1200 B.C. till roughly 800 B.C. where they lacked the ability to write and there is a paucity of artistic creations, even though, as I pointed out earlier, both Linear A and Linear B were so technical that they were ill suited for writing literary works and were used exclusively for accounting and other technical matters. It was the Phoenicians who invented what we consider the modern alphabet from whom the Greeks learned to write. The Greeks, however, took the Phoenician alphabet and added one important feature that the Phoenician alphabet lacked: vowels. The first examples of Greek writing using the Phoenician alphabet date to the middle of the 8th century B.C. (around 750 B.C.) Thus enhanced the Greek alphabet became the basis for all subsequent alphabets, starting with the Latins and later extending to the Slavic people (two Greek missionaries from Byzantium invented the Cyrillic alphabet). It is believed that Greeks acquired the Phoenician alphabet around 750 B.C. Thus, if we are to believe that “Homer” lived before then, as many ancients believed, then the Iliad and the Odyssey had to be composed orally and was later reduced to written form. That’s why many modern scholars who argue that such complicated and lengthy works of literature had to written as they were composed struggle to bring “Homer’s” date of birth forward.

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  31. It isn’t fair to state that one needs to memorize thousands of characters to learn Chinese, because most characters themselves can be broken down to component characters until you get to ~200 “radicals.” Forgetting 嚔 (口+ 十 +冖+田+疋) is better compared to forgetting how to spell the word “sneeze” rather than forgetting the word itself. What makes this so hard, of course, is that the “spelling” isn’t (completely) phonetic, and occurs in a 2D plane instead of a 1D line.

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  32. @Anatoly Karlin

    Speaking of Spartans, I doubt they were dumber than other Greeks and yet they had achieved zilch in any sort of intellectual pursuits. The only reason we remember them at all today is thanks to their more scholarly neighbors.
     
    In Human Accomplishment, Charles Murray notes that free/democratic and reasonabe authoritarian states don't appear to crimp human accomplishment, but totalitarian/ideological ones do.

    Sparta would appear to fit into the latter category.


    Athenian
    Whether men are right or wrong in their censures of the Laconian polity and the Cretan—that is another story; anyhow, what is actually said by most men I, probably, am in a better position to state than either of you. For in your case (your laws being wisely framed) one of the best of your laws will be that which enjoins that none of the youth shall inquire which laws are wrong
     
    - Plato

    Sparta was not totalitarian. It had a reasonably representative government, not dissimilar to future Roman Republic. It’s just that Sparta was a jock culture, on steroids. Like all jocks anywhere in any era, they could not understand why anyone would be interested in useless nerdy pursuits.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Most of the population ruled by Sparta was comprised of helots. The helots were like serfs or slaves and outnumbered Spartan citizens something like 8 to 1. The helots farmed the land, did all the work, and produced all the wealth that the Spartan citizens lived off of. They were often abused and massacred and were terrorized by ritual killings and slaughters by the Spartans:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypteia
    , @5371
    A US high school is not the universal template for understanding human society.
  33. @Anatoly Karlin

    Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.
     
    That is exactly true. And one of the core elements of AA!

    It is so obvious but many people appear to have issues with it for some reason. There are local minima now and then but as you push beyond the technological frontier things only ever get harder. Likewise, by necessity, the capabilities of the people doing the pushing.

    This is true not only for science but art and culture as well. Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). There are any number of artists today who would find it almost trivial to reproduce the Mona Lisa.

    Oh dear. It seems technomania is actually the least of your problems.

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  34. Good article, though I don’t agree with everything. But…”By Hellenistic times, progress became much harder”. No, just no, bro. The Hellenistic world blows Classical Greece away hard.

    Btw, have you read Lucio Russo’s The Forgotten Revolution? You probably won’t agree with its overall thesis, and neither do I and I don’t think most relevant scholars do either, but if anything it works as an interesting and almost complete coverage of an important aspect (which also plays an important part of your “Apollo’s Ascent”) of why people tend to look at ancient Greece positively.

    “Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). ”

    Yeah but this guy had to come in contact (at least indirectly) with a specific culture that formed by certain people under certain circumstances to end up painting that shit. Historical perspective *is* extremely important.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the book recommendation.

    I actually encountered Forgotten Revolution before but I was given negative feedback on it in a discussion with a person who knows some things about history of science. That said this convinces me to return it to my reading list.

    That said:

    But…”By Hellenistic times, progress became much harder”. No, just no, bro. The Hellenistic world blows Classical Greece away hard.
     
    Both those points can be true. Progress did become much harder because Classical Greece had raised the discovery threshold so much. And the Hellenistic world blew the Classical Greeks away because the science and technics they were working on was far more complicated than that which existed at the dawn of the Classical age.
  35. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @inertial
    Sparta was not totalitarian. It had a reasonably representative government, not dissimilar to future Roman Republic. It's just that Sparta was a jock culture, on steroids. Like all jocks anywhere in any era, they could not understand why anyone would be interested in useless nerdy pursuits.

    Most of the population ruled by Sparta was comprised of helots. The helots were like serfs or slaves and outnumbered Spartan citizens something like 8 to 1. The helots farmed the land, did all the work, and produced all the wealth that the Spartan citizens lived off of. They were often abused and massacred and were terrorized by ritual killings and slaughters by the Spartans:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypteia

    Read More
  36. @nutjob
    Good article, though I don't agree with everything. But..."By Hellenistic times, progress became much harder". No, just no, bro. The Hellenistic world blows Classical Greece away hard.

    Btw, have you read Lucio Russo's The Forgotten Revolution? You probably won't agree with its overall thesis, and neither do I and I don't think most relevant scholars do either, but if anything it works as an interesting and almost complete coverage of an important aspect (which also plays an important part of your "Apollo's Ascent") of why people tend to look at ancient Greece positively.

    "Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). "

    Yeah but this guy had to come in contact (at least indirectly) with a specific culture that formed by certain people under certain circumstances to end up painting that shit. Historical perspective *is* extremely important.

    Thanks for the book recommendation.

    I actually encountered Forgotten Revolution before but I was given negative feedback on it in a discussion with a person who knows some things about history of science. That said this convinces me to return it to my reading list.

    That said:

    But…”By Hellenistic times, progress became much harder”. No, just no, bro. The Hellenistic world blows Classical Greece away hard.

    Both those points can be true. Progress did become much harder because Classical Greece had raised the discovery threshold so much. And the Hellenistic world blew the Classical Greeks away because the science and technics they were working on was far more complicated than that which existed at the dawn of the Classical age.

    Read More
  37. @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the correction on Athens.

    What particular problem do you have with Hansen's methodology? What is your estimate of the number of Greeks during the Classical period? In any case, even if you were to halve the estimated Greek population, the explanatory power of AA wouldn't vanish. Even 5 million would still be equivalent to the estimated historical population of major demographic powerhouse Egypt from 1AD-1800. To be sure if you go lower you do start getting problems but anything much lower than 5 million is unrealistic.

    Egypt’s peak population before modern times was much above that. Several of Maddison’s estimates seem substantially too low.
    This is all a bit irrelevant to what Galton originally did, though, which was to compare the achievements specifically of Athenian citizens with those of other peoples and classes. And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.
     
    IQ is proxy for g. It's useful for cultural achievements to the extent they have definite g requirements. G is controversial - but not crude.
  38. The present-day Greek are not much different than their ancestors.

    On Wednesday, Greek parliament passed a bill (193-56) legalizing civil partnership for gay couples, two years after the country was condemned by a European court for discrimination. However, gay couples wouldn’t be allowed to adopt Greek children. But, like Israeli Jews they can have surrogate babies.

    Fundamentalist Bishops in Greece’s powerful anti-Muslim Orthodox Church, led by Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, have vehemently opposed the law, arguing it undermine the institution of family.

    Bishop Seraphim has blamed the Zionist Monster for the legislation. He said the cohabitation bill is result of the “constant war against the faith” being waged by “the international Zionist Monster”, which he claimed control the Greek government – the most anti-Muslim European state.

    Bishop Seraphim, in the past, had been accused of denying Zionists’ narrative of Holocaust and believing in the authenticity of The Protocols of Zion.

    On December 22, 2010, Robert Mackey accused Seraphim at The Jew York Times, of saying during a interview that Jews were behind Greece’s financial problems, and Holocaust was orchestrated by Zionist Jews. He accused international Zionism of trying to destroy family unit by promoting one-parent family and same-sex marriage…..

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/12/23/top-bishop-zionist-monster-controls-greece/

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  39. I appreciate your thoughtful article. You have put words in Greg Cochran’s mouth he did not say. He didn’t say that classical Greeks had an average IQ, he said that it is impossible to know at this time, and he is right. I am inclined to believe that their bell shaped curve of average intelligence among the elites in classical Greek society was shifted much like the Ashkenazi jewish population is today. Nobody knows what average classical Greek IQ was, Cochran simply proposed a test which does not yet exist which would tell us.

    good luck with your book

    When you study the bell shape curve of human intelligence it becomes very clear that a small shift in average intelligence of the elite class in classical Greek society would then result in a huge increase in the percentage of geniuses produced. For example with an average IQ of 100 we have approximately 2% (1 in 50) of the population with an IQ of 130 and 0.1% with an IQ of 145 (1 in 741) These are just numbers, it doesn’t depict the real world, but it illustrates something very interesting. It points to the possibility that the numbers of geniuses a society produces could increase enormously if the breeding population had a higher average IQ.

    This neither confirms nor contradicts your theories within Apollo’s Ascent which I find interesting.

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    • Replies: @RJJ
    A consideration: What if the Bell shaped curve was/is somewhat different for various population groups? By this I mean that the graphically displayed flanges could be truncated or wider, and higher or shallower; and the body of the bell could be much thicker or narrower.

    It is the outliers, the extremes at the flanges that produce dolts, but also the geniuses. A high median IQ level for a given population might not produce many geniuses if its flanges were truncated and not much at variance with the median.
  40. “It seems that the little district of Attica contained, during its most flourishing period (Smith’s Class. Geog. Dict.), less than 90,000 native free-born persons, 40,000 resident aliens, and a labouring and artisan population of 400,000 slaves.”

    Could this be a reason why Greek IQ has decreased over the centuries, assuming slaves weren’t expelled back to their homelands and instead just eventually assimilated into the local population that enslaved them?

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  41. The Ancient Greeks were remarkable effective at escaping the Malthusian trap for a preindustrial society.

    Greek were obsessed about land division, trying to prevent both land concentration by aristocracy and it’s excession division between heirs. This was the impetuos for colonisation in the Archaic period and for democracy and tyranny in the Classical one.

    Many greek cities could not feed their population and because they were small in size all of them needed to buy at least some categories of staple foods from abroad. This meant that the polis imported food on a constant basis creating a vast trading network that they could use even more in case of a famine. All greek cities from Greece and overseas had officials that secured food imports and many inscriptions have been found praising officials and benefactors for supplying the population with food in emergencies.
    For example, Athens always needed to import food, especially after the Spartans cut down their olive trees and most of the population moved behind the Long Walls. The grains were bought from the Bosporan kingdom in Crimea making control of the Straits vital. Later they purchased grains from Egypt. Sicily and South Italy were often food sources before roman expansion.
    Importing food was a vulnerability in war, requiring control of the seas, but an asset in times of famine because if a drought or other event hit their food production they could bring food from a distant, unaffected region.

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  42. @Cyrus
    "It seems that the little district of Attica contained, during its most flourishing period (Smith’s Class. Geog. Dict.), less than 90,000 native free-born persons, 40,000 resident aliens, and a labouring and artisan population of 400,000 slaves."

    Could this be a reason why Greek IQ has decreased over the centuries, assuming slaves weren't expelled back to their homelands and instead just eventually assimilated into the local population that enslaved them?

    Slaves were fellow Greeks most of the time.

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "Slaves were fellow Greeks most of the time."

    I doubt that. It was considered improper among the ancient Greeks to enslave another Greek. Most of the slaves were natives of other civilizations captured in war or through piracy, which was quite common in ancient days. I recall reading about the prohibition about Greeks enslaving other Greeks, but I can't find the source. The closest I got through Googling was the following observation on the web:

    "More broadly speaking, the identity of the helots is a rather tricky question, in essence they were the lower order of Spartan society and denied significant personal freedoms. This was somewhat inconvenient to the stirrings of Greek solidarity brought about by the Persian wars, as it was frowned upon to enslave fellow Lakonians. The helots, therefore, traced their origin to Messenia and to the Arcadians. This gave them a liberationist tool, as well as a justification for the enslavement of the helots. So I would argue that there was a strong attempt made, at least in rhetoric, that the ones being enslaved were not Dorians." (Here the poster is obviously talking about the Laconians, who were the Spartans, who had reduced the helots to servitude, a status hard to distinguish from slavery.)

    Then there is this from Wikipedia:

    "The existence of Greek slaves was a constant source of discomfort for free Greeks. The enslavement of cities was also a controversial practice. Some generals refused, such as the Spartans Agesilaus II[59] and Callicratidas.[60] Some cities passed accords to forbid the practice: in the middle of the 3rd century BC, Miletus agreed not to reduce any free Knossian to slavery, and vice versa.[58] Conversely, the emancipation by ransom of a city that had been entirely reduced to slavery carried great prestige: Cassander, in 316 BC, restored Thebes.[61] Before him, Philip II of Macedon enslaved and then emancipated Stageira.[62]"

    What this indicates is that your claim that slaves for the most part were fellow Greeks is wrong.
  43. @22pp22
    I love learning languages.

    The hardest I have attempted in order are

    1). Unpunctuated Classical Chinese. I can read some texts easily and others make no sense to me whatsoever.

    2). Korean - I already spoke Japanese before I moved to Korea (aka hell) and I can usually guess words the meaning of words borrowed from Chinese. For example, if a syllable ends in chi or tsu in Japanese, it will usually end in a l in Korean. Hoo in Japanese will usually be rendered bang in Korean etc. Still, it's a horrible exercise in dictionary bashing.

    3). Hungarian. What a challenge! It's my plan to master it before I die.

    Hungarian is the easiest language ever. I have learnt it fairly well by the time I was three years old. This is something I cannot claim of any other language.

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  44. Unlikely that romans had iq around 80′s.

    Iq for most of ”greater” human civilizations is likely to have been at least 90′s.

    Ancient greeks not look far below modern americans and europeans.

    Errors in continuous standardizations of cognitive tests since the early twentieth century aren’t more important than intelligence.

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  45. All that makes me start to think of how high the average IQ was in medieval Europe (or in other historic settings, that is). Probably similar to the estimate for the Romans at 83?

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  46. @tbraton
    'To be sure the Odyssey takes place in the 8th century BC,"

    A little nitpicking. While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C. (a matter that has been much disputed starting in ancient days), there seems to be no dispute that the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, portrays life several hundred years earlier, around 1200 B.C., or the tail end of the Bronze Age. After all, the Trojan War, which is the centerpiece of the Iliad and the background for the Odyssey, was waged by Mycenaean Greeks, and Mycenae was conquered by invading Dorians around 1200 B.C. (or so the story used to go). "Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VIIa." Now what of that portrayed in the Odyssey reflects life of 1200 B.C. and what reflects life around 800 B.C. is a matter of interpretation and dispute. I think it is safe to assume that life in those ancient days did not change appreciably from one century to the next in the details of day to day life.

    BTW I came across an item within the last 10 years, and, despite the fact I have searched all my books on the subject, I can't find it. I recall reading something to the effect that the ancient Greeks had a vocabulary that was at least 40% larger than any of their contemporary neighboring populations. I had long been at awe at the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, so when I first read that piece of information there was a spark of acknowledgement in my mind. I have always associated a large vocabulary with a high intelligence, so that the fact that the prolifically inventive ancient Greeks would have a much larger vocabulary than their neighbors seemed to follow. I don't know whether you have any thoughts on this particular issue. I am also curious whether you have ever run across the same article I did or anything close to it.

    The comment that Greeks had a vocabulary 40% larger than their neighbors was interesting, given the tight correlation between vocabulary size and IQ. I don’t have a table of norms for ancient populations, but http://testyourvocab.com/blog/2013-05-08-Native-speakers-in-greater-detail#newMainchartNative gives a notion of vocabulary size by percentile for modern populations.

    In the modern era, it would be tough for a 40-year old to have a vocab 40% larger than someone else (given the fair size of basal vocabulary). Squinting at the numbers a bit, an IQ difference of 20 points is plausible for a 40% larger vocabulary.

    Granted, we don’t know if the claim of having a larger vocabulary is true. Similarly, we have no idea that the genetics, particularly mutations for intelligence, was that similar to neighboring populations.

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  47. @tbraton
    'To be sure the Odyssey takes place in the 8th century BC,"

    A little nitpicking. While the Odyssey may have written sometime around the 8th century B.C. (a matter that has been much disputed starting in ancient days), there seems to be no dispute that the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, portrays life several hundred years earlier, around 1200 B.C., or the tail end of the Bronze Age. After all, the Trojan War, which is the centerpiece of the Iliad and the background for the Odyssey, was waged by Mycenaean Greeks, and Mycenae was conquered by invading Dorians around 1200 B.C. (or so the story used to go). "Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VIIa." Now what of that portrayed in the Odyssey reflects life of 1200 B.C. and what reflects life around 800 B.C. is a matter of interpretation and dispute. I think it is safe to assume that life in those ancient days did not change appreciably from one century to the next in the details of day to day life.

    BTW I came across an item within the last 10 years, and, despite the fact I have searched all my books on the subject, I can't find it. I recall reading something to the effect that the ancient Greeks had a vocabulary that was at least 40% larger than any of their contemporary neighboring populations. I had long been at awe at the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, so when I first read that piece of information there was a spark of acknowledgement in my mind. I have always associated a large vocabulary with a high intelligence, so that the fact that the prolifically inventive ancient Greeks would have a much larger vocabulary than their neighbors seemed to follow. I don't know whether you have any thoughts on this particular issue. I am also curious whether you have ever run across the same article I did or anything close to it.

    I don’t think it’s possible to know the vocabulary sizes of ancient semiliterate societies, especially if they wrote on quickly deteriorating materials (I think the only Greek works we have are the ones deemed interesting enough to be copied over and over again.

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  48. @Anatoly Karlin

    Here’s something I haven’t heard that I’m curious to hear you comment on: isn’t it easier to ‘discover’ stuff when nothing else has been discovered yet? The Ancient Greeks were starting from a lower baseline than later civilizations.
     
    That is exactly true. And one of the core elements of AA!

    It is so obvious but many people appear to have issues with it for some reason. There are local minima now and then but as you push beyond the technological frontier things only ever get harder. Likewise, by necessity, the capabilities of the people doing the pushing.

    This is true not only for science but art and culture as well. Forget the modernists, I would say that this guy is more talented than any Renaissance painter. (Measured from a fixed objective as opposed to historical perspective). There are any number of artists today who would find it almost trivial to reproduce the Mona Lisa.

    I think it’s technically easy for any trained painter to copy even the best painting, the difficulty lies in creating it in the first place. Many painters can copy Mona Lisa’s smile, but they cannot create a painting even remotely as interesting as the smile of Mona Lisa.

    Art is not technically creating a painting – it’s a craft which could be learned by most moderately talented painters. Art is conceiving the idea, composition, colors etc. of a totally new painting, provided that the new painting will be found by coming generations as interesting and possessing of depth. Creating a new painting lacking depth and being bad is also art, albeit bad art.

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  49. @BB753
    Slaves were fellow Greeks most of the time.

    “Slaves were fellow Greeks most of the time.”

    I doubt that. It was considered improper among the ancient Greeks to enslave another Greek. Most of the slaves were natives of other civilizations captured in war or through piracy, which was quite common in ancient days. I recall reading about the prohibition about Greeks enslaving other Greeks, but I can’t find the source. The closest I got through Googling was the following observation on the web:

    “More broadly speaking, the identity of the helots is a rather tricky question, in essence they were the lower order of Spartan society and denied significant personal freedoms. This was somewhat inconvenient to the stirrings of Greek solidarity brought about by the Persian wars, as it was frowned upon to enslave fellow Lakonians. The helots, therefore, traced their origin to Messenia and to the Arcadians. This gave them a liberationist tool, as well as a justification for the enslavement of the helots. So I would argue that there was a strong attempt made, at least in rhetoric, that the ones being enslaved were not Dorians.” (Here the poster is obviously talking about the Laconians, who were the Spartans, who had reduced the helots to servitude, a status hard to distinguish from slavery.)

    Then there is this from Wikipedia:

    “The existence of Greek slaves was a constant source of discomfort for free Greeks. The enslavement of cities was also a controversial practice. Some generals refused, such as the Spartans Agesilaus II[59] and Callicratidas.[60] Some cities passed accords to forbid the practice: in the middle of the 3rd century BC, Miletus agreed not to reduce any free Knossian to slavery, and vice versa.[58] Conversely, the emancipation by ransom of a city that had been entirely reduced to slavery carried great prestige: Cassander, in 316 BC, restored Thebes.[61] Before him, Philip II of Macedon enslaved and then emancipated Stageira.[62]”

    What this indicates is that your claim that slaves for the most part were fellow Greeks is wrong.

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    • Replies: @nutjob
    Your own comment states:

    "...it was frowned upon to enslave fellow Lakonians. The helots, therefore, traced their origin to Messenia and to the Arcadians"

    As in, not fellow Laconians (not "Greeks" in general) but the (at least, self-identified) pre-Doric "Achaeaen" Greek population of the Peloponnese. The ancients seemed to have thought similarly IIRC, that the helots were, for the most part, the descendants of Messenians (who, we know, spoke Doric Greek in historical times).

    What this indicates is that your claim that slaves for the most part were fellow Greeks is wrong.
     
    It really doesn't...
  50. I’m puzzled by the logic of increasing IQ thresholds for discovery: surely each succeeding generation is ‘standing on the shoulders’ of the previous ones’ technologies and concepts. Therefore it requires a lower cognitive effort for the current generation to achieve something that would have been a monumental leap for previous generations. If this is so the whole logic of this article collapses. Am I missing something?

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  51. I’m puzzled by the logic of increasing IQ thresholds for discovery

    Do you think forager cultures contain individuals who create concepts beyond the comprehension of most their fellows? (To take the extreme case.)

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    By "concepts" I mean concepts that prove culturally useful (as opposed to their merely having a complex fantasy life).
  52. @5371
    Egypt's peak population before modern times was much above that. Several of Maddison's estimates seem substantially too low.
    This is all a bit irrelevant to what Galton originally did, though, which was to compare the achievements specifically of Athenian citizens with those of other peoples and classes. And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.

    And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.

    IQ is proxy for g. It’s useful for cultural achievements to the extent they have definite g requirements. G is controversial – but not crude.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Really? Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?
  53. @Stephen R. Diamond

    I’m puzzled by the logic of increasing IQ thresholds for discovery
     
    Do you think forager cultures contain individuals who create concepts beyond the comprehension of most their fellows? (To take the extreme case.)

    By “concepts” I mean concepts that prove culturally useful (as opposed to their merely having a complex fantasy life).

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  54. Where did you get IQ estimates for intelligence needed to understand a mathematical concept? I don’t think you need a 115 IQ to understand Euclid. They teach geometry to almost everyone in secondary school. I’d guess an IQ of about 90 is necessary.

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  55. @Stephen R. Diamond

    And to use a concept as crude as IQ in such a context is highly inappropriate.
     
    IQ is proxy for g. It's useful for cultural achievements to the extent they have definite g requirements. G is controversial - but not crude.

    Really? Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    There are IQ tests that don't measure any knowledge. They're called culture-fair tests. You typically have to rearrange 2D and 3D shapes in them and to recognize patterns in strings of numbers and letters.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too. On average lawyers score higher than truck drivers and scientists score higher than lawyers. There have been studies of top scientists which showed them having a very high mean IQ.

    There is an enormous wealth of data on the correlation between various types of mental abilities. This data reveals that there is a general factor of intelligence. If you're good at one type of mental task, you're likely to be good at most of them.

    Some exceptions: keeping rhythm is poorly correlated with other types of mental ability. Spatial intelligence is somewhat separate too.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything. With small exceptions which I mentioned above, intellect is an all-purpose tool.

    If you want actual data, Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" is the way to go.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?
     
    All intellectual achievements depend on working-memory capacity. How many concepts you can hold in mind determines the level of abstraction you can attain. (Demonstrated in child development, where growth in working memory neatly parallels the development of Piagetian stage.) It's a necessary (but insufficient) condition for success in any intellectual task. It works like a store with fixed size across domains, and I think it's the best candidate for the core of g.
  56. @5371
    Really? Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?

    There are IQ tests that don’t measure any knowledge. They’re called culture-fair tests. You typically have to rearrange 2D and 3D shapes in them and to recognize patterns in strings of numbers and letters.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too. On average lawyers score higher than truck drivers and scientists score higher than lawyers. There have been studies of top scientists which showed them having a very high mean IQ.

    There is an enormous wealth of data on the correlation between various types of mental abilities. This data reveals that there is a general factor of intelligence. If you’re good at one type of mental task, you’re likely to be good at most of them.

    Some exceptions: keeping rhythm is poorly correlated with other types of mental ability. Spatial intelligence is somewhat separate too.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything. With small exceptions which I mentioned above, intellect is an all-purpose tool.

    If you want actual data, Arthur Jensen’s “The g Factor” is the way to go.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    More on g:

    Performance on math, verbal, 2D spatial, 3D spatial, musical pitch differentiation, etc. tests has been compared. Many types of verbal tests have been tried - analogies, vocabulary size, reading comprehension, etc. Many types of math tests too. Psychometrics is more than 100 years old. A lot of stuff has been tried.

    The data reveals that with some exceptions (rhythm being the biggest one), mental abilities are correlated with each other. There's a general factor of intelligence - if you're good at one type of mental ability, you're likely to be good at most of the others.
    , @5371
    [A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything]

    This statement is extremely unlikely to be true, and certainly no results of some simple tests administered to children could do anything to support it.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too.
     
    I wouldn't call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I'd call it moderate.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything.
     
    That's going too far. Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial. You couldn't train them into great chess players or physicists. G is important, but at the highest levels, specific abilities are probably more important. Even math - a high g, low cognitive speed, genius wont' be a great mathematician.
  57. @Glossy
    There are IQ tests that don't measure any knowledge. They're called culture-fair tests. You typically have to rearrange 2D and 3D shapes in them and to recognize patterns in strings of numbers and letters.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too. On average lawyers score higher than truck drivers and scientists score higher than lawyers. There have been studies of top scientists which showed them having a very high mean IQ.

    There is an enormous wealth of data on the correlation between various types of mental abilities. This data reveals that there is a general factor of intelligence. If you're good at one type of mental task, you're likely to be good at most of them.

    Some exceptions: keeping rhythm is poorly correlated with other types of mental ability. Spatial intelligence is somewhat separate too.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything. With small exceptions which I mentioned above, intellect is an all-purpose tool.

    If you want actual data, Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" is the way to go.

    More on g:

    Performance on math, verbal, 2D spatial, 3D spatial, musical pitch differentiation, etc. tests has been compared. Many types of verbal tests have been tried – analogies, vocabulary size, reading comprehension, etc. Many types of math tests too. Psychometrics is more than 100 years old. A lot of stuff has been tried.

    The data reveals that with some exceptions (rhythm being the biggest one), mental abilities are correlated with each other. There’s a general factor of intelligence – if you’re good at one type of mental ability, you’re likely to be good at most of the others.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    I wouldn't call keeping rhythm a purely mental skill at all, and so I wouldn't introduce it into the discussion, for the same reason that I left musicians and painters out of my list of professions in comment 56.
  58. @Glossy
    There are IQ tests that don't measure any knowledge. They're called culture-fair tests. You typically have to rearrange 2D and 3D shapes in them and to recognize patterns in strings of numbers and letters.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too. On average lawyers score higher than truck drivers and scientists score higher than lawyers. There have been studies of top scientists which showed them having a very high mean IQ.

    There is an enormous wealth of data on the correlation between various types of mental abilities. This data reveals that there is a general factor of intelligence. If you're good at one type of mental task, you're likely to be good at most of them.

    Some exceptions: keeping rhythm is poorly correlated with other types of mental ability. Spatial intelligence is somewhat separate too.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything. With small exceptions which I mentioned above, intellect is an all-purpose tool.

    If you want actual data, Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" is the way to go.

    [A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything]

    This statement is extremely unlikely to be true, and certainly no results of some simple tests administered to children could do anything to support it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Suffice to say almost all the research done in psychometrics during the past century disagrees with that position.

    Or if you wish a more poetic perspective:

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/679046421945778176
  59. @Glossy
    More on g:

    Performance on math, verbal, 2D spatial, 3D spatial, musical pitch differentiation, etc. tests has been compared. Many types of verbal tests have been tried - analogies, vocabulary size, reading comprehension, etc. Many types of math tests too. Psychometrics is more than 100 years old. A lot of stuff has been tried.

    The data reveals that with some exceptions (rhythm being the biggest one), mental abilities are correlated with each other. There's a general factor of intelligence - if you're good at one type of mental ability, you're likely to be good at most of the others.

    I wouldn’t call keeping rhythm a purely mental skill at all, and so I wouldn’t introduce it into the discussion, for the same reason that I left musicians and painters out of my list of professions in comment 56.

    Read More
  60. @inertial
    Sparta was not totalitarian. It had a reasonably representative government, not dissimilar to future Roman Republic. It's just that Sparta was a jock culture, on steroids. Like all jocks anywhere in any era, they could not understand why anyone would be interested in useless nerdy pursuits.

    A US high school is not the universal template for understanding human society.

    Read More
  61. @tbraton
    "Slaves were fellow Greeks most of the time."

    I doubt that. It was considered improper among the ancient Greeks to enslave another Greek. Most of the slaves were natives of other civilizations captured in war or through piracy, which was quite common in ancient days. I recall reading about the prohibition about Greeks enslaving other Greeks, but I can't find the source. The closest I got through Googling was the following observation on the web:

    "More broadly speaking, the identity of the helots is a rather tricky question, in essence they were the lower order of Spartan society and denied significant personal freedoms. This was somewhat inconvenient to the stirrings of Greek solidarity brought about by the Persian wars, as it was frowned upon to enslave fellow Lakonians. The helots, therefore, traced their origin to Messenia and to the Arcadians. This gave them a liberationist tool, as well as a justification for the enslavement of the helots. So I would argue that there was a strong attempt made, at least in rhetoric, that the ones being enslaved were not Dorians." (Here the poster is obviously talking about the Laconians, who were the Spartans, who had reduced the helots to servitude, a status hard to distinguish from slavery.)

    Then there is this from Wikipedia:

    "The existence of Greek slaves was a constant source of discomfort for free Greeks. The enslavement of cities was also a controversial practice. Some generals refused, such as the Spartans Agesilaus II[59] and Callicratidas.[60] Some cities passed accords to forbid the practice: in the middle of the 3rd century BC, Miletus agreed not to reduce any free Knossian to slavery, and vice versa.[58] Conversely, the emancipation by ransom of a city that had been entirely reduced to slavery carried great prestige: Cassander, in 316 BC, restored Thebes.[61] Before him, Philip II of Macedon enslaved and then emancipated Stageira.[62]"

    What this indicates is that your claim that slaves for the most part were fellow Greeks is wrong.

    Your own comment states:

    “…it was frowned upon to enslave fellow Lakonians. The helots, therefore, traced their origin to Messenia and to the Arcadians”

    As in, not fellow Laconians (not “Greeks” in general) but the (at least, self-identified) pre-Doric “Achaeaen” Greek population of the Peloponnese. The ancients seemed to have thought similarly IIRC, that the helots were, for the most part, the descendants of Messenians (who, we know, spoke Doric Greek in historical times).

    What this indicates is that your claim that slaves for the most part were fellow Greeks is wrong.

    It really doesn’t…

    Read More
    • Replies: @tbraton
    Well, nutjob, you really lived up to your name since you ignored virtually every qualification I put in my message. I made it clear that my conclusion ("this indicates") was not based simply on the link to the Laconians. Go back and reread my message.
  62. @5371
    [A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything]

    This statement is extremely unlikely to be true, and certainly no results of some simple tests administered to children could do anything to support it.

    Suffice to say almost all the research done in psychometrics during the past century disagrees with that position.

    Or if you wish a more poetic perspective:

    Read More
  63. @Glossy
    There are IQ tests that don't measure any knowledge. They're called culture-fair tests. You typically have to rearrange 2D and 3D shapes in them and to recognize patterns in strings of numbers and letters.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too. On average lawyers score higher than truck drivers and scientists score higher than lawyers. There have been studies of top scientists which showed them having a very high mean IQ.

    There is an enormous wealth of data on the correlation between various types of mental abilities. This data reveals that there is a general factor of intelligence. If you're good at one type of mental task, you're likely to be good at most of them.

    Some exceptions: keeping rhythm is poorly correlated with other types of mental ability. Spatial intelligence is somewhat separate too.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything. With small exceptions which I mentioned above, intellect is an all-purpose tool.

    If you want actual data, Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" is the way to go.

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too.

    I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything.

    That’s going too far. Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial. You couldn’t train them into great chess players or physicists. G is important, but at the highest levels, specific abilities are probably more important. Even math – a high g, low cognitive speed, genius wont’ be a great mathematician.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate.
     
    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets. IQ is one of the strongest tools we have out there.

    But your other point is also important: IQ is - of course - not everything. Far from it. It's fairly important and it's easy to measure, but there are many more - poorly understood - things out there.
    , @reiner Tor

    Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial.
     
    Maybe. They don't need spatial abilities for sure, but in principle they can have them.
  64. @5371
    Really? Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?

    Then how does g reflect the mental qualities expressed in the very different excellences of a composer, a poet, a novelist, a historian, a chess player, a go player, a theoretical biologist, a theoretical physicist, a mathematician?

    All intellectual achievements depend on working-memory capacity. How many concepts you can hold in mind determines the level of abstraction you can attain. (Demonstrated in child development, where growth in working memory neatly parallels the development of Piagetian stage.) It’s a necessary (but insufficient) condition for success in any intellectual task. It works like a store with fixed size across domains, and I think it’s the best candidate for the core of g.

    Read More
  65. @22pp22
    I am a white Kiwi and I speak Japanese well and Korean badly. Characters make it easier, not harder, to learn an Asian language. Japanese written in pure katakana is hard even for a native-speaker of Japanese. Telegrams used to be written in katakana and I remember that used to trip people up when they were read out at weddings.

    Characters are not hard to learn. They need concentrated effort for a few months. The writing system is not the thing that makes Japanese hard to master.

    Japanese and Mandarin are not very similar languages. Japanese and Korean have some similarities but the jury is still out on that (altaic hypothesis is largely discredited). There is nothing unique about the so called “Asian” languages that would make a logographic writing system better than a phonemic one. Would Chinese characters make it easier to read Vietnamese? Manchu? Hmong? Zhuang? Most certainly not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But they do share a lot of vocabulary from Chinese, and Japanese and Korean have similar grammar and syntax. The Korean alphabet like any alphabet is easy to learn, but Korean can still be hard to read because of the many homonyms of its Chinese derived vocabulary. Coming with some background in Chinese or Japanese, Korean would be a lot easier to read if it were written like Japanese in mixed script: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_mixed_script Arguably easier because Korean tends to be more regular in its use and pronunciation of Chinese vocabulary.
    , @spandrell
    Chinese characters are hard to learn, and hard to write. But once you've learned them, they are easier to read than an alphabet.

    That's purely a graphical thing. Now think about all the vocabulary that has been formed over the centuries that depends on characters being like they are. All the 成語. All the abbreviations. All the homonyms which are used because you can tell them apart in writing. Technical texts in Korean can be hard to make sense of, as are whole texts of Pinyin.

    It isn't that hard, really. People like Victor Mair seem to think that alphabetizing, presumably after remodeling the written language so it doesn't use all the classical vocabulary which only makes sense graphically, would result in a renaissance of Chinese culture after the kids stop having to memorize so many characters. What do people supposed Chinese kids would do with their newly acquired free time? What do Korean kids do? Play Starcraft, of course.

    Alphabetizing Chinese would amount to throwing away 3,000 years of heritage for no real benefit. I can only guess Mair and fellow haters had a hard time learning the script and hated it ever since. Well, making it hard for foreigners is a feature, not a bug.
  66. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too.
     
    I wouldn't call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I'd call it moderate.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything.
     
    That's going too far. Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial. You couldn't train them into great chess players or physicists. G is important, but at the highest levels, specific abilities are probably more important. Even math - a high g, low cognitive speed, genius wont' be a great mathematician.

    I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate.

    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets. IQ is one of the strongest tools we have out there.

    But your other point is also important: IQ is – of course – not everything. Far from it. It’s fairly important and it’s easy to measure, but there are many more – poorly understood – things out there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets.
     
    No, it's considered to be moderate:

    http://www.psychology.emory.edu/clinical/bliwise/Tutorials/SCATTER/scatterplots/effect.htm
  67. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Doing well on such tests is strongly correlated with many measures of success in life: personal income, the likelihood of staying out of prison, the likelihood of graduating from college, and yes, with career choice too.
     
    I wouldn't call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I'd call it moderate.

    A kid who gets genius-level scores on IQ tests could be trained to become a great physicist, mathematician, historian, chess player, almost anything.
     
    That's going too far. Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial. You couldn't train them into great chess players or physicists. G is important, but at the highest levels, specific abilities are probably more important. Even math - a high g, low cognitive speed, genius wont' be a great mathematician.

    Great historians, for example, have genius level IQs but are low spatial.

    Maybe. They don’t need spatial abilities for sure, but in principle they can have them.

    Read More
  68. AmericanaCON [AKA "Løkke"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @inertial
    I find it hard to see how Northern farmers in their sparsely populated lands could avoid cousin marriage. If there are only a few tiny villages and homesteads for a hundred miles around, either you'd have to travel far and wide to find a spouse or everyone becomes everyone else's cousin after a few generations.

    Scandinavians have always had a low level of intermarriage between family members. Scandinavia was and is very urbanized. The contemporary and historical population in Scandinavian countries has always been centralized to the far south and coastal areas. Gavle, the first city in Northland (Sweden) was not mentioned in the books until 1413. It was given city status in 1446. Gavle is located in the far-south Northland just 100 miles from Stockholm. Northland was not massively settled until 1620 and the settlements were along the coast. Some of these settlements were very isolated and to avoid intermarriage between family members the Swedish government banned first-cousin marriages in 1680. Today, only 13 percent of the Swedish population lives in Northland. Many of them migrated from the South to the North in the late 17th century. If you go back to the Roman-Iron age we find that Scandinavians lived in Denmark and the rest were gathered in very dense clusters in Southern Sweden, Finland and Norway – with some exceptions.

    Read More
  69. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anonymous
    I find reading Japanese a lot easier than Chinese. Though both use Chinese characters, Japanese uses fewer and a more regular set of them. And the structure of Japanese along with its use of the kana syllabaries make it easier to read. The Chinese characters in Japanese stand for the semantic content, and the kana is used for particles, inflections, etc. Chinese isn't inflected and uses characters for everything, which makes it much harder than Japanese. Written vernacular Chinese is hard to read, and classical or literary Chinese is even harder.

    After studying Japanese and Chinese, other European languages seem so much easier. They almost don't even seem like different languages. Although I did study Latin and Greek in school and some French before studying Japanese and Chinese, so I did have a large base in vocabulary and cognates and had lots of practice reading difficult written material for European languages. Still, after Japanese and Chinese, reading other European languages seems so much easier.

    For a guy who knows a lot of languages your English is terrible.

    You sound like a black immigrant child. Whether that’s the effect of being such a polyglot or not is behind my ken to decipher but you really don’t make the study of foreign tongues seem like an innocuous activity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Why do you say that? Can you specify which parts are terrible and sound like a black immigrant child?

    I didn't think it sounded bad or like a black immigrant child. It was just an informal comment I made rapidly and submitted. Rereading it now, I still don't see what's wrong with it.
  70. Is being ashamed of your origin part of your abrahamic identity Anatoly?

    Why is Ireland called land of Danu & why are Russian rivers named after her?? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu_(Asura)

    That’s re including Han China & Persia in your list but not Bharat.

    What do you think the massive migrations from the NW after mahabharat had to do with Greece?

    Many Greeks were known to come to Taxila or universities in South.

    It seems though that all this is ignored in the post 1857 world.

    I found it strange when mentioning population, you didn’t mention Mauryan which ruled 43% of the world population.

    I had other things to say but, reading 70 comments derailed me. Good to have you back, will read your other posts this month. :) Danava not Slav,

    Just saying, I think it was a Greek traveler who said that Pataliputra was 4x bigger than Rome & he didn’t believe it could have been built by human hands. It’s archived somewhere here: twitter.com/hindulsm but away from pc.

    When studying breeding I think there’s too much of a tendency to apply post modernism. We have 8 clans on each side for total of 16 in which marriage is banned.

    Ie village gotra, maternal, both parent maternal, all 4 grandparent maternal.

    I doubt civilizations influenced by or related to us would be much different initially. From Persia to Irish Celts although I know zorastrians later did cousin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [I know zorastrians later did cousin.]

    Zoroastrians did sister too.

  71. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anonymous
    For a guy who knows a lot of languages your English is terrible.

    You sound like a black immigrant child. Whether that's the effect of being such a polyglot or not is behind my ken to decipher but you really don't make the study of foreign tongues seem like an innocuous activity.

    Why do you say that? Can you specify which parts are terrible and sound like a black immigrant child?

    I didn’t think it sounded bad or like a black immigrant child. It was just an informal comment I made rapidly and submitted. Rereading it now, I still don’t see what’s wrong with it.

    Read More
  72. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bao Jiankang
    Japanese and Mandarin are not very similar languages. Japanese and Korean have some similarities but the jury is still out on that (altaic hypothesis is largely discredited). There is nothing unique about the so called "Asian" languages that would make a logographic writing system better than a phonemic one. Would Chinese characters make it easier to read Vietnamese? Manchu? Hmong? Zhuang? Most certainly not.

    But they do share a lot of vocabulary from Chinese, and Japanese and Korean have similar grammar and syntax. The Korean alphabet like any alphabet is easy to learn, but Korean can still be hard to read because of the many homonyms of its Chinese derived vocabulary. Coming with some background in Chinese or Japanese, Korean would be a lot easier to read if it were written like Japanese in mixed script: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_mixed_script Arguably easier because Korean tends to be more regular in its use and pronunciation of Chinese vocabulary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bao Jiankang
    This is nonsense. The mixed script of Japanese is one of the worst orthographies in active use right now, up there with English and standard Tibetan. There is a reason no one in their right mind would attempt to introduce Chinese characters or any other logographic system to a language maybe with the exception of sign languages. Speakers of any language with excessive amount a homonyms have no problem discerning meaning in spoken speech why would they have any problem distinguishing them in righting? In fact, Chinese speakers are able to read pinyin even without the tone diacritics just fine (I am not advocating removing the tone diacritics tho). There is a reason why Chinese people are experiencing character amnesia. Pinyin is easier.
  73. @Singh
    Is being ashamed of your origin part of your abrahamic identity Anatoly?

    Why is Ireland called land of Danu & why are Russian rivers named after her?? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu_(Asura)

    That's re including Han China & Persia in your list but not Bharat.

    What do you think the massive migrations from the NW after mahabharat had to do with Greece?

    Many Greeks were known to come to Taxila or universities in South.

    It seems though that all this is ignored in the post 1857 world.

    I found it strange when mentioning population, you didn't mention Mauryan which ruled 43% of the world population.

    I had other things to say but, reading 70 comments derailed me. Good to have you back, will read your other posts this month. :) Danava not Slav,

    Just saying, I think it was a Greek traveler who said that Pataliputra was 4x bigger than Rome & he didn't believe it could have been built by human hands. It's archived somewhere here: twitter.com/hindulsm but away from pc.

    When studying breeding I think there's too much of a tendency to apply post modernism. We have 8 clans on each side for total of 16 in which marriage is banned.

    Ie village gotra, maternal, both parent maternal, all 4 grandparent maternal.

    I doubt civilizations influenced by or related to us would be much different initially. From Persia to Irish Celts although I know zorastrians later did cousin.

    [I know zorastrians later did cousin.]

    Zoroastrians did sister too.

    Read More
  74. @Anonymous
    But they do share a lot of vocabulary from Chinese, and Japanese and Korean have similar grammar and syntax. The Korean alphabet like any alphabet is easy to learn, but Korean can still be hard to read because of the many homonyms of its Chinese derived vocabulary. Coming with some background in Chinese or Japanese, Korean would be a lot easier to read if it were written like Japanese in mixed script: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_mixed_script Arguably easier because Korean tends to be more regular in its use and pronunciation of Chinese vocabulary.

    This is nonsense. The mixed script of Japanese is one of the worst orthographies in active use right now, up there with English and standard Tibetan. There is a reason no one in their right mind would attempt to introduce Chinese characters or any other logographic system to a language maybe with the exception of sign languages. Speakers of any language with excessive amount a homonyms have no problem discerning meaning in spoken speech why would they have any problem distinguishing them in righting? In fact, Chinese speakers are able to read pinyin even without the tone diacritics just fine (I am not advocating removing the tone diacritics tho). There is a reason why Chinese people are experiencing character amnesia. Pinyin is easier.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I find reading Japanese easier than reading Chinese, and many people do as well. I don't know why you say English and Tibetan have bad orthographies. They both use alphabets.

    Spoken speech doesn't tend to have a lot of homonyms. Different or new polysyllabic combinations are used to clear up the ambiguity. Written vernacular Chinese is easier to read than literary classical Chinese because it uses many of these different polysyllabic words - character combinations - that it makes it much less ambiguous. Japanese and Korean aren't tonal, so their Chinese derived vocabulary has less phonetic information than the Chinese vocab does, and the vocab is derived from literary Chinese which is more terse and relies more on the visual information of the characters for meaning. That's why Japanese can be easier to read than Korean.

    Of course pinyin is easier. I don't know anyone who doubts that. Character amnesia certainly exists, although it's definitely more of a problem for writing than reading. When reading text, characters always come in the context of words, idioms, phrases, sentences, etc. which make them easier to remember.
    , @22pp22
    I don't find the Japanese script a problem. Irregular spelling in English is far more of a challenge. Also I don't have a native speaker's vocabulary, but I can read without a dictionary, because I can almost always guess the meaning of unfamiliar words from the characters they contain. Japanese has a simple phonetic system and a huge number of homophones.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    My own experience and that of part Japanese relations strongly support your assertion that pin yin is simpler than using or learning ideographic characters.

    I was pleased to find AK introducing the subject because, as soon as I read Greg Clark's "A Farewell to Alms; etc." I added to his explanation of the Industrial Revolution occurring first where it did the contrast between an English carpenter from say 1570 when the English Bible became familiar and a comparable Chinese tradesman, both with young children. The Englishman could count on s bright 8 year old learning to read in say 10 months and would not find that excessive. But if it took 30 months for a Chinese child to reach the equivalent standard of literacy (and without the incentive of the Bible to be read in a religious age) the cost in tuition and time out of the workforce must have been a considerable deterrent.
  75. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bao Jiankang
    This is nonsense. The mixed script of Japanese is one of the worst orthographies in active use right now, up there with English and standard Tibetan. There is a reason no one in their right mind would attempt to introduce Chinese characters or any other logographic system to a language maybe with the exception of sign languages. Speakers of any language with excessive amount a homonyms have no problem discerning meaning in spoken speech why would they have any problem distinguishing them in righting? In fact, Chinese speakers are able to read pinyin even without the tone diacritics just fine (I am not advocating removing the tone diacritics tho). There is a reason why Chinese people are experiencing character amnesia. Pinyin is easier.

    I find reading Japanese easier than reading Chinese, and many people do as well. I don’t know why you say English and Tibetan have bad orthographies. They both use alphabets.

    Spoken speech doesn’t tend to have a lot of homonyms. Different or new polysyllabic combinations are used to clear up the ambiguity. Written vernacular Chinese is easier to read than literary classical Chinese because it uses many of these different polysyllabic words – character combinations – that it makes it much less ambiguous. Japanese and Korean aren’t tonal, so their Chinese derived vocabulary has less phonetic information than the Chinese vocab does, and the vocab is derived from literary Chinese which is more terse and relies more on the visual information of the characters for meaning. That’s why Japanese can be easier to read than Korean.

    Of course pinyin is easier. I don’t know anyone who doubts that. Character amnesia certainly exists, although it’s definitely more of a problem for writing than reading. When reading text, characters always come in the context of words, idioms, phrases, sentences, etc. which make them easier to remember.

    Read More
  76. @Bao Jiankang
    This is nonsense. The mixed script of Japanese is one of the worst orthographies in active use right now, up there with English and standard Tibetan. There is a reason no one in their right mind would attempt to introduce Chinese characters or any other logographic system to a language maybe with the exception of sign languages. Speakers of any language with excessive amount a homonyms have no problem discerning meaning in spoken speech why would they have any problem distinguishing them in righting? In fact, Chinese speakers are able to read pinyin even without the tone diacritics just fine (I am not advocating removing the tone diacritics tho). There is a reason why Chinese people are experiencing character amnesia. Pinyin is easier.

    I don’t find the Japanese script a problem. Irregular spelling in English is far more of a challenge. Also I don’t have a native speaker’s vocabulary, but I can read without a dictionary, because I can almost always guess the meaning of unfamiliar words from the characters they contain. Japanese has a simple phonetic system and a huge number of homophones.

    Read More
  77. @Glossy
    I can read Chinese news slowly, with mistakes, often looking stuff up in online dictionaries. It's insanely hard for an adult foreigner to learn to read Chinese. I'd say it's at least 20 times harder than learning a new European language if you already know one.

    Anatoly is also talking about this from experience - he's spent a lot of time studying Chinese.

    One may wonder how the Chinese manage to do it? Apparently their IQ is lower than that (some) of the Nordic Europeans! China’s place comes after Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium! It is true that the real nordic Europeans (and Americans) come at the bottom of the list (Denmark, Norway, Finland, US, Canada).

    Read More
    • Replies: @PandaAtWar

    One may wonder how the Chinese manage to do it?
     
    :hitwall: Excuse Panda?

    The fact that any language, Chinese or not, is not hard at all for all the native speakers regardless of their average IQ is like a physical objective law, not a reason/excuse capable to sustain any argument or counter-argument whatsoever.

    Apparently their IQ is lower than that (some) of the Nordic Europeans! China’s place comes after Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium!
     
    Apparent to whom? to you? No wonder. ROFL.

    Avg IQ of China is a combi of 55 races & subraces ranging from 70s of Tibetans, to mostly "half-bred" Hui Muslims, to 105+ (105? my paws! LOL) Han Chinese. Pls enlighten Panda about avg IQ of these Nordic Europeans, before and after mass immigrations either way.
  78. @The Ancient Greeks Weren’t All Geniuses

    That’s obvious. There was no need for it. The miracle was that it took just two geniuses to organize the transmission of all the Ancient Wisdom (oh, yes that means Egypt and Babylonia, and Persia and India – even China), Plato and Aristotle, through a well thought system of education which lasted for over two millennia and which produced innumerable lesser geniuses, pedestrian and boring people who nevertheless knew how to man the machine and speak cogently in public (in Athens they were even supposed to vote knowingly and responsibly).
    “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato”, Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 39 [Free Press, 1979].

    OTOH, the Greeks avoided the “Malthusian trap” perhaps because they really understood better what ‘meden agan’, a central virtue of all traditional societies, meant. Simply put, they were not copulating anytime they had erections. They were able to exercise restraint upon themselves. And that’s not a matter of IQ, but of character, and education, of course.

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  79. “SOCRATES’ drinking of the hemlock in 399 B.C. must surely be counted among the most dramatic acts of human history. Yet is anyone clear on why exactly the ancient Greek philosopher insisted on accepting his death sentence from the Athenian court when he could probably have escaped into exile, or on what the events were that led to his indictment and trial in the first place?

    Plato, who made Socrates the hero of his famous dialogues, seems to suggest his mentor got into trouble for exhorting his fellow citizens to virtue. Some classical scholars take literally the apparent language of the court’s indictment, which, according to Plato’s paraphrase of it in his ”Apology,” read in part that ”Socrates is a wrongdoer because he corrupts the youth” of Athens. Still others focus on the second part of the indictment, that Socrates ”does not believe in the gods the state believes in, but in other new spiritual beings,” and suggest he was only the most famous victim in a wave of persecutions aimed at irreligious philosophers.

    The issue has continued to tantalize posterity, and now I. F. Stone has joined the chase in his 12th book, ”The Trial of Socrates.” I. F. Stone!? Why is this maverick journalist, this dogged civil libertarian, this one-man investigative gang who put out I. F. Stone’s Weekly for 19 years, this author of such books as ”Underground to Palestine” (1946), ”Hidden History of the Korean War” (1952), ”The Haunted Fifties” (1964) and ”The Killings at Kent State” (1971), suddenly grazing in the peaceful pastures of ancient history?

    The answer is itself a complicated story involving the angina pectoris that forced Mr. Stone to give up editing his weekly in 1971 at the age of 64; a word processor producing bold enough type for him to overcome a cataract in writing the present book; a lifelong passion for philosophy that led him to fall ”in love with the Greeks,” and a need to understand how the trial of Socrates could have happened in so free a society as in his beloved Athens. How could it have happened? ” http://www.ifstone.org/trial_of_socrates.php

    With the word processor we shall overcome. All the drugs got us was a bigger athelete, bigger debt and Athens on the Potomac organizing a bigger war. We have not has a killing at the state university for a few weeks, which is a break. The only thing worse than a state that’s failed is one that’s failed and keeps increasing the budget. That’ll keep all the failed banks and car lots operating. You can get sex for the price of a sandwich in Greece and it’s getting more difficult to find a place to get a sandwich. It’s all on TV.

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    • Replies: @RJJ
    Wilmore Kendal wrote that the Athenians were right to condemn Socrates because he was pushing the envelope of their culture's consensus too far. He was given the choice of exile or death, and he chose the encounter with hemlock thereby acknowledging his indebtedness to that consensus even as he challenged it.
  80. The author seems to be a hostage of his pro-western views like ‘Plato and Herodotus outclass Confucius and Syma Qian’. What if taking the narrative of ‘Golden Age of Magnificient Athens’ for true, equals calculating the economy of Death Star? And what if the class struggle, and the rapid shifts like tyranny-democracy-anarchy-oligarchy make the genius, not the breeding and feeding? Enslave Plato, and get the next book from him. Entitle Anatoly with charashka apartments, provide him with aqua et panis, and he will write something monumental.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Debt and strong black coffee worked for Balzac.
  81. @Poles never learn
    The author seems to be a hostage of his pro-western views like 'Plato and Herodotus outclass Confucius and Syma Qian'. What if taking the narrative of 'Golden Age of Magnificient Athens' for true, equals calculating the economy of Death Star? And what if the class struggle, and the rapid shifts like tyranny-democracy-anarchy-oligarchy make the genius, not the breeding and feeding? Enslave Plato, and get the next book from him. Entitle Anatoly with charashka apartments, provide him with aqua et panis, and he will write something monumental.

    Debt and strong black coffee worked for Balzac.

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  82. @anonymous coward
    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    I am mainly writing in reply to
    the anonymous coward, I am unsure what you meant with your comment about characters and the literature.

    Please further explain.

    I think I know what you meant.

    Except for Taiwan and, to some extent HK, simplified sets are now universal, and, in Korea, one sees much old signage, but it is usually only in the hangul script now. People who are not very old generally only know those few readings, and the ones used in the press. Of course, some university graduates can still read Korean written mainly in Chinese characters.

    Oddly, there is at least one example where the PRC simplified a character to the same glyph as in the older modern Japanese orthography, but the meaning and form of the original character was completely different.

    For Anatoly, the hangul script is *not*
    alphabetic. It is a unique and truly ingenious syllabic representation, each ‘letter’ can contain three parts, the number of combinations exceeds 23,000. Most are not pronouncable, not in the language, or only for loan words.

    When a person brought up with it reads, unless there is only one part, they read the two or three parts as a whole, so it is phonetic, but cognitively a little like Chinese characters. Less reading the sounds, more pattern recognition.

    Of course, it is similar for good readers in alphabetic languages, recognising the words rather than the letters, but I think the difference is important.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it's still an alphabet.
  83. “The putative heroes end up hanging all the female household servants who had allegedly slept with the suitors and no time is lost on further introspection…”

    In ancient Greece how much choice would the typical female servant (slave?) have had in the matter? I’m guessing effectively none. Pisses me off.

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  84. @Bao Jiankang
    Japanese and Mandarin are not very similar languages. Japanese and Korean have some similarities but the jury is still out on that (altaic hypothesis is largely discredited). There is nothing unique about the so called "Asian" languages that would make a logographic writing system better than a phonemic one. Would Chinese characters make it easier to read Vietnamese? Manchu? Hmong? Zhuang? Most certainly not.

    Chinese characters are hard to learn, and hard to write. But once you’ve learned them, they are easier to read than an alphabet.

    That’s purely a graphical thing. Now think about all the vocabulary that has been formed over the centuries that depends on characters being like they are. All the 成語. All the abbreviations. All the homonyms which are used because you can tell them apart in writing. Technical texts in Korean can be hard to make sense of, as are whole texts of Pinyin.

    It isn’t that hard, really. People like Victor Mair seem to think that alphabetizing, presumably after remodeling the written language so it doesn’t use all the classical vocabulary which only makes sense graphically, would result in a renaissance of Chinese culture after the kids stop having to memorize so many characters. What do people supposed Chinese kids would do with their newly acquired free time? What do Korean kids do? Play Starcraft, of course.

    Alphabetizing Chinese would amount to throwing away 3,000 years of heritage for no real benefit. I can only guess Mair and fellow haters had a hard time learning the script and hated it ever since. Well, making it hard for foreigners is a feature, not a bug.

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    • Replies: @Che Guava
    I think you will find that, despite the occasional tale of a Korean gamer playing to death, and the pop-star like playing teams, China goes a lot further, whole factories slaving away at games where there is some convertability to real-world money.

    The wife of the Second Life founder is Chinese, she made quite a lot from setting up and running such on-line game sweatshops, not just in Second Life.
    , @Che Guava
    Pinyin was created as much as an alternative orthography as for transliteration.

    There were strong debates in the Communist Party about switching completely, which Vietnam (not to its benefit, in my opinion) had accepted, partly from spite. In the end, their language is just another dialect of Chinese, unlike those of their neighbours.

    Still, the simplified characters are sometimes simplified in strange ways which de-systematise them.

    One good example is in the characters for Communist Party or communism, the part meaning 'life' in the second character is now an empty gap in mainland Chinese script, a very poor choice, I think, must have had a strong irony for older literate people not on the party's good side.
  85. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves! Isn’t it obviously suspicious to anyone that a people on the Mediterranean with obscure origins suddenly produces geniuses for a span of 300 years tops, and then suddenly peters out like a flash in a pan?
    The Greeks took their science from the Egyptians. All the famous Greeks mentioned in this article went to study in Egypt, where they had to have a letter of introduction to the Egyptian priests in order to be admitted to the Egyptian Mystery systems (Higher or Lower Mysteries). It is because the source of those fantastic contributions was somewhere else. Just a reminder to everyone that the Egyptians were using the Pythagorean theorem in a very practical way (3,4,5) just like a civil engineer today uses rise over run for a 45-degree slope. Egypt had a 3,00 year-old civilization by the time the Greeks entered the scene, and the Greeks may have gotten their first taste at civilization through the Colchians, who were a colony from Egypt living in Greece.
    The essential truth in all human history is this profound revelation: 1) History and civilization was born in the tropics, with absolutely nothing in the North. 2) Then the North migrated to the South and took over, muscled people out of their culture. This process repeated itself over and over again. In India, the Aryan elbowed the Dravidians out, and the Greeks, coming from the North, eventually overran Egypt, appropriating all their science, their Gods, and everything of value from there.

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    • Replies: @geokat62

    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves!
     
    Sorry, but I'm afraid I must annoy you a little more. Here is a snippet from Donald Kagan's, Stealing history:

    Professor Lefkowitz goes beyond the easy explosion of such fictions to trace the route by which they came into being. Two ancient writers, in particular, have been the sources of assertions of Egyptian origins of Greek ideas: Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century B.C., and Diodorus of Sicily, four centuries later. They neither spoke the Egyptian language nor could read its scripts but were dependent for what they report on what was told them by Egyptian informants. Like many other Greeks they had great respect for the antiquity of Egyptian civilization and liked to seek the roots of Greek ideas and customs in it. The Egyptian informants, for their part, were eager to claim origins in their own culture for Greek achievements, for the days of Egypt’s imperial greatness were long in the past. In Herodotus’s day, Egypt was a province of the Persian Empire; in the time of Diodorus and later Greek writers it was a part of the Roman Empire. The chief remaining source of national pride was the antiquity and superiority of Egyptian history and culture. Over time they claimed, as reported in Greek sources, that Egyptian wisdom had instructed such Greek thinkers as Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Eudoxus, and Plato. The decipherment of ancient Egyptian writing in the last century has made it possible for us to read thousands of documents that reveal a civilization and way of thinking that could hardly be more different from that of the Greeks and could not possibly serve as a basis or a model for the ideas of the listed Greek thinkers.

    http://www.newcriterion.com/m/articles.cfm/Stealing-history-3624
     
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Lots of civilizations used Pythagoras Theorem, the characteristic achievement of the Greeks was in proving that it was universally true.

    Egypt's scientific accomplishments were meager even compared to those of the Mesopotamian civilizations to say nothing of Greece.
  86. @Bao Jiankang
    This is nonsense. The mixed script of Japanese is one of the worst orthographies in active use right now, up there with English and standard Tibetan. There is a reason no one in their right mind would attempt to introduce Chinese characters or any other logographic system to a language maybe with the exception of sign languages. Speakers of any language with excessive amount a homonyms have no problem discerning meaning in spoken speech why would they have any problem distinguishing them in righting? In fact, Chinese speakers are able to read pinyin even without the tone diacritics just fine (I am not advocating removing the tone diacritics tho). There is a reason why Chinese people are experiencing character amnesia. Pinyin is easier.

    My own experience and that of part Japanese relations strongly support your assertion that pin yin is simpler than using or learning ideographic characters.

    I was pleased to find AK introducing the subject because, as soon as I read Greg Clark’s “A Farewell to Alms; etc.” I added to his explanation of the Industrial Revolution occurring first where it did the contrast between an English carpenter from say 1570 when the English Bible became familiar and a comparable Chinese tradesman, both with young children. The Englishman could count on s bright 8 year old learning to read in say 10 months and would not find that excessive. But if it took 30 months for a Chinese child to reach the equivalent standard of literacy (and without the incentive of the Bible to be read in a religious age) the cost in tuition and time out of the workforce must have been a considerable deterrent.

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  87. @Anonymous
    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves! Isn't it obviously suspicious to anyone that a people on the Mediterranean with obscure origins suddenly produces geniuses for a span of 300 years tops, and then suddenly peters out like a flash in a pan?
    The Greeks took their science from the Egyptians. All the famous Greeks mentioned in this article went to study in Egypt, where they had to have a letter of introduction to the Egyptian priests in order to be admitted to the Egyptian Mystery systems (Higher or Lower Mysteries). It is because the source of those fantastic contributions was somewhere else. Just a reminder to everyone that the Egyptians were using the Pythagorean theorem in a very practical way (3,4,5) just like a civil engineer today uses rise over run for a 45-degree slope. Egypt had a 3,00 year-old civilization by the time the Greeks entered the scene, and the Greeks may have gotten their first taste at civilization through the Colchians, who were a colony from Egypt living in Greece.
    The essential truth in all human history is this profound revelation: 1) History and civilization was born in the tropics, with absolutely nothing in the North. 2) Then the North migrated to the South and took over, muscled people out of their culture. This process repeated itself over and over again. In India, the Aryan elbowed the Dravidians out, and the Greeks, coming from the North, eventually overran Egypt, appropriating all their science, their Gods, and everything of value from there.

    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves!

    Sorry, but I’m afraid I must annoy you a little more. Here is a snippet from Donald Kagan’s, Stealing history:

    Professor Lefkowitz goes beyond the easy explosion of such fictions to trace the route by which they came into being. Two ancient writers, in particular, have been the sources of assertions of Egyptian origins of Greek ideas: Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century B.C., and Diodorus of Sicily, four centuries later. They neither spoke the Egyptian language nor could read its scripts but were dependent for what they report on what was told them by Egyptian informants. Like many other Greeks they had great respect for the antiquity of Egyptian civilization and liked to seek the roots of Greek ideas and customs in it. The Egyptian informants, for their part, were eager to claim origins in their own culture for Greek achievements, for the days of Egypt’s imperial greatness were long in the past. In Herodotus’s day, Egypt was a province of the Persian Empire; in the time of Diodorus and later Greek writers it was a part of the Roman Empire. The chief remaining source of national pride was the antiquity and superiority of Egyptian history and culture. Over time they claimed, as reported in Greek sources, that Egyptian wisdom had instructed such Greek thinkers as Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Eudoxus, and Plato. The decipherment of ancient Egyptian writing in the last century has made it possible for us to read thousands of documents that reveal a civilization and way of thinking that could hardly be more different from that of the Greeks and could not possibly serve as a basis or a model for the ideas of the listed Greek thinkers.

    http://www.newcriterion.com/m/articles.cfm/Stealing-history-3624

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    • Replies: @5371
    Yes. The first genuine scrap of papyrus from Egypt to reach Europe, in the late eighteenth century - expected to contain the ultimate secrets of life and creation - turned out to contain a list of peons liable to forced labour.
  88. @geokat62

    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves!
     
    Sorry, but I'm afraid I must annoy you a little more. Here is a snippet from Donald Kagan's, Stealing history:

    Professor Lefkowitz goes beyond the easy explosion of such fictions to trace the route by which they came into being. Two ancient writers, in particular, have been the sources of assertions of Egyptian origins of Greek ideas: Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century B.C., and Diodorus of Sicily, four centuries later. They neither spoke the Egyptian language nor could read its scripts but were dependent for what they report on what was told them by Egyptian informants. Like many other Greeks they had great respect for the antiquity of Egyptian civilization and liked to seek the roots of Greek ideas and customs in it. The Egyptian informants, for their part, were eager to claim origins in their own culture for Greek achievements, for the days of Egypt’s imperial greatness were long in the past. In Herodotus’s day, Egypt was a province of the Persian Empire; in the time of Diodorus and later Greek writers it was a part of the Roman Empire. The chief remaining source of national pride was the antiquity and superiority of Egyptian history and culture. Over time they claimed, as reported in Greek sources, that Egyptian wisdom had instructed such Greek thinkers as Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Eudoxus, and Plato. The decipherment of ancient Egyptian writing in the last century has made it possible for us to read thousands of documents that reveal a civilization and way of thinking that could hardly be more different from that of the Greeks and could not possibly serve as a basis or a model for the ideas of the listed Greek thinkers.

    http://www.newcriterion.com/m/articles.cfm/Stealing-history-3624
     

    Yes. The first genuine scrap of papyrus from Egypt to reach Europe, in the late eighteenth century – expected to contain the ultimate secrets of life and creation – turned out to contain a list of peons liable to forced labour.

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  89. @spandrell
    Chinese characters are hard to learn, and hard to write. But once you've learned them, they are easier to read than an alphabet.

    That's purely a graphical thing. Now think about all the vocabulary that has been formed over the centuries that depends on characters being like they are. All the 成語. All the abbreviations. All the homonyms which are used because you can tell them apart in writing. Technical texts in Korean can be hard to make sense of, as are whole texts of Pinyin.

    It isn't that hard, really. People like Victor Mair seem to think that alphabetizing, presumably after remodeling the written language so it doesn't use all the classical vocabulary which only makes sense graphically, would result in a renaissance of Chinese culture after the kids stop having to memorize so many characters. What do people supposed Chinese kids would do with their newly acquired free time? What do Korean kids do? Play Starcraft, of course.

    Alphabetizing Chinese would amount to throwing away 3,000 years of heritage for no real benefit. I can only guess Mair and fellow haters had a hard time learning the script and hated it ever since. Well, making it hard for foreigners is a feature, not a bug.

    I think you will find that, despite the occasional tale of a Korean gamer playing to death, and the pop-star like playing teams, China goes a lot further, whole factories slaving away at games where there is some convertability to real-world money.

    The wife of the Second Life founder is Chinese, she made quite a lot from setting up and running such on-line game sweatshops, not just in Second Life.

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  90. it is little wonder that many thinkers and historians have posited a very average IQ to the ancient Greeks

    A query for the author: I just reread this sentence and I wonder if the word “high” was meant to be inserted between the words “very” and “average”?

    [AK: Yes, thanks! Fixed.]

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  91. @Seraphim
    One may wonder how the Chinese manage to do it? Apparently their IQ is lower than that (some) of the Nordic Europeans! China's place comes after Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium! It is true that the real nordic Europeans (and Americans) come at the bottom of the list (Denmark, Norway, Finland, US, Canada).

    One may wonder how the Chinese manage to do it?

    :hitwall: Excuse Panda?

    The fact that any language, Chinese or not, is not hard at all for all the native speakers regardless of their average IQ is like a physical objective law, not a reason/excuse capable to sustain any argument or counter-argument whatsoever.

    Apparently their IQ is lower than that (some) of the Nordic Europeans! China’s place comes after Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium!

    Apparent to whom? to you? No wonder. ROFL.

    Avg IQ of China is a combi of 55 races & subraces ranging from 70s of Tibetans, to mostly “half-bred” Hui Muslims, to 105+ (105? my paws! LOL) Han Chinese. Pls enlighten Panda about avg IQ of these Nordic Europeans, before and after mass immigrations either way.

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  92. @spandrell
    Chinese characters are hard to learn, and hard to write. But once you've learned them, they are easier to read than an alphabet.

    That's purely a graphical thing. Now think about all the vocabulary that has been formed over the centuries that depends on characters being like they are. All the 成語. All the abbreviations. All the homonyms which are used because you can tell them apart in writing. Technical texts in Korean can be hard to make sense of, as are whole texts of Pinyin.

    It isn't that hard, really. People like Victor Mair seem to think that alphabetizing, presumably after remodeling the written language so it doesn't use all the classical vocabulary which only makes sense graphically, would result in a renaissance of Chinese culture after the kids stop having to memorize so many characters. What do people supposed Chinese kids would do with their newly acquired free time? What do Korean kids do? Play Starcraft, of course.

    Alphabetizing Chinese would amount to throwing away 3,000 years of heritage for no real benefit. I can only guess Mair and fellow haters had a hard time learning the script and hated it ever since. Well, making it hard for foreigners is a feature, not a bug.

    Pinyin was created as much as an alternative orthography as for transliteration.

    There were strong debates in the Communist Party about switching completely, which Vietnam (not to its benefit, in my opinion) had accepted, partly from spite. In the end, their language is just another dialect of Chinese, unlike those of their neighbours.

    Still, the simplified characters are sometimes simplified in strange ways which de-systematise them.

    One good example is in the characters for Communist Party or communism, the part meaning ‘life’ in the second character is now an empty gap in mainland Chinese script, a very poor choice, I think, must have had a strong irony for older literate people not on the party’s good side.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    PRC simplification is retarded. It didn't really simplify anything, and in many cases simplified elements that make characters easier to recognize. The minor simplifications that the Japanese did to some characters is much better and more elegant.
  93. Guesstimated IQ: Greeks – 90; Romans – 83; Han Chinese – 80; Renaissance Italy – 88. (Anatoly Karlin)

    Oh really? o-O

    That guesswork looks contradictory logically (one or more than one of your numerous preassumptions must be very wrong):

    Both the Greeks and the Roman have been idealised out of all charts by the Europeans since the Enlightenment.

    The name of “Han Chinese” ( or “Tan Ren”) was derived arguablelly from “Han Dynasty”( and the following Tan Dynasty) when China was at one of her peaks relatively to the rest of the world.

    Ego aside, there is almost no question that Han/Tang China then was a far more technologically advanced society than Greece or Rome at a time. Why? because the Han Chinese had lower or far lower avg IQ than their Geek and Roman counterparts, yes? ROFL. Does it make any sense to you, Anatoly?

    Another way to experience it personally yourself about the Han Chinese IQ is the following experiement as you are learning the language:

    The direct reflection of European IQ is of course the pinnacle of European all art forms – the classics music. It is fair to say that if one can not deeply appreciate, tell the differences, and moved by the beauty, spirit, and intellectual depth of the works from the likes such as Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Vivaldi etc, then one will have no much clue about the European IQ and civilisation.

    The direct reflection of the Chinese IQ is of course the pinnacle of Han Chinese all art forms – the Chinese calligraphy.

    Likewise, if you, or so-called “famous David Moser” no matter how many Chinese characters he can memorises, can not deeply appreciate, tell the differences, and moved by the beauty, spirit, and intellectual depth of the major schools of Chinese calligraphy, you ( Panda knows now that “famous David Moser” has actually no darn clue by reading his http://pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html. ROFL!) will not be recognised by the Han Chinese intellectual elites as even “literate” , hence will have no much clue about what is about the Han Chinese average IQ impied by the Chinese calligraphy. BTW, unlike western classics music to the Western masses nowadays, the Chinese all in all have deeply appreacited the Chinese calligraphy for thousands of years top down from the emporer to most of the peasants who grew potatos.

    Of course you still have no clue about Chinese calligraphy – a bit like an average Chinese junior high schooler who has no clue really about what is the true European civilisation by only knowing a couple of hundrdes English vocabs except Bach or Verdi(from there Panda can safely guess what is your current Mandarin language level) – because you dare to state that Han Chinese had avg IQ of 80 compared to Greek and Romans… LOL

    In other words, only once you truely and utterly understand and appreciate the Chinese calligraphy( or try to write a rigurous Tang Poem yourself to a much lesser entent), then, unlike David Moser and many half-bottle commenters on this here) , you will start to understand why the complex written form of Chinese is so intellectually important to the Han Chinese and by the Han Chinese for the past, for now and for the future, hence will start to get a true taste of what was/is about the average IQ of them.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    there is almost no question that Han/Tang China then was a far more technologically advanced society than Greece or Rome at a time
     
    I had always thought Han China was less developed than the Roman Empire, and that it was only in Tang times, that China definitely overtook Europe. (And that during Sung times, China was at the very least maintaining, but probably quite a bit increasing its advantage.)

    Do you have some specific information as to the technological advantages of Han China over the Greeks/Romans? (Actually, it sounds like an equation with two unknowns. The Antikythera mechanism was something that shouldn't have existed based on our knowledge of ancient technology - yet it did exist. Hence, our knowledge of Greek/Roman technology is inadequate. Probably the same is true of our knowledge of Han Dynasty technology. Nevertheless, based on only things we've found so far, the Antikytera mechanism is something that is to my knowledge superior to any item found in Han Dynasty China.)
  94. The notion that modern Brits are more intelligent than Victorians is quite ludicrous, as documented by Profs. Michael Woodley and Bruce Charlton. Reaction times have declined significantly, and certainly the level of achievement is much less. Flynn described the better scores on the Raven matrix test as probably due to familiarity–the Flynn effect has never applied to other IQ tests… In the US, even dumbing down and “re-norming” the SAT has been unable to hide a steady decline in scores over the last 5 decades….To be fair, Prof. Cochran thinks IQ has only declined a few points…

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  95. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Che Guava
    I am mainly writing in reply to
    the anonymous coward, I am unsure what you meant with your comment about characters and the literature.

    Please further explain.

    I think I know what you meant.

    Except for Taiwan and, to some extent HK, simplified sets are now universal, and, in Korea, one sees much old signage, but it is usually only in the hangul script now. People who are not very old generally only know those few readings, and the ones used in the press. Of course, some university graduates can still read Korean written mainly in Chinese characters.

    Oddly, there is at least one example where the PRC simplified a character to the same glyph as in the older modern Japanese orthography, but the meaning and form of the original character was completely different.

    For Anatoly, the hangul script is *not*
    alphabetic. It is a unique and truly ingenious syllabic representation, each 'letter' can contain three parts, the number of combinations exceeds 23,000. Most are not pronouncable, not in the language, or only for loan words.

    When a person brought up with it reads, unless there is only one part, they read the two or three parts as a whole, so it is phonetic, but cognitively a little like Chinese characters. Less reading the sounds, more pattern recognition.

    Of course, it is similar for good readers in alphabetic languages, recognising the words rather than the letters, but I think the difference is important.

    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it’s still an alphabet.

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    • Replies: @bach

    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it’s still an alphabet.
     
    Yes, hangul is an alphabetic system, but to call it "just an alphabet" is like calling a Ferrari "just a car" or traditional Korean celadon just "pottery".

    Among alphabets hangul stands at the pinnacle of ingenuity for a number of reasons.
  96. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Che Guava
    Pinyin was created as much as an alternative orthography as for transliteration.

    There were strong debates in the Communist Party about switching completely, which Vietnam (not to its benefit, in my opinion) had accepted, partly from spite. In the end, their language is just another dialect of Chinese, unlike those of their neighbours.

    Still, the simplified characters are sometimes simplified in strange ways which de-systematise them.

    One good example is in the characters for Communist Party or communism, the part meaning 'life' in the second character is now an empty gap in mainland Chinese script, a very poor choice, I think, must have had a strong irony for older literate people not on the party's good side.

    PRC simplification is retarded. It didn’t really simplify anything, and in many cases simplified elements that make characters easier to recognize. The minor simplifications that the Japanese did to some characters is much better and more elegant.

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  97. Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT. Minsky may be an example. Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others. The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters. Copy out the Lysistrata, change the names to modern and send it to English professors, perhaps disguising the structure in the off chance that they might have read it, and see whether they recognize is wonderful. The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.

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    • Replies: @David
    Talk about gilded honors wrongly bestowed! I wonder what Xenophon, Aeschylus or Socrates would have found if they went to a PO box in Mexico to look for their special solider welfare check. Fred, what these men did they did in an atmosphere of competition and strife that would have left you a newborn exposed on a frigid hillside by order of the Ephors. You just wouldn't be worth the trouble.

    Aristotle didn't think the Iliad was poorly structured. Read Poetics. Hmm. Fred or Aristotle?

    , @syonredux

    The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.
     
    Newton wasn't "first," dear fellow. Indeed, he freely admitted how much he owed to his predecessors:

    If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
     

    Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others.
     
    No one claims Xenophon was a literary titan, Fred.Far from it.Indeed, just compare Thucydides to Xenophon, and the yawning gulf between the truly great and the merely competent becomes apparent.

    The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters.
     
    MMMM, so much error in such a short sentence...

    Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT.
     
    A second Archimedes, born in our lifetime....That would be something.....
    , @vinteuil
    "The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor development of characters."

    This from a guy who probably couldn't tell *Las Meninas* from *Les Demoiselles d'Avignon* if his life depended on it.
  98. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Much of ‘Greek Genius’ depended on the spirit of the time.

    There are different meaning of genius. There is genius in the meaning of high IQ. Now, those with super-high IQ can achieve more, but super-high IQ alone doesn’t mean inspiration or imagination. Indeed, a person of high IQ but well below genius may achieve a lot more than someone of super-high IQ without vision, imagination, and etc.

    Also, if the science and math require super-high-IQ, this isn’t necessarily the case with arts, literature, music, and etc. Now, it certainly helps to have super-high IQ in those areas, but something more is necessary. It’s like some of the greatest film-makers were men of high IQ but not geniuses.
    And, there are plenty of people of genius IQ who cannot make art. Paul McCartney is smart guy but no genius. But he had a genius for pop music. Sam Peckinpah wasn’t a super-genius. He was just smart, but he had a powerful vision.

    When it comes to the Ancient World, super high-IQ wasn’t that necessary since so much of science back then was more in the nature of speculative philosophy than hard science. As it turns out, most of Aristotle’s ‘science’ proved to be wrong.
    Now, he was obviously very smart, possibly a super-high-IQ genius, but one didn’t need to be super-smart to achieve what he did. High intelligence would have been enough.

    So, why was there a great explosion of Greek creativity in a few centuries in the Ancient World? I suppose it’s like asking why Germany in the 19th century and early 20th century made such huge leaps. It was a combination of factors. Economic, political, military, and etc. But it was also the spirit of the times. A tension between the traditional and the revolutionary, the sudden clash of old and the new. Germany and Austria were situated between Western and Eastern Europe, between Scandinavia and Southern Europe. The Romantic spirit gripped the Germanics more than any other people. There was the powerful musical legacy. This spirit of the times — inspired by Greeks, rediscovery of pagan Germanic roots, romanticism, dawn of modernism, and etc — affected every field: music, poetry, art, philosophy, politics. The mythos of the times made the difference.
    Intelligence is a huge advantage, but it has to be inspired by something. Intelligence uninspired doesn’t go very far.

    And of course earlier, there was the Renaissance. Again, it had something to do with the spirit of the times as ideas and images began to inspire a whole generations of people from Northern Italy to Great Britain.
    In time, the spirit runs out of steam. Party, it’s because any spirit cannot inspire forever. It runs out of freshness and ideas. It’s like the 60s unleashed all sorts of energies in music and fashion and styles, but it eventually petered out.

    Also, when very great stuff is created in a certain period, it may be so overwhelming that it becomes the standard and goes from inspirationalism to institutionalism.
    It’s like the achievements of the Renaissance was so great that for the next centuries, most of art was mostly about imitating the masters. The achievement of the Renaissance era was so great that it was deemed un-surpass-able.

    Indeed, many civilizations fell into this rut. They would go through a creative golden age that produced tremendous stuff, and then the later generations would either be so awed that they would just imitate the past or be so proud(of their past achievement) that future folks would just rest on their laurels. Why try to do something great when your people have already done the best? The Chinese developed this attitude about their own culture. They felt they had the best civilization, best philosophy, best system, best art, best literature, best of everything. So, why not just rest on the laurels of the masters and sages of the past?

    It could be that Greeks fell into a similar rut, i.e. paradoxically, the great achievements of the Ancient Greeks were so awesome that the Greeks became overly proud of their culture and didn’t feel a need to do more to prove a point. Why try when you’ve taken art and philosophy to the limit? After all, the Romans attained more power but hardly bettered the Greeks in arts, science, math, and stuff.

    Also, without the formula of capitalism and industrialism, there was a limit to how much a civilization could achieve in the past. No matter how many smart people and great achievements a society achieved, most of the stuff remained in theory unless there was sufficient wealth and technological progress to turn it into practice. It’s like mankind had always dreamed of flying and traveling to the moon, but it was mostly in the realm of speculation and theory since, prior to modernity, there was no economic system that could sustain the amount of production to create an industrial society.
    Also, prior to rise of industrial modernity, even the most advanced civilizations were vulnerable. Everything could be conquered and destroyed. Today, the idea of Russia, China, or Iran being overrun by Mongols is amusing. The idea of vikings invading modern Italy is ridiculous.
    But prior to rise of modern world, even the most civilized and mighty empires could fall to barbarian hordes. China was, time and time again, invaded by Mongols and other barbarians. Mighty Persia was once smashed by Mongols. Arab hordes led by Muhammad conquered big cities with mighty fortresses.

    If there is mass invasion happening today, it is not because of lack of military or industrial might but because the soul of the modern world has been infected with the Zio-globalist virus that tells gentile nations that ‘diversity is a strength’ and a nation must embrace it or be condemned for its evil. So, if EU wants to keep the darkies out, it could do so, but because the souls of EU folks have been infected with the Jewish virus that seeks to increase diversity to play divide-and-conquer among gentiles, the invasion is happening on a massive scale. It is overrunning the EU. And US is filling up with darkies.
    It is the failure of will than military or economic might. If today’s Germany wanted to defend itself from hordes of invaders, it could do many times over. But there is no will cuz German people have had their souls infected with the Jewish Virus of ‘white guilt’ and ‘white self-loathing’. After all, Israel is much smaller and weaker than Germany, but it ably defends its borders from all Arabs.

    Anyway, what was special about the ancient Greeks? I think people don’t give sufficient credit to their mythology. This is understandable because we tend to see progress as moving away from superstition and mythology. We see progress as the rise of reason, logic, science, math, philosophy, and technology. What does mythology and religion have to do with that stuff? And indeed, Greeks made progress by moving away from faith in mythology to a more rational, historical, and political view of the world. And the rise of Greek science made the Greeks more skeptical of mythological stuff.
    Even so, we cannot understand the Greek soul, spirit,and mind without taking their myths into account. After all, if the Greeks had worshiped the gods of Babylon or China, their spirits would have been different. After all, one reason why the Egyptians became so conservative was due to their mythology that was cyclical and funereal.
    In high school, our English teacher told us that Greeks didn’t believe in much of an afterlife. After you died, you just ended up in Hades and it was a bummer. So, you had to make most of life while you were alive.

    Also, the Greek gods were highly individualistic and competed with one another. It’s there in the Iliad as the gods are divided and use all means, physical to political, to aid either the Greeks or the Trojans. Also, these were lively gods, and they embodied all the various facets of life. The myths of most other cultures highlighted certain facets of life while suppressing all the others. In contrast, Greek mythology is like a map of the mind. It has a wide range of gods and spirits that represent the full spectrum of life: Zeus the patriarch, Apollo the Order, Bacchus the reveler, Ares the warrior, Diana the menstrual cycle crazy hunter, Aphrodite the loveress, etc, etc. The very strange Athena. This is a kind of myth that exercises all the facets of mind, soul, spirit, emotions, etc. The Odyssey is like a mind-trip. Also, there are many stories with the adventurous hero. Greek mythology was less repressive of the natures of man. It represented all the facets of man. So, even before the Greeks set upon using their intellect and logic to the fullest, they must have been INSPIRED by a set of myths that encouraged and provoked a sense of exploration, adventure, expression, competition, and etc. There are elements of submission in Greek mythology to be sure. You don’t mess with Zeus. But there is also the theme of defiance. Prometheus defied Zeus. And even if Zeus is against you, you might triumph with the help of other gods. So, there is a greater sense of freedom.

    So, the mythic element of inspiration cannot be overlooked. It’s like Germans of the 19th century were known not only for science and stuff but for arts and music. And German philosophy was somewhere between reason and romanticism.
    Think of the Steven Spielberg movie A.I. Consider the scene when Gigolo Joe asks to combine FLAT FACTS with FAIRYTALE.

    On the surface, the idea of combining fact and fairytale sounds absurd, but what distinguishes man from lower creatures is the possibility for both ascertaining facts and imagining fantasies. Animals cannot prove facts. Animals watch and learn and have an instinctive sense of what is vital for survival. But they can’t think in terms of ‘truth’ and ‘facts’. They think purely in terms of survival and pleasure. What keeps them alive and happy is ‘good’, what hurts them is ‘bad’. In contrast, mankind can separate the concept of fact and truth apart from personal needs or wants. Science is a search for facts whether such facts are useful to us or not, dangerous to us or not. We want to know what is true independent of its relevance to our personal lives. Only humans have this ability. But it’s also true that only humans can make themselves believe what is not true, what is fantastic, what is imaginary. Dogs cannot believe in God, the blue fairy, Santa Claus, etc. Cats cannot believe in angels, superman, Thor, or Zeus. A cat can fooled into believing that a rubber snake is a real snake, but a cat cannot fantasize something that isn’t true.
    But humans can do this. So, the strange thing about man’s evolutionary progress is that it made him capable of not only attaining greater facts but greater fantasies.
    Now, facts and fantasies are opposites, and yet, paradoxically, it is our ability to fantasize that makes us use facts to make possible the ‘impossible’. For instance, given the available facts long ago, there was no way mankind could ever go to the moon. The idea just seemed too outlandish. But it was because mankind could dream of going to the moon that, slowly and gradually, mankind put together the facts of machinery and stuff to build a contraption that could take us to the moon. So, even though fantasy is not facts(indeed is the opposite of facts), the power of fantasy has a way of making us use facts creatively to make our fantasies come true. So, in a way, the realm of FLAT FACT and FAIRYTALES do have meeting point. It’s like what Dr. Hobby explains to David:

    It could be that the Ancient Greeks had the right kind of balance of fascinating myths and sense of reality. And their myths fired up all the pistons of the human mind whereas other cultures failed to do so.
    Look at Confucianism. It emphasized ethics and stuff, but it wasn’t about the individual adventurer and hero. Also, everything was about the family, so it became a cult of submission to the family. It encouraged certain areas of creativity and thought but suppressed the full range of the human experience and soul.
    And what strikes out about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA? It’s one of those cast-of-thousands epics, but I don’t think there is a single female in the movie. We do see some veiled-tents on camels with the concubines of King Feisal, and we do seem some veiled women off in the distance making those silly-willy sounds with their tongues(which drives me nuts), but we don’t see a single woman who is recognizable. So, Islam stifled and suppressed the entire realm of love and romance, and that meant no culture of chivalry could develop from it.

    Also, Islam was about submission of the individual to Allah. Greeks understood the necessity of obedience and hierarchy, but they left room for the individual and defiance. And it was because they believed in the individual that their drama became so powerfully psychological. They are not mere morality tales of good people or bad people but of soulful anguish driven mad, the kind of madness that even the gods cannot mend. In a lot of Greek tragedies, people do some crazy stuff, like killing parents or kids or wives or hubbies. Lots of murder. But Greeks didn’t merely judge(even though they did that too) but explored the dark depths of passion. There was more empathy in the works, and greater empathy through art could aid in better psychological and philosophical understanding of man. It’s like Harold Bloom said that Shakespeare mapped the human soul long before the psychologists and scientists began to do so methodically in the 19th century. Greeks were like Sam Peckinpah before Sam Peckinpah, Hitchcock before Hitchcock.

    Anyway, the hero of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is like an Ancient Greek hero. Unlike the Moos who say everything is ‘written’, Lawrence believes it is up to the great man to write his own destiny. And his sensibility is a combination of ‘flat fact’ and ‘fairytale’(and not because he may have been a fruiter). On the one hand, he is very well-educated and rational. He thinks things through and pores over the details. On the other hand, he has this mythic sense of himself as the hero who can make the impossible possible. His plan to invade Aqaba from a desert that Arabs say cannot be crossed is that kind of derring do. Though impeccable planning and prophetic vision, he turns ‘fairytale’ into a fact.
    And unlike others, he seems to revel in contradictions. After all, a modern Briton going from UK to Arabia during WWI was like traveling in a time machine. There were still places in Arabia back then that had hardly changed since the Ancient times. It still had people riding camels and using swords and daggers. Most Brits look down on Arabs as ‘wogs’, and Arabs are distrustful of the haughty Brits, but Lawrence feels at home in this world of contradiction. And as time passes, he becomes more and more aware of the irony of his situation. Initially, he berated Ali for being a typical petty murderous cruel Arab who kills people over water-wells… but then it dawns on Lawrence that the great modern powers–Germans, Ottomans, French, and British– are fighting their own ‘petty’ wars on global scale over resources(surely oil though unnamed). And given what the West has done to the Middle East and North Africa in recent yrs, the great game continues and in so many petty ways. Obama, Hillary, Jews, Erdogan, and etc. are so petty in their ego and ambitions and resentments. Anyway, Lawrence is Greek-ish becaues of the combination of his powerful sense of individuality and acute awareness of the bigger forces that are manipulating him all around. We see this in the story of Greek heroes. It’s like Odysseus is crafty and in control of his destiny, and yet, he is also manipulated and tosses hither and thither by the powerful gods with different agendas. Both Lawrence and Odysseus feel the neurosis of power: at times, they feel in total control but at other times, they feel utterly helpless and fall into deep depression.
    It could be that Greeks had a craftier sense of power relations than other folks. Funereal Egyptians didn’t have much use for heroes. They worshiped the Pharaoh as god that dies and returns over and over, and they were busying building pyramids. And some civilizations believed in terrifying gods that acted like the plant in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. It simply said ‘feed me, feed me’, and the people just sacrificed little children to such gods like in those Silent Movies made in Italy.

    But the Greeks arrived at some kind of balance. True, the gods were powerful, but no god was all-powerful, and there were checks-and-balances, and so, there was the room for the individual hero to maneuver. And Greek mythology said the gods don’t necessarily favor those who are sappy and submissive. Gods also like those who are crafty, smart, adventurous, daring, intelligent, and stuff. Also, Greek women were so crazy and temperamental that the men were pressured to do something and get outdoors. It could be one reason Odysseus kept on finding new excuses to delay his return was because he feared Penelope might kick his butt for having been away for too long. With women like that, men were bound to be more fired up. It’s like Spartan mothers told their son, ‘come back victorious or dead’ or something like that. It could be said that these women were real ‘ball-busters’, but they might have been inspirational in some way too. Macedonians came under Greek influence, and Alexander’s mother drove him so batty that he conquered the world. (At least in the Oliver Stone movie. But it’s true that Greek women really are crazy.)

    Anyway, even though civilization makes progress by moving away from superstition and myth and religion, the nature of those narratives, spirits, and mind-systems surely have a profound impact even on secular progress. It’s like the Secular West is still affected by Christian morality that has grown cancerous with ‘white guilt’ that makes the West defenseless against the rise of color.
    And even though most Jews are not religious, even secular Jews are still have a kind of Chosen People mentality that makes see themselves as unique and deserving to rule the world. Greek mythology is close to the sea, and this may have affected their ways.
    In the Ancient World, Athenians were known for their seafaring abilities, whereas the story of the Jews is essentially one of wandering on the land. The crossing of the Red Sea or, more accurately ‘reed sea’, would indicate that the Ancient Jews were like cats: they were hydrophobic. They wanted firm land on their feet, especially in the Promised Land. In contrast, many of the great Greek epics are about the seas, like Jason and Argonauts and Odyssey. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is sort of like a combo of those ideas. Lawrence is like a semitic nomad in the desert, but being part of the sea-faring British race, he comes up with a strategy of ‘sailing’ around the desert as if it’s the sea. And in the flat areas of the desert, the effect is almost sea-like as we can see all the way into the horizon, and when a figure appears in the distance, it looks almost like someone has miraculously materialized out of the air.

    The power of myths matter. It’s like the beginning of Hesse’s PETER CAMENZIND: “In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for self-expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child’s soul with poetry every day.”

    It could be that one of the reasons why the American Right has become so impoverished of late is its lack of myth. When American whites had confidence and pride, they would draw from the modern myth of America’s founding. The legendary stories of cowboys and conquerors. Americans used to love watching those John Wayne Westerns about the Great White Man. But all those myths were destroyed once the myth of MLK came to dominate everything. White myths were all smashed as false idols. Also, the great crimes of Nazism derailed the mythic renewal of paganism in Europe. George Lucas revived some of it in STAR WARS but the fool turned into a silly Liberal and he sold his franchise to that funny-looking Jew Abrams.

    But there’s another reason. For many Conzo Americans, their main culture is Evangelical Christianity, and it is so uninspired and dumb-dumb. So dumb that Neocons have manipulated it to serve Zionism. For the dullard kids among American Conzos, Evangelicalism is good enough cuz their minds lack any inspiration. But among the more creative children of American Conzos, they eventually grow out of Evangelical dull-ism, and they seek more exciting stuff. Since the creative culture is controlled by Jews, Libs, homos, and Negro rappers, creative types(even those born to Conzo parents) move in that direction. Indeed, it was largely by controlling the myth-machine of art and culture that the Lib side was able to attract the bulk of people of talent and intelligence and imagination. That’s how homos got so much power in society. Of course, PC of late has made Liberalism stupid. And Lib decadence had led to gross-out-fests like Lena Dunham show and other garbage.

    Even so, there is nothing coming from the Right, so the Libs continue to control culture. Even a Theater culture dominated by homos and feminists is some kind of theater. At least, the homos and feminists are writing plays whereas Conzos don’t create culture. In the old day when morality dominated culture, one could win a culture war just by being righteous. In an Amish community, you win the cultural argument by being more righteous than the next fellow. Same in a Muslim society.

    But in the modern West, you cannot win the culture war without creativity, without making culture. And Conzos don’t make culture. If some Conzos are religious and just stick with the Bible, other people on the ‘Right’ are libertarians who just wave the Constitution. Okay, the Constitution with its legal rights is a great document, but it’s not culture. It’s not the kind of stuff that inspires vision or imagination. It just says ‘you are free’. But culture requires more than freedom. Most people with freedom just wanna be couch-potatoes who play video games. To create culture, you gotta have passion and vision and commitment. Evangelicals just wanna pray to God, and libertarians just wanna wave the Constitution, bongs, and guns. That isn’t enough for culture.
    And as long as there is no mythic vision on the Right, the talented will not gravitate to the Right. Even those with right-wing leanings will go the Lib side cuz that’s where all the ‘cool action’ is. To be sure, there are some creative types like the makers of South Park and Idiocracy(Mike Judge). But such libertarianism, as entertaining as it may be, works negatively by commenting on OTHER culture. SouthPark makes fun of pop culture. Idiocracy and Beavis and Butthead poke fun at trashiness and idiocy. But they offer nothing other than commentary on existing culture. They are smart-alecky feeders on existing culture, not maker of a new culture.

    The American Right is bereft of myths, and without the power of myth, a people are nothing. The power of reason is important, but in the end, reason is driven by myths, prophecy, vision, and righteousness, not the other way around. It is not Jewish intelligence that is driving the Jewish passion but the other way around. Jewish passion rooted in their particular psychological, personality, and historiography is driving Jewish reason.
    The fact that Ayn Rand became such a culture figure goes to show that people still love myths. Economic theory is dry, but if you tell it as a mythic story of heroes and villains, people are captivated. It’s like Bubblegum Crisis.
    Matrix is a pretty dumb movie(though part 3 has some awesome effects), but it did offer some neat myths about the nature of reality and power, and its lingo and terminology have inspired and even appropriated by the Alt Right even though its makers are Calvin Klein neo-homo-Marxists.

    Anyway, the Greeks did burn out, and it just happens to all people. The confluence of forces that brought about the explosion of creativity was lost. After all, no Great Age is the result of any single factor. It’s a miraculous convergence of many factors. It’s like some movies that are great because everything just came together just right: the right script, the right music, right actors, right director, right conditions, and etc.
    And all the forces and elements that came to create the Greek miracle couldn’t be repeated again. Besides, miracles cannot be summoned by will because, if that were possible, we would have golden ages all the time. After it happens, we may look back and notice the elements and patterns that had made it possible, but while it was happening, no one really knew what was happening. Such miracles are beyond the power of foresight and control.
    It’s like GONE WITH THE WIND. Everything just came together in just the right way to make a classic. But when Selznick tried to recapture that formula, he never could.
    And Barry Gordy couldn’t put Motown back together again. Just the right forces came together at the right time to create a musical sensation.

    Also, batteries run out of power, and even though they can be recharged, the power grows weaker with every recharge. And this happens to all civilization. The Greeks did something great, and the achievements were recharged over and over for inspiration, but eventually it was spent.

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    • Replies: @alexander
    Hey Priss,

    That was long but it was pretty good...

    I like you Priss....you say what you mean and you mean what you say.

    keep up the interesting stuff, and thanks for it.

    .
    , @Rurik

    The confluence of forces that brought about the explosion of creativity was lost. After all, no Great Age is the result of any single factor. It’s a miraculous convergence of many factors.

     

    sounds to me like you're talking about the seventies Priss
    , @Mark Green
    Hi Priss. Incredibly, not long ago, some commentators at this site declared you a fraud of some kind, apparently because your remarks (concerning Jews) seemed so over-the-top and (perhaps) troll-like. Maybe some of your comments could have been read that way, but I never believed so.

    Since then, I've been increasingly impressed by your creative talents and originality. You're also very funny. You are able to synthesize a good deal of forgotten history and myth with contemporary drama (including pop culture); then mix it all in with colliding political trends. Quite perspicacious!--(to use a two-dollar word).

    This latest reply/essay of yours is once-again of a very high caliber, even though it stays and wanders over vast and uneven terrain. Your theories cover a lot of ground. But they all ring at least partly true. That in itself is no small intellectual achievement.

    Thank you for sharing with us your take on Mr. Karlin's incisive overview of Western history, myth and the rise/decline of great civilizations. Well done to both of you!

    And thank you, Mr. Unz, for creating this extraordinary forum. Most of the comments here are of the highest caliber. The Unz Review is in a virtual class by itself.

  99. @Anonymous
    I get annoyed every time someone mentioned the Greeks, how great they were, how they produced their great civilization in a vacuum, all by themselves! Isn't it obviously suspicious to anyone that a people on the Mediterranean with obscure origins suddenly produces geniuses for a span of 300 years tops, and then suddenly peters out like a flash in a pan?
    The Greeks took their science from the Egyptians. All the famous Greeks mentioned in this article went to study in Egypt, where they had to have a letter of introduction to the Egyptian priests in order to be admitted to the Egyptian Mystery systems (Higher or Lower Mysteries). It is because the source of those fantastic contributions was somewhere else. Just a reminder to everyone that the Egyptians were using the Pythagorean theorem in a very practical way (3,4,5) just like a civil engineer today uses rise over run for a 45-degree slope. Egypt had a 3,00 year-old civilization by the time the Greeks entered the scene, and the Greeks may have gotten their first taste at civilization through the Colchians, who were a colony from Egypt living in Greece.
    The essential truth in all human history is this profound revelation: 1) History and civilization was born in the tropics, with absolutely nothing in the North. 2) Then the North migrated to the South and took over, muscled people out of their culture. This process repeated itself over and over again. In India, the Aryan elbowed the Dravidians out, and the Greeks, coming from the North, eventually overran Egypt, appropriating all their science, their Gods, and everything of value from there.

    Lots of civilizations used Pythagoras Theorem, the characteristic achievement of the Greeks was in proving that it was universally true.

    Egypt’s scientific accomplishments were meager even compared to those of the Mesopotamian civilizations to say nothing of Greece.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    Michael Hart's UNDERSTANDING HUMAN HISTORY is quite good on the topic of ancient Egypt's underperformance when it comes to STEM:




    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Human-History-Michael-Hart/dp/1593680260
  100. On China

    (1) There have been a few comments arguing Han China was more advanced than the Roman Empire and Greece. I would refer them to Ian Morris (Why the West Rules) and Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment). The former showed that on a variety of metrics from size of cities to density of the road network the Roman Empire was in fact considerably more socio-economically advanced than China (China did overtake the West but only once the Roman Empire collapsed), which consistently lagged the most advanced Western “core” areas by 1,000-2,000 yeas until then. The latter showed that China’s share of the world science inventory was extremely meager, about 1%, and less even than that of the Islamic world. Even if you were to wildly quintuple that share on account of Murray’s boundless (if unproven) Sinophobia, it would still be meager.

    (2) A note on Chinese characters – I agree that there is zero point in doing away with them now or even in 1950. Under modern industrialism, it is trivial to generate enough surpluses to keep all children in school long enough to impart literacy under any writing system, and literacy retention is also no longer a practical issue because the modern world is saturated with reading materials and for that matter is indispensable for most jobs. And the pinyin-character converters that Chinese word processors use is even making all that moot. What is however almost certainly true is that all these were huge issues in preindustrial China and kept its literacy rate (and stock of potential innovators) artifically low relative to what it could have been.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    just finished Ricardo Duchesne's The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which includes a very large account of China. This is probably a must read for those interested in China and the East.

    Duchesne begins by addressing the White/Europe/Euro-centrism haters of the last half century.
    He does a good job of dispatching these haters and self-haters on their own ground of historical research, as opposed to making a genetic argument.

    I think I saw the word "genetics" once.

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words...but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like 'Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel.." used the term oriental despotism...

    p.237

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism. Despotism vs. Freedom, with Freedom rooted, per Duchesne, in our Indo-European ancestors (3 to 4000 years before Christ) who fought their way into our racial history, which also includes northern hunter-gatherers, and near-east farmers.

    The Indo-Europeans came out of the steppes above the Black Sea. They were the people who became the aristocratic fighters of the Iliad, Mycennae.

    So you basically got no choice in the matter. If you are an Asian, or anybody else for that matter, you lack the biology of whites. Furthermore, Duchesne advances the fundamental motivation in the psychology of Indo-Europeans as prestige seeking and that prestige involves the recognition of the other as a relative equal. Prestige is not merely power, it is a profound motivator for complex inter-subjectivity....that is, human relationships that are mutually stimulating and experienced as good, etc.

    Other races are hopelessly mired in despotism, whether the family, religion, or the oriental despotism of the middle east, Asia, or the simpler savagery of Africa of Amerindians who practiced slavery, cannibalism, torture, etc. Still do.

    Joe Webb
    , @PandaAtWar
    Too many points here and too few time...[sigh]

    but Anatoly, if you take every words for granted from an archaeologist and historian like Ian Morris and a political scientist like Murray on China ,

    ( look like two seriously authentic China experts here, with credentials that neither could even say "hello" and "goodbye" in Mandarin, let alone writing down these "little mental challenges" - btw in comparison, since Panda can not only read & write English, and German, and Italian, and... but also read and write even notes from Shakespear to Verdi to Newton to Nietzsche to Oxford, that certainly qualifies Panda as the authority of European historic achievements 1,000 friggin times more credible than Murray and Morris do on China, doesn't it? ROFL)

    then why don't you also have an open mind by taking a look at an historian , philosoper like Robert Temple who happened to have lived and worked in China as the similar function speaking some Mandarin, at least hello and goodbye, or a scientist, historian and mandarin-speaking sinologist like Joseph Needham?

    Joseph Needham

    Robert Temple

    You're welcome! ^-^
  101. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bao Jiankang

    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)
     
    This is not true. Here is the well known sinologist victor mair's take on it.
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4367

    Everyone knows pinyin is easier than characters.

    Why Chinee no take lesson from Korean and Japanese and create a phonetic system of Chinese?

    It can use characters based on Chinese characters but also flexible enough to serve as phonetic stuff.

    That way, maybe Chinese language can be pared down to 500 useful characters.
    Much better that way, and less load on mind to memorize stupid stuff.

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  102. I don’t understand the correlation between intelligence and grandeur. Modernists (liberals, communists, democrats, socialists, those who “care”) are intelligent but seek to destroy their civilization. The dominant high art today is empty and ironic. Popular culture is bathos, not tragic. So, there can be no automatic attainment of awe, loftiness, heights, etc., which we associate with Ancient Greek civilization, through high IQ only. Not saying high IQ isn’t necessary for Ancient Greek accomplishment. Just that it isn’t the only factor by any means.

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  103. @Priss Factor
    Much of 'Greek Genius' depended on the spirit of the time.

    There are different meaning of genius. There is genius in the meaning of high IQ. Now, those with super-high IQ can achieve more, but super-high IQ alone doesn't mean inspiration or imagination. Indeed, a person of high IQ but well below genius may achieve a lot more than someone of super-high IQ without vision, imagination, and etc.

    Also, if the science and math require super-high-IQ, this isn't necessarily the case with arts, literature, music, and etc. Now, it certainly helps to have super-high IQ in those areas, but something more is necessary. It's like some of the greatest film-makers were men of high IQ but not geniuses.
    And, there are plenty of people of genius IQ who cannot make art. Paul McCartney is smart guy but no genius. But he had a genius for pop music. Sam Peckinpah wasn't a super-genius. He was just smart, but he had a powerful vision.

    When it comes to the Ancient World, super high-IQ wasn't that necessary since so much of science back then was more in the nature of speculative philosophy than hard science. As it turns out, most of Aristotle's 'science' proved to be wrong.
    Now, he was obviously very smart, possibly a super-high-IQ genius, but one didn't need to be super-smart to achieve what he did. High intelligence would have been enough.

    So, why was there a great explosion of Greek creativity in a few centuries in the Ancient World? I suppose it's like asking why Germany in the 19th century and early 20th century made such huge leaps. It was a combination of factors. Economic, political, military, and etc. But it was also the spirit of the times. A tension between the traditional and the revolutionary, the sudden clash of old and the new. Germany and Austria were situated between Western and Eastern Europe, between Scandinavia and Southern Europe. The Romantic spirit gripped the Germanics more than any other people. There was the powerful musical legacy. This spirit of the times --- inspired by Greeks, rediscovery of pagan Germanic roots, romanticism, dawn of modernism, and etc --- affected every field: music, poetry, art, philosophy, politics. The mythos of the times made the difference.
    Intelligence is a huge advantage, but it has to be inspired by something. Intelligence uninspired doesn't go very far.

    And of course earlier, there was the Renaissance. Again, it had something to do with the spirit of the times as ideas and images began to inspire a whole generations of people from Northern Italy to Great Britain.
    In time, the spirit runs out of steam. Party, it's because any spirit cannot inspire forever. It runs out of freshness and ideas. It's like the 60s unleashed all sorts of energies in music and fashion and styles, but it eventually petered out.

    Also, when very great stuff is created in a certain period, it may be so overwhelming that it becomes the standard and goes from inspirationalism to institutionalism.
    It's like the achievements of the Renaissance was so great that for the next centuries, most of art was mostly about imitating the masters. The achievement of the Renaissance era was so great that it was deemed un-surpass-able.

    Indeed, many civilizations fell into this rut. They would go through a creative golden age that produced tremendous stuff, and then the later generations would either be so awed that they would just imitate the past or be so proud(of their past achievement) that future folks would just rest on their laurels. Why try to do something great when your people have already done the best? The Chinese developed this attitude about their own culture. They felt they had the best civilization, best philosophy, best system, best art, best literature, best of everything. So, why not just rest on the laurels of the masters and sages of the past?

    It could be that Greeks fell into a similar rut, i.e. paradoxically, the great achievements of the Ancient Greeks were so awesome that the Greeks became overly proud of their culture and didn't feel a need to do more to prove a point. Why try when you've taken art and philosophy to the limit? After all, the Romans attained more power but hardly bettered the Greeks in arts, science, math, and stuff.

    Also, without the formula of capitalism and industrialism, there was a limit to how much a civilization could achieve in the past. No matter how many smart people and great achievements a society achieved, most of the stuff remained in theory unless there was sufficient wealth and technological progress to turn it into practice. It's like mankind had always dreamed of flying and traveling to the moon, but it was mostly in the realm of speculation and theory since, prior to modernity, there was no economic system that could sustain the amount of production to create an industrial society.
    Also, prior to rise of industrial modernity, even the most advanced civilizations were vulnerable. Everything could be conquered and destroyed. Today, the idea of Russia, China, or Iran being overrun by Mongols is amusing. The idea of vikings invading modern Italy is ridiculous.
    But prior to rise of modern world, even the most civilized and mighty empires could fall to barbarian hordes. China was, time and time again, invaded by Mongols and other barbarians. Mighty Persia was once smashed by Mongols. Arab hordes led by Muhammad conquered big cities with mighty fortresses.

    If there is mass invasion happening today, it is not because of lack of military or industrial might but because the soul of the modern world has been infected with the Zio-globalist virus that tells gentile nations that 'diversity is a strength' and a nation must embrace it or be condemned for its evil. So, if EU wants to keep the darkies out, it could do so, but because the souls of EU folks have been infected with the Jewish virus that seeks to increase diversity to play divide-and-conquer among gentiles, the invasion is happening on a massive scale. It is overrunning the EU. And US is filling up with darkies.
    It is the failure of will than military or economic might. If today's Germany wanted to defend itself from hordes of invaders, it could do many times over. But there is no will cuz German people have had their souls infected with the Jewish Virus of 'white guilt' and 'white self-loathing'. After all, Israel is much smaller and weaker than Germany, but it ably defends its borders from all Arabs.

    Anyway, what was special about the ancient Greeks? I think people don't give sufficient credit to their mythology. This is understandable because we tend to see progress as moving away from superstition and mythology. We see progress as the rise of reason, logic, science, math, philosophy, and technology. What does mythology and religion have to do with that stuff? And indeed, Greeks made progress by moving away from faith in mythology to a more rational, historical, and political view of the world. And the rise of Greek science made the Greeks more skeptical of mythological stuff.
    Even so, we cannot understand the Greek soul, spirit,and mind without taking their myths into account. After all, if the Greeks had worshiped the gods of Babylon or China, their spirits would have been different. After all, one reason why the Egyptians became so conservative was due to their mythology that was cyclical and funereal.
    In high school, our English teacher told us that Greeks didn't believe in much of an afterlife. After you died, you just ended up in Hades and it was a bummer. So, you had to make most of life while you were alive.

    Also, the Greek gods were highly individualistic and competed with one another. It's there in the Iliad as the gods are divided and use all means, physical to political, to aid either the Greeks or the Trojans. Also, these were lively gods, and they embodied all the various facets of life. The myths of most other cultures highlighted certain facets of life while suppressing all the others. In contrast, Greek mythology is like a map of the mind. It has a wide range of gods and spirits that represent the full spectrum of life: Zeus the patriarch, Apollo the Order, Bacchus the reveler, Ares the warrior, Diana the menstrual cycle crazy hunter, Aphrodite the loveress, etc, etc. The very strange Athena. This is a kind of myth that exercises all the facets of mind, soul, spirit, emotions, etc. The Odyssey is like a mind-trip. Also, there are many stories with the adventurous hero. Greek mythology was less repressive of the natures of man. It represented all the facets of man. So, even before the Greeks set upon using their intellect and logic to the fullest, they must have been INSPIRED by a set of myths that encouraged and provoked a sense of exploration, adventure, expression, competition, and etc. There are elements of submission in Greek mythology to be sure. You don't mess with Zeus. But there is also the theme of defiance. Prometheus defied Zeus. And even if Zeus is against you, you might triumph with the help of other gods. So, there is a greater sense of freedom.

    So, the mythic element of inspiration cannot be overlooked. It's like Germans of the 19th century were known not only for science and stuff but for arts and music. And German philosophy was somewhere between reason and romanticism.
    Think of the Steven Spielberg movie A.I. Consider the scene when Gigolo Joe asks to combine FLAT FACTS with FAIRYTALE.
    https://youtu.be/x0QkgAuEPbk?t=3m37s
    On the surface, the idea of combining fact and fairytale sounds absurd, but what distinguishes man from lower creatures is the possibility for both ascertaining facts and imagining fantasies. Animals cannot prove facts. Animals watch and learn and have an instinctive sense of what is vital for survival. But they can't think in terms of 'truth' and 'facts'. They think purely in terms of survival and pleasure. What keeps them alive and happy is 'good', what hurts them is 'bad'. In contrast, mankind can separate the concept of fact and truth apart from personal needs or wants. Science is a search for facts whether such facts are useful to us or not, dangerous to us or not. We want to know what is true independent of its relevance to our personal lives. Only humans have this ability. But it's also true that only humans can make themselves believe what is not true, what is fantastic, what is imaginary. Dogs cannot believe in God, the blue fairy, Santa Claus, etc. Cats cannot believe in angels, superman, Thor, or Zeus. A cat can fooled into believing that a rubber snake is a real snake, but a cat cannot fantasize something that isn't true.
    But humans can do this. So, the strange thing about man's evolutionary progress is that it made him capable of not only attaining greater facts but greater fantasies.
    Now, facts and fantasies are opposites, and yet, paradoxically, it is our ability to fantasize that makes us use facts to make possible the 'impossible'. For instance, given the available facts long ago, there was no way mankind could ever go to the moon. The idea just seemed too outlandish. But it was because mankind could dream of going to the moon that, slowly and gradually, mankind put together the facts of machinery and stuff to build a contraption that could take us to the moon. So, even though fantasy is not facts(indeed is the opposite of facts), the power of fantasy has a way of making us use facts creatively to make our fantasies come true. So, in a way, the realm of FLAT FACT and FAIRYTALES do have meeting point. It's like what Dr. Hobby explains to David:
    https://youtu.be/zTioBYdv2o4?t=3m18s

    It could be that the Ancient Greeks had the right kind of balance of fascinating myths and sense of reality. And their myths fired up all the pistons of the human mind whereas other cultures failed to do so.
    Look at Confucianism. It emphasized ethics and stuff, but it wasn't about the individual adventurer and hero. Also, everything was about the family, so it became a cult of submission to the family. It encouraged certain areas of creativity and thought but suppressed the full range of the human experience and soul.
    And what strikes out about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA? It's one of those cast-of-thousands epics, but I don't think there is a single female in the movie. We do see some veiled-tents on camels with the concubines of King Feisal, and we do seem some veiled women off in the distance making those silly-willy sounds with their tongues(which drives me nuts), but we don't see a single woman who is recognizable. So, Islam stifled and suppressed the entire realm of love and romance, and that meant no culture of chivalry could develop from it.

    Also, Islam was about submission of the individual to Allah. Greeks understood the necessity of obedience and hierarchy, but they left room for the individual and defiance. And it was because they believed in the individual that their drama became so powerfully psychological. They are not mere morality tales of good people or bad people but of soulful anguish driven mad, the kind of madness that even the gods cannot mend. In a lot of Greek tragedies, people do some crazy stuff, like killing parents or kids or wives or hubbies. Lots of murder. But Greeks didn't merely judge(even though they did that too) but explored the dark depths of passion. There was more empathy in the works, and greater empathy through art could aid in better psychological and philosophical understanding of man. It's like Harold Bloom said that Shakespeare mapped the human soul long before the psychologists and scientists began to do so methodically in the 19th century. Greeks were like Sam Peckinpah before Sam Peckinpah, Hitchcock before Hitchcock.

    Anyway, the hero of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is like an Ancient Greek hero. Unlike the Moos who say everything is 'written', Lawrence believes it is up to the great man to write his own destiny. And his sensibility is a combination of 'flat fact' and 'fairytale'(and not because he may have been a fruiter). On the one hand, he is very well-educated and rational. He thinks things through and pores over the details. On the other hand, he has this mythic sense of himself as the hero who can make the impossible possible. His plan to invade Aqaba from a desert that Arabs say cannot be crossed is that kind of derring do. Though impeccable planning and prophetic vision, he turns 'fairytale' into a fact.
    And unlike others, he seems to revel in contradictions. After all, a modern Briton going from UK to Arabia during WWI was like traveling in a time machine. There were still places in Arabia back then that had hardly changed since the Ancient times. It still had people riding camels and using swords and daggers. Most Brits look down on Arabs as 'wogs', and Arabs are distrustful of the haughty Brits, but Lawrence feels at home in this world of contradiction. And as time passes, he becomes more and more aware of the irony of his situation. Initially, he berated Ali for being a typical petty murderous cruel Arab who kills people over water-wells... but then it dawns on Lawrence that the great modern powers--Germans, Ottomans, French, and British-- are fighting their own 'petty' wars on global scale over resources(surely oil though unnamed). And given what the West has done to the Middle East and North Africa in recent yrs, the great game continues and in so many petty ways. Obama, Hillary, Jews, Erdogan, and etc. are so petty in their ego and ambitions and resentments. Anyway, Lawrence is Greek-ish becaues of the combination of his powerful sense of individuality and acute awareness of the bigger forces that are manipulating him all around. We see this in the story of Greek heroes. It's like Odysseus is crafty and in control of his destiny, and yet, he is also manipulated and tosses hither and thither by the powerful gods with different agendas. Both Lawrence and Odysseus feel the neurosis of power: at times, they feel in total control but at other times, they feel utterly helpless and fall into deep depression.
    It could be that Greeks had a craftier sense of power relations than other folks. Funereal Egyptians didn't have much use for heroes. They worshiped the Pharaoh as god that dies and returns over and over, and they were busying building pyramids. And some civilizations believed in terrifying gods that acted like the plant in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. It simply said 'feed me, feed me', and the people just sacrificed little children to such gods like in those Silent Movies made in Italy.

    But the Greeks arrived at some kind of balance. True, the gods were powerful, but no god was all-powerful, and there were checks-and-balances, and so, there was the room for the individual hero to maneuver. And Greek mythology said the gods don't necessarily favor those who are sappy and submissive. Gods also like those who are crafty, smart, adventurous, daring, intelligent, and stuff. Also, Greek women were so crazy and temperamental that the men were pressured to do something and get outdoors. It could be one reason Odysseus kept on finding new excuses to delay his return was because he feared Penelope might kick his butt for having been away for too long. With women like that, men were bound to be more fired up. It's like Spartan mothers told their son, 'come back victorious or dead' or something like that. It could be said that these women were real 'ball-busters', but they might have been inspirational in some way too. Macedonians came under Greek influence, and Alexander's mother drove him so batty that he conquered the world. (At least in the Oliver Stone movie. But it's true that Greek women really are crazy.)
    https://youtu.be/GauxJU5RdPs?t=1m18s

    Anyway, even though civilization makes progress by moving away from superstition and myth and religion, the nature of those narratives, spirits, and mind-systems surely have a profound impact even on secular progress. It's like the Secular West is still affected by Christian morality that has grown cancerous with 'white guilt' that makes the West defenseless against the rise of color.
    And even though most Jews are not religious, even secular Jews are still have a kind of Chosen People mentality that makes see themselves as unique and deserving to rule the world. Greek mythology is close to the sea, and this may have affected their ways.
    In the Ancient World, Athenians were known for their seafaring abilities, whereas the story of the Jews is essentially one of wandering on the land. The crossing of the Red Sea or, more accurately 'reed sea', would indicate that the Ancient Jews were like cats: they were hydrophobic. They wanted firm land on their feet, especially in the Promised Land. In contrast, many of the great Greek epics are about the seas, like Jason and Argonauts and Odyssey. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is sort of like a combo of those ideas. Lawrence is like a semitic nomad in the desert, but being part of the sea-faring British race, he comes up with a strategy of 'sailing' around the desert as if it's the sea. And in the flat areas of the desert, the effect is almost sea-like as we can see all the way into the horizon, and when a figure appears in the distance, it looks almost like someone has miraculously materialized out of the air.

    The power of myths matter. It's like the beginning of Hesse's PETER CAMENZIND: "In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for self-expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child's soul with poetry every day."

    It could be that one of the reasons why the American Right has become so impoverished of late is its lack of myth. When American whites had confidence and pride, they would draw from the modern myth of America's founding. The legendary stories of cowboys and conquerors. Americans used to love watching those John Wayne Westerns about the Great White Man. But all those myths were destroyed once the myth of MLK came to dominate everything. White myths were all smashed as false idols. Also, the great crimes of Nazism derailed the mythic renewal of paganism in Europe. George Lucas revived some of it in STAR WARS but the fool turned into a silly Liberal and he sold his franchise to that funny-looking Jew Abrams.

    But there's another reason. For many Conzo Americans, their main culture is Evangelical Christianity, and it is so uninspired and dumb-dumb. So dumb that Neocons have manipulated it to serve Zionism. For the dullard kids among American Conzos, Evangelicalism is good enough cuz their minds lack any inspiration. But among the more creative children of American Conzos, they eventually grow out of Evangelical dull-ism, and they seek more exciting stuff. Since the creative culture is controlled by Jews, Libs, homos, and Negro rappers, creative types(even those born to Conzo parents) move in that direction. Indeed, it was largely by controlling the myth-machine of art and culture that the Lib side was able to attract the bulk of people of talent and intelligence and imagination. That's how homos got so much power in society. Of course, PC of late has made Liberalism stupid. And Lib decadence had led to gross-out-fests like Lena Dunham show and other garbage.

    Even so, there is nothing coming from the Right, so the Libs continue to control culture. Even a Theater culture dominated by homos and feminists is some kind of theater. At least, the homos and feminists are writing plays whereas Conzos don't create culture. In the old day when morality dominated culture, one could win a culture war just by being righteous. In an Amish community, you win the cultural argument by being more righteous than the next fellow. Same in a Muslim society.

    But in the modern West, you cannot win the culture war without creativity, without making culture. And Conzos don't make culture. If some Conzos are religious and just stick with the Bible, other people on the 'Right' are libertarians who just wave the Constitution. Okay, the Constitution with its legal rights is a great document, but it's not culture. It's not the kind of stuff that inspires vision or imagination. It just says 'you are free'. But culture requires more than freedom. Most people with freedom just wanna be couch-potatoes who play video games. To create culture, you gotta have passion and vision and commitment. Evangelicals just wanna pray to God, and libertarians just wanna wave the Constitution, bongs, and guns. That isn't enough for culture.
    And as long as there is no mythic vision on the Right, the talented will not gravitate to the Right. Even those with right-wing leanings will go the Lib side cuz that's where all the 'cool action' is. To be sure, there are some creative types like the makers of South Park and Idiocracy(Mike Judge). But such libertarianism, as entertaining as it may be, works negatively by commenting on OTHER culture. SouthPark makes fun of pop culture. Idiocracy and Beavis and Butthead poke fun at trashiness and idiocy. But they offer nothing other than commentary on existing culture. They are smart-alecky feeders on existing culture, not maker of a new culture.

    The American Right is bereft of myths, and without the power of myth, a people are nothing. The power of reason is important, but in the end, reason is driven by myths, prophecy, vision, and righteousness, not the other way around. It is not Jewish intelligence that is driving the Jewish passion but the other way around. Jewish passion rooted in their particular psychological, personality, and historiography is driving Jewish reason.
    The fact that Ayn Rand became such a culture figure goes to show that people still love myths. Economic theory is dry, but if you tell it as a mythic story of heroes and villains, people are captivated. It's like Bubblegum Crisis.
    Matrix is a pretty dumb movie(though part 3 has some awesome effects), but it did offer some neat myths about the nature of reality and power, and its lingo and terminology have inspired and even appropriated by the Alt Right even though its makers are Calvin Klein neo-homo-Marxists.

    Anyway, the Greeks did burn out, and it just happens to all people. The confluence of forces that brought about the explosion of creativity was lost. After all, no Great Age is the result of any single factor. It's a miraculous convergence of many factors. It's like some movies that are great because everything just came together just right: the right script, the right music, right actors, right director, right conditions, and etc.
    And all the forces and elements that came to create the Greek miracle couldn't be repeated again. Besides, miracles cannot be summoned by will because, if that were possible, we would have golden ages all the time. After it happens, we may look back and notice the elements and patterns that had made it possible, but while it was happening, no one really knew what was happening. Such miracles are beyond the power of foresight and control.
    It's like GONE WITH THE WIND. Everything just came together in just the right way to make a classic. But when Selznick tried to recapture that formula, he never could.
    And Barry Gordy couldn't put Motown back together again. Just the right forces came together at the right time to create a musical sensation.

    Also, batteries run out of power, and even though they can be recharged, the power grows weaker with every recharge. And this happens to all civilization. The Greeks did something great, and the achievements were recharged over and over for inspiration, but eventually it was spent.

    Hey Priss,

    That was long but it was pretty good…

    I like you Priss….you say what you mean and you mean what you say.

    keep up the interesting stuff, and thanks for it.

    .

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  104. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I think focusing so much on IQ, material conditions, and social factors misses out on certain other key factors.

    After all, take Singapore. It’s been a success story for some time now. By most measures, it is a decent healthy place to live. Modern, prosperous, safe, and etc. It has many high IQ people and good sanitation and long life-spans. And etc.

    But in scientific innovation and cultural achievement/influence, it’s been a zero.
    Culturally, the crazier Hong Kong made a bigger difference. Though HK didn’t create much in the way of Art Cinema, it’s innovations in cinematic language in the 80s did change the course of film-making even in Hollywood. The people who made Matrix, Tarantino, and etc. all took influence from Hong Kong cinema.

    Also, it’s been said that Episcopalians are just as intelligent or even more intelligent than Jews, and by all measures, they’ve been a successful group, but Jews contributed much more to cultural and intellectual ferment in the latter half of the 20th century than the Epis did.

    So, there is the X-factor of the creative spirit, the cult of maverick, and the ‘radical will’ as Susan Sontag called it.

    For some reason, there was an explosion of Italian-American talent in American cinema in the 70s. Coincidence? Or was something in the air? Could it be that Italian-Americans, being less into 60s Rock music, gravitated more to cinema?

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    " Jews contributed much more to cultural and intellectual ferment in the latter half of the 20th century than the Epis did."


    from communism to freudo sexual devilry, to subversion of the West, to may-mauing whites for Blackness, and for all these Jewish wars...the jews have really contributed prissy, O and also feminism , and every thing that they have done in art, etc. is an attack onWhiteness and Christianity. Modernism, cultural Bolshevism, war... Jehovah's weapons of today. Jehovah the Exterminator warrior god.

    yup Prissy...the riddle here is answered by jewish hatreds of whites. that is the motivator, plus jewish chauvinism.

    Joe Webb
  105. @Anatoly Karlin
    On China

    (1) There have been a few comments arguing Han China was more advanced than the Roman Empire and Greece. I would refer them to Ian Morris (Why the West Rules) and Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment). The former showed that on a variety of metrics from size of cities to density of the road network the Roman Empire was in fact considerably more socio-economically advanced than China (China did overtake the West but only once the Roman Empire collapsed), which consistently lagged the most advanced Western "core" areas by 1,000-2,000 yeas until then. The latter showed that China's share of the world science inventory was extremely meager, about 1%, and less even than that of the Islamic world. Even if you were to wildly quintuple that share on account of Murray's boundless (if unproven) Sinophobia, it would still be meager.

    (2) A note on Chinese characters - I agree that there is zero point in doing away with them now or even in 1950. Under modern industrialism, it is trivial to generate enough surpluses to keep all children in school long enough to impart literacy under any writing system, and literacy retention is also no longer a practical issue because the modern world is saturated with reading materials and for that matter is indispensable for most jobs. And the pinyin-character converters that Chinese word processors use is even making all that moot. What is however almost certainly true is that all these were huge issues in preindustrial China and kept its literacy rate (and stock of potential innovators) artifically low relative to what it could have been.

    just finished Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which includes a very large account of China. This is probably a must read for those interested in China and the East.

    Duchesne begins by addressing the White/Europe/Euro-centrism haters of the last half century.
    He does a good job of dispatching these haters and self-haters on their own ground of historical research, as opposed to making a genetic argument.

    I think I saw the word “genetics” once.

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words…but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like ‘Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel..” used the term oriental despotism…

    p.237

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism. Despotism vs. Freedom, with Freedom rooted, per Duchesne, in our Indo-European ancestors (3 to 4000 years before Christ) who fought their way into our racial history, which also includes northern hunter-gatherers, and near-east farmers.

    The Indo-Europeans came out of the steppes above the Black Sea. They were the people who became the aristocratic fighters of the Iliad, Mycennae.

    So you basically got no choice in the matter. If you are an Asian, or anybody else for that matter, you lack the biology of whites. Furthermore, Duchesne advances the fundamental motivation in the psychology of Indo-Europeans as prestige seeking and that prestige involves the recognition of the other as a relative equal. Prestige is not merely power, it is a profound motivator for complex inter-subjectivity….that is, human relationships that are mutually stimulating and experienced as good, etc.

    Other races are hopelessly mired in despotism, whether the family, religion, or the oriental despotism of the middle east, Asia, or the simpler savagery of Africa of Amerindians who practiced slavery, cannibalism, torture, etc. Still do.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words…but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.
     
    This is a possibility and one I thought about myself when studying Chinese and raised myself four years ago

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like ‘Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel..” used the term oriental despotism…
     
    This is one of those hazy cultural explanations that falls apart when confronted with data. There were a great many more strands to Chinese philosophy than just Confucianism. And the term "oriental despotism" was a European theory that actually had no very little relation to Chinese historical reality (see Pomeranz).

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism.
     
    Duchesne was on my reading list but this makes me seriously consider throwing out if that is his literal word-for-word argument.

    Southern China is a rice grower. The north where Chinese civilization began is based on wheat.
  106. @joe webb
    just finished Ricardo Duchesne's The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which includes a very large account of China. This is probably a must read for those interested in China and the East.

    Duchesne begins by addressing the White/Europe/Euro-centrism haters of the last half century.
    He does a good job of dispatching these haters and self-haters on their own ground of historical research, as opposed to making a genetic argument.

    I think I saw the word "genetics" once.

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words...but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like 'Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel.." used the term oriental despotism...

    p.237

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism. Despotism vs. Freedom, with Freedom rooted, per Duchesne, in our Indo-European ancestors (3 to 4000 years before Christ) who fought their way into our racial history, which also includes northern hunter-gatherers, and near-east farmers.

    The Indo-Europeans came out of the steppes above the Black Sea. They were the people who became the aristocratic fighters of the Iliad, Mycennae.

    So you basically got no choice in the matter. If you are an Asian, or anybody else for that matter, you lack the biology of whites. Furthermore, Duchesne advances the fundamental motivation in the psychology of Indo-Europeans as prestige seeking and that prestige involves the recognition of the other as a relative equal. Prestige is not merely power, it is a profound motivator for complex inter-subjectivity....that is, human relationships that are mutually stimulating and experienced as good, etc.

    Other races are hopelessly mired in despotism, whether the family, religion, or the oriental despotism of the middle east, Asia, or the simpler savagery of Africa of Amerindians who practiced slavery, cannibalism, torture, etc. Still do.

    Joe Webb

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words…but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.

    This is a possibility and one I thought about myself when studying Chinese and raised myself four years ago

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like ‘Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel..” used the term oriental despotism…

    This is one of those hazy cultural explanations that falls apart when confronted with data. There were a great many more strands to Chinese philosophy than just Confucianism. And the term “oriental despotism” was a European theory that actually had no very little relation to Chinese historical reality (see Pomeranz).

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism.

    Duchesne was on my reading list but this makes me seriously consider throwing out if that is his literal word-for-word argument.

    Southern China is a rice grower. The north where Chinese civilization began is based on wheat.

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    read your piece you remarked. Sounds good to me. I would only add that the impressionistic nature of pictures suggests a mind that is given to vagueness, like a Turner painting (no insult intended...great painter).

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M'am.

    That is white thinking , at its best. Philosophy is so unrooted to empirics that it is largely a waste of time. That may be vulgar, but that is how I see it having read a lot of it thru the years. To the extent that it interrogates states of subjectivity, and so on, it has a use, but then that is psychology.

    Then, psychology attempts to stay grounded but it usually flies off into the fluff, like Nietzsche.

    Socio-biology is the first thing and everything else should be oriented to it. (Duchesne does not make that argument because he is fighting on the same ground (culture, etc ) as the folks he is polemicizing against, or historically criticizing.

    Like against various deconstructionists and po-mo peddlers of hatred for whites, his scholarly enemies are pummeled with arguments....500 pages, ten years of work plus a large bibliography.

    I don't know what your politics are, you appear to be a hbd guy, and missing Duchesne would be a mistake. Anyway, if you got a criticism of Uniqueness...I would like to read it. thanks.

    Joe Webb
  107. Duchesne does not make the wheat vs. rice argument. That was the topic of an article here at Unz a few months ago, and it makes perfect hbd sense. Bio-cultural co-evolution. not that that is the whole story

    Duchesne has a grand large argument and is certainly worth reading. He has apparently read everything, including the early sociology of Weber and Hegel, etc. and Pomeranz shows up as well.

    HIs argument is ultimately socio -biological arguing that what explains western rationality and individualism is rooted in the three peoples who came together to make up the White race: near eastern farmers, Indo-Europeans, and northern hunter gatherers (Europe).

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not. Culture exists, religion exists, and race exists. The only Free people genetically are Whites. Our record of insisting on liberty and free speech goes back to Greece and before that to the Indo-Euopreans and, for example, to The Iliad, which I just re-read.

    These aristocratic warriors, had a first-among-equals social psychology. Equals in this case means someone with whom one can have mutuality and common understanding or intersubjectivity, which is a great term!. It has never been tyranny, except occasionally which was then resisted or overthrown. ( China was always without nobility , just a subservient confucian civil service…dead in the flow of history so to speak.)

    The East has none of this. Zero. which is one of the reasons, besides low IQ outside of east Asia, they are mired in despotic social relations…family, clan, strong-man rulers, Kings, etc. The aristocratic warrior societies resisted kingship, which has been part of our whole history…as you know in feudal times the kings were always resisted by nobles/aristocracy. Everywhere else in the world there was not similar multi-layered, relative “pluralism” of mixed powers. This led to the free cities, etc. of the middle ages, etc.

    China was always a tyranny, with no nobility, etc. Only mandarins prostrating themselves before the King, Emperor, or Chief. Confucianism also did not understand politics per our democratic traditions. The king is the father. A great confusion of family life with political life. The Greeks pulled us out of that by the invention of the polis. Nobody else invented the polis.

    Joe Webb

    ps the chinese where I live in Silicon Va. are pretty much despised by the local liberals. They are noted as rude, arrogant, superstitious (gambling, magical thinking, etc.) My opinion is that they are more dangerous than any other, except maybe muzzies, because there is no there there. The there is the wonderful White intersubjectivity. For the chink, there is no equality of sorts.

    My argument is simple, too simple for the on the one hand and on the other hand crowd. Look at where people come from…Red China now maddog capitalist China, etc. there is the chink. simple as that. Are there exceptions? of course. Oriental despotism standing out absolutely clear. And their one-dimensionality is profound…money.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not.
     
    The Chinese government imposed a light tax burden on its subjects (indeed that was one of the core tenets of Confucianism, which had comprehensively won out over Legalism throughout the 2nd millennium), had no feudalism in the European sense, had much less in the way of internal barriers, was run by a professional bureaucracy when even countries like Britain continuing selling posts into the 19th century. Oriental despotism as applied to China is 19th century European obscurantist nonsense.

    From my review of Pomeranz:

    Finally, there’s the argument that European capitalist institutions and markets were better developed and thus kick-started its growth. But again, the evidence Pomeranz marshals convinces that, if anything, China was substantially more “capitalist” (in the laissez-faire sense) than Europe. There were far fewer monopolies, and no internal trade barriers – contrast this, for example, with ancient regime France – and as a consequence, the volume of trade flows (in grains, sugar, timber, etc) were far higher within China than in continental Europe. The civil service was professional and meritocratic, whereas in Europe this only came to be in the 19th century. Markets for labor and products were freer in China; guilds had much less political influence than in Europe. Bound labor and feudal obligations remained prevalent far longer in Europe (and India) than in China, where it had long ago become marginal; for instance, the settlement of Taiwan for the cultivation of sugar – China’s equivalent of the Caribbean islands – was done by free labor. Though credit was cheaper in Europe – or, at least, in Holland and Britain – but to cut a long story short, there is (1) no evidence that this made crucial industrial activities unprofitable or impeded further pro-industrial mechanization, and (2) the credit system was more developed in India relative to China and Japan, although it was far more backward in general.
     
    , @Dipwill_
    I somehow overlooked this post (and other bowel movements of yours.) Let's try to run this down:

    "Duchesne does not make the wheat vs. rice argument. That was the topic of an article here at Unz a few months ago, and it makes perfect hbd sense. Bio-cultural co-evolution. not that that is the whole story"

    "HIs argument is ultimately socio -biological arguing that what explains western rationality and individualism is rooted in the three peoples who came together to make up the White race: near eastern farmers, Indo-Europeans, and northern hunter gatherers (Europe)."

    "If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not. Culture exists, religion exists, and race exists. The only Free people genetically are Whites. Our record of insisting on liberty and free speech goes back to Greece and before that to the Indo-Euopreans and, for example, to The Iliad, which I just re-read."

    So let me get this straight- Europeans are the "only "Free" people genetically" because of what agriculture they practiced thousands of years ago, and this is evidenced by the Greeks. I'll get more on that with the rest of your post, but I don't know what other "oriental despotisms" you're thinking of other than China. Singapore is authoritarian, but nothing like China. North Korea is cartoonish in it's extremity, but then there's South Korea. Taiwan and Hong Kong are nothing like mainland China, nor are nearly all the other Chinese diaspora throughout the world. And Japan, well, that kind of goes without saying (not a despotism by any means.)

    "These aristocratic warriors, had a first-among-equals social psychology. Equals in this case means someone with whom one can have mutuality and common understanding or intersubjectivity, which is a great term!. It has never been tyranny, except occasionally which was then resisted or overthrown. ( China was always without nobility , just a subservient confucian civil service…dead in the flow of history so to speak.)"

    "The East has none of this. Zero. which is one of the reasons, besides low IQ outside of east Asia, they are mired in despotic social relations…family, clan, strong-man rulers, Kings, etc. The aristocratic warrior societies resisted kingship, which has been part of our whole history…as you know in feudal times the kings were always resisted by nobles/aristocracy. Everywhere else in the world there was not similar multi-layered, relative “pluralism” of mixed powers. This led to the free cities, etc. of the middle ages, etc."

    You have an absolutely cartoon version of European history. "Tyranny" and other forms of authoritarianism have occurred throughout European history, and have not readily disappeared by the relentless efforts of "aristocratic warriors" or the overwhelming dislike of the populace. Greece long consisted of conflicting, warring city-states. Slavery was found throughout. Even Plato's work had authoritarian/totalitarian ideals. And you had places like Sparta that eschewed art and countless other pursuits and were completely sociopathic in nature (for how you complain about infanticide in China, look at what Sparta did.) What did the rest of Europe look like throughout this time? Aside from the south, it consisted overwhelmingly of tribal peoples with virtually no urbanization to speak of, and the Greeks and Romans often looked down upon them. Nevermind the well documented decline in violence throughout Europe going back centuries, or how backwards some parts of Europe still are- you'd even see horrible treatment of animals on a fairly large scale (see cat burnings in France) even a few centuries ago. There's much more that could be said, but your model of "aristocratic warrior societies" always resisting purely anomalous tyrannies has not been a timeless feature of European history, much less "Indo-European history."

    And there's that line I see often in these circles- "Asians are completely without individuality and introspection and care nothing more about a shallow, extreme conformity." I don't know- clinical depression is rampant in China, east asia in general is characterized by some of the world's highest suicide rates and are overwhelmingly tied to various crushing social conditions in modern east asia that are roughly outgrowths of this "conformity", nevermind how communism came about by a brutal civil war in China followed by dictatorship and genocide, and there were those massive pro-democracy demonstrations in China that had to be violently put down and covered up, and Taiwan has been doing fine as a democracy for some time now...

    I won't deny modern mainland chinese exhibit deplorable social etiquette- but I think there's more than enough evidence to suggest that (among many other things, as I outlined in my other post) is largely social in nature. I mean, it's kind of hard to get around how Chinese tourists are looked down in Thailand, which is poorer and of lower IQ than China, despite Thailand having a large Chinese population, and the Thais themselves being of heavy Chinese ancestry: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/11416014/Thailand-issues-good-behaviour-manual-for-Chinese-tourists.html

    By the way, you mentioned the "other Indo-Europeans"- that's a huge, huge collection of people. Why do so many of them today barely resemble Europe in living standards and so many other things?

    And honestly, keep throwing around "chink" like you do- I know this place has atrocious moderation, but if that's what it will take to get you banned, I'm all for it.
  108. This is a very good article, but, in my opinion, Mr. Karlin has not succeeded in explaining the Greek Miracle (because it is a miracle, without quotation marks). Of course, a rational approach is all we have at this level of understanding. But, c’mon: if you go from 700. B.C. to 200 B.C. you got giants in any fields galore no civilization can compare with. Most commenters simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

    From Homer to Athenian tragedians you got writers only a few others like Dante, Shakespeare and Dostoevsky can compete with.

    In philosophy, Plato and Aristotle are without equals. To address Bacon, Wittgenstein or Heidegger is laughable; it wasn’t for nothing that Whitehead wrote that all Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato. And I haven’t mentioned Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Thales, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Epicurus, …. and later Plutarchus, Plotinus, Zeno, Epictetus, ..

    In mathematics and sciences you got Pythagoras as the founder (the god of mathematics), Euclides (the most influential math book), Archimedes (perhaps the greatest ancient mathematician, equal to Newton or Gauss he’s so frequently paired with), and geniuses galore: Erathostenes, Diophantus, Apollonius, … As for other sciences, Darwin thought that Aristotle was the greatest biologist in history, and Aristarchus’ heliocentric system was not just a theory: he rather ingeniously calculated the distance from the sun and the moon, hampered by rough & imprecise data.

    In visual arts, Myron, Phidias, Polykleitos, later Hellenistic sculpture like Laocoon & his soes are unequaled until Michelangelo

    We don’t have much left from their painting or music.

    In historiography, they’re also only equaled, but not surpassed: Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarchus, …

    Greeks have invented, among many other things:

    #evolution (Anaximander)
    #democracy
    #feminism (Plato’s “Republic”)
    #communism
    #fascism (Republic, Laws)
    #the idea of a free individual
    # cosmopolitanism
    # science as a unified structure
    # mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), thus preceding Galileo by more than 2000 years
    # an abstract vocabulary we still use for our most advanced ideas
    # the multiverse idea
    # the concept of atoms- made world
    # heliocentric system
    # tragedy as a creative mode (comedy can be found elsewhere, too)
    # eugenics
    # still existing medical ethics
    # grammar our very grammatical tradition is based on (verbs, adjectives, nouns,..)
    # aesthetics we’ve built upon
    # ..

    and still had enough time on their hands to conquer the known world.

    Socrates taught Plato; Plato taught Aristotle; Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. You won’t find anything remotely close re creativity & expansive disposition in any other space & time, including Northern Italy 13th- 15th C. The level of creativity is so astonishing, unpredictable & unsurpassed that I don’t see how investigations on IQ could be something decisive.
    Creativity, originality, intellectual vigor, the range of speculation & emotional intensity fused with power of expression can hardly be explained by current psychometric models.

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    • Replies: @Singh
    Lol Pythagoras theorem is found centuries before in Hindu textbooks. Charak Samhita is where hippocrates learned medicine.
    Greeks have invented, among many other things:

    #evolution (Anaximander)
    See Vishnu Puran Dasavtar Vs Darwin
    #democracy
    LOL Hindu villages have had an elected council of 5 since before Greeks existed
    #feminism (Plato’s “Republic”)
    Which culture still worships the feminine?
    #communism
    Where is the world's largest free kitchen located?
    #fascism (Republic, Laws)
    Vedic Republic system is oldest
    #the idea of a free individual
    # cosmopolitanism
    100s of sects with free debate
    # science as a unified structure
    # mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), thus preceding Galileo by more than 2000 years
    # an abstract vocabulary we still use for our most advanced ideas
    # the multiverse idea
    # the concept of atoms- made world
    No char vaks worshipped Atom long before
    # heliocentric system
    Brahmand
    # tragedy as a creative mode (comedy can be found elsewhere, too)
    # eugenics
    Gotra system
    # still existing medical ethics
    Copied from Vaid Dharam
    # grammar our very grammatical tradition is based on (verbs, adjectives, nouns,..)
    Indo before european
    # aesthetics we’ve built upon
    Greek travelers thought no Human hands could build our cities
    # ..

    and still had enough time on their hands to conquer the known world.

    That's why a tribe related to me shot alexander in the shoulder & killed him, yea..


    Modern orthodox church calls zeus worship degenerate. How good was their culture if semites converted & destroyed them.

    Now people whom they would have considered their interiors, like anglos take credit for their work.

    Meanwhile why were they worshipping Zeus Patar sounds too much like Dyeus Pita,

    Bro India made no contribution period.

    But ;) ;) if you convert to christianity & cut off half your dick, we'll suddenly find many. xD
  109. @Anatoly Karlin

    I claim no particular insight on picture words as opposed to letter words…but, it seems to me that pictures are always vague or of indeterminate meaning while letters and syllables permit of specificity. Therefore the Chinese and other Asian picture words are relatively worthless when it comes to science and real rational thinking.
     
    This is a possibility and one I thought about myself when studying Chinese and raised myself four years ago

    Confucianism always related and confounded human social life with discussion of nature. This led to the nowhere of China with regard to science and individualistic and rational discussion of just abut everything except family and political oriental despotism. The post Enlightenment guys like ‘Montesquieu, Marx, Weber, and Wittfogel..” used the term oriental despotism…
     
    This is one of those hazy cultural explanations that falls apart when confronted with data. There were a great many more strands to Chinese philosophy than just Confucianism. And the term "oriental despotism" was a European theory that actually had no very little relation to Chinese historical reality (see Pomeranz).

    The Chinese and Asians are rice growers and the Westerners are wheat growers, the former leading in bio-culture terms to collectivism and the latter to Individualism.
     
    Duchesne was on my reading list but this makes me seriously consider throwing out if that is his literal word-for-word argument.

    Southern China is a rice grower. The north where Chinese civilization began is based on wheat.

    read your piece you remarked. Sounds good to me. I would only add that the impressionistic nature of pictures suggests a mind that is given to vagueness, like a Turner painting (no insult intended…great painter).

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M’am.

    That is white thinking , at its best. Philosophy is so unrooted to empirics that it is largely a waste of time. That may be vulgar, but that is how I see it having read a lot of it thru the years. To the extent that it interrogates states of subjectivity, and so on, it has a use, but then that is psychology.

    Then, psychology attempts to stay grounded but it usually flies off into the fluff, like Nietzsche.

    Socio-biology is the first thing and everything else should be oriented to it. (Duchesne does not make that argument because he is fighting on the same ground (culture, etc ) as the folks he is polemicizing against, or historically criticizing.

    Like against various deconstructionists and po-mo peddlers of hatred for whites, his scholarly enemies are pummeled with arguments….500 pages, ten years of work plus a large bibliography.

    I don’t know what your politics are, you appear to be a hbd guy, and missing Duchesne would be a mistake. Anyway, if you got a criticism of Uniqueness…I would like to read it. thanks.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @IA

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M’am.

    That is white thinking at its best.
     
    I agree with everything you've written but have a quibble with this. The ancient Greeks were certainly devoted to the careful study of nature, without doubt. But, Classical Greek art, starting around 480 BC, continued the ancient desire to aid in the manifestation of a divine being. The subject matter was perfected images of gods, heroes and athletes. By about the time of Alexander the content would have become more human but still retained idealized form and a canon of proportions.

    Plato from Laws (669a-b):

    "In regard, then, to every representation, whether in drawing, music, or any other art, he who is to be a competent judge must possess three requisites: he must know, in the first place, of what the imitation is [gignoskein]; secondly, he must know of its correctness [orthos]; and thirdly, that it has been well executed [eu] in words and melodies and rhythms."

    Humans were not robots or recording devices. Images were not produced by random photographic captures from a meaningless void. In fact, according to the ancient Greeks, humans exist within a divine order imitated through correctness of form and rhythm.
  110. @Fred Reed
    Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT. Minsky may be an example. Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others. The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters. Copy out the Lysistrata, change the names to modern and send it to English professors, perhaps disguising the structure in the off chance that they might have read it, and see whether they recognize is wonderful. The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.

    Talk about gilded honors wrongly bestowed! I wonder what Xenophon, Aeschylus or Socrates would have found if they went to a PO box in Mexico to look for their special solider welfare check. Fred, what these men did they did in an atmosphere of competition and strife that would have left you a newborn exposed on a frigid hillside by order of the Ephors. You just wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

    Aristotle didn’t think the Iliad was poorly structured. Read Poetics. Hmm. Fred or Aristotle?

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  111. @Priss Factor
    I think focusing so much on IQ, material conditions, and social factors misses out on certain other key factors.

    After all, take Singapore. It's been a success story for some time now. By most measures, it is a decent healthy place to live. Modern, prosperous, safe, and etc. It has many high IQ people and good sanitation and long life-spans. And etc.

    But in scientific innovation and cultural achievement/influence, it's been a zero.
    Culturally, the crazier Hong Kong made a bigger difference. Though HK didn't create much in the way of Art Cinema, it's innovations in cinematic language in the 80s did change the course of film-making even in Hollywood. The people who made Matrix, Tarantino, and etc. all took influence from Hong Kong cinema.

    Also, it's been said that Episcopalians are just as intelligent or even more intelligent than Jews, and by all measures, they've been a successful group, but Jews contributed much more to cultural and intellectual ferment in the latter half of the 20th century than the Epis did.

    So, there is the X-factor of the creative spirit, the cult of maverick, and the 'radical will' as Susan Sontag called it.

    For some reason, there was an explosion of Italian-American talent in American cinema in the 70s. Coincidence? Or was something in the air? Could it be that Italian-Americans, being less into 60s Rock music, gravitated more to cinema?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT6TYisX9oA

    ” Jews contributed much more to cultural and intellectual ferment in the latter half of the 20th century than the Epis did.”

    from communism to freudo sexual devilry, to subversion of the West, to may-mauing whites for Blackness, and for all these Jewish wars…the jews have really contributed prissy, O and also feminism , and every thing that they have done in art, etc. is an attack onWhiteness and Christianity. Modernism, cultural Bolshevism, war… Jehovah’s weapons of today. Jehovah the Exterminator warrior god.

    yup Prissy…the riddle here is answered by jewish hatreds of whites. that is the motivator, plus jewish chauvinism.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    For good or ill, Jews had tremendous impact on science/business/culture, high and low, in the second half of the 2oth century. Surely lots of bad stuff but real achievements too.

    Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet, to just name a few.

    And in medicine, computers, and whole bunch of other fields. Just look at the Nobel Prize and high-tech prize winners.

    No doubt the dominant ethnic force in the second half of 20th century.

    The greatness is certainly there. But so is the craziness.
  112. @Fred Reed
    Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT. Minsky may be an example. Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others. The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters. Copy out the Lysistrata, change the names to modern and send it to English professors, perhaps disguising the structure in the off chance that they might have read it, and see whether they recognize is wonderful. The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.

    The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.

    Newton wasn’t “first,” dear fellow. Indeed, he freely admitted how much he owed to his predecessors:

    If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others.

    No one claims Xenophon was a literary titan, Fred.Far from it.Indeed, just compare Thucydides to Xenophon, and the yawning gulf between the truly great and the merely competent becomes apparent.

    The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters.

    MMMM, so much error in such a short sentence…

    Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT.

    A second Archimedes, born in our lifetime….That would be something…..

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  113. Many interesting facts and arguments.
    However, as per the usual at unz, there is a near obsessive reliance on I.Q as a “measure” of “intelligence”.
    At its very best IQ is a rough guide to an individual’s formal intelligence: is language/logic/math/reasoning abilities. As is very well known it fails to measure other CRITICAL aspects of intelligence: emotion/imagination/sensitivity/sensibility to name but a few.
    To then apply IQ to groups…then groups 2500 years ago…you get…what ? Pseudo-science ?
    Reminds me of mainstream economics or (worse) post modernist “analysis”…. However, there’s no arguing with the faithful….

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  114. @Anatoly Karlin
    Lots of civilizations used Pythagoras Theorem, the characteristic achievement of the Greeks was in proving that it was universally true.

    Egypt's scientific accomplishments were meager even compared to those of the Mesopotamian civilizations to say nothing of Greece.

    Michael Hart’s UNDERSTANDING HUMAN HISTORY is quite good on the topic of ancient Egypt’s underperformance when it comes to STEM:

    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Human-History-Michael-Hart/dp/1593680260

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  115. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    " Jews contributed much more to cultural and intellectual ferment in the latter half of the 20th century than the Epis did."


    from communism to freudo sexual devilry, to subversion of the West, to may-mauing whites for Blackness, and for all these Jewish wars...the jews have really contributed prissy, O and also feminism , and every thing that they have done in art, etc. is an attack onWhiteness and Christianity. Modernism, cultural Bolshevism, war... Jehovah's weapons of today. Jehovah the Exterminator warrior god.

    yup Prissy...the riddle here is answered by jewish hatreds of whites. that is the motivator, plus jewish chauvinism.

    Joe Webb

    For good or ill, Jews had tremendous impact on science/business/culture, high and low, in the second half of the 2oth century. Surely lots of bad stuff but real achievements too.

    Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet, to just name a few.

    And in medicine, computers, and whole bunch of other fields. Just look at the Nobel Prize and high-tech prize winners.

    No doubt the dominant ethnic force in the second half of 20th century.

    The greatness is certainly there. But so is the craziness.

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    • Replies: @5371
    [Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet]

    Only one of them - Kubrick - would I miss.
    , @joe webb
    Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald's Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag...golly...whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness.

    I have read most of these guys mentioned....it is not great art, but time will tell won't it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published....he told her to send it in to him, jew.

    Jews work to destroy the White man while the white man simply works, not much imagination cuz life is just there happening. The Jew needs to Change Life, that is, White life. And worship themselves...like Jehovah, the genocidal madman.

    As for legit accomplishments in other professions...yes. But it is all jew networking, and I remind you of Unz's recent piece on how jews run Ha vad and the Ivies. They are overrepresented in admissions about 400% while whites are underrepresented 600%.

    It is affirmative action for jews and the white boys and girls are just kept running'. They hate us, in case you have not figured that out. But then, they hate everybody. It is in their genes

    and jew IQ appears to be 110 average...ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ....we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans...and that made us tougher...another story.

    As for jew impact on business and so on, only led there by us. Napoleon forced them out of their ghettos. Bad move. Like Nixon in China. bad move.

    The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack "intersubjectivity" in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that "white guys treat you better." Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females...still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China...the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.

    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb
  116. @reiner Tor

    I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate.
     
    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets. IQ is one of the strongest tools we have out there.

    But your other point is also important: IQ is - of course - not everything. Far from it. It's fairly important and it's easy to measure, but there are many more - poorly understood - things out there.

    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets.

    No, it’s considered to be moderate:

    http://www.psychology.emory.edu/clinical/bliwise/Tutorials/SCATTER/scatterplots/effect.htm

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5. Are there any? I'm not sure. Could you maybe give specific examples?
  117. @PandaAtWar

    Guesstimated IQ: Greeks – 90; Romans – 83; Han Chinese – 80; Renaissance Italy – 88. (Anatoly Karlin)
     
    Oh really? o-O

    That guesswork looks contradictory logically (one or more than one of your numerous preassumptions must be very wrong):

    Both the Greeks and the Roman have been idealised out of all charts by the Europeans since the Enlightenment.

    The name of "Han Chinese" ( or "Tan Ren") was derived arguablelly from "Han Dynasty"( and the following Tan Dynasty) when China was at one of her peaks relatively to the rest of the world.

    Ego aside, there is almost no question that Han/Tang China then was a far more technologically advanced society than Greece or Rome at a time. Why? because the Han Chinese had lower or far lower avg IQ than their Geek and Roman counterparts, yes? ROFL. Does it make any sense to you, Anatoly?

    Another way to experience it personally yourself about the Han Chinese IQ is the following experiement as you are learning the language:

    The direct reflection of European IQ is of course the pinnacle of European all art forms - the classics music. It is fair to say that if one can not deeply appreciate, tell the differences, and moved by the beauty, spirit, and intellectual depth of the works from the likes such as Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Vivaldi etc, then one will have no much clue about the European IQ and civilisation.

    The direct reflection of the Chinese IQ is of course the pinnacle of Han Chinese all art forms - the Chinese calligraphy.

    Likewise, if you, or so-called "famous David Moser" no matter how many Chinese characters he can memorises, can not deeply appreciate, tell the differences, and moved by the beauty, spirit, and intellectual depth of the major schools of Chinese calligraphy, you ( Panda knows now that "famous David Moser" has actually no darn clue by reading his http://pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html. ROFL!) will not be recognised by the Han Chinese intellectual elites as even "literate" , hence will have no much clue about what is about the Han Chinese average IQ impied by the Chinese calligraphy. BTW, unlike western classics music to the Western masses nowadays, the Chinese all in all have deeply appreacited the Chinese calligraphy for thousands of years top down from the emporer to most of the peasants who grew potatos.

    Of course you still have no clue about Chinese calligraphy - a bit like an average Chinese junior high schooler who has no clue really about what is the true European civilisation by only knowing a couple of hundrdes English vocabs except Bach or Verdi(from there Panda can safely guess what is your current Mandarin language level) - because you dare to state that Han Chinese had avg IQ of 80 compared to Greek and Romans... LOL

    In other words, only once you truely and utterly understand and appreciate the Chinese calligraphy( or try to write a rigurous Tang Poem yourself to a much lesser entent), then, unlike David Moser and many half-bottle commenters on this here) , you will start to understand why the complex written form of Chinese is so intellectually important to the Han Chinese and by the Han Chinese for the past, for now and for the future, hence will start to get a true taste of what was/is about the average IQ of them.

    there is almost no question that Han/Tang China then was a far more technologically advanced society than Greece or Rome at a time

    I had always thought Han China was less developed than the Roman Empire, and that it was only in Tang times, that China definitely overtook Europe. (And that during Sung times, China was at the very least maintaining, but probably quite a bit increasing its advantage.)

    Do you have some specific information as to the technological advantages of Han China over the Greeks/Romans? (Actually, it sounds like an equation with two unknowns. The Antikythera mechanism was something that shouldn’t have existed based on our knowledge of ancient technology – yet it did exist. Hence, our knowledge of Greek/Roman technology is inadequate. Probably the same is true of our knowledge of Han Dynasty technology. Nevertheless, based on only things we’ve found so far, the Antikytera mechanism is something that is to my knowledge superior to any item found in Han Dynasty China.)

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    • Replies: @rvg
    Who would win in a war? Late Han China vs. Rome under Hadrian or Antoninus Pius in a battlefield somewhere in Central Asia, after say Rome conquered Parthia, so the Romans have horse archers and cataphracts.
    , @PandaAtWar
    Han China Vs Roman Empire?

    ROFL!

    The evidences are all over the wall for anyone with a shred of honesty, an average intellect or above and curiosity to do an independent google research:

    1. Social economical structure: master-slave & foreign legion society (Roman empire) Vs. unified society (by and large one language, one culture, one land, one people) of landlord-freely employed peasantry ( Han)

    BTW, most of imperial China's history was actually not "feudal", which came as the closest Western language translation and a misnomer by the Western historian society vis-à-vis the true feudal nature of the West at a time. For the majority of the last 2,000 years, the advanced nature of imperial China's social economical structure (aka unified society of landlord-freely employed peasantry with free and fair meritocratic upward movement opportunities at any time for all male adults within the empire regardless of social/economical/bloodline classes each was born into . So take a peek at the true master of freedom , "democratic" Greece & Rome! ROFL) was centuries if not tens of centuries ahead of its time. The West didn't match and truly surpass this advancement until the post WW2 era - friggin 2,000 years later.


    2. Population size & avg IQ - the underlying productive size of economy : ... Panda is lazy here, but isn’t that obvious?

    3. (high) technologies :

    The one with the strongest & the most advanced military high tech has always been the the most technologically advanced society in the history, because military tech has been in almost all cases where one puts whatever at his disposal all in ( top human resources, finance, all civil sector engineering inventions & spin-offs etc) to ultimately safeguard its national defence and survival. Han's military tech Vs Roman military tech is a bit like today's the United States Vs. OPEC of the Gulf States - NON-comparable really.

    The quality and quantity of weaponries of Han's individual soldier , heavy infantry, heavy archery , heavy cavalry, size of the army, leadership, military training & disciplines, organisation setup (also refer to Panda's point 1 earlier) , logistics , underlying economy ( re-production capacity , point 2) are nothing, not even comparable, that Roman Empire could match eye-to-eye with its noblemen elite legion+ losse cannon far less trained and motivated hired foreign legions with shorter and weaker bronze swords, poor quality shields or the lack thereof, very static & predictable tortoise tactics, compete lack of heavy archery and cavalry (remember the Han?... the Huns? / Attila?...the Goths?... Rome? ... Can you connect the dots yourself for once without the help of Panda? LoL)...

    In shorts, Han Empire had "nukes" at a time ---> mass and dedicated army of semi-automatic crossbows (check out its genius trigger mechanism, the aerodynamic parabolic design & material quality of modern-bullet-like arrow heads; the sheer mass-production quantity & Toyota-factory--alike quality control process of both of them, which made mythic Antikytera mechanism like a one-off Lost-Atlantis museum piece that has never been proven in use in either civil let alone military sector in a meaningful way) of all sizes. Their destruction power wasn't matched by the West until Napoleonic Wars 1,700 years later (if measured by size of deployment), and until the emergence of the modern rifle even much later ( if measured by destruction/armour-piecing power and kill accuracy).


    Does Terracotta Army sound new to you? Take a good look at this and think over about what does it mean really:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516445/Terracotta-Army-awesome-fighting-machine-weapons-powerful-kill-enemy-single-arrow.html

    More on Antikytera mechanism:
    30 or so pieces, yep, big deal. Now google up "Qin Dynasty Terracotta Army bronze chariots" and read into them. Those 2 life-size bronze chariots unearthed were assembled together by 8,000 standard *pieces! *standard means designed to be mass-produced in a production line.

    Terracotta Army was only of earlier Qin Empire, now imagine friggin blast furnace steel-wielding further consolidated & unified Han Empire.

    This is even before Panda gets a bit of time here to formally introduce you to the Art of War (Sun Tzu)of Han, if you want to venture into leadership, organisation, training, motivation, discipline, logistics, tactics and strategies...
  118. @AP

    In the social sciences 0.4 is as strong as gets.
     
    No, it's considered to be moderate:

    http://www.psychology.emory.edu/clinical/bliwise/Tutorials/SCATTER/scatterplots/effect.htm

    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5. Are there any? I’m not sure. Could you maybe give specific examples?

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    • Replies: @AP

    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5.
     
    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.

    Could you maybe give specific examples?
     
    There are very many. For example the correlation between IQ score and SAT score (an American university entrance test) score is .86, or scores on different IQ tests have similarly high correlations, test-retest reliability of the PCL-R (a psychopathy checklist) over a 5 year period is .89, etc.


    Broad factors such as "income" and "IQ" may, however, indeed rarely produce correlations above "moderate."
  119. Can somebody solve the conundrum of how a people with a mean IQ of 80 can create something like Machu Pichu, Tenochticlan, or 12th century Baghdad which had a population of more than 1 million? I mean even if you assume they had a talented tenth, the talented tenth of a population with a mean IQ of 80 or 83 would be way too small to build something like Cuzco, Machu Pichu, Tenochticlan, or 12th century Baghdad.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    the answer is the bell curve nature. The top 5 % or so of a bell curve of 80 will still provide enough smart people to do building , etc.
    Joe Webb
  120. @Priss Factor
    For good or ill, Jews had tremendous impact on science/business/culture, high and low, in the second half of the 2oth century. Surely lots of bad stuff but real achievements too.

    Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet, to just name a few.

    And in medicine, computers, and whole bunch of other fields. Just look at the Nobel Prize and high-tech prize winners.

    No doubt the dominant ethnic force in the second half of 20th century.

    The greatness is certainly there. But so is the craziness.

    [Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet]

    Only one of them – Kubrick – would I miss.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Not on the list, but I'd miss Mahler, and probably also Mendelssohn. A couple of Hungarian Jewish writers and a poet, Antal Szerb, Imre Kertész, Miklós Radnóti. Steven Pinker. (Of course, he criticized Kevin MacDonald without reading him, which is strange, to say the least.) I'd also miss Jared Diamond if he wasn't a professional obfuscator. And a high number of physicists.

    Overall, I'd say they did punch above their weight in terms of positive contributions. The problem is that there was a number of negative contributions that they made...
  121. @5371
    [Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet]

    Only one of them - Kubrick - would I miss.

    Not on the list, but I’d miss Mahler, and probably also Mendelssohn. A couple of Hungarian Jewish writers and a poet, Antal Szerb, Imre Kertész, Miklós Radnóti. Steven Pinker. (Of course, he criticized Kevin MacDonald without reading him, which is strange, to say the least.) I’d also miss Jared Diamond if he wasn’t a professional obfuscator. And a high number of physicists.

    Overall, I’d say they did punch above their weight in terms of positive contributions. The problem is that there was a number of negative contributions that they made…

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    • Replies: @5371
    There are plenty of Jews in general I'd miss, but only one from the Priss list.
    , @vinteuil
    Those I'd miss most would not be the creators, like Mendelssohn & Mahler, but the performers: Heifetz, Menuhin, Milstein, Oistrakh, Walter, Klemperer, Horenstein, Reiner, Szell, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Argerich...

    The role call is really quite astonishing.
  122. @reiner Tor
    Not on the list, but I'd miss Mahler, and probably also Mendelssohn. A couple of Hungarian Jewish writers and a poet, Antal Szerb, Imre Kertész, Miklós Radnóti. Steven Pinker. (Of course, he criticized Kevin MacDonald without reading him, which is strange, to say the least.) I'd also miss Jared Diamond if he wasn't a professional obfuscator. And a high number of physicists.

    Overall, I'd say they did punch above their weight in terms of positive contributions. The problem is that there was a number of negative contributions that they made...

    There are plenty of Jews in general I’d miss, but only one from the Priss list.

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    • Replies: @rvg
    How far would science be behind if Jews did not exist, would be still be in 1914 technology wise? Or if the Europeans did not bother to open trade links with the Japs and Chinese so they are still stuck in some medieval time warp until now.
  123. @reiner Tor

    there is almost no question that Han/Tang China then was a far more technologically advanced society than Greece or Rome at a time
     
    I had always thought Han China was less developed than the Roman Empire, and that it was only in Tang times, that China definitely overtook Europe. (And that during Sung times, China was at the very least maintaining, but probably quite a bit increasing its advantage.)

    Do you have some specific information as to the technological advantages of Han China over the Greeks/Romans? (Actually, it sounds like an equation with two unknowns. The Antikythera mechanism was something that shouldn't have existed based on our knowledge of ancient technology - yet it did exist. Hence, our knowledge of Greek/Roman technology is inadequate. Probably the same is true of our knowledge of Han Dynasty technology. Nevertheless, based on only things we've found so far, the Antikytera mechanism is something that is to my knowledge superior to any item found in Han Dynasty China.)

    Who would win in a war? Late Han China vs. Rome under Hadrian or Antoninus Pius in a battlefield somewhere in Central Asia, after say Rome conquered Parthia, so the Romans have horse archers and cataphracts.

    Read More
  124. @5371
    There are plenty of Jews in general I'd miss, but only one from the Priss list.

    How far would science be behind if Jews did not exist, would be still be in 1914 technology wise? Or if the Europeans did not bother to open trade links with the Japs and Chinese so they are still stuck in some medieval time warp until now.

    Read More
  125. @rvg
    How far would science be behind if Jews did not exist, would be still be in 1914 technology wise? Or if the Europeans did not bother to open trade links with the Japs and Chinese so they are still stuck in some medieval time warp until now.

    You really haven’t a clue, have you?

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  126. @Glossy
    First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    I'm assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I'm assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I'm not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors' population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There's more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different - the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways - democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren't just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn't regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn't Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander's conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your ‘greatness.

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  127. @Glossy
    First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    I'm assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I'm assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I'm not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors' population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There's more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different - the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways - democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren't just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn't regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn't Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander's conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your ‘greatness.

    Read More
  128. @Glossy
    First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    I'm assuming that ancient Greeks were a normal northern European people, not more or less intelligent than the Celts, Finns, proto-Germanics or Balto-Slavs of their time. I'm assuming that they conquered Greece in pre-historic times, bringing their Indo-European language with them. Classic-era Greeks called the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece Pelasgians. There were small communities of them remaining in classical times. Pelasgian inscriptions are not Indo-European and have not been translated. I'm not aware of any prominent Greeks claiming Pelasgian ancestry, by the way.

    The warm climate of the Aegean allowed the northern conquerors' population to balloon. Greece had by far the highest population density in Europe in classical times. High IQ does not produce a complex civilization on widely-scattered homesteads. Think of Finland up till the 18th and 19th centuries. A higher population density provides an opportunity for a more complex civilization to develop. There's more trade and division of labor, the politics becomes more complex, a well-fed elite develops.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different - the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways - democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren't just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    In a book I once read about ancient Crete, I think, the author discussed the dating of the remains of some temple. I remember him saying that since the plan of the building wasn't regular, since the hallways ran in a chaotic manner, the building probably wasn't Greek. I think he guessed it was Minoan instead. Classic-era Greeks were very fussy.

    How did Greece become a Balkan backwater? It imported lots of Middle Eastern slaves after Alexander's conquest. As a result egalitarianism gradually turned to despotism and intellectual progress was replaced by intellectual stagnation.

    Up until the classic Greek period the only peoples who had achieved a high population density were southern farmers in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The first time that a group of norhern farmers achieved it, the result was qualitatively different – the classical Greek civilization was like many subsequent European civilizations in many important ways – democracy, egalitarianism, realsitic art, attempts at objectivity, technological progress. Lots of fussiness, a love of rules and regulations, of exactness.

    They weren’t just the first people to prove theorems, they were also the first ones to write constitutions. There were law codes before them, but constitutions took love of rule making to a new level.

    LOL wth what about Indus river, Vajji Sangha, Kuru Panchal & many other Republican states.

    Greeks are Persians, Celts & Slavs are Danavas. Germans etc are different yes.

    Also Anatoly bull sacrifice was very common even in Vedic period.

    Was considered good to offer the meat to Gurus, prestigious guests etc.

    Of course all this must be false, because the cult of the circumcised jew is responsible for all progress.

    You only worship the greeks, because you think orthodox cuckxitianity is the reason for your ‘greatness.

    You’ll bring up blond hair, but yazidis are from India & have it too. xD

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  129. @reiner Tor
    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5. Are there any? I'm not sure. Could you maybe give specific examples?

    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5.

    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.

    Could you maybe give specific examples?

    There are very many. For example the correlation between IQ score and SAT score (an American university entrance test) score is .86, or scores on different IQ tests have similarly high correlations, test-retest reliability of the PCL-R (a psychopathy checklist) over a 5 year period is .89, etc.

    Broad factors such as “income” and “IQ” may, however, indeed rarely produce correlations above “moderate.”

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.
     
    But the fact that social sciences have very few strong correlations would also mean that 0.4 is "as strong as it gets", to quote myself.

    Your examples are basically about different measurements of the same psychometric data correlating strongly with each other - that's basically proof that the tests measure something (as opposed to astrology where different astrologers' opinions don't correlate with each other) or that two tests (SAT and IQ) basically measure the same thing. But that's not a real correlation where based on something you can predict something entirely different - for example based on the parents' SES you can predict the children's school performance, but the correlation won't nearly be as strong as between SAT and IQ, obviously.

    As far as I know, IQ is one of the strongest predictors of life outcomes we have out there.
  130. @Bardon Kaldian
    This is a very good article, but, in my opinion, Mr. Karlin has not succeeded in explaining the Greek Miracle (because it is a miracle, without quotation marks). Of course, a rational approach is all we have at this level of understanding. But, c'mon: if you go from 700. B.C. to 200 B.C. you got giants in any fields galore no civilization can compare with. Most commenters simply don't know what they're talking about.

    From Homer to Athenian tragedians you got writers only a few others like Dante, Shakespeare and Dostoevsky can compete with.

    In philosophy, Plato and Aristotle are without equals. To address Bacon, Wittgenstein or Heidegger is laughable; it wasn't for nothing that Whitehead wrote that all Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato. And I haven't mentioned Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Thales, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Epicurus, .... and later Plutarchus, Plotinus, Zeno, Epictetus, ..

    In mathematics and sciences you got Pythagoras as the founder (the god of mathematics), Euclides (the most influential math book), Archimedes (perhaps the greatest ancient mathematician, equal to Newton or Gauss he's so frequently paired with), and geniuses galore: Erathostenes, Diophantus, Apollonius, ... As for other sciences, Darwin thought that Aristotle was the greatest biologist in history, and Aristarchus' heliocentric system was not just a theory: he rather ingeniously calculated the distance from the sun and the moon, hampered by rough & imprecise data.

    In visual arts, Myron, Phidias, Polykleitos, later Hellenistic sculpture like Laocoon & his soes are unequaled until Michelangelo

    We don't have much left from their painting or music.

    In historiography, they're also only equaled, but not surpassed: Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarchus, ...

    Greeks have invented, among many other things:

    #evolution (Anaximander)
    #democracy
    #feminism (Plato's "Republic")
    #communism
    #fascism (Republic, Laws)
    #the idea of a free individual
    # cosmopolitanism
    # science as a unified structure
    # mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), thus preceding Galileo by more than 2000 years
    # an abstract vocabulary we still use for our most advanced ideas
    # the multiverse idea
    # the concept of atoms- made world
    # heliocentric system
    # tragedy as a creative mode (comedy can be found elsewhere, too)
    # eugenics
    # still existing medical ethics
    # grammar our very grammatical tradition is based on (verbs, adjectives, nouns,..)
    # aesthetics we've built upon
    # ..

    and still had enough time on their hands to conquer the known world.

    Socrates taught Plato; Plato taught Aristotle; Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. You won't find anything remotely close re creativity & expansive disposition in any other space & time, including Northern Italy 13th- 15th C. The level of creativity is so astonishing, unpredictable & unsurpassed that I don't see how investigations on IQ could be something decisive.
    Creativity, originality, intellectual vigor, the range of speculation & emotional intensity fused with power of expression can hardly be explained by current psychometric models.

    Lol Pythagoras theorem is found centuries before in Hindu textbooks. Charak Samhita is where hippocrates learned medicine.
    Greeks have invented, among many other things:

    #evolution (Anaximander)
    See Vishnu Puran Dasavtar Vs Darwin
    #democracy
    LOL Hindu villages have had an elected council of 5 since before Greeks existed
    #feminism (Plato’s “Republic”)
    Which culture still worships the feminine?
    #communism
    Where is the world’s largest free kitchen located?
    #fascism (Republic, Laws)
    Vedic Republic system is oldest
    #the idea of a free individual
    # cosmopolitanism
    100s of sects with free debate
    # science as a unified structure
    # mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), thus preceding Galileo by more than 2000 years
    # an abstract vocabulary we still use for our most advanced ideas
    # the multiverse idea
    # the concept of atoms- made world
    No char vaks worshipped Atom long before
    # heliocentric system
    Brahmand
    # tragedy as a creative mode (comedy can be found elsewhere, too)
    # eugenics
    Gotra system
    # still existing medical ethics
    Copied from Vaid Dharam
    # grammar our very grammatical tradition is based on (verbs, adjectives, nouns,..)
    Indo before european
    # aesthetics we’ve built upon
    Greek travelers thought no Human hands could build our cities
    # ..

    and still had enough time on their hands to conquer the known world.

    That’s why a tribe related to me shot alexander in the shoulder & killed him, yea..

    Modern orthodox church calls zeus worship degenerate. How good was their culture if semites converted & destroyed them.

    Now people whom they would have considered their interiors, like anglos take credit for their work.

    Meanwhile why were they worshipping Zeus Patar sounds too much like Dyeus Pita,

    Bro India made no contribution period.

    But ;) ;) if you convert to christianity & cut off half your dick, we’ll suddenly find many. xD

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    • Replies: @IA
    Hindus didn't know their own history until the Britsh arrived. Hindu architecture never developed the arch. Hindu sculpture was influenced by Greek art via Ghandara. I could give more examples but am too bored. That said, I like India even NQE [not quite enough].
  131. @Fred Reed
    Not to disparage the Greeks, but today an Archimedes would be lost in the noise, as I suspect many are, studying some exotic and specialized branch of mathematics at MIT. Minsky may be an example. Xenophon, certainly to judge by the Anabasis, was a clear and competent chronicler of a military campaign, but no more so than Custer, Grant, Mosby, Uri Avnery, or ten thousand others. The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor deveopoment of characters. Copy out the Lysistrata, change the names to modern and send it to English professors, perhaps disguising the structure in the off chance that they might have read it, and see whether they recognize is wonderful. The Greeks were amazing, but they had the great advantage, like Newton, of being first and inventing the big chunks.

    “The Iliad, a poorly structured, chaotic mishmash with poor development of characters.”

    This from a guy who probably couldn’t tell *Las Meninas* from *Les Demoiselles d’Avignon* if his life depended on it.

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  132. @joe webb
    read your piece you remarked. Sounds good to me. I would only add that the impressionistic nature of pictures suggests a mind that is given to vagueness, like a Turner painting (no insult intended...great painter).

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M'am.

    That is white thinking , at its best. Philosophy is so unrooted to empirics that it is largely a waste of time. That may be vulgar, but that is how I see it having read a lot of it thru the years. To the extent that it interrogates states of subjectivity, and so on, it has a use, but then that is psychology.

    Then, psychology attempts to stay grounded but it usually flies off into the fluff, like Nietzsche.

    Socio-biology is the first thing and everything else should be oriented to it. (Duchesne does not make that argument because he is fighting on the same ground (culture, etc ) as the folks he is polemicizing against, or historically criticizing.

    Like against various deconstructionists and po-mo peddlers of hatred for whites, his scholarly enemies are pummeled with arguments....500 pages, ten years of work plus a large bibliography.

    I don't know what your politics are, you appear to be a hbd guy, and missing Duchesne would be a mistake. Anyway, if you got a criticism of Uniqueness...I would like to read it. thanks.

    Joe Webb

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M’am.

    That is white thinking at its best.

    I agree with everything you’ve written but have a quibble with this. The ancient Greeks were certainly devoted to the careful study of nature, without doubt. But, Classical Greek art, starting around 480 BC, continued the ancient desire to aid in the manifestation of a divine being. The subject matter was perfected images of gods, heroes and athletes. By about the time of Alexander the content would have become more human but still retained idealized form and a canon of proportions.

    Plato from Laws (669a-b):

    “In regard, then, to every representation, whether in drawing, music, or any other art, he who is to be a competent judge must possess three requisites: he must know, in the first place, of what the imitation is [gignoskein]; secondly, he must know of its correctness [orthos]; and thirdly, that it has been well executed [eu] in words and melodies and rhythms.”

    Humans were not robots or recording devices. Images were not produced by random photographic captures from a meaningless void. In fact, according to the ancient Greeks, humans exist within a divine order imitated through correctness of form and rhythm.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    agree more or less. Yet the question still is there: How fast or slow was the Mythos weakening.?

    I am not competent to say but the tendencies toward greater rationality were there as we can all probably agree. The Stoicism, etc. that developed late was pretty much devoid of Mythos.

    And, the gods were not totalitarian like Jehovah, they were really personifications, if that is the right word, of human psychological traits.

    The Iliad, which I just re read, illustrates this. And , the Individual was always free to act per his own, what we might call now, his own genetic proclivities.

    The main thing was Individualism...and that has been the driving force in the West.

    I recommend Duchesne's The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which i have plugged a couple of times. It is a great read and apparently compasses all the argumentation from the Left that the Western Civ stuff is just bunch of Euro-centric racist racket to keep the third world blah blah, blah.

    Very engaging. Duchesne has read (I guess) everything. His ruminating on what has made the White race is pure intellectual pleasure. You can disagree, but his effort must be recognized as plausible at least.

    The fundamental psychology of man, as a social animal seeking prestige, leads to various commentaries on the whole deal of what drives Whites as opposed to what drives the Other races.
    Intersubjectivity is such a great notion...the key to "humane" human interactions. Also, Whites are fighters , big time. That is all good.

    I often remark that if you remove assault and battery from the crime stats for Whites, we may be the least criminal of all the races.
    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb
  133. @David
    Talk about gilded honors wrongly bestowed! I wonder what Xenophon, Aeschylus or Socrates would have found if they went to a PO box in Mexico to look for their special solider welfare check. Fred, what these men did they did in an atmosphere of competition and strife that would have left you a newborn exposed on a frigid hillside by order of the Ephors. You just wouldn't be worth the trouble.

    Aristotle didn't think the Iliad was poorly structured. Read Poetics. Hmm. Fred or Aristotle?

    Well, well said.

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  134. @Singh
    Lol Pythagoras theorem is found centuries before in Hindu textbooks. Charak Samhita is where hippocrates learned medicine.
    Greeks have invented, among many other things:

    #evolution (Anaximander)
    See Vishnu Puran Dasavtar Vs Darwin
    #democracy
    LOL Hindu villages have had an elected council of 5 since before Greeks existed
    #feminism (Plato’s “Republic”)
    Which culture still worships the feminine?
    #communism
    Where is the world's largest free kitchen located?
    #fascism (Republic, Laws)
    Vedic Republic system is oldest
    #the idea of a free individual
    # cosmopolitanism
    100s of sects with free debate
    # science as a unified structure
    # mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), thus preceding Galileo by more than 2000 years
    # an abstract vocabulary we still use for our most advanced ideas
    # the multiverse idea
    # the concept of atoms- made world
    No char vaks worshipped Atom long before
    # heliocentric system
    Brahmand
    # tragedy as a creative mode (comedy can be found elsewhere, too)
    # eugenics
    Gotra system
    # still existing medical ethics
    Copied from Vaid Dharam
    # grammar our very grammatical tradition is based on (verbs, adjectives, nouns,..)
    Indo before european
    # aesthetics we’ve built upon
    Greek travelers thought no Human hands could build our cities
    # ..

    and still had enough time on their hands to conquer the known world.

    That's why a tribe related to me shot alexander in the shoulder & killed him, yea..


    Modern orthodox church calls zeus worship degenerate. How good was their culture if semites converted & destroyed them.

    Now people whom they would have considered their interiors, like anglos take credit for their work.

    Meanwhile why were they worshipping Zeus Patar sounds too much like Dyeus Pita,

    Bro India made no contribution period.

    But ;) ;) if you convert to christianity & cut off half your dick, we'll suddenly find many. xD

    Hindus didn’t know their own history until the Britsh arrived. Hindu architecture never developed the arch. Hindu sculpture was influenced by Greek art via Ghandara. I could give more examples but am too bored. That said, I like India even NQE [not quite enough].

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  135. @reiner Tor
    Not on the list, but I'd miss Mahler, and probably also Mendelssohn. A couple of Hungarian Jewish writers and a poet, Antal Szerb, Imre Kertész, Miklós Radnóti. Steven Pinker. (Of course, he criticized Kevin MacDonald without reading him, which is strange, to say the least.) I'd also miss Jared Diamond if he wasn't a professional obfuscator. And a high number of physicists.

    Overall, I'd say they did punch above their weight in terms of positive contributions. The problem is that there was a number of negative contributions that they made...

    Those I’d miss most would not be the creators, like Mendelssohn & Mahler, but the performers: Heifetz, Menuhin, Milstein, Oistrakh, Walter, Klemperer, Horenstein, Reiner, Szell, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Argerich…

    The role call is really quite astonishing.

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  136. @Priss Factor
    For good or ill, Jews had tremendous impact on science/business/culture, high and low, in the second half of the 2oth century. Surely lots of bad stuff but real achievements too.

    Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Arthur Miller, Salinger, Malamud, Henry Roth, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Wouk, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, David Mamet, to just name a few.

    And in medicine, computers, and whole bunch of other fields. Just look at the Nobel Prize and high-tech prize winners.

    No doubt the dominant ethnic force in the second half of 20th century.

    The greatness is certainly there. But so is the craziness.

    Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag…golly…whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness.

    I have read most of these guys mentioned….it is not great art, but time will tell won’t it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published….he told her to send it in to him, jew.

    Jews work to destroy the White man while the white man simply works, not much imagination cuz life is just there happening. The Jew needs to Change Life, that is, White life. And worship themselves…like Jehovah, the genocidal madman.

    As for legit accomplishments in other professions…yes. But it is all jew networking, and I remind you of Unz’s recent piece on how jews run Ha vad and the Ivies. They are overrepresented in admissions about 400% while whites are underrepresented 600%.

    It is affirmative action for jews and the white boys and girls are just kept running’. They hate us, in case you have not figured that out. But then, they hate everybody. It is in their genes

    and jew IQ appears to be 110 average…ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ….we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans…and that made us tougher…another story.

    As for jew impact on business and so on, only led there by us. Napoleon forced them out of their ghettos. Bad move. Like Nixon in China. bad move.

    The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.

    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag…golly…whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness. I have read most of these guys mentioned….it is not great art, but time will tell won’t it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published….he told her to send it in to him, jew."

    Kevin M did something courageous and necessary in critiquing the Jewish culture of critique, but the man has no sense of culture as in 'art'. He is blind and deaf. Too often, he and his acolytes figure if something is Jewish, it must be negative(or should be approached negatively) whereas if something is 'Aryan', it must be good.

    Kevin M endorsed Lasha Darkmoon's idiotic neo-Nazi view of art and culture. Total philistine stuff. This is just an Alt Right version of 'family values' theory of art where something is good if it's clean and pretty while something is bad if it's 'ugly'.

    Now, I'm aware of the perversions and excesses of modernism, but one has to be total philistine dolt to espouse views such as this:

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html

    But actually, it all comes down to 'whose side are you on?'
    So, even though Alt Right types usually bash modern art, if it turns out that the weirdo artist was a fascist, rightist, or some such, he gets a pass.
    If Heidegger were a leftist or Jewish, you know lots of people on Alt Right would bash him as a phony nut. But because he was on the Right, they pretend to admire his ideas even though they have no idear what Being and Time is about. I read one page and put it down.

    And take Jonathan Bowden who made art like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=james+bowden+art&safe=off&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=653&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ___4pYLKAhXG5SYKHfTsAh0Q_AUIBygC#safe=off&tbm=isch&q=jonathan+bowden+art

    Now, that stuff strikes me as crap, but he got a pass from the Alt Right cuz, well, he was on the Right.

    Or take Celine. He wrote some pervy stuff. So does Michel Houllebeque. But both get a pass and even much praise from the Alt Right cuz of their political views.

    This is no way to approach art.

    I appreciate some of the stuff MacDonald has done, but he should shut up about art and culture. Take his praise of Trevor Lynch's book:

    https://secure.counter-currents.com/trevor-lynchs-white-nationalist-guide-to-the-movies/

    Now, this dufus called Lynch did write some interesting pieces. But his general approach to movies is 'It is good if it has themes supportive of white nationalism'.
    So, even though JURASSIC WORLD is an impersonal by-the-numbers pile of crap cynically made to pull in the bucks, he praises it sky high cuz it's a pro-white-guy movie. Lynch trashed the new Star Wars movie as the same old same old. But so is Jurassic World. So, why does JW get a pass while SW gets bashed? Cuz SW has a Negro and other non-white characters. Now, I don't wanna see no Negro in SW either, but one shouldn't be saying a movie is good or bad simply based on its 'politics'.

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/06/jurassic-world/

    Jurassic World was only good for a laugh at the end when the T-rex and the little raptor team up to beat the mutant dino-thug who finally gets eaten by a mega-dino-whale. It's priceless after the the T-rex and the little raptor win by teamwork and then look at each other like friends in Casablanca. One of the hokiest crap I ever did see.

    (TOMORROWLAND is something real special.)

    Anyway, if we're gonna appreciate art, we can't be too political.

    It's like Jews can hate Wagner and Germans but still admire Wagner as a great artist.
    We can dislike the Boos but still say Diana Ross and the Supremes had some great songs. We can say current music is total crap and blacks have gone nuts.. but still admit Rihanna in Umbrella video is one hot sizzling ho.

    And I disagree about Sontag. I think her essays in 60s and early 70s are essential. She said some crazy political things, but many of her pieces are non-political.
    And besides, who hasn't said crazy stuff? There are plenty of Alt Right people who have said crazy stuff. I've said nutty stuff over the yrs probably more outlandish than 'honkeys are the cancer of humanity'. Sometimes my friends remind me of what I said yrs ago, and I scratch my head and ask, "I really said that?" And shiite, I scare myself.
    , @Dipwill_
    "and jew IQ appears to be 110 average…ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ….we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans…and that made us tougher…another story."

    Ah yeah... tribalists vs. the good old pastoralists... aka the new HBD autism of boiling down everything to what form of agriculture was practiced thousands of years ago (it's better than the "ice age climates" theory, but still). No, I'm pretty sure that many of the "tribal" tendencies we see in the middle east are heavily due to Islam and the tendencies arising from it that have been ingrained since then, genetically and culturally, and made them less amenable to the changes we've seen over the centuries in Europe and East Asia. "Semites" often haven't been nomadic, there were settled, literate civilizations in southern arabia long before Islam, nevermind what you can find throughout the middle east going back millenia before. Or why so many middle eastern people, semitic or not, have these tendencies and behaviors. Look at Albania- it's one of the most backwards parts of Europe, and one of the only majority muslim European countries. Do you think their backwardness and inability to modernize might be in large part due to that?

    "The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic."

    Here's roughly how I read this part:

    "Chinks, they're just like jews.... Money is all they care about... There's over a billion of the chinks, there's a new yellow peril coming... Authoritarianism is in their blood, they lack even the "intersubjectivity" jews and whites share... But we've also been weakened by the jews, it's in their blood, to destroy everything we have... Now you may think the chinks and their modern pathologies, including their infanticide of little chinkettes is due to things like their civil war which they lost to communists... atrocities on the part of the japanese... the cultural revolution that intentionally targeted traditional institutions and values and killed tens of millions... subsequent isolationism... continued authoritarianism... migrations entailing hundreds of millions of people... and even other things in the past few centuries like the taiping rebellion, or even further back like the mongol conquests which retarded near every place they went... and just how cripplingly overpopulated china has been for so long... or how near-every other place inhabited by the chinese is nothing like mainland China... But no, I've had a few chink girls come up to me and say how much better white men treat women... Nevermind the beauty of the aryan, from everything to skin to hair and eye color, which they could clearly see in a 70-something like me..."

    "China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms."

    Joe Webb... The insane, rambling, narcissistic old man of all insane, rambling, narcissistic old men.
  137. @IA

    Thales argued that all phenomena had a naturalistic explanation. No nonsense, fact orientation, no magic, no gods, nothing but the facts M’am.

    That is white thinking at its best.
     
    I agree with everything you've written but have a quibble with this. The ancient Greeks were certainly devoted to the careful study of nature, without doubt. But, Classical Greek art, starting around 480 BC, continued the ancient desire to aid in the manifestation of a divine being. The subject matter was perfected images of gods, heroes and athletes. By about the time of Alexander the content would have become more human but still retained idealized form and a canon of proportions.

    Plato from Laws (669a-b):

    "In regard, then, to every representation, whether in drawing, music, or any other art, he who is to be a competent judge must possess three requisites: he must know, in the first place, of what the imitation is [gignoskein]; secondly, he must know of its correctness [orthos]; and thirdly, that it has been well executed [eu] in words and melodies and rhythms."

    Humans were not robots or recording devices. Images were not produced by random photographic captures from a meaningless void. In fact, according to the ancient Greeks, humans exist within a divine order imitated through correctness of form and rhythm.

    agree more or less. Yet the question still is there: How fast or slow was the Mythos weakening.?

    I am not competent to say but the tendencies toward greater rationality were there as we can all probably agree. The Stoicism, etc. that developed late was pretty much devoid of Mythos.

    And, the gods were not totalitarian like Jehovah, they were really personifications, if that is the right word, of human psychological traits.

    The Iliad, which I just re read, illustrates this. And , the Individual was always free to act per his own, what we might call now, his own genetic proclivities.

    The main thing was Individualism…and that has been the driving force in the West.

    I recommend Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which i have plugged a couple of times. It is a great read and apparently compasses all the argumentation from the Left that the Western Civ stuff is just bunch of Euro-centric racist racket to keep the third world blah blah, blah.

    Very engaging. Duchesne has read (I guess) everything. His ruminating on what has made the White race is pure intellectual pleasure. You can disagree, but his effort must be recognized as plausible at least.

    The fundamental psychology of man, as a social animal seeking prestige, leads to various commentaries on the whole deal of what drives Whites as opposed to what drives the Other races.
    Intersubjectivity is such a great notion…the key to “humane” human interactions. Also, Whites are fighters , big time. That is all good.

    I often remark that if you remove assault and battery from the crime stats for Whites, we may be the least criminal of all the races.
    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @bach

    Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).
     
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "intersubjectivity", but the Chinese adopted universalist morals and ethics and a humanistic worldview when Europeans were still paying obeisance to temperamental gods. "Humane" human interactions? This is the heart of Chinese ethics based not on gods or laws but common humanity and human virtue.

    In politics, the Chinese would not act tribally like Jews as it is not in their philosophical ethos.

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time.
     
    You confuse the earnest but perhaps missplaced priorities of profit-seeking immigrants with the culture in general.

    Selfish? No, that isn't the right word.

    It's called hypergamy or "marrying up". Or so that is what the out marriage is informed by. And to the extent the Chinese are hyper class conscious, it shouldn't be surprising that this shows up in their work as well as their choice in mates.

    Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.
     
    Cliche/banal observations like this belies whatever insight you might really have.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.
     
    No. The Chinese are in no way anything like your vision of the tribalistic Jew.
  138. @anonymous coward
    The stuff about the Chinese language is banal and false.

    For one, characters actually make it easier to read literary Chinese, not harder. (Although it could be argued that without characters literary Chinese would never have become so complex in the first place.)

    Well, sort of. Given the paucity of phonemes in Mandarin, having different characters for, say, “nan,” south as in Nanjing, and “nan,” man as in nanren, makes the distinction instantly clear, yes. But, for me anyway, to learn an unfamiliar word in Spanish—say, “ajolote,” tadpole—is vastly easier than to learn a character of a dozen or so strokes, and characters for unusual things—“roe deer”—tend to vanish from memory. Maybe I just have a poor visual memory, though.

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  139. @joe webb
    agree more or less. Yet the question still is there: How fast or slow was the Mythos weakening.?

    I am not competent to say but the tendencies toward greater rationality were there as we can all probably agree. The Stoicism, etc. that developed late was pretty much devoid of Mythos.

    And, the gods were not totalitarian like Jehovah, they were really personifications, if that is the right word, of human psychological traits.

    The Iliad, which I just re read, illustrates this. And , the Individual was always free to act per his own, what we might call now, his own genetic proclivities.

    The main thing was Individualism...and that has been the driving force in the West.

    I recommend Duchesne's The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which i have plugged a couple of times. It is a great read and apparently compasses all the argumentation from the Left that the Western Civ stuff is just bunch of Euro-centric racist racket to keep the third world blah blah, blah.

    Very engaging. Duchesne has read (I guess) everything. His ruminating on what has made the White race is pure intellectual pleasure. You can disagree, but his effort must be recognized as plausible at least.

    The fundamental psychology of man, as a social animal seeking prestige, leads to various commentaries on the whole deal of what drives Whites as opposed to what drives the Other races.
    Intersubjectivity is such a great notion...the key to "humane" human interactions. Also, Whites are fighters , big time. That is all good.

    I often remark that if you remove assault and battery from the crime stats for Whites, we may be the least criminal of all the races.
    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb

    Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “intersubjectivity”, but the Chinese adopted universalist morals and ethics and a humanistic worldview when Europeans were still paying obeisance to temperamental gods. “Humane” human interactions? This is the heart of Chinese ethics based not on gods or laws but common humanity and human virtue.

    In politics, the Chinese would not act tribally like Jews as it is not in their philosophical ethos.

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time.

    You confuse the earnest but perhaps missplaced priorities of profit-seeking immigrants with the culture in general.

    Selfish? No, that isn’t the right word.

    It’s called hypergamy or “marrying up”. Or so that is what the out marriage is informed by. And to the extent the Chinese are hyper class conscious, it shouldn’t be surprising that this shows up in their work as well as their choice in mates.

    Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Cliche/banal observations like this belies whatever insight you might really have.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.

    No. The Chinese are in no way anything like your vision of the tribalistic Jew.

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  140. @Anonymous
    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it's still an alphabet.

    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it’s still an alphabet.

    Yes, hangul is an alphabetic system, but to call it “just an alphabet” is like calling a Ferrari “just a car” or traditional Korean celadon just “pottery”.

    Among alphabets hangul stands at the pinnacle of ingenuity for a number of reasons.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    so you tell me that the conversations that I had with two chinese gals did not happen , or are untrue, or that I am a liar.

    you need a boxing lesson, I will give you one.

    I never said the chinkss were like the jews. They are worse. don't know where you live but where I live amongst the liberals of Silicon Valley, who all intensely dislike the chinese,....they all say the same thing about the chink, rude, arrogant , greedy , and money money money. I hear it all the time. No jew would behave like they do around here. My personal experiences with them ditto...rude, arrogant and bad manners even like picking nose in public and head slopping up soup.

    The Japs call them pigs. AS I am always interested in being instructed, please quote something that suggests Universalism in their scribbling.

    I guess that is why they went insular, right?

    Intersubjectivity I think comes from the master-slave problem that Hegel wrote about, and maybe Weber as well. The master has no intersubjectivity with his slave. It is relationship devoid of the I-Thou, or friendly mutuality. Intersubjectivity means that two people recognize a rough equality between them and proceed to enjoy one-another's company, ideas, experiences, etc. It is an intimacy outside of family life. It is a Greek polis kind of political intersubjectivity in political matters. It is also based on the fundamental of the human desire for prestige. Prestige requires someone whom you care about to give it to you...a relative equal.

    For the chink, it is all top down, or bottom up. There is no equality in this sense. The political in Chinese life is top down. It is the conflating of family life with political life, which destroys political life and leads to Confucianist obedience, if not obeisance to the Big Man.

    If you cannot see this, you are some kind of specialist in chinkdom that cannot see the forest for the trees...apologist is the word.

    Joe Webb
  141. @Glossy
    I'll probably write something substantive once I read this whole post, but so far a nitpick:

    Han China around 0AD: 60 million

    There was no 0 AD. 1 BC was followed by 1 AD.

    [AK: Thanks. TIL!]

    Just to be difficult, 0AD implies zero time extent = 0AD is just the cusp* between 1BC and 1AD, not that 0AD represents a whole year. Similarly, the moment could be named 0BC. But by definition, 0AD or 0BC could never be a whole year, as they only represent an instant of transition, in fact non-existent, like a point.

    *Merriam Webster: cusp: “a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next)”.

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  142. @AP

    As far as I know, in the social sciences very few correlations rise above 0.5.
     
    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.

    Could you maybe give specific examples?
     
    There are very many. For example the correlation between IQ score and SAT score (an American university entrance test) score is .86, or scores on different IQ tests have similarly high correlations, test-retest reliability of the PCL-R (a psychopathy checklist) over a 5 year period is .89, etc.


    Broad factors such as "income" and "IQ" may, however, indeed rarely produce correlations above "moderate."

    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.

    But the fact that social sciences have very few strong correlations would also mean that 0.4 is “as strong as it gets”, to quote myself.

    Your examples are basically about different measurements of the same psychometric data correlating strongly with each other – that’s basically proof that the tests measure something (as opposed to astrology where different astrologers’ opinions don’t correlate with each other) or that two tests (SAT and IQ) basically measure the same thing. But that’s not a real correlation where based on something you can predict something entirely different – for example based on the parents’ SES you can predict the children’s school performance, but the correlation won’t nearly be as strong as between SAT and IQ, obviously.

    As far as I know, IQ is one of the strongest predictors of life outcomes we have out there.

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    • Replies: @AP

    But the fact that social sciences have very few strong correlations would also mean that 0.4 is “as strong as it gets”, to quote myself.
     
    Correct. And "as strong as it gets" is a moderate correlation. You responded to this statement:

    "I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate."

    so I assumed you were disputing it.
  143. @joe webb
    Duchesne does not make the wheat vs. rice argument. That was the topic of an article here at Unz a few months ago, and it makes perfect hbd sense. Bio-cultural co-evolution. not that that is the whole story

    Duchesne has a grand large argument and is certainly worth reading. He has apparently read everything, including the early sociology of Weber and Hegel, etc. and Pomeranz shows up as well.

    HIs argument is ultimately socio -biological arguing that what explains western rationality and individualism is rooted in the three peoples who came together to make up the White race: near eastern farmers, Indo-Europeans, and northern hunter gatherers (Europe).

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not. Culture exists, religion exists, and race exists. The only Free people genetically are Whites. Our record of insisting on liberty and free speech goes back to Greece and before that to the Indo-Euopreans and, for example, to The Iliad, which I just re-read.

    These aristocratic warriors, had a first-among-equals social psychology. Equals in this case means someone with whom one can have mutuality and common understanding or intersubjectivity, which is a great term!. It has never been tyranny, except occasionally which was then resisted or overthrown. ( China was always without nobility , just a subservient confucian civil service...dead in the flow of history so to speak.)


    The East has none of this. Zero. which is one of the reasons, besides low IQ outside of east Asia, they are mired in despotic social relations...family, clan, strong-man rulers, Kings, etc. The aristocratic warrior societies resisted kingship, which has been part of our whole history...as you know in feudal times the kings were always resisted by nobles/aristocracy. Everywhere else in the world there was not similar multi-layered, relative "pluralism" of mixed powers. This led to the free cities, etc. of the middle ages, etc.

    China was always a tyranny, with no nobility, etc. Only mandarins prostrating themselves before the King, Emperor, or Chief. Confucianism also did not understand politics per our democratic traditions. The king is the father. A great confusion of family life with political life. The Greeks pulled us out of that by the invention of the polis. Nobody else invented the polis.

    Joe Webb

    ps the chinese where I live in Silicon Va. are pretty much despised by the local liberals. They are noted as rude, arrogant, superstitious (gambling, magical thinking, etc.) My opinion is that they are more dangerous than any other, except maybe muzzies, because there is no there there. The there is the wonderful White intersubjectivity. For the chink, there is no equality of sorts.

    My argument is simple, too simple for the on the one hand and on the other hand crowd. Look at where people come from...Red China now maddog capitalist China, etc. there is the chink. simple as that. Are there exceptions? of course. Oriental despotism standing out absolutely clear. And their one-dimensionality is profound...money.

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not.

    The Chinese government imposed a light tax burden on its subjects (indeed that was one of the core tenets of Confucianism, which had comprehensively won out over Legalism throughout the 2nd millennium), had no feudalism in the European sense, had much less in the way of internal barriers, was run by a professional bureaucracy when even countries like Britain continuing selling posts into the 19th century. Oriental despotism as applied to China is 19th century European obscurantist nonsense.

    From my review of Pomeranz:

    Finally, there’s the argument that European capitalist institutions and markets were better developed and thus kick-started its growth. But again, the evidence Pomeranz marshals convinces that, if anything, China was substantially more “capitalist” (in the laissez-faire sense) than Europe. There were far fewer monopolies, and no internal trade barriers – contrast this, for example, with ancient regime France – and as a consequence, the volume of trade flows (in grains, sugar, timber, etc) were far higher within China than in continental Europe. The civil service was professional and meritocratic, whereas in Europe this only came to be in the 19th century. Markets for labor and products were freer in China; guilds had much less political influence than in Europe. Bound labor and feudal obligations remained prevalent far longer in Europe (and India) than in China, where it had long ago become marginal; for instance, the settlement of Taiwan for the cultivation of sugar – China’s equivalent of the Caribbean islands – was done by free labor. Though credit was cheaper in Europe – or, at least, in Holland and Britain – but to cut a long story short, there is (1) no evidence that this made crucial industrial activities unprofitable or impeded further pro-industrial mechanization, and (2) the credit system was more developed in India relative to China and Japan, although it was far more backward in general.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    pardon me, but is that all you got? Duchesne points out that you guys who hate Eurocentrism are economistic, like most of the Left of Old. Now what about freedom, that quaint old white guys, mostly dead I guess now, obsession. Individual assertion, individual action at all levels, with no statist interference/mediation/control.... how about freedom of religion, not state religion, etc.?

    Also the intermediate classes, guilds that you appear to denigrate, between the lower orders and the King/Emperor. Free speech? assembly, petition, assembly, . Duchesne also states that the printing press was never pressed...into service for newspapers, etc. in China.

    Freedom....Nope. Regimentation and totalitarianism , which as we can see now is quite compatible with the Liberal Order of globalism and the rest of the economism of today.

    Joe Webb

    [AK: Freedom of religion in Europe > China? LOL. Pointless to argue further. Comments like these really make me wish Unz could introduce a Disqus-like upvote/downvote feature so that crap like this gets sifted to the bottom]
    , @joe webb
    China..."...had no feudalism in the European sense, had much less in the way of internal barriers, was run by a professional bureaucracy when even countries like Britain continuing selling posts into the 19th century."

    This is exactly the point that Duchesne makes, that Feudalism was a system of , shall we say, checks and balances against totalitarian control from the top.

    Your argument seems to be libertarian in the economic sense, that China had a nice bureaucracy that kept the economy flowing along nicely. Sounds just like today.

    The centrality of Duchesne's argument is that White society/history since early Indo-European, and Greco-Roman, and German times was never Tyranny, in general. That tyrants were always opposed, and that what guaranteed this relative "democracy" of intermediate layers of authority between the bottom and the top of these White societies was a , yes, genetic condition determined by the psychology of "prestige" which developed with the Indo-European warrior aristoctatic/egalitarian culture of fighters.

    The aristocratic/egalitarianism sounds contradictory, but it is not, given the psychodynamics of same: the need for relative equals to appreciate and grant one prestige..

    Now this is what Duchesne says, and I think it is very interesting and worthy of discussion. But you guys are just flipping out and throwing tantrums, and, O wishing that I be terminated. I think you have been in China too long.

    As I said before you cannot see the forest for the trees. And you also appear to be libertarian, which is a White curse...too much like the chinks...money, money , money.

    You also flip out over my observations of what the local chinks are like. I don't have any relations with them except for a broker and a MD, and they are ok, although the broker, like the broken white broker I know, is only interested in money, and likes to go on anti-semitic trips.

    I live in Silicon Valley. I talk to lots of people with my big mouth and big smile that gets very good mileage out of folks's opinions. Without exception, the many (liberal) whites i have talked to all say the same thing, that the chinks are terrible: rudeness is first, and then greedy, then ostentatious consumerism, and then generally one-dimensional...repeating myself...money.

    Palo Alto is now about one-third chink, one quarter Jew, and the rest I guess are White liberals.

    The Jews are noticing. One jewish guy who has hated my guts stopped me recently and asked what I thought of the chinks. He was past his earlier hatred, and grinned when I said, not much.

    Joe Webb
  144. @Priss Factor
    Much of 'Greek Genius' depended on the spirit of the time.

    There are different meaning of genius. There is genius in the meaning of high IQ. Now, those with super-high IQ can achieve more, but super-high IQ alone doesn't mean inspiration or imagination. Indeed, a person of high IQ but well below genius may achieve a lot more than someone of super-high IQ without vision, imagination, and etc.

    Also, if the science and math require super-high-IQ, this isn't necessarily the case with arts, literature, music, and etc. Now, it certainly helps to have super-high IQ in those areas, but something more is necessary. It's like some of the greatest film-makers were men of high IQ but not geniuses.
    And, there are plenty of people of genius IQ who cannot make art. Paul McCartney is smart guy but no genius. But he had a genius for pop music. Sam Peckinpah wasn't a super-genius. He was just smart, but he had a powerful vision.

    When it comes to the Ancient World, super high-IQ wasn't that necessary since so much of science back then was more in the nature of speculative philosophy than hard science. As it turns out, most of Aristotle's 'science' proved to be wrong.
    Now, he was obviously very smart, possibly a super-high-IQ genius, but one didn't need to be super-smart to achieve what he did. High intelligence would have been enough.

    So, why was there a great explosion of Greek creativity in a few centuries in the Ancient World? I suppose it's like asking why Germany in the 19th century and early 20th century made such huge leaps. It was a combination of factors. Economic, political, military, and etc. But it was also the spirit of the times. A tension between the traditional and the revolutionary, the sudden clash of old and the new. Germany and Austria were situated between Western and Eastern Europe, between Scandinavia and Southern Europe. The Romantic spirit gripped the Germanics more than any other people. There was the powerful musical legacy. This spirit of the times --- inspired by Greeks, rediscovery of pagan Germanic roots, romanticism, dawn of modernism, and etc --- affected every field: music, poetry, art, philosophy, politics. The mythos of the times made the difference.
    Intelligence is a huge advantage, but it has to be inspired by something. Intelligence uninspired doesn't go very far.

    And of course earlier, there was the Renaissance. Again, it had something to do with the spirit of the times as ideas and images began to inspire a whole generations of people from Northern Italy to Great Britain.
    In time, the spirit runs out of steam. Party, it's because any spirit cannot inspire forever. It runs out of freshness and ideas. It's like the 60s unleashed all sorts of energies in music and fashion and styles, but it eventually petered out.

    Also, when very great stuff is created in a certain period, it may be so overwhelming that it becomes the standard and goes from inspirationalism to institutionalism.
    It's like the achievements of the Renaissance was so great that for the next centuries, most of art was mostly about imitating the masters. The achievement of the Renaissance era was so great that it was deemed un-surpass-able.

    Indeed, many civilizations fell into this rut. They would go through a creative golden age that produced tremendous stuff, and then the later generations would either be so awed that they would just imitate the past or be so proud(of their past achievement) that future folks would just rest on their laurels. Why try to do something great when your people have already done the best? The Chinese developed this attitude about their own culture. They felt they had the best civilization, best philosophy, best system, best art, best literature, best of everything. So, why not just rest on the laurels of the masters and sages of the past?

    It could be that Greeks fell into a similar rut, i.e. paradoxically, the great achievements of the Ancient Greeks were so awesome that the Greeks became overly proud of their culture and didn't feel a need to do more to prove a point. Why try when you've taken art and philosophy to the limit? After all, the Romans attained more power but hardly bettered the Greeks in arts, science, math, and stuff.

    Also, without the formula of capitalism and industrialism, there was a limit to how much a civilization could achieve in the past. No matter how many smart people and great achievements a society achieved, most of the stuff remained in theory unless there was sufficient wealth and technological progress to turn it into practice. It's like mankind had always dreamed of flying and traveling to the moon, but it was mostly in the realm of speculation and theory since, prior to modernity, there was no economic system that could sustain the amount of production to create an industrial society.
    Also, prior to rise of industrial modernity, even the most advanced civilizations were vulnerable. Everything could be conquered and destroyed. Today, the idea of Russia, China, or Iran being overrun by Mongols is amusing. The idea of vikings invading modern Italy is ridiculous.
    But prior to rise of modern world, even the most civilized and mighty empires could fall to barbarian hordes. China was, time and time again, invaded by Mongols and other barbarians. Mighty Persia was once smashed by Mongols. Arab hordes led by Muhammad conquered big cities with mighty fortresses.

    If there is mass invasion happening today, it is not because of lack of military or industrial might but because the soul of the modern world has been infected with the Zio-globalist virus that tells gentile nations that 'diversity is a strength' and a nation must embrace it or be condemned for its evil. So, if EU wants to keep the darkies out, it could do so, but because the souls of EU folks have been infected with the Jewish virus that seeks to increase diversity to play divide-and-conquer among gentiles, the invasion is happening on a massive scale. It is overrunning the EU. And US is filling up with darkies.
    It is the failure of will than military or economic might. If today's Germany wanted to defend itself from hordes of invaders, it could do many times over. But there is no will cuz German people have had their souls infected with the Jewish Virus of 'white guilt' and 'white self-loathing'. After all, Israel is much smaller and weaker than Germany, but it ably defends its borders from all Arabs.

    Anyway, what was special about the ancient Greeks? I think people don't give sufficient credit to their mythology. This is understandable because we tend to see progress as moving away from superstition and mythology. We see progress as the rise of reason, logic, science, math, philosophy, and technology. What does mythology and religion have to do with that stuff? And indeed, Greeks made progress by moving away from faith in mythology to a more rational, historical, and political view of the world. And the rise of Greek science made the Greeks more skeptical of mythological stuff.
    Even so, we cannot understand the Greek soul, spirit,and mind without taking their myths into account. After all, if the Greeks had worshiped the gods of Babylon or China, their spirits would have been different. After all, one reason why the Egyptians became so conservative was due to their mythology that was cyclical and funereal.
    In high school, our English teacher told us that Greeks didn't believe in much of an afterlife. After you died, you just ended up in Hades and it was a bummer. So, you had to make most of life while you were alive.

    Also, the Greek gods were highly individualistic and competed with one another. It's there in the Iliad as the gods are divided and use all means, physical to political, to aid either the Greeks or the Trojans. Also, these were lively gods, and they embodied all the various facets of life. The myths of most other cultures highlighted certain facets of life while suppressing all the others. In contrast, Greek mythology is like a map of the mind. It has a wide range of gods and spirits that represent the full spectrum of life: Zeus the patriarch, Apollo the Order, Bacchus the reveler, Ares the warrior, Diana the menstrual cycle crazy hunter, Aphrodite the loveress, etc, etc. The very strange Athena. This is a kind of myth that exercises all the facets of mind, soul, spirit, emotions, etc. The Odyssey is like a mind-trip. Also, there are many stories with the adventurous hero. Greek mythology was less repressive of the natures of man. It represented all the facets of man. So, even before the Greeks set upon using their intellect and logic to the fullest, they must have been INSPIRED by a set of myths that encouraged and provoked a sense of exploration, adventure, expression, competition, and etc. There are elements of submission in Greek mythology to be sure. You don't mess with Zeus. But there is also the theme of defiance. Prometheus defied Zeus. And even if Zeus is against you, you might triumph with the help of other gods. So, there is a greater sense of freedom.

    So, the mythic element of inspiration cannot be overlooked. It's like Germans of the 19th century were known not only for science and stuff but for arts and music. And German philosophy was somewhere between reason and romanticism.
    Think of the Steven Spielberg movie A.I. Consider the scene when Gigolo Joe asks to combine FLAT FACTS with FAIRYTALE.
    https://youtu.be/x0QkgAuEPbk?t=3m37s
    On the surface, the idea of combining fact and fairytale sounds absurd, but what distinguishes man from lower creatures is the possibility for both ascertaining facts and imagining fantasies. Animals cannot prove facts. Animals watch and learn and have an instinctive sense of what is vital for survival. But they can't think in terms of 'truth' and 'facts'. They think purely in terms of survival and pleasure. What keeps them alive and happy is 'good', what hurts them is 'bad'. In contrast, mankind can separate the concept of fact and truth apart from personal needs or wants. Science is a search for facts whether such facts are useful to us or not, dangerous to us or not. We want to know what is true independent of its relevance to our personal lives. Only humans have this ability. But it's also true that only humans can make themselves believe what is not true, what is fantastic, what is imaginary. Dogs cannot believe in God, the blue fairy, Santa Claus, etc. Cats cannot believe in angels, superman, Thor, or Zeus. A cat can fooled into believing that a rubber snake is a real snake, but a cat cannot fantasize something that isn't true.
    But humans can do this. So, the strange thing about man's evolutionary progress is that it made him capable of not only attaining greater facts but greater fantasies.
    Now, facts and fantasies are opposites, and yet, paradoxically, it is our ability to fantasize that makes us use facts to make possible the 'impossible'. For instance, given the available facts long ago, there was no way mankind could ever go to the moon. The idea just seemed too outlandish. But it was because mankind could dream of going to the moon that, slowly and gradually, mankind put together the facts of machinery and stuff to build a contraption that could take us to the moon. So, even though fantasy is not facts(indeed is the opposite of facts), the power of fantasy has a way of making us use facts creatively to make our fantasies come true. So, in a way, the realm of FLAT FACT and FAIRYTALES do have meeting point. It's like what Dr. Hobby explains to David:
    https://youtu.be/zTioBYdv2o4?t=3m18s

    It could be that the Ancient Greeks had the right kind of balance of fascinating myths and sense of reality. And their myths fired up all the pistons of the human mind whereas other cultures failed to do so.
    Look at Confucianism. It emphasized ethics and stuff, but it wasn't about the individual adventurer and hero. Also, everything was about the family, so it became a cult of submission to the family. It encouraged certain areas of creativity and thought but suppressed the full range of the human experience and soul.
    And what strikes out about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA? It's one of those cast-of-thousands epics, but I don't think there is a single female in the movie. We do see some veiled-tents on camels with the concubines of King Feisal, and we do seem some veiled women off in the distance making those silly-willy sounds with their tongues(which drives me nuts), but we don't see a single woman who is recognizable. So, Islam stifled and suppressed the entire realm of love and romance, and that meant no culture of chivalry could develop from it.

    Also, Islam was about submission of the individual to Allah. Greeks understood the necessity of obedience and hierarchy, but they left room for the individual and defiance. And it was because they believed in the individual that their drama became so powerfully psychological. They are not mere morality tales of good people or bad people but of soulful anguish driven mad, the kind of madness that even the gods cannot mend. In a lot of Greek tragedies, people do some crazy stuff, like killing parents or kids or wives or hubbies. Lots of murder. But Greeks didn't merely judge(even though they did that too) but explored the dark depths of passion. There was more empathy in the works, and greater empathy through art could aid in better psychological and philosophical understanding of man. It's like Harold Bloom said that Shakespeare mapped the human soul long before the psychologists and scientists began to do so methodically in the 19th century. Greeks were like Sam Peckinpah before Sam Peckinpah, Hitchcock before Hitchcock.

    Anyway, the hero of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is like an Ancient Greek hero. Unlike the Moos who say everything is 'written', Lawrence believes it is up to the great man to write his own destiny. And his sensibility is a combination of 'flat fact' and 'fairytale'(and not because he may have been a fruiter). On the one hand, he is very well-educated and rational. He thinks things through and pores over the details. On the other hand, he has this mythic sense of himself as the hero who can make the impossible possible. His plan to invade Aqaba from a desert that Arabs say cannot be crossed is that kind of derring do. Though impeccable planning and prophetic vision, he turns 'fairytale' into a fact.
    And unlike others, he seems to revel in contradictions. After all, a modern Briton going from UK to Arabia during WWI was like traveling in a time machine. There were still places in Arabia back then that had hardly changed since the Ancient times. It still had people riding camels and using swords and daggers. Most Brits look down on Arabs as 'wogs', and Arabs are distrustful of the haughty Brits, but Lawrence feels at home in this world of contradiction. And as time passes, he becomes more and more aware of the irony of his situation. Initially, he berated Ali for being a typical petty murderous cruel Arab who kills people over water-wells... but then it dawns on Lawrence that the great modern powers--Germans, Ottomans, French, and British-- are fighting their own 'petty' wars on global scale over resources(surely oil though unnamed). And given what the West has done to the Middle East and North Africa in recent yrs, the great game continues and in so many petty ways. Obama, Hillary, Jews, Erdogan, and etc. are so petty in their ego and ambitions and resentments. Anyway, Lawrence is Greek-ish becaues of the combination of his powerful sense of individuality and acute awareness of the bigger forces that are manipulating him all around. We see this in the story of Greek heroes. It's like Odysseus is crafty and in control of his destiny, and yet, he is also manipulated and tosses hither and thither by the powerful gods with different agendas. Both Lawrence and Odysseus feel the neurosis of power: at times, they feel in total control but at other times, they feel utterly helpless and fall into deep depression.
    It could be that Greeks had a craftier sense of power relations than other folks. Funereal Egyptians didn't have much use for heroes. They worshiped the Pharaoh as god that dies and returns over and over, and they were busying building pyramids. And some civilizations believed in terrifying gods that acted like the plant in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. It simply said 'feed me, feed me', and the people just sacrificed little children to such gods like in those Silent Movies made in Italy.

    But the Greeks arrived at some kind of balance. True, the gods were powerful, but no god was all-powerful, and there were checks-and-balances, and so, there was the room for the individual hero to maneuver. And Greek mythology said the gods don't necessarily favor those who are sappy and submissive. Gods also like those who are crafty, smart, adventurous, daring, intelligent, and stuff. Also, Greek women were so crazy and temperamental that the men were pressured to do something and get outdoors. It could be one reason Odysseus kept on finding new excuses to delay his return was because he feared Penelope might kick his butt for having been away for too long. With women like that, men were bound to be more fired up. It's like Spartan mothers told their son, 'come back victorious or dead' or something like that. It could be said that these women were real 'ball-busters', but they might have been inspirational in some way too. Macedonians came under Greek influence, and Alexander's mother drove him so batty that he conquered the world. (At least in the Oliver Stone movie. But it's true that Greek women really are crazy.)
    https://youtu.be/GauxJU5RdPs?t=1m18s

    Anyway, even though civilization makes progress by moving away from superstition and myth and religion, the nature of those narratives, spirits, and mind-systems surely have a profound impact even on secular progress. It's like the Secular West is still affected by Christian morality that has grown cancerous with 'white guilt' that makes the West defenseless against the rise of color.
    And even though most Jews are not religious, even secular Jews are still have a kind of Chosen People mentality that makes see themselves as unique and deserving to rule the world. Greek mythology is close to the sea, and this may have affected their ways.
    In the Ancient World, Athenians were known for their seafaring abilities, whereas the story of the Jews is essentially one of wandering on the land. The crossing of the Red Sea or, more accurately 'reed sea', would indicate that the Ancient Jews were like cats: they were hydrophobic. They wanted firm land on their feet, especially in the Promised Land. In contrast, many of the great Greek epics are about the seas, like Jason and Argonauts and Odyssey. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is sort of like a combo of those ideas. Lawrence is like a semitic nomad in the desert, but being part of the sea-faring British race, he comes up with a strategy of 'sailing' around the desert as if it's the sea. And in the flat areas of the desert, the effect is almost sea-like as we can see all the way into the horizon, and when a figure appears in the distance, it looks almost like someone has miraculously materialized out of the air.

    The power of myths matter. It's like the beginning of Hesse's PETER CAMENZIND: "In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for self-expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child's soul with poetry every day."

    It could be that one of the reasons why the American Right has become so impoverished of late is its lack of myth. When American whites had confidence and pride, they would draw from the modern myth of America's founding. The legendary stories of cowboys and conquerors. Americans used to love watching those John Wayne Westerns about the Great White Man. But all those myths were destroyed once the myth of MLK came to dominate everything. White myths were all smashed as false idols. Also, the great crimes of Nazism derailed the mythic renewal of paganism in Europe. George Lucas revived some of it in STAR WARS but the fool turned into a silly Liberal and he sold his franchise to that funny-looking Jew Abrams.

    But there's another reason. For many Conzo Americans, their main culture is Evangelical Christianity, and it is so uninspired and dumb-dumb. So dumb that Neocons have manipulated it to serve Zionism. For the dullard kids among American Conzos, Evangelicalism is good enough cuz their minds lack any inspiration. But among the more creative children of American Conzos, they eventually grow out of Evangelical dull-ism, and they seek more exciting stuff. Since the creative culture is controlled by Jews, Libs, homos, and Negro rappers, creative types(even those born to Conzo parents) move in that direction. Indeed, it was largely by controlling the myth-machine of art and culture that the Lib side was able to attract the bulk of people of talent and intelligence and imagination. That's how homos got so much power in society. Of course, PC of late has made Liberalism stupid. And Lib decadence had led to gross-out-fests like Lena Dunham show and other garbage.

    Even so, there is nothing coming from the Right, so the Libs continue to control culture. Even a Theater culture dominated by homos and feminists is some kind of theater. At least, the homos and feminists are writing plays whereas Conzos don't create culture. In the old day when morality dominated culture, one could win a culture war just by being righteous. In an Amish community, you win the cultural argument by being more righteous than the next fellow. Same in a Muslim society.

    But in the modern West, you cannot win the culture war without creativity, without making culture. And Conzos don't make culture. If some Conzos are religious and just stick with the Bible, other people on the 'Right' are libertarians who just wave the Constitution. Okay, the Constitution with its legal rights is a great document, but it's not culture. It's not the kind of stuff that inspires vision or imagination. It just says 'you are free'. But culture requires more than freedom. Most people with freedom just wanna be couch-potatoes who play video games. To create culture, you gotta have passion and vision and commitment. Evangelicals just wanna pray to God, and libertarians just wanna wave the Constitution, bongs, and guns. That isn't enough for culture.
    And as long as there is no mythic vision on the Right, the talented will not gravitate to the Right. Even those with right-wing leanings will go the Lib side cuz that's where all the 'cool action' is. To be sure, there are some creative types like the makers of South Park and Idiocracy(Mike Judge). But such libertarianism, as entertaining as it may be, works negatively by commenting on OTHER culture. SouthPark makes fun of pop culture. Idiocracy and Beavis and Butthead poke fun at trashiness and idiocy. But they offer nothing other than commentary on existing culture. They are smart-alecky feeders on existing culture, not maker of a new culture.

    The American Right is bereft of myths, and without the power of myth, a people are nothing. The power of reason is important, but in the end, reason is driven by myths, prophecy, vision, and righteousness, not the other way around. It is not Jewish intelligence that is driving the Jewish passion but the other way around. Jewish passion rooted in their particular psychological, personality, and historiography is driving Jewish reason.
    The fact that Ayn Rand became such a culture figure goes to show that people still love myths. Economic theory is dry, but if you tell it as a mythic story of heroes and villains, people are captivated. It's like Bubblegum Crisis.
    Matrix is a pretty dumb movie(though part 3 has some awesome effects), but it did offer some neat myths about the nature of reality and power, and its lingo and terminology have inspired and even appropriated by the Alt Right even though its makers are Calvin Klein neo-homo-Marxists.

    Anyway, the Greeks did burn out, and it just happens to all people. The confluence of forces that brought about the explosion of creativity was lost. After all, no Great Age is the result of any single factor. It's a miraculous convergence of many factors. It's like some movies that are great because everything just came together just right: the right script, the right music, right actors, right director, right conditions, and etc.
    And all the forces and elements that came to create the Greek miracle couldn't be repeated again. Besides, miracles cannot be summoned by will because, if that were possible, we would have golden ages all the time. After it happens, we may look back and notice the elements and patterns that had made it possible, but while it was happening, no one really knew what was happening. Such miracles are beyond the power of foresight and control.
    It's like GONE WITH THE WIND. Everything just came together in just the right way to make a classic. But when Selznick tried to recapture that formula, he never could.
    And Barry Gordy couldn't put Motown back together again. Just the right forces came together at the right time to create a musical sensation.

    Also, batteries run out of power, and even though they can be recharged, the power grows weaker with every recharge. And this happens to all civilization. The Greeks did something great, and the achievements were recharged over and over for inspiration, but eventually it was spent.

    The confluence of forces that brought about the explosion of creativity was lost. After all, no Great Age is the result of any single factor. It’s a miraculous convergence of many factors.

    sounds to me like you’re talking about the seventies Priss

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  145. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald's Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag...golly...whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness.

    I have read most of these guys mentioned....it is not great art, but time will tell won't it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published....he told her to send it in to him, jew.

    Jews work to destroy the White man while the white man simply works, not much imagination cuz life is just there happening. The Jew needs to Change Life, that is, White life. And worship themselves...like Jehovah, the genocidal madman.

    As for legit accomplishments in other professions...yes. But it is all jew networking, and I remind you of Unz's recent piece on how jews run Ha vad and the Ivies. They are overrepresented in admissions about 400% while whites are underrepresented 600%.

    It is affirmative action for jews and the white boys and girls are just kept running'. They hate us, in case you have not figured that out. But then, they hate everybody. It is in their genes

    and jew IQ appears to be 110 average...ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ....we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans...and that made us tougher...another story.

    As for jew impact on business and so on, only led there by us. Napoleon forced them out of their ghettos. Bad move. Like Nixon in China. bad move.

    The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack "intersubjectivity" in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that "white guys treat you better." Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females...still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China...the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.

    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb

    “Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag…golly…whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness. I have read most of these guys mentioned….it is not great art, but time will tell won’t it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published….he told her to send it in to him, jew.”

    Kevin M did something courageous and necessary in critiquing the Jewish culture of critique, but the man has no sense of culture as in ‘art’. He is blind and deaf. Too often, he and his acolytes figure if something is Jewish, it must be negative(or should be approached negatively) whereas if something is ‘Aryan’, it must be good.

    Kevin M endorsed Lasha Darkmoon’s idiotic neo-Nazi view of art and culture. Total philistine stuff. This is just an Alt Right version of ‘family values’ theory of art where something is good if it’s clean and pretty while something is bad if it’s ‘ugly’.

    Now, I’m aware of the perversions and excesses of modernism, but one has to be total philistine dolt to espouse views such as this:

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html

    But actually, it all comes down to ‘whose side are you on?’
    So, even though Alt Right types usually bash modern art, if it turns out that the weirdo artist was a fascist, rightist, or some such, he gets a pass.
    If Heidegger were a leftist or Jewish, you know lots of people on Alt Right would bash him as a phony nut. But because he was on the Right, they pretend to admire his ideas even though they have no idear what Being and Time is about. I read one page and put it down.

    And take Jonathan Bowden who made art like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=james+bowden+art&safe=off&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=653&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ___4pYLKAhXG5SYKHfTsAh0Q_AUIBygC#safe=off&tbm=isch&q=jonathan+bowden+art

    Now, that stuff strikes me as crap, but he got a pass from the Alt Right cuz, well, he was on the Right.

    Or take Celine. He wrote some pervy stuff. So does Michel Houllebeque. But both get a pass and even much praise from the Alt Right cuz of their political views.

    This is no way to approach art.

    I appreciate some of the stuff MacDonald has done, but he should shut up about art and culture. Take his praise of Trevor Lynch’s book:

    https://secure.counter-currents.com/trevor-lynchs-white-nationalist-guide-to-the-movies/

    Now, this dufus called Lynch did write some interesting pieces. But his general approach to movies is ‘It is good if it has themes supportive of white nationalism’.
    So, even though JURASSIC WORLD is an impersonal by-the-numbers pile of crap cynically made to pull in the bucks, he praises it sky high cuz it’s a pro-white-guy movie. Lynch trashed the new Star Wars movie as the same old same old. But so is Jurassic World. So, why does JW get a pass while SW gets bashed? Cuz SW has a Negro and other non-white characters. Now, I don’t wanna see no Negro in SW either, but one shouldn’t be saying a movie is good or bad simply based on its ‘politics’.

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/06/jurassic-world/

    Jurassic World was only good for a laugh at the end when the T-rex and the little raptor team up to beat the mutant dino-thug who finally gets eaten by a mega-dino-whale. It’s priceless after the the T-rex and the little raptor win by teamwork and then look at each other like friends in Casablanca. One of the hokiest crap I ever did see.

    (TOMORROWLAND is something real special.)

    Anyway, if we’re gonna appreciate art, we can’t be too political.

    It’s like Jews can hate Wagner and Germans but still admire Wagner as a great artist.
    We can dislike the Boos but still say Diana Ross and the Supremes had some great songs. We can say current music is total crap and blacks have gone nuts.. but still admit Rihanna in Umbrella video is one hot sizzling ho.

    And I disagree about Sontag. I think her essays in 60s and early 70s are essential. She said some crazy political things, but many of her pieces are non-political.
    And besides, who hasn’t said crazy stuff? There are plenty of Alt Right people who have said crazy stuff. I’ve said nutty stuff over the yrs probably more outlandish than ‘honkeys are the cancer of humanity’. Sometimes my friends remind me of what I said yrs ago, and I scratch my head and ask, “I really said that?” And shiite, I scare myself.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    fair enough in general. KM is far more ecumenical than I am. GJ of Counter-Currents is a psychopath in my personal experience. The Hitler worship that is around to some degree in WN is part of the territory, too bad, but that is politics. I don't think KM cares much about art.

    Darkmoon I do not see anymore at TOO, is she still there. Overboard I agree. Bowden's art is junk to me but he was a great orator.

    The Lynch stuff, the Donovan stuff...I neither care for, nor endorse. By the way, if you have not read Roger Devlin's anti-femi "Sexual Utopia in Power," take a look, it's a romp.

    Are you a women or not? I mean you're real good a lot but sometimes sound like a lady.

    Joe Webb
    , @Sam Shama
    Priss,
    In my reckoning you are among the very few commentators on UR with truly original insight. Which is why I am going to ask a few questions and offer a few observations:

    (1) Q: Do you subscribe to Realpolitik, and realise that Alt-Right Isolationist viewpoint, as advanced by the likes of Pat Buchanan (who btw, I feel is a sincere man) miss the boat?

    (2) Obs: Jews in the U.S. by and large are a cohesive group, although frequently marrying outside the community, tend to be far better educated than the median and therefore place themselves in positions of financial and political power.

    (3) Obs: Jewish intellectuals, including the top scientists have been largely irreligious, and in most instances drawn inspiration and training from ancient Greek and European Renaissance traditions.

    (4) Q: Do you see Israel as an important chess piece (perhaps the Knight) on the middle section of the global chessboard, one which has been played on for the better part of half a millennium?

    (5) Q: In your ideal world, what would you have Jews do in the U.S. and elsewhere?

  146. @reiner Tor

    This would mean that in the social sciences very few correlations are strong, not that .40 is a strong correlation.
     
    But the fact that social sciences have very few strong correlations would also mean that 0.4 is "as strong as it gets", to quote myself.

    Your examples are basically about different measurements of the same psychometric data correlating strongly with each other - that's basically proof that the tests measure something (as opposed to astrology where different astrologers' opinions don't correlate with each other) or that two tests (SAT and IQ) basically measure the same thing. But that's not a real correlation where based on something you can predict something entirely different - for example based on the parents' SES you can predict the children's school performance, but the correlation won't nearly be as strong as between SAT and IQ, obviously.

    As far as I know, IQ is one of the strongest predictors of life outcomes we have out there.

    But the fact that social sciences have very few strong correlations would also mean that 0.4 is “as strong as it gets”, to quote myself.

    Correct. And “as strong as it gets” is a moderate correlation. You responded to this statement:

    “I wouldn’t call the correlation of IQ and income of .4 strong. I’d call it moderate.”

    so I assumed you were disputing it.

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  147. @joe webb
    Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald's Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag...golly...whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness.

    I have read most of these guys mentioned....it is not great art, but time will tell won't it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published....he told her to send it in to him, jew.

    Jews work to destroy the White man while the white man simply works, not much imagination cuz life is just there happening. The Jew needs to Change Life, that is, White life. And worship themselves...like Jehovah, the genocidal madman.

    As for legit accomplishments in other professions...yes. But it is all jew networking, and I remind you of Unz's recent piece on how jews run Ha vad and the Ivies. They are overrepresented in admissions about 400% while whites are underrepresented 600%.

    It is affirmative action for jews and the white boys and girls are just kept running'. They hate us, in case you have not figured that out. But then, they hate everybody. It is in their genes

    and jew IQ appears to be 110 average...ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ....we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans...and that made us tougher...another story.

    As for jew impact on business and so on, only led there by us. Napoleon forced them out of their ghettos. Bad move. Like Nixon in China. bad move.

    The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack "intersubjectivity" in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that "white guys treat you better." Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females...still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.

    China...the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.

    Joe Webb

    Joe Webb

    “and jew IQ appears to be 110 average…ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ….we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans…and that made us tougher…another story.”

    Ah yeah… tribalists vs. the good old pastoralists… aka the new HBD autism of boiling down everything to what form of agriculture was practiced thousands of years ago (it’s better than the “ice age climates” theory, but still). No, I’m pretty sure that many of the “tribal” tendencies we see in the middle east are heavily due to Islam and the tendencies arising from it that have been ingrained since then, genetically and culturally, and made them less amenable to the changes we’ve seen over the centuries in Europe and East Asia. “Semites” often haven’t been nomadic, there were settled, literate civilizations in southern arabia long before Islam, nevermind what you can find throughout the middle east going back millenia before. Or why so many middle eastern people, semitic or not, have these tendencies and behaviors. Look at Albania- it’s one of the most backwards parts of Europe, and one of the only majority muslim European countries. Do you think their backwardness and inability to modernize might be in large part due to that?

    “The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic.”

    Here’s roughly how I read this part:

    “Chinks, they’re just like jews…. Money is all they care about… There’s over a billion of the chinks, there’s a new yellow peril coming… Authoritarianism is in their blood, they lack even the “intersubjectivity” jews and whites share… But we’ve also been weakened by the jews, it’s in their blood, to destroy everything we have… Now you may think the chinks and their modern pathologies, including their infanticide of little chinkettes is due to things like their civil war which they lost to communists… atrocities on the part of the japanese… the cultural revolution that intentionally targeted traditional institutions and values and killed tens of millions… subsequent isolationism… continued authoritarianism… migrations entailing hundreds of millions of people… and even other things in the past few centuries like the taiping rebellion, or even further back like the mongol conquests which retarded near every place they went… and just how cripplingly overpopulated china has been for so long… or how near-every other place inhabited by the chinese is nothing like mainland China… But no, I’ve had a few chink girls come up to me and say how much better white men treat women… Nevermind the beauty of the aryan, from everything to skin to hair and eye color, which they could clearly see in a 70-something like me…”

    “China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms.”

    Joe Webb… The insane, rambling, narcissistic old man of all insane, rambling, narcissistic old men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    what's your point? you make no argument, only go ballistically ad hominem. Woody Woodpecker laughter. By the way, because I am old (74) you throw that at me you little punk. I could take care of you in less than ten seconds in all probability.

    I got 20 plus year olds after me and for that you resent... you have no argument, you are a reenter. I am ripe, and enjoy myself now that I have figured it all out.
    The gals are attracted to that and my blonde hair of course, and pretty fit.

    Joe Webb
  148. @joe webb
    Duchesne does not make the wheat vs. rice argument. That was the topic of an article here at Unz a few months ago, and it makes perfect hbd sense. Bio-cultural co-evolution. not that that is the whole story

    Duchesne has a grand large argument and is certainly worth reading. He has apparently read everything, including the early sociology of Weber and Hegel, etc. and Pomeranz shows up as well.

    HIs argument is ultimately socio -biological arguing that what explains western rationality and individualism is rooted in the three peoples who came together to make up the White race: near eastern farmers, Indo-Europeans, and northern hunter gatherers (Europe).

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not. Culture exists, religion exists, and race exists. The only Free people genetically are Whites. Our record of insisting on liberty and free speech goes back to Greece and before that to the Indo-Euopreans and, for example, to The Iliad, which I just re-read.

    These aristocratic warriors, had a first-among-equals social psychology. Equals in this case means someone with whom one can have mutuality and common understanding or intersubjectivity, which is a great term!. It has never been tyranny, except occasionally which was then resisted or overthrown. ( China was always without nobility , just a subservient confucian civil service...dead in the flow of history so to speak.)


    The East has none of this. Zero. which is one of the reasons, besides low IQ outside of east Asia, they are mired in despotic social relations...family, clan, strong-man rulers, Kings, etc. The aristocratic warrior societies resisted kingship, which has been part of our whole history...as you know in feudal times the kings were always resisted by nobles/aristocracy. Everywhere else in the world there was not similar multi-layered, relative "pluralism" of mixed powers. This led to the free cities, etc. of the middle ages, etc.

    China was always a tyranny, with no nobility, etc. Only mandarins prostrating themselves before the King, Emperor, or Chief. Confucianism also did not understand politics per our democratic traditions. The king is the father. A great confusion of family life with political life. The Greeks pulled us out of that by the invention of the polis. Nobody else invented the polis.

    Joe Webb

    ps the chinese where I live in Silicon Va. are pretty much despised by the local liberals. They are noted as rude, arrogant, superstitious (gambling, magical thinking, etc.) My opinion is that they are more dangerous than any other, except maybe muzzies, because there is no there there. The there is the wonderful White intersubjectivity. For the chink, there is no equality of sorts.

    My argument is simple, too simple for the on the one hand and on the other hand crowd. Look at where people come from...Red China now maddog capitalist China, etc. there is the chink. simple as that. Are there exceptions? of course. Oriental despotism standing out absolutely clear. And their one-dimensionality is profound...money.

    I somehow overlooked this post (and other bowel movements of yours.) Let’s try to run this down:

    “Duchesne does not make the wheat vs. rice argument. That was the topic of an article here at Unz a few months ago, and it makes perfect hbd sense. Bio-cultural co-evolution. not that that is the whole story”

    “HIs argument is ultimately socio -biological arguing that what explains western rationality and individualism is rooted in the three peoples who came together to make up the White race: near eastern farmers, Indo-Europeans, and northern hunter gatherers (Europe).”

    “If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not. Culture exists, religion exists, and race exists. The only Free people genetically are Whites. Our record of insisting on liberty and free speech goes back to Greece and before that to the Indo-Euopreans and, for example, to The Iliad, which I just re-read.”

    So let me get this straight- Europeans are the “only “Free” people genetically” because of what agriculture they practiced thousands of years ago, and this is evidenced by the Greeks. I’ll get more on that with the rest of your post, but I don’t know what other “oriental despotisms” you’re thinking of other than China. Singapore is authoritarian, but nothing like China. North Korea is cartoonish in it’s extremity, but then there’s South Korea. Taiwan and Hong Kong are nothing like mainland China, nor are nearly all the other Chinese diaspora throughout the world. And Japan, well, that kind of goes without saying (not a despotism by any means.)

    “These aristocratic warriors, had a first-among-equals social psychology. Equals in this case means someone with whom one can have mutuality and common understanding or intersubjectivity, which is a great term!. It has never been tyranny, except occasionally which was then resisted or overthrown. ( China was always without nobility , just a subservient confucian civil service…dead in the flow of history so to speak.)”

    “The East has none of this. Zero. which is one of the reasons, besides low IQ outside of east Asia, they are mired in despotic social relations…family, clan, strong-man rulers, Kings, etc. The aristocratic warrior societies resisted kingship, which has been part of our whole history…as you know in feudal times the kings were always resisted by nobles/aristocracy. Everywhere else in the world there was not similar multi-layered, relative “pluralism” of mixed powers. This led to the free cities, etc. of the middle ages, etc.”

    You have an absolutely cartoon version of European history. “Tyranny” and other forms of authoritarianism have occurred throughout European history, and have not readily disappeared by the relentless efforts of “aristocratic warriors” or the overwhelming dislike of the populace. Greece long consisted of conflicting, warring city-states. Slavery was found throughout. Even Plato’s work had authoritarian/totalitarian ideals. And you had places like Sparta that eschewed art and countless other pursuits and were completely sociopathic in nature (for how you complain about infanticide in China, look at what Sparta did.) What did the rest of Europe look like throughout this time? Aside from the south, it consisted overwhelmingly of tribal peoples with virtually no urbanization to speak of, and the Greeks and Romans often looked down upon them. Nevermind the well documented decline in violence throughout Europe going back centuries, or how backwards some parts of Europe still are- you’d even see horrible treatment of animals on a fairly large scale (see cat burnings in France) even a few centuries ago. There’s much more that could be said, but your model of “aristocratic warrior societies” always resisting purely anomalous tyrannies has not been a timeless feature of European history, much less “Indo-European history.”

    And there’s that line I see often in these circles- “Asians are completely without individuality and introspection and care nothing more about a shallow, extreme conformity.” I don’t know- clinical depression is rampant in China, east asia in general is characterized by some of the world’s highest suicide rates and are overwhelmingly tied to various crushing social conditions in modern east asia that are roughly outgrowths of this “conformity”, nevermind how communism came about by a brutal civil war in China followed by dictatorship and genocide, and there were those massive pro-democracy demonstrations in China that had to be violently put down and covered up, and Taiwan has been doing fine as a democracy for some time now…

    I won’t deny modern mainland chinese exhibit deplorable social etiquette- but I think there’s more than enough evidence to suggest that (among many other things, as I outlined in my other post) is largely social in nature. I mean, it’s kind of hard to get around how Chinese tourists are looked down in Thailand, which is poorer and of lower IQ than China, despite Thailand having a large Chinese population, and the Thais themselves being of heavy Chinese ancestry: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/11416014/Thailand-issues-good-behaviour-manual-for-Chinese-tourists.html

    By the way, you mentioned the “other Indo-Europeans”- that’s a huge, huge collection of people. Why do so many of them today barely resemble Europe in living standards and so many other things?

    And honestly, keep throwing around “chink” like you do- I know this place has atrocious moderation, but if that’s what it will take to get you banned, I’m all for it.

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  149. “First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters.”

    A better question is “why has Greece’s accomplishment gradually declined”, since it was the heart of the Byzantine Empire, which had more than it’s share of accomplishments (something people often overlook in these discussions.) Greece’s mediocrity is more of a feature of the past few centuries, and I doubt it’s due anything to mixing with Turks (which also didn’t really happen.)

    There’s no good evidence to suggest Greece’s IQ is low or that they’re any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there’s Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80. They’re just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They’re not worth any consideration.

    “However, there might also be an HBD angle. Peter Frost has suggested the spread of the ASPM gene from Middle Eastern origins – large lacking in East Asians, and associated with continuous text processing – could have tipped the scales in favor of the adoption of alphabetic systems in the Near East and the Mediterranean in a way that could not have happened in East Asia. (Note that Korea’s Sejong the Great introduced an alphabetic system in the 15th century, for the express reason of increasing literacy amongst the commonfolk, but it took until the 20th century for it to truly catch on).”

    Uh, I think Korea’s example would be a counter against this. They invented what’s probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue. Peter’s idea is pretty nonsensical, and is really just an attempt to preserve* the honestly insane reaction to the APSM alleles. (“These are alleles of two genes involved in brain function, and they fit some rough racial and historical patterns…. THIS HAS TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING!”)

    *I’ve seen someone try to reconcile the fact it has some of it’s highest frequencies in PNG with how some PNG tries built high treehouses and a comment Lahn made about it being possibly related to craftsmanship. Suuuuuuure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    There’s no good evidence to suggest Greece’s IQ is low or that they’re any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there’s Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80. They’re just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They’re not worth any consideration.
     
    PISA tests.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-geography-of-global-human-capital/

    Uh, I think Korea’s example would be a counter against this. They invented what’s probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue.
     
    Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform - in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written "a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days" - and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century.
    , @joe webb
    Dippy...your facts are in deficit, or decrepitude, or disinformational . Also, your use of the word "shit" disqualified you from objectivity.

    Your...."would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80." is way off.

    Lynn gives the Balkans around 90- 92 , not mid-80s, and Albania 90, not 80 you idiot.

    Joe Webb
    , @joe webb
    Dippy...."So let me get this straight- Europeans are the “only “Free” people genetically” because of what agriculture they practiced thousands of years ago, and this is evidenced by the Greeks."

    I never said that potty mouth. I merely threw that in since it appeared here at Unz and it does support the general argument about western individualism. It was on bio-cultural co-evolution, about how rice agriculture demands regimentation and extreme collectivism, as opposed to the individualistic wheat growers of the West, who did not have much need to cooperate.

    You cannot get anything straight dippy. I offered up Duchesne's schema of what the ethnic antecedents of the White race were. I also described his sense of the Indo-Europeans as prestige driven, like in the Iliad, and that that psychological drive led to individualism and intersubjectivity which is dependent on having friends of an egalitarian nature. This led to aristocracy as a general trend in the West, which resisted Kings and autocrats. This fed right into Feudalism, free cities, and representative bodies intermediate with kings or popes. In fact, fed right into magna carta, etc. and the free speech that you would deny me cuz I don't care for chink despotism.

    The rest of the world has autocrats, dictators, kings, emperors, etc.....even today. This is not very hard to understand if you take the time. But you are a hater. Tough, and brush your potty mouth. The chinks by the way are incapable of democracy, even Japan but another story.

    Joe Webb
  150. @Dipwill_
    "First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    A better question is "why has Greece's accomplishment gradually declined", since it was the heart of the Byzantine Empire, which had more than it's share of accomplishments (something people often overlook in these discussions.) Greece's mediocrity is more of a feature of the past few centuries, and I doubt it's due anything to mixing with Turks (which also didn't really happen.)

    There's no good evidence to suggest Greece's IQ is low or that they're any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there's Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the "balkan backwaters"- the low to mid 80's, with Albania being at 80. They're just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They're not worth any consideration.

    "However, there might also be an HBD angle. Peter Frost has suggested the spread of the ASPM gene from Middle Eastern origins – large lacking in East Asians, and associated with continuous text processing – could have tipped the scales in favor of the adoption of alphabetic systems in the Near East and the Mediterranean in a way that could not have happened in East Asia. (Note that Korea’s Sejong the Great introduced an alphabetic system in the 15th century, for the express reason of increasing literacy amongst the commonfolk, but it took until the 20th century for it to truly catch on)."

    Uh, I think Korea's example would be a counter against this. They invented what's probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue. Peter's idea is pretty nonsensical, and is really just an attempt to preserve* the honestly insane reaction to the APSM alleles. ("These are alleles of two genes involved in brain function, and they fit some rough racial and historical patterns.... THIS HAS TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING!")

    *I've seen someone try to reconcile the fact it has some of it's highest frequencies in PNG with how some PNG tries built high treehouses and a comment Lahn made about it being possibly related to craftsmanship. Suuuuuuure.

    There’s no good evidence to suggest Greece’s IQ is low or that they’re any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there’s Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80. They’re just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They’re not worth any consideration.

    PISA tests.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-geography-of-global-human-capital/

    Uh, I think Korea’s example would be a counter against this. They invented what’s probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue.

    Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform – in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written “a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days” – and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    Richard Lynn give Greece an average score of 92. Turkey's is 90, and the Balkans are around 90 as well. This is due to muslim/arab penetration, so to speak, of the Greeks and southern Europeans generally. I think Lynn's new book which is hard to find, gives southern Italy about 95.

    Genotypically, the darker, the dumber, with exceptions of course. I have a darker type Greek friend who could pass for a wild muzzie when bearded. He's got a PhD in math and works at Apple. Also has a great temperament. His mother looks like a Brit, his father like an Italian. both are professionals.

    As i have stated many times, the Arab IQ is in the low 80s. Egypt at 81 (proximate to African negroes) and other arab states at @ 84. Ditto Iran at 84, and Iraq at 87.

    People get around, and as a friend of mine puts it: people fornicate, like dogs.

    Joe Webb
    , @Dipwill_
    "PISA tests."

    Which aren't IQ tests, and haven't been proved as such aside from Lynn and co's circle who are convinced they are.

    "Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform – in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written “a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days” – and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century."

    And yet... they adopted it, and they've shown no signs of having any issues with it since they did so. They went out of their way to invent a remarkably efficient alphabet, arguably the most efficient in the world, but it didn't catch on for a few centuries. Ergo, this is prime evidence an allele or two are the reason.

    Maybe it was something else?

    Genetic explanations for asians using inefficient alphabets have little basis, especially on the basis of an allele or two that many "race realists" and HBDers refuse to let go of.
  151. @bach

    Hangul is alphabetic. The letters are organized into blocks of syllables, but it’s still an alphabet.
     
    Yes, hangul is an alphabetic system, but to call it "just an alphabet" is like calling a Ferrari "just a car" or traditional Korean celadon just "pottery".

    Among alphabets hangul stands at the pinnacle of ingenuity for a number of reasons.

    so you tell me that the conversations that I had with two chinese gals did not happen , or are untrue, or that I am a liar.

    you need a boxing lesson, I will give you one.

    I never said the chinkss were like the jews. They are worse. don’t know where you live but where I live amongst the liberals of Silicon Valley, who all intensely dislike the chinese,….they all say the same thing about the chink, rude, arrogant , greedy , and money money money. I hear it all the time. No jew would behave like they do around here. My personal experiences with them ditto…rude, arrogant and bad manners even like picking nose in public and head slopping up soup.

    The Japs call them pigs. AS I am always interested in being instructed, please quote something that suggests Universalism in their scribbling.

    I guess that is why they went insular, right?

    Intersubjectivity I think comes from the master-slave problem that Hegel wrote about, and maybe Weber as well. The master has no intersubjectivity with his slave. It is relationship devoid of the I-Thou, or friendly mutuality. Intersubjectivity means that two people recognize a rough equality between them and proceed to enjoy one-another’s company, ideas, experiences, etc. It is an intimacy outside of family life. It is a Greek polis kind of political intersubjectivity in political matters. It is also based on the fundamental of the human desire for prestige. Prestige requires someone whom you care about to give it to you…a relative equal.

    For the chink, it is all top down, or bottom up. There is no equality in this sense. The political in Chinese life is top down. It is the conflating of family life with political life, which destroys political life and leads to Confucianist obedience, if not obeisance to the Big Man.

    If you cannot see this, you are some kind of specialist in chinkdom that cannot see the forest for the trees…apologist is the word.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @bach

    so you tell me that the conversations that I had with two chinese gals did not happen , or are untrue, or that I am a liar.
     
    I believe you, but it's not meaningful. The sentiments expressed are cliche and trite because women who tell you that their men suck are no different qualitatively from women who tell you that all men suck. These women are essentially broken.

    I never said the chinkss were like the jews. They are worse.
     
    Yes, I know you said that. And it's an obtuse opinion based on shallow observations.

    don’t know where you live but where I live amongst the liberals of Silicon Valley, who all intensely dislike the chinese,….they all say the same thing about the chink, rude, arrogant , greedy , and money money money. I hear it all the time. No jew would behave like they do around here. My personal experiences with them ditto…rude, arrogant and bad manners even like picking nose in public and head slopping up soup.
     
    As I said, don't confuse what immigrants do with culture. In fact, don't confuse what any segment of the population do, particularly one just a generation removed from communism and abject poverty, with "culture".

    please quote something that suggests Universalism in their scribbling.
     
    I'm sure you've heard of Confucius. ("Do unto others..."?)

    Confucianism is predicated on universalist ethics between human to human without regard to peculiar tribe, religion or gods.

    Intersubjectivity I think comes from the master-slave problem that Hegel wrote about, and maybe Weber as well. The master has no intersubjectivity with his slave. It is relationship devoid of the I-Thou, or friendly mutuality. Intersubjectivity means that two people recognize a rough equality between them and proceed to enjoy one-another’s company, ideas, experiences, etc. It is an intimacy outside of family life. It is a Greek polis kind of political intersubjectivity in political matters. It is also based on the fundamental of the human desire for prestige. Prestige requires someone whom you care about to give it to you…a relative equal.
     
    And the Chinese lack this sentiment? Chinese don't have intimacy outside family? Chinese don't seek prestige from those they care about? Chinese do not understand the concept of peers and equals? Are the Chinese even fully human in your view?

    The Chinese care what their friends and others think. In fact, they care a lot. The Chinese are hyper "prestige" seekers.

    For the chink, it is all top down, or bottom up. There is no equality in this sense. The political in Chinese life is top down. It is the conflating of family life with political life, which destroys political life and leads to Confucianist obedience, if not obeisance to the Big Man.
     
    No, of course the Chinese have peer to peer relationships. (Need this be stated?)

    The political life of the Chinese can be whatever they choose it to be. There is nothing hardgrained in culture or genes that predisposes them to despotic tyranny.

    S.Korea is the most Confucian society and yet they arguably have the most vibrant democracy in Asia despite the obstacles they had to overcome to attain it.

    Corrupted Confucianism can lead to oppressive obedience and obeisance but that's certainly not the norm that should be adhered to.

    If you cannot see this, you are some kind of specialist in chinkdom that cannot see the forest for the trees…apologist is the word.
     
    I think you're seeing the trees for the forest.

    I'm pretty confident that the children and grandchildren of 1st gen. Chinese immigrants from the poorest parts of China will not be picking their noses in public.
  152. @rvg
    Can somebody solve the conundrum of how a people with a mean IQ of 80 can create something like Machu Pichu, Tenochticlan, or 12th century Baghdad which had a population of more than 1 million? I mean even if you assume they had a talented tenth, the talented tenth of a population with a mean IQ of 80 or 83 would be way too small to build something like Cuzco, Machu Pichu, Tenochticlan, or 12th century Baghdad.

    the answer is the bell curve nature. The top 5 % or so of a bell curve of 80 will still provide enough smart people to do building , etc.
    Joe Webb

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  153. @Anatoly Karlin

    There’s no good evidence to suggest Greece’s IQ is low or that they’re any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there’s Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80. They’re just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They’re not worth any consideration.
     
    PISA tests.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-geography-of-global-human-capital/

    Uh, I think Korea’s example would be a counter against this. They invented what’s probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue.
     
    Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform - in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written "a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days" - and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century.

    Richard Lynn give Greece an average score of 92. Turkey’s is 90, and the Balkans are around 90 as well. This is due to muslim/arab penetration, so to speak, of the Greeks and southern Europeans generally. I think Lynn’s new book which is hard to find, gives southern Italy about 95.

    Genotypically, the darker, the dumber, with exceptions of course. I have a darker type Greek friend who could pass for a wild muzzie when bearded. He’s got a PhD in math and works at Apple. Also has a great temperament. His mother looks like a Brit, his father like an Italian. both are professionals.

    As i have stated many times, the Arab IQ is in the low 80s. Egypt at 81 (proximate to African negroes) and other arab states at @ 84. Ditto Iran at 84, and Iraq at 87.

    People get around, and as a friend of mine puts it: people fornicate, like dogs.

    Joe Webb

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  154. @Dipwill_
    "First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    A better question is "why has Greece's accomplishment gradually declined", since it was the heart of the Byzantine Empire, which had more than it's share of accomplishments (something people often overlook in these discussions.) Greece's mediocrity is more of a feature of the past few centuries, and I doubt it's due anything to mixing with Turks (which also didn't really happen.)

    There's no good evidence to suggest Greece's IQ is low or that they're any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there's Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the "balkan backwaters"- the low to mid 80's, with Albania being at 80. They're just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They're not worth any consideration.

    "However, there might also be an HBD angle. Peter Frost has suggested the spread of the ASPM gene from Middle Eastern origins – large lacking in East Asians, and associated with continuous text processing – could have tipped the scales in favor of the adoption of alphabetic systems in the Near East and the Mediterranean in a way that could not have happened in East Asia. (Note that Korea’s Sejong the Great introduced an alphabetic system in the 15th century, for the express reason of increasing literacy amongst the commonfolk, but it took until the 20th century for it to truly catch on)."

    Uh, I think Korea's example would be a counter against this. They invented what's probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue. Peter's idea is pretty nonsensical, and is really just an attempt to preserve* the honestly insane reaction to the APSM alleles. ("These are alleles of two genes involved in brain function, and they fit some rough racial and historical patterns.... THIS HAS TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING!")

    *I've seen someone try to reconcile the fact it has some of it's highest frequencies in PNG with how some PNG tries built high treehouses and a comment Lahn made about it being possibly related to craftsmanship. Suuuuuuure.

    Dippy…your facts are in deficit, or decrepitude, or disinformational . Also, your use of the word “shit” disqualified you from objectivity.

    Your….”would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80.” is way off.

    Lynn gives the Balkans around 90- 92 , not mid-80s, and Albania 90, not 80 you idiot.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Dipwill_
    I guess Anatoly long ago eschewed any objectivity, since in his blogroll, he refers to two people (though endearingly) as "shitlords." And you continue to trawl out comments against me even though I sunk to the incomparable low of using a dirty word, which you repeatedly make over. This in face of you constantly using racial slurs and on top of the many, many other bizarre, malicious things you've said on this site.

    And is this a veiled threat?

    "what’s your point? you make no argument, only go ballistically ad hominem. Woody Woodpecker laughter. By the way, because I am old (74) you throw that at me you little punk. I could take care of you in less than ten seconds in all probability."

    My estimate of 80 isn't way off- according to his 2012 book, Albania's IQ is 82, and marginally higher for Montenegro and Bosnia, and all of which are lower than Turkey: http://i.imgur.com/Qo4mQ.png

    Which is really strange in face of how he can't seem to fathom a reason for the balkans as having lower IQ's other than Turkish admixture (which you seem to be partial towards.) Is that why they (though they also have it in common with Russia) don't follow the eternal European drive towards endlessly resisting tyranny?

    And looking at that map... only 3 European countries are at or above an IQ of 100 in reality. Do you actually believe this?

    "I never said that potty mouth. I merely threw that in since it appeared here at Unz and it does support the general argument about western individualism. It was on bio-cultural co-evolution, about how rice agriculture demands regimentation and extreme collectivism, as opposed to the individualistic wheat growers of the West, who did not have much need to cooperate."

    And I never flat out accused you of that either. I was reiterating the gist of the argument (which you variously seemed partial towards.) If you don't believe that, why have Indo-Europeans (or just whites, I'm not sure) been partial towards an endless, universal feedback of "artistocratic warriors" resisting tyranny forever?

    I have no interest in silencing your free speech or siding with "THE CHINKS!!!" in doing so- that's just a paranoia of yours.

    Though do tell me (a "hater)" how "the chinks", including Japan, are incapable of democracy (and how Japan is secretly not one).

  155. @Dipwill_
    "First off, there is no particularly obvious explanation for why this part of the Mediterranean world evolved such a high average IQ – a standard deviation higher than everyone else – in the first place. One would then likewise have to explain why they then lost it so thoroughly that modern Greeks now consistently place lower in European IQ assessments than all but a few Balkan backwaters."

    A better question is "why has Greece's accomplishment gradually declined", since it was the heart of the Byzantine Empire, which had more than it's share of accomplishments (something people often overlook in these discussions.) Greece's mediocrity is more of a feature of the past few centuries, and I doubt it's due anything to mixing with Turks (which also didn't really happen.)

    There's no good evidence to suggest Greece's IQ is low or that they're any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there's Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the "balkan backwaters"- the low to mid 80's, with Albania being at 80. They're just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They're not worth any consideration.

    "However, there might also be an HBD angle. Peter Frost has suggested the spread of the ASPM gene from Middle Eastern origins – large lacking in East Asians, and associated with continuous text processing – could have tipped the scales in favor of the adoption of alphabetic systems in the Near East and the Mediterranean in a way that could not have happened in East Asia. (Note that Korea’s Sejong the Great introduced an alphabetic system in the 15th century, for the express reason of increasing literacy amongst the commonfolk, but it took until the 20th century for it to truly catch on)."

    Uh, I think Korea's example would be a counter against this. They invented what's probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue. Peter's idea is pretty nonsensical, and is really just an attempt to preserve* the honestly insane reaction to the APSM alleles. ("These are alleles of two genes involved in brain function, and they fit some rough racial and historical patterns.... THIS HAS TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING!")

    *I've seen someone try to reconcile the fact it has some of it's highest frequencies in PNG with how some PNG tries built high treehouses and a comment Lahn made about it being possibly related to craftsmanship. Suuuuuuure.

    Dippy….”So let me get this straight- Europeans are the “only “Free” people genetically” because of what agriculture they practiced thousands of years ago, and this is evidenced by the Greeks.”

    I never said that potty mouth. I merely threw that in since it appeared here at Unz and it does support the general argument about western individualism. It was on bio-cultural co-evolution, about how rice agriculture demands regimentation and extreme collectivism, as opposed to the individualistic wheat growers of the West, who did not have much need to cooperate.

    You cannot get anything straight dippy. I offered up Duchesne’s schema of what the ethnic antecedents of the White race were. I also described his sense of the Indo-Europeans as prestige driven, like in the Iliad, and that that psychological drive led to individualism and intersubjectivity which is dependent on having friends of an egalitarian nature. This led to aristocracy as a general trend in the West, which resisted Kings and autocrats. This fed right into Feudalism, free cities, and representative bodies intermediate with kings or popes. In fact, fed right into magna carta, etc. and the free speech that you would deny me cuz I don’t care for chink despotism.

    The rest of the world has autocrats, dictators, kings, emperors, etc…..even today. This is not very hard to understand if you take the time. But you are a hater. Tough, and brush your potty mouth. The chinks by the way are incapable of democracy, even Japan but another story.

    Joe Webb

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  156. @Priss Factor
    "Prissy, I suggest you get tutored a bit by Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, especially its section on the New York Intellectuals. Susan Sontag…golly…whites as the cancer of the planet, and then the entertainment follies, and the jewish art/lit mafia that ran the liberal consciousness. I have read most of these guys mentioned….it is not great art, but time will tell won’t it? Mostly it was jewish networking. the Jew Yorker. I recall a story about Sontag at a party asking some Jew how to get something published….he told her to send it in to him, jew."

    Kevin M did something courageous and necessary in critiquing the Jewish culture of critique, but the man has no sense of culture as in 'art'. He is blind and deaf. Too often, he and his acolytes figure if something is Jewish, it must be negative(or should be approached negatively) whereas if something is 'Aryan', it must be good.

    Kevin M endorsed Lasha Darkmoon's idiotic neo-Nazi view of art and culture. Total philistine stuff. This is just an Alt Right version of 'family values' theory of art where something is good if it's clean and pretty while something is bad if it's 'ugly'.

    Now, I'm aware of the perversions and excesses of modernism, but one has to be total philistine dolt to espouse views such as this:

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html

    But actually, it all comes down to 'whose side are you on?'
    So, even though Alt Right types usually bash modern art, if it turns out that the weirdo artist was a fascist, rightist, or some such, he gets a pass.
    If Heidegger were a leftist or Jewish, you know lots of people on Alt Right would bash him as a phony nut. But because he was on the Right, they pretend to admire his ideas even though they have no idear what Being and Time is about. I read one page and put it down.

    And take Jonathan Bowden who made art like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=james+bowden+art&safe=off&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=653&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ___4pYLKAhXG5SYKHfTsAh0Q_AUIBygC#safe=off&tbm=isch&q=jonathan+bowden+art

    Now, that stuff strikes me as crap, but he got a pass from the Alt Right cuz, well, he was on the Right.

    Or take Celine. He wrote some pervy stuff. So does Michel Houllebeque. But both get a pass and even much praise from the Alt Right cuz of their political views.

    This is no way to approach art.

    I appreciate some of the stuff MacDonald has done, but he should shut up about art and culture. Take his praise of Trevor Lynch's book:

    https://secure.counter-currents.com/trevor-lynchs-white-nationalist-guide-to-the-movies/

    Now, this dufus called Lynch did write some interesting pieces. But his general approach to movies is 'It is good if it has themes supportive of white nationalism'.
    So, even though JURASSIC WORLD is an impersonal by-the-numbers pile of crap cynically made to pull in the bucks, he praises it sky high cuz it's a pro-white-guy movie. Lynch trashed the new Star Wars movie as the same old same old. But so is Jurassic World. So, why does JW get a pass while SW gets bashed? Cuz SW has a Negro and other non-white characters. Now, I don't wanna see no Negro in SW either, but one shouldn't be saying a movie is good or bad simply based on its 'politics'.

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/06/jurassic-world/

    Jurassic World was only good for a laugh at the end when the T-rex and the little raptor team up to beat the mutant dino-thug who finally gets eaten by a mega-dino-whale. It's priceless after the the T-rex and the little raptor win by teamwork and then look at each other like friends in Casablanca. One of the hokiest crap I ever did see.

    (TOMORROWLAND is something real special.)

    Anyway, if we're gonna appreciate art, we can't be too political.

    It's like Jews can hate Wagner and Germans but still admire Wagner as a great artist.
    We can dislike the Boos but still say Diana Ross and the Supremes had some great songs. We can say current music is total crap and blacks have gone nuts.. but still admit Rihanna in Umbrella video is one hot sizzling ho.

    And I disagree about Sontag. I think her essays in 60s and early 70s are essential. She said some crazy political things, but many of her pieces are non-political.
    And besides, who hasn't said crazy stuff? There are plenty of Alt Right people who have said crazy stuff. I've said nutty stuff over the yrs probably more outlandish than 'honkeys are the cancer of humanity'. Sometimes my friends remind me of what I said yrs ago, and I scratch my head and ask, "I really said that?" And shiite, I scare myself.

    fair enough in general. KM is far more ecumenical than I am. GJ of Counter-Currents is a psychopath in my personal experience. The Hitler worship that is around to some degree in WN is part of the territory, too bad, but that is politics. I don’t think KM cares much about art.

    Darkmoon I do not see anymore at TOO, is she still there. Overboard I agree. Bowden’s art is junk to me but he was a great orator.

    The Lynch stuff, the Donovan stuff…I neither care for, nor endorse. By the way, if you have not read Roger Devlin’s anti-femi “Sexual Utopia in Power,” take a look, it’s a romp.

    Are you a women or not? I mean you’re real good a lot but sometimes sound like a lady.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    [I mean you’re real good a lot but sometimes sound like a lady]

    Priss grew up amongst Jews :=)

  157. @Dipwill_
    "and jew IQ appears to be 110 average…ashkenazis. In Israel all the jews are somewhat dumber, especially the arab jews. Semites are desert people and their tribal tendencies are pronounced probably due to running around with their sheep and goats and invading one-another for thousands of years. Pastoralists ….we were also pastoralists as Indo-Europeans…and that made us tougher…another story."

    Ah yeah... tribalists vs. the good old pastoralists... aka the new HBD autism of boiling down everything to what form of agriculture was practiced thousands of years ago (it's better than the "ice age climates" theory, but still). No, I'm pretty sure that many of the "tribal" tendencies we see in the middle east are heavily due to Islam and the tendencies arising from it that have been ingrained since then, genetically and culturally, and made them less amenable to the changes we've seen over the centuries in Europe and East Asia. "Semites" often haven't been nomadic, there were settled, literate civilizations in southern arabia long before Islam, nevermind what you can find throughout the middle east going back millenia before. Or why so many middle eastern people, semitic or not, have these tendencies and behaviors. Look at Albania- it's one of the most backwards parts of Europe, and one of the only majority muslim European countries. Do you think their backwardness and inability to modernize might be in large part due to that?

    "The Chinese, like the jews get focused on making money, we see it here where I live in Silicon Valley. The difference would seem to be that jews use money for power. Chinks use money for money. But because there are a billion plus of them, their political power will come no matter what. They are a disaster already starting to happen and if we do not stop their immigration they will smother us. They are politically totalitarian, and lack “intersubjectivity” in personal relationships, something that whites have and jews have amongst themselves (I think).

    Their selfishness is pronounced, even their women opportunistically out-marry to whites big time. Of course, this may be due to how bad they are treated by their men. I have been told by two different chink gals that “white guys treat you better.” Never mind the sexual aspects.

    Total opportunists. look at the chink infanticide of females…still going on probably. The yellow peril will make the jews look like a picnic."

    Here's roughly how I read this part:

    "Chinks, they're just like jews.... Money is all they care about... There's over a billion of the chinks, there's a new yellow peril coming... Authoritarianism is in their blood, they lack even the "intersubjectivity" jews and whites share... But we've also been weakened by the jews, it's in their blood, to destroy everything we have... Now you may think the chinks and their modern pathologies, including their infanticide of little chinkettes is due to things like their civil war which they lost to communists... atrocities on the part of the japanese... the cultural revolution that intentionally targeted traditional institutions and values and killed tens of millions... subsequent isolationism... continued authoritarianism... migrations entailing hundreds of millions of people... and even other things in the past few centuries like the taiping rebellion, or even further back like the mongol conquests which retarded near every place they went... and just how cripplingly overpopulated china has been for so long... or how near-every other place inhabited by the chinese is nothing like mainland China... But no, I've had a few chink girls come up to me and say how much better white men treat women... Nevermind the beauty of the aryan, from everything to skin to hair and eye color, which they could clearly see in a 70-something like me..."

    "China…the Oriental Despotism of all oriental despotisms."

    Joe Webb... The insane, rambling, narcissistic old man of all insane, rambling, narcissistic old men.

    what’s your point? you make no argument, only go ballistically ad hominem. Woody Woodpecker laughter. By the way, because I am old (74) you throw that at me you little punk. I could take care of you in less than ten seconds in all probability.

    I got 20 plus year olds after me and for that you resent… you have no argument, you are a reenter. I am ripe, and enjoy myself now that I have figured it all out.
    The gals are attracted to that and my blonde hair of course, and pretty fit.

    Joe Webb

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  158. @Anatoly Karlin

    If you think that China etc are not oriental despotisms, please make your argument. So far you have not.
     
    The Chinese government imposed a light tax burden on its subjects (indeed that was one of the core tenets of Confucianism, which had comprehensively won out over Legalism throughout the 2nd millennium), had no feudalism in the European sense, had much less in the way of internal barriers, was run by a professional bureaucracy when even countries like Britain continuing selling posts into the 19th century. Oriental despotism as applied to China is 19th century European obscurantist nonsense.

    From my review of Pomeranz:

    Finally, there’s the argument that European capitalist institutions and markets were better developed and thus kick-started its growth. But again, the evidence Pomeranz marshals convinces that, if anything, China was substantially more “capitalist” (in the laissez-faire sense) than Europe. There were far fewer monopolies, and no internal trade barriers – contrast this, for example, with ancient regime France – and as a consequence, the volume of trade flows (in grains, sugar, timber, etc) were far higher within China than in continental Europe. The civil service was professional and meritocratic, whereas in Europe this only came to be in the 19th century. Markets for labor and products were freer in China; guilds had much less political influence than in Europe. Bound labor and feudal obligations remained prevalent far longer in Europe (and India) than in China, where it had long ago become marginal; for instance, the settlement of Taiwan for the cultivation of sugar – China’s equivalent of the Caribbean islands – was done by free labor. Though credit was cheaper in Europe – or, at least, in Holland and Britain – but to cut a long story short, there is (1) no evidence that this made crucial industrial activities unprofitable or impeded further pro-industrial mechanization, and (2) the credit system was more developed in India relative to China and Japan, although it was far more backward in general.
     

    pardon me, but is that all you got? Duchesne points out that you guys who hate Eurocentrism are economistic, like most of the Left of Old. Now what about freedom, that quaint old white guys, mostly dead I guess now, obsession. Individual assertion, individual action at all levels, with no statist interference/mediation/control…. how about freedom of religion, not state religion, etc.?

    Also the intermediate classes, guilds that you appear to denigrate, between the lower orders and the King/Emperor. Free speech? assembly, petition, assembly, . Duchesne also states that the printing press was never pressed…into service for newspapers, etc. in China.

    Freedom….Nope. Regimentation and totalitarianism , which as we can see now is quite compatible with the Liberal Order of globalism and the rest of the economism of today.

    Joe Webb

    [AK: Freedom of religion in Europe > China? LOL. Pointless to argue further. Comments like these really make me wish Unz could introduce a Disqus-like upvote/downvote feature so that crap like this gets sifted to the bottom]

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  159. @Anatoly Karlin

    There’s no good evidence to suggest Greece’s IQ is low or that they’re any lower than the rest of Europe, or especially that there’s Balkan countries with a lower IQ. The figure for Greece is supposed to be 92, and it would have helped to mention those scores for the “balkan backwaters”- the low to mid 80′s, with Albania being at 80. They’re just more worthless figures Richard Lynn shit out. They’re not worth any consideration.
     
    PISA tests.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-geography-of-global-human-capital/

    Uh, I think Korea’s example would be a counter against this. They invented what’s probably the most efficient alphabet of all time, and when they took to it, they took it with little issue.
     
    Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform - in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written "a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days" - and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century.

    “PISA tests.”

    Which aren’t IQ tests, and haven’t been proved as such aside from Lynn and co’s circle who are convinced they are.

    “Actually the example of Korea is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for it.

    Here was Sejong the Great trying to implement an explicitly progressive reform – in the founding document of the Hangul, it is written “a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days” – and yet in practice the Chinese character system continued to dominate until the turn of the 20th century.”

    And yet… they adopted it, and they’ve shown no signs of having any issues with it since they did so. They went out of their way to invent a remarkably efficient alphabet, arguably the most efficient in the world, but it didn’t catch on for a few centuries. Ergo, this is prime evidence an allele or two are the reason.

    Maybe it was something else?

    Genetic explanations for asians using inefficient alphabets have little basis, especially on the basis of an allele or two that many “race realists” and HBDers refuse to let go of.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Genetic explanations for asians using inefficient alphabets have little basis, especially on the basis of an allele or two that many “race realists” and HBDers refuse to let go of.
     
    Or it could merely be that the tipping point for East Asians to switch to an alphabet is higher than for Europeans and Middle Easterners. Hence they didn't do so until economic catch-up and nationalism became driving factors.

    Anyhow I'm agnostic on this issue, it could have been entirely cultural but an additional HBD factor can't be excluded.
  160. Dipwill_ says: